Will Marvel`s fear of change and age eventually destroy them?

Iceburgeruk

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Read the stuff on this site it is so true...http://enterthestory.com/marvel_time.html.

Basically marvel used to have a real world time scale. They made mention of events, they had actual dates referenced and it all gelled nicley because it was a set of fictional 1960s stories set in the 1960s being published in the 1960s.

Then it seems marvel got greedy. They came to the conclusion that no better characters could be written and no other superhero could take up the mantle of their stars. They came to believe that simply because was 20 that being young is what defined him. I am 23, but being 23 is not what defines me, if someone is asked to sum up my character, my legacy to the world and my beliefs their answer isn`t "he is 23!"

Marvel came up with marvel time. DC and other companies soon followed suit. Marvel time is a way of making it seem like a charatcer was aging when in actual fact they were living in stasis. I mean sure they make it seem like Peter Parker is aging but in actuallity lets all be fair the marvel universe is not actually run on a 4 years to 1 year scale. It is running on a 0 year scale. Despite the illusion and with the exception of a couple of rugrats no one has really aged for decades.

This doesn`t appear to be a problem but marvel time makes no sense. The marvel universe is supposed to be 14 or so years old (since ff#1) so.... ff#1 occurs in 1994?

99% of that comic could not have occured in 1994. What of the comics with specific dates or events mentioned? Do we just ignore them even when they are key to the plot. Also the current timeline of marvel time means that the main marvel events from ff#1 to giant-sixe x-men to WWH occured after the end of the cold war and the fall of the soviet union. So, how can we explain all the the hundreds villains who are soviet or who have soviet communism as their guiding belief? How can we explain all the stories set against a background of cold war hostility? How can we explain the stories that relate to the civil rights movement or apartheid etc etc. By changing an apartheid story to a story of some angry white guys you are creating a lesser story. By making a soviet villain into a backstoryless angry hoodlum you are destroying a strong character.

And it will only get worse.

Many heroes like iron man and punisher are now not connected to vietnam. Vietnam fit the punisher, the inhumanity, the tragic waste of young life, the hopeless conflict. It was a good backstory for him. The have now changed it to another war, afghanistan i believe. Now afghanistan was bad but it was not as fitting a war to hone the punisher as vietnam. I mean would Rambo work as well if he was a bosnian war vet?

In a couple of years magneto will be too old to have been in the holocaust. What exactly could magneto`s backstory be then? Sure he might have been a victim of another case of ethnic cleansing but the powerfulness of the holocaust background will never be matched.

It can`t carry on forever. There is only so long you can claim all the stories are set within 15 years. At some point an impasse will be reached (its not that far off if you do the math. Its almost to the point of being like an issue a day which doesn`t add up.) where marvel will prob abandon the old stories as they would no longer be able to fit with their compressed timeline.

I would prefer they simply abandon marvel time instead. Marvel time just makes it a hassle, you can`t work out when things occured, you keep having to redo your characters origins, old issues beign to become unreadable due to fashions and events and most importantly you can`t have any real references to the world as they will make no sense in 20 years time. I say they have a big epic where we find out franklin has been slowing down time unintentionally for about four decades. Big battle occurs and then blip marvel time ends. All the characters are still there, spidey and everyone else are still the same age they were when the crossover began but from that story onwards the characters age in real time. A month for them is a month for us.

Yes the character will grow old but then other characters will take up the mantle or replace them. Comics fans and publishers hate the idea of their characters being replaced or growing old or dying but it is a childish reaction. In other medias they accept their fave characters aging or dying, if you remove a character`s ability to grow old or to change you take away core element of depth. Also many peopel`s fave characters never got a chance because of the peter pan classics staying forever. Will Dick Grayson or Nova or wonder girl ever be the big characters? No because batman, spiderman and wonder woman will never die or retire.

