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Author Topic: Who can save Superman now? KURT BUSIEK!  (Read 147581 times)
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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2005, 09:56:53 PM »

Quote from: "Gary"
Quote from: "Super Monkey"

The only case of this that I know of, is of Marvel Comics releasing a new Captain Marvel mini every few years to keep the trademark so that DC can't use it for the titles of Captain Marvel, thus forcing them to use "Shazam!" instead.  

Other than that, I can't think of another case of this happening. Obscure guys are obscure for a reason Wink


If I remember right, Marvel put Claremont's Starlord into a Forbush-man vignette in order to preserve the former's copyright. At least that's what the strip claimed. Might've been a joke, of course, but I don't think they'd have come up with a joke about it if it didn't get done for real sometimes.


It happened on occasion in books like MARVEL TEAM-UP, particularly with characters whose names were cool enough to be at risk.  Dr. Anomaly doesn't have to worry about that.

But like I said, it doesn't happen often.

kdb
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #49 on: September 21, 2005, 12:13:22 AM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
I expect this varies from writer to writer, as you note, so I can't answer the question with any finality.  The Superman I like, though, got old and had children (in "future" stories), and I like that, so were it up to me, I'd keep it.

I agree.  I liked Earth-2 Kal-L aging at roughly the pace of Lois, AFAICT.  Lately, it seems that the longer-lived the future Superman is relative to Lois, the more screwed up he becomes.  Kingdom Come Superman goes off to Antarctica for a decade and lets the world remake itself as a bad Image comic.  DC One Million Superman holds a torch for Lois for 800+ centuries -- heck, he ultimately _becomes_ a torch inside Super-Sun.  When he's done, he comes out looking like one of the Metal Men, desperately seeing some limited-edition Platinum Lois doll so he can play make-believe on Krypton.  

Oh, no one expects "finality" when it comes to the issue of how long our superheroes will live.  Smiley
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #50 on: September 21, 2005, 08:46:28 PM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
I don't think we ever said either way whether he'd be generally worthy or generally unworthy -- just that he was worthy once, and not worthy shortly thereafter -- and admittedly, picking up the hammer to return it to Thor isn't an inherently worthy purpose, not when there's no danger and he's standing right there.

The reason we did that bit was because neither Tom Brevoort nor I liked the long, long list of people who'd lifted the hammer over the years, so we wanted to introduce the idea that "worthiness" is not steady-state, it varies according to circumstances and purpose, as well as the character's worth, by whatever Asgardian standards the hammer's spell recognizes as worth.  Just because someone picked it up once -- or twice, or a dozen times -- does not mean they'll always be able to do it.

As for what exact parameters factor into things, I don't think it should ever be fully spelled out -- the hammer is godly and mythic, and there should be an air of mystery about it to some degree.  It's not a science-fiction weapon whose workings are mathematically transparent to human minds, so you could say, "Well, so-and-so saved a busload of children in 1968, so therefore he can lift it."

The only way to know is to try it and see.  And then the only way to know if you can do it again is to try it and see again.  That would go for everyone, not just Superman (including pre-Crisis Supes, Earth-2 Supes, Kingdom Come Supes, Twinkie-ad Supes or any other).  I think the only guy who the reader should expect can always lift Mjolnir is Thor, and I'm not opposed to surprising them there, either.

kdb


Thank-you very much for that response, Mr. Busiek.  That's exactly as I interpreted your JLA/Avengers books on this matter.  I'm very pleased that your author intent jibes with that.

My druthers has always been to leave Thor the sole wielder of Mjolnir.  While Simonson had an admittedly cool idea to explore the idea of another being worthy, he didn't see the unfortunate future consequences of opening that ugly door.  While I detest Beta Ray Bill myself, I do see the one-shot value of the jarring revelation that one other was worthy.  But that left the concept open to all kinds of inferior writers who wanted their own 'lifters' so we see the concept became watered-down to near-meaninglessness.  Thankfully, not only did you show us that Superman could be worthy, but that the army of wielders no longer were 100% worthy all the time anymore.

Also, the concept of worthiness as you put it is very much in keeping with religious themes, which is what Thor was based on after all.  Why does God cause the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and bad alike?  The ways of gods are mysterious and I believe that's what you were trying to say to us here regarding the mystery of who's worthy under what circumstances.  One must accept and believe that a higher power knows what's best, in this case with Mjolnir.

