Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Who Made Who?


Karen: Sunday morning I was lazily reading some articles on the comics sites, since I like to keep up with what's going on in the books I no longer actually read, and I came across this article in Comic Book Resources by Brett White, which discusses how Marvel Comics are changing characters and long-time story lines to get more in line with the Marvel films. I knew some of this had been going on -for example, the increase in Inhumans in the Marvel Comics universe. But I was stunned to read this little tidbit: it was recently revealed that Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are NOT the children of Magento! What??  

Karen: Yes, a brilliant idea from 30 years ago apparently wiped out in order to make the comics more like the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron film. So who will be the twins' parents now? I don't know. Will they turn out to be Inhumans? Mutant inhumans? It's mind-boggling to me that Marvel feels the need to make a move like this.

Karen: It's obvious that they think that they need to bring their books more in line with the films, so that new readers (coming from the movies) will not be confused by discrepancies from the film universe to the book universe. But I think they are operating from a false premise. I really don't think there is much flow of readers in that direction. From what I can tell, you have movie fans, and comic fans who also are movie fans. There aren't a lot of Marvel movie fans who also decide to go read the comics.  Sad but apparently true.

Karen: So Marvel is essentially going back and altering/hacking away at its own roots, all for naught. This move, and others mentioned in White's article (replacing Nick Fury with Nick Fury Jr, who looks like Samuel Jackson, the worldwide Inhumans increase, books featuring movie and TV characters, etc) are unnecessary, over-complicating, and make the comics seem like slaves to the films. I'd much rather see the movies drawing from the comics, and not the other way around.




27 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Actually I never liked the idea of Wanda and Pietro being Magneto's children anyway - wasn't the Whizzer supposed to be Quicksilver's father or perhaps I imagined it. The modern comics version of Captain America has him wearing a military-style helmet with a chin-strap like in 'The First Avenger'.

Humanbelly said...

There was a period when Bob Frank (the original Whizzer) was understandably assumed to be the twins' father (and, being long established as twins, Pietro's father would of course also have to be Wanda's), but there was an astonishingly complicated, stormy night on Wundagore Mountain where an awful lot of folks seemed to pop at the High Ev's hidden compound in order to give birth to twins.
Honestly? I LOVED all of that! It was so unapologetically over-the-top in it's blatant soap-opera dynamic. And if anything, it made much more sense given the history between Magneto and the mutants. . . and the obvious (and unintentional!) physical resemblance between Magnus and Pietro. And, great Scott, entire HUGE storylines and events in the MU have hinged on the reality of that family relationship. I am SURE I've read at some point where the genetic similarities between the sire and the siblings were a factor in advancing some plot twist or other. . .

You know what? I bet this is somehow DisneyCorp-initiated. Until Disney can control the movie rights of the X-verse, they're likely to do whatever they can to avoid any support or connection to those films whatsoever-- to the point of an Orwellian revision of the source material. . .

HB

Doug said...

For what it's worth, I did see on Twitter that Andrew Garfield's turn as Spider-Man may be over. Admittedly, I did not click on the story, so I don't know of Sony is canning him because of low returns, or if this is part of a move to sell the rights back to Disney and the powers-that-be at Marvel Studios do not want him in the lead.

Good riddance, I say.

Doug

Edo Bosnar said...

To answer Karen's question, the comics made the movies, so comics should never have to conform to what's going on in the movies.

As for the case of Wanda, Pietro and Magneto, like HB, I loved that whole twist. It came about right when I was in the thick of reading the X-men and Avengers, and I remember being blown away when that reveal was made in that little one-page aside in an issue of X-men.

William said...

I said years ago that, while it's nice to finally have comicbook superhero movies coming to the big screen, it also has a big downside. That being what we are discussing here today. More people go to movies than read comics, and thus movies are a lot more profitable than comics. So as a result the movie versions of the characters eventually become the standard, and they then replace the comic versions in the public eye.

So, instead of your Spider-Man lunchbox having cool John Romita or Steve Ditko artwork on it, it now has a lifeless computer rendered image of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. I mean, how would you like it if your were a kid, and your only exposure to superheroes was from the movies?

"Thanks for the lunchbox mommy, but please don't make me watch that boring 2-1/2 hour movie about that sad guy and his nagging girlfriend again. You know, the one that has Spider-Man in it for a few minutes between the scenes of Peter Parker talking to his girlfriend, or talking to his dying friend, or talking to his aunt about the laundry, or something equally as exciting?"

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Marvel make most of their money from films these days, so its not really surprising if the comics should reflect that. Continuity is always changing anyway, and I don't find a closer tie in to the films to be intrinsically worse than, say, the Image-style makeover of the 90s. (Give it a few years, and it will be revealed that Wanda and Pietro are, in fact Magneto's kids after all - that's how it goes in a superhero universe).

