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Friday, April 12, 2013 

Ron Marz sure had a peculiar idea of how to "motivate" the hero

I found an old interview with Ron Marz on Popgun Chaos from 3 years ago, where he explained his reasoning for killing off Alexandra deWitt:
For me, having Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend killed and stuffed into a refrigerator was not in any way, shape or form intended to be about harming a woman, but it’s about Kyle learning that people around him were going to pay the price for what he was doing. Some people are going to say that “you’re using a tragedy to a female character to have an effect on your male character.” Well, yeah, I was. Shakespeare did the same thing with Romeo and Juliet. People care about their significant others. That’s a trope in all fiction. People are going to ascribe to that scene whatever they want to it. If you’re going to be looking for horrible things happening to women in these things, then you’re going to find them, but if you go into it looking for similar things happening to men you’ll find an equal amount, and probably a greater amount. To me, it was a process of cherry picking the events to prove their point. Not that their point was invalid in the first place, but I think it undercuts your point to cherry pick your evidence whether you’re right or wrong.
Oh? We'll soon see about that. His defense for that dreary, repellant step is mind-boggling, because it sounds more like a justification for writing Kyle into an insular corner. So because villains like Major Force are seemingly smart enough to track him down (which actually defeats the whole point of masked IDs), Kyle cannot lead a relationship with a "civilian" girlfriend, and instead must lead one with a superheroine (Donna Troy, Jade, and even a GL Corps member like Soranik Natu), because that's "safer". Honestly, it's the most artificial setup I've ever seen, and if Spider-Man went that route in the Bronze Age, it would only ring hollow. I knew the reasons for Kyle fearing a simpler relation were mentioned at least once during the 1994-2004 run, and with this statement Marz certainly confirmed the idea they had for how to "build" the GL series. But in the end, it was like little more than an excuse for not. I've sometimes wondered if all that time, they couldn't decide if they wanted to stick by using Kyle as star or not. No wonder they never went anywhere. And why should the villains be a threat to Kyle's friends and family but not first and foremost to him?

In fact, Marz also missed a big chance to create a ladyfriend for Kyle who could say, be of Romanian descent and likes to cook Zama soup and Muschi Poiana. Boy, if I were in his position and realized all the fun I'd missed exploring other cultures, I would just weep.

Marz also seems to forget that Juliet wasn't actually dead at first and that Romeo was led to believe that, committing suicide first with Juliet following suit after waking and discovering his loss.

He also revealed a little something he was quite fine with the editor deciding, something not very pleasant:
PC: I’ve actually been thinking making a counter argument called “Moms in Ovens” which is in reference to Kyle’s mom being killed at the end of the run. I know she wasn’t really killed but –

RM: Actually, she was intended to be killed.

PC: I kinda figured.

RM: How all that went down was that the editor said that we had to cut off all of Kyle’s relationships on Earth because we wanted to have valid reason for him to be in space for the beginning of GL: Rebirth. So, he wanted to kill off his mom and I thought that since it was the same character, doing the same thing that it should be even worse. So, the book was written, the book was drawn and the book was literally days away from going off to press. Then, the . . . let’s say . . . the Powers That Be got cold feet about it so we had no time to change the art, so we had to make up a half-ass excuse by saying “Oh, it was just a mannequin just to mess with you” which I thought looked incredibly ridiculous, but that’s what work for hire is like. Sometimes you’re put in the position of having to follow the marching orders.
*Whistles* He didn't care about the girlfriend and he didn't care about the mother figure either. And he was perfectly fine with drawing up an even sicker way for the mother to make her exit? What a head-shaker.

The mother eventually did die, of illness, but then, rather than let it stand as a natural death, which would have been much more welcome, they added insult to injury by revealing that another supervillain was responsible for poisoning her, all to give Kyle yet more "motivation". But it's much too late already, they ran the whole idea into the ground, fast.

So here's another reason why I'll find it hard to appreciate anything Marz writes for the big two, if anyone, because he sure doesn't seem interested in building plausible character drama, or even fighting for creative freedom to realize it. (And they've become so insular and selective in whom they'll hire.)

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All the above is probably a big reason why "Superman: the Animated Series" used Hal's backstory instead of Kyle's.

I'm going to go ahead and guess you've never read any of his work with Image? Particularly his work on Witchblade and Artifacts? If you're after character drama then you really should, top drawer stuff.
Also, no, you'll never be as good as Clark Kent...

I read Marz's Silver Surfer, Green Lantern, and Thor.

That was more than enough to convince me I'd never, never read anything else he might write.

From what I can tell, Marz has never written anything of substance.

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