Comics Creators

Marvel Movie & TV Thread - Cage, SHIELD, and Strange


Kirk should be the main character in everything :slight_smile:

(Er… we are talking about the same Kirk, aren’t we?)


This Kirk?


“No, I’m Kirk!”


Were they “honest efforts at diversity” or were they capitalizing on exploitation trends also happening in TV and film at the time? Why do you think more of those characters haven’t had staying power?


They could’ve been both.


I don’t know, maybe you’re right that there was some exploitation of marketing trends – isn’t there always in publishing? But in interviews with people like Gerry Conway, they always sounds like they were trying their best. Many of that generation of writers seemed to be young, liberal types trying to change the world.

If I knew why those characters didn’t have staying power I’d be a lot richer than I am now :smiley:


It’s also worth noting that a lot of the new characters introduced in that era were brand new characters in terms of their name/costume/powers etc. too, rather than new personalities in the clothes of existing heroes as is the more common trend today.

I think that possibly suggests a more genuine desire to create something new and diverse in its own right, rather than simply to just parachute ‘diversity’ into an existing line.


I think it had more to do with the market and creators rights more than anything. Diversity is parachuted into existing lines because readers have shown over and over that they’re not interested in new characters from the big two. Meanwhile, creators are also reserving their truly new and diverse creations for their creator owned work.


I don’t disagree. I just wonder how much the history of these characters in comics intertwine with similar trends in TV and film as exploitation of these concepts has always been kind of double edged sword. As can be seen upthread with the discussion of Asian characters, they tended to be the first blips of representation but also carried with them a lot of tropes that we are still dealing with today.

It’s interesting to hear some of these creators talk about these sort of things and how they see themselves as pushing for these changes then and now. When Denny O’Neil came back to my region, he said one of his main statements was always wearing his peace emblem pin but he was afraid to wear it in Southeast Missouri. I’m not sure what he thought wearing a pin would do. He was in a college town where probably a hundred kids would have had the same pin. Most people wouldn’t have even noticed much less assaulted him for a pin.


I think this is the real change. Unless the Big Two seriously change the way they handle IP sharing with creators, I don’t think legacy characters are going to be the only new characters we get for some time.


Or they’ll rely on relative newcomers to provide the new characters.


Unless something changes the playing field, I think newcomers are even holding off with their best stuff because they see an eventual jump to Image or other creator owned endeavor to fully exploit the property and have a chance at film/TV option money. I think a lot more creators coming into the industry want to be Robert Kirkman or Mark Millar than Brian Michael Bendis or Geoff Johns at this point.


Some beautiful, non-spoiler concept art in this.


I don’t think there will ever be IP sharing with creators. They’re hired to do a job, and if they can’t deliver their best in creating good characters and stories then they’ll find someone else to do that job. I also don’t think it’s true that writers hold back from the Big Two - there’s not really alot of indie books that feel like something that would have fit within Marvel. I think it might have been Ellis who mentioned something like this (or Millar) but when working with Marvel both created high quality original characters. Besides, the characters that become indie hits are usually something very different to Big Two material.

In theory that’s right. Just like there’s no bad bands, just bands with the wrong songs.

But I think there are bad characters. Characters with terrible designs, backgrounds, powers and stories. Properties that will never really work in a mainstream market. My favorite team books in all my comic reading are JLI, Guardians and Superior Foes. All populated with generic D list characters. And each of those books shined - even though they all existed somewhat as mocking the typical comic superteam, their appeal being the loveable loser angle. So lots of characters can be modernized and revamped. Reimagined in a fresh new way. And with that, there’s some that will always just be terrible if put in a mainstream property.


Maybe IP sharing was the wrong term as that would only be one option. Incentivize would probably be a better word. DC and Marvel have both played with levels of participation over the years. Rob Liefeld has some stake in the characters he created at Marvel as does Gerry Conway with some of his creations at DC along with many others at both companies.

It could even be a simple bonus structure with no future participation. That would be more than what seems to be in place now. I would think it would be a win-win to start drawing the best talent again for the Big 2 especially now when the comic divisions seem to be R&D for film and TV.


Conway’s been very vocal about these problems. Considering that about 80% of the secondary characters in DC’s TV-verse are his, you can see why he would be upset.

But seriously,

“By a rough guesstimate, I probably created over five hundred characters for DC between 1969 and 1985,”

Gerry Conway is awesome.


I can see royalties for sales of particular trades. Those are pretty common and usually not worth a whole bunch. I can’t see it for character creation. I’ve said this before - the creation of the character, the design, name and gimmick - it’s typically just the start of what goes into building a marketable property. Countless other workers will add to their story, their design, their history and others again will market, brand, advertise, get merchandise deals and so on. I don’t think it’s really right to say one person created a character as these are corporations with hundreds of individuals contributing. It’s more like a TV show than a book in that regard.

Plus this supporting group of hundreds of workers are essentially why your character is famous in the first place. The only true place to own your IP is at Image, and every creator is free to choose to work there whenever they want.


Yes, and on TV writers get paid when characters they create are re-used.

I remember listening to a commentary for Futurama years ago where the writers talked about writing episodes in which characters debuted who would come back later: the writers of the original episode get paid every time the characters they create show up. Accountants go through episodes measuring how much screen time each character gets and write cheques based on that.


I’m not sure that’s typical. I know in the movies each writing assignment is individually negotiated with only the top level guys having that kind of ability, but I don’t know about TV. In a writers room environment I’m not sure how you assign who the creator is, unless they come in with their own defined script.


This is why Robert Duncan McNeil played different characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Voyager. The producers on Voyager originally wanted to use the character of Nick Locarno, but they changed him to Tom Paris so they didn’t have to pay the writers of The First Duty a residual for every episode of Voyager.