Blah Blah Blog – Reader Questions 4

A post from my Marvel blog of times gone by in which I answer more queries from the readers.

Reader Questions 4

May 29, 2009 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

For some strange reason, the Blog server seems to have eaten the answer to yesterday’s last question. So we’ll start with that one again today, and then forge ahead into new question-answering territory!

>when are we going to see a follow up to the marvel mystic arcana series? and, though I doubt I’ll get a real answer, when will we see the real scarlet witch again in more than just a cameo?

Posted by piperdg on 2009-05-23 11:44:41>

Depends on what you mean by a follow-up to MYSTIC ARCANNA, piper. There’s currently some very crucial mystic stuff going on in the pages of NEW AVENGERS that’ll be of consequence to the mystic portion of the Marvel Universe in the months to come. As for Wanda, as I believe we’ve mentioned in the past, she plays a central role in the AVENGERS project that Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung have been working on these long months, and which you should hopefully see in 2010.

>I am very excited about the Spider-Man: Mary Jane You Just Hit the Jackpot solicits in the August catalog. I was especially excited, and a bit surprised, to see the excellent Parallel Lives graphic novel included in this collection. I was not expecting to see a book that celebrates the Peter/MJ relationship and marriage released in the current Spider-man environment. You can consider at least one copy of this TPB already SOLD!!

The obvious question becomes… is this an indication that Marvel is softening on their stated position that ‘the marriage never happened’?

Posted by tomek97 on 2009-05-23 15:38:34>

No. Seriously, no. We’re not going to hesitate to reprint stuff from those years as the opportunity strikes, but we’re not going to be going back to a married Spider-Man either.

>1. You said a while ago that if Avengers were renumbering, it would pick up with New Avengers. Considering much of the Mighty Avengers press is how it’s going back to Avengers-y stories (spotlighting how New Avengers has a very, very different style than the classic Avengers), do you still feel that way? Even when Bendis was launching Mighty Avengers, it was pitched as a book intended to have more of a classic Avengers feel. >

Numbering isn’t about the feel of a series, it’s about successive monthly issues. NEW AVENGERS was the successor title to AVENGERS–it’s what replaced AVENGERS on the publishing roster. So that’s the book that carries forward with the aggregate numbering. MIGHTY came three years later, so despite the flavor or the tone of the title, it’s not a direct continuation of AVENGERS. It’s a spin-off title. As is DARK.

>2. Can you explain some of the reasoning behind the concept of New Warriors v.4 (which IIRC, writer Kevin Grevioux was told to use). Why did a book spinning out of Civil War feature a bunch of depowered mutants (seemingly fallout from House of M) and next to no connection to the original New Warriors? While at the same time, those characters were being used in a very CW-relevant manner in Avengers Initiative. Seems like NW was really set up to fail. I know Marvel obviously wanted it to succeed, but linking depowered mutants with a property that wasn’t ever an X-franchise just seemed awfully bizarre to me. Does the failure of v.4 mean it’s going to be that much harder to get a Counter-Force (now back to New Warriors) series anytime?

Posted by motteditor on 2009-05-23 17:13:34>

Nobody around here loves the New Warriors more than I do, Mott. I was the last editor of the original series, and I’ve used the individual characters in many of my titles over the years. So let me tell you, straight up, that linking a new NEW WARRIORS series to the X-MEN corner of the Universe could only have been a benefit–while there’s a certain amount of NEW WARRIORS nostalgia, it was never a property that was a top-seller. Revivals of one sort or another have been tried on multiple occasions (there’s a reason why Kevin’s run was v.4 after all) and none of them ever worked out. So trying something new with the concept seemed like a feasible idea, especially since it was an idea that grew directly out of the conclusion of HOUSE OF M and DECIMATION, and so was rooted firmly within the larger Marvel U. Kevin’s NEW WARRIORS was hardly set up to fail, but the way this business works, you take your best shot, and some things stick and some things don’t. As for Counter-Force, while we might have used the New Warriors name for them had it not been in play elsewhere, that hasn’t stopped them from becoming a prominent element in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE–one that’s only going to grow to greater prominence in the next few months. I honestly don’t know that I see a real need right this second for a COUNTER-FORCE series, but if there were one, the fact that a totally-unrelated NEW WARRIORS book had ended wouldn’t have much bearing on that.

