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Author Topic: New Mark Waid interview  (Read 34957 times)
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2005, 02:59:59 AM »

Yep, a hero that reacts to the time...
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2005, 09:54:40 AM »

Mark Waid is one of the writers I don't generally like, but who in interviews - despite my best instincts - I nod my head vigorously and say, "hey, you PREACH it, Mark!" I admire his energy and I almost never disagree with his point of view as expressed in this form.

Grant Morrison's interviews generally make him sound like a pompous twit, and I've never agreed with a single thing that Warren Ellis has ever said in his entire career, almost to the point where when he says "Hello, my name is Warren Ellis" I find myself doubting this on general principle. John Byrne's points sound reasonable on a light reading until one thinks it over and the hideous flaws and lack of logic come to the fore. Mark Waid, though, interviews well.

Quote from: "Mark Waid"
MW: Let me interrupt you for a second and go on my rant about this. Not that YOU think like this, but speaking of people who do think this way. People who complain “aw, they’re bring that back! They’re bringing this back!” It makes me nuts when that’s said with such disdain. We’re not just old fanboys! Bringing back the bottle city of Kandor and complaining about it is, to me, like saying “You’re using the Batcave? AGAIN?!” This is not an unfailing litmus test, but I think if it’s an element from the series that some people who DON’T read comics know, like Commissioner Gordon, don’t really screw that up. Am I making any sense?


You TELL it, Mark! People that say that the love of the Silver Age is based on nostalgia haven't read a Silver Age comic. We love the Silver Age because of the imaginative power of the concepts and the talent of writers and artists that worked in that period.

Quote from: "Mark Waid"
MW: The good new is, and I garauntee you this, when we’re on the other side of the CRISIS, those days are GONE. Just gone. We’re sick to death of heroes who are not heroes, we’re sick to death of darkness. Not that there’s no room, not that Batman should act like Adam West, but that won’t be the overall feeling. After all this stuff, after everything shakes down, we’re done with heroes being dicks. No more we screwed each other and now we must pay the consequences. No, we’re super-heroes and that’s what we do. Batman’s broken. Through no ONE person’s fault, but he’s a dick now. And we’ve been told we can fix that.


Well, I'm glad SOMEBODY's telling it like it is about the jerkish Batman we've seen since Morrison's League. It's an unintentionally funny act of titanic hypocrisy, though, that it should be Mark Waid, whose Batman characterization in JLA was easily the low nadir watermark for paranoid, "jerk" Batman: plotting, making traps and games to KILL HIS FRIENDS. Wow.  Mark Waid coming out against "jerk" Batman is sort of like Stalin saying, "you know, I'm really against genocide."

As to his larger point, my instinct is to agree with the point Mark is making here. But I think Mark is confusing a tree for a forest, a train car for a whole train.

I've never bought the concept of the "dark/light" duality that fans talk about, with the 80s being a "dark" time and the 50s-70s being "light." The problem with things like (and let's get specific here) the Miller Batman, cyberpunk dystopia HAWKWORLD, and cyberpunk dystopia Giffen Legion, is not that it is "dark" or dealing with themes of fear and corruption. It's because they're wildly off the mark with what the comic is supposed to be about. The Legion isn't about rebel fighters using their real names in a 1984-esque totalitarian regime. The DC Heroes are not sleazy sex friends, as they were made out to be in Howard Chaykin's miniseries. Green Arrow uses those boxing glove arrows - period, Grell, so quit whining. The problem with these stories is not that they were "dark," but that they were stories done in a dark style wildly at odds with what the comic is supposed to be about.The problem with Superman killing is not that such a story is dark. The problem with such a story is that a concept like that is so totally divorced from who Superman is supposed to be.

If someone did a story where James Bond became a pacifist and refused to commit murder, I would be equally outraged. Sure, it would be more "moral" than just using his Walther PPK to blow the bad guys to Kingdom Come, but it just wouldn't be our mayhem-loving macho man, Bond.

So saying "the darkness is over" is missing the point of what it was that was really wrong with comics in the first place.

And also, it's probably totally not true - what they call "darkness," I call "out of character behavior and concepts divorced from what the comic is supposed to be about." And last time I checked, these are still present in abundance in Modern Age comics, we're not going to see an end to the Modern Age anytime soon.

I really, really hate to play Cassandra here, especially in the face of such optimism, but INFINITE CRISIS will not ignite a new age of anything, simply because the "talent" involved in its production isn't that talented - or at least they're competent and uninspired. We can't expect them to provide a vision. There are certainly enough examples in comics history - indeed, the history of creativity in general - to say that "Committee thinking" is an oxymoron.

Quote from: "Supermonkey"
The Sliver Age can't come back, it is only a time period from the late 1950's to late 1960's, so unless DC has invented a time machine, it will never happen. Hopefully, the Iron Age will finally come to an end, allowing a new age that is worth reading to be born.


Different people place the Silver Age at different times. I for one, think the Silver Age only really BEGAN in 1971-1974, when we had Englehart writing all those brilliant Marvel titles and Schwartz brought in two genius kids to write Superman: Maggin and Bates.
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RedSunOfKrypton
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2005, 12:47:29 PM »

My officially brief stance: Cautiously optimistic.
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2005, 01:09:17 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Well, I'm glad SOMEBODY's telling it like it is about the jerkish Batman we've seen since Morrison's League. It's an unintentionally funny act of titanic hypocrisy, though, that it should be Mark Waid, whose Batman characterization in JLA was easily the low nadir watermark for paranoid, "jerk" Batman: plotting, making traps and games to KILL HIS FRIENDS. Wow.  Mark Waid coming out against "jerk" Batman is sort of like Stalin saying, "you know, I'm really against genocide."

