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Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Mr E posted:

I decided to get back into reading comics again, and have a question regarding Magneto, which I just picked up the first issue of. It looks like Magneto's lost everything, but since I haven't read comics in years I'm not sure why. I'm guessing he joined up with the X-Men?
Not sure when you stopped reading comics, but Magneto's chronology goes like this:

1. Magneto is a bad guy!

2. Magneto gets turned into a baby and is programmed (as a baby) not to be so mean by Moira MacTaggart.

3. Magneto becomes an adult again, and is no longer programmed not to be evil!

4. Or maybe he's not so evil, he almost kills Kitty Pryde and feels bad about almost killing a little girl and also almost killing a Jewish person, because Magneto is Jewish, he decides to mention.

5. Magneto is brought to BATTLEWORLD by the Beyonder and challenged by the Beyonder to be part of like a giant superhero dogfight, but refuses to team up with the bad guys and pals around with the X-Men.

6. After BATTLEWORLD he kind of pals around with the X-Men and is put on trial for war crimes. The trial gets interupted by a mutant attack and I guess Magneto fakes his death or something and tells everyone he's Xavier's long lost brother and joins the X-Men.

7. He trains the New Mutants for awhile but keeps on kinda going "I sure do miss being a supervillain..." and joins the Hellfire Club, but ONLY TO BE A GOOD GUY IN THE BAD GUYS CLUB, HE PROMISES. Later he teams up with a bunch of supervillains for Acts of Vengeance but again, IT'S JUST TO BE A GOOD GUY IN THE BAD GUYS CLUB. This is kind of borne out when he knocks out Red Skull and yells at him for being a Nazi and dumps him into a prison pit to starve to death.

8. Eventually he gives up on being a good guy and like kills some people in the Savage Land and builds a new Asteroid base and threatens to nuke the Earth but eventually realizes that's a bad idea and blows up the asteroid and his Acolytes and he is presumed dead.

9. A couple years later he comes back! He's super crazy and crashes Illyana's funeral to go gently caress YOUR CREW XAVIER, gently caress YOUR FUNERAL and for some reason Colossus decides to join his gang. The X-Men attack him and he rips Wolverine's metal skeleton out and that is beyond the pale I guess so Xavier turns off his mind.

10. So Magneto's body is up in the asteroid being prayed to by Colossus and company, but Magneto's nasty thoughts jumped from his brain into Xavier's and they team up with Xavier's nasty thoughts and become ONSLAUGHT, who was a big red endboss from a Capcom fighting game. Onslaught gets killed or evaporated by a big Care Bear Stare sort of sacrifice from the Avengers and Fantastic Four. Magneto is still in a coma but someone shows up from another dimension to blow up his asteroid and again, he is presumed dead.

11. A young amnesiac dude who looks just like Magneto and has magnetic powers named Joseph wakes up in a church or something and eventually joins the X-Men. Everyone assumes he is Magneto because he's already been de-aged like twice and come on, he's Magneto.

12. But NO, turns out that someone who hated Magneto created a clone of Magneto she was going to use to kill Magneto(?) but the clone escaped and was a nice guy after all. Magneto takes advantage of everyone thinking his clone was him to set up an elaborate plot that ends up with him convincing the X-Men to leave Gambit to die in the Arctic, and I guess trick the UN into giving him control of Genosha.

13. As head of Genosha, he turns it into a dictatorship and builds and army and like beats and kidnaps practically all of the X-Men and crucifies Xavier and is going to have a show trial and execution of the X-Men but Jean Grey recruits a new team of people including Northstar, Dazzler, and people you have never heard of. Magneto reveals that he can now control LIGHT, because light is magnetic kind of. But Dazzler's light show distracts him long enough for Jean to distract everyone, and Wolverine murders Magneto.

14. A few months later Magneto is revealed to have survived being murdered by Wolverine, but is instead convalescing in Genosha when a giant Sentinel crashes into the island and kills almost everyone.

15. The X-Men recruit a new mutant named Xorn to their team, who after spending a year building up everyone's trust reveals himself to be Magneto! He takes over New York City and kills loads of people and threatens to reverse the planet's magnetic poles (which was his threat in step 12 too, and wouldn't really affect the planet much at all) and he kills Jean Grey and then Wolverine murders him again.

16. TURNS OUT THAT WAS JUST XORN PRETENDING TO BE MAGNETO. No, not Xorn, Xorn's evil brother Xorn. Magneto is FINE, he was just resting up in Genosha and he's still friends with Xavier despite that crucifixion thing. Magneto and Xavier and tentacle Callisto chill on Genosha trying to rebuild it for awhile, plus then Magneto's daughter the Scarlet Witch goes crazy and kills a bunch of people. Magneto comes and gets her before anyone can kill her.

17. Magneto and Xavier can't make his kid any less crazy, and they're starting to think maybe they should just let the X-Men and Avengers kill her. But Magneto's other kid convinces her to remake the universe so Magneto is Mutant Emperor of Earth. This is a crossover for like eight months. At the end of it Wanda gets really mad and tries to depower all of the mutants, and succeeds in depowering like 90% of them, including Magneto.

18. Everyone kind of blames Magneto for getting all the mutants depowered so he wanders around a bit and hooks up with the High Evolutionary to get his powers back. He does, somehow. And he asks to join up with the X-Men, which he does after some token resistance. The X-Men (under Cyclops) were getting more and more militant and declared themselves a sovereign nation off the coast of San Francisco.

18.5. Around this time there is a Schism (the name of the event) where like Wolverine goes "hey are we training child soldiers to fight a war with humans or something?" And Cyclops goes "what's it to you, pussy?" and then everyone fought for awhile. Wolverine goes back to New York and restarts Xavier's School (now the Jean Grey School) to try to help kids all peaceable-like. Cyclops forms a "Extinction Team" with Magneto which was a reminder that the mutants could probably wipe out humanity if they wanted to, so everyone should be nice to them.

19. Some people remember that Magneto is a criminal/murderer and how he never really got his trial like twenty years ago, but he hires a PR lady so people stop hassling him about it.

20. The Phoenix comes back and uses a group of X-Men (not Magneto) as hosts. They start doing crazy things like establishing the death penalty for war and fusing the tectonic plates together and giving whales crablegs. Then the Phoenix X-Men start fighting each other to steal the Phoenix force from each other. Then Super Saiyan Phoenix Cyclops murders Xavier, and some stuff happens so Phoenix goes away and there are new mutants again. Cyclops is sent to jail.

21. Magneto helps break Cyclops out of jail and forms an underground X-throwin' guerilla unit X-Men along with most of the other Phoenix X-Men. Everyone's powers are all messed up because of the Phoenix probably, but this includes Magneto too even though he was never Phoenix. They start recruiting new mutants to their underground crew because I guess they don't trust anyone else.

22. Magneto decided to leave that crew because I guess he has a solo book now. He was like a triple agent for Cyclops and SHIELD I think?

So that's what happened since you stopped reading / since Magneto was introduced fifty one years ago. He did join the X-Men at least three times.

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Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


I realize that, I was initially just going to recap the past 1-3 years but then I realized that going off of "I guess Magneto joined the X-Men when I wasn't reading?" meant he could have stopped reading in like 1983, 1995, 2005 or 2006.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Zachack posted:

Why? Why is it important to acknowledge all of 1-21? What exactly is going to be missing if Bunn decides that his Magneto story is going to be 4, the first two X-Men movies, 18, 21, and maybe a bit of peppering from 1, and gently caress the rest it didn't happen?

Hell, it's even canon that any writer can ignore everything after 8 or so (I'll assume E&C could correctly identify the start date) given the ending of X-Men Legacy.
I haven't read X-Men Legacy (any of them, really) so I don't really know why that would be canon. I know they keep doing things to de-age him, but did they say like "X-Men #175-400 never happened! It was a dream!"?

The problem with saying "gently caress the rest" really depends on what you mean by saying "gently caress the rest". It's cool to politely ignore things. It's totally cool that (by and large) the past decade or so worth of Spider-Man books have politely ignored Peter's evil robot parents, Aunt May's death being faked, Nathan Lubensky, Sins Past, the Clone Saga, The Other, etc. Politely ignoring is the best thing to do.

