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  1. #1
    Saoirse Ronan The Accuser CaptainMar-Vell92 of the Kree's Avatar
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    Default Is Jim Starlin hated by Marvel editors?

    I've recently gone on a humongous cosmic reading binge, starting with Starlin's Captain Marvel run from the 1970's all the way to Hickman's Secret Wars. Infinity Gauntlet and Annihilation were so much fun to read despite it being my fourth or fifth time reading them lol.

    But it seems like Marvel writers and editors in general kind of just ignore what Starlin writes regarding character development and continuity.

    1) Bendis literally obliterated Drax and Gamora's character development. It was so bad Gerry Duggan had to put those two characters on hiatus at the end of Infinity Wars.

    2) Thanos with a gun!? Thanos getting pwned by Carol Danvers and the Thing!? What the Hel?


    3) Starlin took Thanos on a roller coaster of character development through Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, and the Infinity Watch tie-ins. I started liking the character a lot more because he seemed to be moving away from super edge-lord status and into actual complex and philosophical character territory. His interactions with Gamora and Adam Warlock in the Infinity War + Infinity Watch tie-in issues were especially good to read. And then I read Mark Waid's Ka-Zar and Thor by Dan Jurgens and Thanos was back to being all about killing everything and nihilism and edginess and it was just a mediocre read all around. It was so bad Starlin retconned it in Infinity Abyss with the Thanosi.

    4) While I love Hickman's writing, he just shat on all the character development Thanos had gone through in the 12 issue series before Annihilation, all through the Thanos Imperative. It was the same thing Waid and Jurgens did, just with more epic writing. Same with Cates. What happened was Thanos has been turned into the edgelord cousin of Mongul, not the same character at all.

    5) Thanos: The Infinity Finale showed us the creation of the ANAD Living Tribunal from an alternate reality Adam Warlock. Thanos ended up as Death's lover and avatar and it seemed like his story had basically reached its conclusion. Starlin specifically refers to the events of Hickman's run (the Beyonders killing the LT, etc) so I don't get why writers are completely ignoring basically all of Starlin's newer work. Annihilus was squashed in that story, but now he's back and it seems like his death will be completely ignored. In the same vein, apparently Thanos found a love for emptiness and Hela greater than his love for death in the Ultimates, which makes zero sense when put next to The Infinity Finale.

    6) Adam Warlock never appears outside of Starlin stories.


    Starlin's work seems to be largely ignored and mocked by most of Marvel, is there a specific reason for this? Is everyone angry at him or something? I hate seeing this because I really love the guy's work.

  2. #2
    Incredible Member PlatinumThorns's Avatar
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    I have no idea what the exact politics are when it comes to Marvel Editorial, but other writers tend to ignore his modern works probably because he likes to retcon preestablished history in order to further wank Thanos. But Ewing, for example, takes it upon himself to read everything so Starlin doesn't get ignored as such in Ultimates 2.

  3. #3
    Saoirse Ronan The Accuser CaptainMar-Vell92 of the Kree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumThorns View Post
    I have no idea what the exact politics are when it comes to Marvel Editorial, but other writers tend to ignore his modern works probably because he likes to retcon preestablished history in order to further wank Thanos. But Ewing, for example, takes it upon himself to read everything so Starlin doesn't get ignored as such in Ultimates 2.
    His last ogn trilogy doesn't have any retcons. The closest thing is Thanos telling Adam that he felt oddly attracted to Earth lately due to cosmic imbalance.

    As for the Thanos wank, the real tragedy here is that no one at Marvel, except Ron Marz and Keith Giffen, tried to capture Thanos' personality and speech pattern, that's the real problem.

  4. #4
    Uncanny Member XPac's Avatar
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    Basically, I think marvel as a whole prefers Thanos as a villain to Thanos as some sort of neutral character or anti-hero.

    For a very long time Starlin had to essentially retcon a lot of Thanos loss' and a lot of Thanos more villainous showings after Infinity Gauntlet. But once Starlin was no longer around to do it, he pretty much became a villain again.

    I'm not sure it's an issue of hate or anything like that... just seems like most marvel writers prefer the character as a villain.

  5. #5
    iMan 42s
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    Outside of synergy I found that a common case among writers is that it's not just speech patterns, it's just easier to write a generic villain. Writing a tank or someone obsessed with death isn't hard. It's the little nuances of it that make a character like Thanos stand out from all the others.

    Basically what I'm saying is that for a lot of villains, writers are pretentious when really all they're doing is taking a writing short-cut to get to the big fight scene. It's typically not about character, it's about smashing together action figures for a bit. So when you have a character with a lot of subtleties and a specific voice and motivation formed over meticulous continuity, yeah it's not going to work in the hands of a lesser writer.
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  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Inversed's Avatar
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    I'm reminded of what's been going on with Jim Starlin's recent graphic novel trilogy (Infinity Siblings, Relativity, and upcoming Ending), and how he left Marvel on bad terms because he was upset that they were also planning a Thanos story that he thought was too similar to his.

    If I am assuming he is talking about Donny Cates' Thanos Wins, then I think he really overreacted in this case. Because outside of both stories featuring a "Future Thanos", they're both radically different stories and in completely different directions.

