If you are a Marvel fan, by now you have read or heard that Marvel will be restarting (otherwise known as Retconning) their Universe at the end of Secret Wars.
Jon and I will be previewing the new titles and creative teams in this week’s podcast but my question to you is:
“Is Retconning the Marvel Universe necessary?”
Here is what I think. Marvel is first and foremost a business and as a business, you need to improve sales year over year to show that you are profitable to your shareholders. If you do not hit these profit marks, then you have to try something different to get those customers back.
Marvel followed this formula with Marvel Now! back in 2012. This plan of action cancelled all the existing Marvel books and relaunched them with new creative teams and reformation of books like the Avengers and Uncanny X-men. For the most part, I liked the changes. I enjoyed the new creative teams’ takes on existing characters and there were some very good stories that came out of this change.
Now it is 2015 and Marvel is following the playbook again by cancelling all the books, reforming the comics teams and telling new stories with brand new creative teams. I understand why Marvel is doing this; new and old readers alike start on the ground floor with teams that are familiar but also fresh. I am looking forward to trying these new books but at the same time, I am like “When will this universe be destroyed and retconned again?”
Is there such thing as burn out from all these retcons? If you are a longtime DC reader, you know the pain of which I speak. You have seen your DC universe destroyed and rebuild some many times over that you have a hard time remembering which universe are you reading (Is the Crime Syndicate from World 2 or World 3 in this reboot?)
I guess the point I am getting at is that companies like Marvel and DC are more focused on the ‘bottom line’ that they are willing to sacrifice their character’s legacy. I feel that rebooting universe will lead to lazy story telling. In the past if you wanted to modernize a universe, you had keep the 30 – 50 years of history. That took some really creative story telling to build a bridge from the past to the future. Now, all you have to do is destroy that history and start anew. Where is the fun in that? It just doesn’t seem right. Are we all getting ret’conned’ with this new universe?
How do you feel about these changes with Marvel?