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Tiger Shark

In Reply To
Tiger Shark

Subj: Of Course The Simpsons Universe Is A 'Tighter' Universe, But...
Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 04:02:41 pm EDT
Reply 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

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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.


...why take an established fantasy universe (which is what the MU Proper basically is, with most of its 'sci-fi' elements being grounded in fantasy), whether it be the MU, the DCU, Middle Earth, Narnia, EarthSea, Star Wars U, or Pellucidar, and draining out (bleeding out might be a better phrase) about 95% of the fantasy element, and condemning to limbo/obscurity 85% of its characters? What's the point?

After almost 40 years of being such a successful, instantly-recognizable universe, and one of the most successful such universes ever created, JQ came along with Marvel Knights, and then his EIC status, and drained away most of what defined the MU, even into the Harras 90s, which, looking back now, don't seem as bad as they did at the time (X-Men 2099, The Crossing, etc.). At least Harras tried to keep the traditional MU ball rolling.

Yes, in the last 3 years, we've seen an influx of more traditional projects and writers coming on to long-running series and mini-series (Pak, Giffen, McDuffie, Carey, etc.), but as Civil War (the actual series itself) proved (and HOM and Secret War before it), the central MU Proper is still a fairly dull, noir-ish, unimaginative place, one directly created and installed/implemented by JQ, and his inner cabal.

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