Unless you just never bother to think about collected comic book hardcovers or trade paperbacks, you know this drill by now…
New Marvel Comic Book Movie comes out– doesn’t matter if it’s a Marvel Studios film or one made by Fox or Sony… Hell, it doesn’t even matter if it’s any good… And Marvel Comics floods the market with pricey, often needless comic book series 9 to 6 months before the film’s release– all so the even more expensive Hardcovers, Trades & Omnibi can tantalize an unsuspecting (not exactly comic-savvy) public with “super cool” books around the new movie’s release month.
Here’s the Wolverine collections Marvel’s published in just the last few weeks:
July 3, 2013
Wolverine By Mark Millar Omnibus HC – $75.00
Ultimate Comics Wolverine Legacies – $14.99
June 26, 2013
Wolverine And The X-Men By Jason Aaron Vol 5 – $17.99
Wolverine First Cuts – $19.99
June 12, 2013
Wolverine By Larry Hama And Marc Silvestri Vol 1 – $24.99
June 5, 2013
Wolverine Adamantium Collection Slipcase HC – $200.00
Wolverine By Claremont And Miller HC – $24.99
Wolverine Origin HC (New Print) – $29.99
Wolverine Season One HC – $24.99
That’s a whopping $432.93 USD in Wolverine Comic Book Graphic Novels in just FOUR WEEKS… And The Wolverine film doesn’t premiere in the US until 7.26.13… Leaving three more comic book shipping weeks for Marvel to pump out even more stuff. (Most certainly there will be more opportunistic Wolverine books published in the weeks immediately after the movie premiere too.)
Now, don’t get me wrong… I have zero problem with Marvel doing their best to maximize their profits– in fact, I expect them to. But there are two things about this omnibus that really trouble me:
The constant repackaging of older graphic novels and hardcovers with new covers and marginally different content configurations makes the possibility of double purchases by some readers almost a foregone conclusion…
… And, more importantly, Marvel is once again using the abysmal, sophomoric work of Mark Millar to promote comics to potential new readers on the eve of a major film release.
Loyal readers of this column may remember I complained about this exact same thing just before the premiere of Marvel’s Avengers film– when the publisher released Millar’s misogyny-filled Ultimates Omnibus the same week the film hit theaters. Given the unnecessarily controversial horseshit that flavors most of the man’s comic stories– is Millar really Marvel’s “go to” guy… The “best talent” Marvel can find to help associate their comics with their new movies? I would think not… But then again, I also don’t think Marvel gives a hairy rat’s ass about anything other than their financial bottom line… Otherwise, they wouldn’t carpet bomb the marketplace every time one of their superhero movies comes out.
I may keep a running tally in the IMJ Sidebar just to see how absurd Marvel’s Wolverine Movie Comic Book Ca$h Grab gets between now and the end of the month… It might be interesting to see the final dollar figure attached to all this greed.
Artemis Fowl Vol 3 Eternity Code
Axe Cop Vol 4 President World
Billy The Kid Old Timey Oddities Vol 3
Cartoon Introduction To Statistics
Chronicles Of Conan Vol 24 Blood Dawn & Other Stories
Classics Illustrated Vol 17 Secret Agent HC
Crow Midnight Legends Vol 4 Waking Nightmares
Daredevil End Of Days HC – The Daft Knight Rises!
Dark Avengers Masters Of Evil
Doctor Who Series III Vol 2 Eye Of Ashaya
Gettysburg Address A Graphic Adaptation
Graphic Canon Vol 3 Heart Of Darkness To Infinity
Green Lantern Corps Vol 1 Fearsome – Own the Hardcover
Green Lantern Corps Vol 2 Alpha War HC
Grendel Omnibus Vol 3 Orion’s Reign
Jason Lost Cat HC – Recommended
John Stanley Library Nancy Vol 4 HC
Legacy Of The Crusaders
Marvel Now Omnibus – This Week’s POS*
Masks And Mobsters Vol 1 HC
New Avengers Vol 1 Everything Dies HC
Night of the Living Dead Vol 1 Aftermath
Persia Blues Vol 1 Leaving Home
Secret History Of DB Cooper HC
Star Trek Vol 5
Superman Family Adventures Vol 1
Taschen Silver Age Of DC Comics 1956-1970 HC
Team 7 Vol 1 Fight Fire With Fire
Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 Revolution HC
Usagi Yojimbo Vol 27 A Town Called Hell Limited HC
Venom The Enemy Within
Wasteland Vol 8 Lost In The Ozone
Wolverine By Mark Millar Omnibus HC – This Week’s CA$H GRAB
World War Blue Vol 1
Ultimate Comics Ultimates By Humphries Vol 1
Ultimate Comics Wolverine Legacies
Wolverine and the X-Men By Jason Aaron Vol 5 – Own the HC
X-Factor Vol 20 Hell On Earth War
Bleach Vol 57
Blue Exorcist Vol 10
D.Gray Man 3-in-1 Edition Vol 1 – Buy the single volumes
Fairy Tail Vol 27
Hana-Kimi 3-In-1 Edition Vol 5
Jiu Jiu Vol 5
Mayo Chicki Vol 3
Mobile Suit Gundam Origin Vol 2 Garma – Recommended
Natsume’s Book Of Friends Vol 14
Negima Omnibus Vol 7 – Buy the single volumes
Oresama Teacher Vol 14
Pokemon Adventures Vol 17
Pokemon Adventures Black & White Vol 1
Psyren Vol 11
Skip Beat 3-In-1 Edition Vol 5
Strobe Edge Vol 5 $9.99
Uglydolls Goin’ Places
Considering all the different ways I’ve recently discovered to critically assault DC Comics, it only seems natural the pendulum would swing back toward Marvel again. This week’s releases featured a cornucopia of Marvel Crap at your Local Comic Shop… With the absolute worst offender being the Marvel Now! Omnibus.
