Is the concern is a distribution monopoly? If so, the direct market is in no position to criticize: over the last 15 years, Diamond Comics Distributors has consumed almost all independent print distribution in comics, and dictates practices and policy to retailers and publishers alike. The idea that print comics are somehow more independent than their digital cousins—or a scrappy underdog fighting the good fight against evil corporate profiteers—is frankly ridiculous.True, that's how far the medium's fallen. Even conglomerates have no idea what to do with comics companies they own, other than use them as a movie wellspring. But that doesn't mean it's a good thing Diamond is the only significant distributor for comics today, even if pamphlets is their chief specialty. Yet that's probably to be expected when the mainstream companies throw away all their cohesion for the sake of the speculator market.
No idea has proven more damaging to the comics industry than the myth that its professionals—not just creators, but retailers, even distributors—work for love and not money. It’s a philosophy that has justified exploitation of creators and theft of intellectual property. It’s allowed the entire industry to pass the buck for its failures—from publishers to retailers, and retailers to —for decades. And it’s why the comics industry lingers in a frozen adolescence, clinging to a shrinking target audience like a sea captain railing at the storm—when the real problem is the rotting wood of his own hull.
Let's start with the elephant in the room: Wonder Girl's rack. Perhaps I'm alone in having an issue with an underaged teen girl being drawn with breasts the size of her head (seriously, line that stuff up, each breast is the same size as her face) popping out of her top.
@DanielKalban It's backlash because DC wants to control the interviews more. Newsarama guy had a meltdown about it a fews ago.
— Brett Booth (@Demonpuppy) April 12, 2014
@shurato2099 @DanielKalban I do think we need to be more accessible to female readers. We are making changes. But that doesn't mean
— Brett Booth (@Demonpuppy) April 12, 2014
@shurato2099 @DanielKalban we should make everyone character thats female completely covered up in burkas.
— Brett Booth (@Demonpuppy) April 12, 2014
.@Comixace I'm amazed this needs to be said. But this is the freedom of anonymity on the internet. People have free reign to be deplorable.
— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) April 14, 2014
...the 90s would see DC Comics pick up the pace as well with Firestorm, the Blue Beetle, The Atom and others.Firestorm already debuted in 1978, initially part of what's known today as the "DC Implosion" since they'd cancelled several titles that didn't sell high enough, and the new Firestorm of black background, who was called Jason Rusch, turned up in 2004, at which time Brad Meltzer killed his predecessor, Ronnie Raymond, in Identity Crisis. It wasn't during the 90s all this happened but post-2000. If they hadn't gone such a nasty route, there wouldn't be any objections to replacing Raymond with Rusch. But they just had to do that for the sake of PC and a lack of creativity, and what they did actually embarrasses minorities more than helps them. The same goes with how Ray Palmer with Ryan Choi in the same repellent miniseries, and Ted Kord in Countdown to Infinite Crisis. How is that "picking up pace"? The silliest thing about those steps is that they adhered to a notion that minorities can only be introduced as superheroes, and not as co-stars, which could make it easier for writers to give them better depth as characters.
Samuel L. Jackson successfully played S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury, a character who was previously white in the Avengers, as well as other Marvel tie-ins. Film characters that are traditionally of another race often cause comic book fans to lose their minds when a familiar character is re-colored for the purpose of casting the hottest new thespian. When Heimdall was played by Idris Elba in "Thor 2: The Dark World," nerds across the globe lost their minds. Some of it was just plain racism, while others were legitimately concerned with accuracy.That's amazing and impressive to know he understands why all these changes in a character's race all for the sake of it can do more harm than good to the movie. But I'd appreciate this more than I do if I knew he understood what's wrong with DC's very own tactics back in the comics, which were an insult to past writers and artists and all the hard work they did to offer some decent escapism in the Silver Age. If they'd depicted the heroes retiring and offering their roles to the new protagonists, then there'd be no serious outrage. Towards the end, he says:
Honestly, when Michael B. Jordan was cast as the traditionally blonde haired, blue eyed Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch in the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, I was vehemently against it. No offense, but comic book nerds like characters to remain as close to the original blueprint as possible. Any deviation is frowned upon. Both Terrence Howard and Don Cheadle played James "Rhodey" Rhodes, the best friend to Tony Starks who would become the similarly armored hero War Machine.
