Marvel's writer burnout

A few weeks back in his regular feature at CBR, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso confirmed his commitment to move away from limited series and continue his push for multiple-ships of the core titles. I cannot say I blame him for limiting the number of limited series. In the old days they were a good tool to see if a character/team/concept could support an ongoing series. Now, primarily because of the wait-til-trade thinking that dominates limited series, they are no longer that viable a tool.

On the other hand, I am concerned about him double shipping comics. I don't mind buying them as long as they are good quality comics, but when writers are forced to increase their page count per month, doesn't quality suffer?

Ed Brubaker normally writes two mainstream Marvel comics a month, plus his independent work. He does the independent work to keep himself "sane," so I doubt he will stop. If he is forced to write more than two comics a month because of double-ships, won't his quality drop? If he is forced to continue this for a long period of time, will he burnout?

Rick Remender is now writing three mainstream Marvel comics a month. He has ended his independent comic Fear Agent, so he does have more time to write the Marvel comics. Maybe his output will continue to be strong, but if double shipping continues, for how long? As evidence of possible burnout, his last issues of Venom and Uncanny X-Force were not as well reviewed as his previous work on these series. Maybe this is because UXF #19 was a prologue to the phenomenal Dark Angel saga and therefore could not be the same quality as it is a wrap-up issue. Similarly maybe Venom, which is at the beginning of a new direction for the series, is suffering because Remender is laying groundwork for this new direction. Or possibly both comics suffered because he was forced to write the UXF 19.1 and the Secret Avengers which double ships in February.

I am not sure what to think yet, but I am a little concerned.

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Hate to see them go (DCNu final cut)

I set out to buy all 52 ongoing DC comics for the first six months of the relaunch, both to experience the rebirth of the shared universe and to support such a bold move by DC. I have just placed my final order with my online comic shop for February and it is time to make my cut. I am still following 31 of the ongoing comics, but I will miss most of the others that I will have to cut.

I am cutting all four of the Lantern comics. Not because they were poorly written, but because they were not as new user freindly as I would have liked. I plan on picking up the old trades for John's original run on GL and the related GLCorps. When that happens, then I will pick up the new trades also. I will enjoy them more if I have a better handle on the backstories.

Comics that were great, but not to my taste include:

  • Aquaman
  • Wonder Woman
  • Swamp Thing
  • Animal Man

Comics that were average, but the art was amazing include:

  • Savage Hawkman
  • Captain Atom
  • Flash

Comics that were average in story and art:

  • Blue Beetle
  • Action Comics
  • Supergirl
  • Static Shock

Comics that were bad and will not be missed:

  • Mister Terrific
  • Superman
  • Deathstroke
  • Green Arrow
  • Fury of Firestorm
  • Hawk and Dove

I will continue reading all 11 of The Batman comics, most of The Edge and The Dark comics, and all of the team centered comics. I pretty much knew this going into the experiment. There are two surprises on my pull list, the DC Universe Present anthology and Superboy.

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