[REPOST/LNH] Saviours of the NET #7: 'A Fight Scene! A FightScene!'

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 25 20:24:58 PDT 2006

Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> Sarcastic Lad has a son?  Does he know this?

Yes, I got Gary's permission to do it, and his input on the father-son
reunion scene.  I'm not telling you _where_ to find that scene, mind
you: it will make an appearance in the next NHOP TEB, Vol. 3: Gary
Niceguy Blues.

> Actually from some interviews I've read, I believe Alan Moore regrets
> writing 'The Killing Joke'.
> I liked Batgirl and it was kind of shame what happened to her.  But treating
> every character like some sacred cow?  I'm not sure about that.

I think it was more the _way_ it happened to her.  Like it was a joke
at her expense.  Like she didn't even matter.  Having something
terrible happen to a character in someone else's story is terribly
condescending to that characters and its fans.  And about the sacred
cow thing, well, let me give an example:

One of my favourite appearances of Wolverine-- who I personally can't
stand-- was in an issue of DEADPOOL also guest-starring Doctor Bong.
Now, I'm fairly certain that Doc Bong is never going to show up in the
pages of Wolverine's own magazine.  A character like that completely
undermines the "mystique" and tone of most Wolverine stories.

In this story, Wolverine and Shadowcat are going to visit one of
Wolverine's old senseis, to repay a debt or whatever-- which is
actually a fairly standard Wolverine story.  The twist is that Deadpool
accidentally _kills_ that sensei and provokes a fight with Wolverine.
The sort of needless fight that pops up in Wolverine guest-star
stories, more frequently, I think, than it did in actual Wolverine solo

And, in fact, the cover of this issue of DEADPOOL proclaims it as the
most gratuitious appearance of Wolverine, ever.  It's a nice
parody/derailing of a Wolverine story, and Wolverine is constantly
being needled: he has that whole "I'm the best there is at what I do"
narration, and during a mid-air leap lets loose such a convoluted bit
of dialogue that Dr. Bong theorizes that mutants all have an extra
power to monologue in mid-air.

That's hardly a sacred cow approach, and I love it all the more for it.
 It doesn't respect Wolverine, and it certainly doesn't love him.  And
there it works, it's a funny story, a nice parody.

But, if, say, Wolverine was to shot, paralyzed, raped and humiliated in
that Deadpool story... a story in which he's merely supporting cast--
it shows a tremendous amount of disrespect for that character.  And if
you hate a character that much, I don't think you should be writing
them in any way that has lasting consequences for the character.

I'd be fine with a story where Alan Moore poked fun at the Bat-Family.
Like those stories where Aquaman sits around the Hall of Justice
waiting to talk to fish while the other heroes actually do something.
That's funny, if a little insulting to his fans-- maybe it's funny
because it's insulting.

But if Aquaman was to have his hand bitten off by fish... in a Superman
story... it would be *too* insulting, too spiteful.  It's like some
kind of childish sick joke.  You don't maim/kill characters as a joke--
not if people love them and not if you didn't create them.  Because in
doing so, you're saying that the character is a joke.  That the people
who love these characters are idiots.

And that, to me, is a bad way to contribute to a shared universe.

> Of course now days even the most shocking things have become horrible
> cliches.

Someone told me that something ate Spidey's eyeballs.  That doesn't
even make any sense, and it doesn't seem like the kind of story I'd
want to read.

> I like Kurt Busiek (Astro City and Thunderbolts), but I'm not sure I agree
> that Superhero universes should be constrained to the way Kurt Busiek would
> write them.

I wasn't trying to imply that; only that one should have some _respect_
for the characters they write.

> Ideally I think what I'd like right now would be to get just one story
> published, then another, then maybe a novel, then maybe some awards, movie
> scripts, a few Nobel Prizes for Literature, and then finally somewhere down
> the line an island full of people worshipping me and sacrificing beautiful
> female virgins in my name.

Some gods have beautiful virgins sacrificed in their honor.  SMART gods
have beautiful virgins volunteer in their honor.  Be a smart god,
Arthur.  Be a smart god. :-)


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