Wednesday, April 27, 2016

3001: A SPACE ODDITY

Here's a brief interview with DC All Access about the current issue of Justice League 3001 (out today).  Enjoy!

187 comments:

  1. It has been a roller coaster of good ideas. One of the three only series I still follow (they resurrected Ralph and Sue in Secret Six!). I like how situations keep changing and now only Wonder Woman and Teri remain. Everything is uncertain.

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    1. Thank you, Rafa. It really is a shame that there's only one issue to go after this. But we've had a good run and it's been a great ride.

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    2. Is there going to be a finale? If not, man, you have to lobby for a graphic novel or a mini!!
      Forget about the "if not", lobby for one anyway!

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    3. We're hoping some of the concepts and characters make their way into other DCU books. We'll see!

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    4. Plenty of room for possibilities. It's the timeline of an entire Earth, and there is the space after I can't Believe and before Booster and Beetle leave. Or even the stuff that happened with Max, the Dibnys (Ralphina!) and Mary Marvel. It's also a fun earth, with chances for characters like Angel and the Ape or the Inferior Five. We never see those characters anymore!

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    5. We could pretty much spin an entire line of comics out of the Bwah-ha-ha Universe. Now we just have to convince DC! : )

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    6. Make it happen!!

      I get the impression that with all that timeline, the 6-issue miniseries format of I Can't Believe or Formerly Known would be the perfect vehicle. Only this time you can pretty much include any big gun. You could have Batman with trunks. Trunks! In all their outside glory!

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    7. Now wouldn't that be something? : )

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  2. By the way, I'm making a long post about superheroines of the golden age, but since English is my second language, there is something I don't know how to say.

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    1. Well, it is a list, and I write about the characters one by one, with some quick info on top. For instance:

      Phantom Lady
      First appearance: Police Comics #1 (Quality Comics, August 1941).
      First solo title: Phantom Lady #13 (Fox Features Syndicate, August 1947).
      Creators: Eisner-Iger Studio, re-designed by Matt Baker
      Current rights owner: DC Comics.

      That last one "current rights owner" is something I made up. What I mean to say (in better words) is who can publish new stories. In some cases, like Miss Masque, the character is currently published by Dynamite Entertainment (and maybe AC Comics), but I believe she is public domain and anybody could publish new stuff based on her 1940s material.

      I think you might know the right way to describe the current publisher of a character.

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    2. I think you just said it yourself: Current Publisher. Clear and simple.
      See? You had the answer all along!

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    3. Hahahahaha. My English is not that bad, then.

      So, does this sound right?

      Miss Masque
      First appearance: Exciting Comics #51 (Nedor Comics, September 1946).
      Creators: Unknown.
      Current publisher: Public domain (currently published by AC Comics and Dynamite Entertainment).




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    4. Perhaps this...

      Current Publisher: AC Comics, Dynamite Entertainment (Public Domain)

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    5. And that's the reason I knew it would be a good idea to ask you, my friend!

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    6. Aaand I finished it. I'd love it if you could give it a quick scan. It's as good as my Grammarly allowed me to make it.

      https://ralphdibnytheworld-famouselongatedman.blogspot.mx/2016/05/all-golden-age-superheroines-you-need.html

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    7. VERY nice work, Armando! Congratulations!

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  3. If it kept going then we could have Blue Beetle and Booster trying to rejoin in drag. Comic...well, not gold...aluminum, maybe. Still a good sturdy metal. Still a point of pride.


    jack

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    1. I love that idea, Jack! Too bad we can't use it!

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    2. Can't use it here, Dematteis.

      And by the by, there was another an all female Justice League. It was the Justice League of Amazons here is an image: http://static6.comicvine.com/uploads/scale_small/1/19859/621182-justice_leagues_2of6_00fc.jpg


      First Gal Gardner and now this. Just take from other people Deamtteis, just keep right on taking.



      Jack

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    3. That theft thing was a joke. I'm sure you know that, but the old Jewish guilt acted up... thanks, Mom.

      Jack

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    4. No worries, Jack. I understood.

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  4. It's a shame that JL 3001 is going away, but just like the JLI series, we can revisit these amazingly fun characters whenever we want. It's just a short trip to the ol' long box. Scooby and Run for the Shadows both sound great. Is there anything else on the horizon for 2016?

    And I've just re-read your all-too brief Doctor Strange run. I am always delighted how you weave love and redemption and grace into your stories of our very-powerful-yet-very-human super-heroes. It reminds me that no matter how powerful (or powerless) one may be, the true power in the universe is the Dance of Love. Thank you, for the smile of grace and the smiles of comedy. Your gift is a light.

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    1. You're INCREDIBLY welcome, Mike. As you may know, Doc Strange is one of my all-time favorite characters and I was thrilled to get the monthly book. Unfortunately, by the time we were finishing the first arc, the Baron Mordo story, word came down that the book was cancelled and so, at the editor's request, those final issues were spent wrapping up old plot lines. Not that they weren't good stories and that we weren't all doing our best (we were!), just that I never got to really explore the character and his world the way I wanted to. I'm very grateful that, whatever bumps we encountered, the stories have held up and have touched your heart. If there's any single reason I write (beyond staying sane!), that's it. And speaking of cancellation...

      I'm not thrilled (to say the least) that JL 3001 is done; but, as you say, the stories will be out there for all to read (in fact, we've got a new collection coming up). And, since the DC Universe is a fluid place, you never know when those characters will show up again!

      As for other projects: Along with RUN FOR THE SHADOWS, there's a new AUGUSTA WIND series coming from IDW in August and I've got another creator-owned series that looks like it will be a go, as well. SCOOBY, of course. And a TV project that's got me keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed. Should get word about that one soon.

      And, while I'm plugging, IDW will be reprinting my old Vertigo series, THE LAST ONE, in September and Dover Books will be reprinting SEEKERS INTO THE MYSTERY early next year.

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    2. Yay for Dover! I really liked Seekers. I will keep an eye out for both of those reprints.

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  5. Just out of curiosity, if marvel had reached out to you to write for the 75th anniversary (and they reached out to like no one), what would your story have been?

    I don't necessarily mean a whole thin, just what kind of story?

    Jack

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    1. I have nothing concrete in mind, but I suspect it would have been a story in the spirit of "Spider-Dreams" in AMAZING #700: a single story that could pay tribute to the entire history of the character.

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    2. It was such a disappointment that they didn't do anything big for the 75th anniversary. A movie comes out... sure, but what about the medium that started it. Nobody knew if this character would last a month, let alone 75 years. It is especially impressive when you consider he may be the most ingrained in WWII of all the big name comic characters.

      How about a Stan Lee story by one of the few Timely artists still standing? I mean odds are you won't have that opportunity for the 100th.

      And 2 months before a movie comes out. It is just good marketing AND giving fans a treat.

      Whatever, it is just another illogical step by the comic industry I can't begin to understand.

      Sorry for that.

      Jack

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    3. Nothing to apologize for, Jack. I totally understand your disappointment.

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    4. I will say, while the free magazine wasn't much more than an intro guide, there was a very nice piece (I believe by Tom Defalco) about Mark Gruenwald and his role with the character.


      Jack

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    5. Tom and Mark worked hand-in-glove for years. If anyone could write a fitting tribute, it's Tom D.

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  6. For that matter, what story would you have written for the even more neglected Bernie Rosenthal anniversary?

    Jack

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    1. I guess I'd like to see where Bernie is today, what her life has been like and what her feelings about Steve are, all these years later.

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    2. There was a story in, I want so say Captain America 600, where where she and the other last remaining tenant from that building mourned Steve. It was written by Roger Stern. It was a nice back up feature.

      I always liked how Gurenwald ended that relationship. I didn't like THAT it ended, but I always figured that they couldn't get married and since she was engaged it had to go away. They could have killed her, or sullied the relationship. Instead, they left amicably.

      In many ways, she was the only girlfriend Steve Rogers ever had. Most of the romantic interests are for Captain America. Bernie was all Steve Rogers'. She could lighten up the duty bound man, and yet could easily match up with his artistic soul. I've got nothing against Agent Carter, but Bernie is where Cap would be happiest.

      So obviously, Cap and Bernie, Domestic...Bliss, written by J.M. Dematteis will obviously be hitting the stands soon.

      Jack

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    3. Happy to hear that Stern got to write a follow-up story with Bernie. After all, he did create her.

      CAP AND BERNIE: DOMESTIC BLISS. Now there's a series that action fans will be clamoring for!

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    4. You forgot the ellipses.

      Look everyone will be reading the comic when they see the title of the first issue, "Cap, hurry up with those terrorists, or we're gonna be late for seder!"

      And yes it is nice Mr. Stern wrote Bernie, but is that really enough Bernie Rosenthal? Of course a few issues later she would be defending Bucky at a trial for his time as the Winter Soldier... No, no, still not enough. Plus she was gone right after.

      She and Mary Jane Watson, I'm telling you. Which is why we also need a comic where Pete and MJ are still married (and that absolutely would sell."

      By the way, since you espouse a love for Tomb if Dracula AND Gerry Conway, you might want to give his Carnage series a try. It is a similar feel to TOD. Plus, Man-Wolf.


      Jack

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    5. Hmmm. Now I want to see a series that co-stars Mary Jane and Bernie!

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    6. Look Dematteis, its simple. First you get a comic where Spider-man and MJ are still married (which I 100% guarantee WILL sell, no joke)then you have an issue where Cap and Spidey are off fighting crime or whatever, meanwhile MJ and Bernie are at home having a talking head story.

      Then you use that as a backdoor pilot and Cap and Bernie take up the back up feature. Similar to hoew Stan Lee did it when he gave Hulk, Sub-Mariner, and Captain America stories in Tales to Astonish and Journey into Mystery.

      This is of course after Spider-Man: Exiled (the tales of Ben Reilly on the road) has gone from back up to actual book.

      The time for a Cap and Bernie: Domestic...Bliss, has come. The people want Bernie Rosenthal. I keep seeing signs on lawns and bumper stickers that say Bernie. Obviously people are upset she hasn't been in any of the Captain America movies and is absent form the comics, like what else could it be?


      I so with this could happen.

      Jack

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    7. "The people want Bernie Rosenthal. I keep seeing signs on lawns and bumper stickers that say Bernie." It's only 8:30 in the morning, Jack, and you've already won Joke of the Day.

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    8. I'm defacing a Bernie Sanders Sign on the way home now. I have already been taking the T and P from the Trump signs. People seem to enjoy the improvement.

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    9. If you're defacing Bernie signs, be prepared to have Captain America on your trail.

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    10. Must be a rough election cycle for Cap. A media circus, no strong candidates, with even the two front runners unliked by almost everyone, and now every sign reminds him of his ex-fiancee.

      Rough time t take the moniker back. No wonder he's sharing it with Sam Wilson.

      Now Mr. Dematteis, i believe you have some Marvel pitches top prepare.

      Jack

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    11. So with 10 hours passed, am I still the joke winner for the day.

      Also the pitches. Sorry to mention it again, but those typos bug me.

      Jack

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    12. Yes, you absolutely won Joke of the Day, Jack. And, to top it off, Bernie won the primary yesterday. I think the two are connected.

