and Dead Tree Comics


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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:24 pm

Seems fitting enough for a guy working on a comic about a guy who suffers the horrific consequences of bigotry and then goes on to become a bigot and totally fail to see the irony in his preaching the same hatred.

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Mothra
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Mothra » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:18 pm

Büge, Mongrel, I am enjoying the hell out of this Conan comic.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Mongrel » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:00 pm

It's a really good series. Eventually it got kind of blah (a couple months after Cary Nord stopped drawing it, IIRC), so I dropped it (also money got a lot tighter, so it wasn't entirely on the comic), but the first 2-3 years it ran are fantastic.
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Büge
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Büge » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:21 pm

I actually bought it some years ago when The World's Biggest Bookstore was closing. I figured you'd enjoy it, considering you liked the last Conan book I sent you. ;)

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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:44 pm

That's the Busiek run, right? Busiek has written some of my all-time favorite comics.

Mothra, you've read Marvels, right? How about Astro City?

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby zaratustra » Thu May 11, 2017 5:25 am

so

did you know the current writer of popular comic magazine CAPTAIN AMERICA IS NOW A FUCKING NAZI used to run for office and fail

and his positions were just about what you'd expect

http://amazingcavalieri.blogspot.co.uk/ ... hitty.html

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Thu May 11, 2017 11:59 am

It's interesting to me to think about just how much of the Hydra Cap backlash is a result of Marvel's format.

Like, if they'd done the "Hail Hydra" cliffhanger and then resolved the storyline in the next issue and had Cap back to normal within a month, there would have been the same amount of initial backlash but most people wouldn't still be talking about it all these months later.

Or if this were the Silver Age, "Hail Hydra" would have been the opening splash page, and then the story would have jumped back in time to explain what happened and how we got to that point, and it would have been resolved by the end of the issue. If that had happened, I'm sure there would have been some negative reaction, but not nearly as much as there's been.

Or, hell, you really think you need 132 pages to tell this story? Make it an OGN. Don't serialize it. Don't drag it out so that people are reading about Nazi Cap for months. Do the whole thing in one book; beginning, middle, end. If people don't like it, okay, you've released one book that put people off.

But Marvel's married to the format of "six-issue arc, with multiple crossovers into other popular titles*, followed by a huge summer event series". They've got their shared universe structured so that the whole damn thing is built around the event of the year, and if that event turns out to be wildly unpopular, there's no way to pump the brakes.

Course, it also bears noting that if they'd just gone with AIM instead of Hydra, they would have saved themselves a lot of pain.

I think they'd still be dealing with much the same kind of sales drop, because let's be honest, it's a shitty story with or without Hydra in it, and people are sick to death of the event structure and how it derails all their favorite books* anyway. But at least there'd be no "Captain America is a nazi" headlines.

Plus, imagine the reveal splash with "Hail Hydra" replaced with "Designed Only for Killing." That would have been kind of awesome.

* seriously, what the fuck was a story about time travelers coming from the future to warn everybody about Nazi Cap, and Nazi Cap killing them before they could tell anybody, doing in fucking Deadpool of all places?

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Friday
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Friday » Thu May 11, 2017 2:50 pm

Cap is like the ONE holdout in the Comic Book scene that isn't some sort of compromised Skrull weirdo clone who made a deal with Satan to undue his marriage so he could make a tiny clone of himself and then get jealous of it while giving birth to ten symbiotes.

(Ok, he's probably had stupid storylines written about him before this. But his image is one of purity and the best ideals of America.)

So now they are writing a story where not only he gets made into something stupid, but that stupid thing happens to be a fucking literal NAZI (no I don't care if Hydra is slightly different in this alter-verse or about the cosmic cube, you don't have Cap saying Hail Hydra and then get indignant when people call him a Nazi) so it's like maximum overdrive retarded.

Like... I can't even come up with a analogy to illustrate how fucking stupid this is. I guess if Batman was revealed to be a... communist? No, that wouldn't be as stupid. Um. Cyclops is secretly actually a pretty chill guy?

There's literally nothing more retarded you could do with a comic book character than turn Cap into a Nazi. I literally cannot think of any possible storyline that would be more idiotic and contrary to what makes a character good.
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Thu May 11, 2017 6:09 pm

Well, there WAS that time Peter Parker hit his pregnant wife...

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby nosimpleway » Thu May 11, 2017 8:36 pm

Captain America: Hail Hydra.
Spider-Man: Not my problem, lol.
Victor von Doom: Actually Reed's a pretty cool guy, we bowl together on Tuesdays.
Punisher: Killing is wrong.
Hulk: Hulk stop and count to ten before Hulk react.
Iron Man: Water's fine, thanks.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Mothra » Fri May 12, 2017 12:49 am

Cap played us all like a damn fiddle...

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby zaratustra » Fri May 12, 2017 5:10 am

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Thad
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Fri May 12, 2017 1:02 pm

"Hero becomes his evil opposite" is a perfectly good story hook, though. Like that time Superman was brainwashed into thinking he was Darkseid's son. Or that time Dr. Octopus became Spider-Man. Or that time Peter Pan grew up and became a lawyer.

I think there *could* be a good story where Captain America becomes a nazi, and this is used as a metaphor for our current political situation; the nazis are in control of everything and most people don't even know it, they've even got the guy who everybody trusts the most, and Sam Wilson is the only guy who can save us but nobody's paying attention to the black sidekick.

I even think that's the story Spencer is trying to tell.

But it's not working out the way he and Marvel want it to, for several reasons, first and foremost being that the premise is *viscerally fucking off-putting*.

