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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Marvel’s Civil War II & The Definition of Insanity

 Back around 2005 or so Marvel Comics had a little event called Civil War. And in its aftermath most of the Marvel fanbase was split. In fact many were so turned off by what went on in this little event they never bought Marvel comics again.

So why would Marvel want to revisit one of the most reviled storylines in history?

Beats me. I guess it’s something to do since the last reboot after the fourth or fifth Secret Wars went over like brick balloons with readers.

I have to ask: Why do editors at Marvel keep trying to live in the past? Civil War II is just a re-hash of 2005’s Civil War. Which is just a re-hash of the Mutant Registration act storyline that ran in the X-titles of 1986.

A copy of a copy of a copy of a 30-year-old story.  Can’t any of the writers working at Marvel tell an original story these days?

I guess not. If it’s not reboots to correct mistakes from events, it’s re-hashes of old events. Which create more mistakes that need to be fixed by reboots. The rest of the world calls this insanity but this circular logic is considered business as usual for comic book publishers like Marvel.

And to kick things off things for Marvel’s second Civil War, A major character will die! Now how many times have we heard this since 1990? And how many major characters are dead right now? Let’s see:

Professor X
Red Skull
Jean Grey
Richard Rider (Nova)
Every Cosmic entity in the Marvel Universe.

If Marvel’s editors keep killing characters and there won’t be anyone left to headline their books. Seriously, since the Korvac Saga back in the 1970s every character has died at least twice in the Marvel Universe. This plot device is TIRED.

War. Death. Gore. And then more War. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.  Again. And again. And Again. Is that the only story they can tell at Marvel?

Why can’t comics be FUN anymore?

I miss the good old days of the 1980s when an event usually just meant all the heroes coming together to take on a big bad and everyone came out of it in one piece. Sort of like when John Ostrander and John Byrne’s created Legends for DC Comics or when John Byrne and the late Mark Gruenwald coordinated Acts of Vengeance for Marvel. Those were fun events featuring action packed adventures that were easy entry points into the Marvel & DC Universe for new readers.

But death, war, and gore are what Marvel’s editors think sells. To who, I don’t know. Maybe diehard fanboys living in their mother’s basement and angry loners in a trailer park. All I know is that from what I’ve seen and heard from most comic fans is many are tired of this kind of storytelling and they want writers to come up with something fresh. Some domic fans like myself just want the FUN to come back to comics.

I just got through writing an event story John Haynes: The Man Who Rules The World which features almost every character in the SJS DIRECT Universe. And guess what? I didn’t kill a single major character. So I know it’s possible to write a large scale event where the heroes come together to take on a big bad and for it to be an exciting, entertaining, and compelling read.

I’ve learned my lesson about killing characters the hard way when I killed E’steem off back in the first Isis back in 2002. And now that she’s back among the living she’s one of the most popular heroines in my publishing catalog and headlines her own books.

Marvel’s editors need to stop living in the past. The 1980s are over, the1990s are over, and the 2000s are over. Readers want stories that reflect today, not yesterday. Instead of trying to revisit yesterday’s stories with re-hashed sequels of sequels, there should be a push to create stories that are fresh and give readers a unique take on Marvel’s heroes that are fresh and fun. A story doesn’t need a death, a rape or something shocking to make a story payoff for readers. Sometimes the bad guy just getting taken down and going to jail is enough of a satisfying ending for a reader.
 Every story doesn’t need to be an event. All a story needs to be is easy to read for new readers to discover it.

Donate to the SJS DIRECT COVER KICKSTARTER! I’m raising funds to hire Bill Walko artist of the popular webcomic The Hero Business to design all the covers for the books in the SJS DIRECT 2016 catalog like John Haynes: The Man Who Rules The World.

This year I’m offering paperbacks & eBooks as rewards and Bill is offering ten (10) single figure character commissions as a reward! People oftentimes wait in line to get Bill’s commissions at comicon and here’s your opportunity to get one without having to pay for admission, gas and


  1. I Believe it is Fear of developing new and innovative Story's and character that have the weight of the old one's. When you think about it They could develop a whole new breed of interest. But Business on Earth 2016 is if it ain't Broke don't fix it. "Well I say it REALLY Broken and they need to move on... :)

  2. I do believe people at Marvel & DC are afraid of change. Which is why they keep re-hashing old stories instead of trying to create new ones. It clearly is broken and the story model needs fixing. The fact that both companies continue to re-hash old stories shows how out of touch they've become.

    1. It seems more like they're afraid to change in the RIGHT direction instead of the WRONG direction like they've been doing since early 2000.

  3. Have to agree with you Drag. Seems like Marvel doesn't want to go in a direction that will appeal to kids and families. The stories are just made to appeal to older fans and not new kids.