So Legacy has been out and I guess you can say it doesn’t suck…..as much as what came before. Kind of a miracle if you ask me. Having this said a lot of their current titles are still not the best, but progress, right? So far Marvel Legacy has been neat, but the actual number #1 issue that kickstarted all this was a mess and no I am not just saying it because Riri ruined a perfectly fine scene (she deserves to be obliterated by the Cosmic Cube for not knowing the ‘Avengers Assemble’ catchphrase).
Today, I wanna sum up the crazy rollercoaster this last past 2 years has been. Did they learn or are we still getting empty promises? I wanna look, summarize and narrow down the issues many fans were let down by, and come to a conclusion whether we are seeing Marvel as it once was, in its glory days.
I won’t be mentioning the people working at Marvel mistreating their fans by calling a lot of them racists and sexists or the angry Twitter creators since this will be looking at the content side of things and not the behind the scenes. Just summarizing this entire situation and how it will effect the future. It’s time we begin talking about the criticisms Marvel has been getting over all these years.
1. MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE PANDER
This is an obvious one! You look at the current Guardians of the Galaxy comic and you can see the obvious film influence, lack of X-Men in comics and video games because they aren’t in the movies, Inhumans getting a big push, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch aren’t actually mutants. Even though I do enjoy some of the course changes it is sort of annoying how Marvel Comics cannot stand on its own without the movie division having some sort of influence. Like I said this is obvious stuff, but here is the kicker. Marvel Comics tries to be the movies double the amount you originally think they are. Alow me to explain.
In 2014 we find out Thor: Ragnarok will come out and is described as “the end of all things” and “The Captain America: Winter Soldier of Thor movies”. This means Kevin Feige (president of Marvel Studios) probably knew Thor would loose his hammer and Asgard will be at risk, which most likely means the comics knew about this as well under closed wraps. What happens in the same year of the announcement? Thor becomes unworthy therefore becomes hammerless. Thor comparisons don’t end there. In early 2017 an amazing comic comes out called, Unworthy Thor with Odinson rocking a short haircut. A couple months later the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok comes out and guess what, Thor has short hair. I saw many comments describe the new film Thor look as, “inspired by the Unworthy Thor comic”. And that’s when Marvel Comics succeeds. They want you to think they were first and that even the current stories matter to the MCU.
They purposefully made it seem so that the film was paying homage to the recent comics, when in reality it’s the other way around. They also wanna be new reader friendly, which we know according to many articles isn’t really working out. Thor: Ragnarok was in middle of shooting since the principal photography started back in July of 2016 while the Unworthy Thor #1 came out on November 2016. Even the role of Hela in comics will be renewed as seen in Mighty Thor #700.
Thor comics aren’t the only example. The 2013 event Infinity came out knowing Infinity War was gonna be a thing, the event Age of Ultron came out a couple months before Marvel Studios announced Avengers 2 will be called Avengers: Age of Ultron. The most famous one was Civil War II coming out around the same time of Captain America: Civil War with Carol Danvers being one of the main characters. Now, we are seeing Marvel setting up the Infinity Stones and the return of Thanos as the next big thing. Sounds cool, but with these things in mind fans can assume what happens next.
This problem continues onto today. Amadeus Cho will visit Skaar just when recently the planet and other Planet Hulk storyline elements were adapted into the new Thor: Ragnarok film. Convenient! Captain Marvel is getting a secret dark origin just when Kevin Fegie announced they will change Carol’s origin for the films. This is my point! In modern Marvel, movies are an inspiration for the comics which should not be the case! They were smart enough to hide half of their obvious panderings by making it look like they first came out with a specific. We know movies take longer to prepare, make and plan so it’s obvious their comic division got some of the overall info long in advance that specific film comes out. Since the films are inspired by the comics, modern comics by films, will Marvel Studios run out of things to adapt? Sure, they can pull from their old classics, but more and more we see the films nearing modern day. This might not leave much for inspiration making the movies even less resembling of the source material.
2. LEGACY = FALLACY
I remember the initial news of Marvel Generations. Many weren’t pleased, but it did have its supporters. I personally thought Marvel having mantles was just lazily copying DC for the quick buck. Now that concepts of legacy, passing on the torch and multiple heroes of the same name were re-popularized by DC Rebirth this was another ‘follow the trend’ scenario. Trying to have someone else follow the suit of another hero shows the lack of care and understanding as to what made these characters popular to begin with.
