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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Which does mean that my evidence is evidence, right? If what I present doesn't mean what I believe it does, then it's not something that can be argued against, and the only issue is the interpretation. I am not just making stuff up, right?
    Yes, that's exactly what you do. Or, rather than "making stuff up," simply making assertions that hold no weight.

    Like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The thing is Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and X-Men owed their success to the quality of stories, word-of-mouth and genuine audience interest whereas the Avengers and Tony Stark in particular is an astro-turfed phenomenon by and large.
    You're saying that the success of The Avengers and Tony Stark is manufactured rather than due to "the quality of stories, word-of-mouth and genuine audience interest."

    This is false. And also insulting to the many creative teams that have worked on popular, acclaimed runs on Avengers and IM as well as to the many readers who, despite your assertions, did follow those runs with as much "genuine interest" as fans of FF, Spider-Man and The X-Men.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    All you have to do is provide a counter-interpretation to what I present, as opposed to make an issue of me pointing that stuff out.
    People do. Quite often, in fact. You just don't listen.

  2. #62
    Astonishing Member Gaastra's Avatar
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    One of those covers, shows "Guest Starring Spider-Man" not Spider-Man is joining the team.

    Guest appearances or one-off appearances and participation which is what these comics you linked are, are not the same as being part of a team.
    I KNEW someone would bring that up. Yes he was a avenger there. Cap askes him to join and he says yes and they go on a mission. Cover or not spidey was a FULL avenger in that story.

  3. #63
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaastra View Post
    I KNEW someone would bring that up. Yes he was a avenger there. Cap askes him to join and he says yes and they go on a mission. Cover or not spidey was a FULL avenger in that story.
    Spider-Man was already a member of Avengers' reserve team before that. So it doesn't count. At the end of the story, Spider-Man is back to his normal reserve status.

    Spider-Man didn't get paid for his adventures there when in fact officially full members of the Avengers drew a salary in that era. Which was actually the main reason why Spider-Man initially wanted to join them, and why Marvel editors and others were insistent he stay out because it would solve his money woes.

    I mean when Spider-Man joined the New Avengers, Bendis explicitly spelled out that the team because it wasn't part of Government anymore, wouldn't be offering salaries.


    That's another reason why I have issues with Spider-Man and Avengers in the comics or attempts by writers to use the former as a cudgel to make Spider-Man seem small. Of the lot, one of them is doing superhero work for free and it's not the Avengers, and the Avengers owe Spider-Man a lot of money for services rendered to them. It's the classic freelance being exploited by a major company and brand, and offered "brand recognition and association" in place of cold hard cash.

  4. #64
    Astonishing Member Gaastra's Avatar
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    Spidey didn't join the reserves till AFTER that story. Spidey joined in avengers 315 as a full member. He later was a reserve in issue 329!

    Spidey was a FULL avenger for three issue and was a member longer then the hulk at the time!

  5. #65
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    You're saying that the success of The Avengers and Tony Stark is manufactured rather than due to "the quality of stories, word-of-mouth and genuine audience interest."
    I said "by and large", not that there wasn't some amount of quality just that it wasn't on a great or consistent level, and that it was marketing that put it over. It's not like Swamp Thing where some writer had a great run and concept that turned things around...as for instance is happening now with Al Ewing and Immortal Hulk or had happened with Christopher Priest and Black Panther.

    It's a widely attested fact that Marvel were not happy with the X-Men hogging the spotlight of the Marvel Universe around the 2000s. Quesada repeatedly said that he wanted the Marvel Universe and the X-Men to be like it was in the '60s (i.e. a period when the title was marginal and low-selling and sold so poorly it went into reprints) and he said that one of the genies he wanted to put back in the bottle alongside the Spider-Marriage was the number of mutants and the X-Men's over-prominence. Marvel definitely wanted eyes on its more neglected properties and Quesada as editor sought to generate that with stunts and promotion, and that meant tying Spider-Man to the Avengers and Tony Stark when before that had never existed in the comics.

    It's like All About Eve the movie, where Eve undermines the established star to get a spotlight. So Marvel kneecapped the X-Men in favor of the Avengers, and a little later tried and failed to do it with the Inhumans. That drama ended when they bought out Fox, after which Hickman got the greenlight for Dawn of X. Hickman himself pointed out numerous times that the rights issues with Fox negatively affected creative decisions at Marvel, citing the cancellation of the Fantastic Four in particular.

    This is false. And also insulting to the many creative teams that have worked on popular, acclaimed runs on Avengers and IM as well as to the many readers who, despite your assertions, did follow those runs with as much "genuine interest" as fans of FF, Spider-Man and The X-Men.
    Those readers aren't on a number comparable to FF, Spider-Man, and the X-Men. The movies haven't necessarily increased the sales of Avengers and IM comics you know.

