Let me make some things clear. I bare no ill will towards Milestone 2.0. I’m doing what I need to do to deal with my bouts of depression and because my business requires I do so now.
What is it I need to do, exactly?
Telling what transpired so to destroy any and all doubts, there was something unprofessional about me that caused my former partners and friends to dismiss me with not a word before or since as to why.
Derek Dingle gave a hint (before he hung up on me) that when I left Milestone 20 plus years ago. It was my lawsuit that prompted it all. OK, that’s revisionist history if ever there was.
There was no lawsuit. And even if there had been, so fucking what?
Derek if you’re reading this I suggest you take a look at the memos from that time. If you lack some, don’t worry I have them all. Including the letter from DC and Milestone that Clarence Avant called me enraged over.
You know the one it involved my status at Milestone and DC. I was speaking to Clarence not too long ago about that very letter; he’s not too happy about it now either.
Like I said, I’m not looking to hurt Milestone; for almost two years I’ve written very supported articles. Yeah, some digs but much more positives. The only public statements attributed to them concerning me was I was not lead creator on Static I was ‘one of five guys in the room.”
Well, I can prove otherwise. Can they?
As I said I’m not trying to hurt them, I just want to help me.
I’m also not telling my side of the story. I’m saying what happened to me; there’s a difference. Everything I write I can prove with validation.
But not today.
This was to be another installment of my Milestone 2.0 narrative. I’d like to get what happened to me on the record before Rich Johnson goes live with his story but this is trivial shit compared to what’s crucial in Black America, chief among that the recent crop of unarmed Black men killed by police.
I thought I’d attempt to explain to those readers at ComicMix how it affects us as comic book creators but more importantly as black men.
Regardless if it’s a huge misunderstanding or horrible decision making the odds of Derek Dingle, Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan and Michael Davis coming together are slim to you must be out of your motherfucking mind.
That does not mean I don’t care about them. I do.
We may not be on the same page regarding Milestone but as black men, we are united because we are all seen as one in eyes of some in law-enforcement. If one of those men were felled by a policeman’s bullet, it would hurt me beyond measure.
And I would know, I would know without a shadow of a doubt they were wrongly targeted. Because they live the kind of life that defy that ending to theirs as do I.
It won’t matter, any black men is subject to capital punishment no matter if talking to friends, selling cigarettes or reaching for what an officer asked for.
Mothers of young inner-city black boys’ have one thought over all, how to keep their child alive. Poor parents of any race face the same problem. Black parents face the added danger of protecting their sons from those who are entrusted to protect them, the police.
Soon, very soon, I will be off probation. Why was I on probation? Two white people harassed me all night at a Karaoke bar. I ignored what they were saying. Their goal for was for me to engage them.
As I was leaving, I heard something along these lines: “Don’t forget to bring your grandmother and sister some crack.”
That’s not an exact quote (music was playing), however sister and grandmother I understood.
There was no way they could know both my sister and grandmother died horrible deaths at someone’s hand it was just another series of insults to them.
I didn’t give a fuck. They went there.
I waited for the music to stop and the applauds to die down before I went here:
“Fuck you and your families.”
They ran across the floor towards me punched me in my face a couple of times and wanted to hurt me badly that was clear.
The man currently residing in a tree lined lovely community left, and the guy from Far Rockaway, and South Jamaica Queens showed up.
That was the wrong nigger to fuck with as they found out.
Once they met that guy they pussied away. Just as quick the person from the tree lined block returned, saying goodbye to the bartender and my waitress who both asked me if I was alright telling me those guys are never coming back.
I was under the impression the bartender was going to call the cops. I told him if he needed a statement from me I’d be happy to oblige and the moment I said that I regretted it.
Rule # 1: If A Black Man, Never Talk To The Cops Unless You Absolutely Have To.
Then I thought, I had not done anything wrong, plus the whole thing was captured on tape. I went home secure in the knowledge I’d done nothing wrong and had ample proof to such.
A warm send-off from the staff?
I was the one attacked?
The deck was stacked extremely high in my favor. What possibly could go wrong? I thought of every conceivable way it could go south and came up with only one answer.
