By Todd Allen

The Freedom Fighters don’t appear to have formed in the “New 52” DC universe yet, but darned if Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray aren’t hovering over the characters.  Palmiotti & Gray wrote the pre-relaunch Freedom Fighters comics, the post-relaunch The Ray and now will be writing Phantom Lady. Not just Phantom Lady, either.  Freedom Fighter alumni Dollman will also be part of what appears to be a fairly major reworking of the characters.

From the official hype:

Written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and illustrated by Cat Staggs and Rich Perotta, PHANTOM LADY will star the female Freedom Fighter in the debut of her own 4-part miniseries. And joining her will be her partner-in-crimefighting, the diminutive dynamo known as Doll Man.

“Phantom Lady and Doll Man is an exciting return to the roots of the characters as pulpy, street level crime fighters with a few new twists and some heavy sci-fi overtones,” Justin Gray told THE SOURCE. “We took the best of their original core concepts and updated them with no relation to our previous work on Phantom Lady and Doll Man in the Freedom Fighters. You’re getting in on the ground floor of the origin story of two people whose lives intersect and a common threat that transforms them into pretty amazing and engaging superheroes.”

“We are super excited to reconnect with characters we have been so close with over the years, and getting to create something both exciting and visually cool in the process,” continued Jimmy Palmiotti. “With this series, we dig into who Phantom Lady and Doll Man are, how they came to be and how they fit into DC COMICS-THE NEW 52. There is something for everyone here and we are having a blast!”

As you can see from the cover art (Amanda Conner art), the visual redesign is pretty complete.   I think I would have guessed Legion of Superheroes if you showed me the art out of context and said it was from DC.

Phantom Lady comes pretty quickly after The Ray‘s revamp and makes you wonder if Black Condor or Uncle Sam is going to be following.  (I’m not sure the Human Bomb is the best title for a comic in the current climate.)  That’s three out of six Freedom Fighters rebooted.  Also, if you’re following the diversity thread, penciller Cat Staggs is a lady.


  1. I may or may not have heard something about this at C2E2, super excited to see that it’s official!

    Automatic pull list add!

  2. I loved the old characters … I have a hard time imagining that today’s kids will give a chance to a character called “Doll-Man,” but I loved the old comics, so I just might.

    The redesign of PL doesn’t look bad … better than some recent redesigns (see: Earth 2 Flash, “Shazam”). Is she still going to be using a “dark light” gun?

    Also, I sure wish/hope DC would/will reprint some of the old comics. Doll Man had Eisner (I think) and Lou Fine working on it, and PL had … who was it? Matt Baker?

  3. >>jimmy palmiotti
    05/11/2012 at 3:52 pm

    Marco…what do you do for a living?

    Marco Polo
    05/11/2012 at 4:00 pm

    In school, what do you do for a living?<_<

    Marco, you cannot be serious with that question?

    Regarding the book, I'm loving the look of this and can't wait for it to be released. Huge fan of the FREEDOM FIGHTERS and this looks like it will be great fun :)

  4. We keep a lot of what makes the characters fun and update the world around them and some of the tech as well. This series is in the spirit of celebrating what if cool and exciting about the characters.

  5. Both Freedom Fighter series were underrated for their story content and plot lines. It will be nice to see the creators being able to pull the team members out into their own mini-series to spotlight them more.

    Cover by Amanda is awesome as well!!!

  6. Why, obviously, Jimmy–don’t you know Marco is a world-renowned handicapper? That he spends all his time judging the success of art based on his informed opinion of its anticipated sales? You can find him outside your local cineplex, telling kids not to see JOHN CARTER because it’s not going to make any money.

    He can also be found at local coffee shop poetry nights telling people to “get a job” because poetry doesn’t sell and has season tickets to the theatre, where he suggests theatre is dead to anyone who dares pull up alongside him at the urinal.

    It’s all a big game of football to him, all about who “wins” by getting the most points. He’s the guy who thumbs through the back issues with a giant foam We’re # 1 finger.

  7. @Marco–it’s not “inaccurate”, it’s satirical. I don’t assume you actually do any of that shit.

    The point was that guesstimating sales, regardless of whether it’s done all the time or not, is a totally nutrition-free way of looking at something that someone made. I assume Jimmy actually cares about what he’s doing, and I know he and everyone else working on the book are sweating over it, hoping it does well.

