What will be the fate of
Marvelís book publishing?
May 20, 2011
By Avi Green
Itís been awhile since Iíd tried to do some kind of a serious update
for this site. I am pretty busy with other things today, like my
daytime job, visiting my nephews and nieces, and under the reign of
Joe Quesada, Marvelís editorial has ultimately disillusioned me from
their output, forcing me to all but move on, and limit my reading of
their products to just older items. But now, I thought to add
something more to the list here.
recently wrote about the uncertain future Marvel is facing as
a book publisher. This is due in part to their apparent favoratism
for becoming more of a moviemaking outfit, while they destroy the
comic book continuity and characterization that people like Stan Lee
worked so hard to establish.
It shouldnít be too surprising, but thereís no telling if theyíre
willing to admit it: their disrespect for their own property Ė
including but not limited to their maltreatment of Spider-Manís
marriage Ė is exactly whatís driven more than a considerable amount
of people away from their serial fiction.
Their overly leftist propaganda is another blow to their sales. They
published money-guzzling crossovers like Civil War, and this year
have even put out another time-waster called Fear Itself, and they
expect those to hold them together in the long term? Good grief.
Then, thereís also the atrocious publicity stunt they pulled where
they killed off Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four, for no good
reason other than short-term moneymaking. To make matters worse,
they even canceled the regular FF title and replaced it with another
I want to make this crystal clear. These stupid
kill-and-villify-the-character stories are no substitute for
character drama, something Marvel once mastered before abandoning as
they have for the sake of company wide crossovers. Nor are the
variant cover stunts. Seeing how low sales have become, itís clear
Iím not the only one who thinks that now.
I guess the real tragedy is that some of the veterans from better
days will not speak out clearly about this. I realize that Stan Lee,
for example, does not feel he can criticize Marvel under any
circumstances, being as he is from a time when you donít speak
poorly about the places you worked/are working for, but even so, his
failure to stand up for the better interests of his creations is
exactly why theyíve suffered.
Marvelís disrespect for their comic books has even had the effect of
discouraging me from watching the movies based on them. Mainly
because it seems like theyíd rather I care more about the movies
than the comics! But if I donít care about the original source
material, how can I possibly care about the movies? They certainly
seem to care more about the movies than the comics. And thatís just
why my intellect feels so insulted, Iím not bothering about the
movies now. (Besides, when I realized that J. Michael Stracynski
wrote the official story for the Thor movie, it was just one more
reason why I wasnít up to it, even if he didnít write the official
screenplay. How can I possibly reward the man who helped to destroy
Spider-Man, and acts like heís otherwise not guilty?)
Iíve floated this idea that maybe Marvel and DC Comicsí publishing
arms could be bought septerately from what are now movie developing
outfits and the conglomerates that own them. And maybe someday, that
idea could be seriously tried out. But for now, it sadly looks like
Marvelís on their way to closing as a book publisher, along with DC,
and even I may end up being witness to the demise of a once
Copyright 2011 Avi Green. All rights reserved.