Comics 101 Is in Session
Gene U. writes: A five part article on Hawkeye? Seriously?
Are there really more than 5 people in this world who care about Hawkeye?
I usually love your work so I am not sending this to be angry but 5 parts? One may have been OK but 5?
Please have a great day!
Tipton: Of course, you’re right. 5 chapters on Hawkeye is silly.
That’s why it’ll be at least 7.
Seriously, though, I can’t win with stuff like this. When I only do the short columns I get complaints that I never do the long histories anymore. When I do the long pieces, readers complain that since they don’t like that particular character, it’s a waste of time.
As long as it’s my name on the door, all I can do is tackle whatever I’m in the mood for on a given week and hope that at least some of the audience will be into it. If you’re not digging Hawkeye, that’s cool. Come back in a couple of weeks.
Tom A. writes: With all due respect to David C, if he cut his teeth on Maximum Carnage, it’s a wonder he’s still reading comics today. I found MC to be overly long and relatively pointless with Venom and Carnage going on this mad killing spree throughout New York, with Spidey trailing behind whining about how many people were going to be killed, and would he have to kill Carnage once he caught up to him.
As I remember it, this went on for some 15 or so issues, and I just gave up on it cause I was tired of the whining on Spidey’s part. And the fact that it was the Energizer Bunny of Stories because it kept going, and going, and going...
For the record, I enjoyed both Reign of the Supermen and Knightfall and I enjoyed the fact that Reign had a more lasting impact on the DCU as a whole, and introduced a couple of characters who are still around today (and at least one who is not, and was mourned about as much as Supes himself. (At least if you are a Teen Titans fan.).
As for Tom A.’s question (and yeah, my first thought was “Hey, I didn’t write that!”), on the “only see one” comic movie? Dark Knight. Hands down. I was glad, however, that I was able to see Iron Man.
Thanks, as always for your hard work and dedication to the site.
Tipton: Yeah, Carnage wasn’t a favorite of mine, either.
John K. writes: I just wanted to let you know what an amazing addition Retales is to the site. I love it. Jud is one hell of a writer and every column really hits me on a gut level. I actually live in Sherman Oaks and I’ve been in there often (I usually call House of Secrets in Burbank my home store). His column is just fantastic and just one more reason Comics 101 is one of my favorite stops on the net.
Tipton: Thanks, John. I’m happy to have Jud on the site. He and Carr at Earth-2 have always been a big part of the team behind the scenes, and it’s a pleasure to have Jud’s voice added to the mix.
Mike W. writes: Nice job on the Skrull picks. Looks like you hit it on the head with Yellowjacket’s replacement time seen in Mighty Avengers. Do credit Dan Slott with “Initive” showing how Skrull-Pym survived stuff in the book with his special powers but kept fooling people into thinking he just shrank. But looks like wrong on Spider-Woman, she’s been a Skrull since New Avengers started, which is surprising. As for Beast, some hope as that one story in that “Who Do You Trust” special with him and Wonder Man threw suspicion that “Lion Beast” may be a Skrull.
You forgot a pick: Storm. I’ve never been a fan of the whole “Black Panther and Storm were lovers years ago” thing seeing as how it’s never been hinted they even knew each other for 30 years of continuity. Having Storm, such a strong and independent woman, give up the X-Men to settle as Queen is a bit wrong and makes sense the Skrulls would want someone close to the Panther and Wakanda. Just my opinon but would be a cool pick.
Tipton: Yeah, I could definitely go with Storm.
Zak K. writes: Enjoyed the mini-article today, glad to see little updates during weeks when you’re big busy with paying work.
You make some good points about ways the Skrull reveals could be used to fix poor storytelling from the past. Although there are definitely MANY stories which would benefit greatly from a little “NOPE, it was Skrull, didn’t happen!”, I’m very leery of this technique getting used, even for the worst of the bunch.
So far, Secret Invasion has not been a One More Day/Infinite Crisis/Zero Hour retcon tool, and I’m hoping it stays that way. The idea of secret Skrulls is a very cool one, but I think it makes the event far less interesting if it becomes another editorial scalpel. Even for terrible offenders like Iron Man, I’d be bothered if Secret Invasion were treated as a tool for Marvel to retcon stories they regret.
So far the reveals have been pretty satisfying to me. Elektra, Antman, Spiderwoman, all seem to have been revealed as Skrulls for storytelling reasons, not retcon reasons.