The slowed down time of comics is an illusion of change but it is only a lie. Why do many people get bored with comics? Probably because nothing really ever changes. You can quit comics for 20 years and spidey, hulk and superman will still be the same. That is the epitomy of stagnation. Think of another medium where barely anything has changed in 20 years. 20 years ago who framed roger rabbit and big came out in cinemas, roseanne and america`s most wanted were premiering on tv, sega mega drive came out and Sweet Child of Mine was out as a single. What was going on in comics? Spidey and supes and wolvie and batman were doing the smae stuff they are doing now. A worldwide invasion of aliens who could disguise themselves as anyone shook a comics company. I wonder which has changed the least?

Well thats my opinion anyway.
 
My solution: try not thinking about it too much.

As far as I'm concerned, Reed Richards still fought in Korea.
 
It doesn't matter to me. Comics are not written to be logical.

Look at DC, they have been doing reboot after reboot to keep their characters young, and it hasn't done much but cause mass confusion..but the characters are still around.
 
The short answer is that it's not that Marvel is fearful of change or aging, it's that established characters sell more than newer ones. It's also the same reason that, if you look at the big picture, Spider-Man hasn't changed all that much since his debut. Marvel knows that Spider-Man, perpetually in his 20's, makes money. Why mess with a good thing?

It's the same reason new characters rarely sustain the sales figures to continue publishing. It's the same reason Mickey and Minnie aren't married. And it's the same reason Crystal Pepsi and New Coke failed.
 
The short answer is that it's not that Marvel is fearful of change or aging, it's that established characters sell more than newer ones. It's also the same reason that, if you look at the big picture, Spider-Man hasn't changed all that much since his debut. Marvel knows that Spider-Man, perpetually in his 20's, makes money. Why mess with a good thing?

It's the same reason new characters rarely sustain the sales figures to continue publishing. It's the same reason Mickey and Minnie aren't married. And it's the same reason Crystal Pepsi and New Coke failed.

Spider-Man changed a lot. He lost a friend and a girlfriend. Went to high school and college. He got married and had a baby. He then stopped changing.

Spider-Man sells but that is because of a successful movie franchise, lets not forget that marvel was bankrupt not too long ago. Its not because he is 20 that he makes money. That is like saying John Mclane is cool in Die Hard because he was in his mid-thirties and that having an older john mclane would never make money.

The prob is that in the entertainment business you have to take risks if you don`t you fail. If 20th century fox stopped making new films and only made sequels they would fail. Poeple would be interested in the sequels but would inevitably be attracted tot the fresh new franchises.

The whole never change anything ethos that marvel says works really doesn`t. In other medias there is a chance of a main character dying or changing sides. In comics it just never sticks so no one puts any faith in it. I mean who believes batman will actually die and stay dead or that captain america will never return? Look at the list of deaths in Civil War/Infinite Crisis or the depowered in Decimation or the skrull agents in Secret Invasion. Not an A-Lister in the bunch.

Once you remove change and the possibility that main characters could die you lose the interest of your readers. I mean comics are doing well but onsidering the amount of superhero movies being puped out comcis should be doing a LOT better.
 
My solution: try not thinking about it too much.

As far as I'm concerned, Reed Richards still fought in Korea.
...You realize that Reed originally fought in World War II, right? :oldrazz:

I agree with Iceburgeruk, but that's my personal preference and, really, what can you do? If I had my way both Marvel and DC would never de-age their characters and things would just progress on a slow but steady and inevitable scale. The recycling of age and stories is imo the single biggest flaw of western comics, bar none. But I don't have my way so...really, what can you do?
 
Spider-Man changed a lot. He lost a friend and a girlfriend. Went to high school and college. He got married and had a baby. He then stopped changing.

Spider-Man still has money problems, still works as a photographer, still wears the same costume, still worries about Aunt May, ect. The stories may have varied over the years, but the CHARACTER is the same.

Spider-Man sells but that is because of a successful movie franchise, lets not forget that marvel was bankrupt not too long ago. Its not because he is 20 that he makes money. That is like saying John Mclane is cool in Die Hard because he was in his mid-thirties and that having an older john mclane would never make money.

