New Age Ideas: Bendis Teach, Dracula Sucks, Thor and Haunting Marvel Man

New Age Ideas finally returns after a brief hiatus, just in time for Christmas for all you good little girls and little boys. Back and better then ever we’re tackling some good stuff and a bit of negative ranting I’ve been wanting to get out of the way. 

I want to be taught by Bendis
So for those who don’t know, I live in Oregon. I am just a 2 hour drive from Portland, where the writer Brian Bendis lives. Apparently he’ll be teaching a class about graphic novels at Portland State University.
I was going to try and go to the University of Oregon, but all of a sudden, Portland here I come!
Well probably not, but it would be awesome to say “Yeah, Brian Bendis is my teacher” and every day after class have him sign a new comic. It would be awesome. I may not like everything Bendis writes but I’d suddenly have the urge to buy everything he writes just to get it signed.
I actually have met Bendis, in late 2007 at a convention in Portland. He’s a really nice guy and I bet he’ll make a great teacher. If there are any of his future students reading, do me a favor and get a me a signed copy of Ultimate Spider-man #1.
Who to write Marvel Man?
There’s been a lot of speculation since Marvel announced that they own Marvel Man as to who would write and draw it. Well I’ve got know idea who would draw it (Jesus? Allah? Vishnu? Some holy figure I’m thinking) but there’s been tons of speculation on who would write it.
One of the most recent speculations is Bendis writing Marvel Man. At first I hated this idea, but now that I think about it, it just may work. My only problem is Bendis is stretched pretty thin nowadays, with Siege, Spider-woman, New Avengers, Dark Avengers, Ultimate Spider-man, Ultimate Enemy, the new Powers reboot, a new Alias mini-series, the dude is just way too busy to take on something as big as Marvel Man I figure.
My vote is for Neil Gaiman to finish his run on the series. Gaiman himself said he’d love to finish the Silver Age story that he never got to and Marvel knows he’s a popular writer. I myself didn’t become a fan of Gaiman until Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader but I would love to see him finish his story with Marvel Man.
Some people are saying Mark Millar, and I can’t think of anything else that would make me cringe in frustration. Millar is in no way a bad writer, but at the same time I think he should stick to the over the top insanity driven stuff we’re used to from him. I just don’t know if he could handle something like Marvel Man with the respect and care it deserves. I’m not calling him out on anything, just saying I’m not sure he’s the right guy for the job really.
There are other writers like Brubaker or Ellis but I just don’t know. In the end the only writer off the bat I trust to handle Marvel Man would be Gaiman. Either way I’m going to read it of course, but still. Let’s hope Marvel makes a smart choice.
Frank Miller a hack? Seriously?
All right, mini-rant time here folks.
It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Frank Miller, DKR, Sin City, Ronin, Daredevil, even his recent stuff such as Dark Knight Strikes Again and All Star Batman. A lot of people hate these 2 stories but I think their great.
But hey, because Frank Miller has written and done a couple of things that people don’t like, he’s gone from legend in most eyes to hack in many others. I can’t see that, here’s the guy who helped reinvent Batman (as did Denny O’Neil mind you) and all of a sudden he’s a hack for a few stories you don’t like?
Stan Lee has written some stuff today, I’ve read some of it and you know what? It wasn’t good at all. Does that make Stan Lee, the father of Marvel comics, a hack? Not at all. He’s still just as much a legend no matter what.
But hey, it’s the “in” thing to hate on Frank Miller. He made 300 and The Spirit and those are just so horrendous, right? No one could like those.
Except for me and tons of other people who didn’t hate them like everyone else did. 300 was my Movie of the Year with 2007. And Spirit, while not perfect, was still a great movie experience for me.
Now look, if you don’t like Miller and his writing, that’s cool. We’ve all got different tastes and opinions and I can respect that. But just because you don’t like his work, don’t go acting like he’s a hack when he’s done more in the last 30 years of comics then most people could hope to do in a life time.
In short, show some respect.
Haunting Frustrations
This isn’t so much a rant as me just coming out and saying one of the reasons I think so many people hated Haunt right off the bat.
Todd McFarlane.
Yep. Todd McFarlane.
Now I already mentioned how unfair it is to hate Haunt for his look when Batman was already inspired heavily by something. So saying something isn’t 100% original is a bullshit argument when it comes to things like that. Because as I said, everything is inspired by something.