The problem comes when a story goes "gently caress the rest, it didn't happen." Because fine, maybe for the purposes of Cullen Bunn's Magneto comic it's probably fine to say gently caress THIS gently caress YOU SECRET WARS NEVER HAPPENED, AVX NEVER HAPPENED, HOUSE OF M NEVER HAPPENED, GENOSHA ISN'T EVEN A THING, THE gently caress ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, WHAT THE gently caress IS A GENOSHA GET THAT OUT OF MY FACE YOU PIECE OF poo poo". But Cullen Bunn's Magneto is probably going to have other characters appear eventually. Other characters with relationships to Magneto. Magneto's relationships to those characters are predicated on past actions.

It would be kind of dumb if the Avengers showed up and he was all "there's my favorite daughter Wanda! How are you, honey? And who is this other young lady? Rogue? I don't believe we've met!"

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Zachack posted:

That's not how I read what I quoted because I largely agree with what you posted, although I would also opine that I don't see anything wrong with Bunn going completely off the ranch if it means a better story. Granted, change enough and the question of "why is this called Magneto when it's a story about a bald older guy who gets sent back in time to hunt cursed guns that lock the gate of hell in the old west" will start to crop up, but I'm not going to reject out of hand a story about a metal-controlling holocaust survivor just because in this version he has a good relationship with his daughter. Creators ideally would have the freedom to use character history if desired, not because of some obligation.

But what you posted, to me, doesn't come across as "acknowledging his dumb past". It comes across as using the current snapshot of character and its relationships and telling a story from there.
I see where you're coming from, and I'm totally cool with non-continuity stories and politely ignoring things, but the problem with the "who really cares?" model is when you do place a story within continuity and decide to acknowledge/contradict things willy-nilly, not just out of some sort of 'purity' to the characters or some high-handed concept like that, but in terms of storytelling and the implicit agreement with the readers.

Having read Bunn's first issue of Magneto, it definitely takes place in the same overall story as Bendis's Uncanny X-Men, and he references ruling a jungle kingdom, living among the stars, leading nations, etc. A lot of this is circumstantial (and one issue in it absolutely doesn't matter if he spent any time in the Savage Land given the story we're actually shown), but he did do those things. If you accept that in the Magneto story by Cullen Bunn that Magneto is a former ruler of nations, you should also acknowledge what happened in those stories. I'm not saying "be sure to mention Zaladane" but I am saying "the character you're using here used to be involved with Rogue, and killed a lot of people, and had a strained relationship with his children."

I mean, assuming Wanda and Pietro never show up in the comic, or even if he flashbacks a reconciliation between the two somewhere, fine, but all of those things are part of Magneto's history. They can be minimized or readjusted but at a certain point yeah, even if you think they're minor aspects, they probably shouldn't be contradicted or ignored. Or at the very least the people involved should have a solid justification for fudging it, not just "well poo poo I don't know that's not what I wanted to write."

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


There were a bunch of steadily ramping up "million copies sold" books in the early 1990s thanks to the speculator boom.

Spider-Man #1 (two covers) sold about 2,500,000 copies in 1990.
X-Force #1 (five different trading cards) sold about 5,000,000 copies in 1991.
X-Men #1 (six covers) sold about 8,000,000 copies in 1992.

Estimates for all the printings of Superman #75 were between 2.5-3 million in 1993.

There were a lot of comics that sold a million copies (of a first issue or gimmick/event issue) in the early 1990s. Image had a spell where they'd do trade ads to the effect of "CONGRATULATIONS TO SPAWN #8 AND YOUNGBLOOD STRIKEFILE #1 FOR SELLING A MILLION COPIES THIS MONTH". I think Turok (thanks especially to ValiantFans.com and their insane curation) is a pretty good indicator of how comic sales went in the 1990s though.

July 1993: Turok #1 WITH CHROMIUM COVER AND SUPERSTAR ARTIST BART SEARS! 1,750,000 copies sold
August 1993: Turok #2 without a fancy cover: 550,000
September 1993: Turok #3 whoops Bart Sears can't keep a deadline: 425,000
December 1993: Turok #6 after six months: 250,000
June 1994: Turok #12 after twelve months: 105,000
December 1994: Turok #18 after a year and a half: 75,000
June 1995: Turok #24 after two years: 38,000
December 1995: Turok #35 after 2.5 years and some doubleshipping: 25,000
June 1996: Tuork #45 after three years and some more doubleshipping: 15,000

There's no way there were ever 1.75 million people reading Turok, and stories abound of people who bought CASES of various hot comics and salted them away to make a fortune. A lot of comic shops lost their shirt as a result of bad ordering, whether that was out of greed (deliberate hoarding) or poor planning (expecting to sell as many copies of Turok #3 as Turok #1) or just having trouble navigating the shark infested waters of Deathmates and a dozen "new universes" and gimmick covers and constantly delayed books.

I'm super skeptical that any Marvel editor was upset that one of his books dropped below 500,000 at any point after the 1960s, save for maybe an X-Men editor for a period of like 18 months in the early 1990s. Picking a Diamond Top 100 list out of a hat, let's look at it next to ValiantFan's numbers:

This is from Wizard #20, a list from February 1993:

Rai and the Future Force #9 was in at #4, outselling every Marvel book released. It was a heavily hyped book, and sold around 800,000 copies. The only books that outsold it that month were Stormwatch #1, Spawn #10, and Darker Image #2 which never actually came out but people sure ordered a lot of copies of it!

The next Valiant book on the chart was Magnus Robot Fighter #24, selling an estimate 400,000 copies. Slotted in directly above it on the charts were Venom, X-Men and Uncanny X-Men, which could have sold 500,000 in theory.

Down at 22 was Bloodshot #4, with an estimated print run of 325,000. In between it and Magnus you have Hellstorm*, Fantastic Four*, X-Force, Spider-Man 2099, Namor*, Punisher 2099, Wild Thing*, X-Factor, and Wolverine. (*a collector's item first issue and/or gimmick cover)

Skipping past a bunch of stuff to the middle of the pack, Archer & Armstrong #10 was 45th on the charts, with an estimated print run of 215,000. That's enough to put it ahead of a couple dozen Marvel titles. It's still impressive (well, 'impressive') to see books down in the middle of a Top 100 selling 200,000+, but this was more to do with people drunk with speculatory power, not a reflection of a larger reading audience.

By 1995 the bottom had largely dropped out of the "speculator boom".

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Teenage Fansub posted:

Wouldn't the highest era for overall sales be somewhere from the 40's to 60's when every boy in America got their copy of Superman down at the corner store for 10 cents?
Probably, though really the first 'boom' died out not long after World War II, and *really* died out by the mid-1950s after all the "comics: threat or menace" news stories. During the war lots of comics were boasting monthly circulation figures of over a million, but after 1960 the only book with an recorded Average Paid Circulation over 1M were Uncle Scrooge and Walt Disney Comics & Stories, and they only broke that *in* 1960.

By the end of the 1960s practically nothing was cracking half a million, and continued to drop off during the 1970s. By the time the Direct Market came about, people got shitfire excited for Dazzler #1 selling 426,000 copies in 1981.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Len posted:

Was Spawn #1 ever worth more than cover price?
About half a dozen copies have sold on eBay for $4.25 to $12 apiece (not including slabbed or variants) so yes?

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Daredevil 259-260 (by Nocenti/JRJR/Williamson) also plays around with this, as Kingpin sends a whole grip of people to (successfully) kill Daredevil and as he gets more battered he begins to use his heightened senses to... completely misread his surroundings and proceeds to throttle a homeless guy who smokes the same cigarettes as his enemy and not notice printed signs and etc.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Metal Loaf posted:

Can anyone tell me if Geoff Johns's JSA was ever the best-selling overall series during its run?
Not sure what you mean, but in almost any possible scenario the answer is no.

JSA #1 came out in June 1999 and was #13 on the sales charts with 69,000 copies sold. That was pre-Johns. Johns came on with JSA #5 which was 26th on the charts with 50,000 copies.


A year later it had dropped to 38th with ~40,000 copies sold (JSA #17 October 2000)
It started picking up ground so that it was 35th with 45,000 copies (JSA #29 October 2001)
October 2002: JSA #41 = 31st, 45,000 copies
October 2003: JSA #53 = 30th, 43,000 copies
October 2004: JSA #66 = 40th, 41,000 copies
Septebmer 2005: JSA #77 = 39th, 53,000 copies (last issue of Johns's run)

It's impressive that the book maintained that sort of audience (and spiked towards the end, but that was probably because it was tying into Infinite Crisis) but it never came anywhere near #1 best selling book, either overall or just for DC.

