Recently while rolling, strolling and/or trolling through Facebook Land I came across a simple post, similar to statements I have read before, and I don’t know why it irked me, or maybe I do now, but it did. Essentially it was a link to a very poorly written blog, rambling blog post that had all the research and factoids of a curmudgeonly old coot. I will not honor it with adding the link here. It is not worthy of more traffic. Sufficed to say that the gist was simple: Marvel has gone downhill, and no longer has viable talent at the House of Ideas.
Others piled on with comments that they had “given up on Marvel since Brand New Day.”. Which just comes across as sad as the Marvel zombie who pooh-poohs everything DC, or the solid fans of the Big Two who won’t touch indies, and indy fans who think they are above all things Marvel and DC. Thus my title, Blanket Statements.
Now I know I have not, at times, been the most polite of some of the stuff either Marvel or DC has put out. Matter of fact, a few years ago I boldly declared that i would not buy any Marvels or DC’s for one whole year, in protest due to the disappointment I was feeling from both (for reference, this started midway through Civil War). It’s easy to look at the sloppy stuff, the big hot air events and the overused characters and heave flaming darts at the whole shebang. Easy, but lazy and ignorant, and in hindsight my boycott was both of these things, much akin to the opposite side of the spectrum, which sounds like, “I only buy Marvels, everyone else sucks.” Mouth breather. Comments like these are not helpful, constructive or intelligent.
One guy shared that DC would be pathetic without their Batman titles. Well, if he’s a Batman fan he’s in luck, since a fourth of DC’s offerings are now Bat related. Another complained that Wolverine is over saturated – OK, I agree with that one, but so what? I buy what I like. I don’t buy Wolverine itself because I get more than my fill in X-Men and Avengers, and I can pretty much ignore him in Avengers where he’s nothing but window dressing. Tired of the huge events and crossovers? No problem, don’t read them. Sometimes they’re great, like Civil War, Siege and Blackest Night, sometimes they suck eggs like Fear Itself and Flashpoint.
But to throw in the towel on all of it is to miss out on the good stuff, throwing out the baby with the bath water. If you wrote off Marvel with Brand New Day, you missed an outstanding Black Widow series, Dark Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, the current Slott run of Amazing Spiderman, a most excellent reboot of Daredevil, and five years of consistently sharp storytelling in Fantastic Four. You’ve missed Thunderbolts, which remains one of the most clever series out today.
If you’re purely a Marvel, you’re missing out on the Distinguished Competition, which has recently launched clever titles like Frankenstein Agent of SHADE, Animal Man and the rebooted Superman in Action Comics. Before the New 52 you missed even better stuff like Secret Six, REBELS, Zatanna and Power Girl. As a matter of fact, most DC readers have even missed out on these, gravitating toward the bigger titles. When we do that, it’s easy to think they’ve run out of ideas. The Batman stories now in print are well into the thousands. You’d better believe there’s going to be some retreading.
If you’re purely Big Two, man are you selling yourself short by missing out on Chew, Irredeemable, Next Men, Hellboy, Planet of the Apes, Milk and Cheese… the list goes on.
All I’m saying is for fanboys to stop screaming about how much they hate comics books in general. You come across like whiny, ignorant punks. If you hate them, keep your money and shut the hell up – your refusal to spend speaks volumes to the powers that be, far more than your pissing and moaning on the Internet in general. If you hate certain series, don’t buy them, nobody’s making you. Today, I cancelled my subscriptions to six titles I’ve been collecting that I just no longer enjoy. Deep breath and I let go, and I’ll be replacing them with a few titles that I hope to enjoy more.
Bottom line is this: your blanket statements do nothing but put your ignorance and close mindedness on display, and do nothing to encourage these companies, or their talented creators, to do better or to give you more of what you want, more of why you like comics.
We all want great comics, don’t we? And on the stands today, there still ARE great comics to seek out. Will you cross your arms and demand they entertain you while making it clear that’s impossible? Or, will you take some chances, read a few reviews, and go try some new titles, and let them know what you like, instead of declaring you hate everything?
Chances are you’ll just keep bitching. But hey, I tried.