Sunday, January 21, 2018 

Why does Bendis get to be the one to write the restoration of Superman's red tights?

At long last, after about 7 years, DC decides to give the Man of Steel back his red tights, and without them he looked more like a plastic action figure than a superhero. But wouldn't you know it, the scribe least deserving to script Superman is Brian Michael Bendis, who begins his run with Action Comics #1000, and to make matters worse, there's at least 2 more writers involved who're just as unwelcome:
To celebrate Action Comics No. 1000 — a landmark number for an American comic book series — DC Entertainment’s premier superhero regains his red trunks for the first time since his makeover in 2011 as part of the company-wide New 52 reboot. The cover for the issue, by DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee, unveils the Man of Steel’s new costume.

The supersized issue will feature stories from a number of creators, including the first new DC work of writer Brian Michael Bendis, who joined the company last November after almost two decades at Marvel. Other creators who’ll be contributing to the issue include DC CCO Geoff Johns, Superman director Richard Donner, novelist Brad Meltzer, current Batman writer Tom King and many more.
Bendis and Meltzer were both responsible for two of the worst stories written during 2004 - Avengers: Disassembled and Identity Crisis. And I may have once spotted the former retweeting a post by the latter on his Twitter page, which should give an idea just where he really stands on decency. It'll be regrettable if anybody buys this, yet one segment of consumers you can be sure will buy this no matter what are the speculators who believe a thousand-issue milestone alone is reason enough to buy what could always be one of the most overrated books of the year. Though it'll be hilarious if, in contrast to his work at Marvel, Bendis actually respects the DCU's cast of characters, which is far more than can be said of how he handled characters like Tigra and Iceman, among others, when he was writing Avengers and X-Men. Let's not forget his gleeful mocking of the fanbase when he bragged about breaking kids' toys.
The issue will also feature previously unpublished artwork from iconic Superman artist Curt Swan, who drew the character from 1948 until his death in 1996 and is regarded by many as the definitive Superman artist.
I'm not sure he drew the Man of Steel all the way to the time when he passed on, but it's a definite shame a fine past artist's work has to be shoehorned into a book featuring a number of writers who haven't proven themselves respectable of past creations, and haven't even apologized for their past conduct yet.
In a statement from the company, DC co-publisher Dan DiDio said, “The one-thousandth issue of ACTION COMICS is an incredible milestone in pop culture and a testament to the vision of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Without this book, along with Siegel and Shuster’s fertile imaginations and boundless creativity, the superhero’s place in literature may have been wildly different, if not altogether nonexistent.”
Oh, and interesting how it's DiDio serving as a spokesperson, not Bob Harras, even though he's long proven he's no longer competent for the job of editor, recalling how his role as Marvel's EIC was pretty much a disaster when he took the job in 1995-2000, at which time they came up with the dreadful Heroes Reborn quartet for nearly a year. All this proves is DiDio's obviously still in command, and still part and parcel of the problem.

Even Entertainment Weekly's pretty sugary about this:
To certain comic fans, collectors, and retailers, issue numbering is really important. It can help keep track of superhero stories over time or signal a change in direction. This is why, whenever DC or Marvel announce a new publishing initiative, numbering is usually an important factor that explains the company’s priorities at the time. DC reboots like the New 52 and Rebirth reset all their series with new number-one issues to appeal to new readers, while Marvel Legacy recently returned its books to their original numbering to please longtime fans. But there’s really only one series for which original numbering truly matters, and that’s Action Comics — the first superhero comic. Keeping track of this series’ numbering means keeping track of the history of superhero comics. Action Comics #1, released in 1938, first introduced the world to Superman. And now, 80 years later, the book is celebrating issue #1000 with a jam-packed, star-studded comic.
Once, numbering might've been the case, but not after so many bad stories produced by phonies. What they miss is that numbering alone, new or old, does not a good story make, and collectors have proven for many years to be the ones who really care about numbering, if it's the numero uno premiere. Without good writing (and artwork), the numbering means nothing, except possibly to know which issues to avoid, and there's plenty of that today at the Big Two.

