Saturday, October 23, 2004

January surprise? Not so much: I find myself caring less and less about Marvel's output these days. The latest Dr. Strange vehicle intrigued me enough to preorder the first issue; luckily, I read an online preview before I made the mistake of ordering the second. I wasn't as fortunate with Black Widow, which I'm burdened with through Issue 3. I'm still not sure what to make of Madrox, but I'm along for the ride at least until Issue 4. After that miniseries ends, I'm free and clear of Marvel books (unless I give in and check out Marvel Age Power Pack in February).

It wasn't a conscious decision; I didn't wake up one morning and declare that, as God is my witness, I will break loose the shackles. It's much less dramatic than that: I'm just bored with Marvel. I can't get excited about another book featuring the solo adventures of someone's favorite X-Man, or another "radical" relaunch of a mediocre team comic that sold so well in the early '90s. I just can't. It makes me tired.

My Marvel malaise is best demonstrated by the January solicitations, which were officially released yesterday (yeah, I know they were "leaked" on Tuesday, but I like to see the cover images). Of the nearly 90 titles set for January release, only five things jumped out at me -- and none of those were the words "buy me":

1. Marvel's abandoning the vague and confusing Amazing Fantasy moniker and renaming it Arana: The Heart of the Spider, presumably to take better advantage of the mainstream publicity it's received for its young Latina hero.

2. Anyone wondering what Wolverine would look like as a teen-age transsexual prostitute need only look at the cover of X-23 #1.

3. The cover of The Pulse #7 gives a nod to Steranko's classic cover for Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 (Sept. 1968).

4. So, Thor: Son of Asgard is expanded from a six-issue miniseries to an ongoing series, only to be canceled with Issue 12?

5. When did Jubilee become a limited series?