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  1. #1
    Fantastic Member catbellysqueezer's Avatar
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    Default Are Marvel comics actually the best they've ever been?

    I see a lot of people saying that the quality of Marvel comics is going down and that they aren't making good books any more.

    I bought a subscription to Marvel Unlimited a few months ago though, and so far I have really been enjoying newer stuff and having a hard time getting into stuff that's 10+ years old.

    Here are some series I have really enjoyed:
    -1872
    -All-New Doop
    -All-New Guardians of the Galaxy
    -Astonishing Ant-Man
    -Captain Marvel (DeConnick)
    -Captain Marvel (Thompson)
    -Cloak and Dagger
    -Cosmic Ghost Rider
    -Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History
    -Daredevil (mostly since Kingpin became mayor)
    -Death of Inhumans
    -Doctor Strange
    -Drax
    -FF
    -Guardians of the Galaxy (Cates)
    -Hawkeye (Thompson)
    -Hyperion
    -Immortal Hulk
    -Infinity Countdown/Wars
    -Life of Captain Marvel
    -M.O.D.O.K. Assassin
    -Mighty Thor
    -Multiple Man
    -Original Sin
    -Punisher (the war machine arc)
    -Sentry
    -Thanos/Thanos Wins
    -Thanos vs. Hulk
    -Thunderbolts
    -Unstoppable Wasp
    -Venom (Cates)
    -Venom: Space Knight
    -Venomized
    -Vision
    -West Coast Avengers (Thompson)
    -X-23
    -X-Men Red

    If you are having a hard time finding new Marvel comics that are good I would recommend those series to start. I haven't read a lot of more popular series like Spiderman, Avengers, etc. so I'm not sure about them.

    Also, what older series would you guys recommend to me? Thanks in advance.
    Baby Thanos

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by catbellysqueezer View Post
    I see a lot of people saying that the quality of Marvel comics is going down and that they aren't making good books any more.

    I bought a subscription to Marvel Unlimited a few months ago though, and so far I have really been enjoying newer stuff and having a hard time getting into stuff that's 10+ years old.
    If you are getting into Marvel now and are having a good time, don't let anyone (including me) tell you otherwise.

    As the rule says, whatever age you first discover and fall in love with a character, mythos, and so on, that version of what you read becomes your ideal and best version of the characters.

    Also, what older series would you guys recommend to me? Thanks in advance.
    There is a Marvel Masterworks and Visionaries series that spotlights older and iconic writer and artist runs.

    In general Marvel has had two big peaks. One is The '60s, obviously the classic Lee-Kirby-Ditko era, the original run of Fantastic Four, the original run of Amazing Spider-Man, Lee and Steve Ditko's complete Dr. Strange run, Kirby and Lee's The Mighty Thor and Journey into Mystery series. And Lee-Kirby-Thomas' original 10-12 issues of The Avengers. The second one is The '80s during the controversial regime of Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter where you had the X-Men under Claremont and Byrne becoming Marvel's biggest franchise, Byrne's run on Fantastic Four, Walt Simonson's run on The Mighty Thor, Frank Miller's run on Daredevil, Roger Stern on the Avengers, and also his run on Amazing Spider-Man (followed by equally good runs by Tom Defalco and David Michelinie), David Michelinie on Iron Man. And of course this decade gave us the classic original Marvel event, SECRET WARS, and there's an entire generation of "Secret Wars babies", i.e. kids who came to comics largely through Secret Wars, who have become respected creators : Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chip Zdarsky, and the Russo Brothers to name three.

    The current era is what you can call the Joe Quesada period. Quesada was EIC from 2000 onwards, and even when he stepped down he's now Chief Creative Officer (the only EIC to not be fired and actually get promoted), and his regime has been controversial, successful, polarizing and hit-and-miss. But still some excellent runs and great talent : Bendis on Ultimate Spider-Man and Daredevil, Mark Waid on Fantastic Four, JMS on Spider-Man and Thor, Morrison on New X-Men, Whedon on Astonishing X-Men, and following that you have Jason Aaron on Wolverine and the X-Men and his epic run on Thor, Matt Fraction on Iron Man, Iron Fist, and Hawkeye, Jonathan Hickman on Fantastic Four, New Avengers, Christopher Priest on Black Panther, Kelly Sue DeConnick on Captain Marvel, Garth Ennis on The Punisher and many other good runs.

    The current period, especially the last few years does indeed have a lot of good stuff across the board.

  3. #3
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    There are lots of books that I like that are generally unpopular, and a lot of books that other people like that I find overrated. If you like the current line up, then great! You should!