    I do think part of it is his stories not being treated as important as other stories, but considering just how weird and out there his own canon is for the stories, I can see why it would be confusing to get them to work with everything else going on.
    Current Reading List: Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider, Sonic The Hedgehog, Absolute Carnage, Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man, Gwenpool Strikes Back, Runaways, The White Trees

  7. #7
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    It's not just Thanos; most writers don't give a damn about any but a few heroes and maybe antiheroes they liked as a kid. Spider-Man gets treated well by most writers, as does Wolverine, and a few characters specific to individual writers, but by and large most other characters are nothing to most writers. Just nothing. It's often been painful to me to realize that a character I liked meant just nothing to anyone with power in Marvel. Not a hint of a damn.

  8. #8
    Mighty Member My Two Cents's Avatar
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    I think many writers during the eighties and nineties grew up reading Marvel Comics and
    by the time they got to write the books already had a solid feel and understanding of who
    the characters were.
    But because of the huge amount of books Marvel started to pump out years ago and continued
    to expand to what they are putting out currently , the reservoir
    of writers who grew up on Marvel is slim and so editorial has allowed stretching and
    complete butchering of characters and history to appease these new writers
    who (many times) want to take the money (and I will further assume) but not the time to
    research the characters they will be writing.
    Last edited by My Two Cents; 03-10-2019 at 05:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Nobody is going to even try and write a Thanos story akin to Starlin. He has a unique voice. But at the final analysis Thanos belongs to Marvel because of the ridiculous idea that somehow freelance writers who neither own their publishing rights or the copyright on their work are work for hire. So it would take a huge systematic upheaval to make this situation any different.

    And let’s be honest, who apart from people well over the average age of comic readers, wants to read the kind of book Starlin writes. We are in the minority here, not the majority. Even I would prefer to read Hickman, and I am in the perfect demographic for a Starlin Graphic Novel.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 03-11-2019 at 04:15 AM.

  10. #10
    Saoirse Ronan The Accuser CaptainMar-Vell92 of the Kree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post
    It's not just Thanos; most writers don't give a damn about any but a few heroes and maybe antiheroes they liked as a kid. Spider-Man gets treated well by most writers, as does Wolverine, and a few characters specific to individual writers, but by and large most other characters are nothing to most writers. Just nothing. It's often been painful to me to realize that a character I liked meant just nothing to anyone with power in Marvel. Not a hint of a damn.
    I agree. I'm a bit sad that Thor, my favorite Marvel hero, never managed to get close to the respect and fame of Spidey and Sniktbub.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMar-Vell92 of the Kree View Post
    I agree. I'm a bit sad that Thor, my favorite Marvel hero, never managed to get close to the respect and fame of Spidey and Sniktbub.
    He does now, but it took him a long while.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Nobody is going to even try and write a Thanos story akin to Starlin. He has a unique voice. But at the final analysis Thanos belongs to Marvel because of the ridiculous idea that somehow freelance writers who neither own their publishing rights or the copyright on their work are work for hire. So it would take a huge systematic upheaval to make this situation any different.

    And let’s be honest, who apart from people well over the average age of comic readers, wants to read the kind of book Starlin writes. We are in the minority here, not the majority. Even I would prefer to read Hickman, and I am in the perfect demographic for a Starlin Graphic Novel.
    All of this, true that

  13. #13
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    I feel like one of the 'problems' is that Starlin was writing a story with Thanos. That story had an end, as stories do.

    Marvel doesn't do that kind of storytelling. It's a serial medium. Their stories never 'end,' they have to continue next month, and so Thanos cannot ever grow or change or resolve his issues or die (permanently). He's got to be available for the next writer in queue.

    The same applies to pretty much everyone. Thor cannot internalize his 'god of thunder' powers and go hammer-less forever. Charles can be cured and downloaded into a clone body and whatever, but he will *always* end up in that damned chair again. As long as previous portrayals have been cemented in place, those characters can no longer change. And so Thanos, because new writers want to use him, have him constantly revert to villainy, long after Starlin had him hang up the old costume and retire to be a farmer.

    In my mind, he's still a farmer, and these new villain-Thanos characters we've been seeing are some sort of anomaly. His story ended well. No reason to drag him back into it.

  14. #14
    Saoirse Ronan The Accuser CaptainMar-Vell92 of the Kree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Nobody is going to even try and write a Thanos story akin to Starlin. He has a unique voice. But at the final analysis Thanos belongs to Marvel because of the ridiculous idea that somehow freelance writers who neither own their publishing rights or the copyright on their work are work for hire. So it would take a huge systematic upheaval to make this situation any different.

    And let’s be honest, who apart from people well over the average age of comic readers, wants to read the kind of book Starlin writes. We are in the minority here, not the majority. Even I would prefer to read Hickman, and I am in the perfect demographic for a Starlin Graphic Novel.
    You don't need Starlin's trippy metaphysics to get Thanos right. Have him team up with a group of heroes against a evil cosmic entity and depict Thanos as magnificent bastard strategist

  15. #15
    Incredible Member scourge's Avatar
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    Not sure if editorial hates him but I certain roll my eyes whenever I see Starlin as a writer. He tends to come off as "my characters are better than everyone else at everything ever and most powerfulest and smartest and if any other story says different they were a fake!" most of the time.

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