and Dead Tree Comics

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Brentai
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Brentai » Sat May 13, 2017 11:37 am

I haven't paid that much attention but isn't this one of those time paradox plots where "Captain America is bad now!" is one more thing they have to fix?

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Sat May 13, 2017 12:04 pm

TA wrote:"Hero becomes his evil opposite" is one thing, but a) this is "hero was secretly always his evil opposite, from day 1, never a hero at all, Axis spy who continually sabotaged the allied war effort"

[...]

I mean, villains becoming heroes really isn't the same as heroes becoming villains. It's significant that the big example of a hero becoming a villain and coming back from it you have there, Superman thinking he's Darkseid's son, involved brainwashing. Which isn't the case here - we learn that Cap has been with Hydra since he was young, and was, again, secretly a spy for the Nazis during the entire war. This isn't Cap becoming a Nazi, this is Cap having always been a Nazi. There isn't room for a Steve Rogers atonement arc because there's nothing to atone for. This isn't the Cap we know making a mistake, a slip-up, a lapse in judgment, anything he would regret. The Cap we have known was always a lie, and the real Steve Rogers has always been a Nazi, Secret Empire tells us.


If the difference between "a supervillain brainwashed him into thinking he'd always been a supervillain" and "a supervillain used the Cosmic Cube to change history so he actually had always been a supervillain" is important to you, fine, go nuts. I see it as a pretty trivial distinction, myself.

Point is, I'm gonna guess the end result is the same: Cap's back to normal (and history is restored) but he still did all that stuff and feels guilty about it. Though it's possible that doesn't happen! Like I said, given the bad publicity Marvel may want to get Secret Empire out of its system as soon as it can. Maybe Cap even uses the Cosmic Cube to not only reset his origin story but to make sure Secret Empire never happened. Retcon it all away like Spider-Man's marriage (and that time he hit his pregnant wife). Guess we'll see.

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Brentai
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Brentai » Sat May 13, 2017 5:52 pm

It does seem like the setup to an otherwise routine Crisis-style housecleaning.

You watch, they're going to end this event by booting into the MCU.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby MarsDragon » Sat May 13, 2017 6:32 pm

Yeah, I'm not sure why anyone expects this to end with anything but a magical handwave explaining how none of that really happened.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby TA » Sat May 13, 2017 8:22 pm

Thad wrote:
TA wrote:"Hero becomes his evil opposite" is one thing, but a) this is "hero was secretly always his evil opposite, from day 1, never a hero at all, Axis spy who continually sabotaged the allied war effort"

[...]

I mean, villains becoming heroes really isn't the same as heroes becoming villains. It's significant that the big example of a hero becoming a villain and coming back from it you have there, Superman thinking he's Darkseid's son, involved brainwashing. Which isn't the case here - we learn that Cap has been with Hydra since he was young, and was, again, secretly a spy for the Nazis during the entire war. This isn't Cap becoming a Nazi, this is Cap having always been a Nazi. There isn't room for a Steve Rogers atonement arc because there's nothing to atone for. This isn't the Cap we know making a mistake, a slip-up, a lapse in judgment, anything he would regret. The Cap we have known was always a lie, and the real Steve Rogers has always been a Nazi, Secret Empire tells us.


If the difference between "a supervillain brainwashed him into thinking he'd always been a supervillain" and "a supervillain used the Cosmic Cube to change history so he actually had always been a supervillain" is important to you, fine, go nuts. I see it as a pretty trivial distinction, myself.

Point is, I'm gonna guess the end result is the same: Cap's back to normal (and history is restored) but he still did all that stuff and feels guilty about it. Though it's possible that doesn't happen! Like I said, given the bad publicity Marvel may want to get Secret Empire out of its system as soon as it can. Maybe Cap even uses the Cosmic Cube to not only reset his origin story but to make sure Secret Empire never happened. Retcon it all away like Spider-Man's marriage (and that time he hit his pregnant wife). Guess we'll see.


