Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Oh, What A Rogue

Rogue #1


I Got No Clue What They Want to do With You

So how then are we even to live, now, in this bold world of terrible wonder? 

And what more remains to be said after twenty five years on the subject of Rogue’s first solo book, a four issue miniseries from 1995? There are a lot of numbers in the previous sentence - like, for instance, twenty five years. Feel old? Rogue premiered in 1981. Took fourteen years from her first appearance in Avengers Annual #10 for her to get her first solo series. Her next came in 2001, another four issue mini. Feel old? In 2004 she was granted her first and only ongoing solo series. It lasted a polite year. Her next starring role was fourteen years later as a wife.

These facts hint at a much larger truism: X-Men don’t do solo series. There’s one obvious exception (barring Cable, who was only much later made an X-Man), and it’s the exception that proves the rule because everyone liked the guy so much fans would probably have rioted had they not eventually caved and made the guy a headliner. Claremont didn’t really want to do it. Uncanny X-Men was a tightly plotted book that didn’t leave the characters room for random side adventures. It was never supposed to be a franchise, it was supposed to be a story. But popular demand in this instance meant constructing a new world from scratch for a guy who was never designed to be anything other than a franchise player. Soon enough that guy had entire alternate lives in exotic places like Japan, Madripoor, and, er, Canada. Eventually he was even on other teams. The fans would have rioted were he not. 

Now, it would be a lie to say that Wolverine was the only X-Man to ever get a real solo push. There’ve been a number of attempts, some sincere, many half-hearted. Cable was another case of the company bowing to genuine demand, and again it sold well enough that they had to eventually give him stuff like his own rogues’ gallery and supporting characters. Gambit has had a few attempts, too, over the decades. But more often than not these series ended up doing one or both of two kinds of maintenance, either of the character’s origin or a main book sideplot. Often but not exclusively the same thing. Very much designed to get people who already read Uncanny X-Men excited for more or less the same thing with a slightly different emphasis. A tried and true tradition stemming back to all the earliest spinoffs: here’s more of what you like, but not quite the same.

Storm is the best example. She’s had a number of miniseries over the years, precious few attempts at something more. None of them sold for beans, despite the genuine enthusiasm creators bring to a legitimately underserved character. They didn’t sell at least partially because these series have been largely devoted to - and have the reputation as being devoted to - maintenance. Despite the best of intentions of many, many people, no one has figured out how to tell a Storm story. Storm has been around for forty five years but her own stories are still X-Men stories in all but name, dealing with shit from her main book. “Lifedeath” could have been a miniseries but it wasn’t. Left to her own devices and without the crutch of working on origins or sideplots Storm is kind of inert. Not because she’s a bad character, or that she couldn’t be a solo star - but no one’s yet been able to sell her on her own. Perhaps she was too central to the book for too long for her to stick in peoples’ minds as anything else. Perhaps striking off in a new direction for new adventures couldn’t help but feel forced. Not every character has to be a solo star, mind. Ensemble players are important. A lot of the X-Men are ensemble players, either by intention or accident. Maybe Storm tries real hard not to do superhero stuff on her days off. 

In any event I know what Wolverine does on his day off. He’s got a whole Santa’s list of shit to get up to and people on whom to make stabby when he’s not being something for someone else. Which maybe wasn’t the case when they first started telling Wolverine solo stories, which tended for a good many years towards repetitive use of generic gangsters, terrorists, and ninjas. It certainly is now that he’s got a whole shelf of bad guys and supporting character with no connection to the X-Men. 

Rogue #2

Where does this leave Rogue, our putative subject? 

You didn’t expect me to actually . . . begin at the beginning, did you? Silly rabbit. You knew what you were getting when you clicked on the link. 

Anyway. The first Rogue series was less a product of genuine groundswell of demand than Marvel’s desire to increase the size of their line and squeeze out competition during a market contraction. That’s what Marvel does, and what they have always done: regard the comic book market as finite terrain to be conquered by suffocating the competition off the racks. Racks which were then actively disappearing, as most grocery stores had figured out comics are a finicky line that sells poorly under the absolute best of circumstances. In boom times Marvel sells more comics than the other guys by pushing the other guys off the racks, and in bust times they sell more comics than the other guys by pushing the other guys out of business. 

