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William Ferguson
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 10:35am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

A little light bulb went off in my head recently. I've been following John over the years on this forum reading pretty much everything he has to say about Marvel characters. 

I don't have his way with words, but there is a topic that he's discussed several times over the years. It is the concept of creators changing characters and then thinking that they have put them back in the sandbox (love that phrase) the way they found them. But the ones they put back are different toys.

Dan Slott had come on to the boards here to discuss his Spider-Man run. At the time I thought he and John made excellent points about what he was doing with Spider-Man. 

Then there was something John said a while back that finally hit home for me. Itís the same thing he has been saying, but I guess this time it was the right phrasing and the right time for me to really get it.

Dan was totally wrong. I don't know the guy, and I think he is putting out what he thinks is his best work. And to some, it might rightfully be so.

He took Spider-Man and made Norman Osbourne Spider-Man. Not a bad idea, but the problem is, he did it for a year. A new reader comes along, and now Doc OCK Spider-man is his Spider-Man. That new reader didnít get hooked on what I think makes Spider-Man great, Peter Parker as Spider-Man.

The same thing with Peter David run on the Hulk. He turned the Hulk into Grey Mr. Fixit. Mr. Fix it is not the Hulk. But my point again is, Mr. Fixit "was" the Hulk for way too long and to some new reader that is now their Hulk.

There is no illusion of change. In my opinion, we now have new toys mixed in with the original toys. 

I don't blame the current creators, they are trying. But they need more guidance. Something that I think current editors need to do more of. Go ahead think out of the box, but sometimes you need to stay in the box. And if the creator's editors don't get it, then the guy in charge needs to get it. Stay true to what makes these characters so appealing for so many years.

I hope this makes sense. 



Edited by William Ferguson on 11 August 2018 at 6:00am
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Olav Bakken
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 11:11am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

About Mr. Fixit. If he was an original character the concept could have had a lot of potential.

Characters may change over the years as part of a maturation process or a life changing incident. But they are still the same characters. If they become completely unrecognizable from who they once were, the original versions have been sacrificed in the process.
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Nathan Greno
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 12:15pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

William: He took Spider-Man and made Norman Osbourne Spider-Man. Not a bad idea, but the problem is, he did it for a year. A new reader comes along, and now Norman Osbourne Spider-man is his Spider-Man. That new reader didnít get hooked on what I think makes Spider-Man great, Peter Parker as Spider-Man.

---

I get what you are saying, but I think "civilians discovering comic books" is a totally different animal at this point. Nowadays, a "new reader" would be much more aware of the characters -- Spider-Man is being consumed through different media. For example: 'Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse' will feature an older, washed-up Peter Parker/Spider-Man... but earlier this year, we saw a young Peter Parker/Spider-Man running around in the Avengers film. It's all soo much bigger than it was when we were new readers discovering Spider-Man. There's been soo many versions of the same character. I mean, at this point, WHO is "Spider-Man"?? I know what I liked about him when I was a kid... but even that version of the character was somewhat different than the character that appeared in Amazing Fantasy. 

Even if the comics were to become more consistent with the characters... the rest of the media isn't playing that same game. 

I'm not saying I'm happy with the way things are... just saying it's all evolved into something totally different. 








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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 12:43pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

When Dan Slott made Dr. Octopus Spider-Man, fans knew (and were vocal about knowing) that it wasn't going to last: Peter Parker would return. A new reader might be thinking "okay, THIS is Spider-Man" but in this day and age, where so many older stories are out there (not to mention movies, TV cartoons, etc.), I have some trouble buying that a new reader will be convinced the Superior Spider-Man is THE Spider-Man.

Ditto Joe Fixit, ditto FalCap, ditto BuckyCap, etc.

In terms of storytelling, comic books are soap operas, albeit ones where the lead characters are more or less ageless, even as new characters pop up around them (and seem to age in real time). Things will change and they'll change back. Some changes might last longer but consider...

