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mygif

Reminds me of the whole “Starfire in Red Hood and the Outlaws” relaunch issue. Thinking about the millions of young fans of the Teen Titans! TV show just *waiting* for an excuse to read a comic book, and the soaking-wet tens of thousands of captive-audience comics readers who gawk at a loopy sex-bot version of the character.

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Yvonmukluk said on June 3rd, 2012 at 8:05 pm

You know, Nick Fury jr. could actually work, and work well-except for the fact the sole reason he exists is to match up with the films. honestly, if Classic Fury had retired into the background years ago and we’d been introduced to Fury Jr as a low-level agent, following his rise to prominence over the years, struggling against the ingrained attitudes stemming from his name until finally getting to sit in the big chair, that’d be an interesting arc.

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mygif

I guess I just find the assumption that “women aren’t reading the comics” surprising, given that most of the women I interact with online were a little dismayed that the movie versions of Iron Man and Cap didn’t have nearly the chemistry they were used to from the comics.

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I was actually disappointed that Ike Perlmutter seems to be gaining power at Disney, because I was hoping Disney would have enough power over Marvel to ask the creative staff The Question. “Why can we only get 100,000 faithful and lifelong readers to pick up a copy of this comic when millions of people watch these characters on screen?” is the question, and if we care about there being superhero comics ten years from now it needs to be answered, even if that answer results in comics that the current fanbase doesn’t like as much as what’s coming out now.

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Kate the Short said on June 3rd, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Honestly? Both ScarJo and RDJ are *fun* to watch. And it’s done in one. You pay your $10 (assuming you’re not doing IMAX 3D, which is way more expensive), and you get an experience, and it’s complete. There’s no waiting an entire month for the resolution to the plot. The movies are considerate to their audience. And you don’t have to keep paying $2 per month (actually, what IS the cost per issue these days?), waiting a month between issues. Even TPBs are a little more considerate to the audience…

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Strawhair said on June 3rd, 2012 at 10:58 pm

@Kate the Short,
You’ve pretty much nailed it there. The Avengers comics, like the bulk of mainstream comics, are not like a movie. They’re one of those serialized TV shows that often go the way of FastForward and lose the audience while they’re still laying the groundwork for the plot.

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Travesty said on June 3rd, 2012 at 11:24 pm

@Kate the Short-I really think that’s it, sadly. I mean, I grew up with comics but they’re a slow-boil long-form medium. Trying to interest people who like the movies in the comics has the problem not only of content but of pacing and narrative style. Put another way, I’m pretty sure more people have seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy than have read the books by a wide margin, because even though those movies are long, long, long it’s still less of an investment than the books.

I’m not convinced that comparing movie sales and comic sales is terribly apt, really. Though believe me when I say that it’d be great if the Big Two superhero comics would stop pandering to such a small audience.

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mygif

Comics::Movies is like apples::oranges. So is Comics::Novels, but the comparison may yeild some context for that.

The top-name prose novelists at big-name publishers might sell more than 100,000 physical copies of a title (and a few sell millions of copies), but it’s much more common for a novel to sell in the 10,000 – 50,000 range (or less). Small-press books might not even crack 5K (and print on demand/vanity press might not even crack *500* copies sold).
http://stevelaube.com/what-are-average-book-sales/
http://howpublishingreallyworks.blogspot.com/2009/03/sales-statistics.html

In other words, compared to movies, comics are a niche. But compared to books, even low-selling comics could be considered average to booming.

But, when it comes down to it, monthly comics are magazines. The question to ask is, how do they compare to other magazines? The answer is, not great, but arguably basically reasonable given the non-mainstream market they generally actually have been since at least the 70s. See for yourself: http://www.thewrap.com/media/column-post/newsstand-magazine-sales-slide-19986 The top-selling newstand magazine is Cosmo, and between the newstand and subscriptions, it sells a bit under 5 million copies per issue. National Enquirer sells 500K on the newstand. If Avengers sells 100K, then taken in that context, that may not be *great*, but it’s actually not so bad.

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mygif

While I agree with your last point Travesty, I do have to ask the question, “By doing what?”

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Travesty said on June 4th, 2012 at 2:43 am

@Gnosis-Short answer? Every time we have moments like Star Fire’s introduction in DC’s reboot comics that’s an issue where people who might otherwise have decided to pick up the comic drop it with both hands and walk away.

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bryan Rasmussen said on June 4th, 2012 at 2:47 am

The purple man never raped Jessica Jones, in the description of the psychological torture to Luke Cage this was explicitly pointed out.

