To whom it may concern,
This is definitely a difficult letter for me to write. Ever since I can remember, I have been a huge fan of Marvel comics. Growing up it seemed that the M universe was everything I wanted comics to be. Beautiful women, powerful men, and crazy story lines that could only happen in comic books. Wide eyed with wonder I would buy up everything I could [mostly those pesky X titles], completely infatuated with what seemed to be obvious metaphors for real life. I can recall [and I think anyone who was growing up reading Marvel feels the same way] wishing that my mutant powers would manifest themselves as I hit puberty. I was definitely a Marvel child.
Then I started to grow up. I graduated High School, and started moving my life forward trying to figure out what I wanted to do with myself. Most of my petty childhood dreams and ambitions had been thrown out the window, and with that, I just stopped reading comic books [for the most part]. I graduated college, got my life together, moved out of my parents house, and finally felt like an adult [the most someone of my n3rdom could anyways]. This was the time to start getting back into comic books [now that I actually had some free time and moolah].
This was right around the time that the Civil War was happening. Someone had suggested it as a good starting point to get back into the MU. After reading the first issue, I immediately gobbled up every issue [including variants] I could, loving every panel and digesting the story as I would a fine cut of Kobe Beef. Without doing an actual review of CW, I must say that the tie ins between this story and what America was going through in it's post 9/11 era were remarkable. A multiversal mirror saying things about events taking place in our own realm in ways that I could not.
And then we get to the end of the story line. "Stand down. That's an order." [And no I did not need to look that quote up]. I fxcking cried, and I'm not ashamed to admit it [you should all know why]. Captain America has always been a personal hero of mine, and this only solidified the pedestal I put him on. And then the event that shocked the Marvel Universe [and my universe as well]. The death of Captain America. The end of the War was but a light sprinkle compared to the emotions I was feeling in issue #25. Brubaker did everything perfectly. It was written so well to get across the point and martyrdom of his death. It made sense. It was, to me, the only way Captain America should die. Saving the freedom of the American people by giving his life. Tony Stark was all of a sudden on my top ten most wanted list [seeing the movie was very difficult for me, but I loved it anyways]. No, top one most wanted list. I hated him more than Mojo [still do, but I get the feeling that he will be the hero of the now running, me not reading, Dark Reign, which may or may not change my opinion of the low life].
So where does the MU go from here? Alien Invasion. I mean, what can bring a divided people together better than the threat of an alien hostile take over. Taken place after the Avengers Initiative [which I thought was a really solid idea, but done fairly poorly], we all know what happens. Those pesky cows start to realize their past and decide that their "G-d" wants them to cleanse the universe [I know there is much more to it than that, what with the whole "Illuminati" and everything, but the cow thing is just so freaking ridiculously awesome].
Let me start off by saying Leinil Francis Yu's art is spectacular. I think that is probably the only thing that really kept me going on Secret Invasion. I had never really been a big fan of Brian Michael Bendis' work [or even read that much of it to be honest with you], so the artwork definitely had to keep me going. There were some spectacular pages in this series. The double spread of the last battle with the Watcher in the background? AMAZING. But I knew the story was lacking. And it really wasn't until the last issue that I fully understood how much I hated BMB. Brian, please answer me this one question: HOW THE EFF DO YOU GO ABOUT KILLING A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE AVENGERS IN JUST ONE SINGLE PANEL WITH THE CRAPPIEST EXPLANATION I HAVE EVER READ?! I was appaled. Completely and udderly appaled. BMB was too concerned with seeding things twenty years earlier than he was concerned with explaining his horrific deeds. I will give you this though, having Norman Osborne take the kill shot to start the whole Dark Reign thing was a good move.
