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Post By
askani

In Reply To
Evil G:DR

Subj: Re: A World Without Apocalypse
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 at 03:25:26 pm CDT (Viewed 69 times)
Reply Subj: A World Without Apocalypse
Posted: Sun May 04, 2014 at 07:42:53 pm CDT (Viewed 70 times)

Previous Post

> Not going to even try quoting. I'll just take your points one by one. Well, sure looks like the dates you listed support Jemas not ordering any return. Thought I remembered reading it back the, though.

> Mark Powers said in a chat, not long after he disappeared, that it would be a long time before we saw Cyclops in the X books again. He wasn't gone very long. Read to me like the idea might have changed midstream.

I was surprised it was announced as early as it was, I certainly didn't remember that. If I had to guess, I'd imagine that they may have originally planned for him to be gone longer, but it looks like the miniseries was announced soon after the movie was out. Scott's return may have been sped up by the whole "he was in the movie but nowhere to be found in the books" debacle.

On a related note, for a guy mostly known for being an editor, I did enjoy the GI Joe run that Powers wrote a few years back.

> Was issue 4 of SEARCH that delayed? I remember it coming out the same month as UXM 391. When I think of ridiculously delayed minis from that era I think of CHILDREN OF THE ATOM.

It may not have been as horribly delayed as that thing was, but if it had stayed on a monthly schedule, it would have finished in January 2001, but that's when #3 was out, and #4 was out in March, the month after UXM #391.

I don't remember anyone ever talking about the cause of the delays, whether it was on the art side, the writing side, or something else entirely.

> Again, Apocalypse's powers didn't leave me thinking he was gone for good. Is his death that much more definitive than X FACTOR 68? He's a shapeshifter who can jump from host body to host body. How much of his psychic essence is required to revive him. To me, an out was that Cable thought he destroyed all of it but didn't. I don't know. I don't recall thinking he's really gone for good as I read it.

I can't say I ever really interpreted X-Factor #68 as a "real" death, since as I recall, the narration mentioned Apocalypse's laughter during his defeat, as if everything were going Just As Planned.

And Stryfe's death, at around the same time as Apocalypse's, was at least something where we had Gambit and Bishop talking about how "they may just have been seeing whatever Cable wanted them to see", leaving plenty of room to back out of it.

But while even back then, I'd been around long enough to know that if someone wanted to bring Apocalypse back, they'd find a way, this death did feel like as much of an attempt as I'd ever seen to kill him off 'for real'. My reaction wasn't the usual "sleep well, old friend, there will be a reckoning when you return", but a "I really don't know if he can come back from this".

> How did they explain it when he did come back? Has there ever been interaction between him and Scott about what happened between them? Not that it matters much at this point. Scott is what he is.

They introduced the idea that he could regenerate an entire new body from as little as a single drop of blood, in Cable & Deadpool #26-7. Although Nicieza, who wrote those issues, seemed to be also trying to introduce the idea that Cable accidentally infected a younger Apocalypse with the techno-organic virus "and that's why he's immortal, can regenerate all injuries, and change shape", despite how his origin miniseries depicts him being able to do most of that stuff with the powers he was born with.

Scott and Apocalypse had minimal interaction during the last 'proper' Apocalypse storyline, 'The Blood of Apocalypse', in X-Men #182-7. While it's not spelled out so much as it's heavily implied, the interesting thing there was how they were playing around with the idea that being merged together had messed Apocalypse up as much as it had messed Scott up, with him talking a lot about unleashing his new Horseman of Pestilence to decimate humanity, but being very hesitant to actually do so, and second-guessing himself.

Taking that into account, you'd think we were stuck in the middle of a plot where they weren't separated properly, and they need to be re-merged, and properly split apart so they'd be OK again, but no, because every writer from 2001 onwards wants to write Scott like this, the 'broken' version of him is far more popular with writers and readers than the old one ever was.

> Sabretooth was just in a lot of books over a fairly long period. Even putting aside and idea of redemption. He had limited series. He would than appear in WOLVERINE some as well. Meanwhile, Sinister and Apocalypse, who are supposedly so over exposed could go a couple years doing pretty much nothing. I'm talking doing something. Not Apocalypse with a one page cameo lurking in the background.

I am completely agreed with that, and I get the impression that the people complaining about "too much Sinister and Apocalypse" were largely whining about those one page cameos that were building to something bigger. Now sure, sometimes creative turnover means that whatever someone was building to either doesn't happen at all, or evolves into something completely different, but regardless, there's nothing inherently wrong with having your villain make cameo appearances to build towards something big. And there's a big difference between that, and actual "overuse" of a villain, where the fight with that guy is the actual main plot of a storyline, or the guy has got a role in an ongoing book's cast.