  6. #66
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaastra View Post
    Spidey didn't join the reserves till AFTER that story. Spidey joined in avengers 315 as a full member. He later was a reserve in issue 329!

    Spidey was a FULL avenger for three issue and was a member longer then the hulk at the time!
    Sandman was an Avenger for a longer time than Spider-Man at that time, what exactly is your point?

    "There have been so many Avengers over the years. Some stayed so briefly, it is hard to even remember them. Hercules, the Beast, the Falcon, Hellcat, poor Ms. Marvel...I tried to serve them all well, to make their stays as pleasant as possible."
    --Jarvis, The Avengers #280 (written by Roger Stern)

    Avengers was a team with ridiculous turnover and practically anyone was an Avenger for a stretch, on a technicality. It literally didn't mean anything significant. Spider-Man being with the New Avengers was treated as the big deal because it had consequences to his status-quo, i.e. living at Stark Tower, Avengers knowing his identity and so on.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I said "by and large", not that there wasn't some amount of quality just that it wasn't on a great or consistent level, and that it was marketing that put it over.
    Again, false. One could make an argument that Spidey has had the most consistently solid creative runs of any Marvel book but after that, it's hard - if not impossible - to make a serious case that the FF or The X-Men has been a more consistent title than either The Avengers or Iron Man. All of those titles have have many peaks and valleys over the years.

    To say that readers stuck with rough patches with the FF and X-Men (two titles that have had many creative downturns over the years) because of the quality of the stories but that readers did the same with Avengers or Iron Man because of "marketing" is pure bullsh*t.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Those readers aren't on a number comparable to FF, Spider-Man, and the X-Men. The movies haven't necessarily increased the sales of Avengers and IM comics you know.
    Some concepts are more appealing to readers than others.

    Just because one title has a greater readership doesn't make one that sells less to be of automatically poorer quality.

  8. #68
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    Again, false. One could make an argument that Spidey has had the most consistently solid creative runs of any Marvel book but after that, it's hard - if not impossible - to make a serious case that the FF or The X-Men has been a more consistent title than either The Avengers or Iron Man.
    Yeah, you can.
    -- The Fantastic Four had great runs with Lee-Kirby in the '60s, John Byrne in the '80s, followed by Simonson's shorter, more uneven but still memorable run, then again with Waid/Ringo in the 2000s, followed by Hickman in the late 2000s.
    -- The X-Men launched to stardom with Len Wein's Giant Size X-Men, followed by Claremont's epic 17 year run, followed after that by a slight downturn but still successful run under successors leading to Age of Apocalypse, before again going to the top under Morrison and Whedon's run.

    Whereas Iron Man had...David Michelinie's run in the late '70s and '80s and then in the 2000s you had Warren Ellis' short run which included Extremis, followed by Fraction and Larroca's run. Three decent runs over sixty years, a character with the weakest rogues gallery and supporting cast of any major Marvel hero, and whose comic has at best maybe two or three great stories and even then nothing on the level of the best Spider-Man stories, the best FF, best X-Men, best Daredevil stories.

    To say that readers stuck with rough patches with the FF and X-Men (two titles that have had many creative downturns over the years) because of the quality of the stories but that readers did the same with Avengers or Iron Man because of "marketing" is pure bullsh*t.
    I am talking specifically to the Avengers becoming the center of the Marvel Universe, and Iron Man becoming an A-List despite having the weakest supporting cast and rogues gallery of any Marvel solo hero.

    Honestly, look at Spider-Man and Iron Man before New Avengers. They hardly had any interaction to speak of. Peter definitely didn't have ambitions to be Tony Stark, if anything his ambition and role model was to be Reed Richards and his favorite Avenger was Captain America (I mean JMS had Peter say that Steve Rogers reminded him of Uncle Ben). Then New Avengers happened, and JMS had to create a bond between Peter and Tony, albeit one that JMS was quite critical of and largely undermined in his tie-in issues for CIVIL WAR. JMS was a Cap guy rather than an IM guy after all.

    The truth is, and this was hard for me to accept as well, is that marketing gimmicks, PR-stunts and all that...people have a hard time accepting they work or that it can actually manipulate stuff. The truth is it can do that. Not always, not with anything, but it can actually work, and people have a hard time accepting it. In the comics, Tony Stark and the Avengers becoming a major figure or center of the MU was definitely astroturfed.

    The success of the movie though, that was entirely due to Downey Jr, and that was definitely something people responded to. If the movie failed, I think all that stuff in the comics would have been reversed so you would have things go back to a Pre-Avengers status-quo, and the Decimation would have been undone quicker and stunts like replacing the X-Men with the Inhumans wouldn't have been entertained.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 01-16-2020 at 09:51 AM.

