Now, Marvel NOW! Or: NOW! I’m an Outsider

One of the most depressing aspects of Uncanny Avengers (other than the 19 covers–oops, make that 20) coming out this week is what it represents in terms of my relationship with comics, and Marvel in particular. This book crystalizes my feelings about my life in comics — I am now, officially, back on the outside looking in.

After over a decade of buying comics weekly, after over five years of being utterly clued into what is going on with the word of comics, after over four years of writing an almost weekly column about comics and comic book culture, I find myself looking at the cover images for Uncanny Avengers and realizing that I have absolutely no idea what the hell this book is about.

Oh, sure, I have seen the headlines about Marvel NOW! books, but it was only after seeing Conor this weekend that I heard about the new books are going to be released weekly, but even after talking about it for ten minutes, I still couldn’t adequately express just how ignorant I was of what was actually happening.  Like, I thought AvX was just some summer event with a lot of fighting, with other miniseries that featured more panels about the fighting that was happening in the background of the main fighting, and then I saw that Professor X was killed because Cyclops is possessed-or-not-possessed–just really angry?–and Bendis just figured Xavier was kind of worthless…

…but that was it. I thought that was it. I have been thinking about this probably too much, but I didn’t even realize that the Avengers and the X-Men were that big of a deal that Marvel was going to use them to redo the old “you got my peanut butter in my chocolate! No, you got your chocolate in my peanut butter” treatment to two titles. Or teams. Uncanny Avengers? Many of whom are jumping out of the Red Skull’s mouth?  Some of whom are being lead by a disco dancing Captain America?

The normal response, I know, is to quickly shush me and tell me not to worry about it, that it’s just how comics works, and that it is fun to have these things happen because that’s the power of comics, the ability to rewrite everything and if it means good stories, than we’re all good, right?

I don’t know, to be honest. This might be it for me. I bought most of AvX but every time I tried to read an issue, I just felt like I was watching events happen — not getting drawn into the story.  I had the same problem with the whole Hammer Throwdown event, which was so incredibly lame and unmemorable that I literally can’t even remember the name of it.

I read comics. I hang out with the pages. Explosions and double page spreads and battlesbore me to freaking tears, and my impression of AvX, just as a “brand” of Marvel comics, was exactly that: explosions, fights, every other week for $4-5 a pop.  I literally get more satisfaction out of my morning iced coffee and muffin. Which I consume in my car listening to the radio on the way to work.

“So it’s not for you, Mike, why waste my time with some rant about crap you don’t like? iFanboy is not the place for rants like this.”

A fair comment, head voice #46, but, like Willie Loman, attention must be paid to the increasingly marginalized original comic fan! These are odd times when the foundation of a generation’s worth of stories is tinkered with, if not turned upside down.  Attention must be paid when a reader who bought two issues of each copy of Final Crisis finds himself completely turned off by needy, pathetic stunt of publishing nineteen covers of a first issue.  Attention must be paid when someone who has spent thousands of dollars on an industry feels completely unwanted when a new comic book paradigm is launched.

It used to be just killing off a character was what the publishers would do to drive business. It is telling when publishers need to completely kill of an entire history to bring in new readers.

Now, I could be wrong about Marvel NOW!. Maybe. I may never know. I will buy that first issue on my iPad (or buy the one with this cover) and I will read it, but only because I am writing this article. Marvel has done a masterful job of alienating me by changing everything I like about their books, and, in a way, the introduction of this line looks like it will be moment when I am no longer a Marvel reader, I am “just” a Daredevil reader, or a Fury MAX reader. And Marvel is still fine with that — they still price the digital versions of old books at full price.  And until they change that insidious practice, I will never even think about catching up with Wolverine and the X-Men or any other book that I have fallen behind on.

Maybe I am becoming a “post” modern comics fan. That could very well be happening to me. I am the guy who bought all those Criminal books and still bought the two awesome trades. I read Walking Dead in similarly awesome hardcover trades, once a year. I buy Saga in single issues and will buy the trade for my wife. I buy Batman, Action and a few other DC books every week or so on my iPad, and look forward to poring over that New X-Men Omnibus before I go to bed.

