Editorials

Marvelette Missives – Kickin’ It Old School

I recently went to an old school comic con. If you’re lucky, you know what I’m talking about – a bunch of dealers crammed into a hall, maybe a couple of artists selling original sketches, but no celebrities or photo ops in sight. Sure, a few people showed up in costume (I think there was an actual costume contest at some point, though I didn’t stay for it), but it was primarily a crowd of comic book lovers looking for deals. I would say about 80% of the space was long boxes and most of what was on offer was golden, silver and bronze age issues with some current releases thrown in (especially ones with variant covers). More

Marvelette Missives – Calm Down, Son

Last week there was a major reveal in the new Captain America comic. For geeks living under a rock, the last page of the book had Captain America saying “Hail Hydra”. Obviously a huge twist and could mean major things for the character. So, of course, geeks took to the interwebs immediately to decry the horror of such a phrase coming from a beloved character. (As an aside, it really ticked me off that everyone threw the “no spoilers” cry aside and posted about this from early morning, before the majority of people could even get to their comic shop and buy the issue. Also, the loudest complainers seemed to be those who don’t even read comics!) More

Marvelette Missives – Getting Serious

I am not usually into “serious” superhero comics. Don’t get me wrong, I do read comics that would not be considered “fun” (like Outcast), but when it comes to heroes, I prefer things a little less serious (Deadpool is my favorite character, after all). But there are a couple of books on my pull list that qualify, especially The Ultimates.

Those who know me might be a bit surprised that I enjoy this title enough to buy it by the issue (I read a lot of trades). The Ultimates is a group of science-focused heroes spending the majority of their time in space, who address the “ultimate” problems of the universe. It’s a serious group with a serious mandate. So why do I like it?

First, the characters. When the revamped title was announced last year it caught my eye because Captain Marvel is on the team and she’s in my top five faves. The other members are Black Panther, Ms. America, Spectrum and Blue Marvel. It’s an interesting mix of intellect, powers and personalities.

Second, the problems. Yes, the purpose of the team really is to solve huge problems. The first one they deal with is Galactus and his habit of devouring worlds. Seriously… HUGE problems.

Third, the plot. Al Ewing is a really engaging writer and I like the direction he’s taking the plot. It’s not just a matter of the team solving a problem – he addresses the consequences and repercussions of their actions within the team itself and from the outside.

The Ultimates may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I’ll admit that it helps to be a Marvel fan who has read some classic storylines and knows the characters. But if the big issue, more serious side of things is what you’re looking for in comics, I would recommend the current run.

Marvelette Missives – Find Your Tribe

As a geek, I have a lot of friends who are also geeks (amazingly, not ALL my friends are geeks). Sure, we have different fandoms and levels of devotion, but the overarching geekiness is what unites us. We understand each other not just because of the fandoms, but because we have dealt with being the fringe, the unpopular, the “nerds”. And we’ve survived without giving up what we love. More

Marvelette Missives – The Binge

Not surprisingly, I binged Daredevil season 2 over the weekend (I mean, what comic geek wouldn’t?). So I was thinking about the relatively new (to the mainstream) concept of binging television shows in general. Is it more of a geek thing? Why do I like it so much? And is there anything wrong with a good binge?  More

Marvelette Missives – Do Ratings Matter?

On Geek Watch One this week, we briefly touch on the now-defunct Comics Code and the MPAA and the seemingly arbitrary manner in which comics and movies are rated. Yes, this stems from a discussion of Deadpool and R-rated comic book movies. But obviously it’s larger than that. It did, however, get me thinking about whether these ratings or designations really matter at all anymore. More

Marvelette Missives – Let It Be

One of the stories I spotted this week was that Frank Miller is not happy that Elektra is going to be in season 2 of Daredevil. Anyone who has followed comics even a little would know that it’s not surprising Miller would react negatively to someone treating one of his characters differently than he would have (he did kill her off, after all). Thankfully, the showrunners on Daredevil have a good deal of sense and really don’t give a damn what Miller thinks – she’s a great character and a huge part of Matt Murdock’s story, plus the fans have wanted her ever since we saw the fantastic job done on season 1.

But this brings up a bigger issue: creator control over a creation. Now there are some things, like a medical device or piece of industrial equipment, that require tweaks, repairs, upgrades through the span of their lives. Makes sense so things operate correctly, efficiently, etc. When you think about the world of art, however, there comes a point when the artist needs to let it be.

An author will write a draft of a novel, put it through proofing and editing and beta reading and, hopefully, have it published. That’s it… it’s out there for the world to enjoy (or not). Whether he has regrets or not, the author isn’t going to go back to that work and tweak it, then re-release version 2.0. The same goes for visual arts. Sure, there may be multiple versions of a drawing or painting, but each is it’s own thing and there will often be one that an artist looks at and decides “this is it, this is the ultimate expression” and that’s the one that goes to the gallery.

And it’s the same with movies, whether live action or animated. Of course, the exception to this rule is George Lucas, who couldn’t keep his damn hands off his Star Wars movies until they were ripped from him in the sale to Disney. (Seriously, that man needs to learn that just because you think you can “improve” a film after it’s been released, it doesn’t mean you should do it! Stop it… STOP!)

So back to Miller, and all the other creators who let their babes out into the world, sell the rights, “complete” the creation. It’s out of your hands what is done with it or how people will perceive it, so suck it up and move on. You may get asked what you think of how a character is used or about the reboot of or sequel for your franchise, but don’t be bitter. If you want to criticize, make it constructive and not a little tantrum that makes you look bad. Your creation is out in the world being appreciated by hundreds or thousands or millions of people – be happy about that, celebrate the enjoyment you’ve brought to others. (And don’t forget about those dollars in your bank account as well.)

Marvelette Missives – Heavy Petting

As a geek and an animal lover, I’ve always loved seeing the sidekick pets on page and screen. Now I’m not talking about a dog or cat who happens to just be around and has no part in the story except for a brief mention. Nor am I referring to the anthropomorphic talking animals that are partners to the main characters. I mean the true sidekick pets, the ones that provide an assist as a real sidekick but also live with the heroes, at least part of the time, and have a connection to them. More

Marvelette Missives – Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

A couple months ago there was word that a Damage Control television series was in the works. For those who don’t know, Damage Control is the name of the company that cleans up after the heroes of the Marvel Universe save the day. It was originally owned, 50/50, by Tony Stark and Wilson Fisk. It has appeared in a few main Marvel titles and has also had a couple of short-run comics series of its own. More