As reported by Head Honcho Stephen Schleicher, Marvel had recently been building up interest in what appeared to be the destruction of their very own universe. Teaser images aplenty flooded the Internet, then the House of Ideas released exactly what was going on… a miniseries called Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History.

Stephen’s response was perfect: “Well… that was… anticlimactic.”


Marvel, Cosmic Ghost Rider, change, Thor, Iron Man, Captain AmericaAs I was checking out certain folks I like to keep up with, when the concept of destroying the Marvel Universe (and updating or replacing it) hit their perception, well, frankly they were excited.

Let’s face it… it’s tough to keep coming up with original stories after literally decades of comics. Yes, you can change characters and retell previous tales, but something totally brand new is going to take some doing.

Still, a lot of people were anxious to read something new, something different. This is my biggest complaint about Marvel, that they provide the illusion of change instead of actual change itself.

Again and again I read posts wondering aloud just what kinds of new tales could come out of this revolutionary upheaval. I could sense their anticipation as I read their thoughts. They were excited about Marvel again!

So, instead we get a miniseries that will likely have zero impact on the Marvel brand. I agree with Stephen: “Anticlimactic.”

It’s reminiscent of Star Trek: Voyager’s “Year of Hell” episodes. Some fans thought they should have done that for real.


Marvel, Cosmic Ghost Rider, change, Thor, Iron Man, Captain AmericaAgain, it’s the illusion of change, not real change. Now, we’ve read such miniseries’ in the past. And they are fun as far as they go. But Marvel’s in a difficult position here.

Recently they tried to update their comics by adding diversity to the mix. You know, the female Thor, the female Iron Man, the Black Captain America, and so on. Sales clearly dropped, so the “classic” characters have made a comeback.

But there is still some “character fatigue,” as one person put it.

What new stories can you tell at this point that are still true to the characters while not making them unrecognizable to someone familiar with them but who may have bills to pay so they can only pick up comics occasionally?

It’s a tough nut, and Marvel has yet to crack it, sadly.


Marvel, Cosmic Ghost Rider, change, Thor, Iron Man, Captain AmericaThe reaction from fans and pros alike should tell the House of Ideas something… you can’t keep teasing your clients with potential changes and then not deliver. At some point, people get tired of having their chains yanked with no results. If we’re lucky, they’ll simply stop buying Marvel books and move on to other comics. If we’re not lucky, then they’ll change over to video games or other distractions. That’s very bad news for the industry.

The only thought I keep coming back to is that Marvel should develop new characters. If you want diversity, don’t stuff a person of color into an existing uniform. I know it’s much more difficult, but they need to build new worlds.

Granted, they’ve tried this in the past. The New Universe was their attempt to make new characters in a new setting. What bothered me, and maybe it’s just that I’m a big DC fan, was that many of their “new” heroes bore more than a slight resemblance to the DC characters.

When I say new, I mean new. Really new. Not rehashes. I simply can’t believe that EVERY possible comic character has already been created.

Now, if I could come up with them, I would. But I’m not really a comics creator. There are plenty of people who would love to try their hand at this, however. And they could do it very well, I believe.

I always point out that Indie comics are some of the most creative books on the stands today. They can take chances, they can kill main characters if the story warrants it. They can do something different.

If Marvel really wants to move into the future, I believe they need to look at how Indie comics do things. Heck, they already have hired many Indie comics writers to work on their books. Why not go all the way and at least try something different by letting these folks go and develop new worlds, new heroes?

I think it’s far past time for such a thing to happen… REAL change at the House of Ideas! What a concept!

What do you think? What should Marvel do when it comes to bringing in new fans and moving into the future? Are there new heroes they can make? Should they continue to tease fans as they did with Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History? Or should they avoid such advertising as they move forward? Please be sure to share your thoughts 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. I agree. They need something genuinely new, not just marketed as new. Problem is, establishing new characters and them to gain popularity takes time, lots of it, because people need time to form a bond and care about them. Unfortunately I don’t see how it can be done in modern business culture, when nothing is based on steady foundation with patience, but shareholders want all the money right now, no matter what. Public corporation with modest expectations and patience, there are none, at least in western world anymore.

  2. The new Spider-People animated movie did really well last weekend. Most of the non-Peter Parker characters (except for Peter Porker) in it are relatively new characters. So I agree that good writing and story telling (which apparently this movie has) can get people into new stories and new characters.

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