Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

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Batgirl III
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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Batgirl III » Fri May 18, 2018 4:52 pm

That’s the most reasonable explanation, but obviously I don’t have any access to Marvel’s internal numbers and Neilson BookScan’s records for the relevant years is behind a paywall. So all I have is idle speculation...

I stand behind my idea of a quarterly, standard magazine size format of family-friendly comics. I really do think it’s be the best way to hook new readers.
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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Ken » Fri May 18, 2018 8:04 pm

Batgirl III wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:52 pm
I stand behind my idea of a quarterly, standard magazine size format of family-friendly comics. I really do think it’s be the best way to hook new readers.
And I still agree with you.
What kind of crap glass was used in the windows of Wayne Manor (post-Crisis) that an animal with a mass of less than 27 grams (i.e. weighs less than an ounce) could break through it?

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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Scots Dragon » Fri May 18, 2018 8:12 pm

Some general notes.

Not. A. Goddamn. Reboot.
While some readers are gained in a reboot / relaunch with all new issue #1s, I am one of many people who actually abandoned DC in the wake of their big New 52 relaunch 'cause it pretty much cancelled the comics I was following in favour of new ones that I wound up not liking. They've got me hooked again with Rebirth, but the fact that Rebirth isn't a goddamn actual reboot but instead a retooling is what works for it, and it gets extra points for reintroducing the older elements of the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe that I enjoyed.

They really ought to get on with that.

Don't abandon diversity initiatives
As the amazing success of comics like Ms. Marvel have shown, the pushes towards diversity really aren't what's causing the flagging sales. As such one thing I'm gonna say is that comics should remain diverse and continue to strive to represent the fact that not everyone is a straight white cisgender abled male and we ought to just accept that. More comics headlining marginalised folks ought to be a constant.

A moratorium on big crossover event comics
While some events ought to be allowed, the big huge company-wide crossovers ought to be downplayed so that they're not a full on yearly occurrence, or in Marvel's case a more-than-yearly occurrence. Instead smaller-scale crossovers that mostly involve directly related characters would be emphasised instead, with bigger crossovers only once every few years or so. And another thing? The crossovers do not interrupt the events of the existing books for a bullshit tie-in under any circumstances.

I abandoned Marvel for a while over the bullshit of Civil War II or Secret Empire being shoved into every book I was reading despite my complete lack of interest in either event.

A moratorium on pointless character deaths
You want to kill off a major supporting character to show how high the stakes of your book are? Nope. You're not allowed any more. You can tell stories that involve character death, but shoving in said characters to become a pointless casualty of your big event book is banned because that puts people off of reading comics as well. It's really hard to get invested in specific characters and their story arcs when they're being killed off randomly in completely unrelated events that, once a-fucking-gain, you have no interest in reading.

A moratorium on heroes fighting heroes
You want a crossover event? Cool. Pick or make a villain and have the heroes fight said villain because I am seriously fucking sick of every event since Disassembled having to involve hero-on-hero violence because it's tiring the hell out of me. I don't read comics for pointless infighting amongst the heroes, I read comics for heroes beating up the bad guys.

On that note, no making heroes evil in ways that massively contradict their themes and backstory
This is specifically levelled at Nick Spencer's decision to make Captain America join and eventually lead Hydra because that event was beyond bullshit and is seriously the worst fucking decision anyone has ever made.

I could talk at length about the reasons why, but there are two simple facts. The first is that Hydra are and always have been explicit Nazis and were founded by the Red Skull himself. The second is that Captain America was a frail disabled man created by two Jewish comic-book creators as an explicit repudiation of Nazi ideology and concepts, transformed by a Jewish scientist to become a champion against fascism. There are essays written about how he is in many ways a fundamentally Jewish character in theme and concept even if not in explicit story references.

This sort of thing really puts certain readers off of comics.


