Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Scott & Jean: Wasted Story Potential (Part 1)

So there’s this new meme making the rounds on the comic blogs asking the question: What is your Scott & Jean? In the words of one of the drivers of this phenomenon, “What is the one thing that you are so passionate about that you just cannot discuss it rationally?”

You –possibly being 12% less geeky than I and not a reader of comics- may not know what the Scott & Jean bit means. If you have to know, it refers to the X-Men characters Scott Summers and Jean Grey and their “meant to be” relationship. For like 30 years they were the mutant couple. And then they were broken up (by Grant Morrison, I think) and then Jean was killed (yet again) and Summers was matched up with The White Queen, Emma Frost. Many, many people hated this tampering with one of the few relationships in the Marvel universe that was supposed to be of the fairytale “it’s meant to be” variety. (Shut up. Some of us are romantics! Though, in this case, I could give a damn.) Thus is born the Scott & Jean (TM?), the thing that should not ever be messed with or otherwise jacked up and if it should happen then the purveyors of said tragedy will suffer your wrath on various Internet forums and blogs. (Okay, I think I low-balled that 12% figure above. If you didn’t know this story you’re possibly 35% less geeky than I. Congrats to you!)

So, the question –as being collated at AlertNerd- is what is your Scott & Jean. I had to think long and hard about this. (Cue obligatory and lame “long and hard” joke.) One of the best answers by far is here at Faust’s Fantastically Phantasmagoric Forum (best title evah). I love this bit:

Christopher Nolan will have us believe that Batman is just some thug in a cape who beats that snot out of gangsters and needs Morgan Freeman’s help to come up with an antidote for Scarecrow’s fear gas.  Um, no.  Sorry, Mr. Nolan, but you are wrong.  Batman does not need anyone’s help coming up with an antidote.  He can come up with an antidote in his sleep, while he does the crossword puzzle and designs a new Batmobile.  Why?  Because Batman is a freakin’ genius!  That’s it.  End of story.  And do you know what else Batman can do?  He can break into a skyscraper all by his lonesome, as well, thank you very much.  I don’t care if it’s in Hong Kong.  I don’t care if it’s on the Moon.  He’ll get there, he’ll break in, and he’ll do it without your help.

I love that.

As much as I didn’t agree with the premise, I loved Kristina Wright’s answer at Geeked. (Giving Spike a soul for Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s 7th and final season.)

4th Letter definitely hit the nail on the head with theirs. The only thing I hate more than stories with stagnant character (Seinfeld excepted) is when writers (or whomever) take characters that have evolved and revert them back to a previous status quo because they can’t deal with change. (This happens a lot in comics. God, don’t even get me started with what Marvel did with Spider-Man.) So, with that topic taken, I came up with another: Squandered Story Potential. 

Life is full of squandered potential. When I die, my tombstone will read “Here' lies Todd. Potential squandered.” Maybe that’s why it irks me so much when I see it. Either way, I’m a huge giant geek for good stories and when I see potentially wonderful stories fall short of the mark –even if the result isn’t specifically bad- I hate it. Hate. It. I won’t let go of it. Ever.

So, as this is already long and, like Pontiac, I build excitement, I’ll cut this short here. Tomorrow I will post my top five Scott & Jean Storylines of Potential Wasted. Be there!