starwolf_oakley: (Default)
starwolf_oakley ([personal profile] starwolf_oakley) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2011-07-15 11:15 pm

Chuck Austen: Not that bad?

I've never been a big fan of all the Chuck Austen hate. Was he really that bad? Well... maybe. Polaris going batshit crazy and actually being Magneto's daughter are some of the bigger problems. But some of the special dislike is for "The Draco." But there's a very good scene in Part One of the story.

Chuck Austen is mentioning Silver Age elements of how Xavier used to have little problem with using his mental powers for less then "perfectly moral" reasons. Xavier using his powers so the bad guys will forget what they were doing and go home was used a couple of times in the early issues. Cain smacking Charles when they first met was in the first Juggernaut story, UNCANNY X-MEN #12.

Well, when you put it like that...

This is a powerful page, because the Juggernaut is absolutely right. Xavier left him under a mountain for decades. It is something we knew and yet... never really thought about.

In the original story, the "Reds" shelling the area causes the cave to collapse. Has that been updated to Cain's transformation causing the collapse?

Kurt Marko being an abusive dick is relatively knew. I think it was first revealed in UNCANNY X-MEN #309 that he beat Sharon Xavier. Kurt beating Cain and Charles might be totally new for this story.

So... not everything Chuck Austen did on his UNCANNY run was mind-numbingly bad. Just wanted to say that.

Comic Book Resources cleared up on major "flaw" with "The Draco."

If only I could return to Earth. I know! I’ll go to Earth and do something to allow myself to one day return to Eart…wait a second…

One of the plot points of “The Draco” that gets mocked a lot, and I think a bit unfairly so, is the whole bit about how Azazel impregnated women on Earth so that when they got older he could manipulate them into using their teleportation powers to bring him back to Earth. A lot was written about how it was silly that Azazel went to Earth so that he could one day have kids who could bring him to…Earth.

However, that was not his plan, really. His plan was to bring his entire army of demonic mutants back to Earth (after they had been driven to this hell-like dimension centuries ago), so the fact that he alone could visit Earth himself once or twice wasn’t the point…
that said, Chuck Austen sure doesn’t make that very clear in the comic, including this bit that definitely makes it sound like Azazel just wants to get back to Earth himself (in which case, why did he leave in the first place? If he was forced to return, they never say as much in the comic itself)…
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2011-07-16 05:21 am (UTC)(link)
What made me even crankier about Austen is that he *did* write a few characters very well - the Juggernaut being top of that list. I quite liked his hetero-confused Bobby as well, although it meant that Northstar was the STILL the only gay in the village.
suzene: (Default)

[personal profile] suzene 2011-07-16 06:07 am (UTC)(link)
The effectiveness of this scene is much-diluted when one recalls that Austen gave a fuckton of characters under his pen an abusive/evil father - Carter, Sammy, Stacey X, Nightcrawler, Northstar, which was especially WTF due to the fact that his biological and adoptive parents were killed before he was in first grade.

Dude had issues to work out, and I'd have greatly appreciated if he had done it elsewhere.
zenbro: (mystique)

[personal profile] zenbro 2011-07-16 02:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I should know this - but if Northstar's biological and adoptive parents died when he was that young, who raised him?
suzene: (Default)

[personal profile] suzene 2011-07-16 05:09 pm (UTC)(link)
A series of foster homes or one unhappy one before he ran away at age 13/14 and was raised by Raymonde Belmonde.
okkult3000: (Default)

[personal profile] okkult3000 2011-07-16 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
"Austen" is not his original surname. He changed it due to distaste for his father.
suzene: (Default)

[personal profile] suzene 2011-07-17 05:49 am (UTC)(link)
Last I'd heard, "Austen" was his pen name, hadn't heard he'd actually changed it. He mentioned a couple of times in interviews that he'd had an abusive dad, which is sad but, again, if you can't bring your filter to bear, don't project your issues onto the page.
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)

[personal profile] wizardru 2011-07-18 12:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, whether he legally changed it or not, I don't know. But back in the 80s, one month he was Chuck Beckum and then the next month he was Chuck Austen and the editorial note at Eclipse (iirc) basically sort of made a jokey reference about why he changed it which sounded weird and confusing at the time. Later entries pointing out that he didn't want to keep his father's name as the reason didn't elaborate further.

[personal profile] arilou_skiff 2011-07-16 08:18 am (UTC)(link)
Austen can write well. His Exiles run wasn't bad either. It's just that he seem to have no... INternal checks that tells hims "This is a really fucking bad idea nad you shouldn't write it."
heckfire: (Default)

[personal profile] heckfire 2011-07-16 08:48 am (UTC)(link)
Again, my knowledge of much of the past 10 or so years of most comics is totally second-hand, but from what I HAVE read, I did like the whole Juggernaut-Sammy thing. Juggs has always struck me as more of a grey-area villain, and his friendship with Sammy was an effective way of leveraging him over to the side of the angels. Again, though, I've only read bits of it, so my opinion is far from conclusive.

