Mike Gold: Marvel, You’re Murdering Us!


Holy crap! I can’t believe this! Marvel’s next big event series is going to be a sequel to their hit event series Civil War. It’s called … wait for it … Civil War II!

You’d think there was a big budget movie or something coming out. Well, you’d be wrong. Civil War II comes out several weeks after Captain America: Civil War. It’s just a coincidence, kids!

Rocky & BullwinkleEven more astonishing, if that’s at all possible, is the announcement that Marvel is going to actually kill off one of their characters in this series!

I can’t believe it. Such courage! Such originality! Such redundancy! The House of Idea polished off that one idea once again, slathered on another coat of lipstick, bought it a tuxedo for the red carpet interviews and proudly informed The New York Daily News that “A mysterious new Marvel character comes to the attention of the world, one who has the power to calculate the outcome of future events with a high degree of accuracy … This predictive power divides the Marvel heroes on how best to capitalize on this aggregated information, with Captain Marvel leading the charge to profile future crimes and attacks before they occur, and Iron Man adopting the position that the punishment cannot come before the crime.”

Hey, this time Iron Man is on the side of the angels! Well, that’s different, but only when compared to the original 2007 Civil War event.

I wonder if Marvel is going to kill off a character they haven’t killed off before. I wonder if that’s even possible. Hmmm … do you think it might be a character whose movie rights are controlled by 20th Century Fox?

When it comes to marketing and public relations, often there’s a fine line between being forthcoming and being cynical. As Marvel publisher Dan Buckley informed the Daily News “The death is the marketing hook … The thing that’s really compelling is whether or not there’s a story afterwards that’s going to connect with readers and sustain it.”

This is true, but it would help if you gave us something new, Dan.

Major character deaths have become more common to comic books than staples … and a lot less permanent. Do you know what was really cool during Marvel’s first couple of decades? They shook up the moribund American comics market with tits-to-the-wind power and a long ongoing blast of creativity and originality the likes of which had never been seen in the medium previously.

Do you know what Marvel’s latest high-energy attempt at creativity and originality is?

They bought a new Xerox® machine.