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Christian

Marvel's One World Order

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dogpoet    442
16 hours ago, Lou K said:

It's too bad you missed him at MCCC. I basically poured my heart out to him telling him what Seekers meant to me. He was quite appreciative. Nice fellow.

Which can make up for all sorts of failings in some of his other work, no question.

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I got to speak with him about his run on Ghost Rider several years ago, he did an interview for my blog, and he was so nice and agreeable to all of the questions I had for him about what was an important and defining set of comics for me in my youth.  I have nothing but the highest regard for DeMatteis, the guy is a class act.

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Lou K    1,054
4 hours ago, dogpoet said:

Which can make up for all sorts of failings in some of his other work, no question.

Truth be told I have only read Seekers, Brooklyn Dreams and Moonshadow so I really have no other reference

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dogpoet    442

I thought you'd read the JLA stuff he cowrote with Giffen as well?

If you're taking the line that only creator owned comics are significant, that's all of Hellblazer, Swamp Thing and Sandman out the window, for a start...

:wink2:

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Christian    734

I was pretty sure that you had read more by DeMatteis, Lou. Didn't you also read his run on Ghost Rider? I thought I remembered you agreeing with me that his run on Ghost Rider was the only really quality work on that character. Although, I do have a fondness for the early issues of that series, when Marvel allowed Jesus to be used as a character.

A lot of DeMatteis' best work was non-creator owned books (although Seekers would have to stand out as his best, period)....well, considering that he's been writing comics since the early-1980s, and has only had a handful of creator owned books in that time, the majority of his work has been for Marvel or DC properties.

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40 minutes ago, Christian said:

I was pretty sure that you had read more by DeMatteis, Lou. Didn't you also read his run on Ghost Rider? I thought I remembered you agreeing with me that his run on Ghost Rider was the only really quality work on that character. Although, I do have a fondness for the early issues of that series, when Marvel allowed Jesus to be used as a character.

A lot of DeMatteis' best work was non-creator owned books (although Seekers would have to stand out as his best, period)....well, considering that he's been writing comics since the early-1980s, and has only had a handful of creator owned books in that time, the majority of his work has been for Marvel or DC properties.

Ghost Rider's my boy, I run both a blog AND a podcast about the character.  He's had LOTS of great creative teams in his history, but DeMatteis (and Roger Stern before him, I sort of lump them together since they both had Bob Budiansky as artist/co-plotter) was responsible for the character's highest quality run, bar none.  Jason Aaron came the closest to matching him, I think.

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Christian    734

Yeah, I've read most of the Ghost Rider comics, and I can't really say much about the quality of most of the Ghost Rider comics. I've often found him more of a great idea for a character who often doesn't work well within the stories.

Those original issues, with Jesus and Satan, were pretty damn cool. Then, I didn't enjoy the book again until DeMatteis took over (well, yeah,, there was a brief Roger Stern run before DeMatteis that set up the DeMatteis run, which was fine too), and I consider that the high point of the Ghost Rider character. Then, yeah, I can't say that I found Ghost Rider worth reading again until Aaron. After that, it was downhill again, for mine.

Even Michael Fleisher, who I would expect to take the book in a direction like he did the Spectre (as the two characters are very similar), couldn't put together an entire run worth reading.

The problem with the original series, bar the DeMatteis run, in my estimation, was that creators never knew what to do with Ghost Rider....was he a horror character, was he a superhero, was he simply a supernatural superhero? The creators would tell very bland stories, for the most part, that didn't play up to Rider's strengths.

The Danny Ketch series did sort of go a way towards correcting this, by setting GR in a horror setting, but the majority of that series was written by Howard Mackie. Granted, it was the best work Mackie ever managed in comics. It was still over 50 issues of Mackie shaping the character though.

Plus, I really like the Johnny Blaze character. Danny Ketch wasn't anywhere near as interesting of a character. So, the second GR series was never going to appeal to me in the same way as I wanted the original series to do (but really only accomplished briefly as the beginning and end of that book).

I liked the idea of there being many incarnations of the Ghost Rider spirit, and all the historical additions to the character, with there being a Ghost Rider for every period of history. Aaron really pushed that idea, which was only touched on a few times in the previous Ghost Rider on-going titles (Fleisher hinted at it with the Phantom Rider in the original series, and then the post-Mackie issues fully introduced the idea in the second series, but the book was already headed towards cancelation by that point).

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I can't argue with any of your points, in fact I agree with most of them.  Ghost Rider IS a problematic character that Marvel doesn't know what to do with, and really never have, that has had just as many low creative points as high ones.  I'm a fan of most of the Mackie run on the character, it is by FAR the best work he ever did, but you're dead-accurate about the rest.  Fleisher did really well for his first year or so before degenerating into fill-in quality stories near the end, the earlier superhero style stuff by Tony Isabella and Jim Shooter was nothing to write home about either.  

The Felipe Smith/Tradd Moore series had such promise, with Robbie Reyes as a new Ghost Rider, but even that petered out after the first arc and never really recovered.

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dogpoet    442

I really like the tail end of the original series as well, but I think the Danny Ketch series is a lot better than it gets credit for, particularly (as Christian says) when it was obviously doomed to cancellation and the writer (Ivan Velez?) just went as gleefully batshit as he could towards the end.

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JasonT    438
11 hours ago, Ixnay by Night said:

I have nothing but the highest regard for DeMatteis, the guy is a class act.

^ That.

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Lou K    1,054
20 hours ago, dogpoet said:

I thought you'd read the JLA stuff he cowrote with Giffen as well?

If you're taking the line that only creator owned comics are significant, that's all of Hellblazer, Swamp Thing and Sandman out the window, for a start...

:wink2:

No, I was out of comics for a while and the 90s Vertigo brought me back, so I missed out on a lot and hadn't heard of JM before then

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Lou K    1,054
20 hours ago, Christian said:

I was pretty sure that you had read more by DeMatteis, Lou. Didn't you also read his run on Ghost Rider? I thought I remembered you agreeing with me that his run on Ghost Rider was the only really quality work on that character.

 

Did he write the Carnival of Fear stuff and the Centurious stuff?

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Christian    734

Yep, that was him. His run was from sometimes in the early-1980s.....maybe '83 or '84. I only read it later on though. I had no interest in a character like GR when I was a kid.

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dogpoet    442
11 hours ago, seventhcircle said:

dematteis looks like the long lost brother of chevy chase

In fact he is, but he tries to keep quiet about that. His family insisted that he change his name when he went into writing comics rather than a respectable field like stand up comedy. The name on his birth certificate is "Cannock Chase".

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