So, on Monday you found out that DC likes old people. You were probably super stoked about this, because you’re the dude who still uses “stoked” and “dude” without a hint of irony.
You also learned that DC has been absolutely killing it since the new 52. “Killing it” meaning they have gained a substantial market share and were responsible for all of the top 10 highest selling comics in January. This must be a pretty awesome time to be DC. But what about their forever rival, Marvel?
So while DC is truly shaking things up, restarting their most popular lines, focusing on reigning in the best talent they can afford (and they can afford a lot), and telling really, really good stories, Marvel is coming atcha with… An event.
You know, those things they do that force you to buy a bunch of series you wouldn’t otherwise, only to find out they are nothing more than filler? Another one of those. That’s not to say that Marvel doesn’t do some good events. Fear Itself was okay, but, much like the series’ heroes, readers can get exhausted trying to get a hold of and comprehend the entire story.
The big event coming this year is Avengers vs. X-Men. Sounds sweet, right? Who wouldn’twant to see Cyclops blast Iron Man out of the air while Gambit and Luke Cage talk smack?
But there is an air of familiarity here. Heroes choosing sides and fighting one another, forcing the reader to choose which side they would be on – oh, wait…
Now, obviously the entire saga won’t be like Civil War. The writers Marvel has seduced are better and smarter than that. But it seems like a remnant of the same brainstorming session from seven years ago that brought us Civil War.
Marvel’s hope is that Avengers vs. X-Men will give them an edge on DC, and it likely will for a bit – don’t forget that number 11 on the best sellers list was Uncanny X-Men – but there is no way this is going to move them back to the top slot.
Not that Marvel has to worry about going broke, since it looks like The Avengers is going to be one of the, if not the, biggest film of the year.
But still, to stay true to the people that gave them the opportunity to be a movie-making money maker, Marvel needs to do what DC did and shake things up. Simply rehashing the same stories and killing the occasional major character isn’t going to win folks back, it’s going to frustrate them.
Marvel needs new ideas, and they need them now.