The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Postby Shane on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:06 am

Comics now have evolved to a point where they are better than ever. There are also alot of areas that they are worse than ever. Now the quality and style of writing and art has improved and expanded. They are more daring.

The book I first noticed a great change in was Starman. When all of D.C. went to shit (in my opinion) and marvel was just trying to dig themselves out, this book came out and blew my mind. It was not about a hero that was wearing the costume, and it avoided the cliche's of the day. Sandman Mystery Theatre was another. More books are doing things similar to what these books did.

Then I look around and see a world that is not asking Marvel or D.C.? Now people are asking Johns or Bendis?

I love books like Daredevil, where it doesn't have to feel the story is confined to a few pages, and it is willing to put costumes and action aside to tell an effective story. Then I've got Godland this amazing retro- flash back.

And just when I think comics couldn't get any better, they don't.

I was tired of zero hour and the onslaught of crossovers and events. In 2005 and 2006, It seems there are more of those than ever. Civil War, OMAC, 52, Crisis part 3 or whatever, House of M, Lunatic Scarlet witch, etc.....

Can't a story be self contained anymore?

How do you guys feel about comics today?

what do you like, and what do you not like.

Who did what well?

what do the big guys need to do to keep you?

are you buying more smaller press stuff like me?

What's good, bad, and ugly?
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Postby JackKnight on Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:39 pm

After the Spider clone saga I wasn't sure that comics would ever be the same for me. Add to that the ongoing crossovers in the mutant books where you had to buy six different titles for one story.

Then along came Starman in the zero hour reboot (I'm pretty sure that's when it came about. Dennis? Colin?) Somewhere inthat time frame I also started picking up Thunderbolts, which I found to be engaging. It slowly drew me back into comics. Then there were other quirky mainstream titles like Resurrection Man that were fun to read. So things started to pick back up and improve.

Then we come back full circle to the company wide crossovers and massive reboots. I thought IC was an okay comic.

<SPOILERS>
I hated the rape of Sue Dibney and I hated the reveal of who the killer was. I thought it was the lamest reveal possible.
<End SPOILERs>

Now we have infinite crisis, house of M, Decimation, Annihilation, Civil War, 52, One Year Later...

I've always felt that change for the sake of improvement or the evolution of the story is good. Change for the sake of change, or to force people to buy more titles in order to figure out what the hell all the changes are is bullshit.

So, to sum up:

The Good: strong storytelling, engaging stories. Starman, T-Bolts, Sandman Mystery Theatre.

The Bad: Scarlet Witch gone Wild, Hawkeye dead then alive, Green Arrow dead then alive (for that matter, when they killed Superman he should have stayed dead as well)

The Ugly: I can't think of any comic book ugliness that can beat the avalanche of shit that was the whole clone saga. The only decent moments out of that were the updated costume and some of the Crimson Spider's gadgets.
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Postby Shane on Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:06 pm

I just got the Thunderbolts stuff, and haven't had time to read it yet, but I|'ve heard good stuff about it. As for the Clone Saga, I quit spidey way before that happened. I agree about supes being dead. I would have loved to read a story after his death about Lois discovering she is pregnant with his son, and then wait about 16 years in a superman free world for Son of Superman to take his place. I wrote a script about that once.

Anyways

Books like Planetary,Tom Strong, and Astro City did wonders in restoring my faith in comics. I saw that we could put together something good and still have the old school thing going on at the same time. I think more creator control would help D.C. and Marvel alot. One of the ugliest things I find also is the need for more than one monthly for all these characters. Why does the fantastic four need five books a month? I love the ff, |I've been reading them longer than I can remember, and have a huge collection of their books. Bought it for twenty years. But recently I dropped it. Too many books, and none I thought were quality.

I'd rather pay five bucks for one good book than three bucks a piece for two bad books.

Another Book I found was really interesting was Hawkman. And just when I thought it would not do well Palmatti took over and started with a great story. It had romance, mystery, and good personal conflicts amongst the characters.
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Postby DennisMM on Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:54 pm

I like stories that tell themselves as they go, without a set number of issues. As things are, writers are forced into the three, four or six-issue story box because a TPB of six or eight issues is considered ideal. Talented writers do well within this stricture, but stories often are padded.

JackKnight wrote:Then along came Starman in the zero hour reboot (I'm pretty sure that's when it came about. Dennis? Colin?) Somewhere inthat time frame I also started picking up Thunderbolts, which I found to be engaging. It slowly Grande Rojo's favorite person me back into comics. Then there were other quirky mainstream titles like Resurrection Man that were fun to read. So things started to pick back up and improve.


Yes, the first issue of Starman was numbered 0.