In 2011, Marvel introduced a black Latino character named Miles Morales to replace Peter Parker, who had been killed in that story arc as Spider-Man. Though the "real" Spider-Man was not dead because this took place in an alternate universe, the comic book world was up in arms because of what was deemed a blatant attempt at political correctness.To be fair, mileage can vary, but in a way, it was. More to the point, it suggested another tired attempt to shoehorn a minority character into a role already played by a white protagonist instead of giving them their very own role. For Miles Morales, it could've been one with a different codename, and for all we know, that could've sold the character much more easily. But today's industry doesn't have confidence in new creations to sell, so they go the desperate route instead, only making things worse than need be. Their lack of interest in developing supporting casts with minorities - or even white co-stars, for that matter - is another serious detractor.
Batman is defeated, presumed dead. And the Riddler has the run of a transformed Gotham City.Haven't we gone this route before? Oh yes, we have, nearly 6 years ago in Grant Morrison's "Batman RIP" storyline. Why should we have to do it again? Certainly not under such a dreary, pretentious writer as Snyder or Morrison. Now, here's the part about their emphasis on failure:
Welcome to “Savage City,” the final arc of “Zero Year,” which writer Scott Snyder says is “where the biggest, most fun and craziest elements of the story begin.” Where the “Secret City” and “Dark City” segments re-envisioned the classic elements of Batman’s origin story, the third part is what the Eisner Award winner says is the reward for readers letting the “Batman” team tread on “sacred” ground — an “out-and-out battle with the Riddler for [the city] in a post-apocalyptic Gotham.”
HC: Major ideas of guilt and failure that have been building in this part of “Zero Year” reach a fever pitch for both Bruce and Jim Gordon – with not just present failures but long-ago deaths weighing on them: the Wayne murders for both of them, and Bruce learning that Dr. Death’s son and others perished searching for him in his wandering years. How do you see the importance of guilt in this part of the story, and how do you see it affecting them going forward?What idiocy. The city did not take away Bruce's parents. It was the hoodlum Joe Chill who did. It's tiring how they repeatedly go out of their way to make Bruce sound like such a narrow mind who puts blame in all the wrong places.
SS: We tried to make this section heavy with the idea of failure. The important thing here was to show Batman losing. It was difficult too. I went back and forth with Greg and with a couple of my friends, saying, “Do you think it’s too terrible to have him go down so epically and lose here and have the city flooded and have all of these terrible things happen?” What I decided was that it wasn’t at all too much. Instead I felt it was key to show him fail. But to make that redemptive, at least for me, was for the lesson to be that he fails because he does something wrong that he can correct in our third section…. In the first section he realizes he needs to mean something, he can’t just be a ghost. In the second section he realizes that he needs to be something inspiring … he can’t be an angel of vengeance, he can’t be someone that’s out to punish the city for taking away his parents. … He locked Jim Gordon out for so long because he blamed him so deeply for being part of what happened on that night with his parents’ deaths, for not being there and for nobody being there, that he moves too late in terms of trying to stop Dr. Death and ultimately the Riddler.
So that’s something he’ll certainly correct in the third part. The third part is sort of about how he needs to mean this thing forever, in some ways.
But that’s really what this second part was about for me was learning he can’t be ruled by the demons of the past; he can’t be someone who operates out of anger and vengeance. Instead he has to be someone who also inspires hope and camaraderie and a movement of rebellion and a movement of defiance.
Comic book giants Marvel and DC have been accused of threatening small firms over using the word ‘superhero’ in their marketing because they have registered it as a joint trademarkWhat do they expect to accomplish by monopolizing the use of the word? And why is the UK government's trade departments going along with this? This is just what's making people lose respect for the genre along with the medium, since the big two are going out of their way to clamp down on other businesses' right to use a simple word, and they're making mountains out of molehills. Superheroes aren't the sole dominion of the big two and instead of showing their appreciation for people who want to create their own properties, they're hurting that right by trying to make it illegal to use the word to describe their creations. If they keep this up, it's bound to precipitate their loss of audience.
The two groups, usually fierce rivals, have swung into action against British entrepreneur Graham Jules, who has written a book called Business Zero To Superhero about setting up a small firm. His attempt to register a trademark to the title for use on a website is being contested by Marvel, home of Spider-Man, and DC, which has Batman and Superman.
[...] Daniel Herman, founder of British diet supplements firm Bio-Synergy, has also fallen foul of the giants. He registered the phrase ‘Fuel the super-hero inside’ in 2005 and escaped the X-ray eyes of Marvel and DC. But his attempt to renew it was rejected two weeks ago by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office.
...comic book publishers will need to give their product a second thought. In recent years, major publishers have abandoned all hope of attracting young new audiences, focusing instead on providing byzantine plot convolutions and adult-themed takes on iconic characters for their core demographic of 18 – 45 year-old men.Unless Marvel and DC can change their management and formatting for print - that is, find people with better manners than Dan Buckley and Dan DiDio, there's no chance any second thoughts will be given at major publishers.
