I originally wrote this intending it to be a few different posts, but it occurred to me that they all had a common theme, so I figured I’d kind of lump them together.

A couple months ago, I created a post called “Why Is Acceptance Important?” In the thread, it came up that many people on this board (and comics fans in general) were bullied for being comic book fans when they were kids.

This got me wondering about what people here think about characters like Guy Gardner, who is a hero, but still has a little bit of that bully attitude in him. I think of him as loud and brash, but not necessarily a bully. We all have a friend or coworker who is like him, but I think in real life, most of us would just kind of roll our eyes and say, “Here he goes again,” but not hate him. I think he would be the kind of friend that would be good to have, but you wouldn’t want all of your friends to be him.

I never understand why most writers can’t affectively (or don’t want to) write a character like him interacting with other super-heroes without it coming off that the others are offended by him. You would think there would be others who would just dish it right back to him without acting superior to him. He’s just a loudmouth.

I’ve said this before, but it’s been awhile. I think the best characterization of Guy ever was when he was written by Beau Smith after a short, well-written few issues by Chuck Dixon. (Dixon, by the way, goes in my category of separating the writing from the writer, but that’s for another thread.) During this run, Guy Gardner was loud and opinionated, but he was tempered with realistic reasoning behind his attitude. Plus, he wasn’t a bully. They played up on the fact that he was a man’s man in the sense that he watched football and drank beer. I think it’s a perfectly valid idea that someone who does those things could be a super-hero also. I just think he could be written with more nuance.

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Well, she was mind-controlled. Sleez was the Jeffrey Epstein of his time, only not with young girls. So Sleez is sleazy nonetheless.

ClarkKent_DC said:

In short, the story protects Superman's virtue, but not Barda's. 

It was realistic that Hawkeye and Quicksilver would question why Cap was in charge. Hawkeye for mostly unjustified ego and Quicksilver because of his powers. Because of his old world upbringing, it was also realistic that Quicksilver would be overprotective of his sister.

I liked the obnoxious Hawkeye better than the Scott Pilgrim version that was popularized by Matt Fraction.

Jimmy Olsen makes sense with that characterization, but Hawkeye just seemed really out of character being portrayed that way.

Thanks for the updates.  I know nothing about these characters since the Bronze Age.  I think Flash became much more fully developed after graduating from high school, as often happens as kids mature. I have some dim memory of a story involving his wife and Dr. Strange.   Steve always struck me as a jerk and a bit of a bully.  I dimly remember that he could act courageously if called upon to do so, but I may be misremembering.

Reply by ClarkKent_DC yesterday

Dave Palmer said:

Flash Thompson?

Steve Lombard?

Today's Steve Lombard is orders of magnitude worse than the original, pre-Crisis version. Back then he was a jock, but Clark Kent always put him in his place, albeit secretly, so it came off as good clean fun. Post-Crisis, the sleaze oozes from him, and I always feel like I need to wash my hands when I read a story with him in it.

Flash Thompson I never liked, but he does have the redemptive story of being a soldier who sacrificed much in the service of his country.

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

Flash Thompson has been fleshed out more recently (as in, the last fifteen years) into something more real in my mind. Before that, he was a one-note bully in everything I have read from the early years, which is pretty limited.

Steve Lombard is a jock, but as Clark Kent_DC said, he has been portrayed in modern day like Bill Paxton as the sleazy used-car dealer in True Lies. Characters like this are pretty awful, but I'm pretty sure he could realistically be portrayed as all talk when he's actually confronted with danger. He would easily turn into a puddle of wimpy-ness.

Dave Palmer said:

Flash Thompson?

Steve Lombard?

If we are talking about obnoxious jerks, how about Mike Murdock, who I believe has returned recently.  How is that even possible?

I remember seeing his hat and shades on display in Matt's office during Mark Waid's run, but I stopped reading when Waid left.

Yes, Mike Murdock is back! I read those stories recently, but don't have them close at hand. Here's his biography on Marvel Database: "Michael Murdock (Fragment) (Earth-616)" and a fuller description from CBR: "Daredevil Reveals the Truth About Matt Murdock's 'Twin' Brother"

This creation of the Reader has Mike Murdock's memories -- that is, he knows Matt is his brother. Mike, however, isn't blind (although he loves to wear shades anyway), doesn't know Matt is Daredevil, and didn't know what happened to Karen Page.

Mike also has the old Mike Murdock personality, meaning he's a scrapper, conniving and willing to do anything to save his own skin. At the end of this three-part story (Daredevil, 2016 series #606-608, October-December 2018), Matt, feeling guilty, passed up the chance to erase Mike from existence. So Mike Murdock is still out there, somewhere. 

Is he ... juggling in that scene?

Just to chime in, I was never a fan of Guy Gardner when he was portrayed as a bully. (Well, sometimes I enjoyed him as a comic foil, but that was all about him getting his comeuppance; it's different than being a fan of the character.)

But in recent years, in the few Green Lantern Corps appearances I've seen him in (I'm not a reular GL reader), he's become one of my favorite GLs. He's no longer a bully: He's just blunt, and bullheaded -- but a stand-up guy for those he trusts. This has probably been the case since around Green Lantern: Rebirth... which was published around 2005 or so?

Yeah, he can be obnoxious. But he strikes me as much more heroic than he used to be.

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