Friday Funny Pages: Dazzler’s Daddy Issues

Oh hello there!  I’m being told that this post is late, that it isn’t actually Friday, and that I’ve really slacked quite a bit this week.  My apologies, earlier this week I was tapped to be the starter at a race between a Delorean and a phone booth and when those suckers took off I was caught up in their backwash.  The tachyon eddies that resulted created a temporal vortex which sucked me through time and space sending me on a whirlwind adventure through the ages.  So technically as I’m posting this it is indeed Friday, though to all of you individuals who are firmly grounded in the present it might appear that this is actually being posted on Saturday.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Anyway, onto the comic book goodness!  Today’s panels come to us from way back in 1981 and Dazzler #2, with words by Tom DeFalco and art by the legendary John Romita Jr.  The cover of the issue reads “Last Stand In Discoland!”  and this is early on in the elaborate mythos of Dazzler, as the readers were still being introduced to her character.  As with most of Marvel’s heroes, young Allison Blaire, though she is a superhero she has her own real world hangups.  Here we discover that although Dazzler has mutant powers, is a rising pop star, a roller disco champ, a part-time superhero, and she’s friends with the X-Men, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four, she receives little satisfaction from these achievements because her father is a curmudgeon.  In the grand scheme of things she’s doing really well for a superhero.  At least her father isn’t dead, she’s not an alcoholic, she isn’t haunted by demons (either figuratively or literally), she’s not trapped in a world she never created, and she’s not some conflicted triple agent trying to do the right thing in a bad system.

So her father thinks she should drop the song and light show routine and get a real job?  Big deal.  In a few issues she’ll be fighting Galactus (Dazzler #10) and I’m sure he’ll totally forget all about the other stuff then!  Also as a mutant Dazzler has really lucked out.  She’s already dodged a bullet by not being one of those grotesque mutants whose mutation effects their outward appearance  AND  her mutant abilities (transmuting sound waves into patterns of visible light) work out perfectly with her chosen profession! She can easily display her powers without drawing the suspicion of bigoted normals.  Heck, with the plethora of X-Men movies on the horizon Dazzler could even find herself portrayed on the big screen one day!

I say Dazzler needs to buck up!  She’s really got the world by the balls, and in this post-feminism age there’s no reason she should feel guilty, or postpone her dreams because of some arcane impression that she needs some type of male approval for her choices.  Am I right ladies?

I have no idea what I’m talking about, perhaps that time rift has effected me more than I previously suspected . . . .

That is all!

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Friday Funny Pages: This Is Why The Fantastic Four Movies Sucked

 

Answers at last to the nagging question of why the Fantastic Four movie and it’s sequel were train wrecks.  Namor the Sub-Mariner of course!  That dastardly demon of the deep was plotting yet another vile scheme!  This time his plan was to ensnare our heroes in a shitty movie deal, and keep them locked in so that they would be unable to rejoin the their friends in the unified Marvel Movie Universe, thus determining that they would never appear in a half way decent superhero movie!  But alas Prince Namor of Atlantis has not only struck this blow against the FF, but simultaneously trapped his rival, and occasional ally, Dr. Doom in this motion picture hell the likes of which is on par with that of Mephisto’s Realm!  Oh the horror!  The shame!  Is there nothing the Fantastic Four can do to escape this unspeakable prison?!?

Nope.  Probably not, there are hints of a Fox launched Fantastic Four reboot in the works, which means that Fox studios would be able to retain the FF rights for another decade or so.  By that time the chance for an FF flick from Marvel Studios and Disney may have come and gone, as much as I hate to say it the superhero movie craze can’t last forever and it might already be too late for Reed Richards and his cohorts.  Looks like we just have to chalk this one up to Namor, well played you water logged louse!

This panel of course comes from the earliest days of the Fantastic Four and was from one of their first few encounters with Namor the Sub-Mariner.  This issue was put together by the “My Two Dads” of many of Marvel’s characters, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  It’s funny to think that at the time of this issues writing the idea of a Fantastic Four movie was a gag, but now that it has become a reality it is even more of a gag.  Oh well, my motto is let’s see what the next one turns out like!  (Or something along those lines.)

That is all!

Friday Funny Pages: Tears Of Doom

This panel is ridiculous.

