Bring Back Wendell Vaughn!

 

Marvel said this was a return of a Long Awaited character. Well, turns out it’s their chance to throw another long fan-beloved character in the dumpster. So they freakin’ lied to us outright. House of ideas = House of lies these days? Maybe so.

Now they go mess with Wendell Vaughn. …Quasar.

Quasar was Quasar…sure he had strong links to a couple other characters (the golden age Marvel Boy/Crusader/ Uranian and Mar-vell band using types) Yet, Quasar was a good character who had fan interest. His series ran 60 issues in the 90s. It was the vehicle for a lot of solid stuff, and most fans regard that run very highly. Further, there was already a vocal outcry when he was killed off before. Fans showed Marvel they cared.  Marvel hasn’t really tried to make him work since, and it was always very out in the open that former editor in chief, Joe Quesada hated the character.

I have no problem with female characters. I think taking an existing character, turning him into a female or something else, just because the “name” will help sell the character and solidify them as “real” is dishonest and hackish. Even more dishonest, I think an institutional policy (seemingly Marvel’s) that seeks to alter its own landscape of self-perceived “slipping properties” and alter the race, gender etc of these heroes as a marketing stunt is even more sophomoric.

Fact is, most of these “slipping properties” need a pick me up because the writing, art, effort, and/or company support hasn’t been there. Simple market trends are sometimes to blame. Most of the time the sales or popularity drop has nothing to do with their race, gender or sexual orientation. In Wendell’s case, he was just an ignored character. Frankly, for years no one’s even bothered to make Quasar work. Quasar wasn’t hurting anyone semi-retired (waiting) for some decent writers to use him. He was low-hanging fruit, which makes this all even worse.

Even more mismanaged, Marvel has approached the notion of replacing older heroes with PC legacies aggressively and overt. Thus, the feeling of white male characters “under fire” in turn yields a confrontational reaction from many young white male readers and helps nurture a continued culture of enmity and/or shame. This is not a good way to fix a problem.

Sorry if some folks think this is sexist and/or cheap.

Next, let me express how unoriginal and lousy this “Standoff” was. (I read a copy online so, for once, I am up to speed here) The “evil town” (usually 1950s inspired) schlock has been done so much it’s a tired trope. GI JOE did it most famously, both in the comic and in the actual cartoon. So has the sentient cube thing. Kobik =Kubik…it’s all be done before.

Makes me really wonder what do they do at these writer retreats? Play Uno and hold ritual tributes to General Tso? House of ideas folks!

Worse, this Wendell business was just ham hocked inside this particular story. Clearly, this issue had some deep seeded editorial mandate written all over it. The Wendell side bar story came from nowhere and had little bearing on the tale, save for a handy aid to the dues ex machina ending of the heroes’ battle.

Now, Marvel claims they have “Big Plans” for this new Quasar. ”Big plans” like Sam Alexander? His series has been a running gag of tie ins and cross overs with no coherent story save for a mess of some “search for his father” slop that has been a disaster. His solo sales are in the gutter at 16k. “Big plans” = disaster all too often these days.

Within the story, none of the Quasar material makes a lick of sense.

Wendell has been “gone” for a few years now. Of course, he was still alive and not dead or anything. Marvel just didn’t give two shits about him or his fans. Marvel’s own wiki on Marvel. com, hadn’t even bothered to update the Quasar file since 2007’s Annihilation where he was killed off temporarily. (This despite playing a major role in several Nova tales, War of Kings, Thanos Imperative, Annihilators)

Correct me if I’m wrong, he was shown in one of Starlin’s OGN last year briefly. We’ve got no explanation for why he wasn’t active (or even fucking mentioned) in stuff like Infinity or Secret Wars (you know when all fucking reality was at stake). Not even a goddamn one panel item, such as Cap saying “well our Protector of the Universe Wendell Vaughn is feeling out of sorts right now and took that gig as a museum curator today, so he’s out” kinda thing. Nope Marvel writers like Hickman and Spencer are too busy with grand plans for that. Within the poo-poo plot of this “Standoff”, wouldn’t it have made so much more sense to find Genis-Vell’s bands?

This story makes little sense and springs from the current Marvel writer/editorial habit of just “doing whatever the hell they want” and not making anything make sense for readers of more than a couple years back. Continuity is a lost puppy in this regime. Worse, it’s been replaced by a half-hispanic lesbian human-Snark hybrid.

 

Wendell was turned into pure energy and eventually had it contained to the point he could manifest a human form. He doesn’t need the bands….worse it’s highly unlikely he can just give them away. In fact, he IS the bands.