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Brian T. said on June 4th, 2012 at 3:37 am

I just looked at some sales estimates for February of this year, and I couldn’t believe how severely Marvel was getting their butts kicked by DC’s crappy new continuity.

It is easy to imagine a day when Joe Quesada is remembered as the guy who killed Marvel comics. Their sales were much healthier back when he first became editor-in-chief.

There are probably a ton of contributing factors, but it seems obvious when you base editorial decisions mostly on the boss’s taste in comics (see also Dan DiDio at DC), you lose a lot of appeal for casual readers and other people who don’t like the current direction.

When the Geoff Johns style of comics became DC’s house style, I’m sure that made the 64,000 or so people who faithfully bought JSA back in 2002 happy, but it also led to a lot of bad comics by people like J.T. Krul and Brad Meltzer. For about 10 straight years. Which eventually made the new 52 seem like a reasonable business decision.

At some point around Civil War, Quesada started doing things that only made sense to Quesada in the name of making Marvel more “relevant.” Which was fine for people who were really into Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar, but it wasn’t so great for everybody else.

That may have something to do with why their comics now sell about like DC’s did after Infinite Crisis.

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mygif

Actually, if you asked me who the Avengers were, my first reaction would be to name off the Earth’s Mighiest Heroes cast…

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It really doesn’t help that Marvel aren’t producing comics that are easily read as trades.

A lot of people aren’t going to go into a comic shop and try and work out what the hell is going on in the most recent issue of something – but if Marvel said “Like the movie? Read collection X” then people might buy it on Amazon.

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Walter Kovacs said on June 4th, 2012 at 5:43 am

As a recruitment tool, the cartoons are probably better than the movies. Young Justice, much like the Justice League show before it, has the shared universe and mix of ‘done in one’ and ‘ongoing plot’ that make them much more ‘like a comic’ than the movies.

The movies are generally equivalent to a miniseries or trade. You have Batman Begins which is basically Year One. You have Dark Knight which is sort of a striped down mash-up of Killing Joke and Long Halloween. Dark Knight Rises is, I would guess, a riff on Knight Fall. You have a very small window in a movie, so you aren’t telling a very different story.

TV series is the better way to hook people. Some may wait to watch the full season on DVD, while others will wait week to week, or maybe bank about 4 or 5 on their DVR or Hulu and watch them in chunks. Shows like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc … there are audiences out there that don’t mind serialized stories that take time, and have gaps between instalments (although monthly with no breaks vs. weekly until the season is done is different).

There is a lot the industry has to do to try and make it so that new people may want to get in to the hobby, but on top of everything else, they are also part of that print media thing everyone is climining is dying. Comics doesn’t have a lot of readers … but what about newspapers and magazines?

It doesn’t help that the place to buy comics is ‘the place to buy comics’. You might get some people interested in the cartoon or the movie going into a comic store to buy some merchandise, like toys, busts, clothes, replicas, etc. However, a lot of that stuff, including the DVDs of the movies and tie-in products, you can get all that just about anywhere. However, you aren’t going to see many comics for sale outside of comic stores. No kid is going to see a comic at the drug store, or the grocery store, and beg mom to pick it up as an impulse buy. Apart from Archie digests.

Direct market limits the avenues for bringing in new readers, and in turn, many companies focus more on trying to maximize the ammount they can get out of existing readers instead of trying to pull in new ones.

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mygif

I think one of the problems of luring movie fans towards the comics, in addition to all the other obvious problems, is that there is too much product available. How many Avengers series are there right now? How many different trade paperbacks? Too much choice is usually not a good thing.

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@Bryan Rasmussen:
Oh, well, that’s okay then. Seriously, if male superhero characters got as physically, psychologically, and sexually abused as female superhero characters regularly do, things ould change real quick.

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SilverHammerMan said on June 4th, 2012 at 10:07 am

Nothing insightful to contribute right now, since the post and everyone in the comments appears to have covered all the bases, I just want to say that the footnotes appear to be broken. I don’t know if it’s a goof or just my computer, but you might want to fix them.
And Mr. Seavey, there might be tons of posts about how comics got into the state they’re in, but I for one am always up for a recap, especially when it’s from someone as insightful as you.

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mygif

Really, when you combine the mega-confusing continuity, the massive number of titles, the crossovers that want you to buy everything, the often half-assed art that can make it impossible to follow the story, the stories that half the time aren’t worth following, the price point per comic, and the fact that you have to go to a special (and often unpleasant) store to get them, and the question isn’t “Why don’t more people read comics?” as much as it is “Why does ANYBODY read comics?” The way they treat female characters (and by extension female readers) is just the diarrhea icing on the big old shit cake that is the big two these days.