But if they're saying numbering only matters for the Man of Steel's original series, that's certainly laughable. What about those series from Marvel which did begin with their very own books and kept the numbering sustained at least until the mid-90s, like Fantastic Four, Avengers, and Daredevil? Even superheroes like Spider-Man and Iron Man, the former who began with the last issue of Amazing Fantasy and the latter who began his adventures in Tales of Suspense, usually had steady numbering up to the mid-90s for their flagship series. It was the same with X-Men, even as Marvel was doing reprints during the early 70s, and began using the Uncanny adjective as the 80s came in.
...One thing that will immediately jump out to fans is the return of the red trunks to Superman’s costume. Originally derived from the look of circus strongmen, the red underwear-over-tights look had become an object of derision over the years and was erased from Superman’s outfit as part of DC’s 2011 New 52 reboot. The no-trunks look stayed throughout the more recent reboot of DC Rebirth, only to now make its triumphant return for the big Action Comics anniversary.
Oh, making excuses for the trunks' omission now, are we? Just who exactly didn't like them, and why won't they clearly say so? This is even more pathetic than the claim Robin's circus-inspired shorts were an object of derision, and for all we know, that could've been DC editors' own cowardice, as the modern ones sadly became ashamed of the creations they were entrusted with, and after the 80s ended and Tim Drake became the 3rd Robin, they phased them out for spandex-style pants.

Vox also had some comments about the costumes:
The removal of Superman’s undies seemed like an extension of the comics trend toward making superheroes more serious, more monochromatic, and thereby “cooler.” It brings to mind the 2000 X-Men film’s jab at the bright costumes of the comic books, or Man of Steel’s pronounced gloominess (both aesthetically and thematically). In that context, sure, the red trunks could be seen as a little cheesy.
Recalling that the director of the X-Men movie and 2006's Superman Returns, Bryan Singer, has fallen from grace just like Kevin Spacey, who co-starred in one of his early films, the Usual Suspects, I don't think those films are going to age well (reportedly, he wouldn't even allow comics on the set of the former), but aside from that, what was really annoying was when Joe Quesada editorially mandated the X-Men comics feature the same costumes as the movies for nearly 3 years. Which does not a good story make, and around that time, sales on X-Men comics certainly went down, and moviegoers clearly had no boosting effect on sales.

And one of the dumbest things about changing Superman's costume is that DC started making it look like it was patched together like leather in some illustrations, with visible linings. Such "attention to detail" was unnecessary, and again, did not equal good storytelling. There comes a time when it's just too much in terms of garments. In hindsight, it's quite possible the canning of the red trunks was a Time Warner mandate to coincide with the Man of Steel movie, but that only made them look worse and restricting creativity, all for the sake of a movie whose biggest flaw, if any, was the lack of a sense of humor, if at all. That's the problem with the recent DC adaptations; with the possible exception of the Wonder Woman movie, they've been largely hostage to studio mandates, and similarly, to editorial mandates back at the publishing arm. Both are equally damaging, yet it's no improvement when they give a dreadful scribe like Bendis the reins to restore a notable garment to Supes' costume. Mainly because it doesn't guarantee the stories to follow will be any good. If Bendis' runs on Avengers and X-Men could be so grimy, and reliant on casting obvious choices like Spider-Man and Wolverine for membership in the former series, why should we expect his run on Superman to be any better?

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Saturday, January 20, 2018 

Neal Adams idiotically slams Donald Trump

The next example of a comics pro engaging in needless Trump-bashing is veteran artist Neal Adams:

And I feel like I'm reading one! Message to Adams: I think you're a very talented illustrator, and your work on Batman and Avengers, among other series, are valuble contributions to comicdom. And I think it was unfair when a writer for a left-wing site made petty attacks on how you drew Wonder Woman in an homage to a coverscan from the early 1970s. But if you keep on with these distorted attacks on president Trump, somebody with common sense is bound to start wondering if you're worth backing, and it can undermine artists of your sort when you need all the help you can get. So please, do your fans and yourself a favor and stop with the one-dimensional Trump-bashing for heaven's sake. And please don't make naive statements about certain religions either.

