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Avengers & Thor Rough Cut Storytime

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In 1998 Tom Brevoort's office at Marvel published "Rough Cuts" for the first issues of the relaunches of Avengers (Busiek and Pérez) and Thor (Jurgens and Romita Jr.) with the scripts and pencils. I thought I'd post these because they're kind of an interesting look at how Marvel comics used to be made before they overhauled the production process in the early 00s.
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>>77763787
The comics had the pencils and then the scripts, I'm going to post the scripts first.

In 1998 most Marvel comics were still produced Marvel style, meaning the scripts were not full scripts - the writer gave the penciller a plot, the penciller worked from that, and then the writer wrote the dialogue over the finished pencils. The Marvel method was pretty much standard at Marvel until the early '00s when writers and editors started arriving who did not like working that way (indie writers like Bendis and British writers like Morrison were used to full scripts).
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>>77763835
So instead of a full script, the writer would write out a synopsis, which was more detailed than it was in Stan Lee's day (he would basically just give the penciller two sentences over the phone and let him figure out what happened).
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>>77763857
But you can see that Busiek gives Pérez a lot more leeway than a full script would, he doesn't even give him panel breakdowns. I believe he also wrote this way for Mark Bagley.
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>>77763878
And as you'd expect from Busiek there's a ton of references to old comics that the penciller should look up (UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN had a bit making fun of how Busiek made the penciller hunt all around town for really obscure reference)
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>>77763904
Some pencillers like the Marvel Method, others find it's just extra unpaid work for them.
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>>77763930
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>>77763950
Remember when Sandman was a good guy and a former Avenger?
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>>77763963
I like that Busiek tells the penciller to leave room for the crapton of expository captions he's going to write.
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>>77763979
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>>77763991
So that's the plot, and next are the pencils that were created based on that plot. Pérez does sometimes tend to add stuff that isn't in the script or change stuff around, though he didn't do it as much on Avengers as on stuff like Teen Titans.
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>>77764022
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>>77764037
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>>77764046
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>>77764063
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>>77764077
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>>77764089
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>>77764101
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>>77764113
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>>77764125
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>>77764140
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>>77764154
I'm sorry these files don't match up with the page numbers in the plot, that would have been more helpful to see how plot translates into pencils.
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>>77764174
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>>77764183
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>>77764206
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>>77764221
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>>77764238
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>>77764273
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>>77764284
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>>77764295
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>>77764310
The famous story about how this particular run got started is that Pérez was offered AVENGERS to write and draw, and he pointed out that he hadn't followed Avengers comics for years and didn't know the continuity any more...
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>>77764331
...so Pérez said he wanted to work with either Mark Waid or Kurt Busiek, the two guys who were best known at the time for the neoclassical back-to-basics style.

I don't know why Busiek got it over Waid, though I could see two explanations: a) Waid didn't get along with the EiC at the time, Bob Harras; b) Busiek had already proven himself on THUNDERBOLTS that he could write a team book with tons of characters.
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>>77764374
The other story Brevoort likes to tell is that when he told people Pérez was going to draw AVENGERS, they asked "Who are you going to get to draw issue #3?" He had a reputation, at least at Marvel, for falling behind and getting replaced (eg INFINITY GAUNTLET)
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>>77764407
Anyway Pérez surprised everyone by lasting 3 years on the title with not a lot of fill-ins. It also was a top 10 book while he was drawing it (after he left they had trouble finding a regular artist for the Kang Dynasty arc).
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>>77764436
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>>77764451
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>>77764460
That '90s fashion for drawing frilly things around the panels (Deodato used to do it on like every page) seems to have petered out.
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>>77764483
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>>77764501
Marvel was also going wacky with the double-sized issues in this period. Not only were the first issues of the relaunches all double-sized but every "one year anniversary" would be celebrated with a double-sized issue. Ah, the things you do to get attention in the post-bankruptcy era.
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>>77764524
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>>77764540
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>>77764554
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>>77764567
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>>77764582
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>>77764598
It seems weird to think that at this time Quicksilver had his own ongoing.

Bob Harras seemed to be the biggest Quicksilver fan in the world.
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>>77764627
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>>77764638
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>>77764651
So to review, Morgan Le Fey's plan was to trick the Avengers into starting up again so they would send every Avenger ever on a search party, even though all she needed to do was kidnap the Scarlet Witch, one of the most easily kidnappable Avengers.

This seems overly complicated.
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>>77764689
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>>77764699
Unfortunately the final dialogue scripts (written after the pencils come back) aren't included here.
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>>77764713
And that's the 1998 Avengers Rough Cut. Next, Thor.
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>>77764720
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>>77764940
Thor's Heroes Return relaunch started months later than all the others, and he was the only one who didn't have his own comic during Heroes Reborn. There was a definite perception that he was old-fashioned.
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Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing, OP.
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>>77764967
As for why he didn't start at the same time as the others IIRC they had Romita Jr. for art, but couldn't find a writer.