> The way I look at it is this. If you are tired of Superman vs Luthor, the FF vs Doom, you've outgrown the books. Find something else to read.
My tastes didn't change. I didn't drop the books because I was tired of Xavier and Magneto and wanted something new. Scott and Jean and wanted something new. I wasn't looking for radical change. For me, change the trappings, not the characters. And the integrity of the characters. That goes out the window as soon as they need another event.

I do accept that the books are going to need to shake things up every so often to keep things fresh, and find ways to boost sales, but as you say, there are ways to do that without damaging the integrity of the characters. But we're living in a day and age where guys like Brevoort talk about how they believe that Marvel's characters are pretty much 'indestructible', how you can do anything to them and they can bounce back from it like nothing ever happened. Which is some kind of wilful ignorance of stuff like the Pymp Slap, or the Decimation, where you have lots of vocal people who are never ever going to forgive and forget, there's even plenty of people who still feel like that about anyone who was on Team Tony back in Civil War.

> What's the latest, ORIGINAL SIN ? Look, look at all the dirty secrets all these characters have. Wolverine, someone of that ilk, fine. I don't want to read about Spider Man, Mister Fantastic, Captain America's dark secrets. That's not why I liked those characters. I don't want to read about an adulterer, kill squad forming, mutant revolutionary Cyclops. That is not what made him my favorite X Man.

True, there are some characters who can pull off "having a dirty secret", and some who can't, and you'd like to think that Marvel would know that difference, but clearly they don't anymore. But from what I've been able to discover online, some of these "Original Sin Secrets" are potentially damaging stuff like "Tony Stark was involved in developing Bruce Banner's gamma bomb", or "Reed invented a cure for Ben, but Johnny Torch destroyed it", while some sound harmless in comparison, like "the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker, also bit someone else before it died".

And as for Cyclops, I can't even quite put into words what a horrible thing it is when they take a character you like, and twist them into something so different that they're not just a whole other person, but a person you can't even stand.

> TOO MUCH change. But to each his own. Is it character assassination or character development? Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Me, they could have never driven off with reasonably safe stories without radical shifts in character. I'd rather have 90s Cyclops, I thought reasonably in character, but not at the center of it all as he seems to be now. Spotlight firmly on him. Doing things with the character all too often means pushing the envelope too much for my tastes.

It really is a "be careful what you wish for" thing, where for any team-book character who doesn't have their own solo series, the trade-off for getting that spotlight on them always seems to be the character's very soul, as they get twisted and perverted into something that would appeal to more readers.

> Thing is, the radical stories are often the ones that spike sales. So, can you really blame DC and Marvel for telling them? It's just not for me. You are 3 years behind reading X books? Do you avoid spoilers or just wind up rading them knowing what will happen?

A little of one, a little of the other. The big stuff, it's kind of impossible to avoid, it's hard to stay online and not learn things like "Colossus becomes a Juggernaut", "Five of the X-Men become Phoenixes and take over the world, Cyclops kills Xavier", "Wolverine drowns his son Daken", "Rogue murders Scarlet Witch, then gets killed by Grim Reaper" or "Stryfe is back again, somehow, and so is Azazel" (finally, some good news), and the original 5 teenaged X-Men have time-travelled into the present and are all "What the H*ll is this crap? You've all gone wrong!", but stuff going on in the "lower-tier" books, I'm largely blind to, so it'll be all new information to me when I read it (although I think one of the books did a 'Dark Iceman Saga', of all things).

> SEARCH was the best Jean Grey depiction I recall reading since 2000, and the last time I thought a comic did the Scott/Jean couple justice. Mind you I have read very little X Men the last decade. One complete series, ENDSONG.

There's not much in there with them on the same page at the same time, but while I know it's a flawed story (largely due to being cut-down to half the length it was supposed to have been), I'd stand behind 'Eve of Destruction' in '01 as being Jean's last good storyline, throwing her into a leadership role, and playing her as someone who's been fighting Magneto as long as Xavier and Cyclops have, but she doesn't have that personal history with him Xavier has, she doesn't hate him like Cyclops does, she can step back and have the clarity to realise "Well, he's going to talk at us for about 20 minutes before he actually does anything", and actually factor that into a plan for how to deal with him.

> There used to be a poster on another board, maybe CBR. This was also several years back, at least. Used to blame what happened with Cyclops on THE TWELVE and SEARCH. As if one cryptic message meant the character HAD to be changed.

