Marvel: NOW! What?

Marvel NOW! has potential. There are some promising indicators of quality tucked into that first round of press.

Above: you?

Here we see the promise of fictional characters and flesh-and-blood comic book creators alike stepping out of their comfort zones, leaving books where they’ve made names for themselves to play in an entirely different corner of the universe. A few quick years ago, Jonathan Hickman was a well-regarded super genius with a couple of mind-bending indie books and an iFanboy column to his name. (Yeah. That’s right. “iFanboy writer Jonathan Hickman.”) Now, he is about to take over the flagship of Marvel Comics, Avengers.

(Avengers or The Avengers? Is part of this initiative a new stance on Thes? Unclear. More on this story as it develops.)

A group of mutants most famous for speaking in flowery Chris Claremont orations are about to get scripted by a writer who idolizes David Mamet. Not to mention whatever’s going on with this Uncanny Avengers stuff, where it looks like all the teams have been shaken up like a Pepsi in a dryer. What does a conversation between Thor and Rogue sound like? Have Captain America and Havok even met before? Everybody’s getting new lockers and making new friends.

It should be fun. I’m interested. Curious. Intrigued.

“But would you go so far as to say you were excited?”

Well… let’s face it. I like roller coasters– they’re fun and exciting– but if I rode the same roller coaster all week, every week for eleven or twelve years, pieces of the track would have to start snapping off and flying at my head for it to get much of a rise out me anymore. What I’m saying is, I’ve been strapped into this thing for a while. This masterpiece you’re reading right now is roughly the 212th such column I have written for this site. 213th, actually: I deleted a draft of this one when I clairvoyantly saw every comment and @ reply on Twitter before I even posted and wanted to kill them in the crib. I get excited by individual comics when they’re actually in my hands, but teasers and announcements don’t get many “Oh, wow!”s out of me.

That’s what they’re up against, the poor souls, as they try to keep us amused. If you’re in their target demo, you’re most likely a lifer who has seen every BloodTies and Maximum Clonage and Shadowland they could throw at you. You have seen the JSA aged and de-aged and killed and brought back to life. Marvel NOW! and DC’s New 52 (which is now neither, I believe) are ostensibly about attracting new readers, but they don’t want you going anywhere, either.

They’ve got their work cut out for them, don’t they? How many of you heard about this Marvel NOW! thing and immediately got a puss on your face? Did you see the announcement with its lone image and immediately post “Yawn” or “meh.”? If so, why did you do that? I’m as curious about that as I am about Uncanny Avengers. What thoughts compel you to type such a thing? If you actually find the news boring or unworthy of your attention, don’t you just actually yawn or say “meh.” out loud and go back to your cancer cure research? When you go to Target, do you walk around the store announcing, “Those polo shirts do nothing for me. I’m not buying any detergent, either. Cool Ranch Doritos are just Doritos in a different bag” to no one in particular?

Okay, so this doesn’t excite you. What would excite you at this point?

I saw people grousing that Marvel was just shuffling the same writers who already worked there among existing books. Leaving aside the implication that Marvel should, I guess, fire a couple of their best-selling authors for the novelty of it, what would the alternative be? “Exciting news: we’re handing Uncanny X-Force over to a new creative team, a guy you’ve never heard of and, oh, let’s say the guys who do Penny Arcade. Also, The Amazing Spider-Man is canceled. It was time. On the plus side, Speedball gets another turn at bat as our star character, with Dawson’s Creek‘s Kevin Williamson at the helm.”

"I've always thought Daredevil and I should be teammates."

Seeing people annoyed (or very vocally uninterested) that their comics aren’t being changed or messed around with enough is a new one on me.

This is where many people chime in with something about the “indie revolution.” For what it’s worth, the first two creator-owned books that come to my mind have essentially had the exact same creative team month in and month out for a decade, and for all the talk about how freeing it is to be rid of corporate editorial shackles they have easily become two of the most boring books I haven’t dropped yet. The trade readers don’t want them spoiled, but they need not worry. Did you read the last trade? That happens again. These guys punch each other until more blood than a body contains flies through the air, and those guys learn that the real monsters they have to fear are within all of us after someone arbitrarily gets killed. Why do we disdain creative shake-ups again?

