Like A Well Oiled Machine
If you haven’t heard the news, Marvel announced this week that Charles Soule would be taking over writing duties from Matt Fraction on the Inhumans book. This, after the book with Fraction’s name on it had received a gigantic promotional push, only to be followed by a months-long delay with little or no explanation that confused, well…everyone.
I don’t want to act like I know anything about why this happened. I’ve read everything from low pre-sales to creative differences with editorial, to this being a prelude to Fraction’s complete break from Marvel. Who knows? It’s hard for me to think that Soule’s name on a book (compared to Fraction’s) would be the “fix” to low pre-sales (no offense to Soule, whose writing I really enjoy); and I can’t imagine Fraction completely leaving Marvel while Hawkeye is still such a phenomenal book. And creative and editorial differences really are nothing new in the world of Big Two comics. So it’s really hard to sit and make assumptions about this; even though, that’s what we in the fan world want to do. We’d like to know the why; and if we can’t, then, we’ll simply make up a reason just to make ourselves feel better.
The most distressing part of this whole thing is basically how bungled the news is. As Chris and I get older, and (presumably) wiser and more aware of business practices and damage control, it gets more and more frustrating to see how much comics can’t seemingly have anything go smoothly. Why not know who your new writer was back when you had to announce there was a delay? Presumably, it’s because you DIDN’T know who it would be; and the over-a-month long gap between the two announcement just caused people to sit and conjecture about why big comics is seemingly bungling its next big event book. This, coming on the heels of Warner Bros. rolling with announcement on top of announcement of shit we basically don’t need in our Superman movie; of Fox and Sony calling their putts before they even step on the green with new X-Men and Spider-Man movies; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt tweeting an announcement that, hey, he’s going to star in and direct Sandman. Uh, what? This isn’t to say that any of these things will be bad (though by the law of averages surely one of them has to be, right?!?!). I’m not even upset by (all) these things. But it’s kind of mindblowing to think that this is the way multimillion dollar corporate conglomerates are run. Sometimes, it honestly seems like they are making it up as they go along (like Trinity War, amirite guys? lolololol).
In the interest of full disclosure, Fraction is a friend of this site and is someone who has always been pretty wonderful to Chris and I; and his Inhumanity book was something I was really looking forward to. I’m genuinely sad that I won’t get to see him do the book; and for whatever reason he left it, we hope he’s happy. If you haven’t read Sex Criminals over at Image, Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s amazingly moving and sweet book about sex (and their incredible letters page in the latest issue), go check that. It’s incredible. It’s full of the amazing, big ideas and personal touches that frankly, Big Two comics could use more of (see also Casanova).
I will still be reading Inhumanity, too. Because I am a fan of The Inhumans, and I like Soule too. And I, like the rest of the comics reading public, will still want to know what’s happening in the merry Marvel universe. I’m also still going to probably see every one of those goddamn movies. I’ll probably love most of, if not all of them.
But a part of me is going to be amazed if any of them are good. Because this can’t be the way things work, can they? Or maybe they always have, and I just never noticed or cared as much before.
Who knows. And so we wait. Because the news this week cannot get any crazier, can it?
Once again we’d like to thank Jessica for giving this one a coloring.
If you wanna buy some art from me, that’d make my Christmas better, so why not check out my Etsy shop.
I doubt we’ll have a new comic up before Christmas, or possibly even before the new year, because these next two weeks are obviously going to be crazy, but we love you guys and gals and we’re glad you’ve kept coming back, and we hope you keep coming back, and we hope we can keep talking about things and making you laugh and trying to make sense of it all with comics.
And new comics within that time period ARE POSSIBLE, so do keep checking in with us from time to time.