    To then address it only in a cold numerical way dismisses anything BUT the numbers. That reasoning encourages nothing but cold, hard numerically-concerned art, and so I think it’s discouraging.

    I assume you didn’t mean it to be shitty and were just making an observation; I didn’t mean to imply I think you’re a shitty guy; but I do think it’s a shitty way to look at things and encourages more shitty product.

  8. Marco, you ask Jimmy Palmiotti “what do you do for a living?”

    Think about that. You asked Jimmy Palmiotti what he does for a living!

    That’s why I enquired if you were asking a serious question. How can you *not* know what Jimmy Palmiotti does for a living?

    If you actually read the article you would know what Jimmy Palmiotti does for a living!

  9. @Derek–

    Nope, but I think we get what we deserve. If we think of art as product, we get nothing but product, we eat nothing but Cheetos and Lunchables and other stuff that can be mass-produced at a high profit margin.

    I think it’s behind what has sucked a lot of the fun out of superhero comics for sure.

    And I apologize for taking your comment much more seriously than you intended it (I just couldn’t think of something funny in response!).

  10. No worries Matthew. I’ll take your moxie too!

    I’d only elaborate that somewhere, somebody at DC is doing the exact same thing Marco did. But probably instead of a question mark, there’s the threat of pulling the plug.

    Seriously though? The folks running DC right now are kinda doing a shitty job of maintaining the comfortable lie that superhero comics aren’t just a product, you ask me.

    le sigh.

  11. After reading Palmiotti & Gray’s The Ray, I have no doubt Phantom Lady will be in good hands.

    I look forward to this!

  12. Well as pointed out the Beat can’t have it both ways, you can’t have a big emphasis on sales charts and then people get pissy when people discuss sales or make predictions about sales.

  13. They aren’t dolls!!
    They’re “ACTION figures”!!! :)

    At some point, there has to be a story about Doll Man being trapped in some fan’s action figure collection, right??? :)

    While the classic Phantom Lady look is great, I am diggin’ the new PL look and the bob. That Amanda art is helping to sell it too. Looks good.

    Has anyone ever tied Phantom Lady to the Legion’s Phantom Girl at all? Seems like a natural.

  14. I guess it’s trolling if you don’t say that a friend of the Beat will have great success with Phantom Lady comics. Noted.

  15. Opinions any which way are fine. Some may feel like these books are ” product” but we are busting our ass to entertain the hell out of you, and give you a book that you feel was worth your investment in time and money…Otherwise I wouldnt do it.

  16. This is exciting! I love PL and that redesign is great. Plus Cat working with Jimmy and Justin seems like a great combo. She’ll be able to capture their humour and subtlety.


  17. I must have missed something, I don’t ‘get’ the Marco references. Maybe some posts were deleted above?

    Anyway, with some writers, I might question how well Phantom Lady would translate into 2012, but with the feel of the dialogue that I have read in All Star Western and Jonah Hex for example, I think the title is in good hands with Palmiotti.

  18. I just hope the art is better than the other post Acuna efforts on Freedom Fighters. I like the characters I loved that first Freedom Fighter series with Acuna. I have the issues as well as two trades because I reread it about as much as I do Busieks Avengers Forever. That first Freedom Fighters mini series set a standard that was not reached in the following efforts. I also felt the writing was just not as strong or as epic as that first series. I’ve stuck with the chracters and I’ve bought all the Freedom Fighter books and even own a few of the old Quality Comics, so I think I’ve earned the right to say that.

    Acuna’s art was as epic as the story being told in that first series. Hopefully Staggs will be able to reach the bar that Acuna set. And hopefully the writers will be able to give us stories that were as uniquely exciting and epic as that first series. I’m not asking them to top themselves. Just to be as good as that first outing. Piece of cake, right?

  19. Yah Al, they censored me, they don’t give a shit that Didio thought Countdown was better than 52 and then Countdown was not and Geoff Johns told him to fire everyone midway through.

  20. Ok, lets try it a second time! :)loves horro

    I like alot of what Palmiotti and Gray produce. Powergirl was amazing. And I loved their Friday the 13th mini (anyone who loves horror has to go check it out). Now that being said, I really don’t know why this is being produced. I foresee it not setting the charts on fire. Freedom Fighter got canceled and The Ray was DOA. I would love to see them on some more well known characters. JLI would be a perfect fit! Their Powergirl made me seriously LOL. So at least we know its be funny again!! (its sucks so much at the moment). On back on Hawkman – and with Bennett again!!

