Thursday, June 14, 2007

Joe Q: Villain or Menace

David Brothers has a great post up in defense of Joe Quesada called Joe Q: Villain or Menace, and I must admit that I liked the guy as the EiC when he first took over.

I'm sure you all know my current feelings about the editorial Marvel.

I can't agree entirely with David's take on DC's handling of women vs. Marvel's. Comparing Storm cold to Wonder Woman isn't really fair (especially since Storm's handling in her home book, Black Panther, is not really hetr book, or even her home book, and isn't an impressive use of the character. Wonder Woman has been consistently a force to be reckoned with outside of her book, despite editorial flounderings with the title itself. She's at the forefront in heroic society.) The issue is far more complex. Why not take Sue Storm, Spiderwoman, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Power Girl, Black Canary, and Manhunter (which is uncancelled, thank you David) into account? How about Lois Lane's treatment vs. Mary Jane's? And for Spiderman loves Mary Jane vs. Supergirl, we have Birds of Prey vs. Heroes for Hire. And DC just hired McKeever, didn't they?

And before I get called a DC apologist, there's Jean Loring, Spoiler, Black Canary and Green Arrow, any Green Lantern girlfriend, Star Sapphire especially, about a third of the posts on this blog are about DC idiocy.

Point being, both companies have excellent moments and moments of stunning stupidity. But this is before work and I don't really have time to get entirely into it.

I will give him that John Stewart in the background is fucking stupid.

Anyway, its an interesting post. Go read it.


  1. See, I wasn't sure about Manhunter, because I'd heard it was uncancelled, but I hadn't seen any new solicits for it. I figure it's on a hiatus while they get back to work on it?

    And yeah, it is totally give and take with regards to both companies. I spun a bit in that portion (some would say... a lot!), but I guess I was trying to say that for every Spoiler and Sue Dibny, there's a good portrayal like Renee Montoya and Jaime Reyes's mom, who is the character find of the new millenium, no doubt about it. (She is perfect and I want a spinoff.) For every Heroes for Hire cover and crappy Michael Turner cover, there is Richard Morgan's Black Widow and Jessica Jones.

    Strides are being made. Things are getting better, I think/hope/pray. I'm trying to get to a point (and that post was half for me, if you know what I mean, getting my thoughts ordered) where I can bash and praise all at once, so that the companies know that I do appreciate the effort that they're making even if I hate their missteps.

    (I have got to stop growing up in public.)

    "Marvel, look, Storm isn't a damsel in distress and you've got her like that on what, two covers this month? Cut-it-out. But-- keep giving us the new Scorpion. She is extremely cool. Good job."

    "DC, seriously, Countdown? Seriously? But-- hiring McKeever is a good move. I'll vote with my wallet!"

    I've turned into some kind of love everybody be happy hand-holding hippie and I blame Grant Morrison :|

    Thanks for reading, though.

    Also, cripes, is it canceled or cancelled? Firefox's spell check suggests the former, but the latter looks better.

  2. I'm not sure I agree with most of the points. Much of the early successes cited - the revitalization of the X-Men franchise and the Ultimate line - came about in no small part because of Bill Jemas' contributions. As for the MAX line, how many high-profile and successful launches has it enjoyed, besides Alias? Even the much-anticipated "Howard the Duck" relaunch with Steve Gerber died on the table. The recent "Wisdom" mini-series has gotten a great deal of positive attention from critics, but has barely made an impact on sales. Meanwhile even the "Haunt of Horror" mini-series have been floundering, in spite of great strides in the horror and dark fantasy genre made elsewhere by IDW and Boom. As for the Ultimate line, it has been in a kind of creative limbo since the promised Grant Morrison run on UFF and the "Ultimate Kree Versus Skrull War" never manifested.

