Marvel NOW

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Marvel NOW

Post by Dan » July 3rd, 2012, 7:10 pm

Entertainment Weekly broke news of what exactly is in store for the Marvel Universe once the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline wraps. It's essentially their answer to DC's New 52.

Story is too big to post here, so here's the link: ... exclusive/

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Re: Marvel NOW

Post by Randall » July 4th, 2012, 12:01 am

Kinda interesting, but I don't really read Marvel books off the rack. I'll take a look once they reach the Marvel Comics Unlimited digital service.

After all these years of reading superhero comics, it takes a lot to intrigue me. Too many stories retold over and over, which has to be expected when dealing with corporate characters. Let's face it, they weren't meant to be read for over 30 years by individuals. Still, it's possible to tell good stories; it's just hard to tell new stories with them. More and more, I prefer to read the early stuff, when things were still fresh.

However, Marvel NOW does seem to address these things, by shaking things up a bit.

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Re: Marvel NOW

Post by EricJ » July 4th, 2012, 12:58 pm

They're also trying to bring the to bring the print canons more in line with the Movie Universe:
Iron Man looks more like Robert Downey Jr. and is more of a wiseass, Havok now has to be the teen rebel from First Class, Black Widow now has an A-list membership in the Avengers, etc.

In the picture, for example, you may be wondering....Rocket Raccoon???
Yes, at last printing, Marvel was rumored to be mulling over a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, to bring Thanos into the Avengers sequels. That's the only plausible explanation I can find.

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Re: Marvel NOW

Post by Dan » July 4th, 2012, 4:37 pm

That and interest in Rocket Raccoon started to spike with his inclusion in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. :mrgreen:

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Re: Marvel NOW

Post by GeorgeC » July 10th, 2012, 2:12 am

The Marvel and DC editorial directions have been godawful for well over a decade now...

I'd say both companies lost their way in the early 1990s and it's only become more obvious over the years that most editors and writers of today DO NOT KNOW who the characters are and don't appreciate the foundations of the shared fictional universes. They're spending their time doing their best to undermine those universes because they think they know better than their predecessors and the characters' original creators.

There's an overly conscious desire to move away from the decades-old continuity and older (re: senior citizen) characters, make everyone 23 or younger, and write the characters as "hip". (Like most 40- and 50-year-old creators actually understand what is "hip" and "get" current pop trends! Comics are notorious for capitalizing on fads just as they're dying out and most comics creators are so unhip that when they try to be hip they make fools out of themselves and produce generally weak work!)

The artists of today have little influence over what goes on since A) they're generally given tightly-plotted scripts with specific instructions for what writers want in the panels of art; and B) a lot of artists today aren't that good at either composition or general storytelling. For all the bug-eyed fanboy staring at sketchbooks and pin-ups, it's lost on many that these same artists who can't make monthly comic deadlines are generally inferior to the artists who were doing 2 books at a time in the 1970s and 1980s!

It's very sad to acknowledge now that the animation production crews generally "get it" but that the actual publishing arms of both of the Big Two are utterly lost... This is completely 180-degrees from the situations that existed in the 1970s and 1980s with licensed animated adaptations of the series. At least you could SORT OF figure out WHY the characters in those series were rabidly different from their print counterparts (-- demonstrating powers they didn't have in the comics, blander personalities, announcing their moves before they acted --); it was the general cluelessness of animation writers back then who'd NEVER read the original comics the series were SUPPOSED to be based on and the confluence of overly restrictive Broadcast Standards and Practices that led to both preachy, politically correct episodes (the original SuperFriends series was pointedly pro-environmental and as bad as Captain Planet generally was) and TV series that were little more than half-hour toy commercials (He-Man, Transformers, GI Joe).