And some actual direct notes of action...
The first is that I'd bring back comics like DC Comics Presents, Brave and the Bold, and Marvel Team-Up. Stuff that's a series of done-in-one comics aimed at all audiences readers and sold on the magazine racks at mainstream corner shops, and focusing on having multiple anthology stories. These shouldn't be quarterly, but released monthly or bi-monthly. Possibly even weekly, since British comics manage that well enough.

I'd also try and de-emphasise writing-for-the-trade attitudes in other comics as well. Comics have become pretty over-decompressed lately, and are taking a bit too long to actually get around to telling a story. While story arcs aren't something I'd outright discourage, I'd try and encourage telling stories in fewer issues if possible so as to let people pick up and read comics without as many barriers to entry.

Continuity itself doesn't really need to be an issue there. People come in at the middle in stories all the time; accidentally picking up the second or third in a novel series, starting with a second-season episode of a given series. However what I'd also do there is make backlogs more accessible, with stuff like the Marvel Unlimited service being expanded on that front, and DC should introduce their own equivalent.

There should also be specifically created reading orders and starting point guides linked at the side of said services, and some similar notes included in the back of most comics, for those who want to read further but don't know where to start on that.

Sort of like a 'You enjoyed this issue of Superman? Well, here are some trade paperbacks titles to fill you in on some important events and continuity if you want to read more Superman.'
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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Scots Dragon » Fri May 18, 2018 8:24 pm

Addendum...

Just quit the posturing and start making intercompany crossovers again
JLA / Avengers was amazing, and that needs to become a common thing once again. Having comics with the heroes from the big two teaming up to fight evil is something that should just happen. Bonus points if the companies manage to make them canonical, like with JLA / Avengers itself.

Bring back Elseworlds and What If
One of the main ways I got into comics was through the various Elseworlds because they told isolated and cool stories that were interesting and explored different facets of the DC Universe in different ways. It was something I always found cool and wouldn't mind seeing more of. On that note, DC really needs to spin its multiverse stuff off into an Exiles-like series following on where Multiversity left off.
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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Batgirl III » Fri May 18, 2018 8:31 pm

Scots Dragon wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 8:12 pm
Don't abandon diversity initiatives
As the amazing success of comics like Ms. Marvel have shown, the pushes towards diversity really aren't what's causing the flagging sales. As such one thing I'm gonna say is that comics should remain diverse and continue to strive to represent the fact that not everyone is a straight white cisgender abled male and we ought to just accept that. More comics headlining marginalised folks ought to be a constant.
This... But only if the diversity is more than “skin-deep,” and there is an actual story contained in the book and not just empty virtue signaling.

The fans took to Miles Morales, Jamie Reyes, Kampala Khan, and John Stewart not because the were black, brown, or female. They took to them because they were compelling characters, in interesting stories, and their respective backgrounds added to the story.

The fans didn’t take to Simon Baz, Sooraya Qadir, New 52 Alan Scott, or Black Panther and the Crew... They didn’t dislike these characters because of what they looked like, but because the stories they were in weren’t good and/or the characters weren’t compelling. Too often their “diversity” was written about in a way that detracted from the story.

You can have a political message in a story, some of my favorite stories are overly political (even when I disagree with the politics!), but you have to have a good story first and foremost.

I’m a minarchist libertarian “gun-nut” anti-feminist... The Mists of Avalon was one of my favorite novels as a kid. Marion Zimmer Bradley was a socialist progressive second-wave feminist. Most of her books are explicitly intended to advance her political beliefs... But they were good stories.
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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Scots Dragon » Fri May 18, 2018 9:27 pm

As a pretty far-left anarcho communist - the original definition of libertarian in fact - I'm going to avoid responding to most of that* except to maybe point out that Marion Zimmer Bradley does not deserve any praise irrespective of her politics or writing talent.

I'm just going to leave a link here, with the following.

This link contains discussion of horrific events of child sexual abuse. If you have suffered through such events, or otherwise experience related trauma, you might find such talk distressing.



