Jenkins on ‘The Return’

Paul Jenkins, in his column at Newsarama, talks back to the critics of his Mar-vell resurrection. He seems to chalk up the reaction as more crazy angry, people on the internet being crazy and angry.

I can’t wrap my head around what this means:

Those of you who have professed your loathing for The Return…will take some small comfort in the fact that this comic was, by design, intended to insult you.

I think he likes baiting people. And I must admit some small respect for that. But at a certain point, you’re not all that far away from Daniel Way.


  1. I agree…He does like baiting people. As for the Daniel Way comment…can’t really say much as I’m not all that familiar with him (Way)

  2. this is perplexing.

    just because you can bring characters back from the dead, doesn’t mean you should…

  3. What Mr. Jenkins fails to realize is that The Return was a bad story. I have no feelings for Captain Mar-Vell, but the story sucked. I have wasted a lot of money on Civil War and gotten a lot of crappy stories. That is the reason that I am mad. If you are going to tell a story make it good. 52 is good. Daredevil did a entire cosmic reboot and it was a great story. Mr. Jenkins doesn’t understand why people are mad at him. They are mad because they spent money on a crappy story. Where Marvel has dropped the ball is the fact that Civil War is not a good story. Meanwhile, DC is putting out a new issue of 52 every week and it is a good story.

  4. Oh, he is definitely baiting people with that comment. It’s like that time Uwe Boll set up a boxing match to fight all of his worst critics. He was just adding fuel to an uncontrollable, hate filled fire.

    And it’s a fire I don’t mind staring and gawking at…

  5. I haven’t read it, but I’ve read a lot of what people said about it. But you guys are dead on. If it had been awesome, then I think people wouldn’t be as livid, but since it seemed like such a throwaway story, it makes it easier to nitpick. The fact is, you can do ANYTHING in comics you want, as long as it’s good. People will always complain, but when something is good, it just is.

    But then, as a professional writer, he can’t say, “it wasn’t good.” But I would just think, “hey, don’t say anything.”

    This is starting to feel a lot like Chuck Austen and Ron Zimmerman.

  6. Ok, how does everybody expect me to react to something like this?

    Well shockingly I thought it was funny. Love for Jenkins blinds me again

  7. if quesada said this, I’d be burning him in effigy right now

    I would’ve went home early from work to do it

  8. Well as many know, Runaways and Antman (sometimes Spidey loves MJ) are the only Marvel comics I buy. I mainly buy DC and indies. This is just another reason for me to stay away from Marvel. If their creators have no respect for the fans of comics then I have even less respect for them. He may indeed be only kidding but he is doing it in that Randall(from Clerks) type of way that looses it’s humor and just comes out hateful and mean. I will indeed never buy one of this guy’s books. What an ass. He takes at least 4 pot shots at comic book readers outside of the guys that were mad at him over this pitiful story of Marvel’s Captain Marvel. That’s just biting the hand that feeds him and I doubt it will work out for him. He said by people disenting against this pitiful work he has done it has cemented his position at Marvel. What does that say about Marvel Comics?.. Nothing good in my opinion.

  9. Fred, you’re in trouble next time Quesada tries to be funny….

  10. I didn’t like the tone of that column. He makes it seem like people were more upset that Captain Marvel was brought back than by the fact that the comic was terrible.

    I am convinced by the return of Bucky that any character can be brought back if the story is well done. There are no more characters who must remain dead forever. Well I guess if Mr. & Mrs. Wayne were brought back that wouldn’t work very well. The same for Uncle Ben. However, as much as I enjoy his death story, I could get behind Captain Marvel returning from the grave.

    The Return wasn’t a story about Captain Marvel it was more like a pitch for a new ongoing series. Not only that but it was done in thirteen pages, with a Sentry back up story that had nothing to do with anything. They had room to tell more of the Captain Marvel story, but they chose not to.

    Lastly, apart of my frustration/dissatisfaction with The Return comes out of the fact that I really did want to enjoy it. I think Marvel had an opportunity to tell a great story. Captain Marvel and his death carry a lot of weight with fans, which I think could have been turned into a lot of positive energy had they nailed a good plot or characterization or even decent art.

    The tone Jenkins takes in his column suggests to me that he doesn’t care that much about fan dissatisfaction for The Return. I can understand being that way to an extent, because he isn’t going to please all of the fans. However joking that he meant to write a piece of garbage tells me that he doesn’t have any pride for the story he wrote. It was just something that was thrown at him to be tacked onto Civil War. I hate that idea the most. Maybe I am taking this personally (and I shouldn

  11. I am convinced by the return of Bucky that any character can be brought back if the story is well done.

    Excellent point.

