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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Recollection: My Brief Stint as a Marvel Fan

Not many people know this, but at one point I only read Marvel comis.. I didn't find them terribly satisfying. But I read them. Among my preferences:

1. Favorite X-Man: Cyclops
2. Favorite X-Team: Excalibur
3. Favorite Non-X-Man: Pete Wisdom
4. Favorite Non-X-Team: Fantastic Four

Basically I liked Cyclops for his sense of duty and responsibility. Excalibur for their relatively amiable cooperation with their government and public relations. Pete Wisdom because he seems to enjoy being a mutant and does not appear to angst about the heroic life he was forced into (and he makes me laugh). And I liked Fantastic Four for their open, public, nature as superheroes because they wanted to be superheroes.

Honestly, if Superhero Comics had a Kinsey Scale, I was a 6 trying to be a 0. :-)

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  • At August 30, 2006 4:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I remember a looong time ago as a kid (the infamous Ninties), I used to be a Marvel-only fan, loving Spider-Man (I found a whole bunch of old trades cleaning out stuff at home) and X-Men. I liked Marvel more because, from what I remember thinking then, it seemed better at characterization than DC, which seemed to me as dull and more concerned with creating an "epic" feel. I just gravitated more towards what I thought was a more relatable, human, and character-oriented. I ended up losing interest though,(pin it on the Clone Saga if you must) and it was a while before I got back into comics.

    Now, there are Marvel comics that I find satisfying: Runaways and Nextwave I adore. And I'm going to give She-Hulk a try, despite the covers. I loved Great Lakes Avengers , so I'm kicking myself for not trying Dan Slott's run sooner. I don't really follow the main titles all that much, but I've been picked out some old issues of X-Men, for one of my favorites. And to futher prove I'm a freak, it's Marrow. I dunno, her bone-growing powers (and the pain it causes) and living with being a survivor from the Morlock massacre made her story compelling. It's like she was a child soldier trying to recover from so much trauma and that mode of thinking and her biases.

  • At August 30, 2006 5:56 AM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    Back when I was a Marvel fan (also in the big bad 90s) honestly DC comics weren't for me. Batman was being replaced by Azreal, Superman was dead, Wonder Woman was wearing biker shorts, the JSA were in Ragnarok or moaning how old they were or busy being killed off or . . . it was a mess.

    Ironically I left comicbooks just as Starman began. If only I had known.

  • At August 30, 2006 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, I must confess that I too was a Marvel Zombie for many many years. Just didn't read too much
    DC, except for Green Lantern...I always thought that Hal had the best costume EVER! Heck, I was
    collecting X-men when it was Claremont and Dave Cockrum. However, I must admit that I am growing weary of all the constant angst and carnage. If you are looking for a really good read, try and find the old issues of Damage Control! They are really
    a hoot.

  • At August 30, 2006 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, the 90s pretty much killed my love of the X-Men at Marvel and I've never been able to recover. Oh, I love the X-Men movies, but just the thought of picking up the X-Men titles makes me moan now.

    Regardless, I do have to say that there are some good Marvel titles. You know my love of She-Hulk. Having picked up Cable & Deadpool for the Civil War tie-in, I have to say that title is way more entertaining than I ever dreamed. Young Avengers and Runaways are wonderful series. And, Ed Brubaker on Captain America and Daredevil is really wonder they also have him doing Uncanny. At this rate, he'll be the new Brian Michael Bendis at Marvel.

    What do you think about all this Civil War stuff? Have you been reading it? Part of me loves it and part of me hates it.

  • At August 30, 2006 10:21 AM, Blogger Matthew E said…

    I got a little bit of Marvel back in the '80s. I had the entire run of New Mutants at one point. Also non-mainstream Marvel stuff like Groo and Elfquest. But when I came back to comics after having quit for about a decade, I made the decision to stick to DC. Not because I didn't like Marvel (although I never liked it as much as DC) or thought it wasn't any good, but to minimize the damage to my wallet.

