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April 07 2007

(SPOILER) New Joe Fridays 42. Includes a question concerning the usage of Kingpin by Joss in Runaways.

One has to assume that instances like this are the reason Joss doesn't want to write for Marvel anymore. When there is an issue practically perfect (like Runaways #25) and there are people who are actually bitching because Kingpin has his mole on his other cheek as depicted on Daredevil #who-the-frak-cares or whatever, then maybe it's time to go to another company, right?

Shame, though. I'd kill to have more of his Runaways. Pretty please Joss, with Molly on top?
Two weeks ago in Amazing Spider-man, Kingpin was shown in jail. I blame editors and goofy communications. But then again, an explaination seems to be on the way...
Truthfully, dark_tyler, I don't think that kind of continuity obsessed fan is limited to Marvel, or any other comic company for that matter. Any writer, Joss included, knows that you can't write a comic book set within the continuity of an established universe and not expect to get a number of fans questioning every detail. He would have the same problems writing for DC (except there you blame continuity problems on Superboy, rather than the Scarlet Witch, hehe). It's just how it is.

CaptainB, I really don't see any good reason to assume the Kingpin thing actually was an error or to assign blame on the editorial staff. Marvel titles are not all set at the exact same point in time and so it's easy to just accept that the Kingpin's situation alters between different storylines, rather than to jump on the editors every single time something isn't made crystal clear straight away. The majority of the time, even when a mistake has been made, a later story can smooth over the cracks.

Sorry if that sounds a little preachy, guys. It's just that I've been involved in the comics biz in one fashion or another now for over fifteen years and it seems to me that these days people are far too ready to place blame on comic book editors, writers, artists or whatever for every minor mistake made and ignore all the hard work and effort they all put in for us each month. Newsarama seems to attract the worst of the worst of the "fanboy" whiners and I'd hate to see that start to occur here at Whedonesque.
Actually, Tyler, the Kingpin question is a really good one that lots of people are wondering about. We've just been told that Wilson Fisk agreed to leave the country forever, and having him show up in this issue was sort of puzzling. I was wondering whether something had changed with Fisk's status, or whether it maybe wasn't even him (what? it's Marvel!) The explanation given makes perfect sense and allays those questions, so I'm willing to roll with it, but there's nothing wrong with asking the question.

Now, I'm still puzzled about why the Runaways are taking a job from Fisk in the first place, but that's something I'm trusting will be more clear with time.
But why can't we just read Joss' story as a seperate story? Why does he have to factor in every single thing that goes on in 100 different series? Just read it, enjoy it, and that's that.

(By the way, I love how Grant Morrison got away with Magneto taking over Manhattan back in his New X-Men run. He just put a throwaway line, something like Magneto creating a force field around the city keeping everyone out, and then got on with his story. It was like a big, fat joke!)

Company-wide continuity shouldn't be a restraint, IMO.

[ edited by dark_tyler on 2007-04-07 23:51 ]
Every fandom is obsessed about details. Witness the recent "muppety Odin" discussions in the Buffy fandom. If Joss let stuff like that get under his skin, he wouldn't be writing anything for anyone ever. I think he probably welcomes the notion that people are actually paying attention.
dark_tyler - "But why can't we just read Joss' story as a seperate story? Why does he have to factor in every single thing that goes on in 100 different series? Just read it, enjoy it, and that's that.

Company-wide continuity shouldn't be a restraint, IMO."


Well, you certainly can read Runaways as a seperate story to the rest of the MU, if that is how you want to see it. The beauty of these comic book universes is that the reader can pick and choose whatever they want to read and ignore the rest. As the reader you can ignore the Kingpin problem entirely and only take any notice of his appearance in Runaways.

However, like it or not, Runaways is set within the 616 Marvel Universe and that means that the continuity needs to fit, as much as humanly possible, with the stories in all the other books. It doesn't always work that way and mistakes are made but as long as Joss is writing a 616 Marvel book then he has to work with the rest of the editors and writers and try to keep the continuity straight.

