modern supporting casts

Why are supporting casts almost exclusively made up of other heroes now?

For the most part older civilian supporting casts members have been grandfathered in like Jim, Alfred, Lois, Linda, etc, but even then MJ becoming Jackpot proves that none of them are actually safe, they played around with the idea of Linda being speedster during her pregnancy, Jim took over as Batman for an arc a few years ago, and Alfred is still dead.

The new shitty Nightwing Annual got me thinking about it because it wasn't enough that Bea was just a civilian who could handle herself, she had to be a prate queen, and now she's a Spyral agent (???).

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  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Because no one gives a shit about "egad! I must hide my identity from (random, likely ethnic these days) b***h! But..our date!" plots. They're tired. Civilians in cape comics are fodder at best most of the time

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It’s not enough that the big two have to have constant events and crossovers, they believe a lot of their ongoings now have to have 10 part the-city-is-destroyed, blow-your-dick-off arcs to keep attention and intrigue.
    Adams’ Flash is a decent example. It was comfy and fun family adventures with a few one and done issues but DC literally only advertised the first issue and then waited until the last arc to advertise it again and One Minute War was only big event-like arc in that whole run.

    And civilians just get it in the way of events because they don’t really add anything beyond getting killed.

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    What are moments where a civilian side kick kinda gets upgraded into sidekick/hero? I can only think of Static Shock as a lot of people liked Richie so they had him become a hero.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Almost everyone from Spider-Man's supporting cast??

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It's very much character-dependent.
    A book like Amazing Spider-Man that historically keeps a clear line between Peter Parker and Spider-Man encourages a strong cast of normie characters to keep up the drama of the secret identity.

    On the other hand you have Nightwing.
    His adopted father is Batman. His best friends are the Titans. His girlfriend is Batgirl. His great granddad is an immortal zombie assassin for an evil international cabal of the filthy rich. He's His greatest enemy is the world's greatest assassin and he's known his secret identity for about a decade in-universe. Nightwing has no space in his life for characters that aren't superheroes. It'd be downright irresponsible for him to bring a normal person into his inner circle. If they want a reason for this girl to stick around, yes, she needs to have a hook.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >His girlfriend is Batgirl.
      Frick off Taylor

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Hopefully with Jessica Chen gone and Taylor leaving soon they'll dump that shit and make Nightwing about Dick again.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >make Nightwing about Dick again
          HueHueHue

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        She's been his consistent love interest for the past 25 years. You have to get over it.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Taylor's run is the first time theyve actually been together since 2004

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            They stayed appearing in each other's books, flirting, teasing, etc.
            Even in the runs where they weren't appearing, where they were dating other people, the writers made it obvious what the OTP was.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Like, they didn't try to hide it, you know?

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >Only woman dick grayson ever truly loved was barbara
                I don't mind them moving on but I hate Starfire erasure

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Spider-Man is one of the worst offenders of this though lately. Almost every character is a cape now, and the ones that aren't are just ignored. Maybe they'll trod Aunt May, Betty, Randy, or Jonah out for a story but those are few and far between.
      As for the rest?
      >Harry - Dead
      >MJ - Jackpot
      >Flash - Anti-Venom
      >Liz - Misery
      >Normie - Red Goblin

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I'm mildly amused by the fact that the whole OMD debacle started out with the "must save Aunt May" excuse and yet ever since then her presence in the comics is so non-existent, she may as well be actually dead and no one would notice.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Spectacular Spider-Men’s whole focus on Coffee Bean Wednesdays was partly to build up a normie supporting cast.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Man I miss Harry being a bro with a cafe

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Yeah but I'd rather they just use the supporting cast instead of building a new, inferior one

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Jonah shows up regularly. So does Randy and Aunt May.

        Normie and Liz having symbiotes now is fricking stupid but 99% of everything Marvel does with symbiotes is terrible and has been for the better part of a decade.