And I'd suggest Adams consider that farmers aren't saints either, if those in California were going to hire illegal immigrants for their field work. And if he is trying to defend farmers, then he'd do well to consider that 2 San Diego professors made offensive comments about farmers. Adams is a great artist, but not a great political observer or commentator. I'd be much happier if he stuck with the former and refrained from the latter.

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Friday, January 19, 2018 

Mark Waid's retcon to Avengers is neither a Victory nor a Triumph in the literal sense

For the latest Avengers storyline, Waid, along with co-writers Al Ewing and Jim Zub, decided to imitate an idea he'd put in the Justice League during the 1990s - retconning an unheard of member into the origin - and crummy site that Polygon is, they don't think it's impressive either:
A character that Marvel has been teasing since September finally had her history revealed. In this week’s first issue of Avengers: No Surrender, a 16-issue weekly series bringing all three Avengers teams to save the Earth, we finally heard the story of Valerie Vector, the mysterious Voyager.
More precisely, we heard it all before, in the form of a character called Triumph from the 1990s in the Justice League stories he was scripting. So this isn't new.
Voyager has been the subject of a LOT of fan speculation since this appearance, with theories about her identity ranging from Valeria Richards, Reed and Sue Richards’ super-intelligent daughter, to Kobik, the sentient Cosmic Cube at the heart of last year’s Secret Empire storyline. Marvel executive Tom Brevort stoked the enthusiasm of obsessive nerds by telling them that Voyager is “the most important character in the Marvel Universe that you don’t remember.”

And now, in the pages of Avengers: No Surrender #1, we’ve been told.

[Warning: This post will contain spoilers for Avengers: No Surrender #1.]

It turns out that Voyager is a founding member of the Avengers that nobody remembers. Or, at least, she’s been retconned to be, as of Avengers: No Surrender #1. The current cosmic catastrophe has somehow snapped her back into our plane of existence, and snapped her entire existence back into the main Marvel reality. All of the Avengers fondly remember her again, and they remember her presence during major milestones of Avengers history.
Personally, I don't see the point of speculating about retcons overseen by terrible editors, and more importantly, why even bother to read these farces that add nothing to the original stories beyond what we already know. Yet there'll sadly always be some subsection of audience that'll waste time on damaged goods, and probably didn't have any worries over the possibility that a story as awful as Secret Empire might end up serving the basis for the premise of this joke miniseries.
Many fans have also pointed out that Voyager’s “a forgotten character retconned into existence” isn’t the first time this trope has been used. In fact, it’s not even the first time it’s been used by Mark Waid, who is co-writing No Surrender. Waid gave the same sort of back story to the DC Comics character Triumph in the ’90s — he was a founding member of the Justice League that everyone had forgotten.

And, in a very convoluted way, No Surrender #1 references all of that. Bear with me now: Voyager was erased from our universe while fighting a member of the Squadron Sinister. The Squadron Sinister is a team of Marvel supervillains who were created to ape DC Comics’ Justice League. And the brand new member of the Squadron Sinister that Voyager was fighting when they were accidentally erased from existence?

Well, he’s a guy named “Victory” that looks an AWFUL lot like Waid’s DC Comics superhero, Triumph.
Yes, a character from a story setup that obviously never caught on. The Justice League franchise was beginning to unravel at the time, recalling the wipeout of Ice in 1994, for no good reason. Waid certainly hasn't written a good story for superheroes since the early 2000s (though he at least once admitted it was bad to get rid of Ice in the mid-90s), and this is no improvement. With names like "Victory" and "Triumph", you know something's wrong, because giving them codenames that sound like they've always been literally successful is silly, and makes them sound more like pagan deities devoid of flaws. That approach wouldn't work with even the simplest of DC heroes.

