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Grey Gargoyle');


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


Hello, I noticed that Tony Daniel used both Hugo Strange and Doctor Death in the latest Batman comic book.

Do you think that the Monk, the other golden age "1st year" important villain should come back ? Could it be fun ?


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Gernot'); 

Manager

Location: St. Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,418


I remember that he DID come back, circa 1982-83, against Batman and Robin. That might be a pretty good story. \:\)



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TJ Burns





Personally, I love the Monk. He's a great early Batman foe with applications to the larger DCU beyond, and I support a return appearance anywhere... especially with the weirdness involved with the end of his 80s return, which seems worthy of exploration.


TJB


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Covenant




Matt Wagner did great remakes of the classic Batman comics with his two part "Dark Moon Rising" featuring Batman and the Monster Men and Batman and the Mad Monk.

I would like to see him do a sequel to "Dark Moon Rising" by tackling remakes of Batman's classic second encounters with Hugo Strange and the Mad Monk.

I would not like to see Mad Monk appear currently in any of the present main Batman comic books.


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Omar Karindu');


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242


As you may know, for most of the Silver and Bronze Ages, the unspoken rule of Batman stories was that the E-1 Batman and E-2 Batman had essentially identical careers as solo heroes (and with Robin). Obviously, elements like the E-2 Batman's battles with Nazis or his mebership in the Justice Society of America remained elements unique to his history, and the E-1 Batman's JLA membership and adventures stayed on E-1 only.

The E-1 Batman would flash back to stories published in the 1940s, stories prior to the "New Look" where he'd be seen in flashback without the yellow chest emblem, and so forth. Thus we got Deadshot and Hugo Strange's returns complete with footnotes and flashbacks to their pre-Silver Age days, and stuff like the "return" of the 1948-model Mad Hatter with a note informing the reader he hadn't been seen since Batman #49.

It wasn't until the late 1970s that DC started deliberately differentiating things. The E-1 Batman was given the history with Lew Moxon as Joe Chill's employer, for instance, while the E-2 (golden age) version had Chill as a random mugger and nothing more. Later writers like Alan Brennert also determined that the latter-day E-1 appearances of 1940s and 1950s debut characters only held on that world. Thus sotries like Brave and the Bold #182 established that E-2's Mister Zero never changed his name to Mister Freeze and that its Hugo Strange had been mangled and crippled by the events of his last pre-Englehart appearance in the 40s.

Now to the Monk: Gerry Conway, who had previously used the indistinction of E-1 and E-2 as had everyone else, decided in the mid-1980s that some of the very early villains (the returned Hugo Strange obviously excepted) didn't have established E-1 counterparts, and started introducing very different versions of them as foes the E-1 Batman had never before encountered. Dr. Death and a significantly altered version of Detective Comics #33's Scarlet Horde turned up in short order; so too did a radically altered Monk, this one given the backstory of a Louisiana plantation owner who so mistreated his slaves before and after the Civil War that they, er, voodooed him and his possibly-incestuous sister into vampirism.

This is quite incompatible with the earlier Monk story for several reasons, not the least being that this Monk is an American and the 1940s Monk had an ancient castle in freaking Hungary. Likewise, the Monk and Dala who attacked Julie Madison had both an entire pack of odd werewolf/vampire types (the Golden Age story didn't really distinguish between the Universal Horror movie archetypes) and were outright destroyed in Tec #32 by Batman shooting them with silver bullets. The E-1 pair were, well, still of the animate variety of unlife, as it were.

Later stories also hint that the 1980s Monk was a radically-different counterpart, not a returning classic model. Roy Thomas's America vs. The JSA series and Len Wein's Untold Legend of the Batman each established that the E-1 Batman, unlike his E-2 counterpart, had never used a gun. Roy also reestablished the distincive 1940s versions of some of the rebooted villains as E-2-only types, with the Conway revamps as E-1-only by default.




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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Covenant




Thanks Omar Karindu for the grand essay on the history of Batman's clay continuity. \:\-d


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Omar Karindu');


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242






- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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Covenant






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Omar Karindu');


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242


Out of sheer morbid curiosity on my part, might I ask you to name an example of any continuing character in any medium with multiple writers who doesn't suffer from "clay continuity?"

EDIT: This also excludes series that have some sort of "head writer" who essentially co-writes every episode, a la Babylon Five or Joss Whedon shows.




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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Covenant




You nailed the problem on the head.

The problem with DC and Marvel is two parts. Their comics most of the time don't have just one writer writing a specific character for one comic book and their comics don't have a long story with a clear beginning, middle and end. So what you then have is multiple different versions of a specific character in one comic book, but if you are lucky you can find for each character at least one great incredible definitive run by a writer that understands the character.

Dark Horse's Hellboy that is written by its creator Mike Mignola is an example of how DC and Mavel should be handling their comics. They should for each of their comic books have one writer writing for a certain amount of time a comic book with a long story with a clear beginning, middle and end.

Now, here is the part where I become fair to DC and Marvel. Once the writer finishes his take on a specific character ending his story, DC and Marvel should have the right to reboot the comic from the beginning with a new writer with a new story. No big event would be needed for this, DC and Marvel could just be honest and say this is a new comic book with a new version of the character. This way everybody is happy. The comic book readers are happy because they have a consistent comic book they can invest in knowing their investment will pay off and they can actually understand what is going on without having to deal with tons of rewrites, retcons and reboots. The comic book publishers are happy because they have a comic book that keeps selling out and every few decades they get to if they want reboot their character from the start and all they have to do is release a new comic with a new writer.

