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  1. #16
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akiresu_ View Post
    There's some guy I know who 100% of the time, if you bring up Magneto, will bring up Toad. It's the most bizarre attempt at delegitimisation because it almost seems like this guy has suffered Toad's indignities himself. There's this curious adulation of Toad, despite him appearing to be universally despised, and I think it's because he's just such an easy target that critiques of the franchise, as a whole, like to take him out of context and purport him as a reason for the line itself being flawed.

    Reading Toad as the glorified Morlock and lecherous slave is prioritised over reading him as the capricious and cruel character he has also been portrayed as. So Toad, despite serving functionally as an antagonist, is read as a victim. An unwitting participant in Magneto's early bids for world domination. Aaron's Toad is really the first realisation of the character that takes this perspective to heart, twisting him from cowardly and cruel to slimy, but sympathetic. But it doesn't come solely from a radical re-imagination of Toad's social status, rather Toad's janitor role (and WatXM narrative as a whole) almost serves as meta-commentary on the functional status of Toad in the franchise and silver-age villains in general. Toad, by the time of Schism, is a real non-starter. That he ends up in total subservience to the X-Men, and not Magneto, to be denigrated by them, and not Magneto, puts the cyclical nature of superhero comic-books on full display. He is weak, he couldn't defeat the X-Men, so he cannot obtain the coveted recurring villain role. Rather he is a symbol for all of his defeats and cannot exist outside of them. Because of this weakness, the X-Men, despite their inclusive philosophies, despise and humiliate him. It comes down to what all superhero comics eventually devolve into: Can [X] bet [Y]? And once that question is answered, comic-book fans tend to lose interest. They want to know if [X] can beat [Z], and have little to no interest in the further realisation of the [Y] character.

    Jumping off from this, I think one of the most interesting things about Toad is that he is really one of the only X-Characters to have synchronised with the movies and had said syncronisation really stick. The reinvention of Toad for X-Men (2000) doesn't get the credit it deserves, considering it is perhaps the best rendition of the character. It allows Toad to serve as Magneto's underling, without challenging the political ideology and character of Magneto set forth, and as a viable enemy to the X-Men, with a change in attitude, power and design. People like to criticise the movie because the X-Men, in their first meeting with Toad, don't wipe the floor with him. Really, there's no reason they should. Equal parts because even the original Toad proved a challenge to the X-Men on their first meeting, but also because the movie Toad is quite distinct from the character it was adapting. But, it again comes down to the coliseum-esque approach to long standing cultural icons in comic-books that takes up the vast majority of people's interest in the genre. It comes down to feats and power levels and rivalries, action-sequence-based realisations of character, not character itself. Arguably, because the characteristics of long-standing pop. culture icons is so immutable, this is the only place for the cyclical, repetitive story to go.

    Returning characters, such as Toad, are forced to find new roles (that echo similarity) because they have already served their function. The more they return and have that function repeated, the less of a "threat" they are perceived as and the more they are granted joke status. It may seem that Toad's inherent characteristics lend himself to mockery (ie his name is Toad, he resembles a disabled person in those early appearances- which pop. culture just can't help from laughing at), but rather I'd suggest that it is this repeated return to function that caused this. Toad can no longer come back leading a new Brotherhood of Mutants, yet that was once a viable option for the character. Likewise, Vanisher can come back from silver-age camp and be utilised in the darkest X-Force series published (at the time), because Vanisher was never revisited and humiliated in the same way.

    I don't care for Toad, but I do find him interesting. Particularly in how he exists cyclically- abused by Magneto and the X-Men alike. He's one of those many missed opportunities of the Aaron era. That similarity between Wolverine's moral absolutist school (the presented unequivocal good to Utopia's Machiavellian approach) and the deranged Magneto in their similar treatment of a mutant who is considered to be biologically or personally inferior is interesting. It shows that the Jean Grey School had power dynamics of its own. The story went on for something like 42, 43, (??) issues, there was time to unpack things like this. Instead we got clowns and evil children.
    Quote Originally Posted by Baron of Faltine View Post
    That probably one of the most intriguing ideas about the character and his meaning withing the context of superheor comic I have read in a while.
    I concur, and it's also an excellent treatise on one of the inherent hypocrisies of the superhero genre as a whole, that for all the talk about how it shows that those with power have a moral and ethical obligation to defend those without power, all too often it devolves into power fantasies more concerned with the exertion of might than how said might is used. This, of course, leads to a disturbing dynamic where the heroes who are supposed to be selflessly using their power to protect come off instead as using it to dominate, making them seem no better than typical bullies.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  2. #17
    Mighty Member DragonsChi's Avatar
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    Meh...only time I liked Toad was the way he was designed in and portrayed in the first X-Men Movie by Ray Park and his personality in X-Men: Evolution.

