X-Sanction is not X-Citing

This is boring already. We know everything about it.

So here’s a quick one. X-Sanction, the much anticipated return of Cable, already has nothing to offer. Not because the story is bad or they shouldn’t have killed off Cable in the first place (which they shouldn’t have, but that’s whole different thing), but because of something that annoys me quite a bit about comics these days. There is no surprise anymore. But allow me to illustrate.

First we got the teaser going “_ _ _ _ _ Reborn” and everyone was wondering who it was. Is it Bucky? He wasn’t quite dead at that point, but we knew he was going to bite it because of the same reason why X-Sanction isn’t all that good anymore. Is it Steve? Whoever Steve might be. Or Synch? Was he even dead? Excitement, you know. Or was it someone else, maybe someone who will be retconned into having always been there but then kind of forgotten on the butt-end of some reality-altering event? Could be! Who knew?

Then it got very, very boring all of a sudden at the moment where we learned who the about-to-be-reborn “_ _ _ _ _” was. Cable. Sure, we’ve speculated that it might have been Cable. And we were pretty sure that it was him for some odd reason, but the official confirmation suddenly put an end to most of the excitement. No longer could we speculate about who would be returning. No longer could we try to figure out if some books have left clues to who _ _ _ _ _ might be. But still, we knew it was Cable. The speculation began… somewhat. The how and why were left. And most importantly: What will he be doing?

Then they told us that as well. Cable was going up against the Avengers who are now apparently big killers and blahblahblah… who still cares at this point? Because as much as you try to avoid the comic book news, you’re bound to be somewhat market-savvy. So here’s the things that will immediately kill any sort of excitement for the whole event.

  • The Avengers are the good guys. Always have been, always will be. They will not end up being the bad guys.
  • None of the Avengers will die, because they have a movie coming out.
  • The Avengers won’t be destroyed, either.
  • Cable won’t die, because he just got better.
Still exciting.

This leaves us with the following: Details. We know the premise, we know the ending – something to the extent of “Sorry, people, I mistook you for someone else!” – “Oh, you!” – and so there’s no real excitement anymore. It’s endless monotony (thanks to my friend Vlorghax to get me back on track with this). Same crud, different characters. And of course, we’re being fed the same PR-crap. “This will shatter the status-quo.” Sure it will. Just like the last fifty-nine events we’ve had in the last week. And nothing changed.

And that’s what’s wrong with most of the announcements for new comics these days. Currently, we have this “What if there wasn’t only one?”-mystery going on. People are still speculating, most agree it’s Bucky. And it might be. But we don’t know. And if I didn’t know that they’d tell us who it will be and who will do what when, then I’d go into the shop, all excited and interested and buy a comic.

24 Comments
24 Comments
Posted by azza04

Marvel suck, I dropped all their titles now. For the first time in seven years im only reading DC.

Posted by cattlebattle
@azza04 said:

Marvel suck, I dropped all their titles now. For the first time in seven years im only reading DC.

I concur
Posted by xerox_kitty

Marvel do have a very strange way of pimping their future releases that manages to kill most of the mystery & suspense. I can only hope that X-Sanction still manages to surprise you & doesn't live up to (or should that be 'down' to) your expectations.

Moderator
Edited by fodigg

Yeah, I know when I read the opening lines to Romeo & Juliet I was all, pfft, "great bard my ass" and threw that sh!t away. Who cares about details like "plot" and "character development" and "story?" Don't writers know we only read this crap for the surprise twist endings?

Posted by Renchamp

@fodigg said:

Yeah, I know when I read the opening lines to Romeo & Juliet I was all, pfft, "great bard my ass" and threw that sh!t away. Who cares about details like "plot" and "character development" and "story?" Don't writers know we only read this crap for the surprise twist endings?

Ha! My sentiments exactly, just stated in a non-sarcastic way. And it's effing Cable. When hasn't he been awesome? And don't give me that Loeb crap/argument. The man pushes boundaries and changes the status quo, but then people get mad because he's not writing to their liking, or as has been done. I don't like everything he's done (by a long shot), but I can't fault him for pushing on the readers. And did I mention, it's effing Cable.