I don't know if you just haven't been following this at all, but you have the framing completely backwards, and are missing the entire problem here. A supervillain didn't use the Cosmic Cube to change history so that he had always been a supervillain. A supervillain wasn't even involved. Cap had always been a Nazi, the Axis won the war, and the remaining Allies used a Cosmic Cube to change the outcome of the war and make people forget. Then, much later, a Cosmic Cube given sentience by SHIELD restored a weakened Cap to his full strength of her own initiative, including his erased memories, and he remembered his Nazi roots and swung back into action. The whole thing is written deliberately in the setup to be exactly what you're saying is the endgame - Cap is back to normal, history is restored. It's just that Cap back to normal is what's fucked. Changing Cap so he was never a Nazi would explicitly be creating another false history, it would be expecting brainwashing to fix the character. Spencer's fucked it this way on purpose, so that those easy fixes can't hold up.
のほも is such a good word?? the concept is kind of hard to fully get across in translation, but basically it means a feeling of pure, deep, platonic affection, and i think thats beautiful

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby zaratustra » Sun May 14, 2017 5:26 am

what if the cosmic cube retconned the cosmic cube retcon in and retconned another cosmic cube retcon out so

ok can we agree that having a device that can rework any plot point retroactively is not going to lead to coherent storytelling

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Niku » Sun May 14, 2017 9:11 am

Brentai wrote:It does seem like the setup to an otherwise routine Crisis-style housecleaning.

You watch, they're going to end this event by booting into the MCU.


They technically sort of just did on Agents of SHIELD. I mean, obviously without Captain America, and with a Matrix analogue instead of the Cosmic Cube, but it was still "several of your beloved heroes have always been Hydra agents in this alternate-history world and some of them are now remorseless monsters!" right down to retaining all those memories and feelings once they actually break free so they can have plenty of fun guilt-times. But Agents of SHIELD a.) set this up as a relatively short (6 episodes or so) arc throughout the rest of the season, b.) used it as a clear alternate reality versus a re-writing of known history and c.) didn't involve Captain Goddamn America.

I think Agents of SHIELD is pretty damn good these days is all I'm actually saying. But it was kind of interesting timing that this storyline happened at the same time as the Secret Empire stuff.
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Brentai » Sun May 14, 2017 2:17 pm

"What if everything you relied on for your safety was suddenly replaced by a bunch of pseudo-Nazis" is a storyline you don't need to dig very deep to come up with these days.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Sun May 14, 2017 3:39 pm

Brentai wrote:It does seem like the setup to an otherwise routine Crisis-style housecleaning.

You watch, they're going to end this event by booting into the MCU.


Housecleaning? Sure. Crisis-style? Nah, nothing that fundamental. Hell, they just merged the Ultimate Universe an event or two ago.

And we already know what the next relaunch is: teaming up legacy characters. Steve Cap teamed with Sam Cap, Odinson teamed with Foster Thor, Peter Parker with Miles Morales, etc. That really doesn't gibe with wiping out existing continuity, given how continuity-reliant the entire premise is. (Plus, they're on the "restore the original numbering!" sales gimmick this time; wait for next year for the next "relaunch everything with a new #1!" sales gimmick.)

I'm sure there'll be the usual tweaks to make it more MCU-like, though; there always are.

That's not to say there won't be a full-on COIE reboot in Marvel's future, mind; Quesada, Alonso, et al clearly don't like that idea and are doing everything they can to avoid it, but it's not like the New 52 was editorial's call over at DC, either. If Marvel has more of the kind of catastrophic sales numbers that it did in February, I think anything's on the table.

Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is a pretty good resource on this subject; Marvel's pushed the "restart from scratch" idea a few times. Shooter first pushed it in the late 1970s -- IIRC the idea was he was going to kill everybody off and have new heroes take over the existing identities -- but it leaked to the fan press and there was a huge backlash. A couple of then-Marvel staffers moved over to DC and masterminded COIE a few years after that. Shooter, meanwhile, rejiggered his idea and launched the New Universe; instead of using existing Marvel characters, he created new ones, and it was a pretty big failure.