I was black. When I was asked to give a statement some days later I was accompanied by my lawyer. Witnesses, videotape, warm send off from the staff and a high priced attorney. Now that’s what I call stacked!
As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about, exactly what I thought would happen, happened.
I was arrested. Did I mention the whole thing captured on tape? The tape that showed they attacked me? I did say that right?
This incident is not unusual at all to black men. Those who had no doubt I was lying included the two who attacked me, the police and DA.
The only people on my side was everybody else in the bar. That includes a witness from Japan, and I’ll never forget her name: Sony Camera.
So, I looked forward to my day in court so I could quickly take a plea.
Why did I take a plea? When the D.A. refuses to look at the videotape but is ready to go to trial the two witness statements used to arrest me were written by the two people who ran across the room and attacked me and all other eyewitness accounts are ignored, if you’re a black man it’s time to take a plea.
I took a plea because I could afford what a good lawyer charges. I can’t afford what the criminal justice system may cost me. No black man has that kind of wealth. When a black man with the means to fight goes to court, he may be found innocent, but we’re suspects all our lives.
Michael Jackson was considered innocent in the eyes of the law, but every effort is being made to ensure he remains guilty in the eyes of history. Now they find kiddie porn? Ya think that would have been useful during the trial?
Name a famous black person once acquitted not still thought of as guilty.
They found kiddie porn now?
That’s some Tyrone Cash bullshit and by Tyrone Cash bullshit I mean stupid. Cash is a Mark Millar creation. In a nutshell, he’s a genius scientist who figures out the formula that gives him the powers of the Hulk.
When his brilliant mind becomes a simple one he no longer understands the complex theories of gamma radiation all he wants to do is smash, like the other Hulk Dr. Bruce Banner.
Sorry, I forgot Tyrone Cash is black.
He retains his intellect and uses his Hulk powers to become a drug dealer! Why? The same reason some police would shoot an incident hard working man reaching for his identification, it’s easy to believe all we are is thugs. That’s what FOX News tells everyone, we’re thugs on television, we’re criminals in the movies, and now the Republican Party Nominee is telling the world African Americans are thugs.
In other news, as soon as I’m officially off probation I’m suing some individuals over what they did to my life. In civil court they won’t refuse to look at the tape and all those witness reports will also come into play.
It’s a little thing but someone needs to answer this question, I was attacked, so why I was arrested? I’m going loud on this with a little help from some well-placed friends. I’m not Tyrone Cash I’m not a thug nor is most black men. So why must we fight and die to prove it?
Writer’s note: Why after almost two years am I bringing this to a head? Because I’ve tried and tried to reach these guys and still nothing.
I’m also sick, and this was consuming me making me sicker. I reached threshold when Rich Johnson of Bleeding Cool asked me to comment on some verifiable information he now had.
And I’ve had enough.
Eighteen months ago my world, already rocked by a series of devastating events, was almost destroyed.
Milestone 2.0, the new company founded by Denys Cowan, Reggie Hudlin, Derek Dingle and myself hit the world. The initial story broke in the Washington Post a newspaper with a global reach underscoring how big deal this was.
The announcement landed on the comic book press like a bomb, with the explosion killing me. Yep. I’m dead.
That morning I was returning from somewhere I can’t remember where when I noticed substantial activity on my cell phone. I get a lot of texts but rarely does anyone leave voice mails as I don’t listen to them. Who does in this age of ridiculous back and forth texting?
I’m guilty as are most people I know of this utter stupidity. One question asked could result in a 20-minute exchange whereas the same inquiry could be answered in a 20-second call.
My excuse is I detest talking on the phone. That morning I realized I’d have no choice, something important was up, and only a maroon would
forgo a voice for type.
Without listening to any of the voicemails, I decided just call everyone back. I started with my former director of all things cool, Tatiana El-Khouri. If the calls were connected, she would have the scoop.
She had the scoop… and then some.
“Hey, are you all right?”
Any concern in Tatiana’s voice is rare. I’ve known her for 10 years and seldom does her Vulcan-like coolness show cracks of sentiment. This time in her voice I could clearly hear her increasing trepidation.
“Why? Who died?”
