Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rumor Control/Panic Attack: Marvel's New 52???

Two years ago Marvel relaunched their line under the branding of Marvel Now!  All-New #1s!  On the surface this was nothing new for comic fans; a simple jump-on point for new readers walking out of movie theaters & into comic shops.  I'm still not sure if that logic is sound, but I really enjoyed the creative roster change...at first.  I certainly appreciated their creative shake up compared to DC's totally batshit reboot of The New 52.  I currently read only 5 DC monthly titles (Batman, Detective Comics, Batman Eternal, Green Arrow, Multiversity) & by next month it could be half that.  They are a stagnated company, and despite owning two of the most popular characters on the planet, they can't seem to tell a fresh story to save their life.  I just suffered a year long, dull, drab Gotham City origin story from the supposed A-Team of Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo, and I found the whole bland experience rather depressing.  Fingers crossed on the mad genius of Grant Morrison.

But Marvel's faltered along the way too.  Brian Michael Bendis' All-New X-Men started out as a madcap melodrama centered around the original team's time travel antics, but it's pretty much been dragging its feet for twenty plus issues.  Move the story along please.  Indie Darling Matt Fraction dished out some of the cutest/cleverest comics in FF & Hawkeye, but unknown behind-the-scenes gripes drove the man towards Image Comics.  Jason Aaron's triple threat Thor reinvigorated the God of Thunder for his first two arcs, but recent stories have lacked in the consequence department.  Rick Remender's Uncanny Avengers has been nothing but peaks & valleys - it's great! it's dumb! it's great! it's dumb!  His Captain America has never quiet sat right with me - Dimension Zola?  Ugh.  And let's not even discuss Iron Man.  It's dreck.  You can't dismiss Marvel Now like The New 52, but things are getting stale.  So you know what that means?  All-New #1s!!!

Newsarama just published an article speculating a line wide reboot akin to The New 52.   Time to panic?  Well, first, I'm not so sure I agree with their findings.  Second, a reboot is not really a reboot.  The old comics are there.  They still exist.  Also, The New 52 is really no different from the Universe we all grew up on, and I'm sure the same will be said for Marvel if it chooses to Crisis.  Third, this reboot will spawn out of Jonathan Hickman's Avengers/New Avengers "Time Runs Out" storyline.  I may be a little lukewarm on his cohorts, but I have been absolutely mesmerized since Hickman took over Marvel's flagship title.  Hickman has always been about The Big Picture, and each month I am left flabbergasted with how he's taken these tiny bits and weaved a grand, cosmic story.  I once thought he was simply building to last year's Mega Event (Infinity, the best one Marvel's had in over a decade), but now it appears that story was just another building block in Hickman's grander scheme.

For fanboys, it's easy to freak.  Black Captain America!  Lady Thor!  Evil Iron Man!  Comics, man.  They do weird wild stuff.  They have to.  Marvel just had it's 75th Birthday; that's a lot of web-slinging for Spider-Man, and you can only kill the Green Goblin once...or twice...or threefourfivesixsevenbajillion times.  It's hard to keep things interesting.  Some of their clickbait storylines are not going to work.  And some will.  The New 52 might stink now.  Marvel might go down the toilet.  There are only so many Jonathan Hickmans, Ed Brubakers, Robert Kirkmans in this world.  Given the right writer, any storyline or character can be saved.  I might skip on a title this month or this year, but I am always happy to jump back in.


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