In case you missed it: J. Michael Straczynski to leave ‘Thor’


You might not have seen the news as it was released on Friday and lost to the weekend, but J. Michael Straczynski has confirmed that he is leaving Thor in September.

His reason?

The one concern at the back of my head was that of being pulled into a Big Event that could affect the forward momentum of the book and alter its direction. I’ve said elsewhere that in many cases — and this isn’t just Marvel, the trend is pandemic — such an event can sometimes result in the individual books serving the event, rather than the other way around, and you have to spend months and issues afterward stitching everything back together. I’m the kind of writer who likes to write in a straight line and know for certain the terrain he’s standing upon. Some writers can handle all that and never break a sweat. For me, it’s just not something I can do competently. That’s a shortcoming on my part and I recognize it as such.

Prior to the reboot, when β€œThor” was selling in the mid-50s, a Big Event wouldn’t have been much of a concern, but now it was selling in the top ten month after month, and that increased visibility meant it could precipitate an event. And, again without saying much because this has to come from Marvel, such an event appeared on the horizon.

I agonized over this for months, then finally — and I’m trying to remember when the email chain took place, but I think it was somewhere either just before or just after the first of the year — I went to the ever-patient and wonderful [editor] Warren Simons, and the equally patient, warm and fuzzy [Publisher] Dan Buckley, and said of the coming event, “I really, really hate this, because creatively I’m having the time of my life, but I think I need to let go of the book or risk screwing it up when we hit the Event.” It was an awful decision, not just because it’s a hit book, but because it’s the only place I could do that sort of faux-Shakespearean style of dialogue that I love so much. There’s simply no other book out there where you can indulge in that.

There’s much more from Straczynski in the link above.

Straczynski now makes a move over to DC Comics and, presumably, the Brave and The Bold book that is set to feature the characters from the classic Archie Comics line of superhero books that DC has acquired.

Comments

  1. I read one issue of his Thor and never bought another, but I understand that this has been an epic run in some eyes.  For their sake I hope the next writer is just as successful and for my sake I hope JMS’s The Brave and The Bold book is enjoyable.

    Verily??

  2. Didn’t JMS write both Spider-Man and Fantastic Four through Civil War without protest?

    I really hate the fact that he’s leaving, mainly because I dread a favorite book of mine becoming mediocre a la Immortal Iron Fist.

  3. Is it wierd that this news makes me want to go pick up his back issues of Thor and read the enitre book? Also, nice sausage advert.

  4. Don’t they always say that creator participation in event books is voluntary? Gasp! Did Marvel lie to us?

  5. I have a lot of respect for JMS as a writer — I really do — but I have to admit my first reaction to this statement wasthat it’s kind of conveniently self-righteous for a guy whose books are always late. 

    I have to admit my SECOND response was, "so the planned Thor/Cap/Iron Man threesome didn’t float his boat."

    (Too soon?)

  6. Crying shame. 

    Thor was the best book Marvel was putting out by a country mile. Will drop it when he leaves as i’ve not been impressed with any of Marvel’s recent events and I don’t think there are any writers Marvel have on staff that would make me want to risk the event.

     

  7. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I wouldn’t really want to write an event that was imposed upon me either, but I’d try to play ball. Maybe it’s really counter to his vision of the series though. If that’s the case, it’s not a bad call on his part because he’s got enough going on for him with the film work. It’s also better for the event and the company because it won’t be a half-hearted effort and it gives another writer a chance to tell a great story.  

  8. It’s funny, the last JMS stories I really enjoyed were the Iron Spider issues before Civil War.  Crossover-tastic those were. 

    My money’s on Fraction, btw.

  9. Writing events at Marvel is mostly opt-in/opt-out, but earlier I read a quote of JMS’ in which he mentioned an event called "Siege of Asgard." Assuming he wasn’t joking, that sounds like a fairly hard event for the Thor writer to opt out of.

  10. It makes sense on why he’s leaving. Look at X-Factor, and how it’s been off track due to Messiah Complex and Secret Invasion. It’s recently gotten back on track, but the events have definitely ruined the momentum and (in some instances) tone of the book.

