In 2011, DC Comics took an enormous risk, restarting their entire comic book universe, and relaunching ALL their properties with a whole new, streamlined continuity.  In 2012, Marvel Comics announced their ‘Marvel NOW!‘ initiative, the details of which seem to indicate that Marvel is making some changes but not going back to the drawing board for a full-scale reboot.  The reality is, after 50+ years of interconnected stories, the Marvel Universe desperately NEEDS a fresh start…

Since their debut in the mid-1930s, most comic books were aimed at children, and thus, questions of continuity took a backseat to entertainment.  By 1985, DC Comics were serving a much older audience, featuring multiple alternate universes with multiple versions of their iconic characters to explain the passage of time.  Crisis On Infinite Earths was designed as a fix for this problem, but editorial reticence kept them from fully embracing universal, sweeping change, even then.  The 2011 New 52 relaunch admittedly alienated a portion of DC’s fanbase, but led to increased sales and a revitalized interest in comic books and comic book properties, as well as allowing the company to subtly rejigger certain aspects of their comic books to match the much more-widely-viewed television and movie versions of the properties.

And also some that weren’t so widely-viewed…

After some quick research, it seems that the biggest impetus for the DC Relaunch breaks down to 3 arguments:

1.  There Are Too Many Universes/Character Variations
2.  Readers Want To Start At The Beginning
3.  Sales On Even The Biggest Titles Have Been Dropping for Decades

There are MANY secondary concerns (including editorial preferences, an aging audience, saturation of multiple media and a lack of diversity in creators and characters) but most, if not all of those can be broken down as a sub-header of one of the 3 overarching categories, and all three problems apply just as much to Marvel today as they did to DC pre-relaunch.

1. Too Many Characters?

This image makes me slightly uncomfortable.

After a little more than 50 years, (And, yes, I am counting the Marvel Universe as starting in 1961, even if elements of it predate Fantastic Four #1. Just because I bought a used alternator from the junkyard doesn’t make my car an antique.) The Marvel Universe has become an utter labyrinth of characters, many of whom used to be someone else.  As of this writing, Johnny Blaze is once again the Ghost Rider, but Danny Ketch used to be, as well as a young lady named Alejandra.  Of course, Carter Slade, Marvel’s original Ghost Rider is now known as Phantom Rider, after a stint as Night Rider, and has no fewer than FOUR descendents who share one or more or his hero names.  Peter Parker is Spider-Man, but in recent years the name has been used by Kaine, Miles Morales, the late Ben Reilly, Mac Gargan, and a lost deity called Ai Apec.  Madame Web is the former Spider-Woman, having been Arachne, which was the original name of the once-again-active first Spider-Woman.

The Marvel Universe is now more properly a Marvel Omniverse, with decades of told-out-of-chronological-order continuity (try explaining the origins of the Squadron Supreme/ Sinister and all it’s myriad iterations without a brain aneurysm) and contradictory stories all fighting for prominence.  Given all the truly clever stories told in the Ultimate Universe, a combined/streamlined version of both Ultimate and 616 continuities would be not only cool, but welcome, especially given Peter Parker’s already Mephisto-tangled lifelines.  We could, in one fell swoop, eliminate troublesome storytelling issues like “One More Day,”  Reed Richards’ canonical service in WWII, and the fact that Iron Man and the Punisher’s origins are inextricably tied to the Vietnam War, a conflict that ended over 45 years ago.

2.  Readers Want To Start At The Beginning?

“Mister One… Uhh…  May I call you Number?”