Whether or not this is intended to be a new status quo, it's hardly worth the time and effort put into this mess, mostly because Marvel's still not done enough to clear away the worst of recent storylines, not even Secret Empire, which still apparently turns up in Captain America #695 as a continuation of one of the plotlines by Nick Spencer. Those kind of stories are so repellent that keeping them in continuity in every way and not trying to find a way to drop them, even quietly, only furthers the humiliation of the Marvel universe as a whole. Continuity as we know it has already been a shambles since the turn of the century and undoubtably even before, and these terrible ideas do nothing to salvage it. If they can't just let go of bad ideas and find decent writers who recognize why it's best to let bygones be bygones, then they'll never improve.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018 

Putting panels from bad stories into Super Sons isn't helpful

Bleeding Cool shows that the 12th issue of a book from DC called Super Sons contains footage from several other books they'd published in the past, including, a sickening scene from Identity Crisis that's ill-advised if they really want to move away from bad ideas. The article says:
...For all you DC Comics fans upset that your own particular version of reality isn’t being reflected in the current DC Rebirth, here is a sop, if you will, showing you that all the stories are all there, even if they are out of reach of current continuities. They still remain on the shelf, and there’s the vague idea that one day there may even be a trip back, across the dimensional wildernesses.
Referencing any of these stories in this new one without making distinctions as to what could be good or bad does nothing to help DC's image, which they damaged nearly 14 years ago when they first put out that story making light of serious issues like sexual assault, for the sake of a metaphor for the "rights" of terrorists, recalling Peter Sanderson's argument the story made it look like the Justice League was running an operation like in abu Graib.

But then, I never expected DC to learn their lesson so easily, and what they've done in this miniseries proves they haven't. Furthermore, it's irritating if any alleged fans want a certain "reality" reflected in the latest renditions at all costs. That's very irresponsible coming from anyone who wants comicdom as a whole to be viewed positively by the wider public. I will say that, as superfluous as Crisis on Infinite Earths was in retrospect, merging two parallel dimensions in itself wasn't the worst thing that could happen, since most of the Golden Age heroes were kept alive, and those heroes who did die in the story at least had the dignity of exiting the mortal plane heroically, which is far more than can be said of how Hal Jordan got his curtain call in Zero Hour. That's why, apart from the misguided notion everything needs to go through a crossover to make it possible to do retcons, I'm not overly upset if DC decided to jettison some past storylines back in the Iron Age of comics, and it's not a good idea for other fans to be so either, so long as what comes afterwards is in good taste and they consider the older stories can still stand on their own as enjoyable reading, if they were good. At least one story element seen in the footage in Super Sons, by sharp contrast, is very repellent, and if I were in the shoes of those "fans" Bleeding Cool's alluding to, I'd be glad if such an ugly moment in modern superhero history of storytelling were dropped, because it won't give us fans a good image if the wider public thinks we're willing to accept everything, no matter how offensive it truly is.

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They won't read comics if they're only starring whites?

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the Black Comix Arts Festival and its offerings, but not everyone in attendance sounds like they're in it for the entertainment value. And at the beginning they say:
Classic Superman comic books: not many black characters, if any. Classic Batman: Name a black figure. Spidey: You’re getting the idea.
Pardon me? I can certainly say that the aforementioned 3 may not have originally begun with noticeable black cast members, but by the late 60s-early 70s, that was starting to change: Spider-Man got a number of ongoing black co-stars, beginning with Robbie Robertson as the leading editor for the Daily Bugle under J. Jonah Jameson, and the series was starting to focus on templates for race relations. Even Superman and Batman began doing this, and the latter got black co-star Lucius Fox in the late 70s, co-created by the late Len Wein. I won't say these stories were perfect in every regard, but the writers did their best.

Now, look at what kind of attendant's been made the example of this article:
“I like comic books — especially black comics,” said Sophia, a 19-year-old studying computer science and film at Stanford who declined to give her last name.

Although Sophia has been reading comics for only a few months, she quickly turned off from Wonder Woman, Batman and the Justice League.

“I realized there’s a lot more to comics than big, powerful white men,” she said. “My favorite superhero right now is Riri Williams.”

Riri’s superpower, it turns out, is her brain.

“She’s just a genius,” Sophia said. “She’s a young black superhero from the south side of Chicago. She built an Iron Man suit from scratch.”
Well for heaven's sake, what is Tony Stark then? Didn't he build his first Iron Man suit while in captivity of commies during the 60s? Apparently, the girl quoted isn't getting into the medium for entertainment value or moral lessons, but rather, for the purpose of reading about any protagonist she considers "representative", even if the writing is poor. If I were one of the famous white creators of past eras, I'd be very, very sad to learn there's a certain segment out there who don't want to read their products, all because they don't represent their idea of what superhero comics should be.