     I wouldn’t be surprised if Peter Milligan picks up as writer on the book. I recommend reading the Trial of Thor one shot. He definitely has an understanding, and love for the character. 

  11. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Fraction’s a good wager. Then again he does have a lot on his plate these days. In all honesty, I wasn’t much of a fan of his one-shots though. Just not my flagon of mead, ya know?

  12. I won’t lie, I am bummed (I love this book) but will wait to see who the new writer is. I wouldn’t mind Fraction, but we’ll see. Either way, it’s a run of issues I’m happy that I took a chance on and kept buying. 

  13. What reboot, didn’t Thor just have an issue #600?

    Seems to me that JMS is either a) going to be making a lot more money at DC or b) leaving the book before he has to conclude an arc.  If JMS was a superhero his nemisis would have to be conclusion.

    With the hiatus announced for Iron Fist, Duane Swierczynski is my pick.  He has experience with mythology and because their last names are both impossible to spell πŸ˜‰ 

  14. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @ato220 – I like that pick.  

  15. @ato220 @Paul  Oh, yeah, that’s a Thor book I’d buy.  Good call. 

  16. I didn’t read much of JMS’ Thor run (I forgot about it early on, unfortunately), but I’m excited to see who gets on the book next. Maybe I’ll check it out again if I’m into the creative team.

  17. @ ohcaroline

    As far as the lateness goes JMS explains in the interview Marvel has known about this since about January and have been stretching out the time between issues on purpose. As far as the scheduling before that I had heard that Coipel just takes a little while longer than some, and since this book was kind of set apart from the rest of the Marvel U he could be allowed to put the time into the book that it deserved.

    @ ato220

    I agree somewhat about his aversion to conclusion. If you ever watched Babylon 5 it had a definitve beginning middle and end…and then it just kept going. I love the universe and I definately agree there are more stories to tell, but JMS does seem to have an issue with taking stories past the point where they should have logically ended. I mean the Drok plague? Really? Was that necessary? Wasn’t beating the Shadows enough?

  18. The JMS Thor run has been very good. One of my most aniticipated books month in and month out.

     Depending on the writer/artist and the direction of the book I may stay on board after JMS leaves…First Spidey  now Thor.

  19. I was a big fan of JMS’s run on Thor and a big fan of his Spider-Man run. Can’t say this news is surprising in the least. I mean just to clarify, this is the man who wanted to strip his name off of One More Day toward the end because it was being constantly changed into something he didn’t like. If you’ve seen the Thor appearances in other books (specifically Bendis) you’ll notice that Thor talks like old Thor and is characterized the same way. I have a feeling that JMS’s run on Thor is going to end up a lot like Grant Morrison’s on X-Men. Five minutes out the door, Marvel will be doing everything they can to undo it. Alas.  Someone up above mentioned JMS did Civil War and Fantastic Four without compliant. However, JMS was pretty vocal about not being involved in the planing of Civil War, a book which ostensibly changed his title the most.

    It had seemed to me, though, that Marvel saw this coming and were grooming Fraction to take over the title. I definitely think Fraction gets the character and would be the right fit to take up the book after JMS, but don’t see it happening, since Fraction’s become a big deal at Marvel. However, I have a feeling this is going to be another book I won’t be staying with come September.  

  20. Even though I’ve enjoyed Thor, maybe a fresh take on it wouldn’t be so bad. One obvious choice would be Duane Swierczynski because well, come on…Swierczynski…Straczynski. My own personal pick would be Paul Cornell.

  21. Fraction’s one shots were some of the best books Marvel put out last year. I just hope the new writer doesn’t go back to the faux-Chaucer dialogue, which just sounds awful after you’ve read the way JMS writes the characters (more the way they talk in Lord of the Rings).  Bendis, for example, typically writes an awful Thor, at least he did in Secret Invasion.

  22. I hope it isn’t Swierczynski that takes over this title…I mean he’s a good writer and all, but his Iron Fist issues were kinda mediocre, and I don’t want this book to become that.