All these new #1s and Marvel NOW! books are still Schrödinger’s paperback. They could be amazing, in which case they’ll become the new normal. They could be bungled, in which case everything will creep back to the way it is now. Either way, it will be fine. People will keep making things they think we’ll like, and we’ll act like we don’t like anything, and the lions will die and become the grass that the antelopes eat. Or maybe some kid who never read a comic before will see a picture of the Avengers in the app store, see the #1 on the cover page, and start at the ground floor of something that really excites her. Imagine that.


Jim Mroczkowski should have kept the first draft.


  1. Oh man, I haven’t heard a Kevin Meany reference in ages. I laughed out loud at my desk just from scrolling my mouse over that text and seeing where the link went to.

  2. I am all over this. I started being really interested in comics in the earlier 2000’s when real experimentation was going on at Marvel.

    Then everyone seemed to find there grove, and stay there. The same creators on the same books for 10 years, got very samey. I started to branch out to Image and DC. Both of who have had a really strong the last 2 years.

    If this is Marvel trying to step up and compete I’m all for it. I’m hoping they can diversify with new titles like DC have. Uncanny Avengers sounds great!

  3. #1. ?
    #2. Definately the Walking Dead

    This seems like a fun game. Anyone else want to describe long-running books in as abtruse a way as possible?

  4. Great column as always, loved the tweet about it last night.

  5. I’m not excited about it and it has nothing to do with the new soft reboot or whatever it really is. I’ll wait to see what happens, but if this is still the world where Spider-Man made a deal with the devil and where Marvel would rather deal with social issues than entertain, then I’m still out.

  6. I am excited, even after the heckling I have gave Marvel! I think it is great and would be even better if they just rebooted the whole Universe and called it that completely! I think the two oldest companys both need some updating and refreshing, The New 52 for DC was pretty good for the most part. There ares till a few characters that should have never bin remade or changed since they are stil fairly new, I think it should always be the more famous ones that have been around for some time. Marvel I think if they look at what they have a reboot for those characters that are older would be great and if they cut down on the number if issues for certain titles would be a blessing for readers who would like to jump on board. ie..X-Men, Spiderman and the Avengers respectively. Good for you Marvel and DC as well welcome to the future.


  7. I’m honestly not sure what comments your directly relating to, but I can tell you why I’m not only not excited, but also thoroughly put off by Marvel NOW. As a long time X-Men fan, I stuck with the books during some really ropey periods, but for me, Grant Morrison’s run consolidated the ongoing saga, and modernised the mutant world. The idea that mutants were the future was thrilling at a time when Marvel was getting increasingly more “real world”. He opened up the game for future writers, and it wasn’t just a smack in the face to Morrison, but also to me and thousands of other readers when they started undoing his work.

    The last however many years since Bendis destroyed the mutant race has been one long interminable ride to get us back to square one – have Hope do what she was designed to do, bring back the mutants, and let the books exist in their own universe. Uncanny X-Force has shown how good the mutant books can be when they’re not crossing over all the time.

    Recently “relaunching” with Uncanny X-men #1 and Wolverine and the X-Men, Marvel seemed to be walking a fine tightrope between the victim race, and the pop tropes of 70s X-Men as well as New X-Men. Aaron and Gillen have been doing a fantastic job of making them legitimately cool and interesting again, and part of that has been about picking up threads left by Morrison. It’s plain to see those two plus Remender were fans of that run.

    Then comes AvX to put a brick wall in the face of progress, but even that still has unexpected potential to go somewhere interesting. But whatever happens, this is like watching a long running TV show. There are threads that had momentum here: Hope was born to save the mutant race, and in doing so, we’d finally get to go back and explore how humanity feels knowing that its days are once again numbered. The infinite possibilities for amazing, cool X-Men comics set in a world where they at the top of the pecking order and are responsible not for saving their own asses but for helping to make an orderly, humane transition from one species to another are incredible. But only if it reverts back to where I, and a lot of other long term fans, expect it to be, which I know sounds selfish and self centred, but isn’t meant that way. The characters themselves have been stretched in other directions, and from the internet chatter, it seems a lot of people have noticed – Cyclops has almost been changed *too* much in some cases.

    But whatever: the Marvel NOW thing is that after teasing us with AvX for ages, and saying it’s going to be the culmination of a story that started with a brutal act of violence on a world a lot of us loved reading about (Decimation), it looks like before the dust has even settled, Marvel has decided that the X-Men universe as its own entity no longer exists. I don’t want to read what Rogue has to say to Thor – the context in which these characters were created is very different – the rules of their worlds are *not* the same. It’s taking the worst aspects of big crossover events, and turning them into actual books.