The closest it probably came was with the relaunch as Justice Society of America #1 in 12/2006, where 103,000 copies was enough to get #6, ahead of every DC book except two issues of Justice League of America.

A year later it was still selling around 90,000 copies, by 2008 it was around 70,000 copies, and bottomed out around the lower 60s until Johns's last issue spiked up to 81,000 and got into the Top 10 one more time.

This is better than any Justice Society book has done in the past twenty five years, but it was never a #1 selling book.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


I always thought the Prismatic Age was less about "silver age through the prism of grim and gritty" or whatever than about sort of the effective end of 'new' characters and endless prismatic variations on the iconic characters.

Obviously that's existed more or less forever (at least since the Flash of Two Worlds, or the Squadron Sinister, or Bizarro, or whatever, take your pick) but look at so many of the 'modern era' events/big runs:

There are pretty much no 'modern era' superhero events/runs that do not factor in "alternate interpretations of the main hero" into their runs:

*More and more alternate timelines/realities (House of M, Flashpoint, Hickman's FF, Hickman's New Avengers, Countdown, Age of Ultron, revisiting Age of Apocalypse, Titans Tomorrow, Futures End)

*Retcons to show that some concept you thought was a singular thing are part of a larger thing (Green Lanterns --> Eighty Different Lantern Corps, Iron Fist --> Immortal Weapons, Green Arrow --> Whatever it is Now, Ghost Rider ---> Hundreds of Ghost Riders, Batman ---> The Wayne Legacy vs. The Court of Owls)
SHIELD being around since Ancient Egypt, Avengers 1959 and Avengers 1978 and etc., Spider-Man's Spider-Totem stuff)

*Lots of storylines about people deliberately trying to recreate a unique character (Red Hulk, Red She-Hulk, Red Leader, the Ikari storyline in Daredevil, the Three Ghosts of Batman, Damian, Dark Avengers, Daken/X-23/Weapon X, Extremis, Superior Spider-Man, Secret Invasion, Evil Deadpool/that recent Posehn/Duggan North Korea storyline, Weapon Plus, Weapon Minus, Justice League 3000, the post-Decimation New Warriors, Uncanny X-Force

This isn't even getting into "nudge nudge you see it is an ANALOGUE" stories like Invincible, Squadron Supreme, regular Supreme, Planetary, Irredeemable, Incorruptible, End League, anything Mark Millar or year(decade) of whoredom Warren Ellis has ever written, etc.

I also don't really see the point in including non-superhero titles into this 'age' discussion, since previous ages certainly didn't take into account what Carl Barks or Crockett Johnson or R Crumb or Charles Schulz or Los Bros Hernandez or Peter Bagge or Chris Ware or whomever were doing, so why would we take Vertigo into account any more than we'd accept Bone or Concrete or Duplex Planet as an argument against the early 1990s being characterized as obsessed with grim/gritty/variant/speculations?

Edge & Christian fucked around with this message at 04:32 on Apr 23, 2014

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Doctor Spaceman posted:

Or Watchmen, for that matter. It's kinda like the subsequent styles were taking lessons from it in two different (the grim gory grittiness of the 90s and the introspection and self-referentiality of the 00s), but that might be overstating its influence.
Yeah but I'm willing to bet 90% of people who read/will read Watchmen have no familiarity or interest in Blue Beetle or Captain Atom or Peacemaker. I know I still can't track exactly which Charlton characters are supposed to be which Minutemen without stopping and thinking about it.

On the other hand, when you do a story with Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 and Superior Spider-Man and Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Man of Arabia and whatever, everyone knows that Spider-Mans are variations on Spider-Man.

When Mark Millar pitches a book as WHAT IF BATMAN WAS A MASS MURDERER people know that Nemesis is supposed to be an evil Batman. When an evil group of four people who one is a rock monster and one is on fire and one is an invisible lady decide to kill a guy with a power lantern and a baby in a rocket after kicking Dracula in the nuts, people know who those are.

Watchmen stands on its own as a story about superheroes that you can appreciate with zero knowledge of specific other superhero comics in a way that I feel like Red Lanterns probably does not without knowing what a Green Lantern is, or in a way that Red Son is probably less interesting if you've never heard of Superman.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


CapnAndy posted:

Because there's overlap in a way that there really wasn't before Marvel got desperate enough to hire that indie guy from Jinx to write Spider-Man. Carl Barks was not on Superman, Charles Schulz never wrote X-Men comics; yet these days the guy who writes Iron Man and Hawkeye also does Sex Criminals and the same guy is working on the Avengers and something called God Is Dead at the same time. It all ties back into the digital thing, the lowering of walls. There's less barriers to entry, there's less gatekeepers telling you what you can't make, and the lines between this genre and that, between indie and the big two, have all gotten very blurry.
That's all well and good (except that Marvel and DC have been hiring people out of the indies as long as there have been indies and before it was indies it was fanzines).

The Golden/Silver/Bronze/whatever ages don't take war or horror or romance or Western or humor comics into account, even though the same guy that did Daredevil did fill-ins for Terry and the Pirates and edited witzend and Weird Science and drew the Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Robert Kirkman and Casey Jones's Jubilee series was solicited as an ongoing and quickly downgraded to a six issue mini-series.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


According to this helpful chart, the still-married couples in the Marvel Universe are:

Reed Richards and Susan Storm
Rick Jones and Marlo Chandler
Absorbing Man and Titania
Captain Britain and Meggan
Luke Cage and Jessica Jones
Ronan the Accuser and Crystal
J. Jonah Jameson Sr. and May Parker
Madrox and Layla Miller
Northstar and Kyle Jindau

Marriages that (I think) are at least legally intact but not on this list:

Daredevil and Milla Donovan
Vulcan and Deathbird
Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight
Angel Salvadore and Beak
Ka-Zar and Shanna the She-Devil
Deadpool and Shilkah

There are a bunch of characters who I seem to recall being married (and wikipedia appears to agree) who are married but their spouses are borderline non-entities: Volstagg, Deathlok (1990s Michael Collins version), Prowler, Boomerang, GW Bridge, Armadillo, Stingray, Hood, the lady stuck in Deadpool's brain)

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Lord Hydronium posted:

I know that Marvel's multiverse has a universe for every single alternate continuity and What-If under the Marvel banner. Is DC's multiverse the same way with Elseworlds? Like, is there a distinct canonical Red Son universe or Kingdom Come universe?

A rough timeline of DC's treatment of The Multiverse:

1939-1961: "Uhh, we're writing stories for children. They take place wherever. Why are you asking us this? Who are you?"

1961: "The Flash of Two Worlds" introduces the idea that all of the comics where Batman and Superman fought in WWII alongside the Justice Society took place on "Earth Two" while the modern stories of Robin being a teen in the 1960s and there being a Justice League took place on "Earth One".

1964: "Earth Three" is introduced with the Crime Syndicate of America being an evil version of the Justice League in four stories titled "Crisis on Earth One", "Crisis on Earth Two", "Crisis on Earth Three" and "The Most Dangerous Earth of All".

1964-1985: DC introduces a whole bunch of "Earth-##", some of which folded in 'universes' of comics they purchased, some of which were just one-off stories where it was like "On Earth-32, Hal Jordan married Carol Ferris! I wonder what their kids would look like?"

1985-1986: DC publishes "Crisis on Infinite Earths" where the Anti-Monitor runs around trying to eat all of the universes to become super-powerful and destroy everything. At the end of the book a lot of things happen and things explode and in the end there is only ONE Earth, which combines whatever DC wanted to keep from all of the worlds.

1986-1994: THERE IS ONLY ONE UNIVERSE, NO MULTIVERSE, NO ELSEWORLDS THERE IS ONE OFFICIAL DC UNIVERSE AND YOU BETTER NOT EVEN MENTION ALTERNATE UNIVERSES I SWEAR TO GOD DID I JUST HEAR SOMEONE MENTION SUPERBOY IN THE LEGION I'M GOING TO PULL THIS COMPANY OVER. (DC did not do a very good organizational job of figuring out "what counts" and what doesn't in the DCU, and 'rebooted' half of the line while not rebooting the rest so you have a situation where decades of Batman and JLA stories "still happened" Post-Crisis even though Superman was never a member of the JLA and he's just meeting Batman for the first time in 1986 and also Wonder Woman has never appeared prior to last week.