Look at it this way. If Marti Noxon had gone to Joss during season six of Buffy and said that she wanted to start using Wesley as a central character in a storyline, despite the fact that he was in Los Angeles with Angel at the same time, would you have had an issue with that continuity problem? It's the same deal for anyone who reads all the Marvel titles. They just want a consistent story for the characters they follow.
Sure, you can read Runaways outside of the greater continuity. However, I assume the person who asked the question is a Daredevil fan -- what seems like a minor detail to a Runaways reader is fairly huge in the context of Daredevil. Fisk's banishment was the climax of a major DD arc. So if Fisk's appearance here has implications for Daredevil, fans are naturally curious.

I'm certainly not one to deny that Marvel fans (like all fans) can be ridiculously picky about minutiae. I only mean to say that the Fisk issue is not a minor point, and that the question was a legit one.

[ edited by likeadeuce on 2007-04-08 04:41 ]
Believe me, I'm the last person who wants whedonesque to turn into the bash-fests over at newsarama. Though I'm not saying this is such a big deal, but editors have indeed been at fault in recent memory for glaring problems (May Parker's maiden name Fitsgerald?) In my 20 years as a comic book reader, I've always been overly interested in how stories intersect. I mean, they're set in the same universe, using the same characters. When one book mentions details about another, but neglects some others, it makes a reader wonder. Now, I know I can't justly blame anyone, or even claim that a blame is in order, especially in this instance. It's just a personal preference that continuity flows. If there's an explanation, I'm cool with that. My comments earlier were meant to be more jovial than they seem now. That's the problem with message boards--light hearted comments can look the same as irate "fans" personally attacking a writer, editor, etc.
I'm a Whedon-fan (as you might imagine, with me lurking on the boards) and a Daredevil-fan and I got quite disturbed by the appearance of the Kingpin.
But I thought there might be an explanation, as I don't think that the guys (and very few girls) at Marvel are imbeciles.
The question I got reading the comic was, if Whedon's name on the Runaways wasn't a intent to increase the sales on the comic, and using two Marvel characters with a really long tail would not be very reader-friendly. But if they don't finish up the arc in Mighty Avengers, maybe it'll work out with Whedon and the new audience. Because you'd really have to be a Marvel-illiterate to not know the Punisher and the Kingpin (as I was when I started reading the AXM).
It's not the same as calling someone an "imbecile" to observe that continuity is not always at a premium among Marvel titles. The very fact that Joe Quesada has a column where he answers questions (quite frequently about continuity) suggests that Marvel knows it's a problem. Rather than making sure to tighten everything up on the editorial end BEFORE the comics come out, Marvel clearly prefers to provide after-the-fact explanations, for those that care. Those that don't are free to ignore and enjoy Runaways on its own terms (and, BTW, I reread the issue after posting to this thread, and it really is fabulous -- does justice to every character and really makes me think about who they are and how I feel about them).

Incidentally, asking whether Joss even knew the situation with Kingpin is not an unreasonable question. Peter David, the current X-factor writer, wrote in the letters column that he only found out about the death of one of his major character's father when he read the issue (of another book) it occurred in. David then had to call around and try to find out if he was "really" dead. Now, I don't know if that's a true story or not, but after reading enough Marvel and trying to follow continuity between the books, it feels true.
likeadeuce, that story about Peter David is indeed true. Lack of communication by the editors is a major problem. Deadly Genesis is one of the best examples, since it was edited outside of the X-office, the editors the other X-writers were not told what happened in it (like Banshee's death), and there were also huge continuity issues since the editor for DG was clueless about X-books.

I'll admit I'm a continuity nitpicker, but this deal with Kingpin is rather overblown. Fuzzy continuity is okay as long as it doesn't put a wrench into the character's story as a whole.
sorry, to interrupt. but the Kingpin in- or outside the U.S. makes a huge difference to all the Marvel Knights titles (okay, right now there aren't too many) and even Spidey was lately involved with the Kingpin. A certain gun issue springs to mind.

and likeadeuce, I don't think that Marvel's strength is continuity either, but it makes a difference if you call someone an imbecile or call someone explicitly "not to be an imbecile".

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