I think this is the right effective balanced way to do a comic book.


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Omar Karindu');


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242


This seems a rather ludicrously purist stance on your part to me, but you're of course welcome to it.

I'm happy to acknowledge that writers make mistakes and contradictions inevitably crop up, but would argue that on the balance comics writers since the dawn of the Silver Age in 1956 have made a good-faith effort to explain revisions and contradictions with in-story elements. As far as that goes, I think tracking and descrtibiung the results and failings of that good faith effort produces a narrative most people unreservedly call "continuity." If you want them to change their word, you'll likely have to do more than simpyl declare otherwise and point out inconsistencies in published works. People who think there's continuity just call those "continuity mistakes" and ask for or create their own explanations to render them moot.

But really, the question becomes why you want us all to adopt your frame of reference on this. And you'remade clear now that you're also proposing a shift in editorial policy; "claytinuity" is less a neutral descriptor than a deliberate pejorative aimed at winning support for the idea of creator-oriented reboots as a matter of course. In a sense, the primary reason you use it is to try and provoke a debate on the matter, from what you're saying.

This is a valid argument -- not necessarily a pragmatic or a true one, but not necessarily impractical or untrue either -- but one that I think rapidly becomes rude and intrusive when you hitch it to threads like these rather than simply starting a thread of your own and making clear that the issue, for you, is bigger than just Batman even if you're using Batman as an on-topic and narrow example.

More broadly, though, I think that readers are generally happier with the illusion of consistency in a long-runner with lots of authors or in a comparatively short runner with one author than they are with characters being endlessly rebooted. DC, you'll note, has given (in order) John Byrne, Mark Waid, and now Geoff Johns their own reboots and the fan response has been confusion and demands to know "what the continuity is."

My own ideal is for the publishers to let their licensed "continuity"/"claytinuity" characters go on in what you're calling clay, since there's clearly a demand for that. (Telling people the supposedly consistent entertainment they like is illogical or inconsistent doesn't tend to turn them against it, in my experience.) But they should also do more explicitly "bubbled" creator projects as well. The All-Star line was a badly undersupported effort to do this. But there's no reason beyond the imposition of exacting and abstracted standards of "consistency" to demand that every comic or even most comics be published this way when the market has been for what you're dubbing "claytinuity" since the early 60s.




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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Covenant




I wasn't trying to ram the truth down any person's mouth. You are the one that brought it up. \:\-\)

Hey one comic book fan was able to come up with the term retroactive continuity so I don't see why I shouldn't have a right to come up with a new term for what everyone knows both DC and Marvel have.

DC and Marvel should be honest about having a clay continuity. They shouldn't try to cover up rewrites, retcons and reboots. Most readers agree with this and feel every time DC as well as Marvel do a rewrite, retcon or reboot they are scamming the readers because they try to hide it. I think DC and Marvel admitting they have a clay continuity would get rid of many headaches the readers have because then they would know what to expect from the start and would allow more freedom for the publishers to do as they please.

However, most readers because of the current situation are for what I support.

This is one comic written by one writer with a true vision of a character with one long story with a clear beginning, middle and end.

Whether this be Ed Brubaker's Captain America or Geoff John's Green Lantern the comic book readers have spoken to show that they want a consistent one writer one story current comic. They don't want to read several decades of comics by different writers each with their own version of a character. They want something that is easy to get into, practical and current with a time limit.

I am actually not completely against multiple writers working on one comic but you would still need to have one head writer guiding them. Like I said previously the problem with multiple writers is that most of them each have a different version of the character in mind. Batman's true love for example varies depending on the writer from any one of the following, Julie Madison, Talia Al Ghul, Silver St. Cloud, Catwoman, or simply put he might not even have a true love. This in many ways ruins Batman as his true love loses all impact when he gets a new flavor every so often, he just can't pick one and he comes off losing his honor. It also tends to divide the readers into various camps against one another.

Comic book readers have had problems with reboots but that is because DC for the most part hasn't done reboots right.

When John Byrne left Superman his version of Superman should have ended with a new comic coming out with a new version of Superman under a different writer, but what we got instead was a continuation of the comic even though Byrne had already left. This is the part that gets comic book readers furious. How can they know their version of a superhero has come to an end when DC is not willing to acknowledge it? How can they know Geoff Johns is doing a new version of Superman with a new story when he starts writing from Action Comics #837?

So it isn't so much reboots that the comic book readers are against but rather how DC mistreats writers and readers by not being completely honest about their clay continuity or not following through with a transparent reboot. DC misleeds both writers and readers into thinking their comic book is it only then later to pull a rewrite, retcon and reboot without telling anyone about it. DC needs to get their priorities straight, if they want a clay continuity then just tell everyone about it from the start there is no need for the conspiracy or if they want to regularly update a character with reboots then just be up front about it so the readers know their version of a character has a time limit.

People prefer honesty over lies. The comics of DC and Marvel do have several contradictions, you mentioned several of them, but it is more the lying about these inconsistencies that gets people upset to the point they give up not just on one comic but on the entire catalogue of the publisher.

When it comes to DC and Marvel comics both started out having a continuity of some sort but ended up with a clay continuity. DC from the start focused mainly on a continuity, then went into a clay continuity and then tried to fix the claycon with a reboot which led only to repeating the same cycle all over again. Marvel started out with a continuity and had one for several decades but then they started making several alterations which led into a claycon. The result of this has been comics going from being their main source of revenue, to comics being their least source of revenue with several of their readers leaving.


