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Old 2011-10-10, 08:33 PM   #21
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I think there are still just 4 Avengers books. I only buy Avengers and New Avengers and then read Secret Avengers on my PC but I think there's still the Avengers Academy book. I've not read it though and it could be cancelled, I don't pay attention really.

I haven't read Thunderbolts in over a decade. I had the first 30 issues or so but I traded them away for some old Avengers comics I think. Haven't paid much attention to the book since then. *shrugs*

There seems to be a general dislike of Bendis among the comic nerds I hang out with. I quite like the books of his that I read. He writes dialogue well.

As for old X-Men crossovers, maybe I'm jaded now, I dunno, but all the old crossovers don't hold up nearly so well to a reread compared to the stuff being done nowadays. Well, maybe Inferno does as it was really pretty good but everything after that is pretty crap. Except maybe Age of Apocalypse which is good but by no means great. Fatal Attractions is ok if you only read two or three of the comics. X-Cutioner's Song is mostly lame. Phalanx Covenant is ****ing awful. So is Operation Zero Tolerance. "OMG, the situation for mutants is getting even worse! For the fifth time this decade! OMG! You've just got to read all 15 titles now!" *facepalm*

I'll take any of the crossovers from the last decade over any of those from the previous one.
 
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Old 2011-10-11, 02:15 AM   #22
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I'll take any of the crossovers from the last decade over any of those from the previous one.
No, you're absolutely right. "Oh my God, the dead rise (ANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THIS STORYLINE AND A CERTAIN DC STORYLINE ARE PURELY COINCIDENTAL AND UNINTENTIONAL), but it's okay, cause it only cost us a few fifth-string characters and now Cypher is back, even though the only one that gave two shits was Chris Claremont!" is way better.

Or maybe you prefer, "There's been a vampire coup, which we'll devote an entire ****ing issue to, even though a single page of some random guy staking Dracula would have been enough! And they're after mutants 'cause why the **** not? And Blade is here! Remember him? Remember when he was relevant?"

Or perhaps, "There's an alternate reality! And Legion's to blame! And Magneto's leading the resistance! And there's a two issue mini-series with scrambled versions of popular Marvel characters! And Xavier is somehow the key! It's completely new and never done before!"

I'm not going to hold up the nineties as some Golden Age of Comic Book Literature, but let's not pretend the newer stuff is something it's not.

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There seems to be a general dislike of Bendis among the comic nerds I hang out with. I quite like the books of his that I read. He writes dialogue well.
Bendis is kind of a mixed bag. Ultimate Spider-man was pretty great, barring the later Norman Osborn stuff. His big event stuff wears thin, though, and I couldn't have been happier when they did the Sentry in.

Tony Stark, in particular, was done a massive injustice; why bother with the first actual character growth the character's gotten since "Demon in a Bottle", when you can just hit a big reset button? It's really difficult to keep track of "Good man dealing with the fallout of an unpopular decision that pitted him against friends and colleagues, resulting in incarcerations and deaths". "Alcoholic" is much easier to remember.

Yes, I know the point was to get everybody on good terms before the Heroic Age (and the forthcoming movie), but could there be a slightly more realistic way to do it? During Secret Invasion, I thought having Stark turn out to be a Skrull would have been the biggest cop out imaginable. Leave it to Marvel to prove me wrong in the worst way.

Also, Thor told Tony in no uncertain terms that their friendship was over. Given their run-in following Thor's return, it makes no sense that they'd immediately go right back to being teammates and friends (especially since the sheer number of Avengers teams means they don't necessarily have to be on the same one).
 
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Old 2011-10-11, 03:15 AM   #23
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I think the problem is that BIG storylines and/or reboots only provide a brief spike to sales; the commercial answer is to make as many of these as possible.


Black Panther is nearly as bad.
 
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Old 2011-10-12, 07:48 PM   #24
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Going back to the original post, a couple of addenda.

Nightcrawler - Dead in 616. Dead in Ultimate, where he was kind of not quite all there to begin with. Kurt's gotten kind of a raw deal simply because no one seems quite sure what to do with him.

The Constant Labeling - UXM has kind of been getting on my nerves with the cutesy labels on every character, every issue. Yes, there are a ****-ton of characters roaming around, but my guess is this: If someone's picking up an issue of Uncanny X-men, no matter how uninitiated they may be, they probably have a pretty good idea who Wolverine is. He doesn't need a label every time he shows up.

Dr. Nemesis - I know there's nothing particularly new and interesting about the character, but I can't help liking him. Also, the one label box I've rather liked was "Dr. Nemesis. PhD in Nemesising."