It is a known fact that Marvel Comics loves #1 issues.  The quintessential example is Captain America, whose series went from 1941 to 1990-something without renumbering, but has restarted with FIVE more #1 issues since then.  The chance to reboot/relaunch the Marvel Universe will give them a chance to exercise that particular demon, especially given that a universe-wide event like this would preclude another renumbering for at least a few years.  More importantly, the new #1 issues would have to be legitimate number ones, not just the continuation of an ongoing story like Marvel’s latest Captain America #1 last year.  And, if we use a similar paradigm to what DC did, we could see things like a Black Widow solo book, a new take on the Black Panther, a Power Man/Iron Fist relaunch with Jessica Jones as a legitimate supporting character rather than a shoehorned-in retcon.  It would allow for plot twists like the tying together of the Phoenix Force and the power of the Iron Fist to have some SETUP, rather than coming out of nowhere like a Vince McMahon swerve.  You could also use this opportunity to remove not just timeline problems, but the various Silver Age embarrassments from our heroes origins, rather than just pretending that they didn’t happen.

Reed Richards forgetting about basic radiation shielding?  REBOOT! 

You think Peter Parker works better as a high-school schlub?  REBOOT!

You want more Mark Ruffalo in your Hulk, rather than the thickly-layered barnacles of child abuse, multiple personality disorder and emotional dysfunction?  REBOOT!

3.  Dropping Sales?

“Paging Mr. Kid…  Mr. Two-Gun Kid!”

“But, Matthew,” you say, “Marvel Comics is Number One!  They have been for decades!  Why should they worry about sales figures?  Even the relaunched DC can’t take them down!”  Possibly true, but there’s one thing that cannot be denied about the DC Relaunch:  Sales have been up ACROSS THE BOARD for all comic companies since the advent of the New 52 in September 2011.  The rising tide has raised all ships, so to speak, and has made it a real race between the Big Two for the first time in several years.  For every angry fan who quits in rage, it seems that another couple of lapsed readers (or, perish forbid NEW readers) have made their way into the comics shops to sample the new characters, and they haven’t only been reading DC.  With Marvel’s current sales dominance, one can assume that a relaunch done equally well (i.e., planned effectively, filled with star creators, with old favorites getting the limelight once again) would increase even the House of Ideas’ sales figures.

So, why don’t I believe that the upcoming Marvel NOW! initiative have a similar effect on sales?  Two reasons:  First and foremost, Marvel NOW! seems to be a continuation from the storylines of AvX, which continued from Shattered Heroes which continued from Heroic Age which continued from Secret Invasion, et al, all the way back to Secret War (or possibly even further.)  The NOW! stories announced at this point are about established Marvel creators trading books, X-Men joining the Avengers, and other visual cues that hint at the illusion of change.

Worse still, the 22 (so far) new #1’s are going to be staggered out over several months, all the way through February of 2013, meaning that the primary target audience is clearly readers who already visit comic shops regularly, i.e. the current readership.  It’s a move that makes sense from a corporate risk/reward standpoint, surely, but the All Or Nothing approach that DC’s relaunch took was clearly a factor in its success.  Marvel Comics has, for years, taken the “quiet rewrite” approach to their history; witness the periodic retelling of Iron Man’s origins to loosen his pesky Southeast Asian connections, but rather than create a six-issue miniseries every time a character’s movie incarnation becomes more popular than the original (*coughNick FuryJuniorcough*) they can make the bold move and finally shatter the illusion of change.

In the wake of The Avengers movie, a movie that even my comic-illiterate auntie asked me about, it’s time for the Marvel Universe to take the next logical step, reset the shot clock, and build a coherent whole out of five decades of serialized storytelling.  The best part is, since DC swore that the New 52 was NOT a reboot, Marvel can proudly own that term, instead of limping to the barn with the latest convolution of ‘re-evolution’, a term that reminds long-term readers of their disastrous 1995 editorial reshuffling.

If that doesn’t convince you, how about one final serendipitous factoid:  What was the last comic book company to last 50 continuous-published years?

DC Comics, circa 1985, the year of ‘Crisis On Infinite Earths.’

