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10/12 – Curious Cat Asks…

When was the last time that a creator’s take on an established comic book character has made you like that established character when you did not like the character before said creator began working with that character?

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96 Comments

Dan Slott on She-Hulk. I always thought she was annoying until I read that series.

Priest’s Black Panther comes to mind.

morrison’s animal man

Hmmm….off the top of my head I’ll Peter David on Captain Marvel (Genis)

Before Brian K. Vaughan and Joss Whedon got their hands on him I couldn’t stand Scott Summers.

I’ll echo Clayton’s comment. I hated Cyclops from the time I was 4 years old and he refused to go back for Morph in the cartoon up until I started reading Astonishing X-Men. Now he’s one of my favorites.

I’d say Byrne on She-Hulk, personally. (Although I love Slott’s take too.)

Or, more recently, Abnett and Lanning’s (I will not call them DnA) Nova. I don’t know that I disliked him, though, so much as thought he looked goofy and didn’t give him another thought.

the last time? warren ellis on thunderbolts. never even HEARD of the guys before…

I’ll agree to Animal Man. Before that? Simonson’s Thor, and the king of “most improved,” Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing.

Off the top of my head: Fraction/Brubaker’s Iron Fist, Pak/Van Lente’s Hercules, and Jason Aaron’s Ghost Rider.

Busiek’s Hawkeye sticks out at the moment, although I’m sure there have been others since.

Oh, right. *slaps forehead* Gail Simone’s Wonder Woman.

Brubaction’s Iron Fist I guess. Although that Jason Aaron Penguin one shot in the Joker’s Asylum series kinda reignited my interest in the Penguin after kind of tiring of him.

Simone’s WW.
John’ GL
Johns Booster Gold
Johns JSA
Johns Action.
Johns The Flash.

Aswell as:
Grant Morrison’s JLA
I guess it’s too early but Gates’s Supergirl.

Morrison’s Cyclops. Before Whedon moseyed in, Morrison was laying the groundwork to re-establish Cyclops as more than the kiss-up boy scout. He showed me the intense pressure that Cyclops felt from the rest of the team and himself, the constant sacrifice in his life, and the introspection and introversion that were lost from the character when people like Scott Lobdell had the reins.

Morrison made me identify with Cyclops, and eventually look up to him.

Grant Morrison on Kyle Rayner and Steel in JLA.

Giffen/DeMattis with Booster Gold — first time I could tolerate Booster, really.

Greg Rucka Wonder Woman.

Bruce Timm Superman count?

I agree with Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and Warren Ellis’ Thunderbolts, but dropped both titles after they stopped writing the titles.

Except for Rick Veitch’s Swamp Thing which was cool.

I thought the whole ‘villains working for the government’ idea in Thunderbolts was a stupid concept but Warren Ellis pulled it off really well.

Geoff Johns made me care about Hal Jordan.

And, before Brubaker started writing Captain America, you couldn’t get me to buy a solo Cap title.

Is no one reading Jason Aaron’s Ghost Rider???

I can’t believe anyone liked the character before now.

Bendis’ Daredevil. All due respect to Frank Miller’s work, but I still didn’t care about DD.

Let’s see… Joe Kelly’s Deadpool, and Kevin Smith’s Green Arrow (I never disliked Green Arrow, but nothing had ever made me pick up an issue of Green Arrow before) come to mind.

I also agree with Steve about Fraction/Brubaker’s Iron Fist and Van Lente/Pak’s Hercules.

Also Alan Moore and Joe Casey (for now) on Youngblood

Gail Simone’s Atom. Yeah it was a new guy, but I had always found the concept of the character silly. She showed that it was indeed silly, and fun, and full of sci-fi wackiness.

Ennis’ Punisher

Gail Simone’s Wonder Woman
Michelinie and Layton’s Iron Man
Simonson’s Thor
Roger Stern’s Captain America (I’d read other versions, but hadn’t particularly cared about them)
Grant Morrison’s Superman
Byrne’s Fantastic Four (and before Lee-Kirby folks take me to task– yes, their’s is the definitive run. Of course. But I wouldn’t have gone back to look at it if I hadn’t read Byrne’s when I was eleven, and gotten hooked on the characters).

Bill Willingham’s Big Bad Wolf. I mean come on, the guy was a loser before, always getting outsmarted by piglets, goats and little girls in red capes. Nowadays he finally kicks some serious ass!

Morrison and then Rucka writing Huntress.

Busiek & Johns on Superman. “Up, Up, & Away” and “Secret Identity” made me care about the character for the first time.

Alan Moore’s writing on Supreme got me to read a comic I thought I’d *never* buy. I can’t say I’m interested in the character, however.

I know it all went pear-shaped in the end, but the start of the Bruce Jones Hulk run.

