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Wednesday, November 21, 2018 

Dynamite hires a "progressive" to script Red Sonja

Dynamite's made a pretty poor choice for their next person to script the Red Sonja adaptations. Namely, the same man who tinkered with Hanna-Barbera's cartoon creations at DC:
The new Dynamite Entertainment series will be headed by critically acclaimed writer Mark Russell.

In 2019, Conan won’t be the only barbarian getting a new beginning in comic books; Dynamite Entertainment has announced an ongoing Red Sonja series to debut early next year, written by the man responsible for the critically acclaimed comic book relaunches for The Flintstones and Snagglepuss.

The new Red Sonja series comes from the creative team of Mark Russell and Conan artist Mirko Colak, with Dearbhla Kelly on colors and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou on letters.
Wow, just what the world needs, that this leftist be their pick for writing the She-Devil With a Sword, after the propaganda he ran in Snagglepuss. And the only acclaimers critically were leftists, but these trade papers don't admit it any more than anyone else.

Interestingly, it also notes here:
Red Sonja has been a mainstay of Dynamite’s publishing line since the company revived the character in 2005, and was rebooted in 2013 by writer Gail Simone, who revised the Sonja's origin to remove the brutal rape presented in the first version of her backstory as seen in the 1970s Marvel Comics incarnation. Her latest series will launch one month after Marvel's high-profile relaunch of Conan the Barbarian.
In hindsight, I have difficulty understanding why she/they wanted to remake RS without the rape theme, since it was more or less depicted negatively in the original stories, yet when DC minimized the issue in Identity Crisis in the mid-2000s, she never was willing to condemn it, and worse, she later upheld allowing men into women's bathrooms at the expense of women's safety and dignity. It's one thing to shy away from even negative depictions of rape in fiction, but another to condone policies that enable it in real life.

And since we're on the subject of Russell and his leftism, the Oregonian interviewed him a few weeks ago, about a Huckleberry Hound crossover with Green Lantern, using not Hal Jordan in the role, but John Stewart, for another political allegory:
The year is 1972.

The American homefront is roiling as an oppressed people struggle under the boot of systemic oppression. The war in Vietnam is equally as just.

John Stewart is starting his career as the newest intergalactic guardian of a troubled planet.

And Huckleberry Hound is on his way out of showbusiness.

On Wednesday, writer Mark Russell is once again returning to the world of classic Hanna-Barbera characters -- this time with "Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound," a crossover that sees two characters at different points in their respective careers at a pivotal (and resonant) moment in American history.
So let's see if I can figure this out. They're talking about the US people? Hey, Nixon may have been scummy, I don't deny that. But I don't think it makes sense to say the populace at the time was literally oppressed either, and I won't be shocked if the Vietnam war is portrayed inherently negative, with no willingness to recognize communism as a bad influence, or point out how refusal to raid north Vietnam - where the Viet Cong's HQ was located - played a part in the war's failure.
How did the Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound book come together?

Mark Russell: Jim Chadwick, the editor, thought of me, because he thought it would be something up my alley to do sort of really unorthodox and unintuitive crossover like that because of other work I've done -- "Booster Gold," "The Flintstones" and obviously "Snagglepuss." He asked me if it was something I would be interested in writing and he told me he envisioned it being set in the early 70s, so it gave me a lot of ideas of what I could do with it -- the backdrop of Watergate and the Vietnam War -- so I immediately said yes.
Because how can such a propagandist who already exploited Snagglepuss for LGBT propaganda possibly refuse the opportunity to do more? So I don't want to know how he handled Booster.
Who are these characters to you -- both John Stewart and Huckleberry Hound?

Russell: I've written about Huckleberry Hound previously in my "Snagglepuss" comic as a character that gets into cartoons and there is basically a show business after because of the patronage of Snagglepuss, but John Stewart was pretty new to me. I really liked the idea of somebody learning to become a super hero, basically learning how to use their power. I also really like the idea setting it after the Huckleberry Hound cartoons sort of come to an end as his career as a cultural force sort of petered out. It's really, in a lot of ways, a story about two guys meeting at the opposite ends of their career. John Stewart, when he is just starting out and just learning what it is to be super hero, and Huckleberry Hound at the downward slope of his comedy career and how he has had a chance to go around the block a couple times and know how the world works.

I thought it would be really an interesting chance for them to have a conversation about John Stewart and his newness meeting the experience and waft of Huckleberry Hound.
In a coverscan they posted of the book, their take on Huckleberry shows him wearing a rainbow shirt (so "patronage" indeed!), so we can guess where it'll go from there. I honestly wonder why all these spinoff gimmicks involving GL characters seem to spotlight everyone except Hal Jordan. All that does is confirm they really never cared about him as a character.
This is not your first time with the Hanna-Barbera stable of characters. How have you been able to find so much depth in these characters?