She told me that in the massive amount of Milestone 2.0 press blowing up all over the industry, nowhere was I mentioned. She seemed to think I knew about the launch.
I had no idea.
Likewise, no idea about the Washington Post interview with Reggie Hudlin. Given no clue of the press release from DC Comics or any of the dozens upon dozens of other news impressions, unmistakably part of a well put together time-consuming plan.
No one at Milestone 2.0 said a word to me. After four years of working towards this moment, they just discarded me. Despite my considerable efforts on behalf of M2.0 that excellent plan did not include me, I was never included. When I’d asked Tatiana “who died” I never dreamt the answer was me.
I was not only dead. To them it seems very much like they want to bury me as well.
After receiving news of my death, I called Reggie in heated anger. I said some horrible things, feeling justified since such a horrible thing had been done to me.
The truth is the vile things I said to Reggie were not just my reaction to my death at Milestone it was my response to years of hooking Reggie up and being treated with no respect.
I’ve supported Reggie in countless ways since we’ve met. I’ve thrown parties for him, arranged speaking engagements, put together panels as well as personally vouched for him with Urban Ministries Inc., who vet anyone and everyone they bring into their church space.
And believe me, when I say their church space I mean their church space. When Viacom and BET thought they had significant juice to allow them last minute booth access at SDCC they found out they didn’t. I did, and I gladly did so for him.
I also really liked Reggie. I knew he didn’t care all that much for me when we first met, but I grow on people. I assumed since I’ve shown him nothing but love I’d grow on him. He’s an Ivy League-educated man smart enough to see where my heart is and understand my swagger may be annoying at times, but I’m a good brother. I’m an Ivy League-educated man smart enough to see he’d come around.
Parents, save your money. Send your kids to a good state school. Neither of us was smart enough to avoid this bullshit.
The thing I think I was lividest about when I let loose my fury filled tirade on his voicemail was the realization I chose the wrong side when a rift developed between a former brief protégé of mine and Reggie.
Aaron, I fucked up, and I’m sorry.
I continue to regret my words and although I was still livid that morning I called back and apologized. I also sent a text and to my utter surprise, he responded with what seemed genuine concern.
I called Derek Dingle next.
Derek didn’t pick up, so I left a message. Not an outraged one, although still angry and horribly so. I had to get it together. I loved Derek and he would fix this.
I had so much respect and love for Derek that when SDCC did not invite him for Milestone’s 20th Anniversary I told them unless Derek was there Denys and I wouldn’t be there either.
I needed to calm down, so I called my mom. She didn’t answer either, and my call went to her voicemail. It takes me a moment to remember my mom had moved, and I didn’t have her new number in Heaven.
I forgot she was dead, and that’s not the first time I did. Nor the last.
Now I’m crying uncontrollably. Lucky for me I’m no longer alone. My friend Dr. Phil had just knocked.
I call her Dr. Phil because she always giving me advice. She had come by to check on me and bring me breakfast before she went to work. Having survived a parallel depression, she pops in from time to time. She saw the Washington Post story and decided this was one of those times to pop in.
She was right.
Derek calls back, and I felt better. The last time I saw him, he stood beside me in front of my mother’s casket.
“Michael, we’re family. We’re going to do great things together.”
I tell Dr. Phil this is all about to be cleared up. I say to Derek “Tell me who’s colossal screw-up was this? What happened? What’s going on?”
“Michael over 20 years ago when you began the lawsuit against us…” Derek said this in slow, measured tones.
I lost it.
“I did what????” That’s all I got out before my friend shouted:
“You don’t talk to me like that!!! I won’t stand for it!!”
Then he hung up.
NEXT WEEK: 20 Years Ago They Did The Same Thing… Only Different
I’m rarely impressed, but you wrote an impressive article. The attention to detail, footnotes, research and overall thoughtfulness you put into making your case was indeed extraordinary.
I’m a bit taken aback by your use of my article as the motivation to write yours. My article why are we still complaining about Dan Didio had little written about Mr. Didio. It certainly wasn’t a defense of his work nor a damning of it. He and others mentioned were only used to illustrate my outlook.
