Comics are Awesome III

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:28 pm

Spider-Man Life Story #5
The 2000's

Ben is killed by Morlun. Peter realizes Morlun will come after him and his family next, and that Stark will go after his company, and starts planning to have the family hide away. His daughter tells him they can't just run from this though, reminding him even though he vowed never to put a mask on again, he did during September 11th while he was in New York for JJJ's funeral, telling him he has to fight for a better tomorrow. Meanwhile, Stark isn't having a good day. He is now Secretary of Defense, and is currently heading up a super hero Civil War over the Superhuman registration act. The news that Peter Parker was Spider-Man, the head of a major company and an unregistered hero, didn't go over well with the President. But then he finds out Peter is still alive, as he gives an interview with the Daily Bugle about what really happened.

Stark confronts him in New York, telling him he has to registered, but Peter refuses, and a fight breaks out, which escalates when Cap's team shows up. Meanwhile, Morlun arrives at the Parker home, attacking MJ and their kids. The kids realize Morlun can be hurt while he's trying to feed, and Benjy sacrifices himself so Clair can kill the villain. Returning to the fight after suiting up, Peter takes out Stark's team with an EMP. Peter tells him he's not going to registered just for being who he is, but Stark says they have no choice while his hologram disappears. With jet and a helicarrier inbound, Cap orders Cloak to teleport the team out. He tells Spider-Man he wouldn't blame him if he took his family and walked away, but Spidey joins them, telling Cap he as old men, they have to fight for a better future for the next generation.

--
I was never a fan of Morlun. The whole spider-totem thing never really made sense, when Spider-Man was always the product of a science experiment. It was interesting that the original story posed the question if Peter was meant to get his powers regardless of if the spider had been irradiated or not, but then that story concluded that it was science. Yet, I feel Marvel has ignored that, since Morlun keeps coming back to suck out his life energy anyway. I get they needed a way to disrupt Peter's life and bring him back front and center, but I think they could have done that better with another character that would have tied in more with the Civil War storyline, and thus the over arcing theme of super heroes and war that's been in every issue.

Also find it interesting contrast, in the original Civil War, Peter had been taken under Tony's wing at the time after Aunt May's home had been burned down. Where as in this story, they've always been at odds with each other as industry rivals as well as being heroes with different values.

It's also once again disappointing to not have any mention of the Gwen clone. And apparently Ben died without ever having started a family of his own.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:13 am

At SDCC, Tom King sounds pretty out of touch with the readers: https://www.cbr.com/king-gerads-react-h ... -backlash/

During a spotlight panel on King, the writer said, "People f*cking hated [Heroes in Crisis] so much. I've never written something someone hated so much. But I love it. I think I got the message I wanted to get across. I think, killing Wally [West], it was a tough hill for people to climb."



I also find this comment by Dan Didio very telling: https://www.cbr.com/sdcc-dan-didio-jim- ... -superman/

"It also seems like some people are more interested in the older stuff than they are for newer stuff," DiDio added. "That's a failure on our part. The only way we can do that is by keeping people excited."
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Dominic » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:03 pm

I give Didio credit for being honest. I want to like DC more than I do. (I do plan to give the Bendis "Batman" series a try.)


It's also once again disappointing to not have any mention of the Gwen clone. And apparently Ben died without ever having started a family of his own.


The Gwen clone never did much of anything. If you recall, Marvel did not just write the clone out, they back-wrote the clone out of existence with "Evolutionary War" (back in the late 80's). A minor, and actively forgotten, character (essentially a McGuffin) is not going to get much space in a series that is essentially stylized vignettes.


Every time I flip through "Life Story" (or see people posting about it), I see something that I want to like more than I do.

Zdarsky deserves credit for being ambitious, and I appreciate what he is trying to do. But, for whatever reason, it is not holding together.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:20 am

Dominic wrote:The Gwen clone never did much of anything. If you recall, Marvel did not just write the clone out, they back-wrote the clone out of existence with "Evolutionary War" (back in the late 80's). A minor, and actively forgotten, character (essentially a McGuffin) is not going to get much space in a series that is essentially stylized vignettes.

I don't see how it matters Gwen's clone never did much. Life Story is it's own story. It can, and has, done its own thing with the characters. Besides, I'm not saying I expect much here. Even like a "oh, we couldn't stay together knowing we're clones" would have been nice to get. Anything really. She and Ben left New York together. Ben was quickly brought back into the story, so we obviously know what became of him. Then what became of Gwen? I expected a mention at the very least. There's still one more issue to go, so maybe it could still happen... Although at this point, I don't really expect it. They've missed the timing for it, especially now that Ben is dead.

I also expect some follow-up with Kraven, since he ended up with the symbiote, which I hope turns up in the next issue.... Although come to think of it, I think that probably would have been better angle to use than Morlun in this issue.