  21. Good to see Marco Polo’s comments removed. We don’t need anything other than adoration and hype. On that note this book looks ground breaking. With Amanda Connor on the covers and her Pre-Watchmen mastery they will be teaching college courses on how Phantom Lady influenced our culture.

  22. Generally I think defense of creators ( although I would say someone like Eric Powell is a creator, since he actually creates) is better done by peers rather than editorial supervision. In fact some of the more interesting posts are in defense pieces. My opinion.

  23. Jimmy, I was not aiming at you but I guess it hit you anyway. Lots of people like Whoppers but because you make them doesn’t make you a chef. This is work for hire not creation. I actually do respect your work and your name represents a level of quality, however I would have preferred to see you take a route similar to Chris Roberson rather than sell your services to DC. On a side note sorry for the loss of your friend. Be well.

  24. Jesse, I have been doing creator owned work since I started in the field. I self published and co created Event comics, have co created Painkiller Jane, ASH, 22 Brides, Kid death and Fluffy, and since then, The Monolith, 21 Down, The Resistance, Tallulah Black, The Barbary Ghost, The Twilight Experiment,Tattered Man, The Pro, Triggergirl 6, Queen Crab,Time Bomb, The Last Resort, and about a dozen more creator owned books while maintaining a career writing characters that I love like Jonah Hex, Hawkman, Powergirl, Daughters of the dragon and have kept a healthy relationship with the bigger companies like DC and Marvel.

    I understand and appreciate what the bigger companies offer, do not go in blind to deals working with them, and when we partner on co-owning a property, it is with the understanding that both parties are up front and the paperwork involved spells out our deal to the letter.

    I am happy for Chris and his choices, but saying I do’nt actually create characters in comics or shouldnt be called a “creator” , in my opinion, I have to respectfully disagree.

    and thanks for that last bit.

  25. “Lots of people like Whoppers but because you make them doesn’t make you a chef.”

    And just because you EAT them doesn’t qualify you as a critic, either, Jesse. Anyone who thinks the simple fact of work-for-hire disqualifies it as creative knows NOTHING. I find your attitude about what does and doesn’t constitute “creation” ignorant, two-dimensional, and hilariously snotty.

    And Jimmy, thanks for the kudos. Not necessary, but appreciated all the same. :)

  26. Jimmy, you really don’t need to defend to anyone your creator-owned bona fides, nor do you need to justify the great work-for-hire stuff that you also do. You’re one of the most creative people I’ve ever met.

  27. Thanks Cully and thanks for defending me…, Jesse brought up the subject and I wanted to correct him.

    There was no anger in my post, I just felt that maybe Jesse didnt understand or know exactly what I have been doing and this needed to be addressed.

    And yeah, I wanted to point out that you did the beautiful character designs … just because someone else does a cover or interiors, sometimes, the original designer gets forgotten…and there was no way in my book you would ever be forgotten. You have saved many a project for me with your skills and I felt they needed to be pointed out.

  28. Cully I LOVE the passionate response. No sarcasm, it’s a sign of someone who cares about their friends, work etc. I am not attacking Jimmy, as I said his name represents quality.
    However, this is not an original creation it is corporate property. You cannot associate yourself with DC and not expect some of their bad reputation to rub off on you. After all they are paying for your good names and work to put a shine back on the DC logo. So don’t get bent out of shape you are taking the check. Also I read comics and have for years so yeah I can be a critic especially with my dollars.

  29. Jesse, this was a response of you not considering me a “creator” and using Eric Powell as an example as one.

    you changed the conversation and what I was addressing, and the comparison.

    I am not, on any level, “bent out of shape” at taking DC’S money for work I am hired to do. In fact, I think you skipped over my posting and what I was saying about having a healthy relationship with the company.

    And never for a minute did I saw this property was an original creation. Our take on the characters is a new one.