Women 17 – 26 have risen to comprise over 20% of ComiXology’s users, and that’s certain to rise after Amazon’s acquisition. The books will now be exposed to millions of newcomers, so it will behoove major publishers to make their stories more female-friendly, streamlined, and accessible. With comiXology’s new aim to make “every person on the planet a comics fan,” publishers will need to consider new genres, greater variety, and more varied age groups.Despite what the majors might have you believe, they're not being very welcoming to women, or they're foisting bad ideas upon the books supposedly geared at the girls crowd, and even women in the audience don't take kindly to having a shambled continuity coming from Marvel and DC. Nor are they bound to find the direction Spider-Man took since late 2007 appealing, and come to think of it, not even the direction taken with Superman. It's the smaller publishers who've been gaining over the years, as more people came to realize the majors don't want them anymore, now that they're dominated by mental adolescents with the full approval of the conglomerates who own them.
Look, Identity Crisis was a neat trick. I get it.No, it was not. It was a sick, perverted and hateful trick. That line is taking a serious risk of legitimizing an insult to victims of sex crimes, but I'm not sure they get it. And if Original Sin is a poor man's mystery, what do they think Identity Crisis was? A poor man's mystery story that doesn't even hold up well as part of the genre, because they deliberately make some parts so obvious.
But do we really need this poor man’s version revolving around the Death of the Watcher?
Back when it was going to be a cosmic-scale murder mystery, it was one of the stories I was most excited for in 2014. But as the promotional campaign has turned to laying bare the “secrets” of the Marvel superheroes’ past by inserting “original sins” into their backstories,This part is almost better, but in light of the first two paragraphs still comes with a dampened impact. Yes, it's stupid how Identity Crisis set things up as though the heroes were doing all sorts of questionable things behind Batman's back, stuff he was actually okay with back in the Silver/Bronze Age like the mindwipes, and knew about too. After all, he had his own secret ID to worry about, and on those grounds had little disagreement with anyone else about erasing the villains' memories of his alter ego if they'd found out. But then, why must the website's writer bother to call the miniseries a "neat" trick to start with? Even if that was meant as an ironic jest, it's still very poorly timed and drowns out whatever point he was trying to make.
This isn’t the first time this has happened, either, and at some point it’s diminishing returns.
There’s also the matter of internal consistency; when you make a story about how Batman turned against the Justice League because they mindwiped a bunch of supervillains — and then Batman — without consulting him, you really shouldn’t have a story shortly thereafter where you learn Batman and Martian Manhunter made the decision to mindwipe another villain because…reasons.
And that’s the problem, here: if you’re trying to insert events into the backstory of these characters with long and detailed histories, perhaps it’s best to accept that it’s difficult to pull off well if those events are character-defining, without totally screwing up everything that has happened in the timeline since.
Despite the acrimony the storyline initially caused, The Superior Spider-Man has been an unqualified success. Writer Dan Slott found a way to develop an entire series around the idea of lifelong villain Doctor Octopus stealing the identity and body of his enemy Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and masquerading as a new and improved version of the Web Slinger.Yawn. The story couldn't have caused much more acrimony than it did because not enough people are left to care about what happens with Spidey now. It should be pretty obvious from the declining sales receipts not many could be bothered to read it save for the most brain-dead collectors who fail to comprehend why their continuing purchase - sometimes for perceived monetary value only - will only prolong the nonsense. I've got a feeling their use of the word "unqualified" is meant more as a positive tip of the hat than a pan. Slott's vision was more along the lines of the "one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter", and Dr. Octopus did take advantage of Mary Jane Watson, however briefly, at the beginning of the volume's run. "New and improved", my foot.
But, the tastes of comic book fans and moviegoers are not always aligned, and it’s more likely than not that The Superior Spider-Man is far too wacky and abstract of a concept to work as a two-plus hour feature film. [...]"Wacky"? I wouldn't call it that at all. I'd only call it a ridiculously protracted shambles with an idea few moviegoers with good taste would care for that took at least a year to finish, when in better days, such a story would only go as far as 2 or 3 issues. Why would moviegoers care about a plot that focuses on the villain more than the hero who got kicked to the curb?