Jean Grey died in 1980. She returned in 1985. That's five years a new X-Men reader would not know who Jean Grey is, apart from the plentiful references to her and fake-outs put out there by Chris Claremont. Then she shows up again in X-FACTOR #1. To a newer reader, is she a "new" character?

I get that the changes characters go through during any creator's run may be confusing, but there are good to great stories made possible by going off-formula. Slott and David did something new with Spider-Man and Hulk; judging by readership, they were doing right and adding readers. And some of the things they created have made their way into cartoons and movies, etcf.

So... it might be confusing. Sure. But even if it takes a while, the characters (pretty much as you knew them) will come back around.
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Mason Meomartini
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 1:16pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I think what William is saying though is not just that there will be confusion about what is the original characterization, but that new fans will get attached to the version they experience first and the influence that might have.  Like fans who still demand that Peter has to be married to MJ.

Edited by Mason Meomartini on 10 August 2018 at 1:27pm
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Mason Meomartini
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 1:25pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

One middle aged fan I know told me there is no right version of Marvel and DC superheroes.  Because there are many different versions in all media.  He never read the creators' original stories.  He only knows the famous characters from television and movies and a few of the most current popular paperback collections.  I think this is William's long range concern, that after years of fans who don't know the initial depictions, don't think at all about the circumstances when they were created, or about who created them, and see these characters as properties that were created by a corporate committee, the creators' original intent or on model version will be lost in the endless iterations.
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 2:02pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

You could as easily say that Siegel and Shuster's Superman no longer exists, nor does Bob Kane and Bill Finger's Batman. They've evolved so much through the work of so many different creators, they are arguably not the same characters.

I don't think there's a solution for that, except to point new readers to the original books and say "That's who they were when I met them." Because that's what it's really about:

The "most real" version of the character is the one you first encountered, in whatever medium.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 2:12pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I've been saying similar things for years. Major Changes to status quo should only last two to three months tops. Anything longer and you risk the audience not being able to every experience the actual characters they came looking for.

For years, you couldn't find Thor, Cap, Iron man, Spider-man. That some of these overlapped makes it too drastic a situation which is what I think has caused the back lash against the diversity. It's not about the diversity per se, it's about the diversity causing replacement rather than co-existence.
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William Ferguson
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 2:15pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I hear what your saying Nathan and thought about mentioning other forms of media the characters appear in but that would have made my post even longer. 



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William Ferguson
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 2:52pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

 I think a good example of what Iím trying to say is when John had the couple issues where Sue became Malice. Couple issues, great story and interesting way to showcase Sue. That was it. I didnít have to wait a year to see the real Sue. He didnít take my character away. 

If I remember correctly Dan had mentioned johns changes to the fantastic four as an example of why it was okay for the kind of stories he was telling of Spider-Man. Dan missed Johns point, like I did, the illusion of change.

But it finally hit me, John didnít ďchangeĒ the characters. He just told good stories with some kick as art.

I just used those two character as an example. I like some of the stories Dan and Peter wrote. I read some superior Spider-Man as well as mr fixit stories. Iím just saying that Supior Spider-Man and Mr. Fixit didnít need to be created by taking away Spider-Man and the Hulk. Create new characters instead.

John created Box, a new character for his Alpha Flight stories. He didnít take Iron Man and change him to fit his story. 

Iím not trying to argue with anyone here. I just miss my characters. 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 2:54pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I agree that at this point, there are no right answers anymore as to who any given character is and what characteristics define them. Going back to the original was once the fallback, but we're far from those starting points now and many things have been ladled into the mix in the interim. 

For a large number of fans, Wally West is the Flash. They're somewhat tolerant of the TV show calling the character "Barry Allen" as a sop to older fans, but in the comics, the Flash is Wally and Wally is the Flash. No other applicants need apply. 

There is not now and has never been a "Captain Marvel" character to a great many readers. His name is "Shazam!" It's always been "Shazam!" And he has always been a little boy who grows up fast into a super-powerful badass and gets away with none of the other heroes realizing his true age 'cause everyone's so stupid, right? Just like it seemed when you were fifteen. Up high! Adults suck.

