New era in more ways than one at Marvel?

Axel Alonso’s promotion to editor-in-chief at Marvel slipped me by. Still, I cannot understand anyone actually defending outgoing Quesada’s reign as EIC at Marvel….any rebounding of company fortunes has more to do with the shrewd handling of the film franchise rights of Marvel properties rather than any outstanding work done on the actual comics for the main part. Even beyond the large picture stuff like allowing Bendis to almost singlehandedly destroy the X-Men material with House of M as well as the string of Avengers-centric mega-event fiascos that followed, the man was responsible for some pretty odious stuff like his support of the Greg Land Formerly Known as an Artist(tm) (complete with hilarious admission of his light box mastery.) Most importantly, and the biggest bugbear for Spidey fans, his unleashing of One More Day/Brand New Day was one of the most spectacularly hamfisted (say would say childishly spiteful) attempts at retconning in the recent history of mainstream Western comics.

So, I guess the main point is that Axel Alonso can hardly do any worse. A lot of people point to his tenure as X-Men editor, but the majority of the damage was already done before he took over and its clear Marvel’s focus has shifted from the X-Men as the main selling point for the company. There’s also a two-way feedback loop involved with the film projects, with the X-Men films generally seen as taking a hit in quality from X3 onwards and being propped up by Wolverine, which ironically used to be a strong, legitimate concern that was laid at the door of the comic properties. There is also suspicion that readers were burnt out on the mutant equality premise, which was rehashed so many times that it seemed near-necromantic.

Going forward post-Siege Marvel is making things simple with the Heroic Age material, and while reactions are mixed the approach is probably more beneficial for attracting new readers rather than stimulating the entrenched fanbase. Alonso will probably have his work cut out for him, and he is/was heavily involved in the HA conceptualization so this is an important test for the company going forward.

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