    And for me, that’s the biggest problem. Comics have always been produced to make money, sure, but readers have invested in them because they’ve put a lot of time into them. Marvel has never done the reboot thing, so the X-Men “story” has effectively been unbroken. Now they’re mashing two worlds together and they’re doing it simply for the sake of profit. Where are the real writers, the ones who care about the internal consistency of the books they’re writing? It’s the editors and publishers who have the say now – Uncanny Avengers is the kind of thing thought up in a board room, not at a single writer’s desk. And the All New X-Men is such an unbelievably crass title it’s not real… We’re so backward looking and afraid of the future that we’re going to make a brand new book about the old X-Men in the modern world?

    I’ve got no problem with trying new things. I’ve got no problem with trying to find ways to reach new audiences. But if you or Marvel think that these initiatives are going to reach new readers, you’re very wrong. New readers want a consistent world, with good, solid storytelling and implicate rules that can be bent and tested but not broken freely, with good characterisation that makes them care about the stories. I know this because I’ve spoken to a lot of non-comic readers, and I know what puts them off. And a know a lot of your other readers will have too.

    Mashing together two previously massive and convoluted titles into one is *not* going to make it easier for new readers. It’s about (as it has been since the late 90s) finding ways to maximum the sales from their existing readership. I don’t read the Avengers and never have (apart from a few trades here and there) because I don’t find it compelling enough, and I’m sure there’s loads of folk who feel the opposite. Marvel are trying to cross sell their two biggest lines to the opposite readers in an attempt to get us to spend more money. End of.

    I realise this is a long comment, and I know there’ll be folk out there who think I’m just one of those moaning fanboys, but let me just say this. I’ve spent a LOT of money on X-books over the years. I’ve stuck with them through crappy writers and stories, even worse artists, event crossovers that I had to sit out until they were done, all kinds. And I’m not the kind of guy who’ll say: screw you Marvel, I’m not buying it! without even having read it. I’m simply expressing my real fear of the future of these books as they become less and less about plot and character and more and more about moving things around because it seems mathematically sound to do so.

    I *will* read some of these titles, but not others. I’ll watch as some of my new favourite creators who were just getting into their rhythm leave for other books, and I’ll “hope” that something of the magic of the X-Men manages to shine through this convoluted changeover. But I seriously doubt it, and I know a LOT of other folk out there feel the same way.

    • “He opened up the game for future writers, and it wasn’t just a smack in the face to Morrison, but also to me and thousands of other readers when they started undoing his work.” — Amen to that.

    • “New readers want a consistent world, with good, solid storytelling and implicate rules that can be bent and tested but not broken freely, with good characterisation that makes them care about the stories.”

      This is what Marvel NOW is aiming for IMHO. The X-Men have always existed in the same world as the FF and the Avengers, and my complaint prior to the House of M was that writers pretended it didn’t. That wasn’t a consistent world…It was the X Universe, with tons of crossovers, and the rest of the Marvel U, which sometimes featured Wolverine. It just didn’t make sense.

      I actually loved the old stories where the X-Men fought Arcade, or Dr. Doom, instead of yet another iteration of the Marauders. The interaction with Franklin Richards and Rachel Summers, Jean Grey being Misty Knight’s roommate, the suggested links between Wolverine and Bullseye….That stuff was great! They’ve been getting back to it, and I for one have loved it. I’m a returning reader, and am loving the promise of Marvel NOW. (though they do have to cull some of these superfulous Avengers titles).

    • What a wonderful comment. The one thing I have noticed on this site a few times is the disdain for the Grant Morrison run New X-men run. My friend and I both got back into comics because of that and Ultimate X-men. Since then, We have both spent Thousands of dollars on comics, which I am assuming many people on here have.
      I was by no means an expert judge on Storytelling when I first got into comics, when I was a kid in the late eighties/ early 90s, but I do know that I stopped reading them by High School because whatever sense of unpredictability and excitement they generated had gone away.
      In the early 2000s, that seemed to have come back, in particular with New X-men, Ultimate Spider-man and Ultimate X-men. I am glad someone pointed out that it was a noteworthy run, and that nowadays it seems that there is little care to at least cover up that all creative decisions are based on money.
      I only read four or five Marvel books, and the majority of them are written by Remender. I know it is Ironic that he is going to be writing Uncanny Avengers.

    • @bub64882: I agree. I think the Marvel Universe is always stronger when the X-Men are an integral part of it, not off in their own bubble.