The image comes to us from a tribute issue focusing on New York city which Marvel released shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Center and collapse of the twin towers.  The profits of the book were donated to aid organizations and to support those brave men and women who scrambled through that wreckage to rescue victims trapped underneath.  It was a noble gesture on their part, afterall Marvel is the comics publisher of New York.  The city itself plays a huge role in many of the companies biggest titles.  Within the Marvel universe New York is featured prominently and its skyline has taken on a unique likeness within the comic book pages.  I still remember my very first trip to New York city and being slightly disappointed when I realized there wasn’t really a Baxter Building among the towering sentinels that lined the streets.  I didn’t expect to see a giant 4 crowning a skyscraper but the New York city of the comics is written and portrayed with such conviction and familiarity I was convinced it had to be based on a real building.

It was no surprise then that Marvel, like the rest of New York and the country as a whole, took the 9/11 attacks very personally.  It was an attack on one of their own, the assault of an old friend, but even so much more than that.  The tribute issue they put together was well written and full of some very important, noble sentiments.  How the heroes of real life were people who were brave enough to risk their own lives to save others, how super heroes can’t always save the day, and how tragedies like this effect not only the victims and their families but any human observer who has the capacity for compassion.  The terrorist attacks that took place on September 11th 2001 were a terrible marker in American history and that day and the lives lost in those tragedies should be observed with the utmost dignity and reverence.

Taking all of that into consideration let me return to this panel, and state again that it is ridiculous.  I don’t hold any ill will toward Marvel, I don’t think showing Dr. Doom standing at the edge of ground zero crying is in any way disrespectful.  I can see what they were trying to do by having a notorious villain cry at the seemingly random destruction that took place there.  What I’m saying is it just doesn’t make any sense.  First off during his career in the comics Dr. Doom himself has probably done more property damage to New York city.  Second Doom isn’t even a U.S. citizen!  In fact he is a tyrannical dictator of a small eastern European country which has, at best, shaky relations with the United States and at worst open hostility.  Third Dr. Doom is a callous, cold-hearted dude, who has made back alley deals, committed murder, assassinated leaders, and literally made pacts with the devil to gain the powers he has, it’s safe to say that Dr. Doom only cares about Dr. Doom.

What I’m getting at is that showing Dr. Doom standing and crying at the site of ground zero is just laughable!  They might as well have drawn Hitler there too with a tear in his eye.  (Dr. Doom has access to a time machine, so that would be plausible within continuity.)  Marvel has so many other villains within their universe that they could have used which would have made more sense, villains who actually call New York city their home, like the Kingpin or Doctor Octopus.  Dr. Doom though just doesn’t make any sense to me, but what do I know?  Perhaps the writing team was stepping out of their normal roles in light of the enormity and consequences of the events and were simply aiming to show iconic Marvel figures reeling from the damage done to our nation and her people.

Just remember this:  Despite his tears, Dr. Doom still hates you.  Yes, you.

That is all!

Friday Funny Pages: Has Anyone Seen Dr. Doom?

This has been a busy week for me, well I guess I should say it’s been a busy/lazy week for me.  My wife has been out of town the past few days so when I haven’t been busy doing something, I’ve made sure to be busy doing nothing at all.  I have sat in front of the television this week longer than I have in a very long time.  I’ve taken this opportunity to rewatch some Babylon 5, perhaps the best run of the show, the third season.  I’ve been alternating B5 DVDs with those of the the show Extras, starring Ricky Gervais.  It’s been a nice mix of dramatic sci-fi and uncomfortable humor.  All that being said I’ve been a bit lax on my blog posts this week, but fear not!  As you can see of course I did not forget about the Friday Funny Pages, and I already have a few blog ideas lined up for next week and, spoiler alert, I’ve been working on the last phase of the Terrordrome Renovation project!  So fear not loyal readers (reader), you’ll get your Wits fix, as I like to call it.

Anyway onto this panel from the classic Silver Age pages of the Fantastic Four.  Continuing our Dr. Doom theme this week brings us one of the earliest days of the bad doctor.  This of course is brought to us from the Mega Marvel Masters themselves Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  I really enjoy this panel because it encapsulates so much of Dr. Doom’s personality in one little rectangle.  First off whenever Dr. Doom is looming around in an open doorway you know nothing good will come of it.  Many a brave soul have met there end after laying their eyes on such a scene.  Also I just really like his line here, “Did someone mention my name?”, every good villain has that line at some point and it shows how self centered they are and just how bloated their maniacal egos have become.  When not planning revenge based plots, or building evil robots Dr. Doom keeps an ear out for people talking about him.  Classic.  I love it.

