When I recently reviewed All-New, All-Different Hawkeye #3, I fussed about the fact that much of the comic is still the same as it was before it was called “All-New” and “All-Different.” Most of the people in the book are still the same. The settings and abilities of many of those same people are, well, still the same as they were before the first issue in this series came out. Yes, there’s a new writer, but he’s following the pattern of the previous book.

So what’s “All-New” and “All-Different” about the upcoming Marvel? Not much, actually.

I know I rag on Marvel every once in a while, but when you’re on the top of the heap, you’re held to a different standard and are often an easy target. Let’s just say that the All-New, All-Different Marvel won’t be all that new or very different, in my opinion.

ONE YEAR … SORRY, EIGHT MONTHS LATER

DC Comics, Marvel, All-New, All-Different, Captain America, Sam Wilson, Jane Foster, Thor, Dick Grayson, Batman, Axel Alonso With decades of publishing history behind us in comics, what’s actually new or different these days? I dare say again, not much.

Really, the only way to make a comic “all-new” or “all-different” is to have a hero we’ve never heard of in a city no one’s ever come from doing things never done in comics before while fighting villains unlike any previously seen in comics. And there are some books like that, but they rarely get the attention they deserve, I feel.

What bothers me most is when companies “borrow” from each other while claiming this has never been done before.

Anyone else remember when both Marvel and DC turned many of their main characters into apes? I do! Anyone else recall the Legion of Super-Pets and then the Pet Avengers?

Now Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso is making the rounds of interviews, talking about the upcoming changes in his company.

My favorite one of all is that, after Secret Wars concludes, the entire Marvel Universe will appear in October, but it will be eight months later in the comics!

Anyone else remember back in 2006 when DC moved many of its comics to “One Year Later?” Of course, Marvel can say it’s actually not a year, so it’s not the same thing. Riiiiiight.

IS THIS A REBOOT OR NOT?

Something many comics fans currently seem to truly hate is a reboot, or a re-launching of a character, a team or a series. That was the main criticism of the New 52 from DC. Me, I don’t care so much as long as it’s a good read.

Aware of this concern, Alonso told the New York Post, “This isn’t a Marvel Universe where the sky is green or there’s no water. This is the Marvel Universe you know with a few constructive tweaks.”

Did anyone actually expect the sky to be green or the water to disappear? No. So what’s really going on here, then?

“There may be some new characters. There may be some changes to the relationships. But it’s the Marvel Universe. It’s just the next chapter.”

What he’s referring to is that he perceives that comics are trending towards a “seasonal” approach to storytelling, much like television shows do from year to year.

Image has done something like that somewhat successfully. The creators occasionally will take a break, giving them a chance to catch their collective breaths or get back to where they should be if they’re behind.

I don’t think this means their comics will be renumbered or anything at the end of a “season.” They just may leap ahead a few months to allow changes to happen “off camera,” as it were.

But to me, that’s not “all-new” OR “all-different.” It’s just promotion. And that’s fine, but I’d prefer something just a smidgeon closer to the truth. Still, “Kind of New” or “Somewhat Different” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, I guess.

“OH (CRUD)” MOMENTS

DC Comics, Marvel, All-New, All-Different, Captain America, Sam Wilson, Jane Foster, Thor, Dick Grayson, Batman, Axel Alonso If you aren’t going to make major shifts, sometimes a small one will do.

“We’ve put the onus on the creators to come up with big changes in the lives of our characters, whether it’s Spider-Man or Ms. Marvel or Daredevil or the Hulk,” Alonso said when talking with USA Today. “You’re going to be looking at, in certain cases, new characters inhabiting those roles, and new characters dealing with profound changes in the relationships with others around them and where they live.

“We’ve challenged everybody to come up with the right ‘Oh s***’ reveal for their character to shake it up and make it interesting.” (I don’t happen to like that word, by the way, so I’m editing it out.)

Forgive me, but it wasn’t that long ago that DC tried the very same idea and was criticized for it!

And don’t you want the new Wolverine to be a woman? Of course you do!

WILL IT STICK?

I had the privilege of attending San Diego Comic-Con a few years back, just before DC debuted the New 52 event.

In order to have a seat when the DC panel was going to happen at 11 a.m., I had to be in the same room at 10. What was taking place at that time was a “How to Draw for Marvel” discussion. When the person in charge noted several folks were there for the DC panel afterwards, he noted, “What difference does it make? They’ll just reboot it anyway. Just like they did in ‘One Year Later.’” (Notice the use of the evil “reboot” word.)

Now Marvel faces the same situation. After a couple of months, the “(insert time period here) Later” has lost its luster, and things reach a “new normal” that can closely resemble the “old normal” set up. We’ll see how fans adjust to this kind of thing this time.

Look, I still believe that Jane Foster will stop being Thor before too long, probably right around the time the third Thor feature film comes out. Also, Sam Wilson will not be Captain America when the next motion picture starring the hero hits theaters. (I felt that way about Dick Grayson being Batman, you may remember.)

I’ll be happy if I’m wrong about all this, but we’ll see!

So, I hope you enjoyed this All-New, All-Different Comics Portal column! I did use some of the same words and talk about some of the same characters and concepts I have in the past, but hey, it’s as new or different as most Marvel comics will be come October!

I’ve told you what I think. Now it’s your turn! What do you think about the All-New All-Different Marvel? Be sure to share your opinions below!

The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. Each episode also includes reviews, news and previews. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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3 Comments

  1. Redneck TaZ
    June 8, 2015 at 11:38 am — Reply

    Ben Grimm as a Guardian of the Galaxy?? “Sweet Aunt Groot?” Thor’s a gal, Wolverine’s clone is in the costume and he’s Old Man Wolverine. Steve Rogers is back in the Commander Rogers gear but still old. Two Spider-men. Dr. Strange carrying around Asgardian hardware. And the Vision’s new look is horrible. I have no problem with Sam Wilson being Captain America, that is an understandable character. But the FF and X Men are now messed with because of the Fox/Disney Wars (which would make a great miniseries comic.) Other than I like the new Daredevil costume…Feh.

  2. June 8, 2015 at 1:17 pm — Reply

    Few years ago Marvel started couple of books I though were great, but that went on about 12 issues and since then I’ve seen constant change of direction, renumbering from #1, costume changes, replacing popular characters and half dozen Spider-somethings, not to mention sidelining some of their core properties.

    All we need is some belts, pouches, heroes without ankles, few “death” and “blood” or “strikes” and we’re back in the worst era American comics ever had, new 90’s. At least all this looks awfully lot like back then to me.

    • Redneck TaZ
      June 8, 2015 at 3:22 pm — Reply

      I agree. There are some great things that they can work with again, like Sam Wilson/Captain America. Or Tony Stark passing on the Iron Man mantle since Stark even without the armor is an interesting character and a plot-driver. But X-23 in Logans X men uniform isn’t really necessary to make that character interesting. Having the Norse God of Thunder as a girl is just pandering. Marvel has had a STRONG history of female characters. Wasp, Sue Storm, Medusa, Crystal, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, Jean Gray, Storm, Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel, She Hulk. Why go and put a female Thor and a female Wolverine in the mix? And while I did enjoy the Ultimate U’s Miles Morales and the Gwinn Stacey spider was fun in a what-if way having another group of Spider-whatevers running around is simply an effort to rip off the Bat-Family but without Grant Morrison.

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