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  1. #1
    Member theflyingfrogunderdog's Avatar
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    Default Have Marvel comics changed for the better or worse?

    Marvel comics have changed.

    I'm an older comics fan who seriously collected many Marvel titles during the 1980's and also grew up with lots and lots of Marvel comics during the 1970's, so i'm pretty familiar with Marvel's characters during that time period when Marvel's characters were really defined, i think.

    Back then, Thor talked like this:

    "Verily, i say thee nay! Tis not befitting of Marvel to alter the way i speak. Methinks Marvel has changed the god of thunder too much!"

    And the Thing talked like this:

    "Ya bozos wanna take on the FF, yer gonna have to stop the ever lovin', blue eyed Thing first!"

    Where did the characterization go? Where are the distinctive ways of speaking?

    The characters i've read in Marvel comics in more recent years, are not the same characters. I find that i can't relate to the modern versions of Thor and the Thing, which sadly, makes me want to pass on buying Marvel comics altogether. Right now, i'd much rather buy OMAC and Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E on the DC side, At least, those are characters i don't know historically, and can relate to in a new way. I was really liking OMAC until it's cancellation, and who knows how long Frankenstein will last, but at least, i was able to enjoy a few titles that really had the excitement that i remember was in comics of the 70's and 80's. Maybe DC's superhero titles have that excitement too, but i've only been collecting those two titles that are mostly outside the DC superhero universe. Anyway, my point is, i can't relate to Marvel's characters because Thor, the Thing and Hercules in particular, have changed too much. During the scene where the torch dies in the FF, i didn't even realize that it was Ben Grimm trying to keep Johnny from sacrificing himself until after i had read most of the issue. Then i realized that it was Ben, but he wasn't talking like i remember from when i collected the FF during the 1980's. I have a complete Byrne run of FF, so i know how John Byrne made the Thing talk back during his run on the title, and it's not the same at all. If Marvel wants their characters to talk and act differently now, then they should start a "New 52" like DC has done. At least, then, i would be able to accept the characters as they are, and say to myself, this is a different universe with different versions of the characters i grew up with and have fond memories of. I could accept that and would like a change up like DC has done.

    Another thing that has changed is the Marvel corner box (or circle) hasn't been there in years. To me, a Marvel comic isn't really a Marvel comic without that.

    And also, all the decompression has made single issue reads far less interesting than used to be the case. I guess, to fully take in a Marvel story now, buying the TPB would be the way to go.

    And what about "The world's greatest comic magazine" ? Fortunately, Marvel realized the mistake of changing that and returned it to the tops of the covers of the FF comics.

    If i was in charge of Marvel, i would:

    Change the above things mentioned, and create an environment that the fans could be a part of, like existed during the 1960's, when Marvel was more of a clubhouse than a corporation. The bullpen and the fans being closely acquainted in a way that the fans feel like they're a part of a club. I think that sort of inclusiveness should return, especially in this internet age, where websites can be very interactive. Marvel could do a lot with their website to make it more of an interactive atmosphere that has a clubhouse feel to it (if anyone saw Elvira's Movie Macabre on TV before it was cancelled, you know what i'm talking about. It had a feel of inclusiveness to it...like you were part of something that was like a clubhouse rather than a corporation). I think Marvel could do a lot more in that regard, and their website could be a much more fun place to visit every month if they went in that direction more. Anyway, those are my thoughts that i've had for some time, and thought i'd share here. Sorry, if i'm beating a dead horse. I don't mean to bash Marvel, i just think that they could do so much more to make the Marvel experience a fun one, not just in the comics, but also at the Marvel.com website, too.

    This question is directed towards older fans first, but anyone of any age is welcome to voice your opinion on it. Do you prefer the older characterizations of Thor and the Thing? Or do you prefer the less characterized versions that are in Marvel comics today?

    Have Marvel comics changed for the better or worse?

  2. #2

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    Not to mention the great voices of Nightcrawler and Peter Rasputin in the old days. I miss great characterization.

  3. #3
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    Yes.

    No.

    Maybe.

    Affirmative.

    Take your pick.

  4. #4
    Member theflyingfrogunderdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kakaroach View Post
    Not to mention the great voices of Nightcrawler and Peter Rasputin in the old days. I miss great characterization.
    Yep...there's another example. IMO, this is laziness on Marvel's part. The writers and editors don't have to do their jobs if they can get away with it, which they have for years. But Marvel should be more professional and true to their classic characters. People claim that comics have evolved and are more mature and engaging than ever, but really, the characterization is an integral part of that, that shouldn't have been neglected like it has been. Marvel has dropped the ball and most of the fans are too easy to please, to care, i guess.

  5. #5
    Chaotically Neutral Monty_Cristo's Avatar
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    i don't care as long as at least one of my favorite characters is somewhere i can read about them.
    60% percent of the time, Ant-Man beats Doom every time

  6. #6
    Avengers Assemble! Telos's Avatar
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    There are still oases of good writing, you just have to search through a desert of mediocrity to find them.

    Read books by:
    Jeff Parker
    Dan Slott
    Cullen Bunn
    Rick Remender (except for his Captain Britain)
    Christopher Yost
    Kieron Gillen

    I agree with your general sentiment, though. The quality of writing has declined in the past two decades.

