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  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
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    Default Keatinge Explores Dark & Dangerous Universes in "What If? Age of Ultron"

    Joe Keatinge explains the latest "What If?" miniseries, which explores parallel Marvel Universes that could result from the fractured time-space continuum.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    Elder Member jackolover's Avatar
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    Looking forward to it. Not that Bendis' Age of Ultron was all that much of a success as it stands, but because there is something lying dorment in these Alternate Universes that is just as likely to make it into the light of day, as something more than just a What If? Keatinge hints at something being more meaningful from this project, and it would be real interesting if it is the Punisher-Cap Universe.

    I do question that Keatinge makes the point that Janet Van Dyne is iconic in herself? I never thought she was anything other than a revenge/Avenger freak, who wanted to punish her fathers murderer. That anyone sees her to be anything deeper than a clothes hoist, who bores into peoples inner ear canal, is beyond me. Thor, Iron Man and Cap I can understand, because these guys proved themselves time and time again with their heroism and self sacrifice. Janet just enjoys herself too much. If the world was without the Wasp, I can't see it being that much of a thing. I would be interested in anybody telling me what makes the Wasp iconic as an Avenger.
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    Spider of the Shadows Assassin Spider's Avatar
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    There are times when Janet is portrayed, or attempted to be portrayed, with greater depth as a character, a hero, and an Avenger, but those get all too quickly undone by writers who prefer her in her original flighty, flirty, rather shallow characterization. And it's actually quite a shame, because while Jan might have been in the same boat as Sue Storm, Jean Grey, and even Wanda Maximoff in the early Marvel comics, being the token female who's just there to be pretty and have the guys protectively fawn over or lust after her, Sue, Jean, and Wanda did get the benefit of lots of character development and exploration that made them stronger, bolder, and more confident in the application of their powers and in asserting themselves as heroes. Why shouldn't Jan get the same?
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  4. #4
    Elder Member celticguy's Avatar
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    I hope it is a true what if and not an else world story like the What If AvsX junk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Assassin Spider View Post
    There are times when Janet is portrayed, or attempted to be portrayed, with greater depth as a character, a hero, and an Avenger, but those get all too quickly undone by writers who prefer her in her original flighty, flirty, rather shallow characterization. And it's actually quite a shame, because while Jan might have been in the same boat as Sue Storm, Jean Grey, and even Wanda Maximoff in the early Marvel comics, being the token female who's just there to be pretty and have the guys protectively fawn over or lust after her, Sue, Jean, and Wanda did get the benefit of lots of character development and exploration that made them stronger, bolder, and more confident in the application of their powers and in asserting themselves as heroes. Why shouldn't Jan get the same?
    That's up to the writers. Unfortunately only few know this side, although she naturally has. But obviously not so exaggerated.
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    Hex Magic Nemesis@'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackolover View Post
    Looking forward to it. Not that Bendis' Age of Ultron was all that much of a success as it stands, but because there is something lying dorment in these Alternate Universes that is just as likely to make it into the light of day, as something more than just a What If? Keatinge hints at something being more meaningful from this project, and it would be real interesting if it is the Punisher-Cap Universe.

    I do question that Keatinge makes the point that Janet Van Dyne is iconic in herself? I never thought she was anything other than a revenge/Avenger freak, who wanted to punish her fathers murderer. That anyone sees her to be anything deeper than a clothes hoist, who bores into peoples inner ear canal, is beyond me. Thor, Iron Man and Cap I can understand, because these guys proved themselves time and time again with their heroism and self sacrifice. Janet just enjoys herself too much. If the world was without the Wasp, I can't see it being that much of a thing. I would be interested in anybody telling me what makes the Wasp iconic as an Avenger.
    Read Avengers and you will know. She has made more than Thor and Iron Man and has more participations than they are.
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  7. #7
    Chaotically Neutral Monty_Cristo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackolover View Post
    Looking forward to it. Not that Bendis' Age of Ultron was all that much of a success as it stands, but because there is something lying dorment in these Alternate Universes that is just as likely to make it into the light of day, as something more than just a What If? Keatinge hints at something being more meaningful from this project, and it would be real interesting if it is the Punisher-Cap Universe.