  • At August 30, 2006 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yep, yet again my point is made on this blog as well...the blog-verse is swayed the way of DC. I'm a Marvel fan..have always been a Marvel fan and will remain just that...a Marvel Fan. I've tried DC stuff but I simply don't get the appeal and have yet to find a single one I could stomach at all. Not saying you shouldn't like what you's all about personal preference but to be honest...I'm tired of all the Marvel bashing. Marvel comics sell as well as DC comics (if not better) so somebody's reading them. Personally I think that everybody reads them but are afraid to admit it thinking they'll be ostresized from the comics-blog community. It's ok to like really is.

  • At August 30, 2006 11:36 AM, Blogger Brainfreeze said…

    I imagine if I'd have been primarily an X-fan, I'd have given up forever on Marvel in the 90s as well :). Heck, I still won't touch an X-book, that's how bad I got burned. But I enjoyed a fairly wide cross-section of Marvel's books when I was a kid, and many of them I still enjoy. Currently I've started reading DC books as well, but I'm not replacing my Marvel habit, just adding to it. (You know, like you don't have to stop eating triple chocolate cheesecake just because you develop an additional appreciation for deep dish apple pie! :))

  • At August 30, 2006 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Geez, my "Marvel Only" days go all the way back to the early 70's. Due to a neighbor inheriting a huge stash of Marvel comics from his cousin, I "marinated" in Marvel characters for quite a few years after that. My young friends and I would routinely sniff at DC Comics, "cleverly" dubbing them Dumb Comics. It wasn't until the late 70's (thanks to the Superman movie) that I started checking out more of DC's stuff. Since then, I've leaned DC, but still enjoy Marvel from time to time. Not so much these days.

  • At August 30, 2006 12:08 PM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    Heh, Kali-Ma, I think you probably started reading Marvel just as I was stopping. I took several years off to search for better wares elsewhere, but then came back in time to enjoy some really great stuff (Bendis Daredevil and Alias to mention just a couple, oh, and Bruce Jones's Hulk). However, in my absence from Marvel, I really couldn't go over to DC either. It just felt like more of the same.

    Actually, here's the sad, shocking truth: Marvel and DC don't really feel that different for me. They really don't. I've read all kinds of articles trying to pin down where the difference comes in and I honestly don't think any of the answers are really all that substantial.

    The only real reason I stick with Marvel, by-and-large (though only through trades these days) is that it would take too much time to learn a whole new universe's history and cast. If DC started up an Ultimate-type universe, completely divorced from prior and existing continuities, I might jump on board. But otherwise, its too much work.

    Star Man was great for me because up until, I think, the last chapter, it seemed largely free from any necessary entanglement with the larger DC universe. I loved it dearly (despite the last chapter).

  • At August 30, 2006 12:41 PM, Blogger Marc Burkhardt said…

    I lean more DC, but read plenty of Marvel - although Quesada and crew have kicked me to the curb more than once.

    Currently, DC is doing a much better job with their icons while Marvel is trotting out some cool fringe stuff (i.e. Agents of ATLAS and Iron Fist!)

  • At August 30, 2006 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kalinara, are you saying you were an 'in the closet' comics reader? ;)

    Here is my long-winded history of reading comics: I read a mixture of Marvel and DC in the mid-70's, depending on what was around when I visited my cousins or what my Dad brought home from work(Mr. Marko, a guy my Dad worked with, gave my Dad all the comics he bought his kids when they had finished reading them 'cause he knew I liked comics...usually got 5 comics a week!) into Marvel seriously in the late 70's...didn't pick up ANY DC until Peter David started on Aquaman in the early 90's..loved his run on the Hulk, figured he could make Aquaman, a character in which I had no previous interest, readable, and he did...gradually got back into DC and now I read almost an equal number of Marvel and DC...grew up reading Marvel...related to the characters...but also like the sense of long history that DC has(Wonder Woman, JSA) I've gotten older, I don't care who the publisher is, I want decent art and good storytelling...

