Just thinking.

§ August 22nd, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Just thinking.

I was pondering the whole delayed Civil War thing and the importance of timing for DC and Marvel’s crossover events, when I was reminded of Secret Wars II.

In the Iron Man series at the time (and I’m going from memory, so forgive the vagueness of details), there was a big lead-up to a final confrontation between Tony Stark, who had given up on being Iron Man, and some arch-nemesis or another, which was going to result in the debut of a new suit of Iron Man armor…but would it be Tony inside? The big reveal was going to be in the double-sized issue #200…but, oops, Secret Wars II #5 came out first and blew the secret.

Civil War has managed to avoid this, more or less, even though there was that bit of dialogue in an issue of Thunderbolts that blew the Spider-Man I.D. reveal from Civil War #2, but that was because Thunderbolts was sent out to retailers the week before as part of the Marvel preview pack, and not because of a shipping delay.

And the point of all this is not to slam on Civil War, but, instead…remember when it used to be a big deal when Iron Man got a new suit of armor? I sorta miss those days.

Okay, now I’m going to slam on Civil War, but just a little.

One of the defenses for the Civil War delay that I’ve been seeing is the importance of maintaining the consistency of the creative team. And, you know, that’s fine. Shame it mucked up the shipping schedule so much, but I can understand. But the defense given here:

“On another board, Bryan Hitch correctly pointed out that nobody today really remembers the four-month wait between ‘Dark Knight Returns’ #2 and #3 – heck, most of the people reading this likely first read that story as a collected edition. And that’s because the work is strong, and has stood the test of time. It wasn’t compromised simply to meet the monthly schedule, and as a result, DC and the retailers will be able to sell it forever.”

…Well, a company-wide crossover series, designed to propel an editorially-mandated direction for a shared universe, isn’t really the same thing as a mini-series where the creator’s particular vision is sort of the point. (And Dark Knight‘s lateness didn’t take the rest of the company’s output with it.)* Ultimately, it doesn’t much matter if the creative team remains consistent throughout a crossover series…it’s nice if it does, but it didn’t hurt Infinite Crisis any to have a few fill-in artists, and I doubt it would have hurt Civil War any. It may have been worth saving the grief Marvel is getting from fans and retailers if they’d gone ahead and had a few pages by another artist in Civil War…and let’s face it, there are plenty of fans who wouldn’t even have noticed. (Though, as Tom pointed out, it’s not like the fans aren’t going to buy it anyway, whenever it does come out.)

And, unlike Dark Knight, if a Civil War trade paperback is even still in print a decade or so from now, it’ll probably sell as well as DC’s Zero Hour trade paperback does right now, and probably be about as relevant. (See also….)

* EDIT: Just noticed Michileen Martin had made a similar point in response to Alan David Doane’s take on the matter.

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