Oh, and not to digress too much, while I'm mildly entertained by your one-time former friend, Darren Madigan, he misses the point of communication.  Communication is about saying the most with the least.  Mr. Madigan suffers from verbal diarrhea and seems not to realize that few besides himself enjoys his tirelessly expending dozens of pages exploring every possible witticism on a topic before he gets to the infernal point.  You get this which is one reason why I suspect you're a working comics professional and he's a jealous wannabe.

Less is more. Cheesy
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Captain Kal

"When you lose, don't lose the lesson."
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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2005, 11:00:17 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
My druthers has always been to leave Thor the sole wielder of Mjolnir.  While Simonson had an admittedly cool idea to explore the idea of another being worthy, he didn't see the unfortunate future consequences of opening that ugly door.


And even if he did, that shouldn't have stopped him.  A writer shouldn't hold off from using a good idea because someone might imitate it badly in the future.

But I agree with you overall.  The problem wasn't Beta Ray Bill, it was the parade of follow-ups.  

Quote
Thankfully, not only did you show us that Superman could be worthy, but that the army of wielders no longer were 100% worthy all the time anymore.


That was the idea, at least.  If we're going to have a parade of people lifting the thing, let's at least say they were special circumstances...

Quote
Oh, and not to digress too much, while I'm mildly entertained by your one-time former friend, Darren Madigan, he misses the point of communication.  Communication is about saying the most with the least.


You'll forgive me, I hope, if I don't pass that on.  Not only do my wife and I prefer to have as little contact with him as possible, but he never listened to that sort of thing a quarter-century ago, and I don't see that much has changed.

kdb
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #52 on: September 22, 2005, 12:28:07 AM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
Thankfully, not only did you show us that Superman could be worthy, but that the army of wielders no longer were 100% worthy all the time anymore.

That's just it.  I wouldn't have expected the "situational worthiness" concept to be introduced in a DC/Marvel crossover because I wouldn't expect it to be Marvel canon and (theoretically) meaning a lot for any future stories.  I don't think people see Superman inconsistently lifting Mjolnir reflecting on Steve Rogers, Red Norvell, Beta Ray Bill, etc.  

Not having actually read the comic in question yet, I wasn't losing too much sleep over it, other than wondering "might Kurt have been saying something about Superman in particular", so I asked.  Smiley
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #53 on: September 22, 2005, 01:01:21 AM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
I grew up with scientist Lex, but like businessman Lex as well.  My main concern with Lex is that he should be a compelling adversary for Superman, and his enmity for Superman should be emotionally-based -- his intellect is in service of rage, whether it's over Superboy balding him unexpectedly, or taking the love of "his" city away.

Luthor primarily an evil businessman seems too generic, perhaps because it's occurs so often in the non-superhero genres.  In the JLU cartoons, he's back to being a scientist, a development I like.  Lex wanting the adulation of Metropolis never came across to me as something he'd take personally -- seems like too low a sight and he'd want the world.  I would've liked it if Lois and Lex were dating, Lex was smitten (probably in a possesive way that he thinks of as love), and things were starting to become "serious".  Then Superman flies in and Lois waveringly loses interest.  Make Lois the focus of why they're at each others throats. That general dynamic worked for me in L&C's 1st season, made me "feel it" for Lex as a villain.
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forgottenhero
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« Reply #54 on: September 22, 2005, 06:03:30 AM »

I am very happy to see Kurt Busiek here!

Personally -- not that anyone asked me -- I like "scientist-businessman" Luthor the best. Both SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and BIRTHRIGHT got it right, in my opinion.
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #55 on: September 22, 2005, 12:35:57 PM »

Quote from: "forgottenhero"
Personally -- not that anyone asked me -- I like "scientist-businessman" Luthor the best. Both SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and BIRTHRIGHT got it right, in my opinion.

I don't mind Luthor having businessman aspects.  Maggin's Luthor maintained a slew of fake IDs to conduct his business and that worked for me.  The good movies had Lex Luthor, Ruler of Australia, the real estate baron and that was a nice touch.  But when Lex is primarily a businessman and not really much a scientist, he just doesn't click with me.  I keep on waiting for the evil science gimmick he should come up with, and it never happens.  I compare to other comic tycoon villains -- Kingpin, Green Goblin -- and find tycoon Lex "bleah".  President Lex just made my heat hurt, without adding value, and they had to drag Pete Ross and Lana Lang into that mess...  ugh.

On a related note -- Kurt, if you get a chance, bring back Morgan Edge.  Smiley
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