A lot of people have abandoned buying books from “the big two” and moved to independent comics on indiegogo. Be it quality of writing, art, or editorial, there does seem to be a bit of fan backlash against Marvel and DC (and I guess mainstream comics as a whole). I’m wondering why (if any) of you guys have left the major publishers for the independents.
For me, it came down to Marvel’s disregard for character continuity. As a long time Spider-Man fan, the Brand New Day event where they changed decades of history by making a deal with Mephisto was the first dent in the armor. The creation of Silk, a new character who was bitten by the same spider that bit Peter Parker was the next. According to J Michael Stazinski, Peter was chosen by the spider totem, but I guess that’s out the window now as the spider was biting anyone in its way. Then changing Iceman gay sealed the deal. Anyone who read X-Men had plenty of evidence that Bobby Drake was straight. Creating a new gay character or elevating an established gay character (like Northstar) is fine but changing the orientation of a xharacter from the 1960s, that’s when it was obvious to me agenda mattered more than story or character history. Funny thing about that was one the gay clerks at my local comic shop was more pissed about that than I was, so Marvel’s attempt at pandering alienated long-term fans and their target demographic.
So basically once Marvel stopped caring about their characters’ histories, so did I, and I stopped buying their books.
While I haven’t left the “Big Two” entirely, I have pared down my box to only a few titles between them. There’s been a blatant disregard for quality and character history, and in place of that quality and continuity, we have agenda-pushing and mishandling of beloved characters. Under Tom King, Batman was an ineffectual puss. Bendis has utterly destroyed the entire Superman family as well as Young Justice. And Hickman’s X-Men is all over the place and is ruining characters who have stood as fan favorites for decades. Nick Spencer has been hot-and-cold with his Amazing Spider-Man run thus far, so I keep teetering on the precipice of removing it.
I’m still on board with Scott Snyder’s Justice League, Joshua Williamson’s Flash, and James Tynion IV is killing it on Batman, but that’s just about it. I’m much more enjoying going back through back issues that I missed or re-reading old favorites that stand the test of time, as well as getting my lady educated on some of these stories.
Yeah, Tom King’s Batman was pretty much the end of DC for me but now you’ve got me intrigued in this James Tynion IV run. And as far as Bendis, the joke at my local comic shop was that Marvel sent him to DC to destroy it from within, so I’m not surprised at how you described his work. Too bad. I used to like Bendis. His Ultimate Spider-Man and New Avengers stuff was really good but I think when he came out with Mighty Avengers he spread himself out too much and just never recovered.
James Tynion IV understands what Batman stories should look and feel like on a level that hasn’t been seen in a long time. I put his first several issues on-par with the likes of Court of Owls. Bendis did great work back in the early 2000s on both Ultimate Spider-Man and New Avengers, but he sucks now.
Damn, on-par with the likes of Court of Owls…
I saw the proverbial ‘writing on the wall’ all the way back during “52”, DC’s year-long revitalization campaign, when they pushed massive hype about a brand new series that was to debut in 2006. We had no idea what the big deal was…and DC was being quite vague with any details.
We didn’t know the new character’s name.
We didn’t know if the new character had any superpowers or if they were non-powered.
We didn’t know what the new character’s costume looked like.
We didn’t know the new character’s origin.
Heck, we didn’t even know if this new character was a male or a female.
Frankly, we didn’t know a damned thing about this “major huge thing” that DC promoted the hell out of.
The only thing we readers DID know about this new series (and apparently the only thing you really needed to know about this new character) was…
1) The title character would be directly connected to another long-established, yet still unidentified, popular DC character.
2) It was homosexual.
This was ridiculous.
DC was essentially saying to the fans “Buy this new comic that you know absolutely nothing about because the title character is gay!”
Were I a homosexual, I would’ve been insulted…and talking to a few of the openly homosexual comic readers who frequented my Local Comic Shop, they actually were insulted.
For those who haven’t figured it out yet, the “OMGSuperAwesomeExcellent!” new character/series was “Batwoman”.
I take pride that to this very day I have never even seen the interior of a “Batwoman” comic, much less actually read one…and I never will, no matter how good the stories were. I honestly don’t care if the comic was well-written or if the art was superb or if the plot was engrossing or whatever; all DC cared about was marketing this as “a comic with a homosexual lead character”…and I had zero interest in something like that.
