Fantastic four: the End......and Chtulhu???

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Fantastic four: the End......and Chtulhu???

Postby Hellorc » Wed May 02, 2012 10:05 am

Hello Mr.Davis,
I recently finished reading for what is probably the tenth time "Fantastic Four: the End".
A few things occurred to me during this (thoroughly pleasant) reading.

The huge statue (or fossil...or sleeping ancient god cast in stone) that Susan encounters in her voyage to the center of the earth...could that be Chtulhu? The same creature is featured on the pages of the book from Agatha Harkness that Susan is utilising as a "map" to reach the Orb of Gnomon. That book obviously bears similarities to the Necronomicon, or suchlike.

On that line of thought...it sprang to my mind that you did insert Lovecraft references in other works of yours... I don't have the physical books at hand, but I think the ancient god-creature that triggers the events of the Clandestine-Xmen story way back in the nineties might be an example.
Other creatures, or themes, that I remember from your works and that remind me of Lovecraft-lore could be the "Shaitan" (I believe that was the name), the creature that roamed the skyes over the "fantasy-middleage world" that you drew in some of the most beautiful issues of Excalibur...and other subtler stuff in your works, too.

So... questions: am I right? You enjoy Lovecraft's work? You like referencing the Ancient Ones' pantheon in your works?
If that is so... I believe it to be extremely fascinating that You, one of the most caring writers/artists in modern comicdom (one of the very few that actually stay true to the characters that Jack&Stan have created) are subtly toying with the idea that Chtulhu and "friends" might be resting at the center of the world.... IN the Marvel Universe "canon"!!!

Please.... I would really love to read your thoughts about it.

On a side note, FF: the End is one of the most lovable, deep, complex, thought provoking, AND of course incredibly fun hero-action-fests that Marvel Comics has published since the early eighties.
Thank you for creating it. (and shame on me for dismissing it, on the first read-through, as a so-so story with incredibly powerful art)

There are a couple of stories that haven't been told that need desperately to be put to paper, though:
1) the "Mutant Wars" that you hint to often during the course of FF: the End (that could become some kind of companion to "FF:the End", just like "Another Nail" was a companion to "the Nail")
2) ....whatever happened to Susan after she dove in the lava pit escaping from the MoleMan???? how did she enter the Ancient One Citadel? What did she find there? How did she find and acquire the Orb? What is that citadel? Who built it?
That one mistery might, in my opinion, make one great story (only if it is you, Mr. Davis, to tell it to us readers) maybe even developing those connections with Chtulhu... and R'lyeh?

Do you think there is a possibility that you might be interested in returning to tell those stories?

Please Mr.Davis, excuse me for the length of this mail, and excuse my poor english: it's been a long time since I wrote in english (...I am italian...and living in southern France...long story!)

All the best,

Sergio Troncone
Hellorc
 
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Re: Fantastic four: the End......and Chtulhu???

Postby Alan Davis » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:02 am

I recently finished reading for what is probably the tenth time "Fantastic Four: the End".
A few things occurred to me during this (thoroughly pleasant) reading.

Sergio, I’m glad you took the trouble to reread the book. I attempt to layer all my writing so that it can be read by youngsters in a superficial way or ‘read into’ by more mature readers.

The huge statue (or fossil...or sleeping ancient god cast in stone) that Susan encounters in her voyage to the center of the earth...could that be Chtulhu? The same creature is featured on the pages of the book from Agatha Harkness that Susan is utilising as a "map" to reach the Orb of Gnomon. That book obviously bears similarities to the Necronomicon, or suchlike.

The statue is based on C’htulhu and the book is indeed some sort of Necromicon. Incidentally, Gnomon is the name of the upright piece of a sundial that casts a shadow to indicate time.

On that line of thought...it sprang to my mind that you did insert Lovecraft references in other works of yours... I don't have the physical books at hand, but I think the ancient god-creature that triggers the events of the Clandestine-Xmen story way back in the nineties might be an example.

The creature was Synraith—pronounced Sin wraith.

