Marvel: Divided We Stand
Well, we finally have it. The first preview image for Marvel’s next publishing phase: Divided We Stand. IF you guessed that Marvel was going to copy the fallout of the first Civil War with Civil War II, then you win today’s no prize! Yes, the end of Civil War II is going to place the characters in the Marvel Universe in different places and against one another. Again.
And what characters do we have? Um…well there’s Solo, Slapstick, and Foolkiller with Dr. Doom and Captain America, and characters like Squirrel Girl, Miles Morales’ Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, and Doctor Strange on the side of Riri Williams, a character that’s only recent appeared in Brian Michael Bendis’ Invincible Iron Man.
To say that this Marvel reveal is scraping the bottom of the barrel character wise is putting it lightly. Outside of Doctor Strange, Hulk, Cap, and Miles Morales, there are tons of characters that would never have been put on a major Marvel announcement before. Sure, Solo and Slapstick have been in Deadpool and the Mercs for Money, but are they really worthy of being given this much of a push? And Gwenpool, a character that’s inexplicably been given a monthly series despite the fact that I have yet to see a single person talk about her online or in a comic shop, is also there, but for what reason?
Marvel editor in chief Axel Alonso said in an interview that this new initiative showcases their belief that any character is just “a creative team and a great idea away from A-List”, which could be true, but at the same time, with All-New All-Different Marvel being the bust that it is, you’d think Marvel would’ve tried to right the ship to win back fans who have been turned off by their recent output. I’m not saying that ONLY A-List characters deserve books, but you can’t just give everyone new monthly series and expect to get Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye every time. It’s just not possible, and also not something that you can try and make happen, just like you can’t make a video on the Internet become a “viral video”.
If there was ever a time for Marvel to look at their publishing and borrow a page from DC’s “Rebirth” event, it’s now. They’re losing fans by the month, and while their sales may not show it due to the twice a month shipping schedule and the pricing of their books, it’s only a matter of time. At some point, that lead is going to shrink, and when it comes, maybe then they’ll finally decide to create things that are interesting again.