There's also a general annoyance at redesigning characters to fit the movies instead of having the movies reflect the comics! (Hence the replacement of the classic Nick Fury with "Shaft" Fury and Captain America ditching his classic patriotic blues for the movie-inspired outfit that just doesn't have that classic feel... or the wings. Thor, meanwhile, continues to wear armor in the comics that is neither practical and basically is a downgrade of the character's visual power and prowess.) This was tried during the Grant Morrison X-Men years with a lot of backlash towards the generally bland-looking team outfits/"biker gear" get-ups the mutants were saddled with at the time. (Translation: Unless you're the FF or Challengers of the Unknown, most fans HATE team duds!) Now we're seeing far-superior 40-70 year-old character designs pitched for costume designs that reflect the worst of the 1990s comics mentality and lack of design sense???? The new costume designs also conflict with the general perception of what has been accepted by both the public and license marketing for decades, too. This direction, too, makes no sense!

DC has gone forward with their 52 initiative ditching 70+ years of continuities and history in favor of trying to be "cool" and cutting edge... Marvel's doing the same with its NOW direction which is little more than copying what DC did last year but patterning their character designs after the live-action Marvel superheroes movies (again)! These editorial edicts will gradually fail but not before they do more damage than they already have. Pity the next set of bullpens and creators that have to shovel the manure being laid now and try to restore all the thrown-out material (and characters) that generally worked and was appreciated!

Sadly, as the comics push forward with haphazard, ill-thought out directions and agendas that are both political and overly personal to the point that they miss the fact that the comics are SUPPOSED to be fun and escapist(!), sales still generally trend downwards and it's the same old crowd of obsessive-compulsive collectors who have to have every issue/full runs that buy this stuff in spite of their complaining. The new editorial initiatives have NOT attracted that many new fans and are actually driving more people away from monthlies as time progresses... In contrast to the sad state of the publishing arms, the animated series and live-action films that actually respect the materials, eschew the worst and most distracting political themes introduced into the comics, and portray the characters behaving IN CHARACTER far better also perform better in ratings and sales... There's a lesson to be learned there that's entirely lost on the editors and executives running both Marvel and DC now -- despite what they say at the comic cons.

RIP, Classic DC, the original (and far superior) Multiverse, the classic Justice Society and Justice League, the original Green Lantern and original Flash, Wally West, Donna Troy, Ted Kord, the notions of fair play and higher ethical standards, and many other noble ideas and causes so callously discarded in favor of "realism" and "gritty violence"...

RIP, Classic Marvel and storylines that don't follow the WWE wrestling storyline formula...

RIP, the fun-that-was, timeless costume designs, the original Worlds of Wonder, the books written for kids that kids could actually read without adult supervision(!), responsible editorial, the once nerd sanctuaries before the geeks (carpetbaggers and scalpers), political bully/so-called rights groups, and wannabe hipsters took over...

... At least there are the reprints of the better stuff that went before!

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Re: Marvel NOW

Post by Dan » November 30th, 2012, 8:43 pm

It's about two months into the Marvel NOW! initiative and here's what I think.

So far, Marvel NOW! has been very good. As Joe Quesada, Axel Alonso, and the rest of the staff have been harping, it's not so much a reboot or reset as a shift in direction. A major part of this is putting in new creative teams on books, present fresh stories to tell.

Most of the books are still just one issue in and there are others that have not even launched yet, so I'll run down my thoughts on those that are at least two issues in.

Uncanny Avengers - The flagship title of Marvel NOW!, it is written by Rick Remender (coming off a successful run on Uncanny X-Force) and the first arc is drawn by John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men). The primary problem has been delays in getting the issues out due to Cassaday not getting them done on time. Aside from that, however, the series has so far garnered a lot of positive interest in a rag-tag team put together by Captain America, but headed by Havok as they try to handle a world thrust into chaos following Avengers vs. X-Men.

All New X-Men - After a decade writing various Avengers books, Brian Michael Bendis is moving over to the X-Men and re-teaming with Stuart Immonen for arguably the most intriguing book in the line. With human-mutant relationship at an all-time worse, and Cyclops turning his back on Xavier's dream, Beast makes the bold decision to bring the younger original five X-Men in a desperate hope that they can stop a mutant apocalypse. The second issue alone has been widely praised as one of the best individual comics to date and has turned this into arguably the top book in Marvel NOW!

