Supporting characters I’d like to see

First, my bet is that we won’t see a ton of DnA created characters. That’s just how Marvel seems to roll these days….they don’t prop up older writers stuff.….especially from a “work for hire” guy (s) who just moved on to the “enemy”. That being said, I expect some concepts to be present in order to bridge our gap and fix what is broken.

Below is a list of some of the supporting characters I’d like to see come back. Surprise, some of these are from the Loeb stuff….

(in no meaningful order)

  1. Ko-Rel as herself or Worldmind- I’d love to just say Ko-Rel here, because I thought she was an awesome character. She represented the best of what was the Nova Corps. She was an important character…now in the gutter.

  1. Worldmind- This was a DnA concept that literally has to come back. Right? DnA didn’t really invent WM, but it was supremely developed by them. I hope however, they don’t do something like “Rich is worldmind” and just a spark in Sam’s head. To my knowledge, WM has not been referenced since the High Evolutionary mentioned it back in New Warriors.

  1. Cadivan and his cool wife- Despite my faults with this volume, I liked these two. One of the better characters Duggan introduced. Would have been nice to see more of them, but, like most of the story ideas from that volume, they were not developed or just thrown away.

  1. Kaldera- Proxima Midnight (A character I love) slave sent to hunt down Sam Alexander. I thought she was pretty cool. Again, she was pretty much thrown away.

  1. Darkhawk- This is my top dog. Would love to see him back and explored. I don’t get why Marvel gets down on this guy as some kind of dumb concept.

  1. The core of remaining Nova Corps- I know this book will probably blow off the DnA created heroes, but from Robbie Rider, Fraktur, Morrow to Irani Rael down to Xan Philo….I remember and will not forget. At a minimum, we need an expalantion on Robbie and what happened to these guys. There are certain questions that need to be addressed….and this is one.

  1. Namorita- I know folks love Gamora, but she was alive and well when we last saw her. What happened?

 

  1. Nigh Thrasher- I know this is unlikely, but I love Dwayne and would love to see him reunite with Rich on a story.

  1. This guy. I figured I’d stick somebody in from Vol. 1 and I always thought Crimebuster was cool.

  1. Quasar- Wendell Vaughn, that is….he’s an awesome character and solid friend for Rich. Even if you have to spam that new character with him, bring them in for an appearance.

  1. Moondragon- A old school classic character who has been inexplicably absent from Marvel for far too long. I love Moondragon.

  1. Captain Marvel- So hot right now. Despite the hype, I love Carol, and it would be neat to see her pop up. How would Rich interact with her version of the Nova Corps light?

  1. Speedball- He doesn’t really have a home right now. Rich never saw him come back as good old Robbie Baldwin. I think a reunion is in order. He’s interacted with Sam….

  1. Cammie- I was not a huge fan of Cammie in Annihilation, but Hopeless actually did decent character work with her in Avengers Arena and undercover. She needs a home. (hey maybe Skreet too)

  1. Smasher- I actually liked this new female character.

  1. Tarcel and Garthaan Saal? Seriously what the hell were they up to?

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Villains and Rogues I’d love to see in a new Nova series.

 

Never loved the term, “Rogues gallery” …always thought it was a DC phrase more or less….but whatever this new Nova book is, it needs to be fleshed out and solidified. The Sam Alexander volumes just seems to throw villains and supporting characters against a wall made of Teflon. Nothing sticks.

Its time to make stuff stick and develop it for new fans.

Let’s see this book establish major threats and give Sam and Rich rivals and a rogue’s gallery that makes the material important.Truthfully, I’d love to see a mix of villians and story ideas to bridge the fan bases together.

IMO Number one, Annihilus should always be Rich Rider’s foil. Really disappointing turns for Anny recently with Sam in All New Avengers.

Thanos is up there…For Rich,  I’m not sure if he’s friend or foe. Rich and Thanos have some awkward history together now. It’s worth expanding.

The ghost of Thanos watched Rich as he ripped Anny’s throat out. There has been a solid connection there via the DnA material that has been largely forgotten. I’d guess there is also more to the story of what took place w/ Rich when he let Thanos pass through the “door” in Bendis’ GOTG #19.

They’ve also never explained (yeah surprise) why Thanos had a collection of Nova helmets in his space ship from Infinity.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Sphinx or Diamondhead pop up. These are two of the best old Rich Rider villains.