        Flash turning into a superhero is fine. A jock butthole turning into a decent guy and a friend was an arc that has nowhere to go. Him being a symbiote user that makes up for his missing legs has also made for good and interesting stories where he is on his own. MJ having powers is fine, it’s a fun dynamic and isn’t overdone. It’s also something new and different and her regularly teaming up with Black cat is a great new dynamic as two of Peter’s ex-girlfriends working together.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Jonah shows up regularly. So does Randy and Aunt May.
          Not really. Randy was showing up because of drama with Janice, now that they're done he won't show up.
          Jonah barely ever shows up, he's practically been in limbo since he left the Bugle. Threats and Menaces hasn't been touched on in years
          Aunt May has also been persona non grata for basically the entirety of this run, and nothing noteworthy has happened with her since Jonah Sr died

          >A jock butthole turning into a decent guy and a friend was an arc that has nowhere to go.
          No? And Agent Venom stopped being good when Remender stopped writing him. Outside of maybe Savage Avengers nothing that's been done with him since he came back to life has been good, and he's spoken to Peter once or twice, neither time having the impact it should have. See the issue isn't just that he was made into yet another symbiote user, it's also that he's been wholesale stolen from Spider-Man books, and the same is happening with Liz and Normie. It sucks

          >MJ having powers is fine
          It's boring and continues the trend of Peter not being allowed to have non-powered friends. Not only is it a bad idea, it's also incredibly poorly executed. The Jackpot and Black Cat mini was a total disappointment compared to the Beyond one shot, and her current book fricking sucks ass. You can have MJ and Felicia do things together without giving MJ powers.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Well Randy was only showing up because he had a storyline to tell

            Oh wow so he actually had something to contribute to the story like a supporting character is supposed to do!

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              You can use the supporting cast outside of their storylines though. All it would take is just a few scenes here and there where Peter catches up with Betty and asks about the Bugle, or maybe has dinner with the Robertsons one night, literally anything to use these characters. Set dressing to remind the reader that Peter does things that aren't Spider-Man, since that used to be the appeal of the book
              As it stands Peter literally has no friends and no life which, before you reply, was not an issue previously.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >support characters just need superfluous scenes where nothing happens and the plot is not moved forwards

                No. A scene needs to serve a purpose, same way a supporting character does. Jonah, Randy, Robbie, etc. all serve purpose when their actions add something to the story. The idea that Flash just has to show up and have dinner because muh civilian life is bad writing. Those scenes would be nothing but boring filler. Peter’s civilian life is first and foremost about showing he’s an everyman and his life sort of sucks because he prioritises other things and it’s basically self-sabotage because he can’t tell people he’s Spider-man. That’s the dynamic that works. Peter spending time with Randy and it involving him dating Spider-man’s villain adds conflict and complexity to their relationship. Peter having a dinner with Betty where they do nothing and it contributes nothing to the story other than it’s there just because we need to have Betty in the comic is shit writing.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >support characters just need superfluous scenes where nothing happens and the plot is not moved forwards
                It's called world building, or in this case world maintenance. And any one of those example scenes could easily serve as the opening to a different story
                >Peter’s civilian life is first and foremost about showing he’s an everyman
                Peter has never been an "everyman". He has relatable problems, but he is not an "everyman".
                >Peter spending time with Randy and it involving him dating Spider-man’s villain adds conflict and complexity to their relationship
                No it doesn't. That dynamic added nothing to their relationship because it just came and went and nothing was done with it.
                > Peter having a dinner with Betty where they do nothing and it contributes nothing to the story other than it’s there just because we need to have Betty in the comic is shit writing.
                That's you falsely assuming that the whole scene is Peter and Betty having dinner and nothing else. She's a reporter, you could very VERY easily work in a plot thread with her talking about some news she heard from at Bugle, which kicks off Spider-Man going to investigate. The scene has purpose, and the supporting cast has been utilised

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >everyman
                There's a big pitfall with this kind of character: writers are reluctant to make them people in their own right. They’re worried about being too specific and instead they create a bland nobody.

                These are the symptoms of the nobody everyman:

                The character doesn’t react to dramatic situations

                – because the writer assumes the reader will apply their own reactions. But readers don’t want to do this. They want to share the character’s reaction. You see this in writers who learn a lot of their storytelling from films and TV. But novels are an internal medium, a landscape of emotion, and the reader needs to be guided more.

                If the character doesn’t react, it looks as though the event made no impression on them. In any case, you can’t guarantee what a reader’s reaction will be, and that it will be the one you want. (Readers aren’t everymen!)