  23. I’ve dropped so many good books because of events and I rarely go back to them. Secret Invasion alone killed New Avengers, Mighty Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy for me.

  24. Straczynski was constantly late with Thor because (he personally admitted it) he was busy writing movies (he seems to be in high demand in Hollywood after he wrote Changeling).

    To connect to Josh’s piece "the real reason", if you write comics as a secondary activity, you don’t do it for the money and therefore you don’t need to accept editorial mandates… if you don’t want to be involved in an event, you just leave.  A very rational choice.

  25. JMS is going to be writing Superman most likely.  Anyone else catch that hint at the end of the article?

    So he leaves the best Marvel book Ifanboy never read.

  26. @KickAss: Not true. Josh read most of the run. I read two issues.

  27. If Swierczynski takes over for Thor it will be the first issue of Thor I will have ever bought. 

  28. Well you dont need a magnifying glass to read in between the lines of that JMS statement!

    Thor has been one of my Upper Tier books since JMS started it over. I loved it. Although I am bummed he is leaving it, I will give the new writer’s first arc a try. I dont think people should just bail immediately on a title just because the creative team changed. Give them a chance first.

     

  29. Well I wish him the best on whatever he moves on to next.  I probably wont be reading it.  At least until he finishes "The Twelve" or personally pays me back for the issues I bought of that unfinished story.

  30. You know what’s funny about JMS’s comments above? I just re-read Amazing #239 – 245, which is by JMS and (mostly) Garney and encompasses the runup to Civil War, the Civil War tie-ins, the Back-in-Black aftermath, and then One More Day. You know what though? I really liked that run. If you just read it on its own it has none of the continuity problems that the Civil War event did as a whole. My two pennies.

  31. My choice is Hickman. I enjoyed JMS’ Thor more than any other current Marvel book. Otherwise give it to Alex Zalben.

  32. Maybe he learned from those event books and hated the experience. Or maybe he just wanted to throw somebody under the bus. Dunno which. Either way, I’ll miss his Thor. If the new writer isn’t at least as good I’ll drop the book.

  33. I said it on the forums, but I am really upset about him leaving.

    We can all argue whether we like the book or not; but for my money JMS’s Thor has been the best Marvel book to come out in the last two years. It’s always been a fun and exciting to read; and especially the events that happen last couple of issues (or 2nd trade really) were phenominal. Him leaving is the worst news I’ve heard so far this year.

    There has to be more to this then just not wanting to have an event go into his books. Now I think that is something writers should complain about more. Because when an event does cross into your work, the quality could dip. Not always, as series like Incredible Hercules or Nova has shown, but I say a good amount of comics dealing with events lose a lot of momentum of trying to shove it into their title. But let’s face facts here: JMS had to deal with Civil War in the very first arc (with Cap dead and Tony being head of SHIELD), Secret Invasion was a seperate mini, but now he’s dealing with the ramifications of Dark Reign with Loki and Doom. So JMS has dealt with the events in his book for the most part. Maybe he just wasnt up for more characters showing up in his titles. That’s understandable, maybe having Iron Man or Cap show up was a big deal to him.

    Fraction might be a good replacment, as the only thing I have liked of him was his Thor one-shots. But I dont want a replacement, I want JMS to stay. Oh well…

  34. I’m mega-late catching up with the goodness that is JMS Thor, as I just read (and re-read) the first trade.  Man, I’m loving it, and can’t wait for the second one to come out in trade paperback version!  So now I’m bummed, as I had really gotten into JMS’ take on Thor.  Now I just hope that the guy writing my other current favorite Marvel monthly (invincible Iron Man), Mister Matt Fraction, can be the one to take over…

     

    we shall see…

     

    jeff.

  35. The admittedly biased reviews against JMS Thor felt like "Well I watched the first episode and the last episode of Season 4 of Lost.  It wasn’t very good."

  36. @KickAss: Do you mean from us? Because Josh read the first hardcover, so it was more like “I watched the first season of LOST and didn’t like it.”

  37. Are you referring to me?  Because if that is, it’s kind of passive aggressive, and also wrong.  I’ve read most of the current Thor run, with the exception of a few issues.  I’d like to think I was pretty fair minded, and I’m getting a little tired of the mischaracterization of my thoughts on that book.

