Sunday, October 16, 2005

Chats Should Be Good - Marv Wolfman

Until George Perez left the title, I would put Marv Wolfman and Perez' New Teen Titans up against any other superhero title in terms of quality. New Teen Titans was the paragon of well-made superhero comics for that stretch, with some particularly stellar issues in particular, like "Who Is Donna Troy?" So, if ALL he did was New Teen Titans, I'd be pleased to tell you folks to check out his chat this Monday at Comic Book Resources (click here for details).

Luckily, Wolfman also had a classic run on Tomb of Dracula with Gene Colan and Tom Palmer, during which, he created the character Blade. Marv also created Tim Drake, and wrote the story of his introduction, which I thought was handled well. Marv also had a nifty run on Fantastic Four.

This should be a fun chat!

Monday, October 17th at 8pm Eastern.

Read More


Anonymous Vincent J. Murphy said...

Don't forget, Marv Wolfman was also instrumental in the Superman revamp and is credited for the Luthor as business man characterization.

He's also written an episode or two of the Teen Titans animated series (which is also based on the Wolfman/Perez Titans).

10/16/2005 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Ironically, New Teen Titans is his work that I like the least. He had a great Spider-Man run, though. Very underrated.

10/16/2005 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

What didn't you like about his Titans work, T?

10/17/2005 01:32:00 AM  
Blogger T. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/17/2005 02:37:00 AM  
Blogger T. said...

I have a long-standing debate with people as to why Teen Titans eventually lost popularity and couldn't keep up with the X-Men. Many people tell me it's cuz Perez left, because Wolfman got burnt out, because the format changed, etc., etc.

My theory is that Wolfman wrote teenagers way too "emo." All they did was talk about feelings. They got their asses kicked all the time. It's like Wolfman was more obsessed with making them likeable rather than competent. Can anyone name a decent victory by Nightwing over a reputable hand-to-hand combatant over the whole run? Ever work at a job and see nice, likeable people get fired and assholes get promoted? It's pretty much because in the long run, no one cares how nice and likeable you are, they want to see results and they want to see you excel at your job. DC has made Batman totally unlikeable and he still sells like hotcakes. Why? Because no matter what they make sure he kicks ass. Wolverine isn't particularly likeable, but "he's the best at what he does." The Titans were not only not good at what they did, but they constantly reminded you of it over and over in their thoughts and speeches.

Wolfman never sold them effectively as kick-ass crimefighters. They were the Care Bears. They hugged, gave each other pep talks, cried a lot, had tons of self-doubt and always got their asses kicked.

I think the high sales were due to a cool lineup with flashy costumes, great powers and great art. As time went on and the kids weren't moving past their adventures in self-pity and low self-esteem, readers started realizing they were never going to grow past that. And they didn't. Once they got rid of Kid Flash and replaced him with Jericho, the most emo character ever, I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back and drove away all casual fans. Only people with a deep love for the characters stuck around.

To this day, Nightwing is like a broken record, and ever since Wolfman his main defining characteristics are low self-esteem, daddy issues and obsessing about not being good enough. It's no coincidence that Wally West left the book the soonest and ended up reaching the greatest heights character-wise.

I think the success of the modern show is that it takes the likeability of the characters, tones down the angst and self-doubt, and has them as an effective, ass-kicking unit. Just look at how cool Robin is depicted for example, you can actually picture him as Batman's right hand.

I guarantee you, it sounds simplistic and all, but if Wolfman just had the Titans eventually start kicking ass as an elite fighting force and resolve their issues, they'd have never fallen in sales. 200 issues and a grown man is still complaining that Batman never hugged him or used the "L" word? And over in X-Men you have mohawk storm, punk rock Rogue, and cigar-smoking Wolverine kicking ass and taking names? No contest.

On the other hand, Wolfman's work on adult heroes is always top-notch. Especially Spider-Man. What a run.

10/17/2005 02:38:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home