Friday, February 01, 2013

Best time to quit Marvel ? Right NOW !

It´s getting colder again and against my better judgement I´m not lying in my bed and relaxing but hacking away at the keyboard for another post. I really want to increase my post frequency but Yesterday was another day I spent going through the hundreds of e - mails that had accumulated since my last post.

Here in Ludwigsburg it has been rather warm these past few days, more like what you´d expect during a german fall period. At the Stadionbad most of the snow has melted but from now on it´s getting colder again.

Like I said, Yesterday I didn´t get to do much but I placed my monthly order at the online comicshop and I suddenly realized that I´m only reading one monthly Marvel comic : WINTER SOLDIER.

And I don´t have it on my pull list. I also started getting the first issues of the new Marvel NOW series CAPTAIN AMERICA and FF but they are also not on my pull list. With both books I buy them mainly for the art and on Captain America the story is already getting on my nerves. It reminds me too much of the JONAH HEX SPACE COWBOY book.

Anyway, I don´t really expect Marvel to manage keeping Mike Allred and John Romita Jr on the books for more than 6 issues ( 12 at the most ) which will be the time I make my exit stage left.

Now if you have read my posts last month you may find it strange that my recommendation was the big AVENGERS VS X - MEN hardcover which was mainly there to get us to the point of entry for all the Marvel NOW books and now I´m telling you that it´s the best time to drop Marvel altogether. Well, while I did recommend the hardcover the main reasons were that you can get it at a real bargain price at amazon and it´s a big superhero brawl with really good art. Storywise more " connect the dots to the next big event " but in the art departement a real heavyweight. But to tell you the truth I have a feeling that it was the swansong of the X - Men and that there are not going to come many good stories after this. Like most of the actual output by Marvel the franchise has it´s best days of the future in the past.

Which was one of the reasons why I decided to stop getting the floppies of the x - universe. With the last two big events ( X - MEN SCHISM and AVENGERS VS X - MEN ) I have bought the floppies and the hardcover and that really isn´t something I can afford to continue doing.

And with AVENGERS VS X - MEN I was really going to wait for the trade. So now I´m going cold turkey on the X - MEN. So far I always bought the german edition but now they have gone from offering 4 issues for 5.95 EUROS to 3 issues for the same price and that´s just too expensive. Especially if you get only one issue of X - MEN and two issues of some other x - title. Because then you pay 6 bucks for one issue of X - MEN and in my opinion even 4 bucks for one comic is a lot of money for one book. You better make sure that book is one hell of a read when you have to spend that kind of money. And quite frankly, except for the big events the x - titles were a bit disappointing for the last year. Yes, there was WOLVERINE AND THE X - MEN, but I had to jump some issues because of Chris Bachalo´s art and for the proper x - book, reading that was more out of habit than because of a real love for the book.

Okay, you might say that I´m not really going to stop reading Marvel books but it really feels that way. There is still issue 5 of FIRST X - MEN but it´s the last part and I mainly read it because of Neal Adams art. I just love seeing that man doing a monthly title. The story made no sense in this whole mess the x - universe has become. And really, for somebody who started his pull list many decades ago with only Marvel books I have to say that the rest of the current incarnations of the Marvel books are horrifying to read. All the books I used to follow for years and years.

Thor has gone from the best Thor book ever written under the penmanship op Walter Simonson to something that really makes no sense, no matter how you look at it. The whole thing with Asgard being on Midgard makes no sense.

What´s more, I don´t think it´s even possible because Asgard is a different dimension than Midgard and logically can´t occupy the same space without one destroying the other. Not as extreme as matter and anti - matter but almost as impossible. Just ask Walter Bishop or watch a few episodes of FRINGE to get educated.

It´s like trying to cram a big apple pie into a bucket filled with ice cream. It´s not possible without either destroying the pie, destroying the ice cream, destroying both or ending up with half of the pie and half the bucket of ice cream melting on the floor.

And you could see the consequences of that in the AVENGERS PRIME series where the laws of physics ( or magic or whatever lays down the rules in Asgard ) broke down. You know, I really thought they would be done with all that but they still keep on with the Asgard on Midgard thing. What´s worse they change so many things I don´t even know what´s what anymore in Asgard. Like with the Odin.

He´s dead, he´s back, he´s dead again, he´s alive but in a seperate dimension from which he can´t come back but suddenly Loki brings him back in spite of that and now he´s back somewhere where he never can get back from - again. I just don´t care. Give me an Odin who´s pulling a fast one of the Asgardians and having his Odinsleep every week anytime. I mean that´s what Odin was always doing in those Jack Kirby comics I used to read. He was always busy with some plan that resulted in f -ing up Thor´s life in one way or the other, mostly robbing him of his powers or diminishing them by half or any other excuse to leave him almost as weak as a kitten so the other superhero who gueststarred had a fighting chance. And Odin was always sleeping the Odinsleep.