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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48 Comments

  1. Who Cares N. E. Way
    July 27, 2012 at 10:53 am — Reply

    if they re-boot, they need to do it completely. No soft re-boot. DC has a host of problems with their re-boot. Including the destruction of legacy characters. Everything would have to go back to square 1 with absolutely nothing have happened. It would have to be 1962 all over again.

    • Trey
      July 27, 2012 at 11:37 am — Reply

      I agree. I wish DC did a full reboot as well. I’m not a Marvel fan but I think if they do it they should go all the way. i don’t think it would bother a soul as long as the current stories were finished.

      What’s funny about the DC thing is that they really haven’t been retelling anything. Almost every comic I’m reading has new characters and new stories that could have very well been done without #1s issued.

      • July 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm — Reply

        I agree. I wish DC did a full reboot as well.

        I am confused by this statement. All the characters in the DC Universe have had their history changed, although some of their starting positions were similar to where they were at the end of the pre-Flashpoint reality…

        • July 28, 2012 at 11:42 am — Reply

          Have they, though? Has Green Lantern’s? What he’s going through is still a direct result of Blackest Night/Brightest Day, which was a direct result of . . . blah, blah blah. His story didn’t change pre/post New 52, which is really disconcerting.

          • July 28, 2012 at 11:49 am — Reply

            Again, though Hal’s starting position was the same as where we left him, the Blackest Night simply cannot have happened the way we read it. With this new reality having no Crisis (as Dan Didio explicitly stated), then there is no Anti-Monitor, one of the driving forces of the Blackest Night. Nekron’s war with the Corps may or may not have happened, but there just aren’t enough dead guys in the New DCU for Blackest Night to have happened. The JSA doesn’t seem to exist, nor would guys like Aquaman, Hawkman, Firestorm, Hawk & Dove and the other heroes be likely to all have showed up and died in this world. Additionally, no Anti-Monitor means that the Sinestro War (or whatever it was in this world) couldn’t have happened the same way, either. Going back further, in five years of continuity, there’s almost NO way that Hal was possessed by Parallax, died, came back as the Spectre for a couple of years, blah blah blah fishcakes. In five years of continuity, there’s no way that the Green Lantern Corps completely collapsed twice (once after the Crisis, once after Zero Hour, which likewise probably can’t have happeend.) In this new reality, there’s no indication of the existence of an Alan Scott to act as Hal’s unofficial mentor, nor is there much chance that he and Ollie set off across the country in a pickup truck with Appa Ali Apsa, especially since they just met in a recent issue of JLA.

            In short, while Green Lantern and Batman were nominally in the same situation as before Flashpoint, this was just a matter of coincidence, as both of them have to have radically different experiences and backgrounds. The biggest change, though, is that Hal was never NOT a jerk in the New 52.

  2. nordberg01
    July 27, 2012 at 11:34 am — Reply

    The thing is, Marvel had the ultimate (pardon the pun) opportunity to reboot back in 1999. In fact, they did reboot and it was pretty fantastic for a while. Brian Michael Bendis streamlined Spider-Man’s 40 years of history, linking the origins of many of Peter Parker’s formidable villains together in a way that wasn’t liked by all, but made sense in the context of the story. BMB also gave us some great team-ups between the newbie super-hero and other residents of this new universe before some others came in and put their mark on the X-Men, the Avengers, and others.

    Eventually, it fell apart in a lot of places (although I will argue that Mr. Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man run has been pretty consistent throughout), but it didn’t work as a true reboot because the other continuity was still there. Many fans weren’t going to buy into it as the “new big thing” because the old versions of the same characters were still getting their stories told in other titles. Unlike the DC reboot in 1985, or even the New 52 reboot last year, there was no reason to invest in these characters 100% because Marvel wasn’t invested in them 100%.

    At this point, I guess the real question is, if Marvel were to reboot now, would it just feel like an even more watered-down version of what they could have done with the Ultimate Universe at the turn of the century.

