Evasive Maneuvers

I’ve been wanting to post something more personal than a political rant, but what’s been going on in my life the past few weeks is still a little *too* personal to discuss here.

I’ll work up to it eventually.

In the meantime, in the interest of boosting my self-esteem, here’s an article by Greg Hatcher about *Omega the Unknown*, the *Phantom Zone* miniseries, and a part of my oeuvre that ordinarily gets very little attention, my run on *The Defenders*. The latter was one of my all-time favorite assignments, and Greg does a nice job of explaining why, from a reader’s point of view.

13 Responses to “Evasive Maneuvers”

  1. Greg Burgas Says:

    Interesting you should bring that up, as I just bought the Omega the Unknown trade paperback and have just started reading the final issue (#10, before the Defenders issues that were written later). Why didn’t you write every issue? It bugged me. I was just wondering.

  2. Steve Gerber Says:

    Very long and unpleasant story.

  3. Stephen Payne Says:

    Perhaps you can turn it into an interesting story then! A comic book about a comic book writer who’s tied up in the legal aspects of getting his work published.

    It would make a great satire. The heads of “Awful” or “P.C.” Comics merge into some sort of corporate hydra beast and the lowly comic writer or artist must do battle with it.


  4. Steve Gerber Says:

    *Destroyer Duck* was as close as I ever want to come to that sort of satire.

    Long, long ago, Mary and I discussed the idea of a novel about the comics industry. If I remember correctly, we had three working titles: *Strategically Placed Shadows*, *Balloon Placement*, and — thirty or so years before Joe Klein — *Primary Colors*. Never got around to writing it, unfortunately, and there’s not much point now. Michael Chabon’s done it about as well as it can be done.

  5. Forrest Says:

    If you change your mind, well, National Novel Writing Month is in November (nanowrimo.org).

    (It can yield peculiarly interesting and/or plunderable results.)

  6. Fred Chamberlain Says:

    The Omega story with him taking on the Hulk has held an inexplicably remarkable and marked place in my heart since my early comic-readin’ days. I was not anymore than 4 or 5 years old when my babysitter, who lived across the street from us and had many children of her own introduced me to her son, who was significantly older than I. He was cool as heck in my eyes and had these comics in a huge trunk. He brought me to the trunk, opened it, revealing a beautifully painted Spider-Man painting that decorated the underside of the lid and let me wade through what seemed like tons of cool comics!!! While I have always held Spidey up as the pinnicle of what a hero is, Omega #2 (?) floored me. In my young eyes, it contained the monsterous Hulk going nuts in a manner that shook me, a hero who selflessly stood up to him, and a young kid not much older than I was who was wrecked with pain throughout the battle. It startled me. It scared me. It thrilled me. It completely confused me. Due to all of those responses, I have never ever had the same exact feeling about any comic, nor the same connection… even when reading it again years later.

    I have enjoyed the political rants and find myself going off on them more and with more intensity, along with other such topics, when I don’t necessarily want to focus 100% on the nasty stuff that hits/hurts and is more life enrgy sucking to my soul.

    Hope things are looking up… or at least, more clear.


  7. J. Alexander Says:

    Hmmm. I was extremely upset at Marvel when they cancelled OMEGA right in the middle of the story.

    Which makes me wonder: If you can recall, how close was Steve Grant’s version of the conclusion was to the one that you were planning?

    And what about the elf?

  8. Micah Says:

    I think all your Marvel story lines from the 70’s were somehow left up in the air. What was Lee Switzler’s business proposal for Howard going to be? Who was the friend the Kidney Lady was talking about who was going to get Howard from issue 2? You’ve left us up in the air for over 30 years here!

  9. Micah Says:

    “Who was the friend the Kidney Lady was talking about who was going to get Howard from issue 2?”

    This is a terrible sentence, but you know what I mean.

  10. Steve Gerber Says:

    J. Alexander: “If you can recall, how close was Steve Grant’s version of the conclusion was to the one that you were planning?”


    Micah: “Who was the friend the Kidney Lady was talking about who was going to get Howard from issue 2?”

    Chair-Thing, I think — or its Platonic essence. Somehow, I never quite got around to that story.

  11. Charles Bryan Says:

    Well, I’m lucky enough (and old enough) to have enjoyed these stories when they first appeared (and to have kept them all in reading condition, and to have the people who broke in and stole most of my collection overlook my “Gerber Box”).

    Hatcher’s article is a very good retrospective of the time when Marvel was hitting its second creative peak. (I will always have fond memories of the 70s work of Gerber, Englehart, and McGregor during those days.)

    I’m surprised he didn’t include Man-Thing, which also fit very much into the theme of the article.

    Steve, I hope you know we’re all wishing you the best; I hope things go better soon.

  12. Chris Burnham Says:

    I’m just getting into Omega and The Defenders via the back issue bins (buying trades is no fun and I don’t like either the wonky new color printing or the BW Essential format). Love ’em!

    This question has probably been covered elsewhere, but here goes anyway-

    Why don’t you and Mary do a direct Omega analogue at Image (say, Alpha the Inconceivable) and do it your way? Does Marvel own your 30-year-old story notes?

  13. Scratchie Says:

    Damn, I don’t know how I missed Hatcher’s article when it first came out, but he really nailed it. Put me in the camp that considers Steve’s run on Defenders to be one of the high points of Marvel’s 70s output.