Marvel Releases Comics Aimed at New Audience in Worst Possible Way
Marvel Rising is intended to be a new franchise from Marvel that features lots of young female team members and characters of color.
The tie-in comic books have started coming out (the cartoon doesn’t have a release date that I’ve seen), and they’re a mess. The stories are simple and straightforward, not outstanding but not bad, but the release plan is overly complicated. (I’m sympathetic to the new supervillain, Emulator, because she’s a gamer girl who’s hassled by over-muscled boys who can’t believe she’s more skilled than they are. But that quickly gets forgotten.)
If you buy Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl & Ms. Marvel #1, you open it to discover that it says it’s “part 2”. Part 1 was labeled Marvel Rising: Alpha #1 and came out a month ago.
But if you read that book, six pages in you discover a reference to an even earlier issue, Marvel Rising #0, which was a promo giveaway in April. That story isn’t necessary to understand this one, but it’s still a reminder to new readers that “this stuff isn’t for you” unless you know how to navigate all this junk.
It all continues in Ms. Marvel/Squirrel Girl #1 and concludes in Marvel Rising: Omega, not yet released. This is old-school “gotta pay attention to the promo material” crap, designed to make data-driven geeks feel special for keeping up with the order of things. Of course, the real product is an eventual collection of the story. Which makes it worse, since the two for-sale issues so far have been $5 and $6, respectively, which is outrageous. The final version, out November 6, is only $10, so people who visit comic shops before then also get to feel ripped off, having spent more than that for a story that isn’t even halfway done yet.
More and more, it’s obvious that the companies think the comics are for a backwater of old fans, while the real new customers will read books and watch cartoons with the characters without having to worry about those weird, overpriced pamphlets.