Comics Creators

Marvel Comics: The CB Cebulski Generation Begins!


jan 01 - 3 copies, jan 18 7 copies

not many, but as has been said, it’s pretty easy to get anywhere else. I remember a time maybe 10 years ago where a local garage would get it a week before me :slight_smile: that was annoying!

Overall sales? Things were pretty healthy till a couple of years ago, with the great Secret Wars collapse… Indis do take up some of the slack, but it’s mostly Image books (Saga, Walking Dead, Wicked and Divine) Zenescope (it’s not just boobs apparently!) Titan (Dr Who and adaptions of various european comics) James Bond, any Warren Ellis, Bunn etc, oh, and Lady Mechanika, which outsells almost all Marvel books apart from Star Wars related ones, much to my surprise. I wish that was monthly! Oh, and Transformers comics have a loyal fanbase, so that’s cool.

The real shift is towards DC - not necessarily one particular title, more an overall boost. There’s a lot of buzz with DC books amogst my customers, and lots of wishing Marvel would “just do comics again, without relaunches or events” I can’t tell you how sick of those people are.

Hope that helps!


Great information. Thank you for sharing.


Hopefully the reboot doesn’t kill that for you


It shouldn’t do, but I’m certain they’ll be a lot of whinging :slight_smile:


Whinging Transformers fans? :hushed: I don’t think they even exist!


I think the overall message is such a big thing. I’ve been delving into some Marvel Unlimited and to be fair there’s really good books in there. I read Lemire’s Thanos today which was great and Black Bolt is really good even though I have next to zero interest in Black Bolt. Moon Knight got an amazing review in iFanboy this week as one of the best books in ages.

The problem is they are all on the fringes and absolutely the constant event and relaunch cycle has worn people out, I don’t think anyone knows if anything matters when the status quo changes every 4-5 months. I’m not sure Rebirth books overall are that amazing but they are focused and largely standalone and that counts a lot now I think.

I had to stress with some of the tradewaiters here that you can actually read Batman without acknowledging at all that Metal exists. It seems rather unlikely with recent history but true.


Check out Bendis Iron Man as well, although I think you might reading it already.
I just got caught up on a 2-3 weeks worth of books in the past couple days and the return of Tony stark storyline has been really good, especially #599 (part 7), which has a couple of really large and interesting reveals.

Really looking forward to issue 600 and I reckon I’ll keep reading when Slott comes on board.

Marvel really do seem to losing a Bendis is is back to his best, which does bode well for DC.

Also read the hunt for wolverine part 1 this week as well and it was a hell of a lot better than I expected, actually quite touching and well plotted


I’d extend it to all Bendis’ final books. Iron Man, Miles Spider-Man, Jessica Jones and Defenders are among his best work for the company, maybe not coincidentally mostly focused on characters he created or revived.


That’s the thing, there are good Marvel books, but the company overall is not thought well of right now. You’d be surprised how much that’ll stop people trying out a book. I’ve even had people look at a book, really like it then say something like “there’s no point, they’ll just relaunch it in six months” and put it back on the shelf.


How did Waid and Samnee’s Captain America do for you? That felt like the kind of book Marvel should be doing but it’s basically already been canceled and reset.


I’m really not surprised, I think their recent marketing tactics have shat the bed. I think right now people want to know there’s a good run they can follow. Also it seems for a while their best stuff is on the fringes of the most traditionally popular books, the nostalgia led X-Men relaunch is okay but not great (there’s really not much I have read that is bad).

Most of the stuff I can praise is like Ms Marvel, Thanos, Moon Knight and bloody Black Bolt - a character that doesn’t talk!

They may regain Avengers with the Aaron launch. He does tend to stick around on a book.

Spider-Man has shown that with a decent consistent book they have actually kept pretty good sales, not just in your shop but the wider Diamond charts.


Pretty much agree with your sentiments throughout this thread.


That exactly describes me. I’ve had recommendations here and from my LCS guy that genuinely look good and in past years I would have picked up, but now it just feels like there’s no point.


On a side note, my other hobby is guitar (I’m no good, even after 30 years, but I enjoy it!) and I was watching a podcast about Gibson and their woes. I believe they either have or are about to enter bankruptcy. The amazing thing was how Gibson where moaning that the “fans” aren’t buying their product, and the retailers aren’t ordering/pushing their product enough, despite constant feedback from both saying that gibson should stick to a reasonable price point, stop relaunching guitars no one wants, and stop doing custom shop guitars for ridiculous money.

In comic parlance: stop blaming customers/retalers, stop relaunching the same books, and stop doing money grabbing events no one really wants…

It was very sureal to watch more or less the same attitude by a company in a completely different field!


Something something late-stage capitalism


It does surprise me that Marvel fans truly believe there’s been no consistency at the company. Slott was writing Spider-Man for years. Bendis was writing a different Spider-Man for years. Aaron was writing Thor for years. Wilson has been writing Ms. Marvel for years. Clearly these were Marvel’s biggest priorities, but its fans don’t seem to have appreciated that. Ms. Marvel is the biggest surprise. This is a book that started out with a massive amount of buzz but despite surviving all these reboots intact (as far as I know), it lost popular momentum rather than gained it. Fans (surprise! surprise!) would rather complain about what’s going wrong than focus on what’s going right. These long runs are supposed to be the source of memories, era-defining memories, but they’re getting lost in the shuffle, the rush to proclaim Marvel as out of touch. And Deadpool! Despite being a perennially-targeted subject of his own series, I don’t think there’s ever been a time where he was actually popular until now, and that’s been going on for years. There’s even an ongoing Deadpool/Spider-Man team-up book!

