I'm Just Sayin'…#47

There’s plenty of news from the New York Comic Con – that NEWSARAMA.com has happily compiled right here – and I gotta say, I’m a little disappointed that fans are not keeping Marvel’s feet to the fire with regards to THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN* and this period that should go down in comic book history as The Great Atrocity. My plan is to be at the conventions in both Chicago and Baltimore later this year folks, and I swear on my sainted grandmothers, I will be there with a sign if I must. Oh yes, I plan on getting thrown out of some places in 2009!

Reading the reports, I think Marvel had probably the most interesting news to come out of this year’s con, if only for the sheer absurdity of it all. In fact, I’m going to draw open the curtains of KNEE-JERK REACTION THEATRE and bring up the first one right now, and that’s the announcement of Chris Claremont’s next project – something called X-MEN FOREVER.

Quoting the NEWSARAMA article:

Flashback to the summer of 1991—older readers remember that summer well—every time they look at their five copies of X-Men #1. It wasn’t long after the launch of Marvel’s second X-Men title that Chris Claremont left his tenured 16 year position as writer of the X-Men for unknown pastures…

…but What If he hadn’t?

That’s a big “What If?” – so big, in fact, that Marvel is giving Claremont a new monthly title to pick up where he left off at the end of X-Men #3. This weekend at the New York Comic Con—Marvel announced its plans for X-Men: Forever. Written by Claremont and drawn by Tom Grummett, X-Men Forever allows Claremont to pick up where he left off…18 years ago—just minutes after the Children of the Atom believed they had destroyed Magneto once and for all.


I’m sure this comic is going to develop itself a pretty decent audience once it’s out there, but…has anyone really been asking themselves this question? By all means, write in if you have! I know I haven’t – and it was X-MEN #s 1 – 3 that got me into Marvel’s mutants in the first place.

There have been some bumps along the road with X-Men since Claremont’s departure, true – some of them actually happened during some of his brief returns to the titles, although that could easily be as much editorial’s fault as it could’ve been his –  but I really think someone is treading dangerous ground here, trying to recapture that original magic. I’m talking, headed into Frank Miller territory on this one.

But you know, now that I think about it, that in itself may be a hint that maybe somebody at Marvel thinks Claremont should take a cue from Ric Flair, and sit down before he falls down. (Lord knows it took the Nature Boy a good ten years before he got that hint…) Because in the larger sense of things, I’m starting to wonder if alternate timeline comics have become the new retirement home for creators who still have some cache to their name, but whose best work…

arguably, mind you…

…may already be behind them. Of course…

…if there’s anything we should have learned from comics by now, there’s really no such thing as absolutes – although between X-MEN 3: THE LAST STAND and the announcement of a new film adaptation of the Liefeld comic YOUNGBLOOD may very well be proof positive that Brett Ratner represents all that is wrong with comics in the modern day. But I guess we’ll soon see where this new project shall fall upon the spectrum. I’ll tell you this much – I’d love to have been in the staff meeting that conceived that little gem. I bet it’s the same one that saw THE AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL walk that Green Mile.

Here’s a quote  from Marvel’s “Your Universe” Panel that blew me away: The increasingly commonplace complaint that Marvel is doing too many “event” comics that cajole the readers into buying multiple books with seemingly no end in sight was raised. [Editor Tom] Brevoort offering this frank response: “My job is to make you want to read comics every month. Sort of what you’re saying is, ‘You’re making comics too good! They’re too exciting!’ And I feel good about that!”

Scuse me a moment while I give proper respect to a masterful sidestep of a valid question…

…okay. You’ll note the key words Brevoort used here was, “sort of.” Because you’ve got to do a fair amount of twisting and maneuvering to hear “Couldja go easy on the mega-events for a while, please? They’re wearing me out,” and come away with, “You’re making comics too good! They’re too exciting!”

If I were more snide by nature, I’d suggest that what Tom’s sort of trying to say here is, “Joey Q’s doing his part to squeeze every last penny from these horribly contrived event comics, so he’s counting on your fanboy compulsion to buy as many issues as possible, in the hopes that you won’t miss the latest nonsensical ‘moment that changes everything.’ And to make it easier for you to do so, they trot me out to the cons to spew forth with the talking points. See, he figures you’ll remember that my name was once associated with Kurt Busiek and George Perez’s tenure of THE AVENGERS and Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo’s run on FANTASTIC FOUR, so hopefully you won’t notice that I couldn’t be a bigger tool if I were hanging from the scruff of my neck in Aisle 7B of your local Home Depot.”

Once again: that’s if I were more snide by nature.

And with that said, I want it known that after reading SECRET INVASION: FANTASTIC FOUR and various other stories here and there that were somehow tangentially linked to CIVIL WAR, THE INITIATIVE, NO GOOD REASON – scuse me, I meant ONE MORE DAY or any others that Marvel has shoved down our throats, I will be tripling my efforts as it pertains to avoiding anything associated with DARK REIGN, and I want to thank THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #10 to thank for helping me keep that decision at the forefront of my brain. Nothing against Matt Fraction; I’ve become quite a fan of his over the last year. But for one thing, Matt – dude, you’re better than scenes like this…

…but I simply cannot buy that Norman Osborn could ever have a guy so out of his league like Tony Stark at such a disadvantage, that the latter would engage in such desperate tactics as those he performs to stay one step ahead of the former in the pages of this comic.

I mean, for the love of Stan – Tony Stark built his suit of armor in a P.O.W. camp with his own hands and his own brain. Norman Osborn stole the Goblin Formula from his business partner and when he tried to tinker with it, it blew up in his face. Ah well. It’s probably not Matt’s fault, per se. After all, my suspension of disbelief was already greatly strained by the notion that Norman could possibly make a subordinate out of this guy for even as long as a single issue.

The concept of a relative intellectual goober like Norman Osborn, suddenly a major player in the Marvel Universe, absolved of all previous crimes – including murder – because he shot a Skrull pretty much exhausted my supply. By the time you stuck him in knock-off Iron Man armor, I was already lost.


And I think you may have something there, Inspirational Poster Parody. Why, just last week I was in the shop and…

It was a total impulse buy…and totally worth it. SIMPSONS SUPER SPECTACULAR #8, in stores right now. Go get it.  Just sayin’, is all.

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