IMO, Batman and the JLA _should_ have an "edgy" relationship.  Baman isn't the best team player, and only works alone or with those "Batman family" partners who understand him better than most of the JLA (which isn't the JLA's fault).  The JLA should always have less-proven people who won't engender Batman's trust.  Batman should have some contingency plans for dealing with cohorts run amok.  Note that "deal with" doesn't mean kill -- the Red K was designed to incapacitate, not kill Superman.  But he should also look into ideas and technologies to make heroes less vulnerable to some forms of compromise in the first place.  

Quote
I really, really hate to play Cassandra here, especially in the face of such optimism, but INFINITE CRISIS will not ignite a new age of anything, simply because the "talent" involved in its production isn't that talented - or at least they're competent and uninspired. We can't expect them to provide a vision. There are certainly enough examples in comics history - indeed, the history of creativity in general - to say that "Committee thinking" is an oxymoron.

They referred to it as yet another "crisis", which gives you a strong sense of just how original the event will be.  I'm not terribly hopeful about it.  As for the reboot of Superman in particular, I'm expecting him to be far more influenced by the media (the Smallville TV series and the upcoming movie) to its detriment.

Quote
Different people place the Silver Age at different times. I for one, think the Silver Age only really BEGAN in 1971-1974, when we had Englehart writing all those brilliant Marvel titles and Schwartz brought in two genius kids to write Superman: Maggin and Bates.

I think of those things as among the best of the Bronze Age.
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2005, 02:38:24 PM »

Quote
Different people place the Silver Age at different times.


no, just you.

I never knew it was up for debate.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&rls=RNWE%2CRNWE%3A2004-11%2CRNWE%3Aen&q=Silver+Age+of+Comics&btnG=Search

now try to find me a site which says it started in the 1970's or that it didn't start with the the New Flash (Showcase No. 4,  Sep 1956)

You have 1,640,000 hits I doubt any of them would claim such a thing.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2005, 04:57:24 PM »

Yowsa, the Silver Age so decidedly ended for me in the early 70s that I stopped reading comics...
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2005, 07:33:48 PM »

Straw man, Super Monkey.

Just because we can all pretty much agree the Silver Age started with the debut of Flash doesn’t mean there’s some unanimity about when it ended. Some people place the end of the Silver Age with GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW (as it gave us the concept of the “superstar artist”) others place it at the introduction of the “all new, all different X-Men” in 1975 as the moment that the characteristics of the Modern Age (style over substance) first became truly apparent. Others, like Kurt Busiek, define comics history by periods of experimentation, and so the Silver Age ended when Roy Thomas did CONAN THE BARBARIAN for Marvel, creating the trend for humor and sword and sorcery comics. The only reason I can think of for ending the Silver Age at 1970 is that it’s a big, round number.

If the Silver Age is defined as a high point of the convergence of creative talent followed by a trough of style over substance, it’s a disservice to exclude the period that included works like Englehart’s AVENGERS, DOCTOR STRANGE, SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP, and DEFENDERS, Doug Moenich’s MASTER OF KUNG FU, anything by Bill Mantlo, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World comics, and the flowering of the Schwartz Superman writers.

Personally, I think the Silver Age started not with Flash, but in 1951 with the introdution of Captain Comet in STRANGE ADVENTURES #9. Here we had all the qualities that defined the Silver Age at DC:

1) Talent. It was written by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. If ages are defined by their respective talents, surely their is no weak case.

2) Science Fiction emphasis. There was an emphasis on pulp-style science fact, the Gernsback-style concept of an “atomic future superman.” Comet wears Flash Gordon clothing with fins at the shoulders instead of spandex. His plots included space travel (with his Batmobile-like Cometeer ship), aliens, mental powers, and yes - GORILLAS. This science fiction emphasis defines the Silver Age from the Golden Age; Silver Age Flash can travel through time and other dimensions. Golden Age Flash could not.

3) He was the first original superhero (along with the Martian Manhunter) to emerge in the 1950s at DC.
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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2005, 08:05:36 PM »

Julian Perez writes:

Quote
If the Silver Age is defined as a high point of the convergence of creative talent followed by a trough of style over substance, it’s a disservice to exclude the period that included works like Englehart’s AVENGERS, DOCTOR STRANGE, SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP, and DEFENDERS, Doug Moenich’s MASTER OF KUNG FU, anything by Bill Mantlo, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World comics, and the flowering of the Schwartz Superman writers.



But it isn't defined that way.

Basically the Silver Age is the period in which super-heroes returned from limbo to reclaim the comics medium.  That's why the starting point is usually given as Showcase #4, which gave us a new Flash and proved to the powers-that-be that audiences were ready to try the concept again after years of romances, funny animals and westerns.

Certainly I'd credit the early days of Marvel as SA, plus all the Schwartz-led revivals of GA characters in modified form, but as early as '67 or so a lot of those concepts were already starting to run in circles.  I agree the early 70s brought some cool new ideas, but the direction they took was different enough from the Silver Age to make it a new age in itself.

I think the problem comes in when people think of it like Olympic medals. This is one case where Silver and Bronze aren't necessarily less worthy than Gold.  In fact, it's quite the reverse in many cases.
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