    I've read loads of X-Men in my short life but comic Toad has never done nothing more but repel me. Guy has always been a creep and not because of his powers but his personality. Just because you have the powers of a "Toad/Frog" doesn't mean you have to behave in rapey type of way. Even in the first X-Books the character had a rapey personality. But I digress.

    If Marvel decided to redeem Toad and fuse the X-Men Movie and the X-Men: Evolution Toad into one I would probably be more on his side.
    Last edited by DragonsChi; 07-14-2018 at 02:30 PM.

  3. #18
    Extraordinary Member Master of Sound's Avatar
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    Never ever cated for Toad. He has no value to me at all.

    He is the same category of useless and unimpressive others like Litterbug, Prism, Javitz, Sumo. Actually many villain-teams have one useless character....
    Stop complaining and start dancing

  4. #19
    Spectacular Member Kaled's Avatar
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    I have never been a huge fan of the Toad but I like how in the 80's he came into his own as a villain in Marvel Two-In-One, Amazing Spider-Man and the second Vision and Scarlet Witch mini-series and later in the 90's he formed (although short lived) his own version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The X-Men Forever mini-series basically lined him up with the movie version and any growth he might have gained has been through out the window and as a character has not recovered.

  5. #20
    Kurtty Fan Slicknickshady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akiresu_ View Post
    There's some guy I know who 100% of the time, if you bring up Magneto, will bring up Toad. It's the most bizarre attempt at delegitimisation because it almost seems like this guy has suffered Toad's indignities himself. There's this curious adulation of Toad, despite him appearing to be universally despised, and I think it's because he's just such an easy target that critiques of the franchise, as a whole, like to take him out of context and purport him as a reason for the line itself being flawed.

    Reading Toad as the glorified Morlock and lecherous slave is prioritised over reading him as the capricious and cruel character he has also been portrayed as. So Toad, despite serving functionally as an antagonist, is read as a victim. An unwitting participant in Magneto's early bids for world domination. Aaron's Toad is really the first realisation of the character that takes this perspective to heart, twisting him from cowardly and cruel to slimy, but sympathetic. But it doesn't come solely from a radical re-imagination of Toad's social status, rather Toad's janitor role (and WatXM narrative as a whole) almost serves as meta-commentary on the functional status of Toad in the franchise and silver-age villains in general. Toad, by the time of Schism, is a real non-starter. That he ends up in total subservience to the X-Men, and not Magneto, to be denigrated by them, and not Magneto, puts the cyclical nature of superhero comic-books on full display. He is weak, he couldn't defeat the X-Men, so he cannot obtain the coveted recurring villain role. Rather he is a symbol for all of his defeats and cannot exist outside of them. Because of this weakness, the X-Men, despite their inclusive philosophies, despise and humiliate him. It comes down to what all superhero comics eventually devolve into: Can [X] bet [Y]? And once that question is answered, comic-book fans tend to lose interest. They want to know if [X] can beat [Z], and have little to no interest in the further realisation of the [Y] character.

    Jumping off from this, I think one of the most interesting things about Toad is that he is really one of the only X-Characters to have synchronised with the movies and had said syncronisation really stick. The reinvention of Toad for X-Men (2000) doesn't get the credit it deserves, considering it is perhaps the best rendition of the character. It allows Toad to serve as Magneto's underling, without challenging the political ideology and character of Magneto set forth, and as a viable enemy to the X-Men, with a change in attitude, power and design. People like to criticise the movie because the X-Men, in their first meeting with Toad, don't wipe the floor with him. Really, there's no reason they should. Equal parts because even the original Toad proved a challenge to the X-Men on their first meeting, but also because the movie Toad is quite distinct from the character it was adapting. But, it again comes down to the coliseum-esque approach to long standing cultural icons in comic-books that takes up the vast majority of people's interest in the genre. It comes down to feats and power levels and rivalries, action-sequence-based realisations of character, not character itself. Arguably, because the characteristics of long-standing pop. culture icons is so immutable, this is the only place for the cyclical, repetitive story to go.