Shadowcat - Why did she have to come back so quickly? The headstone probably hadn't even been carved yet, and already she was back. Pity, as Astonishing was the first decent thing that had been done with her in forever. Now it's back to more Will They/Won't They crap with Peter.

Namor - Not overly thrilled with Namor lately. While I am glad they've been playing up the mutant thing, the character's becoming insufferable. It seems like everybody's gotten bored with making him a regal prick, and decided to play up the only other character trait he seems to have: Hitting on blondes in committed, long-term relationships. Also, as much as I tend to like Alex Maleev's art, the balding, unshaven Namor in Secret Invasion: Dark Reign looks like a sex offender.
 

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Old 2011-10-13, 05:38 AM   #25
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No, you're absolutely right. "Oh my God, the dead rise (ANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THIS STORYLINE AND A CERTAIN DC STORYLINE ARE PURELY COINCIDENTAL AND UNINTENTIONAL), but it's okay, cause it only cost us a few fifth-string characters and now Cypher is back, even though the only one that gave two shits was Chris Claremont!" is way better.
Surprise! Zombies are popular...

Besides, Marvel was doing the zombie comics before DC.

Yeah, terrible that they brought back a long dead character and made him infinitely more interesting. I hate when that happens too...

(I want the eye rolling smiley back!!!)
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Or maybe you prefer, "There's been a vampire coup, which we'll devote an entire ****ing issue to, even though a single page of some random guy staking Dracula would have been enough! And they're after mutants 'cause why the **** not? And Blade is here! Remember him? Remember when he was relevant?"
Not a crossover, but ok...

That aside it was a well written story, why are you complaining?
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Or perhaps, "There's an alternate reality! And Legion's to blame! And Magneto's leading the resistance! And there's a two issue mini-series with scrambled versions of popular Marvel characters! And Xavier is somehow the key! It's completely new and never done before!"
Yeah, not an original idea. Still better written than the original and not as cumbersome as it didn't interrupt any more than two titles and included about half as many issues.
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I'm not going to hold up the nineties as some Golden Age of Comic Book Literature, but let's not pretend the newer stuff is something it's not.
Who's pretending? I stand by what I said. The X-Men crossovers that have been done recently have all been better written than the crossovers done in the nineties.

It's probably something to do with how nowadays big stories like that are masterminded by one or maybe two writers instead of having to form a coherent story out of ideas from 8+ writers and editors.
 
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Old 2011-10-13, 05:39 PM   #26
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Yeah, terrible that they brought back a long dead character and made him infinitely more interesting. I hate when that happens too...[/i]
Matter of opinion, I suppose, as I find him quite dull these days.

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Not a crossover, but ok...
Not counting the two-issue limited series and the one shots, it spanned issues of X-men (Vol. 3), Namor The First Mutant, and Deadpool. How it that not a crossover?

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That aside it was a well written story, why are you complaining?
A whole lot of nothing happened. Jubilee and Wolverine got turned into vampires (which I already said I liked), but other than that, what really happened? A bunch of vampires showed up in San Francisco and did a whole lot of nothing.

Then, there's the big attack on Utopia, which seems to happen with about the same regularity as lunchtime, only for Dracula to return and put an end to the whole thing. Frankly the whole thing would have been a whole lot better if it had been a whole lot shorter.

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Yeah, not an original idea. Still better written than the original and not as cumbersome as it didn't interrupt any more than two titles and included about half as many issues.
I tend to prefer the original, personally, as it had some weight to it (figuratively, not literally). Age of X, coming on the heels of everything else that's been done recently, felt like nothing actually happened. It was treated as some earth-shattering event, some big deal where everything was going to change. But what changed? Anything? Yeah, Chamber's back to having furnace face, and Frenzy's trying to be an X-man. But what's different?

And yes, AoA interrupted a lot of books, but that's because they were altering all of reality. Age of X was able to be fairly self contained because it was a pocket universe, or whatever, but things like AoA and House of M need to have a large effect. Hell, AoA was fairly minor all things considered, as a case could be made that EVERY Marvel book should have been affected, yet wasn't.

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Who's pretending? I stand by what I said. The X-Men crossovers that have been done recently have all been better written than the crossovers done in the nineties.

It's probably something to do with how nowadays big stories like that are masterminded by one or maybe two writers instead of having to form a coherent story out of ideas from 8+ writers and editors.
And I disagree. I'm not saying that they're necessarily worse (on the whole), but I would certainly argue that they're better.

