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Marvel's 411: Anti-War in comics

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I thought the Mark Millar/Frank Quitely story in 411 was pretty damn good so I make a site (one page, four images) with it on it for anyone that couldn't be arsed going to a comic store or reading it on marvel.com




It's image heavy (obviously) so I reccomed minimising it for a minute and letting it load for a minute (maybe go and do something else for a bit). I might rip off a few more dotcomics for the page but as for now it's just the one. Enjoy!

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That...was really cool. Thanks 2T, i really dug it man, havent seen Northern Irish stuff like that since Ennis' Heartland. Ive read a bit about 411 but i dont fully know what its about - whats the theme, who's on it, is it a one shot etc?

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Here's what Marvel had to say


Mark Millar, Chuck Austen, David Rees / Frank Quitely, Phil Winslade, Tony Salmons



On April 11, 2003, grief turns to hope and resolve when Marvel and its international creative community pay tribute to world's least-heralded heroes - peacemakers. Called simply "411", this special anthology project will tell uplifting stories of people choosing to fight aggression with information and non-violent resistance. This beautifully illustrated, positive publishing initiative will be filled with true and fictional stories about everyday heroes who are trying to bring peace to their part of the world, featuring the work of contributing artists and writers from Cleveland to Croatia … from Hollywood to Hong Kong. "411" will also feature diverse contributors from outside the comics industry, including Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award winning playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America), anti-nuclear activist & Nobel Peace Prize nominee Helen Caldicott (The New Nuclear Danger), and political cartoonist David Rees ("Get Your War On"). A special introduction will be provided by Dr. Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's grandson and co-founder of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

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! That's really impressive...you know, i know many cant get over some of their moves in the 80's but im becoming more & more impressed with Marvel these days, i swear.

Thanks 2T, im grabbin this one soon as i come across it - where the rest of the stories any good? How many others were within this one shot, anyway?

And yeah, i should practice what i preach and stop off by Marvel.com, i understand their new wave of stuff is up there to try out, and im pretty curious. Thanks again tho man, wouldve been a shame to see this one come & go without me gettin a copy.

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I actually poached the tit-for-tat story offa marvel.com The other story from it is "Blow up" by Bill Jemas and Chuck Austin with art by Phil Winslade. It's also really good. The house of Ideas have definitly made up for past sins in the last few years. From Marvel Knights, Ultimate Marvel, Heroes and MAX they've kept on coming up with the goods. My boys have finally come back from years of crap and it's all thanks to Jemas and Queseda. The new epic line is another brilliant idea. I'm not too sure if you're familiar with it or not, but they're using it as a way to get in unknown freelancers for one shots and minis...so you could be the next writer/artist for Marvel!


The new stuff, Namor, Venom (with a kick ass Sam Keith cover), Runaways, Human Torch, Sentinal, Mystique etc. is part of the Tsunami line which is basically cashing in on the popularity of manga at the moment, so they all take their influences from the east. It looks okay, but I don't know if I'll rush out and get all the titles. It could be good though. I wanna see how they do Venom without Spidey.

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Yeah, i liked some of Austin's work on Brotherhood, but those series got kinda crazy by the end; i guess i just felt that firefighters could manage a six-issue mini-series without the crutch of some funky sci-fi shit, but overall i enjoyed it - now, the Cop one with Bruce Jones on it...not so much.

Quesada's got almost all the right names onboard, including many that said they'd never work for the House of Ideas again. When Gaiman jumps on this year, who does that leave, Alan Moore?

I do wish he'd revise some very minor shit - i dont like "Stan Lee presents" on every damn book, especailly the ones he didnt do squat on, give credit where it's due...and Robertson's write, the anti-smoking policy is a fair one but dammit, Wovly shouldnt have to go to MAX comics (fuck thatd be cool tho!) to light a stogie. Again, very minor shit, those 2 have done a world of good.

Let me know about the Tsunami stuff...im gonna try to read the # 1's at Marvel.com soon when ive a chance. As for Venom...i was so into the symbiote thing back in the day, its not even funny; if it had him - much less Carnage - i was all up on it. But tons of shit Venom mini-series ("jesus, now he, Magneto and Sabretooth are heroes? Fuck happened to the villains?!") left me wary, and in the Wizard article i read, even the writer said Eddie Brock himself isnt horribly interesting, so its gotta be all the suit - funny how he put it: "Brock's motivation? Unemployment." But i think youre right, there's a lotta open space to do stuff with him, just keep him from too much heroics for godsake, here's to the book surviving without constant Spidey crossovers, eh? Ill be optmistic, tho.

