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Wayne Markley

by Wayne Markley

As 2015 has rapidly unfolded, a number of changes and new series and revamps have been announced for later this year. Marvel, DC, and Archie have all made announcements of changes of their universes or special events which pay homage to their history. The reasons for these events are mostly driven by scenarios and a desire to expand their readership. I am going to look at each of these three events, and go over why these events are being done, but please keep in mind it is my opinion and speculation from me. I would like to hear from you and get your opinion on if you are looking forward to these events or if you think they are just stunts. What do you think of these changes? Please leave your opinion.

Secret Wars

Marvel last week announced their massive summer event, secret Wars. They have been teasing this for a while and marvel says that secret Wars is the culmination of the all the ongoing Avengers storylines over the last few years by Jonathan Hickman. The very basic gist of the Avengers titles is that there are worlds about to collide together from different dimensions. The point of this is to merge the standard marvel universe with the utmost marvel Universe. marvel is promising all sorts of changes in the new combined universe when the series is concluded including a number of titles ending. Also, a number of new titles will begin after secret Wars. marvel is insisting this is not a reboot like DC did with the new 52, but that there will be changes to the standard universe. Some characters will go away and others will become parts of the standard universe. Again, marvel says all of their past history is still part of their canon; just the world post secret Wars will be different.

I am of the opinion that marvel is doing this as a way to align the marvel universe of print with the marvel cinematic universe. considering that the utmost universe has so heavily influenced the motion pictures (Nick Fury changing the races for example), that merging these two worlds would make the publishing world and the motion picture worlds nearly one which would in theory make the published titles a lot more easily accessible to non-comic fans that have only seen the movies. It also will greatly simplify and streamline their licensing If the two universes are one. This is a major source of income for marvel so I think it plays a larger part than it has been discussed publically. It has also been suggested that marvel is doing this as a way to re-do their history so they can revise their history so there are less mutants and a lot more Inhumans as a way to distance their publishing world from non-Marvel studio films from Fox and Sony, such as X-Men, fantastic Four, and Spider-Man. I get this theory less as I cannot see marvel abandoning their cash cow, X-Men, just to spite another motion picture studio. but I could easily be wrong. It will be an interesting year to see how this plays out after secret Wars.


DC’s Convergence is a completely different beast. This spring, DC is moving their offices from new York to Burbank, California. This makes a lot of sense as DC is part of Warner brothers films and considering that WB films is in CA, it fits that DC join them. Whether DC would be forced to step west has been talked about forever, as when I worked for DC in the 1990s this was a constant rumor. because moving all of the offices is such a major disruption to the schedule of a periodical publisher, which depends on a daily routine, DC made a decision to do a two month storyline called Convergence using outside talent (meaning not the regular monthly writers and artists and editors) to give the regular editors and staff a break to get moved and settled in. A good idea. What DC came up with for this two month fill in is Convergence, where all the stories take place in the Pre-New 52 DC universe at certain events. For example, some stories are set during crisis on limitless Earths while other stories are set in Zero hour (which my cohort KC Carson edited at the time as we both were working at DC). This is not a return to the pre-New 52 universe as much as a side-step into it. DC made it very clear early on this was not a roll back to the old ways, but just something they thought the fans might enjoy. recently though, DC has suggested that there may be a title or two that might come out of this that have that old time feel. like with Marvel’s secret Wars, there will be a number of new books from DC coming this summer post Convergence, although DC has not said what these titles might be. Unlike Marvel, DC Cancelled a large number of books before Convergence comes out, which makes sense given the reasons for it.

Jughead, Betty & Archie by Fiona Staples.

Not to be left out, Archie Comics has announced that they are ending all of their ongoing monthly titles, not the digests mind you, but the standard monthly comics; Archie, Betty and Veronica, etc. These titles are not going away forever though, as they are going to be all re-launched as new ongoing titles with all of the same characters but in modern interpretations, similar to the modern look Afterlife with Archie and Sabrina. Gone are the classic Bob Montana and Dan DeCarlo styles that we have known and loved, and they are to be replaced with a a lot more sensible style. It is going to be interesting to see how these new books look and from what I have been told by people who have read the proposals; these could be very good books. Again, time will tell.

Unlike DC, Archie is not going this a way to get time, nor are they like marvel in they are doing this to a lot more closely align their comics with other licensed versions of their characters. This is being done just as a way to find a broader audience for their comics and with the hope of a modernization of the characters will bring in new readers. fans of the classic material, such as me, will still have the digests to take pleasure in as they will continue to reprint classic material. I wish the fine folks at Archie the best of luck.

Essential Captain America

I would like to address a couple of comments I received on my last blog. It was pointed out to me by a few people that they had problems with the marvel essentials in that the pages would fall out and the binding was not very good. Personally, I never had this issue but I heard this from enough people to realize it was an issue. So, I guess it is a good thing that marvel ended this series. beware of this in case you decide to go back and try and collect the Essentials. Secondly, it was pointed out to me that All star Western was part of the DC’s new 52 and all of those stories – the step to Gotham, Superman, removing the scars, Jonah’s end, etc. – were not related to the original run of All star Western or the two runs of Jonah Hex. While I read and took All star Western as continuing on the previous Jonah Hex, much like Batman and green lantern are nearly exactly the same as the prior new 52 series, technically I was wrong. My criticisms of All star Western remain, but I need to amend it to be marring the memory of the Jonah Hex I loved. thanks for the comments and the opportunity to make these corrections.

Everything I have written, both right and incorrect, is my opinion and in no way reflects the thoughts or opinions of Westfield Comics or their employees. I welcome comments or suggestions at MFBWAY@AOL.COM. That is it for this time, until next time.

Thank you.