Much of what you wrote regarding my views and work can do with a bit of clarity. I fear what you’ve constructed in your narrative is somewhat unbalanced and frankly unfair.
For example, placing quotes around a word when no one is speaking gives the distinct impression you don’t believe, care or respect my resume. You choose to describe mentor as “mentor.” For the life of me sir I have no idea why you would cast such an adverse slight at me.
My Bad Boy Studio Mentor program has achieved a fair amount of success. By all means feel free to ask Bernard Chang, John Paul Leon, Shawn Martinborough, Aaron McGruder and Brett Lewis, who mentored them.
There are more whom you are welcome to request confirmation from; I’ve been very fortunate to have had a small hand helping numerous young men and women join our beloved profession.
You could also speak to Chris Claremont or director Bill Duke. Both called me looking for a talented young person to work with them.
That girl I referred to Chris was Ali Morales. Ali went on to become DC Comics and perhaps the industry’s first Latino woman editor. Tatiana El-Khouri started as Bill’s assistant and finished running his company; now she’s running her own.
Thinking of my Bad Boys (and girls) swells my heart and moistens my eyes. I dare say those who came from my Bad Boy program are some of the best of the best. It matters little what else I’ve achieved in life nothing compares with the love and pride I feel for them.
I’m sure you can now appreciate why “mentor” cut me to the quick.
Hopefully, speaking to any of the above will result in a bit of lucidity into my background If you ever see fit to write about my mentorship program again.
You sir, forgive me for saying so, were a bit heavy handed in your use of conjecture. Nonetheless, it’s not surprising you would write about me in such a manner.
Sadly, that’s the industry model these days. I wrote about such in the very article you referenced so often. The venom and hate displayed in comics today and my hope for a reversal of that trend was the point of my column.
Sir, when you have a moment I’d like for you to clear something up for me. I just can’t fathom why you would use my article to go and do the very thing I wrote may damn us and please spell your name phonetically so if we meet I pronounce it correctly.
And it’s all anyone is talking about.
I mentioned I consider you a wee bit unfair in your analysis of my words.
Please consider the following from my article: The movies making the most money are from our house. But we’d rather bitch about Dan Didio still running DC than applaud Eric Stephenson, publisher at Image Comics. Eric gave the greatest comic book speech since Uncle Ben told Peter Parker; with great power, comes great responsibility.
“I’d like to talk about the future, but first, we’re going to do some time travel, back to a time when there was no Internet, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram. A time when there were no comic book stores.”
That was Eric’s spectacular opening and it got better from there.
We should still be talking about it. The industry coverage of that speech?
Almost none. Perhaps if Eric had started his speech with the following, we would still be talking about it.
“I’d like to talk about the future, but first, we’re going to do some time travel, back to a time Dan Didio wasn’t screwing up DC, Marvel didn’t suck, and there was no Dark Horse because there shouldn’t be any damn Dark Horse.”
Yep, we’d still be talking about that.
I dare say with your musings put in the manner you put them, we are.
Mr. Khosla, I don’t know you but from your writings, it does appear you are an educated man. You certainly have a passion concerning comic books and I do believe you have comics’ best interest at heart.
I’m very much at my wits end pondering why you transformed what I wrote into something I did not write with your explanations.
I wrote: I once loved the comics industry with a passion almost incomprehensible even to myself but the industry I loved so is gone. What remains is a fat out of shape ghost of its former self. A snake oil salesman selling a yearly new everything hoping fans will consider it a glorious new tune.
You wrote: This is how we’re starting a defense of Dan DiDio – by having to acknowledge that comic industry under his supervision has become an “out of shape ghost of its former self.”
Uhm. Okay. Great argument.
And the victim of comic fans, according to Mr. Davis?
Mr. Davis, eh? If you insist of addressing me so formally, please afford me the courtesy of doing it correctly. I feel it’s only fair after your “mentor” slights you address me as Dr. Davis as I have a Ph.D., please forgive me for my rudeness if this offends you, it is not my intention.
The following is another example of the slanting of my words.
You wrote Mr. Davis continues by trying to identify the culprit – not Mr. DiDio, but of course, comic fans.