Spider-Man has made Marvel BILLIONS before Tobey Maguire ever put on the mask. He's successful because he's a pop culture icon. It's as simple as that.

And the Die Hard franchise will keep making money until Bruce Willis, an ACTUAL person, is too old or just doesn't want to continue making them. Or, they could go the Bond route and have different actors play the same CHARACTER, and pretend like it's all the same, which is a very comic booky way of doing things, if you think about it.

The prob is that in the entertainment business you have to take risks if you don`t you fail. If 20th century fox stopped making new films and only made sequels they would fail. Poeple would be interested in the sequels but would inevitably be attracted tot the fresh new franchises.

What? Nine times out of ten, if you take a risk in the entertainment industry, you DO fail. That's why the majority of movies, music and TV is crap.

The whole never change anything ethos that marvel says works really doesn`t. In other medias there is a chance of a main character dying or changing sides. In comics it just never sticks so no one puts any faith in it. I mean who believes batman will actually die and stay dead or that captain america will never return? Look at the list of deaths in Civil War/Infinite Crisis or the depowered in Decimation or the skrull agents in Secret Invasion. Not an A-Lister in the bunch.

Once you remove change and the possibility that main characters could die you lose the interest of your readers. I mean comics are doing well but onsidering the amount of superhero movies being puped out comcis should be doing a LOT better.

That's just the nature of comics, and the nature of anything that is cyclical in...uh, nature.
 
Am I wrong?





The answer is no, in case you're wondering.
 
Whatever, nobody cares about the time being unrealistic. The whole idea of superpowers and heroes and villains is unrealistic.

People don't read superhero comics for the realism.
 
Time in comics is like time on The Simpsons; there's a cherrypicking of how time advances, and it's in the best interests of the universe.

The reason characters don't age so much as to become unusable is because generation to generation people want to read about the adventures of Bruce Wayne as Batman, Peter Parker as Spider-Man, etc. They weren't designed to be finite characters with a set arc, and at this point it would be pointless to try and force one on them. And nobody starts reading Marvel Comics by picking up Fantastic Four #1 and going from there; if they do end up reading those older stories, it's with awareness that they were written and set in a different decade.

As to the article itself, a lot of the points don't make much sense to me; for example, the argument about the dropoff in sales having something to do with this, rather then the changes that the distribution of comics was going through.
 
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We just need the Ragnarok Cycle to engulf the entire Marvel Universe. Every 14 years Ragnarok resets the Marvel Universe.


:thing: :doom: :thing:
 
...You realize that Reed originally fought in World War II, right? :oldrazz:
Well, I'll be darned. Eh, I like Korea better for Reed. That's how easy I am, even though I too much prefer a natural timeline with legacies etc. etc.
 
I understand the heart of the article. The concept of the Peter Pan "Marvel Time" has had a lot of irritating and story-potential-sucking consequences to every asset it provides the medium. The biggest problem, though, is what is the alternative? DC has done so many "universe rearranging cosmic events" to "fix" things due to that, that is has become a parody and end unto itself. I read that "idea" to have, basically, a Marvel Crisis with Franklin Richards as an Alexander Luthor type and it made me cringe.

I mean, Marvel Time can be a maze with a lot of suspension of belief, but it makes a lot more sense than DC's mangled continuity. I felt that article had too much of an anti-Marvel bias without seeing the competition's take on things, and how it hasn't exactly set the world aflame. DC's been Number Two for a long, long time, despite having tried to combat a situation similar to "Marvel Time" for generations. Alternate Earths were a way of explaining older characters, and then they were streamlined further in Crisis, and then another generation passed, and so on. Crap, crap, and crap. For all of Marvel Time's problems, NOT trying to take that out, an out that itself won't last and it simply an "illusion" of change, is for the best.

Ultimate is dying, but it did inject the Marvel Universe with talent and ideas that, while not the best for characters or stories, was good for sales, which leads to some more risks with other stories. The better Marvel sales, the more tolerance they have for lower selling C-List titles.