...also, from a "completely missing the point of this post" perspective, this is really some lousy artwork.
zenbro: (mystique)

[personal profile] zenbro 2011-07-16 02:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Seconding on the Jugggernaut-Sammy relationship and I went all Rage Kitty at Sammy's pointless death. Cain should have become the new Colossus. "Juggs" sounds like a cheap porn magazine.
heckfire: (Default)

[personal profile] heckfire 2011-07-16 08:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Actually, I think it IS the name of a cheap porn magazine...but it's also quicker for a lazy sack-o'-crap like me to type. I suppose I could use "Marko" if pressed, tho'.
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)

[personal profile] fifthie 2011-07-16 09:35 am (UTC)(link)
his good ideas are all right and his bad ideas are unbelievable.

Like this juggernaut story, it's like, oh, juggernaut flips out on xavier, accuses him of being a hypocrite, I mean, yeah, okay, i guess that's a story, one of those should exist somewhere.

And then you have stuff like Angel developing healing blood and Nightcrawler's priesthood having been a trap by the Evil Pope to poison all the communion wafers and Bruce Willisman sex-killing women while leading a militia of white supremacists.
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-07-16 09:57 am (UTC)(link)
and Bruce Willisman sex-killing women while leading a militia of white supremacists.

I'd ask, but then you'd tell me and I'd probably be depressed all day...
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)

[personal profile] fifthie 2011-07-16 10:01 am (UTC)(link)
They were all posted in like, the last week I think.
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)

[personal profile] fifthie 2011-07-16 10:02 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, check the two posts before this one on the Chuck Austen tag.
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[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-07-16 10:13 am (UTC)(link)
Ah, his Superman rather than his X-men work... gotcha.

[personal profile] arilou_skiff 2011-07-16 11:20 am (UTC)(link)
Like I said. No internal filters. He can tell a good story, he just can't tell a good story from a bad one.
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)

[personal profile] fifthie 2011-07-16 06:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Like I said. No internal filters. He can tell a good story, he just can't tell a good story from a bad one.

See my thing with that is that "good" is going too far; at Austen's best he's only ever maybe like, inoffensively mediocre. If he oscillated between bad and legitimately good, he'd be JMS or Jeph Loeb or someone, where it's like okay yeah that guy writes some shit, but there's always that story or stories they did that blew your mind back in the day. But in Austen's case... I mean okay maybe there's someone out there who had their mind blown by that time he had the X-Men fight werewolves, or whatever? But I don't think it was a whole lot of someones.
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)

[personal profile] fifthie 2011-07-16 06:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Like if you're going to have someone write X-Men stories that oscillate between genuinely horrendous and just like relatively mediocre in a way that never seems to go anywhere and even at their best never escape feeling kind of vaguely sleazy, just fucking like, put Chris Claremont back on the books, at least that's traditional.
zenbro: (mystique)

[personal profile] zenbro 2011-07-16 02:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Angel's healing blood was...okay...and somewhat inoffensive as a development, but Nightcrawler's whole foray in and out of the priesthood should have been retconned as a really bad dream. I liked bluAngel's flechettes as a power set and wish they could have kept it but unfortunately that was tied to his role as an Apocalypse minion which I found rather uninteresting.
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[personal profile] wizardru 2011-07-18 12:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Ignoring the fact that Austen clearly doesn't know anything about Catholicism, the whole 'Nightcrawler REALLY IS a demon' so missed the mark of the character that Claremont/Wein created back in the 70s that it is stunning in it's poor aim.
zenbro: (mystique)

[personal profile] zenbro 2011-07-16 02:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I kind of miss the good Cain. Now he has a more interesting backstory than Piotr Rasputin, whose "death" frankly affected more characters' lives than his life did. Cain could have made a good Colossus II.

All of Piotr's former roles - fish-out-of-water; wide-eyed innocent; big hitter; pacifist artist, even Kitty Pryde's boyfriend - all have been taken over by other characters. I luvs ya Pete, but as a character you have no where else to go (Unless I've missed a recent development. I stopped buying X-books around 2005 for financial reasons.)

[personal profile] arilou_skiff 2011-07-16 03:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Cain is still good... Kind of. In Thunderbolts (well, one of the more upstanding members anyhow) the entire Hammer thing kind of changed that though...
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[personal profile] newnumber6 2011-07-16 06:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Magik's older brother?
zenbro: (aquaman yay!)

[personal profile] zenbro 2011-07-16 07:51 pm (UTC)(link)
The same, aka Colossus.
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[personal profile] newnumber6 2011-07-16 07:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Sorry, I should have been clearer. I meant that as a response to "all of Piotr's roles have been taken over by other characters". But he's still (or again, since she's back alive now), Magik's older brother.
zenbro: (aquaman yay!)

[personal profile] zenbro 2011-07-16 08:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Sure, but even as such I think his "death" could have actually been used to develop Illyana's character further, caused her to be irreversibly demonic out of grief, say, or have developed into a narrative about how grief can bring us to a greater understanding of life and so forth.

