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Author Topic: Who can save Superman now? KURT BUSIEK!  (Read 148041 times)
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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #240 on: October 31, 2005, 04:08:15 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Mr. Busiek, who are your favorite great, underused Superman villains?


I don't know.

In many cases, I find the obscure villains I use through research, or because my memory dredges them up to fit a particular story I have to tell.  In some cases, I'll like a villain not because they've had any wonderful stories, but because I see something I can do with them that makes them more interesting.  [For instance, I can't say I've ever much liked the Prankster, but I recently came up with a way to use him that makes me like him.]

And, of course, I'm plenty open to using characters from other places -- I used Dr. Cyber without any connection to Wonder Woman, and Kulan Gath as an Avengers villain even though he hadn't been one previously.

So I dunno.  I'd pick Amalak, I think, on the grounds that I think I could do something with him, and Microwave Man just because I like him.  But most of Superman's decent villains seem anything but underused.

Let me turn it around, though -- who are _your_ favorite underused Superman villains, and why?  Question open to anyone...

Quote
Mad Thinker, I think, was most interesting in "Mad Thinker's Triumvirate of Terror" in AVENGERS #39, when he was after the Avengers to steal Tony Stark's electronic secrets.


But you must admit, he was utterly overshadowed by Thunderboot!

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I apologize if this is not Superman-related, but have I thanked you for the gift of Silverclaw yet?


Very glad you liked her!

kdb
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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #241 on: October 31, 2005, 04:10:10 PM »

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
For example, you could have Superman get a costume from an alien civilization that turns out to have a bad influence on him.  The costume could migrate to other folks, and you could create new villains with names like Venage and Carnom, adding to the mythos of the character.  Heck, if your bad guy (or girl) is popular enough, he can be retconned into a good guy.


Back away slowly, sir.  Put down the spatula.

We have you surrounded.

You don't want to hurt yourself or anyone else.  Put down the spatula...

kdb
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #242 on: October 31, 2005, 07:01:15 PM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
I don't know.

In many cases, I find the obscure villains I use through research, or because my memory dredges them up to fit a particular story I have to tell.  In some cases, I'll like a villain not because they've had any wonderful stories, but because I see something I can do with them that makes them more interesting.  [For instance, I can't say I've ever much liked the Prankster, but I recently came up with a way to use him that makes me like him.]

And, of course, I'm plenty open to using characters from other places -- I used Dr. Cyber without any connection to Wonder Woman, and Kulan Gath as an Avengers villain even though he hadn't been one previously.

So I dunno.  I'd pick Amalak, I think, on the grounds that I think I could do something with him, and Microwave Man just because I like him.  But most of Superman's decent villains seem anything but underused.

Let me turn it around, though -- who are _your_ favorite underused Superman villains, and why?  Question open to anyone...


How about Mohammed Ali?  Cheesy Was that tabloid comic great, or what? Man, they ought to turn the Superman/Ali fight into a regular event, sort of like the JLA/JSA team-ups (hint, hint, DC).

I always loved King Krypton, who, after Mort Weisenger left the super-titles, was apparently forgotten forever.  Sad He was a scientist from Krypton who had his brain placed into a gorilla, so when he came to earth he was a superpowered, talking gorilla. WOW.

I always loved the Galactic Golem, too, who I think was created by Cary Bates, and who was the only person that tended to use him. I found it fascinating that he was made of something that could be transmitted by radio telescope. He had a wonderful look to him as well, with all those sparkling stars and miniature planets.

Diana Savage is one of my favorite of the "Jimmy Olsen, Mr. Action" villains, especially when the art is done by the wonderful Kurt Schaffenberger. Jimmy, I think, is at his best when he's a two fisted tough guy instead of as an idiot who drinks potions on alien spacecraft, who makes you wonder if Superman's constant rescues of Jimmy from peril is interference with natural selection. Can a tough guy wear a bow tie? For Jimmy's sake, I hope so!

I did also love that civilization of long-lost Vikings in Canada that rides giant birds, created by (I think) Elliot S! Maggin.

My favorite Legion of Super-Heroes enemy has to be Otto Orion, who had a heck of a better story than the unpromising "world's most dangerous game" concept would lend itself to. Natives with ray guns built into spears? That splash page with the Legionnaires' heads are framed? The splash page against a horned tiger? Panel on panel of monsters, from radioactive dinosaurs to eagles trained to drop kryptonite cages? Wow, this was all great stuff; nobody could do creatures like Curt Swan could do creatures. Little Jimmy Shooter was as much a genius as he is adorable.

I'm not a very big Gerry Conway fan at all, but I did find absolutely wonderful that one story arc in his JLA (making him a Superman enemy by proxy) where he had half-human, half-animal monsters. They had a half-rhino that gored the Flash, a fight by Hawkman against scorpions with human faces (!) and Superman getting punched all the way to the great lakes by a Godzilla-sized whale monster. While a catgirl is not the most original idea in the world, the personality Conway gave her WAS; she was skittish, and craved body heat, and warmed up to Superman immediately like cats with people. And of course, the leader is a lion-man named "Rex." There's something wonderfully cheesy about that; it smiles at you and you can't help but smile back.

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
But you must admit, he was utterly overshadowed by Thunderboot!