  9. #69
    Mighty Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Yeah, I will agree that the MCU had a big part in elevating the Avengers to what they were, annoyingly so at times, while the seeds were in place beforehand over film rights with New Avengers/House of M/Civil War that put them at the center. I've shared my gripes before that I don't like Marvel filtered exclusively through the Avengers because they're too big for that, and it doesn't work like using Justice League for DC. For the longest time, the Fantastic Four were the most popular team in-universe, while the X-Men was/still is the best selling team. The Avengers were a dumping ground for various characters who couldn't hold a title, not some kind of prestige. The X-Men really were outperforming the Avengers on all fronts, with more ongoings, splinter teams, minis and spin-offs than the Avengers had at that same rate. That's why it feels wrong when someone says something like "The Avengers are the core of Marvel and the X-Men exist outside of it", which feels ignorant. Marvel didn't pair the two super often because the X-Men were above the Avengers, and when they did they treated the Avengers as second stringers in the big crossover (see Onslaught).

    Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the Avengers, but I feel they get overblown for a variety of reasons. Hickman's run was so great because it had so many different elements not associated with the Avengers, and was practically a continuation of his Fantastic Four run.

  10. #70
    Fantastic Member Lapsus's Avatar
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    Now that people bring that up.

    They money problems, at this point, are one of the most overused narratives. They used to serve a purpose but currently now, at least for me, seems like a cheap and unimaginative plot device.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Yeah, you can.
    -- The Fantastic Four had great runs with Lee-Kirby in the '60s, John Byrne in the '80s, followed by Simonson's shorter, more uneven but still memorable run, then again with Waid/Ringo in the 2000s, followed by Hickman in the late 2000s.
    -- The X-Men launched to stardom with Len Wein's Giant Size X-Men, followed by Claremont's epic 17 year run, followed after that by a slight downturn but still successful run under successors leading to Age of Apocalypse, before again going to the top under Morrison and Whedon's run.
    FF and X-Men have had some great runs but a LOT of mediocrity. The FF bore the slogan of "World's Greatest Comics Magazine" for years after it no longer deserved it.

    And most would agree that Claremont's "epic 17 run" lasted maybe a decade too long. And that the book experienced much more than a "slight downturn."

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Whereas Iron Man had...David Michelinie's run in the late '70s and '80s and then in the 2000s you had Warren Ellis' short run which included Extremis, followed by Fraction and Larroca's run. Three decent runs over sixty years, a character with the weakest rogues gallery and supporting cast of any major Marvel hero, and whose comic has at best maybe two or three great stories and even then nothing on the level of the best Spider-Man stories, the best FF, best X-Men, best Daredevil stories.
    IM doesn't have the level of consistent runs of other books, no. But that doesn't mean that his popularity is manufactured. Fans have found plenty of reasons to stick with him and there's been plenty of good runs over the years - more than you cite above - to support their interest. You neglected to mention the very well-regarded Busiek/Chen run of the late '90s/early 00's, for instance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The truth is, and this was hard for me to accept as well, is that marketing gimmicks, PR-stunts and all that...people have a hard time accepting they work or that it can actually manipulate stuff. The truth is it can do that. Not always, not with anything, but it can actually work, and people have a hard time accepting it. In the comics, Tony Stark and the Avengers becoming a major figure or center of the MU was definitely astroturfed.
    If it was so easy to manipulate readers to accept characters that they have no feeling for or that don't have runs that elicit genuine enthusiasm, every character in the MU would be an A-lister. Does Marvel try to push certain characters because of their media profile? Yes. We wouldn't have umpteenth volumes of Captain Marvel otherwise but - as the inability of Carol to really catch on in the comics proves - all the pushing in the world doesn't make a difference if there isn't a real interest there. Like many books and characters, Tony and the Avengers have both had periods were they were hotter than in others but their popularity isn't a product of simply being forced on readers.
    Last edited by Prof. Warren; 01-16-2020 at 11:46 AM.

  12. #72
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lapsus View Post
    They money problems, at this point, are one of the most overused narratives. They used to serve a purpose but currently now, at least for me, seems like a cheap and unimaginative plot device.
    Why?
    - Do poor people no longer exist?
    - Is Universal Basic Income a reality?
    - Are we in Marx's Communist end-state where the state has withered and we live in a post-scarcity economy?

    As long as those three questions have a negative answer, there's nothing overused about Spider-Man and Peter Parker having money problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    FF and X-Men have had some great runs but a LOT of mediocrity. The FF bore the slogan of "World's Greatest Comics Magazine" for years after it no longer deserved it.
    The Rolling Stones are still introduced in their concerts as "The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World", so that's nothing new. The point is that FF and X-Men are still titles with greater consistency and glory than Avengers and Fantastic Four.

