The iFanboy Letter Column – 10.21.2011

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday is all about time to finally garden. For others, it’s all about not thinking anything about gardening. For others still, they have their mom do their laundry.

At iFanboy, Friday means it’s letter column time.

You write. We answer. Very simple.

As always, if you want to have your e-mail read on the any of our shows or answered here, keep them coming — contact@ifanboy.com


I seem to recall that a year or so ago, Marvel seemed to be pushing forward with the concept of “motion comics.” I believe you even did a Talksplode on this topic. DC did a series of motion comics themselves, but those seemed to trail off before Marvel began their big push on them. Having not heard anything about them for a while, are motion comics effectively dead? Now that we (mostly) have digital comics, are motion comics gone, never to return?

Jeff R.

Not yet they’re not. At least I don’t think so. This spring I went to Marvel to preview their Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers Animation, and it sounded like they were just getting started. I haven’t heard about Ruwan Jayatilleke going anywhere — although who knows with what’s going on at Marvel this week — so I assume they’re just between projects.

As I understood it, motion comics, which I know aren’t called motion comics, have done very well for Marvel, relative to income earned vs. cost to produce. They’re sold on iTunes, and all the other digital aggregators, as well as on DVD and Blu-Ray, and they usually end up on Netflix as well. While they didn’t share any actual numbers, it’s my guess that there are probably more people who bought and watched Iron Man: Extremis the motion comic, and I know they don’t call it a motion comic, than ever read the comic book. The silence you’re hearing is from Marvel is probably because it’s not a big department, and there’s nothing to show yet. Back in March, they hinted at several projects in the hopper, and I expect we’ll see something soon, and I bet it will be Avengers themed and show up a early next year.

I am not a fan of motion comics personally, and I know they don’t call them motion comics, but the last one was fairly well done (my review). We’re not the audience. They’re for people who don’t read comics. The technology is getting better, and they’re looking better. The voice acting is pretty good, and they’re choosing interesting source material to base them on. Marvel isn’t done with them yet.

Yet, I used to hear a whole lot of talk from other publishers on motion comics, and I haven’t heard anything from them. And I know Marvel doesn’t call them motion comics. The last thing DC bothered with was Watchmen I think, back in 2009. For everyone else, I think that train has sailed. Not many have the clout of Marvel, especially from a distribution and marketing standpoint, to make it work, and the work is often lacking in quality to the people who do get access.

I’ve always said I wanted to read comics, not watch them be vaguely animated, but I have to admit that Marvel turned me around just a bit. Again, I’m not a fan, but I can recognize that, when well done, others might be, and I’m fine with that.

Just don’t call them motion comics.

Josh Flanagan

 


Batman is possibly the most versatile character in comics. He can be interpreted in so many different ways and still be Batman. Who is one creator who, as far as you know, has never had any published work featuring Batman, that you would like to see draw or write him?

I would personally love to see a Jonathan Hickman written and drawn Batman one-shot or OGN. I think the connections drawn in Batman’s brain would work well with Hickman’s tendency to show layouts and flow charts throughout his storytelling. I also wouldn’t mind seeing interpretations by Ben Templesmith, Matt Kindt, or Jeff Lemire.

Who would you choose?

Jeff C.

Oh, this one is easy.

I just had this (possibly drunken) conversation at the iFanboy party at New York Comic Con.

And I would kill to have…

… a Batman comic drawn by Gabriel Hardman.

Conor Kilpatrick

 


How do you guys feel about the state of Marvel comics currently? I just finished Fear Itself (damnit, I just can’t not finish a story once started), and I have to say, I was incredibly disappointed. This whole event has felt like the suits at Marvel said “Okay, we need an event” and we got a Big Marvel Event.

Big story, lots of tie-ins and crossovers, the whole package, but unlike Civil War or Secret Invasion, this one completely lacked any heart, soul, or passion. Nothing that happened seemed to have any weight. Bucky died. Again. Thor died. Again. Cities were wrecked, villains pulled out some new weapons and heroes questioned whether they could win the day. Again. Unfortunately, nothing that happened seemed to really matter. And at the back of the book, what did we get? A 2-page spread of the Phoenix with the words “It’s Coming.” AGAIN. Granted, Spider-Island has been fun, and X-Men has been bringing it consistently, but it just seems like Marvel has fractured and lost its way.