Ennis on Punisher, Kelly on Deadpool. And before that, Truman and Ostrander on Hawkman. Come to think of it, Ostrander on Firestorm too.

But the opposite happens much more often, really. Giffens and DeMatteis killed Booster Gold for me for a LONG time.

Knaufs Iron Man

They were different takes, but occurred at the same time: Millar and Brubaker on Captain America.

I always say Cap as the same kind of boyscout we take Superman for. Millar made him a militaristic badass, and Bru made his book the best at Marvel.

Pak/Van Lente on Hercules

To a lesser extent, the Iron Man movie got me to like Tony more than any comic before it did.

Waid on Legion

Oh yeah:
Gail Simone’s Secret Six / Villian United

Also, Mike Grell’s Green Arrow. (I know the run is quite old, but I only read it recently.) I always thought of Green Arrow as sort of poor man’s Batman – a millionaire superhero, only a lot more boring. I was surprised to find out there was a time Green Arrow was actually a pretty interesting character.

Anything by John Byrne, the best writer ever.

Eric Shanower’s interpretation of Achilles from ‘Age of Bronze’.
Richard Starkings made me both loathe and then anticipate the presence of Obidiah Horn in the pages of ‘Elelphantmen’.
Thirding Van Lent and Greg Pak on Herc in the ‘Incredible Hercules’. I guess Cho counts too,
Reaching way back into the longbox, Scott Lobdell’s Iceman and Emma Frost during his UXM/GenX runs.

Nextwave.

Before Nextwave, I didn’t give a damn about Machine Man, or Boom Boom, or Photon. By the end, I was deeply sad to lose them.

Cyclops by Joss Whedon. He was always my least favorite character from X-Men books, now he’s my favorite. To me, my X-Men!

Most recently? Frubaker’s Iron Fist. Before that? Brubaker’s Cap & Bucky, Johns’ Sinestro, Millar’s (ultimate) Thor, Morrison’s Seven Soldiers.

Let’s see.

Geoff John’s Hawkman- Boring at best, convoluted and boring at worst; now really fun and a clearly defined character.

Grant Morrison’s Frankenstein- I mean ‘Frank’ as a comic character; seemed completely unnecessary until Seven Soldiers, now very cool

Morrison/ Quitely’s Emma Frost- Outside of original appearance, did nothing for me, until their redeifining arc as a cold, ascerbic diva.

Ellis/ Hitch’s Stormwatch/Authority- Cookie cutter Wildstorm chracters turned into badass avatars of 21st century cool.

I think Walt Simonson’s Thor would be my prime example. It took all the potential of the character and just detonated it and the resulting kinetic energy created from that explosion for the character was like nothing else. I had no interest in the character before Simonson. Now, I’m always looking in to see what’s happening with the character, even if I don’t necessarily go with that particular creative team

Byrne’s Fantastic Four did something similar for me, though I was at least interested in the Lee/Kirby version before then. But none of the 1970s incarnations of the Fantastic Four did anything for me until Byrne came along.

Someone else mentioned Grant Morrison on Kyle Rayner and I’d second that. I hated the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern– I suppose I would have been a good candidate for a membership in HEAT in fact. But Morrison showed all the potential Kyle had as a character and all the neat things about his Green Lantern and the unthinkable happened as a result: I was disappointed when Hal Jordan came back.

Going to agree with Tim here and say Jason Aaron on Ghost Rider.

Brubaker’s Captain America
Ennis’s Punisher
BKV’s Ultimate Gambit

All Star Jimmy Olsen!

I despised Cyclops before Morrison wrote him

Byrne’s Fantastic Four.

The first Marvel stories I’ve read where from the late-1970s. The Avengers were always intense and interesting with Shooter, Englehart, Thomas. The X-Men were awesome with Claremont and Byrne. Even the Defenders were cool and weird. Now, the Fantastic Four I thought was just boring in the 1970s.

And then Byrne came and I finally understood why the FF was considered by many the Center of the Marvel Universe. Eventually I read the classic Lee/Kirby run that inspired Byrne, but his stuff was the first time for me that the FF was cool.

Warren Ellis on Thunderbolts.

Iron Fist. This character was completely irrelevant a few years ago. Brubaker/Fraction totally reinvented the character while staying within the confines of the Marvel-616. Not an easy task. I imagine when the movie gets fast-tracked, it’ll lift its plot points directly from “The Last Iron Fist Story.” This run will have a lasting impact on the character on the level of Miller’s Daredevil or O’Neil’s Green Arrow.

Brubaker on Iron Fist!

Geoff Johns on JSA and Brubaker on Cap

I already liked Cyclops before Morrison/Whedon and Thor before Simonson… so I’ll go with Peter David’s Madrox. From an irrelevant second-banana to a compelling hero! Who knew that ol’ Multiple Man could BE this interesting?