This panel comes from an issue that is full of zany goof, Fantastic Four #10, The Return of Doctor Doom.  In the issue the story stops mid-way to cut to a scene of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby themselves, suffering from a bout of writer’s/artist’s block.  In a very meta-before-there-was-meta, style the two comic book creators are feeling somewhat at a lose chronicling the adventures of the Fantastic Four because several issues back Dr. Doom seemingly was launched into space and lost to the infinite void.  Recognizing Doom’s grand style of villainy Lee and Kirby feel there’s nothing exciting left for the FF to undertake and doubtlessly worry about sales dropping as the Fantastic Four fall into a peaceful life free of Dr. Doom.

Too bad that Doctor Doom was lost in space!”  Says Stan ‘the Man.’  “He was possibly the greatest villain of all!

Next to Stan Lee Jack Kirby ruefully sits at his drawing table, his face buried in his palms.

Yeah!”  Kirby adds.  “We sure can’t come up with a menace like him everyday!

And then, it happened!

That of course leads to Doom’s appearance.  Dr. Doom, under threat of death, forces Stan Lee to call Mr. Fantastic on the phone and ask him to come over to their studio to supposedly work out some plot details for an upcoming issue.  Of course when Reed Richards arrives, Dr. Doom is waiting for him with a gas gun of some kind and the whole plot of the issue takes off again.  Long story short Dr. Doom somehow joins the FF and Mr. Fantastic is the villain of the issue.  But what I really like about this issue is that within the universe, of the Marvel Universe Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are big enough properties that Dr. Doom would think to work them into his plans and Mr. Fantastic apparently drops whatever he’s working on to come over when they call.  Those guys are big shots!

Anyway, I need some coffee and a few more episodes of Babylon 5!

That is all!

Here's a little bonus for you, from the first appearance of Lee and Kirby! This issue is worth a fortune! A fortune I tells ya!

Comic Books Through the Ages, According to Me

Several posts back I talked about the new age of comic books, the current era, which has been quite unique in its style and media presence.  I called our modern comics era the Mercury Age due to its fast paced storytelling and penchant for drastic change.  Today however I would like to go through and further define the various stages of development of the comic book industry as I see them, and offer up my suggestions for the eras that have for the most part gone undefined.

The Golden Age of Comics– 1930’s to early 1950’s

The Golden Age is very familiar with most comic book fans, it is the age that started it all.  The Golden Age produced many of the icons of comics that are still around today, characters that are pillars of the entire industry.  Detective Comics was the powerhouse of the day, and established the indelible style of that company.  I would describe this era as a highly imaginative time where creators worked hard to set their characters apart from other heroes.  However though the character designs were very stylized and unique the plots of this era seem fairly interchangeable.  Initially almost all superhero characters dealt exclusively with street level crime, gangsters, corrupt businessmen, etc.  Even supernatural and science fiction elements that were employed by villains dealt primarily with petty crime or personal gain.  During the time of World War II comics of course gained a very distinct patriotic tinge, practically becoming propaganda.  This worldly shift in tone lead to a larger scale in the stories being told.  Having the comics take place overseas or showing heroes aiding the war effort on the home front helped broaden the superhero scope.  Inspired by the media of the time this era can best be described as radio dramas with pictures, heavy on narration and very flat, interchangeable stories.  Though the individual heroes were quite outlandish there came to be a general pattern which most comic books ascribed to.  With the advent of television this style of storytelling became less and less popular.

Golden Age Green Lantern before the changes of the Silver Age

The Golden Age Comics: Radio Dramas with pictures.

The Silver Age of Comics– 1950’s -1960’s

After a short lull in comics after WWII when there was no longer the need for such enthusiastic patriotism there came a reinvigoration of comics with a new focus; high adventure in the atomic age!  New characters were popping up all over with origins dealing with radiation and scientific achievement.  Old characters were being altered and reinvented, doing away with vague mystical elements and tweaking powers and origins to include more plausible, science based logic.  The cold war and the space race kick started some of the most outlandish and memorable tales in comics history.  The mysteries of space and the wonders of atomic power fueled the imaginations of comic book writers and the nation as a whole.  Fear and wonder during this time were also put to use selling alien invasion stories and horror comics.  Several comic book publishers rose and fell during this highly creative era, which saw the rise to prominence of Marvel comics which had its own golden age during this Silver age.  Here is where the concepts of continuity and the development of in-comic universes began to solidify.  The various publishers tightened their focus while at the same time widening their scope laying out their own distinct views of the world as it was in their comic book stories, during this period there was a discovery through storytelling.  The comic book industry was still figuring itself out and didn’t exactly take itself serious, but there were crucial developments in style, art, and writing.  Overall I would describe this era as high concepts, with low execution.