  7. #7
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    Characterization is up to the writer. It's not Marvel's problem, it's the writers' problem.
    Last edited by SpiderCrawler; 05-04-2012 at 08:22 PM.

  8. #8
    Thunder Crash Personamanx's Avatar
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    Yes, they have changed as everything should over time.

  9. #9
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    well the comics may suck, but at least theirs the movies. They can burn their comics line for all I care, its clear these so called Architects are only using Marvel to fund their own projects.

  10. #10
    Senior Member timeismoney's Avatar
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    I respect how you feel but people need to understand things change that's like me asking do y'all remember when gas was 98 cents. Sure it was good than but it don't mean nothing now. And if the character act like they did 20, 30 years ago that would not be character development say what you want but i feel comics are as good as ever. Sure you have your bad titles but the good ones are really good. this is just my two cent.
    Animals sense weakness, sharks smell blood in water
    Ishmael, Moses and Job, knew the divine order.

  11. #11
    Member theflyingfrogunderdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timeismoney View Post
    I respect how you feel but people need to understand things change that's like me asking do y'all remember when gas was 98 cents. Sure it was good than but it don't mean nothing now. And if the character act like they did 20, 30 years ago that would not be character development say what you want but i feel comics are as good as ever. Sure you have your bad titles but the good ones are really good. this is just my two cent.
    So, all accents should be no more? Is that really change for the better? The accents and ways that characters talk in the comics, are who they are. Take away the accents and you take away the characters. My two cents.

  12. #12
    THE SUPERIOR MEMBER! USERNAME TAKEN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timeismoney View Post
    I respect how you feel but people need to understand things change that's like me asking do y'all remember when gas was 98 cents. Sure it was good than but it don't mean nothing now. And if the character act like they did 20, 30 years ago that would not be character development say what you want but i feel comics are as good as ever. Sure you have your bad titles but the good ones are really good. this is just my two cent.
    Good points.

    Bringing up Thor is an interesting case because his speech patterns have varied with the writer. It's unrealistic to have a character sound the same for decades. Things change and so do our superheroes.

    If a superhero talks and sounds the way he/she exactly the same way for 20-30 years, then something is very, very wrong.
    Adults struggle desperately with fiction, demanding constantly that it conform to the rules of everyday life when the answer is obvious to the smallest child: because it's not real. - Grant Morrison

  13. #13
    T.S.O.T.I. Hulk_Is's Avatar
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    It pretty much depends on the writer. I'd like for the characters to sound at least close to the way they did when I was younger. But, many of today's writers (these writers also claim to have grown up on and read these stories) have clearly added their own spin on these classic characters - which haven't always been nearly as enjoyable.

    I remember Thor's voice growing up and there are some writers who've changed it up a bit (JMS, Kieron Gillen and Rob Robi for example), but they sort of retain the essence. But, I'm reading Mighty Thor right now and Matt Fraction's Thor had might as well be a Boston dockworker. I have to essentially ignore the characterization to enjoy the essences of the series.

    I've found that you have to take these modern characterizations in stride. I mean, when I was growing up and reading old Spidey comics you'd see that he was a nice guy and good for quips, but these days alot of these depictions have him just spouting one-liner after another. He really comes off like a wimp whereas in the past I never got that impression.

    There's also the case of the characters using today's lingo, but it's obvious that that's just how it has to be.

    Decompression versus the Old Testament

    The thing(s) I don't like about decompression is how uncreative it seems to make things.

    Back in the day, you'd often get really inventive and outlandish stories (see AvX:Vs #1 - Iron Man vs Magneto for a modern-day outlandish story ) and also inventive paneling. Decompression involves alot of talking heads, predictable splash pages, and very plain paneling. Yawn. Of course, you have your new millenium reader that claims that there are deeper characterizations going on between each panel than in the past. But, is that really true? With the way that an arc plays out these days and shorter lasting series' what do we really gain that makes modern-day stortelling any better than the past. It's a bit subjective probably.

    I do miss the magic outlandish going-ons in the pages of any given book. I miss magic Hulk stories.

    But, I do like how since there has been an increased TV/Film awarness it is reflected in the books. I know that some old-heads may not like this, but I do just because it gives the universe a slighty different feel. It sees alot of creativity coming from different places. I feel like it makes the MU feel richer for it.
    Marvel : Moon Knight, Savage Hulk (6/25), Original Sin (5/7)

    DC : Aquaman, Aquaman & the Others

  14. #14
    Elder Member mikekerrIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderCrawler View Post
    Characterization is up to the writer. It's not Marvel's problem, it's the writers' problem.
    It is the editors problem since the character does not belong to the writer it belongs to Marvel and will be around far longer than any writer or editor> it is valuable property not to be damaged at a writers whim.

    It seems like now editors don't even bother< when they make Cap a torture I guess that protecting the character is meaningless now. It is getting pretty hard to find folks that you can simply call a hero now in the MU, it is hard to find any that you can even call a decent human being.
    Pain shared is divided, joy shared is multiplied

  15. #15
    Junior Member Superleo's Avatar
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    agree with a lot of this thread. i found myself only subscribing to two marvel comics and a lot of image comics and DC lately, mostly image. the accents are there, the art is amazing and most of all the writting is top notch

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