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John Byrne's Next Men

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19 Sep 2012 19:52 #134634 by repoman
John Byrne's Next Men:

What a big pile of crap!!!

Talk about a great premise that turns to utter bullshit. Damn.

I read the first couple of issues when they were published and thought it was pretty cool but stopped reading the series. I just finished the trades for the whole series and what a disappointment.

I'm so disheartened that I can't even motivate myself to go to the hardware store and buy the lighter fluid I would need to set those books on fire which is the fate they deserve.

Ok, rant over.

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19 Sep 2012 20:05 #134637 by Michael Barnes
I never read these...I saw that they were on sale through Comixology a couple of weeks ago and thought about picking some up. I've heard it runs out of steam.

Why don't you read a little Doom Patrol or Irredeemable as a palate cleanser?

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19 Sep 2012 20:26 - 19 Sep 2012 20:36 #134639 by repoman
Replied by repoman on topic Re: John Byrne's Next Men
When you talk about Doom Patrol, you mean the more recent stuff right? Or do you mean the stuff from the 60s.
Last edit: 19 Sep 2012 20:36 by repoman.

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19 Sep 2012 22:28 - 19 Sep 2012 22:29 #134653 by dragonstout
He means the stuff from the late 80s / early 90s, which is genius. I have heard good things about the 60s stuff, though (the weirdness and surreal nature of the Doom Patrol started in the 60s). I have not heard anything good about *any* run since Morrison's.

Why the fuck did you think *anything* by John Byrne was going to be good? *dodges fanboys* I have yet to see anything good by him. His art is completely uninspiring. The Claremont/Byrne X-Men run was alright, but way way overrated. Everything Byrne wrote on his own was blegh: Fantastic Four, Superman? There's a wonderful takedown out there of how completely awful his Trial of Galactus story was, and his "Superman KILLS!" story was no less of a shock tactic story than the death of Superman was. And those are his WELL-thought of comics.
Last edit: 19 Sep 2012 22:29 by dragonstout.

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19 Sep 2012 22:51 #134655 by Michael Barnes
He's one of those guys that everybody liked in like, the 80s. And really, the Claremont/Byrne stuff is good because of Claremont, not Byrne.

I really want to read some 60s Doom Patrol myself, it sounds great. But I wonder if it's going to hit that same thing that most other 60s stuff does, where you have to read it thinking "this must have been awesome...in the 60s. I wonder how it's held up.

I don't see how anyone could top- or even compete with- Morrison's DP run. It's like this madcap mix of Silver Age superheroics, Maya Deren, The Avengers (the show, not the comic), Jodorowsky, and maybe Kirby on mushrooms. One of the main characters is an omniplegic trapped in a robot body that really doesn't do much other than lament his condition and make wry comments about the insane bullshit they encounter. And he's awesome. They're all damaged, unfortunate cases that really are handicapped or broken in some way. Yet they're still a superhero team...they just handle the really bizarre cases. Cases where Superman just kind of scratches his head, ineffectively.

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19 Sep 2012 23:30 - 20 Sep 2012 00:26 #134658 by dragonstout
About the 1960s Doom Patrol: check out this series of out-of-context panels from the series (the commentary is funny too):

www.mattfraction.com/archives/002773.php
www.mattfraction.com/archives/002774.php
www.mattfraction.com/archives/002775.php
www.mattfraction.com/archives/002779.php

He (Matt Fraction, writer of Casanova, Iron Man, Iron Fist, & lots more) has the following to say about 60s Doom Patrol:

Arnold Drake, along with co-writer Bob Haney and artist Bruno Premiani, created DOOM PATROL, a silver-age favorite of mine. I came to Mr. Drake's work through Grant Morrison's early nineties DOOM PATROL revival which, for all of its modernity, flash, drug use and crossdressing, is a surprisingly close tribute. Flipping through these great books again, I'm startled by how close a tribute it is, which speaks, I think, to the genius of Drake and what he was doing with the book.

I mentioned René Magritte yesterday in connection with one of these panels, and today's batch has only served to reinforce my feeling that, surely, if Magritte liked FANTOMAS (which he did) he would have loved DOOM PATROL and its gentle, loping surrealism, leaps of dream logic, and the pride in which the book took in its own disquiet and unrest.

Drake's DOOM PATROL is a kind of anti-Kirby, or an inwards-Kirby; as pyrotechnically imaginative and bombastically hyper, but in an introverted, introspective sort of way. The epitome of post-war psychosis manifesting itself in Silver Age, DOOM PATROL is a disturbingly-colored question mark to match Kirby's primary-colored exclamation point.


Arnold Drake also disapproved of all other Doom Patrol incarnations other than Morrison's:

I first met Arnold Drake a couple of weeks ago at the New York Comic Con. ... We discussed his Doom Patrol and he told me that he believed only Grant Morrison ever saw in the team what he was trying to do.