1989: DC starts publishing "Elseworlds", which are meant to be non-continuity, unconnected alternate reality comic book series. They insist THIS IS NOT A MULTIVERSE, THESE STORIES DON'T COUNT AND COULD NEVER CROSSOVER INTO THE REAL DC.

1994: Zero Hour (subtitled "A Crisis in Time") was an event designed in part to "fix" all of the inconsistencies that built up after Crisis on Infinite Earths. Characters that seem to be from alternate universes start popping up everywhere (a Barbara Gordon Batgirl who never got crippled, Golden Age Superman, Dark Knighty Batman) but it's not a multiverse, it's just alternate timelines caused by Hal Jordan trying to reboot the entire universe so he can recreate it the right way. He succeeds in wiping out the Universe, but a gang of heroes meets him in the void before the Big Bang and Green Arrow shoots him in the chest while Damage (a hip new hero for the 1990s) creates a new Big Bang which recreates a single unbranching universe that is almost exactly like the one before, with a few continuity fixes. Still only one universe, folks!

1999: Mark Waid and Grant Morrison endeavor to introduce "HYPERTIME". Morrison-in-Invisibles-mode described it as some sort of shimmering six dimensional holographic conception of the universe altered by the observer that allows Superman to have both been in and not been in the Justice League and makes all comics in continuity while also being able to be ignored under the proper circumstances. Waid provided a much simpler analogy that still doesn't make a ton of sense, that the whole universe is a river and there are tributaries and branches that go off in their own direction, and that sometimes two of those branches meet back up down the road, and that is why you can have Animated Batman punch Comics Batman if you want it bad enough. This concept was used in about three storylines and then dropped like a hot potato after Morrison and Waid got their Superman 2K pitch rudely rejected.

1999-2006: "Uhh, we're writing stories for our devoted fanbase. They take place wherever. Why are you asking us this? Who are you? Who gives a gently caress, this panel is over."

2006: Infinite Crisis brings back the four people who survived from Crisis on Infinite Earths after them being politely ignored for twenty years. Two of them attempt to bring back the Multiverse either because they're homesick or they're genocidal monsters. They very briefly succeed, but then everything merges back into NEW EARTH, the one true official Earth for real!

2007: J/K, the mini-series 52 reveals that the Multiverse is back after all, but there are only FIFTY TWO of them. This brings back Earth-Two and Earth-Three in their 1960s incarnations, and tosses in several popular Elseworlds as Official Alternate Earths. DC promises to have big plans for the Multiverse. Grant Morrison, co-writer of 52, announces he has plans to explore all these new Earths in a book called "Multiversity". At this point Kingdom Come and Red Son are given canonical Earth designations (22 and 30 respectively) and characters from each universe appear in books that got retconned within five years.

2008: Countdown to Infinite Crisis takes the Multiverse and promptly destroys several of them and has the heroes of a significant portion of the rest get established and killed off willy-nilly for no clear reason.

2008-9: Final Crisis sees most of the multiverse gets blown up again, but this time it's put back more or less how it was before, but because pretty much every fan alive thought either Countdown or Final Crisis (or both) were confusing junk, the whole "Multiverse" is put on the backburner for the moment and pretty much everything takes plan on New Earth.

2011: Flashpoint is a series where Flash goes back to try to keep his mom from dying, which somehow leads to either him or Reverse Flash loving everything up so the world is a battle-ravaged hellhole where Wonder Woman and Aquaman are about to wipe out humanity in an engineered lover's tiff. The Flash is able to go through time some more and fix things but in doing so is counseled/manipulated by a mysterious lady who turns out to be Pandora, like the mythological Pandora. This new "post-Flashpoint" timeline merges at least one Earth (Wildstorm's Earth-50) and excises the Earth-Two stuff out of New Earth and more or less reboots all of the characters in the DC Universe, except the ones it didn't reboot. So we're back to 1986, except with the idea that there are 52 universes. It's just that we've only seen three so far.

2014: Multiversity gets published, theoretically!

Edge & Christian fucked around with this message at 01:19 on May 25, 2014

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Aphrodite posted:

Still less complicated than the Summers family tree.

Christopher Summers marries Katherine [maiden name]. They have two sons, Scott and Alex.

Chris and Katherine are abducted by aliens and presumed dead by their sons, who are placed in an orphanage.

The emperor of the aliens impregnates Katherine and kills her, raising her son Gabriel. Christopher escapes from prison and becomes a space pirate.

When Scott reaches adulthood, he meets a lady named Jean he loves very much. They consider getting married, but she dies in conflict with the aliens who kidnapped Scott's parents.

Scott meets a lady who named Madeline who looks just like Jean and marries her. They have a son named Nathan.

Later Scott finds out Jean is alive after all, and drops his wife Madeline. After she dies, he and Jean raise Nathan as their son, until he become gravely ill and they send him off to be treated by future medicine.

A woman from the future named Rachel shows up and claims to be Scott and Jean's daughter.

Later, Nathan returns from the future as an adult and calls himself Cable.

Really, the Summers Family Tree isn't very difficult to parse (no worse than your average soap opera/television drama family tree) until you start getting into time travel children. And clones, I guess. DC's multiverse is way worse. At least when you go "well what about Vulcan? " you don't have to specify which of five different Vulcans you might be referring to, and the Vulcan who is actually called Hephaestus, and the period where Havok was Vulcan.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
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HitTheTargets posted:

Vulcan isn't D'ken's son, Katherine was already pregnant when she and Chrostopher were abducted. OWWWWWWNED!
Joke's on the person who read a comic with Vulcan in it. I just assumed he was D'Ken's son because he went back and declared himself emperor of Shi'ar at some point.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
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Random Stranger posted:

- The "not really counting" stories of the sixties weren't referred to as occurring on other earths. Different books had different terms for them. In Superman books they were "imaginary stories" (aren't they all?), in Wonder Woman they were called "impossible stories". Batman's out of continuity stories were called "Bob Haney Brave and the Bold stories" .
Don't forget the stories that were just Alfred writing in his diary what he imagined things might be like in the future when Master Bruce gets married! Many of those stories had tragic elements, which was interesting.

There were some cases they actually DID assign numbers/letters in stories (Earth-32 being one of those) but you're right, a lot of them were just "hey what if Superman and Lex Luthor were brothers during the Civil War? What a cover that'd make!" and the stories just went from there. And then Mark Gruenwald started cataloging them in the fanzine that got him hired to write continuity stuff for DC and eventually an editing job at Marvel. Then they categorized MORE of them in CoIE, and at some point DC put together a ridiculous canonical list that got stuck into the back of reprints of CoIE.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
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Gavok posted:

It was more that he married Deathbird and she wanted him to snap D'Ken out of his coma. Vulcan really, really wanted to just kill him, but Deathbird told him not to because then she'd be in charge and she seriously didn't want that. So Vulcan snapped D'Ken out of it and later killed him anyway. Deathbird again reminded him that she didn't want to run things, but he was all, "Don't worry, babe. Emperor Vulcan's got this!"
And then Doctor Henry "Bones" McCoy said, "This Emperor is out of his Vulcan mind!"

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
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Leperflesh posted:

Is "cosmic marvel" a thing that only encompasses '04 and later comics with those characters? Because Thanos, galactus, silver surfer, etc. has been around since at least like the 1970s. I mean, I was introduced to Thanos via the Dreadstar comics. So I'm wondering if Dreadstar is considered "cosmic marvel"? How about Captain Marvel, Warlock, etc.?
There was definitely a soft reboot and a series of deliberate long-term stories told from 2004 onwards in a way that had not previously been done.

As for Dreadstar, that was a creator-owned book by Jim Starlin that didn't take place in the Marvel Universe and (to my knowledge) never featured Thanos. There was a big square jawed beetle-browed bad guy named Lord Papal(who vaguely resembled Thanos and Mongul, who is also Starlin-designed) maybe you're thinking of him?

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
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I think most of the events of the modern era have been divisive. I can't think of a single one that has had a real consensus behind it being really good (maybe 52 if you count that, and more people than usual seemed to enjoy Infinity) and while there are some universally reviled ones (Countdown to Final Crisis, Fear Itself) there was plenty of arguments about just about everything.

In addition to Civil War and Identity Crisis, I remember World War Hulk and Avengers vs. X-Men sparking a lot of arguing, both over the quality and who was "right" and how if the book is being sympathetic to THE GUYS WHO ARE BEING BAD it sucks, or it just sucks in general, etc.

