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Jim Burdo
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Posted: 06 April 2024 at 11:27am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

In the comments on the BC article, someone pointed out that Marvel used Marv Wolfman's  status as an editor to deny him creator credit, even for things like nova that he created before working for Marvel.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 06 April 2024 at 4:38pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

 Jim Burdo wrote:
To quote The Princess Bride, you keep using that word, but I don't think you know what it means. All Herb Trimpe's observations of John Romita Sr. working on the model sheet show is that Romita Sr. was the one who did it, which wasn't in doubt. Trimpe doesn't even say he talked to him. Trimpe and we have no idea of what creative inputs he had. It's not special pleading to speculate if Wein was responsible for the claws.

Trimpe, who was there at the time, says 'the way it worked' was the concept was Thomas', he handed it to Romita, who then handed the designed and named character to Wein.

If you want to discount this testimony of someone there in the room at the time and say that Trimpe has got the order wrong and Wein in fact talked to Romita before he added the claws, you have to have some  actual testimony from someone there at the time that contradicts Trimpe and says Wein directed Romita's design. Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm failing to see what this is.
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 06 April 2024 at 5:11pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Hell yes, Roy Thomas deserves whatever credit he deserves for initiating the creation of Wolverine or whoever else he was "just the editor" for!  And while you're at it, give credit to Julius Schwartz too.

I never understood the portion of fans that defended the faceless corporation's interests over the creators of the stuff they supposedly loved. 

Now, apparently this extends to the suits. Even after 50 years have passed, in which what amounts to grave-robbing for any person with at least some kind of moral fiber.

That is hating creativity on a deep level. What an incredibly sad way to go through life.

Sometimes I feel bad for the terrible quality of the medium, and feel superhero comics should be so much better. 

But, on the other hand, you deserve the trash you get.

So ultimately, this awful takes make me feel better in a way, thank you.

   
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 06 April 2024 at 6:28pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

How is Roy Thomas a faceless corporation?
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 06 April 2024 at 9:12pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

It's clear now that Rodrigo is just prejudiced against the "suits" and is somehow unaware of or intentionally ignoring the fact that Roy Thomas himself is a creator, probably second only to Stan Lee in number of Marvel stories written or beloved characters created.

I want the truth about these things, and I don't care what side of the desk somebody was on when he did something creative.
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John Wickett
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Posted: 06 April 2024 at 9:30pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

"Almost fifty (50!) years later, the guy brings up some dreaming up, when nobody can contest him...I feel for Wein's wife and family, that's all."

I think the idea that Roy Thomas waited until everyone was dead before asserting his claims has been clearly debunked.  The only new thing that's happened is Roy approached Disney and asked to be acknowledged as a co-reator in the credits of the Deadpool and Wolverine film.  In my opinion, whether that was ethical in light of the timing depends on two things: whether Thomas is telling the truth, and whether the estates of the other creators involved stand to lose anything as a result of Roy's claim.  

I was curious about the royalty payments, so I did some research and came across two very informative articles on Forbes.  See them here:


and 


Some interesting tidbits:

"Valada (Wein's wife) said that Wein considered Thomas a close friend, and does not recall them having any bad blood over this or any such issue when her husband was alive. Thomas cited one example where he had seen a photo of Wein at a convention with a booth banner that identified him as “creator of Wolverine,” and spoke to him about neglecting Romita, Trimpe and his own contributions. Valada remembered the incident and noted that the offending banner, which was produced by an assistant, was quickly replaced at subsequent appearances. “He always called himself the writer-creator, as distinct from the artist-creator,” she said."

So not only did Thomas address this while Wein was alive, he addressed it directly with Wein.

From what I can see, there doesn't seem to be any factual dispute about the role played by Roy Thomas.  The dispute is over whether what he did should be considered part of the creative process; so its about how we define "creation."  I understand and respect the opinion of Rodrigo and others, that editors shouldn't get creative credit, because that's usually how it works.  I just disagree.  I think the fairest thing to do is to look at this on a case by case basis, taking into consideration the level of involvement by the editor.

As far as royalties are concerned, Roy is getting none, and says that he doesn't want them:

“First and foremost, this is not a financial issue. I’m not getting a penny, as far as I know, and it in no way takes away from whatever Len [Wein] and John [Romita]’s families may be getting, if anything. I don’t know what their financial arrangement is with Marvel. I’m already getting money from my other contributions to Marvel; I don’t need Wolverine money, thank you very much.”

and 

"If there’s Wolverine money [from Disney], I hope his widow gets rich off it. I’ve got my own. I don’t need Len’s or hers.”

