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I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby Chessack » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:20 pm

The whole entire death of Jean Grey could potentially be labeled an "editorial mistake," or at least editorial interference. Years after she was killed off, Chris Claremont admitted that the original story, as written by him, and already drawn by Byrne and I think maybe even inked, lettered, etc, was that after the X-Men lost to the Shi'ar, Lilandra had a machine that removed Jean's mental powers completely -- basically turning her into a normal, non-mutant human. She would leave the team, and perhaps get involved in politics or something relating to the Mutant Registration business. However, when Jim Shooter, then editor in chief of Marvel, saw the pre-publication pages, he rejected them. He believed that losing her powers was not enough punishment for Jean destroying a world full of innocent billions, and demanded that she pay a higher price. The ending was hastily re-written and re-drawn so that Jean died.

There are a lot of questions surrounding the post-Jean period that I don't believe have ever satisfactorily been answered. For example, in later issues (like, X-men in the 210s and 220s) it was revealed that Madelyne was a clone of either Jean or the Phoenix-Jean simulacrum (again, I can't remember which), I believe created by Mr. Sinister. However, this was years after Madelyne was introduced in like the 160s. I don't think Claremont ever admitted whether Madelyne was always intended to be a clone, was intended to be Jean herself reborn (via Phoenix force) or was just a coincidental look-alike in the original story-line. Much of Madelyne's past was not revealed until AFTER Jean returned in X-Factor, at which point it is very likely that Claremont had to change his original plans for Maddie. Remember, Claremont did not originally want, or plan, to kill Jean in the first place, so many readers back then suspected that Maddie was his way of bringing her back (since Phoenix is reborn from the ashes).

Rachael, of course, is a complication, but one good friend of mine speculated that the reason Claremont brought Rachael in and gave her the Phoenix force was so that Jean (reborn as Maddie) could return without turning into Dark Phoenix again (if someone were to turn, it'd be Rachael, not Jean, at least as the story was starting to go back then).

As for the cocoon part, I'm not sure that was in the original story (though maybe it was.. as I say it has been a LONG time, and I no longer have copies of those issues anymore). But I thought the cocoon thing was revealed for the first time in the "X-Factor" tie-in issues of Avengers and the other comics before the actual series began (there were 2 or 3 pre-series tie-ins before X-F #1). Some months later, when Classic X-Men reprinted the original Jean-becomes-Phoenix story, Claremont wrote a short add-on piece (he used to do this in many of the Classic X-Men issues) drawn I think by Bolton (though I could be wrong), showing the scene where Phoenix makes the "grand bargain" with Jean and takes on her form and memories. I'm fairly sure this was the first time that had been actually seen... but I could be wrong.

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby The Old Doctor » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:37 pm

The thing with comics, such as X-Men, is that you get more then one writer or editor working on this stuff over time. Give it long enough and they'll change things.

They'll bring back Jean Grey.... oh they did in the pages of All-New X-Men. :lol:
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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby Chessack » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:18 pm

Cat-Scratch wrote:The thing with comics, such as X-Men, is that you get more then one writer or editor working on this stuff over time. Give it long enough and they'll change things.

They'll bring back Jean Grey.... oh they did in the pages of All-New X-Men.


They bring back everyone.

A few months ago when they offed Damien Wayne, the comic-shop guys tried to get me to buy the issue in which he dies, on the basis that I would want to read it before the Batgirl tie-in. As I declined the offer, I said something about how I didn't believe he would stay dead anyway. The c-shop guy insisted no, this time, it's real. A true, permanent death. No coming back. Morrison is supposedly going to retire from writing comics and he is putting to bed all of his creations. No more Damien, forever.

So I then rattled of "the list" - of all the characters we were told were dead forever who are now back. "That's what they said about... Jean Grey, Supergirl, Barry Allen, Captain America, Bucky, Sharon Carter..." and of course the list went on... and on. And that's with me spending most of the last 12 or 13 years not reading comics at all (which means there are only more of them that I don't know about yet).

