It always makes me a little sad that the Fantastic Four, the heart and foundation of the Marvel Universe, has been painted into such a corner in terms of story and motivations.  The strengths that make them unique (the family aspect, their “four elements” temperaments, and the general angsty monsteryness of Ben Grimm) have often become the team’s most debilitating limitation for storytelling.  How many times has Reed been stuck in the “Absent-minded Professor Dad” role rather than being a kick-ass superhero?  How many times has Johnny Storm, one of the most experienced heroes in the entire Marvel Universe, been cast as the short-sighted hot-headed lunk?  And don’t even get me started on the use of Franklin (and later Valeria) as plot-device/macguffins.  Of course, it is actually quite common to have the thing that makes characters unique misattributed as a weakness (see also:  Superman is too much of a boy scout, Spider-Man isn’t gritty enough, Batman is too prepared), which, in turn, begs a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) doesn’t like it when people don’t understand that the Legion is about shiny utopian teenagers with attitudes, asking: What’s the one thing that you CANNOT stand that people misunderstand about your favorite character(s)?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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14 Comments

  1. June 6, 2013 at 11:34 am — Reply

    That Captain America isn’t relevant anymore.

  2. Dino
    June 6, 2013 at 11:48 am — Reply

    I’ll just throw this one out there to all Superman detractors: Superman is interesting because of his impeccable character. Consistently doing the right thing despite having the power to do whatever he wants is so very interesting.

  3. Kirby
    June 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm — Reply

    If I understand the question correctly, when people don’t get Elongated Man. I’m looking at you Alex Ross & Grant Morrision. He is NOT the more ineffective stretchy guy in Justice League, who is the complainer *cough* JUSTICE *cough.* Is EM less powerful? yes. Was he originally an expy? yes. Did he earn his place in the Justice League for over twenty years? Yes.

  4. June 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    I can actually think of two things. First, Chris Claremont is not remembered for writing with funny phonetic accents; yes, those are there, but he’s also remembered for being a damn fine writer as far as personalities & plots. Look beyond his quirks (which, honestly, every writer has their own variety of) and you’ll see a quality run with his 80s work, when he was at his peak.

    Second, just because your first exposure to the characters of Jonny Quest was on Venture Brothers doesn’t mean that the original series & the cast therein was crap. I’ve heard this one a lot, honestly, because if they’re mocking it, it HAS to be bad. The VB writers used them to make good points about the naivete of the “science hero” genre & the casual stereotyping of the era, but I seriously doubt they hate the original. Fans not being able to see what the point they were making was other than “hurr hurr, this old show is stoooopid” are just frustrating.

    • comicfan1974
      June 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm — Reply

      I absolutely agree with your comment about Johnny Quest (and with the point in general). Stretching the meaning of the question a bit, I would add that I am forever annoyed by people who feel the need to qualify the supposed “worth” of special effects in the original Doctor Who (and, frankly, any and all older sci-fi). Talk about a boring, pointless critique that misses the point…and, besides that, if you follow the logic behind that thinking, then nothing will ever be any good, after time passes.

  5. June 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm — Reply

    That Hellboy is not working for Satan

  6. Space Cadet Juan
    June 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm — Reply

    That Spider-Man is not spelled “Spiderman”

  7. RAM_evilspaceknight
    June 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm — Reply

    That Optimus Prime isn’t psychotic

  8. June 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm — Reply

    That every issue of Crossed is mindless gore porn. Granted, parts of Family Values and every bit of Psychopath fit that description, but the best parts of the series examine both the darkness (spiritual, psychological, or biological, whichever you prefer) that is unleashed in the Crossed, and the corresponding depths the survivors must navigate in a world where hope is just another danger. This is the same portrayal of human reaction to extremity that drives war films, crime drama, and prison stories. While I will certainly concede this series isn’t for most, when done with the proper emphasis it is one of the most compelling comics I’ve ever read. Thus endeth the sermon.

  9. Ron
    June 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm — Reply

    That Legion of Super-Heroes is not spelled “Legion of Superheroes.” Curse you, Google!

  10. June 7, 2013 at 12:30 am — Reply

    That people think Green Lantern is armed with essentially a flashlight ring. Usually these are the same people who have no problem accepting a magical ring in an RPG can provide armor protection, trigger spells or summon things, but they cannot seem to grasp that the GL ring is essentially the same thing with a lot more options.

    That Super Sentai is NOT Power Rangers, nor is it a ripoff of Power Rangers (I know at least two people who still insist it is despite having shown them that Super Sentai predates PR by several years).

    • June 7, 2013 at 12:38 am — Reply

      Oh, and that Digimon isn’t a ripoff of Pokemon. Digimon actually came first in the form of a tamogatchi-like toy several years before Pokemon, but the Pokemon anime came out before the Digimon anime.

  11. Nick S.
    June 7, 2013 at 7:27 pm — Reply

    This isn’t a favorite character, but it bugs me that “Lolita” has become synonymous with “underage temptress.” In the novel, Dolores “Lolita” Haze is an innocent victim.

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