What does it all mean? Rogue is pretty much my favorite comic book character. She wasn’t really, however, when I was a kid - I happened to start reading X-Men right when she got written out of the main story for a couple years. Think about that! One of the franchise’s marquee characters, gone through the dang old Siege Perilous and disappeared for what seemed like an eternity but was really a little less than a year and a half. During that span every other letter on the letters’ page seemed to ask about Rogue. She was a presence.

She returned in issue #269 after having disappeared in #247, which - owing to the yearly switch to biweekly shipping for the summer months - covered about fourteen months in real-world time. early Summer 1989 to late Summer 1990. Even after her memorable return in the Savage Land, she didn’t reunite with the main team until Spring of the next year, during the Muir Isle saga that serves as Claremont’s last hurrah on the series (barring the inevitable slightly less beloved returns, plural). By the time the deck was reshuffled for X-Men #1 in Summer of 1991 she was in her iconic yellow & green bodysuit with the bomber jacket. 

Now, we should be up front about this, because I respect you too much to lie to you: I am a true blue fan of Rogue but I am not a fan of Rogue & Gambit. By the time I really got to see Rogue in real time - not, that is, in the pages of Classic X-Men, which was soon to be running her first run of Paul Smith appearances from the early 80s - she was sort of Different. Than she had been. I dunno, cuddly? The sharp edges were gone. Internal conflict and mental illness were deemphasized, owing to the fact that not everyone picked up on Claremont’s extremely obvious subtext. Neither did most of his successors possess a fraction of his insight into either human psychology, nor the art and skill of exploring these complex topics in superhero comics. Nor frankly did they care. Rogue was hanging around the mansion cooking up gumbo for Remy, now. This is also the version of the character who the world met on Saturday mornings, more or less. Streamlined. Her emotional state was a lot less messy. And by now her standard plotlines were either boyfriend or origin related - because of course a woman’s world is all about romance and family obligations. Of course. 

I’ve been rereading the Claremont run recently - taking my time, reading all the spinoffs and crossovers along the way, even the ones I never bothered with. (Even Kitty Pryde & Wolverine for the very first time and for that, dear reader, I deserve a medal.) By the mid 80s there were already a fair amount of books, just considering what Claremont personally wrote. Progress is slow, I’m taking my time in order to not get burned out. It’s a good project to fit into spare moments and the occasional free hour or three, pretty much the extent of my leisure time these past years since I’ve been taking care of my parents. 

On a whim I decided to skip around a bit, simply because I get a bit impatient reading about X-Men who aren’t Rogue, and the fact is that regardless of how much you or I might wish otherwise there are characters besides Rogue in the book who might want panel time. I remembered buying the first Rogue series as it came out, I wanna say I got that one right at the grocery store in town which was still in the last gasp of pretending comics sold, probably because there was still at least one person who still bought comics there every week. But I didn’t remember anything about it, other than who drew it, Mike Wieringo.

Interesting factoid: this series was Wieringo’s first work for Marvel. Coming off a hot run on The Flash

- HA! “Hot run on The Flash!” That’s a keeper. See, this is what I missed. I missed you guys. Come on, everyone in for a big ol’ hug - 

- coming off a hot run on The Flash, Wieringo stopped by Marvel for Rogue before heading back across town for Robin. In hindsight you really want something as significant as Mike Wieringo’s first Marvel work to be good. To be something worthy of such a giant taken from us absurdly, shockingly early. He’s even being inked by Terry Austin - Terry Fuckin Austin! I can’t imagine there’s a bigger rush for any artist drawing the X-Men than being inked by Terry Fuckin Austin - and your first time up, no less. 

But then I opened the book and saw the reason why I didn’t remember anything about it: this was actually kind of terrible. For reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with Wieringo, I should add, and actually kind of make you resent him being wasted on such a nothing. The fact is that there is no reason why Mike Wieringo drawing Rogue has to be bad. I would go so far as to say you’d have to work hard to fuck up that combo. You’d have to get up pretty early in the morning indeed.

So let’s start at the beginning, with a great shot of Rogue in her natural element and doing what she loves best, that is, giving the business to the US military.  

Rogue Splash page

So far so good, right? Clear sailing! Now, let me just take a big sip out of my mug before reading the credit box,  


Ahhhhh, shit. Well, there you go. 