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    13. Typical politicians, always leaching off of the good will of beloved public figures. Bernie Rosenthal is not a political pawn!

      Typical Washington, Typical, typical Washington.

      Jack

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  7. I'd read that Bernie story. When can we expect it? Also, saw the preview of the new Scooby book. Looks cool. Thelma seems a little creepy.

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    1. Velma IS involved in something, shall we say, shady and dangerous... but, beneath the skin, she's the same Velma we know and love.

      Hope you enjoy the series!

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  8. You know Dematteis, I remember you saying that you had no one else to talk to about comics back in the day.

    You known the Detroit Gang of the 70s gathered in a bookstore in Hamtramck. Why couldn't Brooklyn get it together?

    Point Detroit!

    Jack

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  9. For the most part, Jack, I enjoyed the fact that comic books were my private thing. It was all-the-more intimate and special;.

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    1. I get that. Despite the fact I have known people who read comics since I was 13, there have been points in my life where there were none. Just me buying comics from a guy who couldn't care less about what I bought so long as I had enough money.

      Times change, fluctuate, and even re-order themselves sometimes. And I have lived most of the possible scenarios for a comic reader at some point.

      And yes, there is something special about having a medium (or even a specific comics/show/film) all your own. I agree.

      However, that Detroit gang, Jim Starlin, Al Milgrom, Keith Pollard, Arvell Jones, Rich Buckler, and more... even sort of Dwayne McDuffie (albeit in a more round about way), it was something special. It really is a fascinating history.

      So again... point Detroit! Eat it New York... all five Burroughs. Okay I taker that back, except the point about Point Detroit.

      Jack

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    2. Did you know McDuffie knew Avrell Jones' aunt when he was a little kid?

      Comics are a weird world.

      Jack

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    3. That I can certainly attest to!

      I think Arvell Jones drew a story I wrote for a fanzine back in the day.
      (I don't have a copy of the story, so I can't swear to it.)

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    4. Wait, can you attest to the comics are weird par, or the McDuffie knowing Jones part? Or both?


      Take care... or else,
      Jack

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    5. I had one friend who read comics growing up. He liked DC while I was steeped in Marvel lore. We would swap comics so we got a well rounded education in comics. He ran away to be a minstrel in a German renaissance fair and I haven't heard from him since. That might also qualify as 'The Weird Part.'

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    6. Yes, it would, Douglas. You could build a novel around that!

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    7. Bernie Rosenthal represents something unique in Captain America's mythology, the only time when he really tried to have a normal life.

      So the stuff you and Stern did is quite an accomplishment. I always got the impression that Stan Lee didn't know what to do with Steve's social life, beyond the simple fact that he clearly wanted to live in the present but couldn't.

      Anyway, I have a fondness for the days when Steve was an artist. I wish Marvel had done more with that, because the dreams of a man who represents the American Dream ought to be more important.

      And hey, I like the idea of Steve as a guy who can hang out with working class folks on the weekend.

      --David

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    8. So do I, David—but you knew that already, didn't you?

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    9. I had a sneaking suspicion! :)

      BTW, I don't know if anyone here has been reading SAM WILSON: CAPTAIN AMERICA but I highly recommend it.

      --David

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    10. I have actually not been a fan of Sam Wilson: Captain America.

      It feels too much like a 22 page try-out for the Daily Show every month. To me it reads like they are more interested in "clever" political snark than trying to tell an engaging story.

      It isn't even to say I disagree with all of the points, rather just the style. MAking political points is fine, but the way to do it is to do it with allegory, or explode things out to an insane degree, or show the effects of things as drama to fuel the story.

      End of the day to me it just reads more like a lecture than say... an episode of All in the Family.

      Of course that's just my opinion and you are certainly welcome to yours.

      Jack

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    11. Not having read it, Jack, I can't comment. David...?

      (I love ALL IN THE FAMILY, by the way. And you're right, they knew how to fuse topical issues with strong story and characters.)

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    12. Come on Dematteis, this is the internet, all people do is blather on about things they don't know about, here.

      All in the Family did a great job of using real events as a source of both humor and drama, even years later it holds up.

      Other good examples are The Simpsons, Night Court, Boston Legal, and Denny O'Neil comics. There is an art to it. The key is to do story first, and not to make it seem like a lecture. Also, to be written in a way that even if the person reading/watching it does disagree, they can still be entertained and even see your point.


      Speaking of which, I saw Avengers 3... uh, Captain America: Civil War. It was pretty good.

      Jack

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    13. Coming from you, Jack, that's high praise! (I haven't seen it yet.)

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    14. Its defiantly a movie you want to discuss with people. I will say my biggest complaint is that it was called Captain America and not Avengers, so essentially the Avengers highjacked a movie from Cap. But if that is my biggest complaint, it isn't that bad, is it?

      I will say one spoiler free thing... it was one of the rare MCU movies that actually felt like a Marvel story. The Avengers movies for sure, never really felt Marvel to me.

      Jack

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    15. Also... as far as I know... the first Gruenwald created character to hit the big screen.

      jack

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    16. Didn't bother with Sam Wilson. Rick Remender basically destroyed the Captain America comic book. My feelings are that Steve Rogers is Captain America. Any time other people are in the suit it diminishes the character. The first film actually helps reinforce that. And I agree with Jack about Civil War it was very good.

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    17. I was disappointed by the fact that, despite the title, we weren't getting a Cap movie (the first Cap movie is one of my all-time favorite superhero films)—but the buzz on this one is so good that I guess it doesn't matter. Still, I hope the next Captain America film focuses on Cap alone. As a reader, writer and viewer, the whole interconnected universe thing gets a little tiresome sometimes.

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    18. Everyone seems to love CIVIL WAR, Douglas. Guess I'll have to get up off my lazy butt and go see it.

      One thing I ask, not just of you, but of everyone who posts here at Creation Point: Please don't slam writers and artists by name. This isn't the venue for it. Feel free to express any opinion about comics (or anything else), but without knocking specific creators. Thanks!

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    19. They do give Cap some time where it does focus on him, but the majority of the film deals with the Civil War so it does get busy, but busy in a good way. It felt like I was watching something George Perez would have drawn. I really liked their take on Zemo.

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    20. "Something George Perez would have drawn" sounds good to me, Douglas. And, as the guy who developed the current Baron Zemo during his Cap run, I'm very interested in seeing how the character plays on the screen,

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    21. Noted, won't happen again. Sorry.

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    22. Nothing to apologize for, Douglas: I never made these guidelines clear before. You were just expressing your opinion.

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  10. I think that I figured out the problem.

    So I've been reading Gerry Conway's Carnage. Len Weins's current Swamp Thing, and Starlin's current Thanos/Warlock stuff, and all of it is the best stuff that comes out that week, while these guys are in their 4th decade of their career.

    Meanwhile, the general consensus is that more and more writers will have great spurts in the beginning of their work with two, or that it isn't quite as good as their indie stuff, or can't quite click with other people's characters.

    With sales dropping, it seems to be a little less academic than they might hope.

    I think that comes from the fact that Marvel and DC started using indie books as a pool for talent. And there are drastically different ways of going about making comics. Companies like Image want to make your vision a reality and that is there business model. Marvel and DC want to make an investment in talent, and grow it to create the best possible work for their characters.

    With the age of those entering the big two now raised to the 30s or even 40s, they are set in their ways. Unfortunately, that means not having to know how to really deal with editors in the same capacity, and writing however you want for what is most likely a niche audience.

    Many problems could easily be fixed by a conversation with editorial, or smoothing over naturally occurring rough spots.

    The older school is made up of good writers, forged by good editors and a willingness to learn their craft. Now it is people with good ideas who can write, so once the idea is gone they can flounder or just not mesh as well with the character as a pre-2002 entry level writer would.

    Peter David wrote the Hulk for something like 120 issues, and some of those stories are lame, it is just a statistical reality, but they are still enjoyable. David understood and understands that the idea can't always be good, but that doesn't mean the story can't be.

    There does seem to be a bigger push for ideas than for characters these days.

    What Marvel and DC thought would be a Darwinist example of the strongest surviving, has really just become an experiment with mixed results as best.

    Even writers I enjoy... or enjoyed, get jumbled up in what should be something easy to workaround with a strong editor and the basic approach to writing.

    The fact is that it is somewhat like news writing. You have to listen to an editor, and know when not to and be able to come at it with fresh eyes over and over, and even be able to make the best of bad situations. Sometimes I question if the new batch even come at it as a job... again even the ones I like.

    And that isn't even getting into creators who CLEARLY save their really interesting ideas for their creator owned, but leave the mainstream work as an after thought.

    Are these hard and fast rules that are true across the board? No, but I do think it holds water.

    Jack

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  11. "You have to listen to an editor, and know when not to and be able to come at it with fresh eyes over and over, and even be able to make the best of bad situations." You speak truth there, Jack. At least that's been my experience!

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    1. And when you take someone in from a place where they don't need to learn those skills, you can't be surprised when they don't have them. And you also can't be surprised that when those essential skills aren't in the prison, the readers sense it and aren't as enthused.

      I mean those three I mentioned all had to view it as a job, albeit one they greatly enjoyed. They were young and wanted to do well, and it was their first chance at that world. It was evolve or die.

      They would also have top work on things that weren't exactly what they dreamed of. That made them stronger writers, as I understand it, that is essentially gone.

      I do think those skills are important, and that they are lacking from a lot of, even good, big two writer.

      Also, while giving a personal take onan established character is great, the comic really shouldn't be about YOU. It should be about the character.

      Saddest of all, is while those knew Wein, Starlin, and Conway works are great, and worth the price of admission (and those Starlin GNs were $20-25.00), and I really enjoyed them, UI can point to work I liked more from each of them. It there good making waves, not their great.

      Jack

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    2. JMD,

      Personally, I'd argue that CA: CIVIL WAR is still very much a Captain America story, as Steve's relationship with Bucky is the emotional core.

      When you think about it, Cap's book has always been pretty heavy on the supporting cast anyway. For whatever reason, it's always interesting to see how other characters bounce off Cap's presence or try to live up to his legacy.

      BTW, I'm also really impressed by the way both sides come across as not just sympathetic but heroic.

      The Marvel Cinematic Universe has reached a point where they've created more character dynamics than they can ever fully explore, which is to say their best films satisfy and leave us hungry for more at the same time.

      I guarantee you'll watch this and be like, "They could devote an entire film to Character X and Y meeting again!"

      Hopefully you'll get to write on of those!

      Best,

      David

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    3. Yeah, but you've got to admit that's a very LARGE supporting cast!

      In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing it. The buzz is too good to ignore!

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    4. Well, they had Ant-Man there to keep the supporting cast smaller. :)

      Anyway, let us know what you think when you see it.

      Also, who do we tweet to demand a JMD penned MCU film?

      Oh, and Jack, I'm agreed with your observations about how the industry has changed. In the eighties and nineties, creators used mainstream work to draw attention to their indie projects. Now they use indie projects to get hired by mainstream publishers. Generally speaking, of course. I'm sure there are all kinds of variations!

      Best,

      David

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    5. I actually disagree. I think by the end... Hell, by the half way point, Iron man had become a fall cry from heroic. He was not only doing the wrong thing for the right reason, but also going about it in the wrong way.