For me at least, the Pendulum of Popularity has swung back to DC (long before the Great Reboot) and stayed there. Is there hope for Marvel to reunite all its disparate parts and restore the Faith of the True Believers? Hope you have some inspirational words, and keep up the good work!

Ben F.

The eternal struggle between Marvel and DC continues, like gods in the heavens, fighting until the end of time. Okay, maybe a little less dramatic than that, but you can’t deny that for years there’s constantly been the jockeying of position between Marvel and DC. We’re coming out of a long period where Marvel has dominated both in story quality and sales numbers, but DC has retaliated with The New 52 and now it seems that they’re sitting on top. But has Marvel slipped under DC because DC is doing such great work, or, as Ben suggests, has Marvel lost its way and helped DC’s plight by slipping?

Now, it probably requires me to disclose here that I am a long time Marvel Zombie, and proud of it. I got into comics via Marvel, and most likely the last comics I ever read will be published by Marvel. But I can also be realistic and objective about it, and while Ben (and perhaps others) are looking for me to light the way, to spark some enthusiasm and rally around the publisher we love, I’m afraid, as of right now, I can’t. Ben’s assertions about Marvel and the current state of the line and that feeling that its “lost it’s way” is exactly how I feel, unfortunately.

You can tune into the upcoming episode of our audio show to hear me discuss this more when we discuss Fear Itself #7, but to sum up here and give a bit of a preview: aside from the X-Men corner of the Marvel Universe (which is the strongest it’s ever been), the entire line of Marvel Comics right now is in a dire place. It’s safe to say that Fear Itself has been a total failure. It’s lacked any sort of energy or stakes, and even when there were big things that happened in it (i.e. major characters DYING), no one seems to care. I mean, look at that above image of The Avengers by John Romita, Jr! Talk about a metaphor for the state of things.

Furthermore, the place where Fear Itself leaves Marvel’s beloved “status quo” is not a good one, in my opinion. At all. As I finished reading Fear Itself #7, I couldn’t help but to think, “Wow, this event has practically ruined everything.” With the exception of a few bright spots, like Daredevil, Venom, Captain America and Bucky, and Black Panther, the entire line of Marvel superhero books are in dire straits. I understand that part of the challenge with these events and stories is to tell a big story that’s supposed to draw you in. But Fear Itself did the exact opposite of that. In talking to many of you at the New York Comic Con, as well as other readers at my local comic book store, it seems that Fear Itself helped drive many readers away from Marvel, and that’s just sad.

Now that said, the one thing I’ve learned from being a reader in the comic book world is that it’s cyclical and there’s an ebb and flow. Just because one of your favorite titles or publishers is down now, doesn’t mean the end of the road. In fact, sometimes we need these down times in order to build up and enjoy the good times. The fact of the matter is, besides the X-Men (and maybe Spider-Man) family of books, Marvel Comics is very much at a down point right now. And the thing is, I have to imagine (I have no inside information) that they know it. Although, sometimes I wonder after puzzling decisions like the recent Venom event (which sounds great story-wise, but the numbering/number of issues etc. is head scratching) as to who is driving the bus at Marvel? Is it editorial or the sales and marketing department? Historically we’ve seen that when the “business” side of a company tries to drive the creative side, success does not follow. But when the creative is set free, with some of the top talent in the industry, usually that’s when the comics start to shine. We’ve seen this approach over the years at Marvel, and it’s something that DC is doing very well right now. We can only hope that someone at Marvel wakes up and gets the company back on track. I’m sure in a year from now, we’ll be talking about how DC slipped and how Marvel has come back, and then how DC is ahead and Marvel’s behind again. It truly is a vicious cycle.

