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: Random Geek: Stark Contrast (2) - Central, Dynamic and On Sale Now
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Feb 5th 2008
Consider Iron Man - Marvel editorial touts him as the central figure of their shared universe now, the most dynamic figure, the most controversial figure (almost think a movie is coming) - and he is all these things.
But, perhaps not in the way intended.
Central, at first, seems the most clear under analysis. Stark is central because the nature of the post Civil War Marvel Universe he touches on every book. Each character is defined in relation to a position that Iron Man has come to represent, and that position, fictional or not is a political one. In a literal sense many books have had the same scene, Tony Stark shows up and informs the title hero to register, resulting in a confrontation or acceptance. Tony is central because he looms large, and has a political label strewn across is armor.
So we come to the, very fictional, politics of the Super Hero Registration Act.
The water immediately clouds here, for it is not the clear what those politics are. The very details and intentions of the fictional SHRA blurred across different writers pens. A permanent prison, or no? Do you have to sign if you have powers or simply if you act like a powered vigilante. Other continuity details, and contradictory statements and presentations, ripple and vanish across different books and different writer's pens.
Several people are now giving me odd looks. Geek you are Josh, but continuity discussion, really? No, hah, no. Just need to get to a point.
The central figure in the Marvel Universe stands in proxy for a story point - a fictional law built on fictional politics which of course has not text and no history. Yet, it has no clear defined now either. The SHRA only has a vague shape, and thus is an empty jar waiting for each writer to fill.
Tony Stark, narrative icon of the plot line, becomes dynamic, shifting and changing with the contents of the jar, what ever waters get poured in become a political mirror for the writer and the readers.
Controversy, well I will get to that latter.
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