Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
The John Byrne Forum
Byrne Robotics > The John Byrne Forum << Prev Page of 32 Next >>
Topic: Whatever happened to the X-Men? (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Stephen Robinson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5835
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 12:21pm | IP Logged | 1  

Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man (and their classic stories) aren't going anywhere.  In fact, today it's much easier to buy collections of their stories dating back to their creation (and almost any period since) than it was when I was young.

***********

That's another common argument. If a kid has to choose between a $20 Showcase and a video game or seeing 2 movies  and so on, comics are going to lose and lose hard.

I practically slept with a copy of SUPERMAN: FROM THE 30s TO THE 70s but that was a copy I got for free from the library. Now, we can stock libraries with copies of SHOWCASE and ESSENTIALS, but they should be a means for getting kids to read the actual comics that come out each month. The characters are too different and the stories too incomprehensible to outsiders for that to be effective. Sure, the copy of old Superman stories sparked my interest in superhero comics -- more so than SUPERFRIENDS -- but when I gave my father 75 cents from my allowance and asked him to pick up a copy of Superman for me, what I got was a "change of pace" issue that resulted in my not buying a regular Superman comic for another year. And when I did, it was the first part of a two-parter, which frustrated me enough that it took me another year to try superhero comics. I was reading ARCHIEs well into junior high because even though I liked superheroes, even then those comics were more unpredictable than Archies. I knew I'd get a full story (four in fact or more in the digests) from them and if I couldn't afford (or even find in those pre comic book store days) the next issue, it didn't really matter.

Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Matt Reed
Byrne Robotics Security
Avatar
Robotmod

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 33221
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 12:27pm | IP Logged | 2  

 Andrew W. Farago wrote:
 Matt Reed wrote:
But she did turn into a card-carrying teacher of superheroes overnight via GENERATION X, and was put in situations where she had to be a superhero early in that series.  Not much of a difference if you ask me.


She'd been depicted as a teacher of mutants from the start, though.  She was trying to recruit Kitty Pryde as a potential student for the Massachussetts Academy in her very first appearance, and was always concerned with teaching the next generation of mutants how to cope with a world that hates and fears them.  The White Queen's most evil actions were usually on behalf of people like Shaw, and were generally directed at the X-Men specifically, and I don't remember her ever doing anything that would fall into the completely 100% unforgiveable category.

Plus, at the end of the White Queen's first storyline in X-Men, Phoenix stomped her very, very thoroughly, nearly killing her in the process (and Phoenix, if I remember correctly, was completely unrepentant about it).  I'd hardly blame Emma Frost for holding a bit of a grudge after that.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to paint a very innocent picture of the White Queen.  It reads like you've seen her as a teacher and only in the position of doing bad or evil things either at the behest of the Hellfire Club or when attacked by the Phoenix.  In other words, it reads very much like you see her as a victim who only really wants to teach students and anything she's done to take away from that hasn't really been her fault or is easily justifiable.  Sorry, but that's just not the way I see her based on what I've read, which is a ton of X-Men comics including her first appearances, GENERATION X, Morrison's X-MEN, and ASTONISHING.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Stephen Robinson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5835
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 12:41pm | IP Logged | 3  

That's a facile argument, JB. Ask any Tasmanian. Oh, wait a minute. You can't because they were all killed off by the British. Complete and utter genocide. If the Tasmanians had blown up Parliament, they would have been viewed as villains by the British. But not by the Tasmanians, Mauri, Australian Natives, North American Natives, the Indians, etc.

***********

SER: I think you're missing the point. History is indeed written by the victors. Look at the U.S. and American Indians. However, comic books are written objectively in the sense that Stan Lee didn't have a bias against the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants because he created them and mutants don't really exist. So, if he depicts Magneto as a villain, then he's intended to be a villain. I don't see how you can add moral relativism to this. Lex Luthor is not merely taking a stand for humanity against an alien invader (Superman). He's a bad guy. We can read the thought baloons and everything. We weren't given mainstream propoganda about Magneto's motivations. We knew them from the start. He was a bad guy who killed people senselessly and committed terrorist acts with the ultimate goal of enslaving the human race. Now, you can say this was all post-traumatic stress from his years of oppression and that he was just joshing when he said it, but the character as created was a rat bastard and his "nobility" was tacked on artificially in order for the X-Men writer to have his own personal "Doctor Doom."