After reading what Apodaca wrote I feel I should point out that even though I liked Morrison’s Cyclops I didn’t read it until the Omnibus came out since I only got into comics in January 2006.

James Robinson and STARMAN. I didn’t care a whit for DC’s golden age characters (or, well, many of their modern characters either to be honest) until that series. If you enjoy the modern JSA, Robinson is who you have to thank.

JMS on Spider-man. Always hated that character before.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 12, 2008 at 11:16 pm

The last one off the top of my head would be Brubaker on Captain America. I avoided the character until I tried out his run.

Though a few others have been:

Gage on Union Jack.

Grant Morrison and Kurt Busiek on Superman (read All Star and Busieks Action stories around the same time, and have ended up buying a lot more – often less good – Superman stories as a result)…

Kevin Smith’s Green Arrow.

Giffen and Dematties on all the JLI characters – I’d never understood the love for them until they did those new mini’s a few years back, and now I’m in love with all the characters.

Wagner’s Sandman Mystery Theater.

Jack Kirby’s Jimmy Olsen.

Ellis on Stormwatch.

Casey on Wildcats.

Grant Morrison on Emma Frost and Superman.

Peter David made me love Monet to the point of seeking out Generation X back issues I passed up the first time around.

Bendis on Spider Woman and Luke Cage. I would definitely read a Cage monthly by BMB.

Darwyn Cooke on Barry Allen.

Geoff Johns and every character he’s written for DC.

brubaker on iron fist ,captain america,and daredevil.
azzarello and bendis` luke cage

Brubaker and Millar on Captain America
Slott on She-Hulk
Ennis on Punisher
Mark Waid on Legion of Superheroes
Peter David on Supergirl

I haven’t tried the new Green Lantern, but I live in hope of one day liking Hal Jordan

Grant Morrison’s Steve Lombard. Before that it’d have to be Ellis’ Machine Man and Johns and Gibbons’ Guy Gardner.

Oh and of course I never enjoyed an X-Men story (though I tried several times) until Grant Morrison and Mark Millar came along.

I forgot:
Morrison’s Superman.

Geoff Johns on Superboy, I really, really hated the character up untill Johns relaunched the Titans.

Mark Millar’s Professor X (Ultimate)

Peter David’s Madrox

Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey

totally forgot about Brubaction’s Iron Fist – that too!

Whatshisface that was writing Thor before it got canceled. I loved the Simonson run, but never bought the title until his run.

Before that, it was Frank Miller on Daredevil. I’m old.

Sail Simone’s Huntress.

or Gail’s

Stephane Savoie

October 13, 2008 at 6:51 am

Byrne’s Superman. It’s a bit soulless now, but it was exactly what Supes needed then.

Ellis on Nextwave. Simonson on Thor (I still can’t read Thor)

Wow, so many good calls above. I agree with most of them and would add one – my second or third most recent after Ellis’ Thunderbolts and Aaron’s Ghost Rider: Johns’ Legion of Superheroes. To me, they went from uninteresting ” stay-away” characters to I-can’t-wait-to-see-more-of-them characters.

Also, Garth Ennis’ Punisher is my #1 choice (Morrison’s Cyclops is #2).

Ellis is incredibly good at making me buy characters I’d otherwise not care about:

Stormwatch
Hellstorm
Doom 2099
Ultraforce
Vampirella
Nextwave
Thunderbolts
and a bunch of others I’m forgetting about.

And I always thought the Spectre looked cool, but never cared about him until John Ostrander wrote him.

Mark Millar’s Hercules from Civil War.

I’ve got loads of them, but my favorite example of a once mediocre character becoming great is Cable; although it happened gradually. When he was created he was an emblem of everything wrong with comics in the sensationalized early 90s: a two-dimensional, badly drawn, uber-violent, underdeveloped non-hero that barreled his way into stories that didn’t belong.

Then James Robinson came along and he became interesting. Then Joe Casey came along and his story took new dimensions. Then a couple years later David Tischmann gave us what’s still in my mind the definitive Cable; not just a super-powerful mutant and a time-traveling messiah, but also a world-traveling revolutionary that actually made the book genuinely radical, for an all too short time. And then there’s Nicieza’s run on Cable/Deadpool which was pretty decent too, and Carey used him quite well during his first year on X-Men. At one point I couldn’t stand Cable, and now he’s one of my favorite characters.

Peter David’s Hulk was another big one for me, like 17 years ago or so. I was bored to tears by the old Hulk TV show, which was my first exposure to the character. I thought the Hulk was all brute strength and anger, no depth to him, and then when I started getting PAD’s Hulk I couldn’t get enough. PAD doesn’t do it for me much these days but when I was a teenager it was golden.