Really, in almost every issue I read he was either preparing for the Odinsleep, sleeping the Odinsleep or waking up from the Odinsleep. There´s really not much else he did which might have been one of the reasons his wife was Frigga. You can guess why she was called that. On the other side, ruling a land like Asgard with such pains in the a - word like Thor and Loki can really wear you out so maybe the whole Odinsleep was just an excuse to hit the pot or drink a few barrels of met.

You know, after all those years I finally know how Odin must have felt because, boy, when I get finished with my work at the Stadionbad I sure do feel the need for the Odinsleep coming over me. Or in my case I could call it the Subzerosleep. Although that hasn´t quite the ring like Odinsleep.

But back to the current Thor book Odin isn´t the only one who´s confusing right now. I mean what´s the whole deal with Loki ? First he´s a guy, then he´s a hot chick, then he´s a guy again and then he´s dead and gets resurrected by Thor as a kid. Who writes such stuff and can we ban the substances he´s smoking ? Because they are not healthy. I mean, for all the trouble Thor had to go through the last two years with Loki with the whole SIEGE thing and always trying to kill Thor and destroy Midgard and Asgard. And then what´s the very first thing he does when he finally gets rid of that menace ?

He goes " Boy, I do miss my stepbrother. He sure did lighten things up around here - when he wasn´t trying to kill me, my father, my race, this planet and the whole universe. You know what ? I´m going to bring him back. " like he was abusing some substances himself. I mean Thor never was a big thinker. But so far he never was stupid. No, you really can´t read Thor anymore. I mean I got some issues of the new MIGHTY THOR series at the last Comicbörse in Stuttgart for a buck each - by the way a big thank you from the people trying to make sense of Thor for another relaunch and another Thor book - and it was like I had suddenly crossed over to the parallel universe from FRINGE where they have a Red Arrow.

There are the gods from Broxton or some other british town ( I guess, geography was never my strong point in school ), Loki is running around with his old personality trapped in a raven and Asgard is ruled by three women and is still on Midgard. Now I´m not sure but female leaders were rather uncommon in norse society.

And it just goes on and on with the other Marvel books. I mean ever since BRAND NEW DAY you couldn´t read an issue of Spider - Man with a clear conscience but now they have taken all that´s left and flushed it down the toilet. And I´m not talking about AVENGING SPIDER - MAN which kept getting worse and worse and worse with each issue.

The book has become so bad that I´m not sure which issue is the worst one yet : the one that turned Hawkeye from a confident and strong character into an insecure whiner who thinks he´s worth nothing without his archery skills or the one with Deadpool and the Hypnohustler in the same issue. Or the issue where Aunt May and Peter are so far out of character that it´s like reading about wo totally different persons. No, it´s the same on the regular spiderbooks. I guess Spider - Girl was the only exception qualitywise and Marvel sure tried to shut that book down often enough.

For years you could see that Marvel has run out of ideas for stories ( unless you count bad ideas ) and have capitulated intellectually. Which gives us storylines like SPIDER ISLAND where everybody has spiderpowers.

But now, in the final issue of AMAZING SPIDER - MAN, number 700, they have put Doctor Octopus in Peter Parker´s body and killed off Peter. I don´t know but I have no intention of reading a book with Doc Ock wearing a Peter Parker suit trying to get it on with MJ. That´s just all kinds of sick and disgusting. It´s the whole " The Green Goblin did it with Gwen Stacy " thing all over again.

What is it with Today´s writers that they keep loading crap on MJ ? First she´s not good enough for Peter so Joe Quesada comes up with BRAND NEW DAY, before that she was terrorized by Venom and kidnapped by a stalker. And now Dock Ock is putting the moves on her. I tell you, if Peter Parker ever returns ( and from the looks of the last pages of issue 1 it looks like he´s already back ) Mary Jane is going to need decades of therapy when she finds out she has slept with Doctor Octopus. Okay, Marvel may decide not to go that far but then why start the whole thing in the first place ? Why go down that path if you´re not willing to go all the way ? Not that Marvel hasn´t done so before. They always start something then get afraid of their own courage.

