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#1 Posted by adamTRMM (8989 posts) - - Show Bio

Ok we constantly talk about what is good and bad writing, but how about us actually going into detail with that one? I encourage you my fellow X-viners to post the scans of what you consider good or bad writing with your commentary on it to explain why it makes you feel the way it does.

So, I'll start with the exchange that inspired me to make this thread. I was rereading some stuff, pretty randomly so, gotta admit, but sometimes it's just the way it is. Anyway, the scans:

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5Gallery image 6Gallery image 7Gallery image 8Gallery image 9

Ok, why is it good writing? Beyond pretty damn neat dialogue, perfectly selected allusions and references with unusually fresh and instantly well-working dynamic of this tete-a-tete? In short, it's basically the quintessential exposition of the world of PR. It being an extension of propaganda has given it a new life through proper rebranding, and so can be anything or anyone, even as notorious as Magneto. It's all matter of how to look at things, especially when provided the desired perspective through, well Machiavellian means. Entertaining, witty and engaging, I think it's pretty great.

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#2 Posted by Koays (10982 posts) - - Show Bio

Before I comment, where is this from?

I know I've read this, but where?

Secondly this goes toward the power of how grounded storytelling isnt just about keeping heroes street level, or having them deal with real world threats. It's about taking the issues and conflicts that matter in the real world and applying it to a storyline.

This is why despite the headache of the 90s, the Legacy Virus and its impact is HUGE as we see what is essentially a plague.

This is why Sinister posing as a PR agent for the X-Men is so powerful when they were trying to change the image of their population.

The X-men and mutant kinds sec to Utopia in the light of political persecution.

William Stryker aiming a gun at Kitty in front of the public and declaring her not human

ONE Sentinels being sent by the government to "protect" the last of mutant kind.

Sometimes all it takes is a grounded tale of something we can understand as adversity on any level to truly make a great X-Men tale.

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#3 Posted by GladeusEx (680 posts) - - Show Bio

Pure Good Writing:
Again from X-Men San Francisco, Uncanny X-Men 2012: 1-2. I've got this in Hardcover, and it stands as the first comic, let alone TPB, I bought.

The issue sets up the team, a bit on their past, a bit on their goals. It establishes an astronomical threat, an overwhelming villain, and puts all the characters powers into perspective - Hopes weapons, Magneto's magnetism, Emma's diamond hard invulnerability and vulnerability, and so on.

This is equal parts characterization, stakes, villainy, and heroism. Dialogue is concise, reactive and expressive. Putting the pretty good art aside, the writing is peak X-Men, and peak comics, for me.

Good and Bad: Inhumans vs X-Men.

This is probably one of the more controversial picks. When I knuckle down and think it through, Inhumans vs X-Mens had a good story from issues 1-5. It drove Emma with the X-Men on a warpath - and a well motivated and impressively dire situation. It had the Inhumans on the back foot, constantly getting out of containment, fights and one sided battles.

Again, characterization, stakes, villainy, and heroism. Colossus walking through fire like a badass? Check. Havok knowing to draw the line at utter revenge? Check. The classic Dazzler fighting Black Bolt gimmick? Check.

But it dropped the ending so, SO damn hard. It put Inhuman pandering above X-Men finality. If one is completely set on Deus Ex Machina character breaking Inhuman hunting Sentinels, they could fire warning shots - to prove that when she choose between revenge and survival, she takes Scott's path. She could have maimed or killed Black Bolt while he was imprisoned, to directly avenge Scott. She could have Mind-controlled someone who actually injures an Inhuman. Hell, have SHIELD come in, or some other villain, to try and wipe out two troublesome enhanced groups at once.

And the mcguffin that the Inhuman royals are immune to telepathy seemed entirely there to stop Emma from having true revenge on her terms. She had managed to telepathically fool them in Death of X, yet isn't able to in IvX for the sake of Medusa and Black Bolt having a contrived upper hand. Consistency matters,

Instead every bit of characterization and stakes is uptuned by nonsensical villainy and stupidly bland heroism. Turning Emma Frost into an anti-hero or anti-villain is kind of appropriate, but the path it takes has to be relatable, not ... well, comical.

The Ugly: X-Men Red Annual

I know a fair few people like Jean Grey. I know a fair few people like X-Men Red.

However, there comes a time when a comic is so smug, snide and full of itself, that I have to use it as my example for terribad writing.

  1. It's an annual, but not an annual.
  2. It follows off Phoenix Resurrection, but ... it's in X-Men Red
  3. It gives Jean Grey a preachy monologue against a cardboard cutout.
  4. It turns Nightcrawler into the uber driver of the issue.
  5. It goes well out of its way to ingratiate X-23 and Honeybadger - Tom Taylor's pet projects - into the story.
  6. It sets up said ingratiation while making shallow dives at her relationships with people she actually does no - and strands those people out in desert.
  7. It goes even further out of its way to make Jean Grey frame Black Bolt's apology, as if he has no persona of his own.

Honestly, if you want to make Jean Grey puff piece and call it 'Jean Grey Homecoming', you can. Calling it an X-Men Red Annual is completely disingenuous.

But bad writing bad. Thank god they stopped it before it became a baker's dozen.

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#4 Posted by PyroFN (5928 posts) - - Show Bio

Good Wrting huh?...Well, I guess I will bring in some of my favorite issues. Here’s an obscure one: X-Factor #29.

In the issue, we see X-Factor dealing with press and then saving citizens from a collapsed pier. Here Ship does well in showing characterization, despite being an A.I. We also get a glimpse as to why Jean, Scott, and by extension, the other leaders of the X-Men like Storm, Emma, and Charles are the ones who handle the press.