  12. Ok, I’m starting to get the impression that this whole Return thing was designed to be “controversial”. I remember even reading something in the solicitation for this about how this book was “sure to be controversial” or something. I guess the people at Marvel are having fun chumming people into a frenzy? Lame, but it seems to be working.

  13. Ir it’s one thing you can guarentee, it’s that comic readers will always take the Marvel controversy bait.

  14. I don’t know anything about Mar-Vell, so I can’t get worked up about it. But I’ll bet that Jenkins was asked to write this story. After actually reading the article, he was.

    And I’ll bet that’s why he’s so flip about it. Which is why he’s probably so flip about people being upset about Speedball as well. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

    He’s writing for a paycheck and editorial mandates… Well, I’m thinking he basically thinks, “You don’t like it, tough. I was asked to do it, it’s out of my hands.” Him not writing a good story… well, that’s his fault, I’d say.

  15. I’m also really tired of hearing comic writers whine about ‘fandom’ and the reactions they get from readers. Very tiresome especially since I think it’s all probably a lie. I have a feeling that the writers who complain about fandom the most would themselves be the most upset if fandom just ignored them.

  16. This is starting to feel a lot like Chuck Austen and Ron Zimmerman.

    I think that’s a bit extreme – I *like* Jenkins, I like his ideas and I’ve enjoyed more of his stuff than not, he’s a good writer – unlike Austen and Zimmerman (who honestly I don’t have any ill will towards, I don’t recall reading anything he wrote) but I would throw Ben Raab into this column (I will never forgive him for his run on Excalibur).

    I just think Jenkins sometimes takes the gigs and bangs them out and cashes the check – as opposed to feeling passionate about the work. Not in all cases but in this case, definitely.

  17. I read the article a time or two, just to get a feel for it. And I don’t know where he’s coming from , if he’s just winking at us in a way, or he wants us to feel bad for him due to his hospital stay or what.

    I would have preferd had he not said anything, just let the work or out come (i.e. the mini) speak for itself. There’s always something about the writer coming out and going “Well I did this because…”

    I’d rather he just did it and move on to his next story.

  18. I don’t see why people get so worked up. It’s just a comic anyway, and a guy gets a little snarky when you trash his “art”, then fine. Of course, there’s a line that can be crossed, but I don’t think Jenkins got anywhere near it. I buy a book for what’s in the book, not for the personality or perception of the creator who made it. (I read all of Cerebus!)

  19. Yeah he didn’t cross it, that’s true, he didn’t threaten any fans, or say “FUCK YOU” or anything like that. I won’t blacklist his books like I do with Way.

  20. He might have a leg to stand on if the book itself wasn’t just plain bad. And the tacked on Sentry story didn’t help either, why not give Mar-Vell an entire issue. That means it’s either a really thin concept, or they wanted to milk fans $3 for what essentially became a TEASER for another ongoing series. And it’s sad because I like Jenkins, and most of this work that I’ve read. But the comic was boring, and New Avengers #24 did the Sentry story better than The Return.

  21. Trust me on Zimmerman. Oh god…

    I’m not saying that Jenkins is, in any way, as bad as Austen and Zimmerman, mostly because he’s done good work. He’s done great work. But it does “feel” similar to those days, at least a little.

    I agree with Cameron in that I can’t quite tell where Jenkins is coming from. He’s not John Byrne, and he’s not Dave Sim, but if I were him, I just wouldn’t say anything, and let the work do the talking.

    I’ll be interested to see how Jenkins’ career progresses. It’s a bit sad, but at this point, seeing his name on a book is a warning sign, where it used to make me buy the book. Not sure what happened there. But that has nothing to do with his persona, but his writing solely.

  22. Jenkins biggest asset though is his persona. I don’t blame him for working it

  23. Has Jenkins done anything good in the past few years?

    Generation M was horrible; it started off decently enough, sure, but the last few issues were godawful and just made me angry (which is pretty rare).

    I haven’t read it, but I don’t see many people clamoring over The Sentry miniseries — and dude, it was drawn by Romita Jr.! How do you screw that up?

    Frontline… oh God, don’t get me started on Frontline.

    And now this? Come on…

  24. His Inhumans mini-series with Jae Lee will forever be my most favorite thing he’s written. I guess he was still hungry then, and put more into it. He had a hit or miss run on Peter Parker SPider-Man for a while, which was good and bad. The original Sentry mini, where he was introduced was pretty interesting, if not necessarily well executed. But the effort was there. He tried, and that counts for something.