  30. I think a lot of fans would like to see more creative talent exodus away from Marvel and DC, but realistically, times are tough- for everyone, I know that.
    I would love to see Gray and Palmiotti pop out more books like Timebomb (which forking ROCKED), but I know those don’t garner the same pay as does work for hire from larger publishers on company-owned projects. What Roberson and Langridge are doing is incredible, but not everyone is willing or able to make such extreme sacrifices.

    For now.

  31. True Richard, the good thing is I have a monthly title coming out from image called CREATER OWNED HEROES starting in June, another kickstarter book like Queen Crab called RETROVIRUS right now, a new creator owned project at Dark Horse and Captain Brooklyn lined up with Frank Tieri and Amanda Conner end of the year at image as well.

    Some of these I will lose money, but not all. Its the risk I take and will continue to do so, because I believe in new ideas and love the hell out of this medium. I am putting my money and investing in my own properties…something I think all creators should do, when the time is right for them.

  32. Jimmy, I was not referring to you being bent out of shape that was for Cully, which is my fault for starting it. I originally commented about Marco being censored for bashing creators. I could not read his censored comment but I have seen very little creator trashing anywhere and find it mostly has to do with the company, in this case DC. I think you are a creator BUT in this case not creating, working for hire writing. Unfortunately it’s for DC which automatically means I am checked out. I wish you the best of luck you are a cool guy.

  33. “Cully I LOVE the passionate response. No sarcasm, it’s a sign of someone who cares about their friends, work etc.”

    I do. Not only am I passionate about my friends and creators I respect, but about the work– work-for-hire or otherwise.

    “I am not attacking Jimmy, as I said his name represents quality.”

    And I’m not defending Jimmy, per se– he doesn’t need me to do that. I’m defending the very idea of work-for-hire as being CREATORS. I create every day. Jimmy is a “creator” whether he’s doing it on his own dime or not, as am I, as are we all in this business. To say otherwise bespeaks an ignorance of the process of what we do. Are there different levels of “creation?” Sure. It’s not a black-or-white, either/or thing. Just because I’m ostensibly working on an existing character doesn’t mean I’m not creating something.

    “However, this is not an original creation it is corporate property.”

    Actually, since you haven’t read it, you really have no idea how extensive a redefinition this is, do you? Is it simply a costume change, or is it a completely new character with the same name? You don’t know, at this point.

    “You cannot associate yourself with DC and not expect some of their bad reputation to rub off on you”

    And this “bad reputation” is an acknowledged fact, is it? Or simply how YOU see things? And frankly, this is like saying that you cannot comment here and associate yourself with fanboys on the internet and not expect their bad reputation to rub off on you, isn’t it?

    “So don’t get bent out of shape you are taking the check.”

    Huh? Who’s really bent out of shape here, again? You’re the one with the moral high horse about what we do for a living here, aren’t you? I’m not bent out of shape at all– just disagreeing, albeit strongly, with a pretty uninformed and ignorant characterization of people who do what I do.

    “Also I read comics and have for years so yeah I can be a critic especially with my dollars.”

    You can be a critic OF WHAT YOU READ– that’s all. You are not qualified to make a judgment of what in comics constitutes “creativity” unless you’ve done the work and had the experience of both WFH and creator-owned– as Jimmy has and as have I. That’s what I mean by “ignorance.” It’s not an insult– at least not in the same way your sneering judgment was. It merely means you literally have no knowledge in the matter.

    “I think (Jimmy is) a creator BUT in this case not creating, working for hire writing.”

    Incredibly arrogant of you to say, frankly. Wow, you really have no idea what you’re talking about.

  34. CREATE – to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.

    Saying that working on Marvel and DC books is not creating doesn’t make any sense. Even when doing work for hire stories the writer is still CREATING the story and dialog. The artist is still CREATING the art.

    That to me can be much more creative than just thinking of some generic new character. There are plenty of creator owned comics with derivative characters and stories where not a whole lot of creating is going on.

    And there are plenty of work for hire comics that tell new, innovative stories.

    Bottom line writing and/or drawing a comic book involves creation regardless of what characters appear.

    Or are does anyone think Liefeld’s Youngblood was more CREATIVE than Moore’s Swamp Thing?

  35. Well said Cully.

    EVERYONE: Come join me and Cully at Dallas con next week. I will be the guy buying all his drinks, patting his back over the toilet and gettting him sunglasses to wear sunday at the show.

