Monday, January 14, 2008

2007 Year In Review: Marvel Edition

Right, so, Marvel? Weird, weird company.

2007 began badly. First we had the shit-tastic ending to Civil War which went out with a whimper, not a bang. (Cap finally deciding to give up? Really?) This was immediately followed by a flood of new books, Initiative and Avenger-related, the vast majority of which I ignored.

Then, we got the final issue of Nextwave, and seeing that title end made me so very, very sad. It was a postmodern four-color love letter to the crazy, stupid, irrational joy of superheroes

(Side Note: Nextwave was also notable because Warren Ellis seemed like he finally learned that it was OK to mock superhero comics and have fun at the same time, instead of trashing them in a bitter, vengeful kind of way.)

Following that, Cap died. This, as you might have heard, was regarded as something of a big deal, and rightfully so. While I can't deny that it was well-written and set off an interesting chain of events, I feel like Bucky, Falcon, and co. have been treading water ever since, and I'm running out of "faith in Brubaker" cards to play. We'll see how CapBucky works out this year.

Things started turning around with the smashy yumminess of World War Hulk, a beautifully drawn slugfest that stood up just fine without reading any of the tie-in/spinoff/whatevers.

Annihilation:Conquest also began, and while it's too soon to tell whether it's going to pay off or not, it's been okay thus far despite lackluster miniseries prologues.

(Side Note: The ending to What If Annihilation Had Reached Earth? Was. Awesome. And a much better way to end Civil War... and Annihilation, for that matter. Been said before, but it bears repeating.)

More importantly (to me), Iron Man started his long road to creative rehabilitation. Between the outstanding Iron Man: Hypervelocity miniseries from Adam Warren, the joyous Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin miniseries from Joe Casey and 2GBC fave Eric Canete, Christos Gage's Iron Man Annual, and the wow-there's-actually-a-Brubakeresque-long-range-plan-here surprising goodness of the Knaufs' work on the regular Iron Man series, Tony Stark is becoming somebody you'd actually want to read about again. Who'da thunkit?

(Side Note: Of course, after having been characterized as "fascist assclown" for the majority of 2006, anything was bound to have been better.)

And hey, howzabout the return of Thor this year? Strazcynski's been much better than I expected despite one or two bad storytelling choices (Thor v. Darfur, anyone? No? Good.) , and added three or four legitimately interesting twists on bringing back Asgard and Company. Can't say I have much love for Coipel's art, but I certainly can't say it's bad, and that's good.

As for other Marvel books --- well, Moon Knight kind of died on the vine erupted in flaming vomit.

And then there's Spidey. I don't regularly read Spider-Man, and an editorially-mandated deus ex Mephisto divorce story sure as shit wasn't going to make me start. Since I didn't actually read it, I can't comment on the quality of the storytelling (though it certainly smells pungent from where I'm sitting), but I will say this: I don't know anyone that was reading Spider-Man for the marital drama. I don't know anyone that will read Spider-Man for the insight into the singles scene.

I guess what I'm trying to say is there's bad, and then there's unnecessarily bad. "Fixing" something that wasn't "broken" in the first place except in the mind of a relentlessly-poor-judge-of-story Editor-in-Chief is forgivable if it's done as an honest piece of work; doing it because you shot your wad for cheap press and shock value in Civil War #2 and have to backtrack is insulting.

X-Factor has been hijacked with the God-damned Messiah Complex crossover for... well, I think it's been 4 months, but it seems like forever. Please, I beg you, stop the madness.

Oh, and the confusingly-titled Marvel DCU launched this year; anyone out there using the digital model now instead of the paper kind? Let us know how that's working out for you.

(Side Note: when I first saw Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited abbreviated as "Marvel DCU", I immediately went into 3rd degree respiratory failure as every shitty Amalgam comic came rushing back into my brain. And yes, I read far too many of those.)

So yeah; lots of ups and downs for Marvel this year. Like I said, weird company. I guess my hopes for 2008 on the Marvel side boil down to 2 things:

1) Stay true to your characters. Someone wants a fresh take or re-imagining? Fine. Slap an Ultimate label on it. Don't mess with the 616 unless a good great story demands it.

2) Let's get the band back together. At this point, the only Big Event series I want to see is Captain America + Every Marvel Hero Ever banding together to fight off the super-army of Dr. Doom + Every Marvel Villain Ever. Give me 5 issues of that, good vs. evil, good guys v. bad guys, throwing down in a super-sized bar fight, and I will be one happy reader. Christ, at this point, I'll take Secret Wars III.

Is that asking too much?



Anonymous Seangreyson said...