Why is there a 2nd Hulk who is super funny? You’re not supposed to wanna be the Hulk. Being the Hulk is the last thing you would wanna be. Thankfully they seem to be turning Amadeus into a more traditional angry monster. And we already had a comedic Hulk, her name was Jennifer Walters. You thought Marvel learned when they got rid of every Hulk other than She-Hulk and Red Hulk, but apparently not. Thor? Why 2 Thors? Why 3 Thors? 3 Iron Men? The only one of these heroes that the public would dream of becoming is Captain America and Spider-Man. And out of all things you do not wanna be is the freaking WOLVERINE!!!
Marvel only now kind of touched base on these topics, but despite of all this they are still letting others wear someone else’s name. Wasn’t the appeal of the Marvel Heroes that they are different from the DC ones? They aren’t your Greek pantheon, they are more human. Less perfect or powerful, but equally as impressive. DC was always about having this sense of multiple heroes so doing the same for Marvel is simply blurring the lines and destroys what makes each company unique.
Let me state something clear, I know I sound like a fanboy who thinks what he loves is mine. It’s true, I do think Marvel owes the fans at least some SENSE of ownership. Truth be told I don’t mind having multiple Thors or Hulks or etc. In fact, we had multiple Hulks in the past, but there is a clear difference here. They are trying to make Amadeus the Wally West of Hulks. No non-Banner Hulk has been getting the push that Amadeus is getting now. I get making him a main hero for a couple years, but this whole Generations story seemed like a claim that it wants to keep pushing this forever. You can say the same thing about Thor (Beta Ray Bill, Thorg, Thunderstrike), Iron Man (War Machine, Rescue), Captain America (Bucky, US Agent, Nomad, etc.), Spider-Man and much more.
I am not against these characters becoming heroes, just the approach that seems to be taking away from what most of the fans at least seem to love.
There is no reason to make Marvel and DC the same thing. Yes, there are certain similarities between the 2 companies, but can you really tell me Green Arrow and Hawkeye or Deathstroke and Deadpool are the same characters? Believe it or not but when I read Legacy #1 I tried being positive. Sadly, while reading I had to stop lying to myself. It was boring, Wolverines and a couple other things were nice, but the rest felt like a filler. It didn’t feel coherent, although it was a step in the right direction, FOR SURE. But it tried being Rebirth a bit too much. Especially in format. Avengers 1-million BC? A waste of time. It’s just there to add more mantle heroes we shouldn’t care about and makes the universe smaller in a way by having these mythos all connect before they should. So much for blowing up the internet .
3. FOOLED YA
Another reason the new mantle characters existed was to still make a buck. I’m sure some writers wanna improve the industry with good intentions, but the real reason why we have mantle characters in Marvel isn’t because of wanting to diversify their roster. Those are just empty words to make the cause seem worthy and add additional press. Marvel killed Wolverine, but to make sure they weren’t missing out on any of the Wolver-money they gave us X-23 in the mantle and because they knew her book alone wouldn’t match the sales of the original, they brought us Old Man Logan, a character based on a highly acclaimed comic that is a backbone to the 2017 film (connects to the film panderings point).
You can apply this exactly to the Iron Man situation. At the end of the day we have twice the amount of titles Marvel should be putting out which means they are overpoducing. Too many comics to keep track of and when there are too many options it is harder for people to choose. This doesn’t apply mainly to comics, but to just about anything. Then with the amount of titles out it seems like the company is dominating in market shares when in actual sales the story might be a tad bit different.
In truth Jane Foster as Thor, Sam Wilson as Captain America, Amadeus as Hulk and etc. don’t matter. It’s funny how the original heroes were prominent characters in many of Marvel crossovers while these new replacements struggle to even get a word of line in most of the events they were in. Sam Wilson’s first event was AXIS. A comic where he is turned into an evil side character and attacks Nova & Spider-Man. Anyone can tell me what his role was in Civil War II? No? I can. He embarrassingly gets teleported to Hollywood, never adding anything to the fight (not even be a background fighter) by Magik. Funny how Steve Rogers had a more important role in that event even though Sam was supposed to be the main Cap. Sam was only the main Captain America by name. Only recently he had a prominent role in Secret Empire in where he quits being Cap. Nice job.
Jane FosThor has been the most warmly received replacement character yet is the example of never mattering to the universe. Amadeus Cho gets his own Planet Hulk, but will he get a WWHulk event after? You see what I mean? The list goes on. Am I saying comics starring these heroes were bad? Even though I think majority of these characters in the roles given are a disappointment this isn’t the point I’m trying to make. The point is these characters were only their to only push an agenda and not the universe as a whole. Looking at it now it wasn’t a Diversity Agenda as much as it was a “Look How Progressive We Are” one.