I’m not sure if the old Sphinx is a big enough draw for right away though. His last appeareance kinda derailed the final Rich volume. (I personally liked the arc) Diamondhead had a comical exchange with Sam Alexander early in that series, but has not been seen since. Truthfully, he’s kinda a silly villian, though Wolfman took him a bit more serious.

Ego and Terrax would both work. Nebula is another name…though unsure if she is a villain right now. I don’t think Rich and her have ever hashed it out Re: Xandar. Other Starlin era villains would be welcome, Blastaar namely. Perhaps even, someone like Nitro could kinda work.

As for newer villains, admittedly I did dig Titus. Would be nice to see him somewhat redeem himself or make a comeback.

I really would like to see Rich and Sam take on the Black Order. I’m a huge fan of Proxima Midnight….and I thought Sam had some history with her daughter that was more or less thrown in the gutter. Corvus Glaive was fairly cool.

How about someone like Gorr? Really like him.

Shuma Gorath of course would be great. Tons of “angles” with that story….

Sadly, I’m not a huge fan of the newer Chitauri characters….including that new general “Warbringer” or whatever his name was. He seemed kinda tacked on and late to the party. I guess I could see that other human General Sam took on in issue 14 w beta Ray Bill….but he seemed rather bland. They never really explained how he got the Nova ship.

I’d love to see Rich Rider versus Death’s Head.

Lastly, I’d still love some expansion of the fraternity of raptors. Not sure if you would consider them villains.

Any I forgot? What do you guys want to see?

Richard Rider Returns

So it appears we have finally got Rich back, and Marvel has officially confirmed there will be a new Nova series with both Rich Rider and Sam Alexander. This is good news.

While it remains to be seen how this resurrection will be executed and what exactly the, as yet-unnamed creative staff has planned, for now, I think I will just take the high road and enjoy the moment.

For once in a long while, I’m happy and excited for the future.

A lot of us fans put in some hard hours of bitching, grumbling, and most important….dogged support for our boy Rich, that it is really special to see this unfortunate period end. Even still, despite the “war of words” and missing years, I am appreciative and thankful to Marvel for choosing to bring back Rich. So too, I will honor my word and “Make Mine Marvel” once again.

I’m proud we didn’t let something created and built up by so many talented folks rot away and be left for dead. Just as much as we didn’t let Rich silently fade away, we did not let the work of men like Wolfman, FabNic, Giffen and DnA go to waste.

Did we do any good?

I’d say yes. I don’t know if we would have got Rich back quicker if we would have been more passive and quiet, but I can say we achieved something important. This was especially apparent when Axel Alonso himself said the other day at SDCC “We are well aware of the love for Richard Rider”. That’s a big change from the dismissive stuff (four fans?) we all saw in the past. Frankly, it shows me we have moved that dial with our support.

As I’ve said before, a lot of people stuck their figurative necks out to move that same stubborn dial … maybe even more than we know. We Rider faithful have been called names and accosted by the zombies and the most zealot-like of the newfangled Sam Alexander supporters…maybe, to be fair, we slung some mud ourselves. Many of us have been rooted out from message boards and cast off as jerks, racists or worse.

That being said, this is not a pity party….it’s a “welcome back home” celebration for an old friend. As for those Sam fans, with the announcement it looks like for now we will all get to go on together.

A word about Sam Alexander: In many ways, there was nothing wrong with the notion of Sam or a young brash Nova figure. There was nothing wrong with many of the broader ideas the Sam material wanted to do. Truthfully, the Black Nova concept was a solid idea that I had high hopes for. Instead, what was wrong was the execution. All of those ideas of mine regarding what went wrong there have been laid out on this blog. As we move forward, surprisingly…I am up for Sam Alexander…but dammit, the character needs to be fixed. With Rich back, for once, I’m hopeful we can see that happen.

Bill Rosemann and Andy Lanning had been vocal and supportive of us and of the character. I wish I heard more of Dan Abnett’s opinion, but I know he supported us all the same.

As I said in my prior post, Cosmic Book News has been one of the only major fan sites to support us, I want to personally thank Matt McGloin and his site for what they did and sacrificed to move that dial. I know this choice may have made them somewhat of a pariah at Marvel Comics or the greater zombie community….but I think it was an exceptionally brave and bold path to follow. It’s important to stick up for material and creators that resonated and were meaningful. Its important to stand up for good comics. CBN’s stance here was an example to follow.

