Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bracketology: the Final Four

Doug:  Finishing up this week and next!  Vote early and often, as they say here in Chicagoland (shoot, dead people vote up there...).  I thought it would be fun, as we're nearing the end of this little exercise, to trip back almost two years in time and see what you'd nominated in an Open Forum we'd run.  You can check that out here.  And, as always, updated brackets are below.

Doug:  So, today's query is --

Given the conversation that took place in the earlier thread (make the jump, above), and the way this bracketing has played out, are there stories that you feel so strongly about that you just know they would have come through to this end had the original bracketing been set up differently?


Karen said...

I'm crushed that Kree-Skrull War didn't make it to the finals, but I guess Gwen Stacy is a good story to lose to. I wanted to see K-S War vs. Crisis.

Now it looks like it could be an intensely personal story versus one of epic consequence. This should be interesting.

humanbelly said...

Oh golly- yeah, I feel like K/S War could have made the finals w/ a different pool configuration, as possibly could have the Korvac Saga. But Crisis, Gwen & Phoenix are all reliably solid finalists. X-Men: DoFP is definitely the weak member here, IMO. Didn't it squeak past a couple of close contenders?

I certainly agree w/ Karen's prediction for finalists here, although Karen, it's kind of worth noting that, although the scope and scale of the two stories are at wildly different ends of the spectrum, they both still result in the same kind of irrevocable, devastating personal loss for the respective male protagonists. Their true love dies in front of them as a consequence of an ongoing fight. That loss defines both stories.

Doug, I was looking over that link you recommended-- boy, pretty much the same solid list of stories, wasn't it? Now I'm kicking myself for not recommending the MTU Black Widow/amnesia storyline that, I think, Edo mentioned. I totally thought it should be on the list, but was too self-conscious of it being given the ol' hairy eyeball. . . the completely unexpected relationship between Spidey and Natasha's "cover" personality totally elevated that storyline.

Hmmm. Future bracket idea? Do you suppose something as 12-year-old-centric (and yet universal) as a "who could beat who" tournament could work? Perhaps within documented power levels? I mean, otherwise the Hulk just wins. I can sense delightful, heated discussions could be had by the bushel. Or chaos could ensue.


Arion said...

Days of Future Past and no Dark Phoenix Saga?

Quite an interesting list, anyway. Oh, and I just wanted to say that I really like your blog. You can check out mine here:

I'm sure you'll find lots of good things there.


Doug said...

I wish there was a way to seed the storylines. But shoot -- as subjective as the nomination process is, how about trying to get everyone to agree on which bracket and bracket position each story would fit? Man...

But I've enjoyed this exercise, and at this point am a bit surprised that the deaths of Gwen and the Goblin are only a few votes in front of Crisis. And you know what? When we did this the first time, with major events of the Bronze Age, the final came down to the aforementioned ASM story squaring off against the Claremont/Byrne X-Men run. So if nothing else, we're consistent around here!


Edo Bosnar said...

I'm also quite surprised that the Kree/Skrull war didn't make it to this point, given the profile of this blog and most of the people who comment here. Also, I'm surprised "Days of Future Past" made it this far as well - it's a good story, but certainly not better that many of the others that got knocked out. I think different starting positions might have led to a slightly different outcome (and I'm still smarting over the rather early elimination of classics like "Panther's Rage" or the original Manhunter story by Goodwin and Simonson...)
And yes, humanbelly, the Black Widow amnesia story is one I bring up and recommend whenever I can; it's my absolute favorite multi-part Marvel Team-up story.

dbutler16 said...

Doug, just wondering if, at the end, you'd post the scores of each match in the brackets. For instance, the eventual winner's closest match might not have happened in the finals, and could have even happened in the first round.

Doug said...

dbutler --

For whatever reason (forgetfulness, laziness), I never plugged in the vote totals to my master bracket. Polls don't archive in Blogger, so regretfully I cannot tell you the voting tallies of any of our polls! I know I did include that information the first time we did this, but sadly I dropped the ball this time around.

My apologies!


Anonymous said...

It’s a good point that dbutler makes. I wonder how many stories actually got higher overall numbers than stories which subsequently outlasted them. It’s all about who you’re up against.

At the start, I made the obvious prediction it would end with K/S vs DP, so I was surprised in a good way that K/S got knocked out, even though it’s an absolute fave. And in the year of the Avengers movie too !!!!!! Damn, we’re a tough audience!

In terms of what to do next time, how about this: our favourite stories NOW. Everyone has to re-read (in whatever format) everything that we’re voting on, so no one is voting on the basis of the impression it left 30 years ago (when you were ten and hadn’t read so much), but how good it still seems after all the water under the bridge.


dbutler16 said...

Bummer Doug! Oh well.

Good idea, Richard, but you'd need to give me a few months to read through all of these!

Edo Bosnar said...

Richard, your suggestion, while interesting, is not only problematic due to the reason noted by dbutler - i.e., the time needed to re-read these stories. I'm probably not the only one here who currently does not have all of these stories in my possession, and barring an unexpected monetary windfall or a visit to some BitTorrent site, that's unlikely to change any time in the near future.

david_b said...

I haven't commented on the 'favorites' brackets simply because of the subjective nature of 'favorites' themselves, not sure what the outcome is supposed to represent, other than a popularity poll of favorite stories..

The first bracket of 'significant events' held interest because it gauged how we (as a BAB community) felt about certain key events and how it shaped comics during and post-Bronze, with our typically marvelous/in-depth cross examination of viewpoints. As for bracketing everyone's 'favorites'..., I didn't see as much examination potential, nor what voting would ultimately represent.

But I'm glad everyone enjoyed it.

Richard's idea on favorite stories now is excellent, since it allows us reflection on how stories have aged with us (or vice versa..).

With collecting 20c comics now to fill holes, or ones I only saw house ads for back in the day, I ponder whether the story indeed would still have been among my favorites back when it first came out, or if it would have just been another comic (hence diminishing/tainting my interest in it now, having overlooked in my collection for 40yrs now..). As Karen has said, looking at old gems with 40+yr older eyes, per se. It harkens the argument whether the virtue of us having a particular comic back 40some yrs ago in and of itself made it memorable, or if it is indeed classic, sans our childhood memories. I still say it's a joyful combination of both.

humanbelly said...

I'm impressed that Crisis has made such an effective surge. While it wasn't my vote-getter, it's certainly a finals-worthy story. And it wouldn't be bad at all to see DC represented in our kinda Marvel-biased pastime, here. . .


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