As for X-men itself, you can blame a lot of things, but not musical creative teams. Chris Claremont wrote the thing for a couple of hundred issues. Sure, he had less control over X-factor, etc, but many of the story/plot problems and the "we've painted ourselves into a corner" moments are his to own.

In fact I think that was the biggest problem. Although I'm normally a fan of stability in creative teams, there comes a point where the writer or the artist starts to burn out. Simonson recognized this and wisely stepped away from Thor after 45 issues. Perez did the same thing after 3 years on Wonder Woman. But Claremont either didn't recognize it or chose to ignore it. He went on for years and years after he had obviously lost that special something he had with these characters. In this case i think the lack of fresh eyes caused more problems than not.

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby Arion » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:53 pm

Chessack wrote:The whole entire death of Jean Grey could potentially be labeled an "editorial mistake," or at least editorial interference. Years after she was killed off, Chris Claremont admitted that the original story, as written by him, and already drawn by Byrne and I think maybe even inked, lettered, etc, was that after the X-Men lost to the Shi'ar, Lilandra had a machine that removed Jean's mental powers completely -- basically turning her into a normal, non-mutant human. She would leave the team, and perhaps get involved in politics or something relating to the Mutant Registration business. However, when Jim Shooter, then editor in chief of Marvel, saw the pre-publication pages, he rejected them. He believed that losing her powers was not enough punishment for Jean destroying a world full of innocent billions, and demanded that she pay a higher price. The ending was hastily re-written and re-drawn so that Jean died.

There are a lot of questions surrounding the post-Jean period that I don't believe have ever satisfactorily been answered. For example, in later issues (like, X-men in the 210s and 220s) it was revealed that Madelyne was a clone of either Jean or the Phoenix-Jean simulacrum (again, I can't remember which), I believe created by Mr. Sinister. However, this was years after Madelyne was introduced in like the 160s. I don't think Claremont ever admitted whether Madelyne was always intended to be a clone, was intended to be Jean herself reborn (via Phoenix force) or was just a coincidental look-alike in the original story-line. Much of Madelyne's past was not revealed until AFTER Jean returned in X-Factor, at which point it is very likely that Claremont had to change his original plans for Maddie. Remember, Claremont did not originally want, or plan, to kill Jean in the first place, so many readers back then suspected that Maddie was his way of bringing her back (since Phoenix is reborn from the ashes).

Rachael, of course, is a complication, but one good friend of mine speculated that the reason Claremont brought Rachael in and gave her the Phoenix force was so that Jean (reborn as Maddie) could return without turning into Dark Phoenix again (if someone were to turn, it'd be Rachael, not Jean, at least as the story was starting to go back then).

As for the cocoon part, I'm not sure that was in the original story (though maybe it was.. as I say it has been a LONG time, and I no longer have copies of those issues anymore). But I thought the cocoon thing was revealed for the first time in the "X-Factor" tie-in issues of Avengers and the other comics before the actual series began (there were 2 or 3 pre-series tie-ins before X-F #1). Some months later, when Classic X-Men reprinted the original Jean-becomes-Phoenix story, Claremont wrote a short add-on piece (he used to do this in many of the Classic X-Men issues) drawn I think by Bolton (though I could be wrong), showing the scene where Phoenix makes the "grand bargain" with Jean and takes on her form and memories. I'm fairly sure this was the first time that had been actually seen... but I could be wrong.


I've read the Untold Story of Phoenix and there was an interview with Jim Shooter, Chris Claremont and John Byrne, they explain why they had to change things and how what saw print wasn't the original story.

An those Classic X-Men issues were great. I've read probably the first 20 or so.

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby Chessack » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:50 pm

Yeah.

Now you would just get them digitally (I'm doing that right now... I'm on original X-Men #40 so far, I think). But back in the day you couldn't.

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby Arion » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:27 pm

Chessack wrote:Yeah.

Now you would just get them digitally (I'm doing that right now... I'm on original X-Men #40 so far, I think). But back in the day you couldn't.


