Silverwolf: Hello everyone! I’m here today with Starshine to talk a little bit about All-New Marvel NOW! Marvel’s latest publishing and promotional venture complete with a plethora of new titles. Awhile back, writer ArcGunner and I discussed our hopes for the initiative, but now that it’s actually begun, and some of the highly anticipated titles have either been released or are about to release, much more can be said about Marvel’s successes and failures. Before I ramble on too long, why don’t you go ahead and tell us your initial thoughts on the initiative?
Starshine5050: As with all relaunches, I always tend to be a little bit skeptical, since I know things can get really crazy really quickly. Marvel has a better track record than DC but that’s not saying much, if anything at all. Still, there are some interesting series they are working with and I think thus far it’s been going well. You?
Silverwolf: Well, when I last talked with Arc I mentioned I was most excited for All-New Invaders and X-Force. The first issue of the former came out a little while back and I liked it a lot, while the first issue of the latter is slated to release this month. I also picked up All-New X-Factor, which is quite fun. Meanwhile, Amazing X-Men just saw its third issue hit the stands and continues to preserve a lot of the fun that Jason Aaron put into Wolverine and the X-Men (which ends soon, to be relaunched by a new team). Other than that, I’m looking forward to Cullen Bunn’s upcoming Magneto title. I’d like to check out a lot of the other ones who’ve gotten good word-of-mouth, but financial constraints aren’t really allowing me; maybe when they hit trade.
Starshine5050: That’s the issue with comics — a lot of their fans don’t have the financial means to really support the publications. I will say I feel sort of cheated they gave Peter Parker back his body — I think it was funnier when he was secretly Doc Ock. Spider-man has a whole history of issues with continuity though. I am looking forward to the Magneto series, both also to the Captain and Ms. Marvel series, both of which will feature women as the headliner of the series. Loki: Agent of Asgard has a lot of potential as well.
Silverwolf: It’s true, comics are only getting more expensive, which is why I think it’s smart that DC and Marvel are releasing new series at the $2.99 price point. I think bringing back Peter Parker was inevitable, but I agree that it seems cheap, especially since the timing makes it feel like a cash-in for the new movie (even if it’s Sony who is releasing the film). I loved the last Captain Marvel volume, but am waiting for the trade since I feel like Kelly Sue Deconnick’s writing reads better that way. I have a few thoughts on the Loki title, but care to talk a bit about the new Ms. Marvel for those that don’t know?
Starshine5050: Sure! The new Ms. Marvel will follow Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan, who lives in New Jersey and idolizes the Avengers. She eventually becomes the new Ms. Marvel and joins in fight crime while reconciling her two pre-existing identities, the American and the Pakistani. What are your thoughts on the series?
Silverwolf: Definitely sounds like an interesting title. I like that Marvel is taking some risks with a new legacy character, and I think it will pay off for them. I actually have a good friend who doesn’t read comics express her desire to pick up this book, which I think speaks to the appeal of the character and the concept. This is a title I think has a good shot of becoming a big win for Marvel as long as the fanbase they bring in for the first issue sticks around for awhile. I checked out a preview the other day and it looks really solid, which is part of the reason I’m so bummed I can’t pick it up on launch day.
Starshine5050: I also saw the preview and it definitely has potential. It has good art, solid writing, and sets up an interesting dynamic where, surprise surprise, not all Muslim are super devout to their faith. I think there’s going to be some backlash especially after the Coke ad from the Super Bowl stirred up all the racists, but Marvel can handle it, especially since the majority of those people don’t read comics anyways. It’s definitely worth a first glance and it could be the push needed to really build last lasting minority character like Blue Beetle.
Silverwolf: Agreed. Now, sadly, there’s one new series releasing this week that I’m sadly kind of cynical about…Loki: Agent of Asgard. Do you have any thoughts on the series?
Starshine5050: I think Loki is one of Marvel’s big draw right now so it would be downright dumb of them to keep the momentum going. Loki is also a character who is rich in subtext and potential, so I am glad he’d getting his own series.
Silverwolf: I agree that Loki as a character has lots of potential and a big fan base, even if he’s not my personal favorite. Also, with artist Lee Garbett and writer Al Ewing on board, I think it’ll be solid to say the least. I don’t have a specific problem with the series, I just feel like Marvel is taking a huge gamble with this one that I don’t think will pay off. While Loki is a popular character, mainly thanks to Tom Hiddleston’s performance in Thor and The Avengers, I think Marvel may be assuming that all Movie Loki fans will also become Comic Loki fans, which I think isn’t the case. My fear is that the first issue will sell amazingly well, but many readers will shy away after that, leading to an early end that will rightly upset those that stay on the series. Again, this is a pretty cynical opinion, and I really hope I’m wrong.
Starshine5050: I can totally see that but I think people who have seen the movies are becoming more inclined to comics. Not all, not even a majority, but maybe a handful, and that’s enough to boost sales for a little bit. I think Marvel has a lot going for it because of the movies and because they are tied more to the comics than Batman or Superman. You don’t need to read a comic to know who they are and their backstory. Black Widow? Ms Marvel? Loki and Thor? That requires more reading.
Silverwolf: Very good point. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the 2.99 price point for both Ms. Marvel and Loki is smart, since it helps makes entry for new fans that much easier. Marvel has done a good job making their comic and film universes closer in recent years without totally overturning previous continuity; it has riled up some fans, but I think most don’t mind overall since their storytelling is still good.
Starshine5050: I mean the only really worrisome comic for me would the new Daredevil and Elektra series. They never tend to stick around long cause they tend to be half-assed no one liked either of those movies. If anything, that’s going to be the pitfall of this new wave.
Silverwolf: Well, I’d actually have to strongly disagree. Mark Waid, though not my favorite writer, has cultivated quite the following on Daredevil over the last 3 years, and given that he’s still on board I think the series will have some legs. The new Elektra…that is a gamble. Haden Blackman, who did wonders on Batwoman for DC, is taking over, but I do agree that the character is a hard sell.
Starshine5050: I think really we can’t predicate what or who will work until we actually see it in hard ink. Still, the future looks bright for Marvel, wouldn’t you agree?
Silverwolf: Yeah, I definitely agree. Marvel’s literally FLOODING the market with titles. If they can bring in enough new fans, the effects will increase exponentially since someone who starts with one title may want to grab another few. They’re also adding a greater variety of titles, which I think is quite cool. I’m a self-admitted DC fanboy, but it’s hard to argue that DC needs to step up their game a little in the wake of these releases. Ultimately, that’s something I love about the comic industry: competition is healthy, and if one publisher does well, it makes the others have to work that much harder to deliver quality material. And who wins? The fans of course!
Starshine5050: The fans always win…well, sort of. Anyways, this has been another riveting edition of Objection. Tune in next time when we rip the Oscar nominations a new one for leaving out crucial movies.