By Tchokes 40 Comments
The following rant has been done to death. If you would much rather read something never written before I advise you to read something else.
So, why did I lost my faith in comic books?
To put it blankly, because I don't want to believe in them anymore.
"Wow! What a loser! Captain America and Wolverine were never real, pal!" ... you don't say? When I say I don't want to believe them anymore, I mean that I can't feel the tension or the surprise or the sadness or happyness about what happens to these characters, nor I want to. Somewhere along Schism I simply lost my faith in the comic book industry (namely, Marvel mostly). I don't say this as a simple fanboy who didn't get his way, but Schism was marketed as one of the most character-oriented arcs in recent memory, and it simply fell appart, as things have been doing since it. Lets go back to when I started reading comics (again).
New X-Men Arcs
I had stopped reading comics after Archangel and Psylocke split up because Warren was being a wimp and Betsy was being unfaithful, something that was jarringly out of character to me, since I had read just how far they had gone for each other in the Crimson Dawn and beyond. I felt like it was a decision that was made in the shadows, without regarding the characters or readers that might have enjoyed them. So I quit. And I stayed there.
But Grant Morrisson came along, and man, I was back in. Now, I am not a fan of the space part of X-Men, Shi'ar Empire and all that jazz, but something about how Grant Morrisson wrote the X-Men hooked me up. The characters were the center of the story again, their struggles and difficulties, and the mutants were a struggling species aswell. All that I loved about X-Men was back, and it was great. Of course Morrisson's run was not perfect, and it was not the run I wanted, but it was the run the X-Men needed at the time.
After that Marvel went on a streak with the X-Men. It's almost as if they had decided to take the X-Men back to their core values as a comic book about a new species fighting to bloom and survive. They laid out the scenario, created new, compelling characters in the New X-Men (Cessily standing out as my favorite), Josh Whedon had his go with the Astonishing X-Men, we had Decimation, 198, Messiah Complex, X-Force, Second Coming... all laid out perfectly. The whole setting felt compelling and emotional because they made me feel like I should try and believe these characters were in risk, that any of them could die at any given moment. They mattered, and I was willing to believe it, because it was a very well-crafted illusion. I believed they lived in a world of their own.
X-Men Post-Second Coming
The X-Men had moved from New York, they had to worry about new mutants showing up, lots of stuff, and suddenly, we have the Schism. Schism was something we could have seen coming for a long time. It was sold as very dark moment for mutants (anyone, and I mean this, does anyone remember Prelude to Schism, and how that never actually made -any- sense when the actual Schism came up?), and in the end, what could have easily been a dramatic moment for mutatns, became a victory to a new team of Evil Kids that assumed control of the Hellfire Club (wtf?) and Scott and Logan fighting over a threat that didn't even feel that threatening to begin with. I mean, they survived a raid of Nimrods, Bastion, The Right, The Sapien League, all in one, and they have a big sentinel to fear? Not to mention the X-Kids destroy the sentinel in a few panels, without losing a single man. It felt like someone at Marvel woke and yelled "Hey! Lets make X-Men cartoonish again! Those guys are too serious!". It didn't correspond to the X-Men vibe that had been taking place since then. Jason Aaron then took most of the X-Kids back to Westchester for pure body count purposes (I can't really buy into those kids, who have been through hell, have seen their friends' corpses get eaten by giant silver lizards, etc, etc, ever being normal again, nor feeling like they should be). Julian Keller became a kid again, a bully, Omega Kid (one of the world's most powerful telepaths) decided he would play the rebel for the school... that was one huge disappointment, and it lifted my belief in comics.
Marvel Studios (conspiracy time)
As most of us know the X-Men and most mutants (aside from Pietro and Wanda, apparently) are property of Fox, when it comes to movies, just as Spiderman belongs to Sony. Marvel Studios has the Avengers property, and has been building it up for sometime now, and it's Marvel's main source of income. To simply put, The Avengers are what feeds people's families in the end of the day, the X-Men don't.
"What the hell does this have to do with you not liking comic books anymore?"
Call me crazy, but Marvel's decisions are made with movies in mind, not comics. Earlier this year Capcom released Marvel Versus Capcom 3 again, and the new characters were Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange, Rocket Rancoon (wtf!), Hawkeye, Iron Fist and Nova. All Marvel Studios properties, and not only these characters have all been considered for live-action movies (yes, even Rocket Racoon and Guardians of Galaxy...), not a single mutant was chosen to be there. Now, can you honestly say that those were the best choices, even when the fans were clamoring for Venom, Carnage, Gambit, Rogue or Cyclops to be there?
Marvel has been forcing these characters down our throats and I feel like they because of movies, without really caring for the character themselves. And that, my friends, makses me see comic books as nothing more than ink in a paper. And I don't care for ink in the paper.
To Sum It Up
For as long as I can remember being alive, I loved X-Men, and most of the Marvel Universe.
I can't say I love them now. These characters, people I followed my whole life, are but paper things that get no love from the people who write their stories. Marjorie Liu undid all the character development X-23 and Julian and Cessily had together (despite of what you might think about the pairing) to turn her into Wolverine 2, letting he walk all around Marvel U without a home or a cause. Archangel and Psylocke got back together to enjoy one of the best stories in comic book history, but now apparently Betsy is with Fantomex just because. Cyclops is doing his best crazy-man performance in AvX, Cable was back, the New-Xmen are all but gone and forgotten (until one of them needs to die, then they will come back), Pepper Potts came back from the limbo to get an armor herself, Wolverine and the X-Men is a book about goofy stuff that doesnt matter...
No matter how much they tell you, comic book characters are there to make money for the company, and nothing else.
And that makes them tools. Tools I can't help but feel no sympathy for