Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Brevoort Blog @

...never fails to fascinate and amaze. A really interesting look at the making of past present Marvel books -- the good, the bad, and occasionally the ugly. Props to Marvel for being so candid.

Here is the column about the making of Civil War. The following quote regarding Speedball really caught my eye:

"Cripes this kid is your Sue Dibny except his insignificance in Marvel continuity and his connection to Tony is that tiny hole in the dike that starts the flood."

Yes, Speedball is to "Civil War" as "Sue Dibny" is to "Identity Crisis" (except Speedball doesn't get raped). He is also a victim but not a victim -- the cause of all the drama that is to follow and yet also a relative innocent (we will forget the whole "drug den" thing in "Alias") that is totally crushed by the horror he inadvertently unleashed (though, of course, according to the Deadpool/GLI special & Squirrel Girl it all really wasn't his fault anyway).

In a way, Speedball is more like Dibny AND Jean Loring. But the readers get a bit more satisfaction out of his storyline because A)He isn't dead and therefore able to deal with the ramifications & B) He is pretty kooky but not hopelessly evil & insane thus able to deal with the ramifications.

Anyway, the blog is fascinating, check it out.

PS: Just purchased a hardcover collection of "Identity Crisis" at a used book store. First thing me and my shopping companion did was turn to the masthead to see if my name was in it. Then I was thinking of doing a live-blogging thing maybe on Twitter to give commentary as I read it straight through. Started to read it, then headed straight into dinner with friends at an Afghan restaurant. Pepto-Bismol.


  1. Every single time I see a copy of Identity Crisis on the shelves, with its very grown up cover design and hardcover treatment, the words "TINY FOOTPRINTS ON HER BRAIN" light up inside my head with all the neon fury of Las Vegas. Never fails to cause uncontrollable laughter, and is totally worth the weird looks from the other shoppers.

  2. The language is clumsy and open to interpretation, but (based mostly on the "connection to Tony" comment) I'm pretty sure "the kid" Quesada's referring to in that note is Iron Man's ultimately non-existent Godson, rather than Speedball.


  3. I got the same impression, Andrew.

  4. Ditto here. Frankly a lot of that pitch just irritated me, like how they were calmly discussing with glee how they were going to put a bullet through a little kid's head. To me, that was what was making me wonder what the hell is going through their minds.

    And, of course, it's oh-so-nice how they were originally planning on the Hulk to impregnate hundreds of alien women. -_-

  5. The bullet through the kid's head didn't bother me in the least. He's not a person, he's a plot point, and it's important for storytellers to be able to discuss those things dispassionately. Same for the baby Hulks -- although in that case, it's a stupid plot pont.

  6. The problem, rob, is that when you start treating them as plot points instead of characters, you get stuff like Identity Crisis or any hero who's lost a loved one simply to advance the hero's story.

  7. Someone's gotta advance the plot. If the plot needs a catalyst, some character has to do it, and there's no reason for creators to get worked up about it. It's just a job that needs doing. The kid -- introduced specifically to die and set things rolling -- is a plot point, not a character. Plot points aren't bad, in and of themselves. All plots need them. From there, though, a skillful storyteller would be able to dress it up in character so it's not so baldly a plot point.