Why I Don’t Buy Marvel, And Why I’m Sorely Tempted To (PLEASE GIVE FEEDBACK)
…Okay, I’m sure that at this point, anybody who has talked to me in person can tell someone who only reads my blog on occasion why it is I seem to have a favouritism toward DC comics over Marvel. I’m sure I’ve talked about this topic before, but I pretty much need to lay my reasons out right now. Why? Because…well, I’m getting REALLY tempted to start buying a certain Marvel book, and I need to decide if the pros out-weight the cons here, and also to get everyone else’s feedback. I should also make it clear that I don’t hate Marvel or their characters. Heck, the X-Men was my favourite superhero team as a little kid…except that nowadays, there’s like a hundred of them whom I’ve never heard of, some of whom are actually evil now. So let’s first talk about the reasons I’m tempted to begin buying.
- NO REBOOTS. I know that there has been plenty of good to come out of the New 52, but it also has discarded a lot of good that it already has. Marvel NOW, as I understand it, seems less a reboot than it is a plan to bring new people in. Basically, by launching new #1 issues and having them re-explain the characters and their motivations for anyone unfamiliar. They don’t try to change what happened in the past, but rather show how these characters continue to move on in their lives and the various scenarios they’re placed in.
- The characters are a bit more relatable. They act more like real people. Now granted, some of the characters in DC have been changed to be more relatable since the reboot, but I think it was done in a somewhat misguided way, and not often handled all that well.
- Marvel stories can be dark, but not for the sole reason of being dark. I tend to agree with Linkara in that DC did an overall darkening of their stories as a means to compete with Marvel, thinking that was the key to their increased popularity, wherein it was really because they were generally just better thought-out most of the time. Oh, and before you start, I’m well aware that Marvel has copied DC in the past to compete with them too, I’m not playing favourites here. Seriously, can’t both organizations just do what they do best on their own without trying to copy or one up each other?
So that’s what makes me tempted to get into Marvel books, but what makes me less than thrilled with the idea?
- Although the fact that they keep their continuity intact is generally a good thing, it sometimes can get SO long and SO historied that newcomers can get overwhelmed by the mass amount of events that occurred and the huge roster of characters. Even with the internet to keep up to date, it can get hectic and stressing, though not impossible and potentially worth the sweat.
- While seeing more relatable characters is usually a good thing, some of these characters seem a bit more fallible than others, to the point where I’d risk being put in the hospital to deck these guys. In particular, I’m referring to Cyclops and Mister Fantastic, both of whom, the more I hear about them, come off more and more as straight up villains than good people doing bad things.
- The event comics are just BAD. Every other year, there’s an event comic where the heroes fight each other instead of the bad guys, and it’s kind of annoying after a while. You can do it once in a while, but every other year just seems like it’s milking the idea dry. And if that isn’t bad enough, it’s made worse by events like Avengers Arena (actually, not 100% sure this is an event comic, but I’d hate to think it was planned to be ongoing), where the sole idea behind it is to kill off scores of the younger heroes. To be fair, though, it’s not like DC never did event comics where lots of characters died, and it IS looking like Trinity War is a heroes vs. heroes vs. heroes story.
- And ultimately, I come to the biggest reason why I don’t read Marvel, and anyone close to me can attest to this being my reasoning: The reason I don’t read Marvel is Spider-Man. And if you honestly have to ask me what he has to do with this, well, there’s this…
And oh so magical THIS…
…Now, I’m sure someone will probably say “Well, why don’t you just avoid Spider-Man and event comics?”. And they would have a point…but then, there is this argument that has kept me from buying Marvel for quite some time: If they could do this to Spider-fucking-Man, a superhero who, for a lot of years, was top dog at Marvel, a character who was the hero for a lot of people, myself included, and they could do this to him, NO ONE in Marvel stories is safe. You can call me paranoid for thinking this way, but I really do think it could just as easily happen to any of them. Hell, as I alluded to before, Cyclops and Mister Fantastic have both tread across that line more times than I’d like. Even Iron Man has done some horribly morally questionable acts in the past.
And before you bring up any morally/ethically ambiguous decisions made by DC heroes, let me just point out that I know about some of the worst of them, and to the best of my knowledge, none of them have made literal deals with the devil. Granted, it looked as though Damian would at some point in the future, but it turns out that’s not the case.
Anyway, that’s my arguments for and against buying Marvel. If I decide to go for it, you’ll learn pretty quick which comic I’m looking to begin purchasing. And no, it’s not Deadpool, though I AM occasionally tempted to buy it just based on all the crazy crap that happens in that book. lol Either way, do me a favour and leave your thoughts on the situation below, regardless of if you’re pro Marvel, pro DC, like both, hate both, correcting a mistake in my information, or just wanna help me out. Ja né!
- Marvel vs. DC: The Comics (nerdintherealworld.wordpress.com)
- Joss Whedon Re-Confirms Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch in ‘The Avengers 2′; Dodges X-Men Question (screenrant.com)
- ‘Man of Steel’ Director Says DC’s Heroes Are ‘Purer’ Than Marvel’s – Do You Agree? (screenrant.com)
- Dan Slott used anger to sell Superior Spider-Man 9, but people are really just sad – for him (douglasernstblog.com)
Posted on May 30, 2013, in Comic Books and tagged Avengers Arena, Comics, Cyclops, DC, DC Comics, Iron Man, Marvel, Marvel Comics, Marvel NOW, Mister Fantastic, New 52, Spider-man, Superhero, The New 52, Trinity War, X-Men. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.
