Comics Buzz: Forward to the Past?

"Civil War was all about pulling something apart. It was always about a line being drawn down the middle of the Marvel Universe. But now my spider-sense tells me that the time is right for reconciliation. This is all about building things up and making people feel good again. It's very much a response to the gloominess of Civil War."

That's from Mark Millar's interview, showing up in several Marvel Comics comics.
This interview was about his then-upcoming run on Fantastic Four, and with the first issue out (554), we can see some classic F4 beats: Johnny being a celebrity, Ben being a loveable uncle, Reed being a nerd and Sue being a competent and motherly figure.

It's the Fantastic Four as a family again.

Sure, but what does this mean?

Meanwhile, let's take a look at Tom Brevoort's Spidey Bible, outlining the future of Spidey stories:

-Peter has a supporting cast again;
-Peter's a freelancer, without too much direction in his career;
-Spidey's back to fighting villains of the month;
-Spidey's back to being an outcast of society;
-everyone's back to not knowing Spider-Man's secret identity (not even MJ? I'm kind of in disbelief here.).

Okay, okay, yeah, sure, but what does it all mean???

Meanwhile, the Uncanny X-Men, having just survived Messiah CompleX, had some downtime in issue 495.

In it, we saw the return of the three musketeers: Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Colossus are back to their adventuring camaraderie, as in the Claremont years.

We see Angel returning to the Uncanny X-Men, and we see Cyclops as being competent, as in-that's right- the (pre-Phoenix) Claremont years!

Okay, quit yanking my chain, what are you getting at here?
by Gary Frank
Noticing a pattern here?

Going "back to basics" in one Marvel title is an anomaly. Going back to basics in three of them, one of which is its flagship title, the others of which are prominent Marvel team books . . . is a pattern. Grassroots seems to be the keyword for these titles, so I want to ask you:

Has Marvel learned from the folly of Civil War?

Is it returning to its foundation of human characters with extraordinary superpowers?

Will we see a Renaissance in Marvel books?

Maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion. After all, I'm overlooking one of Marvel's biggest titles: the Avengers books, one of which is still caught up in the aftermath of Civil War (The Initiative), another of which has turned into a crime fiction book (New), two of which are gearing up for the next Event That Will Change the Universe Forever (New and Mighty).

I just wanna prop up that question though, maybe spark up a little discussion.

If Marvel wants to return their books to their roots, that'll make them much more attractive to me.

Yes, even after One More Day.

But currently, OMD has put an odor on all things Marvel for me. Maybe we ought to look at its Distinguished Competition.

Specifically, let's talk about former Deadpool and Birds of Prey, currently Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone.

Is she awesome or what? I'm not trying to take this specifically from a feminist standpoint, but I'm just saying, our gal Gail has some real talent. Like Morrison, she makes her books quirky; like Johns, she has a genuine love for her characters; like Torres, she keeps her books fun.

Case in point: her column at comicbookresources: the You'll All Be Sorry! feature that ran from 1999 to 2003.
your favorite mental psychologist in love: Harleen Quinzel!

From what I' m reading, the YABS! column was a satire on the state of comics. Now, remember this started at the end of the 20th century. In terms of comics, we're talking Todd McFarlane. We're talking Rob Liefield. We're talking Image Comics. We're talking Rob Liefied (again).

Satire material doesn't get any better than that, guys.

I've only gotten through the beginning of 2000, but here're some of my favorites:

Who Fixes the Watchmen? A "Wizard" Phone Interview with John Byrne.

This is a wonderful "phone" interview from "Wizard" with "John Byrne." Simone has fun with Byrne's reputation of revamping every book he's been on, from Superman to She-Hulk. I gotta say, his She-Hulk was good fun.

Thpawn: The Redeemer
Todd McFarlane meets the new director for his Spawn movie (he fired the previous one), as he grimly and grittily narrates.

It'th hilariouth.

Terror at Twelve Feet!

Several comics creators -Joe Madureira, Peter David, Rob Liefield, Erik Larsen, Brian Pulido- meet up at Uber-Con, and discuss the question, "Are writers necessary for comics?" They're interrupted, however, by one pizza girl's phone call. . .

. . . and her desperate struggle to finish writing Green Lantern!

It's great.

Later, in 2007 it turns out, Simone got a feature in Newsarama called the Simone Files. They went up to the Simone Files VI, I believe, but I really only want you to recommend this one:

The Simone Files V: Nicola Scott
Gail Simone interviews upcoming artist for Birds of Prey Nicola Scott. We basically get Scott's life as an artist, but Simone's introduction is just good fun to read.

So go! Read now, if you know what's good for you!


ALSO: I wanna remind everyone that Catwoman #76 will be releasing next week. Remember, the Catwoman that I talked about twice? The Catwoman with the really, really awesome writer, strong characterization, witty writing and good storytelling?

Newsarama has some preview pages for it. Scroll down around the middle of the page; you won't be disappointed!

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