Moderator
Posted by Daycrawler

I love Cable as a character, and the Avengers too when handled properly, but there are a number of things that kills this for me:

  1. The creative team. Now I'll admit I've not read any of Loeb's stuff, but I've read enough reviews, etc to be worried. And McGuiness's art, kinda meh for me and way to cartoonish and colorful for a Cable story. Should be something a bit more dynamic and gritty. Just read the latest Secret Avengers and David Aja's work would be perfect (it was awesome on Wolverine: Debt of Honor too)
  2. It's tooooo soon!!! Cable just died (or at least appeared to). There's so much more mileage to get out of his death in Second Coming re: Hope, Cyclops, Nate Grey, etc! Just chucking all that out for a punch-up with the Avengers. I feel it cheapens things (I happened to think his death/sacrifice was a great bit of writing and plot development).
  3. It's too rushed! Ties in with it being too soon really. They could have just started dropping clues and plot points through the X-titles / Avengers titles over the next several months. Maintain the mystery, throw in a few red-herrings, crank up tensions and expectations, get fans reaaalllly excited and then deliver a Cable Returns moment! Totally agree with @Battlepig on this! I'm a big Marvel fan, but they seem to have attention deficit disorder when it comes to events. They keep jumping from one to another before anything settles or has time to naturally develop.
  4. The Avengers. I've nothing against them, but do we have to have them involved in his return? They're involved in practically everything these days. If Cable really needs to interact with someone in the wider MU at least pick someone a bit more unexpected/different.

Having said all that, that fan-boy collector in me will still buy the series and hope for the best. At the moment I can see me reading it and swearing a lot. Damn you Marvel!!!

Posted by Battlepig

@fodigg said:

Yeah, I know when I read the opening lines to Romeo & Juliet I was all, pfft, "great bard my ass" and threw that sh!t away. Who cares about details like "plot" and "character development" and "story?" Don't writers know we only read this crap for the surprise twist endings?

There won't be any plot that matters. See the characters involved. Nothing will end up mattering. Same with character development. Nobody will die, Cable will be back in his old form. The story is not exciting anymore since we know the ending already. I'm not even asking for a surprise twist ending. I'd be perfectly happy if they wouldn't tell us everything that's about to happen. I'm happy if it would be some big fight in some place in New York where the good guys and the bad guys duke it out and the good guys win. But if I know what's going to happen about five months in advance because Marvel figured that we'd have enough speculating and that nobody will buy their mystery book we've been talking about unless we know exactly what's about to happen, then I can pretty much go "Meh, this I won't buy." I want any kind of suspense. Not big surprise twists. Screw those, there are too many of them already and most of them are nonsensical and have no consequence.

If you look at this year's big winner in terms of "doing it right", look at DC (and I honestly never thoguht I'd be able to say this). Think of the relaunch what you want, but we had no idea what was coming. We knew that everything was rebooted and we knew some details, such as Clark/Lois not being married anymore. We had no idea who the new Superman was. We knew the young new Superman was kind of badass and brash, but that was about it. Hoiw? Why? How does the shirt-guy become the suit-guy? Who knows?

@Daycrawler said:

I love Cable as a character, and the Avengers too when handled properly, but there are a number of things that kills this for me:

  • It's too rushed! Ties in with it being too soon really. They could have just started dropping clues and plot points through the X-titles / Avengers titles over the next several months. Maintain the mystery, throw in a few red-herrings, crank up tensions and expectations, get fans reaaalllly excited and then deliver a Cable Returns moment! Totally agree with @Battlepig on this! I'm a big Marvel fan, but they seem to have attention deficit disorder when it comes to events. They keep jumping from one to another before anything settles or has time to naturally develop.
  • The Avengers. I've nothing against them, but do we have to have them involved in his return? They're involved in practically everything these days. If Cable really needs to interact with someone in the wider MU at least pick someone a bit more unexpected/different.

Having said all that, that fan-boy collector in me will still buy the series and hope for the best. At the moment I can see me reading it and swearing a lot. Damn you Marvel!!!

Well, there being a constant event going on is another thing. But I'm pretty sure we'll know who the not-only-one will be before the first issue hits. I'm also pretty sure we'll know the basic story of the next big Spidey-thing before the first issue is out. And it's not even about the in-story coherence of a universe since I'm an advocate of a loose continuity. Bring him back if you like, but at least make it exciting. Make it something that we will actually wonder about. Let's say we have Cable going up against the New Warriors or any other team that doesn't have a book of their own and are basically on every butt-end of every joke. Portray them as halfway competent and sort of ambiguous until some big reveal about halfway through the miniseries. Are theay really villains? Can they be the fierce killers that Cable must destroy? You know, keep up the suspense. And, most importantly, keep your bloody mouth shut. Do not tell people how it will end. Do not announce Cable's new book until the very last minute. And when you do, don't show a cover and add no blurb. Just "Yeah, Cable #1 will be out".

