I've made no bones in the past about the fact that, when it comes to superhero comics, I'm a Marvel zombie.
However, in the upcoming post-Secret Wars environment, the Marvel Universe portion of my pull-list has been dramatically reduced (sure I'm still taking every one of their Star Wars titles).
My choices were guided by Marvel's (unhelpful) preview magazine (pictured above), which is basically a series of full-page cover shots, listing the writers and artists on working on the title, and summing up each new comic with a single ,'pithy', catch phrase (e.g. "Ultimate problems need Ultimate solutions" for Ultimates #1; "Your neighborhood just got bigger" for Amazing Spider-Man #1; "Seeing red..." for Scarlet Witch #1 etc)
So, come October - when Secret Wars and its tie-ins come to an end and the new Marvel Universe kicks off - that portion of my pull-list has been reduced to:
- Ms Marvel
- Doctor Strange
- Howard The Duck
- Agents Of SHIELD
- Amazing Spider-Man
- Spider-Man 2099
- Web Warriors
A mere 13 titles (of which eight are Spider-Verse-related)!
The most noticeable disappearance is the Marvel Cosmic titles. I've simply grown tired of the Avengers-ification of Guardians Of The Galaxy by Bendis & Co, whose idea of cosmic story-telling is simply relocating an Avengers storyline to space.
Sadly, it had become a pale shadow of its former golden age when Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning were running the show (a dynamic duo who truly grasped the wide canvas of cosmic story telling), and there are too many other better comics out there - from other publishers - that I could be spending my money on.
As much of a Marvel zombie as I am, I'm not going to continue pouring good money away on sub-standard titles (based on past glories) on the off-chance that things might improve.
And, yes, I am bitter about the axing of the Fantastic Four (my all-time favourite team) from the Marvel line-up.
Of course, for all the bemoaning the trimming of my Marvel titles, DC Comics are down to just two: Batman and Gotham By Midnight.
The bulk of my pull-list now (you can see the full list over in the left-hand column of the blog, below the link to my comic supplier - Paradox Comics in Poole) is made of titles from publishers like Archie, IDW, Dark Horse, Dynamite and Space Goat Publishing, and tend to be more pulp, sci-fi and horror-orientated.
Ultimately these days, when it comes to the Big Two (Marvel & DC), I get more engaging superhero stories from their film and TV outings, which I why I no longer feel as though I'm "missing out" if I don't follow every single comic book storyline anymore.
While this is great for my bank balance (as well as my sanity) - and I love having live-action superheroes on both the big and small screen - I hope the pendulum swings back eventually and the quality of comic book superhero storytelling at the Big Two improves to such a degree that I want to pick up more titles again.