> You have one question posed. Can something be touched by Apocalypse and remain pure? I used to say this all the time. It isn't bad writingfor Cyclops to come out unchanged in the end. Questionable writing would have been for him to come back unaffected. There was going to be a process where he reaclimates himself. But in the end he didn't have to come out radically changed. Lots of heroes have been deeply traumatized without changing. Others have been changed, but it doesn't always happen. More often it doesn't

I can't say I interpreted that one line as having any more significance than when they add a "?" after a "the end", in a comic. It certainly left the door open for something to happen, but anyone declaring that this was clear evidence that there was a plan in place for all the crap that was done to Cyclops? That's just crazy-talk.

All that said, I did really like how Lobdell handled how Scott was affected by it all, with it turning him into a kind of "live for the moment" kind of guy, a lot more loosened-up than we were used to. I can't say I'd have wanted it to be permanent, but as a short-term thing, I really liked it, and imagine a lot of us who are incredibly repressed people have sometimes wished we could just be like that, even if just for a little while.

> As I said, though, I don't think Morrison was saying Apocalypse really changed him as much as opened his eyes. And any interview I've seen with creators since I stopped reading, same thing. I never saw Apocalypse mentioned. I read a lot of Scott grew ups.

Worse, you get people saying the franchise as a whole "grew up", by moving away from "superheroes fighting supervillains" into whatever the H*ll boring crap we were getting instead.

But with things like the modern take on Scott, like the notion that Xavier and Magneto in their classic forms are "outdated and irrelevant", the idea of Frost usurping the role of Jean and/or Storm as the female lead of the franchise, it's all in how Marvel keep on hiring writers who loved that garbage back in 2001-4, and keep on repeating it rather than dare challenge it, dare suggest that Morrison might have been wrong, that he might have inflicted terrible wounds on the franchise with those bad ideas, and try to fix them.

> Your humor belies your posting acumen. You argue your points very logically(and a hell of a lot more coherently than I do) even if I don't always agree. Although we tend to with the X books.

Thanks. It always feels to me more like I'm just rambling and saying whatever springs to mind, than that I'm making my point well, and I always felt that guys like you and Sinister were doing a better job by not getting all angry about stuff, but if people tell me it's working, I must be doing something right. And I think there's a small, ever-dwindling number of us who came in during the early 1990s who are all largely on the same page as things go, and as the modern books go, a number of the readers who came in during the 1970s or 1980s seem to be often taking a similar position (I think our moderator once compared being an X-Men fan these days to being in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic or a drug-addict).

> Speaking of humor, how about another micro adventure? Those were hilarious.

I'd been meaning to for years, but I just never seemed to find that combination of the time, the energy, and the motivation to do so, ever since losing one I'd half-written, and my general lack of enthusiasm for the modern books. Maybe one day I'll manage another.


Maybe that was it. Regardless of Quesada/Jemas, whoever was in charge at the time thought it was stupid not to have Cyclops in the books when an X Men movie had just come out.

Powers wound up writing, huh? Who was it that went to DC? Mike Marts?
Then I've read quotes from a Nick Lowe. The editors answer the letter columns, right?

I saw this posted somewhere around the time morrison left. The interim period when I think austin wrote a couple issues. There is a letter in it decrying what they did to Scott and jean. The reply was that we love the couple. That many of us grew up thinking of them as the definitive comics couple. That their story is far from over. Something like that, it's been a long time. I remember just shaking my head. You've just spent the last 3 years takig a dump on the character. One of those Austin issues has Scott sucking face with Emma at the graveyard AGAIN, making some half assed apology to her grave. And you LOVE the couple? What would you doif you disliked them?

What I remember about Powers was he was viewed as the posterboy for the editorial interference that so many thought permeated the x books during this period.

You remember minute details much better than I do. I don't even recall that laughter from ENDGAME. Were you posting about this when the series came out? I never recall seeing ths from you before. How permanent you thought the SEARCH death was. Maybe all the resurrection over the years had desensitized me to thinking anything was permanaent. Just remember it didn't cross mymind that he might be gone for good this time.

Nicieza tied his opwers into the TO virus? You're right. I remember him having them in that 90s origin series as well. Come to think of it I recall glancing through a Cable and Deadpool during that period because it mentioned apocalypse. I don't recall many details about that issue except the characters all seemed in character. Scott sounded and acted like Scott, same with Beast and others. Like the lost I'd read them in character in a long time.

Yep, the creators that I read all seemed to love Morrison. What I see in interviews is how Scott grew up. Wheras I thought he had already grown up, a long time ago.

As always, fans who disliked or were ambivalent to Cyclops, I get. It's the self professed long time fans. I don't get how you like this. Why did you like the character? Cyclops and kill squads?
But to ech his own. Me, I cannot change why I liked the character.