As for the committee approach, I wouldn't dream of saying that's the best way to go about things, but you can't tell me that putting Bendis in charge of everything has resulted in a better Marvel U. And that's the issue that I have: One or two people running the show leads to inconsistent characterization and more awful ideas finding their way in than if you had other writers and editors providing feedback.
 
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Old 2011-10-13, 06:29 PM   #27
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Matter of opinion, I suppose, as I find him quite dull these days.
You're crazy.
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Not counting the two-issue limited series and the one shots, it spanned issues of X-men (Vol. 3), Namor The First Mutant, and Deadpool. How it that not a crossover?
X-Men v.3 #1 is part one of "Curse of the Mutants" and at no part during the story does it direct you to read any other book. Not a crossover.
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A whole lot of nothing happened. Jubilee and Wolverine got turned into vampires (which I already said I liked), but other than that, what really happened? A bunch of vampires showed up in San Francisco and did a whole lot of nothing.

Then, there's the big attack on Utopia, which seems to happen with about the same regularity as lunchtime, only for Dracula to return and put an end to the whole thing. Frankly the whole thing would have been a whole lot better if it had been a whole lot shorter.
Better if shorter? You could say that about Onslaught (I think Cliffy did basically upthread) oh and Fatal Attractions too, you could definitely say that about AoA. Actually you could say that about just about every single crossover that has ever been done in the X-Men that you're praising.
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I tend to prefer the original, personally, as it had some weight to it (figuratively, not literally). Age of X, coming on the heels of everything else that's been done recently, felt like nothing actually happened. It was treated as some earth-shattering event, some big deal where everything was going to change. But what changed? Anything? Yeah, Chamber's back to having furnace face, and Frenzy's trying to be an X-man. But what's different?

And yes, AoA interrupted a lot of books, but that's because they were altering all of reality. Age of X was able to be fairly self contained because it was a pocket universe, or whatever, but things like AoA and House of M need to have a large effect. Hell, AoA was fairly minor all things considered, as a case could be made that EVERY Marvel book should have been affected, yet wasn't.
The X-Men books weren't really affected at all after AoA. Well unless you count adding another title and a few refugee villains popping up to do **** all. House of M reduced the mutant population to a couple hundred. The X-Men have been dealing with the consequences of that nearly constantly since House of M ended.

Age of X gave Rogue a personality, which she dearly needed. That's what changed. Now Legacy is worth reading. That's important if you ask me. We're seeing changes in New Mutants too from Age of X too. It's early to say what will be long term as the story just ended a few months ago though.
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And I disagree. I'm not saying that they're necessarily worse (on the whole), but I would certainly argue that they're better.

As for the committee approach, I wouldn't dream of saying that's the best way to go about things, but you can't tell me that putting Bendis in charge of everything has resulted in a better Marvel U. And that's the issue that I have: One or two people running the show leads to inconsistent characterization and more awful ideas finding their way in than if you had other writers and editors providing feedback.
I'd say the exact opposite. One person running a big story means that things are more consistent and less awful ideas find there way into the mix. To say different is completely counter-intuitive.

Bendis doesn't have any say in the X-Men books right now unless you know something I don't.
 
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Old 2011-10-14, 02:03 AM   #28
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You're crazy.
Why, because I'm sick of this compulsion to make every character an uber-badass? Why can't a character just have shitty powers?

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X-Men v.3 #1 is part one of "Curse of the Mutants" and at no part during the story does it direct you to read any other book. Not a crossover.
The scans I have say quite clearly at the end, "Hey, Namor #1! Storm & Gambit #1! Blade #1!"

Frankly, this is the problem I have with using a term like "crossover" in the first place, as it allows for things like Deadpool/Thunderbolts, but not for things like Schism or House of M. It's why I tend to stay more with words like "event" or similar.

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Better if shorter? You could say that about Onslaught (I think Cliffy did basically upthread) oh and Fatal Attractions too, you could definitely say that about AoA. Actually you could say that about just about every single crossover that has ever been done in the X-Men that you're praising.
My point was that AoX was a grand total of, what, ten issues, and didn't have enough actual story to fill half that.

Onslaught and Zero Tolerance I praised primarily for laying groundwork for months in advance rather than everything just springing up. Both can be read in a fairly condensed manner if one ignores the tie ins (one could easily get away with reading, at most, ten issues of the Onslaught storyline). I never said anything about the storyline, and my use of the word "great" was meant not in the "really good" sense, but in a more "grand" sort of way.

