Friday, May 6, 2011

2002 Comic Books ETC! Interview With John Ostrander

Edited for relevance. For the complete interview, click here.

Speaking of teams and strong lead roles, characters like the Martian Manhunter seem to do well in teams, but not by themselves. Or, popular characters come together to form a team, like Heroes for Hire or Marvel Knights, and just don’t have the same following as an Avengers or a JLA. Why do you think some books fail?

I think there is any number of combination of things. And different people will give you different reasons. I think it depends upon the individual book. You have to realize, nowadays, unless it is one of the core or franchise characters, it’s going to have a shelf life of about 3-4 years. That is simply the reality of the marketplace. Martian Mahunter, for instance, lasted over 3 years. And in this market, that’s not a bad run.

In Hawkworld #23 you have J’onn J’onz (Martian Manhunter) reveal that his weakness to fire is a psychological rather than physical one, and seemed to be over coming it. Is that still the case?

That was first suggested in a Martian Manhunter mini-series years back. That sort of became part of the law of the character. When I went to go the book, one of the instructions given to me was that they wanted it be not just psychological, but a physical one as well. So, how do we blend the two? We explained it be sort of like a telepathic virus.


mathematicscore said...

I find it interesting how the interviewer is unaware of the first MM mini. Sad.

Diabolu Frank said...

Dude, Grant Morrison admitted to never having read that mini-series, which is part of why he brought back the Pale/White Martians. Ignorance is pretty common. The book sold poorly, and remains little loved, even by devotees.

LissBirds said...

Wait, are we talking about the '88 series, or did I miss one?

I don't know if it's ignorance or just not even caring to do a little research on a subject, which is worse.

Diabolu Frank said...

'88. Nobody read it, so awareness of the changes it wrought came from references in Justice League International, which then trickled down (for readers) to books like the aforementioned Hawkworld. For all my swipes at Ostrander, the guy clearly read it, because he built his take on the character from that and Morrison JLA. I wouldn't take a shot at the interviewer, because there was a decade between DeMatteis and Ostrander's solo Manhunter, so even bringing up Hawkworld shows some dedication.