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mygif

And, as I pointed out in a comment on the previous thread: the original question also patronizingly assumes that women AREN’T already reading Avengers (and other) comics; perhaps because the person asking the question can’t “see” the women who are, and from his position of Male Authority he’s decided to state that they aren’t, instead of admitting that he doesn’t actually know how many women, or how many female slash-writer fans, are just as into the comics as they are into the movies. The literary-discussion equivalent, I suppose, of refusing to stop to ask for directions when lost.

“…the Avengers are a series of movies that happens to have a lousy and inaccurate spin-off comic where Nick Fury is a white guy.”

Or, a lousy and inaccurate spin-off comic where Nick Fury looks like Samuel L. Jackson and Thor sorta looks like (but doesn’t act like) movie Thor… but the Hulk is a cannibalistic rapist. Yeah, that’s kind of a problem when the Hulk is the latest movie’s big break-out character, although to be fair, the Ultimates is like a decade old and who back then could have anticipated that their “edgy” portrayal of the Hulk would be a problem in 2012, when people fresh from watching an Avengers movie might wind up picking up the TPB of the Ultimates?

@Freezer: “Actually, if you asked me who the Avengers were, my first reaction would be to name off the Earth’s Mighiest Heroes cast…”

Yeah, which just makes it BRILLIANT that Jeph Loeb stepped in to halt all of that pesky serialized storytelling, not to mention, that the show’s been cancelled.

To be fair, I have not personally watched the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon; all I know is that everybody I hear talking about it consistently says that it’s not very good, particularly in comparison with the previous Spider-Man cartoon (Spectacular?). Therefore, it does not fill me with a whole lot of confidence that Jeph Loeb (whose Ultimates 3 brought new meaning to the word “terrible”) is the guy in charge of developing whatever the next Avengers cartoon series is that they want to replace A:EMH.

I think a cartoon series is a happy medium between the short-form storytelling of the movies, and the multi-tentacled, byzantine long-form of the comics. A:EMH has been doing a great job of showcasing a LOT of classic Avengers characters and storylines, and bringing in many other elements of the Marvel universe, but despite what Jeph Loeb seems to think, it’s not that daunting to catch up with a show.

As a long-time comics reader, who is used to trying to make sense of many different titles and numbering systems and so on, I would have to agree with posters above who point out that the comics side of Marvel hasn’t done a very good job of creating an easy way for new fans to pick up the comics even if they want to. There’s a ton of confusing little TPB collections, but even though those are better than individual comics, it still feels like you’re basically selecting one at random.

People coming from the movies, or from a show like A:EMH, foremost would like to find comics that reflect those portrayals of the characters. They may understand that the movies or the show are adaptations of the comics and only varying degrees of faithful, but there really has been a lack of acknowledgement on the comics side that the comics versions are SO different from those mass-market adaptations.

Given that Marvel was willing to do the whole Ultimate line experiment, I’ve remained surprised that they didn’t get more of a movie-verse line of comics off the ground earlier. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it should be Marvel’s primary focus, but it seems weird that nobody since 2008 made much of an effort to create more of an explicit gateway from the movies to the comics, when without that, the transition is pretty jarring.

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mygif

I agree with most of your points, but I don’t agree with the central conceit that there’s this huge untapped audience for Avengers comics out there. You say that there’s at least 20 million discrete Avengers fans. Some of these people are just going to see whatever the big summer movie is, regardless of whether it’s based on a video game, a comic, an original idea, or a sequel to another movie. This does not mean that they are hungry for the source material, just that they enjoyed the film for what it was.

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I’ve long thought the Ultimate universe should be wiped and re-booted (stick with me) to continue the story from the films, to fill in the gaps so to speak. Want to know what takes place between The Avengers and The Avengers 2, pick up “The Avengers” comic book. While this would take a lot of creative planning on the part of various writers, directors, executives, it could be done.

Imagine this for a second. The end credits for Avengers roll. Instead of a cheap look at Thanos, you get a message saying “And if you’d like to continue to follow the adventures of The Avengers, pick up The Avengers #1 for free…” Here’s the kicker: “…right outside the theater.” You ship x number of issues to individual theaters and offer the book for free.

If it works, you’ve just successfully improved your market by an exponential figure. If it doesn’t, you write it off as a publicity stunt and move on. Isn’t that better than the situation right now which is basically, movies that appeal to the casual fan fund the books which appeal to the dedicated fan.

