Thursday, April 07, 2005

"You Mean #76 ISN'T the First Issue of the Series?!"

Mark Waid on Flash.

John Byrne on Adventures of Superman (circa 1988).

Frank Miller on Daredevil.

Gail Simone on Birds of Prey.

Devin Grayson on Nightwing (for awhile, at least).

Tom DeFalco on Amazing Spider-Man (the first time around).

One of the things that impresses me with writers when they take over a series is when they actually acknowledge what happened before they got to the book. This is not to say that I think you should not be able to change the title, far from it. People remember Alan Moore's vast changes in Swamp Thing, but they may not recall that he FIRST wrote an issue on the title that wrapped up all the plots on the book prior to his first issue. How many other new writers would be so kind? In addition, Moore ended up using all the characters that were in the book before he took over in one form or another over during his run. Mark Waid's Flash, by 1996, barely resembled Bill Loebs' 1990 Flash. That is fine.

But when you see a writer who has clearly read the title that they are taking over, it is a cool sight to see, and I think it helps fans adjust more for when the bigger changes DO happen.

This is not to say that I want people to feel the need to go back and read 40 years of comics, just take into mind the readers who were ALREADY reading the title. If you can add new ones without alienating the old ones? You're in like Flynn (who I just saw a cool documentary on the other day on TCM, natch)!


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