Busiek was originally going to do Iron Man and Thor, but then he got Avengers and everything switched around, so they had to find a Thor writer. Jurgens was considered the obvious choice because he'd done Superman for so long.
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>>77765007
You'll notice that Jurgens' first issue of Thor ends with a tongue-in-cheek replay of the Death of Superman, to fake readers out into maybe thinking they were going to kill Thor for a while too (which, given Thor's lack of popularity, didn't seem all too strange)
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>>77765033
Here's the plot.
Jurgens' plot is a bit more detailed than Busiek's and suggests how the panels might break down. Jurgens came from DC where there was more of a full-script culture.
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>>77765061
Interestingly of all the Heroes Return writers, it was Jurgens who stayed on his book the longest (until 2004). It makes the run kind of fascinating because you see how much comic book storytelling changed between 1998 and 2004.
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>>77765083
By the end of the run Jurgens had dropped the Thor-speak, decompressed and darkened the storytelling for a post-9/11 world. There's still some story points that are continuous from the beginning of the run to the end though.
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>>77765061
Well Jurgens was also an artist so it makes sense he would have a clear mental image what the pages look like
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>>77765116
I liked how in this period Jane Foster was not only a doctor but kind of the resident Avenger doctor, who showed up in Avengers and Iron Man whenever someone needed medical attention.
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>>77765150
I don't think the Urkel reference made it into the comic.
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>>77765183
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>>77765205
Jake Olson was a character the team created when they decided against bringing back Don Blake. I think the run might have been stronger overall if it had been Blake, because there was so much about why Thor needed a double life and two halves of the same person etc., and Jake didn't have any of that history behind him.
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>>77765230
And now Romita Jr.'s pencils.

Getting him for Thor was kind of a big deal at the time (the guy is uneven but he's super in demand) and was part of the move to show that the Avengers and Avengers-related books could get the top artists too (the one relaunch that didn't have an A-list art name was Iron Man and Sean Chen; not that he did a bad job, but I wonder who they offered it to before him)
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>>77765296
This si something you used to see more in the 90s, a double-page spread where you have to turn the book around to see it.
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>>77765318
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>>77765330
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>>77765353
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>>77765370
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>>77765380
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>>77765318
Editors sometimes discourage thing like this if they're not as easy to read on an e-reader or whatever for digital fans.

KSD said once an editor tried to make Emma Rios redo a page because even though it look great they wanted something that could be easily translated to digital. Rios refused
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>>77765393
Thor encountering some random guy claiming to be Heimdall is a weird way to start a first issue, but they'd done the whole "Lost Gods" story in Journey Into Mystery while Thor was away, so I guess at the time it made sense.
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>>77765421
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>>77765440
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>>77765453
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>>77765473
I'm not familiar enough with the handwriting to know who wrote the margin notes or who they're for.
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>>77765508
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>>77765521
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>>77765531
Marvel at this time was really into elaborate flashback panels.

(One of Bill Jemas's edicts in the early '00s was no flashbacks, i.e. none of this thing of having a character tell about past stories while the penciller draws scenes from those old stories. It came back a few years later.)
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>>77765557
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>>77765575
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>>77765597
'90s Cell Phone Alert
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>>77765618
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>>77765635
Funny that of the Avengers big 3, Iron Man is the only one who can fight with both hands free.
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>>77765665
Scarlet Witch still in her regular costume, which I prefer to the stripper outfit Perez gave her a couple months later (not that I don't like stripper outfits).
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>>77765697
The Destroyer is basically the evil magic Iron Man, isn't he.
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>>77765723
Is Wanda flying here? Why do artists always draw her flying? Of course judging from the Civil War trailer it's too late to point out she's not supposed to fly.
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>>77765746
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>>77765763
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>>77765773
I'm not entirely sure what Hawkeye thought he was going to accomplish coming along to this particular fight.
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>>77765795
And this is why Romita Jr. is in demand: he's good at the punching and hitting and hammering.
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>>77765824
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>>77765841
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>>77765855
I like the one margin note at the top that just says "Pissed."
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>>77765872
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>>77765882
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>>77765895
One thing Thor has going for him is he's the "scary" mainstream hero. Artists draw him looking really angry and other characters are supposed to be a little frightened of him, I think.
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>>77765916
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>>77765007
>the obvious choice because he'd done Superman for so long.

No he was the choice because he had skipped over to Marvel during that period and had gotten screwed on the Spiderbooks.
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>>77765927
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>>77765940
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>>77765083
>>77765116
He really outlasted his welcome. The Reigning storyline was stretched out far too long imo. But props for killing off Odin again and doing the Enchantress and Thor pairing that previous writers had been building up to.

And of course Aaron's run owes him an enormous since all the ideas were taken from Jurgens including Desak, Designate and future Thor.
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>>77765937
Was he still doing anything for DC at that point? I forget. I know he did the Teen Titans revival in 1996 (which famously, Grant Morrison wanted, but had to settle for JLA instead) but I can't remember if that was still going at this time. Of course I could always Google it...
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>>77765957
And so ended the first issue of Thor's comeback, and as we all know, his death was real and totally not a fake-out in any way. Comic books don't do that.

These 1998 relaunches were sort of the last gasp for the traditional Marvel way of doing things (not all of them were great but they were all at least readable). The company needed the overhaul of style and staff that Quesada gave it a few years later, but I can't help but feel nostalgia whenever I see comics from these period. It feels like the end of an era.
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>>77765986
He took over JLA from Giffen/DeMatteis at somepoint
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>>77765986
He came to Marvel iirc during this period. There is famous drama over the Spider-books with Jurgens and being one of amongst a revolving door of people getting screwed over by editorial and scheduling. Spider-books aren't my strongpoint.

But it was during this period that he was mostly Marvel. He wouldn't assert his presence at DC until I think 52.
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>>77765977
>And of course Aaron's run owes him an enormous since all the ideas were taken from Jurgens including Desak, Designate and future Thor.

Don't forget Thor Girl.
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reading bump.
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>>77765937
>>77765986

IIRC he left for Marvel to do Sensational Spider-Man in 1995/1996 but because of the Clone Saga directional mess he left the book. He was still on Superman till 1999 even while doing Thor for Marvel, I think. After he left then he stayed over at Marvel for a while.


>>77766021
That was early 90's though. Like maybe months prior to Death of Superman.
Thread posts: 110
Thread images: 99


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