The rest of comics is passing me by. I re-read Asterios Polyp and wonder, idly, when the next Parker book might come out. I buy an issue of Daredevil and congratulate myself on being current on it. I go to catch up on Ultimate Spider-Man but then remember I still haven’t read issue #11, and after crashing my iPad twice looking for it, I give up and start reading Red Shirts instead.

Do I still love comics? Yes. Do I still think comic book creators are the most talented and most undervalued storytellers of all time? Absolutely. Do I still love the community? Do I still care about the characters? Do I still have an opinion? Yes, yes and damn straight.

After spending a few days there last week, I realize that reading comics is what it feels like after you move to New York, live there for five years, move away, then visit from time to time. You love the city, you know this city, but after living there, it’s very clear: for some people (myself being one of them), as much as you love the city, it’s just so much easier (and so much more fun) to visit than the live there.

I don’t need to buy twenty comic books a week. I did that for years and it was fun, but most of the time (and if you have been reading, you know this well), I just felt overwhelmed and behind and stressed that I wasn’t able to keep up with them.

So, I guess I must thank Marvel, in a way, for making it so easy for me to drop so many of their books. They have given me a chance to save money, have more time, and be less stressed. Had I known that if AvX was going to be the beginning of a totally new era in Marvel comics, would I have been more eager to stick with it?  Maybe, kind of doubt it.  I don’t even know, truly, if that’s the case, to be honest with you, it’s just what seems to be happening.

Now just to pre-empt Ryan Haupt’s accusal of my hating comics, I must stress: I don’t hate comics. I love comics. They are a big part of my life and I get a lot of pleasure out of them. What is happening is that I am not letting comics ruin comics for me. I am just going to enjoy them as I want to enjoy them, not as I am told to enjoy them.

Will I read Uncanny Avengers? Yeah, maybe. For a little bit. I actually hope it will be awesome, but I am not going to hold my breath — you know that something is up when you find yourself reading a comic just so you can appreciate what the guys say on the podcast about it as opposed to enjoying it for its own sake…but that’s another article for another day.

So, on the eve of New York Comic-Con, Marvel NOW! — “the greatest era of the Marvel Universe” apparently — is upon us. As I look at this list of the upcoming books (which resembles the biggest “Will it Blend” episode ever), I just feel like I’ve been to this party, or at least one just like it, before…right?

I think I may have to stay at home. Send me a text if it’s good and I’ll come by.


Mike Romo is an actor in Los Angeles. You can reach him through email, visit his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter.


  1. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t have strong opinions and you wouldn’t spend your time writing articles trying to figure out what’s going on.

    I feel similar on a lot of levels. Man, do i love me some comic books still, but i’m finding it tougher week to week to talk myself into buying and reading those current issues. “Keeping Up” is really difficult these days. AvX really was *good* for me in that it was a clean break. I was able to cut all my Avengers and other Marvel books because the i felt the event was so intertwined and complex, i just wanted to cash my chips in and go home.

    For me the most troubling is that its getting harder and harder to read big 2 superhero books unless you’re willing to go all in, which i just can’t do at this point in my life. Maybe i’m wrong, but that’s my perception of the way things are.

    I would LOVE to read my favorite heroes in out of continuity books. Let them have fun adventures, that don’t demand i understand years of backstory and read lots of other titles to follow whats going on.

  2. This is a no-brainer for me. I decided long ago that if I don’t like a story line I’ll just bail on it. i did it last year with Marvel’s event, which as I write I cannot think of the name. As soon as things got muddle in the story: I dropped it. I did the same with AvX. I will try Uncanny Avengers because I’m only buying this and batman #13 ( another title which I’m cautiously approaching with its crossover story ) this week, but depending what takes place in the first three issues or so.

    Once you get the hang of letting go you can feel how very liberating it is.

    • I dropped everything I didn’t actively feel an impulse to read right away when I got home. You won’t miss much! Plus all the dumb crap you can always read someone strain to explain on wikipedia. The true test of how strong a story is is wikipedia’s version of it. Most X-Men/Avengers doesn’t hold up well in sober black and white hypertext.

    • Preach, Brother! Trying to figure out the plot summary of some of these comics is like trying to unravel the mysteries of the universe. Count me out.

