Comics Creators

Marvel Comics: The CB Cebulski Generation Begins!


I think your theory makes some sense, although I would say that the final list of books never sold particularly well before they were adapted, Spawn yes but Men in Black was so obscure none of us knew it was a comic. Tank Girl has probably done better, as before that it was just a strip in Deadline (and that was even obscure for a UK comic) and had no real US presence.

It probably applies better to big two stuff I think, I can see a certain pattern there and yes maybe they should move further away from the movies rather than closer as has been their habit. At the very least that sets up new material, Infinity War used some very recent material like the Black Guard from Hickman’s Avengers run and that run was nothing like the films, he just went up his own alley.


I came across Tank Girl as a VHS rental as I liked Lori Petty in Point Break. So it goes.

Y’all were very fortunate to not see the short-lived and quite hideous lot of low-budget hastily-made crap half-hour TV shows trying to get on the Bat-Wagon circa 1967-1968. I do not care to revisit this era. All I remember is some skinny dude eating a golf ball and flapping his arms in a silver shirt. Really, really bad.

All the way up to The Dark Knight I think there was always the element of making the foolish farce of a parody the point of a project before bothering to make the source material they were attempting to parody. Source material was not Miller’s Dark Knight; it was Robert Lowery and the other fellow from the serials of the late '40’s. This was the source of the “camp” Batman '66; with the British Invasion of music and fashion so terribly misunderstood by the producers that it became a real-time parody of itself. Only later when time reduced the revulsion to ‘just another version’ did that Batman become cool again.

So we ramble around to how how Tank Girl seems, in a cult film way, to have traded really cheesy production values and a cast that seems to have been on a remarkable array of drugs to actually make a movie. So, all that said, I guess this is the historic path taken to actually complete Justice League.

Absolutely perfect for the Marvel thread. MillarWorld diversity LIVES!


Forcing movie synergy is counter-productive, I think. Like all the hoops Marvel jumped through to have a black Nick Fury in 616. They could have just shunted Ultimate Fury over, but instead they told some naff stories in a comic next to no-one bought just to make a new Nick Fury that looks like he does on screen. Same thing with changing the colours of the Infinity Gems recently - who actually cares enough for that to have been worthwhile? It’s pointless changes like that which rile up existing readers (by implying they and the stories they’ve been following are not as important as new movie readers that need stabilisers) and is patronising to the mythical movie goer lured into comics, assuming they can’t deal with minor differences.


I don’t really want to get involved in depth in that conversation above, but i have the feeling that Marvel will be in a slightly better place in around 5 to 6 months time once some of the reshuffles start to take effect.

There’s a lot of reasons why books or movies do well critically or financially, but I don’t think there exists a sweeping judgement that all DC comics are good, all Marvel comics are shit, All marvel movies are great and all DC movies are shit.

The point has been raised already, but I go into every movie, Marvel or DC, wanting it to be great - especially as I rarely get the pleasure of getting to the cinema these days.
I’m sure 90% of people are the same.
Same for the comics, which I am more interested in than the movies to be honest.

Once Marvel get their house in a bit more order they will circle back round, I’m seeing signs of them heading in the right direction and like others I’ve always had a few Marvel books I’m still enjoying and I still do.

Time will tell how much of a turnaround they make. I’m of the opinion they have far too many books still and it’s easy for the good stuff to get lost in there.


This is veering terribly off-topic but it’s only us. To be honest the Tank Girl strip was like that, Deadline was a very very trendy publication (part edited by Steve Dillon, it also ran features on the latest music and fashion) and there wasn’t much story to it. The main draw was Jamie Hewlett’s crazy imagination and designs that a million ad agencies went and ripped off.

It’s no surprise really he went off to do The Gorrilaz and make a few million quid animating them because there wasn’t much in the way of a narrative, he just had this crazy woman with a shaved head, band aids and guns hanging around with a kangaroo that smoked joints.


It probably also doesn’t help that you pay $3-4 for a single issue that might take 10 minutes to read and is maybe 1/6 of a complete story. Whereas you can go to a matinee for $8.50 and see a 2+ hour movie that’s pure spectacle and then buy the blu-ray for $15 6 months later.


If we don’t, nobody does. :smile:


Comics and movies are not interchangeable though.

It’s two different experiences and the desire to read a comic cannot be satiated by watching a movie and vice versa.


Then you have things like the Inhumans. It was going to be a big screen movie so Marvel dove off the deep end trying to make them relevant in the comics. Well, movie goes away and comics are stuck with something readers actively dislike.


I think that’s definitely true. Comics can’t compete with movies by imitating them, whereas movies can be huge just by adapting comics storylines. Movies just win by default because of the technical possibilities and the immersive experience they offer. Comics need to be more experimental than the movies are or they become irrelevant.


