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  1. #1
    Mighty Member psylurker's Avatar
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    Default Times when you had to fill in the blanks

    Hi all,

    I was reflecting on a recent X-Men Monday column interviewing Jordan White (link) and specifically on the part where he was suggesting readers should just assume Jean and the X-Men went looking for Rachel after she disappeared with Ahab at the end of Extermination, and then got caught up in the whole Disassembled debacle:

    Jordan: Why would you think she didnít try? I am sure they were on the lookout for any signs of where Ahab went off to. But before they found him, X-Man started causing trouble, and that needed to be dealt with.
    I've already commented at the time how this is far from ideal storytelling as things are supposed to be shown on the pages or at least referenced in the actual comics or it's hard to believe they happened... but then again, this is hardly the first instance this happened. Can you think of any other events, character interactions, or simple moments you know MUST have happened between the pages but were never actually shown? I'll start with a couple of examples:

    1) It always bothered me how pretty much nobody aside from Wolverine had any reaction whatsoever to Betsy suddenly looking Asian. There was a passing reference during X-tinction Agenda, but you'd expect the people closest to Betts to at least acknowledge the change.

    2) Back when Rogue defected from the Brotherhood to join the X-Men because she was struggling with Carol's personality and to control her powers... we had exactly ZERO scenes with Professor Xavier trying to help her through it all. Again, one would assume it did happen but Claremont could have spent a panel or two showing it at the time.

    On to you!

  2. #2
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    This seriously bothers me. This insistence that everything be shown on the page, and in sequence. Why must this be the case? Do people expect that level of spoon feeding when reading a novel? Or when watching film or television?

    The hatred for this current run of Uncanny X-Men strikes me as really odd, I wonder how far through a book like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy some of the haters would get before demanding Mr le Carre rewrites the whole thing so they know exactly what's happening all the way through.

    Symptomatic of current society in my view, this wanting everything now thing.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member psylurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Joe View Post
    This seriously bothers me. This insistence that everything be shown on the page, and in sequence. Why must this be the case? Do people expect that level of spoon feeding when reading a novel? Or when watching film or television?

    The hatred for this current run of Uncanny X-Men strikes me as really odd, I wonder how far through a book like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy some of the haters would get before demanding Mr le Carre rewrites the whole thing so they know exactly what's happening all the way through.

    Symptomatic of current society in my view, this wanting everything now thing.
    Personally, I feel that things should be shown on the page if they're relevant to the characters and the relationships that have been established. So no, I don't need every single moment to be spelled out on the page, but I do expect characters to show an interest in their teammate getting kidnapped or at least a line of dialogue to reference that there's a search happening.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Silver Fang's Avatar
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    Well relationships certainly get that a lot. A problem people have with Word of Gay. Writers or Editors TELL us characters are apart of the LGBT community but never show it on panel or elaborate on it.

    1. Mystique's great love was another woman. And for the longest that relationship wasn't allowed to be clarified. Now it is, and Mystique is only ever shown with men. I guess we can assume she sleeps with other woman too. But why not a relationship with another woman? Why not explore her falling for another woman since Destiny?

    2. Deadpool was said to be non-straight by writers & editors, yet he's only with women. I suppose we can assume he's been with men...But when you have characters like this, who are part of the LGBT community, and you never show anything, it makes things harder to take seriously because it's not expanded on or treated like it's even canon.

    But the problem with assuming. It may not be true and doesn't do fandom any good when questions or discussions come up.

    That's the issue with all these relaunches & reshuffling characters. There's plenty of relationships gay, straight, or otherwise, & sexual diversities that aren't explored/ Or they're hinted at here & there but never truly elaborated on.

    Chamber & Jubilee. Supposedly they were together after Strain's GenX, which she says was the case. Their relationship hasn't come up since. Now she's thought to be dead, and Chamber doesn't seem to have any reaction to her disappearance & just pawned her baby off to the Morlocks, who stay getting massacred. Such a safe environment. I guess we have to assume he's distraught, and may have struggled when it came to giving up Shogo, but we're not seeing that. The most we got since Strain's GenX was them standing in the background together at Rogue & Gambit's house-warming. I suppose we can assume they are together. JDW says if another writer hasn't contradicted it, then let whatever was shown last be the case.