Ron Richards

Comments

  1. Great response Ron. I had a conversation with 2 buddies about this very current “changing of the guard” between Marvel and DC, and to me the only bright spots are X-Force, Daredevil, and FF (at least that I’m reading). I just wish Marvel would stop with the “architects” trying to constantly push a new status quo, or line-altering event, and just let writers tell long-form, self-contained stories. Marvel has so much talent on the books and they’re just squandering it right now, whereas DC is hitting doubles and homeruns at almost every at-bat.

  2. In fact, the motion comics are being called “Marvel Knights Animation”. Jeph Loeb announced at NYCC that they were doing the rest of Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run all the way through the Giant Size issue. He also announced that they conveniently packaged all the sets that have come out so far into one giant set in time for the holiday season, in case anybody hasn’t bought them already and isn’t content to just watch them on Netflix.

  3. Simply judging by the number of reviews on netflix for Astonishing X-Men and Iron Man: Extremis motion comics, there is almost no doubt that more people watched those than read the books.
    And moreover, the reviews are actually quite positive. I don’t entirely mind the motion comics personally. But it is a shame that so many of those people didn’t get to experience them in the superior format that those stories were meant to be experienced in. Still, good on marvel for getting those great stories to more people who enjoy them.

  4. Great statement Ron.

    I am struggling to write something deep thought and profound but I think I can sum it up best by saying I am just not enjoying most of what Marvel is putting out these days. I hope that changes because I grew up on Marvel and I love some of what they are putting out (X-Force, Daredevil, Hulk) but they need to right the ship in a serious way and not just throw another event at me or regurgitate another character they arbitrarily killed off last week.

  5. While it would certainly result in scads of not incorrect “The House of Ideas is Upside-Down on Their Mortgage!” remarks from the people that thing the Marvel vs DC debate is a zero-sum game, I think Marvel could finally benefit from some kind of line wide crisis/reboot/relaunch.

    They’ve said they aren’t rebooting/relaunching, and I believe them. But if you add up the recent return of Scarlet Witch and (apparently) impending return of the Phoenix Force, plus the returning-from-the-dead Cable (and his potential for mucking around with the timestream), you get a lot of plausible catalysts for starting over.

    • “While it would certainly result in scads of not incorrect β€œThe House of Ideas is Upside-Down on Their Mortgage!” remarks from the people that thing the Marvel vs DC debate is a zero-sum game”
      What does that even mean?

    • This is why I shouldn’t make posts at work when I can’t totally pay attention to what I’m doing. I write long sentences with confusing clauses. Sorry.

      What I attempted to say was that I think a Marvel reboot/relaunch/re-whatever would be kind of nice, even though they would catch a lot of hell for it from some elements of fandom on the internet because they’d basically be following DC’s lead.

      Further, there are several cosmic/reality-warping elements in play right now in the Marvel universe that would allow them to execute a reboot/relaunch/re-whatever.

      “The House of Ideas is Upside-Down on Their Mortgage” just seemed clever at the time. πŸ˜‰

    • I think you have a good point there Ken. (I guess you could classify me as a DC fan, so takes this for what it’s worth) If Marvel ripped off DC’s line wide relaunch idea people would bitch, but they would make a killing. I think on paper Marvel has by far the best creative talent, and big name creators. Maybe something like a relaunch could reinvigorate Marvels stable of talent. It also seems like this would be a good time to do so given the state of things.

  6. Thanks for answering my question regarding Batman. I’d definitely read a Gabriel Hardman Batman book.

  7. Oh man, a Gabrial Hardman drawn Batman would be amazing. Could you imagine if he had drawn Gotham Central? That would have been universe endingly awesome.

  8. It feels like a lot of once prominent and talented marvel creators are just complacent now and their stories are suffering because of it. That’s why newer marvel writers that still have the passion in them are pulling out in front of the pack. It’s becoming increasingly obvious who is still interested in their own stories and who isn’t.

    • to be fair, as a creative person its incredibly difficult to maintain high levels of “wow factor” in your work, when you’re expected to produce it automatically on a regular basis. Even Babe Ruth had a few strikeouts in his career.