Posted by fodigg

@Battlepig: So "doing it right" is being original by going back to the silver age status quo and retelling origin stories without changing the core concepts of the characters? Good to know!

Thumbs up!

Posted by Battlepig

@fodigg said:

@Battlepig: So "doing it right" is being original by going back to the silver age status quo and retelling origin stories without changing the core concepts of the characters? Good to know!

Thumbs up!

Wait, I think you misunderstand me. I'm not talking about the stories themselves. I'm talking about the way the stories - regardless of how much you end up liking them - are advertised. My argument stops at the point where the stories begin, actually. Let's compare the situations real quick.

Flashpoint. By the time Flashpoint #1 came out, we had no idea how it would end. Really. Would it be another event like Final Crisis where the big twist ending is that nothing changed? Would it be something like any of the smaller events that subsequently get ignored? And then someone noticed that - hold on - there's nothing solicited past Flashpoint's final issue. Naturally, newssites picked it up and DC got wind of it. But still, we had no idea what was to come. At some point, they went "Yeah, we'll reboot" and that's when people started going apeshit mad. Some were very excited, some were already totally enraged, they discussed the benefits and disadvantages of the move forever. And they speculated what a reboot would mean. Then DC came along and - at some point way after tha halfway mark of Flashpoint - and went "We'll put out Fifty-Two titles" and everyone went apeshit again. What 52 titles were they? Would their favourite book be continued or rebooted but still exist? Along came the final stretch and they went "This is what you'll get. Have a couple previews" and people went absolutely mental. Superman a commie-like hero of the people? No more Lois/Clark? Who are those weird Titans? Nightwing... wait, what? What about Bruce? What about Batman Inc? I don't think I need to illustrate this any further, since you were there. And then the new Fifty-Two hit. People went and bought the books with excitement. You know the aftermath, which is not important at all for the point I'm making here: Rage, sexism, love, Batman having sex and all that.

X-Sanction. Months before anything happens, we get a teaser going "_ _ _ _ _ Reborn" and that was that. So far so good. We start speculating. We sort of kind of agree that it would be Cable based on nothing but speculation. Marvel goes "Yeah, it's Cable" followed by a preview cover and a blurb telling us that Nathan will go up against the Avengers. We know that none of them will die, so it's pointless. However, if we hadn't known this, maybe gotten a preview like the image on the left (very quick and dirty photoshop, mind you), we'd be asking ourselves who could be fitting the sillhouette. Is that an arm or a shield? Could it be Gauntlet, Taskmaster or - who knows? - maybe Cap? And if it is Cap... why? Give us a blurb like this and we'll be anxiously waiting for the book:

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at superstar artist Ed McGuinness’ X-Sanction #1 cover. The safety of the future is at stake and it’s all up to Cable in order to save it – even if that means taking on the heaviest hitters in the Marvel Universe. With only 24 hours to destroy those who oppose him, can he take on all of them alone? Find out as superstar creators Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness kick off the countdown to the 2012’s status quo-shattering event in the X-Sanction #1!

I only changed about five words, tops. And we'd still be completely in the dark. And we'd be guessing like crazy. Come the day of the release, we'd go into our shops and pick up the book wondering who could be these heaviest hitters. And once again, my argument stops at the point where the actual story begins. We might even believe that it'll be status-quo-shattering this way. We might even believe that we'll get a story that actually matters. But regardless of whether it does or not, we'd be excited until the day it actually appears on shelves and we'd actually be waiting for it.

Posted by fodigg

@Battlepig: I'm not buying it. You come to comic book news sites, you probably are gonna get some teasers if not spoilers. As there's not an original story in the universe and status quo is law, it's not gonna be hard to figure out how things are gonna end up. The story is either good or bad regardless, but if your enjoyment is only about being surprised or not knowing where the story goes, then probably best to avoid teasers and just read the stuff cold.

Posted by ThePRez

@azza04 said:

Marvel suck, I dropped all their titles now. For the first time in seven years im only reading DC.

ultimate spiderman with miles morales is great so far

Posted by Battlepig

@ThePRez: No, Ultimate Spidey-Man really isn't that great. While I complain about character development or lack thereof in practically every book I read these days - all in the name of some idiotic status quo that needs to be maintained for some odd reason - Miles-Man has too much too soon. In my review of the second issue, I mention that the story has stopped moving at a crawl's speed, but has come to an absolute stand-still. And in the first issue, there's just too many people to care about. All this has led to one thing. Me not reading Ultimate Spidey-Man anymore.