In the case of Fatal Attractions, I brought up a single issue of it that had stuck with me, the effect that it had (Wolverine was bone-clawed for far longer than anyone expected) and the manner in which it came about. I said nothing about the storyline itself, one way or the other.

Finally, in the case of AoA, yeah. I find it far superior to AoX, and I seriously doubt I'm the only one on the planet that does.

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The X-Men books weren't really affected at all after AoA. Well unless you count adding another title and a few refugee villains popping up to do **** all. House of M reduced the mutant population to a couple hundred. The X-Men have been dealing with the consequences of that nearly constantly since House of M ended.
There were threads from AoA that lasted for years afterward. The Bishop storyline dovetailed into Onslaught as I recall, and it's having a fairly major impact on Uncanny X-Force as we speak.

As far as House of M, I enjoyed it immensely, and I think that Decimation is by far one of the best things that has happened to the X-men (story-wise) in some time. The mutants were getting out of hand, and the whole persecuted minority thing doesn't really work if you outnumber the people oppressing you.

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Age of X gave Rogue a personality, which she dearly needed. That's what changed. Now Legacy is worth reading.
Rogue had a personality before Mike Carey and his ilk got a hold of her. It used to be that her powers informed her character, rather than being a shortcut to avoid having to make an effort. Rogue has always been one of the stronger female characters in the X-men, and if she's not, then you're doing it wrong.

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We're seeing changes in New Mutants too from Age of X too. It's early to say what will be long term as the story just ended a few months ago though.
I'll grant, maybe I'm being too harsh. It just seems like a lot of the newer storylines end, and only one or two things have moved a quarter inch and that's called progress; used to be, someone died, or a planet was destroyed.

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[i]I'd say the exact opposite. One person running a big story means that things are more consistent and less awful ideas find there way into the mix. To say different is completely counter-intuitive.

Bendis doesn't have any say in the X-Men books right now unless you know something I don't.
I brought Bendis up simply because, to my mind, he's a clear cut example of the dangers of one man running things, not because he's in charge of the X-Books.

My point is not to say that every issue needs to be written by someone different, or that every writer needs to have a say in the broad strokes, but simply that Marvel's policy of "Here's what's happening. Deal with it." isn't the answer. All I'm getting at is that, if Madrox is appearing in a story, maybe talk to Peter David before you just do whatever you damn well please.

Understand, also, that my point in bringing up a lot of the more recent storylines was not to say that they all suck (I didn't bring up Second Coming, for example, which I rather enjoyed). It's just that they seem to be happening with much more regularity than they have in the past.

For example, X-men Legacy breaks down as follows:

#226-7: Utopia
#228-30 & Annual: Nation X
#231-3: Necrosha
#234: The only issue that was in any way stand-alone
#235-37: Second Coming

That's a year's worth of issues that are tied into a mini-series or a major storyline. In the nineties, they came up regularly, but to that degree? You can't tell me something hasn't changed.
 

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Old 2011-10-14, 06:48 AM   #29
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For example, X-men Legacy breaks down as follows:

#226-7: Utopia
#228-30 & Annual: Nation X
#231-3: Necrosha
#234: The only issue that was in any way stand-alone
#235-37: Second Coming

That's a year's worth of issues that are tied into a mini-series or a major storyline. In the nineties, they came up regularly, but to that degree? You can't tell me something hasn't changed.
Yeah but that's just the reality of reading any Marvel comic since Civil War really. How many books had that stupid "Dark Reign" banner on it for almost two years?

At least amidst that ridiculousness the comics have remained relatively well written and interesting.

Uncanny X-Men has been one of the most consistently good Marvel comics since it was given to Matt Fraction a while back and now under this Gillen guy and it's remained relatively free from all of the big event stuff that Marvel has been doing to compete with DC. Well, up til Fear Itself but the Juggernaut story they just did for that was ****ing awesome!

They take a character who isn't badass and make him badass because a writer wants to tell stories about that character. Wants to show why that character's powers aren't lame. If the character is just lame it's because the writer is lacking in imagination.

As for the Dracula story. I didn't read anything but the X-Men book and it never actually said to be continued in some other comic but I get what you're saying and I'll agree. If for no other reason than it's not really important, the Dracula story was still really well written.

Rogue has had a personality before... Sometimes. Now she has one that doesn't completely revolve around her being all sad that she can't touch anyone like it has for the last 25 years. I'm going with that being an improvement...

Lastly, planets don't have to explode and characters don't have to die for a story to be good or have an impact on the characters. Sometimes bad guys attacking and the good guys beating them and saving people is enough to mean that something did happen.
 