But I think a lot of the hate for Haunt comes from the fact that it’s Todd McFarlane and a lot of people (not saying names) have a stigma against him because they read an issue of Spawn 10 years ago and didn’t like it.
What’s funny is I see a lot of reviewers complain about it having “gritty dark violence like 90’s Image did” when these same reviewers praise Invincible. A comic that just recently had it’s main hero beat a man *nearly* to death with his FOREHEAD. That’s not gritty violence?
In the long run the only real reason people will hate Haunt so much more then Invincible is simple.
Invincible doesn’t have the name Todd McFarlane attached to it.
Now I’m not saying that if you don’t like Haunt for legitimate reasons that you’re wrong. Not at all. If you have your own reasons for not liking Haunt that’s understandable but it seems a lot of people just complain about it being 90’s Image when that’s not really an insult since 90’s Image had some awesome characters and stories.
I guess what I’m saying is you’re entitled to not like Haunt, but just because it’s co-created by Todd McFarlane is a weak excuse.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Omnibus
I’m stealing a New Age Idea from my good buddy Kevin.
I recently watched Turtles Forever, an absolutely awesome movie that rekindled my love of the TMNT. While it wasn’t perfect I still loved it and even more so it reminded me of the awesome original comic.
I’ve read some of the original comic online and I’ve read the very first issue thanks to a Free Comic Book Day copy and I really do love this comic so I’m surprised there’s no big Omnibus to celebrate the awesome series.
There was a big collection collecting the first 11 issues, I saw an add for it in the FCBD comic but I can hardly find that online at book sellers let alone actually get a copy. Why not release a massive Omnibus that the fans could all enjoy? I’d buy it for sure. That along with that DVD of Turtles Forever that needs to come out!
Todd McFarlane not feeling the Marvel Man love?
I wrote that part about Marvel Man a week ago, just recently I saw a video of McFarlane and Robert Kirkman on CBRTV talking about some things and McFarlane said he’d be having a chat with his lawyer. UGH.
I really hope McFarlane isn’t the reason we’re not getting anything done with Marvel Man at Marvel. McFarlane NEVER used the damn character when he had rights to it with the exception of a damn toy. Gee. What a great use of your character property.
Also Man of Miracles does not count, that turned out to be a totally different character.
Maybe if McFarlane was publishing a Miracle Man (Marvel Man’s other alias) comic I could understand but he’s not. He did nothing with the character so some petty legal fight over it is just denying the fans who want to get to read new material with the character and that’s just annoying in every way.
Now maybe McFarlane isn’t what’s keeping Marvel from using the character but if it turns out he is, I may just have to hit my head with a phone book.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (the movie) sucks!
I made a comparison to this film as well as the old Black and white Dracula film starring Bela Lugosi. I was going off my opinion of the film when I saw it many years ago and I confess I liked it more then when I was younger since I hadn’t read the book then. Though I remembered how they ruined Mina.
I recently rewatched this film and I forgot how much they ruined Mina. They don’t just ruin the character, they take one of the best characters in the story and turn her into a total moronic incompetent love sick idiot and every scene she was in made me cringe at how badly they’d done such an injustice to the character.
Now as I said the movie in it’s own right isn’t really bad. The plot is nice for the most part and other then Mina and Jonathan, the characters are all done well. Oldman is a great Dracula and Sir Anthony Hopkins steals the show as Van Hellsing. Though all other characters are just well done and nothing special.
But Mina, my favorite character next to Dracula and Van Hellsing (in the book she’s just as brave if not braver then Jonathan) is totally ruined. She’s more then a love sick puppy in this film, oh no. I’d kill for stupid love sick puppy Mina right about now. If they’d gone that far maybe I could tolerate the film but they take her idiocy to a very tall height.
A perfect example of her idiocy is her reaction when Dracula admits he killed Lucy to her. Mind you there in bed and half naked but that’s aside from the point. Rather then like in the book where mina curses Dracula and calls him a monster saying she hates him, she hits his chest for a minute then say she wants to be with him.
Seriously, Mina? This guy kills your best friend, and you just shrug it off and say you want to be with him anyway? Am I missing something here or is this not the single most idiotic thing any character could do in this situation!