Quite a tough situation for Bendis though. To give the story meat you have to reveal someone pretty major as a Skrull, but to do so without looking like a One More Day event is tough.
Tipton: What helps defend Bendis from the charge of cheap retconning is that it really does look more and more like he was planning this from the start. Which is pretty damned impressive.
Austin G. writes: Just read your latest column and wanted to share my two cents on Skrull reveals.
Iron Man: I’m of two minds on this one. On the one hand, I’d love to see “I’m a dick” Tony retconned away as a Skrull...on the other hand, I kind of want to see Marvel lay in the bed they’ve made, and deal with redeeming his character naturally, over time (of course, this would imply Marvel believes there’s anything wrong with his current depiction, and they don’t seem to think that at this point). All it would take is a good writer willing to give it a go; I felt that Dwayne McDuffie’s FF run did a lot to redeem the Reed we saw during Civil War.
So I guess in the end, Skrull or not, I’ll be sort of happy.
Luke Cage: Agreed 100%; I’d hate to see Cage’s recent resurgence retconned away in favor of his “Sweet Christmas” days. The notion of a street level Avengers leader is fantastic, and Bendis’s work here is some of his best. It’d be a shame to waste it.
Jessica Jones: Ditto; another well-developed Bendis character it’d be a shame to lose. Now making the baby a Skrull (not sure when that switch would’ve happened...maybe in the hospital?) could be interesting.
Yellowjacket: Obviously, the question here is how far back to take the switch. Personally, I wouldn’t want to lose the Wasp backhand, simply because it informed so much of his later character, for good and bad. The post-Busiek/Perez “I’m okay with myself” point you suggested would probably be about right. A Skrull Hank from that point forward would also wipe out all the lame on again/off again Wasp romances, as well as his culpability in all the Clor shenanigans (after all, Bill Foster was his friend and assistant for a long time).
Dr. Doom: The question here is when the Skrull Doom made the switch. Probably when he “returned” shortly before Civil War, when he tried to claim Thor’s hammer, though if Marvel really wanted to, they could go back a ways to several different points with Doom. Though I’d hate for the Waid/Weiringo Doom to have been a Skrull. Making Doom a Skrull (and working in the return of the real one to Secret Invasion) would give Doom a presence in a high profile “event,” something he’s been lacking lately.
Beast: I do not dislike Cat Beast as much as some (most) seem to. I feel no need for a switch here (besides, there are plenty of other, non-Skrull ways) to bring back Ape Beast, if you’re so inclined).
Spider-Woman: I could certainly see another switch coming here, because you’re right, even moreso than Cage, Spider-Woman has really been Bendis’s pet character for awhile now, and unless he’s setting up something huge for the “real deal” I doubt he’d do all that setting up just to tear it down here.
Spider-Man: Is there anyway a Skrull Spider-Man can make the whole One More Day fiasco go away? No? Alright, moving on (though I still want an explanation as to how Brand New Day affects Spidey’s role in the Avengers).
White Queen: Here’s one I definitely don’t want revealed as a Skrull; the notion that the slowly reformed White Queen we’ve seen since the mid-90s is a Skrull does not agree with me at all. I’ve really enjoyed the development of her character through the years, and I love her depiction as someone who isn’t fundamentally a good person, but still tries to be a hero, mainly out of devotion to her students. Also, I really like the Cyclops/White Queen pairing (and this is from someone who was entirely WAY too emotionally invested in the Scott/Jean relationship) and would hate to see it all wiped away. Plus, Cyclops has been dicked around with enough through the years.
Mockingbird: Glad to find out a Skrull died instead of her. As far as I’m concerned, retcons are made to address deaths that are lame “we hit 100 issues! Let’s kill someone!” stunts, like hers was.
Phoenix: Jury’s still out on this one for me. Jean’s died and come back so many times, it’s a cliche, and her death was a fitting punctuation mark to the end of Morrison’s run. But at the same time, at this point, finding out another “replacement” Jean died instead of the real one would almost transcend the cliche to the point of head-shaking absurdity which, in its own way, could be fun to see. Plus, it would be nice to see Cyclops NOT go running back to her upon resurrection (and please, Marvel, if you do bring her back, that’s the way it needs to go down. I don’t want Emma becoming another Maddie Pryor).
Anyway, those are my thoughts. Good post, and keep on keeping on!
Tipton: Yeah, I’d definitely want to keep all the Waid-written Doom in FF. Anything after that would be cool.
