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Christian

Marvel's One World Order

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Christian    807

I'm guessing most of the creative teams are probably going to be staying the same, as most of the titles are ones currently being published, with some of them (like the X-line) just being launched. I can't see Marvel changing creative teams on books like that this soon.

Can Marvel make it any more apparent that they're trying to copy DC? "Back-to-basics", 52 titles total....

Yeah, there's only a few new titles being launched....Marvel Two-in-One, Spirits of Vengeance seem to be the only new books.

 

Ugh....There's a rumour that the only actual reveal out of this entire "reveal", Marvel Two-in-One, is going to be a Brian Bendis book. That's all Marvel needs, for Bendis to write more of their titles.

 

And....Marvel's best book, The Ultimates, seems to be gone.

 

Also, if you look at the homage Legacy covers for this launch, you'll notice that the Inhumans (Royals) and Black Bolt covers both homage a classic Claremont/Byrne Uncanny X-Men cover. Subliminal message, eh?

 

The tone on the internet seems to be that Marvel has decided to "troll" all its fans with its entire line of comics, at this point. Perhaps Marvel grew so pissed off at the fans ruining their huge Secret Empire event by complaining about how offensive their every decision for the plot was, that Marvel decided to get revenge by making Marvel: Legacy one of the biggest let-downs in comic history.

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Christian    807

Marvel Comics is in a really bad way, right now, I'd assume. They released the first issue of Astonishing X-Men this week, and the owner of the comic store I go to told me I was the first person to buy a copy all day. There was a time when any X-Men book would sell bigly. Now, the store didn't even sell one copy? That's huy-ghe! I guess Marvel working so hard for all those years to convince fans that the X-Men sucked and that the Inhumans were way better worked. Now, Marvel wants you to read X-Men comics again, well, guess what? The fans listened to Marvel and realized that the X-Men suck! Unfortunately for them, fans still think that the Inhumans suck too.

I think that Marvel pissed away so much of their good will with Secret Empire also. The fans just turned out in droves from that book.

Astonishing X-Men wasn't bad either. It wasn't anything to go out of your way to read, but it was similar to a 1990s X-Men title, when any X-Men book was going to be a best bet, believe me.

I have my doubts that another soft-boot that is being marketed as a return to legacy numbering is going to be enough to help Marvel at this point.

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Lou K    1,098

I've sworn off the big 2. Marvel is a mess right now, with all the universes merged.

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Christian    807

I've given up on all things DC, but I can't bear to throw in the towel on Marvel. The number of Marvel books I buy each month continues to dwindle though. Marvel have been losing all of their top name writers too. After Secret Empire, Nick Spencer and James Robison are both going to be gone. I think that Jason Aaron and Al Ewing will be the only top writers left at Marvel (and each of them are only writing one monthly title now). Cullen Bunn has been improving more and more, so maybe you could count Bunn as a top writer now too.

Once Legacy kicks in, I'll be down even more Marvel books.

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Christian    807

Generations prove to be totally pointless. Since it was a small comic book week this week for me, I decided I would pick up the first of Marvel's Generations one-shots, which starred the Hulks. I'm not interested in that character any longer, but it was the first of the Generations issues, so I figured it might have something to do with the up-coming Marvel Legacy or post-Secret Empire Marvel Universe. Nope.

It's a story about the Amaedeus Cho Hulk somehow meeting the Bruce Banner Hulk, and there are a lot of fights which ensue.

All that, and Marvel charges an extra dollar? What a deal!

I won't be reading anymore of the Generations stories, even though a few of them piqued by interest when they were announced....like adult Jean Grey.

Maybe Marvel is trying to do something like DC's Convergence event, to show that the Marvel Multiverse does still exist, and maybe Marvel does plan to bring back some of their classic characters who are dead. Well, whatever.

The story still served absolutely no purpose. Modern-day Hulk finds himself somehow in an alternate universe (or maybe the past?) and meets up with Banner Hulk. There's a couple of big fights, and the story ends. Then, it says that up next is the Marvel Legacy non-relaunch of Incredible Hulk. Which I never had any interest in reading in the first place.

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Christian    807

Inhumans: Once and Future Kings #1 by Christopher Priest-There were two very good comics out this week, so this book ends up as the second best comic book of the week, when on another week, it probably would have easily ended up as the best book of the week.

Rather than re-telling ground that Jack Kirby already covered with the origin of the Inhumans, this series is an origin story for the Inhumans Royal Family, a story which hasn't been told before.

It seems that there's going to be a lot of focus placed on the Alpha Primitives....you know, the unnerving, but quietly swept under the rug, aspect of Inhumans society, that they have slaves! I think this is a good area of Inhumans history to look at, especially since other writers haven't really touched on it. Either ignoring it completely, or just accepting it as something that makes them "inhuman", rather than a morally wrong aspect of characters who are meant to be protagonists.

