I write this less than a week after the culmination of Age of Ultron. After 10 issues (and $40 if you paid retail) readers have been rewarded with a climax with little reward that served mostly to launch other story-lines. Again.
I'm not wearing blinders. I know that major stories exist to gin up readership and pull people in for the next year. But why do readers come back each year, knowing the next big thing will just be more of the same?
Now, mind you, I'm not speaking of Marvel alone here, DC is just as guilty. The two top comic brands have fallen into a cycle of 1. Big annual story 2. New stories launched from it 3. Leading to next big story.
This editorially driven model has left little room for creators to create and led, in many cases to worse comics.
The question is, why does anyone (especially these days) have a brand loyalty to Marvel or DC? I'm saying this as a long-time reader of products of both companies (as well as others).
Writers, other than the top creators, are back-seat driven by editorial, leaving artists as the only ones with a high degree of creative freedom. Then, with Marvel's double shipping and DC's "no late comics policy) artists able to produce high quality work on a consistent monthly basis are often subbed out for lesser talents.
So what am I saying? Should you read only indie books?
Of course not!
But I am saying we, as readers, need to ditch fanboyish brand loyalties to companies.
If you read a book by Bendis or Snyder and enjoyed it, try some of their other work, even if it's not at a company you're familiar with or about a character you know.
If you enjoy an artist's work like Samnee or Jock check out some of their indie work.
As long as we bicker stupidly about brand and follow brand slavishly, we're only going to continue to be victims of products designed to be money grabs and not good stories.