Like when they covered up Shanna´s boobies in that Frank Cho series. Boy, who´s still waiting for the uncensored version of that to come out ? I tell you, not as long as Joe Quesada´s around. The only one I really pity with the whole thing is Frank Cho who should have learned his lesson then. But Marvel is devious in that way. They say it was only a mistake and it will never happen again and they throw the big cash on the table to get Frank Cho to work for them on such comics like AVENGERS VS X - MEN 0. And just when it looks like everything´s fine they go and f - up the new SAVAGE WOLVERINE book. You know, we should all boycott the book just out of solidarity with Frank Cho. I always said the next book by Frank Cho with Shanna in it I buy is the uncensored version of that miniseries Marvel f - ed up and it seems Marvel is trying to hold me to it.

And it doesn´t look like the rest of the Marvel NOW books are any better. Okay, we got Ed McGuiness on NOVA but Nova is just a little kid now and if he keeps getting younger with each relaunch we will soon have Baby Nova.

Yes, I bought the new AVENGERS ASSEMBLE book ( never use the word ASS on an Avengers book ) but only because they had Rocket Racoon in it. And speaking of Rocket Racoon : does Marvel have an insidious plan to ruin my life or is there some other reason why no book that has the guntoting space raccon in it doesn´t have good art ? And if not for long. I know that they have a new GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY book because of the upcoming movie. Which I hope they don´t f - up too much. But Steve McNiven is not really one of the guys who gets me to buy a book. And can anyone explain to me why Iron Man is suddenly on the team ? Nope, besides from the upcoming WOLVERINE book by Alan Davis there don´t seem to be that many books by Marvel that I´ll spend money on. Okay, I´ll buy anything that Alan Davis does but as long as the company has five different DEADPOOL books it´s their own fault they won´t get much money from me.

Not that I´ll totally stop buying Marvel comics. There are still three trades of Chris Claremont´s X - MEN FOREVER I haven´t read and with THUNDERBOLTS I´m at least three volumes behind. So I´ll be getting that as well as more of the old stuff like more ESSENTIAL trades or the first issues of John Buscema´s AVENGERS run with Roger Stern. Yes, Marvel does seem to read my blog from time to time as they seem to adjust their publishing plans accordingly. I mean, I write a post about how I really liked the british Avengers poketbook that includes the BRIDE OF ULTRON story and how I think this would be great as a Marvel premiere hardcover and the next thing I know it´s done. I write that I want more John Buscema hardcovers and the next thing you know they publish a new trade with the first AVENGERS issues that were not available until now. Okay, it´s a trade and not a hardcover but that may be next.

One thing that´s bothering me is that now that I have much more hardcovers it seems to me the prices for them have been going up in recent years. I mean one reason why I wanted to tell my readers that amazon is offering the AVENGERS VS X - MEN hardcover at a bargain price was that in my opinion 75 bucks is a bit much for it. But that´s the topic of one of the next posts. For now I just want to say after DC crapped all over their universe Marvel seems to have followed suit. And I´m mainly off the big two and reading much more independent titles. It´s not that I hate Marvel or the characters. Au contraire, I love them.

The only problem is that they have been absent from their own books and I´m not going to waste any money on that. Especially when such great books like CAVEWOMAN and ARCHER & ARMSTRONG are coming back and COURTNEY CRUMRIN is becoming a full color monthly. Combined with such stalwarts like SAVAGE DRAGON, LOVE AND CAPES and USAGI YOJIMBO and such heavy hitting newbies like MUDMAN and BULLETPROOF COFFIN

- or the new DARK HORSE PRESENTS anthology that delivers with each issue - there are enough books that I can spend my money on. And I hope we can talk about all of them in my next post as this one has been a bit of a rant. But you have to do those from time to time to get it out of your system.

Todays video is from Comic Girl 19, as I have promised to post more shows of her in an earlier post. This is the 15 minutes special that tells you all about the death of Peter Parker. I would say it´s full of spoilers but I´m afraid I already mentioned most of them. So that boat has already sailed the haven. Anyway, enjoy and I hope I can post again next week.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest

I killed Captain America with a hammer and they made me queen of the world.


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

Best time to leave Marvel. First time in 40+ years I'm not getting the Avengers. I'm going to be unbiased and suggest people check out a company called Black Tower -they even have German super heroes!

SUBZERO said...

Last week I went through the new solicitations for Marvel and there was nothing in there I wanted to put on my pull list. There are some things like AGE OF ULTRON by Brian Hitch that are interesting but I guess I´ll just wait for the trade on that one. I guess my days of a reader of Marvel monthlies is mostly over.

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

WHERE ARE YOU SUBZERO??? Has Marvel sent a hit man after you????:

SUBZERO said...

Nope. I don´t think I´m that important and they´re too busy messing up their titles. I didn´t have much internet access the last few weeks and when I did I mostly got the blue screen of doom. But I will try to post something Today.