    • “I don’t want to read what Rogue has to say to Thor – the context in which these characters were created is very different – the rules of their worlds are *not* the same. It’s taking the worst aspects of big crossover events, and turning them into actual books.”

      You do realize that in her first appearance Rouge was fighting against the Avenger, including Thor who she tried to absorb. I understand what you are saying based on YOUR point of reference, but in reality this is a return to normalcy of sorts. These characters WERE created, for the most part, as a cohesive universe, albeit over a long period of time.

  8. I’ll admit, I’m among the crowd who shrugged their shoulders, but for me none of the books I’m currently reading are being affected. I’ve been off X-Men for years now and dropped the only Avengers book I was reading during this most recent crossover.

  9. Really loved this article and I’m gonna link a few people to it who need to read it.

    Has to be The Walking Dead and Invincible. Maybe Spawn and/or Savage Dragon? Hard to think of any other titles it could be…

    And I’m down for the Marvel shift. They’ve got to do something. When I was a kid, it was ALL about the characters. As I got older, I started following certain writers and/or artists, so then it was about both the creators and the characters they were working on. Somewhere along the way, I got just as interested in the editorial and marketing aspects of comics. So I find this whole thing pretty entertaining.

    • I think I’m on the same page as you. As much as I appreciate the rich history of the shared universes, I’m all in favor of blowing it all to hell these days if it means I keep getting good stories by talented creators featuring characters that I kind of know and love. And if there’s even a chance it’ll appeal to some new folks, all the better.

  10. I sure hope they tweak Spider-man a bit. Leaving the movie, I decided to buy Spider Island. I don’t know if any of this has been resolved, but anyone trying to jump on would find a mess. That book desperately needs to take a few steps back into simpler times.

    • Incorrect.

    • No, he’s correct.

      Spider-island was a mess. Eote was slightly better, and no turning back is off to a promising start, but overall Slotts retro style story telling is very off putting.

      I am currently re reading JMS and Paul Jenkins era Spider-man, both series still feel more relevant and exciting than what Slott does. He has been paired with a number of great artists, but his stories for not up to their standards.

      Unfortunatly putting 2 and 2 togethers I dont think Spider-man is being relaunched. Axel said one book is having a tones shift that suited the Now movement so was being left alone, while Slott said he has big plans for 700 that will change will the world of spider-man forever.

    • I don’t have a problem with Slott. I just feel the continuity has gotten a bit out of hand. It’s so far off the beaten path now.

    • How is anyone correct when everything your discussing is subjective? Amateurs.

      Slott’s run has been very divisive. So basically, you guys (together) nailed it.

    • Good word use for divisive, I had to look that up.

      You are right off course, everything I say is opinion, not fact.

    • I jumped onto the book after Spider-Island was over and found it VERY new reader friendly. I haven’t really read a Spider-Man book monthly since the 90’s and I had absolutely no problem getting caught up to speed. Peter Parker is written very well, as are his supporting cast (The Human Torch team up was awesome!) — Also, the Doc Ock plot was a lot of fun and Slott’s writing of Mysterio was very very entertaining.

    • I enjoyed Spider-Island, but I am surprised that people call it a good jumping-on point. The main narrative is pretty easy to understand, but Peter’s and other familiar character’s situation (Peter’s job at Horizon and membership in the FF, Jonah’s recently becoming a widower, Flash being Venom, Aunt May moving to Boston) were all set up, or at least examined, in the (close to a) year worth of issue’s preceding the event.

      Big Time is the clear place to start, if you ask me. Those issues set introduce Slott’s run, and pretty much give you everything you need to know. There’s been character development since then, but nothing too drastic. So after that you can go ahead and jump to current issues, and not be too lost. But I should point out that the stretch between Big Time and Spider-Island have some of the best issues of Slott’s run, particularly “No One Dies.”

    • Thanks, man. Solid information with no intent to be condescending or pushy.

  11. I think you nailed it. I remember how stoked I was going into my first event as an every Wednesday dude. Now I’ve seen it all a million times. I mean I’m excited to still be getting quality work from the creators I enjoy… but I’m already getting that, so this isn’t really that big of a change. My peeps are going to be working with new peeps on new characters and it’ll be good, but it was already good soooo… I mean, I’m cool with it. It’ll be fun. Am I excited? Not really.