  38. For the record.

    Here’s my excoriating review of Thor.  It includes such phrases as:

    J. Michael Straczynski’s Thor is pretty good. 

    and 

    I was also impressed by the characterization of Thor.

    and

    Overall, it was a fun read. The concepts and set up is fun and interesting, and is a departure from Thor of the past. 

  39. i didnt see much bias in it at all…

  40. I also just re-read my review, and as far as I’m concerned, my prediction was right, for whatever reason.  The series will have no payoff, because JMS is going.  So if there were longterm plans, or an overarching story, it’s not going to happen, and we’re left with another book with an unsatisfying or non-existent ending, just like the stuff I’ve read in the past.

  41. @josh: For a man who has no idea what JMS is gonna do to finish his run. You sure know how to say you were right.

    There has been an overarching story and obviously the stuff he did in the first issue, or first arc, is paying off in some of the more recent issues. Even if he is leaving a little bit a rush; he has to have some kind of end in mind for his part of the series. It’ll be like what Brubaker will do with Daredevil. End his run on how he wanted to end but still leave things open so the next writer isnt fucked.

    So quick to judge.

  42. Even if he is leaving on somewhat bad terms, at least JMS has the kindness to stay with the company to finish his run. Unlike other writers, lets say Chuck Dixon and Dwayne McDuffie, who’ll bitch about their current perdictiment and make bad stories because they decided to screw with the company. Or just leave in a huff like Dixon did.

  43. @Josh & Conor – Clearly you, iFanboy, and everyone associated with it hate JMS, Thor, Red Hulk, and Jesus with an all consuming fire.  Do not try to cloud that fact with well thought out cogent arguments or by repeatedly posting polite, coherent responses to aggressive posts.  They won’t work.  We know you too well.

  44. Chuck Dixon didn’t do bad work.  It was quite good.  And I agree that if McDuffie was unhappy, he should have left.  But what I said has nothing to do with that. 

    So, 2 or 3 issues have been out this year.  How many do you think you have left? 2 at the most?

  45. @josh: What’s your fascination of proving that your right about JMS all the time? Clearly your a very small percentage of people who dont like the man and his work. I’m not saying you need to bow down to him and kiss his feet; but your arrogance about the man is again, fascinating to me.

  46. Woah! Getting a little wee bit hostile here. I love JMS, I’ll say that, I follow the man wherever he goes, but just because the iFanboy’s don’t enjoy the man’s work doesn’t make them wrong. It’s a matter of taste. Just because they are in the minority in terms of the overall opinion on the this site (seemingly) doesn’t make their opinion (key word) wrong. Different strokes for different folks. If everyone is so upset, then go start a pro-JMS website with two other users. We’ve seen the "GoDaddy" ads on the show, so go start a sight and we that love JMS will go and discuss the awesome-ness that was Thor, but let’s not throw the iFanboys under the bus just because they have a difference of opinion. (Granted I’m sure some people are just egging Josh on because it’s humorous, but to those who are serious and upset that he doesn’t like Thor, just calm down)

  47. I’m not so bummed. I thought this was a good book, but I enjoyed Fraction’s one-shots more. Hopefully he gets the book. Is he writing X-Men or something right now? They should take him off that if he is. They’re a waste of his talent.

  48. @Jurassic: It’s one thing to not like his work, and it’s all about tastes your right. But when you spout out lines like:

    ‘This proves my predictions are right’ or keeping hammering the fact that the series is late; is just being arrogant. Also I must point out this will be the 5th time this topic has come up on the website about JMS. So who’s in denial about hating the man when you cant stop talking about him?

  49. This is all very amusing.

  50. @josh: I havent bitched about Bendis in weeks!

    ….Actually I cant believe I havent lately….I need to go post something *runs away*

  51. I am both entitled and expected to comment on comic stories on my own website. You even misquoted me in your post.

    Seriously, stop trying to pick fights with me.  

