I had no problem understanding Brody’s motivation. Criminals have their delusions about themselves just as the rest of us do. They also have lines they don’t want to cross, for either moral and/or practical reasons. Case in point:
In taking possession of these phasers, Brody and her gang are now party and accessory to two counts of murder.
Someone who sees themselves as a “merely” a rogue and a thief, and has never killed anyone themselves or had another do it on their behalf, will quite rightly be horrified that people have been killed because of her.
Murder is orders of magnitude above simple theft or even an elaborate heist. Someone who is at pains to ensure no one gets killed during their crimes can be admired for their skill and audacity at pulling off a complex job even as they are pursued for having done it. They will also not garner such serious and relentless attention.
However, murderers or indiscriminate killers are only pursued with grimn determination by all involved. Someone who considers themself a rogue has an image of themselves as a quasi-heroic figure, and does not want to be pursued or thougth of as a murderer.
She could of course walk away from the job after this has been revealed to her, trying to kjeep her hands and reputation clean. I’ll have to see what happens next…
Fool of a Mudd! The first rule of gun-running is never sell them loaded. 🙂
Also: tellarite feet!
Well, damn! Poor Mudd. I hope he at least gets paid (i.e. wakes up in a far colony with his pockets stuffed with credits).
LOL! Are you sympathizing with a gun running, drug dealing, pimp? Mudd got all he deserved and he’s luck he’s not dead. Let’s leave it at that.
“Are you sympathizing with a gun running, drug dealing, pimp?”
Yes, I am sympathizing with this gun running (did he ever run guns in TOS or did you make him a gun-runner? I am at the beginning of the 2nd season so I don’t know), drug dealing pimp in this occasion given the context of what has happened. And I can make quite a few arguments why the guy merits my sympathy, and why I’m frowning at Quetzal right now given what we’ve been shown so far.
“Let’s leave it at that.”
Darn. And here I was hoping for argumentation rather than opinionation…oh well.
Brody has an honest respect for life. When she stuns him she’s legitimately enraged at Mudd’s attitude toward the now dead officers despite Zhou’s flippant remark about payment.
When you read her character you need to honestly say to yourself, “If this was Phillip Marlow, or Han Solo, or Mal Reynolds, or Batman would I still frown on the character’s actions or would I think he was a no-nonsense badass?” The problem with writing a tough female character that embraces the hard boiled archetype is a lot of people just label her a “bitch”.
I was a little confused as to Brody’s motivations because of the first panel. Perhaps she was pretending to be outraged at Mudd just so she wouldn’t have to pay him?
Thank you for clearing that up, and I have no problem with your tough female character. Keep em coming!
(what happened to my Post-Scriptum in the previous post; was it removed? It changes the tone of what I wrote.)
“Brody has an honest respect for life. When she stuns him she’s legitimately enraged at Mudd’s attitude toward the now dead officers despite Zhou’s flippant remark about payment”
Mr. Farinas, if the author says that a character has a certain personality trait or that a comment of another is of a certain nature, then it is true because the author says so. But if the author *has* say so for the reader to understand it, that either means the reader is not very attentive, or that the author failed in his role.
Personally I did not realize Brody had an honest respect for life, or that Zhou was being flippant because I didn’t see any indication of either in the narrative. Chalk it up to either of the reasons above, or a combination of both.
“When you read her character you need to honestly say to yourself, “If this was Phillip…”
I reject the notion that I must read any of your characters in light of those of other authors from different eras, genres and mediums. If fact I’d consider doing so a disservice to the author I’m currently reading. I judge an author’s work, and the characters therein, on their own merit and according to what the narrative tells me.
“The problem with writing a tough female character that embraces the hard boiled archetype is a lot of people just label her a “bitch”.”
I don’t remember anyone labeling Brody a “bitch” or her gender even coming up in this discussion, were is this coming from? This sentence could be misconstrued as a pre-emptive accusation of sexism against those that do not agree with your vision of the Brody character by playing the gender card. It makes about as much sense as someone saying those that dislike the gun running, drug dealing, pimp Mr. Mudd do so only because he is an obese, caucasian male.