Despite the fact that it recycles much of its content from the far more acclaimed Dark Knight Returns, the Spider-Man: Reign miniseries by Kaare Andrews is filled with interesting ideas and good intentions. [...]Not mentioned here is that, IIRC, in the course of this miniseries, Peter fell victim to immolation, too repulsive to mention here. What good intentions or interesting ideas could a mini like this possibly boast? As for radiation poisoning, as if Betty Banner's own poisoning in 1998 wasn't enough. Ugh.
The problem with this storyline is that nobody who has read it can ever get past the reason Spider-Man is all alone: Peter’s wife, Mary Jane, died from radiation poisoning. She was exposed to this radiation via sexual intercourse and Peter’s semen.
Fans of Reign will justify their love for the book by talking about Andrews’s elegant writing and art [...]I'm no fan of such a book, and neither writing nor art will salvage such an embarrassment.
To make matters worse, in order to sell the clone idea in the comics, some writers had Ben talk about Peter as if he were a villain of sorts who had stolen his life away from him. Comic book fans responded poorly to this idea, and there’s no reason to believe moviegoers, who tend to have a lower tolerance for comic book logic, would respond any better to it.Of course not. But it's worth noting that the 3rd Spider-movie borrowed a bit from this atrocity when Peter accidentally knocks Mary Jane over with his super-strength. That's a very galling moment in the movie, and anyone turned off by that scene who finds out about the Clone Saga is going to think - maybe with justification - that screenwriters get their ideas from the all the wrong places to create drama.
Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson had been a point of contention within Marvel’s hierarchy for decades. Many saw the union as nothing but a sales-driven stunt concocted by former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter. Some thought it was unrealistic for an anti-social “wallflower” like Peter to land a supermodel like MJ, while others argued that married superheroes just don’t work, because creators inevitably have to “age” the characters by depicting them growing old together, having children, etc.Oh please. Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead married early in their comic strip, had two children who grew to teenage years, and never lost their popularity. Dick Tracy may have married co-worker Tess Trueheart in the 1950s, and they didn't age by any stretch. Mr. Fantastic married Invisible Girl in the mid-60s and the Silver Age Flash married Iris West around the same time; the former had a child, and the latter went along fine without getting into all that hassle about whether they should have kids and aging. That part only came along post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, after Wally West took over the spotlight. So why would anyone think it couldn't be done with Peter and Mary Jane? They knew it could be, and resorted to denial tactics to justify their ghastly tactics breaking up the marriage.
[...] Marvel is so clearly embarrassed by “Sins Past” that nary a reference to the storyline has been made in the comics since it was first published in 2004. Either way, there’s no way “Sins Past” will ever find its way onto the big screen.Wrong. Any editor who's willing to break up the marriage via Faustian pacts, then have Peter thrown out of his body in a pointless mind-switch with Dr. Octopus, is not somebody ashamed of their past mistakes. And Joe Quesada made it pretty clear he wasn't. I think they even hinted some of the elements from Sins Past are still in continuity. Come to think of it, what if Sins Past does find its way onto the silver screen one day? We shouldn't underestimate them.
DC, as a general rule, print darker comics than Marvel and, although that isn’t a completely universal truth, it’s something that fans can spot from a mile away.As anyone familiar with their output from the past two decades knows, yes, there are quite a few comics DC's published in their flagship lines with darker visions, the result of a misperception they have about Marvel fans, who they assume only care about bleak storytelling angles. Speaking as a Marvel fan, I find that insulting, because it actually enforces stereotypes about comic readers that their tastes are very narrow.
[...] People know Batman is a great martial artist, but he’s not as good as it gets. Karate Kid, for example (the DC character, not Daniel San) would easily beat the caped crusader in a martial arts battle. How many non-comic book fans would think that Batman would beat this relatively little-known character?More to the point, how many even know about Karate Kid and the futuristic series he's appeared in? That's the problem with DC - and Marvel - they don't care to promote a lot of their third-tiers, and so, how many people outside comicdom would know squat about the Legion of Super-Heroes?
[...] Basically, comic books are now not just for kids at all.Most often, mainstream superhero series aren't even suitable for kids at all. Even before One More Day, Spider-Man was already deteriorating into a mess, like with the story where Morlun showed up again in 2006 and ate a part of Peter Parker I'd rather not mention here. There was even a repellent miniseries published at the time called "Reign". The Green Lantern story where Alexandra deWitt got stuffed into the fridge in 1994 wasn't suitable for children, and the GL series became even less so after Geoff Johns took over. That's something they don't bother to make clear, and worse, they're not being terribly objective about it.
