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Friday, September 14, 2012 

Brevoort and company can't do an "event" without resorting to shocks

MTV interviewed Tom Brevoort, Brian Bendis and Axel Alonso, who try to sound like they know everything it takes to make a great crossover, but they don't. Brevoort said in reply to the following query:
...we asked the obvious question: is death really necessary to a big, capital E, Event Comic? Can you have an event without a big death? All three were pretty much in agreement on this point. “Of course you can, so long as enough other things of importance take place,” said Brevoort. “But a death always has a strong sense of finality and change to it, as it's the end of the story. Death’s ultimately waiting for all of us one day.”
Translation: they don't have faith in themselves to at least do it the way Secret Wars and Acts of Vengeance were done, since those weren't built upon heroes and supporting casts dying, but rather, on the fun of watching the heroes figure out how to thwart the baddies and their schemes.
Continuing, Brevoort said that, “You make it matter by making it emotionally true, by making the characters and by extension the readers feel it. I hate all of those too-cool-for-school comics that handle death in a Meta way, with the characters reacting like it's only a matter of time before the deceased returns. That's not human, and it’s not genuine--nor is it even clever. It's poor storytelling.”
Then why did they bring back Johnny Storm in such a hurry? And if bringing them back so soon isn't "human", then how is a mentor dying at the hands of his own student any more so? Why couldn't Xavier just pass away from natural causes? Didn't they ever consider that if they'd tried something simpler like that, audiences would probably be a lot more accepting? To have Cyclops kill off Xavier, even under Phoenix influence, is poor storytelling, and very, very dumb too.
“Our intention was never to create a black and white situation,” added Alonso. “Our intention was to create one with pathos, and nuance, and readers can come out of this scene feeling different things. Who was right, who was wrong, and was anyone right or wrong?”
Nobody was right to fight each other to begin with; they were all wrong, but nowhere nearly as wrong as the writing staff that put them - and the audience - through such a horrible experience to begin with. And by having the Avengers and X-Men fight each other, and by killing off Xavier at the hands of his own student in a scene laced with rejection of mentor, they did create a B&W situation, simply by resorting to a tactic that's become pretty common lately.
What about the other characters in the Marvel Universe? How will they react? “There are some people who are going to say, Scott murdered Xavier, and I will never forgive him,” said Bendis, echoing what’s probably going through a lot of fans’ heads today, too. “Or some people will say, he wasn’t in his right mind, that’s not who he is. He was under the influence. And then some people will say, yes, but he put himself under the influence. What did you think would happen? And then there will be some people who will wonder if Xavier didn’t sacrifice himself, towards his goals... Will he succeed in his goals in Death?”
Maybe, but the goal that won't be successful is long-term sales for any of their books. And Bendis' suggestion that fans could or will blame the character instead of how he was written is also offensive, and a weak attempt to pretend he's not to blame himself for coming up with such an awful, stunt-driven story.

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Everything from the Brave and the Bold cartoon to the epic movies based on the original characters shows that Marvel and DC are just brands now, and the stupidity of the comicbooks is such that people ignore them as background noise, in favour of the same characters in other media.

In general, TV and movies have been much more faithful to what made American comics so good in the first place.

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