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Christian

Marvel's One World Order

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If the writers they have aren’t bringing in more profit, then it’s not a big loss. Marvel is just keeping around a roster of mediocre talents.

I mean, if Marvel’s sales figures were at record levels, I could agree that relying on tenured talent is an acceptable business model. Marvel’s sales have been terrible for years, so it might be time to attempt more competitive ideas.

Sometimes it can be a good thing to lose a creator who a company has milked as much as possible. Losing Bendis should be seen as a positive for Marvel. Even if a person is a fan of Bendis, they could still probably agree, as Bendis hogging the top slot at Marvel for so many years opened the door for new names to step up. Bendis was just stagnating at Marvel.

Unforunately, those new names reaching the next level include names like Slott.

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They try to push names they can get on exclusive contracts even if the names aren't any good. It's not a healthy situation, but they'll keep it up until it stops working. I'd suspect Marvel are making a lot more from cross marketing their intellectual property than they are from publishing comics at the moment anyway, and just see those as a marketing tool for the films.

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I know. That's exactly true. It shows how big business stifles creativity. They aren't doing the best job in the market, far from it, and they're actually struggling a great deal as far as actual readership sales figures. However, they have the money to publish more books than anyone else in the business, plus they have the outside marketing which is worth far more than their actual original business model (publishing comic books). It allows them to coast, and take the easiest path, and not worry about trying to truly compete in the marketplace. If they had better people running the actual company, interested in publishing good comics with creativity, they could be doing far better with their actual original business model (again, publishing comic books). It simply doesn't matter. They truly could get robots to turn in a comic book story every month, and as long as Disney is able to profit off of blockbuster movies and merchandising deals, it wouldn't matter in the slightest. Unless Marvel Comics itself is bleeding money (rather than just seeing regularly declining sales year-on-year), the company has no incentive for change. Once again, this will never happen, because of the percentage of the market that Marvel has cornered by flooding the market with comic series. They can keep pumping out ten new series every month, and some readers are going to buy those books, which adds up in the long-term. Not to mention that their bottom-line is padded by "special events", which fuel the speculator market, and help offset the fact that Marvel's core of monthly titles can barely crack the top ten monthly sales chart. Marvel Comics is hardly selling anywhere close to the amount of comic books they were selling in the 1980s, but it simply doesn't matter. I believe the statistics show that the highest selling Marvel Comic (not counting special issues, that drive speculators to inflate the sales) today is selling below what the lowest selling Marvel Comic was selling in the mid-1980s.

Let me add that I do understand why Marvel Comics is more interested in the far more lucrative world of movies. Comics are just priced outside of the ability of most young people to be able to collect today. The comic book audience is an aging one, with people aged mid-30s through 50 being the average demographic for regularly reading monthly comic books. I understand that an aging market is the worst thing in the world for this type of business. Eventually, we'll die off, and there aren't new fans coming along who are replacing us aging readers. Plus, that age group isn't truly even the prime demographic for having expendable income, as 30s are usually the age where people are having children and buying houses. Not to mention, most of us started out reading comic books as children and haven't been able to let go, but how many people are there our age who didn't just stop reading comics in their 20s? It's a very niche market now. So, it makes sense. Parents and young adults will spend money to see a movie at the cinema once a month, or whenever. People who have no interest in bothering to follow a superhero comic will have no problem spending some free time watching the movies. It's just a sad statement about the comic book industry, because the comic book medium, as it currently exists now, will eventually die off.

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Oh. is everyone ready for the next X-Men relaunch? It's coming at the end of this year. Apparently, Marvel has run out of colours for naming their X-line, and so has decided to get rid of all of those books, and replace them with a weekly new Uncanny X-Men title, much like Marvel did to many yawns with the Avengers last year.

First up though, there will be X-Men: Black spinning out of the pages of Extermination, featuring a team of X-villains. The big news about X-Men: Black is that Chris Claremont will return to Marvel once again, just before the next relaunch. What's that? Once you name a title black, there's no going back? Ah, so that's why Marvel is forced to give up their dreams of a rainbow of X-Men titles.

The creative team Marvel has picked for the relaunch isn't exactly inspiring either, if they want this to seem like a big deal. Matthew Rosenberg might be a decent writer, but he's a pretty new name to comics, and doesn't have a huge hit to encourage fans that he's going to bring something special to this book. 

Rosenberg has been currently writing the Astonishing X-Men series (Marvel must not realize there is a colour green, even though they publish a comic book about the Hulk....), so he's getting promoted to the lead writer of the X-line now, I guess.

Marc Guggenheim seems to be on his way out of Marvel now. Unfortunately, Guggenheim was the best name they could find to helm the flagship of the X-line for the last relaunch.

Ed Brisson and Kelly Thompson are the other two creators who will be helping handle the weekly schedule. Again, Thompson is fine, but not a name that's going to bring in fans. Brisson I have usually found to be a pretty minor writer.

At least the Avengers book had Mark Waid and Al Ewing, and it still failed to garner any acclaim, before the "Brand New Start" relaunch.

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