Can All-New, All-Different Marvel Feel Too Different?
All-New, All-Different Marvel is a 2015 branding for Marvel Comics combining the 616 universe and the Ultimate Universe. A big thing about this move is that like Marvel NOW and All-New Marvel NOW comes that push for change to bring about fresh stories for old and new readers. A way to make these characters and books accessible to fans again. But the question here is how far you can push along an initiative like All-New, All-Different Marvel before that different becomes too much? This is the point of view from someone who would be skeptical of what these 60 new titles have to offer when released later this year.
Now off the bat this sounds like another case of this guy hates change. Though that is far from the case with this piece. Marvel NOW and All-New Marvel NOW brought about many big changes that someone like me could get into intensely. Yet with All-New, All-Different Marvel that hype is not there like it was before. A lot of what was done with those first couple waves of books set a path for some stories that you thought would milestone for specific characters that could span for years. And suddenly just when you’re getting used to it all, everything gets shaken up to the point that you don’t recognize a good number of books you supported creatively. After that, don’t you believe someone has the right to be even the slightest bit skeptical about picking up that first issue? Many want to say wait till that first issue is in your hands, but like anything else they revealed these titles looking to get you planning ahead as to what you will add to your pull-list. That means it’s your money and what you put it towards matters because it will tell Marvel what works for readers and what does not.
Spider Woman is now pregnant, Galactus is now part of the Ultimates that we used to know as the Mighty Avengers, A.I.M. is now a branch of the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four, Guardians of The Galaxy and Inhumans somehow just went through their own version of the NFL Draft. This only being just a taste of what you now have to get used to amongst 60 other titles that come out of nowhere. Many you thought of to have been able to predict based on how the 616 Universe ended or how Secret Wars has progressed between the main storyline and the tie-ins, but majority of these titles come out of left field.
Now with that said, there are different that you can get with. The diversity and smart use of the younger heroes is something to appreciate. Ultimates is a title we should still have, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man as Miles, Silk, Spider-Man 2099, All-New X-Men, and so forth. These titles give us two things that we need to see more of and that should of course stand out more than the other titles announced. Aside from this we have characters who step up or are doing something a bit more appealing and you have to say about time. Those being X-23, Peter Parker, Doctor Strange and Sam Wilson: Captain America just to name those that stick out. Doctor Strange personally needs to be mentioned because it hits that supernatural/fantasy appeal that Marvel has been lacking for some time and Marvel is surprisingly the only notable publisher lacking in that area right now.
They only fail in that area above when it comes to the X-Men. None of these X-books center on any of the new students. They teased that they had a future in the Marvel Universe and even though Uncanny X-Men #600 will explain that, that’s still months away. That is a problem because looking at these new titles all those new people are gone. Not on the covers or even described to be there. Marvel just shuffled up the teams and served you something “new”, only All-New X-Men is excused. I didn’t see Quentin anywhere. Or Evan, Eva and Idie who are important characters. All capable of being decent heroes and nowhere to be seen unless forced into the roles of students again. If that is the case, Marvel hates the X-Men. Some say this and it will be said here because you are supposed to sell us on the state of their world post-Secret Wars and things don’t look very hopeful as a world you want to continue investing your time in. Especially when a certain BIG founding X-Man’s fate is in question after the most recent issue of Secret Wars because it goes without saying that he was not seen on any X-book cover for a team or even given a solo series. So different in terms of the X-Men? It’s as if you were reading something completely different only months before. Pretty drastic compared to the other titles.
The only titles that can really get away with being that different aside from those stated above are the Avengers titles. It is 2015 and there are too many heroes that deserve the spotlight now given to them in the All-New All-Different Avengers. The original roster is aging heroes and the one thing we give credit to Marvel for is the fact that their character change with the times, so the big team book needs to reflect that and it does. If there’s any book for a new reader that you would recommend out of those 600 it should firstly be the Avengers book because even just the characters a part of that title have solo titles you should be reading as well. So you are getting the best of both worlds and for some time might forget about what disappoints you about the rest of the world.
So again, different isn’t bad. Change isn’t bad. Though that does not mean there isn’t a line you cross where you will lose people in how different their favorite titles are just because that is the kind of world you are aiming for. Things are different because the 616 and Ultimate Universe are now one. Things are different because we need to hit a larger audience and offer more books that readers have the option to read and enjoy. When things get this different and messy, you have to wonder if you will ever be able to navigate your way around a world that feels like they threw darts at a board hoping to see what sticks after the first couple months.