And curious why she's oblivious to the presence of Phillipus in WW's series, who's a black Amazon, created by George Perez when he rebooted WW in 1987. Or even Cyborg in his current retconned incarnation in Justice League. Or even Vixen, one of the earliest black superheroines in the DCU itself. How come they don't count in her view?
“There’s a dearth of black representation in comics and creators in the mainstream,” said Jennings, a professor of media and cultural studies at UC Riverside who blamed much of the problem on a comic-book distribution industry that is set in its ways and has failed to reach out to independent artists and writers of color.

“They’re not diverse.”
But in what way does he want them to be "diverse"? Because I don't think it includes conservatives, who've been marginalized as much as blacks have in the business. He decidedly ignores that there have also been black cast members who aren't superheroes, like Glory Grant, the aforementioned Robbie Robertson and even his son Randy. And if costumed heroes matter, there's also Jim Rhodes from Iron Man, who'd filled in for armored duties for Tony Stark - very plausibly too - in the mid-80s and even made use of his own armor outfit, War Machine, in the 90s. Why, how about John Stewart from Green Lantern? I think the quoted professor is just part of a segment of society that'll never be satisfied, yet never actually provide any serious backing for the superhero comics they complain aren't diverse enough.

This kind of thinking has practically ruined commercial television, since years before, producers and broadcasters relied on how much audience they could draw into a show via how good the entertainment value was. Now, there's quite a few instances where it's almost all based on demographics, while entertainment value becomes more uncertain. A huge problem that's become even more apparent in comicdom. If these are the kind of consumers fandom's going to be comprised of, it's no wonder nothing sells well, if at all. Such ingratitude to people who wanted to offer entertainment and escapism is just what'll wind up undoing it.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

Dick Tracy saved from possible misuse at Archie by a licensing error

It looks like a legal dispute of some sort is keeping Tribune Media Services from granting Archie the rights to developing a new series for the famous police detective, and now, their project's been called off (via SyFy):
The abrupt cancellation of the series, well before it was due to hit shelves this April, was announced in a series of tweets from the Tribune Content Agency in Chicago—which have, weirdly enough, since been deleted. The tweets confirmed that the series, unfortunately, had to be scrapped due to a licensing error on Tribune’s part, after the discovery of a pre-existing deal that made it impossible for the new series to go ahead.

Here’s the full text of the original statement, which was soon confirmed by the series’ planned co-writer, Alex Segura:

Due to an unfortunate error on our part, Tribune is sad to announce that there will not be a DICK TRACY comic book series from Archie Comics. While we had high hopes for the book and Archie Comics negotiated the deal in good faith and is not at fault, we discovered a preexisting licensing deal that precludes us from continuing with this project. We apologize to Archie Comics, the very talented creators and their many fans.
Oh, their creators aren't so talented these days. Not ever since they went around the SJW bend in the river. And they recently lost the license for producing Sonic the Hedgehog comics. It's evident their fortunes have flagged so badly they'd never be able to manage a licensed book and make enough profit to pay back the licensing sources.

Interestingly enough, it's also noted that this may not be the first time Tribune Media Services was unable to arrange a deal to farm out the property:
...In the last decade, Tribune has been through several legal battles with actor Warren Beatty—who directed and starred in the 1990 film adaptation—which allegedly lead to a planned series by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Oeming being cancelled.
Good grief. Bendis wanted to write Tracy too? I wouldn't trust him after what he did to Scarlet Witch in 2004. It's decidedly a good that deal was cancelled, if it was ever originally approved. Bendis is one the most overrated destructors of modern superhero comics, and wouldn't be fit to write one based on a newspaper strip character either.

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The conservative whom Gene Ha considers legit belongs to the Never Trump crowd

Specifically, artist Gene Ha condones Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, who claims Trump included Ghana on a list of "shithole countries" while citing a case of a Ghanian immigrant who did his best to save lives while working as a firefighter, and Ha followed up by saying:

So let's see if I have this right. Ha buys into a phony like Kristol, who was against Trump's nomination for presidency, and who's already put off quite a few conservative leaners with his bizarre pseudo-rightism. This is certainly telling. And if the firefighter performed his immigration requirements through entirely legal process, providing all the background check information needed, I don't see how a legal immigrant counts. It's personality and respect for humanity that helps ensure becoming a citizen of the USA, not racial background. It's terrible that the guy perished while on duty, and also that any leftists along with Kristol are exploiting the tragic incident for the sake of Trump-bashing.

