http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=23952

Interesting article...what do you think?

Views: 557

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks.

Interesting he said Thunderbolts was originally thought of as the Avengers leaving and being replaced by villains, until Captain America was the only hero on the team. Sounds a lot like Cap's Kooky Quartet. I wonder if Stan ever thought that, having Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch turn out not to have reformed at all. If you think about it, it was really shocking back then for Iron Man and Giant-Man to just walk off and leave Cap with three people that might have decided to slit his throat once he was alone with them for all their knew. I think if I was Cap I would have slept someplace hidden with a dummy in my bed for awhile.

Interesting article, but I disagree.  Except for a few localized places such as Roy Thomas' corner of the DCU in the 1980s, neither the DCU nor the MU are quite that conscious of their own past.

Instead, it seems to me that there is a powerful self-image of what the universes should be like, but it does change gradually during time.  It changed quite a lot in the 1990s, particularly.   Books and characters that don't present themselves as compatible with the zeistgeist of their time are simply not taken seriously.

Further complicating the matter is how the market itself changed.  Comics are more expensive and have a lot more competition these days.  And they are available in a far more restricted network as well.

Impulse buying, once the norm, has all but been extinguished.  Symultaneously, technical advancement has made it so that the market is a lot more segmented as well.  Even leaving aside the very significant marked of digital media, it is not really difficult for independent authors to essentially self-publish.  Marvel and DC are less commited to creators, but creators also have far less need for Marvel and DC.

The result of the best concepts being spared for independent publishers that give them more control over their characters is certainly part of the reason why so few of the more recent characters are successes.  But also, Marvel and DC are simply more hostile to creativity, even with their own property.  Marvel in the mid-1970s was almost a free-for-all, and DC was considerably more experimental as well.  Now they seem to have to fight their own instincts (and sales departments) to even consider something that isn't a new Batman or X-Men book.  In a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, they are alienating their readers who might want to try something new, and they end up having more faith in characters from outside anyway.

A quarter is impulse buying. Four bucks is a committment. They've priced themselves right out of the impulse market.
One obvious problem with getting new characters going is they're rarely making characters that are likely to become popular. Look at New Mutants. None of the original members would have worked as a solo star. Cannonball's power was to fly in a straight line, and if anything was in his way he crashed into it. Nobody would want powers they couldn't control. Another was a werewolf. Marvel already had Jack Russell and John Jameson. Another could possess people. And still another could scare people by making them see their worst fear. Not very visual powers, and either they'd instantly defeat any opponents or their powers would tick off their enemies and get them beat up. That leaves Sunspot, and his power was picking up trucks and throwing them. Which of them would you give a monthly series to? I'd say none of the above.
Too many characters now are gimmicks. Look at X-Statix. I wouldn't consider any of them for a monthly solo title or cartoon series. Power Pack. One can float but has no means of propulsion so he doesn't go anywhere without help. One can switch between being a cloud and being an Atom wannabe. And one can fly. If you think about it those are lousy powers.
While characters like Hawkeye, Vision, and Scarlet Witch never got successful solo careers, they had the potential. The right creative team could do something with one of them. Could the monthly adventures of Chamber or Husk or Venus De Milo work? I seriously doubt it. The character listed as having potential, Gravity? Hideous costume design. A lousy costume is not going to attract readers. Putting mutants in the same X-Men costume? Makes it difficult for any of them to stand out. X-Men isn't Fantastic Four. The FF chose to all look alike. The mutants had the same drab outfit forced on them, and as soon as a mutant is allowed to come up with his or her own costume the uniform is immediately dumped.

I would argue that characters created to be on a team aren't intended to be solo stars.  Within your examples, New Mutants and Power Pack both worked within a team concept. The characters learned to complement one another, and it was that learning and their experiences that made them interesting.  I recenlty re-read the entirety of Power Pack and it holds up very well. One of the best aspects was the characters switching powers over time, and dealing with those changes.  Also, the lighter stories hold up well too. The ones that aren't as good are the ones that tried to get grim and gritty.

With New Mutants it wasn't about the powers really, but about the people. Sam could only fly in a straight line, true, but he became as solid a leader as he could be. The most interesting character of all was the one who had the most visually static power of all, Cypher.

One of the other things about teams is that they relieve the creative team of coming up with a supporting cast, as they are the supporting cast. Taking a team character and trying to turn them solo isn't easy, as the supporting cast is just as important as the lead character.

It depends on the team. Look at the X-Men. The Angel got a short serial and the Beast had his own series for awhile. And of course Wolverine did get his own series, although it took years. Some of the Legionaires might have worked in their own title, while others clearly weren't meant to appear outside of the team. I doubt anyone was writing DC begging them to publish Bouncing Boy Comics.  

Well, DC did try Karate Kid, and that didn't work out so good. I think a large part of the Legion's appeal is the interaction between the characters, and while it's certainly possible to write a solo story (even for Bouncing Boy), I don't think many of the characters really have long-term solo appeal. Maybe you could do something with Timber Wolf leaving the team, but really how long would that be interesting?

As for the X-Men, the only character who's had a successful solo career is Wolverine. They've tried minis with the others, but I'm assuming sales never warranted a solo series.  They are trying now, as Nightcrawler has his own series, and Storm's debuted this week.

Regarding X-Statix, those characters were never intended to survive the series. I'm sure Milligan knew how each would die when he started the series. Doop's still around, sure, but he's hardly a major character.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Groups

Latest Activity

Richard Willis replied to Steve W's discussion Comical Comic Cuts
3 hours ago
Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) replied to Commander Benson's discussion Deck Log Entry # 240 An Empty Chair
"I'm terribly sorry for your family's loss, Commander. I wish you all the best."
6 hours ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to Jeff of Earth-J's discussion Sandman (TV)
"Over the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the adults (three couples) usually…"
9 hours ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to Captain Comics's discussion Does anyone have James Bond DVDs or Blu-rays?
"A good James Bond trivia question is "What is the only movie in which James Bond sings"?…"
9 hours ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to Commander Benson's discussion Deck Log Entry # 240 An Empty Chair
"Words fail me, my friend. Please accept my and Tracy's deepest and most sincere condolences,…"
9 hours ago
Steve W replied to Steve W's discussion A Cover a Day
"@Peter - I have the same problem; 8 covers left and only 4 days to go. So, 2 a day from me till…"
12 hours ago
The Baron replied to Commander Benson's discussion Deck Log Entry # 240 An Empty Chair
"My condolences to you and Cheryl, and Rick's other family and friends, sir."
12 hours ago
Richard Willis replied to Commander Benson's discussion Deck Log Entry # 240 An Empty Chair
"Commander, I have never had a son or an actual brother, but you, your son and all veterans are my…"
13 hours ago
JD DeLuzio replied to Steve W's discussion A Cover a Day
"I don't think anyone has posted this one. It was my introduction to Strangers in Paradise and…"
14 hours ago
ClarkKent_DC replied to Commander Benson's discussion Deck Log Entry # 240 An Empty Chair
"A wonderfully eloquent epitaph. My deepest condolences to you, Commander, and to Cheryl."
14 hours ago
Mark Sullivan (Vertiginous Mod) replied to Commander Benson's discussion Deck Log Entry # 240 An Empty Chair
"Such heartbreaking news! I am sorry for the family's grief. But you wrote about it beautifully…"
15 hours ago
Eric L. Sofer replied to Commander Benson's discussion Deck Log Entry # 240 An Empty Chair
"Commander, I hope that the sorrow passes quickly, to be replaced by the love and honor and warm…"
16 hours ago

© 2022   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service