Judge: Hello Moar Powah! I’m here with Silverwolf to discuss Marvel NOW! And to throw in some tidbits about the New 52, a little over a year later. For starters, what are your initial thoughts of the project?
Silverwolf: Well, honestly I’ve got next to no interest in Marvel NOW! People who read my column consistently probably realize I vastly prefer DC, so when the relaunch was announced I met it with a big “meh.” I’d been reading Hawkeye since before the relaunch (and it’s an AWESOME series, check it out) but it didn’t see a re-numbering since it was only 4 issues in when this whole thing started.
So far, the only actual Marvel NOW! comic I’ve read is Captain America #1. I thought it was good…but not great. It was enjoyable, but not something I’m going to rush out to buy. That’s the general consensus I’ve been hearing from most fans: the Marvel NOW! comics are good, but not great.
Judge: Unlike DC’s New 52, Marvel NOW! is more of an update than a relaunch. No doubt it was partially influenced by the New 52. It’s a monkey see-monkey do business (look at Super Smas Bros. and Playstation All-Stars). It has the potential to be something pretty cool. I agree it’s just meh to good right now, but hopefully Marvel can learn from DC and not retcon things every 2 or 3 issues.
Silverwolf: Yes, that’s the big difference between the two: Marvel NOW! builds on pre-existing continuity, but has simplified or restarted enough things to make it easy for new readers to join without alienating previous readership. They’re also taking some huge risks, like replacing Peter Parker as Spider-Man.
Judge: Hmm. Yes, but like you said in your previous comic character death post, new things could spur the franchises in a new direction.
Silverwolf: It’s true, and they could be for good or ill. Ironically, I’m betting most of the Spider-Man fanboys who decry the Superior Spider-Man before reading it will probably end up buying it anyway. I’m at least of the opinion that it’s better for writers to try new things rather than give us the same story again and again. My favorite example is New 52 Lois Lane; everyone is currently complaining that she’s not dating Superman.
The funny thing is, before the reboot, a lot of fans complained because they felt her only purpose in life was Superman’s accessory. I actually like that Lois is doing her own thing now, since seeing the same old “Clark likes Lois but Lois like Superman” has been done to death for over 70 years; if you like those stories so much, you can always read classic issues.
Judge: That’s true. Marvel NOW! is going for a new direction. That’s its purpose. The New 52 was I think intended to go in a new direction, although I’m still not quite sure what that direction is.
Silverwolf: Another big difference is the rate of renumbering. DC released all their new titles in the same month, but Marvel is spacing them out. For instance, Uncanny Avengers #1 came out in October, but Superior Spider-Man #1 isn’t out until next month. I guess it’s a rolling release schedule which may seek to slowly acclamate fans to the new status quo.
Judge: Good point. Marvel has the benefit of kinda learning from DC’s “mistakes.” They can ease their fans in and plan out the stories better. Hopefully.
Silverwolf: Also this system fits better with the fact that their updating, rather than restarting, continuity. That said, DC’s been getting a lot of flak lately for firing some of their talent. Most recently, Gail Simone was fired for reasons which are as of yet unknown. What are your thoughts on this, Judge?
Judge: I think it’s a shame. She’s incredibly talented. And the way she was fired was tactless to say the least. Over email? Really? This is the problem with the New 52 as of late. A lot of talent seems to be leaving because things aren’t planned out properly. Or the overlords keep changing their minds. Marvel better take note.
Silverwolf: I’ll also note that DC seems to be consolidating its talent. I mean, I love Scott Snyder’s work, but right now just about all the Bat-family titles are totally reliant on his “Death of the Family” storyline. To some extent, it limits the creative process of other writers who can’t stray too far for fear of mucking up continuity.
Interestingly enough, DC seems to be pulling in some new writers who used to work for Indy publishers. Rumor has it that they might be trying to bring more “new blood” since there were a lot of complaints about that during the New 52’s first year (such as when old guardsman Rob Liefeld was given 4 titles to write and draw).
Judge: I just want DC to get their act together. New blood is great, but kicking out proven great talent is still no good. Get a solid vision and run with it.
Silverwolf: Exactly! I think it was actually Paul Cornell who noted one of the problems with the comic industry is there aren’t any real unions for creators. It often turns into a case of “listen to the editors, or get out the door” except in a few special cases. Obviously, having not worked in the industry it’s hard for me to really comment, but I think unions could help protect creators from getting canned so easily.
Judge: It’s as I said before, Marvel needs to learn from DC. The New 52 started off so well, and I hope that future issues recapture what was so great about it when it first launched. I want my comics, end of story.
Silverwolf: Agreed. In the end, I hope good comics are released and their creators don’t get screwed over.
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