Other fan sites like the Nova Facebook Page and Daz’s Nova 619 have worked to get Rich back and to show the fan support for the character. Those pages and the fans who support them are love letters to Richard Rider and it really is unique. So too, I appreciate the history of the Nova Prime Page run by Doug Smith.

As a final note, I want to say there are no regrets from me. I don’t take back one thing…including my concerns about Marvel Comics. Marvel is in strange shape these days and many of the stories are far too divisive and political. Some of that does not appear to be changing….and may, in fact, be getting worse. I’m worried…and I will still be very opinionated and honest with my interpretations.

That includes the mire that Wendell Vaughn aka Quasar is still stuck in. I’m going to continue my support for that character as well . We need him back too.

But today is a good day. Maybe just maybe, I can find a few solid Marvel titles again, books like Nova… that give me that escape and enjoyment I once loved about the company so much.

How great it is to think about ideas and stories once more.

So once more, I’m proud to say “Long Live Richard Rider” AND “Make Mine Marvel” and let’s see what that future has in store.

Discussion on writers in Marvel who could write Rich

Thought I’d reblog this back and forth between a few parties on the Tumblr site…some interesting stuff.

anonymous asked:

Besides Abnett, Lanning, and Giffen who would you like to write the new Richard Rider Nova comic? And who do you think of the current Marvel writers would be able to do the better job?

bringbackrichardrider answered:

There are actually a lot that I would say make up my top list (keeping this list to folks strictly under the Marvel sway right now)

I’d start with Starlin and Waid. Those are my top two.

We can’t forget about FabNic, who seems back in Marvel’s fold and wrote a very solid Richard Rider saga. Next I would bring up PAD, who’s Captain Marvel was one of my favorites.

Greg Pak is awesome and could do a good job.

Personally, I’m a fan of Dan Slott’s work…especially pre Spiderman days when he didn’t have that pressure on him. Dan Slott has a rich affinity for New Warriors and continuity,…I enjoyed his Silver Surfer for a while before I dropped my Marvel comics pulls. I know a lot of fans will disagree with that one…thats cool.

I think Al Ewing could do a good job, I’ve liked a few of his concepts and his story directions.

Someone like Gerry Conway for a six issue start possible? Maybe. It’s an interesting name.

Gage and Yost are writers I enjoy, though they are not big draws for some reason. Hickman, who still is supposed to be within Marvel’s fold, is a guy who could do some good things if he kept things a bit more controlled in scope and had a tighter editor to rope in his stories. I doubt the project would be big enough for him.

I don’t mind James Robinson, I also think he has some good ideas but some fair misses. I liked the first arc of his Invaders book until it lost some steam. The second arc kinda killed my interest.

I’m also lukewarm but not totally against someone like Dennis Hopeless. I didnt like the pitch for an Avengers Arena, but I read some of it and it was decent. Once i realized Darkhawk was not going to be axed, I thought some good character work was done.

A lot of the newer writers I just don’t know about. Marvel is letting a lot of script/book writers come in and have a go at comics these days, not sure who I would recommend from that lot. Nicole Perlman seems cool…but I’m not sure if she can work on a paper comic schedule.

(a few of these types worry me, however…such as Chuck Wendig….this name sticks out to me as a supreme possibility, yet I am very guarded.)

All things considered, I think more than likely we will get someone lower tier or new.

That’s my thoughts for now….though I will still think about it. Feel like I’m forgetting a few names.

RAMBLINGS ON THE END!

 

A few thoughts on the upcoming Nova series that, as we all know, has been teased.

-I’m reserving my sappy / silly version of a “we did it!” post until this is confirmed.

-Despite some concerns of fans, I think it will be Richard Rider. I can hardly believe that , given all the hard feelings, words and  call outs we’ve unloaded….yet, with all that’s gone on, I don’t think Marvel would be so damn cruel as to give Sam or someone else the helmet. It may be Robbie or something like that. I doubt it, but it’s possible. I doubt it would be Jesse. They seem unwilling to commit page time to him. Frankly, with the Champions series I think they are going to keep Sam around in his current look and direction. Whatever he is, he fits in that particular book as well as anywhere. Also, with all the issues I’ve had with Sam, I always thought he had a cool design/look.

I don’t think it would be Rael, that awesome lady, despite how cool she was, could also be considered something of a “pet character” of an (awesome) writer who just left the company. Marvel wouldn’t go there, I’d say. Further, I don’t think it would be Eve or the Secret Wars family. Eve with Riri out there is too confusing.