  36. “And just because you EAT them doesn’t qualify you as a critic, either, Jesse.”

    I wish there weren’t so many creators posting on this site. You can’t voice an opinion without one of them taking offence, weather it be at them, or one their mates. The post about the Chris guy who boycotted DC (cant be bothered looking up his name) had creators jumping down everyones throat who didn’t praise him, and a bunch complain on the various monthly charts.

    I’d rather just read/look at their work. But thats just my opinion.

  37. I’m not reading any of the new DC titles, but this one could actually get me to pick it up, especially if it’s a four-issue mini series with her and Doll Man. Like many of you, I’m a big fan of the old Freedom Fighters series and would love to see them back together again.

    Ditto on concerns about the name of the “Human Bomb” character. It just hasn’t aged well.

  38. Isn’t this more fun than looking at how much box office the Avengers did?

    And James, this is a small wonderful business where the creators care and interact. This site, more than most, let’s us come and interact with fans, Good or bad.

  39. I have to disagree with James … I think Jimmy, Cully, and Jesse have gone about this discussion in a pretty respectful way, and have each brought up salient points.

    I wish more discussions online would involve such logic.

    Would definitely say “hi” at the Dallas con if I wasn’t up in Boston.

    I think I would like to at least check this series out.

    I do have problems with both DC and Marvel, but also a lot of love for both, especially based upon past history.

    It’s an imperfect world, but as long as real people keep working to make it better, it will get better.

  40. That is one awful, awful character design, typical of the current vogue for trying to deny that superhero comics are, in fact, superhero comics. What is the thing around her neck? Why so many visible seams? Why the cutouts? Is the top unzipped to expose that much cleavage, or does the zipper stop there, and, if so, (again) what the hell is that thing around her neck?

  41. Cully, let’s be fair. I felt I was polite. You are under exclusive contract to “create” or redesign the DC universe for DC. So you clearly have a bias here and a financial one to boot. I am surprised you have such a problem with fanboys since they buy your products. Was that snotty or snide?

  42. Jesse: Sure, you’re polite. You can be polite, yet still say snide and arrogant things, which you have. Have I been impolite to you, or have I simply made you defend your position?

    And you’re right that I have a bias, but wrong about the bias that I have. It’s not a bias for DC– I’ve worked for just about everyone in my 20-year career. It’s a bias in favor of the *work itself*. I defend what I know it to be. You, on the other hand– and this is what I’ve been responding to all along– have demonstrated an extreme bias against creators who do work-for-hire, actually denying that we’re creating anything. That’s where you’re wrong. All I’ve been doing is pointing out that fact, and that you’re presenting your opinion as fact. So, yeah, I think that’s arrogant.

    And nice try on trying to make it appear that I “have a problem with fanboys.” I have no problem with fans. Most of them are nice, respectful folks, as are most pros. We all get along fine– the flies in the ointment are people like you.

    And James… I hear you. I’m sure there are creators out there who remember the days when creator/fan interaction was limited to sales only, with the occasional fan letter. That’s not the world we live in anymore, you know? And if you’re going to go on a public forum and express an opinion, you have to expect that sometimes your opinion will be challenged. We’re people, too– and we’re fans ourselves. We frequent the same sites, and have opinions to express. If I see someone speaking with authority on what I do for a living with incorrect information, I will always point it out and defend the honor of the work. And all due respect, but if you don’t want to have a dialogue, then maybe the internet is a bad place to hang out.

  43. This is going to be a really fun comic. It would be nice if some people would just get off their high horse and allow themselves to be entertained.

  44. Heidi et. al.,

    Just a quick observation: Obviously, The Beat has to police this site as it sees fit. However, I caution that just deleting comments without any explanation makes things quite confusing. Marco obviously has some issues and said certain things that might have been inappropriate, but if he’s been engaged after saying an allegedly stupid comment — by Jimmy Palmiotti, no less — I think it makes sense for all concerned to either leave the original comment up or (if possible) restore it.

    Regardless of how unwise (I’m assuming it wasn’t profane or potentially libelous) the original statement was, once a back-and-forth conversation has begun, it makes sense to let it play out — and allow regular readers to figure out what was going on.

    Thanks for your consideration.

