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Warren Ellis relaunches Project Superpowers!

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  • #16
    I am cautiously pleased.

    I like Project Superpowers.

    While I like a lot of what I have read by Warren Ellis, especially the promise of newuniversal, as well as Black Summer, I hope he continues or at least builds on what has gone before, even if not slavishly referencing the past continuity; it just does not sound as though that will be the case.

    I just hope we don't see a Black September style relaunch.

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    • #17
      Warren Ellis and ....relaunch.

      Well,
      Great news, at last.
      I wish Warren Ellis all the best.

      It's not easy to get these Golden Age heroes into books that will sell well.
      There was a mood....a tone.... an atmosphere from the Golden Age that seems very hard to replicate that these heroes existed in.

      It seems that no one can bring them back in the way many of us dreamed of in our fitful fanboy imaginations.

      Now, Mr. Ellis will take a swing at it and we can only hope that he succeeds in his approach.

      It won't be in the way I wanted it.... building from the Golden Age and the heroes' adventures....to today's comic book landscape.
      Geesh.!! It seems like only Stan and Jack could do it. (See the success of C.A. and company: Namor and Jim Hammond to name just three. )

      Alex Ross' covers belied what laid within.

      I have always hoped P.S. would have an artist like Goran Parlov on it. An artist that could give these Golden Age heroes heft and a look of heroics.

      Yanick Paquette and Frank Quitely can "do it" too.

      I'll hang on every tidbit of news about Project SuperPowers with real hope that, this time, it will succeed. I love those heroes.

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      • #18
        Some people received the news of Warren Ellis on Project Superpowers with trepidation, because Ellis isn't necessarily associated mainly with superheroes, and when he is, it's with a darker take on the subject, as in The Authority, Iron Man: Extremis, Hellstorm, Doom 2099, or Thunderbolts. These were all good reads, but not exactly the sort of virtuous heroic icons that characterize those superheroes created in the Golden and Silver Ages of comics. That's also true of many British, Scottish or Irish comic book writers; not all of them got into the business as a result of being fans of American superheroes. Most of us would have preferred to read that someone known for their fanboy love of superheroes take over the book, like Mark Waid or James Robinson.

        However, for those who aren't happy with the announcement, I'd urge them to consider that Ellis probably had his pick of Dynamite titles to work on, yet he chose PSP - he says he's interested in characters from this era of comics. Surely he didn't take the gig because of a lack of other, more interesting opportunities available to him. I'd suggest that those people who weren't too thrilled with the news first read Ellis' Planetary or Ministry of Space, to show them that Ellis does understand the tropes of older 20th Century fictional archetypes, and knows how to evoke them within a modern context without taking them in that darker direction.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by pulphero View Post
          I'd suggest that those people who weren't too thrilled with the news first read Ellis' Planetary or Ministry of Space, to show them that Ellis does understand the tropes of older 20th Century fictional archetypes, and knows how to evoke them within a modern context without taking them in that darker direction.
          Actually, I didn't know that--so those aren't all grim like the other stuff?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
            Actually, I didn't know that--so those aren't all grim like the other stuff?
            Planetary frames its homages to 20th Century fictional heroes in the framework of a 27-issue story of a team of "Archeologists of the Impossible" who uncover the unknown secret history of the 20th Century. Many diverse fiction genres are eventually covered (like 1950s giant monster movies), but the frequent references to pulp fiction and comic book archetypes are especially deftly rendered. Short arcs and single issue stories within the longer series eventually link up like puzzle pieces. The series was nominally set in the Wildstorm universe, but other than a 1-shot crossover story with The Authority that isn't part of the regular series, no real familiarity with Wildstorm is necessary. I recommend this to everyone that enjoyed Wildstorm's America's Best Comics line or Astro City, and haven't had a bad reaction yet. Ellis wrote and John Cassaday drew all 27 issues of the series.

            The Ministry of Space is a three-issue miniseries, kind of a loving homage to Dan Dare and the 1950s-style stiff-upper-lip British spacemen, an alternate timeline where the British "Ministry of Space" beat NASA to space by 10 years. Chris (The Twelve) Weston did the art honors.
            Last edited by pulphero; 04-21-2014, 04:49 PM.