    What gets me excited nowadays is two creators perfectly paired. Hardman and Remender on Secret Avengers? That got me VERY excited (go back and read that arc too, it is AMAZING). I want more awesome NEW pairings. I guess Hickman and Opena is pretty damn exciting, but I think that Ribic is in that wheelhouse (and will probably rotate with Opena) so maybe that’s why that particular announcement isn’t hitting me all that hard.

    I get excited about specific plot elements too. I really like Father from UxF and the underground robot city of his from Secret Avengers. Any quality writer and artist pairing picking up this plotline will excite me greatly.

    Yea… We’ve all just been around the block too many times. People posting on the comic’s interwebs are probably Wednesday Warriors from the long long ago. We’ve seen too much. It does make me happy thinking that someone is getting that feeling I got going into Civil War and Secret Invasion now. Maybe next event/relaunch they will be jaded too, but every relaunch or event is someone’s first, and that shit is damn fun right there.

  12. “Okay, so this doesn’t excite you. What would excite you at this point?”

    Not line wide events. Not slapping a name and banner on the same old (launching new #1 with new creative teams it not such a novelity, it just got a name now: NOW!). Give me one new book, with one fresh (or fresh-ly) idea, a great, fitting creative team that gets the chance to actually DO something without getting interrupted after one storyline by an event or reshuffling and renumbering, and I am excited.
    I was excited by Waid on Dardevil with the promise to bring some fun to the character. I was excited by Bachalo and Aaron having Wolverine lead a school. Snyder and Capullo on Batman got me excited.
    But “Hey, we do something BIG an slap a flashy name to it, look at us. LOOK AT US.” does not excite me. Sorry, but you asked.

    • Don’t be sorry! I hope more people answer that question, although ideally with a little less “I’ll tell ya what doesn’t excite me…!” I think I’ve got that down.

    • I agree with Bendrix. I also think some new blood would be exciting. Rob Liefeld and Jim Lee started drawing books when they were teenagers. At this point I’d rather see an up and comer than more of the same but different from the same creators who’ve basically scripted everything for the past decade.

  13. I think letting Brubaker take over another title and putting full faith in him for like 6-ish years again would excite me. I’ll buy what he writes until he does me wrong.

  14. My theory about what comics fans want, what would get them excited? New plots.

    I think the bulk of longer-term comics fans want the same characters in the same settings, with the same powers and the same villains, with the same writers and the same artists, but with new plots that have the characters doing things they have never done before.

    Unfortunately, that appears to be a really really difficult thing for comics writers to pull off.

    • I think that’s because…at some point…a character is used up or played out and would really benefit from a reboot or a revamp.

      I think part of the problem is the notion that these characters must continue to have adventures across the universe and ad infinitum (and while I could mean that literally — because this is comics — I mean it figuratively) month in and month out.

      I mean, let’s look at it a level up from just super-hero comics and think about fictional characters — how many characters can you think of that have had a 40-80 year run of adventures?

      Sherlock Holmes had a good run back in the day (about 40 years). But even then you’re pretty much looking at just the novels and short stories by Doyle.

      So like you say, I think writing super-heroes these days is an exceptional challenge for creators. Many of these characters have been stretched, poked and examined from so many angles for so many years by so many writers that they might benefit from a rest. That’s not to say I think every Batman (for example) story has been told, just that guys like Scott Snyder and Grant Morrison must really have to bend over backwards to find a new take to explore.

    • @glennsim – I really agree with this. The idea that there are no good stories left for older characters is just not right in my opinion. I don’t think Snyder and Morrison have to bend over backwards for this – they work on characters they are invested in, and they just use their ingenuity and imagination to take them in new places. I have to say that often the majors get it both barrels from folk (myself included) that the plots are kind of lacking imagination. But I think a lot of that’s to do with the writers out there.

      There are many more new writers out there who can just keep things ticking over than there are writers with the personality, imagination and charisma to pull off exciting and interesting experimental new storylines that retain the integrity of the characters but explore how they react in new and interesting ways. I’ve got a bunch of ideas for the X-Men that would move the characters on significantly and explore their world more, and I know a load of other creators who have ideas for doing the same with Batman, Superman and others. Fingers crossed some day we get the opportunity to pitch these ideas and the folk who are listening are willing to risk their “property” for something that will not only insure the longevity of the characters, but also make them vital and interesting.

      I’m sure there are many, many folk out there with similar plans in their heads; I just hope they push for them instead of giving in to mediocrity in the hope of getting work.