That’s the endless economies of scale conundrum though, when I was a kid my first 2000ad cost 16p. It sold around a quarter of a million copies a week (nowadays 20,000).

Comics are not great value for money, buying two of them new costs as much as my monthly Netflix sub. To drop the price needs an entrance to a big new audience first. I’d still love to know how Marvel Unlimited really does. I mentioned I browsed through some reviews of Comixology on Google Play and nearly every bad review was disappointed they asked for money for each issue instead of a monthly sub to read them all.


The challenge comics has is that they can’t really show you something you’ve never seen before. Special effects have caught up where you can see anything on screen. The Marvel space scenes are mostly equal to anything you’d have seen in their comics over the past 20 years. So maybe comics just can’t compete in this age of visual wonders.


I also wanted to add that although I’ve liked most superhero movies to some extent or another I’ve ALWAYS liked the comics much better. They’ve just got to stick to the medium’s strengths which are uninterrupted longform storytelling, the freedom from having to pander to specific demographics, and the ability to be as imaginative as possible without the constraints of budget, actors, or effects.

All of the Marvel books we praise stick to the medium’s strengths, and many of the ones we complain about do not.


Not for me. I enjoyed the Guardians movies far more than any book. Ragranok was the best Thor I’ve ever seen. And Spidey 2 is a better Spidey story than 98% of Spidey comics. I’d even put the Dark Knight as the best Joker story. And Man of Steel is the best Superman story of the last 20 years (see, we can still bring it up in every conversation).

Comics have a hard time competing. Something like the Hulk gladiator fight in Ragranok would be boring and routine in comics. Even some of the smart ass dialogue in the movie wouldn’t translate into the comic as it doesn’t have an actors performance attached. If Valkyrie’s introduction was written in a comic it’d look naff, in the movies it’s brilliant. Most comic adaptions of movies are terrible reads. Comics is just harder than movies. Much harder - I thinkyou have to do alot more to engage readers.


This is a good debate and I’ll have to resume it when I’m off my phone and on my laptop but I strongly disagree. As much as I love Guardians or Man of Steel or even Spider-Man 2, they’re blown away by the great comics runs for me. Something like Morrison’s Batman or Hickman’s Fantastic Four make all the movies look silly.

But also I disagree on the action in these movies, and thought something like the gladiator scene in thor is as stock standard as can be.


I think part of it is the interaction element of reading and the intimacy and closeness to the story that brings, especially with comics where the reader’s mind is doing so much of the work to make the characters speak, the action move, and so on.

A good comic draws you in and makes you feel engulfed in its world in a way that even the greatest movies don’t, for me. Even when watching a movie that I love, it feels like a more passive experience.

I think that to ‘compete’ with movies (even though I don’t really buy the idea that the two are in direct competition) a comic has to play to the medium’s strengths, like Robert says. Be creative in a way that goes beyond just presenting a single flashy image: tell the story in an original, engrossing, imaginative, enveloping way that movies just can’t match.


I wonder how many people here would prefer Millar’s Ultimates over the Avengers movies. Of course it would be kinda biased since this is Millarworld…


I am never sure about the ‘value for money’ element, because I don’t think straightforward metrics like time spent watching a movie/reading a comic are really comparable.

Even within comics stuff like cost-per-page is a bit meaningless: I’ve read comics that have blown me away and comics that have been utterly mediocre, and both have cost the same, with the same number of pages, and have taken the same amount of time to read. I know which one I place a greater value on.


For you and me, sure. Because we’re fans of the medium. Either because we grew up with them or we stumbled upon them at the right time and got hooked.

But for the average person who isn’t all that familiar with comics, they might go see an Avengers movie and be like “that was awesome!” and then want to go check out an Avengers comic and see it costs $4 for a tiny flimsy thing that is smack in the middle of some story or whatever.

I love both comics and movies, but I also know where to find great deal on comic collections and I know creators I’m a fan of and like to follow.

Most people get drawn into the characters, and movies are a cheaper and often easier to digest medium than comics are in that regard. Love Spider-Man? Watch your choice of the 6 live action movies and dozens of cartoons he’s featured it and get excited for the next Spider-Man movie. Way easier than trying to figure out all the different Spider-Man comics from the last 50 years. I’d imagine that’s how most people think.


Of course they aren’t on a basic level, nothing in art is ‘never mind the quality, feel the width’. A 3 hour film is not better than a 90 minute one. I’d rather read 20 pages of a great comic than 150 pages of a crap one.

The point is more that it has become something quite expensive to follow. The rest of your points I agree with completely.