He's been this way since 1986 at least. That's 32 years of continuous publication. The original Captain Marvel, which left the exact relationship between Billy and Cap more ambiguous but consistently portrayed them with different personalities, existed from 1939 to 1954. He was brought back in the 70's for another 12 years or so. That's only 27 years during which the character was done "right." He's now literally been done wrong for a longer period of time, and for many, that is exactly how it should be.

"Back to the Basics" doesn't work anymore for fans who prefer the interim changes and have little interest in comic-book history. As far as most readers are concerned, the characters were great when they came in. Their personal Golden Age is that period of time wherein they were learning how things stood. Anything that alters that paradigm is damaging, including taking the character back to the way he or she was before the reader came in. 

I know someone who feels the X-Men were never better or more interesting than they were during the crossover "X-Cutioner's Song." I don't like him, but I know him. This guy still reads the X-Men, sure, but they're not as good as they were then. Stuff from before that, sure, they're classics, but they're nowhere near as labyrinthine and complex; the motivations and characterizations are so... vanilla. The art was so basic. Back when you had to, absolutely had to, track all six books that came out that month in order to follow the plot, wow... Now that was comics!! Even if you bought every issue, you might not get all the answers! And why should you? These guys were f*ckin' geniuses putting out the books then! They couldn't be bothered to slow down for readers who couldn't keep up or cover every little plot point and detail! Figure it out yourself! That was exciting!

I work with someone who came back to comics during Morrison's X-Men run. It was the best run of the book ever by his reckoning. The diversity, the themes, the complications, the pain... Morrison spun straw into gold with that run, and my co-worker has little or no patience for anyone or anything that detracts from what was accomplished during that time. Everything since takes away from rather than adds to what he loves about the X-Men.

I had to watch as DC took the books and characters I loved as a kid and beat them to death in the parking lot, foisting a bunch of shallow wannabes on the readership in their stead. Grinning, self-satisfied dunderheads who'd never known a bad day in their lives instead of heroes. Violent "realists" who fought giggling serial killers where their forebears once fought bank robbers. Psychos in micrometer-thick armor who hated to have to do it, but gee, the guy didn't talk so we have to break his leg... You know. The good guys.

At some point, you have to let go.

Today's Hulk is not Lee and Kirby's or Lee and Ditko's. He may reference them as justification for growing a second head or turning pink, but he will never again be that clear and direct a character. We have no hope of ever retrieving the Len Wein version either unless we're bring him out to laugh at him. We're so-o-o-o-o much cooler than that now. That we can mock things proves it. 

A brief article in a recent DC promo mag laid out the rationale for why Wally is a much faster Flash than Barry. Once upon a time, Barry was off the scale for speed, to the point where it was stated he clearly wasn't human. Somehow, that bolt of lightning had eliminated his body from existence and recombined him with the living essence of the Speed Force itself. Barry was Speed personified.

But we're not publishing that guy right now, and we are doing a Wally book, so... No. None of that. Wally's the fastest and bestest. He has to be, right? I mean, he's the one we're doing now. 

Never mind that when Wally became the Flash, the whole point of the character was that he was nowhere near as fast as his uncle. Barry was an electrical inter-dimensional being. Wally was a human joe who needed to eat another dozen hot dogs before going out to take on Captain Cold. A dozen hot dogs doesn't actually metabolize into enough energy to run at those speeds, but whatever... he's probably interacting with the food molecules on a sub-quantum level or something... 

The point was, they were going to do super-speed right, and to that end, Wally was going to be Quicksilver-fast, not Barry-fast. But that's not how he stayed. Writers gonna write and all that. So, now, to most Wally readers, he SHOULD be faster than Barry. That's how they found him. 

We can't even go back to the basics on the altered versions that co-opted the original characters. A Wally that could have survived the Anti-Monitor's anti-matter cannon because, pshaw, he'd just run faster than Barry did, would have been completely antithetical to the intent laid down for the character when he was first given the role. But that is what we have now, with issue after issue apparently to back up the new writer's assertion that Wally is badass and Barry is just ass. 