      The reason why it could be a Captain America movies is because.... well, that's hard to get into without spoiling. But to say that it is because Cap is the core, well...Iron Man was the core of the first Avengers movie, and far more centered in it than Cap in this movie.

      Th best argument for it being an Avengers movie is Black Panther, who has the most complete arch of a character. Also, he's the one who gave me the ending I've wanted in superhero movies, and that they should ALL have, but don't.

      I don't think I gave too much away, did I?

      Also David (and Dematteis, I'd love to hear your thoughts) - Another reason Bernie is unique is that she is one of the few woman who fell for Steve and not Cap. She is also the only one that accepted him wholly as he is. Do you think Agent 13 cared at all about Steve's artistic side? Or Diamondback his love of fantasy stories (I know way too much about these characters)?

      Jack

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    6. That IS a generalization, Jack, but a pretty accurate one.

      Back in the day, I was one of just a few people bouncing back and forth between creator-owned and mainstream. Now it's a common model.

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    7. Good point about Bernie, Jack.

      Along with that, I loved that the man who represented all of America had a Jewish girlfriend and two best friends, one of whom (Sam Wilson) was black, the other (Arnie Roth) gay. We were diverse before diversity was in vogue! : )

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    8. David! I called you Jack by mistake! SORRY!

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    9. Look Dematties, everyone likes nice Jewish girls. He was frozen for a few decades, he isn't stupid.


      Jack

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    10. Jack,

      Another great point about Bernie.

      Honestly, I'm a huge fan of Diamondback and Sharon Carter as well. They all represent different sides of Steve Rogers. I just think the Bernie side has been...underrepresented, I guess? since JMD's run. Not even because of Bernie's absence, but just the idea of Steve having any kind of social life outside of work.

      I can't say I agree with you about Tony being a villain, though. If anything, I think he comes across as more self-aware and heroic than he's ever been.

      And JMD, no worries about confusing me with Jack. I envy his knowledge and his wit, so I'll take it as a compliment!

      Best,

      David

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    11. David, if that sounds like a compliment to you, I urge you to raise that self esteem.

      Anyway...

      I don't think Stark is the villain. He just isn't very heroic, and becomes far less so as the film progresses on.

      Its hard for me to make this point without citing details. Here is goes, and Dematteis see the film chip chop chip, so I don't have to deal with this. You may not want to read the next part... just in case I fail. I promise

      In the end, when it gets to the finale, Tony completely throws away everything. Whether you can understand it or not, he is wrong in his actions. What he does is take impotent rage, which can admittedly be very frustrating, and fires it out. That is incredibly unheroic. What's more he does a similar, albeit lower key version of that, earlier for something that is his sides fault.

      The big fight... not the climax one the super visually impressive one... is entirely Tony's doing. He is told something at the very beginning, and ignores it so he doesn't lose face, and he admits that right out. He says it.

      There is a reason Stark is where he is at the end of the movie. There is a reason for who is there and who isn't, an dit is entirely based not on Iron Man's beliefs, but rather his actions.

      Also, he ruined a great, great moment, by cracking a joke. It involved ant-man. It made me feel like I was watching one of the two Avengers movies in that split second. That isn't a compliment.

      As for Cap's other loves, I like Sharon Carter just fine. I don't automatically fall into the "she's Cap's soulmate" idea that most people do. Because, as i said, she only appeals to a certain part of Cap, where as Bernie may be most associated with one side, but accepted and connected with all of Steve.

      Though I would not rush to call her his soulmate either.

      I Think Agent 13 gets a boost because of nostalgia, specifically Mark Waid's Nostalgia. I always felt their ultimate destiny would be for their romance to fizzle into just a a very strong friendship.

      Diamonback I really like, but never bought her as Cap's love interest. I don't know why, but the romance never seemed to fit for me.

      Jack

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    12. I've always felt that Diamondback loved Cap, but he never returned it. Kind of one sided.

      Delete
    13. Jack,

      I really enjoyed Sharon Carter as Cap's love interest during Waid's run. It fit perfectly with the man of action/ spy angle.

      Douglas,

      I think Steve was more attracted to the idea of reforming Diamondback than anything, or maybe frightened that his lack of interest would send her down the wrong path again. Which isn't to say he didn't have genuine feelings for her, but mostly mixed feelings.

      It's worth nothing that Bernie and Sharon didn't idolize Steve, so their relationships were always on more equal footing. Neither woman needed saving.

      Best,

      David

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    14. I liked Waid's run, and Sharon Carter was just fine. However, it can't be denied that Waid's work with her was fueled by nostalgia, as most of Waid's work is. And, there is no real problem with that.... usually.

      No, Sharon Carter was no real problem for me during Waid's run.

      Deamatteis, o watch the movie so you can chime in.

      jack

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    15. Haven't seen it yet...but I will!

      Delete
    16. I get it. I waited until the Tuesday after, 11:30 pm (which is the best time to see a film). Didn't want to deal with the crowds. Fortunately, I really don't care about spoilers at all, and think that society has gotten super weird about them.

      I always wondered why so few writers touched on Peter Parker being a freelancer. I mean, aren't most of his writers freelancers?

      I think it is a major point on the character. He is the ultimate loner, everything he does comes back to it. His friends were often not around, he lived in his head, he was often confrontational in his relationships with other heroes, he said teh rest of the world beyond his aunt anfd uncle could take a flying leap in his origin, and yes even his job. He is ant-social to his core. And Marvel has culled that trait from all their characters.

      I just think it is an interesting, and often neglected part of who Peter is. I can only think of one instance, a little strange considering what group controls his life.

      Just a thought.

      Jack

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    17. Is IS interesting, Jack. Perhaps it's because in Peter's history he was often, first and foremost, a student and the freelancing for the Bugle was a side gig. But that gig is a perfect vehicle for all the fears and burdens and neuroses of the freelance life.

      And I agree that, in many ways, Peter is, in many ways, anti-social. Except when he's not. Which I think applies to many freelancers (and certainly this one!)

      Delete
    18. Isn't that what makes Peter such a great character? He is the duality in all of us.

      Peter hates people, he likes persons. I figure that is part of how the lesson was learned back in Amazing Fantasy 15. He no longer saw victims of crime as a statistic, but as real people... as individuals with lives of their own.

      Just think of Flash Thompson. As a teenager he is always shown to be around people, and Peter loathes him. It is when they start conversing one on one that Petr starts to like him.

      Perhaps why Peter can have long spells without seeing Harry Osborn, but still calls him his best friend is because Peter doesn't really have any friends. It's not how he's made. After all, isn't his real best friend MJ?

      In the end, this is all best shown by his job. Peter graduated from college in the late 70s, still he was a freelancers. Even when he is trying to help support his wife, he freelances. A job that arguably would have him meet more people than in a conventional job, but have less long term relationships with people.

      Maybe that is the real reason for the secret ID, he wants to decide who gets in and who doesn't, all while keeping the world at arm's length.

      Peter Parker: Anti-social by nature, sociable when he feels like it.

      Jack

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    19. I felt that they did a great job with Peter. It was nice to see an actor with the proper age playing the character.

      Delete
    20. Jack,

      That's a GREAT analysis of Peter's anti-social tendencies. I agree that it's his natural inclination to keep the world at arm's length. Before CIVIL WAR (the comic, not the film) I can't recall Peter ever intentionally revealing his secret ID, and that was probably the event's most controversial moment.

      Being an older fan, I've long lamented the erosion of the secret identity trope, though it's understandable. It's hard to believe that individuals could keep a secret id with the prevalence of security cameras and cell phones. In all likelihood, it'd be someone taking a selfie that would inadvertently expose Peter Parker emerging from his house or apartment in full costume.

      Of course, I don't know that secret identities have ever been 'realistic' or needed to be. The secret ID is a metaphor for the way we appear to others as opposed to our inner, 'secret' selves, the ones who heroically attempt to conquer a day that only looks mundane from the outside. But maybe that's an entirely different conversation.

      I think Tony Stark benefitted the most from the post-secret identity landscape. Once his heart problem had been resolved, it never made much sense that someone as proud as Tony wouldn't scream his secret from the rooftops.(Or maybe I'm just influenced more by the Marvel films than the comics.)

      It's a bit harder to figure out where Peter Parker fits in the post secret-identity landscape. That's not an indictment on anything that's been written in that context, just an acknowledgment of the problems it presents. (I know a lot of writers felt it was more difficult to write a post-marriage Spider-Man as well.)

      Douglas,

      I really enjoyed Tom Holland's performance as Spider-Man. It felt like he channeled Maguire's charm and innocence, but with a kind of nervous energy we haven't seen before.

      That said, I suspect the Raimi/Maguire version will always be my favorite live action Spidey. That's not a knock on any other interpretations, it's just the version that meant and means the most to me personally.

      I still get chills when I watch SPIDER-MAN 2!

      Best,

      David

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    21. One of my all-time favorite superhero movies, right up there with the first Chris Reeve Superman and the first Captain America. (Maybe I should do a post about my favorite superhero movies. Hmmm.)

      Delete
    22. I thought Spider-man was written pitch perfect for Civil War... although one line made me feel incredibly old, and I'm not.

      However, I didn't like teh acting that much. Peter is supposed to be 16-17, the actor is 19, but out of the costume he seemed 13.

      Of course, I'm not necessarily of fan of Peter as a High School student at all. Spider-man has been around for almost 60 years, and he ws in High school for 3 of them.

      There is a reason why he was in college for a decade... he procrastinates. No. ou can just do more with him., Even in the comics I remember wondering why a teenager was sent to the everglades to cover the Lizard, and that he should really be in class.

      In fact, most media interpretations don't focus on him as a High Schooler. Spider-man and his Amazing Friends, Spider-Man the animated series, the 70s live action, all had him as a college student. The Electric Company had him...I don't know, as a weird hobo or something. Even Raimi had him as one for less than half of the movie.

      There is just more you can do with him as a college student. And teenagers are annoying.

      I'd like to hear Dematteis thoughts on my Dematteis, given he did so much with the Osborn friendship, but also wrote Mj and Pete as very close. Was I completely wrong in his eyes? Well of course not, but he may be completely wrong in his eyes now.

      As for the secret identity, I have just so much to say, but I have to go right now, I'll get back to it when I can.


      Jack

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    23. Also, because Dematteis and I are both freelancers, and on some level all freelancers are at least a little bit anti-social.

      Jack

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    24. Since I agree with all of those choices I would read that post. I think I personally would add Unbreakable and Darkman to the list of favorite super hero movies.

      Delete
    25. As much as I enjoy high school Peter, as a writer I've always preferred a more mature Parker. So, yeah, I'll go with college (and even graduate school).

      Delete
    26. And I agree about the antisocial leanings of freelancers.

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    27. Although I haven't seen it in years, I remember really enjoying DARKMAN. And UNBREAKABLE was a good one, too.

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    28. I liked unbreakable.

      Now, as for my thoughts on secret identities...

      Secret identities are a very American concept, focusing on the the schizophrenic nature our society has, and our internal restlessness. We want to be larger than lie in some way, but we also want our private lives.

      The concept comes from an older way of looking at the world. It comes from a belief in large ideas and humility, two things that are increasingly becoming devoid from our society. Just because it is old doesn't mean it is bad.

