damalur: (Default)
no, use my SPACE name! ([personal profile] damalur) wrote2016-09-05 03:12 pm
Entry tags:

more sue

I can’t believe I’m saying this as someone continually beating the drum of Include More Women In The Marvel Brain Trust, but I think F4 retcons and remakes need to stop trying to make Sue a superscientist. She’s awesome on her own merit, and turning every member of the team into a genius on par with Noodle Husband or Murder Uncle actually makes them less interesting as a group, not more.

I suspect the logic of a lot of writers is that to make Sue an equal partner for Reed, she has to meet him on the field of whizbangery – or, if I’m not giving them the benefit of the doubt, it’s that they can’t fathom why Reed would be interested in Sue unless she’s also a superscientist. I recently had a guy tell me that he couldn’t understand why someone as smart as Peter Parker would be interested in “a bimbo” like Mary Jane, and I’m thinking that sentiment is not a foreign attitude re: Sue and Reed.

I am really, horrifically new to loving the Fantastic Four as more than historically noteworthy supporting characters in Spider-Man stories, but I don’t see why Sue needs to be smart in the same ways (or to the same degree) as Reed to make her an awesome character. For one thing, making her a superscientist isn’t developing her for her own sake, it’s developing her for Reed’s sake, and for another, she has her own stuff going on, and it’s lazy writing to substitute Reed’s schtick for Sue’s schtick instead of growing Sue’s schtick in ways that are new and interesting while still being grounded in who she is as a character.

Retcons and remakes aren’t inherently bad – I find it downright uncomfortable to read a lot of earlier F4 stuff, and I way prefer the gentle-but-accidentally-arrogant Reed and spine-of-steel Sue that it seems I encounter in more recent comics – but!!! But!!!!!! Let Sue be Sue!!!!!!!!!!

Also, movies need to stop pretending Doom is anything but the despotic technomage ruler of a small European country.
marcelo: (Default)

[personal profile] marcelo 2016-09-20 03:15 am (UTC)(link)
+1! She's awesome enough without having to be a colleague of Reed.

FWIW, I like Hickman's portrayal of her. She's terrifyingly powerful in a physical sense, but more than that, she's *poised* and *powerful* in a way that has everything to do with her personality.

This is purely my headcanon, but aside from how ridiculously sweet and domestic they can be, I believe they are mutually attracted to each other's most confrontational aspects. Reed's always trying to take over the universe while saying to himself that he doesn't *want* to, and Sue's always having to keep him in check while saying to herself that she stays with him *despite* this tendency of his. They are both heroic, nurturing, kind, and so on, but sometimes he can be an assholey galactic menace, and sometimes she can be a very self-assured WMD, and I think they wouldn't stay together through and after those periods if they weren't, however unconsciously, attracted to each others' darker side (as long as those sides don't actually cross over the unforgivable).

Anyway, just my headcanon, and not with a lot of canon support, to be honest.
marcelo: (Default)

[personal profile] marcelo 2016-09-21 03:46 am (UTC)(link)
I once wrote a fic about the least sane aspects of the FF internal dynamics, but it hit a different emotional register, I think.

Perhaps the way to foreground this part of their dynamic would be to show them either before (when did they really click for the first time? I'm pretty sure it didn't happen until she got really mad at him) or out of their relationship. Hmm.
marcelo: (Default)

[personal profile] marcelo 2016-09-21 04:18 am (UTC)(link)

I now have this scenario in my head where Sue married Namor very early, there was a war between the US and Atlantis, and New York got a bit wrecked until Reed threatened Atlantis with one of the dozen doomsday-would-be-an-understatement devices he has lying around, establishing an uneasy detente between, essentially, Reed Richards and the Kingdom of Atlantis. I don't see Reed attempting to woo Susan, or it working if he did, but a battle between Sue I'm-a-kind-woman-who-will-forcefield-your-city-to-death-to-protect-my-people Storm and Reed I'm-all-about-science-and-goodwill-and-I'll-look-stoic-and-disappointed-as-I-shoot-your-continent-into-the-Negative-Zone Richards would certainly spark *something* between them. I can see both considering the other their most dangerous enemy.
lilacsigil: Beast, Marvel Comics (beast)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2016-09-20 05:18 am (UTC)(link)
I wouldn't mind Sue also being a scientist if they ever gave her actual science (of her own) to do! But unfortunately the Marvel tendency to make super-smart people good at absolutely everything scientific means that anyone in F4 is going to be overshadowed by Reed's super-science, so it's a futile battle. If Sue is going to be a scientist, it should be in a field Reed isn't going to trample all over, even though he should know little about it.
marcelo: (Default)

[personal profile] marcelo 2016-09-21 03:48 am (UTC)(link)
In the Ultimate universe she's (was) a genius biologist, and a much better one than Reed, although things went south too fast for this to become an example of a long-term Sue/Reed dynamic, I think.