November 20, 2012
Bundled Extra: Marvel Reveals Nature Of Next Crossover
I didn't see this bit of publishing news
by the time I posted "Bundled" this morning: Marvel
will orient its next "event" series around the robot bad guy Ultron
created by Roy Thomas
and John Buscema
. That head with the horrifying-looking mouth makes for one of the more underrated designs in the Marvel catalog of characters.
There's a bunch of not-exactly earth-shattering stuff that you can point out with something like this. I suppose it's news that Marvel is sticking by an event-series philosophy. I think it makes sense -- that strategy remains a natural extension of today's marketplace reality concerning "people want to be told which comics are important and that they need to buy." I imagine DC
will slowly reorient themselves in that direction if they haven't already started down that path.
What else? I like Ultron. Ultron's an interesting villain for Marvel in that despite his 1960s origins he functions more like a 1970s character in terms of the "increased stakes" thing that the publisher had going on at that time with the ninjas and the people shooting each other. A big, scary-looking bad guy made of steel pounding you to death has a visceral oomph to it you don't get from, I don't know, Count Nefaria
. Marvel loves two sequences above maybe all others: The Big Fight (two heavyweights finally going toe to toe) and The Underdog Survives (a minor character surviving or beating someone in a much heavier weight class), and Ultron provides both of those things. Ultron has kind of a classic feel, too, in that he fits squarely into the proud Marvel tradition of Bellowing Thugs
while holding an honorary membership in that company's equally esteemed lineage of Cackling Dicks
. He even offers a halfway decent thematic hook if you want one. What's not to like? That is one useful robot.
The fact that Marvel is loading a bunch of these comics into March may be indicative of both a perception that the audience's attention span is limited and that month-to-month sales and market share victories are still important to those publishers.
posted 5:10 pm PST
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