      In terms of practicality, it makes more sense in the Marvel universe than any other. Think the first super"humans" are Namor and Human Torch who are hated, both not trusted, even hated. Captain America is beloved, and hides his identity to be a symbol and best represent the American ideal.

      Then along come the Fantastic Four, in the 60s... the early 60s... they are being sued for the damage caused when they defend people. Bruce Banner is hunted an hated, Mutants have powers and hated (and yes Dematteis, that makes perfect sense too). The real question is what the hell was Luke Cage thinking going public.

      Or you could look to real the real world. Just watch Fox News or MSNBC, public figures are getting thrashed all the time, and people wrongly accused have their lives ruined long after they are proven innocent. Both the left and right wings have people who did bad and deserve to be punished in the public square. There are also politicians on both sides who do good work, and are dragged through the mud and have personal parts of their life criticized for no reason.

      Can you imagine what Bill Maher or O'Reilly would say if an abandoned building were destroyed when Daredevil SAVED a cop or innocent person?

      Do you not think most politicians or celebrities would e able to do there thing, and have a secret and more normal life if they could?

      I think the dissolve of secret identites is Bendis' doing. He did it with Daredevil, it sold well, and Marvel followed suit and copied the idea. But, we saw how his life fell apart.

      Now think about the characters:

      -Spider-Man: well, we went over that.
      -Captain America: His humility and desire for a life aside from duty would make him want that secret identity
      -Iron Man: remember, it was originally tied to a heart condition, he probably wouldn't want that getting out. Also as a public figure he would be aware of the scrutiny. We saw what happened in the movie when he's public... his house blows up (IM3), you don't think he reconsidered that pres confrence from 1 at that moment? Not to mention, he's based off of Howard Hughes, any weird choice males sense at that apoint.
      Daredevil: He needed an escape from matt MUrdock, the man people underestimate and pity.

      One could argue Peter Parker would never have become a hero without the secret identity. Isn't that anonymity what frees him up to be Spider-Man? What causes his fears and inhibitions to be gone.

      Superman created the MODERN idea of f secret identities... well okay that was the Shadow, but Clark cemented it. Unlike the Scarlet Pimpernel, or Zorro, it wasn't to hide from authorities, it was to live as a normal man. The biggest influence on Superman was probably Doc Savage, who had a public ID, there is a reason Siegel didn't go with that.

      Point is, I'm probably younger than you, and I like Secret Identities too.

      Jack

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    29. Also...

      Everyone has talked about white washing the Ancient One, and a few the gender swap. I won't get into that or my views on the topic. I will ask, why does no one care about the youth washing?

      A character called the Ancient one does not look particularly ancient. Middle aged Ben Grimm and Reed Richards, and firmly adult (albeit younger) Sue are barely out of their teens. Green Arrow no longer the (far more interesting) middle-aged ex-hippie.

      How come no one speaks up for that?

      Jack

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    30. Also, young hot Aunt May. That was just weird. Aunt May always reminded my of my grandma, with the Jewish guilt, and "you need to eat" and "such a sensitive boy." I seriously think that may have caused some deep rooted problems.

      Let the old people have work!

      Jack

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    31. I agree, Jack. One of the things that makes Robert Downey's Iron Man such a compelling screen character is that he's a middle-aged man. He's lived and struggled and suffered. He's earned it.

      When I was a kid, I always thought of Superman and Batman as the same age as my parents. Real grown ups.

      As for the Ancient One: I think Tilda Swinton is fantastic, and I'm sure that, in context, she'll do a great job; but I would have preferred an Asian actor...and one of a certain age.

      I've heard people say that the Ancient One, as written, is a stereotype. I can absolutely see that in the original presentation of Wong, but not the AO. He's a spiritual master from the East (a real thing, not a stereotype—just ask Yogananda, Ramakrishna, Avatar Meher Baba, etc.). An embodiment of wisdom and compassion. A pretty empowering image, if you ask me.

      As for Aunt May: I thought the portrayal of May in the Raimi movies was letter perfect. It's like the May I knew came alive on screen. Young May just doesn't click for me. Doesn't mean that it won't work within the context of the new movie—given Marvel's track record, I'm pretty sure it will—just that I prefer Classic Aunt May.

      And, yeah, let the old people have work!

      Delete
    32. What were hey thinking having Marisa Tomei as Aunt May? Marisa Tomei is always hot. I thought that was weird. I heard from somewhere that Tilda Swinton in AN Ancient One not THE Ancient One. Apparently they are retrofitting the name to be a title given not to refer to an old, Asian man.

      Delete
    33. I'm (reasonably) sure that, in both cases, the changes will work in context (I have faith in Marvel Films), but it wouldn't be a comic book movie if we purists didn't have things that confused, bewildered and upset us!

      Delete
    34. Right? How dare they get things wrong! Luckily, my favorite character, Captain America, has done little if anything to upset me in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now if DC would get off their butt and give me my Beetle/Booster movie with screenplay by JMD then the world would be a magnificent place.

      Delete
    35. Well, there IS a Booster Gold movie in the works, written by a very talented writer named Zack Stentz. Zack worked on X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (my favorite X-Men movie), the first Thor movie and wrote the recent. Kevin Smith-directed episode of THE FLASH. So I think Booster's in good hands. (Will Beetle be in it? I have no idea!)

      Delete
    36. I liked FIRST CLASS and THOR. The episode Kevin Smith did of THE FLASH was probably the best one ever done. Apparently, that led to Smith getting a Buckaroo Banzai series in the near future. I love that movie so not sure how I feel about a series.

      Delete
    37. It's been years since I saw BANZAI, but, if memory serves, it could work as the premise for an ongoing series. Time will tell!

      Delete
    38. There was a Buckaroo Banzai comic from Moonstone at one point.

      Jack

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    39. You known the Marvel Cinematic U isn't quite so spotless. There biggest strength is tht it is able to notice and learn from mistakes, and yes that is a very big pro, but it means problems occur they have 13 films so lets take a look in non-chronological order...

      1. Iron Man - A great movie, with strong characterization. But a weak final third,
      2. Iron Man 2- I was actually okay with it, but most weren't.
      3. Iron Man 3 - Same as before, leading to the statement that they're all guys in suits with guys in suits behind it all. I thought it was okay, not great, but enjoyable. I may not have been as okay if I paid for it.
      4. Thor - I didn't like it, and most people at least see it as weaker than the others, many don't like at all.
      5. Thor 2 - Never saw it, have only heard bad things, so while that may not mean it is true, it does mean something in terms of a studio going forward.
      6. Guardians of the Galaxy - I liked it, not as much as most people, bit it was good. Clearly a success in the big picture.
      7. Captain America - really good, but many people who don't read comics see it as so-so I've found.
      8. Winter Soldier. Godd by most accounts to most people
      9. Captain America 3 - People are saying the best Marvel movie, I avoid that word when ever possible myself, but very well done.
      10. Avengers- I enjoyed it the first time, but not very much after that.
      11. Avengers 2. Didn't like it. The high-fivey nature bugged me, and I find most people agree. it did under perform, as odd as that is to say given the money made.
      12. Ant-Man- I find most people's views to be mixed about it. Personally, I liked a lot of it, the parts where they tried to be a Guardians styled movie fell flat for me, and seemed forced. I think this may be the reason for the mixed views.
      13. Incredible Hulk - I don't even remember if i saw this, and people say that is a good thing.

      Point is, if you want to be optimistic that's great. There have been a fair share of faltering though.

      I'm, just a tad annoyed by a rise of Marvel apologists (not that I am accusing anyone), who for what ever personal reason just want Marvel movies to succeed. But, I don't want Marvel to succeed or fail at the box office, I just want to get my money's worth.

      Now, anyone have more thoughts on secret Identities. I find the concept fascinating.

      Jack

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    40. Great analysis, Jack. I agree that Bendis had the greatest influence ushering in the post secret identity landscape. He not only exposed Daredevil as Matt Murdock, but he also had Nick Fury knowing Peter's secret early on in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. So when you combine the quality of his work with evolving tech trends, it was the perfect storm and the rest is history.

      I tend to prefer Peter Parker in his mid to late twenties, slightly more experienced but still young enough to make stupid mistakes from time to time.

      The Raimi films really hit that sweet spot, folding the best elements from the Lee/Ditko run into a Lee/Romita setting, and giving the Peter/MJ relationship more of an 80s-90s vibe.

      As far as Peter's age in the new films go, I think starting him out as younger teen makes perfect sense. We haven't had an opportunity yet to see Peter grow from high school into adulthood in something more akin to 'real time,' and if done well, that should be fun to see. Weisman's THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN cartoon attempted to do that, but was sadly cancelled too soon.

      I thought May was pitch perfect in the Raimi films, the perfect mix of doting, sweet and strong. Her heart to heart with Peter in SM2 is one of the best and most emotional superhero film moments ever.

      But hey, we're talking SM2, which is probably my favorite superhero film ever!!!

      The Kevin Smith ep of THE FLASH, titled "The Runaway Dinosaur," was indeed awesome. I'm glad to hear Smith will be back for S3. I don't recall BUCKAROO BANZAI beyond the name. It sounds like something in the vein of Buck Rogers?

      I don't have strong feelings about changes to the Dr. Strange mythos, because I was never an avid reader. Just enjoyed the occasional moments where he'd pop up in other titles. In spite of thinking he's a cool character, I'm not sure I've ever picked up a DR. STRANGE book!

      The transition from THE Ancient One to AN Ancient One strikes me as being similar to "Thor" now being a title instead of a name. Another trend developing? Only time will tell.

      In my admittedly limited understanding of Dr. Strange lore, it was considered important that the Ancient One was irreplaceable, and Dr. Strange was forever dealing with the chaos of his absence. But I could be totally off about that! Either way, I'm sure they'll tweak things to fit the narrative they're crafting, and if history is any indication, it will be good. I have a lot of faith in Marvel Studios!

      Best,

      David

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    41. Glad you mentioned the SPEC SPIDEY cartoon, David. It's one of the best TV/movie) interpretations of Spider-Man ever. Fantastic job by Greg Weisman and company. That's a show I really wanted to write for, but never got a chance.

      Delete
    42. Thanks for the kind words about my view on secret identities. While I didn't like the story very much, I do appreciate the point of their importance made by Identity Crisis over at DC. That they important, and that you have to work on them.

      Which reminds me, I wonder if the abandoning of secret identities was an attempt to distance themselves from DC.

      I do think that Captain America was a knee-jerk reaction to 9-11.

      As for the Ancient One- I don't know hat has been said about the movies, but in the comics the Ancient One is very much one person. The title of Sorcerer Supreme is passed on, but there is only one per dimension.

      And the idea of Dr. Strange cleaning up chaos once the Ancient One is gone is not quite right either. For the first 10 years of his publishing history Dr. Strange had the Ancient One as a supporting character, and still very much his teacher. In fact, one could argue that the Ancient One didn't really go anywhere since he became one with/ an agent of Eternity.

      And once again, I hate myself for knowing this stuff.

      Jack

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    43. If everyone who had pop culture clutter in their heads hated themselves, Jack...well, there wouldn't be many people left to like themselves!