    • I agree and that is totally understandable in most people’s cases…

      There are a few scenarios though, and I ain’t naming names… but I’ve read writers saying “They came to me and asked if I had any stories to tell, and I said yes!” (paraphrasing). This implies that if they didn’t have stories, they would not have gotten the book, or would have been off the one they were one… and then you read the aforementioned story, and it’s half-assed and not thought through at all. Coming into that realization as a reader, after reading the interview, is very off putting and curious at the same time, especially when these writers used to be knocking em outta the park. You start to getting the feeling they are either overstretched, overworked, lazy, uninterested etc. Or worse, that it’s just a job now, and they are lying through their teeth to keep their job.

      Everybody has off times though, and it is good to keep that in mind, especially considering the serial nature of comic books.

  9. Personally, I thought that Bendis’ role in Fear Itself was, along with Journey Into Mystery, the high point of the event.

  10. Great responses as usual, it must be nice to have a question like the one Conor answered. He has thought about it quite a bit, but the response is as succinct as can be. I can’t recall if Tony Moore has ever drawn a Batman book, but he would do a kickass Joker. An arc with him on art and Rick Remender writing would probably be awesome.

    Regarding motion comics, and I know they’re not motion comics, I’ve never seen one, although I have a copy of the Watchmen one. I think that it is a great way to get people introduced to characters and universes, but I don’t know if it’s up my alley.

    As usual, as one of your viewers, and I know we’re not viewers, I enjoyed the letters column immesely.

  11. JeffR (@JeffRReid) says:

    Oh man. Did that Loki/Thor animated and/or motion comic series come out in April? I swear it felt longer ago than that.

    Thanks for taking my question, Josh. The only way my wife has experienced Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men has been via Netflix so here’s hoping they continue with that story in this format as ABirdseyeView says.

  12. A terrible line-wide event, unnecessary double shipping, which marginalizes artists by preventing them from remaining on a title for a significant period of time, an absurd/unlcear numbering system, a $3.99 price point, the disconnected feel of the Marvel Universe, and creative failures are all contributing factors to Marvel’s downfall.
    Strangely, the biggest problems I see with Marvel creatively is the underperformance of Fraction and the stale nature of Bendis’s work. Neither Thor nor Iron man are receiving any positive buzz and Fear Itself was a complete dude. I loved Fraction’s early work on Iron-man, his work on Iron Fist, and Casanova but his Marvel work from taking over Uncanny X-men to Fear Itself #7 has been a disaster. I’m not saying that there aren’t some who enjoy his current Marvel work, but those who do are hard to find and even fewer would classify Fraction’s titles as the best Marvel is publishing. Bendis on the other hand isn’t really doing anything wrong but his never-ending and complete control over the Avengers titles is suffocating Marvel’s biggest titles. The Avengers titles need a fresh and exciting direction to rejuvenate the Avengers. Sometimes change for the sake of change is a good thing. Change is exciting because no one knows exactly what’s going to happen, which is exactly why DC is the bell of the ball now. With the new DC, not everything is new, but most titles at least feel new. From Animal Man and Swamp Thing to OMAC and Demon Knights, there are titles that look and feel different. Even GL which has the same creative team as before, was applauded by the guys on this site for going in a new and fresh direction. As Conor said in his article, the X-titles are probably Marvel’s most successful titles, most likely because of their high quality but also because the creators are fairly new to the titles and all of the titles are going in a fresh and different direction. Ultimately Marvel will turn it around but it needs to shake things up creatively, besides Remender b/c that dude is bringing it, to do so.

  13. Yes, Ron. It’s a Vicious Cycle that changes every few years. I’m more of a Marvel reader, but there are times when DC books get better and my Marvel list goes down. Right now, that’s the case. Devil’s Advocate: it’s all about storytelling.

