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JohnMcMahon

Fuckbiscuitshitangels (Warren Ellis)

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I really liked Doktor Sleepless. I would have liked to see how that was going to end too. Some comics are just too good for an ending. An ending would just let us down. Better to just think about how it might have ended instead.

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I wonder if you put together all of his unfinished works and squint a little, maybe we can pretend it's all one big story of the same guy

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We shall call it the Ellisverse. A comic book universe as vast and varied as the Marvel, DC, or Hellboy Universe....only the plots seem far less coherent.

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You can't include the Marvel and DC hackwork whoring Ellis used to do in there with the other stuff, then?

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Which stuff from Marvel do you mean? A lot of Ellis' best work was his early days at Marvel, if you ask me.

I can't think of a lot of Ellis Marvel comics that were horrid. I might be forgetting one or two books though.

Hellstorm, Excalibur, Doom 2099....I still rank a lot of that stuff near the top of Ellis' output.

Then, when he returned to Marvel, NextWave was one of Marvel's best books from around that time period.

 

Anything is fair game, so long as Ellis did not finish the series. I'm not sure if he left anything open-ended from his stints at Marvel, but I know Marvel took him off a number of series early, due to not liking his direction.

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Would newuniversal be an unfinished Marvel work? Though it came long after his initial 90s Marvel work...

 

Also, one last The Wild Storm interview/preview from Warren before the first issue hits tomorrow:

 

http://www.vulture.c...uperheroes.html

 

The second half of the interview:

Without giving away any plot details, what are you hoping to achieve with the revival?

For one thing, I want a new reader to be able to pick it up without any knowledge of the previous line and get a complete experience from it. This isn’t “25 years later.” This is a fresh start. What I’m doing is gathering up the entirety of the previous material, making it a coherent whole, and recasting it in the present day with an original story line that serves the legacy of the work and, hopefully, says something new.

 

I mean, there were a lot of Wildstorm books. And remember I said it was a pirate ship? The world-building was all over the place. I had to sit down and write a fucking cosmology for this project. Jim Lee made me invent 12,000 years of intergalactic history and I will never forgive him.

 

You’ve worked within the context of reboots/reimaginings of existing intellectual property a fair bit in the past, such as newuniversal and your various Ultimate Marvel projects. What are the challenges and opportunities such projects present? How much archival rereading do you do before tackling them?

Usually, I do an absolute ton of reading. A signature of my superhero genre work is that I usually have to read all of it, because I very rarely looked at that stuff as a comics reader. Back in pre-internet days, companies used to have to ship me huge boxes full of photocopies of archival material, hundreds of pages at a time. I had to write Planetary just to get all that out of my head again. I have the unusual advantage this time of having previously written a lot of the archival material, and having previously spent so much time immersed in it that I still retain a lot of the details.

 

Writer Steve Orlando has been doing acclaimed stories in the mainstream DC universe starring your Wildstorm characters Midnighter and Apollo. What do you think of his work on them?

I think Steve is a fine writer, and the book he writes is a good and necessary thing. So, early in the process, I made sure everyone knew I didn’t want this to extinguish Steve’s book. I’m making use of the DC multiversal structure. This is, if you like, “Earth-Wildstorm,” a parallel universe to the regular DC world. This means that Steve’s book takes place in the mainstream DC universe. That frees me to use Midnighter and Apollo, which I plan to — but they will be alternates, and very different versions. Steve’s book stands on its own two feet, and I don’t want to mess with that.

 

Ooh, since you’ve just spilled that Midnighter and Apollo will show up, who else can you say will be around? Elijah Snow and his partners from your Planetary series? Jenny Sparks? Dastardly megalomaniac Henry Bendix?

Well, dropping those names wasn’t much of a spoiler, and they’re a long way away in any case. I have a scheme. I can tell you that Henry Bendix will be along shortly — he’s an original, core Wildstorm character and it’s not like I was going to resist dusting off the creepy old git in any case. You shouldn’t, however, expect to see anyone from Planetary. I consider that book a closed project, and that whole thing had only the barest connections to the Wildstorm Universe anyway.

 

Even mentioning Jenny Sparks would be a spoiler. But you can expect a few more of my old Wildstorm creations to show up. But, for now, this is a book about the characters and themes that Jim and his friends created, way back when, and me, trying to do right by them.

 

 

Apparently Warren's also writing a Castlevania animated series for Netflix. Warren writing his non-Big 2 books, The Wild Storm stuff, and an animated series all at the same time? I have a feeling that at least one of his current projects is going to wind up unfinished...

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Which stuff from Marvel do you mean? A lot of Ellis' best work was his early days at Marvel, if you ask me.

I can't think of a lot of Ellis Marvel comics that were horrid. I might be forgetting one or two books though.

