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Tiger Shark

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Subj: How Long Have You Been Reading Marvel? McDuffie's 'Take' Is Not Accidental [SPOILERS]
Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 03:16:08 pm EDT
Reply Subj: Re: Great - Just Keep In Mind That This Was The First Issue In An Arc.... [SPOILERS]
Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 12:58:09 pm EDT

Previous Post

> ...and so gives us quite a build up for things to come.
> But after BEYOND!, I think McDuffie has proven that he understands the traditional, historic MU Proper in a way that Bendis, for instance, does not, nor Ellis, nor Millar (if the last two even try to).

He "understands" it in a way the others don't? Isn't it all a matter of interpretation? McDuffie is great but I see nothing to indicate that he understands anything better. Its just how he choose to interpret it. Bendis and Millar usually have a noir-ish and grim side to their stories while McDuffie prefers to write his "high flying action issues".

I won't even get into his little continuity flop with The Watcher.

> McDuffie effortlessly (that's the key word to his talent) brings in the Black Panther, Storm, Deathlok, Gravity (in absentee), the Watcher, Starlight, Epoch....fluidly, and in cases where the characters already know one another to some degree, we seque right into the relationship/renewed friendship, believe it, and then go on with the story, very comfortably. He did this in BEYOND! as well.

Really? I thought it felt a little forced. Hardly anyone knows Deathlok, but they're hopping around into space for him to retrieve a body that some cosmic power appears to have serious plans for. It all seemed a bit knee jerk. No thought was given to what they were doing, or the implications or anything. Deathlok shows up, says the kids body is missing and they all blast off with no discussion. The story was great mind you, just that it happened a bit quickly with no thought given to ramifications.

> Unlike in Bendis' stilted, irrational NA, where everyone seems to suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, trust no one, not know themselves, and have endless mucky personal problems to the 'story' gets all caught up in a bunch of superfluous, boring, tedious mucky-muck instead of getting on with a solid story.

I like Bendis' take on New Avengers. I personally don't like perfect heroes and especially with the new status of the team it seems like they all have reason not to smile.

I enjoy McDuffie's FF though, but I look at it differently. Its what I want out of an Fantastic Four story. I wouldn't want Bendis on the FF because the FF are adventurers and a family. I wouldn't want to see them broken down, distrustful of each other etc. Plus his storytelling can tend to drag on (although his Illuminati mini is pretty good).

In another vein I'm not sure I'd want to read Dwayne on Daredevil, or the Punisher or even New Avengers. I'd like to see his takes on Spider-Man and "classic" Avengers though.

> I, too, have cut most Marvel titles, but I think things are looking brighter now that CW is over and writers like Carey, Brubaker, Pak, McDuffie, Giffen, and others are getting their due.


> Brubaker and Carey's X-books, Annihilation, Silent War, Pak's Hulk, now the FF (and Yes, even Bendis' Mighty Avengers so far, on the basis of a single issue, which felt more like the Avengers to me since anything since the short Johns era) are all promising and enjoyable. Despite the death, Captain America has also been interesting under Brubaker, who brought back Doctor Faustus and the Sleeper robots.
> I WANT to buy more Marvel books, I really do, and can afford to; but like you, I won't buy repetitive stuff (like 'Wolverine,' which I gave two issues to move, but it remained constipated at the end of the second issue with more weird implants/dreams, and yet another 'all-out-and'final' confrontation with you-know-who) or badly-written, 'depressing,' unimginative, neo-noirish stuff, in which I have no interest.
> A bunch of heroes with endless (and I mean endless) personal problems that take over the foreground of the title--no thanks.
> Peace, and enjoy the FF!

Because that may have something to do with why I like McDuffie and you like him less. I admit his work has a very light touch (but so did much of Byrne's, and I love Byrne, though McDuffie is lighter still by far), but that's fine with me as long as the story moves along at a good pace, is credible, and imaginative.

I admit this new FF zipped off into space 1-2-3, but after CW, who wouldn't want to get off of Earth and forget its ugly CW-related problems? I would if I could.

And this is what the classic, never-bettered Stan Lee/Kirby/Buscema FF (Byrne's was next-best, IMO) used to do--go adventuring and exploring, chasing after the Watcher, the Inhumans, Him, Diablo, Ronan, Annihilus, Dr. Doom, the Mole Man, Attuma, Galactus, Blaastar, the Brute, the Monster from the Lost Lagoon, Kang, the Sub-Mariner, the Skrulls, the Psycho Man, the Black Panther, the Impossible Man...

Deathlok has fought alongside a lot of the MU Proper Big Guns--he received a lot of exposure for a good spell in the 70s. So they should know him and/or know of him. The Thing was just surprised that the mighty Deathlok was, in human form, a rather slightly-built man.

So, no, looking back over my 40 years of Marvel History, I don't think that McDuffie's take on the MU happens to be a random occurrence. Like Giffen, Carey, and Pak, his work is very much in the classic Marvel tradition that lasted from the Silver Age through the late 80s, which is not to say that that tradition was all of one piece or of a single vein. Just as Brubaker's Uncanny X-Men work is thus far.

Clearly, there were fair differences between the Roy Thomas/John Buscema 'Mighty Avengers,' the Wolfman/Colon 'Tomb of Dracula,' the Conan books, Bob Layton's 'Iron Man,' Claremont's 'Uncanny X-Men,' and Jim Starlin's space operas. However, when and if needed, the characters from these titles could seque into one another quite beautifully, and did.

THAT was the Classic Marvel style. One single vast universe, which was an imaginative, creative, and dynamic sci-fi/fantasy/super hero universe in which anything could happen and often did.

However, Ellis, Bendis, and Millar's takes are typically very much nouveau animals.

Bendis' Mighty Avengers # 1 felt very close to 'classic Marvel,' no doubt by intent (just as his two recent Illuminati books have), but the NA certainly does not and hasn't from the get go--no doubt equally on purpose: Bendis is attempting to put his own very personal stamp on it.

Fine; but I don't care for creators who serve up their own personalities and idiosyncrecies (sp?) to readers before they serve up the characters and stories they're working on and with.

Millar's CW certainly didn't portray the classic Marvel Universe in any sense, nor did Ellis' NextWave, which completely discombobulated Photon/Pulsar. Or should I say diss-combobulated her?

So, No, it's not all a matter of interpretation, or 'any interpretion is acceptable or valid' by any means as I see it.

That's like saying that a new writer can join the bullpen of 'The Simpsons' and turn Bart, Homer, and Lisa into serious, dour, utterly paranoid beings that would fit nicely into the X-Files or '24'.

'The Simpsons' isn't defined by being 'just anything,' it's one very specific thing, one very specific satircal universe, just as the Bundi-verse was on 'Married With Children.'

When the Sci-Fi Channel tried to interpret Ursula LeGuinn's 'EarthSea Trilogy,' they got it all wrong in every way, as one would expect them to do since most of their productions are lousy, and thus the completed film had nothing or little to do with the novels--very unlike Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which came within 93% of the capturing the spirit of the books, and thus were a huge success around the globe.

And clearly, I think Carey, McDuffie, Pak, Giffen and Brubaker understand the classic MU Proper (which didn't 'need to be fixed') just as John Byrne did, and as Kurt Busiek did to a lesser degree, though for me, Kurt B's Avengers was more of a copy than a continuation on the classic tone, vibe, tenor, and feel.


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