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It's really interesting, the way the Marvel NOW! Launch has been unrolled for the pre-launch hype, as compared to DC's New 52 hype.

DC's ethos was to get everything to look and feel as the same as possible. Dark, gritty reboots of characters with burdens weighing them down seems to be the editorial mandate. Comics sold well in the 90's for Image, so the goal is to make the new 52 look as much like 90's era Image as possible.

On the other hand, Marvel's creative teams have all been put on projects they've never written before, and each one has stated that they want to try something that hasn't been done before. Indestructible Hulk by Mark Waid, in fact, is specifically about trying to write a Hulk that ISN'T wallowing in his hulky burden. So far, all of the Marvel NOW concepts I've seen look fresh and worth at least taking a read through at the comic shop.

Scott Lang (Antman) is a character I've actively not cared for since the DeFalco 90's FF run where he tried his damndest to have an affair with Sue Richards while Reed was "dead." But him heading up this unusual team has really piqued my interest. It's weird, but I feel like this is where She-Hulk 'belongs,' more-so than in her own book or in her cousin's Hulk books.
Giabrenna
Richard, where are you? This must be squeed over with like-minded people!


I was in Disneyland Paris, as it happens. When you posted that, anyway, not for the whole of the last six months. That'd be exhausting. Though at least you'd stand a fighting chance of reaching the end of a queue.

But, yes! Squee.

I'm a little cautious about the whole package of the two books, as I'm not much of a Bagley fan and I reckon Fantastic Four is full of the sort of traps that Matt Fraction is prone to falling in and getting stuck. Though I'm not so worried about that bit now that he's said each issue of Fantastic Four will be a done-in-one.

FF though... how's that not going to be fun? Allred! Jen! Space to do Weirdness! Can't wait. Easily the most exciting of the NOW! things.
Giabrenna
It's really interesting, the way the Marvel NOW! Launch has been unrolled for the pre-launch hype, as compared to DC's New 52 hype.


One of the blogosphere's Wise Davids (I can't remember if it was Brothers or Uzumeri) said that the only thing that DC did right was that they did it. Which I think is kind of true - "52 new #1s! Start here!" did its job, but the content wasn't there. 'Not there' in the sense that the dominant tone created by the blending of Regressive Johns with 90's Harras Cronies and the Didio who thinks Identity Crisis is his signature publication is...what it is, but also 'Not there' in the organisational sense that they simply hadn't got the creative teams in place or any idea what they were putting in all these books they were rushing to put out in one month.

Marvel, having both the luxury of going second and of employing editors who can tie their shoelaces, get to dodge a lot of these problems. But the trade off seems to be that they won't get the Big Splash. The Marvel Now teams (or being realistic, the Marvel Now writers at least) will stick on the books longer than the half-an-issue a Superman writer manages and will have a idea of their Very Own for what they'd like to do with it, but getting that in place means a slow rollout.

"We're launching a New #1 every week over an approximately four month period!!!" isn't a very dramatic looking publishing event from a company that always has a new #1 out every week anyway. I'm not sure how Marvel are going to be able to get across the idea to the audience that anything is happening at all.
Really, they're going to have to use press releases like a champ to get word out. It seems part of the gist of DC crapping on everything before to produce new crap reboot and the Marvel NOW thingie is to draw in that elusive creature known as the "new reader". DC got a good amount of coverage, and a bit of a sales bump, but I think that's kinda dwindled back off. I'm not seeing any coverage of Marvel NOW aside from the sources that would typically be covering this sort of thing. It seems like they're trying to maybe reinvigorate their base of readers, and maybe draw in people who already read comics to their titles. Kind of "So, you don't like that new 52 dealie? Here, try this instead."
Kyoujin Tsuru
Really, they're going to have to use press releases like a champ to get word out. It seems part of the gist of DC crapping on everything before to produce new crap reboot and the Marvel NOW thingie is to draw in that elusive creature known as the "new reader". DC got a good amount of coverage, and a bit of a sales bump, but I think that's kinda dwindled back off. I'm not seeing any coverage of Marvel NOW aside from the sources that would typically be covering this sort of thing. It seems like they're trying to maybe reinvigorate their base of readers, and maybe draw in people who already read comics to their titles. Kind of "So, you don't like that new 52 dealie? Here, try this instead."


