FOR TOMMY - DAN JURGENS
By Richard Johnston
long after that, Bob Harras was moved aside as the regime
changed. Joe gave me a call and we discussed different types
of stories in Cap...more "down to earth" stuff with an American
context, which I thought would be a cool way to go.
again, we needed to wrap up the existing storylines before
moving on in order to play fair with the readers. But Marvel
made the decision to move Cap over to Marvel Knights so we
didn't get the chance. I think some of that was a reflection
of Bobbie's standing within editorial, as it was shortly before
she was let go, though I can't say for certain.
sure I ever felt totally comfortable on Cap, and sometimes
you don't realize that until you've been off the book for
a couple of years. Seems like editorial wanted one thing,
while all the fans I heard from wanted him to hook up with
Diamondback again. At the same time, no single character in
comics was made more irrelevant than Cap by the events of
Some saw that as the perfect time to relaunch the character.
Others might not, reviewer Paul O'Brien described one issue
as "a despicable piece of question-dodging, comfort food dressed
up as insight, tired old propaganda posing as art." What inherent
problems did you see with Cap in light of the tragedy, and
indeed the way it was dealt with?
The problem with Cap is that no matter what you try, he's
still locked into World War II. For me anyway.
with having Cap busting up terrorists is that, when juxtaposed
against the real world, he'll never win. You might write a
story in which Cap busts up a terrorist plot, but if on the
day the book ships there's a terrorist action, the story suddenly
accept the notion of Cap leading troops into a battle against
the Nazis because he was a human flag and rallying point,
a human touchstone to a national sentiment of the 1930s and
not the present condition. How would the world react to Cap
storming through Iraq? It's a tough story to do, just like
it was tough to have Cap fighting the Vietnam war. If there's
any ambiguity at all, Cap magnifies that problem.
ways, the best Cap stories are the ones set in the past because
we at least have the perspective of history to aid us.
points out the fact that Cap is a very difficult character
to write. He's a political character as well. And with most
of the writers in comics coming from the left side of the
spectrum (an odd notion considering that all comic heroes
are essentially conceived on the right) I'm not sure Cap ends
up an accurate reflection of where America is at. Not that
that's among the criteria for Cap or any other character,
Not the only character to have been caught up in the mires
of modern society. Take your current title. The religious
aspects of Thor, a god walking on Earth, have often been ignored
by Marvel. You've seized it by the throat. Why, is there a
danger of breaking the Thor toy, and no longer being able
to put it back in its box for others to play with?
I don't think so. This is comics, after all. We've seen an
incredible number of characters go through changes. Sometimes,
those changes are ignored and the characters are later moved
back to their original template. Other times, those changes
continue to drive the character through unexplored directions
and stories. The Hulk, Daredevil and Swamp Thing from years
back are examples of this, as are numerous other characters.
a weird market out there. On the one hand, readers say, "You've
broken the mold! This isn't the adventures of Banana Man I
used to read! Give me the old Banana Man!" Once you do, the
reaction is, "Geez. Is this all you've got? The same old Banana
Man fighting Spam Boy stories?"
the goal is to tell intriguing, interesting, accessible stories
that somehow touch the reader, yet somehow define the main
character(s). If we continue to do that, we won't "break"
Thor or take him to a place we can't return from.
1 | 2
| 3 | 4
| 5 Continued