Blah Blah Blog – Reader Questions 4

Another post from more than a decade ago, in which I answer a bunch more questions asked by the readers of my Marvel blog.

Reader Questions 4

September 9, 2009 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

Before I get into things today, Joe Q wanted me to pass along the message that, over at his Cup O’ Joe column at Comic Book Resources, he’s going to be devoting this week’s entry (which goes live tomorrow) to talking about some of the specific of the potential Disney deal, and what it will mean for Marvel, including behind-the-scenes perspective on his meetings with Bob Iger and John Lasseter of Pixar. So if you’re one of the many who’ve had questions about what this deal could mean for Marvel, that’s the place where the most immediate answers will be found.

And now, more mundane questions that I can actually handle:

>If characters or teams don’t have large fanbases or have had past series that didn’t last long, is it expected that the creative teams or their new take will make the difference, do you just think their work is just worth publishing even if it’s cancelled quickly, and are there books you have to publish to keep the rights to the title? >

While not all characters or concepts are created equal, it’s also true the you never know what kind of life and vitality might still exist in a property that’s been tried and failed. After all, X-MEN was cancelled in the 1960s, only to come back in the ’70s and grow into a powerhouse in the field. That’s the best-case scenario that we’re always pursuing when we go back to the well and attempt to relaunch an old idea or series. However, in virtually every case, there’s a reason a particular title ended its run, so we’re constantly trying to find new ways to keep the best of what worked before, but to infuse an idea with new blood, to cut to the core of whatever made it cool or interesting in the first place (when we can-in some cases, the thing that made it work was a particular creator, or a particular moment in time.) But I do think it’s asking a lot to try to bring a failed series back exactly the way it was back in the day and expect it to suddenly work when it failed before. After all, in the case of X-MEN, almost everything was changed for its second, successful go-around, except for the underlying core concept.

>Do you feel that established Marvel heroes have to form or join some kind of Avengers team, can they revive another title or start a brand new title if they’re popular enough, and if it’s a new Avengers title, does the direction have to be different from the existing ones beyond a different cast?

Posted by iceman1906 on 2009-08-25 14:53:20>

I don’t think that any character has to be an Avenger-which is why there are so many characters who haven’t really been a part of that team. By that same token, though, especially right now, bringing a character into AVENGERS is an easy way to expose them to a lot of readers, to make them feel significant to the Marvel universe as a whole, and to give them the best chance of success. When it comes to spinning off additional AVENGERS titles, yes, I absolutely feel that they need to offer something distinctive, some spin on the core concept besides “business as usual, just with different guys” that the core book. This, to me, is the failing of AVENGERS WEST COAST, which was only set apart from AVENGERS by arbitrary geography, and the fact that it tended to have the second pick on characters to populate it. As with everything, we don’t always hit it right, but I feel like we’ve done a decent job of expanding the AVENGERS line of titles while still giving each one its own reason for existing-a reason that’s easy to sum up and understand. The same thing holds true of X-MEN titles, or any other line of books you might think of.

>1/ Rick Veitch intended in a Newsarama interview he would be glad doing something with Marvel ‘ if there’s someone there who want to work with him’. I’d like to know if you want to work with Rick Veitch. >

I can’t say too much, obviously, but I expect we’ll be talking to Rick (if somebody from Marvel isn’t already) in the context of the Marvelman announcement from some weeks ago.

>2/ Can you confirm or infirm for us that the humor sense of the fan-favourite character ‘Butterball’ from ‘Avengers : The Initiative’ is based upon yours ?

Posted by bulgarianyogurt on 2009-08-25 15:27:56>

Afraid I can’t-this is the first I’m hearing of this notion. Only Christos Gage knows for certain.

Sorry-have to cut this short today. More tomorrow.

Tom B

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