Yeah, it was only about three months after the New 52 that Marvel were beating DC on Market Share again.

So in terms of 'The New Reader', what happened is that DC spent unprecedented millions on TV advertising... it grew the audience and got people into comics shops... then once they were in there then that enlarged readership swiftly decided they'd rather be reading Marvel books.

It looks to me like Marvel Now is more an attempt to consolidate that process and usher over those from the new audience to whom Marvel looks inaccessible, rather than a big outreach effort to grow the audience further.

That said, Marvel have been very good in recent years at using the press to spike books in a "Roll up, roll up! See Obama kill Johnny Storm!" way. If they can keep that mechanism working week-in-week-out as their new #1s trickle onto the shelves then they're laughing.
Teatime Brutality
Yeah, it was only about three months after the New 52 that Marvel were beating DC on Market Share again.
Kinda surprised it took that long, but then again I'm also still seeing people who think Johns/Lee League book as some sort of merit aside from slopping up spills in the kitchen.

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So in terms of 'The New Reader', what happened is that DC spent unprecedented millions on TV advertising... it grew the audience and got people into comics shops... then once they were in there then that enlarged readership swiftly decided they'd rather be reading Marvel books.
I have to think that has something to do with Marvel spending money on movies and cartoons which also serves as advertising. The DC media blitz get the readers in the store, but then they get those books, realize they're not very good, and then think "Hey wait, I really like those Marvel movies, I wonder if the comics are any good."

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It looks to me like Marvel Now is more an attempt to consolidate that process and usher over those from the new audience to whom Marvel looks inaccessible, rather than a big outreach effort to grow the audience further.
Yeah. If I could benefit from my competition doing all the heavy spending, I'd certainly be doing so.

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That said, Marvel have been very good in recent years at using the press to spike books in a "Roll up, roll up! See Obama kill Johnny Storm!" way. If they can keep that mechanism working week-in-week-out as their new #1s trickle onto the shelves then they're laughing.
The Obama thing certainly worked in the short term. There were people lined up around the block because my LCS were giving away free copies of the Spideybama issue. Sure they were only there because that campaign season there was a thought of Obama=free stuff, and his base flocked to it, spent no money on anything else in the store, and were then gone never to return (aside from occasional phone calls inquiring about other possible free Obama stuff), but the shop did get on the evening news and had a write up in the paper. But that was a small bump, and I'm curious if Marvel got any residual boost due to that. I don't think they had a lasting boost from the death of Johnny. Its tricky business keeping readers.

All that said, I do believe I'll be getting these here new Fantastic Four books. Testing the waters with the Hickman FF did not go well as while I like the notion of big cool science adventurers having big cool science adventures, that first issue felt like walking into a wake uninvited. I'm a big fan of Bagley (I know there's a some folks who aren't, but I've always liked the guy's work) and Allred is great. I understand that there writer fellow does decent work, although I've never read anything of his. So I'll be picking up the 1st issues of both titles and will report back as to my thoughts.
I've been reading Matt Fraction's 'Thor' as a companion to 'Journey Into Mystery.' It's a jarring comparison. Kieron Gillan's JiM is all about reading beyond the dialogue to figure out what everyone's real intents are, and in Thor, everything Fraction writes is severely literal. There are no actual mysteries in Thor.

Right now they've started a Thor/JiM crossover, and it's especially jarring how different Loki's voice is between the two writers.