Other creatures, or themes, that I remember from your works and that remind me of Lovecraft-lore could be the "Shaitan" (I believe that was the name), the creature that roamed the skyes over the "fantasy-middleage world" that you drew in some of the most beautiful issues of Excalibur...and other subtler stuff in your works, too
.
Shaitan is the middle-eastern version of the name Satan. I think the thing you recall from Excalibur was Chris’ idea and appeared as a cow-skull topped column of smoke.

So... questions: am I right? You enjoy Lovecraft's work? You like referencing the Ancient Ones' pantheon in your works?
If that is so... I believe it to be extremely fascinating that You, one of the most caring writers/artists in modern comicdom (one of the very few that actually stay true to the characters that Jack&Stan have created) are subtly toying with the idea that Chtulhu and "friends" might be resting at the center of the world.... IN the Marvel Universe "canon"!!!

Yes I enjoy Lovecraft.
I stayed true to Stan and Jack’s version of the FF and their universe because that’s the way they are meant to be—in my opinion. The FF had encountered the occult in the past, not least through the person of Doctor Strange, so I felt there should be an element of mysticism in FF:The End. Also, I wanted to contrast Reed’s absolute faith in technology with Sue’s spiritual quest.

On a side note, FF: the End is one of the most lovable, deep, complex, thought provoking, AND of course incredibly fun hero-action-fests that Marvel Comics has published since the early eighties.
Thank you for creating it. (and shame on me for dismissing it, on the first read-through, as a so-so story with incredibly powerful art)

You’re forgiven. Go forth and sin no more. Seriously though, thank you!

There are a couple of stories that haven't been told that need desperately to be put to paper, though:
1) the "Mutant Wars" that you hint to often during the course of FF: the End (that could become some kind of companion to "FF:the End", just like "Another Nail" was a companion to "the Nail")

I had, and have, no idea what the Mutant war might have been. The Mutant presence in the MU has become so overwhelming that it wouldn’t have been possible to tell the story I had in mind, which firmly placed the FF back at the centre of the MU, so I removed them all with the simple convenience of a Mutant War.


2) ....whatever happened to Susan after she dove in the lava pit escaping from the MoleMan???? how did she enter the Ancient One Citadel? What did she find there? How did she find and acquire the Orb?

I didn’t think there was any real drama in simply showing Sue retrieve the orb and the story already had so many threads it would have complicated and slowed the denouement to introduce another element.

What is that citadel? Who built it?

Check out the FF annual, first of the trilogy due out soon.

Please Mr.Davis, excuse me for the length of this mail, and excuse my poor english: it's been a long time since I wrote in english (...I am italian...and living in southern France...long story!)

Your English is excellent. I hope my answers are as articulate as your questions.

All the best

Alan
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Re: Fantastic four: the End......and Chtulhu???

Postby Hellorc » Tue May 19, 2015 3:10 pm

What is that citadel? Who built it?

Check out the FF annual, first of the trilogy due out soon.


Well...three years later (day in, day out) and I still don't have a clue about WHAT it is. Only that it is really scary, and really important.
I just hope you will one day write (and draw, of course! don't be lazy, Alan!) a story about it.

Speaking of this trilogy of annuals (plus the Thor one-shot called "the Truth of history): they make for one truly compelling story. Of course the "titular" characters (the FF, Daredevil and Wolverine - plus our Mystic friend Doctor Strange) are only instrumental in telling a story which features prominently the Clan, and are not the true protagonists...but I see no reason to complain about that :). In fact I still haven't given up hope of seeing other ClanDestine stories pop up now and then (I know, I know, it won't be easy.... but you surprised me before).
Hey, anyway! A few years have passed since publication: I guess you could probably shed some light on the subject of Vincent. Was it REALLY him the "big bad guy" of this story? Or was it a demonic entity who attached itself to Vincent's soul when he found the Citadel (...here it comes again!) in prehistory? You know, it still buggers me that I could not decide for myself OR decipher the clues you planted here and there along the story... I know that in one scene on the roofs, when Strange tells Dom that he senses other Destines in town there MUST be a clue... I just don't get it!

