Comic Vine News

122 Comments

Off My Mind: When Your Favorite Comic Character Gets "Ruined"

Comic book fans can be passionate over characters they love and will get vocal when big changes are made.

Comic books are filled with many great characters. It's these characters that we grow to love that keeps us coming back month after month. We grow an attachment to them and want to see the latest adventures and battles they will get into.

With many characters having existed for decades, every once in a while changes are made to the character. It can be a natural evolution as not everyone wants the same old stories over and over again. This prevents the characters from becoming stale and gives the stories a sense of being fresh.

Was this Batman or an excuse for more action figures?

Once in a while characters go through major transformations. A publisher or creator may decide to shake things up and big adjustments are made to the groundwork that makes the character who they are. This sometimes results in excitement but more often, comic fans become angry and threaten to never read comics again. What can comic fans do when their favorite characters are changed in drastic ways?

== TEASER ==

Recently we've been hearing rumblings over the changes coming for Spider-Man. The fifty year series, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is coming to an end with issue #700. Naturally it will be replaced by a new series, SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, but writer, Dan Slott, has already started the groundwork in giving us a new Spider-Man unlike the one we're used to.

With the release of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698, we may have been given a glimpse of what we can expect in the new series. A confrontation between Spider-Man and Doc Ock promises huge changes. With the issue, comments such as "Marvel has ruined my childhood" have appeared. Is this the end of Spider-Man as we know him?

Comic book logic says, "No."

Captain America quits and becomes "The Captain"

Many times, there is an attempt to completely redefine a character. In the 90s, Superman's powers and looks were completely changed. Superman gained electrically powers no longer sported the familiar red, blue and yellow costume. He didn't even have a cape. I cannot imagine hardcore Superman fans casually accepting this change. We did see Superman split into a blue and red version before returning back to his normal appearance and power levels.

Killing off a character is another way 'big changes' can be made.' When characters such as Batman, Captain America or Superman have been killed off in epic stories, they always 'got better.' Writers can always come up with a way to resurrect the characters or have had a plan from the beginning to allow the characters to cheat death. When it comes to comic book deaths, most readers realize it's only a after of time until the character makes their comeback.

Sometimes characters quit or leave their costumed identity behind. Characters such as Captain America, Wonder Woman, Batman, Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man and others have all given up their superhero identities for one reason or another. In most cases, they temporarily took on another identity but, as excepted, they returned to their familiar costumes after a period of time.

What it all comes down to is when characters go through humongous changes, things usually return to the status quo after some time.

Comic fans have a right to be upset but they have to try to have some faith in the creators and publishers. When Dan Slott apparently killed off one of my favorite villains, the Hobgoblin, I was not happy but was enthralled in the story and wanted to see where it would go. A small part of me refused to believe the character could so easily be killed (even if he was decapitated) and after a brief period, my guy was proven correct as the original returned with a vengeance.

The return 'normal' also reflects on the status of the character in the industry. Spider-Man has grown extra arms, changed costumes, been married and even publicly revealed his identity. All of these events were resolved and Spidey ended up pretty much the same as before. With SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, there's no telling what the full changes are we'll be seeing or how long they will last but it just makes sense that Peter Parker will manage to overcome his battle and everything will return to what it was.

We can't have the same old stories all the time. Every once in a while, a well executed shake up can result in exciting stories. Comic fans just have to be patient (although Barry Allen fans had to wait twenty-three years for his return from the dead). If something happens to your favorite character, chances are, someday somehow, it will all get better.

The industry knows what works and what doesn't. They may wish to take a risk once in a while and that's a good thing. They are capable of learning from mistakes. We just have to have faith and patience if the decision is made to try to shake things up with our favorite characters. Chances are it will pay off with the result being an interesting story. If not...then we always have our back issues and trade paperbacks to curl up to as we cry ourselves to sleep.

122 Comments
  • 122 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Posted by Dernman

I guess it depends on how long the change is. Some of these changes stay for a longer then people want to put up with. Then there is the money thing. Also keep in mind that even though it might change back to normal it does become part of the baggage that a character carries with them later on. There are people who are character followers where they want to know whats going on and feel they are spending their money on what they believe is garbage.

