Blah Blah Blog – Reader Questions 4

Another collection of questions and answers from the dim past thanks to my defunct Marvel blog of more than a decade ago. That Formspring account is also long gone.

Reader Questions 4

March 8, 2010 | 6:28 PM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

Back on the horse finally, with more answers to your questions. I suppose I should also mention that I’ve started a account in the name TomBrevoort where I’ll be fielding additional questions as the mood strikes me.

Also, I direct your attention to this important message from the Hero Initiaitive:

>Now that the Millar/Hitch run on fantastic four is complete, how do you feel about it as a whole? It seemed to have a geat amount of initial hype based on their past work together, but by the end it had seemed to lose a lot of its steam. >

I quite enjoyed most of that run, to be honest. For whatever reason, it didn’t strike the same chord with the broad readership, but it felt like the FF to me, and galvanized and energized that series. Right at the end, between Mark getting sick and Bryan’s commitments overlapping one another, things got rocky, and the last two or three issues aren’t as polished as I might have liked the finale to the run to be, but sometimes that happens-certainly, Mark’s health is more important than any comic book (except for KICK-ASS, of course, soon to be a major motion picture!) And Mark and Bryan revealing that Val is super-intelligent completely flipped that character around, and made her a much more crucial part of the series and the family.

> Along those same lines, how does one deal continuity-wise with a character such as Dr. Doom? With him seemingly becoming the main villain in a variety of comics at the moment how difficult is to properly maintain his personality, motives, powers across a large line of books?

Posted by tmx117 on 2010-02-06 11:36:35>

It’s that old chestnut about consistency rather than continuity. At the moment, Doom is appearing a a lot of places, largely because every book wants to put their guys up against big villains, and Doom’s been off the table for awhile. That said, as long as there’s a consistency when it comes to the depiction of Doom, I’m not all that worried about getting anal about which appearance comes first, except in a general way. I leave that sort of calculation to the fans and the Handbook writers these days. In all honesty, after many years of being in the shadow of guys like Magneto or Apocalypse or Mister Sinister, I rather like the fact that Doom is back to a position of prominence in the publishing line once again.

>I have just one question, but it’s a burning one for me–any chance of Master of Kung Fu ever seeing collection as Omnibus editions, or, failing that, any reprint format? Or do the legalities of the Fu Manchu character prohibit that?

Posted by revroth on 2010-02-06 12:55:44>

We’ve talked about it in the past, and I believe we’ve occasionally spoken with the rights-holders to Fu Manchu, but I don’t have any specific news to tell you. We’d like to see that material reprinted as well, but it all hangs on us all being able to make a deal that everybody is happy with.

>A while back you shared an excellent Secret Invasion Timeline that did an outstanding job and tracing when Enemy of the State, Secret War, Avengers Disassembled, Civil War, World War Hulk, happened in relation to one another and I was wondering if in honor of “Doomwar,” the staff could share one for Doctor Doom dating back to his return from Hell.

I’ve seen him in FF, Black Panther, Thor, Cabal, Mighty Avengers, Dark Avengers, Doctor Voodoo, Captain America, Captain America Reborn, Captain Britain, Sub-Mariner, X-Factor, Fall of the Hulks, and probably several more I’m not remembering. >

This is very similar to the earlier question, though not precisely the same. No, I don’t have a specific timeline for Doom in the same way I maintained one during SECRET INVASION, so I don’t have anything to share. It just hasn’t seemed as necessary.

>In the culmination of Millar’s wonderful run, Doom explained that he survived having his heart turning to stone, his blood to acid, being dumped into the Pliocene age where he was torn limb from limb by megalodons thanks to his hate keeping him alive, then spent millions of years learning even more magic which allowed him to transform every molecule of his body so that the Marquis of Death couldn’t recognize him.

1a.How does “hate” keep him alive? Surely he used some magic in there too, right?

1b. Is Doom is the Doom of today millions of years old, possessing an omnipotence on par with the combined powers of the Sorcerer Supreme and Molecule Man?