    • Slappy
      July 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm — Reply

      It fell apart largely due to one man controlling everything and deciding what stories he wanted to retell his way. While it was a fresh start, it was not organically grown, but a hybrid of various pieces placed and sometimes hammered together in an attempt to get a coherent picture. Unfortunately when you see Darth Vader”s face in the back of the Mona Lisa, you know it is not the original, but a copy trying to please the artist by taking existing images he likes and placing them together.

  3. J_Michael_T
    July 27, 2012 at 11:39 am — Reply

    I used to be a big fan of Marvel characters back in my younger days; now I practically scroll past the list of Marvel titles on the weekly list of what’s coming out. I hadn’t realized this until recently, and I blame it on the completely disjointed “which is the real Spider-Man” mess across Marvel titles. Try picking up a random X-Men issue these days. Ugh!

    I consider the movie Avengers one of the greatest ever, and yet I will not pick up any of the related titles because I dont want to drown in that mess.

    Hope Marvel figures it out.

    • July 28, 2012 at 11:44 am — Reply

      Dude. You should totally pick up X-Men right now. Wolverine & The X-Men is one of the most consistently entertaining books out there. It’s great.

      • J_Michael_T
        July 28, 2012 at 11:52 am — Reply

        Thanks. I’ll give it a shot. Hopefully I can get back into Marvel after all these years. That is, until the reboot :)

      • Verse
        July 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm — Reply

        Wolverine & The X-Men is the only Marvel book I am getting every issue without delay. It is just so dang good.

  4. Brenton8090
    July 27, 2012 at 11:41 am — Reply

    I agree with Matthew, but disagree with Who Cares. With the exception of some time-confusion on the first couple issues of the Bat titles, I think Dcs relaunch was pretty perfect, unless you are an absolute continuity whore. The whole attitude of “relax, well tell you whats still in when it’s relevant to the current story” works. It’s something a lot of comic fans need to learn about conitinuiry: sometimes, you just don’t worry about it. But marvels is hurting their storytelling, and I’ve been dropping books like flies.

  5. JoeM
    July 27, 2012 at 11:55 am — Reply

    I like the idea of each comic really being its own continuity, or at least having the little blurb on the first page to tell you what you need to know. But the cross-overs really throw it off kilter. I just picked up the 2008 run of Guardians of the Galaxy when it went on sale at Comixology and I’m enjoying parts, but it seems to want to wander into every single crossover possible, which makes for some very disjointed events. Like a bunch of pacifist Skrulls in a large bed that seemed to have something to do with the Secret Invasion, who just up and disappeared.

  6. Rob
    July 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm — Reply

    You make a strong case but…

    To reboot so soon after the new 52 would invite (well founded) acusations of plagiarism.

    Reboots are only a tempory fix for continuity creep, I make this five hard resets fo DC and already the new universes and alternative versions are edging back (is the John Constantine in Hellbazer the same as the Constantine in Justice League Dark, another universe, the future? I just don’t know.) In all probability in ten years we’ll be right here again.

    Could a reboot work for Marvel? Maybe, equaly a renewed focus on clear storytelling and well defined charater could give them the sales boost they are looking for without alienating the fanbase.

    • July 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm — Reply

      To reboot so soon after the new 52 would invite (well founded) acusations of plagiarism.

      I don’t know that plagiarism is the right term here, unless they had Quicksilver restart the universe trying to revive Magda Maximoff from the dead or something. It wouldn’t even be a copyright infringement, since you can’t copyright an idea…

      The Big Two have ALWAYS played a game of follow-the-leader with concepts and creators, and in this case, I believe it is in Marvel’s best interests to follow tradition…

      • Rob
        July 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm — Reply

        Fair enough, no such thing as a completly origonal idea anymore, but I do think a Marvel reboot couldn’t avoid being seen as some kind of rip off by the general public atleast.

        Personal what I’d realy like to see is a cut in the number of x-men and avengers titles, more room for new charaters and creators and an end to constantly chaining cross overs. I’d like to think that could be done without tearing down everything that has gone before but I’m not holding my breath while I wait.