Grant Morrison’s Kyle Rayner (Cyclops and Emma too), and Joe Kelly’s Deadpool would be major examples here as well.

Matt Fraction’s Iron Man is the only one that’s gotten me excited enough to read the series. I think his Angel is gonna be a contender too, by the end of his Uncanny run. And Paul Cornell’s take on the Black Knight in Captain Britain/MI13 is genius. I always loved the character in theory but he’s been kinda lame for the last 20 years or so, until now.

Warren Ellis on Thunderbolts.

And pretty much anyone that Gage/Slott has written in Avengers: The Initiative.

Darwyn Cooke’s The Spirit
Ellis’ Thunderbolts & NextWave
Frubaker’s Iron Fist
Morrison’s All Star Superman
Kevin Smith’s Green Arrow
Busiek’s Wasp
Johns’ Vision

Forgot my name. D’oh!

Morrison’s Doom Patrol… I loved Robotman in the All-Star Squadron, but before Morrison took on DP, I just didn’t give a fig…
Ellis made me love every member of Nextwave
Garth Ennis showed me a John Constantine that I cared about
Slott brought me back to She-hulk
Brubaker on Captain America
Morrison’s Cyclops and Emma Frost and Beast
Gaiman’s Eternals
JMS on the Fantastic Four
Giffen and de Matteis on Justice League (all permutations)
John Ostrander’s Spectre
Mike Grell’s Green Arrow
Grant Morrison made me actually appreciate the concept of “Seven Soldiers”
Apologies to any duplications of other people’s comments.

While I would love to add Geoff Johns for JSA, Mark Waid for Flash and JMS for Amazing Spider-man, I already liked the characters/team… … but they did make me go “wow! this is briliant!”

I feel like the question is not “which revamped characters did you like the best” but “which revamp was so good that you even liked the old versions better because of the new take”. If I understand correctly, then the easy answer is James Robinson’s Starman. Prior to reading that series, Starman was a costume and not much else, the blue Starman and Ditko Starman were silly experiments from the 70s, and Will Payton was insufferable. After re-meeting them in the Robinson run, I went back and collected as many of those old characters’ appearances as possible. It sounds crazy, but reading that horrible blue Starman issue from Famous First is actually a lot better with the 20/20 hindsight provided by the Robinson run. There’s a goofy Brave and Bold appearance by Starman and Black Canary that gets a whole new meaning because of the way Robinson recast the encounter in his 90s run. A tremendous series that was so good, it made the old, hoary issues it incorporated read better.

Steel in 52 by Morrison, Rucka, Waid & Johns

Good-bye 3rd string character, Hello forward-looking and inspirational hero !

I remember another one. Mark Waid on Superman. Birthright was the first Superman story I actually loved.

Busiek and Perez on Avengers.

Keep in mind the two eras of Avengers comics before this (Harass and Liefeld) and you’ll understand.

It looks like several people already said the first two I thought of, Morrison’s Cyclops and Ennis’ Punisher. I actually hated Punisher so much that I didn’t even give the book a chance until earlier this year.

I hated the Punisher myself until PWJ. Even Ennis couldn’t make me read about him, but Fraction does the trick.

Grant Morrison with Plastic Man in JLA.

Grant Morrison again, with Emma Frost in New X-Men.

Geoff Johns with Black Adam in JSA. Very slick. Also characters like Nuklon and even Jay Garrick, but Black Adam above them.

Darwyn Cooke’s Martian Manhunter in The New Frontier. It’s the only time I’ve really thought the character was cool for some reason.

Actually kinda surprised no one’s said Marz’ version of Witchblade. Although that comes with the caveat that I occasionally thought the TV series was pretty good.

Simonson’s Thor. Had zero interest in the character before.
But also Morrison’s Animal Man and Doom Patrol, Moore’s Swamp Thing, Lansdale’s Jonah Hex and Alan Davis’ Excalibur (writing and drawing). And DeMatteis’ Kraven, brief as it was.

Brubaker on Catwoman definitely stands out

Greg Pak’s Planet Hulk (I used to detest Hulk. This was the only run I bought the books for. Too bad Jeph Loeb has his hands on him now)

Brubaker + Cooke on – Catwoman – then by extension Daredevil and Captain America
Slott – She Hulk
Rucka – Wonder Woman

i still have to say i think superman is a terrible character and the only person that has ever written him well (that i’ve read) was alan moore.

“for the man who has everything” is one of the greatest single issue stories ever and the first time it ever looked like superman had a weakness and an emotional core.

“whatever happened to the man of tomorrow” is the greatest summation of the superman mythos

and then moore’s supreme run probably also counts as the best extended run of superman stories.

sure, byrne and morrison’s takes have both been good and readable, but moore is the only person that’s ever written a superman story that can compete in quality with the better batman stories out there.

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