George writes: This is the second mail i’ve sent you, in what seems ages from the first. I ‘ve been picking up some recent marvel comics, trying to get into the whole “secret invasion” storyline, but i have some questions.Some are relevant, and some not.Thought you might be able to shed some light:
1) What’s the deal with the whole “spider-penthouse” at the new headquarters of the Avengers? I know it was made at the time that spidey and stark were buddies, but why? And why does it stay there, now that spidey is with the new avengers?
2) In Ms.Marvel 25, Stark is talking to a SHIELD agent. The agent asks the question:
“-And we are sure this is not warbird Carl Danvers that was captured some time ago?
-Positive.Warbird is still locked away, doped to the gills and barely clinging to life.”
What’s the deal here?
3) Going a few years back, at the Volume 3 of the avengers (Busiek-Perez, i think was the creative team), there was a sub-plot about a second Hank Pym, in his Yellowjacket persona i think, stalking the Hank Pym in his Goliath persona who was part of the team. Was that ever resolved and how?
4) After Planet Hulk was done, it was seen that Stark and Richards was not to blame for the explosion that destroyed the Hulk’s ship. Has it been revealed who was? Does that tie at all in the whole invasion scenario?
And going a bit at the other side, after your recommendation i bought a few of the issues comprising the “one million” storyline. Somewhere towards the end i think, Zauriel makes a comment about a secret he has....you remember anything about that? Seemed like a big thing, but i can’t find anything relevant in the issues i got.
Keep up the good work, and thank you for the articles.A pleasure to read.
Tipton: 1) That thing on top of Stark Tower was the Sentry’s headquarters, actually. Nothing to do with Spidey.
2) There were multiple Warbirds running around that series-- that one was, I think from a parallel timeline or something?
3) Yeah, the two Hank Pyms were reunited toward the end of Busiek’s run.
4) I think one of Hulk’s minions was somehow responsible.
And I forgot the Zauriel secret, I’m afraid. Anyone?
Jeff F. writes: They should have left “Brand New Day” where it was and just have made Spidey a Skrull...but I suppose that’d be too much akin to Spidey was a clone and we all remember how well that went over so it probably wouldn’t get any better fanfare this time around.
Course then again, Spider-Man’s been so much shit since the Clone Saga (and well before it), maybe not. Maybe it was an idea before its time and that time is NOW.
I agree with Iron Man but it just seems too on the nose.
Tipton: yeah, a Spidey-Skrull really would have horked people off...
Eddie C. writes: “SPIDER-MAN: Nothing to be gained here, as making Spidey a Skrull wouldn’t solve the whole Mephisto kerfuffle . .”
Why wouldn’t it? Just say he’s been a Skrull since before “Civil War” so that Mephisto really made the Skrull forget Mary Jane, thinking it was Peter Parker, and the real Peter can resume his marriage since MJ knows anyway or just get a divorce. Sure, it wouldn’t make sense that Mephisto would be duped by a Skrull since he has all this power all of a sudden (enough to change entire timelines), but who cares if it makes sense. Mephisto’s a Skrull, too!
It would certainly explain why Peter has acted so inconsistently since Civil War, with the unmasking and all.
Tipton: I think it would just really piss fans off to pull that particular rug out from under.
Eric O. writes: Final Crisis #2. Whoa. I hope you had the chance to read it.
I submit my homework to the Professor.
100% Spoiler Alert On. Shields up! Hailing frequencies open!
I’m really digging the heck out of Final Crisis #2. So much that I’ve gone back and re-read FC#1 a few times. J.G. Jones’ art is like the band Rush...either you really love it or you really hate it and I guess Neal Peart really IS Gawd. I love Morrison’s voices for the characters...he really gets it. I love having fun and this is really good fun...or bad fun because the bad guys appear to be only warming up.
PS. How many issues do you expect IDW’s “Angel: After The Fall” to run? You’re a Buffy-Man. Also I think I’m kinda looking forward to the next Star Trek movie...I keep 100% movie trailer/preview spoiler-free totally ever since Star Wars Episode I..I mean I woulda lost my $h!* if I didn’t see Maul’s double sided lightsabre until the Theed duel but iDigress...
Tipton: It was definitely an improvement over the first issue, but I’m still not loving it yet.
I think AFTER THE FALL goes to 15, but I’m not sure.
No opinion on TREK till I see some actual footage.
Picture of the Week
What’s the word on the new PUNISHER movie?
See you next week.