                The character has very little history, background or personal preferences

                The writer is afraid of making the character unlike the reader, and so they don’t fill in any home background, hobbies or back story. This makes them look curiously empty. Think of when you meet somebody for the first time – there are certain things you want to know about them. What they do; whether they have kids; what hobbies they have. Irl, we need context about people. And so do readers.

                They’re passive

                The writer doesn’t want to presume any reactions, they make their everyman character wait around for the more interesting people to cause adventures. This makes readers wonder why we're wasting the most time with the dullest person. Even if the viewpoint character is surrounded by troublemakers and wants a quiet life, they need to fight back instead of being pushed around. That’s not to say the other characters can’t get them into scrapes; but our main character must cause some of the situations they find themselves in. If they simply wait to be shepherded, it’s frustrating to read about.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Is there even such a thing as an effective everyman character? We are all different. My reaction to a life dilemma won’t be the same as yours. If characters are to be convincing, it doesn’t make sense to leave them as empty vessels for the reader to fill. And besides, if we look at what readers respond to, it’s not as superficial as tastes, social background, etc. Readers respond to something that’s deeper down, and that’s emotions that are universal for everyone: fear, difficult choices, and dilemmas. If writers evoke those well enough, the reader will put themselves in that character’s shoes regardless of their circumstances or even the era in which the book was written. Think how many classic novels are still finding new readers because their protagonists strike a chord. It doesn’t matter at all that they don’t do what we would do or that their circumstances are not like ours. They have loneliness, dilemmas, and fears, which is enough to put us in their shoes.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Artist Anon

                >Is there even such a thing as an effective everyman character?
                Donald Duck

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >angers easily
                >doesn’t wear pants

                Compelling so far…

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Why are supporting casts almost exclusively made up of other heroes now?
    Anons come up with the weirdest shit to get mad about.

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Why are supporting casts almost exclusively made up of other heroes now?
    because the reader only has X amount of characters they can care about at any given moment

    you could add an entirely new character to fill a role for a character
    but people will complain your new OC is using up precious panel space for someone who already exists and could do the job better

    especially in super teams, where you already have at least 5 people to follow without factoring in side characters
    so every panel dedicated to an off-screen love interest is a panel you arent getting of the people you actually came here to see

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >you could add an entirely new character to fill a role for a character
      >but people will complain your new OC is using up precious panel space for someone who already exists and could do the job better
      Sounds like a problem with poor writers not making the new OCs more compelling or likeable, and autistic charactergays not meeting them halfway and dismissing the OCs on first blush

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Character bloat and the normal characters people are interested in were grandfathered in from a very different era.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Not always. One of the big criticisms leveled against the Nu52 Blue Beetle run was that they ditched the pre-Flashpoint versions of Paco and Brenda.
      The complaints about the most recent Ms Marvel minis were how her squad in Jersey City had been dropped in favor of the X-Men.

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Why are supporting casts almost exclusively made up of other heroes now?

    Too many heroes exist. Gotta find something for them to do.
    Reasonably, a given superhero universe can support maybe 20 heroes. Any more than that and they start getting in each others' way, stealing each others' niches. DC has something to the order of 400 caped heroes currently active or semi-active, and you can't just kill them all off, so the next best thing they can do is designate majority of them to cheerleaders of other characters.

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    because it's harder to write interesting characters who are mostly outside of the cape scope. It's worth doing though because otherwise it makes the setting feel more hollow and smaller. Most current writers don't care about that though to their detriment

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I like Cat better than I like Kara and Kon being in the Superman books.

  10. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Modern comic books writers are losers who don't have any actual friends in real life, just surrounded by untalented sycophants who shill hoping they can get another meager temporary salary

  11. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Most writers are lazy and have no idea how to balance superheroics with non hero characters.

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    who is this black girl

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Bea Bennett

  13. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They should bring back Jason Bard to work in Jim and Bullock's private practice. It'd be hilarious.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Only if it's New Earth Bard instead of the shitbag from the New 52.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I just want to see him seethe that Babs dumped him for a billionaire.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Shitbag Jason trying to find redemption and prove himself after being a bad guy and being in love with Babs was a pretty good hook.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Falling in love with the dude who framed your dad
      Has Barbara always been trash?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        This is after gaslighting and blowing hot and cold on him for the rest of the run, so...

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Wow what a b***h.

          https://i.imgur.com/9EvYwQ5.jpeg

          Why are supporting casts almost exclusively made up of other heroes now?