Posted by feebadger

I think it's a necessary part of the medium. Things have to stray from their core once in a while so you can have the joyous 'return' to the original concept. It happens in all pulp fiction that lasts. You have to have Phantom 4000 so you can realise how great the original Phantom is. I think it's healthy. The greater concern is when one of your favourites is a second tier character, say something like Hawk And Dove, because when they get changed, they tend to stay that way.

Posted by Nicodemus

Good point. What about Wolverine, though? I hated the fact that they gave him all his memories back for House of M. To me, it destroyed the mystery that is Wolverine. Giving him an origin kinda tamed the character in a way. Made him a wuss. There's no going back for that....unless you shoot him in the head with an (sigh) adamantium bullet.

Edited by ArtisticNeedham

Great article. I too cannot imagine how Superman fans reacted the Electric Superman, and then Electric Red Superman. I imagine a lot of heads exploded. How long did those big change stories last? Like how long was Superman dead,? How long was Bruce not Batman, when Jean-Paul was the first time, and when Dick was the second time? How long did Peter have extra arms? Or how long was Superman electric? Just curious.

After the Amazing Spider-Man #698's major shock went away I was left with such a bummer feeling. And I began imagining all the dark stories that could come out of it. Then days later I began imagine how far they could take that dark idea. So I was OK, plus I also peaked at previews of #700. I think that whatever is coming will at least be fun and interesting, but I think Slott said on Facebook that 700 wont be about till around Christmas or something. So Its just a lot of waiting and biting my nails. Just wish I knew the outcome so I could relax. (I hear that audiences like it better when they know the ending of a shocking story.) I trust Slott, within the last few months there have been so many twists and turns in Spider-Man. He gets fired from Daily Bugle, he gets a job at Horizon. He gets a sidekick, Hobgoblins attack, all sorts of things. I was constantly saying "Ok, now I know why Slott said he had to hide under a rock." And Then this issue, but maybe what happened in 698 wont last past 700.

Posted by DH69

No mention of Ms Marvel?

alright i'll do it... Boo gimme back my Ms. Marvel, she became a superhero in her own rite...or atleast give her her old costume back, the new costume sucks. I saw all the concept art for different costumes they could've used and almost every single one was better than the one they decided on.

Edited by FoxxFireArt

Hard to have much faith in publishers when we see stories such as BDN/OMD. Hard to have faith when SPIDER-MAN isn't just being renumbered but pointlessly re-titled. All for the sake of a #1. Rather than having pride in a #700. They are going backward. No one is under any delusion that in a year or less this will return to THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN title and another #1. Why change the title at all just because a character is changing?

How often have many of these 'drastic changes' really changed anything in the long run? Characters are very often put right back where they started in one way or another. They've even seemingly be pushing for the return of the Peter and Mary Jane relationship. The very relationship that Marvel created one of the most broken stories in comics just to end.

Faith is basically trust. It isn't given. It's earned. The practice of repeated changes or deaths only to reverse them in a few months has done little more than breed a cynical audience that can't take any alteration seriously. Marvel's unspoken mantra might as well be "The more things change. The more they stay the same.".

The industry knows what works and what doesn't.

Do they really? How often do reboots and retitling actually bring in new readers? That's the goal, right? One of the biggest problems is advertising. Who is going to know about this change who isn't already reading comics?

Sure, New 52 gave DC a huge boost in sales - for a few months -, but I've seen charts that shows that sales are now basically only slightly above where they were pre-New 52.

Posted by G-Man

@FoxxFireArt: I've said it many many times, there's been so many great Spider-Man stories since Brand New Day. I've loved Dan Slott's Big Time run. I hate series being renumbered but at this point, I don't really care. If it attracts some new readers, great. I'm not gonna get hung up on some numbers, even if they should be highlighted. As for SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, if the series is going where it seems to be going, I'd much rather the stores NOT be told in an AMAZING SPIDER-MAN series. Wouldn't seem right.