  45. You can pretty much put the pieces together on what’s been deleted, but as someone who’s been here from the start…

    Marco, being the first responder, said something to the effect of (paraphrasing cuz obviously it’s gone) “First issue XXk, last issue XXk?” The “XX” being the number he guessed at, which was almost exactly like Charles Knight’s first post in this discussion but it was a lower guess than his. That much I remember.

    Then jimmy responded with “Marco…what do you do for a living?” Which is now the first post.

    Then Marco replied with “In school, what do you do for a living?<_<" Which is quoted in the Kelvin Ruthven post.

    And that's about the extent of the controversy.

  46. Okay, being on the DC comp list (yes, I do read most of the monthly comics DC sends me), I’ll get this for free, but the first issue will go to the top of the “must read” pile when I get it.

    After that, it will probably be added to the “must read” pile, which is right above the “Vertigo” pile, followed by various New 52 piles (where All-Star Western currently resides… loved issue #8 and the lovelies therein!)

    I thought I recognized that style! From Moorish Harem to opium den! Any chance of further collaboration? PLEASE?!?

  47. Cully, I am a “fly in the ointment” ….classic. Is that corporate policy anyone who disagrees is nail to be pounded down. You seem so offended that I made a comment about creation vs work for hire that you need come down and admonish me. On several occasions I tried to politely extricate myself and got called a “fly in the ointment and arrogant.” If you care so much fine you are a “creator” Have a nice day.

  48. >> Saying that working on Marvel and DC books is not creating doesn’t make any sense. Even when doing work for hire stories the writer is still CREATING the story and dialog. The artist is still CREATING the art.>>

    It’s an odd definition of creation to only apply it to the lead characters.

    I didn’t create the AVENGERS series, but I created a lot of things while I was writing it — stories, new heroes, new villains and more. The people who write, say, THE GOOD WIFE create, too, even though they’re doing it work for hire and may not have conceived the series. And so on and so forth.

    >> Is that corporate policy anyone who disagrees is nail to be pounded down. >>

    The policy of CullyCo, apparently.

    Unless the insinuation is that because Cully works for DC anything he says is driven by some Warner Bros. policy memo somewhere.

    I’m currently working (in theory, at least) for DC and Dynamite Entertainment (and by extension the Kirby Estate), and have within recent memory worked for Marvel Comics, IDW, Dark Horse, Working Title Films and a major film studio the NDA on the project doesn’t allow me to name. And others, I’m sure. If I make any criticisms, I suppose it must be corporate policy of one or the other of those firms, even if it’s hard to tell which.

    Or perhaps they’re my own opinions, and ascribing someone’s opinions to a corporation is merely a stab at dismissing them. Presumably, someone who would think that comics creators are merely a mouthpiece for the publisher considers him or herself merely a mouthpiece for his or her source of a paycheck, too.

    Or perhaps — just perhaps — we’re all here saying what we choose to say, and the idea that some company is directing any of us to do so is more than faintly absurd.

  49. >> I wish there weren’t so many creators posting on this site.>>

    It’s a big internet. I’m sure there are sites to be found that don’t have many creators posting at them.

  50. Hello, peeps. I regret that my insane schedule doesn’t allo wme to moderate comments as well as they should be. Ever since we started to get indexed in more places (if you google “comics news’ The Beat is the sixth result) we’ve gotten more of the more…confrontational commenters who frequent other sites. As I said, I don’t mind a lively discussion — such as the one that this thread has created — but respect should be shown to any creator or professional. Like I said I don’t have time to police thigns as much as I should so I may rethink the commenting system.

  51. “Cully, I am a ‘fly in the ointment’ ….classic. Is that corporate policy anyone who disagrees is nail to be pounded down. You seem so offended that I made a comment about creation vs work for hire that you need come down and admonish me. On several occasions I tried to politely extricate myself and got called a ‘fly in the ointment and arrogant.’ If you care so much fine you are a ‘creator’ Have a nice day.”

    And to you, sir! I will report to my corporate superiors that you have been soundly vanquished! Maybe they’ll even let me eat and watch an hour of television this week as a reward!

    *rolls eyes*

  52. I gotta say…
    I’m interested in how this reboot goes. I’m glad you didn’t keep Doll Man’s old bare-legs-and-skippy-slippers look and Phantom Lady’s outfit seems more practical as well. I’m curious about powersets, personalities, other details and such as well. I really hope they have some staying power. If they can interact with the rest of the DCnU (without being earmarked as only appearing alongside revamps of other Quality-era heroes), they look like they could be really exciting.

