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Saturday, September 16, 2006 

JMS is off of FF, though Thor is now wishing he had an acronym

For fans of the Fantastic Four like myself (and also Bobb, whom I thank for the update), the first comic I read in my childhood, this is good news. As reported on the Newsarama Blog and Millarworld, J. Michael Straczynski is leaving the FF, albeit in order to write the Mighty Thor's adventures (thanks to Bobb for the update):
On the comics front, incidentally...it was just announced by Marvel that I’m going to be taking over and re-launching the Thor monthly title. Because this is a big mythological show, it’s very much in my wheelhouse, as it were, and it’s really important to make this work. So I’m giving some thought to pulling back on some of the other comics work, notably FF, to make room to give this my full attention.
Like I said, this is good news for the FF. Marvel's fantastic first family deserve a much better writer than one as hacky as JMS has turned out to be almost ever since he first began working at Marvel at the turn of the century.

In fact, that's exactly why another issue could be brought up here - JMS continued role in being the writer of The Amazing Spider-Man, and why JMS needs to be taken off of that series too.

Ever since he got his foot in the door and landed the job in writing the book, most likely by ways of a favoratist editorial board, it's fallen into a quagmire of mediocrity and hasn't recovered. With the exception of when Peter David wrote several issues of ASM as part of the House of M crossover, JMS has otherwise been the only writer on ASM for at least five years now, and it's really appalling by now. When he first began, the writing ranged from mediocre to flat as a pancake, and, while it may be true that the editors were responsible for keeping Mary Jane Watson from reuniting with Peter Parker until a year afterwards, Straczynski still made it a very contrived, interminable journey. So, even after Mary Jane was back, I still got really bored, and dropped it in despair. Turns out from some of the opinions and synopses I read, certainly that of the "Sins Past" storyline, that my jumping ship from ASM wasn't for nothing. The more that Straczynski continued writing, the more contrived, frustrating and insulting it's gotten since then. From what I remember, he didn't use the supporting cast much, if at all, nor the villains or Spidey's own rogues gallery, and if what JMS was trying to do with Spidey was to "get inside his head" as he stated at times, he sure managed to do anything but that. Which could explain why, when he took up writing the FF from Mark Waid, the buzz for the title pretty much died down.

Spidey fans who recognize the dishonesty and disrespect in JMS's work on ASM for the hero and his world should try and step up any campaigns they could put together to get him off the title and shown the door at Marvel. I decidedly won't be reading JMS's upcoming work on Thor, as I don't expect much from it any more than I do from ASM under JMS's pen. (It's possible that Thor could end up talking far more than combatting the villains, and even if ones like Carl "Crusher" Creel, the Absorbing Man, turn up, I have a hunch that it could end up being laced in some way or other with Straczynski's personal biases. And who knows if Dr. Jane Foster will fare any better than Mary Jane in ASM?) It could very well be that Thor under Straczynski will end up being launched with very little buzz, except for the most devoted of the fanbase JMS does still have.

Update: the main site of Newsarama spoke to JMS as well:
Straczynski reports his final issue of FF “should be #541, or thereabouts”, and since we were on the topic of his workload in light of the new Thor series, we also asked if Amazing Spider-Man would be affected or if he planned to remain on that title indefinitely..?

“I wouldn't say indefinitely only because nothing lasts forever,” he responded. “I've been on the book now for six years, and that's already a long run. Where the future goes, who knows. But that's been the case since the day I first took on the book. So my only response is that I'm enjoying it for as long as Marvel wants me to do it.”
Does this mean that Marvel's been favoratist to him all these years? It would certainly sound that way. But what's really depressing here is that what JMS is really saying is that it's as long as the company approves, not the audience, he'll be remaining on Amazing Spider-Man.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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