-Let’s reaffirm Bleeding Cool’s source said it was going to be a “Richard Rider” book.

-It seems like this Nova series, if any on the previews, are one of the ones that may come later in the year as opposed to October. With no creative team announced or clear cut Issue# 1 cover, it seems relatively undeveloped. As I look for those books to where Rider’s return may pop up, I’d earmark either Ewing’s Ultimate’s book or Bendis’ GOTG (apparent) finale.

Food for thought: Readers of his Avengers run know, Brian Bendis has a track record of bringing back fan-loved characters he’s not used or “killed off” at the end of a run. (See Wonder Man, Vision)

-Don’t rule out the possibility they keep “who it is” as a mystery even though the series is underway.

-Not to lecture everyone, but again, if this does turn out in our favor, we should be happy and proud of it and not unreasonable. It’s the end of a long road. Honestly, we should act classy and even a bit thankfull/grateful to Marvel….I’m not saying I regret anything I said or did during this process and will not say that, but bringing back Rich was what it was all about. I’m going to keep my promise and buy Marvel comics again. As I’ve always said; I love Marvel Comics and sure as hell, I want to support them.

-If this is Rich Rider, we should prepare for some initial disappointment and yet still be open to accepting this for a while. In other words, we should give this a chance and keep expectations low. Sure , they’re going to fuck something up. Whether its established continuity, the creative team, characterization or some other detail here or there, I can bet Marvel will jack up something and aspects of any series will not be to some of our standards. Let’s remember, even Annihilation jacked up stuff. (like show Rich as a cherry recruit when he had been Nova Prime before!) How furious were Rich fans when he was Kid Nova and wearing a damned red ascot in FabNic’s New Warriors volume one? Those things worked themselves all out.

Thus, with history as a model, we need to support the book and give it a leash. I say that, with some degree of understanding that this is contingent on the fact it is old Richie and not some overt “in your face” screw over. If that’s the case….back to the old drawing board.

The reality is that Sam’s book was not a flop because of random goofs like “Galadoria” or powers coming from the helmet. Nope, it was disjointed and nonsensical, and bad writing. Personally, that’s why I rejected it.

-Not to shit on them, because they are good guys, but some of the old ROM fans seem to want to not even try the IDW ROM title due to minor quips about his look and appearance. I don’t want to be that stubborn.

-Lastly, I want to comment on an article CBR wrote (I’m not even gonna link it) some disgraceful reaction to this teaser image of Nova # 1 that stated something to the effect of they were surprised Richard Rider would be brought back, y’know because “Sam Alexander has found a niche” or some crap and, worse, that Rider fans have died down or been silenced over the years.

Any that follow this blog know of my disdain for CBR, its business and fan model, and the folks who run the site. Not a fan.

I just want to say that Rider’s fans have not lost voice. Reddits ablaz with Rider love. This rinky dink blog site alone had its busiest month- 3,000 new visitors in December of 2015. Let’s add that Sam Alexander’s traction with fans is really a dubious claim. Not a shit on Sam thread, but his sales have slipped into unprecedented low territory of 15k! That’s dreadful. Seriously, it’s the worst for any Nova title….ever. It’s very possible Sam Alexander Nova is the worst selling Nova book ever made.

Any of you see heavyweight director James Gunn recently called out (in a fun kinda cool way) Cosmic Book News owner Matt McGloin regarding his love of Nova? We’ve all moved the dial folks….all this bitching has NOT been a waste. (BTW COSMIC BOOK NEWS deserves serious props in the fight to BBRR . Matt has don a ton of shit in this battle…..that is, if this does all work out,)

If anything, CBR may think “Rider fans have disappeared” because they’ve done stuff like actively kick off tons of Rich Rider and DnA fans (like me) and other Rider supporters from their message boards simply for discussing Richard Rider.

CBR-LOL

 

They’ve also doctored their own so-called website’s “reporting” to edit out fan questions regarding Rider, such as from a Marvel Panel at Emerald City Comic Con in 2014. (CBR Rider no mention version here…..Newsarama version w/ the Rider question linked here)

One of the fundamental reasons I started this blog was because of their treatment of me (THANOSRULES) and other Rider and Cosmic fans a few years back. I wanted a place where folks would be free to chat about stuff and not get banned, edited or lectured by some self-righteous board mod about bringing back Rider and Cosmic comics. I think we’ve done a decent job.