Then there was Heroes Reborn in the 1990s. The Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and various adjacent characters got killed off in the Onslaught event (I alluded to this earlier when I was talking about the Thunderbolts); they relaunched in a new universe, with new origin stories, under Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld. (That image of Liefeld Cap with the ridiculous man-boobs? Heroes Reborn.) It was a dismal failure and everything went back to normal a year later.

Then, finally, Marvel had a success with the Ultimate line around the turn of the century, where it started a new continuity that was completely separate from the existing Marvel continuity, and allowed both to exist simultaneously. It did really well for a few years and was instrumental in establishing the look of the MCU, but ultimately a couple of things happened that doomed it: one, a couple of really bad storylines (Ultimatum killed a bunch of characters off in shocking and off-putting ways, like Blob eating Wasp; I am not making this up); two, the Ultimate Universe started heavily influencing the regular Marvel Universe, to the point where the Ultimate Universe really wasn't different or special anymore except that it had Miles Morales. So Marvel went with the obvious solution: get rid of the Ultimate Universe and put Miles Morales in the regular universe.

If corporate does start pushing for a reboot, I suspect that Quesada and Alonso (or whoever's in charge by then) will point to the success of the Ultimate Universe -- and also to the eventual collapse of the New 52 and DC's subsequent backpedaling in Rebirth -- and recommend another have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too solution along the same lines, a new, streamlined continuity for people who don't want to deal with decades of Marvel canon, while continuing to release books in that canon, too, so as not to alienate the existing fans they rely on for regular sales.

TA wrote:I don't know if you just haven't been following this at all, but you have the framing completely backwards, and are missing the entire problem here. A supervillain didn't use the Cosmic Cube to change history so that he had always been a supervillain. A supervillain wasn't even involved. Cap had always been a Nazi, the Axis won the war, and the remaining Allies used a Cosmic Cube to change the outcome of the war and make people forget. Then, much later, a Cosmic Cube given sentience by SHIELD restored a weakened Cap to his full strength of her own initiative, including his erased memories, and he remembered his Nazi roots and swung back into action. The whole thing is written deliberately in the setup to be exactly what you're saying is the endgame - Cap is back to normal, history is restored. It's just that Cap back to normal is what's fucked. Changing Cap so he was never a Nazi would explicitly be creating another false history, it would be expecting brainwashing to fix the character. Spencer's fucked it this way on purpose, so that those easy fixes can't hold up.


Yeah, and Peter Parker was a clone and Ben Reilly was the original.

Again, if this distinction is meaningful to you, go nuts. You really think this is going to end with anything but a big old reset button establishing that nah, just kidding, guys, good Captain America is and always has been the real Captain America, well, I may not have been keeping a close eye on the specifics of this storyline, but you haven't been paying attention to how superhero comics work.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Brentai » Sun May 14, 2017 7:38 pm

I had to look up that Blob eating Wasp thing and was really disappointed that it was normal-sized Wasp.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Büge » Sun May 14, 2017 10:07 pm

I feel like Jeph Loeb should have stopped writing mainstream comics after his son died.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:38 pm

Some interesting news out of Comic-Con so far.

Moore and O'Neill are doing a final volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and then retiring from comics (and apparently Lara Croft is in it?).

Morrison and Burnham are doing a sequel to Arkham Asylum, set in the future when Damian is Batman.

Noah Hawley is making a Doctor Doom movie.

Ed Piskor is adapting the first 280 issues of Uncanny X-Men as a 6-issue miniseries, and I don't think I've been excited about an X-book since the Whedon / Cassaday run.

