Marvel said this was a return of a Long Awaited character. Well, turns out it’s their chance to throw another long fan-beloved character in the dumpster. So they freakin’ lied to us outright. House of ideas = House of lies these days? Maybe so.
Now they go mess with Wendell Vaughn. …Quasar.
Quasar was Quasar…sure he had strong links to a couple other characters (the golden age Marvel Boy/Crusader/ Uranian and Mar-vell band using types) Yet, Quasar was a good character who had fan interest. His series ran 60 issues in the 90s. It was the vehicle for a lot of solid stuff, and most fans regard that run very highly. Further, there was already a vocal outcry when he was killed off before. Fans showed Marvel they cared. Marvel hasn’t really tried to make him work since, and it was always very out in the open that former editor in chief, Joe Quesada hated the character.
I have no problem with female characters. I think taking an existing character, turning him into a female or something else, just because the “name” will help sell the character and solidify them as “real” is dishonest and hackish. Even more dishonest, I think an institutional policy (seemingly Marvel’s) that seeks to alter its own landscape of self-perceived “slipping properties” and alter the race, gender etc of these heroes as a marketing stunt is even more sophomoric.
Fact is, most of these “slipping properties” need a pick me up because the writing, art, effort, and/or company support hasn’t been there. Simple market trends are sometimes to blame. Most of the time the sales or popularity drop has nothing to do with their race, gender or sexual orientation. In Wendell’s case, he was just an ignored character. Frankly, for years no one’s even bothered to make Quasar work. Quasar wasn’t hurting anyone semi-retired (waiting) for some decent writers to use him. He was low-hanging fruit, which makes this all even worse.
Even more mismanaged, Marvel has approached the notion of replacing older heroes with PC legacies aggressively and overt. Thus, the feeling of white male characters “under fire” in turn yields a confrontational reaction from many young white male readers and helps nurture a continued culture of enmity and/or shame. This is not a good way to fix a problem.
Sorry if some folks think this is sexist and/or cheap.
Next, let me express how unoriginal and lousy this “Standoff” was. (I read a copy online so, for once, I am up to speed here) The “evil town” (usually 1950s inspired) schlock has been done so much it’s a tired trope. GI JOE did it most famously, both in the comic and in the actual cartoon. So has the sentient cube thing. Kobik =Kubik…it’s all be done before.
Makes me really wonder what do they do at these writer retreats? Play Uno and hold ritual tributes to General Tso? House of ideas folks!
Worse, this Wendell business was just ham hocked inside this particular story. Clearly, this issue had some deep seeded editorial mandate written all over it. The Wendell side bar story came from nowhere and had little bearing on the tale, save for a handy aid to the dues ex machina ending of the heroes’ battle.
Now, Marvel claims they have “Big Plans” for this new Quasar. ”Big plans” like Sam Alexander? His series has been a running gag of tie ins and cross overs with no coherent story save for a mess of some “search for his father” slop that has been a disaster. His solo sales are in the gutter at 16k. “Big plans” = disaster all too often these days.
Within the story, none of the Quasar material makes a lick of sense.
Wendell has been “gone” for a few years now. Of course, he was still alive and not dead or anything. Marvel just didn’t give two shits about him or his fans. Marvel’s own wiki on Marvel. com, hadn’t even bothered to update the Quasar file since 2007’s Annihilation where he was killed off temporarily. (This despite playing a major role in several Nova tales, War of Kings, Thanos Imperative, Annihilators)
Correct me if I’m wrong, he was shown in one of Starlin’s OGN last year briefly. We’ve got no explanation for why he wasn’t active (or even fucking mentioned) in stuff like Infinity or Secret Wars (you know when all fucking reality was at stake). Not even a goddamn one panel item, such as Cap saying “well our Protector of the Universe Wendell Vaughn is feeling out of sorts right now and took that gig as a museum curator today, so he’s out” kinda thing. Nope Marvel writers like Hickman and Spencer are too busy with grand plans for that. Within the poo-poo plot of this “Standoff”, wouldn’t it have made so much more sense to find Genis-Vell’s bands?
This story makes little sense and springs from the current Marvel writer/editorial habit of just “doing whatever the hell they want” and not making anything make sense for readers of more than a couple years back. Continuity is a lost puppy in this regime. Worse, it’s been replaced by a half-hispanic lesbian human-Snark hybrid.
Wendell was turned into pure energy and eventually had it contained to the point he could manifest a human form. He doesn’t need the bands….worse it’s highly unlikely he can just give them away. In fact, he IS the bands.
Frankly, this has Jeph Loeb’s hands on it. Agent of SHIELD? Yeah…Loeb had something to do with this I’d bet. I know Nick Spencer doesn’t know cosmic from a fruit loop….and this story gives me no hope in his writing ability or grasp of Marvel Lore.
As a recap, Marvel still has not announced the Gamora ongoing they promised. Monica Rambeau, a solid Marvel Character who, though was a legacy herself at one point has bounced around and earned her chops, still has no series. Marvel had a character Phyla-Vell who died “off panel”. Moondragon, a great Marvel character hasn’t been seen in years. Hickman’s Captain Universe (female legacy) and Smasher (female legacy) characters seem to be thrown aside. There’s another Dr. Spectrum female version in Squadron Supreme. Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (female legacy) book has struggled for direction and the sales nary support a spin off.
A-force is not the hit anyone planned. Some sort of new cosmic gal in that one as well.
Starbrand’s (and Nightmask) (you know, the really weird murderous teen version of Wendell Vaughn) book moved at superluminal speed out of the top 100.
How does Marvel think something like this needs to be done?
Quasar fans have been vocal in their support for the DnA/ GIffen era and the Bring Richard Rider! Movement. Part of me wonders if this is just not some sort of punishment for their help. Needless to say, they have my support and shared outrage.
“Big Plans” for this new crap Quasar….equals “Big Plans” for me to keep my Marvel boycott going and not buy Marvel. I encourage you all to do the same….and I know this is tough.
Long Live Richard Rider….and bring back Wendell Vaughn as Quasar.
Friends stick together.