Remember, in this week’s Cheers and Jeers, when I was jeering the notion of fans getting upset over Black Panther pinning Silver Surfer’s arm behind his back for a couple of seconds? Well, writer Dwayne McDuffie actually addressed those critiques today, which is too bad that there was so much uproar that he actually thought it necessary to respond. Here’s his response to the critics: (Courtesy of his messageboard)
Okay, I’m going to do this once, which is one more time than I should:
The Panther didn’t expect the hold to work, just to distract the Surfer long enough for another team member to get a shot in, likely the Thing. The Surfer could have escaped at any time. He was about to demonstrate so when Stardust zapped the Panther from behind, not out of concern for the Surfer, but out of indignation at the Panther’s impertinence. Putting the Surfer in a wrestling hold is no more stupid than punching him, which people do all the time. Neither gambit is likely to work. Frankly, a realistic representation of the Surfer’s powers (he moves and reacts at FTL speed, he’s all but invulnerable and he has energy projection powers) means no interaction with other less powerful characters whatsoever, and that’s not fun. I dealt with that by making it clear that the Surfer doesn’t want to hurt his friends Ben and Johnny (and their traveling partners) if it can be helped. You’ll note he never hits them very hard and gives them many chances to back off. I thought this was obvious in the text, but given the number of complaints I’ve received, next time I’ll try to make the obvious more…obvious.
I will concede that I thought the Surfer was a humanoid wrapped in cosmic tinfoil (as Galactus said in the Surfer’s origin story and as strongly implied in many other appearances over the years) and not a man-shaped pouch of cosmic energy, as many of the comments I’ve read this week insist.
I agree with McDuffie, if he thought the scene explained itself (which I think it did), then he shouldn’t have to, well, explain it.
It’s too bad that it came to the point where he was nagged into addressing the issue.
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