  7. Oldcomicfan
    July 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm — Reply

    I will agree that the Marvel line needs a complete and total reboot. They obviously ran out of actual stories to tell which explains their dependence on Event Comics of late. They used to have separate continuities for each comic series but this started falling apart when they began doing cross-overs. They then had to cludge all the these separate continuties together, which was the start of the mess they are in today. I mean, how many Captain Americas, Captain Marvels, Avenger Teams and X-man teams have they had? Especially with the Avengers, you have Avengers Classic, Avengers Light, Secret Avengers, Not So Secret Avengers, Left Coast Avengers, Dark Avengers, Amazing Avengers, Ultimate Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Milquetoast Avengers, Back-Up Avengers, and then you add the Defenders into the mix with some of the Defenders also being Avengers, etc. etc., etc. Why don’t they just get it over with and say “Okay, EVERYBODY’s and Avenger, so there!” And I’m sorry, but from 1964-200x, Sub Mariner was NOT a mutant. This “Oh, let’s forget fifty years of classic stories and make him an X-man” really chaps my lips! When I think of the state Marvel has gotten itself into now, I remember the old rhyme “When it’s brown, flush it down” – time for a reboot, fellas! Which is really a shame because Marvel’s art is better than it has ever been – today’s artists put Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby in the dust! Too bad the writing and editorial control blows chunks.

    • July 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm — Reply

      And I’m sorry, but from 1964-200x, Sub Mariner was NOT a mutant. This “Oh, let’s forget fifty years of classic stories and make him an X-man” really chaps my lips!

      Prince Namor was first identifed as a mutant in X-Men #6, 1964.

      • Lapis
        July 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm — Reply

        Id like to just say that you are the man Matthew.

      • ~wyntermute~
        July 28, 2012 at 3:01 am — Reply

        Major PWNAGE~! (I echo the “you’re the man” sentiments, only with hip & edgy slang… which is probably 10 years old by now.. ~sigh~)

  8. Slappy
    July 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm — Reply

    I would like the reboot as well as long as they do not try to retell the 50 years of story in 12 or even 24 months. Let everything evolve naturally and you may find that a 21st century nerdy Peter Parker may not dress in sweater vests but may be a little more hipster and streetwise coming from a poor section of Brooklyn. Perhaps he even did a few five finger discounts that Uncle Ben had to talk to him regarding.
    Hell’s Kitchen is a nice area in Midtown Manhattan, not even close to that depicted in the Origin of a blind attorney, a bad day there would be getting the wrong latte.
    These small examples are how Marvel could and should reboot their world. I started collecting around the time DC was going through their Crisis. That was a perfect jumping on point for me and DC. I tried Marvel, but found that there was too much for me to know then. While I did eventually get onboard, I have often found them more difficult to re-associate myself with since it seems that they go from one large overarching story to the next, which is something I generally detest.
    I am for the full reboot.

  9. steve c
    July 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm — Reply

    “today’s artists put Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby in the dust!”……hahahahaha…..that’s funny.

    • July 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm — Reply

      It’s at least debatable. I think that Kirby and Ditko in their prime were worth at least two of today’s most lauded guys, in many ways, but it should also be noted that we’re arguing apples and oranges. To compare Ditko versus Deodato (just to pull names out of a hat) is a ludicrous comparison, like asking Lucille Ball to play the lead in Beverly Hills Ninja. It’s not only a different ballpark, it’s barely even the same sport.

  10. Mark
    July 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm — Reply

    I think the big problem is figuring out how to tell a continuum of stories featuring characters that are essentially unchanging and immortal. A line-wide reboot every 10 years is it, I guess.

  11. B.V.K.
    July 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm — Reply

    They need to reboot the entire thing and start from scratch. The convulusion in the X-books and the Avengers as well as some other titles are why I am not reading. I would like to see them use the Franklin Richards hypothesis to destroy the current universe. Have all the charecters come back in a new Marvel U except Franklin. I know it won’t happen but one can dream.