I would say Forever Evil was divisive because I know some people liked it, but really people didn't seem to pay much attention.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

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Unmature posted:

I think people were too harsh on WWH, but it was Marvel's fault. They played it up like a big deal when it should've been treated as a fun, "Check this poo poo out" series. It was awesome to see Hulk wreck the X-Men. The ads should've just been like, "Dude, Hulk fuckin' breaks Colossus's arms and mashes the poo poo out of Wolverine's head. poo poo's RAD, buy it." But they were all, "The Hulk is back and this time it's personal and consequences will NEVER be the same."
I mainly remember most of the arguments about WWH either being "this is bullshit, this guy would never beat this other guy" and "yeah but Hulk is totally right and he's a fukken pussy he should kill that rear end in a top hat Tony Stark and Doctor Strange and REED RICHARDS THAT PIECE OF poo poo COCKSUCKER of course Marvel is pussying out and not letting Hulk be a badass Hulk is blameless and should slaughter everyone one of those monsters".

And I thought Sinestro Corps War was really dumb and mashing-action-figures-together-don't-ask-how-this-works-it's-so-badass-who-cares?, but I think nearly every big story Geoff Johns has written is incredibly dumb like that.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
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Skwirl posted:

I have question, recently (the past 5 years or so, maybe longer) Marvel will do crossovers between 2 failing comics to drum up support for both, or either really. Has that ever worked? I'm specifically thinking of Journey into Mystery/New Mutants, but there have been other cases.
It works reasonably well when it's a crossover with an actual big series (some of the Infinity, AvX, etc. tie-ins) and in the case of that specific crossover, both Journey and New Mutants got a bump of a few thousand copies (they were selling around 20-21,000 issues before and after, the crossover sold around 24,000 copies an issue) so it was a bit of a success?

Usually those smaller-scale crossovers seem to actually be creator driven, so there's that.

Edge & Christian fucked around with this message at 00:22 on Jul 5, 2014

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
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I'd pay an extra five dollars to see a movie without trailers. Oh wait, I already am paying an extra five dollars per movie.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

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[Iconic Character] replaced with [NEW VERSION OF ICONIC CHARACTER] is old as balls, whether it's one-off stories about WHAT IF JIMMY OLSEN BECOMES SUPERMAN? or The International League of Batmen or whatever else. By the 1970s you'd have actual arcs of Hal Jordan being replaced with John Stewart or Steve Rogers quitting or Wonder Woman losing her crown.

What really happened in the 1980s was the desire to exploit every possible piece of IP possible, so obviously all the replacement Green Lanterns stuck around, Replacement Iron Man became War Machine, Replacement Captain America became USAgent, Replacement Thors became Beta Ray Bill and Thunderstrike, etc.

While there is doubtlessly an element of THE CLASSICS NEVER DIE/reaffirmation of the character's purity in some of these (Captain America stands for the ideal of America, not Rambo-tinted Reagan-era jingoism, an attempted repudiation of 'Why Doesn't Batman Kill?") a lot of them were just something to do/an attempt at a sales boost. I mean, I doubt the story of James Rhodes becoming Iron Man was to stifle the clamor of "Why isn't there a black Iron Man?" and while Superman was clearly languishing in the early 1990s, I don't think a single fan ever said "I mean I would be into superman if half his face was a metal skull, or he was a brilliant scientist, or if he had Dwayne Wayne glasses and an earring." If I recall they didn't even have the "Reign of the Superman" thing worked out when they went "let's kill him off while we vamp until the wedding", and 3/4 of the fake Superman stuck around for years as heroes, two of them with long-running series. I know Azrael stuck around foreverrrrrrrr as a solo book too, but at least Knightsend (and Gruenwald's Cap story) had a clear in-panel "YOUR WAY IS NOT THE WAY" moral, Superman basically fist-bumped 75% of his ersatz crew and went "thanks for filling in for me bros, there's a little Superman in all of you! "

And in terms of "well, it was the 1990s" I don't really know if that is a factor as much as just a blatant attempt at DC and Marvel to try to maintain market share. They did the same thing (particularly at Marvel) in the 1980s in terms of spreading out their monthly output to choke out indies with lots of prestige reprints and additional titles for their big characters, adding extra Spider-X-Bat-Justice-Titans books all the time. By the time Image (and briefly Valiant and let's be honest, no one else really) started threatening their market share, they were already putting out a dozen Spider-Man and X-Men books a month, so in an attempt to differentiate some of them they tried giving books to Venom and Sabretooth and Deadpool and Green Goblin and Thunderstrike and the Thor Corps and etc. etc. etc.

Edge & Christian fucked around with this message at 03:45 on Sep 16, 2014

Edge & Christian
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Metal Loaf posted:

Wasn't Youngblood originally conceived as a Teen Titans pitch, too?
Literally so, yes.

"Liefeld merged his Titans ideas into a new creator-owned project, Youngblood, to be published by the newly founded Image Comics. According to Liefeld, "Shaft was intended to be Speedy. Vogue was a new Harlequin design, Combat was a Kh'undian warrior circa the Legion of Super-Heroes, ditto for Photon and Die Hard was a Star Labs android. I forgot who Chapel was supposed to be."

Cougar and I think a couple other Youngblood characters also showed up in his New Mutants sketchbook things in either Marvel Age or some X-Annuals.

Edge & Christian
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Shitshow posted:

I believe it was in the chat thread that there was mention of the comics code and how it was used to basically end crime and horror comics. Is there an essay or brief history that someone can recommend to learn more?
The (as I look at it now not) really short version:

After World War II superhero comics lost a lot of their popularity, and crime/horror comics filled a lot of that void. It's kind of worth noting that even through the period of Golden Age Superheroes being hot, and crime/horror comics being hot, and then Silver Age comics being hot, some of the best-selling comics were still consistently family friendly stuff like Archie, Gold Key Disney/other cartoon books, etc.

American society in the post-war years was pretty squeaky clean, at least in terms of media. Films had enacted the Hays Code since the mid-1930s, television was following at least as strict an internal code, and even 'girly mags' on the level of Playboy basically didn't exist outside of only marginally legal clandestine distribution methods. A lot of the crime and horror comics (not just EC, but plenty of other publishes) were pretty shockingly gruesome and dark in a society where films were free of blood and curses and anything but the lightest suggestion of sex existing.

People were also pretty paranoid about ~SECRET INVASIONS~, whether by communist agents or fugitive Nazis or Satanists or Negroes or who knows what. Plus, youth culture as it exists today also emerged in those times. The kids coming of age circa 1950 were some of the first kids to ever have what we consider real childhood/adolescence, given the simultaneous development of child labor laws, compulsory public education, the industrial revolution, wider spread literacy, the development of mass media, the emergence of a middle class, etc. You could argue a lot of these were coming into play earlier, but there were two huge wars and a worldwide Depression that probably spoiled a lot of kids' leisure time.

A lot of people were startled to discover that kids got up to bad poo poo even given this idyllic setup. The whole concept of "juvenile delinquents" really caught on around then, and people were grasping at straws as to why kids still did bad stuff. A little later on people would be able to blame rock n roll and marijuana and civil rights agitators, but a group of people (not created but eventually figureheaded by Frederic Wertham, a child psychologist) noticed a lot of these young offenders were reading comics. And once they took the time to look at the comics that these kids (and plenty of non-criminal, well-behaved kids) were reading, pearls were clutched and monocles popped across polite society.

This led to alarmist newspaper and magazine articles (several penned by Wertham), protests, book burnings, boycotts of shops carrying the offending comics, a best-selling book by Wertham (Seduction of the Innocent, which for what it's worth thought superheroes and funny animals and all comics in general held secret bad messages for kids) and eventually a Senate hearing where a lot of narratives will claim "comics were exonerated" but the conclusion was remarkably similar to the similar hearings held regarding heavy metal/rap music in the 1980s and Mortal Kombat/Doom in the 1990s: the Senate basically said "your industry needs to get its poo poo together on its own or else Congress might need to pass laws against you."

