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Author Topic: Edmund Hamilton reference in AVENGERS?  (Read 5380 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: November 21, 2005, 07:41:39 AM »

Edmund Hamilton is one of the finest writers to have written Superman. He has made many wondrous contributions to the Super-Mythos to the point where it is hard to have imagined Superman without him.

Like many writers in comics at the time, Edmund Hamilton was also a science fiction writer for many science fiction and pulp magazines. This is not uncommon; Julius Schwartz was an agent for science fiction writers, and possibly the greatest writer of the entire Silver Age, Gardner F. Fox, sold many action science fiction stories to magazines like ASTOUNDING and PLANET.

At the Miami Book Fair this weekend, I was able to buy the Spring 1951 issue of SCIENCE-ADVENTURE BOOKS, which featured a story by Edmund Hamilton called "The Star Kings", and another by Arthur C. Clarke ("Seeker of the Sphinx").

AVENGERS #0 (1999), written by Kurt Busiek, features mention of a popular television show in Marvel-Earth, STAR KINGS. STAR KINGS was clearly meant to be a Star Trek equivalent (odd, considering how STAR TREK is ALSO present on Marvel Earth - Hawkeye calls Namor "Spock Ears.")

Is this brief throwaway mention of "Star Kings" an homage to one of comics and science fiction's top minds? One might say that there probably have been three or four "Star Kings" in science fiction history. But if I were a gambling man, I'd bet it's a reference. Kurt Busiek and George Perez are geeky enough to know about Edmund Hamilton's scientifiction.  Cheesy
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Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2005, 05:56:38 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Is this brief throwaway mention of "Star Kings" an homage to one of comics and science fiction's top minds? One might say that there probably have been three or four "Star Kings" in science fiction history. But if I were a gambling man, I'd bet it's a reference. Kurt Busiek and George Perez are geeky enough to know about Edmund Hamilton's scientifiction.  Cheesy


In this case, the TV show "Star Kings" was introduced in the Marvel Universe back in ASTONISHING TALES, as a Star Trek-type show that SFX guy Bob O'Bannon worked on when he wasn't becoming It, the Living Colossus.

I merely established that the show had gone on to be as multiply-franchised as Star Trek had.

So while I'm aware of the Hamilton, I was making a Marvel reference -- Tony Isabella, who wrote those ASTONISHING issues, might have been referring to Hamilton originally, but I don't know.

kdb
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2005, 07:15:07 PM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
In this case, the TV show "Star Kings" was introduced in the Marvel Universe back in ASTONISHING TALES, as a Star Trek-type show that SFX guy Bob O'Bannon worked on when he wasn't becoming It, the Living Colossus.

I merely established that the show had gone on to be as multiply-franchised as Star Trek had.

So while I'm aware of the Hamilton, I was making a Marvel reference -- Tony Isabella, who wrote those ASTONISHING issues, might have been referring to Hamilton originally, but I don't know.


Ahhh, interesting. Would have been very classy if it was a Hamilton reference, however, this is equally intriguing.

As I mentioned before, it's interesting how both "Star Trek" and "Star Kings" exist in the Marvel Universe. Could it be that one is a clone show of the other, riding on the coattails of the popularity - sort of like Star Wars and "Battlestar Galactica?"
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2005, 07:46:36 PM »

We're both improving, Julian.

Kurt has embarassed both of us on more than one occasion in the past with the facts vs our mistaken opinions.

I'm glad both us are taking the time to confirm those tidbits instead.

I've eaten enough of Kurt's crow. heh heh Cheesy
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2005, 02:10:44 PM »

The problem is that we have people like Alan Moore in the business, where every stray detail must have Symbolism or Deeper Meaning (presumably to keep literature professors in businesss Smiley ).
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2005, 06:41:19 PM »

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
The problem is that we have people like Alan Moore in the business, where every stray detail must have Symbolism or Deeper Meaning (presumably to keep literature professors in businesss Smiley ).


I think details can be pretty important because it shows a writer (or artist) put some thought into what they're doing. Where Alan Moore does it right is that details in his story serve a purpose and show he's done his homework beforehand: for instance, note the appearance of a character called "Tom Strange" as a statue in the background, long before the TERRA OBSCURA mini (by Moore's versatile and wonderfully talented heir apparent, Paul Hogan). Note the subtle hints of anxiety in Katma Tui's voice in that Lantern story with the bell alien: "...uhhh, not that I'm complaining or anything," she says, nervously, to her bosses, the Guardians.

Kurt Busiek once wrote that styles change over time. One thing that's changed is the increasing subtlety of characterization. No one has yet to equal the wonderful Steve Englehart at characterization, however, Stainless Steve's characterizations were not subtle: in GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS #2, for instance, he had Hawkeye speed by some policemen, not asking them for directions. Englehart then devotes some panels to say something to the effect of "blast it, Hawkeye, why didn't you ask them what was going on? Because I always go half-cocked." Moore, who works much more subtly, would have omitted those two panels and let Hawkeye's actions speak for themselves.
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2005, 08:20:32 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
I think details can be pretty important because it shows a writer (or artist) put some thought into what they're doing.

Don't get me wrong...  I can enjoy details and subtlety.  But I think some comic creators get carried away jamming every last homage or allusion into a work, and|or getting too wrapped up in intricacy and engaging in needless decompression.  I pick apart essentially everything as occupational hazard, looking for clues and foreshadowing.  I don't necessarily want to do that for pleasurable reading.  Whether or not I enjoy a story doesn't always have a lot to do with how detailed it is.  Usually, ideas win over detail.
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2005, 08:49:09 PM »

I just could use a good story and if I need something referenced I hjope the editor will let me know in a little yellow box or with talking hands.
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