Millar's Arcs Too Short?

jtg3885

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Am I the only one who thinks this all feels rushed? Looking over UFF #24 brought it home, but I think I'd really prefer Bendis's meandering six-parters to Millar's ultra-compressed three-part arcs. Like with Namor, I expected more of an exploration of Atlantis. There's a lot of room for some breathtaking artwork there as the FF pick over the ruins. That one issue could have been at least three easily and worked better too:

One: The explanation of Mrs. Storm's return, the visit to the AU Fantastic Four, the ships out in the ocean, the launch of the sub.
Two: The sub going down to Atlantis, the exploration of the ruins, and the last page being the opening of whatever contains Namor.
Three: Namor emerges, the first interaction with the Fantastic Four.

It just seems, much like with the UFF annual, Millar is relying far too much on us having knowledge of the 616 universe to be able to understand his storylines. And isn't that pretty much against the concept of the Ultimate Universe?
 

jtg3885

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Yes, but take this from a non-616 reader's perspective. Who is Namor? Why is he in Atlantis? The little bit on the letter's page about Namor and "his interest in Sue"... he's clearly not human by the drawing we have seen, why would he have any interest in Sue at all? If we're following what Mrs. Storm says, he's probably from one of these ancient races of superior beings. I really can't think of any interest he'd have in Sue unless he's used to a food source that has some sort of blonde leaf structure he mistakes her hair for. Etc.
 

jtg3885

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Eh, I got $50 that says the remaining issues and the President Thor arc are just as bad. Who do we get after Millar?
 

TheManWithoutFear

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roguefan said:
But wait a minute, won't people just moan if hardly anything went on each issue? Remember HOM #2-6

I agree with J on this. Like I said the issue seemed rushed and we're talkin about Namor here. I mean certain things need to be fleshed out with the Fantastic Four. Namor, Doom, Galactus (if it was a UFF centralized story), and their origin. If you want to make 2-3 part arcs then they should deal with Mad Thinker, Mole-Man, Crossover/Zombies, The FF having a good time pickin' on each other. But this needs to be dealt with not only because of Namor but because of Atlantis and moreso whatever connection he has to the Annual.

So... yeah, I hope this all works out.
 

compound

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TheManWithoutFear said:
I agree with J on this. Like I said the issue seemed rushed and we're talkin about Namor here. I mean certain things need to be fleshed out with the Fantastic Four. Namor, Doom, Galactus (if it was a UFF centralized story), and their origin. If you want to make 2-3 part arcs then they should deal with Mad Thinker, Mole-Man, Crossover/Zombies, The FF having a good time pickin' on each other. But this needs to be dealt with not only because of Namor but because of Atlantis and moreso whatever connection he has to the Annual.

So... yeah, I hope this all works out.
Just ike Millar's runs on MK:Spidey and 616 Wolverine, I'm thinking the ENTIRE Millar run on UFF will be a huge, inter-related 12-part maxi-arc.

We've already established that the Zombie FF are being, er, fleshed out further (if you could call it that), during the current arc, so they will conceivably have a role in upcoming storylines.

I believe Namor, as a character AND plot-driving device, will continue to be developed long after the "Tomb" arc ends.

Let's just see what is revealed in #25 before we make any more hasty judgements I say.
 
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Lynx

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compound said:
Just ike Millar's runs on MK:Spidey and 616 Wolverine, I'm thinking the ENTIRE Millar run on UFF will be a huge, inter-related 12-part maxi-arc.

We've already established that the Zombie FF are being, er, fleshed out further (if you could call it that), during the current arc, so they will conceivably have a role in upcoming storylines.

I believe Namor, as a character AND plot-driving device, will continue to be developed long after the "Tomb" arc ends.

Let's just see what is revealed in #25 before we make any more hasty judgements I say.

I agree. Only one issue of Namor comes out, and people are complaining it's too short. There are still two more issues! Plus, Namor's going to get his own damn mini with "Ultimate Invasion" next year. I'm enjoying the quick pacing. USM drags and drags, while UXM for the past several arcs (Other than Magnetic North) have been short and they've been fine. The only book that needs to be 6 issues is the Ultimates and even THAT drags because of the crap schedule.
 

jtg3885

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I just think it'll be off-putting to new readers, which is what the Ultimate line was targeted at. Especially if they picked up any readers after the Fantastic Four movie, having a writer whose work relies heavily on existing knowledge of 616 Fantastic Four is a baaaad idea.
 

