Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Only Thoughts on Marvel NOW So Far

I really like Thor: God of Thunder. I don't like most of the others so far because the entirety of Marvel NOW seems to be "Hey, isn't it funny that the Marvel Universe now has ten thousand heroes and eight lifetimes of continuity that we've all got to keep meticulous track of because somehow every one of these dopes is integral to the entire structure?" And to that extent, I really don't care. The Marvel Universe is, in my opinion, even more fucked than the DC Universe, because at least the DC Universe knew enough to pretend to stop everything and start over. It botched the whole thing, of course, but at least it's almost sort of possible to figure out what goes on in the New 52. Kind of. Nearly. But I am at sea with these Marvel books, and a lot of them just suck, anyway. The whole impetus seems to basically be "Hey, you liked it when Joss Whedon did it, so now none of our books are serious at all, and everything is a joke AND has dire consequences AT THE SAME TIME" while basically ignoring that the characters in Joss Whedon's movie were, like, people with problems and emotions and not just jerks acting cool all the time.

I enjoyed what Mark Waid did with the first issue of the 87th volume of Fantastic Four in remembering that Reed Richards is at his most compelling when he's sharing his fascination with science. The set-up for the new adventures sounds like it could be marvelous. But the whole "Well, first we've got to decide who's going to be the new FF while we're gone" angle is wheezy and done to death. Seriously, Reed, who gives a shit? I think if Galactus comes calling maybe one of the other ten thousand superheroes running around in the Marvel Universe can handle it, alright?

It's another one of those soft reboots they always did in The Avengers every few years: let's decide who the new team line-up is going to be by bringing in every character who was ever an Avenger for even a single issue and have an intense, unexciting meeting about it, thus reminding everyone why this book has been too frustrating to pay attention to since Secret Wars. Because why have stories and characters when you can just have roll calls?

Seriously, how can you expect us to value the abilities and uniqueness of your superheroes when ordinary humans are now the minority in your fictional world? How special is the Thing when you've got 14 characters with pretty much the same abilities running around? And why spend so much time right at the beginning of Marvel NOW reminding us of how badly you've cheapened the characters by overpopulating the place? So many of these new issues were just big jokes about which superheroes are going to be on which made up teams, which is about as exciting as watching kids in a backlot pick stickball teams, with the same level of emotional sophistication.

Can you tell a fucking story, please?

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