      Delete
    44. To be fair, I don't think anyone who read Englehart's Doc Strange run can ever really forget the scene where The Ancient One forms out of rock to tell his pupil he has ascended and is proud of him and that he feels that plane of reality is in good hands (paraphrasing of course)

      Great scene.

      Jack

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    45. If I'm not mistaken, and I might be, the AO also appeared as a tree. And, yes, classic scene, classic run.

      Delete
    46. It very well may have been a tree, the panel I can see in my mind's eye is a more close up look at the two of them. The Ancient One has detail that could be the bark of a tree, or roughness of a stone. I would go look it up, but I'm not sure where that box is in the grand scheme of my boxes, so...no.

      Now if I may broach another topic...


      Jack

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    47. JMD,

      I would have loved it if you could have penned an episode of SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN! My understanding is that Weisman wanted to progress Peter from high school all the way to his post-college days, using straight-to-DVD for the darker stuff like "The Night Gwen Stacy Died!" It seems unlikely they'll be any more SSM, but these days, who knows? I wouldn't have predicted Spidey would ever make his way to the Marvel Studios films!

      And it sounds like I need to read through DR. STRANGE on Marvel Unlimited. They've been adding a lot of Dr. Strange content lately.

      Jack,

      As far as Marvel Studios goes, they have yet to make a 'bad' film in my opinion. Some of them aren't as good as the others, but none of them are unwatchable.

      INCREDIBLE HULK was a lot of fun if you're into the classic Banner running from Ross and "Hulk just wants to be left alone" mold. Nothing mind-blowing, but a good "misunderstood monster vs. the real monster" flick.

      I actually think IRON MAN 3 is the best of those films, but hey, it's Shane Black! So no surprise there. Even the credits are a lot of fun, done in 80s action show style.

      I LOVED ANT-MAN!!!! It was just a blast from start to finish.

      Enjoyed THOR 2, but it was just a case of a decent popcorn flick getting lost among better ones.

      I've never read DC's IDENTITY CRISIS, but I've got to say, I like what I'm hearing about their upcoming REBIRTH. Sounds as though they're making an attempt to bring back legacy characters, which is something I always felt distinguished them from Marvel, where the individual is more important than the mantle.

      I like both approaches, but generally prefer when the companies stick with the approach that works best for them. The New 52's push for young, unmarried heroes felt like a very Marvel-ized approach. On the flip side, there are a lot of Spider-people hanging around in the Marvel universe these days!

      Best,

      David

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    48. So many great DOC STRANGE runs for you to explore: the original Lee-Dittos, Roy Thomas and Gene Colan in the 60's, Englehart with Brunner and Colan, Roger Stern's amazing run. And (he said humbly) I'd also recommend the graphic novel I did with Dan Green: DOCTOR STRANGE: INTO SHAMBALLA. I think it's one of the best things I've ever done for Marvel. And Dan's art alone is worth the price of admission. Now go for a deep dive!

      Delete
    49. I've got my scuba gear ready! :)

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    50. fervently disagree about Marvel Studios. I still want my money back for Thor and Avengers 2, an I didn't even pay for either. The latter had some nice moments, but for the most part I'm really, really not a fan.

      I mostly liked Ant-Man, but found his heist pals to often times come of and unnatural and forced, and in one case annoying.

      From a technical stand point Iron Man is not a very good movie, due to its weak third act. Now, I don't think that matters too much, buit I know too many people in the film industry o not say that. They can be really annoying.

      And there is nothing wrong with a company making mistakes, and it is unrealistic to assume that they wouldn't. Flaws happen, mistakes happen, failures happen, and are necessary for growth, and not everyone has the same definition of what they are, but when you cast a wide net they will happen.


      As for Doc Strange, the Englehart stuff is really goes, but also really weird (Jim Starlin's one story too), so if your not used to such things, it can be an odd place to start. Those guys really loved LSD.

      Roger Stern is probably the best middle ground, and as a bonus tend to be cheaper. Also, Roy Thomas work on the late 80s-90s series is pretty good. Also, Dr. Strange: The Oath by Brian K. Vaughn is usually a good introductory mini series.

      Of course, you could just start with reprints of the 60s. I mean that works too.

      Jack

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    51. For the record, I thought both THOR movies were fun, as was ANT MAN. The first IRON MAN movie was the first time I liked the movie more than the comic book. Quite a feat!

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    52. I'm not sure how difficult it is to get a hippie to like a weapons manufacturing billionaire who disavows the practice more than one who it took 2 decades to do the same.

      As I said, I like Ant-Man just fine, except for that one thing. Very good movie.. plus, Judy Greer.

      As bad as I found Thor, doesn't it bother anyone that Thor WAS Iron Man? It was the exact same plot. Powerful man, has a humbling moment where he learns responsibility, a trusted friend with deep ties betrays and manipulates him without him knowing... weak third act.

      People are free to like what ever they want, I just think that if you can look at 13 anything like this, and you can't see any major flaws or clunkers... well, it's statistically highly improbable. And based off the people I know who d it, usually some self-inflicted blindness. It's wanting them to be perfect.


      That's just my experience though. Certainly not calling it a hard and fast rule.

      Jack

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    53. I have never watched ANT-MAN. The new Cap movie made me want to. I might, not sure. My problem with the THOR films is that it seems like it is so tiny. Asgard should be this huge, sweeping place. When THOR is on Earth he is so limited in his locale that it makes Earth seem tiny. There are things I like about both THOR movies (Tom Hiddleston), but over all I was never a THOR fan to begin with. The Cap movies are, in my opinion, all great. I have seen the first IRON MAN movie and about half of the second one. Never bothered with the third one as I felt The Mandarin was horribly miscast and didn't want to see it. I liked both of the HULK movies. GUARDIANS was great. AVENGERS were both great. I remember the older films that were done with Marvel that were just awful.

      Delete
    54. Funny thing is the famous unreleased FANTASTIC FOUR movie would have been a pretty faithful adaptation if they'd had a budge to make a real movie. You can find it at most conventions and it's worth watching as a Marvel curio.

      Delete
    55. That should be "budget" not "budge"!

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    56. What I really liked about the cheap 90s F.F. film, was that they kept the age between Sue and Reed the same... more or less. I really think that explains a lot between the twos relationship.

      Both Fantastic Four franchise attempts use the word "grounded" in the attempt to describe them. I don't know how you can expect much from people who fundamentally don't get the source material. The FF need to be bigger than life, not body horror.

      For all the flaws in Corman's work, it understood the source. Not to mention Thing and Dr. Doom actually looked like Thing and Doom. The chemistry even felt like the FF's chemistry, if I remember correctly.

      I am in full agreement on the Cap movies. On one hand, I may be biased since he is one of my favorite characters, but on the other hand I would also have higher expectations. I just remember thinking how weird it was before seeing the first film that it was marketed as an Avengers prelude, and sort of angry afterwards. Why was that the one they had the least confidence in? It was the best pre- Avengers film.

      I still don't like the Avengers films, with a few exceptions. In parts boarding on loathing. But that's just me... well, me and at least any Strucker fans. People always say Marvel films trouble with villains, but I think the last two Cap movies did it really well.

      Like I said, you are free to like anything you want. As for Ant-man... it's pretty good, but I don't think it would be anywhere near as good if they had cast anyone else, Paul Rudd makes the film.

      The real question Dematteis, is when you do get around to seeing Civil War, who will you back? You love the Iron Man performance, but you have said you were a bigger Cap fan in the comics... especially after you wrote him. who do you back?

      speaking of Cap, I actually thought about his lack of personal life recently, and I think I realize why that is, and why he had a rise of one in the first place. it is very simple actually...

      Jack

      PS. I hope you can enjoy this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHyFpvALpRg if not, whatever.





      Delete
    57. Thanks for the link, Jack.

      Haven't seen CIVIL WAR yet, so no answer there.

      I think another very faithful FF adaptation (given limitations of time, budge and context) was the 1967 cartoon's version of the first Galactus/Silver Surfer story. It's got its wince-worthy moments. but, in many ways, it's pure Lee & Kirby.

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    58. Here is the Fantastic Four with Bill Murray of the Human Torch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKUp3lP2jSc .

      What I remember the biggest problem with the 67 cartoon was, (and it has been a quite while since I've see it, so grain of salt) was the voice acting seemed too... well cartoonish. Seems odd to say, but I stand by it.

      As for Cap...

      Jack

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    59. They were, very much of their time, but also very much in tune with who the characters were. Not much nuance, but, as I recall, the voices mirrored the essence of the characters, especially Ben.

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    60. I can't bad mouth the show. Reruns were some of my earliest introductions to those Lee--Kirby stories.


      As for the rise and fall of Cap's personal life, it all makes perfect sense. It all starts with something Stan Lee came with that was (probably unintentionally) genius. He had cap be sympathetic to to protestors, to at least some degree. People have said he fought flag-burners. Not true. twice under Stan's pen he refused too break up a protest, and only did so when it was taken over be a a man who only wanted to do harm.

      The genius part was that he did this while still supporting the A system. And that is where the genius comes in, Cap could walk both lines, he was probably only 25 when he was frozen, but came from that older generation.

      Stan gave him a personal life of sorts, it was just usually wrapped up with work. He still had thoughts, hopes, fears, and a love life, he just had superheroing as a job.

      Englehart sort of continues that idea, but its the post-Kirby comics that really highlight a personal life fo Cap, and he has a day hob, Why?

      Well, that goes back to Stan's brilliance. I once read that Spider-man was the most famous Marvel character in the 60s followed by the Fantastic Four, Hulk, and Captain America.

      It is no secret that the incoming of the writers of the 70s were former hippies and protestors, or at least sympathetic. The whole group had a complex at best relationship with the establishment. But they liked Cap, even Steve Gerber who was the most anti-establishment of them all liked Cap. So if you like Cap, but don't like the system, what do you do? You make him a superhero on retainer to the US government or SHIELD. He's there when he needs to be, but he's his own man. He no longer represents the natin's American Dream, but an individual perception of it. After all cap is a hero, and who was less heroic to the counter-culture than the CIA.. which was essentially SHIELD.

      Even when Guenwald took over and the mask was the bigger part of his life he still had doubts and concerns, and relationships with people that went beyond comrads in a fight. Same with Waid. Waid even gave Cap a friendship with his neighbors, and either he or Jurgens introduced a love interest that was in no way associated with superheroics...except for a distrust for Captain America.

      Unfortunately baby-boomers did something decades before, got rid of the draft, which forever changed the relationship between the people, the military, and the US government.

      Cap had an issue the whole country did... 9?11 happened. Now, for the first time in a generation the military is a major conversation in everyday life. The problem is that the average American is no very separated from the military, viewing it more as an idea than what it is, a collection of individuals doing a job.

      At this time, Captain America seems to lose any life that isn't the fight. This is also the time people start saying that if you don't support the war, you hate the troops and that if you really cared about the troops you wouldn't send them off. The reality of tehm as individuals is lost.

      Flash forward to to a post-Brubaker Captain America (which is an amazing run if yuo get a chance to read it). Brubaker's father was in the military, he even bought his first Captain America comics at a PX. So even though it all seemed to be about the mission, he still had depth of a man. He was a character first.

      After Bru though, he strated not even seeimg human,, being a perfect human being in some respects, with tunnel vision, not even wanting to do anything not associated with fighting evil. Then the mantle of Captain America is little more than a lecture about what the writer thinks America should be.

