Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../includes/class_bbcode.php on line 2958
Mantlo Inconsistencies
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 42

Thread: Mantlo Inconsistencies

  1. #1

    Default Mantlo Inconsistencies

    The title of this thread actually has two meanings.

    Love it or hate it, most everyone agrees that Bill Mantlo's run on Alpha Flight was a bit...erratic. In fact, you could say his most consistent trait during this run was its inconsistency.

    Now, I know it is a bit of a running joke here on the board, but it got me thinking about Mr. Mantlo's other work through the years. His Incredible Hulk run was really tight, his Rom stuff even more so, and what little of his Micronauts I read seemed consistent in terms of characterization and storytelling. Heck, his run on Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man is one of my five favorite runs for the character.

    So I guess my question to the Flight Crew here is...wha' hoppen? Why did Bill Mantlo, a very consistent creator, become so inconsistent on Alpha Flight?

  2. #2
    Administrator Department H
    rplass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    USS Enterprise
    Posts
    2,788

    Default

    I reject the characterization of Bill Mantlo's work on Alpha Flight as inconsistent. There was one comment that is perceived as troubling for continuity which I believe is widely misinterpreted (the clinic for maladjusted super beings thing), otherwise it's just reader's noticing that he changed around Alpha Flight from the original state. Writers who take over a book change things around. If you call that inconsistency then every writer who ever changed anything in comics is inconsistent, because they all do it.

    Also the guy deserves a bit of solemnic respect due to his ongoing health issues, so please temper your responses with this in mind.
    Are you an Alpha Flight Collector?

    http://alphaflightcollector.wordpress.com

  3. #3
    Alpha Flight
    DIGGER's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Killam, Alberta
    Posts
    314

    Default

    I agree. I think it is because the core characters were so well liked during the Byrne run that it would have been difficult for any writer to follow him (this also goes for the artwork as well). Usually when a new writer takes over a super team comic (X-Men, Avengers, Justice League) they change up the roster to suit the needs of their storyline because there is such a huge roster of characters to choose from, but when dealing with Alpha the character selection is almost non existent so the characters have to change to fit the story. As a result, things get done to characters that seem so out of character. I wonder how many fans of Spider-man were happy/content with Doc Ock "taking over Peter Parker's body" because guess what------Peter is coming back and it has only been what, a little over a year and a half?

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rplass View Post
    Also the guy deserves a bit of solemnic respect due to his ongoing health issues, so please temper your responses with this in mind.
    I am offended and repulsed by the insinuation of this sentence and ask that this entire thread be removed. Thank you for understanding.

  5. #5
    Administrator Department H
    rplass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    USS Enterprise
    Posts
    2,788

    Default

    Jason, I prefer to leave the thread. It's a valid discussion to have. I'm just hoping people stick to their opinions of his writing, good or bad, and not get vitriolic. You didn't get personal, and actually praised the guy in a respectful way, so there's no insinuation of anything directed to you. My comment was directed at whoever else might respond.
    Are you an Alpha Flight Collector?

    http://alphaflightcollector.wordpress.com

  6. #6
    Alpha Flight
    DIGGER's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Killam, Alberta
    Posts
    314

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Eberly View Post
    I am offended and repulsed by the insinuation of this sentence and ask that this entire thread be removed. Thank you for understanding.
    Sorry, but is this an example of erratic? I just took that comment as a suggestion to all who wish to post on this thread to act with decorum and try not to attack Mr. Mantlo. I did not read it as a comment directed at you at all.

  7. #7
    I'm a RealWyldeChild Alpha Flight
    Flightpath07's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Vernon, BC
    Posts
    3,918

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DIGGER View Post
    I just took that comment as a suggestion to all who wish to post on this thread to act with decorum and try not to attack Mr. Mantlo. I did not read it as a comment directed at you at all.
    I agree with Digger.

    That being said, no artiste likes feeling like their work needs to be 'tempered', so from a purely artistic viewpoint I also agree with Jason's stance (what I understand of it, anyway).

    From my own viewpoint, I think how you treat someone is up to you personally to decide, and thus feel that anyone who feels that Mr Mantlo is fair game, regardless of his health conditions, is in the right as well. provided nobody makes mean comments about his health conditions, that is. Just my two-cents' worth.

    Consider me 'on the fence'.
    Support Artists, Not Companies! Creator-owned comics are where the real art is at!

