Thursday, November 24, 2016

Death of X and the Decline of Marvel Comics

Cover from Death of X #4

The following post will contain spoilers for Death of X. Read on at your peril!

I called it.
I totally called it.
Cyclops was dead at the start of this whole fiasco. Emma Frost was the person behind it all, maintaining and projecting a psychic image of Cyclops into the minds of his friends and allies.
It was entirely predictable.
And that, my friends, is the reason 99% of Marvel Comics suck so hard these days. 
They are predictable. Nothing is truly shocking. None of their 'events' have any lasting consequences. 
Granted, I am somewhat jaded. I've been reading comics since before Jean Grey died the first time. So it's going to be pretty hard for the so-called House of Ideas to surprise me.
That's not to say they haven't produced some interesting content over the last few years. The recent Vision miniseries was excellent, for the most part. 
But the X-Men books suck. If you believe the hype, that's deliberate. Part of a convoluted plan on the part of Marvel/Disney to make the characters unappealing to the fanbase, so they won't go and watch the Fox movies.  
Yeah, and if you believe that I've got this swell bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you!
If Marvel/Disney wanted to shut down the X-books, they would just do it. The x-books make money, but let's be honest, Disney is using Marvel as an idea farm. They can make more off a shitty movie with toy tie-ins than they can from the actual books that Marvel produces.  If they really wanted to make a profit, they would just shut down Marvel Comics altogether and maintain copyrights and trademarks by reprinting graphic novels ad nauseum while saturating the hell out of the toy/collectibles market.
But instead, they keep producing comics. And the comics they produce are, generally, of poor quality. The stories are rehashed. (Civil War II, anyone?) Character are recycled, often recast as a different gender/ethnicity/sexuality, etc. ( see Ms. Marvel, Thor, the Sam Wilson Captain America, Captain Marvel, etc.).
It is a glorious soap opera gone horribly, horribly wrong.
And nothing exemplifies this more than the Death of X mini-series.  This four-part series was meant to reveal what Cyclops did that polarized the world to such an extent, making mutants feared and hated more than ever.  It was meant to reveal how he died and the fate of Emma Frost.
It tried to do that, but in the most hackneyed, shitty-as-possible way that they could.  It is the mini-series equivalent, almost, to the infamous dream sequence in Dallas, where viewers discovered that the last few seasons of a t.v. show were, in fact, nothing but a bad dream.
Only the creators didn't even do that. Instead, we got Cyclops dying from M-Pox and Emma Frost keeping his death a secret, creating a psychic projection of Cyclops and using it to puppet the X-Men into a war with the Inhumans. It lacked drama and pathos, and, ultimately, felt cheap and tawdry, a $20 whore decked out in designer glad-rags,but still crawling with syphilis.
For shame, Marvel! For same!
The fans deserve so much more.

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