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Comic Countdown #27: Marvel Later

Posted on July 8, 2012 AT 09:07pm


Welcome to this weeks Comic Countdown! Last week, the Countdown discussed the potential new line of titles coming from Marvel, that were spawned by a teaser image by Joe Quesada.  After some speculation, and a few information leaks, Marvel finally got around to telling everyone what they had up their sleeves. The Marvel Now! campaign features several new titles, which will not be a reboot, but some new ideas under a new branch of the Marvel Universe. This is a terrible idea. Here are ten reasons why. On with the countdown!

#10: Ridiculous Concept

The Marvel Now! campaign is what looks to be Marvel’s answer to DC’s The New 52, only not going quite the length that DC did. DC went all in, Marvel is just testing the waters here. By releasing a brand new imprint, they attempt to sate the fans that want to see their favorite characters, and the new crowd clamoring to see a modern retelling of the origins of the characters they’ve just discovered. By doing this they create a limited run of half-cooked ideas that will likely, despite having some terrific people working on them, not go as well as planned. Marvel is playing cautious, not wanting to rock the boat too much and not risk a dip in sales. This could come back to haunt them.

#9: New Creative Teams

Speaking of which, many of the great writers in Marvel’s employ are moving on to new Marvel Now! titles. Brian Michael Bendis will be on All-New X-Men, Jonathan Hickman will be taking on Avengers and New Avengers, Rick Remeder will be handling Uncanny Avengers, and many more. These new titles will likely take these amazing writers off their primary books, which could cause cancellations, or a relaunch with a creative team that will take the title in a new and likely less concrete direction.

#8:  More Avengers And X-Men Titles

There are enough titles from both of these franchises. Marvel does not need to release more. But with the Marvel Now! imprint, they’re doing just that. Uncanny Avengers combines the two teams, All New X-Men brings in a blast from the past, with the original five X-Men coming to the present, and there are at least two new Avengers titles on the way. These may help introduce the characters to a new audience, but enough is enough, already.

#7:  Jean Grey

She’s back, kind of. In All-New X-Men, Jean Grey returns as Marvel Girl, as a member of the original X-Men team. A prediction awhile back pegged a return for Miss Grey, but placing her in a time-traveling X-Men book is not the answer. The Phoenix, who made an appearance in Avengers Vs. X-Men, could have brought back its most well-known host in another way.

#6: Time Travel

Speaking of All-New X-Men, its been well discussed that this book features time travel. Time travel in a universe that is already pretty complicated is a bad idea. When comic books employ time travel, a lot of stuff gets changed or ignored, and can completely ruin any sense of connection between any of the numerous universes in Marvel history. Not going to help, Marvel.

#5: Complicates Continuity

Marvel’s continuity is bad enough, without another imprint mucking up the waters even more. Many of their universes have come up with some great stories, terrific characters, and life changing events for some of the more popular heroes, but, with alternate universes, all of it can be passed off as a different reality when something doesn’t work. I also doesn’t help that Marvel tends to mix continuities, such as placing Miles Morales and Peter Parker in the same book, Spider Men. Marvel Now! is just another pile of fiction to add onto an already confusing place.

#4: Release Schedule

Marvel in planning on releasing most of these books in installments, with one brand releasing a bit after one of the others. This will allow fans to see if this is worth anything, and it could sink the sales of the imprint before they ever get going. Releasing them all at once is risky, but the build-up plan could backfire just as hard.

#3: Timing Issues

This announcement, which will officially take place at San Diego Comic Con, seems a bit ill-timed. When trying to get a new fan base, especially in this medium, creating a new imprint after the conclusion of yet another lackluster event seems more like trying to cover a scar with another scar. This would have been better suited for a beginning of summer campaign that could have lasted throughout, or in conjunction with, the summer movie season.

#2: Marvel Brass Is Confused

In a recent interview with, Alex Alonso made a statement that seems to point to the fact that the higher-ups in the Marvel chain of command seem to have difficulty figuring out how to go about explaining this campaign. While repeatedly stating this is not a reboot, Alonso also made mention that “We don’t travel back in time, into the future, or to an alternate universe.” This is simply not true, as the entire concept of All-New X-Men is based in time travel. Knowing that it happens is one thing, but announcing a title that explains that it does, and then contradicting that announcement seems a bit odd.

#1: Doesn’t Do Enough

Simply put, Marvel Now! is a safe step that doesn’t do much to really help the Marvel Universe. While there will surely be some great issues, and the books themselves have a lot of potential, this concept would have been better off being seen all the way through, or not done at all.

That’s it for this week’s Countdown! Check back in two weeks for a brand new installment. The Countdown will be on hiatus for a week for San Diego Comic Con.

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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