The Criterion

Failure of Marvel

Brandon Robles '18, Staff Writer

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The idea of basing movies off of existing material is one that people have always jumped on. Whether it be action packed like Ready Player One or as old as Power Rangers, people will still pay to go to these films to see how good it is. People who know the original material will either criticize or praise the film’s connections and references. And then there’s Marvel’s movies, one of the more well known companies that bring comic book stories to the big screen.


Marvel has been garnering critical acclaim for their fun and action-packed films such as Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok, which have done better than Doctor Strange and Age of Ultron. The upcoming Infinity War will star all the heroes found in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film serves as a “part one of sorts” to a sequel that stands by itself. But the real question is: How is the original material standing up? The answer is not very well.


Marvel Comics, unlike its film franchise, has proven itself to be wallowing in failures. The situation itself has caused almost four relaunches in the course of a year. The main reason for this would be their poor sales and crossover events. The first acts as a cause for the latter, creating a negative effect that no one wants to read or buy.


After the company’s relaunch of All New, All Different Marvel following their Secret Wars event, the company attempted to capitalize on the hype for Captain America: Civil War. They ultimately decided to make a sequel to the original Civil War storyline, which dealt with superhero registration, now turning itself to precognition and profiling. The sequel was deemed terrible by many and led to a second Marvel Now relaunch as an aftermath.


This new relaunch ended up paving the road to Secret Empire, dealing with a Hydra Captain America taking over the U.S. This event was not as poorly received as Civil War II, but had been controversial due to altering a character out of his own beliefs and origins. In this case, turning Captain America into a “Nazi” was not a good choice, and writer Nick Spencer had to change some things to make Steve Rogers not as Nazi as people believed him to be. This changed nothing about the reaction towards an American icon turning into a fascist figure.


After that was over, Marvel decided to take on a third relaunch dubbed Marvel Legacy, meant to rival DC’s Rebirth imprint. This meant reverting ongoing titles to their original numbering, such as Amazing Spider Man 20.1 jumping to 701. This attempt to match up to DC Rebirth’s revamped numbering of both Detective Comics and Action Comics, proved to be frustratingly confusing to new readers.  The other change was the decision to change up title characters into the previous status quo. Captain America, now restored thanks to the Cosmic Cube, is his original self as he journeys across America to make amends following Secret Empire.


Marvel is planning to relaunch the franchise yet again with it’s new Fresh Start titles. Bringing back all titles to issue 1 baffles fans even further as to why this is happening. But also bringing all characters to their status quo yet again goes further, with a singular Avengers title with characters such as She Hulk and Doctor Strange. The return of the Fantastic Four was also announced as a change in the relaunch. But other details have yet to be announced of this article. Comic books are hard enough to navigate as it is. God forbid that most of the continuity gets even more puzzling.

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Failure of Marvel