Blah Blah Blog – Reader Questions 5

Another post from my ancient Marvel blog in which I answered questions from the audience. This was a regular go-to move on my part to maintain interest in the blog and to encourage readership.

Reader Questions 5

March 15, 2010 | 11:05 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

More answers to your questions:

>Its maybe a little too soon to do one of your longer “projects I nailed” segments on it, but I wish you’d tell us a little more about the gestation of Omega the Unknown. I absolutely loved it, think it was unsurprisingly the most complex thing marvel’s published in a long time, and i see from your best of the decade list that you must have been proud of it too. I’m wondering things like,
1.What was the breakdown of labor between lethem and karl rusnak? >

First off, I’m really glad you enjoyed OMEGA THE UNKNOWN. It’s definitely one of the most unique projects we’ve ever put out, and I love it to bits.

Karl is one of Jonathan’s childhood friends, one of the people with whom he experienced the original OMEGA stories in the 70s, and who had a similar love and attachment to the character and the what-might-have-been of that series. As I understand it, though, Jonathan and Karl would discuss the story, but Jonathan was the one who did all of the actual writing.

>2.How much back and forth was there between you and lethem in terms of the general story idea. I’m not the first to say it, but it’s a generally subversive comic, and parts of it contain interesting implications about the current state of superhero comics. >

Early on, Jonathan came in and did a lunch with Joe Q, myself and a few others, and verbally walked through the whole story with us before any of it was written. Any thoughts or feedback we gave him there was incorporated into his thinking as he built the story. But Lethem is so in command of his narrative that, as the scripts came in, I felt there was very little for me to do. He wrote the series structured almost like a novel, which is a place he’s very comfortable. Consequently, if you pulled on any one seemingly-innocuous block, the whole structure could come tumbling down. My function became more akin to First Reader, pointing out places that might be confusing, or where the storytelling was going to be tricky.

>3.What was it like working with gary panter?

Posted by Davidroes on 2010-02-07 04:11:08>

Pretty innocuous. I believe Jonathan did the first reach-out to Gary, and it was simple to get him on board to do that one sequence and the cover. He did write somewhere about how shabby the Marvel offices looked to him when he came up to drop off the cover, but I can hardly hold that against him.

>4.I think the ever intelligent douglas wolk sensitized me to it, but lethem did about the best job of jumping into the comics medium of any big name writer in recent memory. Did that require some massaging on your part, or did he just come in with very clear notions of how the medium works.

Posted by Davidroes on 2010-02-07 04:17:33>

I’m sure that others might argue this assertion-there are certainly folks both around here and out in the larger world who didn’t know quite what to make of OMEGA. But insofar as we accept your premise, I believe it was a combination of Jonathan having such a strong grasp on the structure of his story, and being able to interface one-on-one with Farel Dalrymple as they worked on the series. At one point, the two of them went on a walking tour of the area that most of the series takes place in, so that Farel could shoot some reference photos, and I’m sure those back-and-forths put them both very much onto the same page in terms of the story they were telling.

> In the return of the black cat arc Diablo was represented as being active in a time where if my continuity knowalge is right he should be in the well. I hate to just lable it an “error” when their maybe a very real continuty explination for it so my quesioin is. Was it a simple mistake or is their an explination? Not to get to hung up on it. I know mistakes happen the storys still the story and if the Diablo thing is an error then well it will simply fall in to the void with the other contuiuity mistakes.>

I don’t have that issue of AMAZING in front of me, but my memory of it was that it turned around an incident that happened “ten years ago” when the building was built-which would still be within the necessary tolerances for Diablo to have been at liberty. If I’m misremembering and it was, say , twenty-five years, then you’ll just have to chalk it up as an error.

>kind of a same kinda question in erly 08 their is real docter strange delema. In new aveneres annual 2 I think he dispears after loosing his postion. This is clealry during back in black but then he reapears clearly post “one more day” in amazing spider man and in avengers/invaders in a sorccersupream role. so um before jumping to conclusions question like the last one. So what isup with Doc Strange during this time?

Posted by s-i-d-e-r-m-a-n on 2010-02-07 09:35:59>

I tend to leave working out the tiny intricacies of the character timelines to the Handbook writers for the most part, but I don’t see a huge problem with any of this. Doc disappears from in front of the New Avengers in that Annual (with the intention of going on a sabbatical to reconnect with the magicks) but he doesn’t need to have left on that quest (or to be completely unreachable) right away. It also seems apparent that Doc has good days and bad days as a sorcerer, almost like somebody coping with Alzheimer’s-there are times when it’s easier for him to wrangle mystic forces, and times when it’s not. He doesn’t actually lose the title of Sorcerer Supreme until NEW AVENGERS #51-54.

>Will Anti-Venom be appearing in any comics soon and if you’re allowed to can you tell me which comic(s)? >

I’m sure we’ll see Anti-Venom again before too long, but I don’t have any specific issues to aim you at, I’m afraid.

> If Anti-Venom does reappear somewhere, will Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. be writing/drawing them? I loved New Ways To Die and I really hope that John Romita Jr. will draw Anti-Venom again. Anti-Venom looks so cool when he’s drawn by John Romita Jr.

Posted by p0kemaster on 2010-02-07 10:43:54>

Glad you like his work. John’s drawing AVENGERS right this second, so unless Anti-Venom shows up there, it’s doubtful that he’ll be drawn by JRJR.

> Any word on what Carlos Pacheco’s next work is, after the Ultimate Avengers run with Millar is done? >

When we’re ready to announce it, you’ll hear all about it.

> Has their been talk of a Steve Rogers project post Siege, if in fact he’s not in the Avengers? I work in a comic store and we’ve discussed the idea of a mini/maxi series with Steve Rogers “finding America”, road trip style, ala Green Arrow/Green Lantern ? If I was choosing such a project, maybe Luke Ross on art, as I’ve become enamored with his Captain America work

Posted by davejamesoneill on 2010-02-07 15:52:58>

You’ll definitely see Steve Rogers post-SIEGE, but I can’t tell you quite where just yet. And while I can see the appeal, I don’t personally feel like Steve needs to “find America” in any meaningful way-he knows where it is and what it’s about, and that doesn’t have any bearing on why he’s not Captain America at the moment.

More later.

Tom B

One thought on “Blah Blah Blog – Reader Questions 5

  1. I loved Gerber’s Omega but that horrible end in defenders had me not read Lethem’s for years. I shouldn’t have waited because I enjoyed it as well. He told a Lethem story and a very good one at tha rather than try to emulate Gerber. I guess it was like the two Hawkmen sharing some common ground but otherwise being distinct. Everybody should read both!

    My biggest hope though is that someday someone will find a document somewhere by Gerber titled ‘What I would have done with Omega had I been allowed to continue’.


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