Even Wein's widow, who is an entertainment and copyright attorney, says "This is not about finances. This is about stolen valor."


Edited by John Wickett on 06 April 2024 at 9:34pm
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 06 April 2024 at 10:28pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I don't see that there's any doubt Thomas had a major role in the character happening. If the people directly involved decide he contributed significantly to the creation of the character enough to deserve recognition then it is what it is. If it had been another writer and different artists involved with Thomas it sounds like at very least you'd still have a short Canadian with that name.
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Steve Coates
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Posted: 06 April 2024 at 11:03pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

What do you mean short for a Canadian? He is average height!

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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 06 April 2024 at 11:55pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Marvel database:

Editor Roy Thomas conceived the idea of Wolverine; the name, size, attitude and nationality of the character, thinking it was a good idea due to the abundance of Canadian comic readers.

When proposing Wolverine's creation to Len Wein, Thomas gave him the requirements that "(1) He was Canadian, and announced as such right away. (2) He was short, because a wolverine is a small animal. (3) He had a quick temper, because wolverines are known for being fierce and taking on beasts far bigger than they are."

Even though Marvel officially credits only Roy Thomas, Len Wein and John Romita as Wolverine's co-creators, Roy Thomas stated he considered Herb Trimpe to be one as well since he penciled the issue Wolverine first appeared in. Trimpe himself didn't consider himself deserving of it.

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 06 April 2024 at 11:57pm
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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 07 April 2024 at 1:26am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

"Stolen valor" seems to be overstating it a bit considering the murkiness in the details. The idea for the character was brought to Wein, so I think it's only logical to admit that Thomas had some level of input into the creation of the character.  Not to the degree where Stan Lee believed that the original concept was the creation of the character.  You can claim that if you're Jack Kirby coming up with the Silver Surfer, Steve Ditko creating Doctor Strange or perhaps Dave Cockrum creating Nightcrawler (if he had defined his origin and character traits), but I think the creation of Wolverine compares more closely to the creations of Iron Man and Daredevil, where you have a hard time pinning down one or two individuals who defined the character and different elements were added to the original concept that have become central to them for the last 60 years.

As fans we love to know every little detail of our favorite characters and their creators, but some of them may just be lost to time.  With Romita, Trimpe and Wein all gone now it's very difficult, if not impossible to corroberate Thomas's assertions.  With what we know it's also hard for me to dismiss them as 100% false.
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 07 April 2024 at 5:23am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Is Trimpe previously known to be unreliable, corrupt or guilty of
exaggeration?

Are his claims unlikely to be true, given his position and access to the
events he claims to have witnessed?

What is the likelihood that Trimpe’s comments are good evidence in support
of Thomas’ claim?

I’ve never heard anything but honesty, humility and complete candor from
Herb Trimpe. I highly doubt that he would comment if he didn’t feel certain
his potentially troublesome comments were true. I see no motive for him to
invent a story to upset Len’s claim on Wolverine.

He was there. He is honest. And he says it went Thomas-to Romita-to Wein.
Given the other evidence presented here which never contradicts this in any
serious way, what is left unclear about the way Wolverine came about?

I’m gratified to read this was not about money for Roy and that Len’s family
will not get less. The “stolen valor” remarks are regrettable and should be
forgotten.

Edited by Mark Haslett on 07 April 2024 at 5:24am
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Athanasios Kollias
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Posted: 07 April 2024 at 8:20am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I don't know. Roy's suggestions seem like just... suggestions to me.
Wolverine in the 3 appearances in Hulk#180-182 is portrayed as a government agent also called Weapon-X, he has adamantium claws, he is a mutant and his powers/skills include stamina, strength, senses, savagery and speed and he just keeps fighting. He also has some unsorted psychological kinks.
Those elements aren't part of the Canadian, short and short-tempered degree Thomas gave Wein. They are purely Wein. And imo THIS is creation, giving him a backstory and details that make whatever Thomas asked click.

Checking on the first appearance, I caught glimpse of another fun aspect, the fact that in Romita's original sketch, Wolverine's back is basically supposed to be black (or dark black like his pants, I suppose?). Trimpe (and Abell) picked up on this and in all panels Wolverine's back is shaded black. The colorist (Glynis), though, colored the highlights yellow and so it stack as yellow by the time Wolverine returned.
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