  12. Verse
    July 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm — Reply

    I think a Marvel Reboot needs to happen. If anything just to match the Market. As big of a Nerd as I am, my wife is not. She loved The Avengers and current Marvel Movies. Everything Matthew said is an issue, my wife has had and why she will not get into the readable comics. She doesn’t understand why there has to be an Ultimate Hulk, Standard Hulk, Red Hulk, She Hulk, Red She Hulk, Skaar: Son of Hulk ect. There are like 7 different X-Men titles. It is not new user friendly or returning reader friendly.

    They have done alot of soft changes (House of M for example) to fix some things, but I feel it needs to be so much more. I think I read somewhere where there is a comic coming out where Wolverine was an Xman before the team was made…and helped come up with the idea of making the X-Men team.

    This is why they need a reboot. Instead of shoehorning things like that in…just relaunch and have Wolverine be a founding Member. It is just so much….stuff. They just need a clean sweep.

  13. Slappy
    July 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm — Reply

    Mr. Peterson, I forgot to say that I very much enjoyed the inclusion of the photo of Mr. One from that cranial primate film.

  14. Arbor Day
    July 27, 2012 at 7:20 pm — Reply

    Doing what they need to do to remain relevant is too big a risk. They’ve become so bloated on their own characters that they’re not agile enough to keep up with the competition. I don’t think DC even went as far as they ought to have.

    Cut titles to a dozen, rotate the cast of heroes in and out, keep each title focused on its on hero or plotline, and stop with the Big Crossover Extravaganzas. You don’t even really need to reboot the stories at that point.

  15. johnny
    July 28, 2012 at 12:24 am — Reply

    This is a ridiculous idea… how many times must we see a boy get bitten by a spider, the son of millionaires lose his parents, or the last survivor of Krypton rocket to Earth?

    Instead of crying about continuity, why don’t we challenge today’s creators to come up with new ideas, good ones? Wouldn’t a good story attract new readers, and not the crossover madness we have today?

  16. steviecoolest
    July 28, 2012 at 2:47 am — Reply

    I’ve never heard anyone, ever say, “I wish they’d reboot ________.” Ever. Perhaps you all talk to more people than I do. But in my 30 years of collecting. Never.

    Marvel’s stories, for the most part, don’t need that origin retold.
    Radioactive Spider, Uncle Ben, Bam!
    Rocketship, Cosmic rays, Bam!
    Smart guy, invents a metal suit. Bam!

    Being that we’ve gone so long without a reboot, we actually don’t need the reboot.
    Quesdilla himself said continuity didn’t matter.
    I used to be a stickler, but guess what, I’m not going to research my Avengers vol #1, issues 101-300 to see if Hercules CAN fly a quinjet.
    Just fly the Quinjet.

    Good stories. Good art. Books come out on time. Not mutilating people in each issue.
    That’s my list for “What makes me pick up a book”

    • July 28, 2012 at 11:56 am — Reply

      I’ve never heard anyone, ever say, “I wish they’d reboot ________.” Ever. Perhaps you all talk to more people than I do. But in my 30 years of collecting. Never.

      I respect that. But, bear in mind my operating rule:

      Just because I’ve never heard anyone say it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. :D

  17. Frank
    July 28, 2012 at 9:32 am — Reply

    I quit collecting Marvel years back because trying to follow the characters made my head hurt. When there are characters that have 60 years worth of history, but are only 20 years old, it gets a bit ridiculous.

    On a side note, does the Psycho Pirate in the New 52 remember the New Earth continuity in addition to the Pre-crisis continuity?

