Sunday, March 13, 2011
Thing's thing and Rob Liefeld
Recently Vanity Fair published an article with Stan Lee, and he said that Thing’s private junk is probably covered with orange rocks as well. As odd as this sounds, this brings up something I’ve actually been wondering for a few years now. Now I’m an immature giggling fanboy that will stand by Stan Lee claims that Thing’s dork is orange rock. (However, poor Alicia Masters. Ouch! And I thought Betty Ross had some stamina!) But Stan the Man hasn’t written the Fantastic Four book in almost four decades. At what point does the creator’s desires no longer become valid to the creation? New creators come onto properties al the time, with their own desires and directions. Does Stan’s decree override the wishes of the current creative teams?
Now I’m a staunch believer in the notion that if it didn’t happen in officially sanctioned media (books, movies, comics, TV shows, ect) then it never happened. If it’s so important that it needs to be mentioned, then it should go in the media… Otherwise it’s apocrypha. J.K. Rowling made a big deal a couple of years ago at a reading about Dumbledore’s sexual orientation, and I couldn’t help but to think “Hey, Rowling… If this was so important, why didn’t you put it in the book?” So does making public declarations like that even count. It akin to Schrödinger’s Cat… But with orange rocky wangs.
Now this is a different case since Harry Potter is owned by her, and Fantastic Four is not really owned by Stan Lee, but by Marvel. So it’s really up to them. But this can also lead to controversy. Recently, it was announced that Warner Bros. are considering a reboot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer without Joss Whedon’s involvement. Whether you like the idea or not, (and it seems most do not) it’s really WB’s property to do with as they please. Obviously Whedon’s fans are not going to be very welcoming to a Joss-less Buffy reboot, and might heap tons of scorn upon it… And I can sympathize and agree with them in some regards. But at the same time, not long ago, X-Factor writer Peter David had a bit of controversy with the character Shatterstar being in a same-sex relationship with the character Rictor, when Shatterstar’s creator Rob Liefeld said “That’s nice, but Shatterstar’s not gay.” Most people sided with Peter David because Liefeld hadn’t worked on Shatterstar in over a decade and… Well honestly, Shatterstar was less than a one-dimensional dork who wore boxing headgear and football shoulder pads into a battle, so making him in a romantic situation with Rictor can’t actually hurt. And Marvel’s then E-I-C Joe ‘I hate Mary Jane’ Quesada said “Take it up with the next Editor in Chief” which is a nice way of saying “Whatcha gonna do about it?”
But regardless, whether we like Liefeld or not, he IS Shatterstar’s creator. Do we just disregard Rob Liefeld’s opinion because he’s Rob Liefeld, and we don‘t like him or his art? Even if the choices made are for the best? If companies are actually supposed to take the opinions of the creators, like Joss Whedon, seriously, then should they not take the opinions of ALL creators seriously? Including the Rob Liefelds of the world? Or are one’s legal creative rights are dictated only by how well you’re liked. Especially in wake of the Jerry Siegel’s family vs. DC comics lawsuit, the creators may have more say over their works than originally thought. And that’s Superman… A multibillion dollar franchise, having to answer to the family of one of his creators who‘s been dead for fifteen years. And there are rumors murmuring about that Jack Kirby’s family is preparing a lawsuit for some of his creations now that Marvel is owned by Disney. And last I checked, Rob Liefeld was the creator of Deadpool, who’s currently one of Marvel’s most popular characters, who has a movie in the works.
So what if Rob came out and said that Cable’s wang was cybernetic with chrome plating running down the veins? Would that be canon?