    Just my two cents. :)

  53. I reckon some of the more talkative folks on here aren’t using their last names, cuz they be fearin’ a backhandin’ from their employers…

  54. >> I reckon some of the more talkative folks on here aren’t using their last names, cuz they be fearin’ a backhandin’ from their employers…>>

    But you can go ahead and use your last name, Mr. Wolfe!

    Archie won’t object, and he’s your employee, anyway!

  55. Saying that working on Marvel and DC books is not creating doesn’t make any sense. Even when doing work for hire stories the writer is still CREATING the story and dialog. The artist is still CREATING the art.

    There are many ways to be creative, but when a writer does a superhero story, he makes some basic choices. Is the story primarily character-driven or plot-driven? Does the story have subtext? Does the ending provide finality?

    Suppose a writer takes aim at the superman myth.

    The world’s greatest hero is going about his business as usual, wondering when the next crisis is going to occur, what his archenemy is up to, how close his girlfriend is to uncovering his secret identity, whether his status as the world’s greatest hero is secure, when he’s confronted in a city street by a stranger, J. The stranger strikes him without any warning, sending him flying through three buildings before coming to rest.

    A fight commences, with entire city blocks being destroyed as the two throw chunks of buildings and vehicles at each other. J. is as strong as S. is, at least, and just as invulnerable. He can’t fly, but S. can’t stomach the thought of flying away. J. hates S., but not for any apparent reason except that S. exists and is the world’s greatest hero. “Hah,” the stranger snorts, more than once.

    Hours later, the fight continues. S. has tried every tactic he can think of without success. He actually seems to be tiring, unlike his opponent. If he could reason with him–but J. insists that S. acknowledge he’s superior.

    The fight ends suddenly. S. doubles over after another blow to his gut, and J. breaks his neck with a karate chop, or even decapitates him.

    All the spectators, including other heroes, are shocked. They’re wondering what the heck to do while J. celebrates, when the fellow keels over. A telepathic heroine has lobotomized him. She informs the heroes that J. was a psychic mutant, with his power coming from self-directed telekinesis. He was as powerful as he wanted to be, and was afflicted by pathological narcissism.

    How can the world survive without S., everyone wonders? It turns out that the world goes on its way without any more problems than usual, although several villains suffer breakdowns after losing their chief opponent. Several heroes find they feel better about themselves and are more self-reliant. S.’s girlfriend finds a mate. Nobody, it turns out, is indispensable.

    In the case of this particular fictional framework, I don’t see any reason to write about S. again. His story is complete.


  56. Hey, some of these replies are downright artistic.

    Everybody should give themselves a pat on the back. And don’t forget to credit those creators…it’s what separates us from the animals.


  57. I very much enjoy that busy creators like Kurt Busiek and Jimmy Palmiotti have the time to engage fans in conversation. It’s one of the best things about Comics Beat and brings me back here on a daily basis!

  58. >> I wish there weren’t so many creators posting on this site.>>

    Comment of the week! I, for one, vote the opposite, and thank everyone who came by for their time.

  59. Comment of the Week?!? Do I get an award?? … no just waiting for the smartass answer. haha… :)

    “And all due respect, but if you don’t want to have a dialogue, then maybe the internet is a bad place to hang out.”

    I do want to have a dialogue. With other fans. I said what I did because some creators come off as quite superior (and talk down to people) and all knowing. When they arn’t. One springs to mind. Their jobs are writers or pencilers. Whats that saying about not meeting people you admire? Because they won’t live up to your expectations. I find it like that to a certain degree. When I read The Question all I want to think about Cully is “he’s a great artist”. That being said, I didn’t have an issue with what you were saying to the other guy, I’m just saying it in general.
    But it looks like I’m in the minority here anyway.