The Fantastic Four propelled Marvel Comics into the Silver Age

The Bronze Age of Comics– 1970’s – early 1980’s

An important time in comics.  This era saw a greater development of the comic book industry and its established characters.  During this time writers spent a great deal of time explaining earlier concepts and aided the various universes to flesh themselves out with a great sense of continuity.  There was a desire to experiment during the bronze age.  Established characters were put into new and unusual circumstances and new characters were introduced who had more socially relevance, continuing the evolution of the stories told in comic books.  A new time of zaniness emerged, reminiscent of the Golden Age, but with a much greater self awareness.  There was a more satirical tone during this time, with more social commentary not often found in comics prior.  Social change and political unrest were rampant in the country at this time and though these issues are not always directly addressed in the comics of the Bronze Age there was a much greater use of comics as a platform for addressing cultural concerns.  The two major comic book universes at Marvel and DC were broadened to their greatest scope.  During this time comics start to become a more commercial outlet featuring movie comic book adaptions and other comic book tie-ins.  The comics of this time range from street level crimes, to interstellar wars, to mystical realms, and classic horror stories.  There are many new developments during this time but the major work of this era deals with building up and reinforcing the established comic book universes, while at the same time providing greater insights and cultural awareness.

The Bronze Age brought humanity to the super human

 

The Tarnished Age of Comics– 1980’s -1990’s

Here is where we get into uncharted territory, this time period is most commonly referred to as simply the modern age of comics, which I believe at this point is a bit passé.  Here begins a time of pessimism and realism in comic books.  The same familiar comic book universes that were established in the decades prior were now given a distinct patina across their once shining exteriors.  During the tarnished age the comic book industry starts to mature, due in part to an increasingly older readership.  Comics are no longer simply kids stuff and those who read comics as kids continued reading and were interested in more complex stories.  This is an age of darker tales, more realistic premises, dynamic events, and humanistic plots that do not shy away from depth, complexity, or social commentary.  Continuity becomes more important than ever and a new generation of readers and writers delve into angsty character driven plots.  This period is also tainted by company arrogance from the big comic publishers, which are at this point are becoming large corporations.  This era saw the height of the commercialism of comic books and the extensive use of variant covers, and special rereleases to boost sales.  Fueled by the booming collectors market for older comics publishers believed they could make a substantial profit by encouraging their readers to buy up the plethora of exclusive and “hard to find” printings that were being cranked out.  This lead to a comic book collectors bubble of sorts which eventually imploded discouraging comic fans and nearly bankrupting the bloated comic book industry.  This of course lead to a rise of new upstart comic publishers that attempted to break away from the corporate mindset of the old guard at Marvel and DC allowing their writers and artists to retain all rights to their creations and allow for a wider range of subject matter and grittier, more mature reads. Dark Horse and Image comics are byproducts of this era.

One of the most memorable moments of the Tarnished Age

The Mercury Age of Comics– 2000’s to present

This is the age that is still in development, an age like no other.  I call this age the mercury age due to the fast paced mutability of the comics industry nowadays.  Comics are now completely corporatized; both DC and Marvel are now parts of enormous corporate media conglomerates.  The smaller comic book publishers like Dark Horse and Image are now firmly established as the alternate choices for fans who are tired of the “same old thing” while also providing some of the most creative and dynamic comic books and graphic novels.  Independent comic writers now gain substantial popularity and notoriety, so much so that they are highly sought after to be part of the creative teams on titles at the big two publishers, effectively turning the tables on the once dominate superhero genre.  In the mainstream DC and Marvel universes small intimate character driven stories are all but forgone in favor of larger cross title arcs that have a wider impact.  Few titles, even books based on single superheroes, actually deal with just one hero instead they incorporate any number of various characters from across their respective universes.  Characters are dealt with more realism than ever.  With the advent of the internet and the fast paced flow of information in our modern day, comic books have learned to adapt along these lines as well.  Superheroes no longer simply fight crime, the characters are portrayed with a great sense of self awareness and the characters are written with more concern for how they are portrayed in the media and with a greater understanding of manipulation of information technologies.  At this point there seems to be a greater inkling that everything has already been done in the superhero genre and so therefore the landscapes of the major comics universes need to be shaken up.  This is one of the most prominent features of the mercury age, change, death, events, additions, and topsy turvy stories that skew the idea of the status quo and continuity dominate the comics landscape.  To make things interesting and to develop original plots creators seem urged to tear apart the established universes, and effectively deconstruct the superheroes.  However the changes made in these events are often inconsequential, fleeting, and either quickly reversed or completely forgotten about almost immediately afterward.  Congealing and separating like mercury.   