      It has to do with the nature of perception of the government, and the military and how connected it is to our day to day lives.

      Also, could you do me a personal favor and pass word] along to Marvel that Ap looks weird without his wings on his mask? It really looks off.

      Jack

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    61. Fascinating thoughts, Jack. Enough there for you to write a book about Cap!

      As for the wings: I didn't even know they were gone!

      Delete
    62. With one of the movies they decided to give him a helmet like in the films, with the wings painted on, and I think painted onto a mask.

      This is what it looks like now... http://i.annihil.us/u/prod/marvel/i/mg/d/c0/569e646046152.jpg

      just really weird and generic. Chasing the film look is annoying, this is just off to me. I'm not alone right? It looks weird, almost like he's from some creator owned knock off series.

      I realized though, no character in the marvel cinematic universe can have the costume under there clothes. The two option, Cap and Daredevil both wear helmets. They would hae to go back home.

      I suppose the helmets are more realistic, but they don't look as good, and I'm not sure I'm looking for that level realism in a story about a blind lawyer with a radar sense fighting crime and a guy who was injected with a super soldier serum.

      Also, most important part of Captain America and the Winter Soldier... Cap didn't kill anyone (I won't say one way or the other if he did in 3). They kept that part of him intact,, which is refreshing since for some stupid reason most superhero films don't have that. Steve is like Batman or Superman, or Spider-Man,(and most superheroes,, but them especially) Once in extreme circumstances it can work, but as a rule, no killing. I just really like that was kept intact.


      Jack

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    63. I think a problem with that post 9/11 idea is that it comes close to becoming an archetype, even if it is an archetype of what each reader thinks the government, or military, or American dream is. It is actually something that has happened at DC with its characters from time to time, I know Grant Morrison was a fan of the idea.

      I think that is a really problematic idea for a serialized medium. It can grow old fast, just look at Superman... real or not , people STILL view him as a dull, personality devoid, god. They also largely reject him for that.

      I don't care about Captain America, Spider-man, Daredevil, Thing, or Hulk. I care about Steve Rogers, Peter Parker, Matt Murdock, Ben Grimm, and Bruce Banner. Okay, that last one becomes complicated.

      Aside from that problem, it leads to an identity crisis for Marvel. When compared to DC Marvel was usually little darker, more populated with loners, less trusting of its heroes, and more about the person behind the mask. If it looses that, what's left. Everyone is an Avenger, Marvel is becoming increasingly quirky or cutesy, and even the Silver Surfer is beloved by the whole world.


      On another note, the New Captain America, which presumably Marvel hopes will bring new readers or at least pull some old ones back in, is going to be $4.99. This is the same week that DC is putting out an 80-page comic to try and save their company for $2.99. Hard to see why the big two are losing old readers and not gaining new.

      If this continues, It will be interested to see which wins out with people, love of classic characters or a sluggish economy. Take your bets people.


      Jack

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    64. The costume under the clothes thing requires a massive suspension of disbelief under any circumstances. It's one of those things you just have to accept as an essential of the genre. If you question it, it's totally ridiculous. And even moreso when you've got characters that wear capes!

      Delete
    65. They're really charging 5 bucks for the new Cap book? I was so happy to have Steve Rogers back even though I hate the new shield. I will have really. I may have to think about whether I want to get on board with the new book. You'd think that with all the money Marvel makes off their movies they could afford lower prices on their books. UNLESS, they realize that they aren't making huge stacks of cash from the books and they are trying to price people out of buying their books so they can close that branch of the Disney Empire because it failed to make any revenue?????

      Delete
    66. Five dollars seems steep for any comic book, unless the first issue has extra pages.

      That said, I seriously doubt that Disney wants to shut the comics down. And if they did, they'd just do it. They wouldn't need to raise prices as an excuse. Marvel Comics is an important part of the Disney Empire now and I suspect that they'll be around for a long, long time. Folks have been saying The End Is Near for comics for as long as I've been in the business. And that's a long time! : )

      Delete
    67. Yeah, I doubt it too. Probably just my old man reflex of remembering 12 cent comic books.

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    68. I can top that: I remember when they were a dime! They went to twelve cents when I was six or seven.

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    69. My childhood was always, how many comics can I get for a buck? When they reached 30 cents and that brought it down to three per dollar I was a little disappointed. Never stopped me from buying them. I think they were more fun back then.
      PS saw the solicits for the new Augusta Wind comic. Can not wait.

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    70. I remember when my best friend was going into the hospital for a very minor surgery and his mom gave him a dollar TO BUY TEN COMICS BOOKS WITH. I was so jealous!

      I'm very excited about the new AUGUSTA series. This one takes the story to some very interesting places. Hope you enjoy it.

      Delete
    71. That's a great analysis of post 9-11 politics at work in Captain America's identity crisis, Jack. It might take me a while to really dive into a response.

      I think Stan Lee always struggled with Cap's status quo. There are several times where it seems like he was on the verge of blowing things up, only to revert back to Steve not really knowing who he was in the post WWII era.

      You've got things like Captain America actively courting Nick Fury to join SHIELD, and then declining the offer.

      But I'm especially thinking of the Lee/Steranko three-parter, where Steve Rogers' secret identity is publicly exposed and then 'revealed' to be a false face. So it looks like a total reset, but nothing comes of it beyond Steve checking into a hotel under the diabolically clever alias "Roger Stevens."

      It's also kind of funny that so little has ever been done with Steve's living relatives, assuming he had any. But he was only twenty years removed from his suspended animation when AVENGERS #4 was published, so you'd think he'd have an uncle or a cousin or somebody he'd want to revisit, and not just the sister-later-niece of an old flame.

      If memory serves, Steve Gerber briefly touched on past memories of his family, and this is where it was first established/implied he was from Brooklyn. But some or all of the memories were manufactured. Cap was Larry Hama's Wolverine before it was cool!

      My memory is a bit hazy on this one, JMD, but you touched on Steve's family when he'd been poisoned by Viper, didn't you? I recall a family dinner table scene. (On another note, being from Brooklyn yourself, how much do you love the way the MCU films make is such a point of pride for Steve.)

      I also know we had Arnie Roth, who I guess now would have to be the kid of Steve's old friend. Will probably never be addressed since Arnie passed away, but you can never say never in comics.

      It seems like the place where Steve really finds himself is his protégées. I don't know if anyone other than Batman has been more active in mentoring the next generation of heroes, but there's a different feel to it. There are so many people who are willing to follow Steve to hell and back even when he doesn't ask them to.

      I've been reading some of the early Dr. Strange comics. In the first few issues, before his origin story, he's drawn in such a way that he could have been Asian, or at least that's how it seems to me. Is there any kind of story behind that?

      As far as the whitewashing controversy goes, it probably has more to do with the Ancient One being from Tibet and China being a huge part of international box office.

      Anyway, I'm enjoying the early Dr. Strange stories!

      Best,

      David

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    72. I was looking through those original Doc stories recently, David, and noticed that Asian look, as well. Seemed like a very conscious decision on Ditko's part but it was soon reversed. If there's a story behind it, I don't know.

      I think you're right about the China aspect of the Ancient One casting change. I read an interview with one of the screenwriters and he mentioned that very thing.

      You're right, too, about Arnie Roth. If he appeared now he'd have to be the son, or maybe grandson, of Steve's childhood friend. Of course Bucky, in the Cap movies, owes a hug part of his backstory to Arnie. Their childhood relationship is exactly what I laid out for Arnie and Steve back in the day.

      And, yes, I did some flashbacks to Steve's childhood during the Viper story. And maybe in some other stories, as well...? (Can't say for sure 'cause I don't remember!)

      Delete
    73. OH, and Jack? Yeah, no wings on his head looks really weird.

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    74. You know, I think I'd made the Arnie Roth connection back when the first Cap film came out, but had totally forgotten about it until now. That's a really cool contribution to the MCU, JMD!

      As for Steve's parents, well, now I guess I've got an excuse to re-read some Cap classics! (Not that I needed it, but still...)

      David

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    75. The real question is how many pages does it take to justify the price? This is the same week that Dc is putting out an 80 page giant for $2.99.

      The fact is that Marvel (and to a lesser extent DC), are overcharging. Once accounted for inflation form 1969 comics should cost $1.00, and from 1989 (after all the creator backing ideas were implemented causing a price increase) it should be $2.00.

      It is idiocy, greed, or a genuine desire to drive away fans that is causing this. Image and Dark Horse have comparable prices (or sometimes lower) and they have far more overhead... hence why they were historically more expensive.

      Not to mention it depends on what is on those extra pages. Dr. Strange charges an extra dollar for an issue a month back, and it wa just 6 pages of quirky references to other works of fiction. Ragnarok (which is IDW and has card stock cover) went up a dollar for an issue, and that issue had fewer pagers of story, but about 12 pages of Walt Simoson's sketches of what pages looked like in various stages of development. I was not particularly fond of Walt Simonsonr IDW that day.

      It is absolutely ridiculous, they don't even consider 25 or 50 cent increments anymore. I really considered reading Moon Knight #1, but the extra dollar (even with the extra pages) drove me off. Conversely, I have almost no faith in DC's main books after the New 52, but I'm going to give a lot of them a chance... a chance I absolutely wouldn't give for a book that cost a dollar more

      It is especially important to make an introductory issue affordable.

      When you have a sluggish economy, and the largest job growth is in the service industry (which means more people making minimum wage than have in a long while) raising prices like that is tantamount to writing a suicide note. Especially when your fans are already unhappy with what you are doing.

      I have no idea what is causing this, frankly, moronic, set of ideas and why so little is done to change the tide. One thing I do know, is that if it keeps up then Marvel will be in a similar place as DC was.

      Jack

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    76. I totally get your point, Jack, but I realize reading this (and it's certainly no fault of yours! What you say is well-thought out and well said) that these kinds of discussions don't belong here at Creation Point. It's crystalized for me recently how important it is to keep things positive here. As I said to someone else recently, I don't want to single out other creators for criticism and, in the same way, I don't want to spend time dissecting what's wrong with Marvel and DC. Those discussions certainly have their place, but not here

      Again, this has nothing to do with you personally. I trust you know that I totally respect your ideas, opinions and insights, but I want to dial back on this stuff a little. Hope you understand. And I hope what I just said makes sense!

      Delete
    77. Fair enough. And agree or disagree (and in the end it really doesn't matter which side you are on), you still have to work with both.

      So... star commenting on Captain America's relationship to the to the general populace view on the military and the relationship. Especially in relationship to you generation cultivating much of the modern Cap comics ideas.

      Quickly, Dematteis, quickly.. the momentum can't be lost. Also... your probably the only person here who can comment on the writing nature of Captain America on a professional level, and certainly in that whole generational era.

      Do it for the pacifist not-devil-slayer (yes I remember him), Hurry! Hurry...

      Jack

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    78. It's interesting, Jack: despite the nature of his origin, I never think of Cap in military/miltaristic terms. He's the embodiment of the American Dream, transcending politics, race, gender and, yes, generals. He's the guy with the best friends who are black (Sam) and gay (Arnie), the Jewish girlfriend. The guy who bowed to Black Crow to symbolically atone for the genocide of Native Americans.

