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Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004 at 9:25 AM
David Barker  (Login DavidBarker)
Byrne Victim

 
Is it about time? Is it simply not needed? I think fans at M***** are eager for this as the "success" of the Ultimate line shows. 40 years with no real history changing is a long time and a testament to a tight continuity laced universe for decades. The last 10 years have seemed to create many problems (there have been some awful stories). Many of the origins are anchored to the past in ways that do need tinkering. Will this help the M***** Universe be more successful, or would it just create as many problems as Crisis?


Now, DC has had a nightmare that's had to have been retrofit dozens of times since Crisis was implemented. Is it time for DC to do a more subtle interweaving rebirth ala the 6 or 7 years the titles were all changed going from the 50's to the 60's (this seems to be going on now)? Should DC just do another Universe wide cleansing and give it a clean rebirth that has been well thought out and planned?

I see comic generations as 15-20 year cycles of change and cleansing, and I think we are heading into or already in a new one. Obviously if this type of thing is done it will upset 50% and make 50% happy (or whatever those numbers would be). Would it make a better future for super-hero comics as a whole? I know outlets for purchases and sales are needed to make an impact at all of any importance to a new generation. But with the media attention that many comic based movies are getting if a DC or M***** was to reboot everything and give it a national media plug could that spark renewed interest?

 
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(Login GreggAllinson)
Byrne Victim

As JB's recently said...

April 20 2004, 9:42 AM 

"Reboots" happened quite a bit back in the '50s and '60s, only they weren't ever labelled as such. I think that's probably the smartest way to go. I mean, every time a "universe" is "relaunched" and "changed forever"...it inevitably changes into something else (see Crisis and Heroes Reborn for examples).

 
 

(Login Rodsspace)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 10:24 AM 

The only problem with these reboots are writers who can't let go of the past. I'm about the guys who at the first opportunity bring back all the stuff, good and bad, that was the reason for the reboot in the first place.

Superman is a good example of this. I mean look at all the sh*t that's been - and still is being - shovelled back into the series in the 18 years since Man Of Steel hit the stands.

I hope JB stays on Doom Patrol for quite some time, so the foundations he lays take even longer to erode than those of his 50 odd Superman issues.

Cheers,

Rod

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Untitled

April 20 2004, 10:33 AM 

I hope JB stays on Doom Patrol for quite some time, so the foundations he lays take even longer to erode than those of his 50 odd Superman issues.

*****************

As long as we have utterly unprofessional "writers" taking pot shots at other peoples work while they are doing it it will take no longer to "erode" anything than it takes for one writer to type a few words, and one artist to draw a few pictures.

As noted in the post prior to yours, reboots work fine, provided everybody plays the same game. Imagine the 1950s DC reboot, that brought back Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman and the Atom, all in different forms. Now suppose the writers on SUPERMAN had decided they didn't like the reboot, and did a story featuring Superman looking up his old pal Jay Garrick.

In those days, such a thing would never happen. Today -- well, let's just say Mike Carlin is going to need 100 eyes, just to watch the other editorial offices and make sure Danny the Street doesn't turn up in one of the books Mike does not control.

 
 

(Login robertwhite)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 12:28 PM 

I've been thinking about this and if I where in charge of Marvel I would simply erase everything that's happened since 1991. Would anyone really care to lose anything from this peroid? My official stopping point would be around JB's Namor, Starlin's Infinity Gauntlet etc.

It would be very easy to do, with the way Marvel time works and still have it make sense story wise. The reason I would never do a complete overhaul is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Marvel continuity up till about this point. Nobody wants JB's FF, Miller's Daredevil, and Walt's Thor touched, nor the originals by Lee, Kirby, and Ditko. Marvel had a golden period from about 1977 to 1985, so the work really wouldn't be that hard if someone was willing to do it.

 
 


(Login MarkLerer)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 12:38 PM 

I think Robert's got a good idea. Those are the years when the books had the greatest readership. The only thing would be how to implement such a change. Just adopt the policy "silently," without announcing anything? Re-number issues from #1 again (I hope not)? Ideas?

 
 


(Login Dave_Phelps)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 12:39 PM 

I've been thinking about this and if I where in charge of Marvel I would simply erase everything that's happened since 1991. Would anyone really care to lose anything from this peroid? My official stopping point would be around JB's Namor, Starlin's Infinity Gauntlet etc.

Contrary to popular belief, there actually ARE people who started reading after this time who would be rather annoyed to see their childhood singled out for removal.



Back to the main topic, my only real concern (though there would certain aspects I'd miss from the old stuff of course) about starting over from scratch is the potential loss of spontaneity that the original stories gave us. The complete "Peter/Mary Jane Saga," Daredevil not getting his true "arch enemy" until he had been around for quite a long time, etc.

I was open-minded about the Ultimate universe, but it rapidly turned into "here's Bendis' take on Dr. Octopus," "here's Millar's version of the Dark Phoenix Saga," etc. with no truly new elements added to the mix.

 
 

(Login John_Babos)
Byrne Victim

Untitled

April 20 2004, 12:42 PM 

I know that everyone on these boards are fans of good storytelling. I also know that "continuity" appears to have become a four-letter-word nowadays. I am not opposed to new takes or reboots. However, I find it odd that many have indicated that continuity is a barrier to good storytelling. I don't think they are necessarily exclusive.

Having said that, I enjoyed Power of Shazam more than I did Shazam A New Beginning. These were 2 post-Crisis takes on Captain Marvel's origin that were different. There was no "continuity" explanation for the change - one over the other. In that vein, I am excited about a back-to-the-basics DP with the originating four (plus some newbies).

Having said all that, there seem to be many stories by top creators that are out-of-continuity with no qualification (Elseworlds logo or otherwise) - DC: New Frontier (which I am enjoying) and the upcoming Jeff Smith Shazam tale as just two examples.

Is the idea of shared core universe gone at DC? Does DC's editorial team think good storytelling and continuity are mutually exclusive?

Let me say that I think a rigid adherence to continuity is a bad thing and creatively stifling. However, books like the JSA show that you can have good storytelling that salutes continuity, but is not rigidly bound to it.


