Today Marvel’s head comic honchos Axel Alonso and Tom Brevoort unveiled a future, universe-wide event called Secret Wars, which unless I’m missing some key history is the third Secret Wars event in Marvel’s history.
Which is why I’m feeling pretty cynical about the whole thing from the get-go. I can’t blame Marvel of wanting to reset some things (although they’ve claimed this event isn’t a reboot, which is as believable as them saying they’ll retire the X-Men forever), but it’s been done before. Twice.
The thing is, I actually don’t have an issue with repeating a successful event – and I don’t doubt this latest Secret Wars will be a success, at least commercially. It’s that I’d nearly bank my whole Marvel collection on the fact that it’ll also happen again. Put Secret Wars 4 in your diary folks – say, 2017 or 2018? That’s what leaves me cold: this is just another small stepping stone in an endless road of ‘universe-changing!!’ events.
So there you have it, the old guy who’s seen too much is telling the new kids to get off his lawn. Except that us old people are a fairly hefty chunk of the people who buy Marvel stuff month after month. And I for one am buying less and can’t see that changing.
All that said, here’s three things that would get this old whiner back on board in a big way:
1. Provide some sort of commitment to a title’s longevity. I’m seeing the ever-growing cynicism towards the constant ending of titles, with new number one issues a month or three later. Marvel needs to, and is, making money, but there are ways of refreshing titles that treat readers less as idiot money machines than the constant series re-launches. If post-Secret Wars there were some sort of commitment to series longevity, I’d be impressed. If a title does need to be cancelled, that’s reasonable, just don’t insult me by re-launching it a month or two later.
2. Reduce the cross-overs. I find cross-overs have an inverse relationship with story quality, so I’m hoping that once Secret Wars is done that maybe there’ll be a little less of it happening. Which is of course a naive thought given the commercial imperatives for cross-overs.
3. A final and least likely to be implemented request: pull off some good licensed title integrations in the new merged universe. If ROM for example is now part of the main universe ongoing, I’m a happy man (yes I’m easily pleased like that). Hell, throw in The Micronauts as well!
Now it’s over to you: does the Secret Wars announcement excite the hell out of you, leave you cold like me or put you somewhere in-between? Would love to hear your thoughts.