I do think the industry knows what is and isn't working. That's why titles get canceled in the New 52. If they aren't cutting it, they're gone. Marvel NOW! has shaken up all the creators and so far, with the one exception, the titles have all been pretty stellar. Sounds like their plan is working to me.

Staff Online
Edited by Quintus_Knightfall

Nice article. As a comicbook fan you should already be prepared for something like this to happen to one, maybe all, of your favorite characters. And like you point out chances are at some point things will revert back, but until then, take to the Net like an angry torch wielding madman :) Cause I swear to god if I see one, just one, instance in the new 52 where Lady Shiva is defeated by poison or a chair I'mma start a revolution.

Moderator
Edited by arnoldoaad

when characters go through humongous changes, things usually return to the status quo after some time.

this is an interesting point, but what happen when the ruination of the character is based on the fact that its Returning to a previous Status Quo?

Like One More Day in the case of Spider-man

or the return of Barbara Gordon from Oracle to batgirl or the changes on characters like Green Arrow who first gets married, then he loses everything and then he gets back to 0 in the reboot

Or how about the removal of Wally West to return to Barry Allen

in such cases there is really no Status Quo to return to in any possible way

Edited by NateDogg

Haha... I was reading comics regularly back when the Blue/Red Superman angle came out. I didn't mind it at all... I suppose I'm not a hardcore Superman fan so that could be why.

I liked the fact that he was powerless when he wasn't in energy form, and the whole constructing the suit so his energy mass could be contained. I remember an issue where he got Booster Gold to help teach him how to harness his energy abilities.

Also I think the updated "S" was very cool.

Edited by colonyofcells

I am in favor of reboots and renumbering every January to find new customers. After a while, customers will get used to the idea that they can always jump in every January. I think it is much easier to refer to issues by year and month like issue 2013-1 to 2013-12, issue 2014-1 to 2014-12.

Posted by powerhouse1122

Ock-spidey?? Oh man that's traumatizing. I'd never appreciate that.

Posted by gotwillpower

@G-Man said:

@FoxxFireArt: As for SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, if the series is going where it seems to be going, I'd much rather the stores NOT be told in an AMAZING SPIDER-MAN series. Wouldn't seem right.

Totally right on this. They aren't necessarily changing AMAZING SPIDER-MAN to SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN just to get new readers. We can't say for sure right now, but we've been told that the book's going to be different from the current one (darker, etc). If the series is changing completely, why keep the same title?

Posted by longbowhunter

I'm just hoping Jeff Lemire can redeem new 52 Ollie.

Edited by alex6166

@Nicodemus:

That's like a terrible way to do it, too. Really week. No big revelation, either. They couldn't come up with something better than that? Then there's the origin himself. What was the point of making sure people knew he had parents? We already assumed that. Ofcourse he did.

I can still read Wolverine stuff, but not Spider-man. After that Unmasking and OMD stuff, it ruined the character for me. He doesn't seem like a hero at all anymore. Pretty sad, reallly. They really DID ruin Spider-man for some of us. Man, that was the worst stuff I'd ever seen.

Posted by spiderturtle

All i know is, im going to miss the title "Amazing Spider-Man" :(

Posted by Novemberx2

how have you wrote this article and not mentioned the master of ruining everything Jeph Loeb!

Remember the Ultimates, Remember the Hulk, Remember Cable, Remember Ultimate Spiderman TV Show, Remember Avengers Earth's Mightiest heroes.

The man is the devil of comics!

Posted by Miss_Garrick

There are so many characters I love that were ruined by certain writers that it would take me HOURS to go thru them all.

Top of my head: Nightcrawler - It was fitting for him to become a priest, but Marvel wouldn't have that.

Scarlet Witch - She was a great female hero, but Marvel had to do the STUPID avengers dissembled/house of m/and so forth.

Garth - DC finally upgraded him to Tempest, so he was cool like his fellow titans and was married to Dolphin, but DC harldy used him and then killed him and his family because they wanted a new Aqualad.

