A fellow i know used to constantly say that marvel always copied DC. This was at least 5 years ago, when Marvel was selling way more books than the Distinguished Competition. I had issue with this statement.
That was then.
Now, Marvel is a husk of what they once were. Not a Husk. A shell. A pale shadow. Marvel promises that Marvel Legacy will “break the Internet.”
Zeist to Marvel: you already broke the Internet with Nazi Cap. And you’ve pissed off a lot of people. You’ve already broken your fan-base. Looking to your not-so-Distinguished Comepetition as they attempt to rebuild trust after crapping on their readership for so long is not the way to start selling books again.
Mike and I were debating this, he works in retail and as has been established, is a huge DC guy. Even though I would argue that DC has not fulfilled their promise to return unto him Blue Beetle, he is drinking the Bat-Kool-Aid, and believes DC is on top because they are selling books with the iconic characters people care about.
Really, I don’t recall Superman having had a baby before all the BS that DC has dragged readership through of late? I don’t recall Batman being just a tad older than his sidekicks. Dc is doing better right now, because Marvel is sucking so bad. They are doing well because they are skull-fucking the contract that Alan Moore signed with DC in regards to Watchmen. They are desperate so they have come up with some contrived storyline incorporating Watchmen into the DCU. Wait until Frank Miller Dark Knight is brought in. It will happen. Because those books are selling. “Give them what they want,” is the DC motto right now.
Marvel’s motto seems to be “Oh, shit, our sales are plummeting, DC is selling books, we should do what they are doing.”
Dear marvel: You are not selling books because your storytelling sucks. Mike argues that people are not interested in many of the new characters, he uses Jane Foster, Amadeus Hulk, Kid Wasp, and Doom Iron Man as examples. He believes Marvel will be on top if they return to the classic version of characters.
“If it was F-4 in Monsters Unleashed and not Elsa Bloodstone, it would have done better.”
My position is that Marvel’s strength comes from telling stories that are character driven. Mike asked me for examples.
- World War Hulk
- Jessica Jones
- The recent Ant-Man book
- Civil War
- Any number of Daredevil stories from the Benids+ run
- Herc and Cho
- New Avengers
- Dark Phoenix
- International Iron Man
It is a mixed bag, some recent, some not-so-recent. But all have stories driven by the characters, not just random superheroes with certain superpowers. All of them have to do with the characters beneath the cowl as much as the superheroic identity. WWH works because it is about a character who has been betrayed by those he thought were his friends.
Champions doesn’t need to be a top-seller. It is a good book, about characters. But Avengers should be a top-selling book. I think there is another factor at play, which is that Marvel doesn’t know how to reconcile their BILLION DOLLAR cinematic franchises with their publishing arm. that’s a whole different issue. DC doesn’t give AF, they have their cinematic U, multiple animated Universes, animated movies, Arrowverse, etc.
Marvel needs to commit. To not sucking. I predict that post-legacy Marvel will not be on top if their stories continue to suck. It is not about bringing back the characters readers know well, that can be part of it, it is more about making the stories good. After Secret Wars, Marvel launched with Pleasant Hill. An event that had potential and featured many of the conic characters. Same with Civil War II. Both events were not good. And thus, sales were not good. It is that simple.