I have read many Howard Mackie comics. Did I seek them out because he wrote them? I did not. He wrote a metric ton of Spider-Man and X-Men comics. Why did he write them? Did he enjoy writing them? What can one even say about Mackie at this late remove? He is a man who knew how to write stories, stories that were composed of sequences of events depicted in a set order. This can be said, certainly. Often his stories featured characters and plots, sometimes even fight scenes. There was even a brief period in the late 90s where he wrote both flagship Spider-Man titles. He wrote hundreds and hundreds of comics which I read because of the name on the cover and not the names in the credit box, and that is why I am going to hell when I die. Because doing that is part of how we find ourselves with this problem in the first place. 

That credit box tells a whole story in and of itself. An entire epoch. 

The first few pages of the first issue are probably the best passages of the series, because Rogue is smiling and laughing at army guys. Completely emasculating the Top Gun dudes, everything short of chopping a cucumber in half with a cigar cutter. Fun even if it’s, you know, a carbon copy of an earlier scene from JRJR’s run on Uncanny. 


Kissing a plane

The problem here, in a nutshell, is that this really isn’t a story about Rogue. It looks like one, maybe, in that she’s ostensibly the protagonist. But brass tacks what’s it about? Well. Hmmm. How to put this . . . basically Gambit’s ex-wife hates Rogue and kidnaps Rogue’s catatonic childhood friend Cody. You know, he what was rendered comatose after one kiss from the most beautiful girl in the world. What a way to die! Sign me up. 


So why is Gambit’s ex-wife Belladonna kidnapping Rogue’s people? Well, you see, it’s like this: Rogue had been around for fourteen years at this point and never once received the opportunity to headline a series. Finally, when Marvel was at the height of the panic mode market flooding that immediately preceded - and I mean, immediately by only a matter of months - a good chunk of the company being laid off, they deigned to give Rogue a mini. And then when they finally relented to give the sensational character find of 1981 her own series - in 1995! - it was devoted primarily to swimming these Augean waters:


Now, it should be noted again that they were on solid ground with lots of precedent in crafting a solo mini that was essentially just a spinoff of a smaller subplot from the main book. That’s what these kinds of series were, and had been since Claremont invented the spin-off mini way back in the day. It’s what the fans expected. Did you read that page? Rogue isn’t mentioned once. It’s a story about her boyfriend’s bullshit that just happens to have her name on it. But few at the time were going to complain or even notice because, you know, it looked nice. Even if no one cared about the Externals or Candra or - fucking shudder - the goddamn Tithe Collector, they bought it because it was a part of the story. Because of the name on the cover and not the names in the credit box.

Since we’re being completely honest here: it’s not like they weren’t also on solid ground in devoting her first solo series to her relationship with Gambit. The reason why they pushed the relationship so hard and for so long - long past where I’d argue both characters were hurt - was that it was popular. It was on the cartoon! I was and probably remain in the minority in thinking this. For a lot of fans Rogue & Gambit is Rogue. I’m sorry for that. I really do feel as if we’re talking about two characters. She’s not the same person when she’s with him.

After Claremont left, the X-Men lost their rudder and forward momentum. The period immediately following his absence perhaps represents the books’ nadir, at least in terms of writing. I like to think of it as the “sitting around the X-Mansion waiting for X-Men stuff to happen” period. (Which immediately precedes the “let’s all yell about doctrine!” era that is then followed by the lengthy “oh god we are tapped out, flailing, loopy, hiring people off Craigslist” interregnum, a period I’d argue only really ends with Claremont II.) Rogue suffers more than most from this period because she loses a great deal of autonomy and no small amount of confidence. Then after years cosplaying Bad Moonlighting with Gambit they tried to kill the relationship in the worst possible way (by revealing he was, er, complicit in a genocide), then saddled her with Joseph 


and honestly it was somewhere around there I started to lose grip on what was going on. I held on because Alan Davis came back for a bit but boy howdy were those strange comics of which I remember almost nothing at this late date. Except that I bailed when it was revealed Apocalypse had been a little old guy inside a big suit this whole time? Is that still canon? 

Left well before Claremont II. Came back for Morrison but, hey, guess who Morrison didn’t apparently give two shits about? Given how much all those characters were . . . well, let’s be polite and say “altered” - by the events of Morrison’s run, I suppose we should be thankful he never realized the true value of what he held in his hands when handed the keys to the franchise. By then Rogue was once again back with Claremont, in the pages of Extreme X-Men

No one knows what happened in Extreme X-Men. No light has ever escaped, although scientists working at the LIGO gravitational wave detector hope to soon verify the existence of Sovereign Seven

Anyway. I should stress that it’s not even that I dislike Gambit. On the contrary, I remember Gambit from before he even met Rogue, and he started great. He was a fun character when he was bopping around the Southeast with “Stormy.” There’s a big opening on the stands for a distaff Catwoman type - think about it, great archetype that is completely underserved in comics. You can’t always tell fun Gambit stories, though, because the guy’s got a lot of baggage. By which I mean all of the continuity involved in this series. Can’t exactly galavant around the globe being an irresponsible cad when you’re a happily married man, or when your ex is still actively trying to kill everyone you know. 

