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Old 01-27-2024, 07:53 PM   #1
The Great Saiyaman
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The biggest train wreck in a well known comic book series.

Well, we all experience some off days, but not many of us can claim that their off-days were published in comic book format and read by people who will go "What the hell did I just read?" Or who will go: "How is it possible that this was green lit for publication?"

And I'll start with what is probably the best known character from European comics of all time.


Now, the earliest comics of Tintin have NOT aged well.

But once artist Hergé got his act together, he produced some truly STUNNING albums, both in artistry and in the stories themselves.

But even with protégés like Jacques Martin and Roger Leloup (who later became well known ComicBook artists in their own right) helping him out in the later years, Hergé could still drop the ball. And his worst album ever must be THIS one.

So what went wrong here?

* Well, for starters, Hergé himself had been worked to death and when his publisher commissioned another Tintin album from him, he was quoted as saying "I CAN'T STAND THE SIGHT OF HIM ANY MORE!"
* So, his heart wasn't in it and it shows in the story itself.

So what is the story about?
* While on route to Sydney and making a stop at Jakarta international airport, Tintin, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus run into an old friend. Pilot Skut from the "Cokes in stock" adventure. Who reveals that he's now the personal pilot of billionaire aviation tycoon Laslo Careidas. (A parody of French aviation tycoon Marcel Dassault)

* Having introduced his friends to his boss, Careidas invites them on board his private plane which will take them to Sydney faster than the regular jetliners of the day. But at hearing this change in plans, Careidas' two right-hand men, all of a sudden start to sweat bullets. Because that could ruin their plans.

* Which are revealed to be to hi-jack the plane and make it land at a small Micronesian island where they wanted to extort Careidas from his fortune.

So far so good, sounds like a plot for a superb James Bond style adventure, doesn't it?
Yes, but it all goes awry as soon as the plane actually touches down.

Because, all of a sudden, the mastermind of this plan is revealed to be Tintin's oldest adversary: Roberto Rastapopulous. (Himself a parody of Aristole Onassis)

Who wastes little time telling our heroes that the island will be their grave site. Trying to make an example out of a random spider with pathetic results...

And following that, the train wreck ensues and plot is all over the place.
* Rastapopulous' crooked Doctor, administering a truth serum to Careidas, in order to get the details on his bank account number, gets a lot of stories from his sordid childhood.
* When Rastapopulous wants to strike the said doctor, he gets a dose of the serum himself and promptly reveals that it was his plan to keep the money for himself and to kill everybody, including the doctor. Before he and Careidas get into a screaming match over who is the biggest villain of them all.

Yeah, it went from a James Bond kind of plot to something out of a Pink Panther movie...

And then the volcano on the island explodes, luckily our heroes are saved by a flying saucer, which drops them in one of the plane's rescue dinghies and taking the villains out to space.

And YES, as crazy as it might sound, that truly IS what happened in that story.

I mean, if the saying "Losing the plot was ever applied to something, it should be for this issue of the Tintin ComicBook series. Since it hopped from a suspenseful thriller, to a comedy, to a sci-fi and ended with a "men-in-black" avant la letre, wiping off the memories of our heroes, who can't recall any of what happened.

So, having made probably the WORST album of his career, what did Hergé do next? Well, he got his act together with "Tintin and the Picaros" which, as it turned out, was also the last album he completed before his death.

Which, again was a masterpiece in both story and art.

Which makes the fact that "Flight 714" exists in the first place all the more baffling…
"I reject your reality and substitute my own."
- Adam Savage, "Mythbusters"

Last edited by The Great Saiyaman; 01-27-2024 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 01-28-2024, 10:05 AM   #2
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The TinTin post was a really cool example. That was a neat read, although the example itself pales in comparison to some of American comics biggest train wrecks. By comparison the Tin Tin example sounds more like a fit of mania from the creator during the writing of the book that yielded a bad book. But here are some legendary examples of true train wrecks in comics....

Iron Man - was "The Crossing". Iron Man is retconned as having been a pawn of Kang throughout all of Marvel history and is replaced by a teenage version of himself. It was hated.

All-Star Batman and Robin - everyone thought Frank Miller's return to Batman was going to be legendary, made even better by Jim Lee art. What we got was unhinged Frank Miller who put himself in the Bat-suit with a regular delivery of crazy $#!( dialog like "I'm the Goddam BATMAN!".

Ultimatum - Jeff Loeb wrote this Marvel Ultimates series after the unfortunate death of his son and unfortunately it shows. The story is a morbid, dark, twisted train-wreck where we see things like the Blob literally and graphically eating the Wasp. And that is only one of at least three moments of cannibalism in that book.

Of course, these are three of the more well known examples. I'm sure you could populate an entire list of these things only from the last 8 years or so of comics given all of the weird alphabet people and anti-white agenda in comics.

The truth is though - if you go back to the beginning of comic book publishing until now, there is a lot of f'n weird content there.
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Old 01-28-2024, 10:20 AM   #3
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All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder is so hilariously bad despite the great artwork.
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Old 01-28-2024, 02:17 PM   #4
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Nice thread, man. Didn’t know much about this series.

Originally Posted by Drose18 View Post
All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder is so hilariously bad despite the great artwork.
Some of Jim Lee’s best. I sort of enjoy it as a parody book because the art is that good.
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Old 01-28-2024, 07:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Drose18 View Post
All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder is so hilariously bad despite the great artwork.
It's almost like a Frank Miller did a parody of himself and got caught up in some kind of circular thought-mania that he transcribed onto a script. Ironically enough - it wouldn't have been a "Train Wreck" if Miller didn't write it. Had anyone but him done it, it simply would have been a bad book that derailed a career. But Miller?!?
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Old 01-29-2024, 02:52 AM   #6
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The best recent examples

The 'Ric Grayson' era of Nightwing...let's put a bullet through Dick's brain and rip all the joy and optimism out of him, alienate him from his loved ones and generally make him a jerkass on par with Jason Todd with memory problems. Ends up being The Joker's b*tch before his memories are finally restored. This was a Didio mandate, with him gone, now Dick is currently the centrefold of DC's latest attempts at a hopefful, more heroic direction

Brian Michael Bendis on Superman and Action Comics, or virtually anything else he did at DC.

DC famously promoted this with the "Bendis Is Coming" banner ads which sounded more like a threat than hype. Bendis had long ran out of ideas at Marvel and had come close to actually dying himself before he began work at DC, both factors contributed to an awful run on nearly all the books he touched. I kind of enjoyed Superman despite the age-up of Jon, but didn't like how he wrote Lois and Clark over on Action Comics. His Invisible Mafia and Leviathan arcs went nowhere, as did making Superman's identity public (which was walked back on shortly after)

It felt like he wanted to take everything in darker, depressing directions, but couldn't commit because for heaven's sake, it's SUPERMAN.

Then he did Naomi and Young Justice, the former for whatever reason was DC trying to make something happen inorganically and they wasted money on a TV version for the CW. The latter was full of dad jokes and a ridiculous gimmick and name change for Tim Drake's Robin. Then he did Legion of Superheroes and guaranteed that nobody would think twice about desiring a relaunch for them again.

He left DC and mainstream comics shortly after all that failed at launch. Just does indies now.
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Old 01-29-2024, 03:03 AM   #7
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The other sour aspect of the Bendis - Superman run was it ended the Gleason run which had become a fan favorite and was just beginning to cook.

For Bendis to replace that and not live up to all the hype, while actively annoying fans with creative choices was hard to watch. Bendis did a fantastic job on his early Marvel and independent work so it was sort of sad.

Hopefully he’ll redeem his legacy at Marvel with something great one day.
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