Thursday, January 13, 2005

Marvel sets 'fists to teats on its fattest cash cow'

In Toronto's Eye Weekly, Guy Leshinski has kind words for Whedon/Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men Vol. 1: Gifted. But that doesn't prevent him from first getting in a few good jabs at Marvel and its X-franchise:
Letting, as Comics Journal managing editor Dirk Deppey calls it, "the Hidden Hand of the Marketplace" guide its affairs, Marvel last summer set fists to teats on its fattest cash cow (X-Men), milking its glorified franchise in a campaign of reinvention dubbed X-Men: Reload. With the X-movie buzz dying away between sequels, the object of the campaign was to strafe the marketplace with product -- a handful of new titles and reshuffled creative teams (including diarrheal X-writer-in-residence Chris Claremont) on the half-dozen extant X-books -- in the hopes of lodging a few in people's regular reading lists. The move also extended an olive branch -- hell, a whole jar -- to new readers, opening an entry point (in the parlance of the marketing X-ecs) that wasn't crammed with backstory and didn't reek of stale ideas.