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Marvel…you are making me tired again.

So, I just read Age of Ultron 10.  Wow, that happened huh?

And by the way, if you haven’t read it yet. STOP RIGHT HERE CUZ I WILL SPILL THE BEANS.


You still here?   Your funeral.

After finishing this latest event, I just gave a quick thought about where I am in this new world of multimedia entertainment where it seems like geeks have taken over the world and some of our dreams now exist in movies, on television, in gaming and in toys.

It’s hard for me to believe that after taking 20 years off from books, I came back in right around the Secret Invasion and Final Crisis events were going on and just delved in feet first to this brand new world of tights and capes and still some things have not changed.

(For the record, I may ramble on a bit but trust me it becomes clear soon enough why I may sound slightly jaded; I think part of this is burnout and venting leaking through)

Why did I take such a long hiatus?  For one, it really was supposed to be a clean break because at that time, being in my late teens and early 20s, I was concentrating more on finding a place to stay and going to college so comics were the last thing on my mind. Another reason was back then, Marvel and DC had just discovered “The Big Event” formula of selling books and while such things were  (like Secret Wars and Crisis on Infinite Earths)  great for the business, I couldn’t afford to keep up, especially if a crucial sequence required a comic that I didn’t ordinarily read  was to be purchased. Not to mention unlike now where most places comics can be had are comic shops, newsstands or local stores were my only option and they weren’t always on time.

So what brought me back? It was a little bit of everything. More movies based on comics were coming out, ‘big’ events were getting news play (The Death of Captain America on CNN? Seriously??), conventions were also getting national attention and of course my friends were all into it.

Fast forward 5 years and my geekdom shows. I have a podcast that is 100+ episodes in, 2 groups I manage on Facebook, I cosplay and attend cons and just starting to delve into cosplay photography. My man-cave looks like a 4 year old’s worst nightmare with all the coolest toys in the world that they are unable to touch, I have a nice box filled with vintage comics as well as books signed by today’s stars and also one by Stan Lee (his auto is a holy grail for any comic fan) and then of course I have a subscription like any good geek should at his LCS, just waiting for Wednesdays to roll around.

The one biggest thing I have come to learn about myself is that after 5 years, the only reason why I am still reading comics is that thankfully outside of the Big 2, there are still other comics besides any dealing with capes and tights that I can read and get so much more enjoyment.

And again some of you are still wondering what does this have to do with Marvel and Age of Ultron?

While I still have a slightly bigger love for Marvel than I do with DC, after reading Age of Ultron, I realized that while nothing with the comic book industry will never be perfect, there are still things that they do wrong.

And while I won’t get into the deep topics of continuity, I will reach a bit call hooey for all of these event books that come out promising ‘sweeping changes’ and ‘earth rocking revelations’ when many are far from.  Going back a bit, again, I came in on Secret Invasion, I dug the event but too much of the story was told in other comics like Avengers and New Avengers.  Then there was Blackest Night, but in order to be the completest, you also had to read the 2 or 3 other titles per month that came along with it and so on and so on.   And I won’t even mention Fear Itself which sucked horribly showing that the industry kept setting the same little traps for us consumers with nearly no way to avoid. Then when these ‘events’ were over, either a character died or another was brought back and life just went on, so where the hell is my earth shattering kaboom you promised?

Being a reader of the Big 2, you have a few choices, pony up the monies, read the books just so you could be a part of the conversation or wait for the TPBs, or just not get any at all and be somewhat confused when you skipped it and just get in where you can fit in.  One of the smarter things Marvel started doing was shortening events. Which was great because now it didn’t require an entire year of interruptions to my normal reading just to find out what was ‘groundbreaking’ and changing the Marvel Universe.  One of the compromises was that barring slight delays, there may be 3 or more artists working on the book. It’s enough that story continuity had to be contended with but now artistic continuity had to be taken into account. Just think of AvX contrasted when you had 3 different artists working on one book and for me, since I am not a big fan of  John Romita Jr.’s latest efforts, AvX wasn’t a big book for me to have. And most recently Marvel finally figured out, we are going to sell Age of Ultron as a standalone event and there will be very few ties in.  That was great but then the hype machine started rolling and any of you that have been around long enough heard those lofty promises yet again. Promises of change and ground breaking revelation.  So after putting down Age of Ultron 10, I scratched my head and said, you took 10 books to tell me this?  You can’t be serious.  Sure you prevented Ultron from taking over the world and found a way to have Pym contact himself and say ‘do this before you flip the switch’, but it took 10 issues for this comic to ‘break’ the time continuum and somehow find a way to bring a character into the 616 and somehow have Galactus show up in the Ultimates universe which only leads me to believe that Marvel is setting up their own version of Infinite Crisis makes me just want to say, get the hell out of here with that BS!!  You aren’t seriously going to MERGE those time lines are you? After a lackluster yet promising beginning and a muddled middle in which the book became a Wolverine story, this was what we are left with and the most immediate thing I said to myself is, “It’s stories like this that made me quit comics the first time.”