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Marvel is obviously doing quality work still. Part of the reason for the perception that the current stuff isn't that great has to do with the fact that most of the movies and the major events are derivative of major storylines from decades ago. Personally, I wouldn't let it bother me. If you're enjoying Marvel circa 2019, then don't let anyone tell you differently. In many ways this is a new golden age for comics.
    "Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception." ~ Carl Sagan

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by catbellysqueezer View Post
    I see a lot of people saying that the quality of Marvel comics is going down and that they aren't making good books any more.
    You could find fans making this same statement as far back as the late '60s/early '70s, I'm sure.

    There's always been a segment of the fanbase who clings to the era and the books that first introduced them to Marvel and, in their minds, everything after that is terrible.

    As someone who's been reading since the early/mid '70s and has seen the quality ebb and flow over the decades and Marvel books pass through many eras and styles, I can say that the current era is one of the better times to be a reader. Marvel's putting out a lot of truly excellent books at the moment.

    Regardless, all that actually matters is what you like. If you're digging what you're reading, that's all that counts. Some of the past eras of Marvel that turned me off as a reader and saw me cut down my titles and even walk away altogether for a time are someone else's golden age.

  6. #6
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    Call me back when we get character development as a rule, not exception

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    Call me back when we get character development as a rule, not exception
    What does this even mean? When has Marvel really had a ton of "character development" at all?

    Besides, if you look at where a lot of these characters were 10-15 years ago, I would say that a lot has changed.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Charlie_1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosebunse View Post
    What does this even mean? When has Marvel really had a ton of "character development" at all?

    Besides, if you look at where a lot of these characters were 10-15 years ago, I would say that a lot has changed.
    Not in the case of the Enchantress that clearly this development, simply doesn't exist because she was back to her characterization of the 60-70s without any kind of explanation, all good things since the 80s just forgotten and erased like nothing happened.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosebunse View Post
    What does this even mean? When has Marvel really had a ton of "character development" at all?

    Besides, if you look at where a lot of these characters were 10-15 years ago, I would say that a lot has changed.
    If I had to list all the times writers devolved back to old storylines, I'd be here all day.

    The best example would be the current X-Men series though, where the New Mutants are treated as less capable than the older characters, despite being around for over two decades now. Writers define a character by their most well known story now, instead of moving from point A to B

  10. #10
    Sentient Seed Personamanx's Avatar
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    I'm certainly enjoying what I have chosen to read from the publisher recently. There's always good reads, and bad reads but if you're loving what you're reading that means you're familiar enough with your own tastes to enjoy the hobby. Discussions on comics craft can go deep, but let's be frank most comics fans don't know jack about the craft/technique side of the medium. Personal enjoyment is what's important.
    Continuity, even in a "shared" comics universe is often insignificant if not largely detrimental to the quality of a comic.

    Die - Paper Girls - Runaways - The Wild Storm

    Nobody cares about what you don't like, they barely care about what you do like.

  11. #11
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    Imo

    What is I find good, I think is absolutely great

    What I dislike I tend to really dislike

    More than ever I find it is one end of that spectrum or the other, little in-between

    But that's just me

  12. #12
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    I've been reading Marvel for over 50 years. Through every era and every year, there has been stuff that's been good and stuff that hasn't. Every month there is a long list of stuff I won't even consider. But there are also some books I will consider and a few I choose to buy. I have some franchises I follow because over the years, I've found those stories and creators working them to be a good read.

    Just because you see a book that makes you do "eeewwwwwww..." doesn't mean there isn't a book that makes you go "wow".

  13. #13
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    There's nothing wrong with thinking Marvel comics or anything else are the best they've ever been, or the worst, or anything in between. And most people have trouble getting into older comics because the nature of monthly comics is that they date very fast. 10 years is a very long time in comics and stuff that seemed cutting-edge in the '00s seems old-fashioned to a new generation. New comics, even bad ones, are about today.

    That said, I think Marvel in this decade has been stronger on the smaller books than on the big bread-and-butter superhero books. They get to take risks and develop characters in small books, and small books don't have to be standard superhero adventures. What they have been light on is memorable runs on the flagship books, with some exceptions obviously.

    But then there have been eras like the '80s where the bigger books were mostly good but there were fewer smaller experimental risk-taking books. That's not better or worse.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member pageturner's Avatar
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    yes
    no
    yes
    yes
    no
    etc.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    The best example would be the current X-Men series though, where the New Mutants are treated as less capable than the older characters, despite being around for over two decades now.
    In real time they've been around for over two decades now. In Marvel Time, it's been a few years, at best.
    Last edited by Prof. Warren; 04-13-2019 at 12:20 PM.

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