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Old 2011-10-15, 02:47 AM   #30
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Yeah but that's just the reality of reading any Marvel comic since Civil War really. How many books had that stupid "Dark Reign" banner on it for almost two years?
I'm aware of the realities of the industry. That doesn't mean I have to be happy about them.

So, here's what I want to know. When talking about the failings of an upstart like IDW or Dreamwave, it is perfectly reasonable to say something along the lines of "If we don't demand more of them, they'll keep putting out the same crap." Yet, here we are talking about one of the big two, and it becomes "Well, that's just the way it is." Why is that?

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At least amidst that ridiculousness the comics have remained relatively well written and interesting.
For the most part, yes. I agree that Fraction's Uncanny was overwhelmingly positive (barring the cutesy descriptions), though I'll be overjoyed when Greg Land finally retires to do whatever it is untalented hacks do when they're not sucking the life out of comics. Fear Itself, I'm holding off on judgement. The story itself was great. If Colossus becoming the Juggernaut leads to good stories, then I'll be happy with it. If it becomes a retread of Marko's time with the X-men, or if it becomes yet another thing to try and make Peter and Kitty's relationship anything other than the dull waste of time it has been for the past few years, then I'm going to be less than overjoyed.

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They take a character who isn't badass and make him badass because a writer wants to tell stories about that character. Wants to show why that character's powers aren't lame. If the character is just lame it's because the writer is lacking in imagination.
Which goes back to what I was saying about a character being defined by their powers. There was nothing wrong with Doug, or Pixie, that a decent writer making an effort couldn't have fixed. If the character is lame, it isn't a consequence of their powers, it's because the people writing them clearly don't know what to do with them.

I never had any problem with Doug as he was back in New Mutants volume one. The character was often quite likable, and his powers were interesting (if not flashy). I have no overwhelming problem with bringing him back, I simply take issue with the way that it's been done. Admittedly, I'm still trying to track down some issues of volume three, so it's possible my feelings will change once I've got the entire picture.

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Rogue has had a personality before... Sometimes. Now she has one that doesn't completely revolve around her being all sad that she can't touch anyone like it has for the last 25 years. I'm going with that being an improvement...
I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, in the very first post, I said:

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The whole "Ah cain't touch somewhun without absorbing their powers and memories. Ah'm so alone." thing worked for a while, but has been wearing thin for the better part of a decade.
As I recall, I was trying to be conservative in saying "a decade".

The issue with Rogue in years past is two-fold. One part of it is the fact that Rogue is inextricably part of the Rogue/Gambit dynamic, which worked for a time, but has (more often than not) done them both more harm than good. The other is the fact that, as stated, her powers have become her personality. She's no longer the brassy, reckless, independent woman that she was for a long time before Gambit came along.

For his part, Gambit's become fairly crap in the last few years as well. When Rogue was showing an interest in Joseph back around X-men #60-70, Gambit put up a fight for the woman he loved. Few years ago, Mystique shows up with a potential suitor (one that Rogue immediately rejects) and Gambit's reaction is basically, "Whelp, that's it for me. Might as well join Apocalypse."

The X-books would be well serviced to get them both the **** away from each other, before they become like Scott and Jean.

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Lastly, planets don't have to explode and characters don't have to die for a story to be good or have an impact on the characters. Sometimes bad guys attacking and the good guys beating them and saving people is enough to mean that something did happen.
All I'm saying is, that if you're going to take the time and effort to do a big storyline like that, the result needs to be something more than "Jubilee becomes a vampire". That's something that could have been accomplished in a single issue of Uncanny, Legacy, or a half dozen other titles, rather than splashing a banner down the side of several books for months at a time and fooling people into thinking that they were in for something of consequence.

I'm not saying that a planet has to explode (that and the death thing were just the first examples to come to mind, based on the first "big" storyline that came to me), but if they're going to slap a banner on a title, there damn well ought to be a reason, especially with that many happening in that short an amount of time. I don't think it's being unreasonable to expect that, if Marvel's going to go to the time and effort to design a logo for the thing and get several writers and editors to toe the line, the status quo should be shaken just a little more.

As you pointed out, House of M rocked the X-Books to their core, as well as playing a large part in the development of Civil War. Second Coming marked the first time new mutants had appeared since Hope was born, who was herself a big deal. In Utopia, the X-men sealed themselves away on an island of their own, seeming to signal an end to Xavier's integrationist ideals. All of those storylines herald a fundamental shift in the way the X-books are handled; what did Curse of the Mutants accomplish, other than making Clevon Little's performance in Once Bitten seem menacing? What did Necrosha accomplish, other than to bring back Cypher and clear out a couple of nothing characters (I was more than a little shocked to discover that Diamond Lil was even still around)?
 

