Monday, August 1, 2011

My Kinda-Sorta Break-Up Letter To Marvel In Favor Of DC's Relaunch

Here is the "letter" to Marvel I read during my podcast, and yes, it is supposed to be funny while also a tiny bit serious. This is of course very tongue-in-cheek and I still love each publisher pretty much the same amount. It's just that I have dropped a ton of Marvel books and the first time ever am getting more DC items than Marvel, so its a weird change.

Dear Marvel,

We've been needing to have this talk for awhile. How long, you ask? Probably since you flooded the market with "Secret Invasion" tie-ins. I've been trying to avoid us having to do this, but around "Fear Itself #2" I knew we had to discuss things. I'm tired of it, Marvel. You come home late at night smelling of half-baked plot ideas, you saturate the market with too many comics featuring characters people have no interest in reading, and the magic we once had just isn't there as much anymore.

I've met another publisher, Marvel, and it does some of the things you do that annoy me (too many titles, for one, and that whole debacle where they were scared to print a comic with a Muslim hero in Superman) but it also wants to treat me right in ways you don't. You know it pretty well, the name is DC. You actually know I've been seeing DC off and on for a few years now, but it wasn't anything serious. I was heading out and messing around during "Blackest Night" and reading "Batman" but at the end of the day I came back home to you, and you understood that--which I truly appreciate, Marvel. The thing is, DC and I have gotten really serious. You see, Marvel, DC is re-launching a lot of comics in September with Justice League kicking it off in late August, a lot of new stuff that looks cool and is a great starting point. Speaking of starting points, I have my own big change coming, I'm moving to St Louis for graduate school. Guess when that is? Late August. That synchronicity means something, Marvel. You're going to have a couple of new books following up "Fear Itself" when I don't even want to read "Fear Itself" and you're bringing back the character Cable from the dead (by the way, you couldn't let him stay dead at least long enough people missed him)?  I digress though. Anyways, you know I'm still not pleased about having to pay $3.99 for 22 pages of comics--or even worse, you want to charge me almost 5 dollars for 30-some pages (See: X-Men Schism #1)! Meanwhile DC is totally re-vamping their whole method. They're changing for me, Marvel, you're just sticking to your old ways.

What's that, you claim you're doing new things? You're relaunching one of your long-running comics, "Uncanny X-Men"? Big deal, your announcement of that seemed like a desperate cry for attention when DC announced they were re-launching and re-numbering everything--even if the re-numbering is a bit of a publicity stunt. Some of your stuff is going to be "day and date digital?" Marvel, Marvel, Marvel, just because you are releasing all your Spider-Man and X-Men comics on the same day digitally as on newsstands doesn't mean you've changed--DC is doing that with all its main comics. What's that Marvel? You're going to say mean things now, about how DC is just trying to be like you and get all dark and gritty, and how digital won't work? Don't be negative, Marvel, it isn't flattering to you. Also, don't claim that DC is just going to go back to their old ways. I know that might happen, but for now I hope to enjoy my new beginning in a new city with DC's new start. Plus, DC may be flooding the market with all their new titles and Flashpoint tie-ins, but I'm actually getting less new DC books than I read of Marvel books when you had an unfathomable amount of product on the shelves, and still do, Marvel. Plus, again, what's the deal with it costing me $3.99 for 22 pages when in this economy I'm finding money harder to come by?

Now Marvel, don't cry. I'm not completely leaving you. I'm still going to pick up Moon Knight, and I adore X-Factor. I'm getting like 10 or so of your books still, I think, and I'm not getting a ton more DC ones. I just will be quitting all the titles I was picking up out of a feeling of responsibility to you and understanding all your continuity. I'm done with your Avengers, and New Avengers. Thunderbolts will be getting a long hard look, all the new X-Men books after Schism are pretty much going to be off my radar except possibly Wolverine if he still has a solo title because I like what Jason Aaron is doing with him. Well, look, I'm not going to run down every title, because you'll probably come up with excuses for all of them and claim I need to give you chance. I mean, there you go doing it now, saying I just need to stick around with the Avengers books because some huge event with Ultron will be happening next year or something, and the new X-Men teams are apparently going to be awesome too, just stop, Marvel.

Seriously, stop with all the books I don't need, that's part of the reason this is happening. You can tell me you're going to change, but I know you don't want to. Look at Spider-Island. That would have been a fun Spider-Man arc, but do we need all the tie-ins, including one with Shang-Chi? Shang-Chi, Marvel? He had countless fans crying out for another mini with an appearance by him? Ah, look, here I go getting negative, I'm going to stop, this isn't about specific books, its about change for the better.

In summary Marvel, I do still have love for you, I mean, I really enjoyed Captain America and am excited for the rest of your movies, for example. I just don't think that spark we held as a publisher and individual is there anymore. I'm not a young teenager fanboy who cries out about how everyone else sucks. I've grown, and you're just doing your same old stuff while my new main squeeze, DC, is trying something completely new. I'm moving on to something new in life, and DC is ready to take that big step with me. You just want to make comics about people getting hammers and then smashing things for no apparent reason beyond it causing fear or something. As I said though, we aren't completely through, I'm coming around for some of the books, just not as many. Plus, both you and DC need to understand my going to other publishers for other needs. Boom, IDW, and Image do stuff you guys don't, they're freaky. With books like Irredeemable, Popbot, and all of Image's weird stuff . DC is cool with that too, though, and even has its own freaky side called Vertigo.

This isn't a complete goodbye, Marvel, it's just a kinda-sorta break-up. Now, if you don't mind DC is waiting outside ready to grow and mature with me into the 21st century with day and date digital, an all new start to their line of comics, and very importantly, if it's less than 22 pages, it doesn't cost $3.99 (I can live with 20 pages for $2.99). I do still have love for you Marvel, just not the same way as there used to be. Now please quit threatening to use that copy of Previews as a blunt instrument for smacking my noggin.

David Bitterbaum

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