A recent article by a friend of mine claimed that Marvel NOW! should be better titled Marvel NO! Being a True Believer, I'm inclined to disagree, but of course, I'd like the facts to be presented before making any hasty decisions. However, after researching and with personal experience on the subject, I do indeed disagree with my friend when he states that Marvel is going downhill. Not only is Marvel heading uphill…
But it's Rocket Raccooning into space.
The problem with big comic book publishers is that, sadly, they release titles that quite a few fans don't favor or approve of. Even worse, all of these titles are supposed to fit into continuity (except when they conveniently don't). One title that my friend (and quite a few others) seem to disapprove of is Avengers Arena, a Battle Royale-style matchup put together by the psychopathic Arcade as an attempt to create a reality show in Murderworld. Written by Dennis Hopeless (and I'm sure many believe him to be just that), one of Marvel's better known C-listers, X-23, takes part in the contest. Many assume she won't survive (though why shouldn't she... she's obviously the most capable). I can see why this would make some fans angry. As a fan of Iron Man, I was incredibly upset when it was found out he was a traitor (though it was later retconned that he was under the power of Immortus). Yes, I wasn't born yet, but I caught up fast in my collection. Iron Man has always been an A-lister, and it did make me upset when, after 20+ years as a superhero, they proclaimed him to be a traitor. Sure, the fans were outraged. But did they survive? Yes. And after that fiasco that was Heroes Reborn, Iron Man came back under the able hand of Kurt Busiek.
Why am I saying all of this?
Heroes are handled unjustly, especially big-time heroes. But do we give up on our heroes because of the miserable ways they are treated? I'm going to say no. Not only is Iron Man one of my heroes, but so is Marvel.
Marvel. The best comic book company at there by far. Sure, they have one crappy title they're publishing right now. I read issue one of Avengers Arena and it was alright. Not my cup of tea, but there's a reason it's a $2.99 comic and not a $3.99 one. Does that give Hopeless an excuse to destroy the characters? No, but he's giving a lot of fans enjoyment and the comic is still selling (31,617 Issue #6's as of last month).
So why am I sticking with Marvel?
Because NOW! has ultimately been a success. The sale numbers are incredible. Age of Ultron, their new miniseries, which I will argue is MUCH better than Fear Itself, sold 100,347 Issue #3's last month. Wolverine Issue #1 sold 117,669 comics last month, a jump of 242.4% from the previous release, Volume 3 #317, which sold a little over 34,000. Superior Spider-Man has sold over 80,000 issues per month since its beginning, with a record of 209,944 for Issue #1.
Freaking GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 sold 211,312 issues last month. Yes, a Marvel COSMIC title sold that many issues. It's unbelievable. Any wonder they are making a movie based off the series?
With numbers like these for such popular comic books, Marvel obviously knows how to do something right. And they keep me coming back every single Wednesday to buy my comics. Not only that, but Marvel knows what comics to put out, too. They have quite a few ongoing Avengers titles, New Avengers being my favorite. They appeal to the Captain America fans, the Hulk fans, the Iron Man fans (new series is definitely picking up btw), the cosmic fans (Nova and GotG), the X-Men fans (so many series… they even have a Cable and X-Force series for the 90s comics buffs), the Spider-Man fans, the girls (an all-female X-Men team… awesome), the mini-series fans (Age of Ultron, Thanos Rising, Infinity)…
Need I say more?
Marvel has something for everyone. It really sucks when they lose fans. Yeah, some of their mags might be a little silly (but even Young Avengers is rocking in sales), but overall, there is a reason Marvel is the number one comics company out there. They know what to do and they know how to make you smile.
I should know. I spend near $20 a week in comics.
So until Iron Man puts on a real iron suit…
Make Mine Marvel!
And you should, too.