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@Bryan Rasmussen:
Oh, well, that’s okay then. Seriously, if male superhero characters got as physically, psychologically, and sexually abused as female superhero characters regularly do, things ould change real quick.

I’m not too familiar with Jessica Jones and Tigra but after reading about their histories, I thought the relevant storylines look well-handled, and in a vacuum might have been great stories. The problem is that those are basically the same narratives, almost the only narrative for women in superhero comics: get victimized in a personal, gender-specific level through no fault of their own, recover with the stoic patience of an angel in the house, return to B-list status.

In fairness, that’s not entirely the publisher’s fault; I’m sure they’d make Howard the Duck an A-list character if they knew how. And also, things certainly are better than they were a couple decades ago, even a couple years ago. (On the other hand, one likely counter-argument doesn’t seem relevant. While horrible things happen to men in comics too, it’s rarely so violating or identity-assaulting; a video of a superhero getting beat up would be treated as a joke if it was Spider-Man, not a serious offense like when it was Tigra.)

Female superheroes hang up their masks to start a family and go into hiding to protect their babies (Jessica Jones). Male superheroes don’t meet their children until those children are old enough to take a punch (X-23, Daken, Connor Hawke…).

Again, things are much better than they used to be. Tigra and Jessica Jones are both probably very grateful that they aren’t Carol Danvers. But even so, it seems that storylines about women are much more limited than those about men, and it’s worth asking why.

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highlyverbal said on June 4th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I echo Zach’s skepticism over the central conceit, for the reason he offers, but I also don’t believe this is accurate:

“In terms of [...] public recognition, and number of fans, the Avengers are a series of movies that happens to have a lousy and inaccurate spin-off comic …” (ellipsis added)

This is also false. The average non-comics viewer with whom I have discussed it was AWARE of the comics origin, but uninterested in it. They even seem to be aware that there has been a larger trend of making action movies out of comics characters.

=======

I assume that some TV news stories that receive attention had their origin in the leg work of print journalists. I can’t help but wonder if they are blogging their own parallel rants about how a whole building full of people should get fired because the print version is reaching a fraction of the other media’s audience?! And you know they will be totally taking it personally that no one cares about the print origins, acting like that is something unique to newspapers. (Bonus question: what percentage of comics enthusiasts remain interested in printed news? Heh.)

I don’t even understand why it is the elephant in the room, but I’ll name it: it’s the medium, stupid.

There are plenty of ways to improve comics sales, but hoping to get anywhere near a blockbuster film is off the table. Period. This isn’t comparing apples & oranges, this is comparing asteroids and the Sun. (Especially when we are not dividing by budget for any ROI metric!)

Slipshod.

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bryan Rasmussen said on June 4th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

“Oh, well, that’s okay then. Seriously, if male superhero characters got as physically, psychologically, and sexually abused as female superhero characters regularly do, things would change real quick”

Not sure what point you’re making – what things would change?

Anyway, one of the things that struck me weird here was that the purple man is described as raping Jessica Jones which, in the original story, is what Ant-Man infers has happened. Jessica then asks why men always thinks that is what happened.

Finally, I think Bendis is pretty much equal opportunity in torturing his male and female characters physically and psychologically. I would guess he probably isn’t even on the sexual front, but then again I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some Powers storyline I’ve missed.

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@Bryan Rasmussen: I’m aware of the details of the story in question; yes, he did not rape Jessica herself, but he did rape several other women in front of her. And his primary motivation for not raping her was because he thought it would be funny to watch her beg to be raped only to have him say no.

What I’m saying is that this is one of those times where it’s probably wisest not to split hairs. :)

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mygif

Hi, I’m Sonja, and I used to be a superhero comic reader. I stopped reading a lot of them a few years ago, when I finally understood that I’m not the audience creators / publishers / whoever care about. (Yes, sometimes I’m slow.)

When the Avengers movie came out, I rediscovered my love for the characters and went online to check out if current comics (or even older storylines I could read in trades) might be something for me.

I discovered very quickly that nothing had changed and went back to movieverse. The movies aren’t actually trying to keep me from enjoying them – I can’t say the same for the comics.

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Chris K said on June 4th, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I can pay $20 or so and spend two hours watching the work of thousands of people, or I can pay $3 and spend 20 minutes reading the work of fewer than a dozen people. And I have to make my own popcorn. Comics were awesome back when there were things you could show in comics that you just could not show in movies.

Compare Marvel Premiere #10 to The Poseidon Adventure. Compare Thor #380 to Predator. Hell, compare Spawn #1 to Spawn. Comics used to do be better than movies at showing us certain things.

