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Friday, July 10, 2015 

J.M. DeMatteis says Roy Thomas and Roger Stern deserve more credit

Veteran DeMatteis has made some pretty accurate statements about two other veterans:

While he's right that Stern did good jobs during the Bronze Age, it's very sad that years later, he spoke against the Peter Parker-Mary Jane Watson marriage, even as he had no problem with the Clark Kent-Lois Lane marriage. And that's a shame, because he basically let Joe Quesada get away with causing severe damage, and making the Marvel universe into a most unrealistic disaster. Believe me, I do respect a lot of Stern's work from the 70s and 80s, and I certainly do think he deserves a lot of credit for that. But I can't overlook how he compounded a lot of the damage Marvel's been suffering from since the turn of the century by putting down the Peter-MJ marriage without criticism or concern for the harm Quesada's caused. I can say that, if Stern were to turn around and express regret at how today's superherodom's being destroyed by PC-mania, then I could feel a lot better and thank him a lot more for the good he'd done a few decades ago.

As for Thomas, I've always thought he was a very talented writer too, and while not without his own flaws, his takes on comicdom have been even better than Stern's, and that's why I'm certainly able to give him credit for all the good he did in his time, something I'm sure many of today's writers don't appreciate, and don't thank him for. He told the Hollywood Reporter last May that when he was at work, he didn't try to create that many characters because he knew he wouldn't own them, and probably wouldn't get any money out of merchandise. The case is surely even worse over at DC, where they wiped out several characters he created in the early 90s, or misused them so badly it was pure embarrassment. They also don't seem intent on releasing the older material in trades, seeing how little of Roy's work at DC in the 80s has been marketed in reprints.

In all, DeMatteis's quite right that both Thomas and Stern did talented work in past decades. But how many modern writers and artists really appreciate that?

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Yeah, but is it positive or negative credit?

Or it's typical presentism, "everything before me was wrong, but I'm way more awesome and no one will do that to me." It's a weird narcissism, at times. At least, that's one theory why the current comic-literati ignore the veterans.

I loved Stern's 80's work, so, yes, I was most disappointed with his recent comments on the Spider-Marriage. Roy Thomas, I don't dislike him and he's good, but he never excited me. Of course, that's more me being very picky, too.

Good for DeMatteis, as we tend to go for the Johns or Bendis, anymore, and, again, we deserve better than that.

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