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Ted Downum
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Joined: 21 April 2004
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 11:40am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

JB: Then there were questions about sales, sell-thru, page rates. Was I "jealous" that Todd McFarlane made more than me?

*****

This makes me wonder how many of those people were/are actually frustrated fans-turned-pros. (I guess one might also ask out of plain curiosity, although I was taught that it's bad manners to ask how much money a person makes.)





Edited by Ted Downum on 27 November 2017 at 11:44am
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 12:33pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

This makes me wonder how many of those people were/are actually frustrated fans-turned-pros.

Such people have been part of the audience since the early days, but they have increased in number, at least on a percentage basis, since the marketplace started collapsing.

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Rick Whiting
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 2:23pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

One of my least favorite things about some fans is when they seek out one or two instance of a character's powers being used incorrectly to "prove" that's how the powers actually work.

____________________________________


And some of those fans become pros and they incorporate those same mistakes into the comics they are working on. Then there are those fans and fans turn pro who completely misread a story where a characters powers work a particular way once because of a mcguffin and then make that one time only situation something that said character's powers are capable of doing. This is what happened with Wolverine quickly regenerating after having all of his flesh burned off of his body by the villain Nitro because the writer read and misunderstood an old X-Men story where a powerful magic/cosmic crystal enabled Wolverine to completely regenerated from a single drop of blood.
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 2:41pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The steep increase in Wolverine's ability to heal himself is a manifestation of an all-too-typical function. It occurs the longer characters are around. Superman learns to fly, for instance. Super strong characters get stronger and stronger. Fast characters get faster and faster. Etc.

Even Mr. Spock quickly became Super-Spock.

Some of it is fogetfulness. Laziness. But some comes from writers wanting "their" characters to be top of the pyramid.

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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 2:56pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The increase in "fans-turned-pros" and their growing misrepresentation of my favorite characters (Captain Marvel would be on that list.) turned me off to comics. It became harder for me to condone "artistic liberties" from some ideas that came from selfish concepts that didn't serve the character.

-C!
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Richard Stevens
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 4:49pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

If I had to explain Cyclops starting fires (I do not believe he has heat vision) I'd simply say that his amazing ability to hit targets allowed him to figure out how to use his force beam (in rare instances) to create friction. Make it tough to do and something he doesn't bother with and never look back.

Edited by Richard Stevens on 27 November 2017 at 4:50pm
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Craig Bogart
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 5:00pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I encountered Rick Jones and Mar-Vell before I ever saw the Fawcett character, and to my shame I'm just now wondering if the Nega-band swap between Jones and Mar-Vell was a reference to the Batson/Captain Marvel relationship.
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Ted Downum
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Joined: 21 April 2004
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 5:25pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Craig Bogart: "...and to my shame I'm just now wondering if the Nega-band swap between Jones and Mar-Vell was a reference to the Batson/Captain Marvel relationship."

*****

Huh. I never thought of that, either (although, for me, the Fawcett character came well before the Marvel character).
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 8:13pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The nega-band swap was a conscious and deliberate reference back to the original character by Golden Age fan Roy Thomas, as were Mar-Vell's encounters with Savannah (Sivana) and Dr. Mynde (Mr. Mind).

Thanks to everyone for the kind words on the previous page. My computer has sadly gone the way of all flesh (flash?), so I'm on a borrowed machine this evening and may be offline for a while. I'll try to check in from work and other places when I can, but that's likely to be hit and miss. Best wishes to everyone here and I hope to be back on a regular basis soon. 


Edited by Brian Hague on 27 November 2017 at 8:13pm
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 10:23pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

If I had to explain Cyclops starting fires (I do not believe he has heat vision) I'd simply say that his amazing ability to hit targets allowed him to figure out how to use his force beam (in rare instances) to create friction. Make it tough to do and something he doesn't bother with and never look back.

Time upon a once, that might have won you a No-Prize (something else that got screwed up over time).

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 11:59pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

The increase in "fans-turned-pros" and their growing misrepresentation of my favorite characters (Captain Marvel would be on that list.) turned me off to comics. It became harder for me to condone "artistic liberties" from some ideas that came from selfish concepts that didn't serve the character.
++++++++

The hilarious absurdity of it all is that these creators go to great lengths to say, "Look at me! Look at me! I'm doing Important Work, and telling the sorts of stories we've always wanted to see!", but the general public doesn't know or care about them.

Pretty much the entire planet knows and/or cares about characters like Wolverine, Captain America and Iron Man, at this point. Ask an average citizen to name a comic book industry professional, and you might get names like Stan Lee or Bob Kane. Kirby, if you're lucky. That's about it. No Grant Morrison or Bendis or Alan Moore or Jim Lee or Rob Liefeld.

The civilians know and care about the characters (mostly via the movies, at least), which is how it should be. So, representing the characters properly should be of utmost importance. 

Having an interest in how the books are put together and by whom can be very enlightening, but I think that the fundamental core of anyone who's into comics should be a love of the characters and the medium. That's certainly what I care about. 


I don't see myself ever "growing up" because I love the characters and the medium too darn much. And there's still a lifetime of stuff to explore that I haven't even gotten to. So much history,,and so many great stories by great creators. I have no need for modern comics. Why bother, when there are decades' worth of amazing back issues to dive into?