These days, the one redeeming feature of comics is that they allow a very small group of people to communicate a story in a visual medium with no budget. But Marvel’s not scratching that itch.

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Kai Jones said on June 4th, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I’ve seen Avengers 3 times in the theater so far and will see it more times this summer. I’m not a comic-book reader–but if I could buy series of comic books that told the stories between the movies and were true to the movie-verse characters, I’d buy them. What happened to Tony Stark and Pepper Potts between Iron Man 2 and Avengers? How did Captain America adjust to the modern world between his eponymous movie and Avengers? What have Thor and Jane and Darcy been doing since the Bifrost was destroyed? I want those stories, and the proof is in the fanfic. There’s a lot of fanfic out there to help me fill in those gaps–and I would have paid good money for professional quality stories with good illustrations in comic books.

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Gareth Wilson said on June 4th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

On the Starfire thing, I really have to wonder whether any fan of the cartoon would even recognise Starfire from the cover of that comic. About the only thing they have in common is being females with orange skin.

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Fantomex said on June 4th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

“Setting aside the whole question of whether he refers to male comics fans as “boys”, even when some of them are in their forties”

It seems more likely, John, that he refers to them as “guys”.

Guys and girls are commonly used terms for just about anyone under 60 (as spoken by twenty and thirty somethings), in every part of the United States that I’ve been, and there’s no undertone of condescension.

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mygif

well I done goofed.

While my original comment was made merely out of a fanboys spite towards the freshmen to the scene (and out of my own pithy feelings towards the tumblr-fandom specifically), I do agree that its indicative of a far darker problem with Marvel (and DC). I cant help but wonder what it must be like for someone to come across one of the numerous bizarre and unpleasant things thats happened to Marvels biggest team over the years.
I was talking with a friend who was reading The Ultimates a while back and completely dropped the series (and sadly comic reading in general) over his disgust with the events in the Ultimatum arc. While it would be foolhardy for Marvel to retain a happy-go-lucky attitude for the entirety of its releases, but do we really need to see things like Hank Pym biting off someone’s head?

But again I don’t know if thats even a valid complaint; there have been countless classic Marvel stories based around truly despicable goings-on (the death of Elektra and Gwen Stacy come to mind) but there is a certain shamelessness to lots of the big deaths and events in Marvel these days; Elektra’s stabbing was handles maturely and with the importance is deserved, while Sentry ripping Ares in half had the same emotional weight as a Michael Bay fight scene.

Where’s the class?

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stavner said on June 4th, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Things aren’t going to change at DC or Marvel until their owners fire those companies’ entire management and editorial and replace them with people from the magazine and book publishing fields who know how to attract and keep readers outside of comics.

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lilacsigil said on June 4th, 2012 at 11:13 pm

It would have been so easy to launch a movieverse Avengers comic and at least have a hope of picking up some of those viewers. I personally know hundreds of female comics readers, and we almost all pick and choose. When a comic gets skeevy, it gets dumped. Many of us aren’t as loyal as “fanboy” readers, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I collected X-Men for 20 years but wouldn’t sully my collection with Greg Land comics. I dumped Daredevil when they semi-fridged Milla and picked it up again with Mark Waid’s excellent and fun reboot.

(Actually, I didn’t mind the Purple Man and Jessica Jones story – it was told with Jessica’s experience as prominent, wasn’t sexed up for the viewer, it wasn’t Jessica’s sole (or main) motivation in life, and Jessica got the chance to fight back. The attack on Tigra was the exact opposite.)

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Strawhair said on June 5th, 2012 at 12:37 am

@stavner,
I can see where your coming from, but “more aggressive interference from the executive side” is pretty much the last thing I’m hoping to see.

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mygif

Over 1,000,000 people bought a copy of the “Superman” comic where he developed the power to create a midget version of himself by shooting rainbow beams from his hands. In comparison, despite the fact that the movie has earned over $1 billion, sales of the comic itself have been stagnant.

Can anyone out there tell me the biggest difference between the comics industry of the 50′s and the comics industry of today? Anyone? Bueller?

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kingderella said on June 5th, 2012 at 10:53 am

i think the ultimate line, if done right*, would address some of the issues here. werent ‘ultimate x-men’ and ‘ultimate spider-man’ originally launched to appeal to the audience of singers and raimis movies?

of course, the ultimate line is, at this point, irrepearably botched. so axe it, let it rest for a couple of years, and start over. new name, new continuity.

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1. In Bendis’ defense (and I can’t stand the man’s work), I think it’s quite clear from the past decade of Avengers taht he *doesn’t* do research before he tries to write these characters, so he probably wouldn’t have known about Tigra’s feminist history.