I wrote What slays me and I fear will destroy us all is how we see, speak and represent ourselves. Character assassination over a creative decision. Damning a company, creator or content because someone wrote or drew something someone took issue with, rumors perceived as news, news handled like press releases were all once virtually repudiated as just being silly.
The problem with comics is the fans are not nice enough to the people who make them.
That is patently unjust my friend and even more so given life for me these days have been incredibly unfair. I won’t burden you with my many tales of woe. However, I do think the following incident is somewhat appropriate to share with you.
Within the last year, I’ve lost three dogs. I cannot express to you the pain that caused me. No, you have not caused me any pain sir. That’s not the reason I’m sharing that with you.
After some time, I intend to get another dog. To that end it just so happens your article appeared on the day I was wondering when the next time I’d have to teach another little bitch not to shit in my house.
It seems that day is today and the time is now.
We interrupt this professional rebuttal for a word from the wrong nigga to fuck with:
Motherfucker, where the fuck did you see Dan’s name anywhere near the quote you used? Where did you read I blamed the fans?
Nowhere. It’s not there. You made that up.
I’m simply amazed how you pulled that “response” to my article off. No one points out the level of bullshit that you shovel down their throats. Sure, I’ve seen people disagree with you, but I have yet to see anyone take you to task for the little fact that nothing you contribute to me exists anywhere in the article.
Nowhere. Like the emperor, the little bitch has no clothes.
The industry is eating up what is the comic book equivalent of weapons of mass destruction. Just like Bush, you picked a target to attack because it was convenient and you made a convincing case by writing smoke and mirrored attack on me.
Just like Bush, there was nothing there. It didn’t exist it was all bullshit.
I didn’t defend Dan’s leadership at DC anywhere in my article.
I also didn’t dismiss Dan’s leadership at DC anywhere in my article.
I don’t write in riddles my friend; don’t write leaving room for interpretation and I don’t write in some vague style, so later I can wiggle out of what I said.
Within my writings there is no need for deliberation, you don’t have to ponder shit nor is there any reason to think there is a hidden meaning. I write what I mean; say what I mean. You used me and my work to advance your agenda.
That was a bad idea.
I could give you a list of people and companies who tried that and but for one they all wrote me a check. The one that hasn’t got a pass up to now.
Relax dude; I’m not going to sue you. You’re a hell of a writer. That’s not a backward dig I mean that. Where you need help is in reading comprehension
Help is here, Bitch. Get out a pencil and paper because you’re about to get schooled.
How many words were there between “I once loved the comic industry with a passion almost incomprehensible even to myself but the industry I loved so is gone. What remains is a fat out of shape ghost of its former self. A snake oil salesman selling a yearly new everything hoping fans will consider it a glorious new tune.”
And Dan Didio may be the most hated man in comics and for what?
The answer A. 325.
How the hell did you tie the two together? Oh wait, you used the weapons of mass destruction technique. Attack somebody who had nothing to do with the attack you wanted to make. Like Bush, you thought you could get away with it.
If I may paraphrase the immortal words of Bill Duke, bitch, you know you done fucked up, don’t you?
How many words are there in the entire article?
The answer is A. 2564
You gave every impression I’d devoted all my article to Dan. Apparently the people who backed you did not read what I wrote, or they are drinking the stupid flavored Kool-Aid.
Of the 2564 words how many words were written about Dan?
The answer is C. 190
I’ve heard about it but never tried it. How is the stupid Kool-Aid?
Using the following paragraph below show where Dan first appears.
“I once loved the comic industry with a passion almost incomprehensible even to myself but the industry I loved so is gone. What remains is a fat out of shape ghost of its former self. A snake oil salesman selling a yearly new everything hoping fans will consider it a glorious new tune.”
Where is Dan first located?
325 words before
325 words after
In the same paragraph
The answer is B – 325 words after the quote.
Can you get addicted to Kool-Aid?
When did Michael Davis stop working with DC?
He never stopped working with DC
The day DC realized he was black
The day he told a DC executive to suck his dick
The day he refused to shut up about how fucked up DC was treating him while at Milestone.