I have more of a problem with the general influence of the current film and tv boom - bland "decompressed" writing and heavily photo-referenced "realistic" art and so on, with comics increasingly reading like little more than illustrated Hollywood pitches.

-sean

William Preston said...

The effect of other media on comics goes back at least to the invention of Kryptonite on the Superman radio show, so at least there's a long history of such interactions.

There's a new Nick Fury? Why? The reason Sam Jackson is Nick Fury in the movies is because they intentionally depicted the Ultimate Universe Nick Fury as Jackson--so there's the comic book influencing the hiring of an actor!

J.A. Morris said...

I agree that it's silly and I also doubt there's a ton of people who see the movies and then go look for the comics. They've been doing this for a while. When the first X-men movie was successful, Marvel put them in the black costumes they wore in the film.

But I don't lose much sleep over it either. When I think of comic book characters, I'll always think of them in the era when I read them. Wanda and Vision will always be a couple to me, even though that was wiped out 25 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, changing the comics to fit the TV/movie universe probably won't attract a bunch of new comic readers. Reminds me of when they added the Chloe Sullivan character (who I liked on Smallville) to the Superman comics. It didn't make me run out and start reading the comics again.

@Doug: I take it you're not a fan of Garfield's Spidey? I've only seen the first of Garfield's movies, and I felt Tobey Maguire was really well cast as Peter/Spidey, but I ran across this today over at io9:
http://toybox.io9.com/losing-andrew-garfield-could-be-the-saddest-part-of-a-s-1671312366/+katharinetrendacosta

Apparently some people love Garfield as Spidey!

Mike W.

Doug said...

Hi, Mike --

Others around here, notably Karen, may disagree with me, but I'd take the Tobey Maguire Peter/Spidey over Garfield's whiny, tic-y Spider-Man any day.

I enjoyed Hayden Christensen more as young Darth than I do Garfield as Spider-Man. Discuss that!

Doug

Edo Bosnar said...

Well, fine, Doug, but did you enjoy Jake Lloyd as the boy Darth Vader more than you did Garfield as Spider-man? ;)

MattComix said...

I think Marvel and DC both shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to drawing movie goers to the comics.

Think about it like this: If you're coming in cold and liked the Spidey movies and then when you go find him on the page he's wearing an Iron Man suit or having his body being driven around by Doc Ock..that's fanfic stuff! Only the fanfic mentality would decide that Spidey would just be so much cooler if he was Doc Ock in Peter Parkers body not just for a story but as the bold new direction of the entire series. Some fans even called that "evolution" of the concept. Really? What person coming from the movies would that make any sense or appeal to?



Doug said...

Somehow Christensen should have played Anakin as strong and self-confident, as he was in the first film (so yes, I'd take the kid over teen-Anakin). As Christensen ended up portraying Anakin, I didn't buy the "good Anakin" parts because he was such a whiny baby about everything -- not likeable at all. To me, there should have been a dichotomy, almost like the good side and then a growing-yet-hidden bad side. I just thought it was a mess.

Doug

Doug said...

But back to the topic at hand, can anyone announce the issues in which the big Maximoff reveal took place? I am certain that it was during my collecting absence in the early 80s, so it's really escaping me.

Thanks,

Doug

Edo Bosnar said...

Doug, you basically had to have been a regular reader of Avengers and X-men at the same time: in the "Nights of Wundagore" story, if you'll recall, it's revealed that a woman named Magda was the mother of Wanda and Pietro, and not Miss America (and hence, the Whizzer wasn't their father, either). Then, in X-men #125, there was this one-page interlude wherein Magneto, while recuperating from his last battle with the X-men on Asteroid M, is reviewing his video files and an image of a women (who looks alot like the Scarlet Witch) pops up, and he muses about how lovely his wife, Magda, was, and how much it hurt him when she ran away. And then he erases the file...

Anonymous said...

Doug,

I actually liked Tobey's Petey/Spidey.

Tom

Doug said...

Edo --

Yep. Got it! Thanks -- the ol' memory banks aren't what they used to be. And yes, I know we've reviewed those very issues here on the BAB, so it's not like it was an eternity ago that I read them!

Forgetful Doug

Doug said...

By the way, I just round to clicking on today's art samples and enlarging them.

What on God's green earth is Quicksilver wearing?!? Is that not pornographic? And, in general -- just give me good old fashioned Bronze Age four color art over what's on the blog today.

Sheesh...

Doug

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Unfortunate use of a colour pretty close to flesh tone for parts of the costume in that first scan...

-sean

Rick said...

To add to Edo's comment... It was Avengers 185 where we found out that Magda was the mother of W & P and not Miss America/Whizzer. The very next month in X-Men 125 was were Magneto was remembering about his wife Magda. Very cool as a reader to have that develop without Marvel actually spelling it out. As a regular reader of Avengers and X-Men at the time it was a real "A-Ha!" moment. Like we were let in on a secret.