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Omar Karindu');


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242




    Quote:
    However, most readers because of the current situation are for what I support.


Until you've got a scientific poll, or really anything beyond "sales are dropping" -- something whose causes are hardly universally agreed upon -- to back this up, this is a horribly unsupported claim that does your other points a disservice.







- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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Covenant




Well I have seen some polling that supports these conclusions. Not just sales polling but also reader polling.

I think we can also use sales from the TV series Batman: The Animated Series, the film The Dark Knight and the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum to support this judgment.

However even if we disregard the polling and examples which I am willing to do, generally speaking it is easier for new readers to get into a comic book series that starts from the beginning than to accept a current ongoing old comic book with several decades of clay continuity baggage. \:\-\)

I mean which one would you recommend to a new Batman comic book reader? Batman: Year One or Batman R.I.P.?

In terms of accessibility for new readers currently both DC and Marvel have a problem.

In terms of pleasing old readers both publishers also have a problem.

Old readers are tired of the status quo and actually are in favor of a big change supporting aging such as their favorite character getting old or another younger character taking the place of their favorite character.

It seems both publishers are trying to eat their cake and have it too. They want to have a comic book for new readers, but at the same time have the same comic book for old readers. However this in the end then leads to displeasing both types of readers.

My premise would in the end I think solve the problems of both camps of readers by allowing the favorite character of old readers to age, while at the same time letting there be a reboot of the favorite character after a period for new readers.

So long as it is done right I think both camps of readers will he happy, but if the publishers only do it incompletely half-way with no transparency they will end up displeasing both sides.


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Omar Karindu');


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242



    Quote:
    Well I have seen some polling that supports these conclusions. Not just sales polling but also reader polling.


Care to provide details or, if it exists, a link?


    Quote:
    I think we can also use sales from the TV series Batman: The Animated Series, the film The Dark Knight and the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum to support this judgment.


How, pray tell? Of the things you mention, one is a multiple-writer cartoon from over a decade ago, one is a movie by entirely different people, and the last is a video game with lots of Easter eggs referencing exactly what you're calling "claytinuity." Moreover, the Batman Animated series was later tied into the other Bruce Timm-produced series like Batman Beyond, Superman: TAS and the Justice League cartoons. And those JL shows did end up having some continuity problems and effective retcons, with Hugo Strange being dropped after one episode because of the new Batman cartoon needing him and, most tellingly, the "Epilogue" episode that changed much about the backstory of Batman Beyond.

The fact that non-serial adaptations can be relatively self-contained strikes me as being the result of the demands of those media. Feature-length movies and video games are generally self-contained for reasons of risk management, uncertainty of audience response, and cost of production as much as for genuinely creative reasons.

I think dragging in media that are long-form to start with is probably a red herring in this discussion, since the more apt comparison there is to novels or other media examples that don't assume a sequel or remake when they're created.

The problem I have with your argument is more that it's harder to find examples of genre storytelling in *any* medium that don't have both a long-standing fandom that wants multiple-writer continuity and creators who try to do so. Doctor Who, Star Trek (yes, even the 2009 movie, which has a bunch of Spock-babble to explain how this reboot is actually in continuity with classic Trek after all), superhero comics, and even the latter-day descendants of pulp fiction like James Bond and the various detective book series have multiple authors who try to make it all fit together.

You mentioned the Bond movies last time, saying that every new actor was treated as a brand new start on the character. That's patently inaccurate prior to Daniel Craig, frankly: the first replacement Bond, George Lazenby, gets a fairly long "retirement" scene in On Her Majesty's Secret Service where he looks through Bond's gadgets from the Connery movies, as bits of those films' background music play. And Connery begins the next film single-mindedly seeking out Blofeld after OHMSS ended with Blofeld killing Bond's wife. (For that matter, Blofeld turns up across both actors' films.)

And even years later, in For Your Eyes Only, we get a scene whose only purpose is to sow Roger Moore's Bond mourning at the grave of Tracy Draco, the dead wife of Bond back when Lazenby played him. There's a clear effort there, especially in that last, non-jokey scene, to make all these actors iterations of one character in one unified narrative. You have to miss the evidence entirely to seriously claim otherwise.

But the question becomes, why do they do it? Well, money is the obvious answer...but why do they think there's money in it? Because they have reason to believe there's a demand for it; the only reason any sane person thinks there's money in something. (Arkham escapees need not apply.) And the existence of the fandoms who buy the Marvel Handbooks and Star Trek Encyclopedias and Bond Casefiles stuff that claims to detail the strict continuity of these decades-long multi-writer series would seem to indicate that there's both demand and money out there, abnd thet the creators or owners of these franchises have determined they have steadier income catering to the idea of a long-running serial's continuity.

Put shorter, it's not just comics that do this; it's geekdom and fandom almost everywhere. It's why wikipedia pages about these characters are written as if the continuity is not clay, why "Wild Mass Guessing" at tvtropes.org is a huge and sprawling collection of links, and so on. Even when there's no continuity, as on those WMG pages, fans try to make one. The evidence is everywhere, really.

You may be right -- in factm probably you're right -- to say that the mass audience for a particular iteration of a fictional work is turned off by this. But those are not the people who provide years oif steady income; you make that money with a certified hit, but next year's relaunch with a different creator may fizzle, and the year after that's pick up again, and so on. The geek audience, by contrast, contracts more slowly and tends to provide a predictable (if gradually declining) rate of return. Which money is then plowed into the riskier business f self-contained narratives with heavily-licensed characters, characters not beholden merely to their fictional medium but to underoos manufacturers, Happy Meals tie-ins, and a legion of ancillary merchandise across, again, decades, not mere years.

