Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I've Been A Bit Of A Marvel Event Hater...

...but thinking about it lately, I've come to remember all the types of stories I wished that the super-hero comics would tell. We always settled for Elseworlds, What Ifs and plain ol' out-of-continuity mini-series to get our fix of that really complicated story idea that you knew would never happen in the regular books because it would be too difficult to coordinate and too big of a gamble for the publisher to take (in case readers thought it sucked).

I've been too caught up on holding editorial and creative teams to hyperbolic statements made in fluff interviews to sit back and really appreciate the balls it must take to ALMOST ALWAYS have some major changes happening to their fictional universe that has ripple effects (or more) through their entire catalog.

I, also, get stuck on the idea that they went in this direction instead of that one or maybe weren't quite as ballsy with the changes as I'd like to have seen. That kind of reaction is either testament to how well they've been pulling it off (that my major complaint is that they should have gone further), a bit of entitlement or both.

When I review books (which I'll get back to shortly, whether you want me to or not), I make a point of trying to step back and evaluate the execution as much or more than I evaluate what story direction they've chosen. I've kind of lost sight of that in the last few months.

That doesn't mean that the execution of the last few years of events has been flawless, mind you. Just that I think that a lot of fans forget that, at one time, they asked for this sort of cohesive storytelling to the fictional universes they read about and now try to tear it down because it went off in a direction different from what they would have preferred.

You have to take the good with the bad and, sometimes, just have to step back and realize that the next major change might bring along that story you've been waiting for them to tell for years.


  1. "You have to take the good with the bad and, sometimes, just have to step back and realize that the next major change might bring along that story you've been waiting for them to tell for years."

    The problem is though, with Marvel over the past few years and their events, there has been way more bad than good.

    House Of M proper was a terribly paced mini (which could have been told in 4 rather than 8 issues) and we were told it was going to be a serious thing. Except it wasn't as it was quickly forgotten about by the most of the Marvel Universe except for the X-books, although they still don't seem to know what to do about M-Day all these years later.

    Civil War, even taking into account the delays, probably fell into the loss column as it dragged too much in the middle and the ending was a bit dodgy. The aftermath was a mixed bag with Spider-Man's identity reveal quickly getting erased (despite us getting told this would be a lasting thing) but the idea of the New Avengers on the run was grand, until it almost became a running joke of "Well, I could arrest you...but I'll let you go this time".

    Secret Invasion on the whole was really disappointing after starting out strong. No way was that mini worth $32.

    I struggle to see your argument of "they should have gone further" holds up too whenever they handed a murderer in Norman Osborn the keys to the Initiative/Avengers/Thunderbolts. Not to mention them having Spider-Man making a deal with the devil, and the jury is still out on whether that has been a success.

    And taking that quote at the top again I think the key word is "might". How long are people going to be prepared to put up with hoping that this story will be the one they are after? Where will they draw the line in the sand? Although I think Marvel have done that for most people by bumping the price up to $4.

    Nice picture by Deodato though at the top, it's new to me, thanks. I like what he is getting across, even if Venom should be a bit more buff.

  2. I was pro-Marvel until Secret Invasion ran over me like a runaway truck last year. The planning and out of continuity issues month after month, week after week grew tiresome. This and sporadic quality of the titles from month really makes it difficult to enjoy any Marvel title. For me it was all about the alternative to the 616 universe, you know Marvel Knights and the Ultimate titles. And now the Ultimate universe is ending and under the control of 3-4 of the same men who also are running 616 into the ground. I absolutely hated 616 until Civil War came along and then became a fan until the end of last year. The Skrull thing is something I have issue with from Spiderwoman to Elektra to Black Bolt and everything in between. All those stories from Son of M to the Jenkins Inhumans to the Elektra mini with Bendis (dare I say anything good about his work) was more or less a sham and wasted time. There is no emotional link to me for these stories as they weren't the real characters themselves put imposters.

    I grew up on 90's X-Men, Image and Valiant so you can't really respect my opinion since I haven't really been a long term fan and was playing catch up on all the old stuff until now. Plus they fact that I hate the X-Men now and am a huge fan of Cerebus might also have something to do with it. Anyways, my case is probably the total opposite for comics fans who've been through it all from the Silver Age until now.


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