Simply put; CBR hates Rider fans and has actively sought to silence our voice…so yeah, not expecting much love from them. More than ever, CBR seems to be the same bunch of clowns they were all along.

I hope CBR the best and encourage fans to make up their own mind on the site…but that’s my personal take on them.

Anyway, enough hater crap…frankly I’m tired of bitchery and looking forward to some good news, LLRR and let’s hope for the best.

 

TR

How I Would Fix Marvel

Recently, I was asked the simple question of “How would I fix Marvel?”. Rather than gloss over the question with a trademark dig like “fire Alonso”, I decided to do the reply justice and come up with a plan…. a long plan, that is. Seriously…this is really long, maybe the longest I have ever done here.

Frankly, it’s a complicated issue, and I don’t want to gloss over it without substance.

Today’s annnouncement of a god awful sounding “Champions” book only fueled my fire.

A few caveats:

#1 Believe it or not, I admit that I don’t know it all. I don’t have the “actual” sales figures, I don’t know a lot about how Marvel works or the actual particulars of its internal business …but these are my ideas laid to words none the less. I’m not an expert on the industry or Diamond and distribution…I’m just a fan with ideas. So…with that in mind, take this for what its worth.

#2 We have no direct evidence Marvel is actually failing. In fact, far from it. The company’s comics have a large market share, the movies and Disney are a huge cash pot behind them allowing failure in the books to be “no big deal”. Truthfully, if the paper comics mine one potential movie property every 10 years that makes say “One billion dollars” … then they have made more than all the Marvel comic line makes in years. You could argue its some crazy halcyon days for Marvel. Yet we are far from max sales in the paper books. Why?

#3 There are a couple problems with the sales of all paper comics that are industry related and not exactly just Marvel’s fault. I think the notion of direct only market is now a bad idea. Too many shops have closed and there is a snowball effect to a reduced availability to comics. These shops have a very flawed way of selling books and working within a skewed supply and demand model. The internet and digital age have not seemed to help. I wrote about the issues with comic sales here:

https://richridernova.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/cbr-article-on-commic-industry-2015/

Of course there are other things, macro issues, like folks reading less etc…that are all very real.

Honestly though, when you extract Star Wars from the mix and factor in DC’s own shortcomings with the New 52 debacle, the market for superhero books is much closer…in fact with DC’s Rebirth picking up huge steam in sales and reorders, it appears the market share may be shifting more toward equal.

That’s crazy …especially seeing as how the films Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War just banked nearly a billion dollars and DC’s bloated snoozefest Batman Versus Superman just put…well…. everyone to sleep. Marvel superhero comics should be selling at record paces…but they’re not of course. In fact, according to Diamond, unit sales are down or the same from even the period 10 years back. The Alonso era gains from the mini-crash of 2010 have worn off. (again most of this was Star Wars inspired) Now, actual gains could be called stagnant.

#4 I love Marvel. Despite the angst and disagreement…I’m a huge fan. I want to buy this stuff again someday. I hope I will.

So what can be done to fix Marvel?

-The first matter is what I’ve talked about the most. Unify the sub-regions. (and mostly I’ve spoke of cosmic in this blog)

-I’d stick with the old tried and true division of Marvel properties. (IE Cosmic, X men, Avengers, Spiderman/ Marvel Heroes)  I’d just make them play together better. This system used to work. The fact smaller compartments of these properties ballooned into 10-15 titles is getting a bit ridiculous.

-Get a central editor for cosmic and stuff like the X line and make it all tie in together. Preferably this editor is the kind of guy / gal who respects continuity, recognizes it as an asset… yet is not a slave to it. New ideas and experiments are OK but we also respect the past and use it to our advantage. This editor needs to be a guy who can tell big egos that they need to fix something or change this and that. Again also a guy who listens to fans, respects them…but, so too, is not a slave to them.

These are the two active problems with how editors/writers are messing with continuity at Marvel:

  1. Books not matching up or disregarding past continuity. If the past is unimportant or brushed off it makes the repeated action of following, buying and reading serial fiction less required.
  2. Books not matching up to stuff that is going on concurrently within the Marvel universe. The “Rock Stars” are huge offenders here. Again, it makes following the whole line less required.

Continuity is not some nerdy concept. Guys like Bendis would love for you to think that. Continuity is the quality control of the company’s history. It’s the summation of all the hard work of Marvel’s past. It should be a badge of honor.