And yeah, on paper "Hydra Cap" probably sounded like just another variation on Superior Spider-Man or whatever. Hell, I'll even buy that most people up the writer/editor chain don't even think of Hydra as nazis. But it's still kinda baffling that they failed to foresee a backlash. Hell, even if it *were* exactly the same thing as Superior Spider-Man, Dan Slott got death threats for that shit.

Aside from that, there are the format issues I already mentioned. If the story had been resolved quickly, the heat would have died down by now. And people are just fucking sick of the event treadmill.

Third is...well, by all appearances, it just isn't very good. I haven't been picking it up, so I don't know, maybe it's actually better than it seems from what I've read online and in shitty forced crossovers like that issue of Deadpool. But to all appearances, it's not for me, mostly because I'M one of those guys who's sick of decompressed, event-based storytelling, partly because it's so cynical and I think we need more optimism in our superhero stories, and partly I just don't like the art.

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Friday
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Friday » Fri May 12, 2017 3:05 pm

You're not wrong that "hero becomes his evil opposite" can be made into a good story (I actually prefer "villain becomes his good opposite" or "villain is forced to confront the fact that his ideology might not be correct") but for more than the reasons you mention, (thought you're not wrong) I feel like specifically this undermines Cap in a way that, say, Winter Soldier (Captain Evil Communism) doesn't.

Emphasis on "I feel like". I don't really have a specific reason why turning Cap into a Nazi is a worse idea than turning whoever into whatever evil. It's just... distasteful, I guess. Your comment about it being *viscerally fucking off-putting* probably sums it up. So I guess you did mention the reason, nevermind.
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Mongrel » Fri May 12, 2017 3:13 pm

Serial Hero becomes his evil opposite only works if you can go back. A big part of cap's concept is his purity, as you said. But if you've turned and gone back, you might be good again, but you're no longer pure.
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Fri May 12, 2017 4:12 pm

Oh sure, and I'm guessing that a big part of the next arc will be Cap feeling guilty about what he did and trying to atone for it. (But maybe not. Marvel may want to run the fuck away from Secret Empire the minute it's over.)

One of the reasons it's a shame that Superman: TAS ended where it did was that it set up Superman having to deal with the consequences of his brainwashing -- his own guilt, the loss of the public's trust -- and we never really got to see that followed through (though it formed the basis of JLU's main arc some years later).

Responding to Friday: yeah, I would venture to say that "hero becomes villain" and "villain becomes hero" are the two most compelling narratives in heroic fiction. There's a reason that Lex and Lionel Luthor were the two most compelling characters on Smallville, and that's that they were moving along that same arc in opposite directions. Magneto and Xavier each becoming more like the other is probably the best Marvel example. And one of these days I *will* get around to writing that blog series I keep wanting to about how legitimately fucking amazing Megatron's character arc has been in IDW's Transformers comics.

The original Busiek (him again!) / Bagley Thunderbolts remains one of my favorite Marvel series; it hits all the right notes. Basically, it goes like this: most of the Marvel superheroes are dead (for reasons I won't bother going into); the public is devastated and scared, and villains are running amok. Then, a new superhero team shows up and saves the day. The new team earns the public's trust; everyone is relieved to have new heroes step in to fill the void.

Then, on the last page of issue #1, it turns out the Thunderbolts are actually a bunch of supervillains who are just pretending they're heroes as part of some nefarious scheme.

The story unfolds over the next year or so, with predictable results: most of the Thunderbolts discover they'd rather be heroes; some still want to be villains, and some have just want to be on the winning side, whichever side that is. It makes for a great redemption arc (and, meanwhile, Busiek had another book going, Avengers Forever, that revealed that in the future, one of the Thunderbolts would even become an Avenger).

And *that* redemption story owes a lot to Marvel's first big redemption story: the Avengers' first roster change, by Stan Lee and Don Heck. It was a major shakeup; all the original Avengers left the team, and Captain America replaced them with reformed villains: Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch (all of whom had been depicted as reluctant villains in their previous appearances).

Secret Empire really isn't like any of those things; I just wanted to talk about stuff I actually like.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Friday » Fri May 12, 2017 4:37 pm

Wasn't Megatron talking about Peace through Tyranny even back when he was a generic kid's show villain? I feel like his character has always had that aspect to him.

Anyway write that blog series.
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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby Thad » Fri May 12, 2017 5:56 pm

Probably. But I'm pretty sure we've never seen such a well-thought-out character arc for him. (Closest thing I can think of is the first episode of Beast Wars, where Megatron (not the same guy) explains that the armistice between the Maximals and the Predacons is a sham, that the latter are deeply bitter about the restrictions placed on them at the end of the war, and they've been biding their time waiting for an opportunity to rise up. This is reiterated at the end of season 2 when Ravage shows up, initially to bring Megatron in for rocking the boat but, once he sees what's on the MacGuffin Megatron stole, he realizes this *is* the opportunity they've been waiting for, and defects.)

What the various writers at IDW have done right is show Megatron's motivation and his evolving methods -- crucially, he starts out the story as, unambiguously, the good guy, and it's only later that he goes too far and becomes a monster. And, even more interestingly, they decided to have him repent: after six million years of war, he looks back at who he used to be and compares it to who he's become, and he's horrified. His story since has been of his attempt to atone, his desire to return to the lofty ideals he once held, and his fear that he'll become a monster again instead.

And, of course, his relationship with a bunch of Autobots who, justifiably, really don't trust him.

Of course, at any given point he's one toy company edict away from becoming evil again, but it's been a couple years now and that still hasn't happened. Which is great, because he's a lot more compelling this way.

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Re: and Dead Tree Comics

Postby TA » Sat May 13, 2017 5:37 am

"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" and b) Captain America and Nazis.

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.

Villain redemption is very tricky to do well. Fallen hero redemption doesn't really work at all. And this isn't really either one.
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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