    Marvel has tended to stay on top much longer than DC, and I think it harkens back to Stan’s philosophy of writing characters with real-life personalities and problems. It has always been easier (for me) to remember Marvel storylines, like Gwen Stacy’s death. New X-Men. Iron Fist kicks a**. the FF quits, Hulk gets smart – the first time. Iron Man is replaced by Rhodey. The FF quits again… Most recently, Avengers Disassembled, New Avengers, House of M, Civil War, Secret Invasion (bleh), Hulk Go Way. Dark Reign. Siege. The plots were simple, compelling, easy to understand and easy to digest. The writing was great. And everyone remembers them. Fear Itself feels like it was done half-assed. It’s not only (again, just my opinion) a lame story, but it came way too early off all of these previous, masterfully coordinated stories. No one likes a bad story, and we’re also all big event-“ed” out.

    Up to the 80s and 90s, DC’s fame has been defined by the characters like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, but not any particular storylines. Someone will correct me, but are there any truly memorable DC sagas – comparable to Marvel’s – prior to New Teen Titans? (Let’s see, Green Lantern got banished from Earth that one year…) That is changing now due to great writers like Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, etc. Instead of “reading Superman and Batman’s monthly adventures,” there are events worthy of legend: Batman’s back broken. Superman’s death. Wally West replaces Barry. Kyle Raynor. 52. Hawkman’s origin figured out. Sinestro Corps War. Now it’s the new DCU.

    DC’s on a high. Marvel currently stinks, but they’ll get it. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not next week. But it always happens. then DC goes down, and up and down and so on. Like I said, vicious cycle. And that’s fine because it gives readers a great opportunity to go back and visit “old friends” who have something interesting going on in their lives. Enjoy the ride, whoever’s driving.

  14. Motion comics are definitely not dead, I don’t even think they’ve been fully tapped into yet. I live in St. Louis and am currently working on a new original motion comic with a production company called Think Loud. Even with comics being released in the digital age, motion comics (like online comics) allow creators to put their work out there at little to no cost. It’s a passion project for Think Loud and I encourage everyone to be on the look out for it. When completed, I think it will be something I am very proud to share!

  15. Ron, do you honestly believe that the X-men are the strongest they’ve every been?! that’s a pretty loaded statement

  16. I would agree with that.
    I actually wasn’t talking about his Fear Itself contribution more to what he is doing with The Avengers in general.

    I just think they are both guilty of pandering to themselves.

  17. Yep i tend to agree on the whole Marvel is in a down slump creatively as of recently. This is coming also from primarily a Marvel guy and i just got back into comics a little after the time Fear Itself started. When i started again i picked up the first three issues of Fear Itself along with a bunch of other titles that intrested me and since then have really been dissapointed with alot of the titles they have been releasing and from what it seems lack of effort creatively as it seems they are more driven by the buisness side of the company. First with all these stupid point one issues and events that dont matter really and continuing raises in prices, special large issues, double shipping schedules out of nowhere. It just seems like they are trying to make a quick buck as fast as the can and dont care anymore.

    Since then after finishing Fear Itself recently and after the whole DC 52 relaunch i now have more DC books on my pull list then Marvel. Which is very surprising for me, but at the same time i am also glad because it couldnt have came at a better time this whole DC thing and thanks to this website ive learnt to broaden my horizons and try new comics and different publishers other then the big two companys. So at the same time im not to dissapointed about all this.

    Anyways thankfully i still feel currently there are a few consistently good Titles going on on at Marvel that i collect and that is the following :

    Amazing Spiderman
    Uncanny X-force
    Daredevil
    Punisher Max
    Ultimate Spiderman
    Wolverine
    The occasional Avengers/New Avengers (which i pulled from my list since only once in awhile its been really good)

  18. In fairness, about the only Gabe Hardman book I wouldn’t read might be My Little Ponies….

  19. I’m pulling the fewest Marvel books I’ve ever pulled since 2001. And I tell you, the few I have kept, the ones I loved like Thunderbolts and X-Factor, have been languishing at the bottom of my pile for weeks now. I just can’t muster any interest, I feel like these books will be jerked around by the next big sea change at marvel, have a banner slapped on them, either tie-directly into the event and alienate me from the story or have a tangential tie-in, making the whole thing moot. Is DC guilty of similar things? Certainly. However, in Blackest Night and Flashpoint, DC moved a majority of the event out of the ongoing books and instead placed them in minis an standalones. It “freed” alot of books from the constraints of writing to the event.