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Old 2011-10-16, 01:48 AM   #31
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I'm aware of the realities of the industry. That doesn't mean I have to be happy about them.

So, here's what I want to know. When talking about the failings of an upstart like IDW or Dreamwave, it is perfectly reasonable to say something along the lines of "If we don't demand more of them, they'll keep putting out the same crap." Yet, here we are talking about one of the big two, and it becomes "Well, that's just the way it is." Why is that?
Generally that has more to do with the quality of the stories though. The stories that Marvel and DC are telling are good. You just don't like the way they group the stories. Which is fine. You don't have to like them that way.

You do have to get used to it though. Stories that can be neatly grouped into one or even several TPBs aren't going away, at least not anytime soon. Sorry.
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Which goes back to what I was saying about a character being defined by their powers. There was nothing wrong with Doug, or Pixie, that a decent writer making an effort couldn't have fixed. If the character is lame, it isn't a consequence of their powers, it's because the people writing them clearly don't know what to do with them.
I agree and now Doug isn't lame. Now he's alive and useful and interesting. He was lame and useless before. He hung out with Warlock and really not a whole lot more than that.
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The issue with Rogue in years past is two-fold. One part of it is the fact that Rogue is inextricably part of the Rogue/Gambit dynamic, which worked for a time, but has (more often than not) done them both more harm than good. The other is the fact that, as stated, her powers have become her personality. She's no longer the brassy, reckless, independent woman that she was for a long time before Gambit came along.
Not anymore though. She's grown beyond all of that and now she's been given a personality just as dynamic. She's better now than she was in the past.
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For his part, Gambit's become fairly crap in the last few years as well. When Rogue was showing an interest in Joseph back around X-men #60-70, Gambit put up a fight for the woman he loved. Few years ago, Mystique shows up with a potential suitor (one that Rogue immediately rejects) and Gambit's reaction is basically, "Whelp, that's it for me. Might as well join Apocalypse."
Gambit has almost always been crap. As far as I'm concerned the only interesting thing that has ever been done with him was his relationship with Rogue and that got old pretty damn quick.
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The X-books would be well serviced to get them both the **** away from each other, before they become like Scott and Jean.
They've done that. Well, they put a halt to the relationship. Which is good.
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All I'm saying is, that if you're going to take the time and effort to do a big storyline like that, the result needs to be something more than "Jubilee becomes a vampire". That's something that could have been accomplished in a single issue of Uncanny, Legacy, or a half dozen other titles, rather than splashing a banner down the side of several books for months at a time and fooling people into thinking that they were in for something of consequence.

I'm not saying that a planet has to explode (that and the death thing were just the first examples to come to mind, based on the first "big" storyline that came to me), but if they're going to slap a banner on a title, there damn well ought to be a reason, especially with that many happening in that short an amount of time. I don't think it's being unreasonable to expect that, if Marvel's going to go to the time and effort to design a logo for the thing and get several writers and editors to toe the line, the status quo should be shaken just a little more.
I don't know what you expect to happen. The Dracula story wasn't nearly as big a deal as you seem to think it was supposed to be. Just because it had a banner on it's side doesn't mean it was an event. And it wasn't about Jubilee, her becoming a vampire probably had more to do with her just being completely useless and uninteresting for so long that someone decided to do something... anything with her. The story was about Dracula and it was a pretty well done. I don't care much for vampires and all that crap but they are popular right now so I can see why Marvel wanted to cash in. At least it wasn't phoned in. They actually did a pretty good job of making it a worthwhile read. It didn't need to shake up the X-Men, it wasn't about the X-Men.
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As you pointed out, House of M rocked the X-Books to their core, as well as playing a large part in the development of Civil War. Second Coming marked the first time new mutants had appeared since Hope was born, who was herself a big deal. In Utopia, the X-men sealed themselves away on an island of their own, seeming to signal an end to Xavier's integrationist ideals. All of those storylines herald a fundamental shift in the way the X-books are handled; what did Curse of the Mutants accomplish, other than making Clevon Little's performance in Once Bitten seem menacing? What did Necrosha accomplish, other than to bring back Cypher and clear out a couple of nothing characters (I was more than a little shocked to discover that Diamond Lil was even still around)?
Again, what are you expecting?! The story was good. It was interesting and well told.

