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This Was Kinda Funny

Just recently, I brought up an old Comic Book Dictionary piece I did called “Snowball Idea,” where the basic gist of it is that a “Snowball Idea” is an idea that once brought up, no matter how silly it is, it will just roll down the hill, collecting mass and momentum until it’s a giant snow boulder – or basically, ideas that, once suggested, are inevitable. Well, my pal Sean Whitmore just noted that I should look at the example I gave at the end of a current snowball idea. The original example I used (when I first wrote the piece in 2005) was the return of Jason Todd. At the time, it had not yet happened, but I knew it was only a matter of time. And it did – so the example I picked to take the place of Jason Todd’s return (this was back in June of 2006, when I did the edit)?

The dissolution of Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage.

Snowball ideas – they are very real.

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What is your next snowball idea then Mr. Cronin?

Undoing ‘One More Day’, then claiming that was their plan all along. :)

So… it’s all *your* fault!


January 2, 2008 at 7:52 am

Another “snowball” idea is the 3rd Summers brother to the X-MEN’s CYCLOPS & HAVOK.

This was an idea first brought up (behind the scenes) during the Claremont/Byrne era.

(The joke being, that there was a 3rd brother, but when he hit puberty – he exploded. This comment was written up in the old “X-MEN Chronicles” two-volume book set from the 1980’s.)

It was toyed around with many years later with the “hints and clues” that GAMBIT might be the 3rd brother, until that idea was dropped.

Then, a few years later we have “VULCAN”.

Just to show that every idea, even one that starts as a gag (behind the scenes) eventually is addressed.



re: 3rd Summers Brother.

It was hinted that it was Adam X, the X-Treme (wonderfully horrific name, decent enough character). The biggest hints were a man named Essex (Mr. Sinister) hired Arcade to kill Adam and Adam’s run in with Cyclops’ grandfather in Alaska and Jean Grey sensing a familiarity in Adam.

The only hints to Gambit were his red eyes, construed because Cyclops had “red eyes.”

In his current column (http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/?column=10) Steve Grant discusses one of the biggest Marvel snowballs, the parentage of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Although, this one may just qualify as “a good story waiting to be told,” the close friend of “good characters write themselves.”

re: the third Summers brother: is this really a snowball or more just fans hanging on to a small story point or hint. The internet just magnifies this phenomenon, as seen with the recent demands for a Spoiler memorial in the batcave. Another snowball?

The dissolution of MJ and Peter’s marriage isn’t a snowball idea, though. Snowball ideas are ideas that come up, and the comics community thinks, “yeah, that’s actually kind of cool,” and that initial wellspring of acceptance grows until everybody anticipates it actually happening.

See: Batman having contingency plans to deal with the other members of the JLA in case they go bad, and somebody taking advantage of it. Morrison mentions it as a one-off in an interview, but comics fandom all says “yes, that makes sense!” and it percolates and percolates until Waid uses it in a story.

In comparison, the dissolution of the Spider-marriage has been an idea raised by old grumpuses since practically the marriage itself, and largely dismissed by the comics community as a whole for the last twenty years. The vast majority of Spider-Man fans like the marriage, or at least don’t see a need to get rid of it.

Yes, people were talking about getting rid of the marriage a couple of years ago – but it wasn’t a new idea, and it wasn’t a lot of people. It was just the same discontented hardcores as always.

I don’t know if the end of the marriage qualifies as a snowball idea because the one that set it up, at least on this decade, was Joe Q himself. Plus, ever since two characters, any characters, got married, there was someone asking for them to divorce.

The next snowball idea: Tony Stark goes back to alcohol!

Steve Rogers returns!

Joe Quesada gets fired!

How am I doing?

