Snarky Comments About DC and Marvel June Previews

Yes, I know I’m a month late. (At least delays in this activity don’t result in spawning.) I had some thoughts on flipping through the June Previews catalog while stuck in the car driving down to Heroes Con. Marvel first.

Avengers Assemble #6

Avengers Assemble #6

I have just figured it out — Avengers Academy is this generation’s Legion of Super-Heroes. Whole bunch of teen characters, all involved in each other’s business, weird powers, watching them grow up, not always enough explanation for new readers of who all these people are… No wonder I like it!

I can’t figure out why the Guardians of the Galaxy are getting a big push from Bendis and Marvel, as seen in Avengers Assemble #6. I know there are film rumors, but if I was in charge of green-lighting big-budget superhero movies, I think I might learn SOMEthing from Green Lantern in terms of cosmic = not successful. KC says that the Guardians have a devout fan-following. I guess those are people who like one or more of Bug, the green chick with not enough clothing, or a raccoon with a gun.

50 Years of Spider-Man variant covers

So I’m looking at this “50 Years of Spider-Man” page (shown right) with the four variant covers for Amazing Spider-Man, and they’re striking graphic images, illustrating some of the best-known stories for the character. I get the origin, Gwen Stacy’s death, the Venom possession, but then I hit the last one — and my only thought is “Does Spidey being overtaken by all these other characters and versions of himself symbolize Marvel’s over-commercialization of the brand and the fracturing of the story into too many titles to follow?”

What is going on with Captain Marvel’s hair? (See cover below.) It’s got short sides and a bump on the crown of her head — is it a reworked mullet? Is it meant to evoke some kind of finned helmet?

I will be checking out Hawkeye #1, because they are including Kate Bishop, and I like her, plus Matt Fraction’s a good writer. I hope it has a sense of humor and isn’t all grim avenging.

Captain Marvel #2 cover

Captain Marvel #2 cover

I wonder how the guys at Marvel feel about creating and soliciting Disney Fairies Magazine. I can just see corporate telling them to get in line on the parent company product.

Back-to-back solicits for X-Factor and New Mutants both promise major changes. I would think that most of the Previews audience is old enough to know that there is never real change in superhero comics, and even the illusion of change is looking pretty threadbare these days. Unfortunately, “another consistent story” isn’t anything that can be pushed or plugged in the current environment.

The solicit for Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe seems to radiate a certain contempt for his fans, but I also wonder just what makes him so popular. It is a little disturbing at times.

Shouldn’t Dr. Strange be more popular than he is? It seems like a good concept, intriguing personality, nifty powers… I’m curious to see what Greg Pak and Emma Rios do with his Season One volume.

The body language on that Uncanny X-Men collection cover is messed up. They’re supposed to be racing into battle, but they’re all leaning back, as though they’re in an old Memorex commercial.

As for DC, it’s awfully difficult to make fun of their listings when I A) no longer read or care about the New 52 and B) they’re running descriptions like this one:

Set in a Blade Runner-esque version of Brooklyn… this hip-hop retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet… is a mix of urban drama, samurai action, and classic Shakespearean theater… all written in iambic pentameter!

I do note that as a company battling over creator rights when it comes to their most famous character, they were careful to appropriately attribute Shakespeare’s authorship not once, but twice. As though there were some other Romeo and Juliet we might confuse this with.

Also, Vertigo appears to be existing mostly on Fables and continually reselling Sandman, with a new Annotated volume, a new Death hardcover, and a complete series slipcase all new products this month. I was disappointed with the first Annotated volume, given the lack of substantial insight, mislabeled notes, and a general difficulty in reading the black pages, so I won’t be continuing, but the other books make sense, since there are always people new to Sandman who want to read it. I hope DC appreciates just how much Neil Gaiman did for them. He created this work over 20 years ago, and they’re still finding new ways to make money off of it.

6 Responses to “Snarky Comments About DC and Marvel June Previews”

  1. Thad Says:

    “Cosmic = not successful” is awfully reductive, innit?

    I don’t think the problem with Green Lantern was that it was cosmic, it was that it tried to be simultaneously cosmic AND earthbound and couldn’t succeed at either.

