Is Marvel Creatively Bankrupt?

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!

CYCLOPS

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…

NOVA

Richard Rider worked. As a character he was solid. He had a history, fan support and was well loved and popular, especially during the Annihilation epic and it’s subsequent storylines.

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.

CREATORS

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.

MARVEL NOW

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….

WOLVERINE.

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).

69 Comments
69 Comments
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Posted by moywar700

These characters are almost 50 years old.I think they've done everything to tell there is.The only difference is the story is being told differently.I always thought they should give these characters a break.You know,kill off 616 universe.It's time to give these characters a rest and move onto something new.I had an idea that they should build off ultimate universe and make it mainstream.

Posted by kingsloth

@moywar700: if they kill 616 they should restart fresh, no ultimate. I also dont buy the characters have exhausted all there options, stories can always be written in a different way.

Posted by feebadger

@kingsloth said:

@moywar700: if they kill 616 they should restart fresh, no ultimate. I also dont buy the characters have exhausted all there options, stories can always be written in a different way.

Agreed, absolutely. Anyway, if they restarted the 616, they wouldn't need the Ultimate universe. It would essentially become the Ultimate universe.

Posted by kingsloth

@feebadger said:

@kingsloth said:

@moywar700: if they kill 616 they should restart fresh, no ultimate. I also dont buy the characters have exhausted all there options, stories can always be written in a different way.

Agreed, absolutely. Anyway, if they restarted the 616, they wouldn't need the Ultimate universe. It would essentially become the Ultimate universe.

I also absoulutely agree with you about marvel, in fact i have run across fanfiction better than there current storylines.

Posted by feebadger

@kingsloth: You're not insinuating that there is such a thing as bad fan fic are you? Surely it is ALL good? ;P

Posted by kingsloth

@feebadger: I'm sure your fanfic is wonderful, just don't ask me to read it

Posted by feebadger

@kingsloth: Don't worry, i won't. I'd hate to put my money where my mouth is :)

Posted by fesak

People has always complained that they've run out of ideas and that comics was better before, usually when they were kids.

It's called nostalgia.

Moderator
Posted by feebadger

@fesak: No. It's called fact :)

Edited by kingsloth

@fesak said:

People has always complained that they've run out of ideas and that comics was better before, usually when they were kids.

It's called nostalgia.

I actually think comics are becoming an even better medium, the growth I see is just not really occuring in Marvel or DC. I still read DC religously though.

Posted by fesak

@feebadger said:

@fesak: No. It's called fact :)

I actuallt agree with you on most points, but then again i'm in the process of becoming an old grump. They keep canceling my favorite titles and replace them with crap so often i don't even care anymore.

However there are some things in the new marvel i enjoy, like Superior, and... um, well i haven't read Avengers or Uncanny X-Force yet and Fearless Defenders looks promising.

@kingsloth

Cool, you're not so nostalgic and stuck in the past then.

Moderator
Posted by feebadger

@fesak said:

@feebadger said:

@fesak: No. It's called fact :)

I actuallt agree with you on most points, but then again i'm in the process of becoming an old grump. They keep canceling my favorite titles and replace them with crap so often i don't even care anymore.

However there are some things in the new marvel i enjoy, like Superior, and... um, well i haven't read Avengers or Uncanny X-Force yet and Fearless Defenders looks promising.

Becoming an old grump? Pft. Way ahead of you on that one! :) Truth be told though, my main frustration (and i probably should have elaborated on this more in the blog) is the seeming need Marvel has to make change for changes sake. It ties into your frustration with titles being axed only to be replaced with crap ones. It just feels like there's no stability with Marvel and nothing to commit to, which is unfortunate.

Posted by wr3h

@kingsloth said:

@moywar700: if they kill 616 they should restart fresh, no ultimate. I also dont buy the characters have exhausted all there options, stories can always be written in a different way.