Because - can I just say? All the things that could make Gambit a great character make him a terrible boyfriend. They would have both been better served by keeping separate and maintaining a flirty banter thing. As it is, they are a great example of a relationship where two seemingly cool people just end up sapping all the life from each other. He could be fun, but his most famous stories aren’t fun. It’s stuff like dealing with his ex, or making a deal with Apocalypse (like a whiny little shit). Not that people haven’t tried. Doesn’t seem to take. 

Don’t get me started here. I never liked the relationship. From the very beginning of the courtship I knew who he was, recognized the type from a mile off: the kind of weaselly pest who falls for a woman and then becomes absolutely relentless in the face of repeated and clear refusals. That’s something media tells us is supposed to be charming, is supposed to be a sure fire recipe for romantic success, but which is in actuality one of the biggest red flags in the universe.

Another giant red flag? How about when you’re just starting to get interested with someone, like, say, in the very first days of a flirtation, and then their ex-wife shows up and tries to kill you. Would that count as a red flag? Because that happened. It turned out that his ex-wife was affiliated with something called the “Assassin’s Guild.” And Rogue, God bless her, looked at that situation and said, yes, I want the dirty Cajun man who was previous married to the Kate Gosselin of Murder, this is the absolute best I can ever do. Despite being by common consent among the most beautiful women on the planet, this right here is the tallest shelf for which I am ever going to reach.

And to be fair, it’s not like Remy doesn’t love Rogue. We see this very clearly here, in a scene following Cody being kidnapped and Rogue taking off to save him. Plainly, his concern for his girlfriend in her moment of crisis is strong enough to inspire him to stop chatting up other women on the way down to save his girlfriend from his homicidal ex-wife:

Gambit is an asshole

Perhaps Rogue goes to Cyclops for romantic advice: “What d’ya think, Slim? Do you see any red flags?” she asks. To which he replies, “no, I don’t see any red flags at all.” 

So, eh. The story occurs. Events transpire. Rogue makes her way down to confront Belladonna. On her way, it must be noted in passing, she consults a genuine magical negro: 

Tropes ahoy

Oh, and before we move on, I should point out I gasped when I ran across this outfit: 

Bad clothes

I had an instant Proustian recollection of the mid 90s, when this was the state issued uniform of every young woman in the country. Seriously. You can practically hear the opening strains “I’ll Make Love to You” coming out of the headphones attached to their Discman.


She loses her powers and has to fight Belladonna. She gets stabbed but still pulls out the W. Of course she does. She’s Rogue. Now, it’s worth noting that if this had been the Rogue of 1985 this would have been a much shorter comic that would have ended with Belladonna spitting out half her teeth and possibly losing part of her spleen. But, you know. 1995 was a bit of a dippy drip but she still got shit done when she had to. 

Key to Rogue’s character, in my eye, is the fact that she actually doesn’t benefit all that much from being an X-Man. On the contrary, after a certain point I think the X-Men represent an unhealthy family dynamic for many members. Rogue came to the team for one specific reason - to get help with her powers, in order to try to be able to live a normal life, or some semblance of one. Well, she didn’t really get that. It’s actually kind of a recurring theme for the character, that being an X-Man takes a toll, she gives a lot more than she gets and she needs time away to recharge her batteries. Alone among latter day X-writers Mike Carey understood two very true things: that the X-Men as a concept work best as Rogue’s supporting characters, but that being on the team isn’t actually very good for Rogue. Like, at all. 

She broke free from one charismatic narcissistic leader just to fall into the lap of another (and then had a lot of sex with a third, because she’s Rogue and Rogue does whatever she wants). She managed to outgrow having surrounded herself with charismatic cult leaders without becoming a charismatic cult leader herself - apparently a real workplace hazard for X-Men? Did all this while also having regularly scheduled psychotic breakdowns.