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I'm all with you for the smoking thing. Wolvie ain't Wolvie if he can't smoke a big fuck-off cigar after slicing and dicing some dirty ninjas messing with his shit. I havn't been out to the comic book store (or the book store as it is) yet, so when I get the chance I'll get 'em and report back. I read a bit of the Human Torch book on marvel.com but it was all about his youth (though it was set in present day). The pages I read had no Torch action and it wasn't too great but I'm still gonna give it a chance.

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  • 5 months later...

This book - still one of my favorites of the year, hands-down - never got the hype it deserved. I mean, Quitely & Austen are one thing, but Gandhi's grandson & the cartoonist from "Get your War On", especially during one of our very pro-war times, that was ambitious, and Jemas had my respect.




After reading on-line comic community reactions - positive and negative - to Marvel's 411 announcement, I wanted to share with all of you, the foreword to the first book.


411 Foreword


"No greater love can a man have, than when he lays down his life for a friend."


Creators from many different countries and very diverse backgrounds contributed the stories you are about to read. Marvel did not seek to control the content of these books. We just asked for "the 411 on peace."


Yet, as story after story came in from creators, one common theme shone through: Your enemy, even your mortal enemy, is a member of the family of man…a member of your own family. 411 is about people who live by this principle. 411 is about peacemakers: people who make sacrifices in the name of humanity. These are people willing to die to keep all of us - on all sides - alive.


Stories about peacemakers are particularly difficult to tell with America on the brink of war. The part about self-sacrifice is easily understood, because self-sacrifice is, after all, the essence of being a soldier: a Christian soldier sacrificing his life in battle is a hero, just as a Muslim soldier giving his life in battle is a hero. An Iraqi soldier dying for his country is a hero to his people just as an American soldier dying in the name of freedom is a hero to his.


But the theme of sacrifice for the sake of peace, for the sake of all of humanity, is hard for many Americans to accept right now, with the hearts and minds of the body politic rising in a patriotic furor. You see, for any nation to engage in war, the most inhumane human enterprise, its people must believe that their enemy has given up the right to be treated as human beings - in short, that they deserve to die. In wartime, looking for the humanity in your enemy can't help but be seen - by patriots - as unpatriotic.


I hope that you will read this book in the spirit that the comic creative community intended it. These stories are neither anti-America nor anti-Iraqi, not anti-French nor anti Israeli. 411 is pro-human. It is a tribute to peacemakers, to people who turn the other cheek in the face of violence; people who refuse to lose sight of the fact that their enemies are part of their own community.


Bill Jemas, 3/6/03


Like every significant Marvel announcement in the last few years, 411 spurred its share of squabbles within comic book circles, as evidenced by the on-line message boards. It occurred to me, while reading through the 411 posts, that spirited argument plays an important role in keeping a community, like ours, together.


I know that sounds strange, because all that name-calling, finger-pointing and groin-kicking seems pretty divisive at first. But if you step back and look at the industry and art form as a whole, you'll see hundreds of thousands of people moving in the same general direction with a few hundred of us typing and posting like crazy, trying to keep our flock together.


Internal debate has been part of comics for as long as we have been a community, and the debates have been growing more vociferous the industry has ended its period of stagnation and started to advance. To me, at least, this is all very natural - and very positive.


I try to spur DC to use AOL's vast resources to help us reach new fans - I do that that by kicking them in the pants, in public, every once in a while. Traditionalists (a.k.a. fan boys) try to encourage Marvel, and me in particular, to uphold the longstanding storytelling traditions - they do that by knocking me in the head when they know I'm looking their way. When any member of the flock gets too far out of line, each of us tries to nudge and nip them back in the "right" direction - in what we feel is the best direction for the community.


I am writing this now to ask you to think about the difference between this electronic "town hall" we have in comics, and the increasingly hysterical rhetoric of war rising all over the world right now. The former tends to keep us all in the fold, working together, and moving forward; the latter is intended to dehumanize our opponents, first to cull them and then to kill them.


Here's to hoping that our political and spiritual leaders - all of them, all over the world - engage in the kind of discussion that we have in our little land of comics.




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