It seems like the issue of slavery was only touched on once in a great deal by a prior writer, and that ended up not really going anywhere.

Anyway, it's well written and a return after many years of Priest to Marvel.

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Christian    807

Well, this marks the end of two of Marvel's best books.....Ultimates #100 ends the Ultimates book. Silver Sufer won't actually end until next month, but the writing is on the wall.

 

Why is it Ultimates #100? I'm not sure. Do all the Ultimates titles added together equal 100 issues? I somehow doubt that.

So, this issue did actually feature the Mark Millar version of the Ultimates (which is not the characters that were starring in this iteration of The Ultimates).

I liked that Al Ewing made fun of Millar's "The A doesn't stand for France!" goofy line from so long ago now. Like it's the Ultimate Captain America's catch-phrase, which he just uses randomly.

Lou may be happy, as this story seems to introduce the idea that the Marvel Multiverse has returned....probably for Marvel Legacy.

A good issue to go out, for one of Marvel's best books. It will be missed, but at least it had a strong ending. I loved this series.

 

Meanwhile, this month's Silver Surfer continues an epic run of greatness for that character. This issue, the Silver Surfer goes so far back in time, he crosses over in to the Multiverse that existed before the current Marvel Multiverse, the Universe from which Galactus came, when he was still Galan. It was also a heart-warming tale. I'll miss this book too, although it lasted longer than I ever expected.

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Lou K    1,098

 

Lou may be happy, as this story seems to introduce the idea that the Marvel Multiverse has returned....probably for Marvel Legacy.

 

 

Probably not enough to get me back to buying Marvel books

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Christian    807

Well, it seems that against all common sense, Marvel does not plan to wipe away the Secret Empire continuity....

Unless the Marvel Legacy special is going to set up a new Marvel Universe, which at this point, I do not expect.

That's going to be kind of....disturbing.

I can imagine the discussion amongst the Avengers, "Hey guys. Remember when Captain America was a fascist and Hydra took over American? That was pretty crazy, am I right?".

"Yes....Let us never speak of any of that again."

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dogpoet    498

Thy're rebooting reality from scratch with next year's big crossover, obvs.

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JasonT    456
I can imagine the discussion amongst the Avengers, "Hey guys. Remember when Captain America was a fascist and Hydra took over American? That was pretty crazy, am I right?".

 

I guess it makes sense for them to exploit the fallout for story material.

 

Regardless of the positives and negatives of the whole Evil Cap thing, Captain America: Sam Wilson was amazing. :adore:

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Christian    807

Yeah, that was a really good series.

I doubt they'll even mention Secret Empire again. Marvel is moving on to the Marvel Legacy "not-a-relaunch" next.

 

A lot of books already seem to be ignoring the fact that fascists were just running the United States, like in X-Men:Gold, there's a story-arc brewing about how Congress is voting on a bill to deport all mutants from the United States. Well, in Secret Empire, Steve Rogers allowed California to secede from the US, and rounded up all known mutants and sent them to California, naming it "New Tian". At the end of Secret Empire, it shows the US government destroying New Tian, and repatriating the mutants back in to the United States.

Well, that all sounds incredibly stupid, on a number of levels. Sure, maybe the United States government wanted California back as part of the United States, but if they wanted to deport all mutants, especially when mutants don't have an actual homeland, why not just keep New Tian?

Plus, "OK, it's time to make it up to mutants for what the fascist government did to them! Welcome back to America! Now, let's vote if we're going to deport you, in a fascist-like manner!".

 

There's also the fact that fascist Steve Rogers is apparently still alive and being kept in a secret government prison compound. Spencer may have been going more for metaphor, in that the dark, fascist heart of the United States is always hidden just under the surface, waiting to come back out, and we must never allow that to happen. Sure. It's still a horrible decision.

I never want to see fascist Cap showing up as a villain again. I think that's a bad story idea that needs to be locked away with the Secret Empire cross-over, not to be seen again.

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I can't imagine Marvel ever referencing the events of "Secret Empire" again, because it radically changed the landscape of the entire world so drastically that putting things back to normal would be a massive restructuring lasting for years.  Las Vegas was destroyed, the Black Widow died trying to assassinate the leader of the country, and Ultron is apparently creating an army in the Arctic.  Not to mention that, by all appearances in the story, most of the regular citizens of the United States were just peachy with Hydra running things.  The whole story left such a bad taste in my mouth that it's totally disinterested me in Marvel Legacy.  I plan on picking up Spirits of Vengeance and Iceman, maybe Moon Knight if reviews are good, but otherwise it's just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic for me.

