Let’s rip some covers off the books….

4 Aug

Recently Marvel has begun to take serious shots across the bow at DC. In a lot of ways, this is not all that uncommon. All sorts of companies have competition and it creates some hard feelings at times. The first major issue like this in the comic industry was the lawsuit between Superman and Captain Marvel. Similar problems quickly followed with different companies creating problems for the comics industry. During the sixties, though, the industry began to coalesce around DC and Marvel. The two companies traded shots but usually they were fairly minor. Marvel played the “bad boy” to DC’s family friendly atmosphere. It wasn’t that Marvel was “bad” but they were willing to push the envelope first. This created a small degree of trouble throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s, but it wasn’t really a major issue. But every once in a while, there were small crossovers and the occasional rumor of a major crossover between DC and Marvel. This began to change a little during the 90s. At first, things began to get heated. However, suddenly the Cold War began to thaw between the “Big Two.” Marvel and DC had their very famous crossover in 1996. This created a major crack in the dam and many similar crossovers also occurred. My personal favorite was the third Access crossover. Seeing the classic Justice League and the classic Avengers was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, Joe Quesada took over the helm of Marvel several years ago. His tenure began with several off color comments to the distinguished competition. Now routinely, Marvel offers retailers free comics if they will rip up old DC issues. This is insane. Likewise, the comments from Marvel have gotten incredibly harsh. But is this really a problem? Competition is generally fun and as a guy I love good competition. So why am I at 308 words and still going? Frankly, comic readership is a small (I would say elite) community of readers. Many readers read titles from both companies regularly. I admit, I haven’t since my childhood love of Spiderman waned but he was the first character I collected regularly. Routinely insulting books some of your readership enjoys is not wise. An even bigger issue deals with the creators of said funny books. Writers and artists of the big two rotate back and forth between the companies. Mark Waid who just started a much beloved run on Daredevil did his most famous work several years ago on DC. Keith Giffen, my favorite creator, also had a famous run at Marvel a few years ago between his two runs at DC. Likewise, DnA have had amazing runs at both companies. Why should the creators work at a company that routinely insults the company they have or will work at again? Personally, in a way, I could care less. Both companies have fans and creators who are extremely loyal. But does it really help anyone in our beloved field to be ripping the covers off of comics? Does anyone come out better when famous writers, artists, editors or what not insults each other? No, we just look like a bunch of nerds arguing over whether our superhero undies go on the outside or the inside. My Superman undies always are firmly entrenched on the outside, regardless of what Jim Lee or Grant Morrison say. But that’s just me.

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