    As for Bendis and JMS, well, I actually think they're both mediocre writers of comic books, but that's personal opinion, and without a doubt they've been high-profile writers with considerable successes. However, Bendis was at the helm of "Avengers Disassembled" and "House of M", which may have been risky storyelling ventures, but neither made a great impression among fans or really sparked much follow-up from writers (see Paul O'Brien's comments about the X-Men franchise post-"Decimation"). JMS' run on "Amazing Spider-Man" started out very well, but in the end he sparked a great deal of ire and, worse, indifference. In short, there's a reason Marvel seems to have been slowly excising him from their stable of writers.

    I don't think many people would argue that bringing in high-profile writers from outside the medium was a good idea. Many of those writers have been notoriously unreliable at meeting deadlines - "Ultimate Hulk Versus Wolverine" has become an industry joke - or acting like primadonnas when dealing with fan expectations and continuity (see Orson Scott Card's "Ultimate Iron Man" and JMS' "Amazing Spider-Man").

    Finally there are the things the article doesn't address or only touches on. Quesada's handling of LGBT characters has been controversial at best; I'm thinking especially of the retcon of Rawhide Kid's sexuality and Quesada touting a gay superhero, Freedom Ring, only for the character to be killed off in a highly violent (and even suggestive) manner shortly thereafter. I'm also thinking of the fan anger over the large number of advertisements in individual issues, which Quesada failed to address for some time.

    I don't deny that Quesada has been fairly experimental, but I don't think it's entirely accurate to say he's been overly good for Marvel, especially after Bill Jemas' departure.

  3. I am unconvinced Marvel is doing a worse job than DC. DC was routinely beat up throughout the year...and THEN the Mary Jane statue blew up. But most of the major eruptions this year were DC (a lot of them Powergirl and Supergirl related, as many, many, many links on WFA can show)...on the other hand, in just a couple months, Marvel showed DC they can play this dumbass game with just as much skill.

    I just do not buy that one is actually worse than the other. And that seems to be the game people are playing all of the sudden(though, I get the impression you are trying to avoid such simple approaches). Both companies have done a piss poor job as of late-but both have moments of shine.

  4. I'm also thinking of the fan anger over the large number of advertisements in individual issues, which Quesada failed to address for some time.

    But, he did address it in a frank manner-- he admitted that it was about the ad money, and that it'd likely happen every fourth quarter.

    Much of the early successes cited - the revitalization of the X-Men franchise and the Ultimate line - came about in no small part because of Bill Jemas' contributions.

    I mention that in the intro, when I name the other people who should share credit. The article is about the guy in charge right now, though :)

  5. The way he addressed it was "frank", but it was also dismissive and unsatisfactory. As Paul O'Brien put it, "Why are there 22 pages of adverts cluttering up the 24 page story that I have paid my hard-earned money to read?" You have a point, though; looking back Quesada did address it honestly, but in Newsrama he basically rescinded his own promise to fans that he would tone down the absurd number of adverts in issues. That's hardly the way to inspire brand loyalty.

    I mention that in the intro, when I name the other people who should share credit. The article is about the guy in charge right now, though :)

    Sorry I missed that, but I think you can make a good case that much of Marvel's successes early on were primarily the work of Bill Jemas, not Joe Quesada.

  6. Marvel and DC both have some VERY good books. They have also both made some very bone-headed moves lately that annoy me unspeakably.

    However, when I got to the part that says that the "buck stops here" with Quesada, I had to stop and laugh and laugh. He's NEVER taken responsibility when something blows up, it is always the artist or the writer's fault, or more usually, the FAN'S fault for not being bright enough to see his vision for what it is. I don't appreciate being patronized, and that is the feeling that Mr. Quesada gives me.

    I used to be a total Marvel Zombie in my younger days, but lately I am so disgusted and revolted by the way that things are going, that I almost exclusively read DC. DC can make some remarkably stupid moves all on their own, but at least I still love the characters. I also don't appreciate the venom with which Quesada refers to the Distinguished Competition. It is rude and obnoxious, and Stan Lee NEVER behaved that way.

    Pant pant. I'll calm down now.

  7. I cannot bring myself to hate Quesada, primarily because he designed....the Ray.