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Agents of SHIELD: The Magical Place

Agents of SHIELD Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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#41 BklnScott

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:01 PM

I meant that they seem to be going about it in the right way.  When it comes to competing in this new market, they have more of an up hill climb than the other three studios but seem to be leveraging what they've got fairly judiciously.  (I'm not a huge fan but I enjoyed the reboot enough that I will probably go see the new one in the theater if it is well reviewed.)


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#42 Christopher

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 03:18 PM

Oh, I agree the Garfield/Webb Spider-Man is off to a reasonably good start. I'm just worried they may undermine it by trying to stretch out what little they have into a forced shared-universe franchise.
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#43 RJDiogenes

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:31 PM

Spider-Man doesn't have the variety of characters that FF and X-Men do; mostly just a rogue's gallery.  Spider-Woman debuted in Marvel Premiere, not Spider-Man, so they may not have the rights to her.  Off-hand, I can't think of any heroes that debuted in Spider-Man.  Maybe Man-Wolf and Morbius, if they count as heroes.  But I never followed Spider-Man that closely, so I may be missing somebody.
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#44 G-man

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:14 PM

Admittedly, my knowledge of Spider-Man is derived from the original cartoon, and the early years of the comics, but it really seems to me that although Spider-Man is in Marvel's NYC, his adventures are more focused on him learning how to become a hero and balance that against his personal desires and responsibilities; as much as it is about fighting a robot/monster/super-criminal.

IOW, Marvel Comics was doing Year One decades before anyone else caught on.

That being said, I don't think they should try to spin-off of Spiderman, but rather focus on his continued growth and his battles against his particular rogue's gallery.

/s/

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#45 Christopher

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:14 PM

View PostG-man, on 14 January 2014 - 02:14 PM, said:

IOW, Marvel Comics was doing Year One decades before anyone else caught on.

Well, yeah. Pretty much everything DC Comics and most other publishers have done from the 1970s onward has essentially been an attempt to be more like Marvel.
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#46 RJDiogenes

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:28 PM

Which is kind of a shame, if you ask me.  I liked how the crazy, psychedelic days of DC contrasted with the more character-driven approach at Marvel.
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#47 BklnScott

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 07:38 AM

I agree that DC has been been engaged for many years in the project of trying to be more like Marvel.  It hasn't served them very well, in my opinion.  I mean, commercially it has.  That's not even arguable.  But creatively?  I think they have effectively written out of the brand everything that comprised the DCU's authentic POV: its rich tradition of horror/fantasy underlying  mythic superhero tropes... which ironically reached peak articulation in books by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman just as DC was in the process of divorcing itself entirely from titles like Swamp Thing and Sandman.  These are, obviously, some of the most critically lauded comics of all time.  They are literate, countercultural horror/fantasy comics with a side of metaphysics - as distinct from the DC superhero mainstream in general as Superman and Batman are from each other... but these writers made the jagged edges fit together.  More: they made it into a strength.  

A lot of people don't remember that Swamp Thing and Sandman took place in continuity, but Superman, Batman, and the Justice League all made memorable appearances in R-Rated issues of Swamp Thing in the early 80s.  Moore's longest storyline, the American Gothic cycle, ran in parallel to the Crisis, and was explained as its reflection on the spiritual plane.  So you've got fisticuffs and exploding planets featured in the main Crisis event on the one hand, and on the other, Swamp Thing crossing over into a Dante-esque vision of the Afterlife to mediate the eternal battle of Light and Dark in an effort to understand the nature of evil in the world.  Yes.  And the juxtaposition of the two is mad and glorious.  Later, Gaiman crafted an ur-origin story for the whole of the DC universe in the pages of Sandman that attempted to nod its head to all the various genres and traditions and primary sources that have comprised and informed the DC Universe over the decades.  In 20 pages.  It's a great little story where we eventually realize that our lead character (and Dream's date) is the sun.  Like our sun.  (Other characters are Superman's home sun and the home sun of Oa, homeworld of the Green Lantern Corps.)

By the mid-90s, all of these characters had been removed from continuity.  Ever since, I have keenly felt the absence of that element - that smart, fully-developed horror/fantasy element - when I read DC mainstream comics.  They're trying to bring back and reintegrate some of those ideas and characters now but in much blander, more Marvel-like versions.  Even John Constantine, who began as a Swamp Thing supporting character and was immune for years to editorial tweaks (due to strong sales) has been relaunched as a blander, more Marvel-like Justice Leaguer these days.  

If DC really wants its mojo back on the comics side, they'll embrace all of the stuff they've tried so hard to get rid of.  (As long as we're on the subject, I want the (haha) "real" Earth 2 back... the one populated by the heroes of the Golden Age of Comics and their descendants.  I want back the concept of obsolete continuities being archived on parallel earths.  That was so much fun.  Now their "Earth 2" is just some standard dystopia.)

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#48 Christopher

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:20 AM

I think we're talking about different periods of Marvel influence. It's not something that happened recently -- it's been going on since Marvel revolutionized comics storytelling in the '60s. Everything DC started doing a decade later to make its comics more mature and sophisticated and continuity-driven was about emulating Marvel's success. Here's an essay that goes into more detail:

http://comicsallianc...comics-history/
"You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right." -- xkcd

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#49 RJDiogenes

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:10 PM

Yeah, I was going back a little farther, to my distant childhood, and the re-imagining that took place around 1971 or so.  But Scott is right, too.  Alan Moore was the master of using existing continuity (and discontinuity) in new and creative ways.  Gamin, too.  Also, guys like Roy Thomas and Kurt Busiek.  The fashion for the past couple of decades has been reboots, restarts, reimaginings, and rejection of "baggage."  That, to me, is pure laziness, and has resulted in increasing mediocrity.  I love it when talented and passionate writers can pick up a complex tapestry and weave it into something even more beautiful.

Around the time of Crisis, Alan Moore and George Perez did a story in Action called (I think) "Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow."  It was supposed to be a nostalgic farewell to what was seen as an obsolete era, but it really just proved that the possibilities are endless when you have a good writer on board.
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