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Christian

Marvel's One World Order

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JasonT    443

Christian, by way of consolation, here's J.M. singing for you.

 

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dogpoet    463
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    1,064
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    463

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    752

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    752

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    463

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    443
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    1,064
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    1,064
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    752

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    463
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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Here's an interview I did with DeMatteis many years ago about his Ghost Rider run.  I'll say it again, guy was so genuine and appreciative to talk about work he did 20 years ago (at that time).  My goal is to get him on the podcast at some point as well, I'll squee like a fangirl in heat if that happens.

Vengeance Unbound - J.M. DeMatteis Interview

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Punisher: The Platoon # 2...god damn did I miss Garth Ennis writing the Punisher.  So far this series is everything I was hoping it would be, and the way it so closely ties together so many things from Ennis' MAX work is amazing.  You've got elements from "Born" and "Valley Forge, Valley Forge", naturally, but there's also stuff from Fury: My War Gone By that works itself in effortlessly.  I noted that Marvel's January solicitations had the first volume of Ennis' Punisher MAX Omnibus, and if it doesn't include Fury and Platoon in the last volume, I'll be greatly disappointed.

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JasonT    443

The first three issues of the Chip Zdarsky / Adam Kubert relaunch of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man have been great stuff. Zdarsky is an underrated writer, and a perfect fit for Spider-Man and for Marvel. The world would be a better place if 99% of superhero comics were done the way he does 'em.

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Due to a Ghost Rider guest-appearance, I picked up Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur # 20 this week, fully expecting it to be terrible.  Instead, I found it to be an endearingly charming and often-times really funny comic.  I was pleasantly surprised!  Won't be following the rest of the series, but I certainly didn't regret buying it.

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dogpoet    463

And there's a shrinking number of Marvels you can say that about...

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Christian    752

The problem was that Marvel decided to release too many "girl geniuses" comics at the exact same time. Another case of Marvel's editors doing absolutely nothing for their pay. It might have made sense to say, "Hey, we just launched a series about a girl super-genius, maybe launching another one right now would hurt interest?". Nope.

There was Moon Girl, who was one of the smartest people on the planet.

Then, there was the new Wasp, who was a teenage girl and one of the smartest people on the planet.

Plus, we had Riri Williams taking over for Tony Stark as Iron Man, who was a teenage girl and one of the smartest people on the planet.

And, the new Ms. Marvel series was basically a prototype for all of it. Kamala wasn't one of the smartest people on the planet, per her comic, but she was a teenage girl who was very bright and interested in science. It was doing some of the same things, and doing them first, and far better back when it first started. I lost interest in that title over time though, as it seemed to lose any purpose as Marvel went forward with more relaunches. Probably one reason it lost so much momentum was that so many other books were doing the same sort of thing, but upping the ante, by having the "teenage girl as one of the smartest people on the planet" aspect.

Granted, Riri Williams story was written by Brian Bendis, so it was not charming or funny.

However, the Unbeatable Wasp comic was very much stepping on the toes of the Moon Girl comic, and the sales on the new Wasp book were terrible. I enjoyed the Unbeatable Wasp book more than the Moon Girl book. The writer may have fixed the problems as the series went on, but I wasn't that interested in Moon Girl when it started, because the character annoyed me with her smugness. Something that the new Wasp or Riri Williams didn't have holding the character back.

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dogpoet    463

To be honest, the smugness is one of the few things I like about Moon Girl: you know how insufferably conceited kids that age can get if they think they're better at something than those around them, right? It doesn't make her likeable or appealing as a character, but it definitely rings true that the smartest teenager on Earth would be completely up herself.

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