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Christian    807

Black Widow is apparently still going to be dead. Marvel announced a Tales of Suspense mini-series which will be a non-team-up story featuring Hawkeye and Winter Solider who both believe that Black Widow is still alive and will be trying to find her.

Yeah, the whole "a large percentage of America supported Hydra Cap" thing is what really makes me feel distaste about Marvel not hitting the reset button. The Inhumans in society were put in freakin' concentration camps! How do you deal with that in a shared comic book universe? "Gee, sorry about all that. I mean, I still wish you were in a concentration camp, but now that you're not, well, welcome back to your home. No hard feelings....unless I decide to lynch you in the middle of the night or something, in which case, yeah....."

Hawkeye even made comments a few times during Secret Empire about how the superheroes shouldn't care about the public anymore, due to the fact that the public so readily decided to side with something like Hydra.

Like people are really going to believe that Captain America was an alternate version created by a Cosmic Cube changing history. For all intents and purposes, the legacy of Captain America is tarnished beyond repair, I don't care what hand-waving Marvel wants to use.

It destroyed the character of Tony Stark by turning him in to neocon during the original Civil War. I refused to read any comics starring Iron Man for years after Civil War, because Iron Man was no longer a hero, he should have been treated as a super-villain.

It destroyed the character of Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) by showing her as an authoritarian during the Civil War II. Yeah, let's lock up people before they commit any crimes, there's nothing wrong with that idea, is there? I refuse to read any comics starring Carol Danvers now.

The situation with Steve Rogers is far worse. I won't be reading any comics starring Steve Rogers probably ever after this point.

And, it's ruined the Punisher as a character. Yes, you could say he's already done that for himself, but to openly admit that he's a fascist, and not just pretend that he's somehow different than all those other lone-gunman vigilantes that Marvel superheroes actively fight.....Yeah, he claims he was "misled" by Steve Rogers because he thought he was the "real Captain America". Like Frank Castle really gave a fuck! He knew what was going on, he just had a State backing his "law and order" bullshit. He hasn't changed. Sure, they showed him shooting some Hydra agents now....well, isn't that just because the regime has changed and now Hydra are classified as "terrorists" again?

It's just bad in so many ways.

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Christian, your point about the Punisher is probably the most damning part of Secret Empire as far as I'm concerned.  All of the other heroes that sided with Hydra had a hand-waving explanation (Thor conflicted about Mjolnir and worthiness, Scarlet Witch possessed by Chthon, Vision infected by a virus, etc...), but the Punisher straight up became an SS stormtrooper of his own free will.  That's not the Frank Castle I know as a character, and he's walked away from that crossover even more damaged than Captain America.

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Christian    807

I don't know....It is sort of the Punisher I know. I know that Ennis decided to take Castle in a different direction*, but really, the character's whole raison d'etre is the police aren't doing their jobs effectively enough, the justice system is hand-tied by rules that prohibit it from effectively enforcing "law and order" policies, so he's out there fighting the Vietnam War against domestic criminals. That's pretty much fascist ideology. That the liberal State has hand-tied people from effectively enforcing the laws of the land. The fascist State isn't hamstrung by the "rule of law", and fascists can have the State do what Punisher is being forced to do as a "one man army".

The fact that most of Marvel's superheroes have had to stop a crazed vigilante gunman who feels "he is the law", because "heroes don't kill" pretty effectively should be seen as a commentary on the Punisher.

*Even Ennis' Punisher wasn't supposed to be seen as heroic, if you consider the plot of the "Born" mini-series, where Frank Castle doesn't ever want the bloodshed to end.

Although, I agree that coming out saying that the Punisher is just a fascist is a character killing moment.

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Lou K    1,098
28 minutes ago, Christian said:

*...if you consider the plot of the "Born" mini-series, where Frank Castle doesn't ever want the bloodshed to end.

Jason Aaron took that one step further in Frank. Have you read that run? It's quite good

28 minutes ago, Christian said:

 

 

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Christian    807

No, I stopped reading during the Ennis run. I was needing to make some cuts in my new comic buying for cash reasons at the time, and then I never really went back to finish the Ennis run even.

 

Oh, and Beast has also been tarnished by this, because he said that at least Hydra's America allowed mutants to have their own homeland. Even though mutants had their own homeland with Utopia under Cyclops' leadership, and a number of X-Men questioned whether Cyclops mutant segregation policies were the best way to accomplish Xavier's dream....Yet, Hydra didn't give mutants a choice and forced them to move to New Tian. Beast didn't seem to have a problem with any of this, even though it makes zero sense.