  52. @TNC: I agree there may be a bit of arrogance involved, but at the end of the day…so? Not to be a dick or anything but JMS is hardly an indie writer who needs all the support he can get to keep working. It’s been pretty well documented on this site that the guys feel like they got burned by JMS’s stories again and again. They keep trying though and to that they deserve some credit, I for one, will never try another Daniel Way book, but that’s me (and a different topic) but these guys keep trying JMS, even if there is a biased going in or not, they seem to keep going back because we (their readers) kind of demand it. And as long as JMS continues to be put on top tier books I think he will be a constant topic of discussion around these here parts (which I don’t mind, because again, I love the man’s work, but that’s my opinion) 

  53. Having an informed opinion is not arrogance.

    I’m taking a lot of shit lately.

  54. Is there any talk of the new creative team for Thor? Everyone keeps saying Fraction, but other then his one-shots from a while ago he hasnt been mentioned to replace the man.

  55. @Josh – I think you are taking shit because people genuinely care what you think.  Welcome to the world of respected critic.  I hope to never visit.  Would it make you feel better if I offered to pay $50 for the first copy of Low Level when it rolls off the assembly line (printing press?)?  I really will.  I’ll throw in an extra $20 for an autograph.

    @Conor – I am laughing out loud.  You know that laugh where you laugh so hard that you don’t make any noise.  That’s me.  My wife just asked me if I was OK.

  56. Come on.  We can all agree that you have to admire JMS on some level.  I mean, what self awareness.  He can’t figure out endings to his stories so he doesn’t write them.  I wish I was that good.  Like sometimes I can’t figure out how to end a post.  Like should I just  

  57. On a sidenote, World War Z movie is being penned by JMS. I know there’s gotta be some WWZ fans out there, so this might make you really happy or stick a pen in your eye, or make you so happy you stick a pen in your eye.

  58. @Stuclach – I’m offering you a virtual towelette. Wipe your nose off.

    It’s always dissapointed me that the iFanboys never seemed to enjoy JMS’s run on Thor, but I’ve accepted it. Oh my god, I’m dying inside.. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!

    I just don’t read that many books, and Thor is definitely within my top three. A new writer, in the wrong direction spells D-E-M-I-S-E!! Christ on a STICK!!!!

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK!!! 

     

  59. @Bedhead – I loved WWZ and am very hopeful that JMS will do it justice.

    @FACE – Partially the brown nosing is in the hopes of mellowing things out a bit, but I also really do want that first copy (and an autograph would be awesome).  How do I get this virtual towelette to work?  Also, and this may be personal preference, but I prefer for my bipolar posts to have a few more exclamation marks.

  60. @stuclach: Apparently JMS wants to write the film in the vein of Ken Burns documentaries. Which sounds awesome.

    But we’re getting off topic now..

  61. Josh, at this point there are only two ways you can make amend for not loving JMS with all your heart:

    1) Watching the entire Babylon 5 series in one sitting

    2) Getting married and making a baby with JMS daughter

     …your pick πŸ™‚

  62. @TheNextChampion – It is written in a very documentary style.  I believe it calls itself an oral history, so it will lend itself well to that approach.

    I will exit this thread now, as I have nothing else to add to the Thor discussion.

  63. But I’m already married…

    And I’m definitely not watching B5.

  64. Yeah! It’s Josh’s fault! He hates Alex Ross too!

  65. If just one of us doesn’t think JMS is the best writer ever….. THE TERRORISTS WIN!

  66. Fuck Thor. Someone call me when JMS gets done with The Twelve.

     

  67. @odino1: Yeesh, I’m a fan of the guy but I wouldnt choose any of those options.

  68. It’s times like this I’m glad I only read about 3 Marvel books, none of which is Thor.  Now, who wants ginger snaps?

  69. @Diabhol – Amen on The Twelve thing.

    I’ve never read a JMS run that paid off for me.  Midnight Nation?  Fizzled.  Spider-Man?  Fizzled.  Supreme Power?  Fizzled.  The Twelve?  Fizzled.  He is all foreplay and no f***ing.  Somebody let me know when he finishes strong.

