Monday, March 24, 2008

Obscure Character Handbook: Muhammad X

6 comments:

DamonO said...

Again, much thanks, my friend. You don't know how long I've been trying to find a scan of this character.

Frank Lee Delano said...

Well, I don't call it the Obscure Character Handbook for nothing...

DamonO said...

Thanks to you, I'll be able to add X as one of the characters in an upcoming commission I'm plotting. 'Preciate it!

Frank Lee Delano said...

Very good. I can't say that I like X, as he's a poorly thought out and intentionally obnoxious device rather than a character. However, in the context of the story, he was built up as one of the best and brightest AA heroes of the then-current DCU. I'd prefer he be treated with respect because of that, which typically translates into flying low enough below the radar to not face an inglorious crossover death. Six years with no additional appearances has at least kept him safe.

DamonO said...

Characters like Muhammad X, Triathlon, and so on who receive a negative reaction from a some comic fans are always of interest to me. With few exceptions, I think all characters have a potential, even if its not always evident. I actually think some very interesting things could be done with Muhammad X, given the right creative team.

Its good that DC hasn't killed him off (yet). Too bad that Orpheus didn't get the same benefit of the doubt.

Frank Lee Delano said...

I was talking to some guys at work the other day about hassling with traffic cops. Being lily white and typically polite, even the one time I tried to be snotty with a cop, he only smelled roses and let me off. I've been ticketed when caught dead to rights, and I did get one little piggy that was just plain being a dick to me, but I usually come out of those affairs alright. Another fella, my age but black and pierced, listed several occasions when there was no other conclusion to draw but he was being jerked around by racist cops. Others of black and Latino persuasions had similar tales, but just as often things like being guilty (inspection, mouthing-off, other violations) made things out to be sour grapes.

Triathlon had an ugly costume, a stupid name, a shabby legacy, and dubious motivations. From the start, he fairly screamed token/device. Characters like him and Muhammad X are created to be used and disposed of, and taken on their "merits," I have trouble weeping for the "loss."

On the other hand, while I personally found the Orpheus mini-series to be kind of lousy, the design and backstory of the character allowed plenty of room for redemption. Killing someone like him seems like both a waste and to some degree a slap in the face. At least in his case, the character concept allows for someone to fill his shoes at a later date. Hopefully, someone will care enough to try someday.

...nurghophiles...

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