I'm not really into digital comics. I enjoy paper the most.

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby The Old Doctor » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:15 pm

Chessack wrote:
They bring back everyone.

A few months ago when they offed Damien Wayne, the comic-shop guys tried to get me to buy the issue in which he dies, on the basis that I would want to read it before the Batgirl tie-in. As I declined the offer, I said something about how I didn't believe he would stay dead anyway. The c-shop guy insisted no, this time, it's real. A true, permanent death. No coming back. Morrison is supposedly going to retire from writing comics and he is putting to bed all of his creations. No more Damien, forever.

So I then rattled of "the list" - of all the characters we were told were dead forever who are now back. "That's what they said about... Jean Grey, Supergirl, Barry Allen, Captain America, Bucky, Sharon Carter..." and of course the list went on... and on. And that's with me spending most of the last 12 or 13 years not reading comics at all (which means there are only more of them that I don't know about yet).

As for X-men itself, you can blame a lot of things, but not musical creative teams. Chris Claremont wrote the thing for a couple of hundred issues. Sure, he had less control over X-factor, etc, but many of the story/plot problems and the "we've painted ourselves into a corner" moments are his to own.

In fact I think that was the biggest problem. Although I'm normally a fan of stability in creative teams, there comes a point where the writer or the artist starts to burn out. Simonson recognized this and wisely stepped away from Thor after 45 issues. Perez did the same thing after 3 years on Wonder Woman. But Claremont either didn't recognize it or chose to ignore it. He went on for years and years after he had obviously lost that special something he had with these characters. In this case i think the lack of fresh eyes caused more problems than not.



I like to blame Claremont for the bad. Mostly because he doesn't know where I live and can't take revenge.

But if Bendis is available to blame, then I blame him.

Okay, jokes aside, I don't think Claremont ever had the stuff for those stories back then. I've long thought that he rode the coat tails of the work that was really done by the prior creative team but more so the work Byrne brought to the table. I've argued it here and at the oldrama a lot. No one has ever countered it. All Claremont did was soap opera write the X-Men title into the mess it became. The problem after he left were folks who could not write at all and then an editor who micromanaged the hell out of good writers that came later.
"Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They're scientific instruments, not water pistols."
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""Timey" what? "Timey wimey"?"

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IvCNuB4 wrote:The Old Doctor is Cat-Scratch ?
Well that explains a lot :lol:

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby Chessack » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:13 pm

Arion wrote:I'm not really into digital comics. I enjoy paper the most.


OK but... given the option of spending huge gobs of money on re-prints or getting the digitals for $2/each... I get digitals.

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:19 pm

Cat-Scratch wrote:

I like to blame Claremont for the bad. Mostly because he doesn't know where I live and can't take revenge.

But if Bendis is available to blame, then I blame him.

Okay, jokes aside, I don't think Claremont ever had the stuff for those stories back then. I've long thought that he rode the coat tails of the work that was really done by the prior creative team but more so the work Byrne brought to the table. I've argued it here and at the oldrama a lot. No one has ever countered it. All Claremont did was soap opera write the X-Men title into the mess it became. The problem after he left were folks who could not write at all and then an editor who micromanaged the hell out of good writers that came later.


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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby Chessack » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:25 pm

Cat-Scratch wrote:Okay, jokes aside, I don't think Claremont ever had the stuff for those stories back then. I've long thought that he rode the coat tails of the work that was really done by the prior creative team but more so the work Byrne brought to the table. I've argued it here and at the oldrama a lot. No one has ever countered it. All Claremont did was soap opera write the X-Men title into the mess it became. The problem after he left were folks who could not write at all and then an editor who micromanaged the hell out of good writers that came later.


Actually, I agree. When Claremont was writing, Byrne was a co-plotter. X-men lost a few steps when Byrne left. I don't think the other artists took as firm a hand in plotting as Byrne did.