So in 1954 the Comics Code Authority was set up with some really strict rules on what could and could not be in a comic, and 90% of the publishers agreed to voluntarily submit their books to the Authority, and pretty much all of the distributors and printers and newsstands agreed to only carry Code approved books to avoid any further protests. You can read the whole thing here but some choice bits:

code:
* Policemen, judges, government officials, and respected institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect for established authority.
* In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds. 
* Instances of law enforcement officers dying as a result of a criminal's activities should be discouraged. 
* The letter of the word "crime" on a comics magazine shall never be appreciably greater than the other words contained in the title. The word "crime" shall never appear alone on a cover. 
* No comics magazine shall use the word horror or terror in its title. 
* Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism and werewolfism are prohibited.
* All characters shall be depicted in dress reasonably acceptable to society.
* Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities. NOTE: It should be recognized that all prohibitions dealing with costume, dialogue, or artwork apply as specifically to the cover of a comic magazine as they do to the contents.
* Respect for parents, the moral code, and for honorable behavior shall be fostered. A sympathetic understanding of the problems of love is not a license for moral distortion.
Pretty much the only publisher who didn't immediately kowtow to this was EC, who limped along for a little while having huge trouble finding anyone to carry their books, until they killed everything but MAD which survived because they made it magazine sized and therefore it technically wasn't a comic book.

The second big wave of superhero comics came along a few years later, and then in the early 1970s there was pressure to slightly revise the code to allow for things like a villain getting away after being thwarted, mentions of monsters, and the occasional suggestion that you know, maybe once in awhile a person in authority might not be the best person in the world. This period is mainly memorable for everyone and their brother all putting out Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy, Zombie comics in the same six month period.

By the 1980s the direct market started to take a bigger chunk of the market and the weirdos who ran the second wave of comic shops didn't give a poo poo about the code, so you could hypothetically sell a non-Code comic somewhere other than the nearly-dead network of headshops that (barely) supported underground comix in the 1960s and 1970s. Pretty much none of the publishers to emerge since then (Fantagraphics, Comico, First, Eclipse, Image, Valiant, etc.) ever bothered to sign up for the Code, imprints like Epic and Vertigo ignored it, and in 2001 Marvel decided to stop bothering with it. By then no one was buying comics off the newsstand and watchdog groups were too busy panicking about the Internet and whatever, so it more or less went out with a whimper. I remember Archie stopped running the code a few years back and when some reporter asked them about it, they confessed they weren't entirely sure when they stopped sending them to get approved, they just had a blanket approval because it's not like Archie is going to have anyone get killed or turn out to be gay or be a zombie. Not in an ARCHIE comic!

Anyway that's probably more information than you wanted but less than reading a whole book on it.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
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A Strange Aeon posted:

The Comics Code was basically created by other publishers to destroy EC by prohibiting comics with the words 'weird', 'horror', 'terror', 'crime', and 'fear' in the title. Anyone familiar with EC's output can see that that kills the entire New Direction line.
I mean, the code only prohibits the words "horror" "terror" and "crime", and there were a TON of books with CRIME in the title back then. EC's weren't the longest running, nor were they the best selling. I mean that both in that books like Lev Gleason's CRIME DOES NOT PAY started in 1942 before Bill Gaines even took over EC, and it outsold everything EC was putting out.

EC employed a lot of really great/beloved people and did a good job of building a fanbase by printing those people's names and encouraging fan clubs and etc. They also really put their stamp on the period thanks to reprint efforts and/or the whole Tales from the Crypt television series, but the whole concept of "the code being created to put EC out of business" is misleading since they weren't putting out exceptionally disreputable content compared to their contemporaries, they weren't outselling any of the major players. I mean, maybe people were pissed off at the Senate testimony, but really that would be about it.

The title thing would only keep them from being able to publish Vault of Horror and Crime SuspenStories (Crypt of Terror switched to Tales from the Crypt about four years before the CCA was ratified). That leave pretty much everything else, at least in terms of title if not content.

The Code and EC's refusal to conform to it (they submitted some comics to it, but after like a year and a half of refusing to do so and it was a last ditch effort that lasted all of a couple of months) definitely led to the folding of the line of comics, but that was collateral damage/a principled stance, not any sort of intent on the part of the other publishers.

Edge & Christian fucked around with this message at 00:31 on Nov 11, 2014

Edge & Christian
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A Strange Aeon posted:

Interesting; whatever I read must have had a real pro EC bias then, since that was how I'd always thought it went down. Thanks for the knowledge!

For some reason I thought EC was a much bigger player than they apparently were. Might be from all the EC reprints I bought growing up, where Russ Cochran (I think that's the name of the guy) seemed on a holy mission to reprint the entire New Line and there was a picture of an old, bearded Bill Gaines in some of the issues as a kind of memorial. Made it seem all important to me as a kid, I guess.
EC is unquestionably significant historically and artistically, for all the reasons I mentioned. The fact that they were reprinted and lionized repeatedly over the past thirty years is kind of a chicken-egg thing, in terms of it reinforcing their significance but also they wouldn't have been lovingly remembered/reprinted if they weren't significant already.

It's just the modern retelling of the story that places them front and center and the source of everything memorable/edgy/popular about comics pre-Code. I actually wrote about this a few years ago. Think of EC Comics as like, the Velvet Underground or Joy Division rather than the Beatles or U2, if that makes any sense as a tortured metaphor.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

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chime_on posted:

It depends on who you ask. People who read DC books think that there are some that are good. People who only read ABOUT the books on blogs and forums think that everything is terrible. I'm one of the former. Here's what I think is good:

New 52 Futures End
I mean this with no malice at all, but what do you like about Futures End? I think you are literally the first person I've seen saying they like it. I know I have an allergy to Snyder/Johns/a lot of the things people love here and elsewhere, and I've come to grips with that. But Futures End?

Edge & Christian
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Lurdiak posted:

Well yeah, us dumb superhero comic readers are used to it, but for many readers of Runaways who aren't necessarily into superhero comcs, the art change was jarring and offputting. And make no mistake, that was a sizeable portion of the readers.
I mean I haven't done full demographic surveys but by the end of BKV's run the book was selling around 25,000 copies a month. Then Joss Whedon agreed to do a six issue arc that took like a year or so to actually come out, during which the sales figures bounced up to 56,000 for Whedon's first issue and dropped down to 30,000 for the last issue of the arc.

Then Joss Whedon left and the book took off a couple of months (or I guess co-existed with a Secret Invasion mini-series that crossed over with Young Avengers) and then relaunched with a new #1 and Terry Moore and Humberto Ramos on the book. The #1 actually gave them a bit of a bump over Whedon/Ryan's last issue (33,000) but by the end of the five issue mini-series sales were down to 22,000, fully three thousand less orders than the last arc or two of Brian K Vaughn's original run. Sales got even worse after Ramos left, presumably because that significant chunk of readers were so turned off by Ramos's art that they never wanted to look back at the series ever again. Presumably these same readers who don't understand art changes somehow didn't get freaked out and flip out at the first five artist changes on the book.

But again, I haven't done any large reader survey, it's entirely possible Runaways isn't a three-book franchise right now because of lovely ol' Humberto "The True Fan Killer" Ramos.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

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I decided to dig through old Usenet posts about Armageddon 2001 and wow, not a lot of people talking comics on the Internet in 1991. At least not compared to now. What's funny is after the Armageddon 2001 #1 bookend came out, the consensus on the Internet was that Monarch was clearly Booster Gold, and Jurgens was reclaiming him from Giffen's silliness. Other people were convinced it might be an attempt to make Aquaman 'serious', or that it might be Batman or "maybe a woman, that would be surprising and good".

By the end of the summer everyone was convinced it was either Captain Atom or Booster Gold for a variety of reasons. Then in July FUNNYBOOK INSIDERS tipped their hand.

Jim Cowling posted:

A number of places; people in the know on GENie have confirmed it...the most recent DC release shows the cover to A2001 #2, which has Waverider and Captain Atom surrounded by a bunch of heroes from the JLE, etc etc etc. I've seen so
much proof from the company and its representatives I can't begin to describe it all.

When it was Hank Hall, a lot of people were upset, some tried to defend it.

quote:

I haven't read A2001 #2 yet, but from what I've read about the ending, I can only applaud DC actually killing off a major character. I'm so happy its going to be Dove. I hated that comic, the only reason I read it was to see if they did anything good with the Lords of Order and Chaos schtick. Hawk was a rather obvious choice, I guess he was chosen because he was so obvious. You gotta admit it fooled a lot of people (myself included).

quote:

At the risk of being royally flamed by the entire rec.arts.comics readership, I think that this series epitomizes a major problem in the comics world today: The readers take them just too damned seriously. And to see all the readers (including myself) get TOTALLY sucked into the Captain Atom is Monarch bit was a riot. How many times does the hype for a comic say, "You won't believe it!", or "We guarantee you'll be surprised" only to deliver another predictable storyline? This time, they actually surprised me! I had my expectations all set for the usual "shocker", telegraphed as always, and then they throw a real live curve at me. That alone made it worth it.

