Comic Vs Film : The Yeah & Meh of Marvel
Comic book movie has been all over the news lately and have taken over the Hollywood film industry in a way. That being said, it can be a detriment to its original industry, the comic book itself. In this first part, I'll be focusing on Comic Book movie juggernaut; Marvel Studio.
The purpose of this post is to analyse what had happen to the comic book industry post the creation of cinematic outings. Of course there is always The Yeah; the things happen for the best but also The Meh; things that happen for the worst. Who better to start this thing off that the king of Cinematic Universe; marvel, right ?
Marvel Studio has become the king of comic book movie leaving all its competitors in dust. Despite some mediocre film in the past, their film nowadays has been some of the most anticipated movie of the years.
However if you've been following the other side of Marvel; the comic book, you would realized there's been some complaint towards the House of Idea on the quality of the comic released. Despite some stands out (The Vision, Black Panther, and Miss Marvel), they have taken some questionable decision towards some of their character.
Before I go on, lets me preface this by saying that unlike DC, I am not that familiar with Marvel comic before the movie (because lets face it, nobody care about it before the movie), and only really caught up with them during the AvX event. That being said, I am aware some of the big event happens before that (Civil War, Schism, and Avengers Disassembled). So, now that we get past that. Lets get into this.
The YeahMarvel Comics is not just X-Men and Spiderman.
Before 2008, most of people would only know X-Men (Thanks to the cartoon) and Spiderman (Thanks to the cartoon and also the movie), and maybe Incredible Hulk and Iron Man (they both had a non successful cartoon). Because of this, these two character suddenly become the face of Marvel with many great and not so great events involving them. Post 2008 starting with the release of Iron Man, is when we started to see more and more event involving other character like Iron Man (Extremis) and Captain America (The Winter Soldier, Civil War). Fast forward to 2014; The Avengers now become the face of Marvel comic with big events like Infinity and Secret Wars (they event finally got a cartoon series). That being said, it also become a detriment to those previous faces of Marvel as I will talk in the Meh section.
Solo stands out book
Following that, more and more characters from comic has been given a solo book. Both Hawkeye and Black Widow had a very good run. The Vision had a stellar series recently. The reason this happening is that these character had been compelling in the movie and produce quite amount of fan. The company took that opportunity and ran a more short storyline for these people as they are not commit for a long running comic. It at least satiate their thirst for these character solo outings on the silver screen.
Great storyline (or convulated) for bringing back to status quo
I don't know if this is a Yeah, but half of this is a Meh which I will talk later, but everytime there is a movie involving a certain character about to come out, Marvel will force their writer to bring back the character into its status quo in whatever sometimes ridiculous way. Best example is Assault of Pleasant Hill that bring back the young Steve Rogers in time for Civil War. It is a great story no doubt but in the end it is just a story to bring back the status quo. These story are great but sometimes it is just funny to read how the writer need to weave through the story for a pretty obvious end. Might as well do it immediately in the beginning and craft a great story.
The MehMore risk on the status quo, less risk on the storyline
It is great to have solo book, but that means they are capable to maintain their status quo pretty easily despite someone else having the name because they are not dead, or trapped in time, or MIA. They are still fully capable to do their job and ready to get back in action. Case in point, Falcon took over Capt's mantel when Steve Roger lost his youth, despite he is an old man, he for some reason still in action instead of retiring allowing him to return to take back his role in time for the movie.
Marvel has been pretty risky with the status quo by having the core Avengers role being taken by someone else, but that's about it. There were less risk in the storyline. Sure Capt is now Hydra , and Stark is adopted but those are not something you could see on silver screen and easily rectified. Civil War 2 is ok for the moment but it doesn't deliver as much impact as we wanted to. The only one I could see that worthy enough to see on silver screen from the recent outing is the entire Hickman's previous run of Avengers but that's mostly because I think he was given freedom to write what he wants, and boy did he.
The obvious push for certain character and demographics
This is not really bad as that's why you got all those stellar solo book, but when it's bad, it really is. The recent run for Avengers was aimed fully at kids with young cast and Tony Stark (who is always lovable on screen thanks to RDJ, didn't translate on pages) which is why I semi drop it currently. The whole cast of Guardian of Galaxy receives a movie makeover including Star Lord's hair color changes from blonde to brown. The worst of all was The Inhuman. Since Infinity, Marvel has been pushing for their Inhuman in place for Mutants for their future MCU.
The Inhuman has its fans due to their role as the secret royalty of Marvel Universe. They never take a larger role except in the Annihilation story arc, but then Marvel thought that they origin would be a good explanation for super-power in MCU (because they can't use Mutants) , so they decided to blow the Inhumans, literally into the universe, and it didn't work. The problem is not the story, but other than being a second-grade Mutants, the Inhuman are not allowed to grow individually. Up until now, it is still about them trying to deal with the terrigen mist explosion. Enough already, focus into the smaller stories. Not everything is about the larger universe.
It is all about the larger universe
Why do the solo books are great ? Why do the recent Avengers annual is great ? Because they focus on a smaller story that doesn't deal with world destruction. And that is why Inhuman doesn't work for now. X-men didn't start with a crossover with Avengers. After all this character been fully established & explored, then they start to crossover. Then come the counter argument, Hickman's run was all about world destruction or is it ? It is but every issue explores the character in the team individually while all those world destruction happen in the background and that what makes the book compelling. Because of MCU, people expect that the comic has to be always interconnected, it can but then again even a superhero needs personal time, right ?
The rest of the universe doesn't grow
The maintain of status quo and the focus on certain character causes the universe doesn't grow. X-Men in particular doesn't really have new story to tell, one of the reason is they run out of idea since AvX, but at the same time, they are particular tied with Fox's movie universe. There are not particularly new villains created for Marvel recently (give me some Inhuman's villain, they can't be all good right ?) and sure Spiderman is a rich guy now but he didn't have a new interesting storyline, most of it just a rehash. I would give a pass on this for now as Marvel just sort of reboot their universe, but hopefully it doesn't stay this way.
In the end, has the comic for Marvel changes for the better or for the worst ? It is still up for discussion to me. While I have complains, Howard the Duck and Squirrel Girl are pretty good kids book while The Vision is a pretty good serious book.I do believe Inhuman will benefit from a more individualized storyline and Civil War 2 was too early for a universe shaking event that barely there for a year. Again, I'm not writing this to judge but to reflect on and sparks discussion.
So what do you think of Marvel comic now ? Do you enjoy it or you drop most of its title ? Sound off your thought in the comment section. Stay tuned for a second part where I'll be focusing on DC Comics. To keep up to date, be sure to follow and like Comikrew Studio right here and on Facebook. Don't forget to subscribe to my comic at Tapastic and finally be sure to follow and hit me up on Twitter.