Posted by JoseDRiveraTCR7

What do you expect from a book written by Loeb?

Posted by Battlepig

@JoseDRiveraTCR7: Well, the same thing I expect from basically any other comic. Entertainment, interesting storytelling and so on. And Loeb can be good. His Superman/Batman arc was pretty good, for example.

Posted by Mayo88m

@Battlepig: "Cable won’t die, because he just got better." This is wrong. Maybe he won't die, but he didn't just get better. He's worse off now than he ever was. His body is nearly consumed by the TO virus now. Will he die? Probably not, but you can't really say he's all fixed up now.

Also, people complain about them hyping up "Changing the status quo," and say that they don't, but what about House of M? That changed a lot by reducing the mutant population to near nothing. Or, even Second Coming. As a result we no longer have Nightcrawler, (AoA version doesn't really count he's pretty different,) we now have Hope who, while she hasn't done anything much up to this point, will mostly likely finally be a major player in this arc, and we have some new mutants being invented. Given the new mutants aren't really that exciting so far, but it's still a pretty big change. Even Schism changed things drastically. We now have a big rent in the X-Men. Was this a ploy to get more X-Men books on the market? Obviously, but this is a business at the end of the day, and they have to make money.

Anyway, I don't completely disagree with you, don't get me wrong. They really do kind of reveal too much of what's going to happen for my tastes, but in the same hand they really didn't reveal THAT much. We don't really know who's going to host the Phoenix yet, or if an Avenger will die, or won't die. You're probably right, and they won't, but it's all really speculation because it's only just starting. I just feel like a lot of long time comic readers have really jaded attitudes towards all of this, and I get it on some level, but really the complaining isn't going to change it at the end of the day. Not putting your money down on it will.

Posted by The Impersonator

Wasn't there supposed to be a Cable Reborn series? I heard this news back at the Comic Con interview. Instead, they brought X-Sanction. O___O

Posted by Battlepig

@Mayo88m: Compared to "Being blown up and all parts are lost in time", I call "running around in present time, abducting people" an improvement. And no matter how you want to twist it, neither Cable nor the Avengers are going anywhere. Which leaves us with one possible outcome. The Avengers will scamper off going "Sorry for the confusion!" and Cable will go "Whoops, my bad" and then Cable suddenly is fixed. Again, it's predictable.

Also, do you see me complaining about House of M or Second Coming? Because quite frankly, those were status-quo-shaking events. X-Sanction is merely something to pass the time gets the label "changes everything forever" slapped onto it. And the only thing they didn't reveal in the beginning were the details. And really, do you want to read a book just to see how something happens and not for what happens? I certainly don't.

@The Impersonator: I think that was a promo for X-Sanction, since it was just "_ _ _ _ _ reborn" at that point.

Posted by Mercy_

Glad I didn't pick this up.

Moderator
Posted by TheOptimist

I was on the fence on this book... I liked that it was going to be a (relatively) short event-style story, with the lead-in to AvX element... there were certainly some appealing elements to it... I admit that I'm a sucker for events, quite enjoy them actually... I think you're right on the mis-execution of the marketing for sure... as for it 'mattering', that wouldn't matter (heh) to me if there was a really compelling full story there... but...

I took a look at it really quickly to see if it was going to be worth the pick-up (a habit I tend to avoid) and was surprised that I managed to read the entire story in around 30 seconds. My problem isn't that it isn't a quality story or is boring or anything like that... but a comic that reads that ridiculously fast does not hold up the $3.99 value for me. I felt moderately ashamed to set it back on the rack (because I did read it, after all) but it just was NOT worth that price tag. I'd pay maybe 25 cents for that read, based on quantity alone.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@fodigg said:

@Battlepig: So "doing it right" is being original by going back to the silver age status quo and retelling origin stories without changing the core concepts of the characters? Good to know!

Thumbs up!

Well the thing is that actually works for the flash
Posted by The Impersonator

@Battlepig: Oh. :P

Posted by Squares

For what it's worth, I don't know that Cable ever stays dead for very long.

Posted by fodigg

@spiderbat87:

Posted by Mayo88m

@Battlepig: About the second part of your post. You were very broad in your post. You seemed to be complaining about most events. It's only natural that I would think you included these events with the way you presented your argument. Sure the focus of the write up was the upcoming event, but you do go on to say, "And that’s what’s wrong with most of the announcements for new comics these days." That opens your argument up very wide to interpretation since you don't give exceptions to the rule.

Also, I still say you don't really know what's going to happen. You're only assuming.