Huh, you know what I forgot to make a big deal out of yesterday? It was my 200th post. Oh well, I'll be more impressed if I'm still here after a year. Tomorrow morning, I'm leaving town for a few days, going back to Columbia to see my dad and my buddie Alex, with a brief stop in St. Loo to see my former roomies' house and get fitted for a tux. Why couldn't their wedding be informal dress? I hate tuxes. And what's up with all the bloggers going all over the place. Diamondrock, Kalinara, me, we're on the move. Oh right, Fourth of July. Or is it? Perhaps, as Alex would say, 'In the darkness, we are gathering'. Of course, all the Roman candles might make it hard to stay hidden, but I've badly digressed. So, with me not making any new blog posts between now and next Thursday (when I'll review my pull for the week), I wanted to leave you with something larger to discuss, as is my style. So here it is, because I just love hypotheticals, don't you know?
You are placed in charge of Marvel Comics for five minutes. I suppose I could make this any comics company, but I'd say the general consensus among people who read Marvel is, there need to be changes - badly. But, if you'd rather put this in action for DC or IDW or somebody, run with it. To continue: You have precisely enough time to issue one - and only one - edict, but it will be followed for the remainder of the company's days. And no, they can't simply shut down the company and restart it under a new name to get out from under your commandment. None of that "Buffy was clinically dead for three minutes, so a new Slayer got called, and this is how we have two Vampire Slayers" stuff. You can make a decision regarding anything, large of small. It can pertain to liscencing, whether movies, games, toys, cartoons. It can involve firing a certain person of the last name that begins with "Que". It can be putting a specific writer on a book (someone must be able to write Dr. Strange well), or taking a writer off a book (or books, if you want the person gone entirely). It can be to dictate storytelling policy because, in short, you have the Reality Gem, because here at Marvel, we don't need no stinking Whiny Brat Superboy to change the way things are! So what do you do?
I'm torn. I'd love to kick Bendis off New Avengers, and give it to Tony Bedard. Or simply state that everything from the beginning of Disassembled forward is out of continuity, and to be ignored, except Annihilation, which is good. But here's what I'm going to decree:
Two book maximum for all characters within the 616 universe. I know Marvel doesn't have the stable of characters that DC does, but damnit, there's people there who can be used (even more assuming one of you retcons out House of M and we get assloads of mutants back)! So, no character may have a prominent role in more than two books. I will count against them out-of universe exceptions, such as the MC2, Marvel Adventures, and Ultimates lines, though those have their own limits as well (just in case). I will allow a character a maximum of three guest spots per year (that's for all titles they aren't already in, not per title). Basically, I'm tired of over-exposure, and if the books are written well enough, and accessibly enough, I think people will buy them, whether or not "SUPER KEWL SPIDER-MAN AND WOLVERINE ARE IN THE BOOK!". Maybe I'm overestimating our intelligence as comics' fans. So be it.
For example, you want Spider-Man to stay in New Avengers? Then he loses two of his solo titles (I'd say we keep Amazing just because I'm loathe to dump that comic title, with the history of it). He's not going to be in New Avengers? OK, then he can have Friendly or Sensational back, and you give his spot to someone like Nova or Chamber (suggestions made by Spencer Carnage and Kelvin Green back in the early days of this blog), or Speedball, since Nova's in space right now. Same deal with Wolverine. This way, some of the lesser known characters get used for something other than simply cannon fodder in the Next Big Event (damn you Quesada! I loved The New Warriors! Why, you bastard, WHY!!). Who knows, maybe you find a writer that really makes them great, and they become more than a character with a small cult following? Maybe the public at large would grow to understand the awesomeness that is Moon Knight? Or The Shroud? Or. . . or, The Sentry? Just kidding, I wanted to see if you had given up on reading and gone straight to commenting. You are going to make an edict and place it in the comments, right?
OK, clearly I've run out of steam, so let me close by phrasing this suggestion in a way the fellows currently running the show at the House of Ideas can understand: If you make your lesser known and used characters more beloved, by a greater number of people, then it will have a much greater impact when you . . . get around to killing them for the Next Big Event. Does it make sense to you now, you pea-brained little minnows?
Peace out! I heading for the West Side! Even though Alex lives on the East Side! And my dad lives on the North Side! So where the hell am I going!?