    Guardians of the Galaxy certainly isn’t an A-list brand but it’s a good title; I can see Marvel floating a balloon for a movie. If a movie actually happens I’m not so sure it’ll look very much like the comic (odds of Rocket Raccoon actually making it into a bid-budget film?), but I think there’s still something to be mined from Superheroes in Space.

    It would help if it were actually a decent movie. I don’t think just slapping the “Marvel” brand on it will be the kind of automatic success that Marvel may think it will, coming off Avengers.

    And nice catch on Captain Marvel’s hair resembling a finned helmet — I’d been wondering what was up with it too and you’re right, it DOES sort of evoke the old design.

    …Hm. Now I think about it, I’d be surprised if a Guardians of the Galaxy movie DIDN’T feature Captain Marvel. Maybe not Carol, but *a* Captain Marvel.

    Re: Deadpool: He’s a bit of a breath of fresh air because it’s a comedy book in the middle of a sea of angst. And there’s the offbeat cartoon violence aspect to it.

    I’ve been enjoying Daniel Way’s series for the past couple years, but I DO find that when writers start to veer too far off the slapstick I don’t like it as much. I got one issue into David Lapham’s Deadpool Max and all the “comedy” there was really based around mean-spirited homophobia, and it just wasn’t for me. I think Lapham’s a talented writer and artist, but I can’t say I’m a fan.

  2. David Oakes Says:

    Never underestimate the power of a Racoon With a Gun. I have a deep love for Micronauts, and Starlord and Drax have grown on me. But Rocky makes me smile, and my inner ten-year-old smile as well. As for making it into a film, he already made it into the latest Capcom video game.

    And yes, Deadpool does have contempt for his fans. That’s why he is popular. He ridicules the entire situation, and the “real fans” can be sure that, since they “get it”, he means it about the other ones. Plus, psychotic killer with a large bladed weapon. Almost as cool as a Racoon With a Gun.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Thad, yes, it’s overly reductive — but it’s also something I’ve heard a lot of people say about space-set comics. Particularly in GL’s case, I think the movie wasted its star and a lot of what made the character unique in favor of throwing a bunch of interchangeable aliens at us.

    As for Deadpool, I guess I just don’t get the appeal of cartoon violence. My failing, perhaps.

    David, your analysis about inter-fan superiority is disturbingly sensible.

  4. Mentor's Camper Says:

    I really think Guardians of the Galaxy would work better as a Pixar type film than as live action. And for anyone who hasn’t read the Rocket Racoon&Groot back up stories in Annihilators by Abnett/Lanning&Tim Green III, I’ll just say that that is some of the best reading since Starlin’s Thousand Clowns story in Warlock.

    I hadn’t heard about the Doctor Strange thing with Rios. That sounds great. The last decent Doctor Strange story that I read was The Cure. Which reminds me, lets have a romance between Dr. Strange and Night Nurse.

  5. James Schee Says:

    So they’d go with the modern setting (which I haven’t read but keep meaning to) Guardians of the Galaxy run instead of the original series set in future? It had a very LSH vibe, complete with characters being dicks to each other by playing jokes like “well we saw you in that ship but rather than get you out we decided to wait a 1000 years for you to get here to a Vance Astro)

  6. Simon Says:

    > “What is going on with Captain Marvel’s hair?”

    I suppose the collective of Brazilian hacks the cover was outsourced to spent 99% of the deadline on the crotch- and tit- shots, then rushed the hair and background. Nevermind: buyers of such covers never look women northwards of the neck.

    > “I wonder how the guys at Marvel feel about creating and soliciting Disney Fairies Magazine.”

    I reckon we can just see through how they feel, right in the title: “Another Disney rag? Only fags and fairies read that. Let’s call it Disney Fairies, hah!”

    > “The body language on that Uncanny X-Men collection cover is messed up.”

    I think the body language is quite clear though not very subtle or canny: That dude with a melting candybar on the eyes is saying, “I can get it (extends arm, clenches fist) UP AND HARD LIKE THAT!” (Methinks that’s why it’s X-rated.)

    > “I hope DC appreciates just how much Neil Gaiman did for them.”

    I’m afraid they can only appreciate just how much they’ve done for Neil Gaiman (or Alan Moore): both were paid over 20 years ago and DC is still finding new ways to promote their works and bring them more royalties, “They should be so grateful to have such a committed publisher.”




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