  25. I want to like Jenkins, I really do, for the most part he seems to be a generally okay guy. I just think he needs to do more of his own stuff and less Marvel stuff. If only because he seems to start off with good ideas and then not sure where to go at the end.

    But part of that may the fact that most of the books he has been writing are part of a giant event. (Generation M was Decimation, Frontline is Civil War and Return is Civil War) I feel if he got a book that wasn’t an event book, he could pull something off again.

  26. Because of fan reaction to The Return, would they have mandated he write about it in his column? Can they do that with a column? That might explain why he said the odd remarks that he did, instead of saying nothing at all.

  27. That sounds a bit too conspiratorial I think. He probably just likes to provoke people because he knows they’ll talk about it, and he’ll sell some more books.

  28. He intentionally provokes people, it’s his MO. Go back and read the column where he talks about playing ‘The One True religion’ at his Christmas party. It would provoke your guests to even do it, but to write it in your column – you’re definitely looking for a reaction.

    By the way, if I remember right they settled it with darts and it was Klingon.

    It’s one of the things I love about him

  29. Hey, don’t denounce my crazy internet rumors 🙂

  30. I actually remember somehing about this when Civil War was first starting, but just didn’t put it together. In an old Wizard article from last May they were talking about doing something that they were sure nobody would like, but they were gonna do it anyway. So I guess this is it

  31. When The Return first came out I wrote a big long post on the site about how I heated it, loathed it and despised it.

    Right now I’m ashamed, shocked and hurt at this news. I feel like

  32. I Like Jenkins. I really do. And I have to agree with Josh on his Inhumans story, nothing summed up Blackbolt better than that.

    But his reaction to this has left a sour taste. He seems to be writing off the criticism by saying people are just crazy fanboy internet folk. I disagree with that. For one thing, every post I’ve seen on this site talking about ‘Return’ has been backed up by a legitimate reason.

    Another thing, he seems to think that it’s hard to get people to understand or like a story in only 13 pages. That’s over half an issue! Brubaker was able to fix three years worth of a Daredevil puzzle in almost as much time. To use Brubaker again, he was able to make me understand a character and his world in ‘Sleeper’ in less time than that. Maybe if he cut down on the number of splash pages, he’d be able to explain it.

    Am I being too ‘crazy fanboy’?

  33. My feeling from reading the piece is that he felt like the book would be a disaster from the get-go, that he was told to write the return of Mar-Vell but limited to a single issue.

    Basically, I think he’s saying, yeah, the book sucked, but it couldn’t have possibly been good given the restrictions. I think that’s a bit of a cop out. Look at what Brubaker did on the last issue of “Daredevil”. A lot can be done in one issue.

  34. Did you read The Death of Captain Marvel?

    What are your three favorite Captain Marvel stories?

    I ask only because he died when I was six years old, and I can’t remember ever seeing him in anything. Or really being mentioned by anyone since he died.

    I agree both that it was dumb to bring him back and that The Return was dumb– I can’t believe that’s in my house; I must have been hypnotized– but Uncle Ben he ain’t. He might as well be a new character as far as any reader younger than me knows.

    Didn’t Zimmerman write that Ultimate book that had nothing to do with anything? Ultimate Adventure, I think it was?

  35. I can’t believe I’m actually on the rational side of this one. So this is what it feels like. Wow

  36. Found this gem detailing the intricate thought process behind The Return and after i read it felt like punching Jenkins in the mouth.

    “The people at Marvel called me up and said they wanted to bring back Mar-Vell,”‘OK, sure,’ I said. ‘Who

  37. I was talking about this with my friend and it seems like Marvel is setting Jenkins up. I mean, they had him do the organic web shooters, which was an editorial decision. They MFed Speedball, as per Joe Q’s request, and now they had him bring back Mar-Vell, which they know would infuriate fans. And in 13 pages or something like that. Now, admitting that he didn’t know the character, that probably makes it harder to swallow.

    But seriously, he’s like the go-to fall guy in the Marvel stable.

    If they every did a Wolverine/Batman crossover, I’m sure they’d give it to Jenkins.

  38. “Did you read The Death of Captain Marvel?”

    I did young Jimski, I still have the original copy, and a copy of his original debut in the green and white costume, something I still love to pour over. And Rogue’s first appearance, which came at the cost of the original Ms. Marvel, lovingly illustrated by Michael Golden. These guys did not cut corners to push out hack product.