Last edit: 20 Sep 2012 00:26 by dragonstout.

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19 Sep 2012 23:51 #134660 by Michael Barnes
Holy shit. I must read those. Heading to Amazon. That is some BRILLIANT ASS SHIT. Even just those panels...

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20 Sep 2012 00:01 #134663 by dragonstout
There was actually a ridiculous mega-sale on all the Doom Patrol Archives just a few weeks ago, that I'm starting to regret not picking up...I just figured I've got too many other things to read to make time for reading a 40-issue superhero run on kind of a whim. You'll have to let us all know how it is. In any case, the mega-sale was because they're going out of print, so yeah, stock up on those archives now, 'cause that's the last time you'll be able to. The Showcase paperbacks will stay in print, but black-and-white: SO not right for superhero comics, I think.

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20 Sep 2012 00:17 - 20 Sep 2012 00:21 #134664 by dragonstout
The takedown of the Trial of Reed Richards/Galactus that I referred to above:

www.whiterose.org/howlingcurmudgeons/archives/005911.html

Byrne having Reed Richards defend Galactus:

There is an order of things in our universe. And it does not require any belief in a supreme being to realize that Galactus must somehow be part of that order - and, I suspect, an important part. For if he is truly to be considered neutral then the apparent evil of his actions must, in the end result, not be evil. And so, they must be part of some greater good. I cannot believe he would be allowed to exist, if this were not the case.

???

This goes beyond "nonsense" and into "vile". Don't worry about genocide, dude, it's all part of the greater good.
Last edit: 20 Sep 2012 00:21 by dragonstout.

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20 Sep 2012 00:48 #134666 by Michael Barnes
Huh. That defense works for Hitler too.

Found a lot of vol. 1 and 2 for $38, grabbed 'em!

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20 Sep 2012 02:59 #134674 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Re: John Byrne's Next Men
I've got the first Showcase volume of silver age Doom Patrol reprints. The artwork is really good by silver age standards, and the stories are fairly strange by silver age standards. Nowhere near as weird as Morrison's run, but much freakier than the usual '60s superhero fare.

As for Byrne, I remain convinced that he and Claremont had a certain synergy for a few years there, doing great work on X-Men, and decent work on Iron Fist and Marvel Team-Up. After their split, Claremont's writing grew wordy and self-indulgent, while Byrne became obsessed with taking concepts back to the beginning. There were plenty of reasonably good stories in his FF run, and some okay stories with Superman and Action Comics at DC. Everything went downhill after that and I didn't give Next Men another chance after reading one issue.

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20 Sep 2012 03:05 #134675 by engineer Al
The first year of Alpha Flight was a huge amount of fun. Most of the other Byrne Bashing here is well deserved. But man, NOBODY draws cooler looking technological whozzits and whatzits.

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20 Sep 2012 03:24 #134678 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Re: John Byrne's Next Men

engineer Al wrote: The first year of Alpha Flight was a huge amount of fun. Most of the other Byrne Bashing here is well deserved. But man, NOBODY draws cooler looking technological whozzits and whatzits.


Oh yeah, good call. I will even go so far as to say the first 2 years of Alpha Flight were good.

Speaking of Doom Patrol, Claremont & Byrne... that Doom Patrol reboot a few years back was utterly shameful. They had a neat gimmick... JLA #94 was the start of a six-issue arc reuniting Claremont and Byrne. Get it? A tribute to the first regular issue of the all-new, all-different X-Men, which was #94. Only, that wasn't Claremont & Byrne, that was Claremont & Cockrum. Anyway, the storyline was called Tenth Circle (get it? like an x inside a circle, or the X-men insignia) and had something to do with super-vampires and the formation of this wacky new group which was basically the silver age Doom Patrol plus a couple of forgettable new characters. This meant that DC retconned all previous Doom Patrol stories, including both Drake and Morrison stories, and let Byrne and Claremont do the new origin. It was terrible, but I still tried an issue of the new Doom Patrol book written by just Byrne, and that was unbearable.

Btw, here is my evidence for why Claremont was no great writer on his own. He was great with Cockrum on X-Men #94-105, and great with Byrne after that until #143. But Cockrum comes back to work with Byrne for a while starting with #145, and yet the writing is nowhere near as good as the first Claremont/Cockrum run. And it isn't Cockrum's fault, because he recaptures that early new X-Men magic with his brief Futurians book, right down to obvious imitations of various team members including dialogue and personalities. No, it's Claremont that was the problem, because he got arrogant and stopped collaborating on the writing, even when working with artists that could write decently.

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20 Sep 2012 04:32 #134681 by dragonstout
Just chiming in in agreement to say that it's not really fair to say that Claremont was the one responsible for the Claremont/Byrne X-Men being good; Byrne contributed a lot to the plotting of those comics. I'm not really a big fan of them myself, but Byrne was a big part of why they were popular.

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