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  1. #1
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    Default Fridging: Bad for business or ordinary story trope?

    *SPOILERS for Deadpool 2*

    Fridging has sort of become a hot topic again, thanks to Deadpool 2 and a controversial plot point. What happens and how it affects the main character has brought on many complaints from fans about the treatment of women in media in general. Fridging has always been problematic, as explained in this article: https://www.cbr.com/fridging-history...s-pop-culture/.

    However, fridging is also nothing new. Stories from as far back as ancient times have showcased female characters dying for the sole purpose of its effect on the male leads. In those days, that was the whole point of those characters' existence. While the trope is problematic, at least nowadays writers are taking care to actually develop them.

    But is it enough? Women make up more than half of the audience, and it is tiresome to see female characters either killed or endangered just to see the effect on men. I am not saying that this should never happen; people do end up in danger and killed, it happens. However, making stories where a female character's role is that could detrimental in the future, as people's tastes are changing.

  2. #2
    formerly edhopper Kirby101's Avatar
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    SPOILERS DUDE!! You just ruined a major plot point on Deadpool 2 for me. Please edit or delete so others won't have the movie wrecked.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  3. #3
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    In general, it's a worn out and lazy trope.

  4. #4

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    A hero being motivated by the death of a close character is nothing new. The most powerful of that is generally a love interest. Most heroes in comics are male. I don't think it's that big of a deal. Alex from Green Lantern for instance was never going to be a major character or anything beyond the girl who dated Kyle for a bit. I don't see much of an issue using that to service Kyle. These aren't real people. Same with Gwen. Once the decision was made to go with Peter vs MJ she became an expendable character and was probably either going to be phased out or return years later as a villain/hero type... maybe. The death probably did more for Spider-Man and the character's legacy than just keeping her around did.

    Like do people even remember Julie Madison from the early days of Batman? She just broke up with Bruce and went on to become an actress she only "returned' in rebooted stories of early day Batman.

    Gwen's iconic and Julie is irrelevant.

  5. #5
    MXAAGVNIEETRO IS RIGHT MyriVerse's Avatar
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    Just an ordinary trope and not worth angsting over.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE View Post
    A hero being motivated by the death of a close character is nothing new. The most powerful of that is generally a love interest. Most heroes in comics are male. I don't think it's that big of a deal. Alex from Green Lantern for instance was never going to be a major character or anything beyond the girl who dated Kyle for a bit. I don't see much of an issue using that to service Kyle. These aren't real people. Same with Gwen. Once the decision was made to go with Peter vs MJ she became an expendable character and was probably either going to be phased out or return years later as a villain/hero type... maybe. The death probably did more for Spider-Man and the character's legacy than just keeping her around did.

    Like do people even remember Julie Madison from the early days of Batman? She just broke up with Bruce and went on to become an actress she only "returned' in rebooted stories of early day Batman.

    Gwen's iconic and Julie is irrelevant.
    Being iconic for dying is little if any better than being obscure. Remember, one of the biggest criticisms against ASM 2 was Gwen's death, namely for how cheap it was.

    Also, Spider-Man was already a popular character without Gwen's death. Killing her off didn't make her seem any less expendable.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Being iconic for dying is little if any better than being obscure. Remember, one of the biggest criticisms against ASM 2 was Gwen's death, namely for how cheap it was.

    Also, Spider-Man was already a popular character without Gwen's death. Killing her off didn't make her seem any less expendable.
    ASM 2 was different because it didn't have the build the comics had and the attachment to the character.

    Go ahead run a poll right now between Gwen Stacy and Julie Madison and see who people think made out better legacy wise. Gwen's status as this unattainable love interest Peter failed and lost out on has propelled her to being similar to Uncle Ben. Stories like Spider-Man Blue spun out of it and their is more intrigue over the character to the point where she is used in outside media. Julie Madison.... she was a throwaway character in Batman and Robin.

  8. #8
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    It as its uses just like another story trope.Don't really think it deserves the widespread condemnation it seems to attract. Especially since there are other death tropes that do the exact same thing that don't get as much hate.(Death of a mentor for example)
    Last edited by Baseman; 06-10-2018 at 11:34 AM.

  9. #9
    Mighty Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    I really don't understand why people can't seem to grasp why fridging characters, especially female love interests is just distasteful.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE View Post
    ASM 2 was different because it didn't have the build the comics had and the attachment to the character.

    Go ahead run a poll right now between Gwen Stacy and Julie Madison and see who people think made out better legacy wise. Gwen's status as this unattainable love interest Peter failed and lost out on has propelled her to being similar to Uncle Ben. Stories like Spider-Man Blue spun out of it and their is more intrigue over the character to the point where she is used in outside media. Julie Madison.... she was a throwaway character in Batman and Robin.
    Most of those people wouldn't even know who Julie Madison is. That doesn't negate my point.