Now there is the idea that Mina is Dracula’s wife’s reincarnaton but that doesn’t fly with me. They totally ruined the character to her core and made her an absolute joke. They wanted a stupid little love story so they decided it was cool to take a great character and ruin everything about her. As I said, every goddamn scene with Mina makes me cringe!
Now to be fair I recently rewatched the Bela Lugosi film and it takes just as many liberties with the story. Changing Mina to Dr. Seward’s daughter which was just a weird and dumb change. Also explaining Renfield’s madness a little better but replacing his character for Jonathan when meeting Dracula. Also Jonathan and Mina are more sub-characters compared to Renfield, Dracula and Van Hellsing.
Even with that though it’s still a great movie and it still does the novel and it’s characters justice. Mina is still loyal and strong for Jonathan and it works well. Unlike the 90’s film which totally disregards the great character of Mina and turns her into an idiot who I was rooting for to get eaten by a wolf.
Fraction on Thor
I have mixed feeling about the announcement that Matt Fraction will be writing Thor from now on, with John Romita Jr. taking on the art duties. On one hand Fraction did an amazing job on the Ages of Thunder mini-series (something I’ve been meaning to pick up in the collections) so we know he can write Thor well.
Though I also heard a lot of negative reviews about his work on Secret Invasion: Thor. Though to be fair that was a tie-in mini-series and those rarely do too well. Sure you have a good mini here or there but often they can’t do much so I’m not surprised the mini didn’t do well.
I wanted to jump on with Thor with #600  but early reviews showed it was really just more of what JMS was already doing with the title and just continuing things along so I couldn’t honestly pick it up feeling I’d just be in the middle of things.
After Siege seems like a perfect time to be reading Thor and I have been considering reading Thor for the longest time. Though another problem is the art. Of all the artist, Djurdjevic and Coipel where 2 great picks for Thor. But Romita Jr? I’m just not feeling it.
When I think of his art I think of street heroes like Daredevil and Spider-man. Not mighty Gods that shake the heavens with a clap. It just doesn’t seem like something his art fits. Though I appreciate Marvel at least trying to take the artist out of his comfort zone and maybe it could pay off.
Another thing is continuity. Fraction did great on Ages of Thunder mostly because it wasn’t bogged down by continuity. It had the freedom of being out of the main storylines and had all the characters to use properly and that made it work. I’m not so sure if Fraction can do the same with the main ongoing though.
Then there’s Fraction’s work on Invincible Iron Man, which doesn’t look bad but at the same time the series looks so painfully like it’s dumbing down Iron Man for the movie readers who jumped on. I’ve heard a lot of praise for the series but from what I’ve seen it looks mediocre.
I can’t help but wonder if Fraction might dumb down Thor as well for a wider audience. I may be fairly new to the God of Thunder but I don’t want a watered down character or book.
Still with all my complaining I won’t deny that I am hopeful that Fraction can do the series justice. I will be checking out the first issue at the very least and hopefully it will be good.
Awe crap I just realized this is a fairly negative edition of New Age Ideas. I don’t want to leave this one off on a sour note. It’s almost Christmas after all! Well to end off this edition of New Age Ideas I’m going to leave you with a Batman themed Christmas picture.
All of a sudden I’m feeling the joy of the season! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all readers of the New Age.

1 Comments

  1. You can find out whether you like John Romita Jr. on THOR easily enough – he had a fairly long run (at least 25 issues) when Thor's book got relaunched just after Heroes Reborn. Dan Jurgens was the writer, I think.

    The first dozen issues are pretty standard JRJr, though the last ones are quite clearly rushed.

    Concerning HAUNT: It's possible it's otherwise great, but when I saw the priest leaving the hooker I found it impossible to continue reading. Any comic with a scene that juvenile I just can't expect better things from.

    And it doesn't help that HAUNT was for a very long time sold as THE RETURN OF TODD MCFARLANE TO ART (which in fact Image United more or less is)… which then got downgraded all the way down to TODD HAS COPYRIGHTED A NEW CHARACTER CONCEPT! and is doing some inks.

    Which is a third problem; we've really seen better artwork from all three of the artists involved in the art of this book. Apparently too many chefs, even four-star ones, do spoil the broth.

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