Via his Twitter feed, comic writer Mark Waid announced he was fed up with super-hero comics and will stop reading them.

I think many people have already pressed Waid to find out what the comic that broke the camel’s back was, and a quick look at this week’s New Releases narrows the field considerably.

It should be noted that Waid is still scheduled to write Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man, and his own Irredeemable series for Boom! Studios.

via Twitter


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Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Hm, someone’s got a touch of good ol’ nerd rage – not that I entirely disagree with him, I think there are some drecky superhero titles out there.

    My personal opinion is that pretty much every story has, at its core, a story that’s been told, at least partially, before, it’s just about bringing a new perspective to it. Dress it up differently, show us a new angle, change the twist.

    I was also going to make a joke about having to write his titles with his eyes closed, but it just wasn’t that funny.

  2. I just started on Twitter (such a laggard) in time for this.

    I can more than understand Mr. Waid’s frustration with the tendency of the Big Two to either re-hash old stories or try to pull the same “this will change the entire universe” supermegaoultracrossovers. Even when I enjoy them, it’s easy to stand back, look at it all, and shake your head. You’ve said it before – because the audience & the storytellers are the same, they’re trying to recapture what they liked back in the day instead of innovating.

    And I really can’t blame him if he’s just disappointed with how DC has shuffled his interesting new take on the Legion off-screen for some more mid-80s lovin’ nostalgia and refuses to so much as acknowledge it outside of a single “hey, guess who’s still here” panel (not that I hate 80s comics – I just think we need something besides nostalgia to define THIS era).

    That said, I wouldn’t write off an entire genre that’s just starting to get mainstream acceptance. Maybe this is less a nerd rage incident and more of a cry for some fresh blood & ideas in the genre. That’s how I’m taking it, anyway, but I’m probably being unduly optimistic.

  3. Could he be talking about Brightest Day? Or Bendis’ Avengers? I would like to know, but being such a pro, he’d never mudsling, or let the possible percieving of mudslinging to occur. I hope someone finds out what killed super-heroes for Mark?

  4. Astro Dinosaurus on

    I have a lot of respect for Waid (He’s easily in my top 10 current comic writers) But this is just silly genre-racism…I mean really. This is just goddamn silly. I would think a guy with his experience wouldn’t be one of those readers who just follows a specific character or title, but would also follow good writers. For all the crap that might be out today its not hard to avoid the bad, and he wont convince me there are no good writers currently writing super-hero books (Ennis, Morrison and Ellis to name a few) I mean come on just drop the bad titles then, this just seems irrational.

    Mr. Waid just don’t pick up the bad stuff, and if your collecting is so obsessive you need to pick up everything even the crap…well then taking a break is probably the right choice.

  5. I just wonder how the quality of his work is going to change (if at all) after this change in mind set. I’m sure there are going to be some noticable difference.

  6. i’m guessing he’s talking about DC and Marvel, not the super-hero stuff from other companies like Boom or Image.

    and i totally get where this is coming from. i stopped buying the mega-events since the days of Civil War.

  7. That’s strange. I had an identical experience with Waid’s work.
    It was halfway through Terror Incognita, his JLA story where he brought back the white Martians. It wasn’t that the story specifically was so bad… ok, yeah it was… but it wasn’t that this Waid comic was so especially bad, but that it was just one after a laundry list of crap work. Horrible forced character moments, biblical leaps in logic to get from one fan fic scene to the next, just a shocking lack of understanding on the most basic fundementals of science (kinda necessary when writing science fiction).
    I’d been reading Waid for years. My first Flash comics ever were The Return Of Barry Allen. I was obsessed with Kingdom Come. But then JLA: Year One read like a 13 year old wrote it on the back of his math folder.
    And then the Kingdom. My God. The Kingdom. Kinda know who brought the talent to Kingdom Come between Ross and Waid, now.
    But this was the guy who made me care about Professor Zoom and created Impulse. I loved him… when I was 13.
    And then his JLA run. My God, what a waste of Hitch. Each issue worse than the issue that proceeded it. And then it just built.
    Can’t tell you the issue number, but I’ll always remember hanging out at my friend’s dorm, finishing that last Waid issue I’d ever buy. I put it down and just knew I’d never buy another.
    It was all just so hacky. Just riddled with cliches, plot holes, poor pacing and 2 dimensional characters.
    Years of reading and I just knew I’d hit my toxic level.
    Ok, that was a bit long winded but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I understand exactly how Waid feels.

  8. Kevin Breen on

    Sick of reading the same story 100 times? Where is he finding superhero comics with stories? The ones I see are just a lot of strung-together incidents and events.

  9. Blame Deadpool!

    in a later twit-twat Waid mentions ‘bru, grant, fraction’ as exmples of good writers…so Im left to suppose it was either bendy or johns? Considering i have been reading comics for less than 5 years and find bendis recycling of plot to be tedius, thats my guess! Synopsis of New Avengers for the last two years – cage fighting red hood.

      • That’s a hell of an accomplishment; Cage and Red Hood are owned by two separate companies!

