Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Three Examples Of "Homages" Used In X-Men.

Marvel has a tendency to pay 'homage' to various material without ever telling the audience what material. Whether you want to call that idea theft, or paying respects to various material that influenced them is entirely up to you. So here's a quick list of some of the most recent properties they've borrowed from.

Generation Hope and Akira.
This was quite a heavy discussion awhile back around the early issues of Generation Hope. The first issues that focused on Kenji Uedo currently known as Zero in particular are what I'm refering to.

X-Club and Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040
The X-Club miniseries is focused heavily around a tower/elevator that reaches a space platform. This is the exact same as Genom tower in the Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 anime. The tower hides a secret overlord that controls all the workers and potentially makes technology go rogue(*cough*scary AI*cough*)... Yup, that's right. It's pretty much the exact same as Genom Tower from that 90s series, story and all. Well, minus the kickass Knight Sabers and their armor designs so far. You know, the elements that actually made that series great. Though surfing on a hammer head shark is a close second, and there are some great one liners still in X-Club.

Astonishing X-Men and El Shaddai: Rise of the Metatron
Astonishing X-Men v3 issues 44-47 in particular have a character named Savior who wears white armor, has blond long hair, and travels across many worlds to try and save his own. If I hadn't prefaced that with Astonishing X-Men volume and issue numbers, you probably would have thought I was talking about the multi-platform video game El Shaddai from Ignition Entertainment. The only real difference between the two? The character in El Shaddai is a good guy named Enoch based around the religeous Books of Enoch, whereas in the "Exalted" storyline he is a bad guy named Savior using mutants from different realities to harness a machine to keep his world from destruction. There are more similarities than that, but this is one of those you have to see for yourself in how blatant it is.

Pesonally, I'm fine with homages so long as the source material is credited. That's where the question arises in my mind. Would Marvel credit the source if they weren't called out on it or do they try to slip by thinking it's okay to steal ideas so long as no one notices? I just hope they don't decide to file lawsuits against anyone that does the same to them that they do to others.

These are also more blatant and less genre scope references like the recent issues of Wolverine and The X-Men have had with a 'sacred seal' being broken that sets free a demon army/demon king. That's a general trope/story archetype that's repeated quite often. Most notably in reference to eco-activism or Japanese shrines. It has been used in other ways too though from construction sites on sacred lands, to whatever other variation can be created and implemented into a show. This usually ends with said being getting sealed back into said sacred/portal area and a general lesson or words of caution to respect the land or traditions/history of an area. So that isn't a direct homage to any one thing usually, but does have its roots in a commonly told story type used in many things. So it's nothing like the above mentioned examples.

What other stories and references have caused you to notice this trend from Marvel? Requirements being the work used in question must have come before the Marvel story that used it.

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