It’s been a few months since there was an update here on Comic Check. There are many reasons as to why that happened, but the long and the short is that I was not sure how much longer I would keep reviewing comics. Why is that?
After the recent events with both Marvel and DC, my pull list has dropped down to maybe 25% of what it was.
Both companies have put out there that these events of theirs were great jumping on points for new readers. And, although that may be true, it’s also a great jumping off point for readers such as myself who have had enough of gimmicks. Relaunches of too many #1 issues after so many few issues in the current series… Crossovers for the sake of crossovers…
It’s just too much.
Although the Big Two are touting a return to telling stronger stories, I fear that will not be the case. Diversity is great in the storytellers and that is fine, so long as they can tell a good story. And not too many of them can, not without major editor interference. Plus there seems to be the penchant for everything to be collected into trade. Although that makes it great for reading a story in its entirety, it also has several drawbacks, most notably the ability to do single-issue, character-drive stories.
Long gone are the days of the Claremont X-Men… Long gone are the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire Justice League… Now, everything is a multi-issue arc, with a nice pretty bow at the end. There may be some elements that linger, but it has a fixed beginning and end. Which means character development can sometimes fall to the wayside.
To be fair, character development can still be done over story arcs. Take, for example, the Connor/Palmiotti/Hardin Harley Quinn, or the G. Willow Wilson Ms. Marvel. Those are great stories and even though they can be collected, they also manage to do single issue, character driven stories. Hickman has managed to do that, as well, with the various Avengers titles up until now, but he has a different problem: it drags on TOO long. Yes, it was probably due to the timing Marvel wanted for Secret Wars, but that doesn’t change the fact that it just seemed to drone on.
What is surprising to me is that Archie Comics has me the most excited in many years. The last Archie comic I purchased was in the mid-90s, and that was an Archie/Punisher crossover. But, with Afterlife with Archie, Sabrina, the new Dark Circle line, as well as the new Waid/Staples Archie series, this is the most excited I have been for that brand since I was a kid.
So… am I sticking around, continuing to read current comics? Yes, but now I am quite particular. Gone are the “must read Avengers and X-Men because I’ve been reading it for XX years”, and now I am more at the “This is an awesome writer or artist; I will read it. And hopefully the company’s powers that be don’t interfere and fuck up a great story.”