Friday, October 06, 2006

What do we do when the Universe leaves us behind?

Paged through civil War again at the shop. i refuse to actually spend money on it. and I was struck by how sad I am to see the Marvel Universe so altered into something so completely unrecognizeable. characters acting so far out of character that they cease to have any relevance to me as a long time reader.

Its sad, really. now I know what all those long time silver age fans who adored Green lantern felt when the writers made it necessary to make Hal Jordan go nuts. Makes you just want to walk away and not look back.


James Meeley said...

Yeah, but you know, Charles, at least you are showing enough class not to try and "spoil the fun" for the readers who might actually be enjoying this "new" Marvel universe, like Jordan fans tried to do for fans of Kyle Rayner.

So, I have to give you props for that, if nothing else. :)

RAB said...

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who enjoys the current Marvel direction is more than welcome to do so; my own reaction is much the same as that of Charles.

That said...I do feel that in the course of what Marvel has been doing over the past few years, its classic characters have now been taken so far from the intent of their creators that they're irretrievably broken. And where this matters to the future of Marvel is that the rights to those old characters and the elaborate continuity they inhabited have always been the main draw -- both to creators and to readers -- and if these heroes get distorted to the point where they become totally unappealing and/or can't be used again, Marvel loses its core identity.

When it comes to superhero comics, creators want to play with the toys they loved as children. If Marvel can't offer that -- and it's really the one thing they have to offer -- good creators will simply go elsewhere, to companies where they get ownership of their work and a share in the profits generated by their creations.

A wise manager of company-owned creative properties would encourage creators to be wild, imaginative, and creative with the properties (think Miller on Daredevil, say, or Moore on Swamp Thing, or Morrison on the X-Men) and also say "just remember to leave them back on the shelf in a state for someone else to play with later." That's what keeps these things alive and healthy so that you get your big-money deals for Hollywood films with the characters, infusing the company with cash so that you can keep publishing. But this latest publishing gimmick event could end up breaking that cycle.