The day a VP at DC tried to prevent him from becoming President & CEO of Motown Animation and Filmworks
The day the Earth stood still
The day Abhay Khosla realized Doctor Davis has no goddamn reason to kiss DC’s ass, never has, never will.
The answer is late 1993. That’s 23 years.
Fun fact: E, F, G, and H are all true. You think perhaps there was no love lost between DC and me?
Rich Johnson changed my original title, which was “What’s Love Got To Do With it?” Why are we still complaining about Dan Didio is all Rich and being the Johnson that he is he knew full well someone would take his bait.
I like Richard. He’s an important part of our industry. He’s got his critics, but a man without critics is a man with no success. I let what he does slide because he knows his audience.
But, like anyone else if I have an issue with him I voice it, and I have two. Editing my work, so you get F**K instead of what I wrote and that so-called comics power list.
But I digress. Peter David! Hey! As always I look forward to seeing you at my annual Comic-Con party!
Your article paints me as defending Dan with a passion; I didn’t. In fact, I gave an example of how I stood by him when he was at ABC and he, for whatever reason, has not shown me the same courtesy since being at DC.
That to me is a dick move but if that’s how he wants to be let him be that. I got other shit to do, and I certainly don’t need DC Comics to pay my mortgage. Yeah, I’d like to work with them again and on paper, I should be.
I have a long albeit novel relationship with Dan. I met Diane Nelson when she was still at Warner Consumer products, and we still exchange the occasional email. Lastly, Jim Lee and I have been in business together it was Image who published my Machineworks imprint.
I think fondly of the 3 am meeting I had with Image at the Hyatt during Comic Con way back when. I bare no one at DC any malice, and I’m glad to see each of those people whenever our paths cross.
Fun Fact: DC Comics is still my universe of choice, and I’ve said that regardless of the state my relationship is with them.
But, like I said I got other shit to do.
Why’d you do it? Nothing in my article was interpreted correctly so again, why’d you do it?
The first step is to admit you have a problem. It’s the Kool-Aid isn’t it?
My clearly made point was this; all this negative energy spent on Dan would be best spent trying to create a forward movement for the industry. People have been trying to get Dan fired for well over a decade.
How the fuck is that working out for you?
I’m always amazed when someone’s goal in life is to fuck up someone else’s.
You’re like a guy who desperately wants to date a girl. When she repeatedly says no you set out to impress her even more. Flowers and candy don’t work so you post something sweet on her Facebook page a poem. Danielle is her name and your name for your little limerick.
She blocks you.
You then embark on a campaign to make her pay. Your poem becomes a book-length attack designed to shame, sadden and hurt her.
You post, The case against Dan Didio, I mean Danielle secure in the knowledge this will destroy her.
She laughs it off. She laughs you off.
Soon you realize a cruel irony. Like Baum’s Dorothy who wanted nothing but to find a way home, she realized the way was her.
She became her way home.
The thing most wanted from “Danielle” is what you’ve become.
A little pussy.
The truth that you damn well knew unless you’re a fucking idiot was Dan made a minor part of an extensive article.
Nothing you attribute to me concerning Dan, fans and my point of view is accurate. The article’s use of my work is not just inaccurate Zero is written remotely slightly, somewhat or vaguely like you describe.
I’m a simple guy I don’t write in riddles I don’t write with conjecture as my primary source. I never blamed the fans for anything.
Bottom line. If you want to pick apart something I’ve done, criticize something I wrote, have at it just don’t rewrite it to suit your personal bullshit.
I wrote While many in the industry continue to turn on each other, some even creating another tempest of hatred once the last storm has lost the wind that propelled it Len Wein just writes another story creates another character all done without a hateful word towards his fellow creators.
Did you skip over that?
You’ve just being a dick?
Pick a side, pussy? Dick? Which one are you? You can’t be both, unless you pronounce your last name Kardashian.
Oh, and one more thing about being a “mentor” you might want to check with Walt Simonson as well. Walt came to my studio to see how I ran my mentorship program after accepting a teaching position at the School Of Visual Arts.
Fun fact: Rosamond Bernier did the same when she decided to add a young adult series to her career. I never assume anything, but I have a feeling you’ve never heard of her.