Feige identifies himself as a Marvel comic fan, but he’s a recent convert. Growing up in Westfield, N.J., he was obsessed with movies such as the Star Wars trilogy, the Indiana Jones and Star Trek franchises, Back to the Future, and the first RoboCop. When he read that George Lucas had studied film at the University of Southern California, Feige decided to do the same. After graduating, he worked on three movies for producer Lauren Shuler Donner. The first was Volcano, in which lava bubbles up from the La Brea Tar Pits and threatens Los Angeles. “It was my first movie, and we were blowing things up,” he says. The second was You’ve Got Mail. He taught Meg Ryan how to use America Online.For somebody who says he's a Marvel fan, or any company's fan, he sure hasn't done much on his part to save the publishing arm from the dire strait they're in, thanks in no small part to Joe Quesada. Granted, Feige may have read a lot of older material, but many of the stories they're using for adaptations are brand new.
The third movie was 2000’s X-Men, which director Bryan Singer was making for Fox. To better understand the genre, Feige immersed himself in Marvel comics. “I did a much deeper dive than I ever had before,” he says. What he discovered was extraordinarily rich. In the 1960s, the writer Stan Lee and a team of artists including Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko transformed Marvel into the nation’s leading comic book publisher by creating a generation of superheroes with complicated inner lives. Spider-Man could scale walls like an insect, but his alter ego, Peter Parker, was bullied in high school and couldn’t get a date. In 1966 the New York Herald Tribune called Spider-Man “the Raskolnikov of the funnies, a worthy rival to Bellow’s Herzog for the Neurotic Hipster championship of our time.”
As Feige consumed stacks of Marvel comics, he wondered why others working on X-Men didn’t do the same. “I would hear people, other executives, struggling over a character point, or struggling over how to make a connection, or struggling over how to give even surface-level depth to an action scene or to a character,” Feige recalls. “I’d be sitting there reading the comics going, ‘Look at this. Just do this. This is incredible.’ ”I once found out the director of the X-Men movie, Bryan Singer, wanted no comics on the set while they were filming it. Obviously, he didn't have much faith in the material himself, or the actors' ability to avoid delivering cartoony performances should they read even one pamphlet. Still, this is one thing where I'm in agreement with Feige on. Not so much on the following, though:
Arad and Feige spent much of their time trying to persuade executives making Marvel movies at Fox, Sony, and New Line not to screw them up by deviating from the original source material. They cut up comics and created guidebooks to get their point across. “I was like a preacher,” Arad says. “I would go in and say to these people, ‘Look at the comics. You can cut the panels, put them together, and you have a beautiful storyboard.’ ”There's just one little problem: the original source material today is barely recognizable from what it was like in years past. Put another way, if they were worried about the movies doing it, how come they have no qualms about Joe Quesada and Axel Alonso doing the same? Speaking of which:
Typically, movie studios hire outside producers to make individual films, but Marvel thought that would be the road to ruin. Instead, it formed a six-member creative committee with people steeped in comic book lore. Feige was a member, along with Louis D’Esposito, co-president of Marvel Studios. It also included some guys who actually made comic books, such as Dan Buckley, president of publishing; Joe Quesada, Marvel’s chief creative officer; and the writer Brian Michael Bendis. People in Hollywood sneer about the idea of making movies by committee; it’s supposed to result in lifeless products. But it worked for Marvel, in part because the members were willing to go along with Feige on key decisions. “Kevin is essential,” says Alan Fine, president of Marvel Entertainment, who oversees the group. “He’s the key to how our characters translate into filmed entertainment.”People who did otherwise terrible jobs in comics were hired to work on movies to boot. I'm honestly not happy, because they didn't deserve the jobs. Quesada breaks up the Spider-marriage, and what happens next? He gets a job with the film production division. That Feige was willing to work with Quesada and Bendis puts his fandom in question, IMHO.
Despite the shouting, everybody agreed on a fundamental principle: The movies needed to please the hard-core comic book readers first. “Really, you have to start with the loyalists,” says Quesada. “If the loyalists reject it, then we feel that everyone is going to reject it.”Why should loyalists listen to him? Many of the loyalists parted ways with Marvel after Quesada destroyed the Spider-marriage. If the movies need to please, why mustn't the comics do the same?
When it was time for Marvel to make The Avengers, Feige was nervous. Combining Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk would sell tickets, but making a film with so many superheroes meant more action, more fights, and more mayhem. That may sound splendid to a modern producer, but it might not leave room for the dramatic elements that draw larger and repeat audiences to Marvel films. “I was afraid the movie would just become a bunch of explosions and visual effects,” says Feige.Ironically, that's exactly what the comics have become, and worse: as mentioned before, they've been reduced to hero-vs-hero quagmires, as seen in Avengers vs. X-Men.
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