Tom Breevort has a go at something John Byrne has said. And who can blame him?:
We all knew it would come to this eventually. I saw a bit of an interesting discussion excerpted from the John Byrne message board last night, which got me thinking. During the discourse, John gave a list of story elements he feels should not be used in writing stories about mainstream super hero characters. That list includes:
>Resurrections of characters whose deaths were
central to the lead character’s origin.
Deaths of characters because “there are no more
stories to tell.”
Revelations of previously unknown siblings (99.99%
of the time),
Revelations of “hidden agendas” in origin stories.
In general, retcons that turn central characters into
different people than we thought they were.
(Basically, any stories that create distinct “moments
Now, John goes on to freely admit that he himself has produced stories that would fit many of these categories, but that, as he’s grown older and more seasoned, he sees these types of stories as a mistake. But this made me wonder: once you eliminate these elements and their derivatives from consideration, would there be any worthwhile stories left to tell?
My immediate response would be that worthwhile stories do not have to be stories that rework status quos – DC’s Silver Age was a series of classic stories that, for the most part, fit Byrne’s criteria of a good story (Yeah, I know, big surprise. But it doesn’t make him wrong, just a curmudgeon). What’s interesting is that Brevoort then goes on to say that Marvel’s Ultimate line was created to offer this kind of status quo-preserving story; so does that mean that Tom isn’t a fan of the Ultimate line…?