That said, I'm really interested to see how he handles the Fantastic Four and company. The last issue of Fantstic Four, especially, was the type of concept that I think Richard must have been watering at the mouth at the last page (despite the crap art) and I don't think Fraction has that scope. What will he do instead? I'd like to find out.
You know, whenever I've left it ages before checking back in on the forum, Gaia sends me an email telling me that my fish miss me. I think they're grasping at straws there.

Wally_West
I've lost the link to your blog. Relink?

I want to see what you think about my teenaged pain.


Are we still friends if I think your teenaged pain is hilarious?

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Giabrenna
The last issue of Fantstic Four, especially, was the type of concept that I think Richard must have been watering at the mouth at the last page (despite the crap art)

#609? Absolutely.

(I actually quote liked a lot of Stegman's art in the issue, but yeah that Big Final Image was really not what it needed to be. With the Hickman run though I've got so used to mentally correcting for what I think the art 'should' look like that it just happens automatically in my brain now)

Giabrenna
and I don't think Fraction has that scope. What will he do instead? I'd like to find out.


Something like the Defenders run he just had cancelled would work I think - Weird Adventure, high-risk characterisation choices, sense of cosmic menace - a lot of what worked well in that book would transfer over nicely to a Fantastic Four run I think. Of course, since it's the Defenders run he just had cancelled then his thoughts right now probably aren't that he should carry on with exactly what he was doing there.
Paul Ryan's art in FF during this period is one of the reasons I had such difficulty enjoying the Flash once he took over the art on there. I kept seeing Wally as Johnny Storm yawning through his ridiculous threats.
Teatime Brutality
You know, whenever I've left it ages before checking back in on the forum, Gaia sends me an email telling me that my fish miss me. I think they're grasping at straws there.

Wally_West
I've lost the link to your blog. Relink?

I want to see what you think about my teenaged pain.


Are we still friends if I think your teenaged pain is hilarious?

#356
#357
#358
#359


Sure, it's funny if you're reading it now in nice easily-downloadable-read-it-all-in-a-couple-sittings instant swaths that let you know that, yes, this is a finite story that ends....but having to digest 30 pages once a month with compounding frustration as nothing ever gets resolved, knowing that next month more things will pop up that will never be resolved, and not knowing if it will ever end, ever, because this guy RUNS THE COMPANY, it was less hilarious and more '******** it, let's see how big Catwoman's tits are drawn this month.'
Things are always different in the NOW aren't they? There's loads of Doctor Who that I think is worse than Stephen Moffat's - and I'm fascinated by it and glad it's all there to be fascinating. But when I dislike Doctor Who that's happening NOW then it just hurts.

(DC's a specially painful case because it's hard to see any hope of things ever changing for the better. There's no plausible chain of events we can imagine that'll ever put the bundle of IP that is 'the DC universe' back under the control of anyone who understands what that IP is for and how it works.)

Anyway, Fantastic Four. Here are some Fantastic Four things...

- Is anyone else playing "spot the Avengers run set-up" as Hickman winds down his FF run? Where he's put T'Challa and making Reed the ambassador to AIM Island all looks like him moving the furniture around in preparation. Especially if Reed is on his New Avengers team like that Scottie Young cover suggests.

- Everytime I see an article about how Millar's now a creative consultant for Fox's FF movies I keep thinking that this sounds like the most horrible and inappropriate thing in the world because Millar's horrible and inappropriate. Then I have to stop and remind myself that Millar did a Fantastic Four run and I really quite liked it.

- Anyone had a look at that Trio series Byrne's doing? I'm considering giving it a try.
Teatime Brutality
Doctor Who waah


It's all in the mind.

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Teatime Brutality

(DC's a specially painful case because it's hard to see any hope of things ever changing for the better. There's no plausible chain of events we can imagine that'll ever put the bundle of IP that is 'the DC universe' back under the control of anyone who understands what that IP is for and how it works.)


Come back and ask me about this in a year, when they can't come up with any more excuses for the sales trend.