 

Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Greg Reeves
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 06 February 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1396
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 1:02pm | IP Logged | 4  


 QUOTE:
It is the Illusion of change that is important, not real change. When
Reed and Sue got married, that seemed like a change, but it really
wasn't. The dynamics within the group remained the same. Over the
years, when Peter Parker drifted away from various girlfriends -- Liz,
Betty -- it seemed like a change, but it wasn't. The dynamics within
the book remained the same.

But when Gwen Stacy died, that was a real change, and the repercussions
are still being felt. When Phoenix died, ditto. When Parker and MJ
married, ditto.

I really like this compare/contrast, JB.  I guess my question to this would be: do you think those change examples were wrong?  Some of the changes you made in your titles were among the most brilliant in comics I think.  For example, Guardian dying in AF pretty much made that series- the first year build-up to it and everything that happened after was in some way connected, such as the various team roster changes.  Now the argument could be made that a young fan was exposed to AF from their appearances in X-Men, so they much later discovered AF had their own series!  They check it out, a couple dozen issues in, and see no sign of Vindicator, Sasquatch, or Northstar, Aurora looks completely different, and who is this Indian chick and metal dude?  That series was among the most enjoyable to your fans, but it doesn't exactly follow the illusion/real change argument.  Furthermore, who can argue with the greatness of the FF title when She-Hulk replaced Thing? (Granted, this had been done a few times with Crystal, Medusa, Power Man, etc).  Look at Hulk: the whole Dr. Jeckyll/Mr. Hyde theme Stan intended was temporarily altered when you had the characters physically separate... and it was awesome!!

Perhaps the use of the word "change" makes people think of writers who add cursing and explicit violence and sexual situations to comics.  My use of the word refers to characters who grow, at least slightly, throughout the years.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Martin Redmond
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 27 June 2006
Posts: 3883
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 1:17pm | IP Logged | 5  


 QUOTE:
If you want your entertainment "constantly changing", how about
changing your entertainment?

All I meant was that the progressing storyline is what attracted me to any comic when I was a 9 year old, not the outcast theme. Peter Parker is an outcast. He made web fluid out of his bed room at 16 in one night yet he lived with his aunt or in a slum being a failed photographer. I didn't like Spider-Man. Hulk was a genius outcast as well. I just liked progress in status quo.

If I may be so blunt, it would be interesting if there was a specific thread  about  your thoughts on looping serial fiction properly and perhaps a clear debate. As in, what works and what doesn't.

 

Back to Top profile | search
 
Donald Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 03 February 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3601
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 1:19pm | IP Logged | 6  

That's a facile argument, JB. Ask any Tasmanian. Oh, wait a minute. You can't because they were all killed off by the British. Complete and utter genocide. If the Tasmanians had blown up Parliament, they would have been viewed as villains by the British. But not by the Tasmanians, Mauri, Australian Natives, North American Natives, the Indians, etc.

And please let's not go into 9/11 because when you lay down that gauntlet and I pick it up, anything I say will be viewed as disloyal and I'll be a traitor. This is why so many people can't watch Fox news. Please stick to less contentious examples or then let's just move on.

There is and cannot be anything "Heroic" about using murder to when your argument.

Don



Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 117250
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 1:25pm | IP Logged | 7  

I guess my question to this would be: do you think those change examples were wrong?

I have come to realize that any change that draws a "line in the sand" is wrong. Any change that creates a situation in which there was one status quo and now there is another, is ultimately damaging.

Go back to Gwen. If she had drifted out of Peter's life, as had Liz, Betty, and even MJ, she would hardly be remembered (like Liz and Betty). But her death created a seam thru the Spider-Man mythos. There is Spider-Man before Gwen died, and there is Spider-Man after Gwen died. And, unfortunately, the preponderance of fans-turned-pro who are currently working in comics means that "events" like these will never be allowed to fade away. There will be, thirty years later, someone who wants to drag Gwen back and, oh, reveal that Norman boinked her. For instance.

And you notice I include Phoenix in this. It was my decision to kill Phoenix, and perhaps I was inspired by the death of Gwen, which was still a Big F**king Deal then, and seemed like a good think, shaking things up as it did. At the very least, killing Phoenix seemed infinitely preferable to Shooter's torture-her-forever scenario.