Terrible writing.

Frankly, this has Jeph Loeb’s hands on it. Agent of SHIELD? Yeah…Loeb had something to do with this I’d bet. I know Nick Spencer doesn’t know cosmic from a fruit loop….and this story gives me no hope in his writing ability or grasp of Marvel Lore.

As a recap, Marvel still has not announced the Gamora ongoing they promised. Monica Rambeau, a solid Marvel Character who, though was a legacy herself at one point has bounced around and earned her chops, still has no series. Marvel had a character Phyla-Vell who died “off panel”. Moondragon, a great Marvel character hasn’t been seen in years. Hickman’s Captain Universe (female legacy) and Smasher (female legacy) characters seem to be thrown aside. There’s another Dr. Spectrum female version in Squadron Supreme. Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (female legacy) book has struggled for direction and the sales nary support a spin off.

A-force is not the hit anyone planned. Some sort of new cosmic gal in that one as well.

Starbrand’s (and Nightmask) (you know, the really weird murderous teen version of Wendell Vaughn) book moved at superluminal speed out of the top 100.

How does Marvel think something like this needs to be done?

Quasar fans have been vocal in their support for the DnA/ GIffen era and the Bring Richard Rider! Movement. Part of me wonders if this is just not some sort of punishment for their help. Needless to say, they have my support and shared outrage.

“Big Plans” for this new crap Quasar….equals “Big Plans” for me to keep my Marvel boycott going and not buy Marvel. I encourage you all to do the same….and I know this is tough.

Boo Marvel.

Long Live Richard Rider….and bring back Wendell Vaughn as Quasar.

Friends stick together.

 

Rider or Quasar return?

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE

 

UPDATE: BLEEDING COOL has published a spoiler reveal….proving Marvel is an insane corperation run by madmen. I was going to buy the Thanos Finale…not anymore.

 

My thoughts: I think common sense would say Quasar. Its a short deviation from Wendell’s emblem which he picked up in Issue 26 of his VOL. 1 series. The easy logic goes there.

Let’s face it though; Quasar is just kind of “not being used”. He’s alive and was featured running around last in a few of the Starlin OGNs. That being said, Quasar fans are awesome and I totally think its great if it is him.

However, the tag line here is “A Long Awaited Return” which I think could equal three other strong candidates:

#1 ….Rich Rider- Has the strongest claim IMO. The fan support of the character has been vocal and active. (Fuck yeah it has)

Like a few of the others, the emblem is a bit off…while before this teaser design could directly imply the Denarion rank of the Nova Corps…all that kind of goofy geekery seems to be ignored these days. Right now, both Sam and Jesse use this symbol as the Nova emblem….which is odd because Jesse seemed to use a centurion rank before. Naturally , par for the Sam Alexander lore, its never been acceptably explained.

Its largely possible this is the deal.

The bottom line aside from color, it is, for all intents and purposes, the current Nova emblem.

As for the color, typically red….Rider has used a yellow emblem before:

(after you’ve thrown up and purged that design from your head, read on)

In fact, he has also used the Quasar emblem before as well. (shown below)

Yes…that’s fucking Richie. (an awesome DnA arc in Vol. 4)

Another thing—-Lets also consider this Kobik character is made up of cosmic cubes….well, that’s the same thing Rich absorbed when he died. That makes a lot of sense.

One last factoid…Mark Bagley is working on this sucker.

New Warriors Vol. 1 is the best comic ever….and Mark drew one of the best Richies in Richie history.

Wishful thinking…most likely…but some optimism.

#2 Phyla-Vell- Shes been gone for a long time, She’s EMO, she does have a following, she’s PC friendly, and she’s used a very close version of the symbol.

For the record I dig Phyla-vell…just not as Quasar. I think she should be a member of the Nova Corps or all around cosmic badass. I admit, she was done wrong by DnA…who killed her basically off panel. While I love the material, that one never sat right.

I also have a problem because a lot of her fans that (occasionally) come out of the woodwork seem to just want to support her because she is a lesbian (LGBT), and they don’t seem to support the whole of Annihilation or disaffected characters of the DnA / Giffen era like Rider, Nebula, Quasar…etc..

#3…Genis-Vell- Once again, the emblem is not the eight  (8) pointed Mar-vell/ Longshot (?) emblem (Nova Prime for that matter). Has a strong claim because the Standoff tale seems to be a primer for T-bolts. Zemo is in the story…and Zemo killed him. However the whole cool anti-hero Zemo seems long gone….as far back as Ed Brubaker who turned him into a fairly one -trick villain once more.