  3. Don’t confuse comics with Marvel and DC. Just because you like music doesn’t mean you have to like One Direction.

    • This is much in the line of what I was going to say. Marvel and DC are becoming more branded, but while they do so other companies are kind of filling the gap. They are leading themselves to much more universe related titles and planning where the editors are king. Image is focusing on making awesome stand alone comics and has pretty much left their shared universe behind. Valiant is rising to create something new with an old school feel.

      I really think Marvel is making a bold move, just one I care less about then more of the books from just last month.

    • oh i agree. i’ve found lots of other stuff esp. on the creator owned front thats so much easier and enjoyable to follow.

  4. “What is happening is that I am not letting comics ruin comics for me.”

    That really struck a chord with me, Mike. Due to financial constraints a while back, I cut down to the essentials in my sub list. Once things loosened a little, I started buying more – but there came a point where I wasn’t appreciating the books very much, as a whole. So I took a hard look at my subs. This may be sacrilege to some people, but “Batman” was ruining “American Vampire” for me. Same writer, but one is my cup of tea, and one just isn’t anymore.

    Now, when I read an issue & feel underwhelmed, I look at, was it one issue or have I been feeling complacent about a title for a while now? If so, I cut it. There are always the (much cheaper) trades. I maybe try to find something new, fresh, with potential instead. And I’m loving comics SO DAMN MUCH right now. I love that I haven’t scored a comic under a 4 here in months. — But it took realizing that I was subconsciously bitter about spending $4/month on something I was getting out of routine, not out of enjoyment.

    • Your comment about not scoring anything under a four made me aware of the fact that I’ve semi-unconsciously used the ratings on my pull list here to manage my actual pull list.

      If I rate an issue 3 stars, it’s immediately on the chopping block. If the next issue gets the same rating, I drop it from my pull list. I’ve made some brutal cuts over the past few months because of this, but I feel like I’m only reading stuff I truly love and get excited to read.

  5. I used to read a ton of Marvel books. Over the last few years, I have dropped most of them. I now just read the FF books, daredevil, x-factor, Iron Man and Amazing spider-man. I will try the relaunched captain America, but that is the only book I am getting that isn’t a relaunch of a book I am already reading. I just find I don’t care that much anymore about the big universe spanning events. They just seem very forced and formulaic and I am not entertained. I just follow the books I enjoy and can’t be bothered with buying crossovers and events. I have too much other stuff going on in my life to devote every waking moment to a mediocre fight scene with a forced justification for happening in the first place, where a character I have invested years of my life following gets killed just to boost sales.

  6. So you have strong feelings about your apathy?

    Just read the books you like – and if you don’t like them, just stop. And who cares how any covers there are? It’s all still the same story inside.

  7. It’s gratifying to see so many of us share the “quality over quantity” mantra. There are only a few simple rules to follow and it goes a long way in making for a more peaceful, enjoable comics lifestyle:

    1) Take a long, hard look at your financial health, and limit yourself to a specific number of books per month. Look at it objectively. Don’t allow yourself any more that a book or two’s worth of wiggle room. Be hard on yourself. If two books are launched that you have interest in, at least one of your current’s has to be dropped.

    2) If you can’t remember the events of the last issue within 30 seconds, drop it. It doesn’t matter how busy you are or how good your memory is. If you can’t remember it, it didn’t strike a chord. Drop it.

    3) If you flip through your stack at the LCS and you’ve completely forgotten that you read a certain book, drop it.

    4) If you need to make even more cuts, stack your month’s/week’s pile in order of excitement or anticipation. Whatever titles are consistently on the bottom of said stack gets dropped.

    I’ve been following this personal formula for a couple years now, and they’ve been the most satisfying few years in my 20+ years of reading comics. It makes my long boxes a little random and uneven, but I’m past the age where that bothers me. Old habits die hard, but if you stick to a regiment it can really pay off.

    • I find myself following those same rules a lot, I limit my pull list of comics to about 15-20 a month and it’s helped me from getting burned out. You gotta have the mentality of you can’t read everything, that’s why I love getting spoilers off these messages boards. It’s like getting cliff notes.

  8. I bought the first three issues of AvX, then decided to wait for all of it to be released to catch up. Then I saw the $5 price tag (for a freaking digital comic!) on issue 12, so I spent that $32 it would have cost me to catch up on some pizza and beer. I think I made the correct choice.