Runaways is supposed to be EXCELLENT. It’s about a group of teenagers who run away from their super villain parents. And they have a deinonychus named old lace. ^_^
Well, give it a try. You might get some material for your stories!
I think you should try it! A few issues isn’t going to break the bank, nor swing the balance of power between the Two, and you might find you like it. And if you don’t, then at least you’ll be sure in the knowledge Marvel really isn’t right for you.
I am a former DC-only reader who picked up his first Marvel comic a year ago. Now, I read more Marvel than DC. Let me try to address your concerns:
1) Continuity knowledge helps, but I haven’t found a lack of it to be a barrier. My knowledge of the Marvel universe a year ago consisted entirely of their old Saturday morning cartoons and their more recent movies. While there are occasional continuity shout-outs that I haven’t realized were there until someone explained them to me, the series I follow have done a great job outlining any backstory I needed to understand what was going on. In fact, the Marvel NOW books did a better job explaining their continuity than the New 52 books that carried over continuity from the old DCU.
I haven’t found Marvel to be any more pro-continuity than DC. While they clearly have a shared world going on, there have also been some stories that are hard to fit together continuity-wise, like trying to fit the current Captain America series with pretty much everything else with Captain America in it. I know they have a reputation for being continuity-porn-lovers, but I’m not seeing it. Especially since Marvel NOW, there seems to be an attitude of “Continuity is important, but not if it’s getting in the way of telling a good story.”
That said, nearly every comic I’m following has an overarching plot that extends past single issues, and some of them would not work so well if you dropped in in the middle of a plotline. So, definitely try to start a new series from the start of a story arc. (But then, I’d say the same thing about DC, so you probably already know this.) So far, most arcs have lasted for 4-6 months, so there’s usually a jumping-on point in the recent past/near future. And of course, jupming in at any series’ #1 (see Marvel NOW) is going to be at the start of an arc. 🙂
And if you’re REALLY worried about continuity, read A+X, the comic that actively opposes continuity. 😛 Their goal seems to be to make every issue enjoyable without knowing who the characters are, and every issue includes a warning against asking picky continuity questions at the beginning. Or as they once said: “Do you have to meet the COW to enjoy the NACHO CHEESE?!”
2) Judging by some series I didn’t stick with, Cyclops IS seen as a villain right now. So your views don’t seem totally off-base. I know Cyclops is starring in a series right now, so I presume he’s presented more sympathetically there, but I don’t get the feeling I’m supposed to empathize with him in other books.
And I know jack-all about Mr. Fantastic because he hasn’t appeared in anything I’ve read. Actually, nothing I’m following brings up Cyclops, either, so it’s pretty easy to avoid these guys if you hate them. And there ARE plenty of great, fun, non-asshole heroes in the Marvel Universe. 🙂 Check out the new Captain Marvel, Paul Cornell’s Wolverine, the new Guardians of the Galaxy series, or anything by Kieron Gillen.
3) Not having been around for any event comics yet, I can’t speak to this one. An event is supposed to be coming up soon, albeit a heroes-vs-villains event, not a heroes-vs-heroes event.
I CAN point out that, as far as I know, Avengers Arena IS supposed to be an ongoing and certainly was sold as such to me. (If it IS an event, it’s an event that crosses over with no other book and involves only characters who don’t appear elsewhere.) I read issue #1, and honestly, it was as bad as it sounds. Even knowing absolutely zero about the characters, I knew their deaths were being handled terribly. I don’t recommend it.
4) The things happening to Spider-Man are not endemic to the rest of Marvel’s series, but you’re not wrong to be worried it could spread to a character you love next. However, I don’t think you’re any safer from this by sticking exclusively with DC. The sad fact is, creative teams change, companies change, and people change; because comics run for so long and are touched by so many people over years and decades, it’s really only a matter of time before a character you love is under the control of someone who doesn’t realize what’s sacred about them. That goes for Marvel AND DC. I know this because I started reading Marvel partly because of the things I saw DC editorial doing to characters I’d come to love since the New 52. It’s sad, but at least you can still look fondly back on the good days and hopefully you can move on to other good comics while you wait for someone to rescue your old heroes.
That’s what I’m trying to do, while DC drives away all my favorite writers, cancels my favorite series, and runs my favorite characters into the ground. And I know full well that someday I will likely make the reverse journey once Marvel loses its way. Hubris seems to consistently bring the mighty low in this industry, giving their competition a chance to become mighty in turn, only to be brought low by their own hubris. It’s the cycle of many a creative industry, in fact.
So, I hope you give Marvel a try. And don’t sweat it if you do like it. It doesn’t compromise who you are. You’re still you; you still like the same things, but now you’ll know another place to get the things you like.
Would just like to thank you for making my choice very easy, sir. 🙂
Try out Haawkeye and Daredevil. Those are two series which never fail to be interesting, at least for me. The art’s great, and so is the writing. They both balance humour, action and darkness pretty well, so I suggest you give them a try. You shouldn’t section off one whole company just because of one superhero. Remember, not all writers are the same.