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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 April 2019 at 11:26am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Yeah, you also showed Reed Richards celebrating his 40th birthday in FANTASTIC FOUR (which jibes with Stan stating that he was in his mid-30s during the early days of the series), and just prior to that made a reference to the initial Skrull incursion from FF # 2 as having taken place "six years ago", so the seven-year-rule seems like a good fit.

•••

T’was in a lettercol that Stan told us Reed and Ben were in their “late thirties” while Sue was “in her twenties.” This was what set in my mind that Sue and Reed were no closer in age than 10 years.

Of course, Stan forgot this, and had Reed as 18 in WW2, with Sue the “girl he left behind”. Eight year old Sue? (I sort of referenced this by having 8 year old Sue have a huge crush on the shy, bookish, 18 year old Reed.)

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Richard Palmgren
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Posted: 12 April 2019 at 11:36am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Isn't there also a big age gap between Mac and Heather?
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 12 April 2019 at 11:56am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Yes. She was 18 when Mac stole the suit back from Jaxon and they went to the govt with it. 

Edited by Brian Miller on 12 April 2019 at 11:57am
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 April 2019 at 8:59pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Big Bad Byrne loves to write stories about older men being involved with younger women! 



Kidding aside, I am sort of amazed at how many people have taken umbrage with the Reed/Sue thing which JB established. It’s not rocket science. They met when Reed was a young college boarder. Sue had a crush on him, which of course embarrassed him, since she was literally a child. Years later, they were reunited as adults, and eventually fell for each other. As adults. 

This new bit of backstory managed to reconcile Stan’s ages for the characters with that reference to Sue being “the girl next door” from early on in the series. Nothing pedophilic or creepy about it. Sure, there’s the age difference between them, but it’s not as outrageous as some real-life May-December romances out there. 


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 12 April 2019 at 9:00pm
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 13 April 2019 at 10:07am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

If I had my druthers, the characters would never become a year older. If
a hero was 35, on his birthday he would turn... 35!
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Sean Sullivan
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 1:06am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

JB- How did you see the Kitty/Peter romance playing out when you were doing Uncanny?
Or, maybe more to the point, how did you want it to play out? 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 5:02am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Hopefully you’ll be able to read the book and find out!
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Jason K Fulton
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 7:40am | IP Logged | 8 post reply


This was posted on CAF this morning, and I'd never seen it before (I've never read Phoenix:Untold Story). Figured others may not have seen it either.
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Steve Green
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 10:34am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Okay, so Reed and Ben are circa 18 in 1944, which indeed makes them 35 in 1961. We've established that makes Sue 25, but how old is Johnny? I've always assumed he's in his late teens, which means he'd have been an infant when Reed and Sue first met.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 12:33pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Johnny was stated as being 16. Something of a “miracle baby” I guess!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 12:38pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

That posted page is another that I “plotted”. So Chris has to make his presence felt. Blah blah blah.

And (grumble grumble) in the context of the scene does it really seem likely that staid even uptight Cyclops would say “C’mon”?

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Steven Myers
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 1:05pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I was recently talking about the FF's original ages. Sue can't be too old to be the sister of a 16 year-old. But it also makes sense that there's a big gap between Sue and Johnny. It seems evident early on that, though Johnny is minor, Sue is his guardian, because we never see their parents. A later storyline confirmed this. So Sue has a big sister/parental role with Johnny, and she certainly has been written as having such I think.

Reed is older, but not too old. Ben is his contemporary. It makes for a cool "family" dynamic in the FF!
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Steve Green
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 3:16pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Looking at the original two-page synopsis for the FF's origin story (which Stan presumably produced after discussions with Jack), it's clear Reed and Ben are not only the same age, they have the same tastes in women. With hindsight, it's obvious that a permanent love triangle would have unbalanced the narrative and made it rather unlikely the title would still be on the shelves nearly six decades later.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 3:24pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

...which Stan presumably produced after discussions with Jack...

•••

Why presume that?

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 5:07pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

And (grumble grumble) in the context of the scene does it really seem likely that staid even uptight Cyclops would say “C’mon”?
++++++++++++

I've come to the conclusion that getting the voices of the characters right is a vital component which is far too often underappreciated and/or dismissed.

With print adaptations of live-action characters--such as your own STAR TREK work, JB--any problems with the voices have the danger-potential to stand out far more noticeably than with print-only characters. However, it's still important to get the characters' voices right and consistent for print-only characters, too.

Speech idioms, use of contractions, "tone" of voice (by use of punctuation and bold lettering)...these are all subtle-yet-important.


Too many people write Stan Lee off as the guy who just threw words on top of amazing art, but, man, did he give the characters distinctive voices and personalities. That's a big part of why people love and remember the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man and all the rest.
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Sean Sullivan
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 6:09pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

JB- "Hopefully you’ll be able to read the book and find out!"

I truly hope so!! Like most members here this would definitely get me back into a comic store for the first time in years. I haven't been this excited about a project since...nothing springs to mind. 

As an aside: I also can't wait to see my favorite character, Scott, be treated as he should be: a hero.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 8:39pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

 Steven Myers wrote:
... Sue can't be too old to be the sister of a 16 year-old...

Depending on the age of her parents, there could be quite an age difference. Some siblings can be as much as 20 years apart in age. People have also remarked about how Peter Parker couldn't have an elderly aunt, assuming there couldn't be such an age difference between Peter's father and his brother Ben. It may not be the average family where the age gap is so wide between siblings, but it is not only possible, but has happened in many families throughout history.


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Ernest Degollado
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 10:58pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I would think it was much more common when Stan was growing up than it is today. My dad was one of eight children and my mother one of seven, both born in the thirties. I grew up with a few cousins twenty years my senior. 
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Ted Pugliese
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Posted: 15 April 2019 at 9:05am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Some related notes...

I was 28 when I met my wife. She was 23, and her
youngest twin sisters were 16.

If my dad were alive, he would be 97, but my mom is only
70. Much bigger difference that Reed and Sue or Mac and
Heather, AND I have a brother and sister (half) both
older than my mom! I think they are 74 and 72 now.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 April 2019 at 9:29am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

My parents were one year apart, which pretty much cemented in my brain that that was the “proper” span between a husband and wife. But I married someone six years older than me.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 15 April 2019 at 9:40am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

My 85 father is 14 years older than his sister. (Many siblings in-between, two that died during WW2.) Our own oldest boy is 25 and our littlest girl is 7.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 15 April 2019 at 9:50am | IP Logged | 22 post reply


 QUOTE:
...“C’mon”?

I recall when being a regular X-MEN reader that Mr. Claremont seemed enamored of elisions, injecting them at times into virtually anybody's speech pattern.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 April 2019 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Chris tended to write everyone as “just folks”—which sometimes went against my vision of the characters. Snowbird, for instance.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 15 April 2019 at 11:26am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

My grandpa was 30 and grandmother was 13 when they married. 
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Steve Green
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Posted: 15 April 2019 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

JB: Why presume that?

Because Stan's outline doesn't seem to leave much room for input from Jack into the characters, which I was pretty sure he'd had.

......

Ernest Degollado: My dad was one of eight children and my mother one of seven, both born in the thirties. I grew up with a few cousins twenty years my senior.

My sister's six years younger than me but our brother is thirty-four years my junior (although we do have a different mother).
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