  9. Mike, I couldn’t agree more with this column. It seems that every few years things are rebooted, revamped, and more than anything rehyped. I am just fine with reading the select titles that I enjoy, even if that means I miss a crossover event that will just be erased a few years later anyway. I too read DD only in the 616. It seems pointless to keep up with books like X-Men and Avengers just for the sake up keeping up. To me, the Ultimate U is the primary Marvel U. Their books are very limited, which make it easy to keep up, and despite two re-numberings, the continuity remains the same. Point being that if you read what you enjoy, then who cares about keeping up with the books.

  10. I know what you’re saying and I feel pretty much the same way. I’ll try some of these Marvel NOW titles, but I don’t feel like I’m as committed to them as I used to be to some of their titles. If they’re good….I’ll read them. If they are “okay”, I’ll find something else do read or do.

    I guess this is how I’d summarize my thought: My threshold for dropping a Marvel title is really low right now AND I also seem somewhat immune to my comic buddies gushing about a title and convincing me that I MUST read it. I dropped Daredevil and even though I know it is probably good, I just don’t care enough to buy it.

    • For me it isn’t apathy. Marvel is just pricing me out of reading their books. $3.99 a pop and double shipping means if the story and art aren’t great, not good but great, I’ll find a cheaper book from DC or Image to try instead.

  11. I couldn’t agree more with this article. The only point in which I differ with the writer is in regards to his comments about going digital, which I will not be doing.

    My pull list is 60 plus titles at this time, and honestly, I’ve never felt so eager to jump off books as I do now. When I got back into comics in 2007, I read everything Marvel and DC, but slowly I began realizing that, for the most part, it is the same old thing. Following continuity just for the sake of it seemed less important, and now I enjoy books because of the book, not because I “need” to follow continuity.

    so, a couple of months ago, while contemplating Marvel NOW and figuring out what it means to me, I decided that will not pick up any new books, and just read my current books until they end. My to-be-read pile gets bigger every week, and I’m just spending money on books just to have them when I’m “ready” to read them. This decision goes across all publishers, not just Marvel. Once I’m reasonably caught up, and have read some other things on my to-read list (like stuff from the past I haven’t gotten around to yet), I will consider new series. I just can’t mindlessly pick upnew titles just for the sake of it, even if I will enjoy it.

    Will I come back to Marvel? Absolutely. I just want to feel the excitement again when I do.

  12. All very good points made here by Mike and the community.

    I was going through a funk recently and decided to drop titles I’d never thought I could (Avengers, ASM, etc.). Rather than spend $4 on Marvel books I bought only out of habit, I took some chances on $2 digital books and ended up falling in love with titles like Supergirl and Atomic Robo – books not even on my radar previously. If anything, cutting back on books has reinvigorated comics for me. I now love what I read.

  13. Uncanny Avengers is about four dollars. Seriously, the plot of the book appears to be “Many people buy books called ‘Avengers.’ Many other people buy a book called ‘Uncanny.’ Perhaps if we put them together, all of those people will not notice and buy this book.” I mean, sure, there will be characters punching other characters. Because it’s Rick Remender, a character that he thinks no one cares about will die every couple of issues. Those things are true, but story is really about four dollars, one hundred thousand times.

    It’s funny, though, that your case is exactly why I’m reading more Marvel comics and fewer DC than at any time since I was sixteen. I like what Aaron, GIllen, Humphries and Hickman are doing with their stores, and I’m happy to pay them for the privilege of reading. Meanwhile, the characters I love most aren’t driving the stories at DC, editorial directives are, and that’s boring me. (As this happens more at Marvel, I’ll stop buying those, too.)

  14. Is it that time of the week again? Already another sadfest about the nadir of the art form?

    If you spent as much time reading comics as you spend agonizing over the nature of comics, you might feel better.

    I’m sick, personally, of hearing all this good old days garbage about how everything new isn’t as good as everything used to be, and that “I love comics because I love what they really are – not what they are now.” I hear about it music, literature, and every form of media, that everything new under the sun is bad and no good and ruining the “true” form.

