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It comes down to whatever they feel like at the time

Paul O'Brien:

The 198, nominally, are the total number of confirmed mutant survivors worldwide. Thematically, it's meant to be a symbolic number adopted by the survivors. In reality, it's somewhat compromised by the incoherent way Marvel have gone about this aspect of the plot. On the one hand we've got people saying the number of mutants has been cut from hundreds of thousands, or even millions, down to 198. On the other hand we've got other books saying that it's 90% of mutants. You can't have it both ways. And really, how hard is it to write a two-paragraph memo, e-mail it to everyone, and make sure everyone's on the same page?

This sort of thing really annoys me, because it's not just trivial continuity where discrepancies are understandable. It's the frigging premise of the entire direction of the line. Details are important in fantasy universes because it's the details that create verisimilitude and make these worlds believable. That's at the heart of virtually every successful fantasy world. You've got to get this stuff right, and it baffles me that Marvel can't even seem to work out a coherent line on their central concepts, let alone their foreground details.

By fnord12 | January 30, 2006, 1:49 PM | Comics | Link

Marvel Comics December Sales analysis

I love these things by Paul O'Brien, which makes me the worst sort of geek.

On Hudlin's Black Panther, for example:

Once you take the crossovers out of account, it's clear that this book is still in decline and shows no signs of levelling out. To put it politely, there is little sign of Marvel's faith in Reginald Hudlin being reciprocated by the audience. The book has managed to blow almost 60% of its starting readership already, and that's not exactly promising.

By fnord12 | January 25, 2006, 11:35 AM | Comics | Link

Making stuff up

Reginald Hudlin is the current writer for the Black Panther. Marvel got him as part of their effort to recruit writers from other ("legitimate"?) mediums. While this has given us Joss Whedon's X-Men and J. Michael Straczynskicynskicy's Spider-Man, it's also given us Ron Zimmerman's Punisher. Interestingly enough, Whedon had previously done Buffy and Straczynskicynskicy did Babylon-5, both critically acclaimed shows of interest to comic book readers. Zimmerman... was a writer for the Howard Stern show. And Hudlin brought us House Party, which was apparently the high point of his career, according to AllMovie Guide:

Hudlin's third film, the Samuel L. Jackson comedy-satire The Great White Hype, may have drawn only mediocre reviews, but it still managed to score better than his next effort, the abysmal Saturday Night Live character feature The Ladies Man, which immediately tanked at the box office. His 2002 comedy Serving Sara didn't fare much better...

So anyway, now this genius is writing Black Panther, previously one of the best books Marvel was publishing. Under Christopher Priest, it was funny, had complex, involved plots, and made much use of Marvel's rich history. Under Hudlin... not so much. There are huge continuity issues, including a complete re-writing of the Black Panther's origin with no explanation, and total out of the blue changes to other characters as well (for example, Radioactive Man, one of the few Chinese characters in the Marvel Universe, and a current member of the Thunderbolts, is now Russian with a totally new backstory). His explanation?

The answer is what you said earlier. I"m making it up. Basically, that's what this gig is. Making up stuff.

I've been reading comics longer than all of you. I remember when there wasn't a Superboy. Then there was. Then there wasn't. Now there kind of is. The Kents were dead, now they're alive. Iron Man used to have been injured in Viet Nam.

All that cool stuff in BATMAN: YEAR ONE? Wasn't in Bob Kane's original story. The basic beats are the same, but it's different.

Priest made stuff up. Most people here liked what he made up. I"m making stuff up too. If you don't like it, that's okay, but don't get freaked out that I'm making up stuff, 'cause that's the job.

Note that the majority of his examples are pre-Crisis DC.

Continuity is important in any type of sequential story telling. Imagine if, in the beginning of Return of the Jedi, Han Solo was walking around with no explanation, and Chewbacca was suddenly a jawa. But continuity is what makes comic books, especially Marvel comics, unique. The current trend of throwing out continuity whenever it doesn't suit a "star" writer's needs threatens that. At the very least, it threatens my interest in it, as well as the interest of a lot of other 30 year old geeks. And we're basically their audience at this point, whether they like it or not. At $3+ a book, kids are better off with video games.

By fnord12 | January 16, 2006, 4:57 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Bad Marvel Movie Night

Why the hell wasn't Nick Fury: Agent of Shield part of our Bad Marvel Movie night?

By min | January 16, 2006, 12:20 PM | Comics & Movies | Comments (6)| Link

It won't be easy.

Looks like there are some major continuity problems surrounding Spider-Woman in recent Alias, Avengers, Elektra, and Spider-Woman comics. The sad part is, all the stories were written by the same writer.

By fnord12 | January 13, 2006, 1:24 PM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link

Who is stranger than Dr. Strange?

I will say no more. You'll have to click on the link.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2006, 8:51 AM | Comics | Link

Skrull Burgers

HISTORY: (Fantastic Four I#2-BTS)-After the Fantastic Four's first encounter with and defeat of the Skrulls, Reed Richards hypnotized the four invaders to turn themselves into cows, and to believe that they really were cows. He left them in a field in King's Crossing, Vermont.

(Avengers I#89-97-BTS)-During the Kree/Skrull War, the Skrulls regained their memories and impersonated some of original Avengers, in an effort to force them to disband. Another of the Skrulls took the form of H. Warren Craddock, who was running for office. The Craddock-skrull was slain after being exposed.

(SKK#2(fb)-BTS)-The remaining three former cow-Skrulls were handed over to the Alien Activities Commission, who forced them to become cows again. This time, however, they sent the Skrulls to the slaughterhouse, along with the rest of the beef. The Skrulls were slaughtered and mixed with other, real beef, meat and distributed across the country. In the form of hamburgers, the Skrull meat was consumed by an unknown number of Americans. Some of the people who ate the beef proved immune to the Skrull DNA. Some died horrible deaths. A small number, were "infected" and developed metamorphic powers, along with progressive and terminal neurologic disease.

The Skrull Kill Krew's viral affliction, Skrullovoria Induced Skrullophobia (SIS), perhaps better known as Mad Skrull-Cow Disease (MSCD), differs from the natives of King's Crossing (where the Skrulls lived briefly as cows), who drank the milk from Skrulls, and suffered from Pseudo-Milk Induced Skrullophilia (PMIS). Sufferers of PMIS (not to be confused with PMS, although the two are not mutually exclusive), also gained shape-changing powers, but rather than wanting to kill the Skrulls, they took on Skrull personality traits, such as xenophobia and military-type organization. This was documented in Fantastic Four I Annual#17.

By fnord12 | January 6, 2006, 2:30 PM | Comics | Link

Bought Some Comics

More like me and Wayne went on a shopping spree. I need another week off to read them.

By fnord12 | January 4, 2006, 1:48 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

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