You might be wondering why I think a collection of Marvel Now! first issues is worse than the Mark Millar Wolverine Omnibus I skewered at the beginning of this column. Well, let’s just say I’m offended by the Now! Omnibus’ very existence. The promotional description used to sell the doorstop only breeds more ill will from me:
Get in on the ground floor as the Marvel Universe is revitalized for a new and exciting era of adventure! Collecting UNCANNY AVENGERS #1, MARVEL NOW: POINT ONE, A+X #1, DEADPOOL (2012) #1, IRON MAN (2012) #1, ALL-NEW X-MEN #1, FANTASTIC FOUR (2012) #1, THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #1, X-MEN LEGACY (2012) #1, CAPTAIN AMERICA (2012) #1, INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #1, FF (2012) #1, AVENGERS (2012) #1, THUNDERBOLTS (2012) #1, AVENGERS ARENA #1, CABLE AND X-FORCE #1, NEW AVENGERS (2013) #1, SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1, SAVAGE WOLVERINE #1, YOUNG AVENGERS (2013) #1, UNCANNY X-MEN (2013) #1, SECRET AVENGERS (2013) #1, NOVA (2013) #1, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2013) #1, RED SHE-HULK #58, FEARLESS DEFENDERS #1, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #646, MORBIUS: THE LIVING VAMPIRE #1, UNCANNY X-FORCE (2013) #1, WOLVERINE (2013) #1, AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #9 & MORE!
Why do I find this Omnibus so offensive? Mainly because the entire Marvel NOW! initiative only exists because Marvel (once again) decided to “copy” a DC comic book sales gimmick. I put the word “copy” in quotes because Marvel didn’t truly copy DC’s New 52 reboot approach… They just switched some of their creator teams and put some new adjectives in front of some their existing comic book titles. (INDESTRUCTIBLE Hulk, UNCANNY Avengers and SAVAGE Wolverine are just three examples.) It’s clear from the mundane comics collected here that “revitalizing” their books for “a new and exciting era of adventure” was nowhere to be found on Marvel Now’s “To Do” List.
And when you truly start analyzing DC’s New 52 and Marvel’s NOW! comics… This is where all this MESS starts to defy description:
DC Comics didn’t really reboot their comic line with the New 52. DC hyped these changes as an entirely fresh approach to their comics and characters… But the reality proved quite different– as the New 52 books were little more than slightly different, shallower versions of already existing DC characters and themes.
In other words, DC’s New 52 just copied Marvel’s old Ultimate Universe idea– where a bunch of heroes, their backstories and their costumes were tweaked– then shoved into an alternate universe… So creators could tell extremely derivative stories– and call them “new”.
Yes, you read that bit of confusing shit correctly! I think the Marvel NOW! line of comics is little more than a slightly different copy of DC’s New 52 idea– which is also just a poor copy of Marvel’s Ultimates Universe… Which, of course, is also a copy of many of the ideas/themes explored in various early DC alternate universe comic stories (from the 1960s on up) and DC’s Elseworlds books (popular in the 80s.)
In other words, watching Marvel & DC “evolve” is a lot like watching a HUGE SNAKE EAT ITS OWN TAIL.
So when you start wishing Marvel or DC would be more original, it might be helpful to understand neither company has been that original in DECADES… And all this repetition is only going to get worse– as each publisher becomes further entrenched in their corporate infrastructures. Here’s pretty much the most you can expect while reading any current DC or Marvel comic: A half-decent story told in a fairly competent manner. And if you happen to experience any storytelling above and beyond this low set of expectations? Consider it an anomaly– and a cool bonus.
I’m beginning to believe being a fan of corporate publishers like DC or Marvel is the TRUE DEFINITION of insanity– as we continue to buy the same comics year after year, hoping the quality and ingenuity of the storylines will be better.
Just like CBR publishing a negative Marvel comic book review— that’s rarely (if ever) gonna happen!