No one writes on-model. No one believes in on-model. There is no model. Characters are whatever we say they are. Injustice Flash, Nu-52 Flash, Pre-Crisis Flash, Post-Crisis Flash, Infinite Crisis Flash, Rebirth-Flash, JLA Movie Flash, TV Flash One and TV Flash Two could all be put in a room together and find nothing to talk about. But hey, as long as someone buys each version, DC isn't going to see anything wrong with it. It's fine. 

And I have a whole stack of well-written "actual" books that I can spend my time catching up on now instead of these comics. It all works out.


Edited by Brian Hague on 10 August 2018 at 3:11pm
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 3:53pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply


 QUOTE:
Like fans who still demand that Peter has to be married to
MJ.


Does the "Renew Your Vows" storyline put them back together?
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William Ferguson
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 4:29pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I hear what you're saying Brian. I really donít expect anything will change. 

Like Disney's classic characters, Marvels characters have evolved (for the better in my opinion). Steamboat Willey is not the Mickey we know today. Same as the Spider-Man today is not the Spider-Man Stan and Steve created. 

My time has passed, I get that. My characters are gone. But if Marvel truly wanted to make these characters great again, go back to the essence of who their characters are and what makes them great. Clearly define who your characters are right now, and stick with it. Regardless of what some new hotshot artist or writer thinks is cool.

I don't care how famous a writer you are, Spider-Mans origins had nothing to do with a mystic totem. He was bitten by a radioactive spider.

Hail Hydra!  
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 4:38pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

At some point, you have to let go.




Today's Hulk is not Lee and Kirby's or Lee and Ditko's. He may reference them as justification for growing a second head or turning pink, but he will never again be that clear and direct a character. We have no hope of ever retrieving the Len Wein version either unless we're bring him out to laugh at him. We're so-o-o-o-o much cooler than that now. That we can mock things proves it.

++++++++++++++


This is the absolute truth. I've come to realize it, myself.

These things have a shelf-life. There comes a moment where too much time has passed, and they can never return to what they once were. Their existence becomes one of deconstruction, mockery, and constant reinvention by people who don't understand or respect them. Hacks with no sense of history take over these properties, and have no interest in telling proper stories which are faithful to the established lore and spirit of the material.

The four cornerstones of my life as a nerd--Marvel Comics, DC Comics, STAR WARS, and STAR TREK--are all dead. But their corpses continue to be paraded around.


And so I let them go.



I recently came across this, and found it to be spot-on:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koRDkbklPVQ

It's all dissolved into a disgusting slurry of self-referentialism, deconstruction, sociopolitical agendas, and mockery. No more heroes, no more wonder, no more fun.
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Olav Bakken
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 5:18pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

"Like Disney's classic characters, Marvels characters have evolved (for the better in my opinion). Steamboat Willey is not the Mickey we know today. Same as the Spider-Man today is not the Spider-Man Stan and Steve created."

That's really two different mediums. The comic book version of Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse and Carl Bark's Donald Duck don't have much in common with their cartoon shorts.
And the comic versions of Cloak and Dagger were created when they became guinea pigs for a new and experimental synthetic drug. The TV-show explain their origin as some mysterious force under New Orleans. I would have preferred to original creation, but as mentioned, it is a different medium.

Sometimes a little change do make sense. Like Iceman losing his ability to shoot ice cream from his hands. Or the way a story is told. In the old days thought bubbles often contained long explanations about what was happening. Superman is shaking hands with the president, and the next image might focus on Lex Luthor standing in the crowd, with an evil smile, and a though bubble that says: "Hehehe, Superman will never guess that I have infected the president with a highly contagious virus I have invented. Harmless to humans, but deadly for kryptonians. Finally I will have my revenge."

