For a lot of comics fans, Marvel just isn’t what it used to be. While the comic line that gave us Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, and the X-Men has often been tinged with a bit of politics — for example, discrimination against mutants is common in the Marvel universe — recent comics from the company have been overwhelmingly political, and always politically left.
Many fans have been less than appreciative. Luckily, it now seems those days are over:
Of late this kind of storytelling has become more pronounced, probably kicked off with the likes of The Authority, Ultimates and Civil War, with more recent stories in comics such as Captain America, The Champions and Ms. Marvel wearing their politics firmly on their spandex sleeves.
There has also been reaction from some fan communities and retailers to these kind of stories as having no place in superhero comics, despite all the many examples that have preceded it. Maybe it’s a little more obvious now? Maybe everyone is interpreting everything politically? Maybe fans wish for a time when they didn’t realise their superhero comics had political elements?
Either way, Marvel Comics has been a focal point for this kind of discussion. And last week’s Marvel creative summit I am told by well connected sources who have proved themselves in that past there was more of a focus on what DC Comics internally called “meat and potatoes” comics that preceded their doubling down on the popular characters and bringing back old favourite takes with DC Rebirth.
I am told, as Marvel brings back the X-Men line with a bang, to expect a return to more of a status quo for titles such as Thor, Iron Man, Hulk and more. A more familiar looking Marvel Universe by the autumn — although, just as with Captain America, as classic-look-characters return, expect new characters to keep a number of their books.
The truth is, readers don’t like to be lectured to.
If you agree with the message in these comics, then you may not take any issue with what you’re seeing lately from Marvel. However, for readers who are either neutral on these issues or disagree with the message, the comics portray them as the enemy. People don’t want to spend their hard-earned money to be told how awful they are.
With a renewed focus on just telling good stories, Marvel can now seek to regain valuable market share from DC. Great storytelling appeals to conservatives, liberals, and all points in between.
It seems Marvel remembered that before getting run out of business.