          For the most part older civilian supporting casts members have been grandfathered in like Jim, Alfred, Lois, Linda, etc, but even then MJ becoming Jackpot proves that none of them are actually safe, they played around with the idea of Linda being speedster during her pregnancy, Jim took over as Batman for an arc a few years ago, and Alfred is still dead.

          The new shitty Nightwing Annual got me thinking about it because it wasn't enough that Bea was just a civilian who could handle herself, she had to be a prate queen, and now she's a Spyral agent (???).

          >Why are supporting casts almost exclusively made up of other heroes now?
          You gotta do something with them besides collecting dust or being playable in a lego game.

  14. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Because civilian supporting characters are largely redundant when secret identity shenanigans are blasé, they contribute very little to the plot in most stories and usually don’t have much actual functionality. I mean look at Cat Grant or Steve Lombard, wtf do they add exactly? What do they do except have old fans go “ahhhhh, nostalgia!” when a new writer shows them in his first issue and then largely ignores them because they don’t really have anything to do except their arbitrary cameo. Even someone like Jimmy Olsen is mostly pointless character today because he never hangs out with Superman anymore as a friend, he hangs around just because that’s been his thing for decades and people expect it.

    Another problem is that new non-hero supporting characters take ages to become iconic and strongly associated to a lead character, so it’s extremely difficult to maintain anyone long term because new writers aren’t going to be fond of them the way the original creators are nor will they know what to do with them because their approach is going to be different.

    That’s why it’s way easier to use superheroes as friends. They will always stick around because duh, they’re hero characters. They can assist in the story and talk about the plot without issues. Writers are more likely to use them because again, they are characters people primarily care about in capeshit anyway. If my choice is Vicky Vale or Mr. Terrific I will go with Mr. Terrific because he actually has interesting stories and gets to do shit.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >I mean look at Cat Grant or Steve Lombard, wtf do they add exactly?

      because it's harder to write interesting characters who are mostly outside of the cape scope. It's worth doing though because otherwise it makes the setting feel more hollow and smaller. Most current writers don't care about that though to their detriment

      I AM looking!

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Cat Grant and Steve didn’t add anything to the plot in Johns’ Superman. Cat got a gag like this and that was about it, Steve was even more of a “why is he even here?” since he never fricking does anything except be slightly a jerk for a second and then disappears.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          if you want to be technical about it Cat lit a fire under Lois and helped her get over her initial seething about Clark. She also was a different kind of "journalist" and that setup a few ethical/moral dilemmas. In general she was a way to flesh out Clark, Lois, and the daily planet. You need characters like that just for the sake of adding small flavorings to the story and make the world "feel" more alive

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >we Cat did something once like 35 years ago when she was a fresh new character

            Exactly. Today she does NOTHING. She only shows yo because writers have nostalgia, not because Cat is adding anything to the story. She doesn’t even have subplots or be part of the main story like back in the day when people were actually developing her like when they killed her kid, for fricks sake.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              today she could be a friend, have a necessary contact, be nostalgia bait or whatever. That's the point of named civies. They exist to grow the world and orbit into the hero for whatever scenario

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                None of that makes her character add anything. So she’s entirely useless and waste of space.
                >No, bro, that’s the point of civies!
                It isn’t. Perry exists because you need a boss figure that gives Lois and Clark assignments and also goes “WHERE THE HELL IS KENT?!” when Clark has to go do Superman shit. It’s a function with a purpose. Bibbo only has function when his bar actually serves as a setting for something to happen or when someone feels nostalgic and gives him a cameo. Which is why he almost never shows up because Bibbo doesn’t add much to stories. And why would he, he’s a random Superman fanboy.

                The fact of the matter is that you have to give side characters subplots and actual stuff to do and that doesn’t really work that well when everything is more about six issue arcs for trades. The approach and writing style is entirely different than month to month style it was 40-20 years ago before trades went mainstream. And supporting characters thus have less room to do anything that doesn’t contribute to the main plot directly because there isn’t room.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >it doesn't add anything...it just adds something
                are you dumb

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >well she’s a friend!
                A friend character who doesn’t do anything except show up occasionally to say “remember me?” serves no purpose.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >it doesn't add anything...it just adds something

                >Well Randy was only showing up because he had a storyline to tell

                Oh wow so he actually had something to contribute to the story like a supporting character is supposed to do!

