Thursday, April 28, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Corporate comics, now more corporate than ever!

As reported on Newsarama, Marvel has set themselves up in the production of it’s film properties, linking to Paramount for distribution, thus allowing them more creative control of their licenses through film.

What jumped out at me was the mention of all the films being rated PG to PG13, for widest potential audience share.

Now, I may be off base here, as I’m no expert, but the bottom line here seems to be that Marvel has more focus and clout in the movie biz, which means the comics or print division will become even more corporate/editorial driven, even more of a feeder line for the movie properties. Which is a bad thing for the comics, and the move of titles from Max to Marvel Knights, only further illustrates this. Titles who’s very nature were in telling more mature stories, are being toned down to fit into the movie production, PG-13, family-friendly mold.

Good for Marvel. Bad for comics readers.


Anonymous said...

I did read about Marvel's deal with Paramount.

That news item was posted about the same time as the one announcing that Marvel and Stan Lee had announced they had reached a settlement regarding their own suit. For the record, Stan was suing Marvel for share of profits derived from the movies and merchandising of Marvel's characters (which I'm sure Stan will believe to his last breath that he created on his own. Ditko and Kirby problable were only there to clean Stan's brushes and sharpen his pencils). But, that's a whole other story!

My guess is that this Paramount deal may have included settling up with Stan, who knows?

As for your lament, Jason, that this deal will make Marvel 'even more corporate/editorial driven', well, can it be even more so now?! For years now they've been calling themselves Marvel Characters. Jeez, you go on their website and the publishing is just one of the things they do, and not the main one! They are so high on the fact that they have 1000's of character's to exploit (who the hell wants to see a Dazzler movie!?). But they've already sold off some of their mainstays (Spidey, X-Men, FF, Daredevil,Hulk) to other studios!

As for your lament that you'll see even less 'mature' stories from the Max line, well........

Look, PG13 does get you a wider audience. But , which classic Marvel characters need an 'R' rating? Nothing I read from Marvel growing up needs an 'R' rating spin (except maybe Tomb of Dracula'). Now, some of the newer properties might, but what can one do? Look, I'm not a fan of Marvel's adult line anyway (although I did read that Squadron Supreme comic). When DC created the Vertigo line, that really gave comics a Mature Readers imprint. When Marvel does a 'mature' comic it just looks like a juvenile attempt for T&A.

I find it retarded how little or ridiculous the differences between the various line' are. MAX can be full on hardcore, right? But, Marvel Knight's is 'edgier' than regular Marvel? So, Marvel books aren't edgy, right. Hear that fans: Marvel books are dull and safe and square! Marvel Knights is hipper, edgier! Oh, but little kids, regular Marvel is a little too rough for you. So, read Marvel Adventures! (or are they called Marvel Age?!?!). And I guess the Ultimate line is for newer (or younger) fans who don't want to be tied down to continuity in books like X-Men or Spidey. Hear that folks: regular Marvel books are convoluted and bogged down with decades of history! Don't read them! But on the other hand, to make sure the regular Marvel books don't stay convoluted, they restart the books with new #1 issues!?!?

Ugh. What a mess! Leave it to Marvel, the 'House of Ideas'!

Anyways, l wanna see the FF film! I can only pray that it captures some of the fun I got out the books I read growing up when they were produced by the original creators: Stan AND Jack. Sigh.........

Jason, by the way, I find your TSL very entertaining and informative. You certainly got your eyes and ears attuned to all the relevant comic news! Thanks for providing us with The Shit List!! :)


Jason Martin said...


You posted as anonymous, so after reading about half way through I scanned to the bottom and saw it was you, Mr. Hernandez.

Thanks for posting!

Yeah, on your points...

Dazzler THE MOVIE, can't wait for that one...

Max vs MK, well, you are right, I don't advocate R rated traditional Marvel characters... most the books they've put there work that way though (HTD, Luke Cage, Pun, Fury, etc.)... I just hate to see books intended for that format, Supreme Power, Shana, get toned down. Kids don't read comics, who are you toning it down for? (I know, it's a corporate thing)

Great take on the mess that is the various lines, love how you illustrate the contradictions of it! HA!
This is exactly why Marvel and DC can't capitalize on any of their movies/media tie-ins, their books are a FUCKING MESS! You have 2 to 10 different versions of everything, how can anyone penetrate your product. To add insult to injury, Marvel adds product for any properties on the screen (as I ranted about in the manga synergy formula post)...

I too am looking forward to the FF flick, but the last preview I saw has me very weary... FF was my fave at a time, it was so fun, and The Thing, DAMN, he's the THING ya know? One of Marvel's coolest characters, an he gets no love these days. Wolverine's in every freakin book, where's ol rock head? Slummin' with the rest of his crew...
Oh yeah, and the thing in the movie looks scary, and not scary good... they shoulda' cg'd him or something, but Chiklis is a great fit, so who knows...

An Jav, tell all your cool comic book friends to get on the sh!t list!!!