    I do question that Keatinge makes the point that Janet Van Dyne is iconic in herself? I never thought she was anything other than a revenge/Avenger freak, who wanted to punish her fathers murderer. That anyone sees her to be anything deeper than a clothes hoist, who bores into peoples inner ear canal, is beyond me. Thor, Iron Man and Cap I can understand, because these guys proved themselves time and time again with their heroism and self sacrifice. Janet just enjoys herself too much. If the world was without the Wasp, I can't see it being that much of a thing. I would be interested in anybody telling me what makes the Wasp iconic as an Avenger.
    they kind of tell you in the interview. her death motivates Pym to develop a more dangerous Ultron.
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  8. #8
    Part-Time Sith Joe Acro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by celticguy View Post
    I hope it is a true what if and not an else world story like the What If AvsX junk.
    What's the difference between a What If? and an Elseworld (other than which company the label belongs to).

  9. #9

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    What If's tend to be what if events of a particular story in the Marvel Universe turned out differently. Like what if the Silver Surfer hadn't betrayed Galactus or What If Spider Man Captain America died in WWII etc. Elseworlds tend to be, but not always, more putting Superheroes in different historical settings or genres. Like Batman in Victorian England, or the Justice League in the world of King Arthur, or like the Superman story mashed with Frankenstein, something like that. I think a lot of their intercompany crossovers are considered Elseworlds too, like Superman/Batman vs Aliens/Predator, etc.

  10. #10
    Completely sauced... klinton's Avatar
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    It's weird to be doing a 'What If' story for a tale that was, itself, a 'What if' story.

    Are these chapters more or less 'canon' than the actual Age of Ultron? Hahaha.

    I'm stoked for this though! I was one of the three CBR posters who actually enjoyed AoU, and more alternate realities set against the same theme is exciting to me. I was actually a little dissapointed when I realized that these are still a month away.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackolover View Post
    Looking forward to it. Not that Bendis' Age of Ultron was all that much of a success as it stands, but because there is something lying dorment in these Alternate Universes that is just as likely to make it into the light of day, as something more than just a What If? Keatinge hints at something being more meaningful from this project, and it would be real interesting if it is the Punisher-Cap Universe.

    I do question that Keatinge makes the point that Janet Van Dyne is iconic in herself? I never thought she was anything other than a revenge/Avenger freak, who wanted to punish her fathers murderer. That anyone sees her to be anything deeper than a clothes hoist, who bores into peoples inner ear canal, is beyond me. Thor, Iron Man and Cap I can understand, because these guys proved themselves time and time again with their heroism and self sacrifice. Janet just enjoys herself too much. If the world was without the Wasp, I can't see it being that much of a thing. I would be interested in anybody telling me what makes the Wasp iconic as an Avenger.
    There is actually a great deal of history to the character of Janet van Dyne, aside from being a founding Avenger. The revenge portion of her character is fairly limited, being primarily confined to her origin story and not really a major motivating factor afterward. To be fair, Janet suffered from the same writing problems of most female characters written in the 60s, being depicted as primarily interested in men, clothing, and makeup, however these aspects of her character are far from the only things there. Throughout the comics, without abandoning what I tend to see people call "shallow" personality traits, she also shows a great tactical mind and a great deal of courage. I am curious as to what comics you've read that have Janet in them, if you don't see her as being heroic.