It is a true fact that Marvel and DC have lost the battle for youth to manga, and that older fans become jaded. But there isn't much of an alternative. Modern comic book characters have become their own mythologies unto themselves and I realize how hard it is to replace anyone, even if it means their stories get worse and worse as new schools of sharks come in to be jumped over.

But one always has to ask, is the cure worse than the disease?
 
Read the stuff on this site it is so true...http://enterthestory.com/marvel_time.html.(Article /Opinion )

Props.

I agree.
(For the most part)

Marvel wrote themselves an out with the premiere of Exiles.

They could split their Stories in two,... Continuing the Stories of 616 in a 2/1 ratio, and start "Younger Stories" in Another Universe.

No cross overs.

So we get to see Franklin Grow up,... Doc Strange become the Ancient one, Tony Stark Die of an STD.

While the "Same Stories" that make them there money continue in the new Universe.
 
Short answer: No. Everyone loves Uncanny X-Men more than GeNext. Everyone loved the 616 more than 2099. Everyone preferred the Teen Titans to the Titans Tomorrow.

It's part of the genre. It's part of what we like about superheroes. I swear, some people just want to find things to ***** about. Superman needs to be based on quantum physics. Spider-Man could be more realistic. Time needs to move forward.

Just enjoy the comics and quit tying your brain in a pretzel about how realistic it is. IT'S FICTION. IT'S ESCAPISM.
 
That's a fine line of thinking that gives us such wonderful ideas as Brand New Day and Decimation and, yes that's right, Flash: Rebirth. It's great to shrug it all away with the "Well it's it's just escapism" excuse until that escapism becomes maddeningly cyclical and regressive and has to justify it with out-of-character devil/chaos/fear demon magic. Readers say "Ugh, I wish writers wouldn't go back to these old ideas all the time" in the same breath that they say "No, I never want characters to move forward!" and it's almost comical, no pun intended

Because make no mistake: characters cannot move forward if they can't age. There's no such animal. There's no having it both ways. There's no perpetually-twenty-five year old hero that isn't utterly static, which forces the writers to come up with arbitrary and cuckolded status quo changes in order to fake a semblance of growth. And we readers will recognize such an obvious tactic and ***** about it, but still buy it all in truckloads anyway.

And comparing the desire for superpowers to make sense or whatever to the desire for characters to age is a forced comparison at best. The former is a technical detail. The latter is a narrative one.
 
Short answer: No. Everyone loves Uncanny X-Men more than GeNext. Everyone loved the 616 more than 2099. Everyone preferred the Teen Titans to the Titans Tomorrow.

It's part of the genre. It's part of what we like about superheroes. I swear, some people just want to find things to ***** about. Superman needs to be based on quantum physics. Spider-Man could be more realistic. Time needs to move forward.

Just enjoy the comics and quit tying your brain in a pretzel about how realistic it is. IT'S FICTION. IT'S ESCAPISM.

The problem is that having ageless heroes works for a while but eventually you run out of original tales. I mean how many stories can be written about a twenty year old spidey before you start coming up with silly lame hooks to attract interest. Resurrections, retcons, convoluted crossovers and OMD/BND all seem to be signs that the writers don`t know what to do with spider-man. I mean what is the current plan with the spidey titles? It seems to be write it like the 70s spidey and hope to god that by a freak chance it ends up being the same as the 70s stories. If you have that heroes can age then you allow a vaster range of stories, spidey could marry, have kids and begin to come to terms with becoming a parent and being middle-aged.

We all love our heroes from indiana jones to john mcclane from spider-man to the hulk but to have the heroes living out a million repeats while never aging or chnaging at all just to make us feel warm and secure is foolish. We all have favorite actors and bands but we have to accept that they age and fall out of fashion. Yesterdays timothy daltons and duran durans hand over the gauntlet to todays MCR and Daniel Craigs. In comics that doesn`t happen, we just see the same characters in pretty much the same situations. Now i don`t want spidey to live on the moon or something silly to make his situation different. Just having him age at the same rate as us would provide enough stories to make so that they would never run out of ideas.

