Monday, October 09, 2006

Record: Ron Marz

Ron Marz – talented writer or just a hack for hire? You decide. But while his work at CrossGen was good while it lasted, there’s still a few things during his career since the early 90s that are worth questioning, and one act that most definitely requires scrutiny. Here are a few examples as follows:
  • In 1992, in Silver Surfer #75, he killed off the Human Torch’s onetime girlfriend, Frankie Raye, who’d become a herald for Galactus several years earlier.
  • In 1994, he took the task that DC gave him – he turned Hal Jordan into a villain (Parallax) and slew the GL Corps, including female members like Arisia.
  • His most notorious step, and the one that serves as the leading example over on WIR, was the murder of Kyle Rayner’s original girlfriend Alex at the hands of Major Force, who slaughtered her and then stuffed her corpse into the home refridgerator in 1996. And the big defeat in all this was that Kyle did not have the guts kill the villain himself. Instead, Guy Gardner had to do it (or so he thought he had). If it was supposed to be part of his character development, it failed miserably, especially after, instead of creating a new, rank-and-file citizen as his new gal pal, they just resorted to a character who’s already well known – Jenny-Lynn Hayden, aka Jade, daughter of Golden Age GL Alan Scott. And Kyle still came across as a whiny wimp long afterwards.
  • To add insult to injury, when Marz came back to DC after his stint as a writer/editor for CrossGen in 2004, he broke up Kyle and Jade in a most appalling manner, running the gauntlet of character assassination, and then, Kyle, coming to visit his mother’s house, found what appeared to be a repeat of the murder of his girlfriend 8 years before, by an inexplicably returned Major Force. Though MF said in the last issue of Green Lantern #181, Vol. 3, that it was just a mannequin, it makes no difference, especially after the whimpery resolution, with Kyle initially giving MF his power ring and only briefly afterwards coming to his senses and seizing it back and crippling the supervillain with it. The worst thing about this is how it almost all seems to imply that Alex wasn’t worth it to begin with. And that almost sums up the biggest problem with Kyle Rayner himself to begin with – they practically built him into a wimpy whiner of a character who was never properly developed, and whose book was abused by one succeeding writer, Judd Winick, for spouting his own biased views.
  • Even at CrossGen, there was one thing Marz did that I have to take issue with: in this case, something he said in an interview on Sojourn featured in the 2nd trade collection when he said that Mordath’s troll-general going back to his village to help euthanize his mother was “very human”. I’m no expert on Dr. Kevorkian, but the very idea of euthanasia just sickens me personally, and I think that was very irresponsible of Marz to say that.
Ron Marz is definitely not without his high points in writing, but the above, to say the least, are not among them. If anything, they certainly do put a shadow of doubt on some of his career by implying that he was just a hired hack due to the fact that he'd wiped out Hal Jordan and the Corps plus a supporting lady, and all because the company wanted him to, so he did it their behest. Well, so it seems.

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