Back to the illusion of change. Stan and Jack, Stan and Steve -- they were masters of this kind of stuff. Even when Peter Parker graduated from high school, where did he go? Into college, and an environment that was very little different from the one he had left. The basic dynamics of the book remained the same.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Victor Rodgers
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 December 2004
Posts: 3508
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 1:26pm | IP Logged | 8  

failed photographer.

*****

Peter was a pretty successful photographer.

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 117250
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 1:27pm | IP Logged | 9  

And please let's not go into 9/11 because when you lay down that
gauntlet and I pick it up, anything I say will be viewed as disloyal and I'll
be a traitor. This is why so many people can't watch Fox news. Please
stick to less contentious examples or then let's just move on.



Magneto is a mass murderer who, according to his own words, wants to
enslave the entire human race. What, in the real world, would you see as
a "less contentious" example of something that parallels his attitudes and
actions?


Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 117250
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 1:30pm | IP Logged | 10  

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to paint a very innocent
picture of the White Queen. It reads like you've seen her as a teacher and
only in the position of doing bad or evil things either at the behest of the
Hellfire Club or when attacked by the Phoenix. In other words, it reads
very much like you see her as a victim who only really wants to teach
students and anything she's done to take away from that hasn't really
been her fault or is easily justifiable. Sorry, but that's just not the way I
see her based on what I've read, which is a ton of X-Men comics including
her first appearances, GENERATION X, Morrison's X-MEN, and
ASTONISHING.



Certainly, that doesn't describe the White Queen that I, y'know, co-
created!!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Scott McKeeve
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 11 November 2007
Posts: 835
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 1:35pm | IP Logged | 11  

"comic books are written objectively in the sense that Stan Lee didn't have a bias against the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants because he created them and mutants don't really exist. So, if he depicts Magneto as a villain, then he's intended to be a villain. I don't see how you can add moral relativism to this."

"but the character as created was a rat bastard and his "nobility" was tacked on artificially in order for the X-Men writer to have his own personal "Doctor Doom."

Stephen, this is a long post so I can't expect you, me or anyone to have read the entire thing but earlier I identified which Magneto I'm talking about. I enjoyed much of what Chris Claremont did with Magneto.

As Stan and Jack originally portrayed him, Magneto was simply the anithesis of the X-Men and little more than a mustache twirling villain. Claremont's Magneto, at least up until the late 1980s, was a fully realized character who had a logical past that motivated him towards his goals. As written by Claremont, Magneto is a defender of his race from humanity and humanity is brutally harsh to everything it comes across. Ergo, Magneto has adopted the methods of his oppressors, the only method that he believes has been made available to him. This Magneto would never be a teacher at Xavier's School as he was later portrayed. But from his and some other mutants' point of view, he is a hero and liberator, not a villain.

I'm not disagreeing the Magneto is portrayed as a villain and that he is considered the #1 villain in the X-Men's Rogues Gallery. The three movies were as much about Magneto as they were about the X-Men because to be a great hero, you need a great villain. My initial post on this topic states that it is very easy to make the case that Magneto is not a villain and all I've done is to attempt to make that case.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Andrew W. Farago
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 July 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4056
Posted: 11 December 2007 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 12  

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to paint a very innocent picture of the White Queen. It reads like you've seen her as a teacher and only in the position of doing bad or evil things either at the behest of the Hellfire Club or when attacked by the Phoenix. In other words, it reads very much like you see her as a victim who only really wants to teach students and anything she's done to take away from that hasn't really been her fault or is easily justifiable. Sorry, but that's just not the way I see her based on what I've read, which is a ton of X-Men comics including her first appearances, GENERATION X, Morrison's X-MEN, and ASTONISHING.

Emma Frost is a cold and ruthless character, definitely, but she's always erred on the side of doing what she thought was right for the next generation of mutants. When it became apparent that the Evil Mutant path wasn't the best way to go about this, she switched sides. It fits with her character, I think, in that she wants to be on the winning team, no matter which one it is.

The X-Men's goals and her goals match up at the moment (and have for the past 15 years or so), so it doesn't seem wrong that an opportunist like the White Queen would side with them as long as it suits her.

It probably helps her case that Scott Lobdell, Grant Morrison and Joss Whedon have obviously had a lot of fun writing Emma and making her pretty consistenly the most entertaining personalities in whichever book she's in.



Edited by Andrew W. Farago on 11 December 2007 at 1:45pm
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 

<< Prev Page of 32 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You can vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login