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mygif

Can I ask a question, at the risk of thread derailment?

What’s with all the Bendis hate that I see… well, pretty much everywhere? I remember when everyone loved Bendis. When he was everybodies favorite writer. And, well, I love Bendis. I love Powers. I love Alias. I consider Ultimate Spider-Man to be my own personal definitive take on the character, and many of the supporting cast in it (Aunt May) to be superior to their canonical versions. His Daredevil run was excellent. So was Fortune and Glory, and Goldfish.

Having said that… the stuff I just listed is his older stuff, the stuff he won Eisners for like a decade ago. And its pretty much the list of the only stuff I’ve read for him.

I know he spent a very long time writing the Avengers, almost none of which I’ve read because I wasn’t reading core Marvel books at the time. Was it that shitty that it completely destroyed all good will for him, James Robinson style?

I apologize for the possible threadjack, but I thought I’d ask this in an environment with people I respect and where, if it promoted an angry rant, it would be a well-spelled and punctuated one.

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highlyverbal said on June 6th, 2012 at 3:04 am

@Murc: “… a well-spelled and punctuated one.”

Could I talk you into “-punctuated”? Zero hyphens or two, if punctuation floats your boat. :)

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mygif

“Can anyone out there tell me the biggest difference between the comics industry of the 50′s and the comics industry of today? Anyone? Bueller?”

I’ll take a stab at it.

For one thing there are a lot more entertainment options vying for kid’s attention and money these days. Comics are just one hobby possibility of many, and a relatively expensive one. This article breaks down the cost of comics as a percentage of minimum wage, and it’s not pretty. A kid using their allowance or a stressed parent buying entertainment for them will rightly balk at the idea of dropping more than the price of a movie ticket on a few comics that will be read in a half hour.

http://www.vonallan.com/2011/08/minimum-wage-and-prices-of-comics.html#.TlVT6lSWpus.twitter

Access to comics is another big issue. They use to be everywhere. On news stands (when there were news stands everywhere) in drug stores and grocery stores and any place where someone thought sticking up a display would get them some sales. With direct marketing, you have to go to a comic store to get comics, and that’s a special trip that a parent has to make with their kid. Instead of biking down to the local drug store to spend their allowance, the kid often will have to convince their parents to take them to the store, which can be hard.

And once they get to the store the kid is faced with the crossover problem. That superman comic with the rainbow mini-me? It was a self contained story, over and done in one issue, the kid could read it and enjoy it and read it again if he wished. Today’s comics have six month story arcs that you need to collect all of to enjoy, and frequently have crossovers with other comics, further adding to cost and effort. A kid who has to drag their parents to the comic store already now has to convince them to go every month and shell out a boatload of money in order to keep up with the storylines. it’s too much of a buy in, and kids are choosing to do other things with their time and money.

Add in DC comic’s totally grown up and not at all moronic response to the Starfire issue, which boiled down to “Fuck kids, comics are wank material for aging neckbeards.”

http://io9.com/5844885/dc-comics-reponse-to-starfire-controversy-dont-let-your-kids-read-our-comics

and you don’t have an industry that’s going to have a chance of getting those 1950s numbers, ever.

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Brian T. said on June 6th, 2012 at 9:18 am

Bendis basically became Marvel’s equivalent of Geoff Johns a long time ago. He has a history of writing characters in totally the wrong way for no particular reason, retconning stuff just because he doesn’t like it and using Avengers comics as excuses to dwell on his personal obsessions.

Just for example, he gave the Jessica Drew Spider-Woman a heavily revised new origin apparently just because there were things about her established continuity that bugged him. You know, sort of like how Johns “fixes” characters.

He also killed off Hawkeye in the dumbest way possible and then brought him back as a moody ninja, which by itself is enough to make me regret the fact that I used to support his career by buying Powers.

He also does stuff like that infamous story where the Purple Man used his mind control powers to sexually abuse women and, IIRC, there was a story in Alias that focused on degrading sex between Luke Cage and Jessica Jones to a degree that makes me uncomfortable just trying to remember the details.

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Russell H said on June 6th, 2012 at 10:47 am

Well, there was a sex scene between Luke and Jessica in Alias, but that lasted about a page, and it barely focussed on any details other than it being a desperate hook-up where she “wanted to feel something different”.

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Murc, the Bendis-hate (and I liked his Daredevil run) pretty much started with Avengers, when he immediately came in and completely trashed 40 years of the book so he could add in Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage and Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew, of course, not the Spider-Woman that was already part of the team).

