According to Dan Didio, as reported here, there never was a Crisis on Infinite Earths in the new DCU.

 

No Infinite Crisis, No Final Crisis. No Zero Hour and no Identity Crisis.

 

Discus.

 

Edited to add: According to several sources, Identity Crisis is still in continuity. My mistake!

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Which was why Maria Pym and Hank being married wasn't mentioned again for twenty-five years until Steve Englehart brought her back (allegedly) in West Coast Avengers as a monstrous female MODAK! Really!

I was just thinking that Hank not mentioning her all that time makes it look like he MURDERED her! 

 

"Killed by communists" indeed!

Continuity is always a problem, because it rewards long-time readers at the expense of new readers--and the writers and editors who don't know it. So there's a natural tendency to bemoan it's limitations and point to it as the problem.

There's always this mantra about "I don't care about continuity, I just want a good story!" And then continuity gets disregarded, and everyone is up in arms. It's a no-win situation. 

I find it interesting that DC is cutting loose its long-time readers by telling them that nothing they ever read was "real," yet they aren't making the comics all that accessible to lapsed DC readers, much less comic-store visitors much less non-comics readers. Either their strategy is inscrutable to me or they're not very good at it.

-- MSA

You do realize, Figs, that every time you knock Hank down, I'm going to defend him! :-)

It was her idea to travel back to her communist country after she escaped because she thought being married to an American would protect her. Sadly it did not. And Hank thought it was unwise but he agreed because she wanted to go.

But I agree that dropping Maria Pym and her unhealthy resemblence to Jan was a good thing!

 

"Either their strategy is inscrutable to me or they're not very good at it."

 

Umm... the latter, I think.

You know, it's strange, I've read that Wasp debut/origin story several times over the years, and somehow it never bothered me.

 

I see that after 10 episodes of Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Larry Lieber and Stan Lee, it went to Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Ernie Hart & Stan Lee for the 5 episodes of Ant-Man and the Wasp. I wonder exactly what Ernie Hart contributed? Just dialogue, presumably...  (It's so difficult to really be sure about the posted credits on so many of those books.)

Henry R. Kujawa said:

I see that after 10 episodes of Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Larry Lieber and Stan Lee, it went to Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Ernie Hart & Stan Lee for the 5 episodes of Ant-Man and the Wasp. I wonder exactly what Ernie Hart contributed? Just dialogue, presumably...  (It's so difficult to really be sure about the posted credits on so many of those books.)



My interpretation of the plot/script credits of some early Marvel comics is, Lee didn't have time to/didn't want to write full scripts for everything, so he handed that part of the process over to someone else. If Hart was writing full scripts, he will likely have written the dialogue before the story was drawn. Presumably Kirby followed the scripts he was given because otherwise the dialogue would have had to have been rewritten to match his changes. So if Kirby contributed to the plots, it was presumably by giving ideas to Lee that he incorporated into whatever written plot he gave the scripter.

 

In this interview Larry Lieber says he always wrote full scripts, even when working with Kirby.

You can never be sure with that, because when Kirby & Simon were together, they regularly would IGNORE full scripts given them by editors. When he returned to DC in the late 50's, more than once he got on some writer or other's nerves for ignoring or making changes to scripts he was given. The editor and writers didn't see what he was doing as improvements.

Did Simon and Kirby deliver their pages already lettered? If so, they'll have had control over the rescripting part of the process. In the 70s Kirby wrote his dialogue on the pages, but I've not seen Kirby pages from the 60s where he did that. He wrote in the borders when working Marvel style with Lee, but didn't supply complete dialogue. If Hart did write full script, and if Kirby significantly departed from his scripts, the pages will have had to have been given to him after they were drawn for script alterations, or Lee will have had to correct the script himself.

 

On the other hand, John Romita talks about making changes to Robert Kanigher's scripts when working at DC in this interview. That fits with my argument if he did the lettering himself, but he also talks in the interview about DC having the best lettering at the time, which implies otherwise. I suppose he might've pencilled in the words on the page as a guide to the letterer, or written corrections on the script before sending the script and the art to the letterer.

My impression of S&K was that they worked like a "shop", and supplied finished comics to whichever publisher they worked with. I think the only part they didn't do was the coloring. But they did hire their own letterers.

 

There was a LOT of resentment at DC over S&K's treatment in the early 40's.  They got higher page rates, I think they got royalties, and they got their names plastered on the covers of the comics.

I've seen some '60s pages by Kirby (on the Internet) and he did write brief notes on the side. It didn't appear that he was trying to script anything. And what I found amusing is that whatever he was talking about, the dialogue was talking about something else. That is to say, Kirby was describing the action, but the dialogue would be sad thought balloons about a romantic subplot that, in retrospect, I realized never appeared in the art.
Henry R. Kujawa said:

"Either their strategy is inscrutable to me or they're not very good at it."

 

Umm... the latter, I think.


I'm going to go with, "None of the above" if you don't mind.

I think that the idea that every comic (or even every #1) has to be totally understandable to a new reader is a terrible self-defeating myth. The only thing every comic book needs is the ability to bring the reader back for one more issue.

I used to believe the opposite though. "Done in One! Every issue is someone's first issue!" were both things I agreed with and repeated often. Until I opened my store.

I talk to hundreds of people about comics each week. I have yet to talk to a customer who told me their first exposure to serialized comics was a #1 of something. (One exception: the Watchmen TP has been cited as the first comic several people ever read. I think that's an awful first comic to read, but horse races and all.) In fact, the series that gets most often cited to me by the under-30 crowd is Infinity Gauntlet, and almost always it's issue #2 or #3 or #5. This was a series involving a cast of dozens of characters, that had many, many comics- some as old as 20 years old- that many would list as "required reading" before tackling the mini series #1. Even among the older comics customers I've talked to, they more often than not cite their first comics as being something like CoIE #4 or Amazing Spider-Man #43. The thing that all people who started reading comics young have in common is that they not only had no problem with the idea that there were comics in that series before (that might have critical info to fully "get" the one they're reading), but reading those comics made them want to read more. For some, getting the next issue was paramount. For others, they wanted to read what went before as much or more than what happened after.

What I've been seeing for the past month is people who haven't ever read comics before coming in and saying things like, "I don't know anything about this Swamp Thing character, but reading #1 makes me want to read more!" and "All I know about Green Lantern is from that movie, but these Red Lanterns look awesome! Sign me up!"

Now were there DC relaunch titles that were terrible? There sure were. (I'm looking at you, Legion Lost.) The important question is, are they getting people excited about reading comics?

And they sure are.


"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

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