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Post By
EcMan

In Reply To
Nitz the Bloody

Subj: Re: Mark Millar and Steve McNiven CW Commentary in latest Wizard Magazine [SPOILERS]
Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 at 02:34:07 pm EDT
Reply Subj: Mark Millar and Steve McNiven CW Commentary in latest Wizard Magazine [SPOILERS]
Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 05:42:28 pm EDT

Previous Post

Just got the latest issue of Wizard, which has a Director's Commentary on Civil War. Millar and McNiven show up to give their commentary on the series post-publication, but unfortunately they don't say much that hasn't been said before on the Internet. Much of the commentary is their defense of the controversial moments in the series, followed by a lot of self-congratulation towards each other and some immature joking about Sue Storm's T&A.

( Of course, this IS Wizard, so they do know their audience. Which is no longer me, since the only part of Wizard that I really cared about-- the TPB reviews-- has been cut out, replaced with a mere laundry list of graphic novel solicitations But that's neither here nor there ).

Anyway some things of note....

-- The scene of all the heroes gathered to discuss the SHRA in the first issue is based on a splash page by John Buscema, circa Yellowjacket and the Wasp's wedding. In that scene, the heroes are casually partying and sipping non-alcoholic punch. In Millar and McNiven's scene, they're arguing about the Act, with some of them uncharacteristically supporting it. Something seems very wrong about how the original shot was used for this.

-- Lots of disbelief on Millar's part about how Iron Man is viewed as a bad guy. He discusses the Cap/IM meeting in issue 3, and makes a point that Cap throws the first punch ( which is an untruth, because Tony took down two of Cap's men first ). He seems to think that Iron Man's comprimising with the government is somehow a justifiable position. Given Millar's political statements in previous interviews, it seems odd that he'd take Tony's side.

-- Discussion of an email Millar got about how Thor is an Aryan Superman taking down one of the few black heroes in Marvel. Millar defends himself by saying that he just wanted to kill off a giant hero. While I don't think that Millar is a racist, I can't believe that he's surprised that someone would read in those overtones.

-- Comparison of Cap and the Punisher as " the same guy " because they both represent American wars in the 20th century. Seems rather oblivious to the individual personalities of both characters ( that Cap is the MU's paragon of virtue, and Frank is a serial killer who happens to go after people who arguably deserve it ).

-- Close-up on Woody Allen, who makes a cameo amongst the crowds in the final issue.

Anyone else read this? I'm not reccomending it, but it is certainly interesting ( if troubling ).


> ( Of course, this IS Wizard, so they do know their audience. Which is no longer me, since the only part of Wizard that I really cared about-- the TPB reviews-- has been cut out, replaced with a mere laundry list of graphic novel solicitations But that's neither here nor there ).

I agree, when Wizard removed the grades, the TPB section became completely useless and really shows the lack of spine at Wizard to do anything that might offend a creator or someone at DC or Marvel.

Now on to the Civil War article stuff.

1) You really get the sense that neither Millar nor McNiven know much of anything about Marvel history over the past 20-30 years. Millar freely admits it by saying he is unfamiliar with Marvel after Stan Lee stopped writing. McNiven doesn't know who the "pumpkin-headed" guy is. I've never read Spider-man, but even I knew who Jack O'Lantern was. It's less egregious for the artist not to know characters or their backgrounds, but the writer??? And then he is give the keys to the whole universe?!?!?!?!

2) Millar states that he specifically didn't talk to other writers (only senior writers and editors) and left it to Tom B to figure out minutiae like who was on what side?!?!?!?! Perhaps part of the reason for Iron Man's different portrayal in tie-ins is due to the writer of the main series being unavailable to other writers? I don't know how unusual or not that is for these big events, but it doesn't sound like having the main writer unavailable to tie-in writers is a good way to promote continuity.

3) Overall, it just reenforced my general view of CW. Millar had some big, cool ideas or "moments" (hero vs. hero, Spidey unmasked, Punisher kills Super-villains, etc.) but without the characterization or the underlying understanding of character motivations to tie them together, it couldn't work well. The devil really is in the details.

Hopefully this isn't too much of a rant.

-EcMan