    The Death of Gwen Stacy is not considered an iconic story because of what it did for Spider-Man and Green Goblin not because it made Gwen an interesting character. The Death of Gwen Stacy did not flesh her out as a character and it's telling that the one adaptation of that story we've had thus far was heavily criticized for killing her off (and no build up wouldn't have changed anything). Gwen herself was killed off in the comics because she considered a throwaway character. Note that the adaptations actually go through the trouble of actually giving her a personality and using her as something other than a prop to be killed off.

    I mean if fridging was so helpful to characters, why aren't we seeing more adaptations where Uncle Ben isn't killed off?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by thwhtGuardian View Post
    I really don't understand why people can't seem to grasp why fridging characters, especially female love interests is just distasteful.
    Because it's a story trope to motivate characters. In a world where the industry was exclusively white male driven, maybe you can make a case for it being unfair from a representation standpoint to kill off characters who are female, but it's still a hallmark motivation for heroic characters.

    Spider-Man and Batman's entire existence is based off the fridging of the Wayne's and Uncle Ben. Killing Gwen elevated Goblin to being Spider-Man's most personal foe. Joker killing Jason likewise became a hallmark feature of the Joker character for many years and was used well in stories.

    It's only bad if it's not done particularly well. Either way, again, these aren't real characters so nobodies getting hurt.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post

    I mean if fridging was so helpful to characters, why aren't we seeing more adaptations where Uncle Ben isn't killed off?
    Well Uncle Bens death is pretty much why spiderman is Spiderman.His death is in alot of cases the is core of Spiderman's mortality.'With great power comes...'

    Yes he may not be getting more solo's in the future but he is still pretty important to the mythos.
    Last edited by Baseman; 06-10-2018 at 12:08 PM.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Most of those people wouldn't even know who Julie Madison is. That doesn't negate my point.

    The Death of Gwen Stacy is not considered an iconic story because of what it did for Spider-Man and Green Goblin not because it made Gwen an interesting character. The Death of Gwen Stacy did not flesh her out as a character and it's telling that the one adaptation of that story we've had thus far was heavily criticized for killing her off (and no build up wouldn't have changed anything). Gwen herself was killed off in the comics because she considered a throwaway character. Note that the adaptations actually go through the trouble of actually giving her a personality and using her as something other than a prop to be killed off.

    I mean if fridging was so helpful to characters, why aren't we seeing more adaptations where Uncle Ben isn't killed off?
    And if Peter and Gwen just broke up in the 70's and she just went away.... she'd be in the same position Julie Madison is.

    The Night Gwen Stacy died is often considered one of the hallmark stories of Spider-Man and in comics is generally considered the kickoff to the bronze age. Gwen Stacy achieved a legacy as the lost love of Spider-Man that put her on par with Uncle Ben as a character. It was something that could always be used to go back in stories as part of the greater Spider-Man mythos. Are we just going to pretend that Uncle Ben isn't terribly important to the Spider-Man character. That you can't go a year in reading Spider-Man comics without him being referenced because of how important he is?

    In general Gwen Stacy could easily have been a forgotten old Spider-Man girlfriend that nobody cared about. Instead, she's THE girl Spider-Man wanted but failed to protect. Like do you think the overarching plot of the ASM films of Peter dating Gwen against the orders of Captain Stacy and her ultimate death would have been a thing if not for that story? I'm willing to be Spider-Gwen isn't even a thing if Gwen and Peter just break up and she becomes a nothing character.

    Hell go outside of comics, who are two of the most iconic Bond girls that are most heavily cited as fan favorites? Vespar Lynd and Tracy. Why? They were the two girls Bond wanted the most that he was unable to protect. They are the only two Bond girls that were references in films past their death. Even iconic ones like Honey Ryder and Pussy Galore did not get that distinction.

    When a character is going to be viewed as expendable, you might as well do something to make them have an impact on the way out.

    It's a useful plot device if you do it right. I think the problem is more the execution and it being done badly. For instance, it was gratuitous in Green Lantern and it was used to prop up a minor C-list character. In Flash, it made Reverse Flash the archenemy of the character and also set into motion a string of events from killing the villain, to being ostracized from the Justice League, to going back to the future to find Iris to having to leave his little slice of heaven to face the Anti Monitor and save his world one last time that ended up being pivotal to the Flash line.

    Every trope depends one execution.

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuinnFillory View Post
    Fridging: Bad for business or ordinary story trope?
    I. It may be bad/sad, but I don't know if it's truly "bad for BUSINESS".

    II. As for "ordinary story trope", . . . yuppers.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baseman View Post
    Well Uncle Bens death is pretty much why spiderman is Spiderman.His death is in alot of cases the is core of Spiderman's mortality.'With great power comes...'
    Uncle Ben (and Bruce Wayne's parents, Superman's planet...) weren't fridged. Death by origin story is a completely different trope.


    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE
    Go ahead run a poll right now between Gwen Stacy and Julie Madison and see who people think made out better legacy wise. Gwen's status as this unattainable love interest Peter failed and lost out on has propelled her to being similar to Uncle Ben.
    Please don't tell me you're trying to push the idea that getting killed off is beneficial to female characters.
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