                >Oh wow so he actually had something to contribute to the story like a supporting character is supposed to do!
                You should delete your ResetERA and Twitter accounts, those sites are toxic for the way people conduct themselves in conversations

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            She no longer works if Clark and Lois are married.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >we Cat did something once like 35 years ago when she was a fresh new character

            Exactly. Today she does NOTHING. She only shows yo because writers have nostalgia, not because Cat is adding anything to the story. She doesn’t even have subplots or be part of the main story like back in the day when people were actually developing her like when they killed her kid, for fricks sake.

            Even with all that the only thing anyone remembers about Cat is

            because it's harder to write interesting characters who are mostly outside of the cape scope. It's worth doing though because otherwise it makes the setting feel more hollow and smaller. Most current writers don't care about that though to their detriment

            . Get that. Her child was fricking murdered and the biggest claim to fame she has is having big plastic boobs.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Because capeshit writers nowadays are manchildren who want to smash action figures together, they wouldn't know how to write ordinary humans if their lives depended on it.
      They assume the fans are the same, which is kind of true because you have braindead troglodytes like

      Because no one gives a shit about "egad! I must hide my identity from (random, likely ethnic these days) b***h! But..our date!" plots. They're tired. Civilians in cape comics are fodder at best most of the time

  15. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Modern writers don't want to write the HUMAN part of their super heroes because they don't know how. They don't know what it means to actually have a life. They need everything to be loud and WACKY!

  16. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Holy shit, it really seems like this moron is one of the BND writers.

  17. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    the only comic books that still sale kinda well all feature straight white male leads. woke lefties hate that because they hate straight white men. so in order to still make money while also push the agenda they take comics that are supoosed to be about straight white males and make the entire plot about women and Blacks while the so called "protagnoist" is turned into a weakling and idiot side kick that gets only put on the cover to sale issues.
    there isn't a sinlge straight white male "progagonist" who doesn't get rescued, ordered around, beaten up or told what to do by a woman yet comics with female leads never feature white male character that steal the show or rescue, beat up or order around the female lead, nope they are total mary sues who are prefect at everything while white male these days don't even defeat the villians, let alone win a single fight against a woman or rescue female characters.

  18. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    modern writers are terrible.
    They don't understand why its important for a superhero to have normal people around them.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      It doesn’t matter if their cast are heroes or normal people, they just need people to talk to and bounce off of.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Yes, it does, moron.
        You are the part of the cancer.

  19. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Kamala's was the last good civilian supporting cast, and now that she's a mutie the only one who has a ghost of a chance appearing in her future titles is Bruno. And even then I'm half expecting him to die within the next 2-3 years to make Kamala sad.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Remember when her mother knew about Kamala being Ms. Marvel, only for that to get erased the moment the original writer left?

  20. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Excluding Superman, Batman, and Spider-man, who are your favorite civilian supporting casts?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Kaine during Scarlet Spider run , SA Green Lantern ,early invincible and I remember Flash during the Moebs run having cool side characters

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Kate Spencer Manhunter and Jaime Blue Beetle

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Both of those have multiple non-civilian supporting characters.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          And? I like their civilian supporting cast too
          Jaime’s family was delightful in his first volume and I like how realistic the relationship between Kate and her ex husband was in addition to her banter with Obsidian’s bf

  21. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It made sense that most of Dick Grayson (or most of the Avengers ,JSA and Xmen) cast is supers.
    His childhood was being on a Circus or teaming Up with Clark and Bruce while his teen ages were teaming with Teen Titan.Maybe his time in the university and as a police were the nearest he has as a normal person.
    People like Tim Drake(which now his like is being with the batfamily and getting fricked by a dude), Peter and Ironman (most of their side Cast are dead or forgotten) and Hal Jordan(Adams at least bring that in his run, and Geoff at first tried to do that) should have a cast of normal humans so they looks like the average Guy instead a celebrity.
    Ironically , DC still try to maintain some of Clark Kent people like Jimmy , the Kents , Lois or White.

  22. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    My favorite supporting superhero cast to this day is The Flash......CW series. Having both Killer Frost and Vibe there from day one like ticking time bombs for their transformations was so much fun.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I’m still pissed that they almost made Piper a supporting cast member from the first episode but then decided against it

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