  70. That’s all I was saying.

  71. Thor is my favorite hero and I liked JMS’s run for awhile, but I may have fallen asleep on the last two issues. He might blame it on the events but I think the tank is empty for him creatively on Thor. I liked the Secret Invasion Thor series so maybe Fraction would be a good pick. 

    and whats with all the heat Josh takes around here? are opinions not welcome? 

  72. @Josh – Yes, but you didn’t use the word fucking in your post. You hate fucking don’t you.

    Josh is the guy who hates fucking.

    Sorry. I have to give 2 (extremely difficult) final exams tomorrow, so I have to have as much fun tonight as possible.  I have to prepare to look into all those hate filled eyes.

  73. "So if there were longterm plans, or an overarching story, it’s not going to happen, and we’re left with another book with an unsatisfying or non-existent ending, just like the stuff I’ve read in the past."

    Good point.  Although I’ve never cared for the character before, I enjoyed this run on Thor.  However, it’s pretty obvious that nothing is going to be wrapped up in any way.  The change in writer will make it easier to drop this $3.99 book even if it’s Fraction (I dropped Uncanny).

    On the other hand, I read somewhere that JMS will put out a few books from Image.  I’m liking creator owned stuff more nowadays anyway so I’ll definitely check that out.  It’s Image books that are currently keeping me in comics as big two super hero comics continue to cycle between completely stale and fairly interesting.

  74. @everyone.  Lay off Josh.  So what if he dosent like JMS style?  I hate Loebs.  Everyone is entitled to there own opoinion.  I swear i was just on the CBR board watching Brubaker defending himself from unhappy readers, noone is happy these days

  75. All this fighting among friends.  So tragic.  Somewhere Dr. Doom is crying.  

  76. Maybe I’m being dense or forgetting something. But I don’t remember Thor being a part of any crossovers. Yeah there was the Secret Invasion mini series but JMS didn’t write it and it didn’t affect the main book.

    If I’m wrong someone please enlighten me. But I don’t see why event pressure would be a problem for him.

  77. @TheAbominableDan: It’s a slight use of the events or status quo. But JMS had to adress the Civil War result by having him speak to the ghost of Rogers and fight Stark as head of SHIELD. Plus right now Dr. Doom and Loki are teaming up because of the Dark Reign results. It’s basically a subtle way to showcase the events. Probably what they were asking of JMS was to balantly do issues to tie-in into an event.

    People make fun of Dr. Doom crying…..and while it might seem ridiculous now. But it was for a 9/11 comic, so I dont find it as funny or ridiciulous some people find it to be. Not saying it’s in bad taste to make fun of it; but JMS was only doing it because of the horrible events that happen during his ASM run.

  78. its supposed to be an up coming even with some sort of "Siege of Asgard"  Im guessing something to do with the end of Dark Reign

  79. @TheAbominableDan: The event in question is up-coming. Rumors are it’s going to prominently feature Thor.

  80. Oh and I also forgot! JMS had to throw in the Dark Avengers in the 600th issue. So he has used the current Marvel status at points. Not always, but sometimes.

    If the event involves Thor and it’s called ‘Seige of Asgard’ AND it probably involves Norman Osborn. I can definitely see JMS not wanting to have a Marvel idea go into his own Thor ideas.

  81. @TheNextChampion: Aside from the Doom thing, which I thought might have been his intended goal because of the speach Baldur gave in the latest issue. Those other instances were ages ago. Why is he in a huff now?

  82. Thread = Massive giggles.

  83. @AbominableDan: See post above for possible reason πŸ™‚

  84. Just got my shipment of DCBS, with it Thor 602…awesome times were had.

  85. So… ignoring everything else that is going on here… I’m am happy about this.  With JMS leaving, I’m assuming we’ll get a new artist as well and then maybe the book will actually come out.  Issue 1 came out in July 2007 (I know because I have the promo poster hanging on my wall).  There have been, what?  Fourteen of fifteen issues?

    Also, I really doubt Fraction will be coming on, I think he had done all that he wanted to with Thor.  Did anyone else read Alan Davis’ Thor one shot from a while back?  That was awesome.