Preacher is about a southern reverend, his sometimes GF and an Irish guy wandering around trying to bring god to account for being a prick. At the end what's changed? Not much really, but that's not the reason the book is so great. It's violent and crude and wonderfully hilarious.

Transmetropolitan? Almost exactly nothing changes for Spider from where he was to start the series to where he's at at the end. Still a great story.

Sometimes you just have to except that a story is good without something earthshaking happening. Sometimes the story being told being good has to be enough.
 
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Old 2011-10-16, 03:16 AM   #32
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You do have to get used to it though. Stories that can be neatly grouped into one or even several TPBs aren't going away, at least not anytime soon. Sorry.
And if Marvel wants to do that, that's their business. I'm fine with the decompressed storytelling that has become standard in the industry, and I realize that writers are always keeping one eye on the TPB. That's not the problem.

You know what? If Curse of the Mutants or Necrosha had been a six issue storyarc in one of the X-books, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I still would have thought they were crap, but they would not have crawled up my ass the way they did. It was only because they treated them like an "event" (and I'm sorry, but tie-ins and companion one shots spell "event storyline" to me) that I felt there was even a problem.

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I agree and now Doug isn't lame. Now he's alive and useful and interesting. He was lame and useless before. He hung out with Warlock and really not a whole lot more than that.
This new and amazing characterization must be in the issues I have yet to read, cause I've read about twenty (conservatively) issues of the current volume, and I'm just not seeing it.

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They've done that. Well, they put a halt to the relationship. Which is good.
I'm not holding my breath. Rogue and Gambit have called it quits more times than I can count, but they inevitably wind up back together. If this is the end for them, great, but I'd say it's fairly unlikely.

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I don't know what you expect to happen. The Dracula story wasn't nearly as big a deal as you seem to think it was supposed to be. Just because it had a banner on it's side doesn't mean it was an event.
It had tie-in issues across three titles, a two issue limited series, and a bunch of one shots. I don't think it's unreasonable that someone somewhere might have thought it was a thing. Not as big a thing as House of M, but a thing.

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The story was about Dracula and it was a pretty well done.
I disagree. With the exception of the Wolverine/Trojan Horse thing, it was a bunch of vampires doing approximately ****-all, while the X-men watched. Yeah, there was a bit of an attack on Utopia, which ended the minute Dracula came back and he and Cyclops smirked at each other for a bit.


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It didn't need to shake up the X-Men, it wasn't about the X-Men.
I'm sorry. I seem to have been confused, what with it saying "X-men" on the cover.

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Again, what are you expecting?! The story was good. It was interesting and well told.
Which clearly I would disagree with.

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Preacher is about a southern reverend, his sometimes GF and an Irish guy wandering around trying to bring god to account for being a prick. At the end what's changed? Not much really, but that's not the reason the book is so great. It's violent and crude and wonderfully hilarious.

Transmetropolitan? Almost exactly nothing changes for Spider from where he was to start the series to where he's at at the end. Still a great story.
Vertigo books carry a much different expectation than X-men does. I have a different idea of what's supposed to happen when the X-men fight vampires and zombies, than I do in picking up an issue of Transmetropolitan.

If you want to talk about the lack of character-defining moments in Bloodties, or a host of other X-men storylines, that's fine. But bringing in another book solely because it happens to be in the same medium will keep us going around in circles indefinitely. I could just as easily say that Age of X sucks because it's not Maus.

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Sometimes you just have to except that a story is good without something earthshaking happening. Sometimes the story being told being good has to be enough.
Which is fine when talking about Quarantine, Deathmark, or any other storyline taking place in a single book. But when I see something like Necrosha, Second Coming, or House of M, which takes place across more than one title, I don't think an expectation that something bigger than average is going to occur is necessarily unreasonable. If Marvel thinks it's big enough to warrant months of advance advertising and several tie-ins, why am I in the wrong if I think it fails to deliver on that expectation?
 

Last edited by Dead Man Wade; 2011-10-16 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 2011-10-16, 04:12 AM   #33
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What you're saying is that the real problem isn't the actual stories but that they weren't as grand as you expected them to be.

Fair enough.

A bit of advice: Pay no attention to the hype or build up or whatever and just sit down with your comics and enjoy them or not without expectation. Save yourself the disappointment...
 
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Old 2011-11-05, 08:08 PM   #34
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Sorry. Moving.