Posted by cloudzackvincent

its all good..i have never had a problem with fresh changes in a character.. if its good its good and if its not.. the publishers will realize it and things will return to the original status quo

Posted by FoxxFireArt

@G-Man:

I read the Brand New Day digital trade. I thought it was pretty good, though a bit over hyped. It seemed they were going to do something different with Peter's life, and I looked forward to seeing how they wrote him dating someone who is nearly his intellectual equal. Yet, they ended his relationship with Carlie, and seem to have been steering him right back to MJ. The very thing they made OMD to end. Also, you know that once these changes in "SUPERIOR" come to an end that the title will just be put right back. Making the title change superficial. It's the equivalent of how they retitled all the X-MEN related series during Age of Apocalypse. Sure, it may have seemed clever to the publisher, but as a reader it made me both confused and lost.

Has anyone ever actually looked into how many new readers are actually gained during these changes (reboots, retitling, renumbering, ect.)? How many new are brought along in relation to how many are dropping a series because of these changes? How are these new readers going to even know about this if they aren't advertising outside of the comic bubble? Are these new readers any larger in numbers than new readers who come in during the middle of an arc or run?

Canceling titles then replacing just because of low sales sounds less like a plan and more like a reaction. Have they ever actually addressed what wasn't working that led to the low sales? In publishing, it's impossible to tell if something is working in the moment. You can only tell months if not a year down the line and see if you're doing better off than you were before the change can it be seen. Anyone can peak interest. It's a matter of can that be sustained. That's the sign of success,

@DH69:

You really find Ms. Marvel being renamed to Captain Marvel equivalent to the halfhearted changes done in SPIDER-MAN and SUPERMAN? Just because she's a woman there's no need for her to have a gender-centric name.

@colonyofcells:

This proposal sounds just like my blog article I wrote about a suggestion for a new system for numbering for comics.

Comic Numbering is a Broken System! Here's a Possible Solution!

Posted by tupiaz

Well I haven't even read BND/OMD but I refuse to pick spider-man up simply for this reason. The story sound so stupid, so horrible so unneeded that I will stick with the classic. Lucky for me there is a lot of classic Spider-Man stories I haven't read.

Posted by derf_jenkins

I don't understand how a major change to a character has any affect on their past. Make Batman a murdering scumbag tomorrow and I still don't forget about the history of the character.

Posted by RaptorJesus69

Ehem... Ultimate Peter Parker... Ehem.

Posted by davidgrantlloyd

Well written article. Good job :)

Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln

i'm all up for change... especially the change in art team for Justice League and change of creative team on Green Arrow.... Lemire i trust

Posted by sethysquare

@arnoldoaad said:

this is an interesting point, but what happen when the ruination of the character is based on the fact that its Returning to a previous Status Quo?

or the return of Barbara Gordon from Oracle to batgirl or the changes on characters like Green Arrow who first gets married, then he loses everything and then he gets back to 0 in the reboot

Which has been great. Batgirl has never gotten more interesting. Stephanie boring Brown got what she deserves and that is in limbo hell

Posted by DH69

@FoxxFireArt said:

@G-Man:

I read the Brand New Day digital trade. I thought it was pretty good, though a bit over hyped. It seemed they were going to do something different with Peter's life, and I looked forward to seeing how they wrote him dating someone who is nearly his intellectual equal. Yet, they ended his relationship with Carlie, and seem to have been steering him right back to MJ. The very thing they made OMD to end. Also, you know that once these changes in "SUPERIOR" come to an end that the title will just be put right back. Making the title change superficial. It's the equivalent of how they retitled all the X-MEN related series during Age of Apocalypse. Sure, it may have seemed clever to the publisher, but as a reader it made me both confused and lost.

Has anyone ever actually looked into how many new readers are actually gained during these changes (reboots, retitling, renumbering, ect.)? How many new are brought along in relation to how many are dropping a series because of these changes? How are these new readers going to even know about this if they aren't advertising outside of the comic bubble? Are these new readers any larger in numbers than new readers who come in during the middle of an arc or run?