And he did it in the most ham-fisted way possible. Clint’s quiver catches on fire, so what does he do? Kills himself while screaming “not like this, not like this!” He does eventually bring Clint back — though never gives an explanation for why/how — but has him as a homicidal ninja. Anyone who’s read Clint at all knows he’s got one of the strongest stances against killing.

With Wanda, he trashed her complete powers and personality to make her a plot device to get rid of the Avengers. He still hasn’t explained why she didn’t know about her children when it had been shown not much earlier that she had (her memory of the twins had been wiped for about a half-dozen issues). Unlike, say, when John Byrne had a long story leading to her mental breakdown, Bendis just suddenly had her the Avengers worst villain. He does absolutely nothing with Jan for two years (well other than that horrible scene he wrote with her and Hank in Secret Invasion) and then kills her off to make his event seem more meaningful. He kills Vision and then when he finally brings him back has Tony say he was “tinkering” with him — Bendis may not like the character, but the idea that the other Avengers just consider him a machine to be dealt with in their spare time can only be arrived at by willfully ignoring every single other issue ever written with the character. The idea that Ultron can be female just because you’ve got a T&A artist … The list of things he’s done to destroy the Avengers franchise really just goes on and on.

Beyond my irritation over what he’s done to the characters that got me into Marvel, his writing style simply isn’t suited for team books, much less grand-scale adventure books. How many scenes were there of the Avengers just eating breakfast? Or Luke Cage riding in an elevator, or (as Jim Smith once pointed out on this site, I think) the first dozen issues where other teams/people continually came in and acted as the heroes. Where his dialogue worked somewhat in solo books like Daredevil, when every single Avenger talks exactly the same, you realize it’s as annoying as Claremont’s. The difference was Claremont generally paid off his stories, something Bendis never does.

He’s one of three writers whose work I simply refuse to buy based on his complete and utter disregard for continuity. Other writers build up the MU, adding characters and concepts, but he’s done nothing but tear it down. It just boggles my mind that someone who was so desperate to use Jessica Drew that he created a cheap knockoff (Jessica Jones) couldn’t appreciate that previous writers left her alive for the two decades she was in limbo but he couldn’t afford the same consideration for the characters he didn’t want to use.

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Candlejack said on June 7th, 2012 at 3:43 am

I’m curious, Jacob: who are the other two you refuse to buy?

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“Yes, I know most of this happened in ‘Alias’, not in ‘Avengers’. Same writer, worked the character heavily into ‘Avengers’, let’s not split hairs.”

Except Alias was JJ Abrams, and Avengers is Joss Whedon. Maybe a Dollhouse analogy there instead? I never watched Dollhouse.

I liked T.Shock’s idea with one possible change: why stick to paper? Announce a complementary app and everyone’s basically good to go. The biggest challenge would be ensuring that the content is complementary and not just tie-in, i.e., that as much effort went into creating a quality narrative as that in the movie.

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Candlejack said on June 7th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I’m pretty sure he meant the Marvel MAX series Alias and the comics Avengers, not the Garner tv show and the recent movie.

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Candlejack: Loeb (though I think I did buy the memorial issue for his son, as I thought that was for a good cause) and Millar.

I dropped Loeb way back in the ’90s. IIRC, he’d taken over an Xbook and added Cannonball, who’d been one of my favorite characters at the time, and just completely and utterly ignored every second of characterization that Sam had gone through. I’m sure it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but I just decided I didn’t care to spend my money on someone who had so little regard for the shared continuity/universe that’s a large reason I buy Marvel.

And Millar. After Civil War, which was just complete and utter crap, with his Bendis-like take on plot being more important than character. I won’t support him, though, more because I realize he’s not going to write anything that appeals to me than out of the nerd-rage that keeps me from supporting Bendis (who was a nice guy when I introduced myself to him way back at the first New York Comic-Con) or Loeb.

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Man someone should post this on a forum. Just do a sweep of different ones and make a chart on how big the flame wars get. lol

I feel like Brian Michael Bendis has been messing up a lot, but he’s still the writer I grew up with in Avengers so I’m constantly willing to let him screw up a little bit. But compared to image comics like Invincible and Dynamo 5 the Big 2 just are a little bit..sexist.

Man it feels weird to say that just because I hate using the term when it comes to my favorite hobbie in the world. But like everyone else I also have fired Loeb and Millar from being read by me. I just can’t bring myself to do it with Bendis.

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Brian T. said on June 9th, 2012 at 11:23 am

Oh, man… Millar. I lost patience with Millar pretty early in his Authority run when he kept trying to claim that all the rapes and gory violence were really subtle political commentary that Americans were too stupid to understand.