As Sir Laurence once said, "Money, dear boy."


    Quote:
    However even if we disregard the polling and examples which I am willing to do, generally speaking it is easier for new readers to get into a comic book series that starts from the beginning than to accept a current ongoing old comic book with several decades of clay continuity baggage. \:\-\)


This is probably true from a common-sense argument, tough one always finds counterexamples. My first regular comics were stuff like Who's Who and the OHOTMU, and many fans and pros have written of being entrancerd, not repulsed, by the idea that there was an entire mythos waiting to be discovered. And again, it's not limited to comics, really.


    Quote:
    I mean which one would you recommend to a new Batman comic book reader? Batman: Year One or Batman R.I.P.?


I wouldn't recommend Batman R.I.P. to a lot of old readers, but its problem isn't really that you need to know lots of old stories to read it. Its problem is that its very narrative structure is quite obscurantist and bizarre; R.I.P. is hard to follow even if you're a hardcore continuity-loving geek.

I'd say a better example of the pure continuity lockout is JLA/Avengers, which was essentially several hundred pages of beautifully drawn Easter eggs and not much else. Easy to follow, but quite hollow and dull if you didn't care about all the little references.


    Quote:
    In terms of accessibility for new readers currently both DC and Marvel have a problem.


Yes, and not all of that is content. A lot of it is also distribution. Which is an entirely different matter.


    Quote:
    In terms of pleasing old readers both publishers also have a problem.


Yes. Mainly, that it can't be done any longer.


    Quote:
    Old readers are tired of the status quo and actually are in favor of a big change supporting aging such as their favorite character getting old or another younger character taking the place of their favorite character.


Not all of them, no. For every Chris Tolworthy at these boards there's an Ed Love who's angry that Golden Age characters aren't written with old status quo and characterization. (You can archive-hunt those names at, respectively, the FF board and the JSA board.)


    Quote:
    It seems both publishers are trying to eat their cake and have it too. They want to have a comic book for new readers, but at the same time have the same comic book for old readers. However this in the end then leads to displeasing both types of readers.


Yup, and they fall between two stools. That's why I say, have a continuity line for the old-timers and lots of self-contained projects for the new kids. As long as the old-timer stuff is labeled for them, the new kids can ignore that label and read more creator-oriented projects. It's not as if they haven't done that already, with DC's Elseworlds and All-Star stuff, not to mention Justice, and Marvel's....well, Marvel could do more of it honestly.


    Quote:
    My premise would in the end I think solve the problems of both camps of readers by allowing the favorite character of old readers to age, while at the same time letting there be a reboot of the favorite character after a period for new readers.


I think you underestimate what I see as a proven quantity of readers who want conventional multi-writer continuity, and who will pay for it if someone publishes it.


    Quote:
    So long as it is done right I think both camps of readers will he happy, but if the publishers only do it incompletely half-way with no transparency they will end up displeasing both sides.


Again, I think it's clear we agree on transparency. I just see it more as a problem of creating distinct publishing lines with plenty of distinct support from the publisher to cater to as many of these sub-audience groups as are big enough to dole out the shekels. But the kind of continuity you're arguing is death does seem to have its aficionados, and it'd be foolish to tell them to settle for something we tell them is better or to just take their cash and go home.

Someone's buying those handbooks, so you may as well take their money.




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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Covenant




The Batman examples are all self-contained works starting from a beginning that have sold out well, showing the public has a demand for this.

Sure Batman: The Animated Series later continued on in spin-offs that milked it, in particular Batman Beyond but in the first series it was just fine.

I never exactly said every Bond version prior to the Daniel Craig reboot was a reboot. Quite the contrary, at first they tried to integrate all these different Bond versions into the same character, although later on after a few decades they tried the opposite approach to show that these different Bond versions were different men that had taken the place of Bond.

Sure, they did it because of money, but later on they also did the Daniel Craig reboot because of money.

Point is that this kind of cheesy campy irreponsibility is behind the times, which is why later on they tried to correct their mistake.

Well we haven't had many long works that have lasted purely with a grand quality with a great market value, over time just about every long work has degenerated into garbage which ceases to sell well.

Before many of these companies you mentioned didn't even have a clue about reboots nor about works having a grand quality with a time limit. Over time though several of these companies have figured out that for a work to have a steady grand quality it needs to have a time limit. Afterwards, if they want to continue to milk the product they can do a reboot. Today, though it seems most companies understand these basic ideas.

Well for multiple writers we have had works such as Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight and Batman: Confidential which is basically let each writer do his version of Batman that doesn't need to fit into any particular continuity. These types of comic books from what I have seen have had mixed sales.

Fandom can be filled with illogical unreasonable mistaken individuals that will just buy anything regardless, however without getting a new steady stream of new readers both DC and Marvel will eventually lose all their readership rendering publishing comics a waste of time and money.

At this stage in the game it might be already too late.


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darth-sinister





    Quote:
    I never exactly said every Bond version prior to the Daniel Craig reboot was a reboot. Quite the contrary, at first they tried to integrate all these different Bond versions into the same character, although later on after a few decades they tried the opposite approach to show that these different Bond versions were different men that had taken the place of Bond.