Anyway, such a tragic and emotional story, that of Vincent. He is certainly at the core of the whole family, even if in eternal absence.
Kind of like the three vertices of a triangle: Adam, Elalyth, and Vincent.

By the way... I loved your take on the hypothesis of water erosion on the Sphinx. ;)

And regarding Wolverine...
Even if it was good to finally have in my hand another Wolverine annual by Alan Davis...I can't help thinking about "Bloodlust". That is one of the very few beautiful Wolverine stories out there. One of the best.
I know they went and spoiled and ruined and destroyed the character.... year after year, to the point where he really didn't matter anymore, save for selling books. I know they recently even "killed" him (for those who really keep count). But the character still exist in that special place of our collective mind where fictional characters live. And, let me tell you: I think he needs you, Alan! ;)
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Re: Fantastic four: the End......and Chtulhu???

Postby Keoni » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:18 pm

So glad I saw this thread because I had no idea that the citadel in FF The End was related to the "building" in the FF/Clandestine Annual that young Vincent saw just before he was attacked (baptized?). And then the building from prehistory was pushed under the surface by the Elder Gods.

I would love to read more Clandestine stories!
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Re: Fantastic four: the End......and Chtulhu???

Postby Alan Davis » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:32 am

I’d love to do more ClanDestine too but, despite four outings, they never achieved a viable audience. I accept responsibility for that. Various editors advised on how I could, should, revise my approach to attract more readers, all valid, but I chose not to compromise the core ideas. There were complications from the necessity of reintroducing characters and concepts in a relaunch or piggy-backing the team in other titles but aside from that I was given a tremendous amount of freedom and feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to produce as many issues as I did. I believed the trio of annual would likely be the family’s swan song so decided to tell Vincent’s story and tie up as many loose ends as possible within the format.
The suggestion of other Destine’s in New York, beyond those on camera, was not a clue to Vincent’s condition. I had always planned to introduce previously unseen Destines in future stories.
Was Vincent really the ‘Big Bad Guy’ of the story? Yes and no! My goal with the ClanDestine was to blur the notions between the usual concepts of absolute heroes and villains—or the lazy anti-hero cliché. Rory and Pandora had the innocent belief, desire to be true heroes. Walter opposed the kids ambition, believing the Destine’s should keep a low profile and act human, but is trapped into being part of the team so he can protect the twins. Kay supported the twins because it amused her, a jaded hedonist, to join the game and, as a bonus, irritated Walter (though some lingering morality and decency sometimes surfaces from her fractured psyche). Dominic, Sam and Newton all had reasons for a more casual involvement—going with the flow. Content to be with their family. Vincent began with the same heroic motivation as the twins but exposure to the ‘old power’ radically altered his abilities and perspective. I chose to portray him as conflicted, unbalanced, hurt, abandoned, betrayed, lost but not evil. Most villains don’t regard themselves as the bad guys. They simply have different ambitions, desires or beliefs from the status quo and, under different circumstances, might be heroes.
Vincent had also learned something of his mother’s true nature, of what the Destine children really are, which fuelled Vincent’s self-loathing and opposition to the Clan and was to have been explored in a future story… so the special relationship between Adam, Elalyth, and Vincent is correct.
The Sphinx ‘rain water’ erosion was taken from David Rohl’s reassessment of Egyptian chronology, I think, from his book ‘A Test of Time’. Others believe very fine sand particles falling over millennia would have a similar effect to water erosion.
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Re: Fantastic four: the End......and Chtulhu???

Postby Paulo Pereira » Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:57 pm

Dang. Nevertheless, I do hold out hope the Clan can continue to show up in some capacity.
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Re: Fantastic four: the End......and Chtulhu???

Postby Keoni » Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:47 am

In the FF Annual Vincent talks about his friend Pitor, a celebrated philosopher and poet...is Pitor a real person from history?

One of the many things about FF The End that I enjoyed was the reason for the more human appearing Inhumans wearing masks. I wish that was part of the mythology of the Inhumans in the current Marvel Universe.
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