Of course, part of my reaction to Millar is really a reaction to fans who went along with him and kept posting things on message boards that boiled down to, “Yeah! It’s political commentary and we’re too stupid to get it! Only, I feel special because I understand it a little. Have some more dudes get butt-raped, Mark!”

Anyway… I “fired” him after that. I do such a good job of avoiding his work that I had no idea the movie Wanted was loosely based on one of his comics until after I saw it.

I grew up reading Avengers comics in the Seventies and Eighties, so I haven’t been happy with anything they have done with those characters since Kurt Busiek (who at least gets Hawkeye and made Hank Pym pretty cool instead of obsessing over that old “Yellowjacket’s a wife beater on top of being crazy” story like Bendis and Millar did) got replaced by Geoff Johns (my kryptonite).

I have certain ideas about the Avengers. One of them is that Wolverine should never be on the team, even if it would boost sales. Another is that Hawkeye would never have let himself get blown up by the explosives in his quiver. My reaction to Bendis’s run was basically, “I guess Marvel doesn’t want my money any more.”

Busiek’s run wasn’t perfect, but in my mind his comics are much, much closer to what the Avengers should be like than anything Bendis has done.

Also, Bendis using Spider-Woman as a fan service character and having all the guys obsess over how hot she is didn’t exactly make him seem like a guy who respects women. I wouldn’t blame female readers for “firing” him just for that.

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cloudface von ruckus said on July 29th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I just posted this as a response to someone sharing a “Tumblr quote” on Facebook..the quote was
“It’s time, in short, to stop assuming that the comics have narrative primacy, simply because they’ve been around longer. Right now, if you asked the average person on the street who the Avengers were, they’d tell you about the movie. We assume the comics are canon and the movies deviate from that canon because that’s how we’ve been following them, but let’s face facts. In terms of monetary success, public recognition, and number of fans, the Avengers are a series of movies that happens to have a lousy and inaccurate spin-off comic where Nick Fury is a white guy.”

…the argument irked me so I did some Google sleuthing to try and describe why…I wrote a bunch of crap and posted it but Facebook readers have the attention spans of drunken gnats…I think reading other comments here other people have said parts of what I wrote better and the thread seems dead but I thought I’d copypasta it here just in case some bored person reads it and at least can go “mmmm..yeah, kinda, maybe but you’re full of shit”..
Paste:

:-/

Overtly reductive and a fallacy of division…the article and quote..

Re the quote: “Argumentum ad populum”..The vox populli believe that roosters crow because the sun comes up-basing a propositon on finanical achievemnets, message spread, and equivocation of the term “fan” or rather the false assumption that someone that’s seen the Avengers movies is classifiable as a bona fide fan of a populust iteration in no way achieves a valid point.

fan
Noun:
A person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular sport, art or entertainment form, or famous person.

“Stong interest” is the key term above-sitting down in front of a movie screen is in no way comparable to sourcing a comic and reading it the whole way through. Someone who’s a fan of a certain sporting team is not someone that’s gone to watch the team at one or two games. People that refer to “that guy with the arrows” and “Scarlet Johansen’s character” aren’t fans.

He also affirms the consequent by claiming number of fans of the movie based on ticket sales. I’ve been somewhat of an Avengers fan-if watching a movie once as per this argument classifies you as a “fan”, then more than a fan-for over 15 years and I’ve never bought an Avengers comic once in that time. I also watched a pirated copy of The Avengers movie rather than see it at the cinema, which most likely a large number of people also did, if we enjoyed the movie we aren’t counted as quantifiable fans in this scenaario either. My appreciation for a memeplex is based on my continued purchase of it? Really? I can’t be strongly interested in something unless I pay money for it? Thank God for hookers then..

The article falsifies the executive premise, is “Ignoratio elenchi” and the conclusion is a thought terminating cliche.

Yeah, I did Wiki “list of fallacious arguments”-that was to try and use the right terms to describe what was annoying me…I was inspired to bother writting a comment based on the sloppy use of an adjunct at the beggining..”So last week,” is just improper syntax based on Internet jargon, “So, last week” makes it more transitional at least….
Perhaps I could just delete the above and respond with “I don’t agree” but I bothered looking it up and writing it down so might as well post…all I know for sure is if they ever get that Cerebus the Aardvark movie finished/released and it becomes popular I will seriously have to choke out any person that says the movie is better than the comic…(I’m in no way being exagerated here-seriously if you say the movie is better I will find you choke you out and then pee on your pants)..

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