Posted by B.Serum on 2010-02-06 15:13:36>

You know, this is at least two questions right here, not counting your earlier query. Way to follow instructions! But still, I’ll try to give you some kind of answers:

1a) I’d be cautious about putting too much stock in the truthfulness of anything Doom tells you-especially since this is a guy who for years has possessed his own personal time machine.

1b) No. And again, I’d be cautious about putting too much stock in the truthfulness of anything Doom tells you.

>What is your honest opinion about having multiple titles and diluting the market with a lot of the same characters or concepts. For instance, having multiple Wolverine, Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, Hulk, and soon to be, Iron Man, series every month. Do you think it’s good for the characters? I personally feel that the overexposure of Wolverine has kinda killed interest in his character, and I would say the waning sales in his solo books is a testament to that. I’d like to hear your views on this subject.

Posted by Dusty. on 2010-02-06 16:24:35>

Just a personal bugaboo, Dusty, but whenever anybody asks me what my “honest” opinion of something is, the unspoken implication is “as opposed to all those other questions where you lie like crazy.” So everybody, let’s please be careful about this kind of thing.

Now then, this is one of those circumstances where art and commerce aren’t always served to an equivalent degree. But my “honest” opinion is that the only thing that really hurts characters over the long haul is bad stories. You point to waning sales on Wolverine, and yet all I see is a character who’s still one of the driving forces of the marketplace. The reason Wolverine appears in so many titles is that people want to read about him. More people than want to read about Cyclops, or Iron Fist, or Millie the Model. The Direct Market is an extremely democratic entity-if readers don’t purchase a book, retailers won’t order it and companies will stop making it. And the reverse is true as well-if something sells and continues to sell well, we’ll inevitably make more of it. While it was always nice and convenient back in the ’60s that most of the characters were appearing in only a single title, part of that was due to the fact that Marvel’s output was limited to only a set number of releases. Once that governor was let out, suddenly you’d get things like MARVEL TEAM-UP and MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE, and from there PETER PARKER and WEB OF SPIDER-MAN and so forth. One thing I’ve learned over my years in this business is that, while I might feel differently from a personal level, when you’re talking about the audience as a whole, they have a much greater hunger for and capacity to absorb stories featuring their favorite characters (so long as they’re good-crummy material tends to be fatal in the long run regardless of the popularity of the character.)

>Any advice for someone hoping to break into Marvel as an assistant editor? I have the education and work experience but can’t seem to get any traction.

Posted by kidanejohn on 2010-02-06 20:37:51>

As you might expect, there are far fewer openings for Assistant Editors than there are qualified applicants. So the only tangible advice I can give you would be to get as much publishing experience as you can under your belt, and take your best shot whenever an opportunity should come along. But even if you do that, work exceptionally hard and totally dedicate yourself, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to make it in. I often tell people that, when it comes to getting into the comics industry, you need a combination of Talent, Perseverance and Luck.

>Something I’ve wondered is why only cover artists are credited only some of the time in Marvel Comics (and other publishers, for that matter, too)? I notice a handful of artists receive cover credits more often than others, but many go unrecognized in the books. I think one of the things that Marvel has done a very nice job with recently is the cover dress/design it gives to its titles — Civil War, Seige, Secret Warriors, Iron Man, all spring to mind — but week-in, week-out we get treated to some really swell covers,and just curious as to often-times lack of credits?

Posted by djt6610 on 2010-02-06 22:29:45>

As a general rule, we try to credit cover artists on any book that has a recap page that incorporates the credits, but tend to leave them out on any book in which the credits are within the story itself. That’s not an absolute rule, and I’m sure you can find issues where the reverse is true, but those are the guidelines we try to follow.

>Will Dr. Strange be featured in some magic event sometime this year? >

As opposed to, say, a western event? But yes, you’ll see Strange again before you know it.

>Are there any plans for the Ghost Riders now that their mini-series has concluded?

Posted by StephenSanders on 2010-02-07 01:01:37>


More later.

Tom B

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