Archive for the ‘ Marvel Fanboyism ’ Category

On Convolution 2016


I mentioned this on Twitter, but now I’m making it official: I am once again a guest at Con-Volution! I’m very pleased to be joining the convention again. My panel schedule is as follows:

Friday, 5:00pm – 6:30pm: Classic Scary Stories: Shelley, Poe, and Others

Looking back on some of the classics of literary monster-makers and scary storytellers

Saturday, 12:0opm – 1:30pm: BOF: Marvel Universe

There’s SO much to love about the Marvel Universe, both in Comics, and in Cinematics — so come join other fans to chat about what you think has been done well, could have been done differently — and even better — what’s next! (I’ll be moderating this birds of a feather meetup; I’ll be the one in the Avengers t-shirt. You know, the one.)

Saturday, 5:00pm – 6:30pm: Building a Better Monster: The Nuts and Bolts of Monster Physiology

It may seem like the more tentacles and claws, the scarier the monster, but when it comes to writing a monster worth its scales, sometimes less is more. Or is it? We’ll discuss!

Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:30pm: How Far is Too Far? Introducing Change to Established Characters

Just three words: Captain. America. Hydra. When does an evolving, long-time character get driven too far off its original basis, and is that a good thing, or ultimately bad, no matter what?

Sunday, 2:00pm – 3:30pm: We Love the Scare

Discussing the need for horror in pop culture, modern media, and fiction. Why it works for us, and why we need to keep it working.


In and around all that, I’ll be attending some of the other programming (I’m not only a panelist at Con-Volution, I’m also a member!), and I’ll be around and available to chat as much as anxiety allows. I’ll probably also camp out in the gaming room for some Sentinels of the Multiverse at some juncture, though I’m going to have to schedule that on the fly. If you’re looking to see me, I’m going to be most available on Saturday; I am commuting to and from the con this year, so it’s very likely that on Friday and Sunday I will be leaving soon after my panels, probably after having dinner with friends and performing some of the (pleasant) duties that come with being a convention guest.

Also, my now-usual disclaimer: I suffer from society anxiety. I’m medicated for it, but it does mean that sometimes, talking to people is very difficult for me, and it is likely to be even harder after a day of public speaking and answering questions. I won’t blow anyone off, and I encourage people to talk to me, but if I need to make a hasty exit, I am not being trite when I say it’s me, not you.

I hope to see you there!

On Confidential Battles

The following may contain spoilers for the recent arcs of the Avengers comic and for Secret Wars Issue #1 and Issue #2, but I needed to share this somewhere. I take no responsibility for you reading past the next two lines of asterisks.


Alright. So here’s this idea I have in my head.

Right now, it looks like Battleworld/Latverion is the product of Doctor Doom’s imagination — he’s salvaged parts of the worlds the Beyonders were just going to destroy, but he’s done it in a way which makes him the centerpiece. This implies that it is possible to bargain with the Beyonders (possibly with the Molecule Man as leverage) or, as was the case back in the original Secret Wars, that it’s possible for a mortal to hijack a Beyonder’s power, and thus do we have Latverion and Doomgard and all that other self-indulgent pomp and circumstance that makes us love Doom.

It also looks like at least some characters are coming out of Secret Wars with more or less the same personality and the same ongoing narrative arc. Thor, Goddess of Thunder has been guaranteed to return post-Wars, and her arc is definitely coming to a middle, not an end. Ms. Marvel appears to be the same person, along with the newest Captain America, provided the Free Comic Book Day issue of All-New All-Different Avengers is accurate in its portrayal of the team makeup. So this doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a hard reboot of the entire Marvel Universe; some things are going to retain their inertia. But, for now, not everyone appears to understand that Battleworld is something new — at least some characters, including canon main characters like Apocalypse and Sue Storm, seem to see Battleworld as what has always existed.

So here’s what I want to see. Here’s where I feel the plot going in my head.

Over the 8 issues of Secret Wars, and possibly some in the related miniseries, we’ll start seeing characters figuring out that Battleworld is not the only world that has ever existed. Some will learn it from the Cabal, others will piece it together from evidence buried in Battleworld’s firmament, others may have it shoved into their brains via magic or other means. Some characters will start feeling that this state of affairs is not acceptable and/or tenable; either because they rankle under Doom’s yoke, or because they feel like they could make a better world, or because they think they are who should be in charge. The actual “Wars” of the title will then be the fight to figure out how Doom pulled off what he pulled off and/or take control of that power through various means.

And at the end, there’s a group of heroes and villains, all with their fingers on the proverbial button. They have figured out how to reboot the universe and end the reign of Doom and bring back Earth and Knowhere and Asgard and all the bits that used to be around before the Beyonders decided they were bored, with some changes — some history altered, some memories erased.

And the villains — I’m picturing Doctor Doom, Thanos,  will think “I could make a world where I rule.”

And the heroes will think, and say “You know…we should not mess with people too much…but maybe a fresh start is a good idea.”

Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, looking at each other, and imagining what the Avengers could be if they had never gone through Civil War or the battle to save the world from the incursion.

Scott and Alex Summers, imagining a world where they and the Brotherhood never took some of the steps they took, and the dream of mutant harmony could be a little more within reach.

Reed Richards and Sue Storm, looking into each others’ eyes, and saying “You know, we were great once. We could be great again.”

Ms. Marvel, head ducked, thinking she just wants to see her parents again.

Of course, the villains will not go gently into that good night; and so some compromise will have to be made with them in order to prevent them insisting on just hoarding all the power for themselves, they have to allow Thanos and Galactus and Dr. Doom and, yes, Magneto to come and exist in their world, too. And of course, there will be changes that no-one is comfortable wreaking — a certain Uncle Ben, perhaps, or maybe a well-known exposure to cosmic rays…and so, good and evil and self-involved will all work together, and tear down Battleworld, and out of it will come a world that seems similar, but is a little bit shinier, a little bit newer, a little bit more capable of working toward that better tomorrow the Avengers and the X-Men lost sight of near the end of 616…a world where the Goddess of Thunder is still doing her best with a terminal diagnosis, and where Kamala Khan gets that call-up to the big leagues…a world where Iron Man and Steve Rogers are friends again, where Professor Xavier and the X-Men can trust each other again…but a world that also has to be ready to deal with the darkness waiting in the wings.



That’s how I hope Secret Wars ends. And the fact I can see just the barest threads of this and give them a good, cosmogonic tug; the fact that there is room for conjecture and interpretation, and that I am this excited about the possibilities; are why I am currently not at all worried this will be like Crisis on Infinite Earths.

I can’t wait to see what Marvel does next.