  86. Wow, at least I’m not the only dick on here.  Jesus Christ people. Were talking about Thor here for god’s sake.  I’ve read everything up to date, it’s just never done anything for me.  I guess it’s the whole ‘god’ thing that gets to me.  At times Thor strikes me as an overrated character.  JMS has never been an awesome writer to me.  I’ve attempted to get into him, but wasn’t able to get on board.  His Spidey run was sweet though.

  87. Don’t understand the opinion that everything JMS does fizzles out at the end… in fact, the only things I can think of that fizzled were Spider-Man and potentially Thor, both of which are due to Marvel editorial getting involved and ballsing things up.

     

  88. I think JMS will be able to tell an, albeit hurried, ending to his story.  There will be one more regular issue and then I heard something about a giant-size issue in either Sept or Oct.  And I have loved his run.  Good over-arching story, good on an issue-by-issue basis, and great individual dialogue bits.

    I would love for it to be Fraction taking over.  But I have a feeling, since he struggled with writing Thor to begin with, that the one-shots he wrote were all he had to say for the character and his world.  Unless it was through those that he found a way to keep going with it.

    I just hope either Coipel or Djurdjevic or both stay on for the art.  Coipel especially was great for this book

  89. @mattstev2000 – Rising Stars and The Twelve also.

  90. Yeah! Leave Josh alone! At least he loves puppies! He says they taste just like chicken!

  91. How can anyone be surprised?  The man is a bad father.  He takes you to the zoo, buys you a balloon, then checks out saying "I’m going to get some ice cream" and you never see him again.  Sometimes mom marries a new guy who watches tv, drinks beer, and smacks you in the back of the head.  Sometimes, you get nothing.

     

    Squadron Supreme got me back into buying comics.  It was one of the most compelling series that kept building, and building, and building …to, eventually, getting smacked in the back of the head with Sam jackson and all that crap.  Juh-what!  Nighthawk, the first fight with a super-powered villain, even Tom Thumb was genius.  Thanks for the ice cream, dad!

     

    The Twelve was one of the best Watchmen knock-offs I can think of.  It should have been titled The  Sevenish written by I’m Going to Get Some Ice Cream, Be Back in a While.

  92. You’re my new favorite poster donjamaica.

  93. You just KNOW that Joe Q, and JMS had this heart to heart phone call where they were talking about how great its been, and how they are sorry that they wont be working together as much, and how they both respect each others work, and then when they hung up, they both gave the phone the finger, and screamed FINALLY!

    I am just guessing, but since JMS was critical over One More Day, that there has been this hideous tension between them. Joe Q, knows JMS is a selling writer, so he wont fire him, and JMS knows that Joe Q, is the boss at MarvelCorp, and hence would not tell him to get bent.

    I am terrified of this Asgard Siege thing, or whatever its called. They need to keep the Green Goblin OUT of Thor. 

  94. The Twelve was really good when it came out.  Maybe he’ll finish it in 12 years.

  95. I’m surprised JMS wants to stay with Marvel. considering he’s leaving Thor pretty quickly and the whole OMD fiasco.

  96. There are only a couple paying gigs in town.  When the screenwriting career ebbs, he’ll probably want as many options as possible if he needs to go back to comics.  It’s just good business.  And I have to assume that there is a lot more to these stories than we are privy to.

  97. Why am I always so late to the fun threads?  I have nothing to add except to ditto a lot of the JMS comments on here.  He’s a good writer, but a bad storyteller.  Storytellers need to know how to wrap it up because their whole game is all about the payoff. 

    I’m completely unqualified to comment on it, but isn’t this also a common complaint about Babylon 5?  He was forced to extend it and thus the ending sucked?  (That’s me just regurgitating internet junk, since I’ve never watched the series)

  98. You gents were talking on a recent podcast about how, with Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine finished, there was no poster child for the intolerably late book. I think you need look no further than The Twelve. Everything the artist knows about the status of this book, he read in that interview linked above.

    I was looking forward to that trade. And I guess I will for a while.

    Ach, Supreme Power! I had allowed myself to forget….