    I had to fill in gaps on Creed x Monet. Bunn said they were in love. So I guess we're supposed to assume they were secretly in a relationship during his run? They ran off together at the end of his run, then they were in separate books for 17 months with no closure or explanation on why they were separated all of a sudden. Then Pak finally brought Monet over to Weapon X in sloppy fashion, tried to fill in some blanks, and still didn't do a good job, leaving questions.

    Of course Rosenberg's Uncanny is full of it. That's been one of the bigger complaints on the book.

    But the X-Office seems to be all about events & gimmicks rather than really devoting time to characters. Individual developments & relationship developments. Stuff can just come in out of nowhere, then be forgotten out of nowhere with characters & pairings. Like the sudden onslaught of Kittylossus.
    Last edited by Silver Fang; 04-30-2019 at 11:52 AM.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member CRaymond's Avatar
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    A LOT of Morrison’s New X-Men needed gaps filled. Like almost everything to do with Magneto, Xorn, Fantomex.

  6. #6
    Sarveśām Svastir Bhavatu Devaishwarya's Avatar
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    Over the past decade and some, we've realised just how very important Claremont's 'caption boxes' were back in that day.
    While I've always left a lot if things (unimportant minutiae) to mere assumption...and I most certainly do not need every story-beat present and explained (again, the minutiae)...sometimes a simple caption notation really would go a long way to putting things in clearer context and perspective.
    Especially as the (current) writers have proven time and again that they aren't that great at their craft.

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Glio's Avatar
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    All the current characterization of Cyclops is as if based on an alternative universe that they have not bothered to tell us about.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Askani's Flame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Joe View Post
    This seriously bothers me. This insistence that everything be shown on the page, and in sequence. Why must this be the case? Do people expect that level of spoon feeding when reading a novel? Or when watching film or television?

    The hatred for this current run of Uncanny X-Men strikes me as really odd, I wonder how far through a book like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy some of the haters would get before demanding Mr le Carre rewrites the whole thing so they know exactly what's happening all the way through.

    Symptomatic of current society in my view, this wanting everything now thing.
    I don't expect things to be shown in sequence, but some things do require on panel discussions or showing. Also the genres you mentioned above have completely different formats than a comic series. Example: "How to Get Away with Murder" is a fabulous example of a tv serial that gives the audience pieces of a story and gradually fills in the blanks over a portion of a season with suspense and intrigue. It's part of the hook of why people tuned in each week. Comparing it to a comic series doesn't make sense to start. Uncanny is giving people parts of a story and then continues to move on without delving into the blanks. As readers we're currently being asked to just accept something happened and keep going with no reaction or reason on the part of the characters. I understand that this is a fast paced book, as the story and pacing is supposed to push the notion of 'backs against the wall'. However there have been several elements that have been important or major developments for some of the characters that are casually or barely referenced as happening off panel. The New Mutants were stuck with Warlock's infection. They are suddenly completely healed, with Dani's mutant powers fully restored with no explanation. She's been powerless for over a decade and her mutant abilities are back with little discussion or explanation. Not even a reaction from her!!! You need SOMETHING (throwaway line, panel, etc) to explain that because it is HUGE. But it happened off panel. Warlock being moved to a dupe? Off panel. Hope and Banshee joining the team after trying to kill them? Off panel. Now granted, some of this has to do with the fact that War of the Realms intersects this book, but it suffers from the DoX Plight - readers are told something terrible happened off panel and it's either never explained or later it's shown and it makes little sense in regards to why it was a thing to begin with.

    Again, beating the dead horse of the above instance: readers were shown that the X-Men were apathetic to the disappearance and enslavement of Rachel in Extermination. Fact. Since she had left there were several books that took place between the events of Extermination and the beginning of Disassembled. None of them mentioned her, in particular when referencing the events of Extermination. Books having Jean and Kitty, two important people for Rachel, and people that are supposed to care about her. So it's not unreasonable for readers to think that no one looked for her because it WOULD have been mentioned. That's partially due to the timing of book releases, but that's the gamble they play when they push release dates back. they could have super easily had Jean say in the opening of Disassembled, "Ok, we need to but the search for her on pause to deal with this..." and that would have been a subtle nod to readers 'hey, Jean is looking for Rachel'. Or Kitty could have said something. But they didn't. Even when Cable reveals to Domino that he has been looking for her, she doesn't act surprised that she wasn't found or even she was still a hound. She was just meh.

