Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rant: It's not even here yet, but I hate Marvel Now! and everything in it.

I mentioned this in my last post, and I'll say it again: I am not, in any way at all, looking forward to Marvel Now! to happen. I think it's a stupid idea, and my friend, co-writer, and fellow blogger Leena agrees with me wholeheartedly. After a lot of thought, I've decide that I'll share the list with you about why we're not feeling this brand-ass new revision of the Marvel 'verse. I'll start with what we've heard, in italics, then we'll post our rebuttal.

We're not trying to make enemies, here, Internet, so calm yo' tits. We're just trying to figure out why everyone's so excited for what boils down to a half-imagined, half-baked universe do-over.

  1. Shut up, it's not a reboot.
    No, you shut up, because it's a very well-disguised reboot. After the "aftermath" of Avengers vs. X-Men, Marvel is just going to decide to cancel everyone's current comic run and blend them together? That's not how this industry is supposed to work. Comics are supposed to be a carying group of topics and characters doing their own things. Constant universe retconning and cannon changing isn't going to keep the readership nailed down. Marvel is doing the same damn thing that DC's New 52! is doing.
    And you know what? The New 52 is tanking. Should Marvel really be following in those footsteps?
  2. It's easier to keep everything in one universe!
    This is an argument that I find stupid every time it comes up. If everything in the Marvel 'verse fits together like a puzzle, it's going to get really complicated really fast. (Ha, like it isn't already.) It's bad enough that everyone shows up in everyone else's books all the time already; we don't need to make it a constant thing. Marvel Now! feels like it's trying too hard to make everyone work together and play nice. We don't need Captain America to have another reboot, for example. He's only at #19 of his current series. Why does he need another one so soon? Not everything that can be done has been touched on in his current story; should it really be abandoned for a high-reaching idea that's ultimately going to tank?
  3. Uncanny Avengers, you guys!
    No. I get the idea behind it: In a world where the Avengers and the X-Men want to work together after working against each other, a title like Uncanny Avengers makes sense. But how long do we, as comic fans, keep biting at this? How many times do we have to suffer through a "groundbreaking" limited series before we stop caring? The answer, apparently, is every year. We just suffered though read the events of Fear Itself a year ago. A huge epic every year feels forced and tired, and isn't something that's going to keep readership going for very long.
    This pulls me into Uncanny Avengers. Yeah, it's cool that this is the first title that really meshes the Avengers and the X-Men into one title. Great. But does either team really need another book that bad? I'm getting a little sick of seeing Wolverine, Cap, and Iron Man everywhere I go. I get that they're some of the biggest names in Marvel's catalog, but Jesus Christ, can't there be a team without them? The Marvel Universe has plenty of secondary characters who are just as powerful as their A-list counterparts, why doesn't anyone take a gamble on any of them?
  4. It's more accessible to new readers.
    How? If no one is going to screw with anyone's current canon, wouldn't that make it tougher for a reader to jump right in? I'll use an example in the form of my friends: Many of them only know Marvel characters through the movies. They only know Iron Man the way that Robert Downey Jr. portrays him. they only know Captain America from the movies. They were genuinely confused by the Hulk in Marvel's The Avengers because "who's that green guy?" They had never seen him before. Sure, they knew the name, but they knew nothing of his character. When one of my friends decided that she was going to give comics an honest shot, she quickly found herself lost.
    "I don't get it, these characters have too much backstory for me to catch up on," is exactly what she told me. That's an honest answer, and verbally giving her a rundown of the character seemed to help, but does it really? Will Marvel Now! really make it easier for someone who's been interested in, say, Thor to pick up the Marvel Now! issues and not be the least bit confused by what they're reading? There's no way to make a long-running character like Thor, Cap, and Iron Man easily accessible to a new reader. The new reader has to want to jump right in and just let the issue fill in the blanks. I don't think Marvel Now! is going to be able to do that. I don't think that rebooting - because that's what this is doing to everyone - is going to give newcomers an honest shot at getting involved with comic characters. I think that longstanding, popular characters are going to become more confusing and alien to new readers, especially those who just know these beloved heroes from their movies. Canon on top of canon on top of retcon doesn't make for an easygoing character experience. It makes for a headache.
If you haven't heard about Marvel Now! before this, and you'd like to do more reading about it, I suggest that you start by checking out CBR's complete rundown, then heading on over to IGN. If you'd like to do even more reading on the topic, head on over to Newsarama and ScreenRant.

The first issues of Marvel Now! titles hit shelves in October 2012.


  1. My biggest complaint so far that we didn't list in the above rant is bring back Jean Gray. Now I will freely admit that as a character I dislike Jean Gray. This isn't about whether I like or dislike her. Marvel spent how many years swearing up and down that Jean Gray was dead and would Never be brought back. All of sudden, it's like, jk guys, she's back. I don't like it.

  2. On the other hand, though, with a massive universe retcon on the horizon, it seems almost expected that we'd see dead characters come back.

    Cable wasn't supposed to be back either, remember? And now he has an eyepatch.