For the love for all that’s good, Marvel quit with trying to have a big event every year. They are just getting worse and worse. You guys did a great job with smaller scaled events such as Schism and to a degree Shadowland. Learn to contain your events and focus on just telling stories! Giving credit where it’s due, DC Comics since it’s reboot has had no major events since the ‘cause’ of the reboot being Flashpoint. DC had the Court of Owls event which took place in the Bat family of books, The Wrath of the First Lantern and all of the events prior to that took place in the Green Lantern books and the Justice League had a war with Atlantis which spanned between the JL and Aquaman books.  The idea of the impact of one book resonating in others is not working out for you Marvel and you are starting to drive this reader nutty by continuously trying. I am trying not to be that guy that has to buy a ½ a dozen books because I need to read them all just to get the big picture. I understand that the bottom line is for you guys to make money but for what I drop every week to two weeks on comics, that money would be better served elsewhere when the stories makes no sense or dragged out beyond a few issues to get the point across. And after reading the last pages of Age of Ultron, my pull list may be getting smaller.

Now is not a time for me to get out of comics but I do realize I need to consider alternatives to what I am reading because my bottom line of cost will determine what I get and when efforts like these event books come along, I already know now I will skip them and wait for collected volumes before I decide to invest in them.  Events were to be saved to make significant changes in stories which were great but now they are so many they seem more like cash grabs than plot devices. A lot of us were hoping for Age of Ultron to be good but in the end it was anything but that and thankfully as I start to feel that ‘burnt out feeling’ creep up once again, I am comforted in the fact that there are other publishers I can turn to for my comic fix.

To you guys that stuck around this long, I apologize for the rant but I just needed to get some of this off my chest about where I am with comics right now and just really disappointed where Marvel is going when it comes to these ‘events’.  Again, the company really just needs to focus on telling tight and contained stories within their own families of heroes and stop trying to ‘change the world’ with so called earth shattering events. Heck, take a year or 3 off and let things ferment and then blow up the toy box again but, we, as readers are tired. Just let it stop.

About Armand (1270 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill

5 Comments on Marvel…you are making me tired again.

  1. Quite frankly marvel (small m, as in that’s all you deserve right now m) is disappointing beyond belief. I canceled all of my marvel pulls, while my DC list grows ever longer, along with a few outside the Big 1 and small m.

    I posted this back in February in response to early Now offerings:

    Marvel has reverted to a tragic mistake in its new incarnation, as before with Spiderman in nearly every book and team, NOW uses Wolverine in this same capacity.

    I think that what they meant by “Now” was -Now you can have Wolverine every where all the time…ad nauseum-

    Dear Bendis and team, kindly go back in time and kick yourselves in the ass.


  2. I felt the same way after reading Age of Ultron. I keep finding it amazing that Secret Wars and Crisis had actual long-term repercussions (Black Suit Spidey/Venom, Spider-Woman, She-Hulk in Fantastic 4, good guy Magneto; new Flash, no multiple Earths, Supergirl dies) and they were able to tell the complete story in 12 issues.

    You could get crossovers, but you didn’t need to.

    I finally finished Justice League Trinity War and that was the first time since Sinestro Corps War that I felt like Geoff Johns actually delivered on a payoff and the first issue of Forever Evil was encouraging as well, but based on their track record, I’m leery about this and Marvel’s Infinity.


    • dreddeddeuce // September 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm //

      I wasn’t really feeling Trinity Wars but yeah I understand where you are going. Sometimes events just aren’t worth it if there is no the end or things get retconned almost as soon as it happens.


    • dreddeddeuce // September 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm //

      Amen bruh!


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