For me, the greatest period in comic books came in the several years after Crisis, 1987-1992. While DC's rebooting of its history often was dull, George Perez's Wonder Woman was an altogether new look at the character. Andrew Helfer’s take on The Shadow was hilarious. DC’s Piranha Press imprint published Kyle Baker’s Why I Hate Saturn and Bill Loebs’s and Sam Keith’s Epicurus the Sage. At Marvel, Peter David took over The Incredible Hulk. The Epic imprint published Marshal Law, Video Jack , a number of Moebius reprints and Akira . First was not at its strongest but still had American Flagg! and was reprinting Lone Wolf and Cub for the first time in English. Eclipse put out Zot!, Strange Days, Miracleman and Scout. Fantagraphics had Love and Rockets, Eightball, Jim, and Hate.

In roughly six years, Frank Miller wrote and/or drew Dark Knight, Batman: Year One, Daredevil: Born Again, Daredevil: Love and War, Elektra: Assassin, Elektra Lives Again, Hard Boiled, Give Me Liberty and the early installments of Sin City: The Hard Goodbye in Dark Horse Presents

Around the same period, Alan Moore finished his run on Swamp Thing, said goodbye to Superman with Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, wrote Watchmen, completed V for Vendetta, wrapped up his run on Miracleman, started the serialization of From Hell in Taboo, and wrote A Small Killing and Batman: The Killing Joke.

Neil Gaiman came on the American comics scene and published Violent Cases, Black Orchid, The Sandman, The Books of Magic and Signal to Noise.

It was a hell of a time. Gerard Jones, in the second edition of The Comic Book Heroes, called 1987 “Our Favorite Year.â€
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Postby Adam Balm on Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:58 pm

God. No wonder 1992 was the year I first started reading comics. Really, REALLY good post there Dennis.
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Postby Shane on Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:11 pm

I'm reading the Miracleman stuff now. Finally
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Postby Shane on Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:31 pm

wow I read issue #1 and now I see where Paul Jenkins came up with his stuff?

Sentry = Miracleman?

no couldn't be

and as formoore, he was looking at good old Captain Marvel.

Miracleman = Shazam?
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Postby Adam Balm on Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:43 pm

Miracleman was originally a British analog of Captain Marvel (His real name, Shazam is the wizard that gave him his powers.) named Marvel Man. When Alan Moore revived the character, he had to rename him to publish the character inside the US because of Marvel Comics.
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Postby Shane on Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:49 pm

Adam Balm wrote:Miracleman was originally A British analog of Captain Marvel (His real name, Shazam is the wizard that gave him his powers.) named Marvel Man. When Alan Moore revived the character, he had to rename him to publish the character inside the US because of Marvel Comics.


The concepts here should be put in to play somewhere in D.C. If they did stuff like this with Captain Marvel they would be on to something. I love Captain Marvel, but this is where it needed to go. I see D.C. trying to do this kind of stuff, with the mad Superboy and all, but it's just too little too late for me. This story is reading like the missing link between the Superman, Sentry, and Captain Marvel. You see where like this whole inspiration and evolution in stories and characters happens.

I didn't think I would like Miracleman this much.
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Postby DennisMM on Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:17 pm

Adam Balm wrote:Miracleman was originally a British analog of Captain Marvel (His real name, Shazam is the wizard that gave him his powers.) named Marvel Man. When Alan Moore revived the character, he had to rename him to publish the character inside the US because of Marvel Comics.


More precisely (almost typed "Moore" -- a little Freudian slip), Marvelman was created because in 1953 DC won an infringement of copyright suit against Fawcett and the Marvel Family comics ceased publication. The UK publisher of Captain Marvel reprints lost his supply of material at that point and a bit of fiddling created Marvelman, so close to Captain Marvel that DC could no doubt have won a suit against the Brits were DC not otherwise engaged. The Marvelman family comics ran until the late fifties.
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Postby Shane on Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:20 pm

DennisMM wrote:
Adam Balm wrote:Miracleman was originally a British analog of Captain Marvel (His real name, Shazam is the wizard that gave him his powers.) named Marvel Man. When Alan Moore revived the character, he had to rename him to publish the character inside the US because of Marvel Comics.


More precisely (almost typed "Moore" -- a little Freudian slip), Marvelman was created because in 1953 DC won an infringement of copyright suit against Fawcett and the Marvel Family comics ceased publication. The UK publisher of Captain Marvel reprints lost his supply of material at that point and a bit of fiddling created Marvelman, so close to Captain Marvel that DC could no doubt have won a suit against the Brits were DC not otherwise engaged. The Marvelman family comics ran until the late fifties.


wow and the date miracleman dissapeared in the story is 1953 also, coincidence? I think not.
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Postby JackKnight on Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:55 pm

Wasn't there some big legal battle about reprinting the Miracleman comics several years ago?

And don't you just love his secret word. Kimota. It's just so 50's sounding. :)
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Postby Shane on Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:45 pm

JackKnight wrote:Wasn't there some big legal battle about reprinting the Miracleman comics several years ago?