    
This message has been edited by John_Babos on Apr 20, 2004 12:46 PM


 
 

(Login LightningMan)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 1:11 PM 

There are some benefits to a shared universe, but I don't need it. Otherwise, how could I read Marvel books and DC books?

 
 

(Login RichardPerez)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 1:32 PM 

Wouldn't another overhaul be put under the "Be Careful What You Wish For" category?

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Untitled

April 20 2004, 1:46 PM 

I've been thinking about this and if I where in charge of Marvel I would simply erase everything that's happened since 1991. Would anyone really care to lose anything from this peroid?

************

I'd go back to 1975. I commented elsewhere, recently, that pressing the REWIND button would be a good idea, as long as it was done across the board, and not piecemeal or in stealth mode, a la "Birthright". Take all the characters back to their status quo circa 1975, but set the stories now .

Since the most anal-retentive fanboys need "explanations" for everything, have the Shaper of Worlds do it at M*****. Not sure who'd be up for the job at DC.

Most important: no characters remember how it was "before"!!

(We considered something similar for Spider-Man, but decided it was too "cosmic" for Parker, unless it was part of a company-wide sweep.)

 
 

Brendan Howard
(Login brenhow)

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 1:53 PM 

The only thing about a "rewind" I can imagine being a problem -- the rush to re-introduce all the characters, concepts and plotlines that had been erased by the rewind. Rather than fresh stories using the classic characters, we would see recycled stories in a new context.

An editorial staff that ruled with an iron fist could prevent that from happening, tho.

Brendan Howard

 
 


(Login Trevah)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 1:54 PM 

Why 1975? To get the original X-Men back?

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Untitled

April 20 2004, 1:57 PM 

Why 1975? To get the original X-Men back?
 
************

Among other things. Thinking about it, it might be better to go back even further, at least at Marvel. Say, to the death of Gwen Stacy. Don't do that story, or let Spider-Man save her, and then let her just drift away, as had all Parker's previous ramonatic entanglements.

 
 

MarkLerer
(Login MarkLerer)
Byrne Victim

Hm!

April 20 2004, 1:58 PM 

1975 is even better. As I think of it, at least, the core "Marvel Canon" goes up to and around the death of Gwen Stacy, anyway; there are not a lot of events after that which I'd consider "necessary." It also preserves the MU that was portrayed in the Busiek/Ross Marvels.

But DON'T do the death of Gwen? I'd disagree with JB on this. Sure, it was tragic and upsetting, but it stays in my mind as one of the major events in Peter's life--and it also sets the stage, ultimately, for Mary Jane's ascendency as Peter's No. 1.

But that's just me. What do you guys all think?


    
This message has been edited by MarkLerer on Apr 20, 2004 2:01 PM


 
 


(Login jrpipik)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 2:06 PM 

I don't think cosmic crisis reboots or new #1 issues are the answer. I think the way to approach this is to have an internal company-wide policy that all books should wrap-up their loose ends by a certain date or they will be left dangling. At that point they will start fresh storylines that require no previous experience with the titles, all serving as good "jumping on" points. No new numbering, no big announcements (no big expectations): just starting fresh.

For one year the talent would be charged with re-establishing the characters, their settings, their tone, etc. in short 1-3 issue stories that don't require understanding the title's previous continuity. No crossovers, only limited guest appearances -- and no "continued in another title" stories! The emphasis would be on good self-contained comics.

Editorial would be in charge of keeping this effort on track and keeping people out of one another's way.

Getting everybody to live with these decisions is another matter.

 
 


(Login MarkLerer)
Byrne Victim

James

April 20 2004, 2:13 PM 

"No new numbering, no big announcements (no big expectations): just starting fresh."

--

I agree. In fact, you've articulated well what I was trying to say before about doing it "silently." We don't want another "Heroes Reborn" (or "Heroes Return"). In fact, it may be a gently introduced policy that readers may not even notice in the beginning!

But both you fellows hit the nail on the problem of a Marvel Rewind: how to implement it with a firm editorial hand.

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Untitled

April 20 2004, 2:15 PM 

But DON'T do the death of Gwen? I'd disagree with JB on this. Sure, it was tragic and upsetting, but it stays in my mind as one of the major events in Peter's life--and it also sets the stage, ultimately, for Mary Jane's ascendency as Peter's No. 1.


***************


Which is exactly the problem. The death of Gewn Stacy drew a line thru Parker's life like no event before or since -- and like no event for any other character. It created a yardstick against which his life is measured, and it drove a stake into the concept of "Marvel Time" like nothing else. Gwen, like Liz and Betty before her, should have just drifted out of Parker's life. Send her off to Europe for "a year" and just forget to ever bring her back. Or have her come back married. Or have her come back just when everyone has decided she never will, and Parker is starting up with someone new. (And "someone new" is also key. Peter should never have hooked up with Mary Jane.)

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Untitled

April 20 2004, 2:22 PM 

I don't think cosmic crisis reboots or new #1 issues are the answer. I think the way to approach this is to have an internal company-wide policy that all books should wrap-up their loose ends by a certain date or they will be left dangling. At that point they will start fresh storylines that require no previous experience with the titles, all serving as good "jumping on" points. No new numbering, no big announcements (no big expectations): just starting fresh.

*********

That's like saying a couple with 3 kids who go away for a summer vacation are "starting fresh" when they come home. They can say it, but there is no way they can do it. Lives accumulate baggage, and the lives of comicbook characters are no different. And put five writers in a room and you will get five different opinions on which elements should continue over, and which should be abandoned as we "start fresh". (Can we "start fresh" with a married Peter Parker who has lost a child?)

This is why Rewind works best in this company-wide scenario. No one has to look back, to figure out what is no longer important. That decision has been made by the choice of a year -- Nothing after this point is canon . Then, as noted, the editors have to be watchful, and the writers and artists have to exercise self-control, so that pieces are not snuck back into the mix (like the ghost of Kara appearing after MAN OF STEEL)

To continue the rewind analogy -- rewind, but then switch tapes . Don't just repeat all the mistakes that happened before (this was the trap SPIDER-MAN: UNTOLD TALES set for itself). Make all new mistakes!!