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            • #21
              Hmm. You have me tempted. He's apparently also going to be doing Supreme (which raises the same anxious concerns for me--I loved the Moore run, but, well, what's Ellis' approach going to be? Will he fix the stuff that the next run appeared to break, or...?). Everything else I've encountered involving Ellis has seemed to be, well, really, really grim and cynical.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                Hmm. You have me tempted. He's apparently also going to be doing Supreme (which raises the same anxious concerns for me--I loved the Moore run, but, well, what's Ellis' approach going to be? Will he fix the stuff that the next run appeared to break, or...?). Everything else I've encountered involving Ellis has seemed to be, well, really, really grim and cynical.
                But not as grim and cynical as Garth Ennis. And sometimes that can work, depending on the characters and the context. Completely appropriate for stuff like Doom 2099 and Thunderbolts, where he's not pretending that the protagonists are heroes.

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                • #23
                  Don't get me wrong. I don't mind a reboot that takes place a few years after the original stuff, and pretty much has nothing to do with it, besides the occasional mention here and there. Feel free to take it in an all new direction. I just want it to be in continuity with the old stuff still.

                  Easy enough to do. People seem to forget that REBOOT doesn't necessarily mean a new continuity. That would be a REMAKE. New Doctor Who was a reboot of classic Who. Started fresh and different, but still in continuity with the old stuff. THAT I will be on board for with P:SP.

                  A whole new continuity? Sorry, not interested. My pull list is too big as it is, and a new continuity for Superpowers would be, unfortunately, the perfect jumping OFF point for me. If only to save myself some money.

                  I'll keep my eyes peeled for news on this though, and if it is a new continuity, maybe I'll TPB it instead of getting the singles. I do love the characters after all.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by BountyHunter View Post
                    Easy enough to do. People seem to forget that REBOOT doesn't necessarily mean a new continuity. That would be a REMAKE. New Doctor Who was a reboot of classic Who. Started fresh and different, but still in continuity with the old stuff. THAT I will be on board for with P:SP.
                    In comic book parlance, "reboot" IS the term for a completely revised continuity/history. As opposed to "relaunch" which only really implies a new numbering, with perhaps a change (sometimes radical, sometimes not so much) in direction that doesn't contradict anything previously established. But there can also be a relaunch AND a reboot (this applies to DC's "New 52"), because "relaunch" is more of a marketing term. Then there is the "continuity implant" which technically doesn't change the continuity, but reveals certain heretofore-unknown facts about the history that may change (without technically contradicting) all the previously-known history, when viewed in light of the new information.

                    "Remake" doesn't even apply to comic book terminology. I've never heard anyone use that term. That's something that seems specific to movies and television, to distinguish from a sequel. Comic book terminology doesn't really use either of those words, but essentially a remake of a movie or TV series is the same as a reboot of a comic book series. New Doctor Who was a sequel to the earlier Dr. Who series.
                    Last edited by pulphero; 04-22-2014, 02:50 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                      And sometimes that can work, depending on the characters and the context.
                      Oh, I agree--though I don't think, say, Supreme (after Moore's wonderful and non-cynical work) should be the context for that.

                      I also feel a tad awkward about some of the things Ellis has said in non-comics contexts, now that I've been poking around looking up his stuff. (I don't care for my faith being called a "disease." But he may have been having a really bad day or something.) So I don't know... :/

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                        Oh, I agree--though I don't think, say, Supreme (after Moore's wonderful and non-cynical work) should be the context for that.

                        I also feel a tad awkward about some of the things Ellis has said in non-comics contexts, now that I've been poking around looking up his stuff. (I don't care for my faith being called a "disease." But he may have been having a really bad day or something.) So I don't know... :/
                        Faith, hobby, habit, passion, obsession, addiction, hoarding... these are all just words that mean essentially the same thing, and we shouldn't get too upset about them. There are, of course, positive or negative connotations depending on the POV of the person using them. What it usually boils down to is love of the medium vs love of a particular genre or a particular company's product. We all love the medium, but there are some that resent the economic dominance of certain genres or companies and view anyone who makes those their main focus within the medium, as narrow-minded or having a lemming-like "go along with the crowd" mentality, or as being easily duped or manipulated by marketing forces that try to exploit certain people's OCD tendencies. The resentment stems from the interaction between sociology and consumerism, that creates or limits diversity or opportunities on both the consumer and the employment opportunity side.