What are these examples you speak of that supports your statement. All I've seen is stuff that shows that from "Dr. No" to "Die Another Day" were all in continuity, except for "Never Say Never Again" which was confirmed as being out of continuity.


    Quote:
    Sure, they did it because of money, but later on they also did the Daniel Craig reboot because of money.


They did that not because of money but to get away from the silly aspects that the films were known for.



    Quote:
    Fandom can be filled with illogical unreasonable mistaken individuals that will just buy anything regardless, however without getting a new steady stream of new readers both DC and Marvel will eventually lose all their readership rendering publishing comics a waste of time and money.

    At this stage in the game it might be already too late.


It can be done, but only if the Newstand market were to come back. Sales are down because of it's absence, not continuity or poor quality.


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Covenant





    Quote:
    What are these examples you speak of that supports your statement. All I've seen is stuff that shows that from "Dr. No" to "Die Another Day" were all in continuity, except for "Never Say Never Again" which was confirmed as being out of continuity.


"Never Say Never Again" is actually now part of the old continuity. Well first the basic stuff like each Bond actor looks different and is a different age. Also each Bond film takes place in the current time that it is filmed in so by time of Goldeneye Bond would be a senior citizen. Following of course the different origins of Bond, such as Timothy Dalton's Bond from the 80s being a 007 that has only been at it a few years, which is also a similar case for Pierce Brosnan's Bond which only became 007 back in 1986.

Not to mention the various references in the Pierce Brosnan James Bond film series to him being a new agent that began his job in the 80s, including the retiring of several characters to be replaced by new characters. Such as M, Q and Ms. Moneypenny retiring their jobs for new characters to take their code names.


    Quote:
    They did that not because of money but to get away from the silly aspects that the films were known for.


Well they got rid of most of the silly aspects with Brosnan's Bond, however the main reason was they needed to get back to the beginning source material with a fresh modern take on Bond that does the novels justice.


    Quote:
    It can be done, but only if the Newstand market were to come back. Sales are down because of it's absence, not continuity or poor quality.


I see comics in book stores like Barnes and Noble and Borders. Generally single issues don't sell there, although at times trade paperbacks and hardcovers do. The newsstands having comics I don't think would help matters much. DC and Marvel need to get with the times. They have done some progress with this with printing more trade paperbacks and hardcovers, but they still have more to do. Lack of continuity and poor quality are big complaints amongst readers. It is why both DC and Marvel have started to come out with big hardcover omnibus volumes that contain several issues connected to one another along with having some large grand pages as well as vibrant fine colors. This is also why both DC and Marvel have started to support more having one writer write one comic for longer periods.




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Gernot'); 

Manager

Location: St. Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,418


DC and Marvel need to get their books out in front of the general, non-comics buying public; the ones who might see the new Superman or Batman movie and say, "Hey, I'd like to read some more adventures of theirs! Where do they SELL comics now?" and heads over to Barnes & Noble, only to be disappointed to only find $20-$30 books.

When the general public voices their displeasure at continuity being a mess, the publishers will straighten it all out. I think the public might be a LITTLE more leery of the violence in comics before they worry about how many "P's" are in Superman. \:\)



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Covenant




I remember when The Dark Knight film came out, people all around the world constantly heard that the big main influence on the film was Batman: The Killing Joke. Batman: The Killing Joke was a big influence on the film but so were the first two classic appearances of the Joker, Batman: Year One, several Two-Face comics, and several of the best Joker comics. Still, Batman: The Killing Joke got most of the attention.

Anyways at the time the general public not into comics was buying Batman: The Killing Joke. Batman: The Killing Joke was selling out at Amazon.com and at bookstores like Barnes and Noble nonstop. Several prominent comic book critics said at the time this was DC's chance to capitalize on the success of The Dark Knight film and do a Batman comic book event that would tie into the classic comic book elements presented in the film for the general public. However DC massively dropped the ball on this. They could have gotten Denny O'Neil, Steve Englehart and Ed Brubaker to come back to do new Batman comics with the same classic comic book feel as The Dark Knight. Instead DC did Batman RIP which just doesn't work at all for the general public and even most hardcore comic book readers have complained about.


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darth-sinister





    Quote:

      Quote:
      What are these examples you speak of that supports your statement. All I've seen is stuff that shows that from "Dr. No" to "Die Another Day" were all in continuity, except for "Never Say Never Again" which was confirmed as being out of continuity.



    Quote:
    "Never Say Never Again" is actually now part of the old continuity. Well first the basic stuff like each Bond actor looks different and is a different age. Also each Bond film takes place in the current time that it is filmed in so by time of Goldeneye Bond would be a senior citizen. Following of course the different origins of Bond, such as Timothy Dalton's Bond from the 80s being a 007 that has only been at it a few years, which is also a similar case for Pierce Brosnan's Bond which only became 007 back in 1986.


Uh, no it isn't. The film was made by Warner Brothers and it was essentially a remake of "Thunderball". It was never a part of the main continuity. It just used the character history established, but didn't talk about the stories done by the producers of the main series. It was the result of a lawsuit over the rights to "Thunderball".


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    Not to mention the various references in the Pierce Brosnan James Bond film series to him being a new agent that began his job in the 80s, including the retiring of several characters to be replaced by new characters. Such as M, Q and Ms. Moneypenny retiring their jobs for new characters to take their code names.


Two things.

1. The Bond films were using the rule of thumb regarding comics. The sliding timeline. Each Bond film took place within a fifteen year period, but the timeline changed as each film went on. So when we see the flashback in "Goldeneye", it's just after James was given the double O rank, but before the events of "Dr. No".

