Want to cause a dispute among comics fans? Ask them about big blockbuster crossovers. Most fans claim to hate the dang things, and yet they still shell out good money to read them. Many come out like clockwork, and storylines inbetween seem to be more the calm between storms. Publishers promise big changes. “Nothing will be the same!” they say. Rarely is this ever the case, and many changes are so minor the fans barely notice. Even if resurrection were not a distinct possibility in any case that doesn’t involve removing a tragic backstory, most fans know better than to assume many characters will actually stay dead. Usually its more like, “This character will remain dead until we figure out how to bring them back in at least a somewhat plausible manner.”
In the end, most crossovers don’t do much. DC has Convergence coming this summer, just in time for the 30th anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths, probably the only crossover to actually make massive changes that really stuck for the longest time. Marvel is doing a new Secret Wars that is doing…something. Neither publisher is saying anything, and that just stokes the Jimmy Impossibles of the world to a frenzy until someone is left cleaning up an awful mess of drool and disappointment.
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were fairly excited to learn the third Captain America movie would be an adaptation of Civil War, a mini-series where the various Marvel heroes lined up on two sides over a law that required superheroes to register with the American government or go to prison. The series dealt with issues regarding national security and the American reaction to terrorist attacks on our soil.
It also had some huge problems that almost guarantee the movie version will be better, if only by default.
The X-Men were created for two primary reasons. One was because Stan Lee needed another superhero team and was feeling kind of lazy, so he threw up his hands and said, “You know what? They were just born that way!” The other was as a at-times heavy-handed anti-racism allegory. The year was 1963, and the Civil Rights Movement was heating things up across the country. Younger readers of comic books could be taught a lesson on tolerance, and comics were a good medium for that, so here were the X-Men, mutants who were feared and hated by non-mutants for the crime of being born different. But the X-Men were good and defended regular folks against the evil mutants of the world, in an attempt to prove that not all mutants were evil.
Even given the sliding scale of Marvel time, where everything outside Captain America and the Invaders’ exploits during World War II depicted in a Marvel Comic (barring the upcoming Secret Wars) has taken place over a roughly 12 year time period, the X-Men really suck at their task of promoting tolerance.
90s era Marvel comics have a reputation. The guys who founded Image Comics were cutting their teeth there, and the characters they worked on seemed to take on many of the sorts of things fans today bemoan but which must have been selling back then, hence the reason for so many of them. They were massive guys with guns, pouches, and bad-ass names and powers. Bishop. Cable. Ghost Rider. X-Force. Venom. I think the Punisher had three separate titles going at one point. Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man series showed the Hobgoblin going nuts, thinking he was a real goblin, finding religion, and ripping his own face off.
GoDaddy.com, a company that annually makes a Superbowl ad wherein there’s some implied female nudity if you visit their site, decided to pull this year’s ad that featured a puppy being sold online. It seems people were outraged about an implied abuse of a puppy, probably from a puppy mill for the commercial’s storyline, from a company that routinely makes commercials that objectify women. What gives? Does our society value dogs more than people?
In a word, it appears the answer to that question is “yes”.
HULK SMASH TIME LOOP. Hulk smash Marvel Universe. Actually, Hulk smash nothing, since we’re about to reboot the entire Marvel Universe. Yep, you read that correctly… the whole Marvel Universe is about to be rebooted. System failure? Nope, this is not your standard reboot.