        I b’lieve that should read “The Hood,” aka Parker “I’m overexposed for no reason” Robbins.

  10. If I was a Marvel head honcho, I’ll be seriously asking Mr Waid if he wants to write SpiderMan, or any Marvel book, ever again considering he’s just criticized the majority of their titles.

    I personally consider this type of ‘statement’ to be just attention seeking and self promotion (see Alan Moore’s Guide to Being Interviewed chapter 2).

    • ~wyntermute~ on

      Yeah, ultimately (whether he intended to sound this way or not) it’s sort of “Everything sucks except my work, buy Spidey btw.” He _does_ have a point, but the fact that one of the two producers of ‘slop’ (my word, NOT his) is signing some of his paychecks brings up the whole “artistic integrity vs. peoples gotta eats” debate, which detracts a bit from his point… I wonder if this were a writer with less… shall we say, “goodwill” from the “internet comics community” would s/he be able to garner such a generally neutral-to-positive reaction by flogging a dead horse?

  11. Considering no one would even know who Mark Waid is if it weren’t for super-hero comics, I feel this seems rather extreme, if not downright egotistical. “oh no, Mark Waid isn’t reading, we have to change everything!”

    As others have said, there is no doubt a lot o’ crap on the shelves, but these are comics – the majority of the stories have always been bad. That’s what makes the good ones memorable – they’re exceptions. Mr. Waid should know that. I doubt every tale he’s penned hasn’t been a classic.

  12. As a new comic reader (just started 2 months ago) I don’t see this as that shocking. Many readers get to this point sooner or later. The difference is that most readers don’t let it stop them.
    How many times have you finished an issue and said to yourself “I am never reading this book again.” only to pick up the next issue. I don’t think he is going to stop reading, I just think he is blowing off steam from reading a bad run.
    Of course, I could be wrong ( and probably am).

  13. Comics seem to go in cycles. I started reading Batman back when we readers were being inflicted with Bat Hound, Bat Mite, Bat Woman, etc.; the awful Giant Trophies in the Batcave era. These stories were so awful that even as a little kid, I knew they were crap. Years later I picked up a Batman comic – the one with Batman laying in a graveyard with what appeared to be a sword sticking in his chest on the cover. For a few years, Batman stories were excellent, with fewer costumed villains, no idiot sidekicks, etc. But after a while the stories became garbage again. And I dropped Batman again. Just about every comic company goes through these cycles, with excellent stories and art, alternating with long periods where the companies are just mining dreck. When we’re lucky, one comic company will be at the bottom of their cycle while the other one is at the top of their game. Right now we appear to be at a point where both major companies are hitting bottom at the same time. To be honest, I gave up collecting superhero comics when I discovered manga. Now I only pick up superhero comics when an exceptional story crops up. Mark Waid is simply making his opinions known with his pocketbook. This is the only way comic book publishers seem to get the message. Case in point, few decades back, the best thing in comic books was the X-men, especially Wolverine. Marvel noticed that people bought more issues of X-men than they did “Summer Fun with Batroc the Leaper” (okay, I made that up) so they came out with more X-men titles and Wolverine began putting Wolverine on everything including underoos. They overextended it to the point where X-men and Wolverine stories and art became crap. People stopped buying them. Marvel noticed, etc., etc. I also vote with my pocket book. I haven’t bought a Spiderman comic since they sprang the whole “Spidey is really a clone” storyline on us.

  14. I just find it really funny that so many people care that he’s not reading super-hero comics. Yes, he’s a comic book writer and yes he’s had some successes (as well as some equally memorable failures) but at the end of the day he’s a consumer like everyone else. He’s more than welcome to stop reading just as any one of us are welcome to do the same. Oddly, his choice has created so many waves because he’s Mark Waid. Honestly? Whatever.

    Thing is, I do understand his frustration. There has been a lot of overlap and a lot of repetition but the part that Mr Waid seems to be missing isn’t that there’s a failure in the ability to create new stories (I could go onto my litany of “there are no more new stories” but I won’t) but a failure to create new perspectives and to challenge the status quo without keeping one foot on dry land.

    There needs to be more chances taken with characters and development. There needs to be more creative perspectives. There needs to be so much more than I can put into words. Where there needs to be less of, however, is the reaction that Waid took. With such a “I’m taking my ball and going home” statement, there should be some intensely high expectations around comics he writes–otherwise, a lot of people will be going, “oh yeah? and what makes your writing so much better?”

    I’d have been more impressed with his disdain for the genre if his disgust had prompted him to say “I’m not writing any more comics because the editors force writers to change too many elements to fit their so-called bigger pictures and creativity is second to marketing” but he’ll never say that because he still wants to get a pay cheque.

    I hate when people think themselves clever when they draw attention to a problem and then walk away. You want to prove you’re both correct and clever? Lead the way and show the others how it’s done.

  15. Christine Smith on

    It was Blackest Night which made me stop reading (new) superhero comics.

    Thank goodness they keep reprinting trades of the old stuff!

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