2. In the case of M, Q and Moneypenny, that's not the same as Bond. Only M has outright been said to have had replacements and it really only came to light when Judi Dench was cast and that was only to play up the idea of having a female boss who doesn't like Bond's womanizing ways. Q was the same up until then. Yes, there was a different actor in "Dr No" and that was only due to the fact that scheduling conflicts prevented the original actor from coming back, so they recast, but it was still the same until Cleese took over. Moneypenny only changed because it was difficult having Bond flirt with a woman who was older than him, when he was younger than the actress. But she was still the same character.



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      They did that not because of money but to get away from the silly aspects that the films were known for.



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    Well they got rid of most of the silly aspects with Brosnan's Bond, however the main reason was they needed to get back to the beginning source material with a fresh modern take on Bond that does the novels justice.


There were still silly aspects in Brosnan's run.


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      It can be done, but only if the Newstand market were to come back. Sales are down because of it's absence, not continuity or poor quality.



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    I see comics in book stores like Barnes and Noble and Borders. Generally single issues don't sell there, although at times trade paperbacks and hardcovers do. The newsstands having comics I don't think would help matters much. DC and Marvel need to get with the times. They have done some progress with this with printing more trade paperbacks and hardcovers, but they still have more to do. Lack of continuity and poor quality are big complaints amongst readers. It is why both DC and Marvel have started to come out with big hardcover omnibus volumes that contain several issues connected to one another along with having some large grand pages as well as vibrant fine colors. This is also why both DC and Marvel have started to support more having one writer write one comic for longer periods.


In 1998, there were comics in all kinds of places. Wal-Mart, Target, Shopko, certain convience stores, Walgreens, local pharmacies and grocery stores. In addition to Barnes & Noble, Walden and Boarders. Within a year, only those book stores were carrying comics. Comics were found in all kinds of places over a decade ago. The absence of the newstand market is what's hurting comics more than anything.

DC and Marvel have had people on titles for long stretches this past decade. Rucka and Brubaker had a good run on the Batman books. Brubaker's had a good run on Captain America. Bendis had long runs with Daredevil and now the Avengers books. Loeb had five years on Superman. Simone had a few years on BoP before leaving due to a heavy work load. And before then, there were writers who were on for long stretches. Jurgens had about eight years or so with Superman. David had tweleve years on the Hulk.


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darth-sinister





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    I remember when The Dark Knight film came out, people all around the world constantly heard that the big main influence on the film was Batman: The Killing Joke. Batman: The Killing Joke was a big influence on the film but so were the first two classic appearances of the Joker, Batman: Year One, several Two-Face comics, and several of the best Joker comics. Still, Batman: The Killing Joke got most of the attention.



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    Anyways at the time the general public not into comics was buying Batman: The Killing Joke. Batman: The Killing Joke was selling out at Amazon.com and at bookstores like Barnes and Noble nonstop. Several prominent comic book critics said at the time this was DC's chance to capitalize on the success of The Dark Knight film and do a Batman comic book event that would tie into the classic comic book elements presented in the film for the general public. However DC massively dropped the ball on this. They could have gotten Denny O'Neil, Steve Englehart and Ed Brubaker to come back to do new Batman comics with the same classic comic book feel as The Dark Knight. Instead DC did Batman RIP which just doesn't work at all for the general public and even most hardcore comic book readers have complained about.


Except DC and Marvel have never done that. When the 1989 Batman film came out, the character was about to break in a new partner. In 1992, after the film came out, we had the beginnings of the "Knight Trilogy". 1995 gave us a Batman without Alfred and a Jim Gordon who was a civilian and on the outs with his friend. 2005 gave us a Batman fighting his former partner who was dead and creating a computer intelligence that attacked his allies when it was co-opted. Spider-Man was getting the crap beat out of him by Mourln, while having to deal with a marriage that was shakey in 02. In 04, he was turned into a spider, while battling nearly ever villain in his rouges gallery. In 07, he his aunt was fighting for her life and he was threatening everyone who wants to harm him, while his identity was public.

"R.I.P." was a pre-planned storyline. It was allowed because history showed that aside from 1989, sales on the Bat books never went back up when a new film launched. Nor did it with Marvel after the first Spider-Man film. Hell, it didn't reach the insane numbers that DC had in 89. DC did give us trades that weren't tied into everything. So it's not like people went without.


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Covenant





    Quote:
    Uh, no it isn't. The film was made by Warner Brothers and it was essentially a remake of "Thunderball". It was never a part of the main continuity. It just used the character history established, but didn't talk about the stories done by the producers of the main series. It was the result of a lawsuit over the rights to "Thunderball".


It was meant to be a remake as well as an end to the Sean Connery Bond.

Although you are correct that at the time it wasn't supposed to be part of the main continuity.

Recently it became a part of the old continuity when MGM got the rights of all the old Bond films.


    Quote:
    Two things.



    Quote:
    1. The Bond films were using the rule of thumb regarding comics. The sliding timeline. Each Bond film took place within a fifteen year period, but the timeline changed as each film went on. So when we see the flashback in "Goldeneye", it's just after James was given the double O rank, but before the events of "Dr. No".


No, they weren't. Nice try though.