Event books dominate the comic book landscape of the Mercury Age

 

Independent comics take their place in the industry during the Mercury Age

As I’ve said these are simply my thoughts on the subject, and though I might seem to be casting some kind of judgment on certain time periods, I’m really not.  I can respect all points in history of the comic book industry and I understand that it is a constantly evolving and changing medium that will/must find new ways to attract more readers.  Also these definitions are of course in broad general terms and there are countless examples of titles from each era that go against those generalizations.  If you don’t agree with what I’ve laid out here, or have some additions/corrections you’d like to make, feel free to leave me your thoughts in the comments.  Since there is probably no chance that I will ever be able to contribute directly to the developing comic book universes, maybe there is a chance that I can indirectly affect the business by defining these previously undefined eras.  So if you agree with what I’ve got here do me a favor and start dropping the phrases “Tarnished Age” or “Mercury Age” into your everyday conversations with your fellow comic book fans and when they give you a confused look just pretend like it’s an established thing, and that they should already know what you mean.  I don’t need any credit, let’s just get this started!

That is all!

Friday Funny Pages: You Look Faaaabulous!

First off let me say happy April Fool’s Day!  Today is the day you can go out into the world and start punching people in the face or kicking them in the groin and as long as you yell “April Fools!” afterward it’s all okay, right?

Anyway, now let’s take a look at the great, great pair of panels we have here today.  This of course comes from the late, great Jack Kirby drawing one of the earliest Fantastic Four adventures.  What I find so hilarious about these panels is that in the first image he has just come up with this idea to make Alicia (his step-daughter) a doppelganger for the incapacitated Invisible Girl and mere “Minutes Later” he has been able to put together an FF uniform and a convincing blonde wig!  This of course implies that the Puppet Master’s mastery is not limited to puppets, but that he is also a master stylist and fashion designer as well!  If this super villain schtick doesn’t work out for you PM, you should think about opening a salon in Soho, those are very trendy at the moment.  Just saying, think it about it you sassy bitch! 

(Though it might help to cut back on the creep face while you have those scissors in your hands.)

That is all!

My Pop Culture Ups and Downs

So as I sit here today miserable from my stochastic allergies which have decided to strike, I think about some of the current trends in some of my favorite realms of geekdom, namely the Star Wars universe and Marvel comics.  There are some great things happening, which I am very excited about, as well as some things that I’m not at all happy about and which in fact slightly infuriate me.

First let’s talk about the good.  Star Wars.  My favorite sci-fi universe in film, television, and comics.  I can not get enough Star Wars, and thankfully things are on a major upswing for us loyal Lucasites.  There of course was a great deal of grumbling during the prequel years, some of it justified I will admit.  However one thing I will argue is that Uncle George is not the money hungry tyrant some fans make him out to be.  From everything I can tell he is an excitable story-teller who has a plethora of yarns to spin in the epic universe he has created, and he enjoys pushing the boundaries of film making especially in the special effects department.  Has George Lucas in the past pushed progress too much to the overall detriment of story?  Perhaps.  But that’s not what I’m getting at, the point I am making is that I believe George Lucas’ true strong suit lies in the production aspects of his projects, not in the directing chair.  His ability to guide the design and art teams that bring his projects to life is phenomenal, he has a vision and he is able to get that across.  He puts out great ideas and places the right people in charge to bring it about, with a guiding hand that does far more good from a distance, with all due respect to him. 

Well anyway such is the case with The Clone Wars series.  This show has been very surprising, and continues to bring out the best of the Star Wars universe even as it continues to expand the epic sci-fi landscape.  Initially I was rather upset by the continued riffing on the whole Clone Wars aspect of the movies.  I thought the Tartakovsky Clone Wars was great, and was a little peeved they were going to more or less do away with the events of that series in order to create this CGI weekly cartoon.  I was also a little annoyed that Lucas wasn’t focusing on the long-awaited live action Star Wars show which is to take place between Episode III and IV.  All that being said the Clone Wars is awesome.  Not only have the storylines continued to evolve and experiment with different genres and aspects of the Star Wars universe, but the animation and art of the show has really grown more detailed.  The characters have evolved and have gradually come closer to their appearances in Revenge of the Sith.  And of course everyone is interested to know just what will become of young Ahsoka Tano, apprentice of Anakin Skywalker.  Surely there isn’t enough time between Episodes II and III to fully train the padawan into a full Jedi Knight?  Mysteries abound.

