Editorial Issues

Let me tell you a story about a boy. Typical kid for the most part, maybe a bit "nerdier". Buys toys, plays sports, has friends, whole sha-bang. Then one day he gets a comic from his mom, it was in the paper that day and she happened to get it so she gives it to him. It's Ultimate X-Men Issue 2. He flips through it and sees all these characters he knows from the cartoons and movies and falls in love. He brings it to school, shows his friends. He goes to the store, buys the first 3 issues in a special comic, falls in love even more. He buys the newest issues, falls head over heels. Ultimate X-Men becomes his lover. Fast forward 6 years and that kid is in 11th grade. His love for Ultimate X-Men has developed into a love for comics, a love he cannot resist. Ultimatum comes out and it's the first big Ultimate event, so of course he reads it. They kill 3 X-Men. Fine. He liked them but fine. He reads issue 2. They kill Professor X. Crazy but fine. Issue 3. Loses and Ultimate. Issue 4. Angel dies, Magneto loses and arm. Issue 5. WHAAAAAAT?!?! 
Thank you for this Marvel, thank you for opening the eyes of this once humble and quiet fan. It's been nearly a year since the horrors of Ultimatum ended and I have to say that I'll never be able to look on it fondly. Ultimate X-Men got me into comics. Ultimate Spider-Man kept me hooked. Ultimates was the action movie that was too good to be a movie (I'm looking at you Ultimate Avengers DVD). Ultimate Fantastic 4 had the coolest concepts I'd ever seen. Thor as President? That's insane, how do you come up with that? Yet after a drop in sales and a slight quality dip in Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic 4 (Although both were still more than decent) they decide to reboot the Ultimate Universe and do an event. I was more excited than I knew I could be. However what resulted was editorial telling Jeph Loeb to kill just about every X-Man and half of the Ultimate Universe, except the Ultimate Spider-Man characters. Granted, deaths are fine by me if done right. This was not "done right". This was character rape and the worst comic I ever read. EVER. And I read One More Day. 
Which brings me to my next point. One More Day. Like, what on Earth were you thinking? Granted, I didn't read Spider-Man until after this, starting with Brand New Day and growing to love it. Then I went back and picked up One More Day in the sales bin at a comic convention (Hardcover for $5, I figured if I'm buying #$@& it might as well be cheap). It's now a stain on my collection. Why is this so bad? Bad writer? Not really. Bad art? Not my taste in the least but I know people like it. Reason? Editorial shoving a story down our throats to meet their agenda and serve their purpose. This is not the way comics work. This has never worked. How do I know? Clone Sage. 'Nuff said.
Now, editors need to realize something. Change is good, they're right there. However, change when it leaves behind everything that has made that character work is not good. Grant Morrison, I'm looking at you. I'm sorry but COME ON. CAVE-BAT? TIME TRAVELING BATMAN WITH NO INDICATION AS TO WHY? That doesn't fly. Batman and Son worked. Go to that, read it and see why. Character work. No random time travel. Things came relatively naturally and felt right. Except for Man-bat ninjas. No. Bad Morrison. 
Now, this editorial comment has become a rant, but it just seems to me that the big two forget what makes things work so well sometimes. Did a book drop in quality? How about you get a new writer or make the selection process more exclusive? You don't have to publish bad stories, just find a better one somewhere else. Killing characters for shock or to just get rid of them is an insult. Changing a characters core and what makes them work is an insult. Milking a story for all it's worth is an insult. And how about this, look at reviews to judge your books and writers if nothing else. You can use this site right here. Listen to the fans, don't assume you know what will sell or what will work. Because you know what they say about assumptions. You and me.

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