    Quote:
    2. In the case of M, Q and Moneypenny, that's not the same as Bond. Only M has outright been said to have had replacements and it really only came to light when Judi Dench was cast and that was only to play up the idea of having a female boss who doesn't like Bond's womanizing ways. Q was the same up until then. Yes, there was a different actor in "Dr No" and that was only due to the fact that scheduling conflicts prevented the original actor from coming back, so they recast, but it was still the same until Cleese took over. Moneypenny only changed because it was difficult having Bond flirt with a woman who was older than him, when he was younger than the actress. But she was still the same character.


M, Q, and Moneypenny all retired to get replaced by new younger people that got their code names, why would this happen to every character but not Bond?


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    There were still silly aspects in Brosnan's run.


A few sure, but not as much as previously.



    Quote:
    In 1998, there were comics in all kinds of places. Wal-Mart, Target, Shopko, certain convience stores, Walgreens, local pharmacies and grocery stores. In addition to Barnes & Noble, Walden and Boarders. Within a year, only those book stores were carrying comics. Comics were found in all kinds of places over a decade ago. The absence of the newstand market is what's hurting comics more than anything.


I would argue against that as not making much a difference, especially what with today people shopping more and more online.

I think there is more than enough distribution available but the single issue paper format just doesn't quite work for today.


    Quote:
    DC and Marvel have had people on titles for long stretches this past decade. Rucka and Brubaker had a good run on the Batman books. Brubaker's had a good run on Captain America. Bendis had long runs with Daredevil and now the Avengers books. Loeb had five years on Superman. Simone had a few years on BoP before leaving due to a heavy work load. And before then, there were writers who were on for long stretches. Jurgens had about eight years or so with Superman. David had tweleve years on the Hulk.


So very true. \:\-\)


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Covenant




Well DC has done several comic book events.

Including reprinting classic comics, film comic book adaptations and having special comics focusing on the characters of a particular film.

Trying something new or in this case classic to capitalize on The Dark Knight's success that would get new readers as well as please old fans I doubt would have any negative effects but would only have positive effects.

Sales on Batman: The Killing Joke were massive thanks to The Dark Knight.

Sales on the main comics didn't generally directly go up with the films because like you said the publisher at the time did little to nothing to tie the comics to the films. The publishers have also had a hard time selling the old outdated single issue paper format comic to new readers.




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Richard L




The Time Meddler has always been long overdue for a return to Doctor Who, although I think he was only posing as a monk. I didn't know he had been in Batman too. \:P


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darth-sinister





    Quote:

      Quote:
      Uh, no it isn't. The film was made by Warner Brothers and it was essentially a remake of "Thunderball". It was never a part of the main continuity. It just used the character history established, but didn't talk about the stories done by the producers of the main series. It was the result of a lawsuit over the rights to "Thunderball".



    Quote:
    It was meant to be a remake as well as an end to the Sean Connery Bond.


It was only a stand alone film that had very little to do with the films and more with what was written by McElroy. Mainly his book.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      Two things.

      Quote:

        Quote:
        1. The Bond films were using the rule of thumb regarding comics. The sliding timeline. Each Bond film took place within a fifteen year period, but the timeline changed as each film went on. So when we see the flashback in "Goldeneye", it's just after James was given the double O rank, but before the events of "Dr. No".



    Quote:
    No, they weren't. Nice try though.


Yes, they were. MGM has used it for the original series. That's why not once in the films through "Die Another Day" is a reference made to their being more than one Bond. Not for Lazenby, Moore, Dalton and Brosnan.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      2. In the case of M, Q and Moneypenny, that's not the same as Bond. Only M has outright been said to have had replacements and it really only came to light when Judi Dench was cast and that was only to play up the idea of having a female boss who doesn't like Bond's womanizing ways. Q was the same up until then. Yes, there was a different actor in "Dr No" and that was only due to the fact that scheduling conflicts prevented the original actor from coming back, so they recast, but it was still the same until Cleese took over. Moneypenny only changed because it was difficult having Bond flirt with a woman who was older than him, when he was younger than the actress. But she was still the same character.



    Quote:
    M, Q, and Moneypenny all retired to get replaced by new younger people that got their code names, why would this happen to every character but not Bond?


Benard Lee was well respected by EON productions. That's why he was not used in "For Your Eyes Only". Robert Fox, who played a different character was brought in for "Octopussy". There was questions about his being a different M, but overall, he was the same man. Dench was brought in to be more PC and to create a fresh spin. There, she outright says that she is the new M and does not share the same attitude towards James that the last guy did. Q was being replaced since Desmond Llewelyn was getting on in years and it was decided to retire his character. Lois Maxwell was recast as it was decided that since Dalton was younger than her and Moore, it would make sense to recast rather than kill Moneypenny off as Maxwell wanted. But it was still the same Moneypenny, who had feelings for Bond.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      In 1998, there were comics in all kinds of places. Wal-Mart, Target, Shopko, certain convience stores, Walgreens, local pharmacies and grocery stores. In addition to Barnes & Noble, Walden and Boarders. Within a year, only those book stores were carrying comics. Comics were found in all kinds of places over a decade ago. The absence of the newstand market is what's hurting comics more than anything.



    Quote:
    I would argue against that as not making much a difference, especially what with today people shopping more and more online.


Yes, but there's still a significant precentage that does not. Including those under the age of sixteen. They would be easily brought in if they could find it in their local grocery store.


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    I think there is more than enough distribution available but the single issue paper format just doesn't quite work for today.


By what criteria do you base that on?


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darth-sinister





    Quote:
    Well DC has done several comic book events.


Never said that they didn't. But what I'm saying is that each time, sales did not go up because of a new film. But because of a storyarc done that wasn't a "back-to-basics" approach.