Thor: God of Thunder - Jason Aaron (Wolverine and the X-Men) and Esad Ribić (various X-Men books) tackle Asgard's favorite son. Thor takes on an incredible God-butchering threat in a tale that spans through the past, during Thor's years before he took hold of Mjölnir, to the present days of the Avenger to a dark future where he is the last Asgardian standing. The beautiful artwork by Ribić heightens an incredible story being crafted by Aaron that is garnering positive feedback.

Red She-Hulk - Writing Jeff Parker may still be here, but the title is no longer about Hulk. It's about Betty Ross, now known as Red She-Hulk. Teaming with Carlo Pagulayan (Avengers vs. X-Men), the series finds Betty administering her own brand of justice, regardless if it means putting her at odds with the Avengers. Many were not sure if a book based around a super powered Betty Ross would fly, but it has so far been regarded as the sleeper title in the Marvel NOW! line.

A + X - Some times it's just fun to have stand-alone stories that have no real connection with everything else that is going on. What is also fun is pairing an Avenger with an X-Man and have them take on some baddies like only a pair of super powered heroes can. Each issue of A + X contains two stories that fit the bill on all counts. Examples include a World War II venture involving Captain America and Cable, a Black Widow and Rogue tale with a panel that has set fan-servicing ablaze, and a hilariously fun and witty Shadowcat and Iron Man story.

X-Men: Legacy - Simon Spurrier (Judge Dredd) and Tan Eng Huat (Ghost Rider) tackle one of the more interesting subjects, Xavier's son Legion. More specifically, his attempts to control all of the various super powered personalities in his head fighting one another to take over. It is a unique tale that is on its way to surprising readers with incredible depth.

Iron Man - Uncanny X-Men team Kieron Gillen and Greg Land have moved over to craft the adventures of everyone's favorite genius billionaire philanthropist. Setting the stage for the upcoming third film, the Extremis virus has reared its ugly head back into Tony Stark's life and he's off to make sure it's off the black-market before it gets into the wrong hands. Most are finding that Gillen and Land are off to a slow, stiff start, but the second issue has shown signs of the potential they have in turning this into a winning title.

Deadpool - Comedian Brian Posehn and his writing partner Gerry Duggan join original Walkind Dead artist Tony Moore in presenting their take on the popular Merc with a Mouth. And what a crazy, twisted venture they have set him off on as S.H.I.E.L.D. has reluctantly enlisted him to handle the delicate situation when one of their own goes loco and resurrects the dead Presidents of yesteryear in an ill-advised attempt to restore order in a chaotic country. The results, of course, are not pretty and Deadpool is the only guy trusted enough to have to put the likes of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln back into the ground. After an odd first misstep, the second issue has given a glimmering light to the possibilities of the so wrong, yet so right fun to be had with Wade Wilson.

Wolverine and the X-Men - Jason Aaron remains on the title and Nick Bradshaw continues to stick around as they continue to deal with all of the calamity that occurs within the confines of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. And things are not looking up as the effects of Avengers vs. X-Men start to overfill the school, Storm returns to replace a clearly unstable Husk, the new Brotherhood is targeting the school's star student, and Frankenstein's monster has arrived in search for the last remaining descendant of his creator. The third issue into the Marvel NOW! era threw everyone off guard, and not in a good way, killing the potential that was being built in the first two issues.

Books that are one issue in are:
Captain America by Rick Remender and John Romita Jr.
Indestructible Hulk by Mark Waid and Leinil Yu
Fantastic Four by Matt Fraction and Mark Bagley
FF by Matt Fraction and Mike Allred
Journey Into Mystery by Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti

Books to be launched are:
Avengers by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena
New Avengers by Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting
Avengers Arena by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker
Cable and X-Force by Dennis Hopeless and Salvador Larroca
Thunderbolts by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon
Morbius: The Living Vampire by Joe Keatinge and Rich Elson
Savage Wolverine by Frank Cho
Superior Spider-Man by Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman
Uncanny X-Force by Sam Humphries and Ron Garney
Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
Fearless Defenders by Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney
Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Michael Bendis and Steven McNiven
Nova by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness
Secret Avengers by Nick Spencer and Luke Ross
Uncanny X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo
Wolverine by Paul Cornell and Alan Davis
Avengers Assemble by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Stefano Caselli
Daredevil by Mark Waid with a new artist

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