"But if Marvel truly wanted to make these characters great again, go back to the essence of who their characters are and what makes them great. Clearly define who your characters are right now, and stick with it. Regardless of what some new hotshot artist or writer thinks is cool."

Which is why concepts like Hidden Years is a good idea. Choose a specific period in a title's run, and pretend everything that has occurred ever since never happened.

I remember how excited I was when I saw Marvel would publish Blade the vampire hunter, expecting the title to be a continuation of Tomb of Dracula. Unfortunately it felt like nothing of the world established in the 70s comic.

Still, if I was a comic book writer, and DC or Marvel told me that they were going to "totally reboot several of our titles, and we want you to do this one. If you say no, we will just find someone else who will, and give them practically free hands to come up with their own vision of the character", then at least it would be an opportunity to keep the elements that made it popular in the first place.

There seem to be a tendency to make the superhero titles more mature today, both in art and stories (and also more in line with the TV and movie versions). The comics I loved when growing up had a universal appeal to all ages. At least I still enjoy reading them again now and then.
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 7:28pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

 Wallace Sellars wrote:
Does the "Renew Your Vows" storyline put them back together?


It's not really a "storyline." It's an alternate reality where Pete and MJ never split up, some years went by and they had a daughter. When it became an ongoing series, the kid had powers, they found a way to give MJ some abilities and the series was basically "The Spider-Family" (think Marvel Family). At the beginning of the second year, they jumped the timeline ahead and the series seems to be basically a redo of Tom DeFalco's Spider-Girl, albeit with a little more focus on Peter and MJ. It looks like it might get cancelled with #23, roll into a "Spider-Girls" mini this October (tying in to some Spider-Man crossover story) and then who knows?
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 7:37pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Al Milgrom brought back the grey Hulk. Peter David worked with the grey Hulk for a few years. He had the personality of the Hulk circa 1963. The "Mr. Fixit" storyline lasted less than two years, and I really doubt anyone who first encountered the Hulk at that time would've ended up thinking that the "essence" of the Hulk was "Las Vegas tough guy." Certainly not when the grey Hulk/Mr. Fixit lost his ability to stay as the Hulk during the day. 

I think some people on here worry too much about "real change versus the illusion of change." The only "real change" that seems to be permanent is the aging of characters. I don't think that we'll ever see a 15-year-old Peter Parker in a comic called THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ever again. That much is true.

Other than that, any "real change" can be reversed. Not happy that Magneto is a Jewish Holocaust survivor? At some point we'll find out that it was all a lie, if we haven't already (I don't read any of the X-titles). 
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 7:56pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

 William Ferguson wrote:
If I remember correctly Dan had mentioned johns changes to the fantastic four as an example of why it was okay for the kind of stories he was telling of Spider-Man. Dan missed Johns point, like I did, the illusion of change.


The argument there is that, if it's okay for the She-Hulk to be on the team with minimal signs of Ben for 32 issues, then why is "wrong" for Jane Foster to get to be Thor for a few years or Doctor Octopus to take over Peter's brain for year or so? One of those I liked a heck of a lot more than the other two but I'm going with underlying principles.

And illusion of change is a good model to follow but what constitutes that can vary by reader. Was moving the Inhumans to the moon an illusion or a true change? I'd argue illusion since "remote" on Earth wasn't meaning what it used to by then. If you consider the central conflict of the Hulk series to be "Hulk vs. Banner" that allows all sorts of variations while still holding to the central theme. Etc., etc., etc.      

(And Al Milgrom was the one who turned the Hulk gray, btw. Peter David certainly ran with it, though.)


 QUOTE:
Stay true to what makes these characters so appealing for so many years.


But what if part of what makes them appealing for so many years is their ability to adapt with the times and/or the occasional temporary direction changes? Changes of pace can be fun for readers new and old alike.


 QUOTE:
Iím not trying to argue with anyone here. I just miss my characters.


Well, every long timer gets to go through THAT at some point.   

