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Post By
Michael Hoskin

In Reply To
Omar Karindu

Subj: Re: Omar Karindu is O. K. ...
Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 04:52:50 pm EDT (Viewed 3 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Omar Karindu is O. K. ...
Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 04:24:26 pm EDT (Viewed 4 times)

Previous Post

> > These are all excellent points, and you're right in that I shouldn't have employed a hypothetical interlocutor -- read: straw man -- as a quote source.
> >
> > Gary Friedrich's SHIELD stories with Frank Springer suffer mainly because they're quite obviously trying to do Steranko stories without quite grasping Steranko's methodology. Friedrich had a decent, if unspectacular run on Iron Man and Springer was quite a capable artist, but their SHIELD run is like listening to an all-kazoo cover of "White Rabbit."
>
> Even then, not all of their results were that dismal-- the Christmas story from NF#10 is fairly well-regarded. The most obvious attempt at aping Steranko were the double-page splashes that appeared mid-story in Steranko-fashion.

Well, that and the sorts of Eisneresque images -- like the cover to #10, or the record imagery that opens #11 -- that Steranko was aping from old Spirit stories. But I've honestly never been that fond of the weirdly episodic Hate-Monger series as a whole...even #10 presents the bizarre spectacle of a Hitler-clone's biowarfare scheme being accidentally foiled by Santa Claus. (Are you sure you aren't thinking of #9, which was a decent enough tale?) For one thing, the stories, IIRC, are all effectively separate, despite all featuring the same villain...and killing him off at the finish. Taken as an arc, it doesn't work at all, even if Peter B. Gillis, years later, explained how the resurrections worked.

I will admit that I love that visual of the Hate-Monger being tossed into space in #11, aping as it was of Baron Strucker's similar "wrong door" death under Steranko, probably because I encountered it in the OHOTMU and spent years trying to work out what story it was from.

> The Friedrich-Springer collaboration was at its worst with #11 (the "Wild in the Streets" teens-conquer-US story), which definitely meets your appraisal of their work. NF#11 is quite possibly the worst Nick Fury story ever written (but still charming if you like your comics with camp).

This was quite bad, including the disastrous effort at a "cold open" featuring a hateful rock band and rather tame psychedelic imagery. Straight out of a 50s exploitation film, that was.

> However, I thought that the Friedrich-Trimpe issues (#13-15) were overall a much weaker collaboration, especially given that it spun out of a decent issue by Barry Windsor-Smith (#12) that was a lot closer to Steranko's spirit than anything else seen since his departure. Issues #13-15 pick up the idea of Fury being on the run from SHIELD, only to turn it all into a bad dream, then finally execute Fury in the last issue. Based on those issues, I would guess that Friedrich was stumped for ideas.

I'd blocked those from my mind, apparently, but I must agree. They're down there with Gerry Conway's resolution of his Mr. Kline story, which managed to range across three titles for something close to half a year without making a lick of sense. We did get the Man-Bull out of it, though.

Come to think of it, Kline and the Black Lama (another initially promising arc with a crap conclusion) share in common the sense that they started out as plot devices to let the writer introduce lots of new villains in a short period of time, and ended by requiring explanations that were half-baked and overly convoluted.

> There's also that bizarre dropped plot point in #9 about Fury's eye possibly regaining its sight; thank goodness Friedrich never pursued it or he would have done some actual damage to the character by removing his best-known trademark. Compared to losing the eyepatch, killing Fury was no big deal. \:\-\)
>
> MH

Heh, well, and it inaugurated a grand tradition of LMD fakeouts. Pity it led into a prototype of the Hobgoblin confusion what with Scorpio's ID turning out to be Jake Fury, despite the impossibility of that being the original concept based on publication dates.

By the way, about your "parable of doom"/Strucker speculations -- Centurius uses the same phrase in SHIELD #2 to describe his "ark" plan, so it may just be that Steranko liked the phrase...or perhaps he was builing to something. We'll never know, will we?

- Omar Karindu

"A Renoir. I have three, myself. I had four, but ordered one burned...It
displeased me." -- Doctor Doom

"It's not, 'Oh, they killed Sue Dibney and I always loved that character,' it's 'Oh, they broke a story engine that could have told a thousand stories in order to publish a single 'important' one.'" -- John Seavey

> > > Gary Friedrich's SHIELD stories with Frank Springer suffer mainly because they're quite obviously trying to do Steranko stories without quite grasping Steranko's methodology. Friedrich had a decent, if unspectacular run on Iron Man and Springer was quite a capable artist, but their SHIELD run is like listening to an all-kazoo cover of "White Rabbit."
> >
> > Even then, not all of their results were that dismal-- the Christmas story from NF#10 is fairly well-regarded. The most obvious attempt at aping Steranko were the double-page splashes that appeared mid-story in Steranko-fashion.
>
> Well, that and the sorts of Eisneresque images -- like the cover to #10, or the record imagery that opens #11 -- that Steranko was aping from old Spirit stories. But I've honestly never been that fond of the weirdly episodic Hate-Monger series as a whole...even #10 presents the bizarre spectacle of a Hitler-clone's biowarfare scheme being accidentally foiled by Santa Claus. (Are you sure you aren't thinking of #9, which was a decent enough tale?)