      I think Cap respects the military—but, punching bad guys or not—this is a man of incredible compassion who saw, first hand, how evil war is. I'd say he has tremendous respect for, and would die to protect, the common solider—but has a health suspicion of The Military. Anyway, those are the first thoughts that come to mind.

      Delete
    79. Every once in a while someone will ask if maybe Cap should be bumped up a war or two. The answer isn't so much no, as you can't.

      First and foremost, it is the one war that everyone agrees was a good war to fight. As messy as things got, not even the most peace loving hippie would say that was not a fight America should have taken up. The isolationists have been long proven wrong.

      More importantly, the GI generation, or the greatest generation, or what ever you want to call them, is the American generation. The define America at our best. Not only did they weather the Depression and fight the forces of Racism, but when they got home, tat was the generation that pushed the Civil Rights Movement. It would not have happened unless a Hell of a lot of white people of that generation had looked at the situation and said... "that's really not okay."

      So what does that have to do with his relationship with the army? Well, an entire generation went to war. Think of how TV portrays the military now opposed to in hte past. Every member of the military is now perfect when on TV. With the GI generation in the writing chair, you had an eclectic group of realistic people. Everyone wa a soldier, there was no separation between the average person and the military. They all served... tehn left. They became our fathers and grandfathers.

      You didn't have something that made you separate from the gen pop, it made you the norm. This is
      why you and I don't necessarily see Cap as a part of the military in stories that take place after his big freeze.


      When involved with the government it is more often in a spy type capacity. Even Lee didn't want him in the army, and why not? He himself had been discharged from the army after the war.

      It just seems natural that the army would be like what it was for most of his generation, something from his past, something he is deeply proud of, but not something that he can't leave behind him. He always seemed like the guy fighting for that life after war time (another reason Avengers 2 bugged me). He just had skilled the world still needed, so why not compartmentalize? It seems almost mean for writes to keep him from that life he fought harder than any to have. Shouldn't Cap be able to fight the good fight AND have a chance at domestic bliss?

      As for Cap and your views on Cap and diversity, I like the fact that it never seemed forced. From His first appearance Falcon was made to seem capable in his own right, complex and not only having a good friendship with Cap, but also deserving of his respect. I'm pretty sure Arnie Roth was Jewish too... His name was Roth, which I've never known a gentile to have.

      As for the Jewish girlfriend... That's just called making the right decision. Isn't there something about the Super Soldier Serum helping him make better decisions?

      I don't want to get into a whole discussion about the very complex nature of the Indian Wars, and how it is far more murky than is ever discussed, I will just leave two thoughts on it 1. My maternal grandmother was born in 1917, so she was alive when the last treaty was signed in the ndian Wars, isn't that weird? 2. My associate James Spray is a member of the Chippewa tribe, a former associate Adam Haight was Mormon, since I'm part Jewish and WASP, we used to walk into a lot of bars just to ask, "what is this some kind of joke?"

      Finally, did you ever notice that in all media Germans are still portrayed very poorly, in fact with the notable exception of Nightcrawler, I bet you can't name one German comic character who isn't in someway connected to the Nazis. If you can, then subtract the two Gruenwald came up with and you won't have any. Yet the Japanese and Italians are not held to the same standard. or the Spanish for that matter who remained a Fascist state until the 70s.

      And finally, I bet you never thought you'd ever see or hear anyone reference you character Dave Cox, did you?

      Jack

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    80. I think the first Cap movie a.k.a. The Best Marvel movie ever! Gives us the best motivation for Cap when he's getting the offer to become Cap and asked if he wants to go and kill Nazis. He replies with I don't like bullies. Bullies come in all shapes, sizes and affiliations. That's what makes Cap who he is. It's also the reason I am never fond of a replacement Cap. They can never match that because he, as we all are, is unique individual. (Hmmm, that sentence feels awkward.)

      Delete
    81. I love the first Cap movie for a very simple reason: it was HUGELY entertaining, kind of like an old-fashioned Hollywood movie. Such a great spirit, such great fun, so wonderfully done. I went in expecting very little and came out with a big grin on my face.

      Delete
    82. My favorite thing they did in the first movie was take a character, Dr. Erksine, who before was nothing more than the genius who gave Cap the serum and turned him into an interesting character instead of a plot device. It made his passing have more impact on Steve Rogers. BATMAN BEGINS did the same thing with Thomas Wayne and it made that a better film as well. And it did feel like an old fashioned Hollywood movie, didn't it? Wish they made more of those.

      Delete
    83. I have a vague memory of a few stories where Professor Erskine was expanded upon, but not all that much. What I really like was that he was shown to be fond of Steve, wich is something I always thought the comics should do before the movie, and no I don't understand what the hold up is.

      Interesting side note, Prof. Erskine is Lutheran. You'll probably never need to know that, but you do. It is stated in Truth #5 or 6.

      I agree about the replacement Cap... to a point. Bucky Barnes, and Sam Wilson are fine characters in their own right, but they and certainly not John Walker can be Captain America. So where is the disagreement? I do think some great stories have come from replacements. Gruenwald did Knightfall almost a half decade before DC did.

      I have often thought the big problem with the Clone Sage (which I do have soft pot for) and the Daredevil Jack Batlin era (which I... see the potential)is that they tried to echo Death of Superman and Knightfall without realizing the point. DC had gotten so much criticism about their big names, they essentially gave people what they wanted. They also always intended to bring them back, they just wanted you to appreciate why they were how they were.

      If Marvel had always planned for it to go full circle an plotted out that way, neither story would be as panned as they are. Gruenwald DID always plan on Cap coming back, and that is the key to doing a story like that properly. Always remember these characters are more than cowls.

      To agree with you more though, while I did enjoy Brubaker's run very much, I was incredibly frustrated when they brought Cap back form the dead... but not to the mask. but before long, Cap was back.

      AS for my overall take o the first movie, I don't know why, but I expected it to be great. Which is weird since I'm not hug into comic adaptions to the big screen, as a whole. And, I really enjoyed it. That is weird too, given that Cap is one of my favorite characters, so you'd think I could find more things that bug me.

      Only two complaints I had were.. it was marketed as an Avengers prequel, which is a very minor issue since it wasn't written that way. Also, it was one movie. They started too late, you could have really done more with the WWII setting, and in the end wanting more is probably the best complaint you can get.

      DEMATEIS- I'm a little surprised there was no comment about the nature of Germans compared to other AXIS countries treatments, The fact someone remembered your one armed mustached, pacifist, not-Devil-Slayer, or my habit of walking into bars. That last one I really expected some comment on.

      Also Dematteis- One comic that really capture your view and mine on Captain America is Captain America volume 5, #10. It is a one-off almost Astro City like story of Captain America House of M cap.

      If you don't know. House of M is a story where Scarlet Witch reset the world where mutants ruled.

      In this comic/reality (and it has been a while since I read it so sorry if I misremember) Captain America makes it through WWII without being frozen. In fact, I believe Hitler didn't die, but was instead put on trial for his crimes. Cap gives up his identity when he refuses to testify against mutant allies Namor and Toro.

      He then becomes and astronaut, and lands on the moon first... in 1955. He speaks out against Magneto's fanaticism, and his views of pro-mutant equality ruin his marriage to Peggy Carter. He spend most of the (then present) in his apartment in Brooklyn.

      it is worth checking out.

      Jack




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    84. Okay, I'm going to have to dig out those Dave Cox issues of my CAP run and reread them.

      I think one of the reasons that the Germans didn't transition as smoothly as the Italians and the Japanese was because of the raw horror of the holocaust, which made even Pearl Harbor seem small by comparison. That said, I think the lingering anti-German sentiment came more from previous generations. I don't really think it's prevalent today. Germany is a very different country.

      Delete
    85. Well, along with Pearl Harbor was the Rape of Nanking, piking babies (both of which were cheered on by crowds in movie theaters in japan), experimentation on Chinese civilians which in some ways contemporaries on Mengele, the taking of comfort women (sex slave of conquered areas), collecting enough Bubonic Plague to kill every man, woman and child and Earth with the intent on dropping on the western united states, trying to prevent equal protection under the law for minorities and women form being equal under the law, Japanese civilians torturing American GIs, cannibalism (though that might have been the Italians), lining up there own kids with non-working guns and sticks to buy time in an invasion scenario (and most likely be mowed down by American troops who were to far back to tell the difference)and many, many Geneva Convention violations. That is only naming a few. That adds a bit to the roster

      All of that being said, yeah, of course the Holocaust is the origin of the non-stop vilification of the Germans. When you are responsible for the worst event in human history (and I say that even if I remove the bias of being part Jewish)its gonna be a long time until people are willing to forget. There is a reason why a movie was made about the Nuremberg trials an not the Tokyo trials.

      But that wasn't the point, the point is why decades later Germans and even German Americans are constantly portrayed as Nazi-like or at least villainous, but there is rarely any such portrayal for say.. the Japanese. No one completely forgets John Wayne Gacy because of Dahmer.

      Just look at comics, Roy Thomas has written many comics that take a historic look at WWII. He created multiple Supervillians, including a Nazi Atlantean and a Bundist, which by his own admittance in teh comics were teh minority of German Americans. IN reality they were some of the loudest decries against Hitler.

      Seriously, can you think of any German character who is not at least either hinted at being a Nazi or has a Fascistic way of doing thigs. Hell, one of the most popular TV shows of the past decade had an ongoing joke about a character family being a Nazi war criminals.


      continued...

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    86. Oddly, in the days immediately after WWII, writers were more likely to make strict distinctions between German military and Nazis, or portraying Germans as people who fled the Nazi take over.

      It wasn't really until the 70s when the troupe of Germans always being evil started to really take off.

      Just look at your own work. You brought Zemo back. In his first appearance I don't believe there were any hints of him being a Nazi, only a man seeking revenge. His scientific specialty was adhesives. Once you brought him back he committed genetic experimentation, one of them on a black man who he called vermin...exactly what the Nazi's called ethnic minorities. and you were from a generation rejecting tits parent's values, yet there was an assumption a German would have to be Nazi-ish.

      Don't get me wrong, I love the story, and wouldn't want it changed, I just think that is worth noting.

      Can you imagine the outcry if a Japanese character anywhere was portrayed that way even once?

      What makes it odder is that the German people have continually apologized for its actions under the Third Reich, japan does not even teach its kids about the war. the Nazis did their best to hide their actions, The Japanese reveled in it. There was a stark contrast between the Nazis and the German army.

      It is no surprise the Germans are always made to look bad, Jack Kirby out it best, there is no better villain than Hitler. We aren't done with him yet. The only real question is why other Axis powers aren't also treated with similar style in fiction.

      If it were really JUST about the Holocaust, where was the outrage about the Balkans, Rwanda, or Darfur? On March 17 of this year the US state department declared ISIS treatment of Christians in Iraq officially genocide. Where were the discussions of what that means to troop withdraw, at teh Presidential debates. If that were really the defining reason for teh view point, wouldn't there ne more outrage in the real world?

      However, if it makes you feel any better, and there is no reason why is should, neither country has really changed that much since the War.

