Uh, Yeah, you should. If you value your time and the amount of money you spent. No, money doesn’t factor into reading modern comics, my research shows me that the majority of people that buy anything Marvel publishes these days are either Spidey fans who only buy it for completionist reasons and YouTubers that like to talk shit about it. But they trash it right after cause it’s worthless and any perceived future value is solely based on past experience. But the truth is in twenty years these issues won’t even be found in $1 bins. They’ll be used to warm up someone’s house, or as fuel for next weekend’s braai. That or, well, at least the cats and dogs will have use for them? Otherwise you’re getting it illegally because you’re too ashamed to ask for that shit in a comic book shop.
The truth is, the 90’s weren’t the dark age, heck, nobody would admit this but they prefer the Chromium Age to most of the things published after Avengers Disassembled. Come on. Don’t lie. You know you do. You even wrote in to a letters page, didn’t you? You loved that shit. And still do. Come on, you’d take Maximum Carnage over any crossover published today. Yeeaah. You can’t lie to me. You’d even take Ben Reilly over One More Day.
We’re in the dark age of comics right now. And it’s quite sad since it seems like the floppies are on their way out. The twilight of classic comic books if you will. And one of the giants going out on a whimper and not a bang.
I find myself looking back quite regularly. I look at what’s being published now and wonder what went wrong. You see, I found myself indulging in quite a few Captain Cummings videos at the start of this year and for the life of me I just couldn’t grasp why things were the way they were.
I mean, Trump won, right? The majority spoke and he became president. Doesn’t that mean that the majority share the same views as he does? Libertarian, a bit more conservative maybe? Doesn’t this mean that your company needs to adjust a little to accommodate this new shit if you are to continue selling your product? I mean there was a shift in consciousness. I was quite excited. I told myself, we’re going to be getting a lot more traditional action films coming out of Hollywood now. Music is going to change to reflect the new times at least. Maybe more guitar driven? More in line with what came out in the 80’s, maybe? At least we got a new Depeche Mode album? I guess that’s something to be excited about. I mean, it’s no Ultra but at least it’s something, right?
I thought: YES! Captain America and Punisher’s gonna be great. Jesus was I wrong. Well we’re still getting that Punisher show. Something to look forward to. They just 360’d and doubled down on liberal politics. I mean what the hell? How does this make any sense? They turned that shit up to eleven and by the looks of things they’re about to hit twelve. I’ve formed an hypothesis at least.
You know, I always wondered why millennials were so underrepresented in the media. I’d watch these shows and read these comics and wonder about the age of these writers. I mean all of them are between forty and seventy years of age, right? It’s strange to think that a sixty year old is trying to relate with a teenager through their writing. But that’s how it’s always been for the most part. I’d watch these generational comedies and ask myself why the references they’re making are so outdated? They never reference things from my youth. Where’s the Pokémon references? The Playstation or Nintendo or Sega references? You could reference the Turtles at least? I mean, Jesus. We had actors and actresses too you could call upon in jest. The closest we’ve come to that was in Deadpool with the Limp Bizkit reference and the My Little Pony thing.
What Is It They Say About Wishes?
Oh yeah. That’s right. Apparently millennials are morons. At least those that’s gotten the opportunity to write the books of their youth. Oh who am I kidding? They didn’t grow up watching Batman TAS or Rocket Power. They were watching Andrew Dice Clay going Hickory Dikory Dock and deeming it hugely inappropriate.
This ain’t right. We’re in the twilight of the medium, pretty soon an author won’t even be able to hold their work in their hands, they’d be unable to physically materialize thoughts and ideas onto our plane of existence, we’ll lose the spiritual and esoteric aspects of literature and they’re busy wanking themselves off by (poorly) copying 80’s Chris Claremont with this identity politics nonsense. I mean seriously, there’s some us that dreamt about writing our favorite heroes growing up. You think we’d fuck around like this? No. I mean go out with a bang at least. Jesus.
If Only I’d Known.
I’ll gladly stick with the fucking Happy Days references. I love Elizabeth Montgomery, okay! I think she’s a babe. Who needs the Pink Ranger or Scary Spice? Huh? Not me. Obviously. (“SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILK” – Kobi from the future)
As An Aside:
Storm led the X-Men on many occasions. They could have gone with the white chick with the big hair or the dude with the claws but they chose her. Also she wasn’t a stereotype. She wasn’t there as the black chick. She was there cause she was powerful AF. She was a necessity. Unlike these “sum of their parts” characters you have running around now. Pandering. Come now. You used to be smarter than this.
This Isn’t The First Time Marvel’s Tried To Cannibalize Itself.
