Friday, October 25, 2013

Back To The Drawing Board, YJ


As introductions go, it's hard to top that of the Vision, who became one of Marvel's most sensational characters a whopping forty-five years ago. And along with the heat beams that emitted from his eyes, we were given a nice round-up of his other impressive abilities:



But when an already established character gets a makeover, it can also be impressive--or, as in some cases we'll see, fall a little short.  It's not always easy to breathe new life into a character to shake up the status quo a little. Let's see how Marvel did with a few examples that come to mind.

First, how about the new Black Widow's debut, taking place when she was interested in acquiring Spider-Man's powers to supplement her own abilities? First, though, she had to walk away from her past--and so she adopted a new look, starting with designing a new costume for herself in order to acclimate her more to, as she put it, the "swingy seventies." But then we also got a look at her enhanced weaponry, along with a demo of her athletic prowess:




Unfortunately, none of that did her much good against Spider-Man, though it wasn't for lack of trying.

Then there's Yellowjacket, who walked away from his identity of Goliath and stuck to being a more mobile version of Ant-Man:



Given Yellowjacket's somewhat ho-hum re-intro here, I think Hawkeye's last question may simply be the writer's attempt to get that point out in the open and quickly move on, since it probably occurred to more than a few readers that there's been no real improvement here. That came later, when he ditched his disruptor gun that he'd been packing and instead incorporated its function into his suit:



Wow--tenfold! That's gotta make a difference, right? Well, if you count the fact that it made Power Man angrier:



Nor did Count Nefaria find the new Yellowjacket much of a threat:



(At least it seems the New York Times thought a lot of Yellowjacket's improvements. Then again, they also did a piece on Katherine Heigl being a rising star, so they don't always bat 1000.)

Captain Marvel's abilities finally seemed to stabilize, thanks to his new nega-bands he received along with his modified duds:



The bands now seem to be key to most if not all of Mar-vell's abilities, as he discovers that they transform his mental energy into physical. As for Nighthawk, he still retains his power to double his strength at night, but now adds flight to his new costume, courtesy of a hidden jet pack:



I think his wings also have gun barrels on the tips for opening fire on his foes. All amounting to probably the most unimaginative upgrade for a character I can think of.

Speaking of flight, here's a curious little upgrade to the Falcon, who was seeking something to put him on par with Captain America's new super-strength:



I'm not really sure how the power of flight accomplishes that, since you still have to physically engage your enemies with the same strength you've always had--while you, in effect, have become a nice target in the sky. But apparently this little field demo convinces him that he's made the right decision:



So what does Moonstone think of the new Falcon? Not much, as it turns out.  In fact, even the Falcon  is starting to realize his enhancements have really just made him a costumed bird:



For what it's worth, Cap (as the Nomad) tripping over his own cape should at least give Falc the satisfaction that he's the less humiliated of the two.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a brilliant idea, giving the Falcon his wings. I was a big fan of Captain America and the Falcon, as well as the Defenders and Nighthawk. I, being say, eight, maybe, thought that the concept of having a jet-pack that allowed you fly around and punch people out seemed like a pretty good idea. Still does! M.P.

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