But the best they could think to do with Rogue in the early 90s was to give her a boyfriend. And it’s not like that would have been bad on its own if it hadn’t become, you know, her entire character. Boyfriends are fine. When boyfriends new and old are all you got to talk about, however, you need a new writer.

Perhaps it didn’t occur to anyone that Rogue’s last solo adventure in the Savage Land - you know, the one where she’s having lots of sex with Magneto - was effectively a “back door pilot” for a Rogue solo book that was probably never even a consideration. I’d argue that by that point, 1990 or so, she was better positioned after a decade or so of existence than Wolverine was at the equivalent point in his career, when he got spun out for his first mini. Perhaps I’m the only person in the world who thinks so, which is a perfectly reasonable assertion. She could have joined the Avengers a lot earlier than she did - although, considering who was writing Avengers by the mid-90s, it’s probably for the best she didn’t.

This is a new one ...

So where does that leave us? As I said, the credit box tells a whole story in and of itself. 

That story begins not in 1995 but 1984. That was the year Bob Harras and Howard Mackie both began at Marvel as Assistant Editors - Harras under Ralph Macchio, Mackie under Mark Gruenwald. Mackie stepped away from editorial to freelance full-time in 1991. He had no shortage of work for the subsequent decade. 

Harras eventually became editor of Uncanny X-Men and all its subsidiaries, then the most popular books in the industry. Jim Shooter left the company in 1987. After Tom DeFalco took the reigns as Editor in Chief there commenced the first stirrings of a years-long power struggle between the books’ main writer and their upstart artists, with Harras stuck in the ostensible middle. Harras alone was left standing at the X-office after this period of turmoil. DeFalco for all his virtues simply wasn’t the imposing figure Shooter had been, able to ride herd over creative whim and editorial fiat alike by force of personality, for better or for worse. By 1993 with Shooter long gone, DeFalco more or less sympathetic, and neither Claremont nor the Image founders left, no one remained to impede Harras’ vision regarding the necessary and ruthless expansion of the franchise. 

It should be noted Harras remained on good terms with the Image boys, by the way. They all made money together, for a long time to come. 

Rogue was created by Claremont and Michael Golden in 1981 and served as one of the team’s mainstays for most of the 80s. He developed the character considerably, from a troubled and unpredictable powerhouse with only a very brittle mastery of her own moods, to someone far more measured, confident, and powerful (if still extraordinarily impatient). Perhaps Claremont ran out of ideas after a while, as he tended with characters who were written out for extended periods, and as was more or less healthy for the book. She still had a recognizable character arc and grew enormously.

And then he was gone. Whatever peculiar alchemy Claremont used to breathe life into these smudges of ink on newsprint left with him. It was the voices, you see, the voices of those characters that lived primarily in his head but whose adventures he occasionally recounted for the rest of us. When he left those voices left with him. Vivid characters were replaced with standardized characterization. Occasionally in the years since I’ve heard those voices, or echoes again - but never as consistently, as holistically.

Rogue is a tough one in that regard. Her most popular characterization, I have always thought, was considerably out of character. And I don’t think anyone else has quite captured her timbre besides Carey. Sometimes she seems like an actor reading lines from a script, but to be fair most of them do if you stick with it long enough. 

In 1991 the X-Books relaunched with new, decidedly static status quos. Claremont wrote the first three issues of the adjectiveless X-Men before getting the fuck out of Dodge. His last act with Rogue was, essentially, her return to the fold. Then she got a new costume, a spot on the roster of the Blue Team, and Relationship Drama. The fans loved it. That’s a wrap, right? 

The first Rogue miniseries shipped in early 1995, which just happened to be the same month that the Age of Apocalypse began. In a period of widespread and remorseless contraction across the industry, defined by painful attrition among retailers, publishers, and readers alike, the alternate universe crossover was a hit. Not just a hit, mind you - a franchise-defining monster. (The shadow of which blockbuster success was soon to eat them alive, but that’s another essay.) When the company fell apart by the middle of the year, it was practically inevitable that the attempted restructuring would replicate Harras’ model, which meant separating each editorial group into independent fiefdoms to be run more or less autonomously from the other. From this it was practically inevitable that the ensuing collapse would leave Harras, once again, in charge of everything.