Canceling titles then replacing just because of low sales sounds less like a plan and more like a reaction. Have they ever actually addressed what wasn't working that led to the low sales? In publishing, it's impossible to tell if something is working in the moment. You can only tell months if not a year down the line and see if you're doing better off than you were before the change can it be seen. Anyone can peak interest. It's a matter of can that be sustained. That's the sign of success,

@DH69:

You really find Ms. Marvel being renamed to Captain Marvel equivalent to the halfhearted changes done in SPIDER-MAN and SUPERMAN? Just because she's a woman there's no need for her to have a gender-centric name.

@colonyofcells:

This proposal sounds just like my blog article I wrote about a suggestion for a new system for numbering for comics.

Comic Numbering is a Broken System! Here's a Possible Solution!

like i said in my statement, she became a hero in her own right. there was no reason for her to take the name captain marvel, when she was better established as Ms Marvel...or even warbird/binary. Hell even the inclusion of Mar-vell in AvX was assinine and badly written "oh yeah we're gonna bring Marv back for a couple issue just for him to ok carol goin by capn now, just so that fanboys don't bite our heads off."

its not about her gender its for the simple fact that it was unneccesary.

And in the case of whatever they're doin to spidey, we havent seen what they're actually gonna do yet. Its all just speculation, Yes i was one of the people cursing and yelling the name Quesada for days and it still erks me the wrong way to remember what he's done, but lets be honest BND turned out alright (even if they did lose the organic webbing which i prefer, retcon god knows how much, and his marriage to mj)

Is spidey gonna start killing, is kaine gonna take over, is ben comin back, is mile morales gonna pop over from UU and tell pete to take a hike, is norman osborn gonna shove a pumpkin bomb down aunt mays stockings and watch her dance who knows, in a matter of months people will be *****ing about something else and completely forget about it.

hell i'm probably gonna stop caring about this MS MARVEL crap the moment they turn the hulk into the intellectual side and banner into the rage possessed monster. It always what happens with change, "James bond is blond?! not in my world, oh **** this movie is great!" "Dante is a punk teenager with black hair the franchise is dead to me, oh crap that looks pretty good now" "Evil Dead remake? Awesome!!! Wait no Ash?! You're dead to me raimi...oh wait hasnt come out yet...Im still allowed to hate that"

This is my 3:00am rant for the day GO NICKS...i dont even like soccer

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Thats all well and good for A-list chatacters but what about B and C listers? Those guys get killed/changed/replaced willy nilly and never go back

Posted by Green ankh

I liked the Superman Blue/Superman Red. It didn't last overly long..the Azbaat thing was even good back then. I dont know how well it would hold up now but then it was fine. I enjoyed it more then some of the "changes" since.

Posted by Twentyfive

You forgot Tim Drake.

I'm not even a fan, but I plainly saw how uptight they were.

Then I read the comic for myself.

Dang!

Posted by briangsharon

Lets face it , death in comics (long term) is trivial. They (almost) always return, and it is just a temporary mechanic to change the status quo.

The best way to truly impact a comics mythos is to slightly alter it.

Some prime examples of that lie in the biggest (arguably) comic of them all.

Batman.

Nightwing , Red Hood, Red Robin , Damian Wayne, Oracle. All these characters arrived at their current (sorry oracle) destinations not through death (I'd argue jasons death was a change in the character vs erasing the man himself) but through permanent character changes.

Posted by GothamRed

Arm Rockets Enagage, I think that'll be my new catchphrase

Posted by whitelantern64

See that's where the marvel ultimate universe pisses me off. They killed off everyone I cared about and because its the ultimate universe, none of them came back or will come back (barring a huge reboot of the universe). That prompted me to boycott marvel for more than a year (I only recently lifted the boycott to get the new deadpool series.) See I can deal with major changes to characters in alternate universe, but a complete absence of characters in that alternate universe? Now my blood starts to boil.

Posted by Grimoire

This is how I feel about the Ultimate Marvel comics. They ruined the Hulk so I don't like reading anything in that universe. lol

Posted by chasereis

Depends on the change. Cant stand change that makes a character act out of their character though that really bothers me or is nothing more than a gimmick to generate splash (short term) sales instead of consistent long term sales volume.

