What makes a Mary Sue?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by aledromo, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. aledromo

    aledromo Decepticon at the Gate

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    I've read a lot of the hate about Drift and seen it focused largely on his being a Mary Sue character. What's the story there? What makes a Mary Sue and in this case what makes him more worth of the title than someone like Megatron who can take Devastator in a fistfight?
     
  2. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

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    Mary Sue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia explains the classical definition and origin of the term "Mary Sue," if you're unfamiliar with that.

    Specifically pertaining to Drift, I'm personally unconvinced that he's a Mary Sue, and I'm actually looking forward to the upcoming Drift miniseries to see some more fleshing-out of this character. The miniseries may convince me that he IS a Mary Sue, of course, but I'm unwilling to pass judgment on a character who, so far, hasn't exhibited very many of the attributes normally associated with Mary Sue characters.

    The fans who jumped on the "Drift-is-a-Mary-Sue" bandwagon are, I think, likely to be detractors of All Hail Megatron and Shane McCarthy's writing style. Drift was introduced with an air of mystery and a strongly implied "coolness" about him, and he's one of the few unofficial, fan-created characters to make his way into an official production, which are driving factors in his suspected Mary Sue status.

    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/transformers-general-discussion/309848-creation-drift.html has 21 pages and counting of discussion about Drift, McCarthy, and thoughts on their places in the canon.
     
  3. MrSoundmeister

    MrSoundmeister Bang,Bang Boom!

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    Well,the male version of a mary sue is a "marty stu" so basicly a characther thats too perfect and follow your basic "hey im' more important the the rest of the series" cliche' *a.k.a falling in love with a random characther way to quickly,or make every fight seem like the said mary sue.marty stu can easily defeat anything for example*
     
  4. Maximo Prime

    Maximo Prime Bassist of Ill Repute

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    yeah there was this god-awful fanfic posted here (or linked, i forget), and the character was VERY much a Gary Stu. (not Marty)

    this character was named Shadow Nightengale Darkness.
    He was found in the forest as a baby, surrounded by dead wolves.
    he wears all this cool scene clothing, has a sword that he weilds quicker than bullets fly, has a special blood type that is impervious to disease... at some point in the story, he went to an arcade, and immediately beat all of them, with top scores... he was "sucked into" the last one, where his blade got upgraded, and then when he got out of the game, his blade remained "even better"...

    Basically the guy can't lose, is super cool, better than the characters that are indigenous to the story, and for the most part is a self-insertion gimmick in which the author creates this character to be the type of person he/she wishes they were. that's what defines a Mary Sue/Gary Stu.
     
  5. MrSoundmeister

    MrSoundmeister Bang,Bang Boom!

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    thats basically in a nutshell,a long nutshell. makes you wonder what is a complete opposite (always loses,very uncool) character would be called
     
  6. Spin-Out

    Spin-Out Are you afraid of the dark?

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    Well... A Mary Sue is someone perfect, who everyone loves. Drift is hated by Bumblebee and not well-liked by the other Autobots, so that's one thing going agaisnt the "DRIFT IS A MARTY STU!111" argument. Another one is that he's perfect. We haven't seen if he's perfect. He is riddled with cliches, however. Still, a cliche-ridden character can still be interesting - or even fun! - if well-written. Take Nia from TTGL, for example. She reads like a grocery list fo Mary Sue/princess cliches. And yet she's an entertaining character, due to the fact that the show is solidly written, and she actually contributes something to the show. Too bad she didn't get the happy ending part, though.

    As I was saying - Drift suffers from having a poor writer, Shane MacCarthy. Plus, he suffers from a little thing called Hype Backlash. If he wasn't massively overhyped by IDW as "their Wolverine," he most likely wouldn't have garnered as much hate as he has.
     
  7. Furious Rodimus

    Furious Rodimus Matrix Bearer

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    Jerid Messa (from Zeta Gundam) except he was a villain so I don't know if tht counts.
     
  8. Opticron Primal

    Opticron Primal Comin' up OOOs!

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    A Mary Sue in a nutshell is a do-no-wrong badass that EVERY other character likes and every villain fears.

    As much as people call Drift a Mary Sue, and I admit, I did once too, he's yet to do anything like that. He's slaughtered tons of Autobots, he isn't trusted by everyone, the decepticons resent him for being a traitor.....

    So far, he's totally NOT a Mary Sue or Marty Stu or whatever.....
     
  9. MrSoundmeister

    MrSoundmeister Bang,Bang Boom!

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    so basicly Drift is the Shadow the hedgehog of the TF' Universe. personality wise. only less angsty and not being a black retool of the main hero and being "THY ULTIMATE LIFE" and oh,not having amnesia and being stalked by a floating cyclops tentacle monster that belongs to a demonic alien version of DR KLAW.
     
  10. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot The Strongest.

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    After reading that definition of a Mary Sue, I now realize why I hated Leonardo in the Ninja Turtles cartoon when I was a kid.
     
  11. aledromo

    aledromo Decepticon at the Gate

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    Yeah, he's got swords and all the background depth of a freshman high school English paper, but someone else nailed it about cliches. The character still has potential. I'm not necessarily a fan of the wannabe-Wolverine thing, but I thought it was at least interesting to see some new characters among the 30 year old faces. If some people aren't down with that, I can see not liking Drift.

