July 11th, 2015


Le sigh -- as Reboots spread

(Pardon a mild grouse.)

Marvel is in the middle of one of those once-every-few-year events, only bigger and weirder than usual. Basically, they've taken every character and situation they've ever had, thrown them all into a giant mixmaster, and set it on high. For several months, they're doing exclusively these weird little crossover / nostalgia books, tied into an overarching "Battleworld" scenario. It's pretty dippy -- I'm picking some of them up out of curiosity, but I'm not very impressed by the concept.

And after? They appear to be pulling a DC, rebooting the entire continuity in a way that lets them ignore anything that has gone before. I *despise* this particular trend. Frankly, I think it's lazy storytelling. If you want to tell new stories, then *tell new stories*. Rewriting existing history in the name of grabbing new readers simply implies creative exhaustion to me.

At least, I assume the idea is to attract new readers. It's all New! and Different! and a Great Jumping-On Point! with Exclamation Points!!!

Thing is, waystations work both ways -- they're a good place to get on, but also a good one to get off. The last time DC did this, with Flashpoint, I dropped the entire line: I simply declared that I was done with mainstream DC comics. I've stuck to that, and really haven't regretted it.

I'm probably not going to be as extreme with Marvel, since I've been enjoying a fair number of their books in recent years, but I'm considering it. Far as I can tell, nearly all of the books I've been really enjoying are at least shaking up their creative teams -- at a quick glance, I think the only book I *really* care about that doesn't appear to be losing its writer is Ms. Marvel. (I've been a sucker for G. Willow Wilson's writing since she started out with Cairo. She's a unique voice, which isn't something you often see at the big companies. It's the only reason I'm considering giving A-Force a chance.)

I'll probably keep several books, but overall this is likely to backfire badly as far as I'm concerned: I think my Marvel consumption is going to drop to a quarter what it was. I was invested in this stuff, and now I'm not -- by and large, it's now up to Marvel to win back my dollars, book by book, and that isn't going to be easy. (Especially since Kieran Gillen doesn't seem to be doing anything for them any more -- he's currently the only writer who I will absolutely reliably buy.)

And truth to tell, much though I may be annoyed by the impetus, I can't even mind too much in reality -- this will let me catch up on my comics, and make room for better ones from other companies. I doubt that's what Marvel had in mind, though...