That aside, the narrative has yet to express to me that the Brody character is “though” or “hard boiled”. So far, going on the strip alone, I’d classify her as unstable, vindicative and with a high-minded opinion of herself. Rather than a redeemer she looked to me like someone you don’t want to have around you, the most dangerously volatile of all the characters in “Weapon of Mass Destruction” so far. I actually mused on whether she was psychotic or bipolar on my first reading because her speech and shooting of Mudd seemed to come out of nowhere, and be a 180º shift on what until then had been an “Ocean’s 11” kind of rogue gathering.
I believe you sprang the moral facet of her personality too soon, before we could have enough information about what is going on/what has transpired before. It makes Brody seem like she’s the one who is flippant, going from being the alpha rogue among a group of rogues (and I assume nominal leader) to someone that just looses it. That, or you could have cemented Mudd’s douchebaggery and Brody’s high ground in their lines.
I can’t draw to save my life and I haven’t written anything narrative that was ever published, but allow me to don a virtual editor’s cap and give an example of how by tinkering the dialogue, what I believe you were trying to express about Brody in the last 3 strips could have been done more clearly and effectively.
On Strip 2014-06-3 (two previous)
Brody: “I do not abide murder! I’d told you absolutely *no one* was to be killed to obtain those weapons!”
Mudd: “Come now, lass! Best laid plans of mice and men..It took some dirtying of the hands to get this kind of contraband, so what? Yours were already as filthy as anyone’s else!”
Brody: “They’re DEAD Mudd! There’s absolutely no excuse for taking those officers away from their families, their futures…”
Mudd: “That’s enough, BRODY! I’ll be taking my pay and going! NOW!”
Brody: “No! You’re not getting any blood money, not from me!. Killing is a sin, Mudd, and I am your redeemer.”
-Strip 2014-07-08 (this one)
Zhou: “Geez Quetzal! Did you just break your “no killing” rule to skip from paying the poor guy?”
Brody: “Graunt, take this over stuffed rat and put him on a transport to the furthest colony you can find.”
Graunt: “What about the money?”
Brody (voice balloon A): “I’ll make sure it goes to the dead officers’ next of kin.”
Brody (voice balloon B): “Goodbye, Mr. Mudd.”
This retroactively establishes Brody’s morality, the fact Mudd knew about it and chose to ignore it to make a buck and leaves no doubt she didn’t “redeem” Mudd to save herself the trouble of paying him. It also makes Mudd’s future “vacations” a deserved fate; true, he didn’t have anything to do with the murders but he went “the heck with it” for a stack of credits, the bastard. The note about her not keeping Mudd’s payment is important, because if the rogues *do* keep the money then Zhou original comment, flippant or not, becomes more of a fact: the main practical consequence of Brody shooting Mudd is that she doesn’t have to pay her bill after all.
As always, take all my analyses and comments with a grain of salt. It may well be my example makes Brody look waaay too much of a paragon from what you have envisioned, I can’t guess. But if the dialogue had gone more along these lines I would not have commented “poor Mudd”, I’d most likely have praised Brody instead.
Honestly I think I’ve said too much at this point. There is plenty in this story that will guide the audience to the right conclusions about Brody. I was only worried at this point that her gender can set a reader’s opinion about her before she’s been given a proper chance.
“I reject the notion that I must read any of your characters in light of those of other authors from different eras, genres and mediums. ”
That’s not what I’m asking you to do. Unconscious prejudices can color a person’s outlook on a character. Steven Jobs is a great leader for being hard on his team. Marisa Mayer does the same thing and is called “difficult to work with”. Saying a woman is “unstable, vindicative and with a high-minded opinion of herself” is unfortunately a common criticism. Han Solo is all of those things in his first two films and yet we call him willy, risk taking, and self-assured.
On a side note, I have no idea how Brody could possibly get that money to the officer’s families without exposing herself in a way that a system of couriers was meant to hide. These are, after all, criminals.
I didn’t have any problem understanding Brody’s motivation. Mal Reynolds is a perfect comparison example, too.
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