Saturday, March 20, 2004

Neilalien links to article at Ninth Art about those former wonder kids, Chris Claremont and John Byrne, now turned stubbornly, aggressively. resolutely old hat. And while I don't really like the author's dismissive tone- I think that Claremont & Byrne are still entitled to do whatever it is that they do, even if it's as bland and lame as it's all been for the last two decades- I do agree that it ought to be received with the complete lack of interest that it deserves...but for some reason there are still people in enough numbers out there, seeking to recapture what they think are the "glory years" of the 80s, to keep these fellas working. And that's a shame.

And for what it's worth, even though I absolutely despise Claremont's scripting and haven't bought a Byrne-illoe'd project since his last Fantastic Four oh so many years ago, there was a time, children, that I enjoyed the work of both creators. Claremont, in the mid to late 70s, hadn't fully adopted the leaden, melodramatic tone of his 80s and beyond work, and was cranking out enjoyable scripts for the likes of Iron Fist, Marvel Team-Up, and, of course, X-Men. His partner in crime for most of these books was John Byrne, who had an expressive, dynamic style with just a hint of puckish cartoony-ness, and served to leaven Claremont's often glum tone. Then they parted ways, and Claremont indulged himself in the sort of lugubrious, deadpan, convoluted, self-important soap and space operatics that he had always been inclined to do, and Byrne, under the delusion that he was an auteur or something based on a fair-to-middling run on FF and, of course, his revamp of Superman, saw his illustrative facility shrink in direct proportion to the swelling of his head. The best thing that can be attributed to Byrne in the decades after his leaving X-Men, in my opinion anyway, was his almost anonymous script for Mike Mignola's first Hellboy miniseries.

So there's my opinion, anyway, whether anybody asked for it or not.

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