Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by garoo1980, Mar 27, 2011.
GI Joe comics, that is. Hama also created most of the character backstories for the action figures and TV show, apparently, based in part on a rejected proposal for a Nick Fury spinoff (although Cobra was not, as one would expect, inspired by HYDRA).
I really enjoyed your DC novelizations, Greg. I still can't believe how successfully you managed to distill the monster-length 52 into a smaller-scaled novel. I wish they'd gotten you to do a Blackest Night or Flashpoint novel, though...
Thanks! I'm proud of that book, which was indeed a challenge. And then I had to do it again with the novelization of Countdown, which was another sprawling 52-issue saga.
And, yeah, I was disappointed that we didn't do a novelization of Blackest Night. Zombie superheroes would have been fun.
On the other hand, I did get to novelize that scene in Final Crisis where Wonder Woman fights Frankenstein, so I can die happy now. (Thank you, Grant Morrison.)
Ooops. Yeah, I meant GI Joe.
Frankly, I don't know how you managed to get anything out of Countdown. There was a story which was not only unfocused, it didn't even fit with the continuity of what it was supposed to be counting down to!
Ah well, maybe the novelisations will come back someday. I'd love to see what you could do with Forever Evil.
I've been reading the "Mutant Empire" trilogy for the past little while. The trilogy definitely feels like it could've been a 6th season multi-episode story.
I finished the "Mutant Empire" trilogy a few months back, and while it could've been part of the 90's show, by book three I was finding that it was feeling very padded and what should've been a two-book story was spread into a three-book story.
I also finished Diane Duane's trilogy, which, unlike ME didn't feel padded and a really enjoyed it. I've also read the "Ultimate Spider-Man" anthology, it was a great book.
I' currently on book 3 of the Doom's Day trilogy, and for a trilogy called Doom's Day, I was expecting to be reading a story about Dr. Doom, but he's hardly been in the trilogy. So I don't get why it was marketed as a trilogy, since it could've been marketed as individual stories.
I recently went through and re read my batch of Heroes Return comics. After finishing year 2 of Thunderbolts & year 1 of Avengers, the two books had a crossover. Part of this included the Avengers/Thunderbolts novel by Pierce Askegren.
I was reading earlier in this thread how the authors would walk a fine line between sticking to comic continuity and telling its own story and how KRAD strove to create a novel continuity.
In this novel those elements were there with the use of SAFE (Sean Morgan, Joshua Ballard) but it also was pretty much right on the nose with what was happening in those books. It was pretty impressive to have all those plates spinning. In fact the only thing that was off in it was Cap had his shield which by that time in the comics he was using US Agent's energy shield.
Back when I was reading Mutant Empire I kept wondering why it was only the X-Men responding to the capture of Manhattan Island, and I was really expecting that at some point I might see Spider-Man, Iron Man or even one or two or all of the Fantastic Four show up. I realize that New York is big and not every one is going to show up in the same area all at once all the time, but after Magneto takes control of Manhattan Island and surrounded it with Sentinels, I thought for sure we'd see other heroes helping out.
^I wrote a Spider-Man cameo in X-Men: Watchers on the Walls, but Marvel made me take it out (I gave most of his business to Rogue, which is why she's unusually snarky in that scene). They didn't want to mix the series, I guess. I was free to refer to other heroes existing and doing stuff elsewhere, but I couldn't actually put them "on camera," as it were.
Because trilogies sell better than two-book series. Not to be cynical or anything, but once we were able to add the X-Men to the line, Byron made it clear that we were starting with a trilogy, and he wanted the Sentinels and Magneto and the Acolytes and the Shi'ar in it. So that's what we did. The Shi'ar plot was mostly there to split the team and give everyone a chance to shine, but that's also the part of the trilogy that really didn't need to be there, since the Magneto story was the meat of it. Having said that, I don't think the story would've fit into two books easily, even if it wasn't enough for a full three. *shrug* It is what it is.
Speaking as the editor, I'm very proud of the work Diane did -- it seemed an odd fit at first, Diane with Marvel, but she made it work in the Spidey trilogy and her X-Men hardcover. And -- especially given the insane schedule that we were suffering through to get that damn book out -- I'm inordinately proud of how well The Ultimate Spider-Man turned out, and not just because it has my first published fiction in it.....
As for "Doom's Day," the notion was that Doom would be the background manipulator for the first two books and then come to the fore in the third. I also wanted a trilogy where each book could stand alone, but it would all tie together in the end -- and once you finish Wreckage, I think you'll see that it's a complete, connected story.
If you read the novel carefully, Pierce went to great lengths to be nonspecific about Cap's shield. Basically, we had him use it in such a way that it could've been either the energy shield or the original. Basically, we wanted the book to be accessible to readers who weren't up on the latest developments in the comics, but for that book in particular we needed to be consistent with the comics. So we fudged it.
The only problem was that Mark Bagley drew Cap's shield in the chapter heading illustrations like the original classic shield. So a lot of people took the visual cue from that and assumed it wasn't the energy shield. Also: Marvel Creative Services instructed me to leave Mark's art as is.
Man, we went back and forth about that, and ultimately decided that this was our first X-Men story and it needed to be just the X-folk without diluting an already-crowded story with the FF, Avengers, Spidey, Daredevil, et al.
With "Wreckage" I'm starting to see how Book 2 is tying in, since it seems like Doom only started his plan when the Stark unveiled his engine.
I finished "Wreckage", and I could really see how you were also playing with rule "put all the toys back in the toy box", since you obviously couldn't kill Doom. Doom had to remain alive.
But I'm moving onto "Carnage in New York", which was co-written by Trek author Dean Wesley Smith.
But with "Carnage.....", what was going on with the "Collector's First a Edition on the back?
I honestly don't remember. (Honestly, it's been two decades -- I'm amazed I remember as much as I do about this project.....) My guess is that we put it there for the first printings of the books to make it more appealing to comics collectors (keeping in mind that this was at the height of the mid-90s speculator craze, which of course led to the late 90s speculator crash....).
It's just odd. It's only on 'Carnage' and 'Goblin's Revenge', and then doesn't show on other first printings, such as "Smoke And Mirrors".
At this late date, I suppose there's no harm in revealing that the reason Thor does not appear in any of those novels is because Byron personally thought Thor was a dopey character.
Oh no no no, it was much more bizarre than that. Byron was theologically offended by the very notion of Thor. As a very devout Jew, he believed there was only one god, and therefore was heavily against portraying Thor or any of his supporting characters in the books. The only exceptions were The Ultimate Super-Villains, which I had to practically put him in a headlock to let me do (it helped that 1) the Loki story was by Mike Friedman, a New York Times best-seller who was under contract to do a Fantastic Four novel for us and whose name would help sell the book and 2) it was a Loki story, so focusing on the bad guy, so it's okay for him to be blasphemous) and The Avengers vs. the Thunderbolts because it tied directly into the contemporary Avengers comic of which Thor was an active member.
^ Wow. I had no idea. I just got the impression that he wasn't a big Thor fan. Didn't know why.
My memory is fuzzy, but this probably came up when we were trying to figure out which Avengers to use in the "Gamma Quest" trilogy.
More nostalgia: I remember you tried to talk me into using Firestar and Vance Astro, who were currently members of the team in the comics, but I really wanted to use the Vision and the Scarlet Witch and, basically, the Avengers I grew up reading . . . so the "new kids" didn't make it into the books.
That is odd, considering that Lee, Lieber, and Kirby are/were Jewish too. I don't know how observant they are/were, but it's a safe bet that they didn't "create" Thor with the intention of converting people to Germanic paganism. They were just using mythology as a basis for stories.
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