Posted by Zjd106

In my opinion, this point of view is ruining comics. Well maybe not ruining, but harming. The fact that writers and creators are limited from doing what they want because we, comic book nerds, can't handle our favorite character changing is absurd and asinine. At least the Ultimate Marvel Universe is pushing things. I straight up cried when Peter Parker died. It was a great story and actually felt like it made a difference.

I wish all of our comics had more intense storytelling that had a bite and an edge to it. Something to make the stakes feel real. Game Of Thrones fans can handle it when a favorite character dies, any one who appreciates the film industry can handle it (Gladiator, The Matrix..), Comic Book fans should be able to at least handle a couple changes.

Thats my opinion anyway, I know I am outnumbered.

Posted by The Mast

Characters can only be currently ruined. Chichester's Daredevil didn't somehow make Born Again worse. THAT kind of reactionary stupidity annoys me.

"You've ruined my childhood." How? Do you go back and read Maximum Carnage and think, "Oh, this sucks because of what happened in #698"? Of COURSE you don't.

As for the industry "knowing" what works. In a literal sense, yeah. They know what makes money and they will always care more about that than us. My biggest issue is this constant pandering to mythical new fans at the expense of long-term ones. Hands up:

How many of you got into comics because of #1 issue and never once did any back-tracking?

Exactly. Fans need to be made to do the leg-work. They're also letting movies inform comics WAY too much. This is one advantage D.C. has. I can't see them changing Batman based on Nolan's stuff. They would never. The chance of a person even deciding to check out comics based on a movie is not guaranteed. It's probably less than 50%. At best, no more than 65%. For those people to STAY into comics? I'd say you're looking at single-digit percentage.

WE, the long-term fans, deserve to be focused on a lot more.

Posted by moviegeek17

@FoxxFireArt said:

Hard to have much faith in publishers when we see stories such as BDN/OMD. Hard to have faith when SPIDER-MAN isn't just being renumbered but pointlessly re-titled. All for the sake of a #1. Rather than having pride in a #700. They are going backward. No one is under any delusion that in a year or less this will return to THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN title and another #1. Why change the title at all just because a character is changing?

How often have many of these 'drastic changes' really changed anything in the long run? Characters are very often put right back where they started in one way or another. They've even seemingly be pushing for the return of the Peter and Mary Jane relationship. The very relationship that Marvel created one of the most broken stories in comics just to end.

Faith is basically trust. It isn't given. It's earned. The practice of repeated changes or deaths only to reverse them in a few months has done little more than breed a cynical audience that can't take any alteration seriously. Marvel's unspoken mantra might as well be "The more things change. The more they stay the same.".

The industry knows what works and what doesn't.

Do they really? How often do reboots and retitling actually bring in new readers? That's the goal, right? One of the biggest problems is advertising. Who is going to know about this change who isn't already reading comics?

Sure, New 52 gave DC a huge boost in sales - for a few months -, but I've seen charts that shows that sales are now basically only slightly above where they were pre-New 52.

CLAP! CLAP! Great Post!

As a comic book fan and aspiring writer I tend to have the opposite problem from people. The kinds of changes I'm looking for in books are the kind of things that actually... oh I don't know.... Mean something!

But like I said before, I am open minded to changes, they just have to be good. That's the major catch here, and I will be blunt when I say that the industry hasn't delivered me much fresh, character evolution for a while.

So this begs the question, what do I view as good and bad changes?

Good:

1. Characters Aging: We may be in a comic book but marvel and DC used to at least try to show us that years have passed since their first days of fighting crime.

2. Relationships: Obviously this one isn't set in stone as much since if you break up a couple in a believable way then I'm fine with it. The problem comes when the company breaks up long time couples in their cannon cause they're "stale". These characters together aren't stale. that just means your writer sucks at writing couples. So find someone who can!

3. Mantle characters: Once again this my opinion but once a hero dies and a character takes over the mantle then they should stay in that title role. Bucky for instance was not only more than capable of being captain america but the sales justified it as well. So when you have a strong character taking over the mantle of a dead hero, there's no point in bringing him back.