      All that said, KenOchalek, I agree about giving characters a rest sometimes. And my ideas for the X-Men involve a large number of retirements, redundancies and sackings… 🙂

  15. Jim, I’m kind of like you, I guess: I don’t divvy out a lot of “wows.” I am, however, looking forward to Hickman on the Avengers. I like the Avengers characters, but I’m not a big Bendis fan–so I haven’t been reading the Avengers titles he writes. With Hickman on board, it’s a GO for me.

  16. The pattern is

    1) the Big 2 announce something different for a beloved character, team, or universe
    2) the fanbase (by and large) complains.
    3) the fanbase (by and large) buys the comics just to see if their complaints were validated (i.e. Before Watchmen).

    this will not change however…

    A couple of Marvel’s most popular titles of late (Fantastic Four and Daredevil) did not begin out of major crossover. These books saw increased sales and critical acclaim without a hype machine.

    In the end we want to be excited by a great comic, not a persuasive press release.

    • So true. What we need to realize is we speak with our dollars, and when we spend those dollars, we are heard a lot better than the typing we do in places like this. We need to support what we actually want instead of following the masses.

  17. What would get me excited?

    Giving Rick Remender complete creative control to make an X-Men story HIS story with special guest artist Jim Lee. ^_^

    Before DCs New 52 reboot, my DC comics pull list was limitied to Batman, the Green Lantern titles, and a few Vertigo titles. Now I’ve added Justice League, Catwoman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash. I was excited to try new titles with characters I’ve never invested in before. Now I go back and try out other # 1s like Swamp Thing and Animal Man. That’s amazing! It’s a company wide starting point.

    I’m a huge X-Men fan but it hurts my wallet to have so many X-Men titles shipping twice a month at $3.99. Marvel needs to trim the fat.

  18. The only thing that would excite a Marvel fan is a complete, line-wide reboot a la New 52. The problem is that will never happen. I think there is some pride in the fact that the same Fantastic Four that launched in the 60’s is the Fantastic Four we have now, with no major reboots/retcons. Cap is Cap, Thor is Thor, Spidey is Spidey (one of a myriad reasons why attempts to put someone else in these roles tend to fail, eventually leading us back to the one and only). DC, however, constantly changes continuity and characters (4 Flashes, 5 Green Lanterns, 2 Superboys, 5 Robins, etc.), and readers roll with it. Not to mention they’ve rebooted their entire universe on multiple occasions, so for them it’s part of their history. The closest Marvel has come is Heroes Reborn (which failed) and One More Day/Brand New Day (which still leave a bad taste in many old-time Spidey fans). I don’t count 2099 or Ultimate U, since these didn’t attempt to change the main universe. What they’re doing with NOW! is the same thing they’ve done over and over – new character team, new creative team, new #1, same chronology, nothing’s changed. They did it with Astonishing X-Men, they did it with New Avengers, and there was some excitement for a while, but then we got back to same-old, same-old and the thrill was gone.

    • The ultimate Line WAS a reboot, but without pissing off the old guard. And it has become their roadmap to the movie universe. It seems to have worked!

      The 616 universe DOES NOT need a reboot in my opinion. Actually, nothing would make me less likely to keep reading at this point. What would it accomplish? A blank slate for us to get a new writers interretation of the Lee/Kirby classics? No thanks….they can tell new stories that are just as compelling without having to wipe the slate clean. Look at anything by Remender or Aaron or Parker…great stuff that works better because of the long history of these characters. In the right hands a long history is a gift, not a shackle.

      You say Cap is Cap…But we’ve had how many characters in the suit? 5? 6? A reboot isn’t needed to evolve characters…Quite the opposite I think.

      If you look at DC, I think you could call the first Crisis a success…And maybe the NEW52 accomplished some things, but it was hardly flawless. What about the Zero Hours that happened in between? What a mess…My point is a reboot is not necessarily a good thing.

    • @bub: Cap IS still Cap. You really don’t hear much discussion about a fan’s favorite Cap like you would with Flash or Green Lantern – heck, there are probably many current Cap fans who don’t even realize how many iterations Cap has gone through, with maybe the exception of Bucky. And I’m not necessarily saying that a full reboot is a good idea; I’m just saying that it’s about the only thing that would really excite Marvel fans. As it is, it’s the same old, same old. Cap’s going to fight Red Skull or Batroc or Crossbones, or someone tied to a current character, because no one’s going to create a new character that potentially becomes the next Wolverine and not see a dime for it. I think at some point, you have to accept that that’s Marvel – if you don’t like it now, you’re probably not ever going to, so best to move along.