-Central editorship is a big one. Currently, I don’t think they are doing a good job. I’ve never seen a more disjointed and chaotic Marvel Universe than under Axel Alonso. Undertaking something like Secret Wars was foolish under such conditions. Look at how Age of Ultron or Original Sin turned out. Disjointed. Sloppy. Unimportant…always a rush to “what’s next”.

-Support your bread and butter. X-men. Fantastic Four. Make X big again. Giant sized X men #1 saved Marvel. Make Fantastic Four a corner stone of your franchise that you support through thick and thin. Embrace your history. So what if sales dwindle lower than you like. Get folks to come up with solid story concepts like you’ve always done. FIX STUFF…don’t trash it.

-Limit the amount of spin offs from properties to a reasonable level. “Avengers Everything” and “Spider Everything” at some point becomes a problem. This isn’t working anymore. Three or four spin offs are good enough.

-Keep down extravagant retcons or character assassinations. They devalue the importance of stories, characters and followings and harm them more in the long run. You can’t make the history of your line floppy and unimportant. Stuff needs to matter.

Stop replacing core heroes as a stunt. Stop making these replacements noticeably agenda driven to force feed diversity or an international flare. Honestly, you can do this now and then. Diversity is great. Make it organic and reasonable…just not the onslaught “in your face” overflow we get today. Marvel has been a leader in this field for years. They never should have got so hyper–reactive.  If Marvel wants to expand interest to other countries, they should create small lines marketed in these areas ala the old UK line.

-On the current politics of Marvel: tone down the left leaning agenda. As mentioned, this includes the zealot-like drive for diversity and urge to replace core heroes for that sake. It’s gotten out of hand, and it turns me (and others) off. I really think this affirmative action comic engineering just goes to preserve a sort of “culture of enmity” and reminder of difference rather than help to uplift the culture of equality we all want. I don’t like to feel shitty about myself, and I sure as hell am not going to pay someone to make me feel shitty.

Sometimes I feel like Marvel paper comics want to be this niche industry. The folks in control now don’t care about the 50 percent of the country who lean right of center. They think all of those folks are bigots, racists and jerks. They tell you comics are for everybody…but they sure seem to tell you they are “not for you” if you are veteran, Christian or even remotely conservative.  Marvel seems like it has written off these folks and instead just wants to find the little enclaves of left leaning potential zombies in all the little urban areas of the world.

Reality check: I know Marvel has always been a little left of center…but it always felt like it was more reasonable and they took the time to ground their preaching in well-molded metaphor. So too, I think the staff had more real-world experience to ground them. Kirby was a Vet. So was Stan Lee. Starlin was a vet. Read old profiles of guys like Jim Sterenko…they had some life experience and lived pretty hard. Too many folks writing Marvel these days that didn’t grow up reading them. “Oh I came late to Marvel Comics” I hear again and again. Damn, there seems to be too many writers who’ve come right from college, hung out in NYC and have no visceral life experience. Frankly, it shows in the product.

Stop acting like loyal fans are unimportant. Fans drive your business. Treat them well. I can’t stand the tagline that the “stories will sell themselves” no matter who supports you or how you treat fans. This is a widespread belief with Brevoort and Alonso. It’s flawed, pretentious and leads down the silly road of biting the hand that feeds you. “The customer is always right” is a proven mantra of business. Why does Marvel think they are different?

Don’t shit on 30-40 year old fans. Bad idea. Those fans have kids. Truthfully, those fans have the money, especially when you want to sell 4.99 comics. Those fans often have the car to travel far and wide to the places comics are now only available. We buy/ throw away money on crap like “plush Marvel throws” at Walmart, Nova “mini-busts” to put on our desk at work, posters to put in my boy’s bed room, and party cups for his sixth B-day party. We are the ones who flip the vacation to (Marvel) theme parks and overpriced comic cons that cost fifty bucks to get in. Stop acting like we are a bunch of douchbags living in our mom’s basement. Not to mention these 30-40 year olds are the same guys who will, most intelligently that is, blog, rant and post reviews when your material sucks. (or is awesome and worthy of praise)

-Stop acting like internet buzz is just white noise and irrelevant. You guys listen to fans that knock how you don’t have enough LGBT characters, but you ignore fans who have other very reasonable problems. We detect that bullshit and we don’t like it.

