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Marvel Admits to Killing Characters for Money
Gonzogoose
post Feb 18 2011, 06:00 PM
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I normally don't frequent this competing news site, but it was linked from DW and I was kind of surprised to find out what it had to say.

Basically, at the recent ComicsPro Retailer Summit, Marvel stated that because of the sales of FF media since Torch's death they are going to kill a character every quarter. One would think that's just being flippant, but they then specified "This is not a joke."

Here's a snippet of the article:

In an unprecedented move over the weekend, Marvel Comics basically admitted to killing characters for sales. Now, let’s not delude ourselves into thinking we didn’t know this already but am I the only one surprised it was finally said so plainly? And publicly?

Well, I guess publicly is sort of relative here. The bold statement was made at the recent ComicsPro retailer summit in Texas. David Gabriel, Senior Vice President of Sales at Marvel said, “As a result of the Fantastic Four sales and media coverage, Marvel is going to kill a main character every quarter.” He then made sure to say, “This is not a joke.”

Granted, the statement was meant to stay in that room, but this is the internet age and if you say something like that it’s going to be talked about. Gabriel also mentioned that this move was not about killing the characters per se but about what would come later as a result of the death. He specifically said that what happens after the “Death of Spider-Man” story happening now in the Ultimate line, would be the biggest media exposure they’ve ever had.


And here's a link to the whole thing:

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/hey-thats-...les-110216.html


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Cary
post Feb 18 2011, 06:05 PM
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Man, it's awesome when they make my point for me.


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Tim Tilley
post Feb 18 2011, 06:57 PM
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QUOTE (Cary @ Feb 18 2011, 07:05 PM) *
Man, it's awesome when they make my point for me.



laugh.gif
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Crazz
post Feb 18 2011, 07:34 PM
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The New Tag that will be appearing on the books over at DC will read "Drawing The Line, Our Characters Are ALIVE!"


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Gonzogoose
post Feb 19 2011, 03:51 AM
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QUOTE (Crazz @ Feb 18 2011, 08:34 PM) *
The New Tag that will be appearing on the books over at DC will read "Drawing The Line, Our Characters Are ALIVE!"


lol, nice.


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Comic Zone UK
post Feb 19 2011, 06:30 AM
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Has Marvel's ability to be creative just come down to "kill em and they will buy em!" Very sad sad.gif


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Bill Nichols
post Feb 19 2011, 06:45 AM
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Hm, you might think that producing awesome comics and building a legacy of excellence might be a better goal, huh? Just killing off characters will not be an Event, but a rut they'll have gotten into. Yawnfest in the making.


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Tim Tilley
post Feb 19 2011, 09:56 AM
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What they need to do is fire everyone at Marvel, hire fresh talent and then kill off the entire universe and reveal that everything that happened in the last 25 years took place in a "what-if" universe, then show us the real Marvel Universe where we left off on it. You know when they were actually good.
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G-Man
post Feb 19 2011, 10:07 AM
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Is this stuff in the What If universe?

I thought it was in the Who Cares universe.


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Anthony Hochrein
post Feb 19 2011, 11:10 AM
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QUOTE (Comic Zone UK @ Feb 19 2011, 07:30 AM) *
Has Marvel's ability to be creative just come down to "kill em and they will buy em!" Very sad sad.gif

Earth to Marvel: Here's a suggestion: Make comic books FUN! You know- fun- what Disney no longer has any of!



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Tim Tilley
post Feb 19 2011, 01:02 PM
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QUOTE (G-Man @ Feb 19 2011, 11:07 AM) *
Is this stuff in the What If universe?

I thought it was in the Who Cares universe.



Truer words have not been spoken in regards to Marvel's new "business model," let alone the majority of the books Marvel has been putting out in the last two decades.
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Gonzogoose
post Feb 20 2011, 07:09 PM
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Come on, 25 years? There have been some really good and strong books and stories over that time period. Sure, I agree, there's been more crappy stuff than good stuff, but that's across the board, not just Marvel. I'm not for this stupid kill initiative thing, but still, let's not get carried away here.


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Cary
post Feb 21 2011, 08:18 AM
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QUOTE (Gonzogoose @ Feb 20 2011, 07:09 PM) *
Come on, 25 years? There have been some really good and strong books and stories over that time period. Sure, I agree, there's been more crappy stuff than good stuff, but that's across the board, not just Marvel. I'm not for this stupid kill initiative thing, but still, let's not get carried away here.


And yet...they aren't. Look back to the last truly original and at least somewhat thought provoking story Marvel put out. The Dark Phoenix Saga was the beginning of the end because since then they've been on the re-hash, re-package, and re-tell the same old crap train. Certainly there have been small bright spots, like little islands in the sea of junk. Frank Miller's run on Daredevil, which took place right around the same time as DPS. AOA was mildly interesting if not totally satisfying. The return of Winter Soldier was good, probably the best thing to come down in a while honestly. Planet Hulk was pretty cool. Beyond that, and maybe a couple of other little things, it's been 25 years of bleh.