  99. OK, the Babylon 5 thing is legit as far as I know.  He had a 5 season arc planned, was told after he had started making season 4 that it was being cancelled, had to rush his last season into season 4, then ended up getting a season 5 that was somewhat padded out b/c he’d run out of story.  (I don’t actually think season 5 is that bad, but you can definitely see the seams where things got patched together).  That’s kind of how television works, though, and if you’re going to plan your story in 5 season arcs, you know there’s a risk of having to make some compromises.  I’m not sure any of this really applies to his comics projects, because the industries are so different. 

  100. @Jimski,

     

    The Twelve was poised to be JMS’s magnum opus, in the way that Kingdom Come was Waid and Ross’s, or Identity Crisis was Meltzer’s. You know – a career season.

     

    And the man just dropped it! I suspect that Josh, who is a pretty fair-minded guy in his other critiques, is right. Somehow, JMS is unable to conclude his stories, and it annoys the heck out of everyone who drops his guard and then gets bit in the rear once again.

     

     

    Grrr. 

  101. I loved the Twelve.  LOVED IT!  And I really think this time JMS had an ending.  I remember when the IFanboys were spreading their JMS hate (I’m kidding!!) and refusing to buy the book that I thought, "they are gonna regret when they have to eat their words because the trade will kick ass."  That’s how undeniably good I think the Twelve was. 

    But now it is great that they don’t know me, because THEY WERE RIGHT and I’d be the one doing the word eating.

    JMS, I hope you finish the Twelve someday, because it was the best thing you ever did, but more importantly, to redeem my soul!

     

  102. @josh

     

    I think you are being a bit harsh on both Rising Stars & The Twelve. They have both had delays sure, but Rising stars was finished with a very satisfying conclusion in my view and the best bit of news to come out of this interview was the fact that the Twelve is definitely being finished.

    The perception of a story ‘fizzling out’ should be applicable whether read in delayed issue form or all at once in a trade and I don’t think that holds true for Rising Stars and fully expect The Twelve to have a very satisfying conclusion when it arrives!

     

  103. …also Supreme Power was another example of a great series that was cocked up by Marvel forcing it into some dumbass crossover with the Ultimate Universe. I kinda hope JMS does leave Marvel, I’m tired of them ruining his stuff.

     

  104. I wasn’t necessarily talking about the story, but in the case of Rising Stars, I think it fell apart in a few ways, but no one was responsible for that other than Straczynski.  He was the one who took years to finish writing it, and he was the one who lost the thread of the whole thing for the middle to end of the story.  I remember thinking the last 2 issues or so were pretty good, but at that point, I’d lost most of my enjoyment of the series because of everything else.

    And I never read the Twelve, so I’ve never commented on the quality of the content.  In fact, I’ve ONLY heard good things.  But the whole point of the original piece I wrote was that I didn’t want to get burned again, either by story or delays.  When that whole thing comes out, I’ll give it a shot, but I wasn’t gonna touch those issues.

  105. The only thing I’ve read by Straczynski was Silver Surfer: Requiem.  That was a beautiful story.

    The DC fan in me hopes he leaves Marvel and has a blast with the Archie guys! (fingers crossed)

  106. @savinglala: Thank you! I have been thinking what that title was called for days.

    If people are iffy on JMS or want to see what makes him such an acclaimed writer, go read Silver Surfer Requiem. It’s one of my favorite Marvel stories that’s on my bookshelf at the moments. Just saying josh, but I would definitely give it a try.

  107. Yeah, its really fantastic stuff.

  108.  @mattstev2000, I am in total agreement with you regarding JMS’ other comic works.  I am saddened to hear about JMS leaving Thor.  My opinion is that his overarching plot was just beginning to reach a crescendo now that the Lady Sif has finally been found.  

    However, I respect the man’s reasons. Leaving because he feels the integrity of the story he wants to tell might be compromised is commendable.

    When I think about how another writer I admire, Dwayne McDuffie, was sucker-punched during his brief run on  Justice League by DC’s editorial "oversight", I think JMS made a wise choice.

    Still, I’m just so, so disappointed.  

     

  109. finally but i liked the cap issue