Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bracketology -- 2nd Round (second half)!

Doug: Welcome back to the second half of Round 2 of our Bronze Age brackets. If you are late to the game, no worries -- you can check out the beginning of the story here, as well as our first foray into this round.

Doug: I think we've seen a little anxiety as we've gone on with some of the match-ups. There was quite a bit of love for Linda Carter's Wonder Woman earlier in the week; alas, she was no match for the birth of the graphic novel. However, isn't it interesting that the graphic novel faced one of the closer contests of the 1st round, somewhat narrowly moving on past Luke Cage. But if you're going to feel bad, shed some tears for Superman: The Movie. It moved past the treasury editions in the closest win of the 1st round, but just got hammered by Giant-Size X-Men #1 over the past few days.

Doug: Looking ahead to the latter half of this round, some things that jump out at me are the all-DC match of Jeanette Kahn's takeover of the company paired with the DC Implosion. What are you going to do with that? A phoenix-like rise vs. a bottoming-out. And at the bottom, the relaxation of the CCA vs. the Englehart/Rogers Batman. Food for thought on that one, particularly if you buy Englehart's claim that he basically "wrote" the 1989 Batman film. But isn't that the fun of this whole exercise? Everyone brings a different perspective to the voting.

Doug: So below is the updated bracket, so you can see what lies ahead. You might also note that I've gone back and added the raw votes to each match-up. I think that's interesting as we watch all of this play out.


Anonymous said...

I’m really baffled that the B&W mags vs 2000AD is going so vehemently against 2000AD. Maybe it’s because the B&W mags were too expensive for me as a kid, but I always thought their impact on the comic-buying public was relatively minimal in the days before the graphic novel.

2000AD launched the careers of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Bryan Talbot, Brian Bolland, Mike McMahon and God knows how many others. Moore alone is responsible for Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, Swamp Thing, LXG, revitalising Batman and so much more.

I’d like to see the list of legacies that we have from the B&W mags match Moore’s CV alone, let alone him & all the others put together.

Rant, rant, moan, moan, bloody Americans, etc


dbutler16 said...

First, to Richard's point, I did vote for 2000 AD, and me a bloody Yank.

I can't believe that Swamp Thing is beating Star Wars from Marvel. The Star Wars comic has been described as having saved Marvel. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it nevertheless shows how incredibly important the Star Wars comic was.

The other "losers" I've voted for are Julie Schwartz on Superman, as I don't think Superman vs. Spider-Man had much impact on the Bronze Age, though it was a nice event on itself, and Jeanette Kahn takes over DC, which I think had more long term impact than the DC implosion.

Doug said...

Lots of close races so far. If history from the first two polls holds, we still have around 50 voters who will let their thoughts be known (it would be nice, however, if we could get all 300 of our daily visitors to vote; not sure why anyone would not...).

Richard, points well-taken on 2000 AD. However, speaking strictly as a stupid American (a term we endearingly called each other in 2008 when I and 9 colleagues were on a Holocaust study tour of Poland), I've never read a copy of 2000 AD. Yes, I know the significance now, but my lens was focused on what I know, and what I knew as a child. And those B&W magazines were revolutionary, and so... naughty! Even to sneak a peek at them on the magazine rack at the grocery store made me constantly check over my shoulder to see if Mom was approaching.

What we need is for the European contingent to vote -- as we say here in Chicagoland, vote early and often!


Anonymous said...

Dbutler - Yup - agree with you on Star Wars. It would be pretty hard to overstate its impact in almost any entertainment arena. Get 5 million people in a room and ask them that question!

Supes vs Spidey was interesting but nothing more. I think it was quite ironic really because Marvel & DC had PRETENDED to be bitter rivals up to that point, but really DC were Marvel’s distributor for most of the 60’s and it was all Martin Goodman golfing with Jack Liebowitz* and Stan Lee trying to poach his buddy Carmine Infantino back for a huge salary (which probably didn’t go down well, but as Infantino stayed at DC until they sacked him, it probably didn’t do much damage).
Supes / Spidey was proposed as a movie, but with Superman in pre-production at Warner and the Spider Man TV series in production, the movie rights were too complex, so they settled for a Treasury. Although Infantino appears as DC’s Ed in Chief inside the cover, he was long gone by the time we read it.

After that, and during the DC Ex and Im plosions, I think it did all get a bit more genuinely nasty, (and Corporate) during Jenette Khan’s period in office. So, the happy merger of two supposedly bitter enemies which was supposed to be represented by Supes/Spidey was really the beginning of the mask becoming the face.

Hi Doug – I never read much 2000AD myself ( just couldn’t afford that and Marvel) but you couldn’t escape the significance here. Regarding the naughtiness of the B&W mags, yes, I agree. I particularly remember one of the vampire ones (was it Legion of Monsters?) featuring a lot of buxom nubiles in negligees just asking to be bitten in the neck.
Whilst it clearly did a lot for you & me personally, I’m not sure it had the same impact on the medium of publishing per se.