Where does the Mad Thinker place the Classified Ad to GET these people? "Must wear hammer on head."

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
Very glad you liked her!


It's true! Silverclaw is one of my favorite characters, along with the Valkyrie in Englehart's DEFENDERS, Captain Comet, the Japanese Dr. Light, and (obviously) Superman. Does she actually TURN to silver, a la Ferro Lad, or does she just acquire a peculiar silver color, or what's the story? Can she turn into an electric eel and get electric powers (that's a South American animal)? Or into a chameleon and get color-change powers (ditto)?

Speaking of wonderful obscure characters, whatever happened to the Martian Manhunter's Silver Age sidekick, that little orange alien Zoot, with the trumpets on his head that can create cold? To the best of my knowledge, he has not been brought back or even mentioned since the Martian Manhunter's spy series in HOUSE OF SECRETS.
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« Reply #243 on: October 31, 2005, 07:02:01 PM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
Let me turn it around, though -- who are _your_ favorite underused Superman villains, and why?  Question open to anyone...


Mala, U-Ban and Kizo, hands down the most influential Superman villians of all time, spawing countless clones, nearly all more famous than them Wink

They only appeared twice in the 1950's.

Only while not a villian, how about Halk Kar? He only appeared once, but he did serve as the blue print for Mon-El.
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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #244 on: October 31, 2005, 07:47:39 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
Let me turn it around, though -- who are _your_ favorite underused Superman villains, and why?  Question open to anyone...


How about Mohammed Ali?  Cheesy Was that tabloid comic great, or what? Man, they ought to turn the Superman/Ali fight into a regular event, sort of like the JLA/JSA team-ups (hint, hint, DC).


One of my all-time favorite Superman stories, but I never did see Ali as the villain...

Quote
I always loved the Galactic Golem, too, who I think was created by Cary Bates, and who was the only person that tended to use him.


One of these days, you'll solve whatever glitch it is that causes you to credit Len Wein's Super-stuff to Cary -- it's probably the very careful, clean structures their stories tended to have.

I like the Galactic Golem too, largely on visuals.

Quote
I'm not a very big Gerry Conway fan at all, but I did find absolutely wonderful that one story arc in his JLA (making him a Superman enemy by proxy) where he had half-human, half-animal monsters.


That story -- the last of Gerry's pre-Detroit League stories, I think -- came right before my first JLA story.  Rex Maximus and the Ani-Men, I think.

I had been thinking about re-using them in POWER COMPANY, but JSA did that story with Roulette, which set up their "gladiatorial combat as entertainment for bored rich decadent folks" thing in a new way, so I backburnered it.

Re: Silverclaw

Quote
Does she actually TURN to silver, a la Ferro Lad, or does she just acquire a peculiar silver color, or what's the story?


I think it's just color and texture, not actual metal.

Quote
Can she turn into an electric eel and get electric powers (that's a South American animal)?


I'd assume so, yes.  Or at least, she'd turn into a half-human/half-eel thing.

Quote
Or into a chameleon and get color-change powers (ditto)?


Yes, but her base color would be silver.

Quote
Speaking of wonderful obscure characters, whatever happened to the Martian Manhunter's Silver Age sidekick, that little orange alien Zoot, with the trumpets on his head that can create cold? To the best of my knowledge, he has not been brought back or even mentioned since the Martian Manhunter's spy series in HOUSE OF SECRETS.


He's been at least referred to here and there.  The Martian Manhunter's current belt-buckle is a semi-sentient Martian flower called a "Zo'ok," and Zook toys or other such references have been seen in YOUNG JUSTICE, PLANET KRYPTON and even the Justice League cartoon.

kdb
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« Reply #245 on: November 01, 2005, 01:17:09 AM »

Zook appears this month in the Mike Allred issue of SOLO (#7). Hanging out with Bat-Mite, no less.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #246 on: November 01, 2005, 09:15:19 PM »

Hi Kurt,

Some questions on the fictional universes ...

Do you think Superman works better in a shared universe like he is currently?

Or does he work better in his own universe as he usually was depicted before the Bronze Age?

BTW, kudos on the remarkable insight that the different Earths might be different in size, physical laws, etc. in JLA/Avengers.  In hindsight, that does make sense considering all those fake countries, cities, etc. that crop up in the different stories.  Is that where you got that from, the plethora of different fake locations in the various books?
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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #247 on: November 02, 2005, 02:01:00 AM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Do you think Superman works better in a shared universe like he is currently?  Or does he work better in his own universe as he usually was depicted before the Bronze Age?


I think it's pretty much a wash.  He works well both ways -- I wouldn't mind seeing some stories where Superman (and the super-mythos) are pretty much the only super-stuff, but that's likely just variety speaking.  If he'd been in his own continuum for years, I'd probably be just as happy to see some team-ups.

Quote
BTW, kudos on the remarkable insight that the different Earths might be different in size, physical laws, etc. in JLA/Avengers.  In hindsight, that does make sense considering all those fake countries, cities, etc. that crop up in the different stories.  Is that where you got that from, the plethora of different fake locations in the various books?


Yes.  Plus, I just thought it would be fun -- there's no reason the Earths all have to be the same size, after all, so in a story that's built on the idea that they're different kinds of worlds, why not?

kdb
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