4. Death: I'll keep this simple. Make it mean something again. Death is an absolute joke. People have argued that its a comic book and death has always been like that but they're dead wrong. Believe it or not but there was a time that death and resurrection of a character wasn't used as a cheap gimmick so i wished it would go back to that time.

Now for the bad... This is what Marvel and DC interpret as change...

Bad:

1. Events: Oh god, the events... for the love of god stop these stupid events that don't serve a large story purpose than milking sales! Sure there will be an event from time to time that will prove me wrong and I am talking about Marvel more than DC with this number. These events kill the individual writer's freedom and make them tie into a book that has the potential to ruin their own plans for the title. Everyone knows that's why JMS left Thor, who knows how many other casualties there've been cause of these monstrosities.

2. Retcons: I will openly admit that not all retcons are bad. I acknowledge that retroactively fixing some things is a necessity with comic books. The line I draw is when they're used to inhibit character growth. I only need one excuse for this one. OMD. But I will talk about that atrocity in a bit. Instead I will be referring to the new 52's Tim Drake. In the pre-52 Tim was able to do something that few people have managed, to deduce that Bruce Wayne was Batman. Fantastic idea, it shows how seriously we can take this character as a detective and as a robin. Problem is the 52 scrapped this for something much more generic. Apparently to the point where he was never a robin? That part still confuses me.

3. Inhibiting Character Growth: I know this was a long post so I'll try to have this be my last Point. One More Day... This story alone show how little of a f^&k the industry gives about evolving their characters. Peter and MJ had been married for roughly 20 years in real time and a comic equivalent of 5 to 7 years from what I've gathered. Everyone said the marriage was broken but JMS essentially did a whole run about these two and guess what, it worked. But not the point, so marvel wants to end the marriage but they don't want them to have a divorce which would be a great case of character development, no they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want their spidey to deage, lose his new powers and be single again so they can rehash every spider trope known to man. This stuff isn't original people, it just has a new coat of paint.

So my advice to the comic industry? Give something to care about! Make honest character building changes and you will have my money! You can't renumber and corrupt my characters to the point where the only way I believe you can save peter parker is to kill him off barry allen style. That stuff isn't going make me buy more of your books. What it will do though is have me spend 25 minutes writing about why it bothers me on the internet.

Posted by jrock85

"Comic fans have a right to be upset but they have to try to have some faith in the creators and publishers."

Of course. I mean, just look at how many great stories we ended up with as a result of Sue Dibny being raped and murdered. And lets not forget about the events of "Cry for Justice." There was a huge payoff waiting in the wings, wasn't there? >_>

Posted by Press Oblivion

I like that last sentence of the article. Things may change as time passes and creative teams may come and go but we'll always have our favorite stories.

Posted by kennybaese

I think I might be the odd one out in that I like when they take established characters and concepts and do something new with them. Shake them up. I love comics and have been reading them all my life, so I've read a ton of the stories that feel quintessential, if you will. Maybe it's because the majority of the characters I follow are the big major ones (though not in all cases. I love characters like Animal Man and Swamp Thing, even pre-New 52), but so many of these characters have been around for long enough that at a certain point, to me at least, stories without any kind of real change to the character or the status quo begin to feel like re-treads to me. They become predictable.

Maybe it's because I've always been more of a trade reader than an individual issue reader, so I think of things in terms of finite arcs instead of ongoing stories. Maybe it's because I have more of a tendency to follow creators rather than characters. Sure, there are characters that I love (like those that I mentioned above, or the obvious ones like Batman and things), but as I grow older and read more comics that aren't tights and flights books, I think it's more because of the kinds of stories that get told with those characters and less the characters themselves. Maybe it's because I have a tendency to see superheroes as kind of conceptual constructs that are turned into characters with each story by whoever is writing them at the time.

I don't know.

But I do know that the New 52 had me more excited for comics than I had been in a while. Sure, I was still reading them and enjoying them, but I was excited to see what these big fresh takes on those characters would be. Same thing goes for Marvel Now. Heck, for the Disney purchase of Star Wars. I know what a George Lucas Star Wars movie looks like 6 times over at this point. I want to see what someone else does with that stuff.