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Gonzogoose
post Feb 21 2011, 08:24 AM
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I disagree and could say the same for DC only a lot longer. DC had a bright spot in the mid 80s then went dead until the past couple of years, and now they're starting to lose me again. Marvel has had a ton of great and original ideas that haven't always paid off, but at least they tried. Say what you will, but the concepts behind Disassembled, House of M, Civil War, Secret Invasion and Siege were all excellent. Age of Apocalypse was wonderful, Planet Hulk was superb, and even the Clone Saga was interesting before it got out of hand. Add to that innovations like Runaways and you have a lot of coolness there. But you're a DC guy, so I don't expect you to see that. wink.gif


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Cary
post Feb 21 2011, 11:59 AM
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I'm actually a comic guy, regardless of company. If you'll notice I didn't bring up DC as being any better. I do think they've been far stronger than Marvel over the last decade, but they slip and fall as well in many cases. Where I appreciate DC over Marvel is that DC has made an effort to move FORWARD with stories, whereas Marvel rests on the laurels of stories written long ago and would rather play re-hash. As to the examples you put up:

Disassembled: Character death pushed this along and was the only notable thing about it. It could have been cool had they kept the Purple Impersonator dead, but alas not so much. Return to status quo factor: 9 months max.

House of M: Another story centered around character death, this time a whole bunch of mutants and Magneto, who also didn't stay dead. Return to status quo factor: 8-12 months unless you count how quickly it was forgotten, which was about 2 weeks.

Civil War: Wait...didn't that also culminate in the death of Captain America? Yeah. Who was dead about 18 months or so. Return to status quo factor: Almost immediately.

Secret Invasion: Stolen almost completely from ROM simply replacing the wraiths with Skrulls and rinsing. The best thing about that travesty was the ad campaign, which did not suck. Story wise, meh. Return to status quo factor: To figure this you would have to give them credit for shifting the status quo at all, which they didn't.

Siege: Ok, now see this MIGHT have been cool, if anything they did would have stayed that way, but as with every other storyline they've come out with, it won't. Siege, like Dark Reign before it are nothing more than hastily cobbled together summer blockbuster crossovers meant to take advantage of comic fans by forcing them to buy titles they normally wouldn't to get the whole story. And they wonder why people are becoming trade waiters.

With all that being said, I think both companies could tell excellent stories again, but they really gotta get away from the super summer crossover mentality and let writers start doing their jobs again. Planet Hulk was a perfect example of what can happen when you allow that, and then they went and pissed all over it with World War Hulk.

And there's no excuse whatsoever for the Close saga. None.


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ChadStrohl
post Feb 21 2011, 02:05 PM
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One of my favorite stories that was kicked off by a death (Jean DeWolfe)... The Sin Eater Saga in Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man.

It's tragic without being gimmicky. It's poignant without being hamfisted. It's about as dark as Spidey should go. And it played out on a small stage.

That's how you do it right.


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Cary
post Feb 21 2011, 02:47 PM
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QUOTE (ChadStrohl @ Feb 21 2011, 02:05 PM) *
One of my favorite stories that was kicked off by a death (Jean DeWolfe)... The Sin Eater Saga in Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man.

It's tragic without being gimmicky. It's poignant without being hamfisted. It's about as dark as Spidey should go. And it played out on a small stage.

That's how you do it right.

Yup. Mid-80s fare there, and agreed, it was incredibly well done and still holds up to this day. That's what makes me so sick about Modern day Marvel. They've decided that good stories no longer need be told, since they told so many good ones back in the day. These days let's do mega-crossovers since they eat that up with a spoon. ugh. It raises my blood pressure just thinking about it.


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Tim Tilley
post Feb 21 2011, 04:19 PM
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Frank Miller's run on Daredevil and AOA were rather enjoyable but other than that Marvel hasn't been good and I mean really good in a long, long time.
I'd like to see them move forward rather than backwards. Look at Spider-Man, rather than moving forward all they did was hit the rewind button and give is a "director's cut," of which is worse than what we had before. Killing off a character for the sake of sales is childish. DC, is moving forward and honestly I think they have been rather good over the years. That being said, Marvel isn't the only company who's childish moves like this. I do think there were some good runs but overall, in the last two decades we haven't been getting overly high quality work. I kind of miss the old days when they worked out of the office and didn't outsource the work overseas to cut costs.
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Johanne Light
post Feb 22 2011, 08:05 PM
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Awwww... I hate everything about it now! I want a relaunch of everything from the beginning without this complicated stuff. That's what I liked about the MC2 universe, it got back to its roots. And the continuity is killing me!

I've stopped buying the death comic books since it just shows them its effective.


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doombug
post Feb 22 2011, 10:33 PM
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uh-oh, I really should have stayed out of this thread.

Come on Cary? Really dude? "Look back to the last truly original and at least somewhat thought provoking story Marvel put out."

Challenge accepted!

Mike Allred and Peter Milligan's X-force/X-statix
Grant Morrison's New X-men
Brian K Vaughn's Runaways
Greg Pak's Planet Hulk
BKV's original Hood mini series
Mark Waid and Mike Wierengo's Fantastic Four run
Kurt Busiek's entire Avengers run including Avengers Forever
Jim Krueger and Alex Ross's Earth X
Jason Aaron's Ghost Rider

I could keep going on and on here.

I think people are just blindly complaining here as there is plenty of material being put out by the big two that's still not only readable but creative and fun.

Heck Greg Pak and Fred Van lente are still doing it constantly with all their Herc material. Jim McCann is doing it inside of everything he's done with Hawkeye and Mockingbird, Hickman's doing it with Secret Warriors.

I'm going to stop now, I probably shouldn't look back in the thread either, not sure it's a good idea.


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