With Sinister and Apocalypse it wasn't just fans. I remember Wizard specials where the editors said they needed a rest. And I never got it. There were multiple comic book villains, during this period, who got so much more exposure.

Norman was an ongoing character in Spider man for how many years after he returned. I'm not complaining. I loved him during this period, but if you were talking overexposed he'd put Sinister and apocalypse to shame.

With change it's where do you draw the line. Obviously, nothing eveer just stayed the same. I always talk about trappings. Change the trappings. Peter is a teacher not a Bugle employee. X Men operate out on the run, sans their technology,instead of the mansion. Don't fundamentally change the characters.

But when is it too much? That is an individual thing. Any character with a solo book, I mean the ones I spent decades reading. Superman, Spider man, Cap, Batman. Writers have done stuff, to shake the staus quo, that I have been uncomfortable with. But not far enough that I'd drop them. When is enough enough to get you to drop the books? They reached that point with me with X Men, FF and Spider Man. Those were the characters I had bought without fail.

Good example with Original Sin. However, I'm guessing there will be more of the former than the latter. What is the X Men's secret? Has it been revealed yet? Let me guess, something else Xavier did? Better yet, we can find out some dark secret from Cyclops' past. He never was squeaky clean.

There are posters out there who have convinced themselves that he has this shady history with Jack Winters. Huh? One job that he forced Scott into in which Scott worked against him the entire time is a shady past. Unless they think CHILDREN OF THE ATOM is canon. If it is that Hank went tothe same high school as Scott. That series isn't canon. But these spologists will do anything to justify the new Scott as bing in character.

I don't hate Cyclops. However, I stopped reading 10 years ago whereas you didn't. Looking at it objectively, I would think kill squads are worse than an affair, but I read the one and only read about the other. The one resonates a lot more because I read it and was invested emotionally.

Careful what you wish for is me in 2000. I wanted the character back very badly. Spent 10 years just wishing they'd left him dead. Everyone wanted Jean back. I siad they will just trash her. And what I've read about it I haven't liked. Personally, I'd rather you kill my favorite characters than trash them. I don't want either, mind you. But given a choice of one or the other? The movies killed Cyclops. I'd rather that then make him a star at the expense of what Iiked most about the character.

Rogue murdered Wanda? Rogue is dead? I did read how Wanda's insanity was blamed on stuff Doom did to her and that she was back. Was this just end of issue cliffhanger apparent death ot are they dead/dead? I mean at least for while.

The thing I didn't like about EOD Jean was the Frenzy stuff. The recruiting and leadership stuff I liked.Now, that was different, but different in a way I didn't think really changed the character.

As always, I don't like the word reprssed with Cyclops because I don't think he had been in a vey long time. Emotionally repressed people don't share a psychic rapport with someone else. That level of intimacy? They'd go batty.Controlled I never argued. Scott was always avery controlled person. His mutation kind of demanded that.

Now, this said, EOD Scott was definitely looser. To my recollection, people liked it. It amazed me how much cooler people found Scott when he did stuff himself instead of ordering someone to do it. But it was just him and Wolverine.

I was definitely a bit unsettled by his seeming to go along with Wolverine gutting magneto. On the other hand, I thought it was classic Scott dealing with all those Genoshan rebels. What, a hundred of them? Dozens at least. They confront him with weapons drawn. SCott says they just want to talk and proceeds, with richochets, to shoot the guns out of all their hands. Doesn't hurt anyone, just disarms them so they can talk.

There is an example of the difference between kickass and badass. badass is Logan sticking his claws about 2 inches from someone's face and suggesting they talk. What Scott did there was kickass.

I emailed Lobdell at the time. Or maybe it was on X Fanor some message board. He said he had zero interst in writing a dark Cyclops. While his freer Cyclops was contradicted by morrison's bottled up one, much as I'd like to blame Morrison, that is not really on him. Lobdell was the interim writer. It was on him no=t to contradict Morrison's plans. Not to say he deliberately did. Maybe he didn't know. I would think, in that case, an editor should have told him.

Emma freaking Frost has more of a place in the X books than jean Grey. It's bizarro X men. But it's what we have. Jean, despite 15 plus years of lead roles in X books, is relegated to chick who does nothing but dies status.

It's hard to say what is really working. I mean Avengers did supplant the X books in sales, right? Whatever. I guess it's still working enough that they publish all these X titles. It;s seeing all the Avengers books that startles me. Just wasn't that way when I stopped reading.

I know what you mean about working up enthusiasm. How much am I going to post about something I'm done reading? No matter how long I did read it. But there is a cord there.

Do you have the old ones archived anywhere? LOL, they were absolute gold.


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