Maybe I'm the odd one out, but I find that when people cry that this or that ruined their childhood, I tend to find it a bit... hyperbolic. There's no one holding a gun to your head and making you burn those old stories that you love. I understand, when you're attached to a particular character, how changes to that character can be worrisome, but to me the same stories over and over and over again begin to bore me.

Posted by doordoor123

Things don't really ever change much at Marvel. When something like this happens, it reverts to the way it was pretty soon. Readers that are Strictly Marvel fans go crazy over this and send mass death threats.

Posted by Pokeysteve

This article should have been written when the New 52 started. It makes me feel better and gives me hope that some day Wonder Woman won't be a female Hercules anymore.

Posted by save.me.now

About the ultimate marvel U.

At first I did complain that they were killing everyone off, but when I stopped complaining and actually looked at the stories Marvel was telling I really came to enjoy it. The masses always whine about status quo staying the same, so then writers change things and people get even angrier. It's really no surprise that most changes are temporary.

Even when people like a change, the angry whiners are always the most vocal. So things get reset and people like me are stuck saying "too bad, that would have been kinda cool" The whole point of the ultimate U was to avoid all the outrage at making even a minor change to characters in the 616 universe. So that fact that some are still whining about the ultimate U is kind of funny.

If there's one thing you can say about the ultimate U it's that things change. Some changes are good, some are horrible, but that's what happens when you experiment. And I think the freedom to experiment with change is the Ultimate U's best trait and something that should be protected.

Posted by SupremeHyperion

Most change feels like damage right off the bat but if done right can make sense. I will follow my favorites through pretty much anything (minus total ridiculousness). I think things need to be switched up or messed with after a while or else things can become stale.

As far as Peter Parker is concerned and him as spiderman I'm ok with someone else taking over the mantle. Peter parker is and always will be the first and best spiderman but even he has to die sometime? that's just how it is and I can accept that....especially in comics.

Posted by Sammo21

Some things are minor and temporary (someone else being Spider-man, Batman, Captain America, etc) while others are monumentally insane (changing Tim Drake, DC not even knowing their own timeline). DC comics has gotten worse in the last 6 months. I have dropped more DC books as time goes on and just picked up other titles instead like Saga or the new IDW Judge Dredd stuff. I'm fine with changes to a character or evolving a character but when they take an existing character and retcon them so much there is nothing about that character that resembles who I liked (and why I liked them) then I can't support it. Getting pissy about a costume change is one thing but something like that is insane. I get a little upset when certain writers think you shouldn't care. If you shouldn't care and shouldn't have any attachment to these characters then why do we support the industry so heavily and buy their books?

Posted by ectoborge

No one is ruining your childhood. You had that when you were a kid and your grown up now. The new spider-man is Someone Else's childhood. You can choose to prefer the Spider-man you grew up with. No one is ruining your childhood unless they send a terminator back in time to destroy your comics.

Posted by ThomasElliot

Don't like the change, don't read. That's all there is to it. Too many people not liking changes = loss in sales, then they go back to what works.

I've grown weary of the new 52... so I don't buy anymore. That's all. No whining about it.

Its that same whine w/ Star Trek. I'm a huge Trek nerd and I LIKE the JJ Abram's Trek. I don't care how many 'hardcore Trekkers' want to bitch about it... THEY are the reason Star Trek started losing money and viewers in the the first place, because they pushed Trek into this non-accessible black hole that people weren't interested in. Franchises need to stay accessible to stay alive... hardcore fandom does not keep projects afloat. Go ask Joss Wheddon about that.

Posted by poisonfleur

I love how this article failed to mention Storm. lol

Posted by PHATbaby_IZOD

Awesome article!

I am DEATHLY AFRAID of what Michael Bay is about to do to the Turtles...

They won't be Teenage or Mutant in the new movie...they will be aliens...

Please Michael Bay DONT DO IT!

  • 122 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3