If you’ve read Life of Reilly, Maximum Clonage has some snowball in there: http://www.newcomicreviews.com/GHM/specials/LifeOfReilly/11.html

I was at the meeting where this event got its name. We were all kicking ideas around, and Eric Fein, who was editing SPECTACULAR and WEB, jokingly suggested that we call it “Maximum Clonage.” We all groaned-yeah, it was a cute idea, but we really didn’t want this to be associated with “Maximum Carnage” in any way. Despite the sales success of “Carnage,” that story line wasn’t exactly a high point in Spider-Man’s history, and it was exactly the kind of thing I thought we were trying to get away from under the new administration. But the next thing we knew, Eric had proceeded to become very attached to the name, and suddenly he wasn’t joking about it anymore. I can’t remember exactly how everything came together after that, but I guess Eric must have made a very good argument, because the name stuck. I was pretty sure that the title itself wouldn’t hurt us too much, as long as there was an exciting, satisfying story behind it.

[ GLENN’S COMMENTS : I’m guessing this scene was in the back of everyone’s minds the moment the decision was made to call this story “Maximum Clonage.” But that didn’t mean we actually had to DO it. Personally, I HATED the idea of having hundreds of Spider-Man clones running around. As far as I was concerned, this was exactly the kind of silliness we should have been trying to get AWAY from. I mean, we all groaned when the title was first proposed, and now we were going to do stuff in the story that only served to reflect that dopey title even MORE?! Stuff like this, in my opinion, was the epitome of everything that had been wrong with Spider-Man over the previous few years-shameless sensationalism, milking a successful idea to death, overkill reaching ludicrous proportions. I don’t remember having too much enthusiasm for “Maximum Clonage” once it headed in this direction. I really thought it was going to be about bringing things to a close and a new beginning, instead of upping the clone ante even more. ]

So it starts off as a joking, crappy name that no one wants/likes/is serious about, and turns into hundreds of Spider-Man clones.

The 3rd Summers brother was a subplot in the x-books that was seeded but never ended up being followed up on explicitly until the introduction of Vulcan.

It was started up in X-Men #24 (IIRC) through a conversation between Cyclops and Mr. Sinister. Sinister asked how Cylops’ “brothers” were and Cyclops corrected Sinister. Sinister replied with a “Woops, my mistake.”

Fabian Nicieza was writing the x-books with Scott Lobdell at the time and strongly hinted in X-Force and pre-Age of Apocalypse issues of X-Men that Adam X was the 3rd Summers brother. When Nicieza was kicked off the x-books, the subplot became yet another loose string that was never tied up.

Although IIRC Nicieza revealed in Captain Marvel that Adam X was the son of D’Ken, making it a possibility that Cyclops and Havok’s mother was pregnant with D’Ken’s child before he killed her in front of Corsair.

I think that the idea of an Ultimate Universe/616 crossover is slowly progressing towards snowballdom…

(Is “Doom’s original disfigurement was only a tiny, barely noticable scar” a good early snowball?)

I don’t know if the end of the marriage qualifies as a snowball idea because the one that set it up, at least on this decade, was Joe Q himself. Plus, ever since two characters, any characters, got married, there was someone asking for them to divorce.

When they relaunched Spider-Man, Byrne and Mackie also wanted the marriage erased from history.

Heck, the idea of using Mephisto to do a massive Spider-Man retcon was established in the mid-90s, as well!

Before that apparently. The Clone Saga was suppose to end the marriage (by giving us a new “Peter Parker” I suppose).

I predict Superman/Lois’s marriage will end in a few years.

Quick! Suggest the snowball idea that all superheroes will return to life and never be killed gratuitously again! ^_~

My snowball prediction: “the redemption of Maxwell Lord”.

I’d go with the return of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl or at least a full recovery from her injury. That’s another of those ideas that keeps getting brought up and teased around with, at least as far back as Zero Hour.

If only your power could be used for good.



I’ll start a snowball: Sharon Carter, Bucky and Namor steal Doctor Doom’s time machine and go back to 1945, find Cap in the ice and bring him to the present day.

countrywide home insurance…

transatlantic fissured shuttling transistorize …


mammas?Salesian Manhattanize!tightener …

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