There’s a lot of (understandable) agitation about the above quote.
For my part, though, I’m genuinely conflicted about this. On the one hand, Grant Ward is a horrible person, who has chosen to do horrible things and who—as of the season 1 AoS finale—has demonstrated no sense of remorse for his actions. Thus, in my opinion, there is no redemption for Grant Ward as he currently exists.
On the other hand, however, redemption arcs are the bread-and-butter of comic book stories. Many, many people who are superheroes in comics today started off as supervillains or have gone through supervillain phases: Rogue, Emma Frost, Natasha Romanoff, Clint Barton, Magneto, Scarlett Witch. Alternatively, many superheroes have fallen into supervillainy and subsequently recovered (or not): Charles Xavier, Jean Grey, Bishop, Tony Stark (subject to dispute, I know, but in my opinion everyone on the side of the Superhuman Registration Act in Civil War counts as having a supervillain phase, and I particularly dislike 616 Tony Stark—deal with it).
What’s troubling to me about Loeb’s statement is not that it implies a possible redemption arc for Grant Ward, but that it seems to do so without an awareness of what makes a redemption arc plausible. People are rooting for Bucky Barnes not because they are capable of looking past the crimes he committed as the Winter Soldier but because they understand him to have been nearly as victimized by those actions as the people he killed were. His experience of years of torture and mindcontrol at the hands of HYDRA (in the MCU) constitutes a viable excuse for his actions. Simply put, he was not in control of himself when he committed those crimes—i.e. he is not culpable for those crimes.
However, while Bucky Barnes is clearly a victim, Grant Ward is clearly not. There are explanations for why he did the things he did, yes, but there are no excuses. (Recognizing the difference between an explanation and an excuse is, I feel, absolutely crucial to understanding a character like Grant Ward.) As a result of this, a majority of people are not rooting for Ward. They understand that he, unlike Bucky Barnes, is fully culpable for his actions. Now, I’m not saying that Ward cannot be redeemed, but redemption is an uphill battle. Even for someone like Bucky Barnes, who wasn’t in control of himself during his time as the Winter Soldier, it is a task that takes time and dedication. (And this is another major reason why people root so hard for Bucky; in the comics—and no doubt in the films—he took [will take] full responsibility for his actions as the Winter Soldier and actively, tirelessly worked to make things right.)
In all honesty, I could see a redemption arc for Grant Ward that played out over the course of several (later) seasons, but not one that happened immediately within the second season. But if he did go on to have a redemption arc, his culpability for his crimes would mean that he would not be starting in the same place that Bucky Barnes did/will.
There’s a lot of room to explore interesting themes with the character of Grant Ward and the characters who knew him and were betrayed by him. I think he has the potential to make a great ongoing villain—the sort of character audiences love to hate. The kind of villain whose past relationship with our heroes makes for a lot of high drama and emotional resonance and whose continued presence provides room for the exploration of themes of guilt, mistrust, and grief in the wake of betrayal (and attempted, or hoped-for, redemption) that comic books do so well.
But this quote by Jeph Loeb definitely makes me nervous. As it stands right now, Deathlok has more remorse for his actions than Grant Ward does, so if they’re thinking redemption arc for Ward then they’re going to have to be extremely careful about how they handle it. And rushing is absolutely not the way to go.
I’ll just leave this here…
I might have forgiven you, Jeff. Except that you didn’t skip over Malia’s mental development in order to more fully delve into her story or her struggles or, god-forbid, the plot. Nope, you skimmed over what ought to be a full on handicap in order to sexualize her and use her as the cherry popper for one of your precious boys like the misogynistic douche that you are. :)
In The Flesh, 1x03
"It was a one shot deal. It was a gift! A gift and you ruined it!"
Gryffindor : Mate, I would die for you
Slytherin : I will kill for you, bro. Just give me the word, the bitch is dead
Ravenclaw: I’ll find a way we both can survive
Hufflepuff: I’ll die with you
now i know for sure that i would be in Hufflepuff
Dumbledore is literally the scum between my toes
- LEAVES A 1YO CHILD ON A DOORSTEP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT LIKE ‘OH NVM THEYLL FIND HIM IN THE MORNING LOL’
- knows good and well how the dursleys are abusing and neglecting harry and just LETS THE SITUATION CONTINUE even though we see in the fifth book that he has the power to stop it (the ‘remember my last letter’). he lets harry be LOCKED UP IN A CUPBOARD and abused for ten years both because of the ””protection”’ privet dr has for harry (don’t worry, it’s only at the cost of his emotional and mental wellbeing, it’s all good) and because he WANTS harry to fall in love with the wizarding world, like voldemort did, like snape did, because it will make him easier to manipulate
- GROOMS HARRY TO BECOME A PERSON WHO WILL WILLINGLY DIE FOR ””’THE GREATER GOOD””
- PURPOSEFULLY WITHOLDS INFORMATION FROM HARRY AND KEEPS HIM UNINFORMED SO HE’LL DO WHAT DUMBLEDORE WANTS WHEN DUMBLEDORE WANTS HIM TO DO IT
- tells harry in ootp that he kept the truth from him because HE ACCIDENTALLY ENDED UP CARING ABOUT HARRY. LIKE OH HERE’S THE KID I’VE BEEN PLANNING TO KILL AND HAVE LET LIVE A MISERABLE LOVELESS LIFE IN ORDER TO RIGHT THE WRONG OF THE OTHER BOY I FEEL LIKE I LET DOWN AND I ACCIDENTALLY REALISED HE’S A HUMAN BEING WELL FUCK
- told arabella figg she couldn’t be nice to harry when he went to her house? like what the FUCK?
- after all his lectures and ”’wisdom”’ STILL GOES AFTER THE HALLOWS HIMSELF BECAUSE HE WANTS THE POWER
- literally told harry the only reason he didn’t make him a prefect was because he didn’t want people to think he ””plays favourites”” like he didn’t last minute give gryffindor the house cup like four fuckin years in a row because of harry
- KNEW HE WAS GOING TO DIE AND DIDN’T TELL/PREPARE HARRY FOR THE EMOTIONAL DEVASTATION OF LOSING ANOTHER/HIS LAST FATHER FIGURE AND EVEN MADE HARRY WATCH HIM DIE
- locked sirius up AFTER HE HAD SPENT TWELVE YEARS IN PRISON in the house where he was ABUSED AS A CHILD AND MADE TO FEEL OUTCAST AND UNLOVED and pretty much exacerbated sirius’ arrested development and feeling of worthlessness because he’s dumbledore and dumbledore knows best
- LET SNAPE TEACH AT HOGWARTS FOR 15+ YEARS DESPITE KNOWING FULL WELL HOW HE TREATED STUDENTS JUST BECAUSE HE WANTED TO KEEP HIM CLOSE
- HE IS IN A POSITION OF POWER - ARGUABLY THE POSITION OF POWER - AND USES IT TO MANIPULATE AND EMOTIONALLY TRAUMATISE HARRY AND BATTER HIM INTO A WEAPON TO USE AGAINST VOLDEMORT AT THE COST OF HARRY’S FUCKING CHILDHOOD
and this is NEVER ADDRESSED in the books. Dumbledore is never seen as anything but a wise and noble father figure to Harry. HARRY NAMES HIS SON AFTER THIS MAN WHO MANIPULATED HIM AND LITERALLY WALKED HIM INTO THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE. FUCK dumbledore.