    Quote:
    Including reprinting classic comics, film comic book adaptations and having special comics focusing on the characters of a particular film.


Which DC did. They reprinted or have kept older material in stock.


    Quote:
    Trying something new or in this case classic to capitalize on The Dark Knight's success that would get new readers as well as please old fans I doubt would have any negative effects but would only have positive effects.




    Quote:
    Sales on Batman: The Killing Joke were massive thanks to The Dark Knight.



    Quote:
    Sales on the main comics didn't generally directly go up with the films because like you said the publisher at the time did little to nothing to tie the comics to the films. The publishers have also had a hard time selling the old outdated single issue paper format comic to new readers.


People still buy single issue magazines and newspapers. So that's not the issue.

"The Killing Joke" was an old book. That wasn't the issue. The issue was that monthlies have only gone up once and that's because of the hype of the film. After that, it never went up like that again. It was the same with Superman. Sales went up because of the hype of the first film. And comic book sales were still good back in 79. Hype was the issue with those films. Not story content printed at the time.


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Covenant





    Quote:
    It was only a stand alone film that had very little to do with the films and more with what was written by McElroy. Mainly his book.


It had Sean Connery taking back his classic role to finish up his story.


    Quote:
    Yes, they were. MGM has used it for the original series. That's why not once in the films through "Die Another Day" is a reference made to their being more than one Bond. Not for Lazenby, Moore, Dalton and Brosnan.


This is because the history of 007 is secretive, the previous Bond just retired and there was only one Bond at a time. References were made over time to each Bond being the new guy.

In "Die Another Day" Bond was suspended not replaced.


    Quote:
    Benard Lee was well respected by EON productions. That's why he was not used in "For Your Eyes Only". Robert Fox, who played a different character was brought in for "Octopussy". There was questions about his being a different M, but overall, he was the same man. Dench was brought in to be more PC and to create a fresh spin. There, she outright says that she is the new M and does not share the same attitude towards James that the last guy did. Q was being replaced since Desmond Llewelyn was getting on in years and it was decided to retire his character. Lois Maxwell was recast as it was decided that since Dalton was younger than her and Moore, it would make sense to recast rather than kill Moneypenny off as Maxwell wanted. But it was still the same Moneypenny, who had feelings for Bond.


The point you make is that yes all the old characters retired with younger characters taking their place along with their code names. The old Ms. Moneypenny told the Brosnan Bond she too was retiring. In the next film a new young Mr. Moneypenny took her place.


    Quote:
    Yes, but there's still a significant precentage that does not. Including those under the age of sixteen. They would be easily brought in if they could find it in their local grocery store.


True, but I doubt it would make much of a difference.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      I think there is more than enough distribution available but the single issue paper format just doesn't quite work for today.



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    By what criteria do you base that on?


Amazon.com and other big online distributors.


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Covenant




The single comic book issue and the newspaper are dying.

I think you misunderstood what I was saying.

I was saying DC could have used the hype of The Dark Knight film to tie directly into their main comics with a big event focusing on the classic style of old comics like Batman: The Killing Joke to get fans of the film to buy their comics.

I didn't say just because a DC superhero comic book film sells means without DC lifting a finger the main comics will automatically sell to fans of the film.


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Gernot'); 

Manager

Location: St. Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,418


Well, this is kind'a veering off into other territory, but comics sell poorer now than they did 30-40 years ago because they aren't as widely available and don't offer as much POW! for one's buck.

Back in the 1960's, one could find Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, and Fantastic Four comics at any newsstand or drug store. Also, the material WAS "family-friendlier" because Mom or Dad would browse through said comics to make certain they were appropriate for little Johnny or Suzie to read.

If comics ever go back to the newsstands, I believe the CONTENT of issues will change. We won't see as much death or torture in comics as we do now. Heh. Comics may adopt the Comics Code Authority stamp again. \:\)



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darth-sinister





    Quote:
    It had Sean Connery taking back his classic role to finish up his story.



No, it was just Connery doing a film that became a standalone, after changing his mind about doing a few more films. It's just a one off imaginary tale.


    Quote:
    This is because the history of 007 is secretive, the previous Bond just retired and there was only one Bond at a time. References were made over time to each Bond being the new guy.


What references are these? So each Bond got married and had his wife killed? Not likely. At the start of "For Your Eyes Only", Bond visits his wife's grave before killing Blofeld. In "License To Kill", his wife's death is mentioned.


    Quote:
    In "Die Another Day" Bond was suspended not replaced.


And he was also the same Bond that Connery, Lazenby, Moore and Dalton were before him.




    Quote:
    The point you make is that yes all the old characters retired with younger characters taking their place along with their code names. The old Ms. Moneypenny told the Brosnan Bond she too was retiring. In the next film a new young Mr. Moneypenny took her place.



You're confusing actors with characters. Older actors such as Lois Maxwell and Desmond Llewelyn retired since they were getting on in years and didn't want to do anymore. But the characters were the same. Samantha Bond was the Moneypenny in all four Bronson films. She's not in "Casino Royale" or "Quantum Of Solice". In the case of M, one actor died and they opted to go with a new M after he had been replaced by another actor being the same M that Lee was.




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    True, but I doubt it would make much of a difference.


Every little bit helps.


    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        I think there is more than enough distribution available but the single issue paper format just doesn't quite work for today.

      Quote:

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        By what criteria do you base that on?



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    Amazon.com and other big online distributors.


How does Amazon disprove that single issue comics don't work?


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