  19. What would excite me? Marvel seems to be integrating three “worlds” (1) X-men (2) Avengers, which seem to include all other of Earth’s heroes (3) Cosmic heroes. I agree with the statements that I’ve read in interviews with the editors of Marvel that this is something of a natural progression. What I’d like to see is an emergence of a 4th group in Marvel: Magic. We’re starting to see it with Dr. Strange and Journey into Mystery, but there is a wealth of characters based on magic in Marvel history, a wealth of writers out there who write solid modern fantasy, and a rise of acceptance in modern world + magic for the generation raised on Harry Potter. That seems to be a fertile ground that Marvel is simply not exploiting that they could and it would not feel like “another X, Spider, Avenging, etc.” kind of book.

  20. I’m moderately annoyed by this because it seems like things are shaking up far too frequently. I don’t feel like I’ve had a chance to settle down and enjoy any decently-sized Marvel arc without it some massive company-wide crossover Changing Everything Yet Again.

    The closest I’ve gotten to a decently-sized story in a single book in recent memory was the Dark Angel Saga in Uncanny X-Force. I’d love to have spent more time with the post-Schism X-books before AvX effectively rendered that moot.

  21. I’m ready, and so are the franchises and creators.

    As much as I may rebel against the banners, it’s actually making the shortbox-to-longbox filing much easier. I just move chunks of stuff, up to a certain event’s “line in the sand” by how it’s banner’d now. Makes it much easier to make room in the current reading boxes and find stuff in the “I thought I’d get back to this someday” stack in the closet.

    The title of this event does remind of Brian Regan’s bit about the eye doctor, though: They cross… Now! NOW! THEN!

  22. High five, Jimski!

  23. That Roadkill T-shirt babe on the right is HOT!

  24. What would excite me is a singular title, published weekly.

    Would love to read a single 48 page X-Men title that featured:

    a one & done 8 page story (ala the old Classic X-Men backups) followed by
    a 20 page Uncanny X-Men issue, and a 20 page X-Factor issue OR
    a 20 page Uncanny X-Force issue, and a 20 page New Mutants issue OR
    a 20 page Wolverine & the X-Men issue and a 20 page Astonishing X-Men issue OR
    a 20 page X-Men issue and a 20 page Generation Hope issue

    In fact I would even go so far to say if you started a series like this republishing content from say 3-5 years ago (Whedon’s run, Morrison’s run) along with the current stuff, you’d get more interest outside the fanbase.

    If they could sell a subscription to this for $150 a year ($12.50 per month, 5x the cost of a Time Magazine subscription) I think people would be on board -especially if it included a free electronic version and a POG.

    • No way in hell your getting 150$ a year, particularly if you are republishing old content. Not if you want new readers anyway.

    • So you’re saying $150 is too expensive for new readers?

    • Yep.

      I can only speak for myself, but last night I was stuck in one place waiting. I pulled out my iPhone, and bought three .99 cent comics that I was only mildly interested in, as opposed to the 3.99 one that I was much more interested in. I will eventually read that 3.99 book, but not at that price.

      I actually think .99 is a good price point for digital goods, be they songs or comics. If you want to make them 15 pages and sell them for 99 cents, I’m cool with that. If you want bundle them in trade sizes and sell arcs just like an album on iTunes, great, I’m on board.

      I can’t say for certain, but I would expect that this price point would garner far more new readers.

    • So $150 a year comes down to $12.50 per month or $3.13 per week for a 48-page comic. Of course if a person didn’t subscribe and say purchased a single issue at the airport it’d cost like $8. That may dissuade new readers but that’s pretty much what the fanbase pays now for two 20 page issues.

      On the digital front, I’d argue collecting every X-title (or Batman title, etc.) into a single digest format would be good for
      new readers. It would make finding/following stories a lot easier. And having it come out every week as opposed to every month would make it more relevant.

      Odds are good that a new reader isn’t going to remember to pick up the next issue of something a month later. Engagement is key.

  25. I think Marvel earned every “yawn” they received because of the way they spun this event/non-event. Combine the tiny bit of information they provided in EW with the layers of bullshit about how this was so different from what DC did, and it really came across to me as a huckster type of move. I am certain that there will be at least some good books as a result of this shuffling around, but the way they have handled the announcements so far… just awful. Why didn’t they just wait to do a big announcement at SDCC?