Posted by Needlebay

I really dig a lot of DCnU titles. Demon Knights, I, Vampire, Dial H, Team 7, Deathstroke, Batman, Frankenstein, Sword and Sorcery, etc... I love DC's obscure stable of characters and applaud their attempt to be diverse. All-star Western has been pretty good, even though it's not my cup of tea most of the time. GI Combat had some good stories for a war book and DC's horror has been pretty awesome lately.

I wish DC would hire someone like Hickman to write the Legion of Super-Heroes, because the LOSH has been dreadful.

Overall, I am happy with DC's relaunch and it has gotten stronger with the replacement of creators, but they still have many average books in the lineup and the Young Justice line has been a failure.

Marvel has some good books, but their relaunch was just to get back on top in terms of sales. It's nothing too spectacular yet. Even my two most anticipated books, Avengers and New Avengers has been good, but nothing too ground breaking.

Posted by wr3h

@Pyrogram: HAHAHAHAHA

Posted by Reignmaker

Lately anything by Matt Fraction and Mark Waid has been absolutely awesome. And from what I hear, Bendis is killing it on All-New X-Men.

While I agree with some of what the OP is saying, I feel like the overly dramatic, absolute tone of his post somewhat diminishes his point. There are still some corners of Marvel worth cherry-picking.

Posted by SUNMAN

yeah this has been evident over the last few years with most marvel writters.

Posted by akbogert

I'm not really in a place to accurately judge, because I really just got into comics, but this assessment is for the most-part on-par with the sense I, as an outsider, have gotten from looking at Marvel, and in particular Marvel NOW. Meanwhile, the one NOW book I was really interested in on account of being familiar with the characters in it seems to be set on killing them off, and the two other NOW books I'm thinking might be worth reading haven't actually come out yet. DC, on the other hand, has been a lot easier to get into. I just wish they'd get on-board with the digital thing a little faster; as of now, I think Marvel may have the edge in that regard, though DC's pricing is still generally superior.

Posted by Superguy0009e

@fesak said:

People has always complained that they've run out of ideas and that comics was better before, usually when they were kids.

It's called nostalgia.

Also, I think it is safe to say that all creative places have slumps every so often.

Posted by MatKrenz

Jason Aaron is not a bad writer, Scalped is absolutely amazing and from what I've heard some of his Wolverine stories haven been pretty good. It's just that sometimes he lets his ideas get the better of him and everything kinda just devolves into a mess of a story, like his Hulk stuff. Tho that may be because his series was ending at issue 15 I believe and Waid is writing the current series and he thought the best way to be remembered is to go completely bonkers.

Posted by xybernauts

@feebadger:

Bravo! While I haven't kept up with Marvel comics as of late, you sir echo the basic reasons why I abandoned the company in the first place. Basically the universe and it's history is too convoluted.

@kingsloth said:

@feebadger said:

@kingsloth said:

@moywar700: if they kill 616 they should restart fresh, no ultimate. I also dont buy the characters have exhausted all there options, stories can always be written in a different way.

Agreed, absolutely. Anyway, if they restarted the 616, they wouldn't need the Ultimate universe. It would essentially become the Ultimate universe.

I also absoulutely agree with you about marvel, in fact i have run across fanfiction better than there current storylines.

Count me in. They need to take a few tips from DC and simply reboot their universe. And then rehash old classics with new more modern angles. Like DC they just need to recycle old material and maybe even go as far is to incorporate Malibu Comics Ultraverse into the MU. MU has years of old material that were good, but could be used again and improved upon.

Posted by Rabbitearsblog

This topic is awesome!! I absolutely agree with everything you just said!!! I think Marvel really needs to start taking chances in giving unknown characters a chance to shine and not use the same characters in every title (If you see every X-Men title, they basically have the same characters over and over again). Also, I want to see more stories that would actually develop the characters.

Posted by lykopis

Preach, brother. Preach.

I am cringing every time I pick up Avengers Arena.

I am tugging at my hair reading New X-Men. I don't recognize anyone. Except maybe Bobby.

What the *%& is Rogue doing with Scarlett Witch and the gang over at Uncanny Avengers? Seriously, what the $&%^?

