Defining Character Moments
A couple weeks ago on twitter I posted a tweet that turned into a nice experience of comic fans sharing great stuff about their favorite characters.
I’m going to limit the write up here to comics only stuff (since that’s what we’re about here on 1979 Semi-Finalist!) but the thread itself was for “characters in fiction” and just got a really lovely response.
Here’s the tweet and you can click on it if you’d like to read the original thread.
It’s a bit unwieldy, but full of people loving comics. Per an earlier post, I thought I’d collect some of my favorites from the thread and post them here along with your suggestions that you made in the comments section of that post.
This was the prime example I gave in the twitter thread. Wonder Woman by Darwyn Cooke from NEW FRONTIER. Wonder Woman was never the same to me after this:
First of all — longtime 1979 Semi-Finalist reader and substack backer Damon won the whole damn thread IMO with this early offering:
Except for Damon, who gets special “top of the class” praise, since I didn’t talk to people individually about their moments, I’m not going to link them to what they picked. But these were some favs I cherry picked from the original thread:
From CAPTAIN MARVEL (2012):
Wonder Woman blinds herself — this was a big Wonder Woman moment for me too - from WONDER WOMAN:
Sometimes simplicity (and incredibly epic art) are all you need. ;D Silver Surfer from SILVER SURFER: PARABLE:
This next one is very recent, but I have to say, it made me gasp and then say “hell, yeah.” out loud to an empty room. This was a HUGE level up for Sync that I’ll never forget and that was beautifully set up by the incredible Children of the Vault story line that preceded it.
Like honestly, of everything everyone picked in the thread that I had personally already read myself — THIS moment stood out as exactly what I was talking about in the thread. Snyc is a character I liked just fine but didn’t think much about. Then I read the Children of the Vault story and I was definitely loving him as a character by the end of that run. But a moment like this that takes what I was loving about his character development and then just SLAM DUNKS IT IN A WAY I WILL NEVER FORGET. As a creator you’re always chasing creating a moment like that I think. Hats off to Gerry and Pepe, truly.
Official ultimate badass status achieved!
At least two different people posted things from the Tom King and Bilquis Evely Supergirl run — SUPERGIRL: WOMAN OF TOMORROW that made me move the book from the middle of my To-Read list to the very top.
This is one of my favorite standalone issues of UNCANNY X-MEN of all time. Just a beautiful little story that really has something to say about what it is to be a hero, and more specifically an X-Man:
Ack. I gotta go re-read it. It’s so great!
And one of my favorite (of many) great Gabby moments from ALL-NEW WOLVERINE and X-23 — this one is from X-23:
This isn’t MY personal favorite moment of Rogue, but it’s a really great one, and I feel like a non-traditional pick for Rogue that I really shows us that sort of hard-headed Rogue thing but in a great — and more subtle — way than we usually see from her. Because of Rogue’s ability to literally walk in anyone’s shoes for a time — to understand them on a level most other people save (maybe!) telepaths can — I have always felt Rogue should be one of the most empathic/understanding/forgiving of characters in the entire Marvel Universe — especially as she got older (we all have hot-headed dumb young years, that’s ok!) — and it’s nice to see that kind of character work reflected here (even back in the 90s!)
And of course what list would be complete without my beloved MISTER MIRACLE!
And below are the moments that YOU guys submitted in the comments! I really enjoyed seeing what you picked and reading your thoughts about them, so THANK YOU for sharing! These are in no particular order, but I think I got them all!
First up is Jacki (Apple J) talking about my two favs — Rogue and Gambit! And this is a favorite moment among big fans of the characters I think, but it’s not something that gets showed off a lot because it’s a quieter moment. It’s also really important in MY opinion as a big leap forward for Gambit in maturity and character development. Rogue is doing her usual pushing people away thing, but Gambit shows us he’s got more to offer than either Rogue or readers might have guessed. Love it!