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A bit of advice: Pay no attention to the hype or build up or whatever and just sit down with your comics and enjoy them or not without expectation. Save yourself the disappointment...
Hype is largely irrelevant. I'd been reading a lot of these six months or more (often up to three years) after they came out. I didn't see the ads until right before I got around to reading them (half of the storylines I caught up on, I picked at random based upon perusing Wikipedia), so I hadn't had a chance to build them up in my own mind. The only expectation I'd had was the one that's been fostered by the comics industry in the 26 years since Crisis, that something deserving of a proper title is going to yield results (whether I like them or not), and that no longer seems to be the case.

If that makes me naive, so be it, but I doubt seriously I'm the only one that feels that way.

Moving on, I've now embarked on a super-enormous reread, starting with X-men #1 and carrying through to the present day. Pray for me.
 
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Old 2011-11-06, 12:09 AM   #35
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Moving on, I've now embarked on a super-enormous reread, starting with X-men #1 and carrying through to the present day. Pray for me.
Like 1963 X-Men #1? I did that like 5 years ago or something. It was crazy. I read everything, New Mutants, X-Factor, Excalibur... All of it. Took me the better part of that whole year. I of course have forgotten nearly everything. Still, even with all of the ups and downs and stuff it was very fun.
 
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Old 2011-11-06, 02:14 AM   #36
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Like 1963 X-Men #1? I did that like 5 years ago or something. It was crazy. I read everything, New Mutants, X-Factor, Excalibur... All of it. Took me the better part of that whole year. I of course have forgotten nearly everything. Still, even with all of the ups and downs and stuff it was very fun.
Yep, starting in 1963. I've made a pretty good show of it thus far (skipping 66 through 93 makes it easier to get to the triple digits). Out of curiosity, how did you handle the Uncanny/X-men bits? Did you read one, then the other, or did you do it concurrently? I'm leaning toward reading them separately (proper crossovers aside), as I have a decent enough grasp on continuity to know what they're referencing at any given time, but I'm open to suggestions.
 
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Old 2011-11-06, 02:22 AM   #37
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I read everything side by side.

I really hate the 90s...
 
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Old 2011-11-06, 02:33 AM   #38
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I read everything side by side.

I really hate the 90s...
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

Doing something like that's fine whenever they pare it down to a couple of titles a month, but when you have a situation (like the 90s) where there are fifteen ongoing titles at once, it's a little overwhelming. I'm thinking I might try to keep up on Uncanny X-men and X-men, but read the others on their own just to keep myself sane.
 
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Old 2011-11-08, 09:54 AM   #39
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I did that huge re-reading few years ago (caught up with current issues in the middle of House Of M, IIRC). There's a text file around the net called X-Men Continuity Guide or somesuch, which has some mistakes of course, but can be useful.

TBH, there wasn't fifteen ongoing series in the 90's, it was about ten, which is about how many there is now. And from what I remember, the continuity between them was much better and it was easier to work out an order of stories from various titles. Now (by now I mean few months ago, because I'm slightly behind) you have characters other than Wolverine appearing as regular cast in various titles and serious problems like how exactly Kyle and Yost's X-Force is supposed to be working with Fraction's Uncanny.

And it's even slightly harder when you're reading it in trades.
 

-Okay, the bomb's dropped. Life goes on. No amount of sulking or worrying changes that. We've got our own lives to live. In that regard, in five minutes time, I am using the autopilot on the Midnight Runner and taking it down the pub. If I go on my own, I go on my own.
-Well. Wait up, you horrible English git. While I'm around, you don't have to go anywhere on your own.
And, one by one, the others follow.
And, one by one, they begin to smile.
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Old 2011-11-08, 05:59 PM   #40
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I did that huge re-reading few years ago (caught up with current issues in the middle of House Of M, IIRC). There's a text file around the net called X-Men Continuity Guide or somesuch, which has some mistakes of course, but can be useful.
May have to see about that.

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TBH, there wasn't fifteen ongoing series in the 90's, it was about ten, which is about how many there is now.
I was exaggerating, of course. The X-books, like a lot of franchises, go through periods of expansion and retraction. You get a large crop of titles, then a bunch get cancelled. The number slowly creeps back up, and then a bunch get cancelled.

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And from what I remember, the continuity between them was much better and it was easier to work out an order of stories from various titles.
Depends. The continuity is much more difficult to work out, but a case could be made that less crossover makes it easier to follow one book exclusively.

Mind, I do kind of miss the days when the Marvel Universe was inextricably connected. The mass of Venom symbiotes cropping up in the middle of New York would have had an impact far greater than just New Avengers, for example. Yes, it could get confusing at times, but it contributed to a feeling that these characters all inhabited the same world (which is kind of important, given that a good chunk of Marvel's titles take place on or around the island of Manhattan).
 
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