Ever since DC Comics relaunched their line with the amazing Rebirth event, the company has consistently topped Marvel Comics on the monthly sales charts. The combination of $2.99 cover prices and stories that return to the core of the popular DC characters has paid off in an even bigger way than the New 52 did five years ago.
Marvel has been having serious issues for a while with comics. Ever since the Marvel Now! initiative kicked off, the company seems to be pandering to what’s called “investment collectors”. These are the type of people who don’t actually read or collect comics, they only walk into their local comic shop to pick up the #1 issues in a delusion that they’ll skyrocket in value. The problem for these people is now that Marvel does new #1 issues every year it lessens what a #1 means and they’re basically worthless now.
If restarting the comics isn’t enough, Marvel has an obsession with publicity stunts. Captain America is no longer Captain America, Thor isn’t Thor, Hulk isn’t Hulk, and Iron Man isn’t Iron Man. You could even argue that Spider-Man isn’t Spidey anymore since Dan Slott basically turned Peter Parker into a Tony Stark clone. DC goes back to the core of the characters with great stories. Marvel tries to get covered on The View.
Marvel’s endless grasp for attention is alienating long-time readers of the comics. The focus on shocking publicity stunts is coming at the expense of the actual comic stories, and Marvel’s superhero output is at its worst state in the last thirty years. Even the XTREME days of the 90s provided more escapism than the current soapbox of grievances that many Marvel superhero books currently are.
Marvel has never done a continuity reset the way DC did with Crisis and you could kind of argue that they didn’t really need to because Marvel’s core superhero line started in the 60s as opposed to DC’s in the 30s. But now it could be time for Marvel to do a true reset with a fresh start that brings back the characters as people remember them. It worked out fantastically for DC with Rebirth, and Marvel’s superheroes deserve the same respect.
Marvel needs to remember that it was the characters and their stories that made them what they are today. To continue to throw that away just to get some air time on the nightly news is a betrayal to the readers who have loyally followed the company for decades.