Next up is Matt talking about favorite character Daredevil — and the epic run DAREDEVIL: THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR:
Here’s a very recent submission from Bill M talking about the excellent character development of Betsy Braddock from the recent EXCALIBUR run — showing off that even when she’s cut off from most of her “power,” you’d best not underestimate her:
And here’s Andy calling out a favorite scene from a favorite comic (NEW FRONTIER appears again!) — and favorite all-time Batman moment that perfectly explains Silver Age Batman “I set out to scare criminals, not children.”
And Steve Cleff sharing how he discovered Jean Grey — was actually when she was dead! First exposure to the character was in UNCANNY X-MEN #153 where Kitty tells Illyana a bedtime story using the X-Men as characters — including a deceased Jean Grey. The love and reverence they all still had for her made Steve go back and read the old issues to discover who she was. I love that!
And if Emma is more your style of telepath…Charles talks about how much he’s been falling in love with the character since coming back to comics, including her recent appearance in X-MEN: HELLFIRE GALA 1:
Picking up on Charles’ pick and comments Lodro called out the origin of the “fabulous” line — a favorite bit of mine from Emma Frost’s glorious history:
I am OBVIOUSLY partial to this fabulous line (I referenced it when I wrote Emma in CAPTAIN MARVEL). ;D
We’ve been a bit X-heavy so let’s look at some AMAZING SPIDER-MAN courtesy of Rob Graham:
I love these kind of creative super-powers solutions. They’re always my favorite moments (although admittedly this kind of writing — i.e. doing something unique with powers — gets harder as time goes on — thanks to so many stories coming out every week!)
Ryan “Jabo” Jablonski picked a moment near and dear to my heart — Gambit and Rogue’s first* kiss from X-MEN #41.
So obviously, as a die-hard Rogue and Gambit fan, this moment was HUGE for my teenage brain…however it always bothered me that Gambit had one eye on the “wave that will kill us all” (which I know now is VERY reasonable, but drove me crazy as a teen). It’s maybe why MANY years later I actually gave them a NEW “first kiss” (see ROGUE & GAMBIT #2 — but don’t worry it’s still VERY dramatic, and technically contested) ;D
I also always loved that detail in the first two panels — Angel’s eyes being very good/better than average — little details like that always thrill me.
Next up is a pick from James! A great look at the kind of “small moments” that can define our favorites for us — Gwenpool’s strange/unpredictable/somewhat fluid powers are part of what make her fascinating (and something I loved to play with when I got to write her in WEST COAST AVENGERS) but this is a great example of Hastings playing with how those powers worked pretty early in her development:
Now for one that’s a bit hard for me - MS MARVEL #11. It’s a great pick — by Fariha Imami — and it’s beautifully written and illustrated but it’s a Carol from the Civil War 2 timing that’s tough for me to get 100% on board with. HOWEVER, it’s a brilliant development for Kamala, showing not only her true heroic nature at all costs, but her lack of fear in speaking truth to power, all of it is really terrific and important character work:
Lodro also shared this excellent moment between Warpath and a newly resurrected Thunderbird from the current NEW MUTANTS run that has everyone talking:
Really great stuff.
Anyway, I am PRETTY SURE, I got everyone’s responses included, if I somehow missed yours, please let me know. And feel free to shout out more favorite character defining moments in the comments if you missed this the first time around. I don’t know if I’ll do another round up…but if you guys post enough interesting stuff…maybe! ;D
Take care — and tune in tomorrow for an all new chapter of BLACK CLOAK (my favorite chapter yet in fact!) for paid subscribers only
Stay safe, help others when possible. <3
Aww! Imagine my pleasant surprise! This was a great post.
Still remains one of my favorite ideas of recent, Kelly. I just attended my first con this weekend for the first time since ... and it felt so nice talking to people about their favorite characters and why they mean so much to them. Seeing all these people go up to their favorite writers and artists over the past couple days really cemented the amazing work you all do and how appreciative people are of the creative process. 💜