Russell: I think the key to any good writing is to really to take your character seriously to think of them not as two-dimensional icons or punchlines but to really flush them out as people and think about what it would be like to live in their situation. That's really where the story always begins. What would it be like to be Huckleberry Hound in 1971 after his cartoon had gone off the air? How would he be making his living? What's sorts of things would he be doing? What sort of lessons would he have learned from failed career in show business?
Looks like he just admitted his leading problem: he believes animated characters simply meant for children's pastimes are supposed to be taken seriously! Which would be funny if it weren't for the seriousness of the subjects he's glossing over. And the only way he knows how to do it is to make them overt leftists and LGBT activists. If it's really such a big deal, why not introduce a female canine anthropomorph and pair her up with the Hound for a romantic fling, and maybe that can be judged as something intelligent? These cheapies never care about that sort of thing, and they'd surely defend their disinterest by saying it's "not for children" or something like that, whereas LGBT issues somehow are.
Do you think you're done with them?

Russell: I think so, largely because DC is done with them for the moment. I would love to come back and do some more Hanna-Barbara work in the future, like you say it's been such a great grist for the mill to try and find new life in these old characters and to take characters that have been discarded by our popular imaginations seriously once again.
Which seems to confirm they weren't sales bonanzas, so they at least had the audacity to stop with all that. Yet he persists with that laughable drivel about seriousness. Even though his insistence on exploiting old cartoon creations for the sake of his political agendas is exactly why nobody can take them seriously now.
What interested you in writing in the Vietnam War era? What was fascinating about writing something set in 1972?

Russell: I feel like there is a similar sensibility about politics today as there was then, and the cynicism of how we've been lied to on a grand scale and everyone knew that the Vietnam War was lost, but we were still committed to fighting it because nobody could find a good way out of it. Watergate was happening and the president was denying any involvement in the scandal that was really only done to benefit him. It really is a message about the political cynicism and the sense of helplessness that people had over their own political fates at that time. It really an examination of power and its abuse, which is I think what most super hero comic books were about in the beginning.
But did anybody know why the war was lost? If the Viet Cong had their headquarters in the north, they should've ploughed in there and brought them down. But they didn't. And why is power only something to be abused, but not used for positive goals like the Green Lanterns did? It sounds like he's got another negative allegory in store.
There's a line in the book that really interested me and speaks to larger issues in your work. You have John's mentor talking about the difference between "justice" and "peace and quiet." What's that distinction mean to you?

Russell: It's really about how power works and how power fails, and as he says in the book, the only power that really lasts is not the power you have over people, but it's the power you have with people. I think that is what makes civil disobedience work -- when it does work -- is the fact that you are not just doing it alone, but you are expressing the frustration of millions of others and that's when you start a movement that culminates, ultimately, into change.

That's really the hope I wanted offer him my rumination about power in this comic book. If you have enough people as powerless as you are, all wanting the same thing, then that in itself becomes overwhelming source of power and change becomes inevitable. It's really a message of not giving up hope in the face of hopelessness -- it's really about finding hope in the other people who are feeling hopeless around you.
It almost sounds like he's signaling support for the kind of extreme leftist movements that have become so notable of recent, like the Occupy travesty. Or even the anti-Trump demonstrators. Well, guess that's no surprise.

And if the Red Sonja tale he's brewing up turns out to be more leftist propaganda allegories, then it means he's only in the business to take old creations and tool them into vehicles to suit his dismal agendas. Naturally, it's a real shame when something Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith worked hard to develop during the Bronze Age has to fall victim to these politically motivated crum-bums.

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"So let's see if I can figure this out. They're talking about the US people? Hey, Nixon may have been scummy, I don't deny that. But I don't think it makes sense to say the populace at the time was literally oppressed either, and I won't be shocked if the Vietnam war is portrayed inherently negative,..."

Can't say for sure without seeing the actual story, but he is probably talking about black American citizens, Rather than Americans as a whole.

"refusal to raid north Vietnam - where the Viet Cong's HQ was located
- played a part in the war's failure."

Of course, the US did bomb the North to smithereens; don't think the failure to raid the Viet Cong hq - something that would have been a risky operation indeed - made any difference.

"In a coverscan they posted of the book, their take on Huckleberry
shows him wearing a rainbow shirt (so "patronage" indeed!), so we can
guess where it'll go from there."

It is not a rainbow shirt; it is a psychedelic tie-dye shirt, which became popular in the 60s long before the rainbow became a symbol of diversity. The story is set in the early 70s, so the tie-dye shirt is a symbol of the era.

" If it's really such a big deal, why not introduce a female canine
anthropomorph and pair her up with the Hound for a romantic fling, and
maybe that can be judged as something intelligent? These cheapies
never care about that sort of thing, and they'd surely defend their
disinterest by saying it's "not for children" or something like that,
whereas LGBT issues somehow are."

The story does refer to Huckleberry Hound having a romantic fling with a celebrity female dog (although not an anthropomorph) - to wit, Checkers, the puppy adopted by Tricia Nixon and at the heart of RIchard Nixon's famous speech.

Now is that an actual "Progressive" or just someone who feigns support for the idea in order to get 3 square meals a day?

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