Ha's also ignored that in west Africa, Trump's the guy viewed as a representative for hope, not Obama. And if the countries Trump was talking about really are dismal, wouldn't it be great if somebody could step up to plate and help transform them into safer, more prosperous countries? Not something even Ha seems interested in.

What Ha's demonstrated is that the only kind of conservatives men of his liberal standing consider legit are those whose positions actually appeal more to the left, and Kristol, IIRC, was once a form of liberal, who later became what he called a neo-conservative, but truly, what kind of neo-con is he when he only tries to undermine conservative causes by extension? He's done little more of late than say junk that appeals to leftists who want to undermine the Trump administration at all costs, and Ha, sadly, is one of those kind of people. It's a shame Kristol's so dreadful, because the Weekly Standard does have some contributors who're good, yet when somebody of Kristol's calibur comes into the picture, everything goes to pot.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Will a book about marginalized heroes be political?

DC's planning a comic that's supposed to focus on marginalized characters:
Some of the most interesting glimpses into superhero universes have taken place from less conventional perspectives, from the gumshoe detectives of Gotham Central to the blue-collar construction workers of Damage Control. This winter, 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley will reexamine some of the most iconic moments of the DC Comics universe through the personal stories of John Stewart, Extraño, Vixen, Supergirl, Katana and Renee Montoya — all heroes from historically marginalized or underrepresented groups.
Strange, I'm not sure Supergirl falls into the category of marginalized and/or underrepresented. I do know that if Extrano, the homosexual cast member of the New Guardians from 1988 is shoehorned into this project while still characterized as such, then it'll be pretty political alright, as it will be if Montoya continues to be retconned as a lesbian, which she wasn't when she originally debuted in the mid-90s. (It was Greg Rucka who changed her in the early 2000s when he launched the Gotham Central title.)

And while John Stewart, Vixen and Katana could make for worthy focus, it won't look good if the planned story is built on the leftist politics common today, yet that's surely just what they have in mind, which won't make this a great product.

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Could this be a positive sign what Cebulski thinks of Mary Jane Watson?

Marvel's new EIC gave a layout of his requests for contributors to GMA News, and explaining what aspiring artists could do, he relayed the following:
"Do three-page sequence of an action scene, Spiderman, Wolverine or Captain America fighting a villain something big and badass, show how you do action, how you do scale, show them how you tell a dynamic story."

For the next sequence to complete your six pages of comics for your portfolio, bring out the human side of the superheroes through creating soft story scenes.

"Then the other would be a small fight scene because Marvel is much as about the human side as it is about anything else, so show a day scene, Peter parker, Mary jane talking to each other."
Does this prove he's open to Spider-fans who want the marriage between Peter and Mary restored, along with all the continuity thrown out the window? I hope so, although "small fight scene" can be reason to worry - what if he's asking artists to draw them quarreling? Hardly the kind of positive stand-alone illustration I'd want to conceive as part of an audition.

If Cebulski's signaling he's open to the fandom and not going out of his way to act like a fictional character is the worst thing on earth that could happen, that's good. But if he's against righting a wrong and standing up to a man as awful as Joe Quesada (who hinted he'd like to sabotage any efforts to restore MJ's place in Spidey's world), then I'd strongly recommend aspiring artists take their portfolios elsewhere and not humiliate their reputations by lending their talents to people with juvenile views of life. The same goes for writers who want to maintain a positive reputation among the comics audience. Those who believe comicdom should be taken seriously as an artform should not associate themselves with "representatives" who go out of their way to give comicdom a bad name. Not even at DC.

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Monday, January 15, 2018 

How successful will a Conan comeback at Marvel be?