I didn't care much for #9, I thought the Steranko-aping was clumsy and interrupted the story (only to find even clumsier aping in #11). Also, there was the reintroduction of Laura Brown which seemed (strangely enough) to have been done to spite Steranko's fans.*

> For one thing, the stories, IIRC, are all effectively separate, despite all featuring the same villain...and killing him off at the finish. Taken as an arc, it doesn't work at all, even if Peter B. Gillis, years later, explained how the resurrections worked.

It really doesn't help that the Hate-Monger is killed off at the start and the finish.

> I will admit that I love that visual of the Hate-Monger being tossed into space in #11, aping as it was of Baron Strucker's similar "wrong door" death under Steranko, probably because I encountered it in the OHOTMU and spent years trying to work out what story it was from.

It is a good visual, true.

> > The Friedrich-Springer collaboration was at its worst with #11 (the "Wild in the Streets" teens-conquer-US story), which definitely meets your appraisal of their work. NF#11 is quite possibly the worst Nick Fury story ever written (but still charming if you like your comics with camp).
>
> This was quite bad, including the disastrous effort at a "cold open" featuring a hateful rock band and rather tame psychedelic imagery. Straight out of a 50s exploitation film, that was.

To quote my comment from the Appendix's Hate-Monger entry: "The Hate-Monger's appearances in Nick Fury are some truly bad comics. Throughout, artist Frank Springer attempted to emulate Jim Steranko's work on the series, most noticeably with the two-page spreads that would appear in every story, and the attempts at psychedelicism and surrealism. But nothing, absolutely nothing can compare to issue #11, where the young people of America conquer the country, like something from the movie Wild in the Streets. For, you see, the American people are helpless against their own youth. You can tell this story was written before the Kent State shootings."

> > However, I thought that the Friedrich-Trimpe issues (#13-15) were overall a much weaker collaboration, especially given that it spun out of a decent issue by Barry Windsor-Smith (#12) that was a lot closer to Steranko's spirit than anything else seen since his departure. Issues #13-15 pick up the idea of Fury being on the run from SHIELD, only to turn it all into a bad dream, then finally execute Fury in the last issue. Based on those issues, I would guess that Friedrich was stumped for ideas.
>
> I'd blocked those from my mind, apparently, but I must agree. They're down there with Gerry Conway's resolution of his Mr. Kline story, which managed to range across three titles for something close to half a year without making a lick of sense. We did get the Man-Bull out of it, though.

And we nearly saw the cancellation of Daredevil & Iron Man, for that matter. Mr. Kline is the Ron Pearlman of super-villains.

> Come to think of it, Kline and the Black Lama (another initially promising arc with a crap conclusion) share in common the sense that they started out as plot devices to let the writer introduce lots of new villains in a short period of time, and ended by requiring explanations that were half-baked and overly convoluted.

It's a pity that the resolution to Black Lama had to be so crappy; it would have been better to leave the character unresolved than to inflict such a lame origin story on the readership.

> > There's also that bizarre dropped plot point in #9 about Fury's eye possibly regaining its sight; thank goodness Friedrich never pursued it or he would have done some actual damage to the character by removing his best-known trademark. Compared to losing the eyepatch, killing Fury was no big deal. \:\-\)
> >
> Heh, well, and it inaugurated a grand tradition of LMD fakeouts.

Yes...the worst thing to happen to the LMDs in that they became plot devices. It reached its absolute highest stupidity with Fury's second death, which, we were assured, was most definitely not an LMD. So how did they bring him back? It was an LMD that couldn't be recognized as an LMD. Could you be more transparent?

> Pity it led into a prototype of the Hobgoblin confusion what with Scorpio's ID turning out to be Jake Fury, despite the impossibility of that being the original concept based on publication dates.
>
> By the way, about your "parable of doom"/Strucker speculations -- Centurius uses the same phrase in SHIELD #2 to describe his "ark" plan, so it may just be that Steranko liked the phrase...or perhaps he was builing to something. We'll never know, will we?

Considering how Steranko's other two SHIELD epics brought in Strucker and Doom at their respective conclusions, I imagine that he was planning something. I wish it had been him who wrapped up the Scorpio plot. Kraft's resolution is probably the best thing he ever wrote, but it was the end of Scorpio as a compelling super-villain; he'd gone from an intriguing mystery man who could beat Fury at his own game to a recriminating drunken bozo.

> "It's not, 'Oh, they killed Sue Dibney and I always loved that character,' it's 'Oh, they broke a story engine that could have told a thousand stories in order to publish a single 'important' one.'" -- John Seavey

Thanks for linking this blog, by the way-- I've been visiting it regularly the past few weeks since you started signing with it.

MH

*=There was a great deal of opposition to the introduction of Val De Fontaine during Steranko's issues, and the letters page revealed a number of fans calling for her removal and for Laura Brown to be brought back. Friedrich seemed to be sympathetic, and intentionally or not, he ignored Val and the other Steranko creations. 40 years later, Laura is a barely-remembered footnote, and Val is the definitive Fury love interest.


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