Google her; that may give you a small window into who you’re dealing with and at what level I operate.
You’re passionate about the industry I get that. I’ll be the first to tell you I’ve made many mistakes, and I own up to them.
Many years ago I labeled Bob Chapman a racist. I was young and hotheaded and saw things through a lens of bigoted pain. Bob isn’t a racist he and his family are the salt of the Earth.
I wrote and published Bob an apology the very next week when I was proved wrong. When next I saw him I did so in person then I found his wife and then so again. I was young and hotheaded, but I was not stupid. I was wrong, and I owned up to it.
You are wrong. Do the right thing.
You may think I’m writing this in anger. I’m not, this is far from reaching my level of rage.
I’m saddened by the amount of work you put into this was used to fuel yet another fruitless attack on for better or worse one of the leaders of our industry. You’ve added another reason comics get no respect. Hollywood should be our partners, but instead, we are their bitch.
Lastly, if you want to get black boys into your van, it’s easy. Simply tell them you’re a little pussy.
There has been a debate amongst comics wags that the rumor about Marvel cancelling their flagship title, Fantastic Four, during their 75th anniversary celebration was just that – a rumor. Marvel/Disney couldn’t possibly be that petty. Bleeding Cool.com‘s Rich Johnson, who carried the story, steadfastly stood behind his sources. Good for him.
Evidently, Marvel wasn’t happy with how 20th Century Fox was treating the property in the forthcoming movie reboot, they didn’t want to support it and so were cancelling the comic book. OK, but would they cancel all those X-Men titles if they didn’t like the way Fox handled their latest X-movie? Of course not. Nor did Marvel cancel the Spider-Man titles despite the atrocious way Columbia handled the Spidey flicks of late – and they’ve got release dates for three or four more.
To be fair, compared to the profits of the X-Men comics or even the (fewer in number) Spider-Man comics, the revenues racked in off of The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine are a fart in a blizzard. Even so, it just seemed real petty.
As it turns out, Rich was right. Kudos, pal. But it’s a damn shame anyway. Historical affinity aside, James Robinson was settling in nicely on the series and he’s one of our medium’s best writers.
Prior to this brouhaha, some cast members of this forthcoming FF flick were saying it wasn’t really based on the comics, it was an “expansion” of the concept, it wasn’t comic book shit, it’s goddamned art and they wouldn’t be associated with lesser trash. Yes, I’m wildly paraphrasing, but not out of my long-acknowledged love of the Stan Lee – Jack Kirby creation. No, I’m crabby about this because it’s astupid business decision. Haven’t they seen any of the Marvel Studios movies? The recently concluded Batman trilogy? Any of those Marvel and DC shows on television right now?
All of these shows have one thing in common: they treated their source material with respect; Marvel Studios more than DC/Warner Bros., but at their worst neither ever distanced themselves from the comics.
Heaven forbid 20th Century Fox should have a movie as entertaining and as profitable as Guardians of the Galaxy – and that movie wasn’t based upon a comic book series that has been published since 1961. In fact, few civilians ever heard of the Guardians.
Now we have what, for me, may very well be the final nail in the new Fantastic Four movie coffin. Over at Collider, actor Toby Kebbell gave us the bird’s eye lowdown on the character he portrays in the film, somebody called “Doctor Doom.”
“I’ll tell you this because of our history.” Kebbell confided to Collider. “He’s Victor Domashev, not Victor Von Doom in our story. And I’m sure I’ll be sent to jail for telling you that. The Doom in ours – I’m (Doom) a programmer. Very anti-social programmer. And on blogging sites I’m Doom… The low-fi way he did it, the whole ultra-real, it was just nice to be doing that, it was nice to be feeling we had come to terms with what we had been given.”
Hey, what were you given, Toby, other than characters and a concept that had been around for 53 years and raised three generations of followers in comics and on radio, television and movies?
By the way, as of this writing IMDB is wrong. They still list the character as Victor Von Doom.
So… maybe Marvel/Disney’s reaction was not so petty. Maybe it was more fanboy, and I mean that in the most positive sense of the term.
Fine. One less movie to see and, sadly, one less favored comic book to read.