And yes. Wolverine. I love the character. I do. I have a completely indefensible loyalty to him to which I have admitted many, many times over but I don't defend the over-use of the character. Lately he's really Cyclops in hirsute form and Cyclops is really Wolverine in..well...svelte form.

Emma lost her powers but Baby Jean's powers are way more advanced than they should be. But hey -- that's okay. Bendis bends everyone over to get what he wants --

**sigh**

Doesn't take much to write stories that stay true to characters and the environment they are in. Change for change's sake insults ALL fans, new and old alike. Plus -- it's lazy. Very.

Posted by RazzaTazz

Rock bottom would be Deadpool Killustrated.

Moderator
Posted by feebadger

@RazzaTazz: You know, i only just saw that one and wondered if i should do an edit on the blog and add it, but was too busy throwing up in disgust.

Yes, i agree. Marvel has indeed bottomed out with that one.

Posted by RazzaTazz

@feebadger: I am sure it was popular with some people, its not what I am looking for from my comic reading experience though.

Moderator
Posted by FadeToBlackBolt

This is my favourite thread on comicvine.

So much truth. Thank you for posting this =)

Posted by KnightRise

Usually when it comes to seemingly radical changes (:Tim Drake was never "Robin") or even clearly temporary status quo changes (:Superior Spider-Man), I'm the first person to say give it a chance, see where they're going, and you might find a great story. But the Richard Ryder thing point me think, "what if this new character is total garbage?" We'd be hypothetically wasting my money giving him a chance. Then again, thats what reviews and writer's credentials are for...

Posted by Rabbitearsblog

@KnightRise said:

Usually when it comes to seemingly radical changes (:Tim Drake was never "Robin") or even clearly temporary status quo changes (:Superior Spider-Man), I'm the first person to say give it a chance, see where they're going, and you might find a great story. But the Richard Ryder thing point me think, "what if this new character is total garbage?" We'd be hypothetically wasting my money giving him a chance. Then again, thats what reviews and writer's credentials are for...

Exactly! I look at the reviews first before I even consider buying the book in the first place!

Posted by feebadger

@Rabbitearsblog: Reviews do help, but i've just found the majority of them to be off the mark of late, especially here on the Vine. All New X Men has been getting rave reviews, while i feel that it is all over the place and very little like anything i remember of the original X team and the same goes for Uncanny Avengers which has kind of plodded in a confused state with confused characters and lacklustre art from a normally great artist, yet the reviews seem to miss this. Of course, review is just opinion, but i'm seeing a lot of them gloss over what i feel are some very important points of late.

@FadeToBlackBolt: wow, thank you, good sir!

@lykopis: I couldn't have said that better myself. In fact, i want to BE you. Budge over. I'm driving this ship now! :)

@Reignmaker: Haven't read Fraction's Hawkeye yet (though i hear great things about it) but i really thought Waid's Daredevil run was hugely overrated. I'm a fan of both Waid and Daredevil but i found hte series hokey and just a bit bland.

@Needlebay: Agreed. Considering hte hype around hte relaunch, you couldn't help but expect more, but it just feels like the same old same old, but with rearranged creators. I am disappointed to say that i haven't found a single Marvel Now title to be truly exciting in any way.

Posted by lykopis

@feebadger:

**wonders how he hasn't figured out yet that I am emulating him**

;p

In regards to reviews, I don't really put much stock into the ones pumped out by staff outside of Inferior Ego who has done some spot on ones (Like Dancer, etc) but then again, those are the independents. I kind of have a very, very small core of people who I look to when it comes to opinions and feebadger is one of them. (HINT HINT -- PLEASE REVIEW) I am all for enthusiasm and optimism but really now. They can't ALL be wonderful and roses and tea-cups.

That is all. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Posted by SoA

but i like the she-rulk series ...

Posted by DarkDay

@feebadger said:

@fesak said:

@feebadger said:

@fesak: No. It's called fact :)

I actuallt agree with you on most points, but then again i'm in the process of becoming an old grump. They keep canceling my favorite titles and replace them with crap so often i don't even care anymore.