Marvel's regained the license for publishing comics based on Robert E. Howard's pulp tale warrior, which they'd originally developed for comicdom in 1970 under Roy Thomas:
After 15 years with Dark Horse Comics, the comic book adventures of Robert E. Howard’s famous Cimmerian hero will return to Marvel Entertainment, with the company announcing that it has regained the comic license to Conan the Barbarian.

In a brief release, Marvel announced that it would publish Conan “comic book titles, collections [and] reprints” beginning January 2019, with artwork that featured the character alongside Thor and Wolverine. “We’re thrilled to be working with Marvel and look forward to the new adventures in store for Conan,” president of Conan Properties International Fredrik Malmberg said in a statement accompanying the news. “As the most well-known and creative publisher in the industry, we think Marvel is a great fit for our stories.”

Marvel was the first comic book publisher to produce Conan material, starting with 1970’s Conan the Barbarian series. The character was such a success, he would eventually span a number of spinoff titles including Savage Sword of Conan, Conan the King and Conan the Adventurer. In addition to publishing Conan comic books through 2000, Marvel also produced a newspaper strip featuring the character from 1978 through 1981.
But how effective will any stories they publish at this point be? As good as Cebulski turns out to be in his role of editor, I expect. Prior to this, I'd say there'd be no good to come of it when you have Axel Alonso around. Of course, with Joe Quesada around on the upper floor, there could still be reason to worry. He can't be underestimated, assuming he has any influence over Cebulski.

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An accurate statement about Wally West

In a conversation with Rich Johnston, Ethan Van Sciver is definitely correct about something:

Very true. And whatever one may think of Crisis on Infinite Earths, if there's something Marv Wolfman and George Perez did right, it was making Barry Allen's exit heroic as he did his part to stop the Anti-Monitor. I've read reprints of the original introduction for Wally in late 1959, at a time when DC was developing kid sidekicks for the adult heroes much like Robin was the sidekick for Batman. It was almost a year after Supergirl had first been introduced when Wally was created. I have no problem with teen sidekicks and the teen heroes at DC went on to form the Teen Titans.

And there's a stark difference in how Wally replaced Barry as Flash, as opposed to how Kyle Rayner replaced Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, who had no teen sidekick (but did have allies like co-worker Tom Kalmaku): Hal was turned into a nasty killer in the form of Parallax, in contrast to Barry's heroic curtain call. If it hadn't been for such a forced setup for the sake of publicity and shock tactics, I figure Kyle entry would've been easier to accept...but then there's that little matter involving a refridgerator and the dismemberment of his first girlfriend Alexandra deWitt, at the hands of Major Force. The whole story by Ron Marz was just so forced and contrived that it'd make little difference whether Hal's exit from the mortal plane was heroic or not; they did not do a good job developing Kyle as a character, so it's no wonder sales declined to little more than 40,000 copies a month by the time GL's 3rd volume was cancelled. And even then, they didn't handle it well - Marz, writing the last few issues, had to cap it all off with a story where it looks like Kyle's mother wound up being murdered by Major Force, and even if she wasn't, Kyle, in one of the shoddiest moments, momentarily hands his power ring to Force. It makes no difference whether he took it back quickly after, he still gave the villain what he craved, and the motivations were unremittingly dumb.

You have to wonder why they had to go to such lengths to do that, instead of say, conceiving a story where one of the two nephews Hal had could now be grown up and become a successor to his ring-wielding uncle, and the passing of batons could've done under much more respectable circumstances. Hal may not have had a sidekick like a few other Silver Age heroes, but he did have relatives who could've served as ideal heirs to the ring.

As for Flash, it all went downhill after Geoff Johns took over, and that's why I think it's regrettable Van Sciver, correct as his statement is, had to work with him on the books Johns was assigned to. Johns, as I've said before and will again, is one of the worst, most overrated writers to ever litter comicdom, and not all that different from Brian Bendis, who, let's remember, is now going to work for DC, and the first book he'll be getting is the 1000th issue of Action Comics with Superman. I believe, if Van Sciver really wants to set things right, he'll call for restoring Wally West as the main Flash, and abandoning the brand new Barry stories, which as sales are proving, isn't enchanting anybody. And television shows already littered with partisan politics shouldn't dictate what characters you can use or not.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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