Best panel in the entire series

Mike Wieringo wasn’t the only DC mainstay who crossed the street to do work for the X-office. Harras certainly wasn’t unique in actively trying to poach talent from the competition - that’s part of an editor’s job, more or less, within reason. What was unique was the rate at which his office repulsed talented creators from elsewhere in the industry. Wieringo did a handful of assignments for Marvel through the end of the 90s but only one more X-Men assignment, 1998’s X-Men 1/2. Wieringo’s Flash collaborator Mark Waid had a very similar reaction when he very briefly wrote for the franchise around the same time. From comments made by a range of creators, from Waid and Peter David through even to disaffected X-office regulars like Fabian Nicieza, it doesn’t seem like it was a very fun place to work if you weren’t one of the handful of men who actually decided what was going to happen in any of the books. People were treated poorly. 

And what does this way of making comics get you? It gets you comics like Rogue, featuring characters everybody loves being drawn by some of the best artists in the industry, starring in poorly told stories conceived and executed in the most cynical manner possible, and plugged so intimately into so baroque a continuity as to be more or less unintelligible six months after being printed. It was the same kind of package that Claremont had pioneered only, you know . . . without his understanding of what did and did not justify the readers’ time and patience. Nothing kills a franchise faster than immaterial spinoffs. It reads as plainly mercenary despite the excellent art. Within just a couple years of Harras taking over the EIC position almost everything Marvel published was leaning in this direction. It is in this context - and only this context - that Joe Quesada could ever have been considered wise, but he was certainly wise inasmuch as he recognized when he took over the company at the fin de siecle that the best way to make comics was the opposite of how Bob Harras made them. 

Wieringo died in 2007 of heart problems, aged only forty four. Shockingly close to my age now. He was really good at drawing Rogue, I wish he’d drawn the character for fifty issues. Rogue was edited by Lisa Patrick. She started at Marvel in the early 90s, worked as Harras’ assistant. She has no credits past 1995. I don’t have to look to know why she lost her job. Dana Moreshead moved on from coloring to eventually became the company’s Director of Creative Services & Special Projects, before leaving for to work as Stan Lee Media’s Vice President of Creative Services and Brand Management, a position I’m sure he still holds today. 

So how then are we even to live, now, with full and terrible knowledge of what we have lost? 

The loss can’t be quantified. Mark Gruenwald died in 1996, from an undiagnosed heart problem that was almost certainly exacerbated by the stress of his last years at the company he loved, as he saw it systematically hollowed out by the true heirs of Martin Goodman. He never got to write for Mike Wieringo, which seems like something that really should have happened. They just passed each other in the hall, turned out. Maybe they caught up later.  

The loss extends from the tragic to the relatively trivial - from lives derailed by lost careers to something as slight a sin as bad comic books. Every bad comic could have been good. Every piece of shit hacked out by lifers could have been a rookie’s breakthrough or a veteran’s masterpiece. How many good comics did we lose? How many great characters? How many new cash cows for multinational corporations, even, have we lost because people were treated like shit and left, or couldn’t even find the door? Incalculable. 

And that leaves us, ultimately, back with Rogue. There’s no reason this had to be bad, but it was. The version of the character we meet in these pages is simply less competent, less capable, less complex. Less interesting. The Rogue who Claremont created didn’t shortchange herself. She learned self-respect which was subsequently taken from her. She deserved so much better than she got. 

Ultimately I can’t get past the part where their “romance” was premised on the notion that creeps who repeatedly violate explicit boundaries of consent to get what they want are really quite endearing if you give them a chance. I guess that just wasn’t a red flag for anyone else in the office. 

It was all right there, on the page. If we had only seen. 

Rogue getting ready to hit something


Alan David Doane said...

I was a huge Ringo mark from day 1. Austin fan since his work with Marshall Rogers on Tec, which I bought new off the stands. Silver St. Cloud? Hubba hubba. For as long as my son has been alive (he was born in '95) I have wondered why I hated Rogue #1 and didn't buy any more issues. Thanks for shining some light on this. The lousiness of Mackie's work is only exceeded by Frank Tieri, '90s Marvel's version of Geoff Johns.

So many tragedies in comics. Whatever the reason is that Mackie, Tieri or Johns were ever able to get work in the industry probably explains why I don't give a fuck about it anymore.

Nice to see you pop up in my feed, Tegan.

Nick said...

"He wrote hundreds and hundreds of comics which I read because of the name on the cover and not the names in the credit box, and that is why I am going to hell when I die."

I'll see you there. They must be renovating a rather large new circle to fit us all.

Good stuff, as ever.