*note for historians: the actual events of the world’s most expensive game of golf are hotly disputed. Our dear, departed friend Les Daniels repeats the version which Roy Thomas said was Stan Lee’s favourite after-dinner story, and indeed was the version repeated by Julius Schwarz for years, so it would seem to be coming from both sides of the fence. However, part of the fallout of the Kirby court case was that an alternate version emerged wherein it was the Head of Independent News, which owned DC and distributed both DC & Marvel, who let slip that DC was doing very nicely thank you with its new team of super heroes. Actually, I think it makes a lot more sense that way...he had everything to gain and not much to lose.

Doug said...

It is refreshing to see three really close races at this point in time. I hope that holds up. The first half of this round didn't hold much drama.


dbutler16 said...

A Supes / Spidey movie? Wow. I think that would have been weird, actually. But interesting.

david_b said...

"Buxom nubiles in negligees"...?

Yep, that pretty much summed up my interest in those b&w mags, as I suspect most avid male horror geeks.

"Hey, life is short, cheesecake is perfect acceptable."

More appropriately, as with the larger-formatted 'Spectacular Spiderman' issues in the late 60s as well as the trade paperbacks, I always found both DC and Marvel's early ventures into other trade magazine formats promising and exciting, paving the way to the later graphic novels.

Along side those 'Famous Monsters' and early Trek fanmags, it was great to see the more mature formats on the newstands, like the POTA and Gray Morrow-drawn Space:1999 magazines.

Steve Does Comics said...

Yup. I voted for 2000AD too. I loved the black and white Marvels mags but I can't think of what their long-term significance was, whereas 2000AD had a major long term effect not only on the British industry but the American one too.

I voted for Star Wars too. I wasn't big on the strip but, as it's credited with saving both Marvel US and Marvel UK from bankruptcy, it surely qualifies as one of the most important comics in the entire history of American comic books, let alone the Bronze Age.

Garett said...

This time went with my heart--love Tomb of Dracula, Swamp Thing and the B+W mags. Star Wars had no impact on me comic-wise, though I loved the movie. I think Wrightson's art will live on and represent the Bronze age many years from now, so that's the "significance" in the question.

I had a tougher time with X-Men vs Heavy Metal, as HM opened up European comics for me, a whole other world of incredible artists and a different kind of storytelling. X-Men's in no danger of losing this round, but it's a tie for me!

Inkstained Wretch said...

Regarding 2000 AD, it just wasn't available in most places in the U.S. in the Bronze Age. I had never even heard of it until well after all of the creators Richard mentioned were well-established in the U.S. thanks to their stateside work.

I'm not saying it wasn't a great mag, but for a lot of people in the U.S., it was like it never existed.

Those black and white mags on the other hand were widely available. Savage Sword of Conan alone blew many a 13 year-old's mind.

Humanbelly said...

Wow, this whole 1/2-bracket is reminding me what a staunch, unyielding Marvel Zombie I was at the time. There are clearly whole industry-shaking events that I was (until now. . . truly) completely unaware of. 2000AD? Never heard of it. I kid you not. Or if I did, it never made any impression at all at the time. DC Implosion? I had to look it up on Wikipedia (which did shed some light on what happened to Metal Men, Aquaman, and all those war titles 'way back when. . .). Star Wars saved Marvel?? Did. Not. Know. That. I bought the first 8 issues or so, and thought "enh" when a humanoid rabbit character was introduced (is that right?), and let the title go.

Man, I had to do research just to be informed enough to vote responsibly! And clearly there's a well-taken civics lesson in there for all of us. . .


Ram said...

The amount of talent in HeavyMetal is (in my opinion) huge...but I guess X-Men had a bigger impact on the Bronze age..
I agree with Richard on 2000 AD also...But can anything compete against Marvel at that time? I mean The Bronze age is basically defined by super heroes..
And even one of the few not Marvel titles that I though had a chance from was GL/GA, and it also lost to Wolverine's first appearence (Which I don't think it did anything particulary to the Bronze Age)...
I think Marvel will get the top 4

Humanbelly said...

Wow, okay-- NOW we're startin' to cut to the bone-! (Or at least removing some reluctant skin cells from the outer epidermal layer. . . )

The Gwen Stacy/GL-GA throwdown! Could go either way, yes? I'm still pullin' for Gwen, though.

Daredevil/Wolverine? Could come down to Doug tossing a coin.

A thought on Conan/X-Men: At the time- during the Bronze Age itself, so to speak- Conan was HUGE, remember? He was one of the hottest thing in comics for quite some time, while the X-Men did indeed struggle to establish themselves, as has been noted already. In hindsight, it's ironic that our beloved barbarian disappeared from Marvel completely (Dark Horse owns his rights now, yes?), and our young mutants went on to OWN the company, pretty much.

It's sort of the same with Kirby at DC. Although much of that body of work has been re-evaluated and found a new, appreciative audience in recent years, it pretty quickly fell off the map. Most of those books could be found in the 10 for $1.00 bin for years & years (OMAC, for instance. Man, how many copies of that issue with the disassembled girl did they print, anyhow??)) The graphic novel proved to have staying power, as the recent discussion of THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL would attest to.

And I think poor ol' Swamp Thing came up against an unfortunate opponent, in that his book never could have been so brilliantly re-vamped were it not FOR the relaxation of the CCA! It's a chicken/egg discussion that he comes out on the wrong side of.
I have to say, it was one of the very few DC bronze age titles that I kept up with.


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