Hey woofers! So as the Marvel event Avengers Versus X-Men strides into it’s second half, we are starting to see a glimpse of what’s to come afterward. And again
, some very vocal folks are freaking out. Last year DC Comics decided to do a complete wipe and reload on their continuity. They felt the best way to entice new readers was to junk their old stories (this is nothing new for DC, to be fair) and start over with new “kewl” costume designs and total revamps…sorta. I could go on at length about what went wrong with DCNu in my opinion, but that’s not what today is about. Nor am I trying to Monday Morning Quarterback Marvel’s current and future creative decisions. No, I am once again watching fandom’s reaction and shaking my head.
People have been screaming bloody murder and throwing text tantrums at Marvel over the return of Jean Grey. “You better bring her back, we demand it!” She’s dead says Marvel, and for the foreseeable future she is staying that way. So then the Phoenix-centric AvX comes around and now they want her back and Marvel is a bunch of hateful sadists because they have a new redhead that is not Jean in the middle of the story. “You hate us, we are so maligned, we want our Jean back.” This is actually a toned down version of the sad, pathetic display I have seen playing out on the internet. When I have tried to point out that these people are screaming and wailing and calling people names over a FICTIONAL DEAD PERSON, apparently I’m the asshole. Go figure.
So now this brings us up to the Marvel NOW! announcement. Comic book solicitations having to hit three months ahead of publication, we are getting a glimpse of the post-AvX Marvel universe. They are bringing Jean Grey back to comics. Sure she’s the teenage Jean Grey from the original X-Men comics, but it’s Jean Grey alive and active in the current Marvel Universe. You’ve been asking for Jean Grey back? Here she is…do you think those folks were happy? Of course not. To be fair, some were just happy to have Jean back in any capacity. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of “That’s not what we wanted! Give us OUR Jean back!”
“How much do you love our awesome high collars?” Said everyone but Wonder Woman.
Look, I am a passionate fan of comic books. I get being upset because the books aren’t going the way you’d like them too. Actually I’m okay with them not going where I want them to, as long as the story is good. When it’s not, I stop reading the book. Revolutionary, right? If you don’t like what’s happening, stop reading it. Stop buying the book. If enough people stop buying the book, it will go away or get retooled. Maybe even in a way you like. Just to show that I practice what I preach, I was very upset about the idea of the DCNu. I told the people around me that I thought it was a bad idea, BUT! I also said I would give it a try and see if maybe I was wrong. With a couple of exceptions, I feel like I was not wrong. People who scream bloody murder over a creative decision make all of us fans look bad. If there was a reasoned opinion expressed it might all be understandable. Unfortunately, the internet isn’t a place for reasoned opinion. It doesn’t get enough hits I guess. There’s a lot of vitriol out there, and it is almost always when a major change is coming. Generally speaking, comic fans complain when the books just give us the same ol’, same ol’. They also complain when you try something new and different. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
So, here comes some major change over at Marvel. Not even expressing my own opinion on the announcements so far, there is one thing about it that sticks out to me. It feels very much as if it is a natural progression from the story that is currently being told. They seem to be of the mind that if they are going to hype an event (like AvX) as being a (fictional) world changing story, well maybe the (fictional) world ought to have actually been changed by that story. The complaint I had about DCNu, is that it felt like a marketing ploy. Yes, they wrote a story to explain why everything was suddenly new. However, it seemed like the change necessitated the story rather than the other way around. Everything should serve the story, not the other way around. In fact, I think I would have been much more accepting of it if they had just said “You know what? Everything is ending in August and we’re starting something new in September and we’re not going to fleece you with an expensive mini-series and it’s 327 tie-ins first. We’re just gonna sack up and do this.” It would have felt more honest. Marvel isn’t re-booting, but they are embracing the power of a #1 issue in this day and age. I have to say, that’s the part I like least about this Marvel NOW! launch. I really hate that they are relaunching some books with new #1 issues that have been relaunched three or four times in the last 10-15 years. I accept that it is the best way to market this change and get people interested, and you don’t want to scare off the people who are curious after seeing the Avengers movie by making them feel that they missed something. I just am a fan of legacy. That’s one of the things I liked best about DC before they threw out their history. The idea that there was going to be an Action Comics #1,000 or an Avengers #600 was very appealing to me. That we probably won’t get either of those now is sad to me, but I certainly am not going to tell Dan DiDio or Tom Brevoort that they are sadists who are torturing me with their decisions. I guess after over thrity years of reading my precious comics, I’ve gotten used to the fact that I’m not always going to like the next step in their evolution. But I’ll always give it a try.
So, what do you guys think of the stuff going on at DC and Marvel? It really has helped me explore and embrace independent comics to lose some of my big two devotion over the years. Lots of good stuff out there. I’d love to hear some recommendations of non mainstream books to read and review. Let me know!
Sean Stoltey, writer, raconteur and retired rabble rouser, hails originally from California’s Central Coast but currently resides in Southern California’s BEAUTIFUL–San Fernando Valley. Screenwriter, Comic Book author, these are things he does because he’s too poor to be a Producer or Publisher.
Sean has been reading comics, watching movies, reading books and selling his soul (or at least his hearing) to Rock’n’Roll for as long as he can remember. He has been discussing and arguing about these things for almost as long.
So now he has come here to throw his opinions in your face as well and hope that, even if you don’t agree, hopefully you will enjoy them. For the record: Kirk was the greatest Enterprise Captain, Han was the only one that shot, Led Zeppelin was the greatest Rock band to walk the Earth and Keith Richards is the coolest undead person to walk the Earth. Coolest living people are my sons and my Mom and Dad. My Dad F—in’ rocks, and my Mom can kick your ass.