And don't you just love his secret word. Kimota. It's just so 50's sounding. :)


the story is here.
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Postby DennisMM on Sat Feb 11, 2006 3:13 pm

Thank the gods McFarlane was enjoined from introducing Miracleman into the Hellspawn title. It was bad enough to see Mike Moran (in a sneak peek I took) as a true loser.
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Postby fried samurai on Sat Feb 11, 2006 3:31 pm

So is there any new info about Miracleman getting reprinted again?I see that article is from 2003.I'm dying to read this series but dont want to pay the high prices Ebay is selling the issues and tpb's for.
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Postby Seppuku on Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:20 pm

DennisMM wrote:In roughly six years, Frank Miller wrote and/or drew Dark Knight, Batman: Year One, Daredevil: Born Again, Daredevil: Love and War, Elektra: Assassin, Elektra Lives Again, Hard Boiled, Give Me Liberty and the early installments of Sin City: The Hard Goodbye in Dark Horse Presents


I found Give me Liberty in a charity shop the other day (score!), and scoured that mutha in a couple hours- and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only because it's nice to see a black woman in a comic book lead, and not only because I've always been of the opinion that the Apocalypse and the Graphic Novel medium go together like peas in a pod, BUT also because Miller, when put on a leash, can be quite sensitive and touching. Did anyone else read this one? And, considering the whole book was a set-up for the Marsha Washington series, were they any good, or at least worth checking out?
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sat Jun 03, 2006 1:10 am

Shane wrote:I'm reading the Miracleman stuff now. Finally


final-fucking-ly scored a copy meself.

better than advertised.

I'm as happy as a pig in clam shit...
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Postby Man-in-the-Box on Sat Jun 03, 2006 1:14 am

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Postby Shane on Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:00 am

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Shane wrote:I'm reading the Miracleman stuff now. Finally


final-fucking-ly scored a copy meself.

better than advertised.

I'm as happy as a pig in clam shit...


It's odd, but as I read the Miracleman stuff I wish that they had written the same stuff but as Captain |Marvel, Shazam.

I think Shazam should have gone this direction.
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Postby Mutombo on Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:14 am

I started reading about 9 years ago, and quit 2 years later. Was about 12 back then, and mainly got interested in Amarican comics because I really liked the way they were drawn. And back then, I actually cared about friggin asskickin superheroes. I started collecting Spawn.

And I stopped 2 years later because I didn't really care anymore.

I now avoid superhero comics as much as possible. I only just started reading again when I vaguely heard about things like the Sandman and Y the last man, and Fables. Basically, the well known comics out there, that are well known for a reason. I fucking love them.

There's just so much stuff that goes around in the Sandman. STuff that youwon't find in any other medium. And so many original stories in both Fables and Sandman that I wouldn't find in any other type of storytelling medium. Comics are definetely getting more recognized by the more prestigious media critics, getting awards and the like, and I keep discovering more 'arty' titles which are awesome from french persons.

And Blankets, for me, redivined how a story could benefit from a drawing style. The story was so brilliant because of the perfect mix of words, pictures and style.

But Ã
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Postby Shane on Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:42 am

Wow 12 years ago, Spawn, Early immage etc...

No wonder you don't like super hero comics.

The age of muscles tits and crap.

You should check out some superhero comics now days, there are a few you just might find you enjoy.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:12 pm

I generally avoid mian continuity when it comes to DC or Marvel books....I prefer the Elseworlds/What If scenarios....Marvels, KC, The Infinity Gauntlet, DKR, Red Son, Gotham by Gaslight, Doom that Came to Gotham bits etc I guess because they are stand alone stories.....Main continuity hurts my head because it's just inane. I enjoy more comics outside the big two....Hellboy, Walking Dead, Mr Monster, BPRD etc
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:28 pm

Shane wrote:
Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Shane wrote:I'm reading the Miracleman stuff now. Finally


final-fucking-ly scored a copy meself.

better than advertised.

I'm as happy as a pig in clam shit...


It's odd, but as I read the Miracleman stuff I wish that they had written the same stuff but as Captain |Marvel, Shazam.

I think Shazam should have gone this direction.


well, yes, but...

how?

Moore was blazing a trail that no one had gone down before, the superhero as Nietzschean Ãœbermensch; a source of terror instead of a saviour for us mere mortals (nevermind the other groundbreaking paradigm shifts Moore conceived during his run).*

I'm not arguing your point, that taking Captain Marvel in this direction would be a bold move, especially for a mainstream superhero, but after what Moore has done, it would just be derivative. Besides, many others have already taken his groundbreaking stylistics and beaten the poor horse to near death already. What more could be done with Captain Marvel that Moore / Gaiman, nevermind Ellis & Millar (and others) haven't done already?

*oh, and if anyone can site any comics pre-Marvelman that might've influenced Moore aesthetically and ideologically, please educate my dumbass*
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