Stop letting talent leave. Tom Brevoort’s “kiss off” of Robert Kirkman is the stuff of legend. That shit alone should have gotten someone fired. In the last couple years, Greg Pak (who has come back), Hickman, Remender, Abnett, Humphries. Going back further too much has slipped away. I’ve been vocal about how dumb it was letting the entire architects of Annihilation era walk. Guys like Andy Schmidt, Keith Giffen, Andy Lanning and all the great artists went on to do strong stuff for DC. Let’s rethink how you treat “work for hire” guys as well.

Reduce the amount of street level titles.(don’t stop…reduce)  Stop letting “Marvel Knights” be the line wide ethos. This means less grim and gritty, less books on ninjas and assassins. Less Kung Fu. Some is ok. Shit man…I personally like some of the stuff. But I’m sorry it is just not as cool as you all think…nor are you pulling it off as well as you think. I see you shovel this stuff down our throats endlessly and it just does not work at the volume you seem to want to push it.

-Swords and Sorcery comic? No interest here? Game of Thrones is one of the biggest shows on TV. Weirdworld was just weird. Try something straightforward and akin to the old Weirdworld. Something like Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord’s Conan. (wait those are three solid items Marvel cast off)

-Reduce the influence of Jeph Loeb in Marvel comics. Stop pushing his stuff like Red Hulk, Sam Alexander Nova, Agents of Shield and other stuff. That shit is all fan rejected…plus one. Deal with it. Ease up on the Inhumans replacing mutants crap. Give me spandex clad Agents of Shield chasing down green masked hydra agents.

Restart the Ultimate Universe. Get Mark Millar to do a six issue relaunch. Do it. Take it back to pre-Ultimatum / Ultimates three and just pretend everything after didn’t happen. (oh maybe keep Miles Morales around because I know you would have to) That’s crazy, I know… just do it. “Bring Back Ultimate”

-Get comics in kids and young adult hands. Free comic book day sucks and is more a reward for guys with pull lists. I know I was critical of Loeb’s Nova. Mainly there, I was critical of changing the direction of a book that was once for older fans, telling the old fans to screw off, and then changing the book into a zany teen romp that felt like it was for a five year old.  I’m not against comics for all ages. Frankly, I don’t think even kids want the hokey stuff I’ve seen Marvel put out. I used to buy Byrne Avengers, Fab Nic’s New Warriors, Englehart Silver Surfer and Grunewald Captain America when I was a kid.

-Publish a line of “all-ages books”. Not a token offering either…I’m talking 10-15 books printed on less expensive stock and with operating costs to where a full length book can be priced at $1.99, sell between 10kand 15k sales and be stable at that number. Don’t make these books some cheap “out of continuity” or generic books… make them count and promote them. Get these books in the non-direct market: Wal Mart, Target, CVS, Drug stores (preferably near waiting areas) Toys R us, even bookstores and newsstands. You may lose money on these books…but it’s a long term investment in advertising and building future fans. Make them colorful books, appropriate for all ages without being cheesy or kiddie. Tie them in to your other books. For these, I’d stick to core characters with the most appeal, IE Hulk. Avengers. Iron Man…etc..

Now, if your argument is what I’ve heard in the past…that “reduced stock” books won’t sell to today’s crowd, then explain to me how Walking Dead sells in Black and White?

-Don’t be afraid to work some fringe areas, characters and teams. Let them linger with low sales. I always use the “catfish example”. (I may have told this before) Up here in my native Vermont, fried Catfish is not available at many stores. I used to go to the Texas Roadhouse to buy it because well, no one else had it. When I did, I brought my whole family. Sometimes I brought guests. We’d spend a good amount of money. I’d go there for my birthday because I liked the dang Catfish and couldn’t get it anywhere else. One faithful day I took my family there and they said that the location had replaced the Catfish for Fish and goddamn Chips. I told the waiter I can get solid fish and chips anywhere in New England why, of all places, would I go to Texas Roadhouse for Atlantic Scrod? He told me sorry, but the Catfish didn’t sell well.

I have not been back since. More importantly, neither has the four people in my family every other week or so… just like I have not been back to Marvel since they axed Richard Rider. When I bought Rider’s old Nova series, I also bought all the tie in’s and Bendis’ Avengers and Aaron’s Thor etc…without Rider…I dropped ‘em all.

Basic sales tells you that niche items with strong but small followings will bring people to your table for your other offerings as well.