      Germany has a lot of Neo-Nazi groups, less than Sweden I think, and if you go there you still get told that there are parts of the city not to go into if you are gay or Jewish, and Japan is still highly sexist, xenophobic, and treats its ethnic minorities (mostly Brazilian and Korean) horribly. In fact, a study was done of all industrialized nations and JApan and Germany were found to be the least tolerant of other cultures, races, ideologies, and religions. good news... US was most tolerant.

      Look the Nazis make great villains, a;ways have and always will. I'm not saying the Germans shouldn't still be pinned with this, otr that they should, or should;t take all or just mot of teh brunt. I simply think there must be a reason that they are not the most remembered, but the only.

      Feel free to ignore, but for a place that focuses on a writer of heroes and villains, I think it is an interesting question? I may be wrong though.


      Jack

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    87. I think it's what Kirby said: Nazis make great villains. Yes, there have been other atrocities, and the fact that they're not as widely touched upon speaks to cultural blindness on our part, BUT Hitler was literally the comic book madman who almost took over the whole world. That continues to resonate.

      I don't think, though, that people, in any way, equate contemporary Germany with Hitler's era. They're one of our greatest, most respected allies. As for your comments about current-day Germany,
      you can look at the U.S. and probably find more hate groups, and certainly more horrible hate-crimes, than in Germany. I was just watching a documentary that showed current-day Germany's near-obsession with not forgetting the sins of their past. How they teach about the holocaust, making sure that even the children are aware of the horrors that happened. It was both moving and impressive.

      All THAT said, I think, after all these years, we can let go of Nazi villains. It's a trope that has truly been beaten into the ground.

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    88. Maybe, as writers, we should create super villains that make Nazis look like Kindergarten teachers. Could be an interesting exercise.

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    89. I think that's where Darkseid came from.

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    90. There were Nazi Kindergarten teachers, they were called kindergarten teachers. You couldn't get a job in education without being a member of the party. Many people had this problem. Educators were often less resistant though.

      I'm not really sure what that meant, bringing up the kindergarten thing. It rads to me like I am being accused of sympathy towards Nazis. I'll geive the benefit of the doubt that isn't what was menat, but I can't see any other purpose in it.

      On teh off chance that is what you meant, I would like to say as a Jew, a German American, an English American, a Polish American, a Jew, a big fat dissident loudmouth, a decedent of Quakers, a Jew, and person wit a souls, and a Jew, I would find that incredibly offensive.

      But I'm assuming that isn't what you meant, so feel free to ignore.

      I have no problem with Nazis being portrayed as evil and vile... its part of why we have truth in advertising laws. We won't be done with them for a long, long, long while. I would recommend buying some Weird War Tales. They die in some really cool Tales from the Crypt like ways.

      I really shouldn't have to say the Holocaust was the worst event in history, but I feel like I do. It was the worst event in human history. Angie might lose some pride ion me not saying it was meeting her, but facts are facts, and genocide is genocide. She did ruin "riders on the Storm" for me though.

      There is a philosophy that says I don't have a right to exist... for several reasons. Its a little hard to not be disproving of a ideology that says my mother and grandmother have no right to exist.

      I had a simple inquiry as to why Germans are the ONLY ones painted with the WWII brush today. I'll put it in context, many works of fiction tie Italian Americans with the mob. It's the same with Germans and Nazis, with anyone with a German name often being an anti-Semite or some what fascistic. An assumption of a horse head in the bed really doesn't compare to mass murder.

      What's more I don't even has a problem with it. I probably should, but don't. Okay, maybe German Americans, if only because of how wildly inaccurate it is. I think its great. I saw this very trope last night on a relatively recent sitcom. Its great. You can't commit mass murder and not expect forgiveness after only a few decades.

      My question was not about why they were treated this way, but why they were the only ones. It isn't 95% to 5%. It is only the Germans. IN writing people are always looking for new material, and love writing about WWII. Why the lack of use of this huge resource?

      I think I got the answer. There is a mental block on society. For some reason. people can't except that people besides Hitler were doing awful things at the time. The Nazis take up th first 20 volumes of WWII atrocities, but there a at LEAST 5 more volumes to look at.

      As some one who writes for a living, I just need to understand things. Its what we do, so I have to ask why? Why is there some societal block on the horrors of the Japanese empire in the 30s and 40s? Just because they weren't the worst doesn't mean that their crimes shouldn't be recognized.

      I genuinely don't understand, and would like to.

      continued...

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    91. If it were the mere act of the Holocaust itself happening, well... Mengale's experiments are cited as some of the worst horrors. The Japanese did similar things. Some researchers, and more importantly people who were there, have said that some of japans actions at the time could be considered genocidal in nature, if not scale. Though many consider the scale justifiable for the definition as well.

      For that matter why the lack of discussion about if troop withdraw is a good idea from a country that has a DECLARED genocide, RIGHT NOW? Why are the Balkans not mentioned?

      Yes, The Holocaust was Horrifying, and should never be forgotten, and the scale is almost incomprehensible. The architects of it could never be forgiven... Werner van Braun... nor ever should we be tired of casting them as villains. It was teh worst event eevr, and certainly at the time. That doesn't mean that those who also committed horrifying crimes should be let off the hook, or there victims forgotten, just because some persecutes are underachieves in evil.

      I think the answer to all of it can be found with you Dematteis. you said, "even compared to Pearl Harbor." That was nothing in the grand scheme of that storm, so why was that what you considered to put in as EVEN. No judgement, just trying to find answers.

      About Darkseid- one minor influence was actually Billy Graham. Weird, right? And he was the total inspiration for Glorious Godfrey. What did Billy Graham ever do to anyone?

      Also... if Mr. Miracle;'s costume came from his Earth predecessor, why does it stick so close to his face, and works with his mouth? What textile secrets did this guy hold?

      At the comic shop today... maybe yesterday when you read this... I talked to a guy who only started reading comics a few years ago, and he also thinks Bernie should be Cap's girl. It is time to strike with that Cap and Bernie series Dematteis. She is America's sweetheart.

      Also, Highlander was on Tv. Really holds up. Just passing the word along.

      Jack

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    92. You bring up many great points re: cultural blindness, Jack, but, to be honest, it's not a discussion I want to indulge in. It's a very deep, nuanced and explosive subject. But you've provided much food for thought.

      I don't think I've ever actually seen HIGHLANDER.

      Billy Graham? Really?

      As for Mr. Miracle's costume, the answer is obvious: It's comics!

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    93. Nazis will always make for great villains. There's a reason why TEMPLE OF DOOM and KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL aren't as popular as RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and THE LAST CRUSADE.

      Been reading through more Dr. Strange and I finally got to Dormammu, the Mindless Ones and Clea's first appearance. Things really kick up a notch at that point.

      It's also fun to see how things develop. Like how "ectoplasmic" form eventually transitions to "astral." Or how Dr. Strange keeps invoking Dormammu's name like he's a benevolent force until their first actual meeting.

      Do you know if Marvel has any plans to reprint INTO SHAMBALLA? It's really hard to find a copy that doesn't cost in the $75 range.

      Also, have you ever read THE OATH? It's a more recent Dr. Strange story that focuses on his friendship with Wong. Great stuff.

      David

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    94. Always fun to see how things evolve. Like looking at the early episodes of a long-running TV series and seeing how much the characters, and the world, evolved.

      I'm hoping that Marvel will reprint SHAMBALLA—given the coming Doc Strange hype-storm, they should—but I have no official word.

      Nope. Never read THE OATH.

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    95. Never seen Highlander????? I would love a reprint of Shamballa. And, David, I thought every reference to Dormammu came with the word 'dread', maybe his name is a power word that helps with a spell in releasing necessary energies to complete it properly.

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    96. Actually, I think the "dread" thing is because Doc Strange misheard Dormammu's first name, which is Ned. Ned Dormammu.

      Thanks you and good night. : )

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    97. You know, Douglas, I can't say for sure, but I don't think every reference was to the "dread" Dormammu. My recollection could be faulty. I did read that Stan Lee created Dormammu because so many readers wrote in demanding to know who he actually was, when Lee just thought it sounded cool.

      It's funny how we remember these things, like the way "with great power must also come great responsibility" is shortened to "with great power comes great responsibility." Or that we always think of Uncle Ben as saying it, when originally it was Stan's narration. Similar to the way Kirk never actually said, "Beam me up, Scotty!"

      Goes along the lines of the famous film quote, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend!"

      --David

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    98. That little fact about Spider-Man's famous quote is also proof Spider-Man does NOT act out of guilt.

      Dr. Strange: The Oath, is good, but is sort of a more introductory story. Much of the stranger and cooler elements are pushed aside. Not surprising given that Quesada was EIC at the time and had a public dislike of the character.

      Dematteis, don't be ridiculous. It was Fred Dormammu. "Ned?" Let's at least try to be serious.

      No Highlander? That is something to be ashamed of. Every girl born after 1986 named Heather is because of that film. At least that's what I think.

      I'm not surprised though, why would a comic book write be interested in a story about an immortal that is trained in fighting by Sean Connery in sword fighting, and fights an evil immortal in the back alleys, parking garages, and abandoned buildings of 1980s New York. Those things don't line up at all.

      Jack

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  12. Well, with the new Dr. Strange movie out in November, the perfect JMD script would be The Defenders. Not the Netflix one.

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  13. All this Bernie talk has given me a huge wave of nostalgia. Too bad I'll be at Motor City Comic Con this weekend. I'll have to dig up my back issues.

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    1. The great thing about comics is that characters always come back, so maybe Bernie will have her chance.

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    2. Just remember parking is 10 bucks this year, and the nearby lots that used to be free are now $5. With a lot of comic guys cancelling, you might want to reconsider.

      Jack

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    3. Thanks for the heads up, Jack. My wife and I have actually been volunteers for the last ten years and we don't have to pay for parking. It was a good convention. Not great like previous years, but okay. I did get to meet Terry Jones, but that was a little sad. He acted like he wasn't sure where he was, but I did make him laugh and he smiled when I mentioned his book, Who Murdered Chaucer? And I got to walk Neal Adams to his panel. That man knows how to maneuver through a convention hall! Like a ninja. I had trouble keeping up. That was fun.

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    4. Personally, I didn't even think it was a good show. It had its good parts, but if I didn't have to be there for work I either wouldn't have gone or been livid I paid for it.

      Comic shows just aren't for comic fans I suppose.

      Did Neal Adams mention his weird connection with the Holocaust? Weird.

      I did talk to Adams' kid though. We talked about King of the Hill.

      Jack

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    5. Jack, if I knew you were there I would have stopped and said hello. Neal did not mention the Holocaust. He did appreciate some female cosplay however and looked like he was having a great time.

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    6. I was only there Friday.

      When Neal Adams was a kid his father was stationed in Germany during the clean up after WWII. The US military wanted to see how much the American public could stand to see of the Holocaust, so they showed it to the soldiers families. Adams, as a very small child, was one of them. He says he didn't speak to anyone, even his mother, or a week after.

      Jack

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  14. Thanks for this book. It's been a favourite as it's come out, and I'm incredibly sad to see it go. I'm looking forward to what you guys do with Scooby--a weird thing, as I was shaking my head prior to seeing the team attached. Now I'm rather excited!

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  15. I hope SCOOBY lives up to expectations, R.C. We're having a great time with the book. And thanks for the kind words about JL 3001. We are truly sorry to see that one go.

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