I mean we can take it as far back as the sliding time-scale. And then of course when they brought Jean Grey back from the dead they not only completely rendered their single most important story arc in the history of the company useless, but completely devalued and relocated any of the younger “X-Men” teams that sought to replace them in the future to being basically second bananas. The promise of generational X-Men teams became naught by making all of their characters immortal. So no Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure for you. Immortality poses a lot of other story problems as well, of course. This meant that my father’s Wolverine would be my Wolverine – only not. Not to mention Sue Storm – I said that I won’t mention her.
Now For That Hypothesis.
This is going to sound a bit out there, but hey, this is Marvel we’re talking about.
They know something we don’t. Why else would they cannibalize themselves like this? I mean they’re killing off their physical distribution with their policies. Comic book stores that’s been operating for thirty years plus are shutting their doors. Marvel doesn’t seem to care.
This means: This is being done on purpose.
Why would they do this? Why not? They’ve done scalier things in the past with newsstands. They even killed other comic book companies by controlling and stifling distribution to these newsstands.
I don’t wanna say La Cosa Nostra. So I won’t. Business is business.
Gotta keep those investors happy, right?
Look, right now, your LCS exists largely to the benefit of these companies. They are after all, thanks to the 90s, their only real way of distributing physical copies of their comic books. Their distribution network, if you will. Destroy the network and you’re left with only digital. This means, of course, that they’ve finally found a way to (somewhat) accurately gauge the amount of digital sales they make on their titles. Just a few years ago they canceled All New X-Factor because it wasn’t moving any physical copies. They blamed this on those who wait for trades. Which is a bit puzzling since they, along with DC, are basically the ones that pushed the trade culture to begin with. But fans complained, because apparently a lot of them were getting their fix digitally. And according to Peter David – Writer Of Stuff and Ground Zero For The SJW Marvel We Know And Love Today – they had no real way of seeing how many copies were moved. So it wasn’t a viable distribution method at that point in time. But now it is.
And while your LCS used to be a commodity to these big companies, in a digital world where Marvel has a digital store of their own where they can sell/borrow you any comic book they’ve ever published, your LCS becomes part of the problem. You see, while video game stores can exist on retro stock alone, I imagine your LCS will have a little trouble paying the bills with back issues alone. And while they’ll eventually die out naturally, right now, there are many bigger stores that’s more than likely going to weather the full on digital onset better than Marvel thinks.
In a full on digital onset, the physical market will either crash or thrive. They already have a generation that’s never really been inclined to collect. They could use their mother’s Kindle and read it on there. An entire library at your fingertips. It’s going to be an interesting time. High value books moving for next to nothing just to pay the bills? And then what? I’m guessing prices will likely drop to a level they last hit in the mid 70s.
Would it matter that you won’t be able to buy new Marvel comics in store? Are the films enough to sell their comics? I’m not so sure. Maybe the future is indie?
Just like the trade culture of the 2000s, we’re going to see them pushing digital until it’s the only thing their fan base cares about.
Kill the mom and pops, sign exclusive deals with retail stores for TPBs. Regulate.
So, that’s the first hypothesis/conspiracy theory.
The Second Is A Bit More Unwieldy.
They have given up on the publishing game. Well, that or they are going to start following the Netflix model and base longevity on volume sales and pre-orders.
If they’ve given up completely on the publishing of new comics, they are more than likely doing it because they don’t really need to. They make so much money on the Marvel Studios side of things, not to even mention the merchandising and licensing revenues that they don’t even need to write anything new. They could make a hundred films and still have an entire library left to work with.
So if they shut down the publication arm of things, making their library available digitally, they could focus on other more lucrative ventures such as TV and FILM.
But this is easier said than done. They are going to need something to justify this.
And bare with me, but this is how I think they’ll do it.
With the death of Stan Lee. (They’ll wait of course. I’m not saying they’re like the government or something. Or Yakuza or anything like that, of course.)
It’ll be big news. All over the world. Marvel Comics dies with him.
It’s not a thought I write down likely. It just makes sense.
Look, for many he is Marvel. And they might even be right.
So Do I Think You Should Ditch Marvel For DC Comics?
Meh, do whatever you want. I’d take up indies, or European Comics or MANGA. It’s more satisfying.
Think about what they’ll remember from the pre-Digital, post-Chromium Age?
Most of them will be from DC. Those Nu52 Books started this NuAge after all.
And that’s what it’ll be remembered for. For Joker threatening to use Vaseline intensively on Batman and Robin and for anything else Batman did with Snyder and friends.
That and Humerto Ramos on Spider-Man, cause really, that guy knows how to draw a good villain. And fingers.
Kobi ❤ 2017