Its all over for Marvel.

There's a big battle brewing for Marvel, and its not just a Super Bowl wager.  Marvel is counting down to a new Secret Wars event which will in turn lead to Marvel rebooting its continuity.  This, of course, has lead to much wailing and gnashing of teeth from fans who are quite reboot weary.  The weariness comes from DC Comics being on their, I think, fourth reboot at this point.  This has a lot of fan looking sideways at this and there's still a bit of a bitter air about DC's last reboot which has gotten mixed reviews.

Let's break this on down.

For those new to this concept, a "reboot" is a resetting of the continuity in a fictional world.  This sounds crazy on the surface as one would wonder why you want to ignore stories and risk alienating long time fans.  People spent time and money reading these stories.  They're invested.  But now that investment doesn't matter?

It does matter, but there's a case to be made for reboots and they are necessary on occasion.


* If there is confusion as to continuity.  I'm not just talking about a subject in the continuity that someone can read up on.  If the question is "What happened to Mister Awesome?" and the answer is "Well, this happened to him.  It was in (insert title of storyline here).  You can check it out in (name the trade or the issue numbers here)." then you don't have a problem.  However, if the question is "What happened to Mister Awesome?" and the reply is "Do you mean the main Mister Awesome, the Extreme World Mister Awesome, or the one from the other dimension that's currently being Mister Awesome while Mister Awesome is presumed dead but is really lost in the multiverse with a genetically altered chinchilla?" there may be cause for concern.

* You're planning on incorporating something you've acquired into your main continuity.  Companies merge.  Each have characters that would work great together.  Parallel Earth team-ups are starting to get played out, and it time to properly get everyone in the same sandbox.

*Time has marched on.  If characters have a specific tie to a specific ear they can get dated, and that gets awkward.  Superheroes tend to have fountain of youth going for them, but even that fountain can't explain away a disco inspired wardrobe for a character that couldn't have been born in the 70s.


DC rebooted everything in the mid-80s with their CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.  At the time DC had a lot going on.  Their main characters existed on "Earth 1".  Their Golden Age characters existed on "Earth 2".  Captain Marvel and his buddies had their own Earth as did Blue Beetle and the characters he shared a world with.  That's a lot for keep straight.

So, they had one big event to bring everything together.  George Perez drew just about every character DC every had at some point.  Its a classic story, and well worth reading.  

But the relaunch had a couple of flaws here and there at to the new continuity.  Its a huge undertaking with multiple creative teams that really need to be coordinated with each other.  So, years later DC released ZERO HOUR to try to smooth over some of these issues.  The whole point was to try to streamline things, and it worked for the most part.

Characters moved on and the Silver Age heroes passed torches to a newer generation.  Unfortunately, some people didn't like that and they somehow ended up being in charge.  There ended up being more changes which culminated in FLASHPOINT and THE NEW 52.  This went down because the powers that be at DC wanted their Silver Age heroes back in the saddle and Jim Lee could now bring in his Wildstorm properties over.  It hasn't gone very well. There was an initial sales bump, but  things are waning.  

The reboot just seemed too forced, and the execution on the follow up was kind of haphazard.  Also, some real fan favorite characters got written out.  Fans of Stephanie Brown or Wally West were left shrugging their shoulders.


There's been a lot brewing with Marvel as to build up to SECRET WARS.  Jonathan Hickman's runs on AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS have been leading up to this directly.  The storyline has been really great.  I haven't felt this gripped by a storyline since Morrison's Batman epic.  The real question is: why is Marvel rebooting everything now?

Marvel released an alternative "Ultimate" line of comics years ago, and they've been a success.  The continuity for the main Marvel Universe and the Ultimate universe are different, and both have their merits.  In fact the Marvel movies have drawn from both as source material.  There's also been other alternate realty stories that have gone on and there's some fondness for some of the characters that have appeared there, but not in the main continuities.

Remember what I said above about why you should consider a reboot?  Marvel is there.  If you ask about Captain America, you're needing to be more specific.  Also, let's look at the Punisher and Ironman.  Those are two characters who have their origins linked to America's adventures in southeast Asia.  Punisher is a Vietnam War veteran.  So, that would make him around 60 now.  Nick Fury is in his nineties easily.

Time has moved on, and some things are needing a polishing.  So, this reboot I'm all for.  


Yeah, everyone else has sounded off, and I'm following the herd.  Moo.

* Ironman being more hero and less villain.  Seriously, he's been shady as hell since that awful CIVIL WAR comic.  It would be nice to put all that behind us and have him back as a proper hero.

* Miles Morales and Nick Fury from the Ultimate universe being in proper Marvel.  These characters are well liked and interesting.  There's plenty of room for them.

* Cyclops not being creepy and Jean Grey not dying over and over and over again.

* New Universe stuff!  Hickman worked the White Event into his line and its was an interesting take on things.  That and I have all the old PSI-FORCE comics and I still think Wayne Tucker was cool.

*That One More Day business being gone forever and ever.  Seriously.  That was just dumb.  I'd even be cool with resetting Spidey back to his high school days.  

* Deadpool not existing.  Yeah, I know that's not going to happen.  I just don't like Deadpool.

That's pretty much it.  I think we've got some really great writers over at Marvel right now, and they'll do a great job with the relaunch.  Just as long as they don't make it a habit.

Mixed feeling on 2014

Its weird for me looking back on last year.

On one side there people going apeshit and screaming "racism" about everything police do to the point that officers are getting threatened and two were murdered.  Never mind the staggering amount of evidence showing no racial components about the two big incidents and so much cognitive dissidence that one has the wonder if the "hands up, don't shoot" people were shipped in from a parallel dimension.

We lost a lot of really talented people in entertainment, and while it doesn't seem terribly important in the grand scheme of things, these were people who made a lot of people laugh ad feel great good with their performances.  The world could really use Robin Williams right now.

We wrapped the year up with that horrible tragedy of people losing their loved ones with a plane crashing into the ocean.

It just seemed like bad news, following bad news, following people can be really stupid, followed by bad news.

On a personal note: everything is freaking great.

Seriously, I had a pretty awesome year.  I put out a comic funded by a successful Kickstarter.  I got promoted to 6th degree black belt and got made a renshi.  I managed to stay employed and the family is still eating and have a roof over their heads.  I got a lot of blessings this year.

It actually leaves me with a feeling of guilt.

A lot of people want 2014 to go away and never be heard from again.  I want to kick as much ass this year as I did last year.

Ultimately, it boils down to a personal level.  I can't change the fact that tragedies happen.  I can't make people stop listen to idiots like Al Sharpton and those who would incite people just for their own personal gain.

What I can do is keep putting out content and hope people enjoy it.  I can keep teaching karate and hope that my students benefit from what I teach.  I can try to be positive even when things suck.

So I'm just going to keep calm and make comics/do karate/keep working.

Because its what we can do that matters.