  18. Armaan
    July 28, 2012 at 10:43 am — Reply

    I kinda love that Marvel’s still connected to all it years and years of history. I mean, you make a good argument – a good, logical argument – as to why marvel SHOULD reboot – but I really hope they don’t. I love the mess. I love the complications. I love trying to figure everything out and putting the pieces together. I love how there’s all this history and these crazy, crazy things that are and how those crazy things are still connected to today’s stories. I love how Dan Slott can make references to Spider titles that are decades old and use them in current storylines. I like knowing all these ridiculous, minor details and the way they all relate to each other.
    And it makes sense to me, the idea of legacy heroes. I mean, we all love dressing up as inspiring legends, taking the costumes of those heroes we hold in awe, and that’s in just in real life. In a world where every alternate character gains crazy superpowers and decides that they go better with a costume, it makes total sense to me that they’d take on another’s. Especially if you have similar powers and/or skills.

    If I had a wish, it’s that they get better at connecting everything so we’re not left so often wondering HOW this ties into that, although it would sadden me if the only way to do that was to break things down and start from near-scratch again.

  19. July 28, 2012 at 11:51 am — Reply

    Instead of a reboot, I would prefer for Marvel to let their world grow, instead of trying to keep all their characters locked in this weird early 20’s – 30 age group. Let new heroes take the stage. Let new kids where the mask. It might allow for new (and still familiar) stories to be told.

    I really envy the Bruce & Damian relationship in the Batbooks right now. I would love to see Spider-Man in that position. Little Ben might not need to be in every book or every issue, but man that would be great.

    • Kevin Flythe
      July 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm — Reply

      Amen, brother! Instead of a reboot, how about a dedication to REAL change within the current universe, and letting stories flow naturally from the outcome of those changes and sticking with it, rather than engineering storylines to reset characters to the status quo ala OMD (although, after twenty years, I figured married Spidey WAS the status quo).

      I’m hoping that Marvel Now! will do just that, but I’ve been burned too many times to hold out much real hope for that.

  20. TRG
    July 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm — Reply

    A rebooted Marvel would win my business back in a second, just as long as they do the following:

    1.) Manage their characters and titles better so the universe is easier to comprehend and navigate (Five Avengers books and eight X-books right now, and Marvel NOW is mixing up Avengers and X-Men members into new teams? Where does a new reader even begin with all that?)

    2.) Knock off the giant crossovers and unnecessary “change for the sake of change” events that keep happening to characters and teams. A reboot in itself should basically take care of this problem, though. Fifty years of story arcs have backed their creativity into a corner, crossovers and unnecessary changes are pretty much all Marvel can DO anymore to keep things interesting.

    • July 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm — Reply

      See, I just don’t agree with that at all. What “new” stories could be told?

      We were promised new kinds of stories after One More Day, but other than a few cheap love affairs, there wasn’t a single story that felt “new” or “untold” or “unable to be told with Peter being married to MJ.”

      The same goes for The New 52. I’ve enjoyed most of the stories I’ve read, but I haven’t found any of them that couldn’t have been told pre-Flashpoint (other than the new origin stories, which could have been told in DC’s Earth One series). Everything that’s happening in the Justice League could have happened pre-New 52.

      Writers pick and choose which continuity they’re going to emphasize (or ignore) with each new arc anyway. So what continuity is holding any of them back right now?

      Erasing past continuity only allows today’s writers to re-tell yesterday’s stories.

      • TRG
        July 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm — Reply

        I didn’t really say a Marvel reboot would be able to create stories that couldn’t be told beforehand, but you are right…we’d be sure to get a retelling of the Galactus Trilogy, the Phoenix Saga, and most major story arcs pre-1985 if Marvel reboots. But why not? They were great stories. Why not modernize them for an audience who’s becoming further and further removed from them?

        Besides, I personally think the continuity is making characters and stories clumsy and ridiculous way too often these days BECAUSE Marvel tries to ignore it. I would rather deal with Marvel rehashing a few classic stories than have them try to shoehorn characters back into continuity by making them clones, from alternate universes, or time travelers.

