In the "dog bites man" news of the week, J. Michael Straczynski was talking some trash in a recent interview.
J. Michael Straczynski did an interview with Collider this weekend, and the outspoken writer took the opportunity to take some shots at his former employer, Marvel Comics. Straczynski opened up by quipping about his Amazing Spider-Man run, "I tried to call it ‘The Barely Adequate Spider-Man.'" JMS wrote Amazing Spider-Man for a long time, and famously colluded with Marvel's Editor in Chief (at the time), and known internet troll, Joe Quesada, to dissolve the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in the epicly awful One More Day storyline. JMS has tried to distance himself from the stench of that clusterfuck, which saw Spider-Man make a deal with the devil and resulted in an enormous continuity defying retcon that was infamously justified with the explanation, "It's magic. We don't have to explain it." JMS insists that he would never have written such a poor story without Quesada's interference, though similarly atrocious stories that JMS was fully responsible for, like The Other, make that claim dubious.
Continuing his anti-Marvel tirade, JMS complained about the event obsession at Marvel, saying that their need to produce blockbuster crossover events prohibited him from telling his stories.
"I’m all for crossovers if they benefit the individual books. But it was feeling more and more like the individual characters were being bent towards the event in ways I didn’t think were appropriate. I mean to make Reed Richards a bad guy in Civil War… I just never bought into that. And that Captain America would surrender to a mob? I never bought into that. The more you have characters doing things that they wouldn’t do, because you want it for an event, I just had an increasingly hard time with that. And you can see why after a while, I pulled back from that. Which is why I hid in Thor. I said, ‘I’ll do this book but don’t touch me with the other events.’ It was a character that nobody wanted to write because nobody knew how do deal with him. They offered it to Mark Millar, who ran screaming into the night, they offered it to Neil Gaiman. I said, ‘I’ll write him.’ And my idea was, ‘leave me the fuck alone.’ Just write this character."
JMS is right of course. Making characters do despicable and uncharacteristic things in order to suit the needs of a story is something that a good writer should never do, like, for example, writing a story in which Gwen Stacy sleeps with Norman Osborne and produces evil twin offspring during his Spider-Man run. JMS would never do something like that because he has nothing but the utmost respect for the characters and stories that were created by others, which is why he would never do something like participate in the exploitation of those characters in a blatant moneygrab like the Before Watchmen prequel comics. Oh wait, JMS did both of those things. Hmmm.
If nothing else, at least Straczynski wrote Spider-Man for a long time, which is more than can be said for most of his other comics projects, which he famously abandons before completion. This reporter would like to abandon this article halfway through trying to spell Straczynski's difficult last name, but I persevere.
JMS says that the Thor debacle ended his association with Marvel on a sour note:
"I called [Marvel Publisher] Dan Buckley and said, ‘I heard what your plans are for this. Everything I’ve done, it’s going to be shot to hell.’ Similar to how Spider-Man was shot to hell with One More Day, which was Joe Quesada’s thing. And that’s when I said, ‘I just can’t do this anymore.’"
You can head over to Collider to read the full interview, in which JMS talks about his plans for Studio JMS and his Joe's Comics imprint at Image. I would cover that information here, but like JMS three issues into a Wonder Woman run, I've grown bored with this article, and intend to end it abruptly and go do something else instead.