Is Marvel capable of any kind of continuity anymore?
It has been a long time since I started a thread. These days I have to hold my nose when I make my weekly purchase at my lcs. I have been collecting my entire life and have well over 10,000 comics in my collection and probably 99.9% of them are Marvel. For the first time ever, I am considering jumping off and pursuing other interests. I just can not stomach what the "house of ideas" is doing to their universe. Marvel used to be one giant story running through tons of books. Even as isolated as the X books were, I still had a sense that they were out there somewhere. I have not read any X related books since Byrne and Claremont, but there was usually enough bleeding over into the others to remind me that they are out there. Nowadays, it feels as though there are 87 seperate stories running at any given time.
Go down the list. Without getting too specific, a few come to mind. Iron Man is currently a prisoner of and fighting with the Mandarin in China and recently was helping Captain America in Madripoor. Somehow though he is able to sneak away from all of that and deal with the AVX crap. Captain America is also wading through Marvel's latest attempt at a major event while fighting Hydra and a worldwide riot in his own book. He has also now, in his other book, been magically whisked away to another world with the Black Widow....who is also fighting the good fight in AVX...oh yeah while having been reprogrammed as a Soviet era style assassin and on the prowl in the Winter Soldier's book. The Hulk, who is dressing like a freakin idiot these days has been hashing it out with Banner in his head (if they are both in his head, then who is it on the outside?), but somehow is able to revert back to the desert dweller of old during AVX. Speaking of Hulk(s), the Red Hulk is pounding on foes in AVX while fighting Mayan gods with Alpha Flight in his own book. Thor is off fighting Surtur and the umpteenth possible collapse of Asgard (scuse me..AsgardIA) in his book while being a major powerhouse way over in AVX. Spiderman is god knows where with the FF..AIM island, while dealing with completely unrelated stuff in his book, while somehow suffering no ill effects from being punched square in the face by a phoenix-powered Colossus. It goes on and on and on...Hawkeye, Spiderwoman, Agent Venom, Daredevil....I don't mind a little independent storytelling, but this is just stupid. AVX is supposed to be a major Marvel Universe changing event. I get that. But so are all of these other storylines in all of these other books. Theyre all too big to be on their own. It seems as though all of these writers are just going all out and simply ignoring one another.
These days I just feel completely taken advantage of when it comes to this hobby. Marvel knows fans like me are just going to keep shelling out the bucks for this crap....and don't get me started on Marvel"now"...really? Sadly this is it. Im done. Finished. Sorry this rant was so long, just felt like getting it out of my head and into yours. There is good news...I seem to be enjoying the new Valiant stuff.....and at least Frank Castle is keeping to his book. I enjoy that one too.
I had stopped collecting comics for more than 6 months now. I basically wait for it to become a TPB or HC collection if it's worth the read. How do I know if they are worth reading? I just go to any Barnes & Noble and read them there for free. If they are good, I'll buy them. I got turned off from collecting them 'coz just like Eddie, the whole continuity that Marvel is so Good at has been disregarded. For me it started with the One More Day story from Spiderman, although it was a good read, I felt betrayed by the ending of it and then that whole bull about Brand New Day. It Got worst when they have the follow-up "One Moment In Time" to try to explain what really Happened. It was so convoluted, I just completely loss interest.
Because of Marvel NOW! I am ending my 30+ years of weekly Marvel comic buying. I feel as if they have made a big "F" You! statement to my generation & I won't be supporting this garbage. In fact, because of Marvel NOW!, I may be ending ALL my new comic purchases & only focusing on back issues. I'm curious to see how many others from my generation feel this way?
I stopped Marvel a while ago...well, except for The Defenders...other than that, I've dropped every Marvel book.
When Wolverine started showing up in every major title, that's when I bowed out...like Eddie above, they just threw continuity out the window....
Most of my books have a few issues left until the whole "its not a relaunch its a redo" or vice versa...whatever, so I'll hang on with them to complete the run....then I'm done. I'm currently reading Punisher, so until they make him a mutant and have him join the Avengers, I'll stick around....wait wait, am I wrong or is HIS series ending AGAIN to be replaced with another? Yep. Oh well. Guess that leaves me with Nick Fury's book, and as good as that has been it can only go so far. We all know he is going to survive every issue.
X-O Manowar and the rest of Valiant it is then.
The other problem with all these number restarts and mid sequence name changes is that it basically makes it impossible for anyone to collect back issues.
I wouldn't say that. Even though the numbers do change and issues change titles, it can still be done. I do it and have it all on an excel file. When it changes titles, it no doubt creates a headache, but the renumbering is easily remedied by calling it a separate volume.
I stopped buying sometime around 1992 and as Al has contemplated, I've been funneling what had been my monthly haul $$$ into back issues. Keys, major classic story lines and even offbeat marvel horror, etc. It's all felt like money much better spent too me and keeps my collecting a fun hobby as opposed to an expensive source of aggravation/frustration.
I agree with everything you said, Eddie. I have been buying for many years, and I was always a Marvel fan. What I always liked about Marvel, and not DC, was that Marvel always had the continuity across all the titles, and it was only "What If" stories (which I never liked) that didn't fit into the Marvel Universe. A lot of it has to do with the dollar. Spider-man sells? Wolverine sells? Then lets put them in every book we possibly can, and create new books for them too, and then for good measure we can publish 3 or 4 "Amazing Spider-man" comics per month. Even more, lets publish each title with multiple variant covers, and get the suckers to buy even more! It is massive overkill, it is all about the money, and you are right about the effect on continuity. How can characters like Spider-man and Wolverine be in all these places at the same time? The logic behind the Marvel Now plan is to bring in more new fans. Responding to you, Al, it is our generation that has supported the comics for so many years. I used to be able to buy everything, from Marvel and DC. If you try that now, it will cost you $400.00 to $500.00 per month. The fans that have been buying and spending even half of that are people of our generation. And kids? Kids can't buy them. Price is the issue, not the revamping of the characters. There are lots of younger fans now, but they are fans who have come through the movies and through all the animated cartoons. I used to know a guy at work who was a huge Spider-man fan, but ALL of his knowledge came from the cartoons. He never bought the comics. Revamping the characters will do nothing to influence young people who don't buy the comics anyway. This reboot that is not a reboot is going to do nothing but alienate all the old fans, who are the only ones that have been there all these years. I hardly recognize the company that I loved, and I think it is only going to get worse with Marvel Now. It is sad, but I agree with you completely. I will probably get the first couple of issues of Marvel Now, to see what they do, and as an "end of an era" for my collection. If it turns out to be as I feel now, I probably won't be buying them after that. I can be more than happy with my back issues anyway. All the current hotshot writers and artists who think they are better than the creators of the 60s and 70s can't touch them anyway. I could go back and read that stuff again and enjoy it much more than the stuff they are producing now. So maybe we shouldn't look at it so sadly, but look at it as an opportunity to go back and look at all the great stuff from the past. And on top of that, save a lot of money! To quote one of those old greats: "'Nuff said!"