* I try to focus on things that don't negatively affect my mental health, and arguing with people over political issues. That said, Simon Baz is absolutely fine and is working really well as the co-lead of Green Lanterns, though I'll admit he's partly overshadowed by the utterly fantastic Jessica Cruz.
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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Batgirl III » Fri May 18, 2018 10:19 pm

I am aware of Bradley's past history of terrible abuse. Now. I wasn't two-plus decades ago when I first read her work... I refuse to apologize for enjoying a book that spent four months on the New York Times best seller list in hardcover and ranked among the top five best-selling trade paperbacks for almost four years when it was originally published.

Just like I refuse to apologize for thinking that Bill Cosby was a hilarious stand-up comic and having fond memories from childhood of watching The Cosby Show with my parents. Yes, I know that Bill Cosby is a convicted rapist now, but we did not know that then.
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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Chris Brady » Fri May 18, 2018 11:01 pm

Scots Dragon wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 8:12 pm
Some general notes.

Don't abandon diversity initiatives
As the amazing success of comics like Ms. Marvel have shown, the pushes towards diversity really aren't what's causing the flagging sales. As such one thing I'm gonna say is that comics should remain diverse and continue to strive to represent the fact that not everyone is a straight white cisgender abled male and we ought to just accept that. More comics headlining marginalised folks ought to be a constant.
No, non no, no and no. This is how we got to this point in the first place. Characters need to stand on their own merits, not because of their surface traits.

Ms. Marvel was a fluke, because she was ALWAYS Muslim propaganda, and she always got the emotional validation that the Tumblr crowd seems to love to engage in. She managed to fool people, but not for long, which is why the books got cancelled.

But characters need to be more than just a Nationality or Sexual Orientation, they need to be 'PEOPLE', people with flaws and talents, success and failures, conflict drive interesting stories. Most of the Marvel's stuff doesn't have any of anything that makes them interesting.

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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Scots Dragon » Fri May 18, 2018 11:26 pm

Chris Brady wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:01 pm
Ms. Marvel was a fluke, because she was ALWAYS Muslim propaganda, and she always got the emotional validation that the Tumblr crowd seems to love to engage in. She managed to fool people, but not for long, which is why the books got cancelled.
Uh. There's so much wrong to unpack there. 'Muslim propaganda'? Really?

Also you do know that Ms. Marvel is not one of the recent titles that has been cancelled, don't you? It's still ongoing and is in the latest solicitations going at least as far as July, 'cause the August solicitationss haven't come in yet.
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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Jabroniville » Sat May 19, 2018 12:12 am

LOL- Muslim propaganda? If by "propaganda" you mean "Talks about an ordinary teenager that happens to be Muslim", then sure. Kamala is ABSOLUTELY how you do it right- she didn't replace a dead or disgraced hero, has moral questions, screws up, and is a flawed, rounded character. The PROBLEM is, Marvel took the wrong lessons from her success, and created an army of bland, uninteresting or hostile Copycats. THOSE are the ones that failed.

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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by MacynSnow » Sat May 19, 2018 12:26 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 12:12 am
LOL- Muslim propaganda? If by "propaganda" you mean "Talks about an ordinary teenager that happens to be Muslim", then sure. Kamala is ABSOLUTELY how you do it right- she didn't replace a dead or disgraced hero, has moral questions, screws up, and is a flawed, rounded character. The PROBLEM is, Marvel took the wrong lessons from her success, and created an army of bland, uninteresting or hostile Copycats. THOSE are the ones that failed.
All that's true jab(i recently got a couple of her comics as a gift and didn't think they weren't half bad.Writing style's not my usual cup of coffee,but to each their own...),but unfortunately the character got a bad case of "Crapped-On-By-Assosiation"(this is also why we never got a Hawkwoman series).....

