Once again, I must apologize for being late with this column. I was in Kansas City for Planet Comicon, which I enjoyed greatly, but con crud caught up with me as I was heaving 40-pound boxes in the bitter cold. I was doomed!

Since then, however, Marvel has yet again decided to give their books another new start.

Really and for true.

I just have one thing to say: Sheesh. This is getting monotonous!

GOODNESS GRACIOUS!

Marvel, Black Panther, She-Hulk, Phoenix, Jean Gray, Tony Stark, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Bruce Wayne, Peter Parker, Deadpool, Punisher, Captain America, female Thor, Thunder God, Mjolnir, Ghost Rider, Ms Marvel, Wolverine, Ultimate Spidey, HulkI think I used to feel that there were other reasons for Marvel’s attempts at renumbering, rebranding (All-New, All-Different) and other PR functions to revive their line.

I can’t think that way any longer. There’s only one reason now. It’s that their books aren’t selling as they used to. Nothing else can mean anything.

Granted, I don’t have access to the internal workings of the House of Ideas. I don’t know the sales numbers they can access. I don’t hear what the various stores are reporting to Marvel.

All I can tell you is that, whatever’s been tried (and tried again) hasn’t been working.

This just wreaks of desperation, sadly. “New Creative Teams! New Series! New Directions! New Beginnings!”

What was wrong with the “Legacy” characters? I guess they didn’t work out as well as they hoped for.

MORE NUMBER ONES

Marvel, Black Panther, She-Hulk, Phoenix, Jean Gray, Tony Stark, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Bruce Wayne, Peter Parker, Deadpool, Punisher, Captain America, female Thor, Thunder God, Mjolnir, Ghost Rider, Ms Marvel, Wolverine, Ultimate Spidey, HulkAs an old friend of mine likes to say, if all else fails, make everything a number one. Here we go again! At least the collectors will be happy!

With the success of Black Panther this last weekend, it’s no surprise that many of the characters in the image used to promote the change features a great many of the Marvel Studios heroes and others.

Now, I could sit here and nitpick things along, such as the Phoenix apparently reverting to Jean Gray again. Tony Stark’s apparently back in the Iron Man suit. Spider-Man is no longer Bruce Wayne, but is Peter Parker again. Deadpool is there, as well as Punisher and Captain America. The female Thor is gone, with the “disgraced” Thunder God who seems to have Mjolnir grafted to his left hand.

She-Hulk, Ghost Rider, Ms. Marvel, Wolverine, Ultimate Spidey, Hulk, and others are all there.

The thing that puzzles me is, what difference will all this make when May hits?

IF MARVEL’S IN TROUBLE, WHAT ABOUT THE REST?

Marvel, Black Panther, She-Hulk, Phoenix, Jean Gray, Tony Stark, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Bruce Wayne, Peter Parker, Deadpool, Punisher, Captain America, female Thor, Thunder God, Mjolnir, Ghost Rider, Ms Marvel, Wolverine, Ultimate Spidey, HulkI know that I worry when I hear about Marvel’s many and various attempts to bring sales numbers back up. They’re the biggest company, after all.

What does that mean about DC and the rest? It can’t be good news.

The odd thing is that, on many levels, some of the best comics ever are being made today. I’m reading terrific storytelling from many creators across the board. And yet they apparently aren’t selling enough.

I understand what Marvel’s trying to accomplish. They’re hoping to draw in people who have left the comics-buying public, trying to entice them to come back to the local comics shops. New creators? New stories? Why, that must me the best the industry has to offer! At least, we hope it does.

In the past, big names were big draws. I wish that were still the case. Now, Marvel hopes different means additional sales.

I’m not sure that’s the case any longer.

Still, I think that if the stories were great, this wouldn’t be happening. But what do I know?

What do you think? Is Marvel doing the right thing? Or should have have given their books more time to grab hold? Whatever your opinion, please share your thoughts in the space below!

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About Author

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. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

1 Comment

  1. I don’t think even suits at Marvel know what sells their comics. Maybe they never did, at least after Lee/Kirby days, they just did what has always worked. Its tough, world and audiences have changed more in the last decade than in 30 or 40 years before it combined. I think traditional corporations can’t react or change quickly enough to how world changes and what people expect, often not even people themselves can’t. Marvel tried to grab, cool, new, liberal kids with their last effort and its clearly not paid off since they are back to characters created in the 40’s to 60’s.

    I always thought that just changing new skin to Cap or Thor won’t ever work, they need completely new characters, give them good enough creative teams and give them enough time to develop their own fanbase. Its not impossible, look at Deadpool or Harley Quinn. It will take decade or two though and in current corporate environment, I don’t think they will give it time. Greed will kill them if they don’t. There’s even early signs of fatigue in previously untouchable cash magnet Star Wars.

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