Published on July 2nd, 2012 | by Alex Giles2
Too Many Marvel Events are Hurting the 616
It’s been a while since my last post for which you have my apologies, unfortunately I have been really busy both at home and work. With it being the end of term leading to the summer holiday I had both my kids parents evenings, sports days and helping with the school discos and such, where at work I got a promotion so have been heaped with more advanced work which has taken up a lot of my typing time.
Enough of real life though, let’s talks comic books.
As a lot of you know, Marvel is in the middle of a full event with AvX. Most people were well hyped for the event and for some it’s living up to the expectation and to others it is failing, for me it has given me the spur to right about what I think on events and I am sure with the title of this article you know exactly where I am heading with it.
The facts are that since the early nineties both DC and Marvel have increased the amount of events they publish and after going through the lists from both I believe Marvel are in a bad place and need to unwind with the amounts and lengths of events they publish. I am choosing Marvel because after checking out IDW, Dark Horse and Image I didn’t see any problems with them, DC seems to be getting it right the last couple of years and with Valiant just started it is hard to judge them when they haven’t had any yet so Marvel it is.
One of the most important aspects of an event is the fact that they pull into so many books, take AvX for example, not only does it have the 13 issues of the cross over (including issue 0) but you also have the tie ins which is no less than 52 comics in the shape of AVX: VS 6 issues, Infinite 3 issues, Avengers 5 issues, Uncanny X-Men 9 issues, New Avengers 7 issues, Wolverine and the X-Men 9 issues, Secret Avengers 3 issues, X-Men: Legacy 5 issues, Avengers Academy 5 issues. I think we can all agree that this is a whole heap of comics.
Look at some of the other events that Marvel has done since 2010 in Shattered Heroes which has approximately 50 comics involved and Fear itself which is closer to 100. Now don’t get me wrong I am all for huge universe wide events like these and I am also all for having 50 to 100 comics involved in them as it brings to the grand scope of the event but what I am not in for is two or more of these events a year AS WELL AS mini self contained events and cross over’s in the mould of Chaos War, Shadow land and Spider-Island.
Huge epic events are cool but just not all the time, I love smaller scale cross over events like Spider-Island or Night of the Owls from DC.
There used to be a time when events were pretty awesome and the excitement of knowing that the events will possibly change the course of the comic book universe and some of your favourite artistic teams moving to titles you love or seeing one of your favourite characters being put in a new direction..
Lately though it just seems that Marvel is putting out event after event after event and personally it’s getting to the point where I am getting a bit tired of the epic ones. I liked flashpoint as there was a purpose to it which in effect did change the whole DC universe to a massive scale as events should.
I feel because Marvel are putting out so many events at such a high consistency that we are not getting a chance to see as much character development as perhaps we should be seeing, look at when I started to get into Marvel comics last year. The X-Men were going into an event called Schism which was to revolutionise the X-Men franchise by creating a divide between Cyclops and Wolverine with the others choosing sides, the team members who stayed with Cyclops stayed on Utopia while the team who chose Wolverine went to a new school called the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. From here we got a new comic in Wolverine and the X-Men with a renumbering and restart of Uncanny X-Men. Don’t get me wrong about these issues though as they are fantastic and I like both a lot.
The problem with it starts when before each issue has even reached number ten they are all involved in a tie in, there is no time to showcase how the X-Men are dealing with the new changes in their lives, how each individual is coping properly, yes we do touch on it but not anywhere near enough time to properly character build and let us see into each persons psyche. Before we are even on about issue two we had the announcement about “Avengers vs. X-Men” with the tie ins starting before ten.
I mean personally there hasn’t been any real closure to the Schism event and we are midway through AvX with the new event “Punisher War Zone” already announced and again that is not including all the other mini cross over’s happening like Spider-Men (isn’t Peter meant to be in AvX?).
Each major event whether it is with Marvel or DC leaves cliff hangers, it may seem I am picking a bit on Marvel but I don’t think DC is doing that bad. When you put out the sheer amount that Marvel is doing there is no real resolution to these cliff-hangers and some are to never be touched on again.
When you have so many events that are meant to change the course of story lines in the comics, it gets to the point where it defeats the purpose because you are not allowing characters to grow and develop in the “new” changed universe from the “new” angle you are meant to have made for them because they are systematically rolled out in the new event a couple of months later for it all to change again.
I think one or two mini cross over events a year like Spider-Island and Schism is enough with every two years or so have a big epic event. I mean just because Marvel or DC has an event it doesn’t mean that they need to encompass their entire in every one.
Less events and more small cross over’s is the way to go, this way you still get the character interaction of the universes but there is more room for to improve character development and growth.
I would be quite happy with a massive summer blockbuster event every two years with the smaller cross over’s happening through out, it would even be something to get really excited about instead of the “not another” thought which went through my head when I seen the “Punisher War Zone” posters.
They are running out of ideas and with each epic event someone has to die or someone has to come back and it’s getting tiresome as the deaths and absenteeism’s are getting less and less which is completely undermining each prior story where the character died.
Having all the tie in issues could also be hampering a title and stopping them having a solid run to build up the emotion and how much we care about the characters in these titles.
I mean look at the current Wolverine and the X-Men, Uncanny X-Men that is in AvX like I mentioned above before even there tenth issues or a guy like Brian Michael Bendis who I think is a pretty good writer yet I hear people slating his time on Avengers. After some checking for his Avengers and New Avengers they have been involved in the following events in recent times Civil War, Secret Invasion, Siege, Dark Reign, Avx and I know he is leaving but with the previews out we can see that the main Avenger guys will be involved in “Punisher War Zone” too.
I firmly believe that events are stopping good and great story runs from happening on individual titles and we need to stop having so many massive comic book events. It wouldn’t even be that bad if they would allow the writers to write the stories they want but it seems the suits upstairs are driving the events on marketing and this is why the likes of Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron-Man and Cap are in nearly everyone.
I do realise this was also a bit of a rant as much as it was an article post but I felt it had to be said because Marvel are not allowing enough time for character development and it could hurt them sooner rather later.
Thanks for reading