    With Fear Itself, I’ve heard nothing but good things about many (but not all) of the Tie-Ins. I read Journey Into Mystery, which sure seems to have completely take on Fear Itself that seems a lot more well thought out than what we got in the main book. Hell, the funniest thing about the whole FI debacle is that Fraction’s first 6 issues of THOR constituted a better event than Fear Itself!

    While I have conflicting opinions about Quesada (pulled Marvel up by its bootstraps and made the company into a powerhouse; but at times his editorial control was too tight: eg Morrison’s X-Men, Firing Mark Waid from FF only to have fans “force” him to hire him back, etc) I will give him the praise that he gave the company a direction. Whether fans like it or not is another thing, but the company went places. I think this event being on the tail end of his EIC tenure and the beginning of Axel’s has left Marvel feeling directionless. Daredevil feels like it’s in a completely different universe from the rest of Marvel. Is that a problem? No. But the cohesiveness is missing. Everything feels pulled in a million directions. Remember when SHIELD was the backbone of the Marvel U? I haven’t heard boo about that book in ages, even from Marvel itself! I think we need to rethink the architects concept, because it hasn’t done much for the company yet.

    Well… other than offer us those goofy pictures.

  20. I agree with Ron that it is a vicious cycle when it comes to publisher popularity. While I think DC has been the quality company for 2-3 years now; it was obvious I was in the majority cause so many others loved Marvel.

    But I don’t think the leap in quality is going to come anytime soon, let alone a year. As you said most of the character centric books are pretty bad or mediocre now. Spider-Man is boring, Avengers are being strangled by Bendis, Matt Fraction is a plague on everything he touches, Jason Aaron’s only real seller is Wolverine, and the X-Men are probably the only title with some life to it. But even then I wouldn’t recommend reading any of the books right now.

    The less advertised books are what you need to read right now. Journey Into Mystery, FF, Secret Avengers, and Thunderbolts are easily the most consistent or best titles the company has to offer right now.

    DC’s relaunch might have really kept the popularity in their favor for a long time. Marvel is going to have to do something drastic that doesn’t include an event to really get people interested in the company again.

  21. I only like a particular type of “motion comic”: when the source art is painted, like LOKI. I would totally watch one based on any Alex Ross book (Kingdom Come).

  22. Jeff Lemire draws an awesome Batman. I like Hardman. He came from the same family as Lark and Epting.

  23. Gotta agree with Ben F. and everyone else. Marvel’s overall direction right now is awful. There’s still a lot of great books being put out by them. So let’s all calm down with the hyperbole about Marvel sucking. That isn’t the case at all. Even though DC’s overall feel is a lot better right now thanks to their relaunch, I’d still say that Marvel has more quality books coming out. The problem though is all of the superfluous nonsense that overwhelms. All the big giant event crap is just too much. Not to mention not good. Fear Itself really has damaged the overall brand. And even though I’m enjoying Spider-Island, and Schism was good. All those events happening at once was just too much. Marvel needs to tone down all the end of the world crap for a while. Sadly, solicits don’t make that out to seem to be the case.

  24. Conor, when the DC reboot was first mentioned I was praying to the comic Gods to get Detective Comics written by Brian Wood and drawn by Sean Murphy. I think Murphy would draw an amazing Batman and Wood could really explore every back alley of Gotham and make it interesting.

    • That would be awesome. I think Murphy would be a good rotating artist with Chris Bachalo. Their styles are not the same, but would complement each other pretty well.

  25. Interesting stat about DC dominance these days…

    Since the debut of the new 52, DC has managed to snag more than half of all POTW votes for each week. In most weeks its been upwards of three quarters and in some cases, like this week, they’ve managed to capture 90%+ of the vote.

    I’d be curious to see how Marvel fared during their pre Fear Itself run was DC was languishing, but I’m too lazy to go back and check. Who’s the resident iFanboy statitician?