And when they killed off The Question (one of my most favorite characters of all time) so that they could replace him with a new version of The Question that also filled a few quotas…as in “female”, “non-White”, & “homosexual”…I knew that my days as a weekly comic book buyer (and comic book reader) were numbered.
DC’s “Flashpoint/New 52” a couple of years later was the final nail in the coffin, so to speak.
As for Marvel…well, I was simply fed up with Marvel’s “Everything ties in with X-Men, especially Wolverine” to the point where I suffered from “X”-burnout.
The benefit was that I was able to watch DC & Marvel go “woke” from an outsider’s perspective…it certainly saved me a LOT of money that I might’ve otherwise spent on utter trash.
That’s my story.
Thanks for reading it!
Mainstream comics lost ANY chance of getting me back the day they broke up Peter and MJ.
When that happened, I basically stopped caring. The MCU was just ending Phase 1, so I was happy to have that take it over.
I have been collecting DC Comics for over 3 decades.
If 5G would have stayed as announced, that would have been an end to me purchasing NEW titles.
(I would still buy back issues from before 5G era).
Now, with Future State…. Any titles using these “replacement characters” I am dropping.
Sure, I did keep getting Batman/Detective during the time after Bruce Wayne had his back broken (replaced my Azreal) and when Dick Grayson had to wear the cowl and even those few where Gordon worn a Batman-battlesuit, but this “new batman/batwing 2.0′, etc. No Thanks.
Action Comics/Superman with Clark Kent yes.
Supergirl had her own title, and Superboy is either in its own or as part of the Legionaries (Legion of Super-Heroes). But NOT as “Superman”. NO thanks.
The Flash, so long as it is Barry, Wally, (I can even do Bart), but no Future State knock-offs.
I won’t do the Black Label (pay us more) line. The extra price was not worth it for me.
And if the artwork becomes sub-par (As I have seen some samples of Harley Quinn) I am dropping it/them as well
I already had over a decade ago when one of the Bat-titles did this. But I had the extra funds I could do it. Not anymore.
At one time, when I was collecting Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian, Savage Sword of… I was starting to get into Spider-Man. But Marvel’s mega-story arches where you have to get every title to understand WTF is going on, killed me wanting to get non-conan Marvel titles.
Time will tell if we still get month titles in print.
If they go digital ONLY… No thanks!
I want to own my comic book, not purchase a license to view it (so long as my account is current).
Double-post that I’m unable to delete.
Because manga is easier to get into where you don’t need to read a wiki to get caught up and understand the story. All you need is a single issue.
I basically just read old DC comics. Modern editions are, definitely to avoid. It’s all the same… “straight white men bad”, it’s boring… poor lazy writing…
(sure, there are some exceptions… but i don’t have time to search for a decent issue in a ocean of woke ones)
Nick Spencer, ironically enough, put them back together in issue #1 of his run on the book a few years ago. His run has been hot and cold, with meh stuff, some dumb stuff, and a couple of really great arcs as well.
DC almost lost me during the recently wrapped-up Death Metal event. They had been building up Wally West (my favorite character in comics) as the lynchpin for taking down The Darkest Knight and Perpetua and the Dark Multiverse. Instead, they didn’t do shit with him and decided to use Wonder Woman (whom I’d have had no issue with if she had been the plan from the beginning, but they’d built this up for well over a year).
Then the coffin was sealed when they announced Future State and what they did to him in it, which was bad enough but I know that it’s supposed to be just one potential future (a shit one). Then they decided that all of the shitting they’ve been doing on him for years now wasn’t good enough, so they announced what their plans were for him post-Future State and at that point, I was so insulted by how the character who had literally gotten me into comic books in the first place now two and a half decades ago was being treated that I’m done. Until I see that they’re treating him with respect instead of worrying about tokenized characters who check their stupid little boxes, I’m done.
Identity politics. I’m just so tired of it.
In the 90’s I spent around a decade in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma. We had a comic shop but there mark up was so high I might buy one figure/comic every 6 months, and Wal-Mart, and gas stations had stopped carrying comics. By the time I got back to where comics were not over priced, I couldn’t get back into the stories. I was way behind, and at the time Wikipedia either wasn’t a thing, or they didn’t have the 1,000s of fandom clones they do now. I’ve kind of got caught up on the story lines I missed, but find it easier, and more convenient to just read the synopsis on a Wiki to buying the comics.