  60. Isn’t the argument that people who work(ed) for Marvel and DC aren’t creators precisely the argument that gets trotted out when said people seek remuneration for their creations? If you want to support creators, then putting the kind of person that built the industry in a weird double bind by which they can a) create and struggle, starve, or bail; or b) simply steward an intellectual property and renounce all artistic credibility, is pretty much the definition of a jerk move (I should note that a jerk move does not a jerk make, we all make ’em from time to time).
    Do I wish we had an industry where a creator could follow their bliss and expect to earn a living? Absolutely. Do I wish certain creators who could do that but haven’t would? Yep. Am I willing to diminish the accomplishments when and where I find them just because somebody other than the make owns them? No. That’s throwing the baby out with the bath-water. Wouldn’t it be better to ask that the companies make it worth the creator’s while to create then to blame individuals for not striking out alone into the wilderness?

  61. James, this is how things went down. (feel free to correct any errors). I made a smart-ass comment about Phantom Lady not being creator owned BECAUSE another fan was CENSORED for making a wise-ass comment about Phantom Lady sales falling. (which to be fair is not ridiculous given previous incarnations and the recent Ray relaunch) The only reason I commented was because I abhor censorship. I was not attacking work for hire I was merely trying to make the point that a sales falling comment on this book has more to do with DC than Palmiotti and Gray. If this was a hype piece for Crab Queen (sorry if that’s wrong Jimmy I am on my iPhone) I doubt anyone would have offered anything but support. It was about another DCNu book. I have no issue with work for hire I was not calling anyone out. Although in opinion creator owned is different. There is a point here though, I may not be able to draw Batman and would have trouble writing a menu but I know a little bit about retail sales. Fans are CUSTOMERS and comics is a retail business. Generally you don’t go off on your customers and call them arrogant etc…. That you may lose that customer is almost immaterial to the fact that to do it in a public forum may hurt your reputation with other potential fans, or customers. What you may not know is I jumped in mid way through the last Freedom Fighters loved it bought the first trade very good. The classic-ness of the characters I find appealing. I have a decent job and go to the comic book store 3 times a week. I also wear a suit and tie and keep a very respectable tab at the store, in fact I have purchased more than a couple of toys and comics for kids because I love to see younger folks into this stuff. In other words, word of mouth goes a long way. Jimmy and Kurt are very good at what they do (sometimes I re-read Avengers Forever in slower months just cause it’s so damn good). This was near impossible to write on an iPhone and I am not entirely sure it made sense…..

  62. “I do want to have a dialogue. With other fans.”

    James, I get what you’re saying– you want to be able to say what you want about us without having to say it to us or deal with any kind response from those being talked about. All I’m saying is that a popular, open comics site isn’t a place where you can do that. The days of a wall of separation between fans and creators doesn’t exist anymore– and as I said, believe me, there are plenty of creators who wish they could go back to the days when they never had to hear what fans talk about amongst themselves. I’m not one of them, incidentally. I enjoy talking to other pros and to fans, because I’m both a pro AND a fan. But as Kurt said, there are plenty of private forums if that’s what you want to do.

    “I said what I did because some creators come off as quite superior (and talk down to people) and all knowing. When they arn’t.”

    I’d point out to you that this isn’t confined to pros. In fact, I’d submit that I got involved in this discussion in the first because I found a fan’s comments superior and all-knowing, not to mention demonstrating a lack of understanding of what a “creator” is. That may seem to you as ME being superior and all-knowing– I think of it as having some insight into what I do for a living and challenging an assumption with which I disagreed. I apologize if that makes you uncomfortable, but that’s life and that’s the internet.

    I would LOVE to be able to say what I want online or do my work without hearing anyone’s opinion. You think you get tired of hearing what people online think of what you say and do? Try and walk in the shoes of any fairly well-known comics pro sometime for a little while. You have no idea the thick hide you have to develop.

    If you’re disappointed that people like me express ourselves passionately online just the way people like you do, James, I really don’t know what to tell you. We’re all just people, man, no matter what our jobs are. People have opinions. I don’t know why I shouldn’t express mine just because you’d rather I just be a name attached to some artwork on a comic book.

  63. >>>Try and walk in the shoes of any fairly well-known comics pro sometime for a little while. You have no idea the thick hide you have to develop.

    Man, that is so true. I remember when I first started this and any little negative comment would send me into a self doubting tailspin for days. You have to learn to take it all in stride.

    I wonder if the internet generation will have stronger or weaker self esteem for all this instant feedback?

  64. Yeah, that’s why I have to chuckle a little at the idea that fans might bemoan having to listen to OUR opinions. That’s a two-way street and traffic is WAY heavier on the other side…! :P