  26. There’s still plenty of stuff to like at marvel IMO, Majority of the x-men titles are cool, spider island was a very well done event story, thunderbolts, moon knight, daredevil, black panther, avengers accademy and hulk to name a few. Granted not everything they’re publishing is great but I still like feel like there’s plenty to like there.

    • I don’t read a lot of Marvel books but have just purchased a few trades of things catching my eye (Black Panther, thunderbolts, Venom, and will buy Daredevil.) My confusion with Marvel is they never seem to market their books properly, or enough. You get a poorly designed mystery preview image and then they let the book squander…….. I just don’t get it. The only reason I am buying these trades are either creators I like or word of mouth on i Fanboy. Alone, Marvel’s marketing has never made me want to pick up one of their books.

  27. I know the letter was about a Batman creative team but I have never said this out loud, consciously and sub subconsciously pray for, and need people to agree with me that Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker should be doing a Hawkman book. how glorious would that be!?

  28. Since returning to comics a few years ago, I’ve seen my preference swing back and forth from Marvel to DC to Marvel, and now, back to DC again. The number of DC books I am reading shot up with the relaunch, and do to many pleasant surprises, remains higher than I would have guessed when this was all first annouced. Plus, with JSA next month and the new Cornell Vertigo book early next year, I know there’ll be more to add . . . I will echo the statements of others that Marvel does produce some top-tier work still: Brubaker’s Captain Amerca books, and Journey into Mystery are always a pleasure. I have the last three issues of Daredevil to catch up on, but if they’re anywhere near as good as the first, I’ll be on board for that as well. Spider-Man is a mixed-bag for me, and I don’t read X-Men. I am a Bendis Avengers fan, but agree that the time has come for new voices. He should have bowed out after Seige . . .

    All that said, I think that many of Marvel’s problems rest in editorial. Even a year ago when my Marvel list was longer than DC’s, my feel was that DC was paying closer attention to respecting their readers — the major hint being their desicion to “hold the line” at 2.99. Yeah, they’ve fudged that a bit (see “bonus” features in Action #2), but for the most have held to it. I might have stayed with more Marvel titles — or gotten around to trying something new like Moon Knight — if the price point was lower. I don’t think that I have anything new to add to the .1 debate, except it has truly turned into self’-parody at this, well, point . . .

    That said, I don’t think that Marvel should do a reboot like DC did. To truly renergize their readers, they need to think of something that doesn’t seem so much like craven copying. Yeah, I know, people swipe ideas from each other all the time, but in this case it would be begging lightning to strike twice. Besides, I don’t think that confusing continuity without a clear entry point is Marvel’s problem, as some cliamed it was with DC. Marvel just needs a better plan for solid storytelling moving forward . . . Oh yeah, and don’t kill off someone like Thor, when we all know they won’t let him stay dead once he’s due for another Hollywood date next year.

    Never liked motion comics as an idea, or what little I’ve seen in execution, but it’s also a bias of mine. Whenever I’ve watch an art documentary and the filmmakers “animate” the art, it’s bugged me as well. For me, it’s simply a half-breed beast stuck between two things (still image and animation) without being allowed to be alive as either. Then again, as I said, it could simply be me . . .

  29. Conor,
    I concur on Hardman

    Ron,

    You have some interesting thoughts on the Marvel and DC. Would love for you to play “play editor for the day” and express your thoughts on how you would fix things.

  30. After reading about the current Marvel woes, editors and employees being fired (NOOO, JODY!!!!! WHY?!?!?!?), how much do you think this is effecting the line?

    The firings are VERY recent, but supposedly the penny pinching measures have been in full effect for some time now. I read that the Marvel office only has one bathroom for each gender, for all those people, and that the financial measures reach far beyond that. Editors have to buy their own review copies of their own books etc. That’s SHITTY. Have these things just taken time to start effecting the line? Or is there no effect and the line going to shit at the same time as all these financial hardships is just coincidence?

    What d’ya’ll think?

    Also, I have no clue as the difference between affect and effect, so my usage of them is probably incorrect.

  31. I gotta agree with Jeff – a Hickman Batman book could rival the work of Morrison, especially with top-tier art.