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What shows or properties did you work on before gargolyes?
Many, many. All the Disney stuff, primarily DuckTales and Darkwing Duck and Bonkers and Raw Toonage, but most of the rest in some capacity or another too.
Before that I was at DC Comics, where my main claim to fame (though not much fame) was Captain Atom.
You said that you were trying to develop a scarecrow character for the Gargoyles Universe so have you finished developing it? Does it resemble Marvel¡¯s Scarecrow character, which is a demon or does it resemble DC¡¯s Scarecrow?
I'm unfamiliar with Marvel's and I was consciously trying NOT to emulate DC's, a character I'm fond of and have used in a Captain Atom/Batman team-up story.
I have to date, not succeeded in coming up with a satisfactory Scarecrow character for the Gargoyles Universe. Which is a shame, because Gargoyles and scarecrows clearly have a lot in common.
1) What years were you working at DC Comics? Were you there around the time they did CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS? (I'm assuming yes, since you worked on its 'cousin' WHO'S WHO IN THE DC UNIVERSE.)
2) If (1) was yes, did you work on anything Crisis-related (excluding WHO'S WHO)?
3) What did you think of the Crisis, story-wise? (I liked it, of course. Then again, anything with cosmic stuff and grand epic battles is guaranteed to be a favorite with me.)
4) Which did you like better, the pre-Crisis multiverse or the post-Crisis single universe? (I like them both, but I miss the former.)
5) What did you think of the Crisis' effects on DC Comics as a whole? Do you think it did more good, more harm, or do you think it didn't really do either? (I think it was interesting, and created many excellent opportunities for revamps (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Captain Atom being among the best). However, the continuity blips- especially those afflicting poor Hawkman- were a major long-term failing.)
Sorry if these questions are a bit annoying or disinteresting to you, but I just realized that you were in the offices around the time (at least) that the post-Crisis cleanup was underway, and I was curious about your views on that period. Thanks!
1. I started freelancing for them in 1983. I joined the staff as an Editorial Assistant in 1985, toward the tail end of Crisis. I was promoted to Assistant Editor in 1986. And promoted again to Associate Editor in 1987. I quit my staff job in '87 but continued to freelance for them until late 90 or early 91 (overlapping with my Disney career for a year or two.)
2. No. I was a peon in those days. Unless you count xeroxing stuff. Of course, Crisis had ramifications that lasted for years, so you could say I later worked on things that were "Crisis related".
3. Some of the issues of Crisis are powerful great stuff. But the name Anti-Monitor never did much for me. And I have to say I miss the parallel universe stuff a bit. It wasn't so much Crisis as what came out of it that disappointed me. For me the results either went too far or not far enough. And there was so much well doing and redoing... It's all hindsight, and not like anyone at DC is asking me, but I'd do things differently.
4. Definitely the multiverse. I'd bring it back if I could. "Crisis on One Earth". I think it's what allows them to start over every twenty years or so, let the characters age normally. But then move on to a new Earth, where the old ones can still be reached, but we can see Superman, etc. young again. Let's us leave behind missteps without shattering continuity. Etc.
5. Well, I've kind of answered this already. But again, I don't want to blame Crisis. I think Crisis did ITS job. I just don't love all those revamps. (Except Captain Atom, of course.)
It's fun to revisit old stuff. That's why I'm here no need to apologize.
You said that you once had Death of the Endless in Captain Atom so was this the infamous issue where Death is seen as an equal to the Nekron and the Black Racer?
I'm not sure about "equal". That's subject to interpretation.
But Death, Nekron and the Black Racer all appeared in the same issue. And yes, I wrote it.
I love that it's called "infamous". I heard that Neil was pissed off about it. I feel NO GUILT. His own editor had the opportunity to comment on the script. Hell, she could have sent it to him for his comments. Had either she or he notified me with concerns, then of course I would have changed the script to address those concerns. But there was no comment until AFTER the thing was published. And then suddenly, I was "in trouble".
The one thing I do feel bad about is that Death was miscolored in the issue. But that was beyond my control. I never saw the color proofs.
Otherwise, I tried to be faithful, and even intentionally vague. Death never says what she is. Captain Atom guesses at her function and at her relationship to the other "death" figures (i.e. the Racer and Nekron). No one in the issue says that he guessed right. So even if what he said was completely off-base, there's still nothing in the issue that contradicts anything that was established about the Endless. At least not to my mind. One can always choose to believe that Captain Atom was simply wrong.
And if the problem is that she even appeared on the page with Nekron and the Racer, then I have no sympathy. Neil chose to set his characters in the DC Universe. He even absconded with Destiny. I have no problem with that. But it's a shared universe by definition. There were death concepts in it that pre-dated his.
Now, here's the thing. Neil and I have never met or spoken. I don't actually have any conflict with him, and I definitely don't want to generate one now. I'm a huge fan of Sandman. Heck, I don't know if he even remembers the issue at all. I don't know if he ever really had a problem with it. I just heard he did.
(So do I have a chip on my shoulder about it or what?)
Did you know that the Captain Atom you knew and wrote about has been retconned to a quantum clone of Nathaniel Adams?
Geez, that's original. How Swamp Thing.
No, I didn't know. Feel free to stop telling me things now, Mutai.
Did you have any part in the writing of Armageddon 2001 where Captain Atom was to become the evil dictator Monarch/Extant(that was later given to Hawk once someone leaked it)? If so did it influence your writing of Future Tense where Lexington was to become the dictator of New York?
PS You should see the new General Eiling who is now presently in the body of the Shaggy Man.
No. I had left Captain Atom a few issues before that mess began. My last issue was #50.
And I'd heard that they did that to Eiling. It's a travesty, frankly. I don't know who did it, but it's someone who had no respect for the character that Cary and I created.
With the different series you have done, like Starship Troopers, Max Steel, and MIB, have you ever thought of bringing Gargoyles in?...sneaking it I mean. As you did with the JLA comic. It might have worked especially in MIB, alien race of gargoyles ;)
I've snuck garg references into almost EVERYTHING I've done. It's kinda pathetic in a way. 3x3 Eyes. Buzz Lightyear. Team Atlantis, etc.
Who is Captain Atom?
Who is Captain Atom?!!!
Years from now, someone's gonna ask me, "Who is Goliath?" and then I'll really feel old.
Anyway, Captain Atom is a comic book super-hero. He was originally part of the Charlton Universe. But DC Comics purchased all the Charlton Characters in the Eighties and incorporated the character into the DC Universe. Cary Bates and I were the two writers assigned to the task. We wrote fifty issues of Captain Atom, and some of it is still some of the best stuff I've ever written. Back issues are hard to find, but cheap. Check it out.
Most recently -- well, a couple years ago -- DC asked me to do a Justice League flashback story featuring Captain Atom. So I did. But just for fun, I made it a Garg parody story as well. I think it came out pretty funny.
Hi, this DC comic edition (Justice League, Captain Atom, Gargoyles), which issue number and title was that?
I don't remember off the top of my head, and I'm not at my office. Ask me again another time. Or try the comment room. Some people there bought it and might remember.
Previously on 'ASK GREG' you mentioned that Scarecrows fascinated you, but that you'd never been able to crack a Scarecrow story yet. Have you done so since?
No. But I also haven't tried. Also, we're talking in the Gargoyles Universe, right? Cause I did a Scarecrow story in CAPTAIN ATOM (guest starring Batman) that I'm fairly proud of.