–  Create “Marvel Stores/attractions” that are impressive and cool destinations.  At a minimum, Marvel should make a huge lavish store in NYC within Times Square, have a Mecca flagship location. It should feature a full comic store, coupled with some Disneyland type stuff. Something akin to the “Legoland” concept. You see these smaller Legolands pop up at malls etc. Sell comics there. Sell memorabilia and products. The sky is the limit. Legoland, despite Disney, is actually a decent model for this.

-Have a stronger and more aggressive creator owned line. Frankly, it just seems now like a “cookie” for some of the upper crust rock stars like Bendis and Millar.

-Restart the MAX line. There is a demand for this stuff. Make it an outlet for horror, war and crime books. Hard sci fi. Make it a playground of ideas. If it generates one 400 million domestic film every ten years, it will pay for itself.

-Rebuild valued talent from Marvel’s past. Starlin was a start….though it seems they treat him like crap. I’m going to throw out the names like Tom DeFalco, Keith Giffen, Kurt Busiek, Marv Wolfman, and Chuck Dixon, and Ron Lim as some names. This is not about turning the clock back to 1998….but it is about building upward…and to build up always needs a strong foundation from the past.

-I don’t mind the events….but make them (better) and more meaningful. Tie them together and make events have lasting implications (you know like they actually promise to deliver). Something like Age of Ultron had literally no lasting implications. Conquest, Original Sin, Chaos War and Secret Invasion have been all but forgotten. Eventually, these factors have made events seem less important and passable.

Right now it seems like the big “can’t miss” events are just a series of “turns” for whatever “Rock Star” writer is up next (IE Original sin is “Aaron’s event”…AoU is Bendis, etc..) They would be better if they matched up and lead to more developed spin offs with lasting repercussions. Example: how did Bendis “breaking time” have such a nominal effect on Hickman’s stuff? How did Aaron’s “Fury in space” make one lick of sense after Chaos War, Secret Invasion or Annihilation?

-Reduce the roll of Brian Michael Bendis. Give him a couple of solid street level books. Give him Indiana Jones. He’s talented and capable of writing solid stuff within his niche…but he’s not good as an architect of multi-scope properties and he’s horrible with team books. He has a huge problem making his material work in concert with others and his self-centered continuity must be an editorial nightmare. The whole line suffers despite decent sales on what he’s working. Bendis sales are thus a huge façade. His cosmic has been a complete ham-fisted disaster and frankly, so was his Avengers after about issue 15. (Dark Avengers was ok…but it mostly went nowhere)

-Stop reboots or renumbers. Again, they devalue the importance of a property. Variants and limited double ships for flagship titles are fine. Marvel has done these forever and they have worked. But Renumbers are a quick fix and degrade the anticipation for a serialized product. A jumping on point can just as easy be a jumping off point.

Something foul has happened to buying trends. Even Brevoort admitted this recently. Fans are choosing that “jump off” option more and more. They jump ship on bad books quick. This is an aggregate of a lot of issues I have brought up here.

Personally, I never forget, as a kid, how holding something like Action Comics # 600 in my hand felt. To know there was that awesome history behind a book was powerful.

-Don’t underestimate “trade waiting” when evaluating cancelations.

-I’ve spoken of this somewhat already, but get the price of your comics down. I know you have not been able to raise prices for years, and now that you have your going to lose readers. Five dollar comic books hurt the industry. You can’t just will a can of soda to cost four bucks.

-More emphasis on OGN. I’ve seen improvement here with stuff like Starlin’s recent works and Rage of Ultron. Getting the trades in Wal-Mart is good. Expanding Barnes and Noble is also cool. (on a side note I went to B and N recently and it mostly, the trade expansion is the same old selection…just spread out more) Not enough! Let’s get more…Marvel actually does very weak at OGN and trade sales.

-Let’s do a mini-series from time to time. A mini-series made Richard Rider my favorite hero. There’s really no modern Punisher or Wolverine without a solid mini-series. I swear they can still work.

-Stop mothballing crap you buy up. There were some decent parts of the Cross Gen and Malibu’s Ultraverse. Example: Cross gen had two excellent S&S books, Sojourn and Scion…marvel struggles here…hmmm. Also…let’s do something with Marvelman instead of preen around that you own the rights. Meanwhile, IDW buys ROM and Micronauts and basically runs a profitable company with the properties you’ve cast off. Great moves.

-Finally….Fire Axel Alonso! Oops I did it. Yet, truthfully, at this point with mistake after mistake in his past, I have no other answer. I don’t like to see anyone lose their job. I just can’t foresee Marvel comics being the company it should be with him at the helm.