 
 


(Login jrpipik)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 2:25 PM 

And vice versa - the MJ I grew up with would never have been really interested in Peter!

 
 


(Login MarkLerer)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 2:33 PM 

Arrrgh! Gwen's murder to me was as crucial a moment as Reed & Sue's wedding, Franklin's arrival, the change of line-up in Avengers #16, and Galactus's banishing the Surfer to Earth!

Anyway, I think we all are agreed that a Marvel Rewind of this sort would be a good idea.

The question remains: does the current Marvel editorship have the wherewithall to pull something like this off? Considering the fact that Joe Quesada recently described Marvel as a "three-year-old company," I'd say no--simply because no one there is familiar with the product pre-2000, let alone 1975. Editorial acumen must be recruited from the outside.

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Untitled

April 20 2004, 2:40 PM 

The trick is to find people who are sufficiently familar with the product, but who are not anal fanboys. People who could actually hit the rewind button without invoking the Shaper of Worlds, or anyone else. People who would be prepared to say "As of January next year, this is the status quo."

I could do it. I can think of a few others who might be able to. But not many -- and that's the problem. There would be too much policing needed. A sizable percentage of the writers currently in the Biz would have to be watched like hawks to make sure they didn't pull a "Ghost of Supergirl" just to screw things up. The days when everyone was prepared to toe the line for the common good are long gone.

 
 


(Login MarkLerer)
Byrne Victim

JB

April 20 2004, 2:48 PM 

You could do it, but a while ago somebody asked if you would consider holding an editorial job at Marvel, and you responded no, you'd be serving the cause best by staying at home and writing and drawing. Would you take on a "consulting editor" role if the right person became EIC?

What we need is a Jim Shooter who doesn't go nuts after he's fixed the wagon. Roger Stern was once a very capable editor at Marvel. Apparently he's out of work as a writer. Do you think he'd be willing to move back to NYC from wherever he is now and undertake the job? Or do I file this under "I can dream, can't I?"

 
 


(Login Trevah)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 2:52 PM 

How about a new shared universe of timeless, brilliantly-conceived characters? Shouldn't be too hard to create the next Spider-Man, eh?

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 2:54 PM 

Or do I file this under "I can dream, can't I?"

************


File this whole thread under that!

 
 

(Login John_Babos)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 3:02 PM 

The trick is to find people who are sufficiently familar with the product, but who are not anal fanboys. People who could actually hit the rewind button without invoking the Shaper of Worlds, or anyone else. People who would be prepared to say "As of January next year, this is the status quo."

----------------------------------

I agree 100%. The problem with DC, in particular, is that they are all over the map with their main universe. I never thought I'd say this, but at least Marvel has different universes / imprints that allow for different takes.

Having DC: A New Frontier, BR, JSA, and a new DP (in JLA so far) in the same universe seems confusing. They're all good reads, but it seems that editoral leadership has taken a back seat to unbridled creativity. Why do we need editors if creators are going tell whatever story they want to tell anyway? Why not just have each book stand on its own and not have a shared universe and never crossover with one another?

Even in the scenario where "As of January next year, this is the status quo", some editorial stick-to-it-ness is needed.

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 3:16 PM 

Even in the scenario where "As of January next year, this is the status quo", some editorial stick-to-it-ness is needed.
 
**************


And no whittling away at the new broom before it sweeps, either. I knew CRISIS was doomed when Dick Giordano told me ". . . we can't get rid of the parallell universe that has Captain Carrot in it!"

Thus was the whole project skewered for one book that 3 people read.

And, of course, Wolfman could not resist having at least one character "remember". There was too much vested interest in the Silver Age -- too many writers who wanted to have their Kate, and Edith too. If "Rewind" was to be viable, none of that could be allowed. Pick an issue of, say, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (say 100, just to be arbitrary) and declare that as of January the stories would unfold as if it was a brand new 101, 102, 103, etc -- but set in the present day. Do the same with all the other books. (Doesn't have to be the same month AS-M 100 came out) and plough ahead !!

And if everyone is smart, go nowhere near the internet for at least a year!

 
 

(Login wwingfoot)
Byrne Victim

Personally...

April 20 2004, 3:18 PM 

...I'd like to see editors and writers quit jacking around with continuity tweaks and reboots and just produce some decent STORIES. Just take a character as-is, without re-explaining/re-creating everything that came before and move FORWARD. If a character needs to be re-defined or "brought-back-to-basics" just do it as the story progresses in the way the character is written, by how he acts and what he does.

The anal-retentive, continuity-obsessed fans be damned. It's this crowd that keeps comics from being accessible to newer, younger readers. If creators just focus\ on producing good stories that can be enjoyed no matter what the depth of your understanding of the characters, the comics will get better. And the fanboys will keep buying anyway, because they buy whatever the publishers put out, crap or not.


    
This message has been edited by wwingfoot on Apr 20, 2004 3:28 PM


 
 


(Login EricLund)
Byrne Victim

Sorry but I think it's...

April 20 2004, 3:25 PM 

too late.

To me M****l seems to be going down in flames...DC has some very bright spots to look forward to but on the whole there is so much crap and 5 titles per any character it is just too much!

Even the books they try and tie into a movie spin-off aren't close enough to the movie to garner kids/fans to get into it cause the movie was good. I'm not sure what the stratagy is other then throw everything on the wall to see what sticks. There are some really nice art teams out there and some good writers but the framework of the Marvel Universe makes no sense anymore at all. It seems like everything is Elseworlds which by and large is ok for a story or two but to base the entire catalog of characters on this premise so that you can have 5 Fantastic Four titles that don't relate at all and are VASTLY different in tone and character.......seems like M****l is eating their young.

I'm probably not the right fan to ask though being 35 and on my last breath or I guess at the end of my patience with comics in general. I;m on the verge of quitting all together.....just does not do it for me anymore and it seems that no one really cares about the characters like they once did. M****l had such a cohesion of titles and the characters were all part of the same world although seperate from one another. As a kid I knew where the boundries were but it was all familiar friendly terrain. I did not have to worry about opening a comic and seeing Captain America blowing a guy away with a machine gun or Bruce Banner getting it on with the Abominations wife...