Hellstorm, Excalibur, Doom 2099....I still rank a lot of that stuff near the top of Ellis' output.

Then, when he returned to Marvel, NextWave was one of Marvel's best books from around that time period.

 

Anything is fair game, so long as Ellis did not finish the series. I'm not sure if he left anything open-ended from his stints at Marvel, but I know Marvel took him off a number of series early, due to not liking his direction.

Reading far too much into my statement, Christian: his work for Marvel and DC takes place in their established house universes rather than the Ellisverse, dig?

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OK. You called it "hackwork", so I assumed you thought it was sub-par creatively, but I guess you were just joking about that.

 

GottaGetAGrip-I saw that about the Castlevania animated series online, at some point, too. I was thinking that maybe Ellis is putting a lot of his time in to that animated series, and that's why something like Karnak ran so slowly.

I'm not interested in checking out a Castlevania animated series, but Castlevania was one of my favourite video game series.

He's probably the alter-ego Ellis on animated series. "I have to get this done early! I have to always be ahead of the deadline! Must never disappoint my animated series fans!".

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It was Ellis' own line towards non creator owned work between him starting his "pop comics" thing and starting doing stuff at Marvel again, was it not? I remember some snotty comments about working on characters somebody other than the worker owns being equivalent to prostitution, as a matter of fact.

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Oh, I guess he read that issue of Spawn written by Dave Sim. He certainly doesn't seem to have a problem working on characters from StormWatch though.

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I would buy a physical collection of Warren's Hellstorm - it's full on Goth Ellis, parts of it read super cringy today but I have a lot of love for it. Would have to include his four issues of Druid, too, the closing line to which is one of my favourite things ever.

 

First issue of his Wildstorm relaunch is alright, introduces all of the players and sets up the world - Wetworks kind of gets a mention so I'm quietly confident we'll get some kind of military unit somewhere.

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Oh, I guess he read that issue of Spawn written by Dave Sim. He certainly doesn't seem to have a problem working on characters from StormWatch though.

This was after that, Christian. When he was making a big thing of only doing creator owned comics after he was taken off Hellblazer? The decade he spent churning out miniseries and miniseries missing a final issue wrapping up the loose ends at Image and Avatar?

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I wouldn't characterise Ellis' comments about WFH as snotty, blunt might be a better word and even that's probably more a result of his writing style than actual sentiment.

 

Could we make a list of his unfinished works ? I wonder if maybe we're being too hard on him in that regard.

 

Doktor Sleepless

Fell

Desolation Jones

NewUniversal

 

I think that's it actually, which given how long he's been in the game isn't that much.

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I think there were a lot more than that, form the period Dog is talking about where he was writing mini-series after mini-series, most of it from Avatar. It seems like he didn't finish any of those books.

There was some book from DC he was writing that was supposed to be "the war on terrorism for Left-Wingers" back during the W. Bush administration, and I think he only got out like two issues for that one. I forget the title now. It wasn't that great.

EDIT:I looked, and it was Jack Cross.

He also gets flack over this because of how long it has taken him to finish books that he has completed. It looked like a number of books were never going to actually be completed, because of the long lag time after Ellis started getting bored with one project and spending time on another one.

 

As far as The Wild Storm.....wow, there were a lot of words in that first issue! Ellis must have spent a year scripting that.

I can't say that it did that much for me, because it didn't make a great deal of sense. I haven't read any series from WildStorm in a number of years, and I was never the biggest fan of the WildStorm Universe, so my memory of who characters might be is foggy. It might help if I had a better knowledge of WildStorm comics, I think. I'll give the second issue a chance to grab me though.

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As someone who jumped into US superhero comics for real with Wildstorm I might be too biased to answer your post but to my eyes it looked like the story's set in a world with two defining powers - the US government's IO and the private enterprise Halo and everything spills from that. IO sent Deathblow to kill the head of Halo but those plans were foiled by the sudden appearance of the Engineer, who just so happens to be a frustrated member of IO who would rather like her cybernetic enhancements removed as soon as humanly possibly please.

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That was helpful, John. Thanks.

Halo is the front-corporation which was owned by the Wild CATs, from the Joe Casey run. So, is this the same Halo Corporation, or is Ellis doing something different? Are Halo meant to be good guys, while IO are the bad guys? Or, is it all shades of grey, and neither side is truly positive? Or, am I jumping ahead?

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I rather liked this first issue and hope he can commit to the full 24. I loved the old WS universe so seeing a fresh take on it (with a slight twist) is cool.

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Shipwreck is running late now. I knew he got those first two issues out way too quickly. He's moving on to other projects now....hopefully, he hasn't forgotten Shipwreck.

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