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Fuxxy Elf
March 10th, 2006, 07:57 AM
I'm a Marvelite, I rarely read DC apart from the classic Batman tpbs so I can't comment on DC about this topic. But with Marvel it's quite ticking me off. The idea that every 6 or 12 months they have a reboot or a revamp with new writers, the next big thing or welcoming back an old favourite. Now I understand keeping the work fresh and interesting, and it does work when you have a writer with a definite plan, like Grant Morrison for instance, who writes his story and leaves no plot threads dangling, he's said what he wanted to say and moves along. But other writers need the room to breathe, to settle into the characters and to start building plots up. I think reading the 80's X men recently has woken me up to the idea of a writer staying on for 100+ issues and slowly building plotlines which they can follow up.

What annoys me is...

Plots left hanging or unresolved.

Characters acting wildly out of character within a couple of issues.

These 4 or 6 part stories just so they can fit in tpb's, so writers like Joss Whedon who are only writing for a small number of issues have to stick to the same plot and stretch it out for 6 issues when it could be easily written in 2.

No consistency in the books, obviously no writers talk to each other or their editors.

And finally new writers wanting to use cool characters, so suddenly "Oh Sorry Magneto's not dead really" or "Sorry, Xorn wasn't a made up character, he did exist and here he is, so maybe it wasn't Magneto all along."

I say find good writers with true agendas that want to bring new and exciting things to the books and then give them the room and the freedom to deliver on their promise.

Rant over.

Fuxxy

kater
March 10th, 2006, 09:45 AM
I think it's very hard and mirrors what happens in the movies. There is always juice in a good character, even if they've been killed off 'death' isn't normally a prohibitive factor in continuing to use them. Every writer has their ideas about a character and this is where the creativity comes from. It would be great if DC laid down the law and planned out the next twenty years of Batman stories so every writer that comes in has a plan to follow, but it just isn't going to happen. The industry is in a bad way at the moment and if it wasn't for the recent slew of movies then it'd be all but dead imo. So constant reinvention to keep things fresh is a way of attracting new business, I think that's why the Ultimate series has been so popular. I agree it's tough but I can understand the reasons.

Fuxxy Elf
March 10th, 2006, 10:05 AM
Oh, I agree that death is not and shouldn't be a prohibitive factor in comics. When done well, such as the return of Colossus (honestly, there were tears) that's fine. But just completely ignoring continuity or not referencing it is unforgiveable.

A clear example is Magneto dying in Morrisons run a couple of years back. Then the new Excalibur started and within two issues Magneto was back on Xavier's side. Now I've read rumours and interviews that hint that Claremont had some grandiose plan to explain why it seemed Magneto had died but hedn't. But due to House of M and the subsequent reboot that has seemingly been swept under the carpet, and the casual reader is left with, Magneto's dead and two months later he's not and no explanation. You wouldn't get such blatant bad plotting in novels so why comics? I understand what you are saying about not being able to plot out 20 years of Batman, but if publishers like Bantam (not sure?) who plot out their Star Wars novels and give the separate stories to writers can do that, or in tv like Joss Whedon plotting a series of Buffy but giving separate episodes to writers. Why not in comics?

Then all the satellite titles have some sort of cohesion and you honestly say you are reading a believable universe again. Some people might say but HoM, or Infinite Crisis or even Civil War, but these are events, anomolies (sp?) that happen every summer. What about the rest of the time?

Ooops still ranting, I must be in a mood today:(

Fuxxy

kater
March 10th, 2006, 12:04 PM
but if publishers like Bantam (not sure?) who plot out their Star Wars novels and give the separate stories to writers can do that, or in tv like Joss Whedon plotting a series of Buffy but giving separate episodes to writers. Why not in comics?

Then all the satellite titles have some sort of cohesion and you honestly say you are reading a believable universe again. Some people might say but HoM, or Infinite Crisis or even Civil War, but these are events, anomolies (sp?) that happen every summer. What about the rest of the time?

Ooops still ranting, I must be in a mood today:(

Fuxxy

I'm not disagreeing with you, I wish there was greater continuity. The problem is the market tends to fluctuate quite significantly and if you introduce a character/storyline that fans hate but you're committed to in the plan for another few months/years, then the title is going to lose a lot of support which may spread across the satellite titles. Also, Liam could probably give you a better idea than me, comic writers seem to be quite migratory, looking for different work and that guys who stick to a title for whatever reason are a rarity rather than the norm. The comics industry is fickle at the best of times and to an extent the fans in general are too. So it's not ideal conditions for stability unfortunately.

Fuxxy Elf
March 10th, 2006, 12:35 PM
Sorry, I didn't mean to preach to the converted but I was at work on a Friday afternoon and couldn't wait for the weekend to start. And now I am home so am in a far better mood:D :D :D

I know you weren't disagreeing with me, I didn't expect anyone to really since most readers would want greater continuity. I was just venting frustration on the state of mainstream comics at the moment. I believe the outcome of HoM has provided a direction for the X-universe to go in, and Civil War looks like it may do the same for the Marvel Universe as a whole. So maybe things are on the up as they say.

I think what I was trying to say really was there should be greater control from above, I'm not getting at the writers themselves they obviously want to do the best work they can. I just think with a little bit more cohesion from the Editors but also a little bit more freedom left to the writers then comics would be a whole lot more satisfying. I think the Ultimate universe is a good example of how it should be managed, Bendis has done 100 issues of Spider Man, and all the books have their little connections and don't contradict each other. If the traditional Marvel universe was as simple I would be a happy man.

Quite honestly, I am calm now. I no longer feel the need to vent anything:D

Fuxxy

Rob B
March 10th, 2006, 04:28 PM
I think DC, especially in recent years, has been much better with their continuity, on the whole. Granted there are silly missteps like John Byrne's Doom Patrol, and some of the inconsistencies in the Superman titles.

In the past three or four years, there seems to be a big relaunch of the whole line of X-titles at least once a year. To me that says all that came before was rubbish this is the new way things will be in the X-books.

For the record, I am a DC-fanboy.

Wulfa_Jones
March 11th, 2006, 08:58 AM
What gets me is how Wolverine is every where! He's in all 3 X-Men books, this own series and the Avengers.

Yobmod
March 11th, 2006, 02:52 PM
So constant reinvention to keep things fresh is a way of attracting new business.

Constant reinvention is one thing, but for the x-men at least, it become more like a constant rehash and retconn.

How many times is Wolverine going to lose his Adamantium and then get it back again, or Jean Grey become Phoenix then revert to normal, or Xavier/Magneto turn evil/good or leave/join the team, just so he can have a big comeback/betrayal storyline?

And what happened to the externals (immortal mutants who secretly rule the world)? or the legacy virus (AIDS for mutants that killed, what, 4 minor characters?) or the memories of all the humans in the world after the fall of the mutants (mutants saved the world on TV and everyone loved them)?

The inconsistancy of the run leaves characters that are a travesty like Psylocke: when was the last time she mentioned her brother, or looked chinese, or had consistant powers from one issue to the next, or had any memory of anything that has happened to to her in nearly 200 issues of being an x-man? and what was all that crap about her twin / clone Revanche?. Apart from the purple hair, she may as well have been replaced every couple of issues by a new character.:rolleyes:

Fuxxy Elf
March 11th, 2006, 02:57 PM
Colossus died to cure the Legacy Virus (Don't ask:confused: )

But yeah, I agree. It makes me sad sometimes reading storylines that should have happened but were lost due to change of writers or editorial mandate. I wish people got to tell the story they want with a bit of respect to the past.