I think the path of being hip and now is too far traveled on and comics are not going to back off..In fact I think they will get even raunchier and more depraved...

It is interesting that kids cartoons don't reflect that as much but then again cartoons are aimed at kids and comics for the most part are not.

It would almost in my mind be good to see the whole industry go under and then be reformed.... That would be the way I think that would make things start fresh and a new model could be developed.

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Untitled

April 20 2004, 3:27 PM 

Just take a character as-is, without re-explaining/re-creating everything that came before and move FORWARD.

**********************

But what of those characters that have had all their guts stripped out of them by bad writers and over-eager editors invoking MAN OF STEEL Syndrome? Consider, for instance, the Demon, one of my favorite characters. I would love to do a Demon series, but I could not pick up the character "as-is" and simply go forward. Without a reboot, I would have to spend six months getting him to some kind of usable position -- and this without boring the potential new readers.

This is the main idea behind reboots, after all. As much as some of the long-timers might dislike 'em, they create a situation in which a potential new reader, asking what s/he needs to know in order to be able to pick up a title, can honestly be told "Nothing."

(The next trick, of course, if for the writers and editors to keep it that way. Six months later, a new reader who asks the same question should be able to expect the same answer. After all, I started reading Superman when the character was nearly 20 years old, and my "confusion" did not last past the second page of the first story.)

 
 

(Login wwingfoot)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 3:40 PM 

An example of how to re-focus, re-vamp a character without all the hubbub and continuity circle-jerking is the 1970s Batman.

Julie Schwartz and his creators decided to alter the approach, make Batman a little more serious, more of a detective, more like his earlier days. They didn't do a story or a mini-series "explaining" why Batman doesn't travel through time and space anymore, they just moved ahead with a new take on the character, one that anyone picking up the comic--longtime reader or not--could pick up and understand.

All the silliness about the Earth 2 Batman being the one who hung out with Batwoman and crap like that came later. That's just playing with the pieces--that's not telling stories or being creative.

Stan'n'Jack used a shared universe and continuity to make things more interesting (and sell more comics), they didn't let it get in their way. They also didn't rely on it to come up with stories. It was all incidental. Now we have comics about continuity. And not much else.

JB, I find your Doom Patrol "non re-boot" refreshing in that it doesn't go back to explain what happened at the end of the original story (published when I was an infant) or where all the in-between incarnations of the DP come into play. It just ignores the details that could sabotage it before it even gets started and it just moves ahead.

 
 

(Login wwingfoot)
Byrne Victim

what is a re-boot anyway?

April 20 2004, 3:49 PM 

after reading JB's last post, I think people have in mind different ideas when they use the phrase.

I had in mind stuff like Crisis, Zero Hour, etc. I don't really view JB's new Doom Patrol as a reboot at all, because it doesn't seek to use some contrived crisis or event to explain why things are starting from scratch.

The thing I hate about most of the re-boots beginning with Crisis and afterwards is that, once everything is rebooted, everything old gets re-introduced again. Usually in a fashion that isn't nearly as entertaining as in the original version. And, as a result, everything becomes a mess.

I enjoyed "Man of Steel" and it resulted in a few years worth of entertaining Superman stories. For a while, the character and his universe were reinvigorated. But look at the Super-books now. What a horrid mess. All the lame attempts to reintroduce concepts and characters, etc. None of it really works. The books aren't even readable, in my opinion. What was Superman was stripped away. And now the creators in charge have no clue of who he is.



    
This message has been edited by wwingfoot on Apr 20, 2004 3:51 PM


 
 


(Login Dave_Phelps)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 3:53 PM 

But what of those characters that have had all their guts stripped out of them by bad writers and over-eager editors invoking MAN OF STEEL Syndrome?

Depends on the level of "damage" to the character, really.

In most cases, you could always just start where you want and, if an explanation is warranted (we'll assume yes), toss something in the first issue's text page about, "All of you older fans may notice CAPTAIN FONEBONE acting a little different than when you last saw him, but fear not! All will be made clear eventually." When a story comes up where such an explanation would fit fill in the blanks there. Or do a standalone special or "zero issue" once the series is properly established.

If you don't want to do an actual in-story explanation at all, you could include any necessary explanations in the text page of the first issue.

 
 

(Login robertwhite)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 4:48 PM 

I didn’t mean to disrespect anyone who started reading comics after the speculator boom, however there was logic behind my suggestion I think. Many people came into comics in that era, as we all know, who bought comics for their value and really didn’t care about the characters or the content. Logically, this would displease fewer people than if you erased an era where most people bought the comics out of love of the product. This is flawed and simplistic, but I think there is some truth in it. As Crisis showed, no matter how good an idea is, or even if it’s justified, it will never, ever please everyone.

And I can’t believe JB would erase his own great Marvel contributions by taking us to the days of the mid-70’s! If nothing else think of Sue Richards!

I will always hold the opinion that JB and his generation IMPROVED on the comics because they added positive contributions while changing nothing essential. Marvel now adds nothing but negative contributions and changes everything essential.

I think it's obvious that the central mythos of all the great superhero characters where designed to be sedentary with only peripheral changes added as needed. They where obviously built to entertain new waves of fans as others moved on from day one.




 
 

(Login John_Babos)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 4:49 PM 

Just take a character as-is, without re-explaining/re-creating everything that came before and move FORWARD.

------------------------------------

So never reference the character's past? One of the most intriguing parts of the Batman mythos, in particular, is the tragedy he endured as a child.

JB's suggestion of a "past this date its all new" makes more sense. It allows creators to deal with the past, present, AND the future.

Having said that, BR is an example of a botched reboot. DC tried to sneek a reboot in, and then makes such factual errors in the storytelling. The most recent issue has references to Homeland Securuity, a department set up after 9-11. So, does that mean Superman started his super-career in the last few years? Shouldn't LL be President in BR then? I know that sometimes mistakes slip into books. That's fine. I'm not asking for perfection, just an entertaining read. Are editors even trying to edit anymore?