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Anyway, Fantastic Four. Here are some Fantastic Four things...

- Is anyone else playing "spot the Avengers run set-up" as Hickman winds down his FF run? Where he's put T'Challa and making Reed the ambassador to AIM Island all looks like him moving the furniture around in preparation. Especially if Reed is on his New Avengers team like that Scottie Young cover suggests.


I don't think Hickman COULD stop using Reed right now. He's the Queen of the chess set, so to speak. He can move all over the board and set everything else up. Can we call Reed's often-derailed Character Reformation complete at this point? Even Bendis has him just wisely Shaking His Head And Being Right over in AvX, rather than being a p***k or causing mass genocide by being a dickish egghead.

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- Everytime I see an article about how Millar's now a creative consultant for Fox's FF movies I keep thinking that this sounds like the most horrible and inappropriate thing in the world because Millar's horrible and inappropriate. Then I have to stop and remind myself that Millar did a Fantastic Four run and I really quite liked it.


I think Millar has the sense to know that 'Wanted' and 'Kick-a**' are not the same as Fantastic Four. I do hope he takes a page from the 'Amazing Spider-Man' reboot and nudges them towards taking full advantage of seeing these amazing powers used in reality. The best part of the ASM movie was seeing fight sequences in real life, in real time that looked like blocked out Spider-man comic panels.

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- Anyone had a look at that Trio series Byrne's doing? I'm considering giving it a try.


I haven't heard about what Trio is. John Byrne exists on this weird fringe of my mind, where I know he still exists and he's publishing that Un-men comic, but otherwise it's like he's a total nonentity.
Wally_West

I don't think Hickman COULD stop using Reed right now. He's the Queen of the chess set, so to speak. He can move all over the board and set everything else up. Can we call Reed's often-derailed Character Reformation complete at this point? Even Bendis has him just wisely Shaking His Head And Being Right over in AvX, rather than being a p***k or causing mass genocide by being a dickish egghead.

This catches my attention. I was discussing comics on G+ when Reed came up and a buddy of mine on there who knows his comics pretty well proclaimed "Reed Richards is an evil douche!" This caught me a bit off guard as I've had many thoughts about Reed Richards but "evil douche" wasn't one of them. Of course this was just one fellow and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but then the chorus of "evil douche" began to form. There's a lot of people who really hate that guy.

Can I get a cliff notes as to him becoming Evil Douche Reed and this here character reformation?
So the New Avengers book is going to include Namor, T'Challa, Black Bolt and Reed.
I'm not sure Hickman's understood this "leaving Fantastic Four" concept at all.

Linda
Even Bendis has him just wisely Shaking His Head And Being Right over in AvX, rather than being a p***k or causing mass genocide by being a dickish egghead.


I absolutely love that scene. It's not just a well written Reed, it's very specifically Hickman's version. Which fills me with hope that it'll stick.

And yeah, as things worked out, Reed gets to be the one character in all of AvX who's right about everything. Morally right. Practically right. Right, right, right. The Great Houses of Silver Age Marvel went to war, and the winner was the House that didn't play.

Kyoujin Tsuru

Can I get a cliff notes as to him becoming Evil Douche Reed and this here character reformation?


I don't even think the narrative happens in the comics.

Evil Douche Reed's a product of the fact that there're less people who read Fantastic Four than there are people who see out of context panels on livejournal, tumblr and 4chan. That and the fact that he's awful in Civil War and Civil War still seems to be an entry point for a lot of people (actually, that's one of the best things about AvX, now I think about it, is that it'll probably displace Civil War in that regard).

Evil Douche Reed's a thing that becomes a Thing Everyone Knows Is True regardless of the comics, and that the comics have to fight against. Hickman's made a very good go at it and, ironically, one of the most effective things he did was to use a Reed who actually was an Evil Douche in his Ultimates run so that people could compare and contrast.

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