Marvel Comics makes a puzzling announcement a bit out of left-field today. Announcing another line-wide reboot for the publisher. Marvel’s “Fresh Start” promises a jumping on point for new readers and a tonal shift for all titles, including new creative teams. The relaunch is supposed to begin in May 2018.
Not even a year into Marvel Legacy, here we are with yet another relaunch for Marvel. Certainly losing Brian Michael Bendis and Axel Alonso weren’t in Marvel’s plans, but did these two sudden changes cause the publisher to pull the plug and start again? Certainly Marvel could recover from losing a legendary but stale voice in Bendis. Perhaps new EIC C.B. Cebulski wanted to seize the opportunity to mold the line in his specific vision.
One thing is for sure, this is the new norm. It’s actually been this way for a long time, but this shift solidifies the yearly relaunch as the only way Marvel knows how to sell comics anymore. Marvel Legacy accomplished exactly what it set out to do for the most part. It was a course correction for the 616 universe and realignment of their cornerstone titles.
There’s been actual buzz in the comic book communities about what’s happening in Marvel Comics rather than what’s happening to them. Legacy brought us back to heroes versus villains in the classic spectrum, rather than the stale hero versus hero concept that has plagued Marvel since the success of Civil War. None of that matters now as we see that Marvel has already moved on, hoping we’ll all follow along once again.
Not only will the Legacy banner be removed from their line of comics, but apparently the numbering as well. Just to make it nearly impossible for anyone less than a “hardcore” reader to follow along, the numbering will revert to “Pre-Legacy” numbering.
The first title to be announced is Avengers #1 by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness. That’s a stellar creative team and a promising looking cover but how excited can we be for a new #1 knowing it’ll be cancelled or rebooted before it hits twelve issues?
It’s not easy being a loyal Marvel fan these days, the publisher continues to alienate their loyal readers in pursuit of the mysterious “new readers” they can never seem to actually reel-in with these constant relaunches. Perhaps Marvel should overhaul their PR and Marketing departments rather than their comics line.
This announcement holds some promise by way of stories and characters, but at what cost? “Fresh Start” is a firm “f*ck you” to retailers and readers.