At least with DP, DC has said this is a reboot. This is the team's first appearance in JLA. Yes, it causes problems for the TT's Beast Boy. In the end, there will likely be a "Who is Garth Logan" type-arc in TT to resolve his backstory. Although hopeful Gar's fate will be better than Donna Troy's.

 
 

(Login John_Babos)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 4:58 PM 

This is the main idea behind reboots, after all. As much as some of the long-timers might dislike 'em, they create a situation in which a potential new reader, asking what s/he needs to know in order to be able to pick up a title, can honestly be told "Nothing."

----------------------------------------

However, books like the JSA show that reboots are not always necessary and that a storied legacy can actually enhance stories. Having said that, I would rather read a DP with the original 4 in it than any other of its later incarnations. Yes the original team's sacrifice was important, but that was a generation ago.

I also think that if DC would just say that as of "January we refresh, rewind, whatever" across the DCU, many continuity fans (which is not as bad as many make it out to be) would be accepting and the other existing and even new readers may find the books more accessible (maybe). This editorial rewind approach provides a logic and consistency without the mess of another Crisis.

However, I've read way too many time altering stories in the last year - some good, some bad - JLA/Avengers, Superman #200, etc. That's a well that's probably dry by now, so an editorial rewind makes sense. It may appease most of existing fandom (veterans and newbies) and may entice even newer folks to start reading.


    
This message has been edited by John_Babos on Apr 20, 2004 5:00 PM
This message has been edited by John_Babos on Apr 20, 2004 4:59 PM


 
 

(Login John_Babos)
Byrne Victim

Wonder Woman and Man of Steel

April 20 2004, 5:05 PM 

John, a quick question.

Why do you refer to the DP reboot as a WW reboot as opposed to a MOS reboot?

Is it b/c the DP will be launched in an ongoing series as was WW as opposed to a mini-series like MOS? Or b/c the WW reboot doesn't get as much "heat" from some "fans" as MOS?


 
 


(Login jrpipik)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 5:21 PM 

It seems to me the approach is to take the character as it ought to be and move forward. The next issue of The Demon (does he have his own series? #1 then) features a non-rhyming demon possessed by a man. No explanation is offered. A certain percentage of the world goes nuts, demands an explanation, hates the creative team, etc. -- who cares? If it's a good book it sells; if not, it's cancelled.

Of course all this assumes that the editors at DC want to see The Demon in his original form, which they may not. The idea of a character as a rhyming rebel hellion is not a bad idea for a character per se and he's been effective in many stories (well, some stories). It's just too bad they had to overwrite the original to make one instead of just creating someone new.

 
 


(Login FrankSaxon)
Byrne Victim

Untitled

April 20 2004, 5:57 PM 

"I could do it. I can think of a few others who might be able to."

Well, I'm pretty sure I'm not on your list, JB, but I'd definately be able to do it! However, I'd go a little further back than you. I'd take Marvel back to November 1961. All the way back to the beginning. Start everything from scratch. First issues: Updated origins (keeping as much as possible of the originals, natch) after that you're on your own as long as you follow two simple rules:

1. First, you must do no harm. Don't make changes to the characters that cannot be unmade.

2. Never forget: Every issue is someone's first issue.

Before any of that, though, we have to get newsstand distribution back.



frank :-{>

 
 
Leo Whitman
(Login LeoWhitman)
Byrne Victim

Untitled

April 20 2004, 6:13 PM 

From JB: A sizable percentage of the writers currently in the Biz would have to be watched like hawks to make sure they didn't pull a "Ghost of Supergirl" just to screw things up.

John, you've touched on that DC Christmas story in the past as being just one of the frustrations near the end of your Superman tenure. As a reader, it seemed like a nominal story, particularly coming out in a Christmas special.

Is it safe to assume there were more behind the scenes conflicts about that particular story beyond a reference to Kara in the post Man of Steel DC universe?

 
 

(Login John_Babos)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 7:08 PM 

I'd take Marvel back to November 1961. All the way back to the beginning. Start everything from scratch. First issues: Updated origins (keeping as much as possible of the originals, natch) after that you're on your own as long as you follow two simple rules:

1. First, you must do no harm. Don't make changes to the characters that cannot be unmade.

2. Never forget: Every issue is someone's first issue.

-----------------------------

Didn't you just describe the Ulimate Universe? Particularly Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Spidey? (The Ultimates is a tragedy.)

 
 
David Barker
(Login DavidBarker)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 7:18 PM 

In my original post I was thinking more along the line of starting over with updated (but faithful) introductions. There are certain characters that couldn't be left "hanging" though. Wolverine and the like would have to be brought in gracefully and quickly for sales purposes. You could have him in a solo magazine rather than as part of the actual X-Men though-ideas like that rather than forcing unnatural situations.There would certainly be challenges and the editors would have to be great. there would be an urge to rush introductions, but that would have to be slowed dramatically. Characters like Venom would have to be all but reinterpreted and saved for years down the road. After all, you can't do Secret Wars twice.

I think DC would have a harder time restarting. WWII characters would be a challenge, but then again they could be the inspiration for a new generation rather than being continuity and "fanboy" nightmares. Then what versions of characters do you use? Do you use the untouchable Barry Allen or Wally West, and did Barry Allen ever exist? Do you use Hal Jordan, Kyle or a new person? Do you ever have a Supergirl or is Superman a lone Kryptonian? Nightwing syndrome would creep in more easily at DC.


I just really wouldn't mind a change at this point. I have all my stories as they have already been told and I can read them whenever I like. That's what Archives and TPBs are for. I have no attachment to Alan, Hal or Kyle anymore, if ever. I love the concept of Green Lantern If it was Hal, Kyle, John or a new person I could care less. I only assume that the Green Lantern Corp style origin should be used. If the stories were good and I cared about the characters that's all that matters. I think if you have someone like Geoff Johns writing a Flash story it doesn't matter whether it is Wally, Barry, Jay or a new person...I think it would be good in any event. The sidekicks and things like that would seriously have to be re-thought. No Teen Titans for a long time.