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jtg3885 said:
I just think it'll be off-putting to new readers, which is what the Ultimate line was targeted at. Especially if they picked up any readers after the Fantastic Four movie, having a writer whose work relies heavily on existing knowledge of 616 Fantastic Four is a baaaad idea.

Too heavy on 616? Crossover required basic knowledge of Marvel (And if you're going into comic books, you could recognize at least a few of those zombies), and Namor still has two issues to be explained! Plus, you could look at the Annual as an extension of this arc since they're supposed to be explained along with Namor.

So. . .I'm not quite following what you mean, JTG.
 

jtg3885

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Lynx said:
Too heavy on 616? Crossover required basic knowledge of Marvel (And if you're going into comic books, you could recognize at least a few of those zombies), and Namor still has two issues to be explained! Plus, you could look at the Annual as an extension of this arc since they're supposed to be explained along with Namor.

So. . .I'm not quite following what you mean, JTG.
The annual is pretty much a good chunk of the 616 Inhumans history compressed into one issue. Not knowing anything about them, I found myself wondering, "WTF?" until I had a friend explain to me all the intricacies of the 616 Inhumans, their interactions with the Fantastic Four, etc. My objections with the first Namor issue are up a bit in this thread.
 

Lynx

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jtg3885 said:
The annual is pretty much a good chunk of the 616 Inhumans history compressed into one issue. Not knowing anything about them, I found myself wondering, "WTF?" until I had a friend explain to me all the intricacies of the 616 Inhumans, their interactions with the Fantastic Four, etc. My objections with the first Namor issue are up a bit in this thread.

I can understand that. As an Annual, it should have been more self-contained. However, we still don't know the origins of the Ultimate Inhumans. In 616, they were a Kree experiment to create a race of super-beings. In Ultimate, who knows? We do know they will be explained in this arc. So will Namor.

As for pacing, I disagree. I think new readers, especially younger readers would prefer a compressed arc over a decompressed arc that lasts half a year (Sometimes more due to delays). Older readers generally would have some knowledge of Marvel before diving into the Ultimate Universe.
 

jtg3885

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Lynx said:
As for pacing, I disagree. I think new readers, especially younger readers would prefer a compressed arc over a decompressed arc that lasts half a year (Sometimes more due to delays). Older readers generally would have some knowledge of Marvel before diving into the Ultimate Universe.
Actually, I can say that at least this new reader doesn't. I'm one of the people who started reading with the Ultimate Universe, picking it up around the Ultimate Venom arc after recognizing Venom from the Spider-Man cartoon I used to watch as a kid. And it really annoys the hell out of me to have to IM Skotti and ask her to explain WTF is happening in the newest issues to me. I definitely prefer slower pacing because it allows them to actually take into account that we haven't been reading this stuff for 50, 25, or even 10 years.
 

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jtg3885 said:
It just seems, much like with the UFF annual, Millar is relying far too much on us having knowledge of the 616 universe to be able to understand his storylines. And isn't that pretty much against the concept of the Ultimate Universe?

Good point. Because, seriously, I know diddly squat about Namor. I turn a page and boom, there's this elf-like guy supoposedly swimming very fast with his arms spread in a position that should allow anything but. What's he doing, flying through water? Seriously, I want to know! And are these ropes he got tied around his arms? Bare chested with ropes for decoration? This is the prince of a highly developped civilization possessing technologies centuries ahead of ours? What's that?
 
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Lynx

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jtg3885 said:
Actually, I can say that at least this new reader doesn't. I'm one of the people who started reading with the Ultimate Universe, picking it up around the Ultimate Venom arc after recognizing Venom from the Spider-Man cartoon I used to watch as a kid. And it really annoys the hell out of me to have to IM Skotti and ask her to explain WTF is happening in the newest issues to me. I definitely prefer slower pacing because it allows them to actually take into account that we haven't been reading this stuff for 50, 25, or even 10 years.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I know plenty of new readers who like the quick pacing. Still, like I said, wait for the Ultimate Inhumans explanation.

E.Vi.L. said:
Good point. Because, seriously, I know diddly squat about Namor. I turn a page and boom, there's this elf-like guy supoposedly swimming very fast with his arms spread in a position that should allow anything but. What's he doing, flying through water? Seriously, I want to know! And are these ropes he got tied around his arms? Bare chested with ropes for decoration? This is the prince of a highly developped civilization possessing technologies centuries ahead of ours? What's that?

Guys, seriously, there's two more issues left to explain! That's what a cliffhanger is for, to keep you comming back for answers!