Mark Waid and Chris Samnee are taking over Captain America. This is pretty much the biggest sign we've seen yet that Marvel thinks this whole Hydra Cap business was a huge mistake; those are the guys you send in when you desperately need to rehabilitate the reputation of an unpopular character and turn back the clock to the Good Old Days.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:54 pm

I read Marvel's free Generations preview and I still don't know what the fuck Generations/Legacy really is.

Apparently it's mostly time-travel team-ups (Jane travels back in time and teams up with Odinson, Laura travels back in time and teams up with Logan, Amadeus travels back in time and teams up with Bruce...), but not entirely? Because it looks like current Jean Grey (who is 1960s Jean Grey, who has time traveled to the present) is teaming up with the Phoenix in the present, and it is unclear whether Phoenix is the entity that impersonated Jean Grey, or the real Jean Grey manifesting the Phoenix powers right before dying back in Morrison's run because Christ, X-Men is confusing -- I guess technically it's still a time-travel team-up, but in the other direction this time? But as far as I can tell, the Kate/Clint team-up looks to be present day, no time travel -- though it's hard to tell from the pages here.

That last thing is kinda what I always assumed Legacy was going to be: team-ups in the present day, with a mentor/mentee thing going on, post-Crisis/pre-Flashpoint-DC-style. Because Sam interacting with (presumably de-Hydra-ated) Steve in the present day is a lot more interesting than Sam going back in time to WWII.

(I kinda love the idea that WWII is just lousy with time travelers at this point. There was a Deadpool comic that sent that up a couple of years ago. Hitler wondering why all these time travelers keep showing up and trying to kill him.

Valiant's Ivar, Timewalker did a similar gag, where they went back to WWII-era Germany and encountered a band of futuristic griefers who came back in time not to kill Hitler but to draw dicks on him.)

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Büge » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:41 am

Remember Fletcher Hanks's Fantomah? Chapterhouse Comics is bringing her back. They're also ditching that whole "Mystery Woman of the Jungle" angle.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby zaratustra » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:03 am

Does she at least retain the power to cause whatever the hell she wants to happen to criminals?

Like how the only feasible explanation for The Spectre in a modern setting is that he's literally an aspect of God?

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby des » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:57 pm

i probably could have posted this anywhere else but idk it feels like using my power for leaking a whistleblowing racist's self-fellating non-apology is worth it and the discussions here are just better. this is barely a leak -- issue comes out tomorrow, but gotta love those advances.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:13 am

The most amazing thing about Chaykin is that all you have to do is look at his art -- and I'm not talking about the controversial stuff; any sample will do -- and you can tell that he's the kind of guy who writes editorials like that.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Mongrel » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:12 am

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:05 am

Thought I posted about this this morning, but apparently I didn't.

Priest is taking over Justice League, with Pete Woods on art.

This is great news. Priest's been grousing for ages that the Big Two have never given him an A-list comic (as a writer; he was the Spider-Man group editor for awhile in the '80s); he's finally got one, and he's long overdue.

And I did have a moment of panic about "oh God, what if editorial sandbags him like when Dwayne McDuffie was writing Justice League, and stick him with a bunch of second-stringers?" But nope, there's Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in the preview art. (Plus Green Lantern, Simon Baz edition.)

Priest's a guy who's gotten considerable critical acclaim over the years -- Power Man and Iron First, Quantum and Woody, Black Panther, and now Deathstroke -- but never really had a commercial hit on his hands. Hopefully Justice League will change that.

It's funny seeing him so in-demand, too; as recently as a couple of years ago, he hadn't written a comic in over a decade. And now he's got Deathstroke, Justice League, and Inhumans: Once and Future Kings. He hasn't been this busy (at least, not in comics) since the end of the last century.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:59 pm

Deathstroke #25 centers on a Secret Society of Supervillains tribunal putting Slade on trial to decide whether he's still evil, with the Riddler acting on behalf of the defense. It turns into a philosophical debate where a bunch of supervillains sit around a table and argue about the nature of evil.

It is fucking glorious.

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