My apologies for yet another negative work-up…but Alonso is a disaster.
Let’s look past the diversity aspect this piece drips like cake batter for a moment and first touch on the state of editing and quality control.
Within Marvel lore right now nothing makes a lick of sense. Continuity is chaos, story ideas are recycled junk and very often the comics themselves from week to week have contradictory plot points or a glaring lack of connectivity.
The last event “Standoff” featured a ripped plot from an old GI JOE/Action Force theme. (IE the “evil” town). Civil War II is essentially jacking the plot of Minority Report.
As a lifelong reader, I can say it’s as bad as it’s ever been. “Rock Star” writers like Brian Bendis and Hickman-wannabes rule the roost at Marvel these days…not any EiC like Alonso, who often cringes in the shadows.
Yet other, very talented guys like Jim Starlin, Dan Abnett or Keith Giffen are cast aside and not offered “exclusive” deals or factored in planning for odd reasons. Other greats like Robert Kirkman, Kurt Busiek, Marv Wolfman, Chuck Dixon have all been driven away. I can only imagine Alonso and Ike Perlmutter think of these guys as “sadsack” white males of the days of old.
Even now guys like Rick Remender and John Hickman have started another overt mass exodus of talent. Dan Abnett, who wrote the source material the GOTG film was based off, recently signed a DC exclusive.
The question is why?
Now to the huge point of this work-up…that aforementioned sweet icing we all lick-up called “diversity”.
As a huge Marvel fan, I grew up on the 1990s comics. Comics like Tom Defalco’s and Fabien Nicenza’s New Warriors. Clermont’s X-Men. Byrne’s Avengers. Priest’s Deadpool.
Marvel never had diversity problems. In fact, they were leaders in the field.
Show me Giant Sized X-men #1 and tell me they were not always trying.
They didn’t need to replace white male heroes with minority or female counterparts just to stunt sales and play some political scheme. When it did occasionally happen, like in the case of Iron Man or Captain Marvel, it was much more organic and meaningful.
My Marvel didn’t need to make white guys feel shitty about who they were to get ahead. They were comics….and dammit they tried to make everyone feel good. Back then they did not “all in” to “attract new readers” while telling the old ones to bugger off. (Doesn’t help that Cap is now a Nazi /Hydra agent)
Aside from the immense push from Disney obtaining the Star Wars comics, DC shortfalls and their own botched moves, newfound sales stunts (such as lootcrate and renumbers), and variant cover spamming, Marvel is in much more of a tenuous state than many realize. Mark my words, the shape of Marvel comic sales are in a rough spot and about to crash again.
Most of these aforementioned diverse titles are struggling and below former cancellation levels. Let’s be honest, Ms. Marvel has modest sales in the lower portion of the top 100. Axel can thank the Movie folks for this wide margin of play with sales….yet it appears the comics folks have soured that relationship already. Yes that’s right, the comics folks, including Axel…were recently booted from involvement with the MCU. Go figure.
During Alonso’s reign, next to none of the material developed creatively has been mined for MCU or television.
The worse part about all of this, is old core fans have been driven off en masse….so the books now rely on all these goof-ball stunts to sell and spike sales from week to week. This reality is made even crazier by the success of the material in film and videogames. Never before have comics had such exposure.
So…as it stands now…let’s not overblow Alonso’s role or the quality of the job he’s done. This guy has driven the paper comics into a static spiral of mediocrity….not ushered in some golden age.
Marvel’s hero is Kevin Feige and the MCU folks….not this guy.