At the same time however mysteries are being revealed.  In the second half of this third season of the Clone Wars (which I have yet to see any episodes of, I’m waiting for the DVDs) we will get two cameos from two major Star Wars personalities.  First in an upcoming two-part storyline we will run into Captain Tarkin, yes that Tarkin, future Grand Moff and head of the Death Star, Wilhuff Tarkin.  Then in the multi part season finale Ahsoka runs into everyones favorite wookiee, Chewbacca.  Frankly I think Chewie’s uncanny ability to have run-ins with major players in the galaxy at key moments is a bit overplayed, and though I am more eagerly anticipating the added screen time of Tarkin, this wookiee cameo is also a welcome one.  Anything that ties the prequels closer together with the original movies is ok in my eyes.  The love and breadth of understanding director Dave Filoni and his team have for the Star Wars universe is immense and I have respected their ability to interpret the galaxy far, far, away as they tell their new and exciting stories.

Captain Tarkin as he appears in the Clone Wars

 

Now onto the bad . . . .

Marvel comics, my first loyalty when it comes to comic books, seems to be losing some of their foresight when it comes to storytelling and strategizing for future book sales.  They recently snuffed the Human Torch, bringing the Fantastic Four down to three.  This attracted a small amount of media attention, but nowhere near the amount when Captain America was killed off.  Without pause I thought this was a stunt, pure and simple.  Captain America’s death was something special, quite epic, and with a great amount of expert buildup to the event as executed by the awesome Ed Brubaker.  I couldn’t even tell you who’s witting FF at the moment.  Granted I have been out of comics for a while, due to monetary restraints, but the point is this came out of left field.  There was no previous buzz about the current Fantastic Four story arc, no tremendous waves of fans flocking to the series like Brubaker brought back to Cap.  A stunt pure and simple.  Now I know that these stunts are expected regular occurences in comics, I get it, and some times they even work and make for a good superhero tale, but I think not here.  Here’s how I see it.  FF sales were slumping.  Sue Storm died in a one-shot alternate universe issue recently, so can’t kill her, too expected.  Thing died in the Straczynski run of FF, so can’t kill him again.  No one cares enough about Mr. Fantastic (except me, love that character), so “Hey!  Let’s kill the Human Torch!  Ok sure.”  Blamo, team shattering event that will change the FF forever (aka sell a few books.)  But wait that’s not all!  What do we do when a new book is introduced OR when an old book is slumping?  That’s right send in Spider-Man!  Just a few days after Johnny’s death Marvel announced Spider-Man would be rounding out the FF (which now stands for “Future Foundation?”)

Now Marvel tells us this death will bring about some good, exciting new storylines dealing with the ramifications of the Human Torches death.  They try to convince us this isn’t a stunt, but rather a needed sacrifice in order to tell great stories.  Ah, bullshit.  Stunt!  Stunt I say!  And here’s the proof!

    http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/GulfCoastAvengers/news/?a=29976

Yeah that’s right Marvel clearly and loudly declares that they intend to kill more major characters in the coming months, all in the name of sales . . . . er, I mean, story telling and the creative process!  

Things like this work for creating storylines in team books like the X-Men.  When Jean Grey died there was a great deal to write about with that scenario.  But unlike the X-Men, the Fantastic Four is not a team, they are a family.  The comic is based on a static roster of four characters who the readers have come to enjoy and expect to see when you read the Fantastic Four.  Characters in team books, come and go all the time.  The Avengers are always knighting new members into their ranks, Chuck Xavier is replacing X-Men left and right.  The Fantastic Four however, is the Fantastic Four, and is not the same without the Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, the Thing, and the Human Torch.  The Fantastic Four don’t need stunts, they need good stories, and good adventures.  When I see something along these lines happen to a book such as this, I simply shake my head and think “Lazy writing.”  It’s always easier to take a chainsaw to a piece of wood then a pocket knife, but with the knife you can take your time and carve something cool to look at.

And PS they have just shown the first pictures of the FF + Spider-Man’s new costumes.  Awful.  That is all!

Ugh . . . .