And so we who still read Marvel's comics of today bid a sad farewell from our ranks to the Fortress Keeper, and we hope that one day Marvel will put out new stories that he can enjoy like they once did. But this left me wondering, why don't I give up on Marvel?
I'm distinctly aware of the fact I'm not happy with a lot of what they've done lately. Just since the start of the year I've dropped Ultimate X-Men, Wolverine, Sensational Spdier-Man, and Wolverine:Origins after just 1 issue. New Avengers is on my chopping block. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man isn't friendly, and I'm actually grateful to Civil War for the simple fact it made JMS stop writing magic-themed Spidey stories. And yet, it's never even crossed my mind that it might be time to stop giving Joey Q my money. Heck, I'm a lot closing to telling DC to take "long walk" and "short pier", add a dash of "man-eating sharks", and mix well. But I think it relates to timing (brief sports analogy, bear with me).
I have a tendency (maybe you do too) to remain faithful to things from my childhood. My football team of choice is the Arizona Cardinals. Been that way for twelve years. Since that time, I've followed numerous other teams, usually because of some player I liked. I was a Chiefs fan, then they let Rich Gannon go the Oakland, so I rooted for Oakland. I watched Buffalo because of Doug Flutie, then San Diego. I've followed Rickey Proehl from Chicago to St. Louis to Carolina. All those team alliegances were damaged by me knowing it's a business, and teams don't care about loyalty, and so why should I be loyal to a team, if they're just going to dump a player because he's too expensive? Better to simply follow the players I like and hope for their teams to do well. But through all that, I've stuck with Arizona, because when I started rooting for them, I didn't know this was how the NFL worked, and so even though I know it now, the intial anchor is still set firmly in a simpler past.
And that's the difference between Marvel and DC. Marvel's been a fixture for me since 1987. Even all the crap of the '90s (Clone Saga, 17 million giant X-Crossovers) didn't destroy my preference for Marvel over those "lame" heroes at DC, who'd I'd first seen in the early '90s from my dad's comics from the '60s (what? I didn't know Superman of 1963 was any different from Superman of 1993). Because when I think of Marvel, the memories that dominate are from the time before all that. I didn't start reading DC on a monthly basis until 2000. By that time I knew all about characters being killed to spike sales, selling the same comic five times, only with different covers, characters being changed on a whim to try and make them "trendier". So I look at DC with that more jaded eye, always, because that's the only DC I've ever bought. I'm aware that's it's equally true for Marvel, but I remember reading their comics when it wasn't, and so I hold tight to that.
Cripes, I'm now old enough to have nostalgia. Where's my Social Security check?