4. EVENT FATIGUE
To put it nicely, we are sick of the amount of events Marvel has thrown our way. The 2 events per year rule Marvel has implemented since 2014 has really burned down a lot of us fans. It results in rushed pieces of junk, unimpactful aftermaths, generic storylines and both messy and delayed release schedules that end up being spoiled. Anyone remember when the Marvel NOW! 2.0 ending was given away in October 2016 because the couple last issues were delayed to January 2017? Or when All-New All-Different Marvel line of comics came out and spoiled the ending of Secret Wars?
Funny story, I visited my Local Comic Book Store, which was 20 minutes away by car, to pick up Secret Wars #8. I came and couldn’t find it. The guy at the store told me it hasn’t come out yet, I told him that I purposefully checked Marvel’s website before coming here. The man checked it with me in the store and it turns out Marvel never changed the release date of the delayed (3rd time being delayed) comic. The guy looked more annoyed than me, which really tells you something. The overflow of events tells us Marvel can’t even keep up with themselves which is like I said disrespectful to: the fans, the distributors, who go through a lot of trouble to keep their stores being closed down and most importantly, lack of respect for themselves.
Spot the difference!
Initially, when AXIS was announced it had Green Goblin on the cover. Marvel didn’t realize Green Goblin was already being used by Dan Slott in a way that would prevent him from being in the crossover. They had to switch him for Hobgoblin so if you’re wondering why Hobgoblin looked so not-like himself now you know.
You can say in 2017 Marvel only had one event, but let’s face it. Generations and Legacy was definitely there primarily there to fill in that gap. More will be said on Marvel Generations in a few, but first I wanna touch base on their first event called Secret Empire. This has been one of the worst selling events of recently. Knowing how this was supposed to have the “impact” of your bigger event (like Civil War II, Original Sin or Secret Wars) it smelled very poorly. The event fatigue hit high ends when Secret Empire #1 sold 150K copies, issue #9 dropped to 76K and issue #10 just like with any event final issues performs a bit better with 86K. This is a terrible sign given how even Civil War II in any issue never dropped to under 100K in sales. Fans just got sick of it all. If we’re constantly treated with “Everything will change” and that slowly gets undone after a while how do you expect fans to respond?
At the end of the dark tunnel there is a light, though. Hope. Marvel Legacy has sort of corrected some of the wrongdoings, although as a whole it still has miles to go it is a definite improvement over the previous things. They probably only changed things to the way they were because they weren’t seeing a return in sales. At least with DC Rebirth you could feel a vibe of them saying, “Sorry about the New 52 guys.” With Marvel COMICS it only feels like a direction towards money since their recent behavior towards fans has been very bad. If they could further get away with such behavior without loosing readership they would have probably continued.
Overall, I am actually excited about what they have coming. They seem to be getting rid of the 3rd problem I mentioned. Their implementation of Infinity Stones (that’s right, no longer gems) has been done to death in the universe as a whole lately, so I hope it will be their last use in a while.
As we can see even in naming things pandering to the film fans who aren’t necessarily comic book readers hasn’t ended and won’t end until the MCU does as well. We are slowly seeing them bring back the characters to their rightful spots with no more mantle heroes takin them over (Death of Jane Foster and Sam re-becoming Falcon). Sure, we still have Riri, Chi and some others, but at least we might be getting what once was. They are finally coming back to their identity. We must mention X-Men getting the attention they deserved.
Now, Marvel said they won’t have another event for another 18 months, but we slowly find out this is a lie. Marvel tried reassuring distributors from giving up hope on them by saying Legacy is just a intro to the real event that will be coming. To add even more contradiction they announced a crossover called Avengers: No Surrender which will span through all the Avengera titles. Yay. Kill me. It seems like the company won’t succeed in addressing those issues either.
Now that we have what is right I can finally treat the company I love the way I would any other one. I will now read the titles I like, stop reading the ones that could be better, follow the characters I care for. I think until the writers change for most of these titles, they won’t get drastically better like for Spider-Man, but at least maybe now they will try to write about the things we want.
LOL! What was the point of shooting that?
Marvel Legacy #1 was just an advertisement, but Marvel Legacy as a whole within itself is so far calming down with all the political messages as well. It was nice reading Falcon without anyone hitting me over the head with virtue signalling. Keep it up! In all, Marvel’s problem worked against the notion of “know your audience” because they’ve been trying to cater to all, but that. It seems like maybe some of the problems I mentioned will get fully addressed.
It SEEMS we are in a a slightly different Marvel period, one where we can finally look forward to the future. May it stay this ways.