Marvel Comics: What are you doing? An Opinion.

Marvel… what the hell are you doing? Look… I get that you are a business and that you make business decisions based on what you think is going to make you the most money. But… I think you should bring some comic store retailers into your editorial meetings because the decisions that you’ve been making have seemed rather short sighted and myopic.

An example: You’re cancelling a lot of comics that have high appeal to the women readers in my store. I’ve done the legwork to put books like ‘Hawkeye’ and ‘Spider Woman’ into people’s hands and grow that “non-conventional” readership. The least you could do is support those books.

Instead, you’re putting out another giant mega crossover Secret Empire monstrosity that has little resonance with any of my customers. With all due respect to the talent that will be working on this title trying to make it the best possible book that they can; nobody is clamouring for this book. Not the women readers. Not the male readers. Not the gender fluid readers or those that don’t map themselves onto any particular gender. Nobody.

And there’s even less enthusiasm that it will be good.

People hate your event comics. They hate them with all of the passion that only the thrice-burnt can manifest. They want to like them. They approach each one clutching their dwindling shards of hope close. Maybe this one will come out on time. Maybe this one won’t end in a giant cluster that makes all of the build-up to the event completely pointless. Or hinges on a complete change of character from what had been set up by everything prior.

I’m looking at you Inhumans Vs X-men.

That ending was horrible. It was horrible story-telling. It was inconsistent. It was full of plot holes. And it was marked by almost every customer complaining about it. I get that you can’t please everyone. But maybe you could try pleasing someone.

Your business model seems to be pushing events and crossovers at the cost of individual titles. And it is not working. There is a strong backlash against event books that you seem to be willfully ignoring. And that backlash is following over into any associated title. Please pay attention. Our sales of Captain America are dropping like the proverbial stone.

Another example? Amazing Spiderman #25 came with a giant crazy $9.99 pricetag. And it was a great book. It also brought in zero new readers. Nobody wants to pay ten dollars for a comic. Again; Nobody. Even your regular readers for the title bought it with grumbles and reluctance. Some decided to give it a pass and chose to hunt down the torrent file instead. That’s a lose/lose for both of us.

You put out a great book that could have been an amazing jumping on point but instead was isolating. Image and Valiant have figured it out. They put out 25 cent issues or introductory dollar issues. I can use those to grow readership. I can give those away for free.

Don’t you want new readers? It certainly doesn’t seem like you do. And if it seems like I’m frustrated, you’re absolutely correct. I love Marvel Comics. You have great writers, great artists, and amazing talent. You have some of the most engaging characters in the Industry. Let your readers engage. Let your books find their audience.

Stop with the crazy glut of variants. If you stopped paying for specialty covers maybe you could afford to drop the price of your books. You’re pricing yourselves out of the market.

And you’re shrinking your readership with all of the variants. I would much rather a person walk out of the store with five different comics than the same comic with five different covers.

Did we learn nothing from the 1990s?

Please, Marvel. Stop. Just stop. Stop looking for the quick fix and re-invest back into your product. Not with cross-overs and events. Not with editor-mandated quagmires. But with solid monthly titles. Support your writers and artists. Let them tell their stories.

I bet you’d stop hemorrhaging writers if you’d give them the space they needed to tell their stories.

Just my thoughts.


1 Comment

  1. It’s been a long time since I followed any marvel title with great expectations. In my heyday I bought avengers, their, Cap, X-Men but now I’m at DC collecting 3 Batman titles and valiant collecting 5 titles a month. I want to get back to marvel and I want a compelling story line. Nuff said to quote a great man


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