I must admit, my true love are really independent comics, but being the incorrigible tart I really am, I can’t stay away from my first love; mainstream comics, specifically, the Big Two. I will forever be enthralled and take great comfort from the epic, glossy offerings of these two behemoths and as long as they keep producing, I will always stick my nose over the fence and take a gander.
However, of late, I have developed something of a bad taste in my mouth regarding these publications, specifically toward Marvel.
While dubious at first regarding DC's New 52 relaunch, I was also enormously impressed with the sheer BALLS of their decision to relaunch the whole line and even though there have been as many hits as misses, I think the notion of bringing in new readers and expanding their universe was something, ultimately, to be applauded.
On the other side of the fence, however, Marvel seem to have missed the mark with their Marvel Now relaunch and in the process, have revealed something about themselves they might have wished otherwise;
They’re out of ideas.
That’s right, the house of ideas is out of them. Creatively bankrupt. Inspirationally down the pooper.
Need proof? Sure. Here ya go, disbeliever!
Whilst never the most popular of characters, Scott Summers always had something a lot of characters didn’t; Respect. He was a solid character who held true to his beliefs and in his own way, to those who cared to see it, Cyclops was just as great a hero as Captain America and his ilk. So what does Marvel do? They make him a villain. That’s right, they completely subvert his character and turn him into something he quite simply is not. If you had previously been a fan or admirer of his character, you were suddenly left with nothing to hold onto of the original and if you were a new reader, you were left confused as to his motives, reasons, history and his dorky new outfit, which must make driving impossibility! Clumsily handled and incredibly laboured, Cyclops has become a confused character; indicative of the universe he now exists in.
But wait, there’s MORE!
Not content to do this to one of the long term classics, Marvel then decide to give new meaning to the word ‘convoluted’ and using the old Deus Ex of time travel, bring back the ORIGINAL Cyclops from the past!
But, but, if you wanted the original all along Marvel, WHY DID YOU F#$K WITH THE ORIGINAL IN THE FIRST PLACE!?!?
It seems like a big show down is imminent between the original and the bastardized versions of the character, but the big question is; why bother? It just reeks of bad writing to me and it just feels like Marvel can’t be arsed making up any new characters when they can just take a monumental s#$t on our collectives pasts by unnecessarily tinkering with their established characters.
Which brings me nicely to…
So what do Marvel do?
Replace him with some unknown little squirt.
Why change something that is working? Why screw your fans like that?
Again, it just sounds like an easier option than actual good writing. Instead, Marvel have opted for an initial run of good sales on a new launch which will inevitably run out of steam and then get axed when a relaunched Richard Ryder Nova could do the same thing, but have a better chance of lasting due to a loyal and already committed fan base.
It is just bad business.
Okay, so Jonathan Hickman did a great job on Fantastic Four and Rick Remender’s X Force was pretty awesome, but have any of the ‘Marvel Architects’ done anything to earn their vaunted positions, besides acting as a mutual masturbation society? Jason Aaron’s Hulk was a disaster, Bendis’ vastly over rated Avengers run just should have been issue after issue containing drawings of the bottom of a barrel being scraped and Brubaker's Captain America has long become stale and confused. Matt Fraction, on the other hand, gets off the hook as he has always and consistently been crap.
Hats off to you , sir.
Now, wanting to inject some much needed vitality into their comics, Marvel have done the unthinkable; they’ve kept all the same creators. I know, I know, but to appear like they’re actually doing something, they’ve just swapped them all onto different titles!
Hey, you rmemeber those old classic stories where the Masters Of Evil would come up with the ‘master plan’ of switching heroes to fight as this would INEVITABLY end in victory?
Remember how much those stories sucked?
Yeah. It’s like that.
Don’t be fooled. There is actually nothing new here.
Go through the list of titles launched and besides Morbius, they are essentially all the same titles they were releasing previously, only with different adjectives before the title and the content is now faaaaar more convoluted.
Does anyone really need a Red She Hulk comic? Does anyone really want to see young Avengers get killed? Does anyone really need to see X Men and Avengers on the same team? Wasn’t Wolverine’s awkward shoe horning into the Avengers enough pain for everyone!?!?!
Speaking of which….
Don’t even get me f$#king started.
There are more, many more reasons, but I digress. I know many will disagree with me, but in all fairness… YOU'RE WRONG!!! :)
I hate to see such a potentially exciting and great company, as it has been in the past, reduced to such laziness and confusion. Comics are in a flux right now, sales dropping, medium changing, but that should, hopefully, encourage companies to expand their borders, not limit them.
It feels like Marvel is eating it’s own tail and only one thing can save it.
More Wolverine series.
Nah, just kidding.
The real answer is great stories that move forward, not piss on the past. Take what’s great about these characters and give them to writers who truly love them and want the m to shine.
Failing that, give them to me and I’ll do for Marvel what Stan Lee did for Marvel.
Yes, that’s right, I’ve been taken my modesty pills.
EXCELSIOR! (or something).