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The Wednesday Waffle Issue #30: Money and applause!

Hello! It's Wednesday! It's New Comic Book Day and you can click here to see this week's rack, which features some awesome new titles - including Marvel's Aliens #1.

It's another opinionated Waffle this week, provoked by a comment from writer Ed Brubaker about The Winter Soldier...

It is said that Love of Money is the root of all evil. Personally I think that over states things a little - to be philosophical about it, Evil has more than one root.

However. In the creative industries the two greatest sources of discontent, anger and frustration are most definitely money and recognition. For decades, for example, writer Bob Kane was given sole credit for the creation of Batman. Co-creator, the artist Bill Finger was disregarded until relatively recently, in spite of the fact that several key aspects of the character were in fact, Bill Finger's idea. That was clearly unjust, and I am happy to say that in recent years DC have taken action to deal with the situation.

Similarly, although they were always acknowledged as the creators of Superman, Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster didn't see very much of the great wealth the character created for DC until very late in their lives. Indeed, they spent most of their adult lives fighting with DC in one forum or another either to get control of their character, or to obtain what they felt would be appropriate remuneration. Indeed, it wasn't until a concerted public campaign in the mid-seventies, as Richard Donner's movie was in production that DC were shamed into granting the pair a stipend.

Deadpool makes his first appearance. Art by Rob Liefeld
Deadpool makes his first appearance. Art by Rob Liefeld

And of course, it's not just DC that has this issue - not by a long way. It might not be entirely Stan Lee's fault, but people assuming that he created every character in the Marvel universe by himself is a perennial problem. I had a very long lecture on social media not that long a go from a teenager who insisted that Stan Lee had created Deadpool, for example.

Of course, it's not always easy - especially as characters pass through many, many sets of creative hands over the years with each writer and artist adding something new to the mythos.

Deadpool is a great example here, in fact. Most people - including me until I looked it up - will tell you that the Merc with a Mouth was created by writer/artist Rob Liefeld. But he wasn't - not entirely. Writer Fabian Nicieza was also involved. But that was only the start. It was writer Joe Kelly who introduced the action comedy vibe which is now such an inherent part of the character. Other writers, such as Gail Simone developed the character still further. The current version of Deadpool - the one that was adapted for the movies - is very different to the character who first appeared in New Mutants #98. So can we still say that only Liefeld and Nicieza deserve the credit?

It's a complicated issue which the recent debut of WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+ has brought into focus. Did you notice the epic list of "Thank Yous" in the WandaVision credits? I mean, you probably didn't, I strongly suspect that nobody sat all the way through them. But it's the Falcon and the Winter Soldier that has caused the greatest comment.