    Returning characters, such as Toad, are forced to find new roles (that echo similarity) because they have already served their function. The more they return and have that function repeated, the less of a "threat" they are perceived as and the more they are granted joke status. It may seem that Toad's inherent characteristics lend himself to mockery (ie his name is Toad, he resembles a disabled person in those early appearances- which pop. culture just can't help from laughing at), but rather I'd suggest that it is this repeated return to function that caused this. Toad can no longer come back leading a new Brotherhood of Mutants, yet that was once a viable option for the character. Likewise, Vanisher can come back from silver-age camp and be utilised in the darkest X-Force series published (at the time), because Vanisher was never revisited and humiliated in the same way.

    I don't care for Toad, but I do find him interesting. Particularly in how he exists cyclically- abused by Magneto and the X-Men alike. He's one of those many missed opportunities of the Aaron era. That similarity between Wolverine's moral absolutist school (the presented unequivocal good to Utopia's Machiavellian approach) and the deranged Magneto in their similar treatment of a mutant who is considered to be biologically or personally inferior is interesting. It shows that the Jean Grey School had power dynamics of its own. The story went on for something like 42, 43, (??) issues, there was time to unpack things like this. Instead we got clowns and evil children.
    This was a great post! Props!

    Wolverine and the x-men #41 still kills me to this day!

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    https://twitter.com/slicknickshady/s...858429953?s=21
    Last edited by Slicknickshady; 07-14-2018 at 05:51 PM.

  6. #21
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    I just threw my shoe in the direction of akiresu.

    As for Toad, he figures significantly in two fanfics I daydream about. The first is from "If You Wrote the X-Men", where I'd put Toad on a team of mutant criminals coached into heroism by a dream team of leaders: Cyclops, Wolverine and Rogue... "Thunderbolts"-style. He wouldn't be denigrated, and he'd actually develop a close friendship with Logan, mirroring the Nightcrawler-Wolverine friendship.

    The second is my Storm & Jubilee led "Uncanny X-Men" MCU screenplay idea. This Toad leads the Acolytes, Magneto's faction of mutants. He's a more menacing version of the character that led the Brotherhood in the early 90s, and relies on his enforcers Frenzy and Blob like a mob boss. This version isn't denigrated either, but his behavior suggests denigration at the hand of Magneto.

    I can't say Toad's "special" to me, but he's one of the original mutants in the franchise, and I think he's too important to just ignore.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamFTF View Post
    Someone must like him. Other than the big plotters like Magneto and Mystique, Toad's the last classic Brotherhood member standing. Quicksilver: reformed. Scarlet Witch: reformed. Mastermind: dead. Destiny: dead. Blob: depowered. Avalanche: dead. Pyro: dead.

    Maybe writers think he's just so pathetic that a "shocking death" for Toad isn't worth it.
    Pyro I was confirmed to have stayed alive after Necrosha in Iceman Vol.2 No. 8. And hes violently anti-Human again tsk tsk tsk tsk

  8. #23
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    I always thought it would be interesting if reformed Magneto was forced to answer for the abuse he put Toad through.

    I mean hell, Toad is the kind of mutat Magneto should have been fighting to protect, yet all he did was exploit and abuse him.

  9. #24
    Extraordinary Member Master of Sound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDC001 View Post
    Pyro I was confirmed to have stayed alive after Necrosha in Iceman Vol.2 No. 8. And he’s violently anti-Human again tsk tsk tsk tsk
    I always thought it was new Pyro they thought. But looked it up and you're right the original lives again. Now let's hope other writers pick up on it. Pyro vs. Pyro could be fun.
    Last edited by Master of Sound; 07-15-2018 at 09:42 AM.
    Stop complaining and start dancing

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