Why would a bunch of X-Men have problems with the idea of Utopia, where mutants could make the choice to live if they freely chose, and yet, Beast saw no problem with a Hydra government enforced mutant homeland?

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34 minutes ago, Christian said:

I don't know....It is sort of the Punisher I know. I know that Ennis decided to take Castle in a different direction*, but really, the character's whole raison d'etre is the police aren't doing their jobs effectively enough, the justice system is hand-tied by rules that prohibit it from effectively enforcing "law and order" policies, so he's out there fighting the Vietnam War against domestic criminals. That's pretty much fascist ideology. That the liberal State has hand-tied people from effectively enforcing the laws of the land. The fascist State isn't hamstrung by the "rule of law", and fascists can have the State do what Punisher is being forced to do as a "one man army".

The fact that most of Marvel's superheroes have had to stop a crazed vigilante gunman who feels "he is the law", because "heroes don't kill" pretty effectively should be seen as a commentary on the Punisher.

*Even Ennis' Punisher wasn't supposed to be seen as heroic, if you consider the plot of the "Born" mini-series, where Frank Castle doesn't ever want the bloodshed to end.

Although, I agree that coming out saying that the Punisher is just a fascist is a character killing moment.

I can see all that, but Secret Empire itself gave a totally different rationale for Frank joining up with Nazi Super-Terrorists.  He told the Black Widow that Cap was going to use the Cosmic Cube to bring his wife and kids back to life, and that was why he joined up to hunt down superheroes for the regime.  Frank Castle, who once burned his back-from-the-dead-family alive b/c he didn't want them involved in his war or used against him, was given that as his motivation in Secret Empire.  That was such a massive mis-read of Castle's character, I slapped my forward in disbelief when I read it.

And, while everything you said about the Punisher is absolutely true, Christian, he's also a character who sees everything in moral absolutes.  Hydra was a terrorist organization responsible for thousands of innocent deaths (if not a lot more) not just throughout modern history but also just in the run up to seizing power over the country.  He didn't join up with Normal Osborne during "Dark Reign", and that was an even less morally-dubious scenario.  I just can't cotton to him joining up with any larger power to direct him, he's too independent for all of that.  In the first arc of the MAX run, he wouldn't work with the CIA to hunt down Bin Laden b/c they got their funding from heroin distribution.  Then Spencer has him join fucking HYDRA.  

Gah, sorry for the rant.  I'm turning into Warren Ellis.

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Lou K    1,098

If you get a chance, check out Aaron's run if you can find it collected or maybe at your library. I liked it maybe better than Ennis run, which got kind of repetitive after a while.

 

Not sure how to do spoilers on this new site so I won't add anything about the one part of the story that completely dials in what we're talking about here.

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Christian    807

I guess I can see you point about Frank Castle. I'm not that big a fan of the character myself. It's my same feelings when a character like Tony Stark or Steve Rogers is written so out of character.

I don't remember that scene with the Punisher and Steve Rogers....maybe it was in one of the spin-off books I didn't read. I do remember that Frank Castle said something about how he was working with Hydra, because once Rogers had the Cosmic Cube he was going to establish Order in the world, by changing history so that everyone was loyal to Hydra. In that sense, Frank Castle would accept that, as it would finally end his war.

Steve Rogers said he was going to set everything right, so that everyone who died in Hydra's invasion of America would be brought back to life. Rogers also believed in the Red Skull's lie that the Axis powers were going to win World War II, but then the Allies created the Cosmic Cube, and used it to change history, making it so that Steve Rogers was loyal to liberalism and democracy. Rogers told everyone loyal to him this lie, believing it to be true, and then said that he was just setting history right by using the Cosmic Cube to make it so that everyone was loyal to Hydra.

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The first Civil War drove me insane, with its character-assassination of Tony Stark. I'm not the biggest Tony Stark fan (CEOs of transnational corporations usually aren't my favourite people), but I have read the majority of Iron Man comic books. While I can appreciate Millar wanting to use a corporate figure to represent W. Bush's plutocracy, going against a true patriot in Captain America....it was wildly out of character for Stark.

It would have worked better had he used someone like Norman Osbourne. I guess that's the problem when a writer wants to tell a story about how easy it is to fall for authoritarianism, some superhero has to take the fall in the name of The Story.

I mean, Tony Stark spent the 1980s fighting against the federal government for over-reach and his refusal to get involved with government corruption and weapons manufacturing again. Marvel worked so hard in the 1970s to try to turn this selfish asshole character accidentally created by Stan Lee (hey, he was a Cold War liberal, anyone fighting Commies must be worth cheering for, right?) in to a somewhat sympathetic character. Then, Millar shreds all of that.

See? We can all rant!

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