Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Editorial Diatribe from the Catacombs: Avengers Assemble (or not)!

January 2010 wasn't really all that long ago, but that was when Marvel Comics first announced that with their "Dark Reign" macro-storyline winding down, all of the company's Avengers titles would fall victim to the editorial ax this April.

Set to receive the boot come April were Avengers: The Initiative #35, Dark Avengers #16, Mighty Avengers #36, and New Avengers #64.

It made a cockeyed kind of sense, given that the initiative (pun intended) called "Heroic Age" was being heralded as a return to true heroics within Marvels fictional universe, to cancel these darker series.

But, then it began!

The roll out announcements of the new, ongoing Avengers title, or rather titles: Avengers #1 starring Captain America (New Cap, apparently), Thor, Iron Man,Spider-Woman, Hawkeye. Wolverine and Spider-Man. New Avengers #1 starring Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Jewel and the Thing. Secret Avengers #1 starring a bunch of blacked-out silhouettes, since it's still a "secret", and finally, Avengers Academy #1 the lineup for which is still being trotted out daily over at Newsarama (yay, for them), but which includes new characters called Veil & Striker.

I'm not going to call Joe Quesada or Brian Michael Bendis or Ed Brubaker or Christos Gage or Tom Brevoort or Mike McKone or John Romita Jr. or Mike Deodato or Stuart Immonen foul names. That would be tantamount to treating the intended creators of these books with the same level of hypocrisy that was shown to me as a fan, by Marvels bullshit announcement back in January. Instead, I will speak with my wallet, by not buying any of these books and encourage others to do the same.

I must admit that I was very skeptical that Marvels "heroic age" would be a return of the "real" Avengers, but still, marketing tactics like this can't be allowed to work or we'll just keep getting more of the same AND deserving it.

If you're curious, I've included a nice example of what a better group of Avengers would look like up top. This is a wonderful set of commissions done recently by former Marvel great John Byrne of a classic team lineup. Some of the characters are deceased in current continuity, but hey, they've finally revived Bucky Barnes. In fact, he's an Avenger now, too.

So stranger things can happen! They just won't while the clowns who are in charge at Marvel continue to have their way with us.


James Figueiredo said...

Hi - I've been reading Comic Book Catacombs for a while now (awesome blog, btw), but this is my first comment.

Particularly, I'm kinda excited over the new phase of the Avengers books - There's some really good talent attached to the projects, ESPECIALLY on the art front.

But I can totally see your point of view regarding the stunt of cancelling the entire line without really cancelling anything at all.

As I'm a "wait-for-the-trade" kind of guy, I suppose I have the advantage of waiting to see if the books are actually any good before parting with the cash, but I'm tired as well of all the stunt-publishing bs from the big publishers in american comics.

Btw, that's one kick-ass John Byrne drawing, would you happen to have a link to a bigger version?


NC17 said...

What idiots, i'm so sick of marvel's canceling titles just to replace them with the same exact thing. I enjoyed the dark avengers run, but this time I'm keeping my 2.99 in pocket

Chuck Wells said...

Thanks to both of your for stopping by the Catacombs.

James,visit Byrne's forum - byrnerobotics - (google it) and go to his commissions gallery. You will find large scans of all four sections of that image to drool over.

I would love to be excited over anything Avengers-related. That was one of the first titles that I subscribed to when I was young. The cynic in me knew back in January that Quesada's posse was lying through their teeth, and though the instant reversal (yes, when you cancel four titles and replace them with four titles, it's a "reversal"). At least I'm not calling them liars. I'll think it, but I won't call them on it.

NC17, I'm only sick of the current regime at Marvel, the characters remain dynamic and fun. I hope to visit with the Marvel Universe again someday, but after someone has ultimately nullified Joey Q & his ilk.

James Figueiredo said...

Hey, Chuck, thanks a lot for the tip - I found the images, and they really are gorgeous, Marvel should release this as a poster!

joe ackerman said...

hang on. I thought the Avengers was going to be Iron Man, Thor, and the Steve Rogers Captain America, at least. I thought the idea was that it would be the first time the original Avengers were together since. . .well, whenever it was that they was all together the last time, which was always going to be a bit difficult, anyways, what with the Wasp being dead, an' all, but I was holding out for the Big Three knocking around together again, at least for a bit. and I don't want to sound like I'm a miserable old comic guy, God forbid, but Wolverine's an X-Man, and The Thing's in the Fantastic Four, isn't he?

oh, sod this! Marvel can kiss my chuddies. House of Ideas, my arse.

Make mine DC, I guess. although, the Justice League seems to have gone right down the swanny, and roped in half the Teen Titans for it's roster. I give up.

looks like it's Essentials and Showcase volumes all the way, for me, for the forseeable future. . .

Chuck Wells said...

I feel your frustration on this, Joe. The reason for your confusion over the announced roster is exactly because Marvel specifically stated that the classic big three, Thor, Shellhead and Cap, were going to form the core of the returning Avengers title - singular - but they "dissembled" (aka "lied") about that aspect.

And they knew they were shining everyone on! That was part of the joke that they played on us but that's the worst thing about the current regime at the House of Ideas. When will the bulk of fans realize that these guys are simply a bunch of butt plugs?

Of course, if you are willing to allow for the benefit of the doubt, it may not be the creative talent up front who are behind such stupidity. It could actually be the marketing gurus, the board of directors or other behind the scenes dillweeds who call this type of shot. Either way, it's just ridiculous.

Steve Rogers MAY be in the mix, but if so, its's as part of the new Secret Avengers series.

I am not impressed!