>I have one question, and one question only: When will MDCU finally contain every last Marvel comic (Hopefully in complete chronological and/or publication) order?

Posted by Soul Fire on 2009-05-23 17:43:57>

Given that we release somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 titles every month, and we’ve got a 70 year backlog, I’d say that it’s going to take a relatively long time for absolutely everything to be available. But we are constantly adding to the MDCU library month after month, so it should continue to grow in size and depth steadily.

>1.) I have to ask about the classic guys. It seems to me that writers like Stern and Michelinie have written some well received stuff recently when Marvel finally gave them a chance again. Besides Stern’s upcoming 3 parter with the Juggernaut in Amazing Spider-Man (with the great Lee Weeks!), what other projects are these guys working on? >

I’m not sure that David is writing anything for us at present, but Roger’s got the lead story in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY #7, the YOUNG ALLIES COMICS #1 70th Anniversary one-shot and a story in CAPTAIN AMERICA #600 coming out in just a few weeks. In fact, we sent all three of them to the printer earlier today.

>2.) Any chance of a She-Hulk and Her Lady Liberators series or a new season for Captain Britain and MI:13? Both could work with Peter David and Paul Cornell writing and bigger name artists.

Posted by Dusty. on 2009-05-23 20:32:41>

There aren’t any plans for a Lady Liberators series at the moment, Dusty, and as I’m sure you’ve heard, CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI:13 is ending as well. And I don’t think the secret here is as simple as “bigger name artists”. For one thing, you’d need to find bigger name artists who’d really want to work on these titles in the first place. And then, you’ve got the fact that bigger name artists also tend to be higher paid artists, and so a title circulating at the level of a CAPTAIN BRITAIN may not be easily able to cover the additional A & E costs against its budget. Finally, there’s also a question of the best use of resources. If I’ve got a Big Name Artist who’s available (and for some reason will do anything I tell him to, no questions asked), and his presence on a title will increase sales by let’s say 25%, then it really makes better sense to place him on a more popular series. Not only is the amount of benefit immediately higher, but having top talent on those books is what keeps them top titles in the first place.

>I’m well aware of the fact that you know how good a book Captain Britain and the MI 13 is, so, keeping it simple…
Where sales THAT bad that you couldn’t afford to publish a series this great?

Isn’t sometimes quality enough to mantain the hope for a title to someday, somehow (promoting it, perhaps) boost sales? I mean, doesnt three regular Wolverine titles enogh money to keep less commercial projects on the market?

Posted by tanwer on 2009-05-23 20:50:18>

Boy, you CAPTAIN BRITAIN fans are really out in force this week. Tanwer, it all comes down to a return on investment–and that investment includes time and energy as well as just money. We publish a lot of titles, and we’re constantly trying new things. And the reality of the marketplace is that some of those things are going to click, and some of them aren’t. And some will click for a little while, and then taper off. There’s no sin in that–it’s an entirely democratic process in which you fans vote with your wallets and your feet. Now, any one book being unprofitable isn’t enough to break Marvel, but the question is, where do you draw the line? If we keep CAPTAIN BRITAIN going, then shouldn’t we also keep RUNAWAYS going? Or IRON FIST? Or SPIDER-GIRL? Or any of a number of other titles that have hit this level despite a dedicated and loyal core audience. At the end of the day, Marvel is a business–if we don’t make money, they come around and turn all the lights out. Every series in our publishing line needs to earn its keep in one way or another. If it’s a property we really believe in, we may run a given series into the red for awhile to see if we can’t find a way to turn it around, but we simply cannot do that on every title that garners critical acclaim. It stinks, but the reality of the quirky, off-to-the-side series is that the very reason they appeal to so many dedicated reader is because they provide some stylistic hit that you just can’t quite get from the rest of the line–but often that very style is what’s off-putting to the broader audience in general. And that isn’t a problem that can be solved simply by promoting it (and CAPTAIN BRITAIN got a heck of a lot of promotion around its Dracula storyline). Nor is it the responsibility of a WOLVERINE title to underwrite another series. Every title in our publishing line needs to carry its own weight, and that means that sometimes we have to make sad, tough choices.

More on Monday!

Tom B

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