Over the weekend, The Outhouse ran a story on Jim Starlin's statements that he was not allowed to write anymore stories about Thanos and Adam Warlock because someone at Marvel anonymously put a company-wide restriction on writing about Warlock, "putting the breaks on plans" Starlin had for the characters. Today, Bleeding Cool finally got around to covering that same story (pip pip!), this time with a response from Marvel editor and Blues Traveller vocalist Tom Brevoort:
Q: Any truth to the rumors that Thanos will be vanishing from Marvel comics for over a year, and that “the rug has been pulled out” from under Jim Starlin and his Warlock-Thanos tale? This is supposedly from Jim himself according to a few sources. I spoke with a friend who was formally a well respected comic blogger who claims to have received this info “from the horses mouth himself” Mr Jim. This is as was told to him, because Warlock and Thanos are in the films and Disney-Marvel are hiding them.
A: Your friend really needs to get a better talking horse to listen to.
No, there’s no truth to this. Thanos will be appearing as much as ever in our books.
This is all really about something else, something much smaller that Jim probably shouldn’t even have taken public on his Facebook page. But he did, so there you go. But it’s grown and changed and become so exaggerated as the information passes from one “well-respected comics blogger” to another that it bears no resemblance to the truth.
What can we learn from this? First, Brevoort is subtly hinting that Marvel is not pleased with Starlin airing their dirty laundry in public. But more importantly, Brevoort is flat out lying when he claims that the story has taken on some kind of telephone-esque life of its own. All bloggers have done is reprint Starlin's own verbatim public statements, such as:
This time, after I brought Adam Warlock back from the dead in the Infinity Revelation, someone at Marvel anonymously put a corporation-wide-no-use restriction on the character, effectively putting the brakes on the on-going plans I had for him and the Titan.
So is Brevoort calling Starlin a liar? I don't think anyone got the impression that Marvel wouldn't be publishing any Thanos stories (though, notice that Brevoort doesn't address Adam Warlock at all). We're sure that Marvel editorial will be writing plenty of stories about Thanos that they then hand off to amicable creators. It's creators telling their own stories about the Mad Titan that are likely frowned upon as the villain becomes more important to the Marvel cinematic universe, and Warlock may play a role in future Marvel movies as well.
But even if Brevoort is claiming Starlin is lying, how is reporting on exactly what Starlin said changing it so that it "bears no resemblance to the truth?" It's a pretty sleazy move from Brevoort to try to blame this one on the blogosphere, but we've always figured Marvel views creators with the same disdain DC does - they're just better at keeping them quiet about it. It's also amusing how he scolds Starlin for talking about this on social media while taking his own veiled shots at Starlin and bloggers on his Tumblr.
Physician: heal thyself!
In all honesty, this is just damage control, and Starlin's probably gotten a stern talking-to over the whole thing, leaving Brevoort with nothing to do but give us the runaround. Talking trash on tumblr is a surefire way to speed things up when all the blogosphere wants to do is sloooow Marvel down.
If only readers would get all their comics news from officially sanctioned Marvel lackey sites like Comic Book Resources, none of this would have happened, we guess.
UPDATE: Newsarama has some more from Starlin:
“I turned in a plot to Tom Brevoort, which included Adam Warlock, and about two months later Tom informed me about the hold but said he couldn't explain it to me,” Starlin claimed. “That's when I took on the Savage Hulk story arc, to keep busy until the hold was lifted and built up some more advanced storyline for the proposed project (The Infinity Duel).”
According to Starlin, he finished penciling his four-issue arc of Savage Hulk last week but found the Adam Warlock situation had remained unchanged.
“The hold is still in place and, apparently, shows no signs of being lifted any time in the future,” Starlin told Newsarama Tuesday. “So I'm moving on.”
“I've given up on Warlock happening any time soon and have completed the three projects I committed to for Marvel - The Thanos Annual, The Infinity Revelation, and the Savage Hulk story arc," Starlin concluded.