So what does Marvel do? They hand over the controls of the entire Marvel Universe to the b@stard that killed Janet. Then something happens that I didn't think could ever happen. BMB's head gets even bigger, and he decides to take a shit on the entire universe. I am not going to go into specifics [mostly because I don't read enough of the shit you are coming out with right now to even know where to begin, and also because it goes in one eye and out the other], but let me tell you there is definitely something faulty going on. Things are getting just a little too campy for me, and telling Marvel that they are getting campy is like telling Carrot Top he's getting less funny. It's just something you didn't think was possible.
Secret Invasion also set me up for something else I was looking forward to and completely disappointed in. The War of Kings. Blackbolt has always been a favorite of mine, along with Havok and some of the other Starjammers, but this tale was just a major let down. I couldn't even get through the first issue. Enough of this.
Now let's get a little bit into Millar's run of the Fantastic Four. This storyline started off really strong, and ended really weak [I mean, REALLY WEAK]. Marvel seemed to be asking too much of this prolific writer, and his stories suffered for it [with the exception of Old Man Logan, the best comic run in Marvel SINCE the Civil War]. It also seemed Brian Hitch was pressured into his shitty drawing because of the lack of time he had. Brian Hitch is one of my favorite artists, and the last two issues of the FF run were just terrible. I didn't even buy them to complete the series [not to mention the terribly timed Christmas issue].
Let's complete the circle and get back to Captain America. We all know what happens when a great hero dies in comic books. Do I even have to say it? They get resurrected [I guess I did]. And I think we all knew this was going to happen, but I remember reading an interview with Brubaker about the subject. Without being able to quote him at all, he basically said that Marvel had no intention of bringing the Captain back to life. There was no secret story in some basement about his resurrection. This made me a happy camper, because it did not lessen Cap's death or make it some sort of side show spectacle. It made it the real deal, and made what he was fighting for real, and made me even prouder to be his number one fan. AND THEN THE BIGGEST PILE OF GARBAGE I HAVE EVER NOT READ CAME OUT. Captain America Reborn #1. I bought it. Didn't even read it. My curiosity got the best of me and then I came across the spoilers for the arc. Time traveling multi universal Captain America's? WTF is that? Poor planning and MU's EIC being an @sshole [please refer to BND for his @ssholishness]. This was the straw that broke the camels proverbial back. I have had enough.
So without crapping on the MU too much more, where does this leave us? Some things I still like about Marvel. Deadpool. Their movies. Old Man Logan. Immortal Iron Fist and the Immortal Weapons. Deadpool. Bucky as Cap. Skarr. Marvel Zombies [although that's getting a little out of control as well]. The fact that Bruce Banner may very well not be able to turn into the Hulk anymore. Spider-Man [with the exception of that whole Brand New Day garbage]. Venom Scorpion. Thunderbolts pre H.A.M.M.E.R. The Sentry pre H.A.M.M.E.R. [and maybe even post]. Did I say Deadpool already?
I feel like I can only compare my transition to that of political parties. You should be a Marvel fan when you are younger, and a DC fan as you mature and get older. I will get into my love of the DCU in another post, but for right now let's just say that I feel they are doing things absolutely right, and Marvel could take a lesson. Solid storylines, character progression without fail [with some exceptions], and events that stick within continuity of every book. Hal Jordan has slowly taken over the mantle of my heart that Captain America once held. Batman [who has always been a part of my life] is finally seen in my eyes as the true hero he is [or was for that matter, and will again be]. They say that a hero is only as good as his rogue gallery. Marvel's villain seem to be joke cracking, whining little babies, while DCU villains seem to be genuinely hateful and revenge bound. It just feels more real to me. Almost as if the DCU heroes have more to lose, and care about what they have more than anything else.
Personally I think the cup needs to be poured out and Marvel needs a revamp. Or maybe I am just growing up and find the sillyness of the MU to bare a complete lack of anything worthwhile at this stage in my life [with the exception of Deadpool]. Don't get me wrong, I really hope that one day I can return to my roots and restore my faith in the Marvel U again, but I really don't think it will be anytime soon. As of right now, DC holds the title of dearest in my heart.
Thanks for reading. Now get off your ass and go read a book.
To whom it may concern,