Sunday, May 31, 2009

Which Obscure Supporting Characters do you want to read more about on this blog?

This has easily been the most interesting poll for me to follow on the blog to date, and the first which allowed multiple choice-- points which I suspect are connected. I cast the first ballot, for everyone except Department of Extranormal Operations agent Cameron Chase. This is in no way an indication of any dislike of the character, only that I already covered most of the relevant issues of her solo series (#1, #2-3 & #6.) You folks seem to disagree, as Chase performed consistently well throughout the poll. I guess this means I'll be tracking down more back issues, and finally taking a closer look at what I felt was the abysmal John Ostrander scripted ongoing Martian Manhunter series, in which Chase frequently appeared.

Unsurprisingly, Jemm: Son of Saturn took an early and commanding lead, and ended up with at least twice as many votes as everyone but Gypsy. When I originally conceived the poll, it wasn't going to be multiple choice, and Jemm was the only character option that had ever held his own series. I'm glad I switched gears, or I'd have likely not seen near as many alternate results. Jemm fans will be rewarded handsomely in the very near future for their overwhelming support.

Gypsy was also left off the original ballot, as I knew she was dear to many a Manhunter fan's heart as his surrogate "daughter," as well as a modestly popular super-heroine in her own right. Gypsy's strong second place showing confirms my belief in her, and it seems like I'll have to get around to returning her presence to the Idol-Head blog sooner rather than later.

I'm more than a bit disappointed in Zook's middling performance, tying for third place, as I adore the weird little otherdimensional pet from the Silver Age. Whether this is because I've written a synopsis for most of his appearances already, or because there's distaste for the character among more serious-minded modern fans, I'll leave to ya'll in the comments. In the future, I'll get around to filling in some blanks, and inevitably post a spotlight profile.

I threw Captain Harding in to represent the 1950s, but didn't expect him to perform, and he met those expectations. In truth, Harding was more of a reoccurring narrative device than a character, so I suppose his lack of popularity reflects that. He'll continue to show up whenever I do a 1950s synopsis.

Patrolwoman Diane Meade made a weird little journey. For a while she was neck-and-neck with the other ladies on this list, but as the month progressed she lost ground to heroines who were far more visible in modern times. I think Diane is the bee's knees though, and I've mostly held off on covering her appearances until I had better material to scan from. Her time will come before long.

Saul Erdel is another serious oddity. The 1988 revision of Martian Manhunter's origin saw the name and liveliness of the scientist responsible for bringing our hero to Earth changed radically, though this was never followed up on. For most of the month, Saul's dismal poll showing reflected this, hovering around 2-3 votes. Then, in the final week, his profile more than doubled, tying Diane Meade for fifth. What happened there, I wonder? Anyway, Saul will show up in the imminent mini-series coverage, then vanish again.

Finally, poor Glenn Gammeron. I was pleased to see him receive notice in the first several votes, only for him to be ignored entirely for the following three weeks. At the finish, Glenn got the "Saul Erdel Pity Bump," presumably from readers who voted once for everybody. I'm afraid the alien bounty hunter with undisclosed ties to J'Onn's life on Mars goes back on the shelf for a while.

Thanks to everyone who voted, and made this the most popular poll since we've started them, by a Jemm-like margin.

Results of a poll conducted among 44 readers of THE IDOL-HEAD OF DIABOLU, A Blog for J'Onn J'Onzz, the Manhunter from Mars conducted throughout the month of May, 2009.


Tom said...

I only voted once, for Zook. Now I regret not also voting for Diane Meade. (I didn't know I could vote more than once.) In some of the stories after her return in Detective #275, there was an attempt to portray her as capable and independent, as not just someone for J'onn to rescue, and it was great that J'onn felt real affection for her. This changed in the later 12-page Detective stories, when she became just another damsel-in-distress. And finally, she was simply written out of J'onn's life. Thanks a lot, stupid Diabolu Head. (The lame story device, not this blog.) At least, for a while, he still had Zook.

Diabolu Frank said...

I like Diane, but I love Zook, so you made the right call. I think you're being a bit hard on her, though. Sure, there were definitely "Lois Lane" rejected plots for Diane, but she still pulled her weight in stories where she had something to do besides hang out in Harding's office.

I noticed many of the early voters only opted to make a few picks, so I think previous polls "trained" folks to only vote once. I wonder if some reconsidered and altered their votes down the line, which would explain the gains across the board later in the month.