However there are some things in the new marvel i enjoy, like Superior, and... um, well i haven't read Avengers or Uncanny X-Force yet and Fearless Defenders looks promising.

Becoming an old grump? Pft. Way ahead of you on that one! :) Truth be told though, my main frustration (and i probably should have elaborated on this more in the blog) is the seeming need Marvel has to make change for changes sake. It ties into your frustration with titles being axed only to be replaced with crap ones. It just feels like there's no stability with Marvel and nothing to commit to, which is unfortunate.

Marvel just needs organization and good writers in my opinion. And honestly, they have the second, I just think that they put sales figures over quality sometimes and we see authors attached to far too many projects that don't fit their writing talents.

Posted by feebadger

@xxxddd: Um, because you think you're a terrible writer or because you want to turn it around for them? I don't know if you worded that properly ;P

Posted by xxxddd

@feebadger: Turn Marvel around.

Posted by feebadger

@xxxddd: Phew! Thought you were being unnecessarily hard on yourself there! ;P

Posted by xxxddd

@feebadger: lol, sorry about the misinformation.

Posted by Yung ANcient One
I. I have been a fan of Slim since X-Men TAS. I feel like he has had a great character development and evoled. His new direction is AWEsome: The next generations Magneto. His new costume is BADA$$.  II. I don't know much or anything significant about Nova.  III. Everyone has different taste, and with all due respect YOU'RE SO WRONG  IV. Actually everyone is entitled to their opinion, so respect that. (+)
Posted by feebadger

@Yung ANcient One said:

I. I have been a fan of Slim since X-Men TAS. I feel like he has had a great character development and evoled. His new direction is AWEsome: The next generations Magneto. His new costume is BADA$$.
II. I don't know much or anything significant about Nova.
III. Everyone has different taste, and with all due respect
YOU'RE SO WRONG
IV. Actually everyone is entitled to their opinion, so respect that. (+)

I. I disagree wholeheartedly. I think he is becoming a character that does not resemble the original conceit in any way a t all. That is not evolution. That is bad characterisation.

II. Then you may like the new series :)

III. Love it!

IV. SHAN'T! ;P

Posted by feebadger

@SoA said:

but i like the she-rulk series ...

Awww, i feel really bad now. I take it all back about Red She Hulk. Okay? ;P

Posted by Chronus

@kingsloth said:

@moywar700: if they kill 616 they should restart fresh, no ultimate.

Which I honestly believe they should have done with Marvel NOW!

Posted by Yung ANcient One

UN: Yes he is totally a 180 of the original concept I'm glad we agree. We disagree about it color wise. I say it's Black, you say its White. My yin your yang. I like it, but you obviously dont. Oh well.

DOS: Actually No... I'm not into cosmiccomics. I'm more of Renegade-Street Fighter-Heroish story type of fan. Main reason why I don't know Richard Rider.

TRE!: Ok? If that's what you're into... I don't judge. XP

QUATRO: Yeah... ... ... whatever

ochoCINCO: The story makes sense... Iceman, Beast, and etc are thinking LIKE YOU. Scott is totally not himself. It's like he forgot who he used to be... well **** it, lets bring him back. Plus I don't think Marvel actually wants Cyke to go back to being himself. Even if they are going to it is what the "fans" want.

SEIS: I believe if anyone of the Original 5 stay it is going to be Jean. Which again is "what the fans want." BUUUTTTTTT not this way :/

VII:

Don’t be fooled. There is actually nothing new here.

Iron Man has a new suit, Summers has a new look, Mags got some new trims, Magik finally got a costume, SpOCK is born, Uncanny X-Force has started anew, Cable's out to save the world but people think he's doing the opposite, Uncanny Avengers, Hulk is working WITH S.H.I.E.L.D., Morbius has a solo series plus Gambit, but yea... totally the same.

OCHOcinco: I barely read the Last Part completely. What would you do Captain Modesty? What would you do if you we're running Marvel per say.