    • This IS way different than what DC did. I just don’t get why people are drawing a correlation to continuity wipe a new branding banner. What am I missing here?

  26. Jim, while I didn’t go to the trouble of posting “meh”, I certainly thought it. Big time.

    I feel like you’re blaming me for not being excited, like I’m some jaded old numb reader (only the middle adjective is true!). I don’t know what to say. I’m buying (and am excited by) as many or more comics than I ever was, but definitely Marvel has been losing me lately, is that my fault? I don’t think I’m bored by Marvel because of me. Half of my pull list is still super heroes. I used to read Avengers but fell off because Bendis made me not care. I used to read FF but I found the group of kids really annoying and fell off. Overall, Hickman doesn’t float my boat the way he does others. Hated Pax Romana. Bought Shield as a trade and thought it was ok but didn’t knock my socks off. I fell off of Captain America after 100 odd issues, just felt like I’d soaked up all I could.

    Rememder is pretty cool. I loved Brother Voodoo but it got canceled. Marvel canceled Alpha Flight, another book I liked. Both books felt fresh to me.

    This week’s POTW was “Fury”. Like Ron, Conor, and Josh, I love this book and am excited about that. So it’s not the publisher that’s the problem for me.

    I guess I’m excited when I’ve got a good book in my hands. If Marvel NOW! makes that happen, awesome. But that will be due to the Creators’ work, not the marketing or editorial staff.

    FWIW, I’m loving Before Watchmen right now. Comics blogspot had an interesting article how those books are about the people, not just the custume. Maybe Marvel needs a dose of that?

    FWIW2 – I was really excited for the Johns/Lee Justice League, and dropped that after 7 or 8 issues. So even when I do excited by the hype, it doesn’t always work out.

    FWIW3 – But you’re right. I try to post positive things to little read books like Bomb Queen and Lone Ranger, rather than post negative things to the latest event book. So much good stuff. And I figure that even if I don’t like something, doesn’t mean it might not be great for others, particular kids just entering the hobby.

  27. My biggest problem is that this is yet another relaunch/reboot. Take the X-men for instance. None of the set up have been given a chance to breath or really grow. First they’re living in San Francisco and there’s 12 episodes of set up about they’re business they’re and its super green and they have the kids living in the city with the adult x-men. Then they’re living on Utopia. Then the split. and now Uncanny is being cancelled some 20 odd issues after it was cancelled? and this will be the 3rd volume of New Avengers in the last 5 years right? What makes them think this time it will be more successful than the last time?

  28. What would excite me? Two things.

    The first is variety. That’s something I gained from the new 52. I would have never thought I’d love books like Animal Man, Swamp Thing, JL Dark, Dial H and OMAC. But I do (well, did in OMACs case). DC took some chances with their relaunch and while some didn’t pay off as well as others, kudos for trying. I don’t feel that Marvel is really doing that. It seems like it’s going to be another batch of X and Avengers titles which don’t really hold that much allure for me. Can’t blame them though as it’s really almost like printing their own money.

    The second is to just stop with all the hype and get down to telling the stories. That applies to both companies. But I like the fact that, as of late, DC has been keeping its events “small e” – shorter and confined to fewer titles. Marvel, on the other hand, has been delivering events that I’ve found seriously lacking. When those events impact the entire universe, you can’t feel all too excited when the feeling wasn’t there to start with.

    As for the question of, “why post yawn or meh”, I would say because that is my feeling and choose to share that opinion with others to discuss why they agree or disagree. That’s why I come to sites like iFanboy; for the differing views.

  29. I remember an interview with Peter David in which he made the comment (as I recall them): “I don’t have a problem with Wally West being the Flash. He’s had some wonderful stories. I just think there’s nothing in that book which you couldn’t do with Barry Allen as the hero.”

    Still waiting on done-in-ones to make their comeback…

  30. I am not only NOT ecxited, i get the hell out right now. I cancel all Avengers books after i kicked the whole X-Mess!

    i enjoy things like not hypes! Daredevil, Savage Dragon, Planetoid, Glory, Prophet, even Amazing Spider-Man and Ultimates. I just like books who can stand for itself and does not need any event or big tag line where i have to read (or cant stand to not read everything, my fault)

  31. I’m interested to see why they’re making new #1 books if the history will stay the same. Also with books that haven’t passed the #10 mark like Scarlet Spider, what will happen to similar books.