Posted tagged ‘Avengers’

Make Mine Marvel, Malapropist: Fewer Winks, More Man-Thing – pt. 2

September 27, 2010

In which my friend (and EPA co-writer) Nathan and I continue our discussion of Marvel comics in 2010.

The Red Hulk

Greg: Interesting that you mention both the Red Hulk and the DC-ification of Marvel. I’ll reserve judgment about Red Hulk joining the Avengers till I have a sense of how [Brian Michael] Bendis writes the character. The addition of a morally ambiguous element to the team could make for a more entertaining dynamic, provided Red Hulk doesn’t suddenly start speaking in the same tone as everyone else in that book. But let’s take a step back: do we need a Red Hulk at all? Or for that matter, Skaar, son of the Hulk, or the like three She-Hulks that occasionally appear in Hulk books?

Maybe this sort of brand dilution–the move from one Hulk, to two (the first She-Hulk), to the Hulk family of today–was inevitable. If not for the Hulk, then perhaps for the more popular Wolverine, who now also has a son, Daken, and a female clone, X-23. I don’t know if you read Mark Waid‘s run on The Flash growing up, but in the ’90s, Waid got a lot of mileage (pun intended) out of surrounding the main Flash, Wally West, with a variety of other characters who had speed-based powers, such as Jay Garrick, Flash of the 1940s. This worked because for one thing, it felt like a naturally function of one Flash or another having been around, in print, for more than fifty years. The extended Flash family of Waid’s run was also relatively unique for its time. Sure, DC also had a Superboy and Supergirl to complement Superman (and I’m sure you could think of plenty more examples), but never before had a writer put together a cross-generational supporting cast, most of them variations on a core concept, quite like Waid did. (more…)

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Make Mine Marvel, Malapropist: Fewer Winks, More Man-Thing

September 4, 2010

In which my friend (and EPA co-writer) Nathan and I resume our discussion of Marvel comics in 2010.

Greg: Nathan, it’s been months (can you believe it?) since we discussed Marvel’s theoretically status-quo-shattering event Siege and speculated about the shape of Marvel books to come. Now that the future is here, let’s talk about what’s new with Marvel comics–starting with Avengers, (debatably) the company’s flagship title.

As you know, we haven’t had a comic called plain old Avengers on the racks for several years now, but the series is back, with writer Brian Michael Bendis still at the helm. (And I don’t know if you’ve heard, but a movie’s on the way too.) There’s a weird clumsiness to the first few issues of the relaunch, with everything feeling vaguely miscalculated despite Bendis having written a series involving many of these characters for the last several years. Most Avengers speak with the same sort of glib quipiness–a criticism that has been leveled at Bendis before, and while I don’t think it’s true of his best work, in this case it sticks. (more…)

Make Mine Marvel, Malapropist: Marvel’s SIEGE and Beyond – pt. 2

May 12, 2010

I asked my friend (and EPA-co-writer) Nathan to join me for a discussion about Marvel’s latest event comic, Siege, and the state of Marveldom in 2010. Part one available here.

Man to Beat: The Sentry

Nathan: A few words on that Steve Rogers-as-Osborn plotline. I’m as wary of underdeveloped superhero deconstruction as anyone, but I don’t think this story would necessarily have anything to do with Rogers‘ incorruptibility. One facet of the character that [Ed] Brubaker hasn’t really bothered with is that this is still a man out of time–I don’t know when exactly when Cap was unfrozen on Marvel’s sliding continuity scale (the early 90s?), but he’s basically written these days as a thoroughly modernized individual who happened to grow up during the Great Depression. What this story would do, I think, is allow us to see how Steve Rogers deals with the vagaries of the Bush-era national security apparatus, and how his love for American exceptionalism and individuality reaches a head when he realizes that the only way to export it, and perhaps save the world, is to utilize the same Bush/Osborn tactics he once found reprehensible. I personally like stuff like that teabagger[s vs.] Cap storyline, and the way it offers a twist on real-world concerns, and no one does that as well as Marvel (or as badly–take that horrid [John Michael Straczynski] 9/11 Spider-Man issue, for instance, in which notorious mass murderers/terrorists Magneto and Dr. Doom are seen helping the NYPD look through the wreckage of ground zero).

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Make Mine Marvel, Malapropist: Marvel’s SIEGE and Beyond

May 5, 2010

I asked my friend (and EPA-co-writer) Nathan to join me for a discussion about Marvel’s latest event comic, Siege, and the state of Marveldom in 2010. What follows is best read with at least a cursory knowledge of the terms Civil War, Superhuman Registration Act, Secret Invasion, Dark Reign, and the Heroic Age.

Nathan: Thanks for letting me in on this as-far-as-I-known-untitled ongoing dialogue regarding Siege and what it means for the future of Marvel Comics. I thought that before we get into the meat of the conversation, we could do a little bit of prognosticatin’. Siege #4 doesn’t hit the stands until a week from now, which by event book standards isn’t that unbearable of a wait, but it’s still long enough so that Marvel’s next tentpole project, “The Heroic Age,” is starting to overlap, scheduling-wise, with the Siege tie-ins.

I’ve made a habit of trying to predict what happens at the end of Marvel’s big crossovers, and with Siege it will be no different. Back in the days of Civil War, I boldly declared that Tony Stark would die destroying malfunctioning Thor clone, which would simultaneously redeem him as a character and facilitate a premature end to the Superhuman Registration Act. I was, of course, completely wrong about that. Before Secret Invasion ended, I made a series of further conjectures, including: that the Wasp would die; that Ms. Marvel would also die; that the Skrulls would be revealed to have been colluding with Norman Osborn, who they would set up as their puppet leader; and that all the remaining heroes would be replaced and jailed for a good year or so. I was a bit more accurate that time, but not quite. (more…)

Pleadin’ for Whedon

April 2, 2010

To echo every comic and movie blog that’s updated in the last 24 hours: here’s hoping this is not an April Fool’s joke. According to IESB, Joss Whedon is top contender the Avengers directing job. Now I’m not a huge fan of Whedon myself. At worst, his work reads/plays like Gilmore Girls for the Comic Con set, overrun by self-consciously witty, hyper-stylized, and lazily individuated dialogue. (I tried reading the first few issues of his X-Men run and kept wondering why every character talked like Xander from Buffy.) But there’s no denying that Whedon gets it—it being how to make a sci-fi actioner that respects the fanbase but doesn’t take itself too seriously. He seems at home coordinating an ensemble cast, too; whoever ends up directing the film will need to give RDJ and Chris Evans room to mug in between fights with the Hulk or MODOK attacks. (There will probably not be any MODOK in Avengers, but while I’m wishing–.)