August 18, 2009

Dullard Wizard

Wizard #215 -- Marvel's 70th Anniversary Issue -- contains its share of whoppers, and shows its continued brown-nosing of Marvel in general. Probably the biggest knee-slapper in its seventy "Marvelous Moments" is #53: "Heroes Reborn." I'm glad that at least this moment found its way pretty far down on the list, yet, honestly, let's be real -- it does deserve to be there. But check out the narrative:

"The art was, unsurprisingly, amazing"???? WTF are they smoking? Maybe Wiz's butt-kissers oughta take a gander at this post. Or, Mark Engblom's recent retrospective centering on "HR." Look, Jim Lee's art (as usual) was pretty good on Fantastic Four, and Whilce Portacio's had its moments on Iron Man, but Rob Liefeld's Cap was flat-out horrific, and Chap Yaep's in Avengers wasn't that far behind. As Engblom says about "HR," "Despite respectable sales numbers (which the hype all but guaranteed) ..." that is pretty much it in a nutshell. Hype. Exactly what Image Comics' founding was.

Next: Poor Walt Simonson. He just can't get any respect:

Yeah. Walt Simpson. Nice editing/proofreading on such a milestone issue, eh?

Regarding these next two items, see if you can ... well hell, just check 'em out:

Doesn't it just absolutely trash the very concept of key character "deaths" to laud the demise of a person like Bucky ... then at the same time to note that such a key historic moment was ignored by a current "hot" creator -- because he brought him back? And then this same "hot" creator gets similarly lauded for offing one of the companies longest-published heroes! C'mon -- "shook the comic biz to its core"? "Mainstream media as well"?? Please. Point me to ANYONE who didn't immediately know that Steve Rogers would be back as Captain America eventually. ANYONE. And it sure is easy to "shake the mainstream media" by sending out publicity blitzes to every network and newspaper extant.

Face it: character "deaths" ceased shocking people around the resurrection of Jean Grey. It's one thing to "bring back" minor characters like Wonder Man, but when you [legitimately] shock the industry by offing a popular hero and then resuscitate him/her shortly thereafter, please. I think the final straw for me was Marvel head honcho Joe Quesada's resurrection of Iron Man mentor Ho Yinsen (his brain inside Iron Man armor, at least) and original Iron Man villain Wong Chu. (Amazingly, too, Wizard ranks Quesada's ascension to Marvel editor-in-chief as #7 on their list.)

The big upside of Wiz #215 is an article on under-rated Marvel scribe Bill Mantlo. Known as "The Fill-In King," Mantlo's contribution to the Marvel mythos is by and large unknown. But for me, I know Bill as the writer of my favorite single-issue Iron Man story of all-time: "Long Time Gone." Apparently, many fans (and Marvel) think highly of this story, too, as it was reprinted in volume 3's "monster" issue, #46. If you ever have a chance to read this story, do it.


ShadowWing Tronix said...

Wait, the unneeded return of Yinsen and Chu was Quesada's bad idea? Was he behind the Y2K version of the sentient armor origin, or the Ultron origin? (The latter actually made more sense.)

Hube said...

I'm not certain of the idea behind the Ultron thingie (being Quesada's) b/c Frank Tieri wrote those issues. But Quesada scripted the Yinsen/Wong Chu revival stories, and the sentient armor/Y2K yarn, yes.

Pat said...

Note also that they killed Bucky in a flashback in Avengers #4, so the idea that he took a 60-year dirtnap is extended backwards, although he appeared in the 1954 revival issues of Young Men, and as late as 1948 in the original Cap.

Hube said...

Pat: Wouldn't the Young Men appearance be retconned as the Bucky from the 1950s (Englehart's story in Cap #155-157)?