Whereas if spidey never ages, will spidey still be fresh and cutting edge if he is still dating mary jane and living with aunt may in 2050. I mean they are already falling into the trap of making things tame and safe. They brought harry osborne back just to make it like the old days, why can`t peter have another best friend? What new unusual stories can you write with a resurrected harry osborne?

Also I dare one person to explain to me how magneto will be as powerful a character once they stop using the holocaust as his backstory. Which they will as he will one day be too old to be alive and have been in the holocaust.
You take the holocaust out of magneto and he looses the depth behind his motivations. He will revert to the way he was before they came up with the holocaust backstory, a moustache twirling 2-dimensional *****e.
 
That's a fine line of thinking that gives us such wonderful ideas as Brand New Day and Decimation and, yes that's right, Flash: Rebirth. It's great to shrug it all away with the "Well it's it's just escapism" excuse until that escapism becomes maddeningly cyclical and regressive and has to justify it with out-of-character devil/chaos/fear demon magic. Readers say "Ugh, I wish writers wouldn't go back to these old ideas all the time" in the same breath that they say "No, I never want characters to move forward!" and it's almost comical, no pun intended

Because make no mistake: characters cannot move forward if they can't age. There's no such animal. There's no having it both ways. There's no perpetually-twenty-five year old hero that isn't utterly static, which forces the writers to come up with arbitrary and cuckolded status quo changes in order to fake a semblance of growth. And we readers will recognize such an obvious tactic and ***** about it, but still buy it all in truckloads anyway.

And comparing the desire for superpowers to make sense or whatever to the desire for characters to age is a forced comparison at best. The former is a technical detail. The latter is a narrative one.

Exactly.
 
Marvel's fear of change? This is the company that's killed Captain America and had superheroes fighting each other for the past two years, with no sign of it ending.

Just because Marvel screws up on Spider-Man doesn't mean they always screw up; Marvel is doing a lot of things right...maybe it's time to explore other titles?
 
The thing is, this is a problem that all of Western comics face. Marvel, DC, and probably others.

Have all of Image comics aged in real time? Because I can tell you, INVINCIBLE has been going strong for over 51 issues and Mark's still 18 years old and a freshman in college. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of growth in that story and 3rd part companies like Image and Dark Horse have more leeway than Marvel & DC because they're smaller fish; 4% of the industry on a good month (each). Has SPAWN aged? I have no clue.

It's a Western comics thing, which I think comes from taking comics for granted for so long and allowing the commercialism to overwhelm the artistry. Japan has a lot of commercial stuff with their manga and anime but they started that as an alternative to Walt Disney in the 20th century. Much as the original Fantastic Four were an "answer" to old school superhero books of the Golden Age, so was manga and anime, at least in theory.

80 years later and our cartoons still focus on talking animals geared for children.

In a way, that is why I can respect Archie. It's timeless but there are no illusions and no false promises.

Still, it is what it is. Obsess too much about this stuff and it becomes very hard to enjoy the big two. At the very least without becoming very cynical and bitter, which frankly a lot of fans are (with good reason).

The short answer is the "Marvel Time" paradox won't destroy Marvel. The core objective of the Joe Q era was to set up Marvel to gain enough capital from licensing characters out that if the comic sales plummet, they still will be in the black. They've succeeded in that, for the most part. The dilemma of "always selling to the same fans forever" is there, but on the other hand, quite often the kids that start reading comics do because their parents did. That's at least how I started (my mom literally dated an inker for G.I. JOE in the 80's).
 
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Just make them all a 60's period piece and write stories until the end of time.


:doom: :doom: :doom:
 
Just make them all a 60's period piece and write stories until the end of time.
How nice would it be to see superhero movies that take place in the 70s.. I can imagine lots of amazing soundtracks..
 

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