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The Fantastic Four: The Great American Novel

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Bobdude The most Bobing of Dudes
The most Bobing of Dudes
Jan 31st 2014 at 7:43:45 PM

Interesting website I found a while back that I felt like sharing with everyone, though be warned: It's got a LOT of articles on it.

Jan 31st 2014 at 7:58:36 PM

It looks great. Will try fully exploring it tomorrow.

Feb 1st 2014 at 8:38:04 PM

Hhhnnghhh. While I agree with some of their points on continuity so far, many sound like 'every past time was better' nostalgia colored thinking. Will read on more tomorrow.

Feb 2nd 2014 at 7:17:02 AM

... yep, a near-obsessive agenda, alright. It's kinda sad, because there are noble intentions and points there, but the author is so wrapped up in his views it strikes me as downright 'I can tell Marvel and writers how to do, I know better, see-see-see' standard fanboy grand scheming.

bobdude The most Bobing of Dudes
The most Bobing of Dudes
Feb 2nd 2014 at 8:20:23 AM

[up] True enough, guy has some interesting points (I honestly can't help but agree with the whole comics moving in real time idea, pretty sure half of the problems with Spiderman wouldn't even exist if he had retired by now) but there's just parts that I just don't agree with. Still an interesting site though.

C0mraid from Here and there
Feb 3rd 2014 at 7:32:31 AM

smile Great find. I'll enjoy this site. Thanks for sharing.

I think there might be more people who share similar viewpoints than you expect. Fans of current Marvel are rarely exposed to Marvel fans who don't like anything in their recent history. At a pinch people who last enjoyed the Bill Jemas era might share forum spaces with current fans; silver age only fans definately hang out in different places.

Am I a good man or a bad man?
Zarius Relationship Status: Dating the Doctor
Apr 17th 2014 at 8:25:13 AM

I've looked through this one a couple of times. I agree on many of the points. I'm no long-term expert on the FF but I do feel that it's story has been watered down, subjected to a loop of repetition in status quoes and storytelling, and suffers the most from endless defragmented storytelling and constantly deaging characters, depleting them of maturity and experiance all to retain a youth-driven market. I was a kid when Franklyn was a tot, and now I'm in my 30s while he's still eight years old, that's not on.

kkhohoho Deranged X-Mas Figure from The Insanity Pole Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Deranged X-Mas Figure
Apr 17th 2014 at 8:37:08 AM

[up]That's not just the FF; that's most mainstream comics in general. The only real exceptions I can think of would be works like Peter David's X-Factor, which mostly uses minor characters that no-one else gives a darn about or wants to use. Because of this, he can do whatever the heck he wants, which has made for some of the best mainstream comics to this day; definitely miles better than a lot of other stuff being put out right now.

Sonic and the Freedom Fighters — Blue Horizon:
Jun 4th 2017 at 9:16:21 PM

I agree with a few of his points. Characters SHOULD evolve and grow. However I think he holds the silver age on too high a pedestal. He even defends a lot of the garbage dialogue from back then. There was sexism and racism back then in great amounts and comics couldn't really have actual themes in them (you couldn't tackle racism or sexism.)

VampireBuddha Hungry dinosaur from Ireland Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
Hungry dinosaur
Jun 5th 2017 at 2:32:28 AM

You do know that's the whole point of X-Men, right?

Jun 5th 2017 at 11:32:03 AM

[up] Themes of prejudice weren't explored all that much during the Stan Lee era. In fact, Roy Thomas and Neal Adams did a better job of looking at it during their brief but memorable run and it only really went full steam under Chris Claremont.

As for the website, I do like the page where he talks about Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's contributions to the Fantastic Four and Marvel Comics in general.

edited 5th Jun '17 11:45:17 AM by DS9guy

Jun 5th 2017 at 1:20:28 PM

Yeah, came across this site a while back, found it more than a little creepy... at first I honestly thought it was some kind of satirical project, but I quickly backtracked when I realized just how massive the whole thing was. No-one would spend that much time and space on a joke they weren't getting paid for.

Jun 6th 2017 at 1:28:08 PM

Part of the issue is that he says that big events should stay hidden and heroes shouldn't be much more powerful than the average man. I disagree. They shouldn't be TOO powerful but they can still be stronger than average people (in the movies the heroes are slowly overwhelmed by numbers, sufficiently powerful tech can hurt them. Hulk's anger makes him a double edged sword)

I agree that real time is a good thing (stories get retconned more frequently) and I agree especially that Marvel Time is bad.

Aug 23rd 2017 at 7:32:06 PM

[up][up][up] I had to stop after reading the section on Black Panther. The guy basically spends the entire section sucking Jack Kirby off (I mean, the whole page is basically that, but still), even calling Jack Kirby's original garish Black Panther design "daring, strong, greatest thing ever!" and Lee's design (his standard black suit) "racist, villainous, shameful", etc.

I mean... how delusional can one person be? He even tries to spin Stan Lee's decision to give T'challa's a mask (to trick the fairly racist comic audience into buying the book, and once they "discovered" that he was black, would have grown to like him anyway and keep reading) as a sign that Lee was racist himself! Underhanded; maybe, but history has shown that it was a good business decision, and worked, as T'challa did prove to be popular and would go on to appear in many more books in the Silver Age.

The way this guy tells it, Kirby's idea for a camp-yellow wearing hero named Coal Tiger (yeah, because a name with "Coal" in it couldn't possibly be construed as racist) spitting cheesy one liners was the greatest idea ever, no changes necessary, and putting him dead center on the cover to a mainstream comic in the early sixties, would have gone down a million times better (and also wouldn't have had to deal with the "unfortunate" connection to the real world Black Panther party, despite T'challa being invented a year earlier, which he notes himself but still finds it a "problem" worth mentioning... something tells me this guy might be the one with a racism problem). No way would racist white comic readers have decided not to buy a book with a black man on the cover, despite Stan and Kirby both having said that that was a major concern when creating the character, No sir! Gimme a break.

Yet despite all of this, and despite Black panther's continued success for decades, T'challa is just another of Lee's "mistakes" that "ruined" Kirby's creation forever to this guy.


edited 23rd Aug '17 7:35:01 PM by Eldritcho

Sep 20th 2017 at 11:48:31 AM

Yeah the guy's a bit obnoxious but some of his points are fair. Marvel Time and constantly suppressing it has ultimately been harmful and character development has been undone for stupid reasons (having Alicia Masters turn out to be a skrull so the real alicia can do the affair with Ben was pretty tired). Also the company should be willing to take risks.

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