    In this article, Keatinge says that "One of the things that helps me write Marvel books is the fact that I've been obsessed with them since about 1984." The important thing to note about the 80s Avenger comics is that Janet van Dyne lead the team through much of the 80s. The Trial of Yellowjacket collected trade covers her early days as the leader of the team, if you are interested in seeing how she worked in this role. At a glance, she has lead the team multiple times since then, in Avengers vol. 3, as well as in Avengers Forever and Beyond!, again, if you are interested in reading about her contributions as team leader. Looking specifically at her 80s accomplishments, she was the leader during Under Siege - again, I would suggest reading this if you would like to get an idea of what she actually did during that time. During Secret Wars, she outsmarted Magneto and discovered his plans. Additionally, there are multiple times in which her insight allowed for action to be taken during combat scenarios before it otherwise could have - she was the one to realize that they had once again encountered the Space Phantom during the 80s Avengers comics, for example.

    There have been times when her character growth has been seemingly reversed - she did not fare particularly well during the mid-90s, but that was not a great time for a good many characters, and much of that has been retconned. I do find it interesting that her flirty personality and profession as a successful fashion designer is taken to mean that she is still a shallow character? I personally find it fantastic that, especially during the 80s and Avengers vol. 3 in the late 90s, that there were comicbook writers interested in taking such a shallow character and making her a great leader of the Avengers without retconning or removing any of her personality traits.

    Now, you ask what would be different if there was a world without the Wasp. Now, as I would assume with the removal of any single character, there are certain things that could have happened anyway, as well as that if any single character had never been written, writers still could have done similar things - for example, had writers decided to no longer use Hank Pym as a character back when they introduced Ultron, they could have written an entirely different origin for the character. So, things that Janet van Dyne did (and this is not an exhastive list):

    - Recruited She-Hulk and Monica Rambeau to the Avengers
    - Discovered Jean Grey beneath the ocean
    - Realized that it was Ultron who had taken over Tony Stark's body during Mighty Avengers
    - Defeated Titania and the Absorbing Man before they could kill Hercules during Under Siege
    - Defended against Kang's attacking while most Avengers were off in space during Avengers vol. 3
    - Was the only one who bothered to find out what was going on during the Selbe arc in the 70s

    This is not counting any other number of important character interactions and events that the character took part in.

    Really, I would highly recommend reading some of the stories that I've listed here and paying attention to Janet's contributions to the story. They are there, if you're willing to take the time to read them.

  12. #12

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    I want to give this a chance. I really do. But Marvel's What If books have been really poor lately. Last year's AvX What If was utterly atrocious. In fact, the last time I read a What If book that wasn't utterly forgettable was the Astonishing X-men What If. I get the sense Marvel really doesn't put a lot of energy into these. Given the success of Age of Ultron and the upcoming Avengers movie, maybe they'll do better with this one. But I'm not going to get my hopes up.
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  13. #13
    Part-Time Sith Joe Acro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardcoalstudios View Post
    What If's tend to be what if events of a particular story in the Marvel Universe turned out differently. Like what if the Silver Surfer hadn't betrayed Galactus or What If Spider Man Captain America died in WWII etc. Elseworlds tend to be, but not always, more putting Superheroes in different historical settings or genres. Like Batman in Victorian England, or the Justice League in the world of King Arthur, or like the Superman story mashed with Frankenstein, something like that. I think a lot of their intercompany crossovers are considered Elseworlds too, like Superman/Batman vs Aliens/Predator, etc.
    I largely mean in the context of his comment. He said AvX was like an Elseworld. I didn't read it, so I'm curious what he means.

    I'd say a lot of the Elseworlds are still based on What Ifs, just based around different questions. (For the most part. Some are very similar, like "What if Kal-El crashed landed in Russia?")

  14. #14
    Senior Member UltimateTy's Avatar
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    A What If event gets a What If
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  15. #15
    Elder Member celticguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Acro View Post
    What's the difference between a What If? and an Elseworld (other than which company the label belongs to).
    What if should have a point where the outcome is different from what has happened in the regular MU. What if Bucky lived instead of Cap, What if Uncle Ben lived instead of Aunt May etc.

    Else worlds are whole sale changes in the world. Not saying they cannot be good but if you call it a what if make it a what if.

    The AvsX failed to do this instead of what if the Avengers got the pf or what if Scott killed Cap (or vice versa), what if Logan killed Hope we got a confusing very different story.

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