Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Professional Fan Fiction

The solicitations for September came out yesterday and I was a bit perturbed by this:

Written by Howard Mackie & TOM DEFALCO
Penciled by TODD NAUCK
You've been asking for it...and now it's here: THE CLONE SAGA!!! Marvel's most controversial event of all time returns with a vengeance, presenting the Clone Saga as it was originally intended to be told! From the minds behind the crossover that changed comics forever and the artist that introduced Spider-Man to President Obama, it's six issues of twists and turns that will shock fans old and new alike! Be here as Peter Parker's worst nightmare begins with an ending you have to see to believe!

Not to mention this a few months ago:

Pencils & Covers by TOM GRUMMETT
BE HERE FOR THE BEGINNING! Comics icon and New York Times bestselling writer Chris Claremont returns to his legendary run with X-MEN: FOREVER! The shockwaves after the death of Magneto are still reverberating all over the world. Attempting to heal the rift between man and mutant kind, Professor Xavier volunteers his X-Men to go on a mission to capture Magneto's sole remaining Acolyte, Fabien Cortez! But with Nick Fury--and the entire world--watching over their shoulders, the stakes have never been higher for Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Gambit, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Storm, Beast, and Professor X. With Tom Grummet bringing Claremont's vision to the page, this landmark series is packed with enough surprises and twists to shake the X-Men mythos to its very core!

What's next? Mark Waid doing Captain America as if Heroes Reborn never happened? The Fantastic Four the way it should be, with a crazy Reed, a sluty Sue, a scarred Ben, a skrull, an ex-con, and a Mini Dr Doom by Tom Defalco? Maybe bring back Roger Stern so he can needlessly re-explain the Hobgoblin. Oh wait, that already happened...

I totally get the desire to want to know what the original plans for these runs were (Personally I would love to read what Joe Kelly would have done with the X-Men had Magneto really tilted the world's axis back in 1998 and plunged everything into a new ice age) but I don't see the point of actually producing those works. It's fan wankery like this that is the cornerstone of fan fiction.

Fan Fiction is kind of a sore spot with me, I just don't see the point of it. My girlfriend has tried to justify fan fiction, and show me that it's not as bad as I think, but I still don't buy it. For every well written piece of fan fiction out there there are hundreds, if not thousands, of terrible terrible 'this is how it should have been done'/'this is how I'd fix everything' types of stories. And that's just how these books feel to me.

If you want to talk about what you wanted to do, do it in a book. If you want to execute some of those ideas, rework them into another book. Going back and producing new material for a by gone era just reeks of 'this is how it should have been done' should be left to the amateurs.

Besides, I wouldn't want new readers to have a well-thought out, cliff notes version of the clone saga. If they want to read about it, then god dammit, they'll have to read the whole confusing two-and-a-half years of it.

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