I think if DC or M***** did something like this and it coincided with a serious attempt at getting back onto retail store shelves at affordable or worthwhile formats (like changing to magazine size and price) it could be very successful if they stayed with it. They would have to stay with it for 2 years even if they lost some money initially. after all, it is their publishing future at stake. If they want to be licensing companies that is their call, but if they want to be successful publishers they need to change. I think either company could initiate a serious media push to help it along.

 
 


(Login GreggAllinson)
Byrne Victim

Not at all

April 20 2004, 7:21 PM 

Didn't you just describe the Ulimate Universe? Particularly Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Spidey? (The Ultimates is a tragedy.)

The Ultimate Universe is more of a mix-and-match of "Oh! Wouldn't that be neat!" ideas and retellings of the finest and/or most popular moments of the Marvel Universe. The Ultimates, Ultimate Fantastic Four, and Ultimate X-Men are (in no way* modernizations of the original 1960s Avengers, Fantastic Four, and X-Men concepts. I suppose Ultimate Spidey sticks closer to the core concept (a teenage Peter Parker going to high school and working at the Daily Bugle), but the characterizations are too off for me to consider it a faithful update.

As to Frank's quote- "Never forget: Every issue is someone's first issue."- that's the Golden Rule of Comics as far as I'm concerned, and the Ultimate Universe violates it with every issue.

 
 

(Login Rtaylor01)
Byrne Victim

Huh, interesting

April 20 2004, 7:22 PM 

I have actually stopped reading comics entirely, and though I get pangs sometimes about not going to the store every weds, you know what, I don't really miss them. The joy for me fell out of the work a long time ago, especially when it came to Marvel's line.

RT

 
 

(Login John_Babos)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 7:25 PM 

A certain percentage of the world goes nuts, demands an explanation, hates the creative team, etc. -- who cares? If it's a good book it sells; if not, it's cancelled.

-----------------

I reject the notion that its an "us against them" approach to fans. Veterans or continuity fans vs. newbies. Bullocks!

DC (and other companies) should actively try to satisfy both - John's "January rewind point" attempts to do that. It may not satisfy everyone, but it certainly doesn't turn its back on either fan group. It provides veteran fans a logical refresh point and new readers just won't care.

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 7:44 PM 

Why do you refer to the DP reboot as a WW reboot as opposed to a MOS reboot?

******************

MAN OF STEEL and BATMAN: YEAR ONE were done retroactively. When SUPERMAN 1 appeared, it was present day DC and Superman had a history. Same with the issues of BATMAN et al that accompanied YEAR ONE. In the case of WONDER WOMAN, however, George chose to introduce Diana as a new character -- her past was not rewritten (as in MoS), it was wiped away. This is the case with the Doom Patrol. "Together again for the first time." Their JLA appearance is the first time they have "gone public", just as Diana's first appearance was in WW 1.

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 7:47 PM 

Is it safe to assume there were more behind the scenes conflicts about that particular story beyond a reference to Kara in the post Man of Steel DC universe?

************


You assume correctly.

 
 
Leo Whitman
(Login LeoWhitman)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 8:00 PM 

Is it safe to assume there were more behind the scenes conflicts about that particular story beyond a reference to Kara in the post Man of Steel DC universe?

************


You assume correctly.

************

Yeah, goes along with my theory that working in comics isn't that much unlike any workplace. True, you work from home or away from the office, but that doesn't mean inter-office personality clashes aren't a factor.

I think that's the one thing that some readers don't pick up on, that the people behind the scenes are people. They have bad and good days and sometimes disagree with their co-workers. Often a creator leaves a series for as many and varied reasons as someone quits a "regular" 9 to 5 job. It's often not easy to make a succinct list of reasons why we leave jobs, but there are all kinds of minute (and not so minute) factors that lead up to the decision to move elsewhere.

People in the public (and I'm counting movie, TV and comic professionals in that group) don't get the slack that we are usually given when we switch jobs. Fans tend to take it personal like "He left because he didn't think I was a good enough fan" or something.

Oh well, enough of my thoughts on that for now.

 
 


(Login TroyNunis)
Byrne Victim

But . . .

April 20 2004, 8:41 PM 


>>
In those days, such a thing would never happen. Today -- well, let's just say Mike Carlin is going to need 100 eyes, just to watch the other editorial offices and make sure Danny the Street doesn't turn up in one of the books Mike does not control.<<

Couldn't, tho' - a writer use Danny, or for a better example, Loadstone, if they a.) cleared it with you that you had no plans for them and b.) they introduced them as "new" without any connection to the past - they are still DC properies, which, granted no one is likely chomping at the bit to get, but are in need of occasional publication to retain trademarks on? Granted, i understand you're speaking of INTENTIONAL undermining, but still . .

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Untitled

April 20 2004, 8:58 PM 

Couldn't, tho' - a writer use Danny, or for a better example, Loadstone, if they a.) cleared it with you that you had no plans for them and b.) they introduced them as "new" without any connection to the past - they are still DC properies, which, granted no one is likely chomping at the bit to get, but are in need of occasional publication to retain trademarks on? Granted, i understand you're speaking of INTENTIONAL undermining, but still . .


********************


There are always too many occasions for "misunderstandings". When i was in the early days of Superman, the editor called one day to ask if I had plans for the Parasite. I said no. The next thing I knew, there was the Parasite in another book. I called, and the editor said "But you said you weren't going to use him. . . "

With Superman there were far too many instances of people just not wanting to play along. I have no reason to expect things will be any different with DOOM PATROL.

 
 


(Login FrankSaxon)
Byrne Victim

Untitled

April 20 2004, 9:39 PM 

"Didn't you just describe the Ulimate Universe? Particularly Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Spidey? (The Ultimates is a tragedy.)"

Please explain to me how any of the "Ultimate" titles obey either of the rules I laid out?



frank :-{>

 
 


(Login jrpipik)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 10:43 PM 

One of the best "reboots" ever: JB's FF. He didn't discount anything the last creative team had done or anything, didn't have the Watcher change continuity, didn't have a new number one. He just started treating the characters differently, closer to their original form in many ways. It was enough of a dramatic departure from the status quo that it qualifies as a reboot to me.

Other examples from roughly the same period might be Miller's Daredevil and Simonson's Thor.