    If we're going to restrict this to the McCarthy/AHM stuff, then I maintain that Megatron is more of a self-insertion character. Everything that happens is part of some genius plan he had, everyone good and bad fears him, he can't lose in a fight unless three factions are simultaneously ganging up on him. Fun if you're a Megatron fan, but more in line with what people seem to be railing about.
     
  12. Dremare

    Dremare Had an Epiphany

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    Well, a "Mary Sue" would be a character that can be overpowered or described as a perfect person (with a very bland personality sometimes). Sometimes, it's an idealized character of what the author wants, having "exotic" body features, scenes describing EVERY SINGLE THING about them/what they're doing at the moment, have so many skills and have mastered all of them, and usually be praised by everyone, even the villain (who might have become good after they've been defeated/given a speech by the Mary Sue). Mary Sues are generally disliked by writers/readers, but depending on who the writer is, though, sometimes a Mary Sue that's written well can become very likable (ex, Harry Potter), or if written poorly, very hated (ex, Bella Swan). Also, Mary Sues can be made fun of in stories and comics, but there are too many to say right now.

    Or, if you want to read a more detailed explanation, go to TVTropes.

    But if this is also about people calling Drift a "Mary Sue", I think it's hilarious, cuz' he hasn't really done much to be called that.
     
  13. Shockwave 75

    Shockwave 75 Master of the Rules.

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    Hell, going by the wiki definition, Furman's Grimlock is a total Mary Sue. He's a super-awsome badass that no one can beat.

    I think that Drift walks the razors edge between being a Mary Sue and just a bad fanfic character.

    I personally have nothing against him, but I do see what other people are saying about him.
    And while I'm not against the creation of all new characters, there are plenty of all but completely un-used pre-existing characters in the G1 universe, why not just use one of them instead of creating some super slick uber-ninja bot?
     
  14. Dys

    Dys Bitter yellow dog.

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    Er... Furman's Grimlock seems to lose more fights than he wins so I really don't see where the super awesome badass that no-one can beat impression comes from. Sure he looks strong in defeat, but he still loses. Budiansky was the one who wrote his original bio and later had him attack Trypticon singlehandedly then made him Autobot leader.

    I don't think Drift is a Mary Sue as I don't believe McCarthy sees himself as a samurai, he's more of a Wesley as IDW are determined to push him (Got to appear on comic covers, got hyped by the editorial team beforehand, got a spotlight, got to appear in a robot heroes book, got his own miniseries ahead of dozens of characters people would rather see fleshed out), no matter how fans react to him.
     
  15. Maximo Prime

    Maximo Prime Bassist of Ill Repute

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    i'm not against the idea of a new character. And damn if that isn't one of the BEST CHUG deluxes we've ever gotten. IMO.
     
  16. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    There are about 5-10 Transformers who have any *real* depth to their characters.

    Approximately 100% of Transformers are somebody's favorite.

    Approximately 100% of Transformers fans have particular Transformers that they don't care about and don't want Hasbro/IDW/whatever to "waste time" on. A Transformer who did not appear in "More than Meets the Eye" in 1984 is more likely to be one less cared about by a given fan than one who is.

    Therefore, when any given Transformer who isn't Prime, Megatron, or Starscream is perceived as getting "special" attention, somebody will cry out "Mary Sue." Never mind that the very nature of storytelling makes this inevitable, as works must be centered around a few prominent characters rather than dozens or hundreds. Eventually these bizarre claims become "canonized" in the fandom, such as the idea that Furman's Grimlock is some sort of aberration, rather than being a relatively logical development of the work Budiansky already did with the character. (When a violent idiot becomes less so and has good reason, it's called character development. Transformers rarely get this but it is common in other media.)

    I'm sorry if this sounds cynical or insulting, but that's how it is. Drift has inexplicable Japanese tendencies, swords, a turncoat backstory, and he's as shallow as most Transformers. That's not why he's hated. He's hated because he's a new Transformer and some fans would apparently like all Transformers in the galaxy, or at least all the INTERESTING ones, to be from the original toyline. Because everyone from that original toyline is somebody's favorite Transformer.

    Never mind that Drift has never accomplished anything interesting (compare this to any Transformer television series that's ever been made, when any new character would make his debut by stuffing the resident combiner's limbs down his reactor linkage or whatever) and takes virtually none of the spotlight from the 1980s crew. Hell, his "Spotlight" comes after every remotely popular G1 character already got one.

    Frankly I'm not terribly interested in All Hail Megatron or in Spotlight Drift (or in Shane McCarthy...there are much better reasons to hate him than by his introducing a cool looking character who Perceptor could beat up). But Drift's toy and his bio look awesome, and that's all I'll ever need.
     
  17. Single Elegant Machine

    Single Elegant Machine Purity and order.

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    Beast Machines Megatron is a good example of a Villain Sue.
     
  18. Dremare

    Dremare Had an Epiphany

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    And Aizen from Bleach.
     
  19. B-Fox

    B-Fox Mahoro de MAMBO!

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    I wonder, is Kamakura from G.I.Joe a Gary Stu? I think he has more claims to the title than Drift does.

    Drift, to me anyway, is Sunbow/DiC Storm Shadow.

    Looking past both having white color schemes and swords, Drift, like SS, started out as a bad guy before suddenly turning good with a handwave. After said heel/face turn, both characters didn't do a heck of a lot of anything besides show up.
     
  20. Solrac333

    Solrac333 G1 got it right!

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    Thanks for the link. Since I'm not familiar with Drift or the term Mary Sue, when it said, "One example of this criticism is Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation", I totally understood.
     

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