I’ve never gotten into how much a Genis fan I am, but it nearly rivals my love for RR. I was a huge fan of the PAD run…I love the character, and would like to see him back.

Tom Brevoort , a still active bigwig at Marvel, was editor of Genis best stuff. Avengers Forever is the top 3 Marvel events ever….and I’m still waiting for that cool Avengers gig.

However…so far the art has not shown Genis to be a part of that Bucky led team.

Worse…the Mar-vell symbol has had no real deviations…the Nova symbol has.

Now the real question is: who said that quote? I’ve heard a few things but have yet to see on-panel confirmation. It also reminds me of what Rich said to Night Thrasher when he threw him off the building in New Warriors vol. 1 #1. But my copy is CGC.

At any rate, I dig all these characters. There is always hope Nova fans…..

Long Live Rich…and keep the flame lit…

 

 

 

 

The significance of continuity article

 

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE

MY Thoughts:

Couldn’t disagree more.

The power of the canon and of continuity is a huge part of what gets folks to show up in the first place. It’s a huge part of what drives serial fiction to lasting success and sustainability. Further, it’s a huge reason why customers buy the product and show up to the new versions or film versions. Readers or viewers need to feel the stuff they had already seen had some sort of importance. This notion always effects the power of the whole.

Substitute the word “Canon” for “History” and the prose in this article seems preposterous. Fact is, Canon is the history…and it’s incredibly important. It’s not lip service or fan fluff job; it’s the record that made the material work in the first place.

Personally, I think the opinion in this work is akin to the lazy mantra of ego-driven creators who simply don’t want to be beholden to anyone or any parameters they feel “restricts” them or devalues their own (perceived) “genius”.  IE the “Rock Star” condition. (We are overloaded with these nowadays) Putting aside ego, often times, the same stuff would easily work if tweaked only slightly.  Either that or it’s the mantra of creators who don’t want to do the legwork known as research.

Certainly some fun can be had within continuity. Don’t get me wrong, there is always some room for play and creativity. Continuity can be bent and occasionally twisted…but there is a point when it is also synonymous with quality control as well.

Worst of all, I hate this dismissive notion of fans. Fan support is an asset, not a detriment. Fans buy the product and support it through thick and thin. You want fans.

The notion that canon is irrelevant devalues the tons of writers who make their living writing within canon or continuity. Collectively, we should embrace writers who do the research and legwork behind the material. That’s writing. Hard work is admirable, and it makes the writing stronger. It’s called “research” folks…and it helps a product immensely.

Lastly, for the love of God, enough with the excuses for Batman V Superman. It was fairly lousy, get over it. It wasn’t particular the fault of canon that it was bad…it was a smattering of clear-cut reasons of writing and filmmaking.

Let’s move on and get over ourselves.

Why Jeph Loeb stinks

 

Before I list my own, more specific, problems w/ Loeb …the Basics of why Loeb sucks:

 

-His books are often mired in delays. (some of epic scale)

-Like most rock star writers, he ignores and ham fists continuity and characterization to fit the needs of his stories.

-He is mostly only passable with street level themes like Batman or DD. He seems to want to “hoke down” comic books and make them overly dark, raunchy or vulgar,  most likely to gain respect with the “masses.”

-He largely has masked his deficiencies as a writer with uber talented artists.

-He also masks his poor writing with extended action sequences and decompression.

-His dialogue often breaks down into movie-esque wannabe one liners.

-He loves to use shock scenes to generate buzz, IE deaths, kill offs, gore and uncomfortable themes.

-His plots are largely predicable and feel like they’ve been ripped from 80s movies like Last Starfighter or Lethal Weapon.

Now for my own personal reasons, keep in mind I’m a Marvel guy…so this is largely all Marvel talk:

 

  1. Legacy of derailing and destroying epic runs. (Leaving stuff in a worse place than he found it)

 

  • He came in and eviscerated the Ultimates and the Ultimate line after the ‘all time high’: of Mark Millar.
  • He derailed the Hulk after Pak’s legendary Planet Hulk Truthfully, Hulk has never recovered and has been a tough sell ever since. I mean Red Hulk? A-Bomb?
  • He put Richard Rider in the dumpster for the sake of his Sam Alexander Nova. The book’s sales are well below Rider’s in the long term and many fans of the old Nova vehemently reject the new material.
  • He is known to have orchestrated the collapse of Marvel cosmic following DnA/Giffen era.