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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Ares » Sat May 19, 2018 12:43 am

I've never had a problem with racial or sexual diversity in comics, something they've had since the 70's. Frankly, I'd love to see Icon & Rocket, Static, Shang Chi, Power Man and Iron Fist, and other characters get their own series. Hell, I wish they'd let Danny and Misty get married and have their little girl like in the one-shot, so that Danny and Luke could have their kids playing together. I want them to continue to add to the Marvel and DC Universes.

What Marvel recently did, however, was not really a diversity push. Replacing existing characters and changing their orientation isn't creating diversity or adding to the setting. Its essentially saying that you don't believe a character can stand on their own, that a characters name, costume, race and gender matter more than the character's personality and history, and that classic characters are expendable in the name of faux diversity.

There's a reason people didn't like Riri Williams, Jane Foster, and Sam Wilson replacing Tony, Thor and Steve. Especially Sam, who had his own identity and was gaining popularity thanks to the Marvel movies. Iron Man is not just a brand, it's Tony Stark, a character with a unique personality and history. If you let someone else have that identity, they better be someone like Rhodey, who was a constant companion of Tony's, well liked, and with the understanding Tony will get it back, while being respectful to Tony. Compared with Jane Foster, who basically had the entire Thor mythos bent around her to make her into the hero at the expense of pretty much everyone else, especially Thor.

There's a reason people didn't like Bobby Drake and America Chavez being turned gay when the former was straight and the latter was bi. If someone's race and orientation really is that important, then someone's heterosexual and Caucasian identity are no less important than someone being Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, homosexual, bi-sexual, etc.

There's a reason people didn't like Unstoppable Wasp and Mockingbird, and why they don't like Squirrel Girl and Captain Marvel, and it's got nothing to do with disliking women. Comics fans LOVE women and female characters, but it's hard to like them when they're being used as mouthpieces for various agendas.

So by all means, create new characters. Bring old characters that we haven't seen in a while back to the forefront. Lets see Flamebird, Silverclaw, Triathalon, and others put to some good use. Just don't pretend what Marvel did was anything more than virtue signaling and pandering.

Jaime Reyes and Miles Morales are a pair of the only times when replacing a hero long-term worked, and that was largely because the former treated Ted with absolute respect, while the latter was replacing an alternate version of Peter. Both heroes were well written and likeable and a clear effort was made to flesh them out as characters, and not merely make them "the Latino Blue Beetle and the Black Spider-Man". Miles even had an issue where he complained about people were making a bigger deal about his skin color than what he was doing.

As for Ms. Marvel, I honestly don't know her well enough to judge one way or the other. All I can say is that outside of her own book, like in Champions or Unstoppable Wasp, she's kind of cringe-worthy. But the idea of a superhero fangirl that just happens to be Muslim works just fine concept wise, and a lot of folks seem to like her. So I'll have to track down some issues of her at some point.

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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Batgirl III » Sat May 19, 2018 12:54 am

I also find it throughly bigoted and disgustingly insulting to say that any given member of the audience cannot enjoy a character that is different from them and that you should only read works by people exactly like you.

There’s no way a Japanese man could enjoy William Shakespeare’s plays, right?

Are you a cisgender, homosexual, African-American, left-handed hairdresser? Then obviously you cannot have any sympathy for Dil in The Crying Game, because she’s a transgender, heterosexual, British, right-handed lounge singer. Right?

Bigotry. Pure and simple.
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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Ken » Sat May 19, 2018 2:12 am

Image
What kind of crap glass was used in the windows of Wayne Manor (post-Crisis) that an animal with a mass of less than 27 grams (i.e. weighs less than an ounce) could break through it?

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Re: Thought Experiment: You're put in charge of the next company wide reboot. What do you do?

Post by Ares » Sat May 19, 2018 2:17 am

Okay folks, this is my Mod Voice. This thread is not for debating the nature of Muslim community. If you want to debate that, we have a debate forum where you can talk about it to your hearts content, so long as you do it without insults.

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