In a lot of ways it mirrored what happened in Rom: Spaceknight. As good a writer as Mantlo was, Buscema, as artist, clearly participated in story development, and was often listed as such (the credits would read "Mantlo/Buscema, Writer/Storytellers/Artist", or something similar). And after Buscema left on Rom 52 or so, the story went way downhill.

I think some of this has to do with the different authoring techniques back then vs. today. Back in the 1970s and into the 1980s, in many cases (though I think not all), the process was as follows. The writer would write out a plot, as a bulleted list or a synopsis. It would say things like, "A spaceship hurtles to earth, and crashes in the West VA. mountains. The rocks split, and out comes ROM. Rom summons his energy analyzer and flies off looking for Wraiths." Etc. Then the plot would go to the penciler, who would translate those words into layouts and pictures. The penciler would decide things like how big to make the panels, how many panels to divide the scene into, where to put splash pages, and the like. Details and background features were put in by the art team. Then the writer would get the art pages back, and would write the script (Narration and Dialogue) to fit the art turned in by the penciler. By the way, this is why on some titles, you had plotters and scripters listed separately. Often artists would be listed as artists and plotters, and then there would be a scripter (Aragones did this a lot with Groo... he basically drew the whole thing out as story-boards, then sent them to Mark Evanier, who wrote the words to go with the pictures). Depending on the comfort level of the writer and artist, the writer might be more or less detailed about the plot.

George Perez once described how he and Wolfman did Titans. They would meet at a coffee shop and talk about the plot. Wolfman didn't write things down, but Perez liked to take notes. Then Perez would go home and from his notes, he would draw out the issue. He said that sometimes Wolfman would get the pages and call him up and ask, "Why is this happening on page 3?" Perez would answer, "It's in my notes. You talked about it." Wolfman wouldn't even remember. But he trusted Perez to both take good notes and make his own awesome tweaks to the plot, enough that Wolfman would just take whatever was drawn and put a script to it.

It may be that Claremont had such a relationship with Byrne (I don't think either of them has ever commented on it), and perhaps he didn't have that sort of relationship with the other artists. I've always pictured this as being the case, since the Claremont/Byrne run is so demonstrably better than everything else Claremont did by himself.

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby The Old Doctor » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:10 pm

S.F. Jude Terror wrote:
Image


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"Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They're scientific instruments, not water pistols."
"Oh, the pointing again! They're screwdrivers! What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them?"
"Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?"
""Timey" what? "Timey wimey"?"

Image
IvCNuB4 wrote:The Old Doctor is Cat-Scratch ?
Well that explains a lot :lol:

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby The Old Doctor » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:32 pm

Chessack wrote:
Actually, I agree. When Claremont was writing, Byrne was a co-plotter. X-men lost a few steps when Byrne left. I don't think the other artists took as firm a hand in plotting as Byrne did.

In a lot of ways it mirrored what happened in Rom: Spaceknight. As good a writer as Mantlo was, Buscema, as artist, clearly participated in story development, and was often listed as such (the credits would read "Mantlo/Buscema, Writer/Storytellers/Artist", or something similar). And after Buscema left on Rom 52 or so, the story went way downhill.

I think some of this has to do with the different authoring techniques back then vs. today. Back in the 1970s and into the 1980s, in many cases (though I think not all), the process was as follows. The writer would write out a plot, as a bulleted list or a synopsis. It would say things like, "A spaceship hurtles to earth, and crashes in the West VA. mountains. The rocks split, and out comes ROM. Rom summons his energy analyzer and flies off looking for Wraiths." Etc. Then the plot would go to the penciler, who would translate those words into layouts and pictures. The penciler would decide things like how big to make the panels, how many panels to divide the scene into, where to put splash pages, and the like. Details and background features were put in by the art team. Then the writer would get the art pages back, and would write the script (Narration and Dialogue) to fit the art turned in by the penciler. By the way, this is why on some titles, you had plotters and scripters listed separately. Often artists would be listed as artists and plotters, and then there would be a scripter (Aragones did this a lot with Groo... he basically drew the whole thing out as story-boards, then sent them to Mark Evanier, who wrote the words to go with the pictures). Depending on the comfort level of the writer and artist, the writer might be more or less detailed about the plot.