Jim Cowling posted:

HAWK?!?!?!?!?!? Holy poo poo. I'll tell ya, they had me fooled BIG TIME. Their disinformation campaign to the retailers was incredible, however. From the 1991 DC Editorial Presentation: "Now, the list has been narrowed down to a member of Justice League Europe..."

It takes like two months for someone to ask:

quote:

Anybody think that MAYBE DC changed its mind at the last minute to whom Monarch is ? Why all of the fake trail for Atom (cap) when it was originally him until the entire world guessed it early in the series.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
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Madkal posted:

In regards to readers voting for something, there was the whole Marvelle debacle with U Decide. Can't remember the details. Something to do with Jemas betting PAD that he could sell more comics or something.
Yeah, it was
    Peter David's Captain Marvel
    Joe Quesada's Ultimate Adventures
    Bill Jemas's Marville

Here's a decent write-up. Bill Jemas's book lost, but to the best of my knowledge he never got into a dunk tank. For that matter, I think Jemas was on his way out (Dan Buckley was officially appointed publisher in October 2003, Jemas stuck around until mid-2004, WizardWorld Chicago was August 2003) by the time that con came around.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Avengers 200 is from 1980, and at that point I don't think most of the names being thrown around were writing any comics. Louise Jones/Simonson and Jo Duffy were both hired on as editors in 1980, and started getting writing jobs (Simonson more than Duffy) a few years later*. Nocenti also got hired on as an editor and then progressed to writing in the mid-1980s. Karen Berger was on board at DC by 1980, but she never wrote much that I recall.

In terms of pre-1980, Lee Marrs did some oddball stuff for Marvel and DC, very rarely for superhero books. Linda Fite (Herb Trimpe's wife) wrote a few things for Marvel, but it was usually something along the line of the 'cult' 'classic' Night Nurse as opposed to superheroes.

This is kind of the only way it seems women got writing credit in comics in the 1970s: Laurie Rozakis has some co-writing credits with Bob, Danni Thomas with Roy, Mary Skrenes with then-boyfriend (actually I just realized I have no idea if this is true, it's possible they were just writing partners) Steve Gerber. Marie Severin seemed to be a humor cartoonist independent of John.

There are probably quite a few people I am forgetting who worked primarily on humor/romance/horror/fantasy comics at Marvel or DC prior to 1980, and there's Dorothy Woolfolk who I had no idea existed until recently and is almost unquestionably the most significant/influential female figure in superhero comics pre-1980.

Without pulling up the illustrated map of the MARVEL BULLPEN circa 1981 from Marvel Age (though I probably could if anyone wanted it) I'm not sure who all was in the office coloring or lettering or doing production circa 1980, but there would have been very few women around, and it looks like exactly zero of them were in the production line for Avengers 200. I'm pretty sure even though things are still pretty skewed towards males today, there are relatively few books that could have the same thing said today.

Also on the subject of the other big hot discussion in here, I'll legitimately PayPal a reward to anyone who can find Rhyno's classic post about starting poo poo at the "Good ol' TRU" and trying to take some Transformers toys from some bratty kid who was just going to open them and then got into a fight with a parent and somehow HE'S the rear end in a top hat that got the cops called on him? Either to confirm I didn't dream that, or if it's not Rhyno so I can apologize to him for thinking it was him for the past five years.

redbackground posted:

Point of order, but from what I saw at marvel.wikia.com, Jo Duffy had already written ten issues of Power Man & Iron Fist, an issue of Star Wars, and had co-written 3 other comics when Avengers 200 was published.
I thought that was later, my mistake.

* (Mary) Jo Duffy was hired as an assistant editor in 1979 and started getting writing jobs almost immediately.

Edge & Christian fucked around with this message at 05:14 on Mar 5, 2015

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


I still can't find this post, but from what I can recall Rhyno is consistent in saying that he never "took a toy out of a child's hands". I think he took them out of someone's shopping cart. Or possibly he had taken ALL of the toys, put them in his shopping cart, and then gotten into it with some kid's parent when it became clear Rhyno was not going to be happy until he left the store with ALL of whatever exciting new Transformer this was.

It's also entirely possible that post was made and the story was at least slightly fanciful. I'm still dreadfully curious about who did or did not want to beat me up.

My favorite "female creators at Marvel/DC pre-1980" is that Francoise Mouly spent a short amount of time doing colorist work at Marvel not long before RAW launched, and allegedly got notes back on like atmospheric night time scenes all the time saying "HEY FIRE HYDRANTS AREN'T PURPLE GET WITH THE PROGRAM"

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Wheat Loaf posted:

Edit: There's this stereotype around how the original Image guys managed to become fabulously wealthy through their comics work; I was under the impression that, even when comics were huge in the early 90s, if you had enough regular work, it would give you enough to live on but you wouldn't be buying yourself autographed baseballs (as McFarlane did) or prop swords from Arnold Schwarzenegger movies to hang on the wall of your home cinema (as Liefeld did). Or even aside from them, looking at the same era, I've read that Grant Morrison was able to take a two-year break from comics and buy a castle in the Highlands on what he made off Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On a Serious Earth.

So how exactly did McFarlane and Liefeld make their money? Google tells me that McFarlane's net worth is $300 million; granted, I imagine a lot of that's going to be in non-liquid or intangible assets like any IP he owns, but still, $300 million. Where did it come from?

This is from awhile back, but in terms of "how did the Image guys get rich?" the answer is "Image".

They made surprisingly little (but still I'm sure quite a bit) from their Marvel runs, and the entire reason they LEFT Marvel was because they felt they weren't being paid enough for their comics, and they were unquestionably being screwed when they saw little (often zero) money for when Marvel took their characters and artwork and used it to make toys, t-shirts, posters, trading cards, etc.

When they started Image, they were making all of the money off of those early years of Spawn, Wildcats, Youngblood, Cyberforce, etc. There's been a lot made in recent years about how people like Kieron Gillen can make a great deal more money writing a "modest" selling Image book than a higher selling big two book, because outside of Image's small administrative cut, all of the rest of the revenue goes directly to the creators.

quote:

Iíll give you some really basic rule of thumbs for indie comic commentary:

Anything selling stably over 10k in single issues is a cause for celebration and joy. The creators are almost certainly extremely happy.

If youíre selling over (ooh) 12k, youíre probably making more than either of the big two would pay you, unless youíre one of the very biggest names.

If youíre selling anything near 20k, you probably have to buy drinks for your friends.
Early on the Image guys would have multiple books a month selling 250,000+ copies. McFarlane made a habit out of taking out full page trade ads basically saying "LAST MONTH WE SOLD A MILLION COPIES OF SPAWN AND 750,000 COPIES OF ANGELA AND 500,000 COPIES HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES"

Give that sort of money to people in their late 20s (or I guess early 30s for McFarlane) and of course you're going to spend it on swords and baseballs, and that's not even factoring in the fact that they got the lion's share of merchandise money. McFarlane Toys were also super successful for a time. Even five years in as the comics industry was "collapsing" Todd was selling over 100k of at least two Spawn books most months.

Liefeld is more confusing, though he had a really good run of being feted by Hollywood and optioning the dumbest of concepts for films. He also went through getting kicked out of Image for mismanaging funds and resources and then blew threw three companies in five years dodging creditors, so who knows how he's doing overall.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


SonicRulez posted:

Wasn't Mary Jane dead at some point? Spider-Man comics are definitely better with her in them than without.
I mean, kind of technically? There's a really large part of Spider-Man's extended cast and crew who spent pretty long stretches dead, then came back.

Norman Osborn died in 1973 and came back in 1996.
Kraven killed himself in 1987 and came back a few years ago.
Harry Osborn died in 1993 and came back in 2008.
Doctor Octopus was killed by Kaine during the Clone Saga but got resurrected by the Hand a couple of years later.
Aunt May died in 1995 and came back a couple of years later at the end of the Clone Saga.
Mary Jane was "dead" for about a year and a half in 2000-2001, or I guess stalked by a mutant who teleported her off of an airplane right before it blew up and kept her kidnapped?
Both Ben Reilly and Kaine were killed at the end of the Clone Saga but are back now.