    The FF had fits, and drop-in and drop-out. After the epic 100 issue run, you had a downturn until Byrne, followed by Simonson and then another downturn until Waid, followed by another lull and then Hickman, and then the book got cancelled until Slott's relaunch. So it's more inconsistent. But still considerably moreso than Iron Man and Avengers as a title.

    And most would agree that Claremont's "epic 17 run" lasted maybe a decade too long. And that the book experienced much more than a "slight downturn."
    Claremont started in 1975-76 and his biggest success, X-Men #1 the highest selling comic in history happened in 1991. Iconic stories like Mutant Massacre came in 1986 while X-Tinction Agenda and Fall of the Mutants came in the late '80s. Obviously, not everything he did was golden, but it was still a consistent and consistently selling title, which maintained its popularity and readership.

    And even after Claremont left, and in the spinoff titles, you still had iconic stories and moments. There's Barry Windsor-Smith's acclaimed Weapon X spinoff, there's Fabien Nicieza's run that happened after that. Iconic characters like Cable and Deadpool which originated in the '90s. You had Age of Apocalypse. And then Grant Morrison's great run in New X-Men, followed by Whedon's. I mean you can argue that 1975-2005 i.e. from Giant Size X-Men#1 to House of M, is a thirty year stretch in X-Men of general consistency is analogous to Spider-Man from 1962-1994.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The Rolling Stones are still introduced in their concerts as "The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World", so that's nothing new.
    Well, the Stones could certainly make a very strong case that they're the greatest living rock band.

    If they weren't, they sure couldn't charge the ticket prices that they do and still fill arenas.

    Regardless, no rock band ever succeeded by shunning hyperbole.

    But the FF still bearing the "World's Greatest" slogan well into the doldrums of the '70s was a clear case of false advertising.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The point is that FF and X-Men are still titles with greater consistency and glory than Avengers and Fantastic Four.
    I think you made a Freudian slip there.

    But while Iron Man hasn't had the same peaks as FF or X-Men (or at least not as many of them), The Avengers has. Runs by Roy Thomas, Steve Englehart, Jim Shooter, Roger Stern, Kurt Busiek, and others testify to the talent that's graced the book over the years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The FF had fits, and drop-in and drop-out. After the epic 100 issue run, you had a downturn until Byrne, followed by Simonson and then another downturn until Waid, followed by another lull and then Hickman, and then the book got cancelled until Slott's relaunch. So it's more inconsistent. But still considerably moreso than Iron Man and Avengers as a title.
    Not more so than Avengers. The FF has had an awful lot of "downturns" and they've tended to stretch over many years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Claremont started in 1975-76 and his biggest success, X-Men #1 the highest selling comic in history happened in 1991. Iconic stories like Mutant Massacre came in 1986 while X-Tinction Agenda and Fall of the Mutants came in the late '80s. Obviously, not everything he did was golden, but it was still a consistent and consistently selling title, which maintained its popularity and readership.
    A lot of the later success of Claremont on X-Men can be attributed in large part to the art. Jim Lee propelled X-Men #1 into the stratosphere.

    Not that it was all garbage after a certain point but Claremont's run was definitely feeling long in the tooth in its later years. He didn't exit at his peak, let's say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    And even after Claremont left, and in the spinoff titles, you still had iconic stories and moments. There's Barry Windsor-Smith's acclaimed Weapon X spinoff, there's Fabien Nicieza's run that happened after that. Iconic characters like Cable and Deadpool which originated in the '90s. You had Age of Apocalypse. And then Grant Morrison's great run in New X-Men, followed by Whedon's. I mean you can argue that 1975-2005 i.e. from Giant Size X-Men#1 to House of M, is a thirty year stretch in X-Men of general consistency is analogous to Spider-Man from 1962-1994.
    The X-Men have had a lot of good years and a lot of good runs. But that doesn't mean that other books haven't earned whatever success they've achieved.

  14. #74
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Anyone feeling Claremont's later run was sub-par might give X-Men Forever a try. At least the first volume, try it out.
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  15. #75
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetengine View Post
    Batmans irl popularity leeching into his fiction is frankly one if his worst aspects. Look at Dark Knights Metal. Why does some schlub who saves a city regularly get a bunch of evil dopplegangers turn up as a multiverse ending threat ?
    Funny enough, Spider-Man did that first twenty years ago in the 90s animated series with the final villain being an A/U counterpart who went utterly over the edge after both his Uncle Ben and Aunt May died, a version of the Clone Saga happened, and he bonded with the Carnage symbiote and would have ended reality itself with nothing more than an interdimensional portal attached to an incendiary bomb.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

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