The Marvel Digital Comics system is to put it simply, awesome! Now admittedly my job involves large amounts of sitting in front of a computer screen trying to find something to distract me but even so...
The huge number of comics, and not just the classic titles but also a ton of mini-series that I would never have bought orignally is great.
In addition the people in charge are relatively responsive to requests for additional comics to be added (so if you reach the end of a series run on the system you can ask them to put up more of it).
The price is a bit higher than I might have wanted it, but since its less then I spend on comics in a month for a year's membership, I can't really complain about it.

About the only negative for me is that having been introduced to several series and characters that I hadn't read before I needed to add their books to my monthly haul.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Teebore said...

I want Secret Wars III exactly as you described it.

It's amazing how much one misses a good old fashioned good guys vs. bad guys mega throwdwon event. Heck, when was the last we saw one of those?

11:09 AM  
Anonymous WM said...

Yeah, it looks like this Skrull War is going to make the MU even more divided. I can't believe that we're at a stage where straight out Good v. Bad will seem radically refreshing.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I immediately went into 3rd degree respiratory failure as every shitty Amalgam comic came rushing back into my brain. And yes, I read far too many of those

Oh Amalgam you lured us all into your insanity; Bruce Wayne: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D and Iron Lantern...LOL

7:12 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

seangreyson: wow, that's a positively glowing review. I think I'll definitely check it out this summer now.

teebore + wm: yeah, it's kinda sad when good guys v. bad guys is considered "radical" and "bold". Such is how far the Reign O' Quesada has taken us.

Nick: Ah, but don't forget Dark Claw and Speed Demon! (Also: Iron Lantern was the title that made me buy more Amalgam, since it happened to be two of my favorites and written by none other than Kurt Busiek!)

11:41 PM  
Anonymous SanctumSanctorumComix said...


Lobo the Duck & Bat-Thing were true EPICS!


Actually, I WAS quite impressed with the entire "Doctor Strangefate" offering.

The entire creative team produced a book that I would have loved to have seen become a continuing series.

Maybe it was just me.


10:20 AM  
Blogger James Meeley said...

At this point, the only Big Event series I want to see is Captain America + Every Marvel Hero Ever banding together to fight off the super-army of Dr. Doom + Every Marvel Villain Ever. Give me 5 issues of that, good vs. evil, good guys v. bad guys, throwing down in a super-sized bar fight, and I will be one happy reader.

Then, I'd suggest checking out the Marvel mini-series' Last Hero Standing and Last Planet Standing. While they don't fit EXACTLY what you stated above, they come pretty dang close.

That's also why I keep suggesting to folks, who complain about the state of Spider-Man right now, to follow up on the suggestion Joey Da Q made, in defense of the new "Spider-Quo": If you want a married Spider-Man and action filled stories, then why aren't you buying Spider-Girl? And I agree. If we want to send Marvel a message of how we want Spider-Man (and pretty much all our Marvel superheroes) to be like, then we should support the series that actually do that and to fuck with the rest of them. You want Spider-Man to be married and have great action-filled adventures, make Spider-Girl sell more than ASM and you'll get it.

I've been reading Spider-Girl since almost the beginning. I'm doing my part. Time for the rest of you to get with the program.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

好秘书 中国呼吸网 肿瘤网 中国皮肤网 癌症康复网 工作总结 演讲稿 竞聘演讲 就职演讲 比赛演讲 征文演讲 节日演讲 演讲技巧 方案制度 工作意见 活动策划 工作方案 整改方案 实施方案 企划文案 销售方案 培训方案 应急预案 规章制度 法律法规 材料大全 事迹材料 先进事迹 个人事迹 申报材料 学习材料 考察材料 经验材料 交流材料 个人鉴定 自我鉴定 模板范例 技巧经验 工作计划 工作规划 年度工作计划 学校工作计划 个人工作计划 财务工作计划 团委工作计划 工会工作计划 单位工作计划 德育工作计划 教学工作计划 班主任工作计划 党支部工作计划 先教活动 整改措施 剖析材料 反腐倡廉 三农问题 和谐社会 三个代表 八荣八耻 先进性教育 党团工会 党团知识 党员相关 党会发言 党性分析 民主生活会 入党志愿书 入党申请书 入团申请书 转正申请书 公文写作 板报设计 办公表格 谈判技巧 外贸信函 公文 秘书 广告启事 通知 求职指导 求职信 自荐信 简历封面 简历模板 简历范文 简历制作 英文简历 面试技巧 学术论文 企业文化 毕业论文 经济工作 财经金融 城建环保 教育教学 工矿企业 党政司法 合同 合同知识 买卖合同 承包合同 投资合同 招标合同 建设工程 劳动合同 运输合同 房屋合同 借款合同 销售合同 租赁合同 保险合同 其它合同 秘书

1:19 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home