Robot 6

Your Mileage May Vary

from Magog #1

from Magog #1

Recently DC announced a new ongoing, starring Magog. This surprising decision has, naturally, caused some reaction.

Jim at Comics And…Other Imaginary Tales is incredulous:

DC announces an ongoing Magog series by Keith Giffen and Howard Porter. Are they kiding? I mean the JSA has Hourman and Liberty Bell husband and wife team that is virtually untouched, Dr. Midnight, the revamped Sandman, Damage and many other characters that would be fascinating and great to carry a book and we get Magog. This guy is a bizarre homage to some of the worst 90 characters every created. Who the hell green lit this idea at DC? This is a really a bad idea in my opinion, Giffen has been more miss than hit, Porter’s style is all over the map and there is no buzz on this character. It will not last past 12 issues is my guess.

Poster Desaad on the CBR forums is more optimistic:

As to this series, I was excited as soon as I heard the creative team, and I’m more excited after this interview. I like the Magog character, in concept, if only because I love his cosmic connections. I dig his look as well.

But I also know that Keith Giffen is one of the most creative minds in comics, and that if anyone can make this book work it’s him. He really gets concepts of ‘scale’, having done great work on Annihilation and Legion of Superheroes, but he can also do mythic/religious very well, as seen in his horror-esque “Four Horsemen” mini series.

I have an unnatural love of Howard Porter’s art. I know it’s not technically the best, but it’s so damn energetic that I can’t help but be moved by it, consistently. Hopefully Giffen takes into account that Porter is an ACTION artist, rather than a pensive one, and delivers scripts accordingly.

While commenter Justin at J. Caleb Morozzo’s Every Day is Like Wednesday has some interesting thoughts about it:

I think it’s *because* Hawkman, Firestorm and everyone else you mentioned can’t support a book that they’re trying Magog. If I’m Dan Didio, I *know* a new Atom series is going to get cancelled before long, but Magog? Well, who knows *how* long they can keep that up until they try it? It’s kind of a throw-whatever-you-can-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach, but Stan Lee basically built Marvel that way in the 60s.

I’m not actually a Magog fan, and I don’t think this will last past ten issues, and turning what was essentially a parody creation into an ongoing lead is probably not a good idea, but at least it’s a *new* idea. Apparently, DC is at a point where taking a chance is at least as economically viable as taking another stab at something “safe,” and in the long run that could lead to good things creatively, right?

So what do you think?

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Comments

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As there are precious few good in-continuity DC books around, I’ll give it a look if I hear good things.

at least keith is trying something over due that is new for the comic industry though would rather dc resurect the shadow pack or at least finaly give the much under use ragman another chance or better let Keith do ambush bug again

Something new, exactly. That’s what Keith’s attempting to do, and that Jim guy is just projecting his own preferences (something that we all do of course, I’m just saying it seems mor elike he’s presenting it as a “hey DC and Giffen you’re WRONG” rather than this is what i think).

And I’m of the mindset that creators should write whoever the hell they want, not the characters an dsitautions that half the internet is gushing to see. Maybe Giffen doesn’t want to write Liberty Bell or Hourman or anyone else, but these days all that seems to matter is what someone personally wants, instead of what is good.

Not reading it. Magog is dull, the premise sounds boring and Keith Giffen has been in kind of a slump lately anyway.

This idea keeps growing on me.

Magog as the soldier-turned-hero is an interesting balance, and having him bring the violence could really make an interesting book. He was supposed to represent the 90s, but without actually giving him much depth in Thy Kingdom Come, they did give him a lot of POTENTIAL as the guy who might destroy the world and who holds the balance between the JSA and, say Black Adam.

It has interesting morality play value. We’ll just have to see if it lives up to it, as I’ve found Giffen to be *very* hit or miss in his last few projects at DC.

The “something new” statement is a bit interesting. While, yes, “turning what was essentially a parody creation into an ongoing lead” is new, I doubt that’ll be the series’ tag line. There’s not really much new about the character, though, which was kind of the point in his creation. That’s not say a character *can’t* outgrow his origins, but shaping Magog into a compelling lead seems like a tall challenge.

Deadpool is half parody of Deathstroke (with a personality akin to the Joker) he’s survived.

Lobo ain’t nothing but a Wolverine riff, he’s still kicking around, and had a huge following at one point.

Magog has had few moments to shine, how people can so easily dismiss him is kinda funny. “We’ve seen maybe 30 pages total with this character, but he sucks!”

Hmmm, okay. How would that work at all for any character. A scant few appearances and if it doesn’t set the internets on fire scrap it?

In a market where launching and sustaining a new comic book title, especially one featuring a new character is getting harder and harder, the Magog ongoing series seems like a very rash business decision.

First, the decision was editorially-driven as opposed to creatively-driven. Giffen didn’t approach DC Comics with a great pitch and story idreas about Magog, DC approached Giffen. This does not bode well.

Second, I can’t find any hard evidence that there is any kind of fanbase or support for the Magog character. Did sales issues of Justice Society of America featuring Magog on the cover spike significantly? Are there fan sites dedicated to Magog popping up on the Internet? Does he even have a facebook or myspace fan page?

Third, why not test the waters with a mini-series first before launching an ongong series?

The decision just seems arbitrary.

Hey, it worked for Lobo.

Totally agree with Morozzo.

They’ve given Aquaman how many chances? Why not let a new character step up to the plate with a couple of proven veterans. In this market, what harm could it possibly do?

Of all the characters introduced or reintroduced in the pages of JSA to get an ongoing, I think I would have chosen Citizen Steel over Magog, but with Giffen at the wheel, I’ll give this a shot.

I don’t know why I’m defending this idea, I’ve never been a big fan of Giffen, I’m no fan of Porter, but I do enjoy the idea of a more…martial super hero in the DCU, if it has to be Magog, fine, the design is over the top but far more classical than the design it is meant to parody. Magog next to Superman looks odd, but not out of place and dated like Cable would, it’s the horns, I think the horns scream mythology and the walking stick does as well.

Plus, I liked David Reid before he became Magog, no nonsense, no fuss didn’t even want a code name.

He’s no Citizen Steel, or Wildcat III, but he’s one of the more interesting new characters in the current JSofA.

Honestly, I’m more interested in reading this book than more Grant Morrison Batman nonsense.

Also, the whole “Where Magog is going before what may or may not be the Kingdom Come future” premise is interesting, especially how Giffen likens it to a series about the Comedian’s early days.

We don’t know for sure if this Magog will kill the Joker and essentially doom the DCU, and the fun will be seeing him take that path or some other development that doesn’t lead to it. I am honestly very interested in this series after reading Giffen’s interview but I still need a little push to see whether I want to trade wait it or get it monthly.

The reason the “safe” characters haven’t been working is DC has screwed them all up. Hawkman was selling just fine until someone at DC decided to change the book to Hawkgirl and it tanked.

Atom, Firestorm, Blue Beetle and Aquaman all died because they weren’t the characters they claimed to be but rather cheap or politically correct replacements.

I understand Giffen is trying to create rather than recreate, but there was no demand for a Magog series and based on Giffen’s recent work (Suicide Squad, Ambush Bug) he hasn’t exactly been setting the sales charts on fire.

DC just needs to smarten up, bring back the greatest heroes ever published and give us stories written by people who know how to write comics instead of the hollywood hacks moonlighting as comic writers.

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