 
 


(Login BrianTalley)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 11:08 PM 

I find myself in the same boat as Robin. I got away from comics quite a while back, and while it was strange, not going to the comic shop every week, eventually the withdrawls stopped. Thanks to this board, I am picking up some things I missed, like LAB RATS and GENERATIONS, and I am again following creators I like and am familiar with, like Perez, Busiek, and of course JB. Every now and again, I would try to see what was going on in some of the books I had been following and I didn't even recognize some of the characters I had enjoyed for years (just who is that pretending to be Hank McCoy these days??). As I look to my right, I see long boxes that contain such stuff as Sal Buscema's HULK run, Perez and Wolfman's TEEN TITANS, JB's FANTASTIC FOUR, CAP (with Sterno), WCA, and others, Miller's DAREDEVIL, work by Kirby, Wein, Mantlo, Gulacy and others. Those are the books I go to when I need a fix.

 
 

(Login Slumgullion)
Byrne Victim

Wonderful thread . . .

April 20 2004, 11:20 PM 

The recent Superman Godwar storyline seemed like a reboot of some sort. I found that customers (and myself included) were kinda waiting for all the yada-yada-yada to end and for actual Superman stories to begin. I think that a universe reboot that is tied to continuity ala Crisis would at this time generate the same sort of apathy. I love the idea of picking a date and saying "as of this month, we start over". Forget about whether to start on a given year in the character's life etc . . . its new, start over, forget that other stuff.

What are the chances of this ever happening? Is there a company with the courage to do this? As a fan I would support it wholeheartedly, as a retailer even more so. I can't express how aggravating it is to speak with parents on how beneficial comics can be as a part of a child's reading . . . then have to steer them away from a key title (Batman, Spider-man, Supes, etc) because there isn't enough of a story in it, it isn't a good jumping point, or worse yet, it is inappropriate. Every issue should be treated as a first issue.

That felt good.

 
 
Bill Lukash
(Login lukash)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 11:25 PM 

I'd pick today as the rewind point. Just let somebody try to piece all the bits together. As long it isn't a Newhart (or Franklin Richards) explanation, I'll go along with it.

I like all those old Avengers where they tried to explain every little detail and tie up every little loose end. I loved it when there would be not *, not *, but *** next to some dialogue and a fat little yellow box in the corner. I really felt like part of the team! The problem is, most of the new writers don't care about that stuff or else they aren't creative enough to mix in the old stuff.

Does anyone remember when that funky lookin' Atlantean took the Vision's cape in the Avengers? It was around #154. The dude was walking around like a big shot, bragging about the cape. A couple issues later the Vision pimp-slaps him hard and takes it back. How can we erase that classic moment?

 
 
Anonymous
(Login John_Babos)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 11:34 PM 

The recent Superman Godwar storyline seemed like a reboot of some sort. I found that customers (and myself included) were kinda waiting for all the yada-yada-yada to end and for actual Superman stories to begin. I think that a universe reboot that is tied to continuity ala Crisis would at this time generate the same sort of apathy.

> If you've picked up Superman #200 and the Godwar arc, it indeed appears like a covert in-continuity explanation for the Birthright reboot. Superman #200 ended with Superman hurling toward a few different Earths - with different super-origins shown. I can't remember which Godwar issue it was, but one of them showed the BR origin that was depicted as one of the options at the end of Superman #200 as Superman's (current ) origin. In way, Superman #200 + Godwar provide an explanation for BR. Its kind of covert though - like DC is ashamed or something. Why not just come out and say Superman #200 is the mini-Crisis and be done with it. This could potentially explain (sorta) the existence of the new DP - if one wanted an in-continuity explanation for a "new" DP.

I love the idea of picking a date and saying "as of this month, we start over". Forget about whether to start on a given year in the character's life etc . . . its new, start over, forget that other stuff.

> What are the chances of this ever happening? Is there a company with the courage to do this? As a fan I would support it wholeheartedly, as a retailer even more so.


> The "pick a date" approach is painless. DC should go that route OR say that Superman #200 is the mini-Crisis and be done with it. Its the lack of editorial leadership that is irksome.

I can't express how aggravating it is to speak with parents on how beneficial comics can be as a part of a child's reading . . . then have to steer them away from a key title (Batman, Spider-man, Supes, etc) because there isn't enough of a story in it, it isn't a good jumping point, or worse yet, it is inappropriate. Every issue should be treated as a first issue.

> In my reviews of comic books I use "accessibility" as a measure. Every issue should be accessible to a new reader, absolutely. Its challenging. Perhaps an intro recap page? JSA used to do it and, I believe, the Ultimateverse uses that approach.

> I can't agree more about the child's reading part.

That felt good.

> It felt good reading it too.

 
 

(Login rickwhiting)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 20 2004, 11:50 PM 

I think that Marvel and DC need to initiate a line wide policy, in which they would perform a kind of "creative maintenance" on all of the MU and DCU books/characters every 15-20 years. This creative maintenance would consist of doing the following things.

1. Faithful retellings (or as faithful as one can get) of the origins of the MU and DCU characters in modern times with modern suroundings and trappings.

2. The elimination of any past stories that have damaged a character(s).

3. Putting out tpb's that contain the modern origins of these MU and DCU characters, as well as containing reprints of all of those past stories that are still part of a character(s) history/continuity.

 
 

Anonymous
(Login johnbyrne)
The Chief

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 21 2004, 9:40 AM 

One of the best "reboots" ever: JB's FF.

*******************

No way I can make what I did on FANTASTIC FOUR work in my head as a reboot -- at least, not the way we commonly use the term in comics. It did not discard previous continuity, did not start from scratch, did not renumber. What I did on FF was merely a change of direction.

Perhaps it is time for some definitions:

REBOOT: A complete overhaul, including abandoning of all previous continuity, and (often tho in the case of the beginning of the Silver Age not always) new numbering. Existing characters/titles are treated as if they have not previously existed, or new characters are introduced with the same names as if the previous versions had not existed. Examples include Wonder Woman, Doom Patrol, SA Flash, SA Green Lantern, SA Hawkman, etc.

