My thoughts on Marvel Now

Since different websites and forum commenters are writing different opinions on Marvel Now, I might as well say my piece.

For those who don’t know, Marvel Now is an initiative starting in October where the majority of the top-name Marvel comic writers are switching titles. Most of the books are being renumbered at 1, and a good chunk of them are also changing direction. Jonathan Hickman, who’s been writing an amazing Fantastic Four series, is taking over both main Avengers titles. Rick Remender, who is writing critically acclaimed books like Uncanny X-Force, Venom (recently left however) and Secret Avengers, is writing the new Uncanny Avengers series (half Avengers, half X-Men). Matt Fraction is taking over both Fantastic Four books. I could go on but this is a very significant creative reshuffling.

This isn’t a reboot – it’s the same continuity as before. Instead of launching every book at once, they’ll be launching them over the course of several months – one new series per week as far as I know.

What’s my opinion of it? Well, I have no problem with it. A bunch of new number 1’s is similar to a new season of a TV show. I’ve read complaints about how they’re renumbering everything and it’ll ruin how you organize your comics. It won’t, just break it up with a divider that says “<insert book name here> volume <add 1 to the previous volume’s number here>”.

For new readers, Fantastic Four 3 is far less intimidating than say Fantastic Four 615. Imagine yourself as someone who’s never read a comic in your life and you want to try it out. Which number is less intimidating? The one that implies that you have 648 issues to catch up on, or the one that’s implying that you haven’t missed much?

I’ve read some complaints on forums that they’re really just minimizing the X-Men and promoting the Avengers. They point at Uncanny Avengers as the strongest example of that. No they’re not. There are still a good number of X-Only titles and there will surely be more announced in the next few months, we’re just getting All New X-Men instead of Uncanny X-Men (which was once called All New, All Different X-Men). Also Havok, an X-Men character, is leading the Uncanny Avengers.

Lots of other complaints are claiming that Avengers vs. X-Men is trying to make the X-Men look bad. Again, no – nearly everything the X-Men have done in this event is in reaction to the Avengers doing something stupid. For example, this whole war never would have started if the Avengers didn’t show up on Utopia to try to take Hope away by force. They also stopped fighting the Avengers until they showed up a second time to kidnap Hope from Utopia. Don’t get me wrong the event has problems; it’s just that demonizing the X-Men certainly isn’t one of them.

According to Marvel, all the writers were switching titles anyway, so they decided to market it and renumber everything at 1. I have no problem if that’s true. It’s a corporation. If all their writers are shuffling around anyway, why wouldn’t you market that? Marvel’s executives would be fools not to. If it’s an editorial mandate that they all switch titles, I can certainly think of worse editorial mandates like, well … One More Day (which I simply refuse to read).

I’ll be trying out at least the first two issues of every Marvel Now title and I’ll review them all if possible. Even if I don’t usually like the writer, I’ll give them an honest chance here. Perhaps they’ll handle their new book better than their last. Perhaps they have fresh ideas to take their new series in a different direction nobody’s thought of before. If I still don’t like them, I don’t have to read their books.

Personally though, I hope that Wolverine will be in fewer comics than he is now. He really doesn’t need to be on four X-Men books, two Avengers books, his own solo series (two after Wolverine MAX begins) and five or six cameos every month.

About healed1337

I am a relatively new comic book fan writing this blog for other new comic book fans and/or people who are interested in comics but don't know where to start. I've always been interested in writing, to the point where I have a college Creative Writing Certificate and I'm currently a year 2 Journalism student. I also have another blog where I mostly make fun of bad movies - As for how I got into comics, I've always had a passing interest in superheroes: most notably Batman, Spider-man and the X-Men. Until February of 2011 (I think,) my only experience with any of these franchises came from the movies and video games. Shortly after I bought Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 however, I decided to check out X-23, Wolverine's female clone. I ended up reading her Innocence Lost origin story and enjoyed it. From there, I started reading various X-Men comics and it quickly exploded into my newest hobby. My other interests/hobbies include video games, movies, music, playing sports, my dogs and weird news.
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3 Responses to My thoughts on Marvel Now

  1. Cherokee says:

    To me, it kind of sounds like Marvel’s way to combat DC’s 52, and to get back into the comic game since (as far as I am aware) their sales have dropped significantly since the end of 2011 when DC wrecked up their continuity.

    From what I have read of DC’s 52, that didn’t turn out well at all for a lot of the titles, and it feels like Marvel are doing something very similar here in order to gain some hype on their work that has been diminishing quite badly (in the Spiderman title at least) for a few years now.

    On the subject of One More Day, that is a terrible, terrible comic. I should be writing a review of it at some point over the next few weeks, I’ll drop it your way if you’re interested in reading it?


    • healed1337 says:

      Sure, feel free to send me a link to a One More Day review.

      Marvel’s sales haven’t dropped significantly, although DC has pulled ahead of them since the New 52. Overall comic sales have risen a fair amount over last year. Still, it does feel like an answer to DC’s 52 and in some ways, it’s handled better (releasing new books over time instead of 52 new books in one month).

      Looking at Hickman’s Avengers lineup as revealed so far, it could also be a way to push comics around the Avengers dvd/blu-ray release. Will that work? Hopefully, because higher sales for even one company could be good for the entire industry.


  2. Pingback: Thoughts on Marvel Now October | healed1337

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