All you need to know is that some crazy Atlantean named Namor is about to tear apart the FF and the Storms.
 
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Too short, yah. Seems a bit, "hey guys, there's a temporal disturbance in 16th century Rome, let's check it out.. and guys, try not to draw attention to yourselves", everyone looks at Ben and smile.

Sure part of a larger story, but this hopping around different arcs with such abandon doesn't really bring the serious scientist element home, more MTV generation blip-span kids.

Millar isn't playing them as wordy as Ellis either. Where Ellis, despite his decompression, would fill issues with enough scientific babble to make us think that they were actually doing something, Millar's FF just seem to be lucking on extraordinary events happening to them, rather than them seeking out new challenges.
 
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I thought it was a nice change of pace from most other Ultimate arcs. UFF #24 is awkward but it's all in the dialogue, not the pace of the storytelling.

And I agree with compound that this will all tie together. I'd bet that's where we get our continuity explanation too.
 

ourchair

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Guijllons said:
Too short, yah. Seems a bit, "hey guys, there's a temporal disturbance in 16th century Rome, let's check it out.. and guys, try not to draw attention to yourselves", everyone looks at Ben and smile.

Sure part of a larger story, but this hopping around different arcs with such abandon doesn't really bring the serious scientist element home, more MTV generation blip-span kids.
Millar being attention deficit is hardly a surprise to me.

I'm of two minds about what Millar is doing with UFF. Certainly his concepts are such insane fun, and stick to his declaration that "Nathing is tew craizy for dee Aif Aif" but it feels like he's buzzing from point to point with such reckless abandon that its hard to really absorb what he gives us.

It's strange. Even though absolutely NOTHING happened between the relentless technobabble page filler that Ellis wrote, I felt more absorbed in the absence of plot.

I'm beginning to feel that even the relentless decompression of Bendis/Ellis is just as effective as Lee/Kirby plot-by-panels approach in making a story soakworthy and that the latter cannot be replicated by Millar's ADD approach even if it accomplishes a greater amount of 'movement' that Bendis/Ellis' approach does.

Guijllons said:
Millar isn't playing them as wordy as Ellis either. Where Ellis, despite his decompression, would fill issues with enough scientific babble to make us think that they were actually doing something, Millar's FF just seem to be lucking on extraordinary events happening to them, rather than them seeking out new challenges.
I agree wholeheartedly. Millar's UFF seems to just stumble upon things.

True, Reed spent off-page time building a time machine that served as the means by which the Chrono-Bandit hoo ha happened, but that's not the same as actually showing us Reed going through the motions of actually building the damn thing.

At the very least, Silver Age Reed was always fiddling around with something and developing new technologies of great import. I don't think I ever read a Silver Age FF tale that didn't start with Reed being in his lab. Only exceptions being if the team happened to be in the middle of something at the start of an issue.

But to be fair, this is hardly surprising from Millar. His Ultimates feel it is necessary to outline the philosophies and motivations behind their deeds rather than let readers deduce it for themselves. Millar's writing tends to be less 'show' and more 'tell'.
 

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Mark Millar said:
My first reaction when I saw that haircut was WTF. But it's growing on me. And I've come up with a pretty good gag for it later in the run so it's worked out OK.

Yes, Doom features quite prominently in our run, but things will be pretty different from the way you've seen him so far. Obviously, this doesn't contradict anything, but the character has moved to a whole new level here and we start seeing hints by the end of the namor arc.

I don't want to use the word crowded because it has a negative image, but... oh, what the ****! I really want this book to be very, very crowded. I think the FF is the one book that can take it. I want this absolutely teeming with characters and ideas so that the whole twelve issues reads like an acid trip or an MLK programming session when you flip through it in your LCS. President Thor couldn't be more different from Tomb of Namor and even part TWO of President Thor, which I'm writing today, couldn't be more different from part one. I think inconsistency is the trick to writing FF. The reader shouldn't know what's coming next.

And there's more to Mrs Storm than meets the eye. But then there's more to one of the FF than meets the eye right now too. Can you spot the clues???

MM

Well, that explains the pacing. Millar's cramming the book. There's been talk of him and Land staying on longer, too. Personally, I liek the pacing, but I don't want him to cram as much as he can. He should just leave it and stay on longer if that's his goal.

I am glad to see that we'll be seeing more Doom. He honestly needs much more characterization and it looks like not only are we going to get it, but Doom will be a major threat. Can't wait!
 

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