At times, the questions become redundant and they know when it’s time to leave. Other characters like Beast or Iceman who crave attention, would lose focus of the goal of talking to them, which is probably why Beast always accompanies one of the leaders, rather than actually handling the press themself. Well, that and his blue furry appearance in most cases.

Later in the issue, we get a confrontation between Scott and Jean. Under normal circumstances, we see Jean as the calm and collected type to comfort and settle disputes. There are times where we forget that those that care for others have their own problems.

There were also some side-stories involving Beast being dumb and Archangel looking for Hidge, but those aren’t as interesting as the crux of the issue, which falls on Scott, Jean, and Scott’s relationship with Madelyne and baby Nathan.

Scott has found out that Madelyne was alive all along, only to be considered dead once more and her plea is for him to find their son. This has put Scott under stress, causing him to snap at everyone as he tortured himself with Maddie’s message. Jean has had enough of the constant bad moods for someone (that being Madelyne) who comes off to her as a hypocrite. Why wasn’t she there for her baby? For her husband? Why didn’t she get in touch with Scott? Why did she allow all this to happen?


We see the affects that our problems can have on our loved ones as Jean starts acting similar to Scott, snapping at Bobby on her way out. She then becomes more aggressive as she thinks about the situation. We see that when she lashed out at Scott, she only did it because of the situation, not because Scott was actually doing anything wrong. She shows anger in the battle at Xavier, herself, and most of all, Madelyne for putting Scott in the situation he is in. Xavier molds him, Jean acts no different Madelyne from her own perspective (despite the fact that she has been the exact opposite and the lashing out was brief moment of weakness). This causes her to destroy the Anti-body team with her telekinesis, killing them in the process.




In the beginning, I blamed Scott for abandoning his family, and to some extent I still do, but we see from Jeans perspective just how much Scott worked to locate them while working with X-Factor. I personally also give Madelyne a pass for how she was developed, but it is of no doubt that Madelyne was a bad person, wife, and mother, no doubt. Madelyne may have had Jean Greys genes and to some extent her memory, but not completely and in the end, she didn’t grow to learn Jeans morals. With no good example of parenting and because her situation got gradually worse, she became an all-time villain for the X-Men. This in its own way, parallels bad parents even today, where they claim to be victims, and to some extent they are, but at some point you should take responsibility as a parent for your kid. And that’s where Jeans point hits home. Scott really did do his best to find his son once he knew Nathan was alive and Jean assured him to not to let the failure of protecting his family tear him down, let him know that Madelyne is just as, if not more responsible for the events that transpired which resulted in Nathan being put in danger. Maddie was toxic for Scott and you really feel for Scott here.


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#5 Posted by HAWK2916 (4842 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't really have the time to post scans and all but I will say that an essential part of good writing has to do with pacing but mainly at least for me the origin, premise or basis for the story is extremely important.

For instance in the example of IVX and DOX, the whole premise was just bad so no matter what it hurt the story. Even in House of M, while the story was interesting, where's the explanation of why certain mutants lost their abilities where others didn't. Say we had a page in which the 200 or so they retained their a abilities...at just the last moment had been teleported away to Limbo by Magik or to Lila Cheney's Dyson sphere or something showing how they were immune to the effects of this so called "spell".

Another example is the whole Remender run on Uncanny Avengers. I like Remember but that opening story with Red Skull doing post death surgery on Xavier and attaching his brain then gaining his abilities was just a stupid and horrible idea. Funny enough for a single issue though, I believe it might have been 11 or 12, (the one when Cap lost his hearing) that issue had some good dialogue, heroic moments and dilemna as well as some appropriate humor. But still the premise hurt the whole run. I should not be reading and sitting there wondering why they did this when they could have simply done that.

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#6 Posted by McKlayn (2664 posts) - - Show Bio

one bad writing thing, that i think happens so much due to time crunches and limited dedication by Marvel is that teams just seem to randomly appear. Like the last Astonishing X men when Gambit, Rogue, Fantomex, Bishop ect were just all randomly in paris or whatever.

I enjoy the story of why the team is together, and the way they were brought together. The phalanx convenant was a great build up for Gen X, and this new Uncanny is having a nice "assembly" trek so far, Even the astonishing that havok lead recently where he recruited dazzler, beast, ect was a nice part of the story

Like cable and X force, and the Uncanny X force (with storm) were just random people in the same place, hey we a team now! I like them to be a bit more defined and take time to say why the characters are in this team otehr than, thats who the writer wanted

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#7 Posted by adamTRMM (8989 posts) - - Show Bio


The Uncanny X-Men #534.1

Hm, I had the interpretation that Sinister only took over her AFTER his Sinister System was destroyed...

I agree though.

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#8 Posted by HopesummersFORtheFUTURE (9164 posts) - - Show Bio

@hawk2916: thank god "inhumans" didnt get popular or they were going to replaced mutants(according to marvel).....remember when we first heard of IvX? there was a rumor, mutants were going to live on a big space ship out in space? LOL (although i did like the tv show, the guy who played blackbolt was hot, medusa wasnt as pretty as she is in the comics and crystal seemed to young ))

@pyrofn: some of ur pics didnt show up......broken link

i wanted Wheldon to write a team with jean grey as leader.........but that will never happen :( also i heard maybe he doesnt like jean grey LOL

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#9 Posted by phisigmatau (1548 posts) - - Show Bio

awesome thread