“Paul Kirk” was an exploitable piece of intellectual property even before Jack Kirby came along — which gives the “destroy all clones” part of mission an extra little ironic kick. Goodwin and Simonson’s “Manhunter” was the story of a man denied the death he thought he’d earned after a lifetime of adventure went horribly sour; but that story itself seems to argue that characters shouldn’t be brought back. It’s almost a twisted version of the Silver Age Captain America, if Cap had been revulsed to learn AIM or HYDRA had reactivated him. That Cap might also have had a short, tragic second life.
But I digress. The point is, Goodwin and Simonson got to give their version of Manhunter a pretty definite ending, wrapped in circumstances which discouraged further revivals. After all, every clone represented a slice of the original’s humanity, and not in a good way. In today’s corporate-comics environment, I can’t help but read their “Manhunter” as a powerful argument for the dignity of individual creations; and subsequent attempts to recreate that particular character, no matter how well-meaning, have had to deal with that admonition.
Jim Lee, responding to this thing I wrote. Well, kind of. Or not really, I guess, since mine was about ethics, I don’t think I talked about compensation at all, and I’m pretty sure I only mentioned the contract in passing… but he mentioned an opinion piece I wrote while debunking someone else’s argument (?) and that’s fine. That’s the big time.(via iamdavidbrothers)
Well, Jim Lee is both right and wrong.
Alan Moore did sign a contract. No one can force him to read said contract. Alan Moore has acknowledged that he received compensation owed him pursuant to that contract for Watchmen (with the exception of the dispute over the merchandise sales in the 1980’s).
There’s something almost admirable about Lee’s dissembling. The dispute was never about DC’s ability to fulfill its contractual agreements, its about the company’s lack of respect for its creators and willingness to exploit their properties in a crass manner.
I understand why Lee doesn’t identify David Brothers as the author of the piece - identifying him would only elevate his critique, and that goes against Lee’s economic interests. The co-publisher of DC Comics doesn’t want to have a conversation about DC’s ethics, because it doesn’t have any.
That’s why Lee is trying to shift the terms of debate. If it’s ‘a piece of journalism’ and not opinionated commentary (that’s clearly identified as such), then the conversation changes from one about amorphous notions of fairness to an unsentimental discussion of contractual obligations. He doesn’t want to talk about the fact that David wasn’t responding to interviews with Moore, but interviews with Before Watchmen creator J. Michael Straczynski, because then he’d have to talk about Straczynski’s contention that exploitative one-sided contracts are the norm.
lovely scare quotes, there(via iamdavidbrothers)
So, Brian Azzarello’s one of the bad guys. Good to know.