Are you seriously not going to comment on Paul Levitz returning to Legion? I have no concept of whether this is good news or bad news and need you to tell me what to think (I actually no very little about the Legion at all aside from that period of time I was a Chris Sprouse fan and your own interesting storylines).
And then Lister Sage followed that up with
I would like to know what you thought of the Mark Waid Strange mini that just finished this week.
I mostly avoid talking about the current status quo on these titles – for reasons that I think should be obvious – but since people asked, fair is fair I guess.
On Legion, I am guardedly optimistic but only to a certain extent. The reason to be somewhat optimistic is that Levitz did, after all, write one of the best runs of any superhero comic ever when he was writing Legion – all this time later, it’s still remarkably bold and mature in its outlook, which is a combination that doesn’t happen often. If Levitz can write half as well as he did, it should be a great comic.
If he can write half as well as he did. Noteworthy creators returning to write comics after a lengthy break have a track record that is, shall we say, not good.
If editorial control on the title manages to not be hamhanded, and regardless of the power shakeup at DC I’m not very confident about that, especially with the way the Legion is seemingly being shoved firmly back into the “supporting characters in the Superman mythos” camp.
If he can make this ersatz fanboy’s wish version of the Legion compelling.
I mean, if anybody can do all those ifs, it’s Levitz. But that’s why I’m only guardedly optimistic.
As for Strange, I thought Waid captured the voice and character of Strange reasonably well and up until the final issue it felt like I’d like to see a Dr. Strange series go, more or less. (Ignoring the whole Dr. Voodoo thing, the less said about which, frankly the better.) However, that final issue – eeeeuuuurgh. Giving Casey a Morton’s fork dilemma and then having her actually take a fork rather than solve her way out of it (which is what superheroes are traditionally supposed to do, after all) was irritating, but more irritating than that was writing three issues of “Dr. Strange can barely do magic any more” and then having him heal the fabric of the universe with fucking magic in the fourth issue. I think Doc as “magical sensei who relies on students to do magical heavy lifting” is as good an engine as Doc being the Sorcerer Supreme or equivalently powerful, but you can’t actually do both at the same time, you know?
On the bright side, Waid didn’t actually kill off Casey, but instead consigned her to a distant dimension of some sort, so at least she’s not a girl-in-refrigerator. And other than that fourth issue, the series genuinely was pretty decent. Why do we need Brother Doctor Voodoo again, exactly?
Anyhow. Thok also wanted to know what I thought about Legion of Three Worlds (for which I will delay until I write something about Blackest Night next month) and Stig asked:
Batman is soon to be shunted through time by Grant Morrison in a miniseries where he dons several variant Bat-lawmaker costumes. Given that Batman is a big, popular character who is often in the spotlight, and given that you have shown a healthy interest in forgotten-and-yet awesome classic DC characters…which one would you have take Batman’s place in the trek across the ages?
That story doesn’t work with anybody other than Batman, frankly. Superman doesn’t era-analogize as well as Batman does for a horde of reasons (many of which involve power level) and nobody else in DC’s stable really merits the “myriad multiple versions of self across time and space” storyline because they’re not important enough to merit the treatment. If you did this with, say, Green Arrow it would just come across as wanking. It doesn’t with Batman. Is this fair to lesser-known characters? No, but then again they’re lesser-known for a reason.
I would love to see a variant on the “Why I should write …” series. Specifically, “Why I shouldn’t write …” and give us your worst idea, with the aid of Photoshop, on various comic properties.
It’s not funny or anything, but: the X-Men. The Avengers. The Fantastic Four. Most of Marvel’s major properties interest me not at all in a writerly sense, and I think that’s the only disqualifier for “should I write this.” If you’re not interested in writing the book you’re not going to write it well. This doesn’t mean that being interested in a property is enough to make you write it well (god knows that’s not the case) but it’s the first requirement and I don’t satisfy it for any of those books. (On the DC side? Justice League: barely. Teen Titans: not at all.)
Finally, Thok also asked
I’d like to see MGK’s take on “Why I should write Hitman Jr.”
As someone else once noticed, I had a distinct idea as to what happened to Maggie Lorenzo’s kid.