Oh, Marvel comics, why does my heart keep holdin’ on?
Dear Marvel Comics,
Okay, I’ve been trying to write this letter for awhile now and I keep putting it off because, well, there’s absolutely nothing easy about it. But if you’ve been paying any attention then you probably saw this coming. I mean, you must have noticed that your presence on my pull list at my local comic shop has been dwindling more and more over the years. And the growing presence of that…other comic book company on said list. I know, I know, this is totally painful – it’s hurting me too. But the writing is on the wall and we just have to come to terms with it. Marvel, I think we need to break up.
Now come on, don’t get all upset and start throwing stuff and cursing me out, you know exactly why this is happening. And exactly how hard it is for me to be doing this. I mean, I’ve been with you for, what? 32 years? That is a long-ass time for any relationship to last! But if you really think back, it hasn’t been 32 years of uninterrupted bliss – this has happened before. Yes, it has, and let’s not pretend it hasn’t. Remember back in the early 90s when I split up with you? And you remember why, right? Because everything went from compelling stories and character development to endless crossovers and nonstop battles without any substance. And the artwork, man, it was heinous! But that was the early 90s in comics all over, so I won’t hold you entirely responsible for that part. But I do hold you responsible for making me decide I hated comics and didn’t want to read them for years. And then slowly, I let you back into my life. And you came back the same way you first got in – with the mutants; my beloved X-Men in all of their many iterations. You were letting Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely do these wonderful, weird, creepy and funny things with them. And that opened the floodgates for some truly great stuff to enter my life: Runaways! Astonishing X-Men! X-Factor! Young Avengers! Alias!
But then, after getting comfortable in your loving arms once more, you started to pull the same shit you did before. Yes you did! Don’t even try to deny it. First you give me House of M, which, while a fun read and a nifty little story, went and de-mutantized a zillion mutants as well as trotted out your really overly worn Incredibly Powerful Female Hero Goes Mad and Creates Mass Destruction on an Epic Scale storyline that you think were not all tired of. P.S. We are. And it pretty much went quickly downhill from there. You turned most of your X-books into generic catch-all titles for all of your little post-House of M story arcs (Endangered Species! Messiah Complex! I Used To Be a Mutant and All I Got Was This Lousy One-Shot!) and tossed aside almost any interesting character development for endless battle sequences, non-stop plots involving a dozen different anti-Mutant groups and other rehashed, been-there-done-that antics. (Seriously, you revived Nimrod. Nimrod! The petal-pink robot from the future who will Kill All Mutants!) Worse still, you crapped the bed on great titles like Runaways and New Avengers, letting them become watered down and lifeless. Or, worse still, you gave great characters like the original Spider-Woman her own title again only to do nothing interesting with it whatsoever and kill it after 5 issues! And don’t even get me started on what a waste it was for you to revive the New Mutants if you weren’t even going to try to recapture even a fraction of their former glory!!
Damn. I told myself I wasn’t going to get all worked up in front of you. Look, I know you didn’t mean to let this happen – and its not like you haven’t done anything good. X-Factor is still pretty damn great. And Uncanny X-Force seems like it could be a fun ride for awhile. And I’m enjoying Avengers: The Children’s Crusade because YA is such a good team and you really should just let them have their own book again. But, honestly, you’ve got vampires in the X-Men book (quelle originale!) and a thousand one-shots and spin-off minis from that. Uncanny X-Men is as boring as all fuck and Hope running around finding the “5 Lights” just doesn’t do anything for me. New Avengers got boring a long time ago and no amount of revamping can undo that. I mean, you went and took Jessica Jones, one of my favorite new characters you created in a long time, and turned her into a one note character. That is just unforgivable!! Agh!!! Okay, I’m getting all angry again. So I’m just going to go before this gets too hard. I’ll still be in touch to keep up with those one or two books I mentioned before. But it will kind of be like we’re Facebook friends – we keep tabs on one another but it doesn’t go much deeper than that. And if you see me around town with some folks from some of those other comics, well, try to see past your jealousy and hurt and maybe you could learn a thing or two about why I’m spending my time with them. You never know, maybe we’ll get back together in the future. But it’s really going to be up to you.