 

  1. Let’s not underscore his gaff with Ultimate line.

 

  • Ultimates 3 was largely underwhelming and oft delayed. Fans really got frustrated with it. Not to mention, as per usual Loeb, none of the characters really acted like Millar and others had established. Everything intrinsic to the Ultimates universe, IE a sense of “quasi realism” seemed thrown out the door for some vaudeville esque romp. To top it off, he really amped up weirdness between the Scarlet Witch and Pietro for its own, shock schlock sake.
  • Ultimatum, however was one of the worst comic series in Marvel Comics history. In fact, I’d squarely put it at the single worst series ever.
  • It contained such epic debauched highpoints as :

Yes…women in fridges, cheesy movie inspired one liners and totally forcing characters to act how he wants them….that’s Jeph Loeb.

  • We can’t escape the “ultimate” reality: the Ultimate Universe (which was a sales juggernaut w/ books routinely in the top 25) never recovered sales-wise from this monumentally bad event. Marvel slow burned out Miles Morales, stuff like Hunger and a somewhat decent but abbreviated Hickman Ultimates run, but the viability of the line was largely shot. Ultimatum destroyed everything the Ultimate line was supposed to be.

 

  1. Nova (In name only)

 

  • While DnA “technically” killed off Richard Rider following Thanos Imperitive, (Frankly, it was more of a draw your own conclusion fade away) Loeb is generally seen as the guy who put the nails in his very resurrectable coffin. (then pretended he didnt exist) He derailed a character…made commitments to keep him in the dumpster. Worse, his cohort of “creators” and “editors” behind the book went on a smear campaign aimed at the old Nova fans and specifically set about to assassinate the legacy of Richard Rider. He did this all for a generic retelling of any 80s teen space “coming of age” flick and arrogantly left the book after only five issues and one single decompressed arc (it was really like 3 issues).

 

  • My guess is he also did this to prop up a character for a movie or Netflix series and keep Wolfman’s beloved version in the gutter. The movie aspirations were palatable.

 

  • After only a few issues, Nova sold worse than Richard Rider’s books .This despite being shoved down everyone’s throats like no other character in Marvel history. Cartoons, TV, Avengers, New Warriors, dozens of issues under the cancellation range. He’s made a camp outside the top 100, a place Rich Rider Nova drifted only once.

 

  • Some 40 issues of material, none of the new Nova “Lore” makes a lick of sense within Marvel 616 continuity. A prolonged quest for a “dad” figure who looks exactly like Rider (yet is not), clones, a revolving cast of “unsupported” supporting characters, and, of course, constant cameos and event tie ins. Still, the character is an irresponsible, hokey zany kids type-hero (While the series often features decapitations, dismemberments and Loeb-esque gore).

 

  • All of this for five issues of Loeb. (keep in mind he also lied and said he would be back in a few arcs its largely beleiveditsggan was working with many of Loeb’s 2 years of scripts)

 

Clearly, as a huge Richard Rider fan I am biased here. Loeb destroyed my favorite character and his legacy.

  1. Marvel TV

 

– I tried to watch Daredevil….just couldn’t get through it. It’s not bad, but largely, IMO pretentious and sure thinks it is a lot cooler than it is. Personally, I think Daredevil is pretty easy to make decent.

– used a different New Warriors team in his USM while Yost was trying to sell a New Warriors book. Thanks Loeb…

– I can’t sit through one minute of the dialogue in ANY of those cartoons. My kids hate them.

– propped up his largely unpopular multiple Hulks notion.

This just may be the single worst thing I’ve watched in my life. Let me tune in blindly next week to see if it gets better!

– The first season of SHIELD was atrocious. Epic bad. Sorry, I’m too busy to just plop myself down for multiple years waiting for something to get good.

– Heroes sucks. Heroes reborn sucks too. (Superhereoes “realistic”d up to seem less dumb for the massess)

– Big Hero Six, (was good) yet again seeing Jeph Loeb’s name in the credits just as big as the creator Chris Clermont is really horrifying.

Tell me , how does this:

Go to this???:

WTF? How is this “embracing the source material?”

  1. It highly annoys me a guy who has destroyed and uncreated so much proud Marvel stuff gets to sit as such a high ranking Marvel exec with so much sway. Meanwhile other, much more deserving guys are lost in the sauce.

Jeph Loeb stinks

Long Live Richard Rider

Still waiting….

Forty issues of Sam Alexander stuff, big roles in every event, Avengers, New Warriors, Toys and Cartoons and still Marvel can’t give us the story of what happened to Robbie Rider and the remaining Nova Corp, Worldmind or characters who survived Thanos Imperative.

Shameful.