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 28 November 2017 at 9:34am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

And to add some sour persimmons to this awkward pie... Captain Marvel has been treated so inconsistently over the years that it's hard to identify aspects of the character besides his powers and "Shazam."

It is said that C.C. Beck HATED how DC treated Captain Marvel upon its resurrection... that they simplified the character and stories down to young children's level. I remember those stories... and I can't argue that too hard. That ended up with "Shazam!" becoming a reprint title for a while (X-Men, anyone?)

Came the Crisis, and after that, Shazam was psychotic due to pre-Crisis memories, and... oh, that's all I remember of that ludicrous four-part mini. Meanwhile, in Justice League, Captain Marvel was treated.like a nine year old. "Gosh, Mr. Gardner, I'm not really made of white bread."

Jerry Ordway's series gave it a good try to re-establish Cap - but it veered a little too far from the original story. In a variety of stories, artists couldn't decide what outfit he should wear. Giffen and DeMatteis got their hands on Mary Marvel (or "Captain Marvel", according to Mr. Ordway) in a couple of stupidly silly Justice League mini-series.

Since then, Captain Marvel seems to have been mauled and mangled. I say "seems" because I didn't read many Pu-52 stories, so I don't know about the kiddie Captain Marvel, or the new Monster Society, or when DC finally gave up on "Captain Marvel" and now calls him "Shazam." In a hoodie. 

I'm an old crank and FAR too old a fanboy, as Mr. Byrne would recognize... but I rather wish that somebody could just go back to the original concept and simply make Captain Marvel a character in super hero stories again as he was originally intended.
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 28 November 2017 at 10:11am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I think Geoff Johns and Gary Frank were trying desperately to come up with a version of Billy Batson and his alter ego that contemporary readers would like.

Didn't work, it seems. And I hated it too. Notably, we haven't seen him since "Rebirth" began. He hasn't even been mentioned.

If it was up to me, I'd establish that the Earth-Zero versions of Billy, Mary, Freddie Freeman, et al have all lost their powers, permanently. And then we'd never see them again. All future Marvel Family stories would take place on Earth-5, where they very closely resemble their original selves, and that would be that. 


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Warren Scott
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Joined: 09 July 2016
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 4:13pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Wow, Brian, don't mince words. Tell us how you really feel. In all honesty, I really did wonder how CM had been depicted in the past because I only knew him from the 70s. But I agree that fans can overthink a concept. For example, if CM is a separate person (and I'm convinced he is), I don't have to know where he goes when he's not been summoned by Billy. And Matt made a good point that regardless of whether CM is Billy or not, he does possess the wisdom of Solomon. If he can be shown displaying the speed of Mercury, the wisdom of Solomon should be acknowledged, too.I think that too many older fans feel a need to justify their interest in comics, particularly superheroes. I think that's why we're seeing so much violence and death (in a very graphic way). It's like they're saying, "Comics are serious because there are people getting killed!" Never mind that those people are coming back from the dead in some far-fetched way.

Edited by Warren Scott on 01 December 2017 at 4:22pm
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 5:59pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

The 70s SHAZAM book always had a new story mixed in with reprints. The problem was, with C. C. Beck drawing the first few issues in that 'deliberate throwback' style, it was hard to tell which were the new stories and which we were the reprints. So, they had to keep mentioning that Billy had just been 'unfrozen' after 20 years, and golly, look at that guy with sideburns and a 'leisure suit', I think they call it. gee, fashions sure are odd in 1973..' etc. 
Even without Beck, the 'old fashioned look' continued, under Kurt Schaffenberger. Only in the last issue of that series, when Don Newton took over, did CM finally look like a '1978' character. From then on, the series ran in WORLD'S FINEST, written by E. Nelson Bridwell, until 1982. I consider that to be 'my' Captain Marvel. 

The 'de-aging' of Cap seems to have crept through the 1980s. Roy Thomas did a DC COMICS PRESENTS two-parter(in ine of his first DC assignments), in which CM and Superman traded quips in that 'casual, slangly, overly colloquial' conversational style that Thomas gave to every '20th century' character he ever wrote(not be confused with the 'purple prose' of every villain, 'past' or 'future' character he ever wrote.)
Maybe subsequent writers took RT's'voice' of CM to be a suggestion on how to write him going forward...and the idea that there would be no more 'Golden Age Marvels' after CRISIS made it 'acceptable' for there to be an entirely new, different...and, ultimately, goofy, corny, flaky, and mentally challenged...Captain Marvel.
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John Mariani
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Posted: 05 December 2017 at 10:09am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Would love to see Don Newton's CM be collected. (Fat chance!).
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 06 December 2017 at 2:28am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Second that!

Wait till the movie comes out--I bet they put together every collection they can think of.

Edited by Eric Jansen on 06 December 2017 at 4:34am
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 06 December 2017 at 10:30am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Captain Marvel is Billy's idealized idea of what being a grown up means, with the "wisdom" (maturity) that goes with it. He can do all the things adults can do and he's given the wits to appreciate what that means, the consequences of his actions, and so on.

They are one person, but the grown up version truly is grown up and not just a kid stuck in an adult's body. It's okay for him to share Billy's catch phrases--but he shouldn't be an overgrown child akin to Tom Hanks in "Big" (early in the movie, that is).
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