    My new website! http://lifelessordinarywebnovel.com/home.html Follow my super-powered web-novel adventures, "Life Less Ordinary"!

    Twitter (1) = @RealWyldeChild
    Twitter (2) = @lifewebnovel

    FaceBook = https://www.facebook.com/realwylde.child or search for me at " Life Less-Ordinary "

    Also 'occasionally' ranting Alpha Flight related stuff at http://canadas-own-the-flight.blogspot.com/

  8. #8

    Default

    Great...I'm derailing my own thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by rplass View Post
    Jason, I prefer to leave the thread. It's a valid discussion to have. I'm just hoping people stick to their opinions of his writing, good or bad, and not get vitriolic. You didn't get personal, and actually praised the guy in a respectful way, so there's no insinuation of anything directed to you. My comment was directed at whoever else might respond.
    In the 2 1/2 years I've visited (and thoroughly enjoyed) this site, there have been many "digs" at Mantlo's work, but never have I seen anyone disrespect the man by making fun of his tragic injuries or applying them to the quality of his work. I have much more faith in the posters here than to think anyone would do that and history strengthens that belief. I also can't remember ever seen any kind of "warning" like the one I take offense to when anyone else has brought up Mantlo, be it his work or his current state.

    So this, in addition to the ridiculous censoring of a perfectly reasonable word I used about a month ago, even though it could might maybe be possibly used in a derogatory fashion (in which case, many common words should also be redacted) and you may understand my aggravation.

    I figured it to be easier just to remove the thread than to have it become a "thing".

    There...that is off my chest. Intentional or unintentional, it's how I feel and I really enjoy Mega Stuffed Oreos, even though you only get half as many cookies in a package.

  9. #9
    Alpha Flight
    Mokole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    1,943

    Default

    Well, he did make some good characters, but I am definitely not qualified to comment on the overall quality of his work. Just me being me. I don't read as much as others.
    Keep your stick on the ice.

    Live it.

  10. #10
    Harvester of Sorrows Department H
    Le Messor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    6,681

    Default

    I haven't read much of his stuff, but what I've read that wasn't AF was usually good.
    I think that means Contest of Champions and a couple of issues of Rom (and no, it's not a coincidence that they had Alpha Flight in them).

    Some writers are good at one thing, not so good at others - look at Fabian Nicieza. Linkara, who only reviews bad comics, has had to yell 'at him' "Stop showing up on my show! You're a good writer!".

    I think in the case of Nicieza, it's because he takes any work he can, and if it's something he doesn't care about, it shows.

    The going theory with Mantlo is that he was burning out as a writer when he took over Alpha Flight; there are stories that he was asking the editor for story ideas, for example.
    The problems I have with it go a lot further than the 'Clinic for Maladjusted Superbeings' (which I always took literally). Some of them have to do with the artwork and NOT Mantlo - it just wasn't as good as Byrne's, and felt more cramped.

    He did a lot, though, to undermine the characters and write them horribly out of character. Shaman as a whiner; Puck as a whiner. Heather, the killer.

    I've never liked his origin for Nemesis, and always wanted to know Byrne's (which is impossible; I doubt Byrne knows what it is, now).

    There are other things, but it's first thing in the morning.

    ~ Le Messor
    "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory."

  11. #11
    Harvester of Sorrows Department H
    Le Messor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    6,681

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Eberly View Post
    the ridiculous censoring of a perfectly reasonable word I used about a month ago
    btw, I always figured that was an automatic program that did that, not something anybody at the site did on purpose.
    And I've been telling that story irl ever since, as an example of some of the stupid things that happen ever since.

    MODERATOR: The censoring is automated.
    Last edited by rplass; 02-05-2014 at 10:04 PM.

  12. #12
    Alpha Flight
    Tawmis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    The Shi'ar Throne
    Posts
    1,251

    Default

    So I enjoyed Mantlo's ROM. (Though at the end, it got a little wonky). Same as Micronauts - it started really strong, but by the end, it was grasping at straws. (In both cases, I am not even entirely sure if Mantlo was still writing either title). That said - when you look at the first 12 issues of the first Alpha Flight run, you have - almost a perfect run of comics. We had some character development, we had things hinted at, and some things just come out. We got some new villains. We got some back story.

