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Topic: Roy Thomas co-created Wolverine…? Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Joined: 03 July 2012
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Posted: 02 April 2024 at 11:42pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Agree, Steve.

Saying "Wolverine" is nothing. Saying "it's a kid with spider powers" is also nothing.

Producing Amazing Fantasy 15 is something. It can be also discussed, and it certainly has, who did what in Amazing Fantasy 15 but at least it's from a position where we're discussing actual words and pictures laid down by artists.

An editor's function isn't to be an artist, or to "come up" with ideas.


There's a follow-up article, in which Tom Brevoort disagrees with giving an editor co-creator credit, along with Coleen Doran, Gregory Wright, Dan Jurgens, Rob Liefeld, and Neil Gaiman. 

Well, Liefeld seems pretty irate.

And since this Thomas credit will apparently debut in DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE I imagine he could possibly have some pull and influence over this.

Let's see how it goes.

  


Edited by Rodrigo castellanos on 03 April 2024 at 12:06am
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 03 April 2024 at 12:53am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I had those two X-Men Companion interviews books and was thinking while reading here that I thought this went back a lot longer ago as to Roy Thomas' involvement. Not having them anymore I'm glad to see them mentioned here.

Giving something a name is a very small part of creating something... it's like saying a girlfriend who came up with a name a now famous band used had anything to do with their success. A catchy name isn't nothing, but playing and creating great music is a whole lot more. I would say Thomas is a similar footnote, like Gil Kane who changed the mask for the Giant Size X-Men cover. A catchy costume however in such a visual media really can make or break a comic character, so it seem to me it would be Len Wein, John Romita Sr., Herb Trimpe, and (I would add) Dave Cockrum who established a full creation, and then Chris Claremont and John Byrne and others after carried him forward from there. I think Cockrum for the second and continuing appearance altered the basis enough from Romita Sr./Trimpe as to be something akin to the situation of the old Beast versus the later furry one which gets it's own creator credit. He's still not fully fleshed out but was significantly set on the path to viable continuation in a way that the Hulk appearance didn't do; he was just a semi-generic secondary character there. Part of one story and then gone.
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ron bailey
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Posted: 03 April 2024 at 12:54am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I wonder if I really know what a comicbook editor did or does? To make sure the issues are produced in timely fashion? To coordinate the creators? To monitor storylines? Quality control, broadly speaking?
.....
I imagine it had/has to be the equivalent of a project manager on any product line: the buck-stops-here frontline of accountability for making sure the product gets delivered on time. The different contributors, writer, penciller, inker, letterer, colorist (ye old days) can all point at each other for blame if something didn't get done on time or was done incorrectly, but ultimately the editor would have to be responsible for the entire team. 
......
And regarding blame vs. credit, I doubt anyone was ever in line at a con signing to get an editor's autograph (If they were "only" an editor, or whether auctions were ever had for pages from books that were edited by someone. But, they probably did have health insurance while they were editors :)
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Jason Czeskleba
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Posted: 03 April 2024 at 1:05am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

 Matt Hawes wrote:
Okay, so I recall in interviews in such publications as The X-Men Companion, and others, going all the way back to the early 1980s, that Roy Thomas was involved in creating Wolverine.  This was, as I recall, mentioned by the other creators, not just by Thomas, himself.  As I understand it, Thomas came up with the name, the country of origin,  his temperament,  and that he was a mutant. If Thomas never brought up the idea, this character wouldn't have been created,  at all.
It's also worth noting that Dave Cockrum independently created his own Wolverine character in 1972 (for possible use in the Legion of Super-Heroes) and that he said he mentioned/showed his character concept to Roy.  Roy doesn't remember specifically, but acknowledges Dave "may" have done this.  Ultimately it becomes as complex as Spider-Man (where Stan may have gotten the name from Joe Simon via Jack Kirby).  Wolverine is a character where the elaboration is really just as important as the initial concept.  If anyone deserves to be added to the creator list it's Dave Cockrum, both for possibly sparking the initial idea, and for his creation of the maskless image of the character which is more iconic and widely-known than the costume.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 03 April 2024 at 1:40am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Ultimately it becomes as complex as Spider-Man (where Stan may have gotten the name from Joe Simon via Jack Kirby).

•••

Stan got the name “Spider-Man” from a character called “Silver Spider”?

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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 03 April 2024 at 1:49am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Would a spider by any other name stick as... never mind.What created Spider-Man was the telling and scripting and drawing in that certain unique way. Lee and Ditko did all that work (41 individual comics). Someone throws in a single idea or two, that is not 'the work' to me, the work is the work. Who is playing the instruments, writing the lyrics... not the person who made the stage clothing or lettered the bass drum.

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 03 April 2024 at 1:50am
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 03 April 2024 at 3:18am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

This is what Dave Cockrum said to Peter Sanderson from the interview in X-Men Companion, volume I:

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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 03 April 2024 at 4:03am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

What Cockrum says there is precisely why it's completely pointless to get into a contest of who said "Wolverine" first. 

Thomas didn't even remember the previous mention of Cockrum's "Wolverine", which must had been fairly recent at the time. Imagine the fidelity of those recollections 40+ years later.

The creators of something are the ones who defined, wrote and illustrated said thing for the first time. Did the work, not threw some words around.



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Athanasios Kollias
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Posted: 03 April 2024 at 7:08am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

It's like the parents telling their son or daughter "how about having a child" and then claiming they created the child.
Madness...
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 03 April 2024 at 7:24am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

A lot of the Marvel credits in that particular time period were fast & loose, overly complicated, or sometimes vague.  You often had a story that was "plotted" by one writer and scripted by another and I just read one where the editor was listed as "co-plotter."  This was the era that brought about the writer/editor credit (of which Roy Thomas was the first to make such a deal, I believe--although Stan effectively did it for years before).  The first issue of HERO FOR HIRE (Luke Cage) contains the unique credit of "With the considerable contributions of Roy Thomas and John Romita," so there's never been any question about Thomas' involvement with Cage, though he was neither the editor (Stan Lee) nor the writer (Archie Goodwin).

I can't help but think if Roy had thought to do something similar (or added a "co-plotter" credit) to that particular issue of INCREDIBLE HULK, this whole "controversy" would have been nipped in the bud.

It just seems that Roy had his hand in almost everything new that was being developed at that time, so it's completely believable and understandable that Wolverine might have started with him (like 100 other things) and he passed it off to someone else to write.  Rather than jumping to accuse him of "stealing credit," I, as a long-time reader and fan of these stories, creators, and characters, just appreciate getting some insight into how things originated.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 03 April 2024 at 9:35am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I can’t deny that I feel Thomas had impact in comics - heck, he sorted the
Star Wars comics for example.
But this really does illustrate how ambiguous the whole creator thing is
being applied

As for good/bad editorship, my benchmarks tend to be:
Is the comic on time?
Is someone being smothered in the creative process?
Is someone being given too much freedom & ultimately harming the
character long term? (a good editor thus being able to manage 2 & 3)

That’s probably it for the big picture.
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Jim Burdo
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Joined: 19 April 2020
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Posted: 03 April 2024 at 10:30am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

 JB wrote:
Creators get the credit, editors get the blame.

•••

Some editors may believe this. It increases their sense of self importance. But in fifty years working professionally in comics I have not once encountered it. Most fans, I’ve found, don’t really even understand an editor’s function.

It sounds like Brevoort is saying this to reduce editors' self-importance. 

Jordan White is getting some criticism for the decline of the X-titles, with one Youtuber referring to "Jordan D. White and his legion of doofuses". Upper levels seem to agree, since he's hurriedly being moved out in favor of Brevoort. Fans aren't the only ones who can assign blame.

Here's Thomas's interview with Peter Sanderson. He doesn't place much importance on coming up with the name.

 QUOTE:
THOMAS: The only other thing I suggested to him, over lunch, was that I thought it was time we had a Canadian hero. There was talk about names like Captain Canuck, Cap-tain Canada, things of that sort, and I suggested that since we had a Canadian market and I felt guilty about not having more Canadian characters in the comics, The X-Men should have a character that I suggested be called the Wolverine because that animal inhabits Canada as well as the Northern United States and would be familiar to both. He could be a Canadian and be very fierce. I was thinking of someone much like what evolved, a very fierce character worth his weight in wildcats, that kind of thing, a little like Wildcat or Atom, only with more power.SANDERSON: Cockrum says he had come up with a Wolverine character before that and told you about it.
THOMAS: It very well could have been. On the other hand I don't have any conscious memory of his having done that. And of course it doesn't take much brains for either of us to come up with a name like Wolverine anyway. Animal characters are a big thing. Dave may have done that. On the other hand, it's like when I invented the Banshee. I got an angry letter from a kid who said he'd once sent in a letter to me, Stan, or somebody else suggesting a character called the Banshee. And of course I thought it was just ridiculous [laughter] because names like "Wolverine" or "Banshee" are just names. A name like Captain Marvel is a made-up name, maybe, but all the others—Superman, Batman—they're all just grabbed from somewhere.


Edited by Jim Burdo on 03 April 2024 at 10:31am
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