And I'm surprised you don't know that back-write of "Evolutionary War" was itself back-written. Gwen's clone turned up again in the 90's during the Clone Saga, where it was revealed the High Evolutionary had lied about the whole thing - There was never a Joyce Delaney, and all the clones were actually clones after all. Afterwords, Clone Gwen moved to London to find her own life and be forgotten about. Then, in 2011's "Spider-Island: Deadly Foes", it was established she was killed by yet another clone of Gwen, known as Abby-L (and was subsequently killed in a lab explosion as well).

Also, that's not what a MacGuffin is...

Every time I flip through "Life Story" (or see people posting about it), I see something that I want to like more than I do.

Zdarsky deserves credit for being ambitious, and I appreciate what he is trying to do. But, for whatever reason, it is not holding together.

Admittedly, while I am enjoying it, I was expecting more.

andersonh1 wrote:I also find this comment by Dan Didio very telling

I honestly don't understand why DiDio is in this field or how he got this position at DC comic. He's never understood the audience, and his disregard for continuity makes for bad storytelling.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Dominic » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:58 am

Ben was quickly brought back into the story, so we obviously know what became of him. Then what became of Gwen? I expected a mention at the very least. There's still one more issue to go, so maybe it could still happen...


This sounds like a function of the series being mostly vignettes strung together. It is probably safe to assume that she died between issues. ("Life Story" skips over enough things that it is not unreasonable to assume that a support character, who is associated with premature death to begin with, died off-page.)


I also expect some follow-up with Kraven, since he ended up with the symbiote, which I hope turns up in the next issue.... Although come to think of it, I think that probably would have been better angle to use than Morlun in this issue.


The issue vignettes seem to be thematic by decade.

Kraven and the symbiote are associated with the 80s. Aside from (possibly) the Hobgoblin, they defined 80s "Spider-Man" more than any other characters. (And, Hobgoblin has all of that stupid baggage because Marvel could not figure out who the hell was actually wearing the mask.)

Gwen's clone turned up again in the 90's during the Clone Saga, where it was revealed the High Evolutionary had lied about the whole thing


Fuck Spider-Man and everything else in the 90s. What...the....fuck....


I honestly don't understand why DiDio is in this field or how he got this position at DC comic. He's never understood the audience, and his disregard for continuity makes for bad storytelling.


He is not a bad writer. And, in his defense. how much of the problems are actually his fault, and how many are being foisted on him by Warner Brothers? (I have heard that the latter scenario is *very* likely.)

DC has never given a damn about consistency, even post-Crisis when they were pushing the idea.

"Legends of the Dark Knight" was given a push as being its own series, isolated from the other bat-books. It was nominally set in the first year or so of Batman' career. But....nobody cared, including DC. Batman and the other characters (Including Gotham itself) were portrayed in impossible to reconcile ways between different arcs (that were never meant to fit together) by different creators (who had no need to synchronize their work).

Another high-profile Bat-book was "the Dark Knight Returns". That was based on the idea that a Golden/Silver Age Batman aged naturally through the 80s, and was never meant to fit, (even though DC really tried to make it fit later.)

(And, more people gave a damn about that, or Vertigo, than triangle number Superman, which was all about consistency. Nobody gives a damn about triangle-number Superman now, aside from looking back on it as a failed experiment....and possibly a subject of mockery.)

At one time, fans got this. They knew that consistency was a lower priority for DC than Marvel.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:00 am

Dominic wrote:This sounds like a function of the series being mostly vignettes strung together. It is probably safe to assume that she died between issues. ("Life Story" skips over enough things that it is not unreasonable to assume that a support character, who is associated with premature death to begin with, died off-page.)

How is it safe to assume she died? The comic gives us ZERO information what happened to her after leaving New York. I'd think it more likely she just split off from Ben, and started a new life on her own. Again, this is it's own story, where you can't just assume something will happen just because it happened in the original storyline.

Kraven and the symbiote are associated with the 80s.

Kraven never had the symbiote though. That's a major change for the character(s). And the way the story presents it feels like a build-up for something to come later.

Fuck Spider-Man and everything else in the 90s. What...the....fuck....

That's the Clone Saga for you.

He is not a bad writer. And, in his defense. how much of the problems are actually his fault, and how many are being foisted on him by Warner Brothers? (I have heard that the latter scenario is *very* likely.)

He is a bad writer though. And it has been observed sales and critical reception of the stories tend to trend down when its DiDio pushing the decisions.

DC has never given a damn about consistency, even post-Crisis when they were pushing the idea.

I can't agree with that. Crisis required that they make certain changes, and problems arose when different writers had different opinions on which direction to take. But, as you say, the whole point of Crisis was to become more consistent. If they "never gave a damn about consistency", why bother with that at all, let alone go out of their way for it?

At one time, fans got this. They knew that consistency was a lower priority for DC than Marvel.

And yet, again, both companies have gone out of their way for consistency. While their dedication to consistency has varied over the years (largely depending on who is calling the shots) I don't think it's as low as a priority as you seem to believe.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Dominic » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:15 am

Kraven never had the symbiote though. That's a major change for the character(s). And the way the story presents it feels like a build-up for something to come later.


Every issue had had one or two plot points that "promised" a larger story that was never shown on-page. (Presumably, those resolutions happened in the decade-long gap between issues.)


He is a bad writer though. And it has been observed sales and critical reception of the stories tend to trend down when its DiDio pushing the decisions.


This makes Didio a bad editor. And, is he the idea man or the execution guy?


But, as you say, the whole point of Crisis was to become more consistent. If they "never gave a damn about consistency", why bother with that at all, let alone go out of their way for it?


Even after Crisis, DC was willing to push stuff that was not consistent with anything else. Some of their best, highest profile, content in the 80s was not intended to be consistent with other series.

Outside of a comic store, nobody gave a damn about Grant/Breyfogle "Batman" in 1989. But, everybody loved Frank Miller's "the Dark Knight Returns". I would have to go out of my way to buy an old copy of "the Dark Knight Returns". But, Grant/Breyfogle "Batman" (the mainline series, which was meant to be part of a larger universe or some shit) is not reprinted regularly, or comprehensively.

Similarly, the "Elseworlds" imprint was never meant to match up. And, DC put their best talent on the early "Elseworlds" product.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:28 am

Dominic wrote:Every issue had had one or two plot points that "promised" a larger story that was never shown on-page. (Presumably, those resolutions happened in the decade-long gap between issues.)

The story also isn't over yet. And lot of "promised" side plots already have been revisited and resolved on-page. The whole Green Goblin storyline, the Ben Reilly storyline, Peter's rivalry with Stark and Richards has been touched on several times in several issues...

This makes Didio a bad editor. And, is he the idea man or the execution guy?

He's often both.

Even after Crisis, DC was willing to push stuff that was not consistent with anything else. Some of their best, highest profile, content in the 80s was not intended to be consistent with other series.

Outside of a comic store, nobody gave a damn about Grant/Breyfogle "Batman" in 1989. But, everybody loved Frank Miller's "the Dark Knight Returns". I would have to go out of my way to buy an old copy of "the Dark Knight Returns". But, Grant/Breyfogle "Batman" (the mainline series, which was meant to be part of a larger universe or some shit) is not reprinted regularly, or comprehensively.

Similarly, the "Elseworlds" imprint was never meant to match up. And, DC put their best talent on the early "Elseworlds" product.

I don't understand why you're even bringing up "Elseworlds" when, as you say, those stories were never meant to match up. Those were always intended to be self contained "What if..." (to borrow Marvel's equivalent) limited storylines (if not just single issue stories) - separate from the mainline ongoing titles. That's not the same thing as them "not giving a damn about consistency" at all. If anything, that gave them a means to maintain the consistency of the main storyline, while still allowing them the freedom to do something completely different in stories that, in-no-way, were meant to be in the same narrative universe. And what does it matter if "The Dark Knight" was more popular than the mainline title at the time? That doesn't mean they don't care about consistency of the mainline storyline. You're talking about two entirely different things here.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:28 am

Sparky, how did you like the Green Lantern annual? The story was nothing outstanding, though I did enjoy it, but it was nice to see all of Hal's family in one issue, including some of the kids we haven't seen in forever. When did Helen last show up, for example? Back when Hal was the Spectre maybe, when her parents were in that car crash? And have we seen Uncle Titus since the Silver Age? I'm not even sure who some of them were or when they originated, like the "black sheep" who spiked the punch.

It's so rare for a super-hero to have a large extended family like this that it's good to see Morrison including them all. I always enjoyed the fact that Venditti included Hal's younger brother and his wife and kids every so often. I think Geoff Johns included them in his earlier issues as well.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:36 pm

andersonh1 wrote:Sparky, how did you like the Green Lantern annual? The story was nothing outstanding, though I did enjoy it, but it was nice to see all of Hal's family in one issue, including some of the kids we haven't seen in forever. When did Helen last show up, for example? Back when Hal was the Spectre maybe, when her parents were in that car crash? And have we seen Uncle Titus since the Silver Age? I'm not even sure who some of them were or when they originated, like the "black sheep" who spiked the punch.

It's so rare for a super-hero to have a large extended family like this that it's good to see Morrison including them all. I always enjoyed the fact that Venditti included Hal's younger brother and his wife and kids every so often. I think Geoff Johns included them in his earlier issues as well.

Yeah, some of these characters haven't been seen since the Silver Age from what I can tell. I had to look several of them up. Douglas "Hip" Jordan (the black sheep), hasn't appeared since 1969, which I guess was also his only appearance, as far as I could find. You're right, it wasn't exactly an outstanding story, but it was nice to see a down to Earth story involving Hal's family, including so many characters that haven't been seen in decades. I liked this issue more than much of Morrison's run thus far actually. Kinda feel that, once again, it's the down to Earth aspect of Hal's life that the story is missing. I also didn't realize Air Wave was related to Hal. Apparently, his last appearance was as a Black Lantern during Blackest Night, and Infinite Crisis before that where he was killed. Guess one of the subsequent events brought him back.
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