        • Verse
          July 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm — Reply

          See. I don’t even think they would have to full re-tell the origins. Restart..lets say X-Men. Have a core cast. Have them do stuff. Drop stuff in here and there. Fight Magneto? Drop the fact that they had a falling out years ago and that that drove Prof to make the X-Men. Better yet. Have them go against someone from Weapon X and do the same thing. Just a small narritive and a couple panels of pics. The point would be made and you get around the 5 issue origin ppl hate.

  21. Lapis
    July 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm — Reply

    Maybe Im just getting old but I really miss the day when you could pick up an issue of whatever read it and basically get a complete story. Im so tired of the endless gigantic crossover hero vs hero stuff that marvel seems to think we all love. They start a new crossover story before they even finish last one. Ive thought for awhile its just a scam by marvel to try to get its readership to buy pretty much every title they publish every month. Maybe marvel now should be marvel then. Maybe they should look back at the golden and silver age and try to figure out what made those comics so good; what it was about those comics that inspired them to become comic creators. I guarantee it wasnt having to buy 50 titles a month to get the “whole” storyline. Right now from marvel Ive only been reading Dare Devil, and it should be easy to figure out why after my little rant.

  22. b003
    July 31, 2012 at 11:08 pm — Reply

    Marvel doesn’t need a CRISIS!

  23. G E Marzejon
    August 13, 2012 at 10:10 am — Reply

    What a great article and thoughtful comments from your readers sir, on a subject I have for over 40 years now. However, I’ve stopped reading them due to the fact I was spending over $450 a month trying to stay up to date on all the stories, as one of your readers stated above, due to now days you need to be reading every title to flesh out the stories for the characters you love. And that was 6 or 7 years ago? I would love nothing more than to start again, but have no idea where to pick up, and don’t want to start buying 20 or more titles or more a month again… as a teen I could read the FF, the Avengers, Defenders, Spidey, Marvel Team-up, Thor, Cap, and the occasional cross over and be happy, get the whole story and pay for it all by cutting the grass of a few neighbors and then being a paper boy, now with two college aged kids and another who will be driving, even though we have a house hold income well over 6 figures, I can’t afford to keep up with my favorite characters? I started the new 52, but other than the Batman and the JLA, I love marvel more…

  24. Cevz
    September 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm — Reply

    Hey, I know this thread is a bit old but I figured I’d drop in my two cents.

    I’m a really new reader. I just started picking up comics about 4 months ago. I tend to lean towards Marvel, but the biggest issue I’ve got is where in the world do you start? I want to follow a story from beginning to end, and its almost impossible to find something that doesn’t require researching 6 different plot lines in order to be caught up on what you’re doing. The new 52 gave me a chance to sink my teeth into some stories early on, and anything I’ve missed isn’t hard to get caught up on.

    So I really think Marvel could do with a reboot. Give a new generation of comic readers a place to start, something that isn’t so daunting a task.

  25. 1720
    February 4, 2013 at 1:49 pm — Reply

    Couldn’t agree more on a reboot. Add that they need new wait let me capitalize that NEW everything. Marvel as it stands is pretty much Tony Stark and Wolverine said that break away from it. In 94 it was dozens of full characters carrying their own books. Oh and the top creators suck not sure if it is burnt out or lazy there but seriously I don’t care about phantomex did we really need a red hulk no how many spider clones now? Can they think of any thing new? if not maybe the creators should not be creating. There is nothing being really created in any marvel book. Its rehashed stuff with gimmicks.

    Stop the shock and awe also bring back the characters people want to read about Jean Grey Prof X Night crawler list goes on. Get rid of unpopular events Decimation and dark reign yeah 5 years of the civil war was too much learn when to quit and when events are neat what ifs but will ruin the mainstream continuity. Oh and most importantly the shock value is pointless and needs to stop. Not every one needs to be dark and flawed it wrecks the ones who that works for. Keep the art and digital up fully and advertise ffs.

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