Who are the real X-Men? JB would say the original five, preferably in their school uniforms. I'd go with the "All-New All-Different" group (albeit with Kitty Pryde in place of Banshee and Wolverine in the JB designed outfit). Others will vary.

Is Superman's Kryptonian heritage intrinsic to his very being to the point where keeps a giant sized diary in Kryptonese and calling on Kryptonian deities in times of shock or peril? Or is it an all but incidental detail that happens to explain how he's carrying cars over his head? Is the S something cool his adopted father came up with or the Kryptonian symbol for hope (bleh)?

Maybe it wasn't a huge percentage of the overall readership, but I guarantee there were some disappointed Jay Garrick fans when DC revived the Flash series and it wasn't Jay. Someone could have been reading Green Arrow month in and month out for over 20 years and then been really shocked when GA grew a beard, became a "bleeding heart" and swapped his junior partner for Black Canary (pretty good trade, there, but still...).

Either you learn to live with/love what takes their place or you move on.
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 8:00pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

 Adam Schulman wrote:
Not happy that Magneto is a Jewish Holocaust survivor? At some point we'll find out that it was all a lie, if we haven't already (I don't read any of the X-titles).


I think they tried to do that during the Seagle/Kelly period but it didn't take. (Or maybe it was just the "Erik Lehnsherr" id they got rid of.)
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William Ferguson
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 9:07pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

The argument there is that, if it's okay for the She-Hulk to be on the team with minimal signs of Ben for 32 issues, then why is "wrong" for Jane Foster to get to be Thor for a few years or Doctor Octopus to take over Peter's brain for year or so? One of those I liked a heck of a lot more than the other two but I'm going with underlying principles.
óóóóóóóóó
This the point Iím trying to make. She-Hulk joined the Fantastic Four. She didnít become the Thing. The Thing had his own book. I could still read stories about Ben Grimm the Thing.

Jane Foster became Thor. The Donald Blake Thor was replaced. 

Spider-Man / Peter Parker was replaced. 

Captain America becoming an agent of hydra... why?  They just got done having Bucky as Captain America, and the Falcon as Captain America. 

If you want to do a Freaky Friday story go for it. Just make it for a couple issues, not a year long change. 

Also, the Inhumans moving to the moon was a location change. None of the characters essence changed with that move. Their location was not essential to the characters.



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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 11 August 2018 at 7:02am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

I remember, as a kid, being excited about changes. I loved new line-ups, costumes, and powers. I didn't like the moves to Hydrobase, Four Freedom's Plaza, or Australia though. Over the years (especially late 80's and the 90's), things like character deaths and "what you thought you knew was wrong" happened too much. I had to quit reading comics because my Marvel, and to a lesser extent DC (I only started reading when JB took over Superman), were no longer recognizable to me. The Avengers were running around with men unshaven and sporting team jackets. Pouches and guns were the norm with new characters who had generic powers and it really seemed like my notebook full of superhero names and concepts I had in 5th grade had been hijacked and used by the creators of the time period.

I started buying comics again in the early 2000s and proceeded cautiously because reboots seemed to be the thing of the day. It seemed with each reboot, characters became less heroic. Creators now decided that the Hulks rampages HAD to have had innocent lives taken, the Purple Man was a pretty prolific rapist, Hank Pym was a serial abuser to Jan (even if all this was implied in older comics, it was never specifically stated because of the ramifications it would create)...and why? Because an editor-in-chief didn't think that comics are for kids? I don't buy most of the comics that come out from the Big Two today because they won't be able to repeat the experience I got when I originally read those Marvel comics of the day. I can still find a couple that I like but when the X-Men (my all-time favorite comic book until Chris Claremont left) becomes a Fantasy Draft every time they reboot and all the other characters need new costumes whenever they reboot PLUS the fact that they reboot annually it seems, Marvel has lost much of what made it special for me.