    Save it. No one expects you to read if it isn’t for you, but for fuck’s sake this article drips with a certain condescension about people who are “in” right now, like we are fools for liking the newfangled versions and systems. Guess what – the comics you knew and loved and marketing gimmicks you participated in when you were on “the inside” were being bitched about just like this. I can remember the boom of the 90s and these same columns in fanzines, and I can remember the early 2000s when these were first all over the internet. One man’s golden age is another man’s Fall of Rome. Someone right now getting into Marvel NOW will be tomorrow’s clucking columnist about how things have all gone wrong. Somewhere someone is dreaming of being the next jaded comics fan and opining on how it all went wrong. And everyone else will be unimpressed by how much cooler and smarter they are than the rest of us.

    Marvel NOW has been fairly transparent about their plan and system. Just because you aren’t engaged in what is happening does not mean it is bad. You know what most people do when the big 2 bum them out? They read indie comics, or buy trades of what they like. You are acting like this HAS to effect comic lovers. Most people just don’t buy things they don’t like. If you feel like buying comics is stressful or you have to do it to be part of something, then that is your problem. The comics didn’t do that to you. You did.

    It sounds to me like you are someone looking for a way out, and this current marketing gimmick in a field historically replete with marketing gimmicks justifies it. I’d rather you do what you say at the end and stay home. If you don’t enjoy what is happening, no one has a gun to your head. People quit reading comics all the time. And for every person like you who posts something bemoaning this new development, someone will come back. Last year we got all the angst over New 52, same flavor and everything, and today we have tons of fans commenting on how it brought them back in. Comic sales have been up all year. So if this makes you quit, chances are people will come in to replace you. And they won’t be nearly as grief-stricken about participating in a hobby.

    • Although I agree with the article, this is completely true as well. I can remember being a teenager and reading some of the Knightfall Batman stuff, but I’m sure there was a 35 year old somewhere bemoaning what was then going on. But what happened in the years following Knightfall? Some of the best Batman stories ever told: Hush, Batman and Son, Gotham Central and a few others. So we never know what Marvel NOW will lead to.

    • Shingen is my new hero. I don’t get how anyone could ‘stress’ about a hobby…doesn’t that defeat the purpose?!?

    • This comment is just a touch ironic.

    • Or, Shingen, if you’re unhappy with an article about people being unhappy with comic books, you could follow your own advice and not read it. It sounds like it would save you a lot of heartburn. Meanwhile, if a person wants to complain or bemoan something they spend MONEY on (comics) versus something they read for FREE (articles about comics), I think they’ve bought that right.

    • Weak. Your only response is that I shouldn’t have an opinion because it is free? That is the weakest response ever. Maybe YOU should stop complaining about my comment you read for free. Because you didn’t pay for it. There, see how ridiculous it is?

      If someone posts and opinion piece, then other people have the right to respond to it. If the fact that it is free makes a difference, they should turn comments off.

    • “If someone posts and opinion piece, then other people have the right to respond to it.”

      That’s what I thought I was doing.

      Weak or strong, we’re both voicing our opinion (i.e. complaining) about something, so we’re both right or wrong, depending on who you ask. Do you see the circuitous nature of this argument?

    • It’s circuitous because you can’t cop to your original vacuous assertion being ridiculous. I realize that arguing over whether someone can have an opinion is idiotic. But you are the one who introduced the original asinine point that I was not supposed to do so because it was offered for free. I’m sorry you can’t grasp that.

      I am perfectly willing to accept that there are differences of opinion. But YOU were the one contending I shouldn’t have an opinion, or that I shouldn’t post it because I was responding to something that was free. I offered a response using your reasoning to show how poor your logic was.

      I know your type though, this is going to become a “I’m not touching you” pissing contest where you try to troll me repeatedly until I quit instead of acknowledging that your original point was ridiculous; you’ll keep trying to impress everyone with pedantic, condescending statements that address the way we are arguing instead of any actual point because you know your original point was foolish. Which makes you very smart and very cool. So go for it.

    • Aaaaand this discussion is over.

  15. I can completely relate. From approximately 2006-2010 I listened to Around Comics AND iFanboy every week, had about 20 books in my pull list, and had a monthly comics budget of $300. Since having twins in October 2010 and rediscovering my other hobbies (music, primarily) I just don’t have the time nor financial means to stay current with “what’s happening” in Marvel and DC anymore. It simply takes too much time out of my week (reading internet columns, listening to podcasts, reading reviews, etc.) and is too expensive. Now that I only read about 5-7 single issues a month and whatever trade I’m reading, I’m finding that I value my comics reading time that much more than when it took up every single minute of my spare time, which was limited enough BEFORE I had kids!

