Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's This About Marvel Now?

Didja hear the news? Marvel is doing a reboot!

What? Old News? Are you implying that because I've been noticeably absent the past few months that I missed out on my chance to talk about the craziness that is Marvel NOW? Maybe you're right, but indulge me.

I won't lie, the first time I saw this picture my heart sank a little bit. I was already preparing rants about what a huge mistake Marvel was making and how after twenty years I'd be finally walking away from this hobby I love so much. So imagine my excitement when it was announced that this wasn't a reboot in the DCnU kind of way, but instead a line wide refresh without doing away with any of the old continuity. And that friends, is how it should be.

Continuity is something that should be cherished, loved, and discovered. It should be something that adds to your enjoyment, but doesn't detract if you don't know it. Further, I think the more caveats you have to add, the less new reader friendly comics become.

The way DC did their refresh (because no commentary on Marvel NOW would be complete without a full comparison to the DCnU) in the end, only adds more headaches and creates a larger wall for the uninitiated fan to get over before they can enjoy the books. I find it problematic that when someone asks me a simple question about Superman, I have to qualify my statements with eras and relations to reboots to make sure I'm answering their question correctly. Try it. Try answering: "I thought Superman was married to Lois Lane, what happened?" Headaches.

Meanwhile, the Marvel method to refreshing the line becomes much easier to explain things. Sure, as with any long running fiction story you'll have bits of "they died but got better" or "they just kind of ignored [fill-in-the-blank]", but at least all the stories 'matter'. It's that respect for the overall long-running narrative that gives the Marvel method more merit in the eyes of a new reader.

The more I read about the new creative teams, storyline teases, and character combinations I find myself more and more excited about Marvel come November. There's a crazy freshness and new found energy in all the interviews that's hard to ignore. It reminds me a lot of the NuMarvel stuff from the turn of the century, when titles like Allred's X-Force, Morrison's New X-Men, and Tangled Web were challenging the limits of what you could do in a Marvel Comic. Except this time, it seems they're diving head first into big time super heroics, instead of focusing on the small interpersonal stuff.

I'm getting all revved up just thinking about it! What about you?