This is the real crux of it. I don’t think that position has ever worked out for anyone even legendary creators like George Perez.
I’ve decided to read JSA and DP concurrently.
You have my commiserations!
I’ve been continuing with the Joe Madureira Uncanny X-Men run through Marvel Unlimited - as I neared Onslaught I started reading Adjectiveless X-Men too, and am just about up to the actual Onslaught story proper.
I had many/most of the Joe Mad issues, but would normally skip buying the ones with fill-in art so there are plenty of gaps in my hardcopy run.
It’s very good looking art, and not that bad writing all things considered (Lodbell cops a lot of retrospective flack nowadays); I’ve never been a big fan of Andy Kubert’s art though so a lot of Adjectiveless is a bit tough to get through. This was also where Mark Waid was brought on board and lasted all of a few months (clashing with Harras?).
Uncanny was kind of a crap book during Morrison’s run, both under Casey and Austen. Side characters, lack of narrative drive, random relationship drama. Of the two, Casey’s run had far more interesting ideas than Austen’s. But it was like he was trying to play with the way Morrison loosened up the world and its rules and failed miserably.
I was saying that a lot of that was likely down to having to play second fiddle to Morrison. He tends to have a different take that changes as he goes and trumps what others have planned. It is hard to play along with that. I don’t know why they didn’t just cancel Uncanny, give Morrison both books or completely disconnect them.
Just onto Onslaught proper last night, and I totally misremembered that one of my favourite UXM issues (for the art) isn’t part of this story - it was Madureira’s first take on Spider-man and it’s a bit later on.
(It’s the first time I read the Spider-sense as something other than a basic radar - a gun is pointed at Spidey’s head, and because his sense doesn’t go off, he “knows” it’s out of bullets - what an odd power.)
The level of destruction in NYC displayed during Onslaught is massive. Like, seriously hundreds of thousands of people would have died.
I remember similar complaints about Morrison’s run with Magneto’s actions towards the end.
I think there’s a difficult balance between making a story feel high-stakes and meaningful, and making it so destructive that it transforms the universe to an extent that it’s set apart from our world.
Ultimatum suffered for similar reasons, I think (although it obviously had problems of its own too).
How many times has NYC gotten trashed in the Marvel Universe (or, at least Universe-616)?
Considering Marvel’s sliding timeline where Fantastic Four #1 always happened seven years ago, there would be at least one 9/11-level catastrophe every week.
This is part of why I didn’t like the Spider-Man issue where the World Trade Centre attack was shown to have happened in the Marvel Universe. Like, why would everyone take it to heart when the city’s been destroyed by foreign and domestic attacks that are basically terrorism over and over and over.
Dr Doom in particular was really cut up about it.
(I actually really like that issue overall, but that part is a bit much.)
I really thought The Ultimates was great in finally showing the fallout of one of those big superhero battles in a major metropolitan area.
Definitely. Not least because Hitch draws some of the best realistic urban destruction since Otomo.
Same - I think that issue has to exist outside of continuity.
Only in this re-read did I learn about the link between Age of Apocalypse and Onslaught (which was obviously already linked to the Fatal Attractions crossover from even earlier).
Asteroid M is destroyed in Adjectiveless X-Men 1-3, Magneto missing until Uncanny 304 and Adjectiveless 25, where Magneto removes Wolvie’s adamantium, and Professor X wipes Magneto’s mind (and in doing so, absorbs some of Magneto’s dark side).
Age of Apocalypse happens due to some time travel by Legion, but when the timeline is reset X-Man (AoA Cable) survives, slipping back into the 616 world/timestream.
The Onslaught entity in Xavier’s mind picks up visions of the Age of Apocalypse from X-Man’s mind and that inspires the attack on NYC, with a plan to take over the world and whatnot.
Onslaught is defeated, costing Xavier his powers, and robbing the 616 of the Avengers and FF (who spin off into the Heroes Reborn universe).
It’s convoluted and alienating to newcomers, but I love how all these things are linked retroactively like that. It makes me love comics more.
I’ve been thinking about how to categorize the ages of Comics, and concluded that the “Modern Age” should actually be broken up into bits. Everything before Crisis stands as the age they’re assigned too (though the interregnum between the Gold and Silver Ages is labeled “The Dark Age” or “The Non-Superheroic Age”. From Crisis until the founding of Image (though Marvel may have had an Early end to this age due to Liefeld) I call “The Iron Age” or “Post-Bronze” or “Neo-Bronze”. Then until the Speculator Crash, or until the end of the Clone Saga the “Independent Age”, characterized by the rise of non-big 2 Books, and the Big 2 trying to adapt and respond. From that point until The New 52 is the “Early Modern Age”, followed by the “Modern Age” proper. Thoughts?
Golden age is everything up to Showcase #4 or Fantastic Four #1, one of which is when the Silver age starts.
If Crisis/Watchmen/DKR is the end of the Bronze age, when did it start?
If Crisis/Watchmen/DKR is the start of the Dark Age, when did it end?
Nah, there are plenty of Marvel comics where characters fight thinly-veiled equivalents of real-world terror groups, from the IRA to FARC to Al Queada. And I don’t even have an issue with Marvel doing comics about the WTC attacks, but that Spidey issue was incongruous with everything else that happened to New York in the comics.
Conventional wisdom is that Showcase #4 started the Silver Age. But I don’t tnink it’s really a clever point to pick.
Showcase #4 didn’t mark a change in storytelling style from the stories that immediately preceeded it. We think of it as a milestone because it introducted a significant character (and not even significant at the time, only made significant through later history), but shouldn’t an Age be a “literary movement”, marked by a change in style or approach, not simply adding a new character with a story stories written no differently to the way you were writing (e.g.) Superboy just a month before?
Watchmen felt like it marked a new age at the time because we had never seen anything written like that, not because it introduced Rorschach to the world. Showcase #4 feels no different to Adventure Comics #210 (introduction of Krypto) published exactly one year previously.
So on literary grounds you might have to say it was FF #1, some later, that actually began the Silver Age, as it was the first conscious effort to change the storytelling style.
Kurt Buisiek (I think - could have been Mark Waid; someone like that anyway) once said that the Silver Age ended with the death of Gwen Stacy. Which I can sort of see the point of. It wasnt the first death in a major title, but its nature and its repercussions marked a definite break with the lighter stories that characterised the silver age. But it didn’t cause an instant paradigm shift in storytelling style that way that Watchmen or DKR (or FF#1) did, it was more like an outlier and the rest of the 70s carried on being mostly silver-agey.
I finished the Joe Mad run, which runs for one issue beyond Scott Lobdell as writer. There were a few full and partial fill-in artist jobs towards the end there, but more disappointing is that (I don’t recall the specifics - did he ditch them suddenly to start BattleChasers at Image/Cliffhanger?) Marvel seemed completely unprepared for Madureira’s departure, with no A list artist lined up to take over what was at the time their top book.
The immediately subsequent issue, 351, has some pretty generic art by Ed Benes, with the following one being taken care of by 5 different pencillers.
To make things worse my eyes were drifting over the word balloons, with Seagle’s script incredibly dry. I couldn’t read most of the pages - they were just too dull. The whole issue (351) was based on Ceclia Reyes. I might flick ahead a few issues until they get a regular (good enough) artist and some kind of point.