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Saturday, November 16, 2013 

James Robinson is foisting himself on the Fantastic Four

The former writer for DC on titles like JSA who's since gone downhill has been hired by Marvel to write Fantastic Four:
"What I hope to do is tie in their past without making it too referential and (touch on) how the past can affect the future," Robinson says. "While I'm not reinventing the book, I'm certainly adding a side to it we maybe haven't seen for a while."
Sure he's not reinventing it. We've already seen what he did with "Earth 2" and Alan Scott, and if that's what he thinks makes for perfect characterization, then I don't hold any hope for what he has in store for the FF. Whatever he does have to tell, it could very well be laced with political correctness.
Arch nemesis Doctor Doom will definitely be a factor in Robinson's Fantastic Four, and he promises to show as many of the team's villains as he possibly can, plus some outside baddies. The Frightful Four is back to come at them over and over again, and they'll be comprised of different quartets of enemies, Robinson says, "each group more and more powerful and deadly."
I think this will only end up being a case of overkill, with far more emphasis on supervillains, rather than add some villains like the Kingpin who don't wear bizarre costumes but could use sci-fi weaponry as much as the costumed crooks do. And, he'll no doubt be selling the book based on the presence of the supervillains alone, not the quality level of his writing. This is exactly the weakness superhero comics came to suffer from, as they relied more on costumed supervillains than crooks without, which left them without a good balance.
...he's determined to honor, reference and draw from all the creators who've come before him, from Roy Thomas and Walt Simonson to Mark Millar and Mark Waid to Hickman and Fraction.

As Robinson's saga unfolds starting next year, he says, "adventures that all of these writers have done will all tie in some way with what I'm planning to do."
If it were scribes (and editors) who came pre-2000, that might work out well enough. But writers like Millar, Fraction, Hickman and even one who's lost his way badly like Waid are not people whom I care to see getting a tribute. Robinson also told Newsarama:
Another thing I should mention is sometimes when a new writer comes onto a book, they pretend nothing happened on the book before they came to it. That definitely won't be the case here. For me, the comics medium is about building on the lore of the creators who came before us and what they put into those characters. So while Leonard [Kirk] and my run will be a new direction, there will be points that hinge around events that occurred in Hickman’s run, Matt Fraction’s run, and even reference and touch on earlier runs and adventures in ways that might surprise you. I intend to be very careful and respectful of what came before.
Tying it in to all that modern dreck does not encourage confidence he knows what he's doing. If he intends to respect Fraction and Hickman's runs, then it's no wonder a wiser writer wouldn't want to pay attention to what preceded what Robinson's planning. Not that there's any left today, and with the people in charge now, they're better off staying afar. Robinson's already proven he's no longer a reliable writer, and no need to bother about his run on FF.

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After what he went bonkers with Cry for Justice, I won't be picking up any of Robinson's work. Pass.

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