George Perez once described how he and Wolfman did Titans. They would meet at a coffee shop and talk about the plot. Wolfman didn't write things down, but Perez liked to take notes. Then Perez would go home and from his notes, he would draw out the issue. He said that sometimes Wolfman would get the pages and call him up and ask, "Why is this happening on page 3?" Perez would answer, "It's in my notes. You talked about it." Wolfman wouldn't even remember. But he trusted Perez to both take good notes and make his own awesome tweaks to the plot, enough that Wolfman would just take whatever was drawn and put a script to it.

It may be that Claremont had such a relationship with Byrne (I don't think either of them has ever commented on it), and perhaps he didn't have that sort of relationship with the other artists. I've always pictured this as being the case, since the Claremont/Byrne run is so demonstrably better than everything else Claremont did by himself.


Cockrum was noted as not putting much in. I think his days at DC and earlier run at Marvel left him feeling burned but the companies, so just did the work.

Basically the Marvel Method either works or it doesn't. For some, it works well and other is doesn't and this can show.

There have been tons of interviews in the decades which said how it worked with Byrne and Claremont. Byrne and the editor did a lot of the plotting, but more importantly made it have a pace. Claremont was one of the first plot milkers in comics. He just dragged shit out, like a soap opera does, over dosed the angst, like a soap opera does, contrives the reasons for angst, like a soap opera does, etc. . Claremont was a dialoger and not much else. Byrne could plot and later showed on FF that he could also do the rest. But both worked with each other in a way, one not much different then others at Marvel. Claremont and Byrne spoke on dialog, tossed ideas around and brought out the best in each other. Like song writers... they ultimately had strong views and went from there. Just like Lee and Kirby.

BUT.

No one pointed to Claremont's other work prior as great. None of his none X-Men stuff too. Claremont fans only bring up his X-Men work. Never his New Mutants, never the Iron Fist he made along with Byrne. Never his Marada The She-Wolf. Never his Excalibur. Never his Image work such as Huntsman. Never his Fantastic Four. Not even his Marvel Two-In-One work.

I read all that stuff.

I also have read nearly all the comics Byrne did prior, during and after X-Men. He did the major work on that title. It shows.

The Marvel Method, the editor at that time, the powers that be at Marvel at that time, the time itself all contributed to those X-Men comics. It all clicked. But folks can only see Claremont? :lol:

Claremont is a bad writer. But compared to a ton of other writers out there... he is one of the better ones. But there are a number better then he is.

As for his long run... Claremont had ideas, like some he had that life time job. For some it's the one comic strip. X-Men was his.

Hell, he probably can still fudge out ideas that are some what original compared to some that are happening.
"Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They're scientific instruments, not water pistols."
"Oh, the pointing again! They're screwdrivers! What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them?"
"Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?"
""Timey" what? "Timey wimey"?"

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IvCNuB4 wrote:The Old Doctor is Cat-Scratch ?
Well that explains a lot :lol:

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby Chessack » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:35 pm

You're definitely right about Claremont liking to string things along forever.... I don't mind plots continuing for a while but when it turns into years and years... that's just too much.

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby Arion » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:47 pm

Chessack wrote:
OK but... given the option of spending huge gobs of money on re-prints or getting the digitals for $2/each... I get digitals.


Ah but that's the beauty of it. I've bought a lof of back issues for 1 buck each. Much cheaper than digital versions. I always find good deals on back issues. Of course, I never buy anything from the 40s or 60s...

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Re: I'm Getting Pissed Off Again With Comics

Postby Chessack » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:15 pm

Arion wrote:Ah but that's the beauty of it. I've bought a lof of back issues for 1 buck each. Much cheaper than digital versions. I always find good deals on back issues. Of course, I never buy anything from the 40s or 60s...


Yeah. Unless you're dealing with someone who doesn't know what he has, you're not going to find original X-men from the 60s for $1.

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