RELAUNCH: Same characters, same continuity, (sometimes) new numbering. Lip service, at least, is paid to what has gone before. Examples include the "new" X-Men, Sub-Mariner, original Human Torch.

RETCON: "Retroactive Continuity". What we know changes, and does so retroactively. That which was true yesterday is not true today. Technically this more closely fits MAN OF STEEL and BATMAN: YEAR ONE than does "reboot", tho the balley-hoo surrounding both tend to place them in the "reboot" category (even tho none of the Batman books renumbered). Captain America is a prime example of a retconned character -- retconned twice in fact, once to bring him back in the 60s, and a second time in the 70s to explain the first retcon.

CHANGE OF DIRECTION: This is a term much more commonly applied in the days before reboot and retcon became the buzzwords. A new writer or editor, or combination, takes the character(s) in a different direction. The "new look" Batman is a good example, as is Superman under Julie Schwartz.

GOOFS: Changes that were mistakes, but that become canon. Bruce Banner is mistakenly called "Bob" and so becomes Robert Bruce Banner, etc.

 
 


(Login Dave_Phelps)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 21 2004, 10:49 AM 

There are always too many occasions for "misunderstandings". When i was in the early days of Superman, the editor called one day to ask if I had plans for the Parasite. I said no. The next thing I knew, there was the Parasite in another book. I called, and the editor said "But you said you weren't going to use him. . . "

Assuming it's the story I think it is (given the time frame), in their defense they started the character over from scratch (even changing the color!) rather than using the "Pre-Byrne" version. Not quite a "ghost of Kara" situation.


 
 


(Login Dave_Phelps)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 21 2004, 10:54 AM 

I think DC would have a harder time restarting. WWII characters would be a challenge, but then again they could be the inspiration for a new generation rather than being continuity and "fanboy" nightmares. Then what versions of characters do you use? Do you use the untouchable Barry Allen or Wally West, and did Barry Allen ever exist? Do you use Hal Jordan, Kyle or a new person? Do you ever have a Supergirl or is Superman a lone Kryptonian? Nightwing syndrome would creep in more easily at DC.

If DC was really going to start over, then I'd rather see it happen along the lines of 60s DC. Obviously you need to keep most of the popular elements of Superman, Batman and (to a lesser extent) Wonder Woman intact, but beyond that I'd rather they go back to the well and start from scratch. New concept for Flash, new concept for Green Lantern, etc. while keeping the very basic appeal intact ("Fastest Man Alive," etc.). So no Hal, Barry, Wally, etc. And add some new characters to the mix as well. Save the Justice League (or whatever they decide to call it) for at least a year.


 
 

(Login wwingfoot)
Byrne Victim

I wonder...

April 21 2004, 1:55 PM 

...sometimes who these reboots are really for? I mean, who benefits?

I'm not talking about reboots that revive a lost title or character, but the increasingly common ones that shake up long-running titles.

Do reboots really attract new readers over the long term? Do they result in better stories? Do they go anyplace beyond just shaking things up briefly?

When you think about Crisis, there's no way that series had any appeal to new readers. It was all about ending/changing 40 years of continuity--stuff only serious fans could enjoy or understand. So, when things began again in the various DC titles, did any of it mean anything to new readers? Or was it simply entertaining for oldtimers, who got to see (and complain about) how the new approaches deviated from the old?

Oftentimes, I think reboots are more about creators having no new ideas about what to do with a series. Shaking everything up gives them something to work with. It seems, to some extent, every major character and title is rebooted every four or five years to no particular purpose. Any change of creative personnel on a book is in some ways a reboot too.

As a reader, I find this all frustrating. I'd rather just see creators take a character, stick with who that character has been historically, not get bogged down in continuity, and create new stories.

Using John's terminology, I think a "change of direction" ala new era Batman should work just fine in nearly every case where a title or character needs some fresh energy and a new approach.

Post Crisis, I think superhero comics have become all about constantly trying to reinven the wheel instead of just hopping in the car and taking it for a spin.

 
 

(Login StephenRobinson)
Byrne Victim

Complete DCU and M**** Universe Overhauls

April 21 2004, 2:05 PM 

No way I can make what I did on FANTASTIC FOUR work in my head as a reboot -- at least, not the way we commonly use the term in comics. It did not discard previous continuity, did not start from scratch, did not renumber. What I did on FF was merely a change of direction.
************************************************************

I've read posts online that refer to your FF as a "reboot" because it was claimed that your run "began" after Lee and Kirby left. This is absurd, obviously, as your run referenced many things that happened post-Lee and Kirby.

I think this is stated in order to perpetuate the "Byrne retcons everything" myth. Your FF was a change of direction, as you note. You went "back to basics," which frankly I think every new creator should do on a title. (Simonson's Thor is sort of the same way -- I'd never read a Thor issue prior to his run and never felt that I had to do so to understand what was happened. It was presented "fresh" to me.)

It's unfortunate that a creator can't really start fresh or change direction with, say, Spider-Man. It's an example of all the things that Marvel should have stopped: The marriage, the death of Aunt May, and so on.

 
 

The Mystical Mike N.
(Login ArgentFox)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 21 2004, 2:20 PM 

Spider-Man is an excellent example of the torturous twists writers have to go through to tell the story while at the same time holding on to the threads of what has gone before.

The Death/Rebirth of Aunt May. MJ's "Death", multiple kidnappings, the marital troubles...

Loads of baggage in Peter's life and with each subsequent writer, he only acquires more not less.

Mike Nebeker - Super Genuis
Good Judgement comes from Experience and Experience comes from... Bad Judgement.

 
 

James Pipik
(Login jrpipik)
Byrne Victim

Re: Complete DCU And M***** Universe Overhauls.

April 21 2004, 3:07 PM 

Okay, JB's FF wasn't a reboot. But it was a fresh start and a good jumping on point. It didn't require having read any of the FF's recent stories -- heck, any of the FF's OLD stories -- to make sense. It just started doing the characters right in very solid stories without constantly referencing last issue.

If Marvel or DC proclaimed that, say, next October was "fresh start" month where all books were approached that way, I think that would effectively overhaul their universe without some cosmic event or re-numbering schtick.

Easier said than done!

 
 
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