  16. While this argument may be raging I feel that this article has truly captured the way I feel. In an attempt to get new readers Marvel consistently alienates those of us who have been following their characters for years. I have been an avid X-men fan for years I began reading them back in 1992 and have spent many years trying to complete my collection. My collection encompasses all things X. Every series, ltd. series, one shot, crossover, line wide event, appearance etc. going back to Giant Size #1. I am attached to these charecters as they have been my friends and family when I had none and continued to be there in one form or another for the past twenty years. I have enjoyed the past three years immensly and felt “it was good to be an X-men fan” (With the exception of Rogue’s entire history of not being able to touch thrown aside for a one shot dealing with the death of the Sentry and a slew of bad Wolverine and Deapool titles). Then AVX came out. I was excited but tentative as I had a feeling that of course the Avengers were going to have to be portrayed as the heroes. Unfortunately that was what I was given. The X-men were made to be the villains and corrupted. There was so much potential. What happened to Cyclop’s press release? Why couldn’t the world see the Avengers as being in the wrong? Captain America was so against the Superhuman registration act (Which was esentially a the Mutant Registration Act) that it caused a divide in the worlds heroes, why didn’t we see more Avenger or heroes face a moral dilema and make a decision to side with the X-men. So here we are Cyclop’s characterization was destroyed, Xavier is dead, The Avenger’s are still Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Avengers and X-men have joined forces to better public relations, Wolverine is the penultimate X-man and of course we are somehow getting the original 5 X-men back so someone can take a turn at mucking up the X-men universe further than he already has. So should my anger be directed at Marvel for feeling like they alineated me in an effort to get new readership? Honestly, I cannot say as in my quest to buy back issues I supported the comic stores and not them but I do buy every X-title and every issue with a cast member of the X-universe (Thank you very much Wolverine and Deadpool! Can these guys be in any more books?). So in the end what will I do? I am pretty sure I am going to do what every other comic fan does. I will bitch and complain that their books are too expensive, berate the changes, malign company wide crossovers and go out and buy everyone of the issues that have an X-men tie to it because I want my collection to be complete and I can always hope that someday in the future it will get better and once again Nightcrawler, Jean Gray, Xavier and others will be back hopefully with some retcons to the recent atrocities.

  17. I bailed on non-cosmic cross-overs after Civil War and don’t miss them a bit. Over at Marvel I have been reading Fantastic Four, FF, Journey into Mystery, Daredevil, Wolverine and the X-Men, and X-Factor and I enjoy them all immensely. I don’t have a clue what happened during Avengers vs. X-Men nor do I care. It doesn’t affect any one of these titles. Quite frankly I have never really understood the obsession with continuity. Every time a new writer comes on that run should be appreciated in the context of what came before but mostly I think it should be evaluated on its own merits. I though Morrison’s New X-Men was brilliant. It was self-contained and a break with what came before. Meanwhile it helps to know Miller and Bendis’s run for Daredevil but you don’t have to have read them nor read any other book to enjoy it. X-Factor is perhaps the best example of this. Peter David roles with whatever editorial throws at him and keeps crafting great, self-contained stories. I guess what I am saying is that I will miss Fantastic Four, FF and Journey but I’m looking forward to seeing what Hickman can do on Avengers – a title I’ve never really read before. Aaron’s Thor sounds really interesting and so does Bendis’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Do you really need to have read crossovers or know the team’s history to enjoy these books? Conversely, does the cancellation of some books nullify your ability to enjoy new ones? We are the last bastions of a dying medium. Where once the top comic sold millions of copies we are lucky if that number gets over 100K today. If we want the medium to continue we need to recognize that these companies will do what they can to get every last dollar so they can keep publishing. I don’t like a lot of what they do to get that but I am grateful they are still as invested in the medium as I am and that they do try new things and that at least some of their product is very good to excellent.