  • At August 30, 2006 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "If superhero comics had a Kinsey scale..." Some interesting thoughts there;-)

    Once again Kal I thank God for seatbelts!:-)DOLOL!!!

  • At August 30, 2006 2:33 PM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    Four words: Nextwave and Marvel Zombies.

  • At August 30, 2006 3:42 PM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    Chris, I'm reading Nextwave, Runaways, Young Avengers, She-Hulk and X-Factor devoutly, it's just . . . for some reason the DCU makes sense to me and Marvel 616 doesn't. If all five books were set in seperate continuities I'd still be reading them and I can't say that for most of the DC books I read. Make of that what you will.

  • At August 30, 2006 3:50 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    A quick note: I'm not trying to bash Marvel here. Or even 90s Marvel. :-) Personally it's just that tone wise, I prefer DC and it's funny that my Marvel choices rather reflected what I find more common in DC. :-)

    jlg: I always did think Marrow was interesting. Never really liked how she ended up though...

    flidget: That's kind of funny! Live and learn!

    sallyp: I always liked Guy's better. :-) But Marvel does have some fun stories.

    Loren: I love She-Hulk and New Excalibur personally. :-) Cable and Deadpool's a bit over the top for my taste. But Marvel does have some good stuff.

    I'm not reading Civil War just now. But I'm probably going to check it out in trade. Right now I'd be completely lost.

    matthew: Hee. With me it's just personal taste.

    chris: I must admit I don't really understand what point I make for you. Marvel's got good stuff, I was just laughing though that what I liked best about Marvel wasn't indicative of the whole. The Marvel things I liked best were more commonly found in DC, which is ultimately why I'm a DC fan who retains some fondness for certain marvel titles.

    I'm not sure why you're so defensive of Marvel when I wasn't actually attacking them in this post. I'm STILL a big fan of Cyclops and Pete Wisdom, and I still read some Marvel comics.

    brainfreeze: :-) Right! You might have a preference but it's perfectly okay to like both. Personally I'm pretty 80%-90% DC in preference, but that's just my tastes. :-) Triple Chocolate Cheesecake's a bit rich for me. :-)

    mark: :-)

    the dane: I see what you're saying but personally, I see a big difference. :-) Which is the point of this post really. Everything I liked best during my Marvel stint was atypical rather than the norm, but closer to the norm in DC.

    And really you just nailed the difference. Marvel's in a sense, they *can* reboot their universes much easier. DC's got the All-Star line, but in general the whole legacy and built history is too intrinsic to the entire universe that it'd be tricky to say how many of the old fans would leap aboard Ultimate DC...

    Fortress: I admit a lot of the fringe stuff looks interesting. :-)

    Chuck: ...maaybe. :-P It's definitely true that looking back I can see where DC more suited my preferences even though I didn't realize it.

    green: ;-)

    zaratustra: Maybe I'll give 'em a shot sometime. :-)

    flidget: I think that's part of it for me too. The DCU feels like more of a cohesive whole to me. And the ideology/themes, which I think in general tend to be more idealistic rather than revolutionary, just appeal more to my personal taste. :-)

  • At August 30, 2006 4:10 PM, Blogger R.Nav said…

    Oh wow! I hated Cyclops for exactly the same reason! It's his whole tunnel-vision style of thinking that really put me off on the guy. Of course the scene where he leaves his wife to go hook up w/ ressurected Jean Grey didn't help either. :)

  • At August 30, 2006 5:44 PM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    Yeah, and the fact that he married Pryor because she looked like Jean puts him in the Sleazeball Penalty Box for good too.

    And Kali,
    I know I'm certainly not the target audience, but if they took Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier and used that as the template for Ultimate DC, I would be there in a split second.

    Oh! And to be fair, in the mid '80s, I bought every issue of DC's Who's Who and read every entry so I could get into DC. It helped me find my way around CoIE alright, but knowing the DCU encyclopedia-style wasn't enough.