Probably most of his other villains/sidekicks were apparently killed at some point (Rhino, Electro, Silver Sable, Kingpin, Kingpin and Carnage several times apiece just in the past decade) I feel like those are more "they're gone.... OR ARE THEY" tropes than full on "we're going to tell stories about their deaths" though I guess Spider-Man got mega-mopey about Sable dying, until he forgot about it.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


CzarChasm posted:

I'd be surprised if Kingpin never made a bid for office, though in modern story telling, it's easier for him to just puppet someone already in office.
The title of Daredevil's "Marvel Legacy" arc starting in October is "Mayor Fisk".

This is also a pretty concise rundown of at least everyone who became President across realities in Marvel. And at DC.

Howard the Duck ran for president in 1976, and Prez was... well, Prez in 1974. I think those were the first two storylines they did about this, outside of I guess Secret Empire or the time that JFK impersonated Superman in a comic that came out right after he died.

Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Nissin Cup Nudist posted:

I heard Captain America is now a Nazi? Is this actually true?
Nick Spencer is the writer behind the whole thing. You can google his dubious early attempts at a career in politics, and prior to this Captain America run his big calling card was a series called Morning Glories, which is about a ~~mysterious~~ boarding school and is a very explicit demonstration about what happens if someone took 100% of the wrong lessons from Lost.

It lasted two "seasons"/50 issues and in that time managed to introduce the concepts of time travel, divergent timelines, evil twins, shapeshifting, reincarnation, mind control/possession, ghosts, clones, literal divine intervention, and almost nothing in the way of plot or character resolution. He hired a guy to do annotations in the back of the later issues and they were all pretty much "well assuming this character is who they say they are, and that they're from the main timeline, and they're not being possessed, then I suppose we can assume they're acting on behalf of this other character, who may well be the first character but from the future, except if they survived into the future, how does one explain the scene from four issues ago?"

He took over the Captain America book after Rick Remender left the book, and the status quo he inherited was that Steve Rogers had lost his Super Soldier Serum and was an elderly man who had given up the shield/title of Captain America to Sam Wilson aka the Falcon. Remender used this to tell sold if pretty straightforward superhero action/espionage stories.

When Spencer took over the book, he turned it into a weird mash-up of RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES REALNESS and well, uh, half-assed Doonesbury jokes? Racist supervillains giving good ol' boy redneck diatribes about havin' to press one for English on that dang ol' innnernet customer service line even though they dang ol' tarnation ain't getting proper fios download speeds on the Netflix, but also brutally abducting undocumented immigrants to sell to companies doing genetic experiments on grafting animal parts onto humans and then hiring supervillains who incorporated to murder all of the scientists to cover it up because you can't arrest a corporation for murder so the supervillains can bust into boardrooms and shoot people in the face and throw them out onto a crowded street while basically shouting DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY at the crowds who sort of shrug and go "well he's doing it for a corporation so I guess there's nothing we can do..." Also a lot of cartoonishly racist politicians and Fox News surrogates going NOT MY CAP and TAKE BACK THE SHIELD because "he just seems different, he's a nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnarcicist!" and other stories that somehow some people kind of liked?

Then there was a smaller crossover that revealed that Maria "Wisecracking War Criminal" Hill had violated UN sanctions to build a Cosmic Cube, which is a magic reality altering plot device, and used it to extra-judicially abduct a bunch of supervillains and alter reality so that instead of being psychotic cannibal mass murderers (or bankrobbers, or whatever) they were all Soder Shoppe owners or mechanics or milkmen in an artificially constructed idyllic small town. When heroes and other SHIELD members found out she was running this black site, she would just use the Cosmic Cube to brainwash them and throw them into the mind control jail city too.

Eventually some villains broke free of the programming because __________________ and some of the heroes found out about this and a big fight broke out. During the fight Old Man Steve Rogers was on site and was about to die at the hands of a villain when it was revealed that the Cosmic Cube Macguffin had gained sentience and thought it was a little girl named Kobik and Kobik liked nice old man Steve Rogers and restored him to his former youth and vigor.

EXCEPT unbeknownst to anyone else, the nice old priest in the town had befriended Kobik and the nice old priest wasn't part of the SHIELD Mind Control program but instead was secretly that mean ol' Nazi the Red Skull who did all of this because ________________ and he had tricked the little God Girl into not only making Steve young and strong again, but also tricked her into making it so that Steve and "Mr Skull" were "BEST FRIENDS".

This is how reality got altered so that secretly Steve Rogers has been a deep cover Nazi Hydra agent since the 1920s.

[This is the part where he spends a whole lot of time trying to justify this twist]

EXCEPT, as was explored in Captain America: Steve Rogers, the little God Girl rewrote his whole history so that long before Red Skull even became the Red Skull in the 1920s, a new lady apparently created by the God Girl had recruited Steve's mom into a labor party called the Hydra Society. And then Madame Hydra had murdered Steve's dad because he was an abusive drunk, and got Steve and his Mom to move to some secret Hydra base, where they later killed Steve's mom (while he was secretly watching) because she wasn't Down Enough With Hydra.

Then Hydra voted to join the Axis powers and Madame Hydra and Steve Rogers were all "NUH UH WE DON'T LIKE THE NAZIS, ADOLF HITLER IS A BAD MAN, WE SHOULDN'T BE HIS FRIEND." but you know, they're outvoted so they sort of shrug and decide okay, we're going to team up with the Nazis but we don't like 'em! Steve and Hydra work hard to destroy the Allies even though he's their most prominent warrior and they try not to dwell too much on this, but he'd very sad when the Red Skull -- A BAD MAN HE WOULD NEVER BE FRIENDS WITH -- takes over Hydra near the end of the War, and he swears one day he will kill the Red Skull for his perversion of all that he holds dear as a loyal Hydra soldier.

Then (I am not making this up but it's hardly been mentioned at all since its first appearance), Steve finds out that the Nazis are *this close* to winning WWII, but unfortunately the hated Americans have invented a Cosmic Cube and are going to use it to rewrite history and let them win the war. Steve is shuttled off by Isaac Newton and Nostradamus -- yep! -- and dunked into a magic pool that allows him to survive the reality re-writing I guess, so that when he is thawed out of the ice, he'll remember THE TRUTH and be a loyal Hydra soldier even if no one else remembers...

Then I guess because they never explored it, every appearance of Steve Rogers in comics from 1963-2016 happened just as it did in the comics, with Steve Rogers being a paragon of courage, loyalty, sacrifice, bravery, selflessness, equanimity, a true inspiration, mentor, and friend to everyone. Except he secretly hated them and was plotting their demise, deep inside.

Then back in the main run-up to Secret Empire, it was basically him plotting to kill the Red Skull (you know, the guy who tricked the God Girl into turning Steve into a Nazi so they could be friends) and doing a bunch of other really half-witted 'i'm going to try to sabotage this secretly and then when my sabotage doesn't work, I'll smirk and explain this is exactly how I planned things' plots while further smirking about how foolish and weak and stupid all of these beta cuck heroes are for trusting him, if they only knew...........

Then he kills Red Skull and executes all of his dumb plans that are like literally the plans of the Third Reich -- except he hates the Third Reich, he's definitely not a Nazi, he's Hydra! -- and Secret Empire starts, which is essentially 7-8 issues of Nazsteve committing atrocities and then going "but I mean, I'm not a bad guy" while all of the heroes are constantly thwarted and give monologues about how stupid they were, how foolish and blind and stupid they were to ever trust this man, you have to be a real dumb piece of poo poo beta cuck to have ever trusted a man as bad as Captain America, they never saw it coming, they're so loving stupid... and really, maybe, given how big and strong and confident Nazsteve is, who are we to say he's the bad guy? He won, we lost. We're such blind fools, tricked by the trickiest trickster ever!"

And then after seven issues of that Sam Wilson decides "you know what? Maybe I'm Captain America still! Let's fight back!" and all of the heroes are inspired by him fighting back and an Inhuman pukes up a piece of the Cosmic Cube and they use it to free all of the captured heroes and some of the captured heroes that died aren't really dead and maybe some of the heroes who seemed like they were Nazis change their mind and everyone fights back and now maybe they'll win!

It's a deeply terrible storyline from top to bottom, well beyond the political aspects. But also the political aspects.

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Edge & Christian
May 20, 2001

Earth-1145 is truly the best!
A world of singing, magic frogs,
high adventure, no shitposters


Uthor posted:

I only skimmed, this is what jumped out, now I wanna read.
It's two and a half pages in Secret Empire 0 if you really want to check it out.

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