Hello and welcome to another week here in Marvel Snapshot! I’d like to start out by saying Happy New Year to everyone and I hope you had a great 2011. This week I’ll be talking briefly about what I think Marvel’s New Year’s Resolutions should be. I’m not going to hit everything on my mind, so feel free to weigh in with comments below with your thoughts, as well.
1. Stop “killing” characters
If it’s one thing that I can’t stand (and droves of others), it is Marvel’s incessant strategy to kill off a character with no intentions of it staying permanent. Translation? It’s a marketing ploy to get people to buy substandard books. They can try to slice it anyway they want, but the seasoned readers know this, and are getting fed up. This tactic makes Marvel seem more like a soap opera than a legit source to read a good story.
2. Cease and desist with the saturation of any character
Yeah, I know Wolverine and Deadpool are trendy, but the fact of the matter is readers aren’t buying any piece of crap thrown out there with these two guys in it. Heck, you can put Spider-Man in this category, as well. The problem with doing this is that it just cannibalizes the regular books’ sales with these characters in them. The thought that people (especially in this economy) are just going to willingly run to the comic shop to buy anything with a character on the cover because Marvel says “it’s the next big thing” is a pipe dream and just plain greedy.
3. Enough with the flooding of titles to hype a movie
With Avengers, Spider-Man (4?), and a host of other movies coming sooner than later, I for one am tired of the crap that Marvel puts out every time a movie is on the horizon. I don’t get fooled by that nonsense anymore, but I have in the past, and when I read that garbage, I was embarrassed for Marvel. Everybody knows who Spider-Man and the Avengers are, because you already have ten titles a month featuring them, no need to print bird cage liners to drive home the point of a movie that will undoubtedly have one hundred commercials a day telling us all about the release date and how “epic” it will be.
4. Please keep things in the correct numbering
I know this point is slightly fan-boy, but hear me out. Anyone who isn’t brain dead realizes this is another method (albeit a poor one) to try and increase sales. I understand that the marketing people (and management) need to try and keep their jobs, but when that is the best that you can come up with, you’re probably in the wrong line of work. No offense.
5. Lastly, and most importantly, keep one writer doing one book at a time
It’s apparent that in the day and age we live in, employers are constantly trying to put more of a work load on fewer people. Does this really help save money in the end? Not when sales of books plummet and get cancelled or don’t even get past issue five before pulling the plug. I’m all for printing less copies and heading faster into the digital realm if that helps with costs, but the bottom line for me is that I’ll always want print first and foremost. The most apparent case of this for me is with Abnett and Lanning. They can tell a story, especially a cosmic one, like no one else of this time (OK, all the Geoff Johns fans can start arguing with me now), but when they are writing multiple books for Marvel and other companies too, well, even their stuff gets watered down to a point where even a loyal buyer like me stops buying. Things must be so bad that even long time Marvel artist Bryan Hitch has announced he’s jumping ship. Yikes.
In closing, I was checking out some sales numbers, and although DC did relaunch with seemingly five-hundred new #1’s, I would still think that Marvel’s ending to Fear Itself and Spider-Island would have kept them even, but that wasn’t so in November. Just a few quick points here. DC claimed 13 of the top 20 books, and 16 0f the top 25. If that isn’t enough, Swamp Thing (good read, by the way) outsold in my opinion Marvel’s best and most consistent book, Uncanny X-Force, by almost 1500 copies. The ultimate insult is the fact that Batgirl, Nightwing, and Aqauman (**shudder**) outsold Uncanny X-Force, as well. That, my friends, is a sad, sad, fact….
Sales info collected from ICv2.