Remember all those months ago when I railed on SyFy for canceling Eureka? Well, I’ve finally found something bigger to spew at. Something more gut-wrenchingly, detestably feckless than axing an underrated television show on a stupid-ass cable network.
Marvel – the guys behind Avengers, Daredevil, Iron Man etc – are relaunching their universe as Marvel NOW!, similar in vein to DC’s The New 52. Once Avengers vs X-men wraps up, they’re launching into this new initiative with a machine-gun-wielding raccoon, a black Nick Fury Jr (no, seriously) and a flagship book titled “Uncanny Avengers” which combines the best Avengers and X-Men characters into one title.
Just got one question, Marvel.
Why are you guys doing this? Are your titles really lagging that far behind that you need to recolour Iron Man’s armour, make Thor look like Fabio and put a goddamn machine-gun raccoon on the team? Like, seriously? That’s the best you guys can do in making innovation to your stories? Just hit the reset button?
For Christ’s sake, are there not other avenues you could’ve taken? Maybe try and re-hire Grant Morrison to do another labyrinthine story in the vein of New X-Men? Give Jonathan Hickman writing duties for a series that isn’t as blithely boring as FF? And really, when the hell are you going to fire Daniel Way from Deadpool?
That’s it, I’m putting it out there – I am officially sick of reboots. I’m over them. Partial ones I can kinda get, but it seems like the Big Two are being run almost exclusively by their consumers right now. You wouldn’t see Robert Kirkman retcon The Walking Dead because sales are down, and I doubt the writers of Valiant would be muscled into redoing any of their stories simply because the consumers want more than what they’re getting.
I can already hear some of the arguments coming down towards my point of view, which is fair enough, but at face value this announcement has got me really, really pissed off. Like, hugely. Some of DC’s stories and characters had gotten a bit stagnant, so their reboot – though I still largely disagree with it – was kinda understandable.
Marvel was not doing as badly. They had some powerhouse stories with, on the whole, a far larger good writing team compared to the four or five good writers DC has. Avengers was hitting its peak with Bendis, Mark Waid’s Daredevil was absolutely fantastic, Brubaker was still kicking major ass on Captain America, and don’t even get me started on the brilliance of Matt Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man or we’ll be here all night.
My point is, they were kicking huge amounts of ass with stories and characters – bolstered even more by the runaway success of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers – so a reboot/relaunch/reskinning/reselling/whatever of their franchises now is just such a foot-shooting moment. I get wanting to rope in new readers with new material that is easily accessible, but look at how drastically things are changing. Look no further than the appearances of the big three.
THERE IS A GODDAMN RACCOON WITH A MACHINE GUN ON THE TEAM.
I have no doubt I’ll be engaging in similar activities with the new Marvel releases the same way The New 52 has been grilled by me, but right now I can see only bad things for this relaunch. I sincerely hope I can eat my words as time goes on, but I don’t see any real reason for this. It makes about as much sense as that new Lara Bingle show. Less, in fact – Lara Bingle at least needed a way to rope fellas in besides the dating sites she frequents.
My point is, this will most likely end badly unless there’s some serious talent and skill behind all this. So if Hickman’s new Uncanny Avengers doesn’t live up to Johns’ Justice League, there may be some B-52s en route to the Marvel buildings in New York sooner than you think.