After a certain point, Colossus' character to me never seemed to be defined other than in relation to other characters. If I were given the task to write him, I would have tried to develop some of the traits Claremont originally gave him (the stock characteizations I mention above); but even so it would be difficult because all those stock characterizations have been co-opted by newer X-Men from Mercury to Rockslide to Pixie and his powerset of "heavy hitter" is duplicated by Juggernaut or Rogue or Frenzy.

Piotr Rasputin to me reached an evolutionary dead end as a character and so I think it would have been fine to kill him off and create good stories about the repercussions of that event on the other X-Men.
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[personal profile] suzene 2011-07-17 05:53 am (UTC)(link)
Joss W: Colossus. You know, the really boring Russian one. I'll even add a joke about his last name being Rasputin,

Probably went more along the lines of:

Joss W: Colossus! Kitty Pryde's One True Love forever and ever, just like when I was reading X-Men! Come on, Joe -- I NEEEEEED this guy back! Without a One True Love, who am I supposed to kill off now that Grant's got dibs on Jean?
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[personal profile] silverzeo 2011-07-16 03:00 pm (UTC)(link)
... but he still wrote that story that nullified Kurt's priest status by having it be part of a complex church of humanity ploy in which a raped nun planned to stage a false rapture to the Catholic faith, though it is the Chtristians who believe in the Rapture, by having Kurt become Pope, which would take more or less 30 years or so to do so, have his hologram program malfucntion, have people think he is the devil (in spite of the fact he would be a blue and fuzzy while every expects to see red and horns) and then have people killed by consuming disintegration communion waffers that would be activated by remote (why haven't villains use THOSE yet, food that can instantly KILL people with a button!) to stage people "passing on" and then have EVERYONE move to the church as protection, in-spite of the fact that a good percent of the earth's population doesn't follow Christian/Bapist/Catholic beliefs, and son on and so forth...
endis_ni: (Default)

[personal profile] endis_ni 2011-07-16 03:33 pm (UTC)(link)

Apparently, I'm not doing the requisite drugs to follow all of that, much less know why anyone thought it was a good idea!
silverzeo: (Default)

[personal profile] silverzeo 2011-07-16 03:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Was it a good idea for Scott to cheat on Jean with Emma and then stays WITH Emma and have constant loveless-sex in almost every book... srriously, I just watched the Dark Phoenix Saga of the 90s Animated Series on Netflix and it refuel my hatred in the comics more...

[personal profile] don1138 2011-07-16 07:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm SO glad I skipped reading comics during the whole "Lame-age Era" "Image Era" of the 90's. ABC and The Authority were a great welcome back after that unpleasantness.
jazzypom: (Default)

Heh, some people I'd leave under a mountain for years if I could

[personal profile] jazzypom 2011-07-16 09:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Poor Charles and Marko. That Philip Larkin poem comes to mind, This Be The Verse.
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[personal profile] proteus_lives 2011-07-17 01:26 am (UTC)(link)
I did enjoy Juggy's face turn.
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)

[personal profile] wizardru 2011-07-18 12:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, this isn't bad, I'll give you that. I'm not a particular fan of 'Oh look, we've rewritten history so Professor Xaiver did a truly horrible dick thing to someone he loved or was responsible for', of which there have been so many as to be ridiculous by this point.

Interestingly, some of Xavier's achievements X-men #12 showed us had little to do with Charles's powers: he specifically is shown winning a field & track event, something his powers couldn't help him with (unless he was making all the other runners go slow, which isn't implied). He's also shown winning at Football and that IS due to his mind-reading, because as a QB he can read his opponents. But he still has the base athletic ability...he just uses his mental powers to be even better. It also points out that he gave it up because he thought he had an unfair advantage.

Xavier's step-dad is never shown to be an abuser, iirc, but he did let Charles' dad die by not saving him, so he could take his wife and fame...somehow. Xavier's mom died of a 'broken heart'. Is that Silver Age speak for cirrhosis? Anywho, Marko clearly wasn't a good guy; his son was even worse. Marko apparently repented at least a little, saving both sons from a lab explosion after Cain confronted him about Charles and Charles' father.

Marko, it should be noted, acted as a deserter in....the Korean War. Yikes, forgot how old that story is (set in current time of 1965). I don't think it was exactly a dick move, at least in the Silver Age, for Xavier to leave his abusive, violent step-brother who's mind he could read (and see what a bastard he was) alone trapped under a mountain with superpowers in an active warzone, where he was powerless to act. Especially since, this being the MU of the 1960s, few people would have even believed him. Especially when Xavier warned him not to touch the gem due to the curse, but was ignored. He did later try to cure him, but we see how well that went. :)
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[personal profile] capt_satellite 2011-07-20 05:07 am (UTC)(link)
Yes....this nailed Charles and Cain right on the head....and provided a start for some real healing. Wish they had ran with that longer.