                        All things in moderation, as they say.

                        EDIT: OK, I see that I completely mis-read what you were writing about. I see that Ellis refers to a news story about Christian missionaries being attacked in Sri Lanka, and calling them a "Christian disease" or as the headline says "throwing them to the lions was more fun". He's being metaphorical of course, in the sense that a minority religion (Christianity, in Sri Lanka) is like an invasive cancer in trying to alter the cells of the larger organism (whatever is the major religion in Sri Lanka; Ellis seems to think it's Buddhism). If you had Muslim evangelicals trying to do the same in America, the same metaphor would apply. Ellis goes on to qualify his remarks as not singling out any particular religion, since as an atheist he thinks they're all "criminal insanity". Ellis is well known for his sardonic humor, though, so taking personal offense would be tantamount to proving that people who believe in religion are just sticks-in-the-mud who have no tolerance or sense of humor. It also seems, and I think you'd have a hard time proving otherwise to me, that Christianity, on the whole (or on average at any rate), hasn't been very tolerant or embracing of homosexuality -- I've no doubt that many self-identifying Christians might liken it to a disease, so I don't know how you reconcile that. It seems to me if you can do that, then something like Ellis' comments you should just be able to shrug off.
                        Last edited by pulphero; 04-22-2014, 08:20 PM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                          I guess you didn't actually read the article on CBR. The headline did say "Warren Ellis REBOOTS..." and the text of the article makes it even clearer:

                          "Warren is truly a visionary storyteller and he's been given carte blanche to reimagine these characters and this world," adds Dynamite Senior Editor Joe Rybandt. "The results will appeal to his existing fans for sure, but the world he is creating is accessible to all from the start."

                          Give it a chance. They obviously can't just pick up where they left off as if no time had passed. The original series didn't continue because the sales weren't there. They need to grab a whole bunch of new readers, otherwise this one won't fly either, but they can't burden those new readers with the backstory of what went before, several years ago. If Warren Ellis had gotten involved a few years earlier, it might have been different.
                          Honestly, the more the 2nd volume went into the characters being embodiments of Greek Gods, the less into it I was. If it's a complete fresh start, I'll go into it with an open mind.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                            Oh, I agree--though I don't think, say, Supreme (after Moore's wonderful and non-cynical work) should be the context for that.

                            I also feel a tad awkward about some of the things Ellis has said in non-comics contexts, now that I've been poking around looking up his stuff. (I don't care for my faith being called a "disease." But he may have been having a really bad day or something.) So I don't know... :/
                            We know too much now. When I was reading Teen Titans and LSH as a kid, I didn't know who believed in what, who was gay, or who was against homosexuality, and (for the most part) who couldn't get along. And I didn't care, all I worried about was how the Titans would defeat Brother Blood and how friggin' cool Deathstroke was.

                            My suggestion to you, though it probably isn't required, is to leave personal opinions out of it and just enjoy the work. I think things were more enjoyable then. We've been allowed behind the curtain a little too much in past years, IMO.

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                            • #29
                              I didn't know about his sardonic humor, so perhaps he wouldn't hate me if we met or anything. Tone makes a huge difference which doesn't always come through well in text...

                              Well, I've signed up for the first issue of Supreme, anyway. Fingers crossed. Really hoping it's more like the Moore run.

                              I should investigate Planetary when finances permit, and of course I will be very curious to see what people say about Project Superpowers.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                                I didn't know about his sardonic humor, so perhaps he wouldn't hate me if we met or anything. Tone makes a huge difference which doesn't always come through well in text...
                                True enough.

                                And it's an interesting question about how many of these people we'd like if we actually got to meet them. I attented a convention Q&A with Neal Adams a couple of years back. He was a bit rough on his audience at times and my friend thought he was a complete prick.

                                For example, one guy asked this long-winded question, using all the artistic and "in the know" business lingo that he could come up with, and Adams pretended to fall asleep in the middle of it. Sure, in a way it knocks a bit of the pretentiousness off the guy's shoulder, but it's still a crappy thing to do to the guy in front of a crowd.

                                Scott Lobdell is another guy that I'm not sure I'd like. I'd either get along with him great, or not at all, and I suspect it would be the latter. His sense of humour can rub me the wrong way, but it may be different in person or when you get to know someone.

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