An important point made in this thread that nostalgia exists for your entry point. I was talking to one of the employees and the period that I quit was his entry point. Spawn #1, bought when he was 7, gives him the same feelings I have for the Byrne, Simonson, Miller, Claremont, Stern, and Michelinie era that created my love. Another employee loves much of what Marvel produces right now because his entry point was about 5 years ago and he's a movie fan. Both have actually started reading the store's collections from "my" era and they love what they're reading and they understand why it's beloved but it's still not what turned them on to comics. It's basically the same as when I read Lee/Kirby/Ditko/Thomas/Buscema/Heck for the first time: a lot of love for those stories but not necessarily MY Marvel.
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 11 August 2018 at 7:56am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

 Shawn Kane wrote:
I remember, as a kid, being excited about changes. I loved new line-ups, costumes, and powers. I didn't like the moves to Hydrobase, Four Freedom's Plaza, or Australia though. Over the years (especially late 80's and the 90's), things like character deaths and "what you thought you knew was wrong" happened too much.


We're certainly more open-minded during our "formative years," but I also like to think the folks in charge when I started were simply better at it than those who followed. :-)

I blame X-Factor for the increase in character deaths. Not to say there hadn't been resurrections before, but this was the first time a recognized "classic story" was overturned and no one seemed to mind. That just seemed to open the floodgates and now no one really thought whether or not a character termination was a good idea since "we can just bring them back anyway."

(Note that I'm only talking about hero resurrections. Villains died and came back all the time. (I've taken to calling it "the villain's cliffhanger".) But to me that was more about not wanting to end every story with the villain ending up in jail.)


 QUOTE:
Creators now decided that the Hulks rampages HAD to have had innocent lives taken,


That was one of the weirdest storylines. The premise for shipping Hulk off into space was "people are DYING! We need to DO SOMETHING!" but then the key element in the World War Hulk story that ended the overarching plot was "unless someone did something to screw with him first, the Hulk has never killed anybody." I don't get it.


 QUOTE:
PLUS the fact that they reboot annually it seems, Marvel has lost much of what made it special for me.


Yeah, the only way I can read Marvel (and DC) anymore is to think of the current series as adaptations of the old stuff.


 QUOTE:
An important point made in this thread that nostalgia exists for your entry point.


Indeed. One person's "the book/character has lost its way" is another's beloved childhood memories.


 QUOTE:
It's basically the same as when I read Lee/Kirby/Ditko/Thomas/Buscema/Heck for the first time: a lot of love for those stories but not necessarily MY Marvel.


I sort of agree, but what bugs me about Marvel these days is that it doesn't feel like there's a throughline between what I grew up with and the current stuff. Back in the day we DID have that. Dr. Doom escapes certain death by using the power given to him by the Ovoids. Later I get Marvel Masterworks v.2 (actually it was probably the relevant Marvel Saga issue) and look - there's the story where Dr. Doom gets that power. The Black Widow and Hawkeye have a brief moment in Avengers #239 (I think) and I get the old Avengers run and I get to see their relationship. So even if the garden's a little different, I can at least see the seeds.

Meanwhile, in the 80s West Coast Avengers, Hawkeye is adamant that Avengers don't kill. Now he doesn't seem to care. What changed? I can't say I've read every Hawkeye story that's appeared in the interim or memorized the ones I have read, but I genuinely don't recall any story where his world view actually changed. He was just written differently one day. Jason Aaron had a scene in Thor with Thor in Jane in bed together in Asgard from "years ago" and I'm not sure when that could have happened. Certainly not during the Lee/Kirby period. (Although now it occurs to me there was a brief "reunion fling" in the 70s, so maybe I should do more research before whining. Ah well. :-) )
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Mike Norris
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Posted: 11 August 2018 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

 
 QUOTE:
Not happy that Magneto is a Jewish Holocaust survivor?
No, I can't say that I am. 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 11 August 2018 at 10:56am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I wrote an X-Men parody where the caption describing Magneto read, "He'll say he spent time in a Nazi concentration camp. What he won't tell you is that he was one of the Nazis." 

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Mike Norris
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Posted: 11 August 2018 at 11:02am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Hahahahaha! Love it. 
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