Feb 16, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! – Marvel Killing Characters For Money?

In an unprecedented move over the weekend, Marvel Comics basically admitted to killing characters for sales. Now, let’s not delude ourselves into thinking we didn’t know this already but am I the only one surprised it was finally said so plainly? And publicly?

Well, I guess publicly is sort of relative here. The bold statement was made at the recent ComicsPro retailer summit in Texas. David Gabriel, Senior Vice President of Sales at Marvel said, “As a result of the Fantastic Four sales and media coverage, Marvel is going to kill a main character every quarter.” He then made sure to say, “This is not a joke.”

Alright then.

Read my thoughts on the statement in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama.

6 comments:

Dave Martin said...

"Every character is somebody's favorite."

Even though we know that everyone who dies will one day get better, except of course for Gwen Stacy and Bucky... well, scratch that last part... editorial decisions made based on sales are just plain cynical. I'm still angry over the pointless death of Janet Van Dyne.

PTLindy said...

Captain Jean DeWolfe is still dead.

Anyway, the comic industry have in the past 25 or so years have become a much more cynically gimmicky. While there were "Anniversary" issues and super hype balloons ("Still only 25c", "In this issue, someone {unimportant} DIES!"), there wasn't the blatant level of "change that won't last" like we have today. No one who's been collecting for more than 6 months believes Johnny Storm isn't coming back. And any other death is just as equally meaningless.

What used to be iconic moments (the deaths of Gwen Stacey, Norman Osborn, Barry Allen, Jean Grey, Kara Zor-El) are now just footnotes in complicated Wiki entries. I liked Hal Jordan, didn't like the whole Parallax/Zero Hour/Spectre arc, but I did not need him "back" again for new stories. And the current Brightest Day trend of "OK, you're done, die again now" is equally sad.

daviedave_47 said...

Gone are the days when comics used to be more about STORY than gimmicks...when writers cared about their characters as they would a member of their own family...when epic story-arcs were carefully researched to avoid "factual" errors in continuity...

Now...it's all about $$$, and poorly researched characters can simply be "retconned" into existance..."oh! You were a muscle-bound hunk in blue battle armor in the 1970's?...nah...now, through a time/space continuum-wormhole-Easter egg, X-Mas present thingy...you are a 'hot chick' in a red bathing suit, because we know it'll sell better."

I know this seems cynical...but I don't think that the comic industry has the same "connection/relationship" with the characters that they used to...and I find it unfortunate.

Dave Martin said...

My brother and I both collected comic books as kids. He grew up, got married, had kids, and stopped reading. I didn't. A couple months ago I told him both Batman and Captain America died, but they actually both got lost in the timestream and came back to life, and Jason Todd came back to life after Superboy punched continuity. He said, "I'm glad I don't read comic books anymore."

Avi Green said...

I wonder when DC will admit they've been doing the same thing, and worse, demonizing characters for sales, as they did with Identity Crisis? I'm absolutely disgusted at what they've done with Sue Dibny and Jean Loring. I'm even disgusted at some so-called comics fans who see nothing wrong with this, and even criticize the characters instead of how they're written.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least Gabriel was honest about it. Publishers are in business to sell magazines, and as long as these cynical marketing ploys work, they will continue.