Friday, July 31, 2009

Make Mine Marvel

Not the words you would expect to hear from me and they arte in fact not a sentiment I have had in a long time, but I find it is harder and harder to find books from Marvel that I want to try and harder to even like after I try them. Recently I tried Dark Reign Lethal Legion and found that even though it was well written I had no desire to get issue #2, even though issue #1, due to a sales promotion from my store, was free. The whole Dark Reign thing has gotten so out of hand from Marvel that I now skip any of the mini-series they produce and I’m only getting Dark Avengers and New Avengers as the core titles that are 100% Dark Reign. I know Punisher and Secret Warriors could be considered Dark Reign, but they are ongoing titles and well done books, as is Agents of Atlas, which is a favorite of mine and is considered Dark Reign at this point. My skipping the Dark Reign mini-series basically wipes out over 50% of the Marvel titles. From this week alone that was Dark Reign Goblin Legacy, Hawkeye, Lethal Legion, Sinister Spider-Man, Young Avengers and Dark X-Men.

Marvel of course destroyed my love of Spider-Man with the whole One More Day thing. I still can’t get back into the book no matter how good it is. I know there have been retro-cons before in comics and many heroes have had hard reboots, but this was done in such a way as to disrespect the history of Spider-Man and his fans. It was an artificial soft reboot and something Marvel has never really done before. To me I can’t invest in a character that can change again at the drop of a hat. Listen, I like to read solid stories about characters as much as the next guy, but for continuing series I want the continuity to count. So I have invested my money and time into a character and then a Devil can change things with a mystical blink of an eye. Well that is all well and good, but I do not have to reinvest into that character again. Maybe I will change my mind one day, but not yet. At least when DC did the hard reboot with Superman with Bryne redoing him they gave the Silver Age version a send off that is remembered as one of the best stories ever by Alan Moore. My abandoning this character drops at least one book a week off Marvel’s list for me to pick up.

The Convoluted Event Centric X-Men have fallen off my list. It took me forever, but I realize nothing is ever going to happen with them. Matt Fraction has become annoying and the idea of dragging them into Dark Reign is making me want to pull off even Dark Avengers after the crap issue that Caption Fraction did. I’m so tired of his captions and how “cool” he thinks he is. I’m guessing Fraction is left of Karl Marx in his politics also and "knows" he is right about many things. I want to like X-Books again because they gave me a lot of pleasure over the years and Grant Morrison was making them interesting again, but I keep falling off the X-Books. I have tried Cable, Uncanny multiple times; X-Men Legacy, New Mutants, Dark Wolverine, Wolverine Origins and they are having that same endless feeling of walking on a treadmill. These are characters that are stale from overuse and the same stories are being told over and over again. Aside from X-Factor and the rare mini-series by skipping the X-verse that cuts out about 25% of Marvel’s output. A small aside, remember when Queseda promised to cut back on the number of X-titles, ha, ha, ha and remember we believed it, so young and foolish. The last change that actually happened in the X-Men is Jean Grey being offed and Cyclops hooking up with Emma and that was under Morrison. Now the X-books are event after event after event.

Now the Ultimate corner is not that big, but Jeph Loeb is someone whose work I avoid at all costs. I have given him so many chances and excuses in my mind as to why he is missing the boat, but I’m convinced he has one gimmick and that is too try and make everything a big deal, but more importantly to make sure he is teamed with great artists. He is living off a false reputation and most of his work is nonsense. So I decided a good time to leave the Ultimate Universe behind and I had tired of a forever 16 year old Spider-Man. After ten years he was never going to leave high school. My distaste for Loeb also cuts the Hulk out of the equation. So farewell Ultimate Universe.

Now Marvel wants to revisit their history and they have Claremont redoing the X-Men from 15 years ago, redoing the clone saga and other worthless events. I like seeing older stuff sometimes, but not reliving the past with endless “What If” stories.

Marvel has left me with Iron Fist, Thor, Daredevil, Captain America, Ghost Rider and a few other series but that is about it. I want to try new series from them, but everything is being poured into meaningless Dark Reign mini-series. Worse when you look at Marvel’s line-up they have very few new characters. Look at all the new generation of heroes DC has and with adding Milestone, Red Circle and now the Thunder Agents the amount of characters that DC has with untapped potential is monstrous. Marvel has won because they have tied in so much of their universe together you get sucked into tons of their books and then spend almost your entire budget on their books. For fans like me who are not hooked on their core concept I feel almost shut out. I want to Make Mine Marvel on occasion as they were the company that started my love affair with comics, but with this marketing plan I have to keep Making Mine BOOM, VERTIGO, IDW, DC, ONI PRESS, ARCHAIA, TH3RD WORLD, IMAGE, DARK HORSE, any one but Marvel.

It is almost sad as I worry they will pull the rest of the line into the core Universe and I will be on the outside looking in. My wallet will be happier, but I won't as I miss the days when I enjoyed the X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and other books. I will keep hoping for more titles like Punisher to arrive and will keep trying them out, but Making Mine Marvel is a thing of the past.


  1. Why "knows" about Fraction? His opinion is less valid than yours? You spend considerable time espousing your view, which you "know", herein. Why can't he in his writing?

    The question isn't the political slant of the writer. It's the quality of the writing. There are great writings from across the spectrum, in books or comics (and why shouldn't comics be political?), but there's even more garbage across the spectrum. Search out the quality writing if you want a good read.

    Worry not about the political slant. It's not like any of them are going to change your mind anyway.

  2. Thomm -Valid points, but Fraction annoys me more then any other writer so I decided to lash out a little bit. To be fair I have liked some stuff his has written, just very little. Also since I will give you he can espouse his opinion I can espouse my displeasure of same. As for is his opinion less valid then mine - of course mine is more valid :)

  3. That is sad because I love so much of Marvel these days - which certainly was not the case several years ago.

    Spider-Man has not been very good for quite a while (I'm looking at JMS) I kept buying them to keep my run going. I was skeptical with OMD, but it has turned out great. One of my favorite titles month after month.

    But I will agree with you that other publishers are putting out really good stuff. Especially Vertigo, Oni, Image, and Dark Horse. I am surprised every month at how many Independent titles I get.

    Good post. Thanks

  4. I can't stand most Marvel books anymore. I too miss the days in which I enjoyed books like X-Men.

  5. Jim, I think you've been residing in my head. Scary place, aint it?

    I gave ASM 600 a whirl and it was OK. Like you, I dropped it in the OMD aftermath. There is a pull on me from time to time, but nothing that makes me want to stay permanently.I am picking up Hulk only because Pak is coming back to write it. Like you, it took me forever to drop X-Men, but it had to be done. Editorial mandates and Wolverine in every freaking team killed it.
    I have been reading other things as well (missed the 2nd issue of CHEW), but there will always be a small place for Marvel in my heart.
    Would it kill them to have some decent representation at the Baltimore comic-con though? The other companies are there with major stars and booths and unless it's someone who works at Marvel (like David Finch) you wouldn't know they were there.
    Just sayin'