    I don't disagree with you that it's partially an issue with society wanting things now, but also we live in an age where information is shared in advance. So sometimes knowing and seeing advanced solicits ruins the experience of this type of reading or genre.

  9. #9
    Sarveśām Svastir Bhavatu Devaishwarya's Avatar
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    So...the problem is not the need for further/deeper story-telling (which could/would help) but that a particular writer (not the only perpetrator, btw) is just god-damned awful at his craft.

    I remember when Rachel was "snikted!" and she disappeared back in the day and a few pages of the following issue showed the X-Men worried and looking for her...great times!

  10. #10
    Dancing in the Shadows Indigo_Lady's Avatar
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    Except for a select few, I agree that one thing that has gone to the wayside in recent years is relationships. Rachel and Kurt were supposed to be in love during Gold, enough so that Kurt was thinking of proposing. I never bought into it because probably less than 10 panels were shone over the entire thing.

    That was the brilliance of Claremont. He made us CARE about the X-Men, relate to them through their friendships, romances, religious faiths, and that is partly why we don't seem to empathize as much with the new characters. That hasn't been done for them as much so we can't even tell when they are doing things in character, it changes with every new writer. Now events go from one battle to another with little time between and not much character development. We are actually seeing some in AoXM, but the situations are so AU that we know it's false and may be dropped as soon as the event is over. I dropped the current Uncanny partly because it's gone from one arc to the next so quickly, with lots of off panel events that it almost makes my head spin.

    To be honest, it makes me wonder if the only real point is to make certain that they mention and bring in all these adversarial groups that haven't been used in a decade so that Marvel can maintain their copyright on those characters. (I thought the same thing given all the quick battles with different space groups, each member sure to be named, that took place during the Mr. and Mrs. X book )

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Askani's Flame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devaishwarya View Post
    So...the problem is not the need for further/deeper story-telling (which could/would help) but that a particular writer (not the only perpetrator, btw) is just god-damned awful at his craft.

    I remember when Rachel was "snikted!" and she disappeared back in the day and a few pages of the following issue showed the X-Men worried and looking for her...great times!
    Right, they took the time to go and look for her while also moving onto a new plot. We could have easily seen a moment like this at the start of Disassembled but we didn't. Again, that horse has been beat.

    Going back to the original question: How did Nate Grey get a Life Seed? How did Legion return after wiping himself from existence and memory? How do the New Mutants feel about Guido 'dying'? Why does Hope feel so dramatically different about Cable dying this time versus the other 2 times he died once they returned to the present? How does Dani feel about getting her powers back? What happened to Karma's brother? Do the X-Men know or care about what happened to OML?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Askani's Flame View Post
    Right, they took the time to go and look for her while also moving onto a new plot. We could have easily seen a moment like this at the start of Disassembled but we didn't. Again, that horse has been beat.

    Going back to the original question: How did Nate Grey get a Life Seed? How did Legion return after wiping himself from existence and memory? How do the New Mutants feel about Guido 'dying'? Why does Hope feel so dramatically different about Cable dying this time versus the other 2 times he died once they returned to the present? How does Dani feel about getting her powers back? What happened to Karma's brother? Do the X-Men know or care about what happened to OML?
    Actually the whole gutted by Wolverine really ticked me off. When Nimrod attacked the X-Men and Hellfire Club they were all "omg why isn't Rachel here to help us fight". Rachel is frigging bleeding out from her stomach wound, and barely alive, what does Kitty, Storm, and the rest expect Rachel to do exactly, bleed all over Nimrod?? That whole thing they did for writing out Rachel seemed like they were trying to make the reader hate Rachel, I actually found the reverse I kind of hated the X-Men for the way they treated Rachel when she was stabbed and kidnapped by Spiral and Mojo for a few years.

  13. #13
    Mighty Member ohsnapulon5000's Avatar
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    The fun of being a Dazzler fan is filling in the blanks and usually editorial agrees with you at some point.

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