5 Recent Comic Concepts That I’m Tiring Of
I love comics, even at my age. But there are just some things about them recently that have been bugging me.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
1) Major Events Ending With Someone Led Off In Hand Cuffs
I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating again and again, Marvel started this trend off with the end of Civil War. There, Captain America is arrested and hand cuffed in what had to be the lamest ending for a major event ever. It scarred itself in my comic memory so bad that I would joke that [insert event here] would end with [insert character here] being led off in hand cuffs.
Little did I know that World War Hulk would end with Banner being arrested. Or that Secret Invasion would have a shot of Skrulls being led off in hand cuffs. Or that Siege would end with Norman Osborn’s arrest. Or that A vs. X would end with Cyclops hand cuffed and arrested.
This is a great ending for a television mystery show. And, heck, even there, the idea is not played out every week because it becomes all too predictable. It is, however, not a good idea to end a major event with something so anti-climactic. You just can’t spend months building up a story, only to have it end with something so mundane. And you certainly cannot do it again and again.
2) Team Shake-Ups
Team shake ups happen. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with team shake ups being the selling point of a particular issue. This is especially so when the team will then be shaken up only a few months later in an issue that will use the shake-up as a selling point.
I really don’t want to see a title like X-Factor push a major team change (which really was not a major team change because all they did was add Havok and Polaris), only to then push a major team change a few months later.
3) Events With No Consequences
Does anyone really know what the point of Fear Itself was? As near as I can tell, there was no point. Sure, Thor died, but be came back a couple of months later. The same holds true for Captain Buck-America/Winter Soldier. Knowing that, then there really was no point in the event in the first place, right?
Things like this just make comic books seem like old sitcoms, where the status quo is maintained episode after episode. Even new sitcoms are slowly easing away from this concept.
4) The All-New [Hero's Name Here]
This is another recent trend. Characters are reintroduced, or a new version of the same character debuts. We’re seeing this in Green Lantern with Simon Baz, and with Captain Marvel with Carol Danvers finally assuming the title (making sure that DC cannot release a Shazam book as anything other than Shazam). When done right, it can be a good thing. I have to admit I was one of the few who liked Kyle Raynor as Green Lantern early on. But, lately, it seems that reintroductions are happening because the comic companies just don’t seem to have any new ideas. Part of that could actually be that comic writers and artists are just not willing to relinquish their creations.
What makes matters worse for these new characters based on older characters is that their life seems to be abbreviated at best. Does anyone really think that Simon Baz will remain the Green Lantern headliner once the storyline with Hal Jordan is played out? Just look at Bucky, who became the new Captain America shortly after Civil War. Now, once more, Steve Rogers is Captain America, and Bucky is once more Winter Soldier.
(As an aside to all of that, I remember once Marvel said they had only two rules of death in the Marvel universe. The first was Uncle Ben stays dead. The other was Bucky stays dead. Oops.)
5) Relaunch For The Sake Of Relaunch
This was the biggest fear with the New 52, that DC was cancelling all their titles and relaunching them for the sake of relaunching them. But, while I still don’t agree with the relaunches of Detective Comics and Action Comics because of their high issue numbers, for the most part, it has been successful (and probably what they should have done way back in 1986 after Crisis on Infinite Earths).
However, over at Marvel,it seems books are relaunched on a whim. Fantastic Four was relaunched under the Heroes Reborn banner, relaunched again under Heroes Return, resumed their old numbering sometime after that (I really lost track), ended again with the “death” of the Human Torch and replaced with FF, then restarted at their old numbering while FF ran concurrently. And now, it’s been cancelled yet again. Why, so that it can be restarted as part of Marvel Now. And Fantastic Four is the first family of the Marvel Universe. The same now holds true for Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and a number of other titles.
I used to remember when there were two reasons why a comic was cancelled. The first was that it was just not selling well. This holds true for a number of the New 52 books that have come and gone since the relaunch. And I get that, you don’t want to be carrying dead weight books. The second reason why a book was cancelled was that it was being relaunched in a radically different fashion. This holds true for Jonah Hex, which was cancelled for Hex, which moved the scarred Western gunfighter into a post apocalyptic future. Literally. Jonah Hex awoke to find himself in the future in issue 1.
I can accept either of those scenarios for a relaunch. I have trouble accepting relaunching a book because the publisher wants to add some inexplicably popular character to the line up.