NIN9: (+)

Posted by SoA

@feebadger: :: fights back tears:: ok, im good phew! thanks

Posted by judasnixon

You got to take the good with the bad. For every Fraction's Hawkeye you'll get a Way's Thunder Bolts. As long as I never have to see another gold foil cover I'm cool. 

Posted by feebadger

@judasnixon said:

You got to take the good with the bad. For every Fraction's Hawkeye you'll get a Way's Thunder Bolts. As long as I never have to see another gold foil cover I'm cool.

You know, i never thought of it like that. Marvel can do whatever the hell they want, just as long as there are no foil, embossed, hologram, bullet wound, 3D hedgehog covers. Seriously :)

Posted by Lvenger

@judasnixon said:

You got to take the good with the bad. For every Fraction's Hawkeye you'll get a Way's Thunder Bolts. As long as I never have to see another gold foil cover I'm cool.

Agreed that's what I do. Sure Marvel isn't perfecr but as long as they keep doing good stuff like Waid's Indestructible Hulk and Aaron's Thor: God of Thunder, I'll be happy. Superior Spider-Man better be good though as I'm giving Slott a chance unlike most people and I hope it's not a waste of my money.

Posted by xxxddd

@feebadger: Marvel f*cked up Thanos.

Posted by Timandm

@feebadger: SO WELL SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marvel stories really are just recycled... VERY recycled... It's odd that they're creating so many new super heroes and new villains to simply repeat the same stories... Let's try something. I'm going to describe an X-Men's story arch. You try to guess which story arc I'm talking about... Ready?

- A very powerful entity rewrites reality

- There's much fighting AND killing. Many heroes die.

- In the last issue of the arc, reality is written back to what it was before but with slight differences... Oh, and no one really died.

So...Can you guess which story that is? Is it Age of X? Is it Onslaught? Is it House of M? Is it......

Well, you've probably guessed it. It's ALL OF THEM!!!!!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But surely those who write the Avengers don't repeat storylines... do they? LOLOLOLOL!!!!!

I wonder what the minutes of a writers meeting would look like at Marvel...

Writer 1: So... The Avengers... it's time for a new story arc. How about Ultron comes back and tries to kill the Avengers and take over the world?

Writer 2: That is good!!! Damn that's good. But I was thinking that.. well, maybe we could have one of the (does the finger quotation mark things here) " Former Avengers" go crazy and come back and attack the "current Avengers." We could even have one or two of them DIE!!! The readers will NEVER see it coming.

Writer 3: MAN!!! It's going to be hard to top those two ideas, but let me try... How about this...There's an invasion of some sort and the attack is centered on (wait for it....) NEW YORK CITY!!! Buildings will be knocked down! Thousands of people will be injured! Hospitals will be flooded! and the Avengers will be pushed to the edge wondering if they have it in them to defeat the villains and save the earth. But in the last issue... (smiling... wait for it) Captain America will be a rousing speech, and the heroes will rally and save the day!!!!

The room erupts into applause... Then, after a quiet settles back on the room...

Writer 4: Gosh, I was just going to suggest that Kang the Conqueror travel back to the presence and mess with the Avengers.

Rest of the room: Oh, hey! Damn that's a good idea. Maybe we could work that into the invasion thing.

Posted by Rabbitearsblog

@feebadger said:

@Rabbitearsblog: Reviews do help, but i've just found the majority of them to be off the mark of late, especially here on the Vine. All New X Men has been getting rave reviews, while i feel that it is all over the place and very little like anything i remember of the original X team and the same goes for Uncanny Avengers which has kind of plodded in a confused state with confused characters and lacklustre art from a normally great artist, yet the reviews seem to miss this. Of course, review is just opinion, but i'm seeing a lot of them gloss over what i feel are some very important points of late.


I agree that some of the reviews are a bit spotty nowadays. That's why I check out the review on Goodreads instead of Comic Vine because there are more people reviewing the comics on that site than on Comic Vine.

Posted by gravitypress

The problems I see with Marvel outside of Loeb, Bendis, and Quesada are that Marvel is too movie focused so they are changing the MU to be more adaptable to the big screen and they are looking for the big Pay-days with all the events they have.

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