It’s just nuts. And you have fringe stuff like Squirrel Girl, which I assume doesn’t happen unless there’s actual demand, where she sticks around long enough to develop an actual reputation. I think part of the problem is that the landscape shifted, but fans just weren’t prepared to embrace it. Without the Avengers, without the X-Men leading the way, as they have for decades, it doesn’t seem to seem real, but Marvel really has been carving out a distinct legacy, as it always does.


On the other hand, let’s be realistic here… she’s a teenage derivative character with a fairly boring costume and a fairly boring power set… her chances of success weren’t sky-high to begin with…

Oh and that book also launched, or was published at the same time than many other teenage legacy hero books… they kind of diluted that whole batch =/


These books have been pretty much only praised on this forum (and we just came off a discussion that they have good books).

I can’t speak for everywhere but at least here there isn’t any great agenda. 5 years or so back Marvel were heaping all the praise and DC the criticism.

Marvel’s strategy has been very short term, even books like Ms Marvel were relaunched for no apparent reason, the creative team remained the same. I tried to follow Spider-Woman after some good reviews and was confused that the first issue was in the middle of a story (I found out later that the new creative team and direction actually launched at issue 8 of the previous run!). I won’t go into my rant again about how every Avengers book Al Ewing gets put on is relaunched annually with a new direction before the previous one had gone anywhere. :smile:

It’s not just fan opinion, it’s in Rob’s sales figures and the Diamond charts. Blaming the fans is the worst possible direction as we just discussed with the Gibson story, if there isn’t buzz around the books it’s Marvel’s fault for not generating it.


I wouldn’t really say I’m blaming the fan. The absence of a central comics cheerleader like Wizard, which was always heavily biased to Marvel, which was the first time I heard anyone argue that Iron Man was a worthy contender to The Dark Knight as the premier superhero movie of 2008…I think the loss of something like that, and the fact that Marvel itself gave up the heavy in-house cheerleading, dulled enthusiasm for its comics. So instead it transferred to the movies, which obviously became progressively more and more hyped. In fact, I don’t find it coincidental at all that the movies are considered great but the comics, no matter what they try, are considered weak. Movies dominate our popular thinking a lot more than we think. I was reading a Superman vs. Zod collection last weekend that featured Zod’s early appearances, and it was…shocking! The original comics Zod is a pale shadow of the Terrence Stamp Zod who later appeared in Superman II. It’s almost as if they are two completely different characters, and of course they are. The original comics Zod was really just one of many criminals trapped in the Phantom Zone. The Terrence Stamp Zod of Superman II has no rivals, and he becomes iconic with the simple phrase, “Kneel before Zod.” And that Zod is so dominant in the imagination that he can’t really appear in the comics until Johns and Donner are riffing on Donner’s films, down to the Gary Frank art that evokes Christopher Reeve so obviously.

And the power of negative momentum is never really appreciated. The Man of Steel movies have essentially been riding negative momentum since the latest cinematic Zod got his neck snapped. There was never going to be a redemption from viewers for that Superman. Negative momentum works the same as popular momentum, which the Avengers movies have been enjoying since, well, Iron Man. Even when the solo movies have varying levels of success, it’s never really seen in terms of individual success or failure. If someone severely dislikes, say, Iron Man 2, the Ben Kingsley Mandarin, or the first two Thor movies, or Incredible Hulk so much that it’s not really considered part of the franchise anymore, or Ant-Man…That’s a huge chunk! But you’d never know it because popular momentum of these films means fans are willing to overlook stuff in ways they never will with negative momentum. A success like Wonder Woman is an aberration! It means nothing! It meant nothing to anyone who went to see Justice League, and yeah, that surprises me, but at the same time, doesn’t.

So Marvel has Secret Wars and then Civil War II, and then Secret Empire, and suddenly the whole line is defined by these events, despite the fact that everyone knows everyone complains about line-wide crossover events anyway. Was any of that really worse than when Norman Osborn took advantage of Siege to become a mainstream “good guy” just a few years after Civil War claimed to begin a new bright era? That was the biggest croc Marvel ever did! I view Secret Wars as nothing more or less than the culmination of Hickman’s run with the company, his ultimate Fantastic Four story. But even Morrison barely survived Final Crisis.

Anyway, I guess being puzzled by this sort of thing is a kind of side project for me. It makes sense to everyone else. It’s just as well.


I kind of lost the thread of the argument a bit there, but coming back to the comics I don’t know if most comics fans (Marvel or otherwise) really consider comics to be inferior to the movies, if that’s what you’re saying. Hobbyists by their nature tend to have a special connection to their hobby, and I doubt the movies have replaced comics for most comics fans, they just complement them.

I also don’t know if the movie trends (and whatever perceived biases go along with them) really influence the perception of the comics that directly. You can see that with the success of the Marvel movies at the moment at the same time as DC comics are doing better than they have in many years, a real inversion between the comics and the movies.

As for Marvel abandoning the comics in favour of the films, I don’t know whether that’s true or not. There’s been a suggestion that Marvel comics have become a bit more of an IP farm for the movies, but given that it’s not really the same people making the comics and the movies I’m not sure it’s fair to suggest that strength and heavy promotion on one side automatically equals weakness and neglect on the another. There was a time in the late 2000s when both the Marvel Comics and movies were doing really well, for example.

Generally I find that a lot of the broad generalisations about these things (eg. MCU movies = unquestioningly loved / DCU movies = universally hated) don’t really hold water when you examine audience opinions a bit more closely. It’s mixed to some extent on both sides. And it’s the same in the comics.

I wonder if the puzzlement and confusion maybe stems from trying to connect all these ideas in ways in which they don’t really connect.