    Interestingly enough, the first heroes I knew about were DC's. With the exception of the Spider-Man cartoon, all the heroes I knew were Super-Friends. My first Big Two comic was one of those oversized (ACME Novelty Library proportions) ones that they would produce in the '70s and it featured four Legion heroes (Superboy, Mon-El, some girl, and that shadow girl with the blue skin vs. Mordru in Smallville - heh, I'm amazed that I remember any of that).

    Hm, I'll have to look at the Marvel books I frequent and compare them with the DC books I enjoy. See if there are any connections.

  • At August 30, 2006 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes! Using 'New Frontier' for an All-Star template would be amazing...though not to everyone's tastes...might be seen as so much "Silver Age" navel-gazing...:(

  • At August 31, 2006 3:58 AM, Blogger Brandon Bragg said…

    I'm definitely a DC convert. I loved Superman as a kid, but I never really noticed the comic books. It was all about the movies. I read a lot of Spider-Man and Hulk comics because I thought it would be cool to climb walls and smash stuff.

    It wasn't until high school that I really got interested in DC. I discovered the wonderful Justice Society series by Len Strazewski and Mike Parobeck. From then on I was hooked.

    I still read some Marvel stuff, but I'm a lot more picky with it. If it doesn't impress me after two issues I'm done with it.

  • At August 31, 2006 9:22 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    r.nav: Oddly that's a bit part of what I like about him. He's very fucked up but unlike say Nightwing he never lets it get in the way of the job. :-)

    the dane: I'm not adverse to retelling origin stories. I just think, for whatever reason, a full on Ultimates sort of thing won't sell well. I could be wrong.

    chuck: No one's happy all the time. :-P

    brandon: :-)

  • At August 31, 2006 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I started off with Marvel, actually, from collecting the Marvel Universe series III trading cards. I saw a kid with them in school, and thought they were interesting, and those lead me to the comics. Though I actually started off with Archie and Harvey before that. Stopped reading comics a few years later when I moved away from my main supply, only to start again in the early 2000s when I stumbled upon some interesting comics sites online.

    I note that DC *did* have an Ultimate Universe. It was called Earth-1. ``v

  • At August 31, 2006 9:39 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Yup and then they came to their senses. :-)

  • At August 31, 2006 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kalinara, you're in luck if you like Pete Wisdom, there is a new
    mini-series coming out in a few months that should be right up your alley. He's a good character, and one that they should
    be using more. I loved how he and
    Locheed always tortured each other.

  • At August 31, 2006 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, I mean that the Silver Age relaunch of the DCU could be seen as similar to Ultimate Marvel. ``

  • At August 31, 2006 12:53 PM, Blogger Ferrous Buller said…

    Nextwave is pretty awesome: as a friend of mine puts it, it's one of Warren Ellis's "I hate superheroes!" comics. :-) And as luck would have it, the first collection just came out.

  • At September 01, 2006 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Except it's awesome even if you like superheroes. <3

  • At September 01, 2006 11:36 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    sally: I liked that too! Pete was the only person who could make that dumb dragon interesting. :-)

    I'm definitely looking forward to the series. Also I love New Excalibur. Who'da thought, *Pete Wisdom* is the glue holding the team together. :-)

    ununnilium: I see what you're saying. But that's still more of a sign of DC's different approach, because it really didn't take long for them to cross the divide and interact with their counterparts

    That's why, while I'm not adverse to new Earths showing up, I much prefer having the JSA and JLA on one earth. The crossovers were working to establish this lateral sense of connection and interrelations which were becoming pretty ridiculous...individual stories didn't care about the two earths and just cherry picked characters from both willy-nilly, it seemed.

    It was inevitable that they be smooshed into one universe I think.

    There is a difference though. E-1 rebooted E-2 heroes but except for the few, more famous ones, they were completely new characters behind the costumes. While in Ultimate, that is still Scott Summers, Steve Rogers, et al.

    ferrous/ununnilium: I'll keep that in mind!


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