Karen said...

I think Matt has a very good point. Many comics seem to have devolved to the point where they are only influenced by other comics, making them nearly incomprehensible to non-comics fans or casual fans(and nastily inbred). The original comics creators were guys who had many influences, from books to films to actual real life experiences (imagine that). They weren't "comic book fans" but came to the comics with a diverse set of interests and backgrounds and drew upon that.

Today's books have a tendency to navel gaze to infinity. There are times where it's good to have a comic fan writing a comic book; Roy Thomas turned out great stuff, so did Steve Englehart, Kurt Busiek.. but then you have this stuff like Matt mentions, with Doc Ock becoming Spidey for a year or longer, or how about the infamous (in these parts, anyway) Norman Osborn -Gwen Stacy love affair? Writers will grab on to minutia or ludicrous concepts and then stretch them out past all sense. Another reason I'm glad I'm not in the books any more.

I was interviewing Steve Englehart a couple of weeks ago for an article and he used the phrase "primal Marvel" when discussing the early days of Marvel (say 1963-1966) and I got to thinking about it, and even though that wasn't my time of coming into comics, there was something so pure and clean about Marvel in those days, even up to about 1974, when you could still keep track of all the characters pretty easily and nothing was too complicated yet. It's very pleasing to go back and read those books, before all the many breakdowns, break-ups, crack-ups, and screw-ups the heroes have gone through.

The Prowler said...

My views on this topic have been stated before and for the sake of brevity, I'll just post the headlines:

Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker's Only Girlfriend!!!

Avengers founded by Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye and the Black Widow!!!!

Peter And Gwen High School Sweethearts!!!

Everybody Tries To Recreate The Super Soldier Formula; Hilarity Ensues!!!!

And now for something completely personal. I love having grown up reading comics. I am, and probably, always will be a Marvel guy. But I'm an old Marvel guy, in every sense of the word. To wit, in my world, Peter's first girlfriend was Betty Brant.

Karen, despite what I just said, I can read in your words not only your love for comics, and the comics you grew up with, but your frustration with what has been done to the stories you love(d).

I won't begin to pretend to know your heart or your motivation, but I can't help but think of the posting on J Jonah Jameson and your postings on today. I can read how important those memories, those experiences, that "way of life" is to you. The same that I can read in some of the words in JJJ. He was a man who remembered what was and could see what was coming, and didn't like it, not one bit.

Totally off the subject, my mother grew up listening to As The World Turns on the radio. When she got older, that's what we would watch during the summer. When I began to read comics, especially those Marvel Reprints of their Sixties stuff, I could slide right in. I guess it was just the way I was raised.

(Have you seen the mistletoe? It fills the night with kisses. Have you seen the bright new star? It fills your heart with wishes. Have you seen the candlelight? It shines from every window. Have you seen the moon above? It lights the sky in silver).

johnlindwall said...

Karen: You mentioned that you are working on an article? Will it be published in (my favorite publication of all time) "Back Issue"? I've adored the articles you've done for them in the past, especially the Thor piece. Was that your most recent?

Karen said...

John, thank you, that's very kind of you. The most recent article I had published in Back Issue was on Marvel's Champions comic, back in issue 65, so it has been a little while! This article I have just written is on the Avengers-Defenders War and should be in an issue late next year.

I agree, Back Issue is a great magazine, perfect for us Bronze Age fans, and I am always thrilled when editor Michael Eury gives me the opportunity to revisit a beloved storyline or character.

Anonymous said...

Just to chime in on some of the topics here.....

I liked that Magneto was their father, but I admit, I didn't like the Avengers "arc" #185-187 (although you can't beat Perez and Byrne's art).....Mordred (lame), the Wundagore story (confusing), and BOVA (ridiculously dumb), it just didn't do it for me, especially coming after great villains like Absorbing Man and the Collector.

And count my vote for Toby MaGuire as the "superior" Spidey to Garfield's.....Toby really nailed the "nerdiness" of the character that Garfield failed to supply, IMO.

And count me among the Hay-ters of Christiansen's Anakin....the total lack of ANY chemistry with Amidala didn't help.

I've just discovered what I consider a real Star Wars gem, as I haven't been blown away by a cartoon since Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.......
STAR WARS REBELS is an excellent cartoon that reminds me of all the great things I LOVE about the original trilogy....just like Avengers: EMH did for the Avengers!

Kenn Dunn said...

I started reading Marvel when the twins were unaware of their parentage and only owed Magneto their allegiance due to his rescue of them. They went a looonnnngg time without parentage of any sort other than the adoptive Roma, so the Magneto reveal was interesting, but not that important to me. They have some Inhuman connections already, what with Pietro's daughter, and the two having been held hostage during the Kree/Skrull War (Kree all along!)and there's the added benefit that Mags will be left with one daughter who is not so much a mutant as just a run-of-the-mill recipient of her parent's power.

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