When Marvel Comics launched Marvel NOW, my hope it would re-ignite the same ravenous feeling of reading monthly titles again, just like DC’s New 52 line from a year earlier.

It didn’t.

My name is Lyle Field. I read comic books and other pop culture phenomenon. And I am not ashamed to admit it. But I am about to do the unthinkable… leave the Marvel Comics line… FOREVER!

The biggest thing that came out of the whole Avengers vs. The X-Men event, for the first time since the inception of the Marvel Age of Comics, the X-Men franchise has actively merged into the mainstream Marvel Universe. Yes, the X-Men have always been a part of the Marvel Universe but they really never mingled with the rest of the Marvel Universe proper except for mainly events. However, the inaugural issues of the Uncanny Avengers features an Avengers team comprised of Avengers & X-Men on a monthly basis—proved that editorial should have done this a long time ago. In fact they should have done it after Chris Claremont and the founders of Image left Marvel Comics in late 1991.

I had such high expectations of Marvel NOW and it crashed. Where to start. Where to start.

Firstly, the price point . Most of the Marvel NOW titles are priced at $4 a pop and most of those titles, at that price, is of mediocre quality when I compare it to New 52 titles. The New 52 titles are priced at $3, for the most part, and still give a quality story per issue. Heck, even those titles priced at $4, containing extra pages, were worth reading. All-Star Western is a prime example. Don’t get me started on Marvel’s price points on reprinting the Marvel NOW titles in graphic novel format,it is more expensive than the New 52 graphic novel reprints. I am certainly going to pass on all the Marvel NOW graphic novels.

Yes, I know, despite my praising of quality stories at a decent price point, especially All-Star Western, a quarter of the New 52 average 20,000 copies per month with most below 20,000 issue sales. Okay. Let’s talk sales.

Seems that after the first few issues, those labelled Marvel NOW titles have taken a steep deep in issue-to-issue sales. In cases, some have fallen 50% from the first issue. I need to do a more in depth analysis on comparative first few issues sales between Marvel NOW and DC New 52, but just “eyeing” the sales numbers per issue, I noticed that the Marvel NOW titles have dipped steeply within the first few issues while the New 52 dipped steadily on a gradual basis.

Okay, let us move away from the sales and market share portion and get into a few comments about Marvel NOW.

Firstly, Marvel should have launched Marvel NOW with all active Marvel titles restarting at #1 to deliver a much more impact from a sales/market share perspective as well as hook even more readers (either for the first time or returning lapsed readers). However, I do not think Marvel needs to re-boot the 616 universe like DC does every 25 yrs or so. It works for DC but not for Marvel.

Secondly, it seems the Marvel NOW concept has developed a 2-tier system. Most customers only want to read the Marvel NOW titles and don’t care for the other Marvel titles. I took a look at the January 2013 sales figures and noted that the leading non-Marvel NOW title in sales is Wolverine & the X-Men at near 45,000 copies placing 40th place. The critically acclaimed Hawkeye series is the next non-Marvel NOW title placing 57th place at 37,000 copies sold. Seems if you do not have the Marvel NOW designation, you are an outcast!

And then you have the debacle known as Superior Spider-Man. I don’t want to go into that as I covered that in a previous review but it was the whole Doc Oct becoming Spider-Man that signalled my dismay of reading anymore Marvel NOW (or even Marvel titles further).

Now it is not all bad. There are some good points to Marvel NOW.

Firstly, Marvel has retained most of their creators in the changeover to the Marvel NOW concept but just switched the titles they normally do. Like Brian Bendis moving from the Avengers franchise to the X-Men franchise. In cases, some of the creators’ new assignments have made them better writers and artists because they are doing something new and refreshing. It seems they are having a lot of fun doing it.

Secondly, there are some breakout titles from the very first issue. The ones that are my favourite, thus far… Captain America, the Indestructible Hulk, the Uncanny Avengers and the Fearless Defenders. However, it is Brian Bendis’ All-New X-Men and the Uncanny X-Men that has actually WOWED me for the first time in 20 years. In 1993, I gave up on the X-Men franchise… totally… and while I have come back to try the franchise, I come out disappointed and leave after the fourth month. I have a good feeling that Bendis’ run will creative surpass his 8 year run on the Avengers and quite possibly outshine Chris Claremont’s run.

But what is deterring me to embrace Marvel NOW and Marvel Comics in general again?

Passion.

Or lack of passion on my part.

My passion for reading Marvel Comics has dimmed to nothingness. I thought the Avengers movie would help me come back to the Marvel Universe but it didn’t. Something is missing from the Marvel Universe of comics that once made me passionate for it during the 1980s. If the New 52 had not come along when it did, I would have left entire comic book genre. But I have embraced DC’s New 52 and the Beyond Universe of titles. Marvel, it hasn’t. And I don’t think it will… at least from a comic book sense as I am eager to see Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 movies.

So, Marvel is GONE from my reading. That is it. No more. I will always view the Avengers vs. The X-Men event as my personal series finale from the Marvel Universe.

This is Lyle Field.

Until next time… have a good night.

Lyle FieldComicsAvengers vs. The X-Men,comics,Dave's Pop Culture,Iron Man 3,Marvel,Marvel NOW,The New 52,Thor 2
When Marvel Comics launched Marvel NOW, my hope it would re-ignite the same ravenous feeling of reading monthly titles again, just like DC’s New 52 line from a year earlier. It didn’t. My name is Lyle Field. I read comic books and other pop culture phenomenon. And I am not ashamed...