Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Couldn't Resist

I saw the preview art for the upcoming Iron Man #19, and I just had to make a slight alteration...

Tell me there aren't more people who feel like doing that!

Sorry -- I guess I'm still bitter about the, in my opinion, ugly direction the Marvel Universe has been going lately. I mean, you can argue that Marvel has always been about change and pushing the status quo. That guys like Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart and Marv Wolfman were shaking things up before I was even born. And you can argue that Marvel is just reflecting the sensibilities of the United States circa 2007.

You want to blow up Avengers Mansion? Fine. You want to depower most of the mutant population? Sure. You want to have all of your masked heroes reveal their secret identities to the world. I can live with that. You want to kill off Vision and Hawkeye? Okay. I've been fairly accepting of most of the changes that have occurred in the Marvel Universe the past few years, I think. I could point out problems with the execution of some stories here and there, but those are minor technical issues, really. But, conceptually, I didn't disagree with the overall direction per se.

I was even with them up through the early stages of the Civil War storyline. But since that story started, they've all but killed my interest in the Marvel Universe. I was looking at the titles coming out this week, making notes on what I wanted to be sure to pick up, and there was exactly one Marvel title in the list. And that, if I'm honest with myself, I've been buying more out of habit than enjoyment.

On my lunch hour today, I stopped by a local Books & Co. to see what they had. They had an excellent manga section, so I picked up iD_eNTITY volume 5. And I looked around thinking, "With my stripping nearly all the Marvel titles from my pull list, I should pick up something new. I wonder what other manga I'd enjoy?" Now, I could go off now about Tokyopop's poor cross-selling -- which I think I'll save for a later rant -- but the point is that I find myself actively trying to distance myself from the what-was-once-bright superhero world that I've spent the last quarter century enjoying.

Damn you, Q+M+B!

3 comments:

plok said...

Hey, Sean, I can't see your doctored photo!

I can feel your rage, though...ha, see, you are the very guy they said this of in the big board meeting: "oh, don't worry about him...he might get a little pissed off because we messed up his treasured childhood, but he'll be back soon enough, it's all arranged, don't worry. Sure, I'll admit that if guys like this just vanished, poof, we'd probably be in the soup a little bit, but unless something really weird and unlikely happens, like this forty-year-old nerd suddenly getting into manga or something (laughs) (whole boardroom laughs), then he's still gonna have a comics-buying habit, and a comics-buying budget, and he's gonna have nothing to apply those things to, nothing to scratch those itches with, except us and DC. I'm telling you, history proves that in the long run this guy is safe. So who cares if he says he's pissed right now? He's still money in the bank..."

Heh, but there you are on your lunch break thinking about what other manga you might enjoy, and I think that is awesome. Maybe I even take a little too much pleasure in the thought: but I can't help it, I can't resist the idea that one morning Joe Q. gets a call from Paul Levitz, and Levitz says "okay, this is ridiculous, now you're hurting us, people are actually getting out of the pool because of you, you idiot!" And Quesada says "what are you talking about?" And Levitz sighs and tells him Time-Warner just bought Marvel, and that there's gonna be a press conference at noon to announce it, and the upshot is that if there's any more stories about the post-Civil War MU that want telling, they should probably get told no later than 11:25 or so. Joe says: "But we have nine and a half years' worth of stories like that planned! You don't get it, the Marvel Universe is booked! For the next decade!" And then Levitz sighs again. "No, Joe," he says tiredly, "you don't get it..."

Oh, well. I can dream, can't I?

Little bit zonked on caffeine right now, not sure if that came across...

Sean Kleefeld said...

Not sure why you aren't seeing the image, plok. I've checked it from few different locations and I'm not having any issues with it. Anyone else not seeing Quesada getting his block knocked off?

And as for that conversation between Levitz and Quesada, I love the thought, but DC isn't exactly helping matters much. I consider myself a pretty knowledgable guy when it comes to comics, but the DCU has gotten so DENSE that it's really hard to break through the curtain. It's almost as bad as trying to figure out the X-Men! You might notice that most of the DC books I get are fairly insular and don't mix it up with the rest of the DCU too much; that's entirely intentional on my part. I think the "One Year Later" idea was a good one (it helped get me to start picking up Aquaman) but I'm still reticent to dive into, say, the upcoming Dr. Fate despite the huge draw of Steve Gerber writing it.

plok said...

Ha, I think Steve's read your mind -- he says you don't need to know nuthin' going into Dr. Fate.

Nope, still can't see it. Must be me.