The Haven: Rumors and Reilly

By Andrew Goletz

Two weeks in a row that the column is on time… Sadly, this is a new personal record.

The fallout from Wizard World Philly continues. I’m so bogged down with work right now. I made a lot of great contacts and confirmed set interview dates with the first two creators, but finding the time is going to be quite the task. This is where one’s organizational skills can make or break you. If I don’t have some new interviews and reviews up by the end of the month, I’m going to feel like a colossal failure.

I’ve been sitting on a review of Death’s Head for six months now. At one time, this was going to be an exclusive first-look review of a new novel that is going to blow people away. Seriously, this has franchise written all over it, including, probably, a movie series and video game tie-in before it’s all said and done. It still doesn’t look like anyone else out there has reviewed the book, so if I can get this finished…um…started…in the next couple weeks we should still be good to go. Death’s Head kicks all kinds of ass. I can’t wait to finally tell you all about it.

The first image of the new Indiana Jones film hit the web this week and it’s sort of comforting to see Harrison Ford in the old leather jacket and fedora again. He still looks like he has an adventure or two left in him, and though I just know that this film is going to leave a bad taste in my mouth, seeing the picture has me playing the theme song in my head and getting just a little bit excited for the film’s release next summer.

Sam Jackson playing Nick Fury in a cameo for the new Iron Man film? That’s one of the coolest casting decisions ever.

It turned out that Flash #13 was the final issue of the relaunch and it also happened to feature the death of the main character, Bart Allen. By relaunching the series in a few months, continuing the numbering of the old series and bringing back both Wally West and writer Mark Waid, DC just gained a reader on the title.

My personal Flash favorite was Barry Allen, who I expect will be back sooner than later. I started reading the Barry adventures shortly before he killed his arch nemesis, Reverse Flash, in an attempt to save the life of his fiancé. The storyline then followed, for the next two years, the arrest and trial of the Flash. A lot of people thought that the storyline was drawn out, but I loved it. What do you expect from a Clone Saga fan?

I think this is a good segue to…


This week started off on a high note. Rich Johnson, the infamous writer of Lying in the Gutters from posted a blurb in his column about my collecting Life of Reilly for the purpose of selling it as a trade. I asked Rich for help in trying to contact a couple of Clone writers and editors who I want to get a hold of for comments on the “remastered” edition, and all that resulted in was my email box being flooded with emails for the entire week. Although the public seems really excited to hear about news of a collected version, sadly, no one was able to assist in getting contact information for Howard Mackie, Terry Kavanaugh or Bob Harras. So the hunt goes on.

The online column was popular enough with just Glenn and myself writing it. The addition of commentary from other people involved with the storyline was a nice bonus, but it wasn’t essential to the enjoyment of the column. I know how George Lucas feels, though, in that he’s constantly tweaking the original Star Wars films to meet the vision of perfection that he has for the saga… I could have just taken each of the columns, collected and sold them, and it probably would have done reasonably well.

I don’t want to do it that way. My dream is to touch base with every single creative type who had anything to do with the Clone Saga and get some thoughts from them for this collection. It certainly isn’t easy, but then again, doing the original column for close to a year wasn’t a walk in the park, either. As much as I want that book copy in my hands to show off and sell and maybe make some money, I can wait for it to be perfect. Or at least as close to perfect as I can reasonably make it. If one of the creators tells me they want no part of participating in this, I’m going to have to live with it. But until I’m told that they’re not interested, I’ll keep trying to find ways to contact them.

The first new Life of Reilly material was from the man who created the Spider-Man clone back in the 70s, Gerry Conway. It’s a relatively small but essential addition to the story. When I finally was able to have him answer a couple questions about his creation and what ended up happening with him, it was another shot of adrenaline that I needed to see this project through to the end in the proper manner.

I’ve read the emails and I’ve seen the message board postings. Hell, even the publisher of Amish Otaku is anxious for me to give the official sign-off so we can move on to the final edit, but I’m going to have to ask everyone to wait a little longer. Well, maybe a lot longer.

As I mentioned earlier, people have been sending me emails asking a lot about the old column and my new plans, so I’ll take this space to sort through the emails and answer a couple of questions every week.

Hey, Andrew! Whatever happened to “The Death of Spider-Man” series that you had teased about right after Life of Reilly ended? Does this new project have anything to do with it?
–John M

Hi, John. The new project is strictly an updating and reworking of the original Life of Reilly columns in collected form.

“The Death of Spider-Man” was an idea that I toyed around with for quite a bit, but never wrote more than an introduction for. It was my opinion (and one that was shared by many fans) that the Spider-Man books got worse after the Clone Saga ended. Some elements of the Clone Saga were touched upon, like Kaine and the mysterious package that Norman Osborn was protecting that many believed to be Peter and Mary Jane’s baby, but they never went anywhere. When it was revealed that Aunt May was still alive and Kaine simply disappeared from the books, the titles soon were relaunched and it just seemed to be a bad time to be a Spider-Man fan.

My idea was to cover the Spider-Man books post-Clone Saga in the same way we did Life of Reilly. I would basically outline what was happening in the story lines and Glenn would comment as to why the decisions were made. If successful, this would have led to the third and final part of my insane trilogy, “The Renaissance of Spider-Man,” which would have been marked by JM Straczynski’s first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man.

There were a few reasons this didn’t happen. First of all, Glenn wasn’t working as much on these books at the time and his knowledge of the goings-on behind the scenes was much more limited. So the readers’ favorite part of the column would be scaled back a lot. Second, I didn’t recall these stories as well as the ones about the Clone Saga. I read them, but with few exceptions they didn’t make as much of an impact on me and I believe that you have to be passionate about what you write about. I didn’t love or hate the Spider-Man series post-Clone… I was more apathetic about it, and that doesn’t make for interesting writing or reading. Last, the timing of “The Death of Spider-Man” columns would have coincided with the new Straczynski direction of Spider-Man, so I would be writing a story with a concept about how the franchise almost died (as if it could ever really die) just as it was seeing new life.

”The Death of Spider-Man” never seemed like it was going to work out right, or as well as the Life of Reilly, so the whole idea was scrapped.

More next week. Dan Jurgens just emailed me regarding the LoR updates so I need to follow up on that.