  18. Can relate to the article. I’ve decided to skip the whole Marvel NOW. Might pick up a trade if it gets good reviews here. But I’ve come to accept that comics today will never match my childhood favorite storylines because I’m older and have a more critical eye now.
    I’ve been reading comic sales are low and in trouble which is why I’ve tried to support as many as possible out of loyalty but now I realize I can’t keep the industry alive on my own. If Marvel or DC is going to survive, it’s going to do it with the younger generation of fans supporting it because this old coot just can’t stomach the multi crossover events anymore. The simpilicity of the 70’s is gone. It was annoying back in the 80’s with the Fall of Mutants and X-Tinction Agenda and it hasn’t gotten any better.
    By buying the trades I can support the individual storylines without having to subject myself to the “Big Event” which always comes around and grinds the individual comic to a halt.
    This site is a lifeline in that I can read unbiased opinions and what I should randomly pick up and what should stay on the shelf.

  19. Anytime you don’t like what is happening in this title or that title and you still want something to read, don’t forget there are 50+ years of stories out there that you most likely haven’t read a fair chunk of. This week I’m reading Uncanny Avengers to try it, Batman because I’ve been loving the book, and that’s it for new books. However, I will also be reading 4 different trades that came out from different points in the past 30 years, plus diving into the Classic X-Men run that I just got (#1-50). For a short period of time, I was trying to read a lot more of the new comics to help me sell them to customers, but that was just souring me on comics in general, and making me not want to read ANY of them. Now, I can’t wait to lock the doors each night to start reading, and it reminds me every time why I fell so head over heels in love with comics in the first place.

  20. Yeah, I can’t imagine ever buying 20 comics a week. That is wacky insane. And then — I’m sorry but it just befuddles me — most of you guys rate most of those books 4 or 5 stars… and then promptly forget most of what you read and suddenly snap out of it and say “Hey, why am I reading so many comics?”

    I just read what I like and what I HONESTLY think is good, aside from all the hype. That’s been my philosophy ever since I was like… 14 or so and realized that not all umpteen X-titles were great enough to warrant reading.

    I see the point about “Don’t let comics ruin comics for you”, but really I think it’s more like “Don’t like the hype/lifestyle ruin comics for you.”

    Comics don’t take that long to read. Instead of stressing about whether or not you’re going to read Uncanny Avengers — as if you’re stressing about whether to ask a girl out, or propose to her or something — you should realize that the whole first arc will take, what, 45 minutes to read? If you want to pay whatever it will cost to read that, then go for it. Most of the reluctance you have is probably about the “investment” of keeping up with blogs and websites and podcasts all about “What’s happening this week?!” Just pull back a bit and you can experience (or not experience) certain comics with in a way that’s a lot more pleasant. Without the hype and the pressure of always having to be up-to-date and in-the-know about everything in real-time. That kind of lifestyle is fun for a while, and I still DO keep up with SOME titles that way. But you get burnt out if you indulge too much in the hype and end up reading 20 titles a week that you’ll regret buying and forget reading.

    Good article, though. And I agree with much of what has been said here.

    Personally, Marvel Now isn’t doing much for me and I’m stunned by how many lukewarm/negative reactions I’m reading and hearing about. Big-time Marvel fans that I know are just saying “Yeah, this is where I check out on basically all of my Marvel titles except for a couple. But… I might read a few of the new #1s just to check ’em out. Probably won’t keep reading ’em, though.”

    It’s a very, very different reaction from the New 52 launch. I’m sure Marvel will have big numbers for the first round or three of the new #1s. But this really does seem to be checkout time for lots of people.

  21. Mike’s right, comics are leaving me too. Feels like the 90’s but for different reasons. I’m way behind on titles I couldn’t wait to read a year or so ago and really dislike the majority of the new 52 where I couldn’t really say the same before. DC undid a lot of things I was really into, and it seems like Marvel’s been doing that over the last few months and now is doing it in a big way. Don’t get me wrong, there are bright spots – Prophet, Wolverine & The X-Men, Kid Loki, and some others that have slipped my mind, but overall, it seems like I’m enjoying what I read less these days. After reading Mike’s article I feel better knowing it’s not just me!

    Oh yeah, Daredevil was really good, but seems to be trailing off like the rest of them!

  22. 2 things:

    1: That Scarlet Wich cover is amazing, this trade-only buywe will be picking it up and having Granov sign it at Emerald City Comic Con this year.
    2: Major props for the Death Of A Salesman reference! Aurther Miller FTW!

  23. This article and then Uncanny Avengers becomes the POTW 🙂