    The thing is, “The Death of Captain Marvel” is remembered for some very good reasons. At the time, to kill a character, and have it just be cancer and not have any fight scenes was a really bold thing to do, something only Jim Starlin would attempt, at the risk of alienating fans and the editorial department all at once. And he did it by writing a very remarkable story that was very deep for the time. AND, that is why it is still talked about and remembered today. Things that are forgotten are usually forgotten for a very good reason.

    So now we have, as all seem to agree:
    1) Somebody doing hack work on the writing
    2) Doing it on the orders of the editorial dept
    3) Doing it in a calculated way to cause a sensation to sell books
    4) Doing it using some of the worst cliches around
    5) Sensation played for the sake of sensationalism, without a good product to back up the hype

    These five points are exactly what “The Death” was not. Even if Marvel green lighted Starlin killing off Captain Marvel because of sliding sales and lack of fan interest, then Starlin was all the more right to say, “OK, but if you do it, do it with depth.”
    Apparently, Jenkins isn’t made of the same stuff, based on what I read here. At that young age, seeing death as it really is, and with consequences in comics made a big impression. But this new thing?

    No wonder people are rolling their eyes, and if I were Jenkins, or any writer in this situation, he should just shut up. If all this is meant to get people interested in the Mar-Vell again, he (or they) sure as hell hasn’t won me over.

    “What does my painting mean? If had wanted a soundtrack, I would have put one in.” –Jackson Pollack

  39. Ahhhh frontline…..biggest ****tease ever.

  40. And I’m going to get frontline #11. Not because I want it badly and am really curous as to what happens. just that i have 1-10. I KNOW, I’m part of the problem, but still.

  41. Oh crap I forgot about Frontline. I swore off Jenkins for a while after The Return, but I would like to know how that last issue turns out. Grrrrrr this is a dilemma. Can I do it? Can I kick an unsatisfying comic on its last issue? Am I ready for that? I want to be, but I don’t know if I can do it.

  42. you’ll miss the ‘real reason’ for cw

  43. I KNOW! And I don’t want to pass on that. 🙂

  44. read it in the store

  45. I stopped at 9. Didn’t miss having read 10. You can do it!

  46. no you can’t:)

  47. Wally nailed it.

  48. Thanks Patrick, but I think everyboy here has had added a rightful nail to this product, hoping it will die and stay dead. Being one of the old guys, I’m just able to put their criticisms in the context of the original story of the Death and when he died.

    And here’s another nail, based on guess work: DC is forced to call their own Captain Marvel “Shazam” (just on the cover of the book) because of a litigation brought by Marvel Comic back when the old Captain Marvel was still alive. Long story short, DC litigated Fawcett to death, a complicated settlement was reached wherein DC bought the rights to use the character of Captain Marvel (Shazam) but under restrictions imposed by Fawcett, so the character lapsed.

    When a company is not actively using a character, they lose their rights to “claim” that trademark to the point of excluding others from using it, so Marvel in the 60s snapped up the name.

    But now look at Captain Marvel/Shazam at DC – over the past few years, he has been steadily on a comeback, Marvel Comics Captain Mar-Vell still languising in the grave, and now we have Smith’s latest book, still forced by Marvel Comic litigation to publish using SHAZAM as the cover title ( a cool title still, but it does confuse some people as to his real name, Captain Marvel aka Billy Batson).

    SO what is Marvel’s response? Surprise, Captain Mar-Vell is back from the dead, just in time to protect…what now? Prisoners, or Marvel Comics’ copyright to use the “Captain Marvel” name, as Shazam makes them look like shameless hacks? I was a huge Marvel Zombie (before there was such a word) when young, and this is Marvel at its worst, not its best.

    I think some of you guys need a 12 step program. Speaking from experience, your wallet will thank you, and you will appreciate better work, and feel less like a battered wife. And you will make Marvel turn out better stuff if they don’t think they can get away with anything and have to concentrate on quality books (gasp) rather than just recycling crap, as what happened in the past. It seems they are starting to slip into some old, bad habits again…

  49. Dave Graham:
    “Can I do it? Can I kick an unsatisfying comic on its last issue? …I don’t know if I can do it.”

    Neighborhood Outreach Worker:
    “I stopped at 9. Didn’t miss having read 10. You can do it!”

    Friendly Neighborhood Pimp and Crack Dealer:
    “you’ll miss the ‘real reason’ for cw”

    “read it in the store”
    (Marvel Ninjas descend from the ceiling behind Jerome, ready to attack…)

  50. Dave Graham:
    “Can I do it? Can I kick an unsatisfying comic on its last issue? …I don’t know if I can do it.”

    To be continued?