    But Byrne, just before he left - also left Alpha Flight in a bad spot. He had killed Vindicator, leaving them essentially without a leader. Sasquatch is "being influenced by the Great Beast" that he represents - and Snowbird rips his heart out and kills him. So now, two core members are already out - and we're only 24 issues in (just noticed he killed Vindicator in issue #12, then pretty much kills Water in issue #24).

    Now, without looking who wrote it - but I believe it was Mantlo - issue #32 was a turning point for me. Everything up until then, even beyond issue #12 was pretty solid. Issue #32 (with Puck/Razaar) was something that made me scratch my head. Then Shaman, who is probably one of my favorite members of Alpha Flight changed - he went from Shaman to Talisman, and his entire personality changed. Pestilence kills Snowbird. So now, the entire foundation of the team has been drastically changed. Sometimes this works (when the "All New X-Men" were introduced - I mean, Nightcrawler, Storm, Colossus, etc). And sometimes - in this case, it didn't work. Where as the X-Men had been going for a considerably long time - so a change could be needed to shake it up - Alpha Flight was barely three, almost 4 years into publication - with absolutely no real history behind them other than what was given in this series. It's not like these characters were appearing everywhere else - that there was no wiggle room to write some great stories with them as they were. I don't know who wrote the DreamQueen stuff - but that was a good read - followed by, Llan the Corrupter or whatever his name was. Perhaps the WORSE villain. EVER. And even DRAWN horribly. The stories were falling apart by this time (again, off hand not sure if it was Mantlo writing at this point) - but yeah, this wasn't even close to a spec of resemblance of the Alpha Flight I knew. But... I kept collecting, all the way through #130. And the stories were just floundering everywhere (like when Alpha Flight was wearing the X-Factor uniforms? WTF? I know by this point it wasn't Mantlo).

    I think he may get a bad rap - because he was the writer to follow after Byrne. And that is a tough act to follow. Especially when the art was also top notch. You follow that up - with a team you probably don't know much about, and a brand new artist, who doesn't come close to what Byrne was giving us - you're pretty much handing him a gun that's fully loaded and challenging him to a game of Russian roulette.
    Last edited by Tawmis; 02-12-2014 at 04:08 AM.

  13. #13
    Harvester of Sorrows Department H
    Le Messor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    6,681

    Default

    I think you're right about a lot of things, Tawmis. (Oh, and 32 would've been Mantlo - he took over right after Byrne. DreamQueen I believe started off under him, but fully developed under James Hudnall; who was also partly responsible (with editorial interference) for Llan.)

    I do think, though, that Byrne could've been followed up from. Who by? Back then? Not sure. Claremont probably could've done a decent job with it (at the time). Perez / Wolfman - that would've been awesome! Denny O'Neal Adams, perhaps... perhaps.

    I think, though, that Mantlo was just out of ideas by then.

    ~ Le Messor
    "Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm."

  14. #14

    Default

    I noticed I never posted my conspiracy theory here (I shared it with Phil last week).

    At the time, Byrne was pretty much at the height of his popularity (and arguably, talent). However, we know now that he wasn't enjoying writing AF. I am wondering if he flexed some of his muscle to take over a book that he wanted to do...Incredible Hulk (though he only lasted six issues before being lured to DC to relaunch some obscure character). He seemed to have a good working relationship with the others working on AF, so wanted to bring them to Hulk with him to keep things smooth for him.

    Of course, this left Bill (and crew) forced onto a title that they may not have had any interest in or plans for, thereby resulting in the (in my estimation) half-hearted effort we seemed to get on AF.

    Again, just a conspiracy theory.

    Oh, and Boris Badenov was the second shooter from the grassy knoll. I think he was aiming at a squirrel, though.

  15. #15
    I'm a RealWyldeChild Alpha Flight
    Flightpath07's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Vernon, BC
    Posts
    3,918

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Eberly View Post
    Oh, and Boris Badenov was the second shooter from the grassy knoll. I think he was aiming at a squirrel, though.
    Yes, he was aiming at the squirrel, but he moosed.
    Support Artists, Not Companies! Creator-owned comics are where the real art is at!

    My new website! http://lifelessordinarywebnovel.com/home.html Follow my super-powered web-novel adventures, "Life Less Ordinary"!

    Twitter (1) = @RealWyldeChild
    Twitter (2) = @lifewebnovel

    FaceBook = https://www.facebook.com/realwylde.child or search for me at " Life Less-Ordinary "

    Also 'occasionally' ranting Alpha Flight related stuff at http://canadas-own-the-flight.blogspot.com/

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •