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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Default I hope the Avengers will stop being promoted as "Marvel's Justice League"

    As it was for the longest time, the Marvel Universe could be divided into four main pillars: Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and the Avengers. Then you could go further into areas like supernatural, cosmic, street (outside Spider-Man), and miscellaneous. It worked the best this way, because the universe felt whole, with all areas properly represented and, well, a true universe rather than just stuff that revolves around a single team.

    In recent years, however, this has changed thanks to an attempt to be in perfect synergy with the movies (which is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole). This really began in 2012 with the success of The Avengers, and while the steps to move the Avengers to the center dates back to the mid-'00s (New Avengers/House of M/Civil War all helped to move the Avengers to the heart of Marvel), it's here where it was kicked into high gear.

    The problem with trying to push the Avengers this heavily is that it came at the cost of everyone else. The X-Men were shoved into a corner with no promotion, no video game or animated series appearances, and stuck in an endless loop of regurgitated stories while playing second-fiddle to not just the Avengers, but the Inhumans. God, the Inhumans is one of their biggest misfires I remember. The sole saving grace is Kamala Khan, but I've found many to believe her Inhuman connection is her greatest weakness, and I can see why. The Fantastic Four is another example, given that their title was cancelled for three years and didn't return until it became clear Disney was buying Fox. Like with the X-Men, they got quietly pushed away so they can promote the Avengers above all else.

    Marvel is so fixated on events, and all the big line-wide stuff is Avengers. Sure, you had your events for X-Men, but they were on the side such as the Inhumans vs. X-Men (which was a terrible series). Everyone having become an Avenger at one point or another makes the idea a lot less special, and all the most important stuff being related to them makes the others seem like add-ons. This is related to the other media: The video games weren't allowed to have X-Men/FF just because of higher-ups not wanting to promote Fox, giving us the terrible Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. The X-Men/FF were barred from appearing in animation as well, and that's a sad fact. The Avengers being the total focus of Marvel means everything else takes a backseat, and the characters, lore, worldbuilding and concepts established outside of them don't appear, causing the Marvel Universe to seem only half as big as it really is.

    Just look at the MCU: In the movies, Spidey wants desperately to be an Avenger. In the comics, he's always been much closer to the Fantastic Four. A lot of the issue with MCU Spider-Man is that they made him an Iron Man fanboy, too reliant on the shared universe, and of course, the Avengers factor way too much into his story.

    And this is another reason why I'm very excited with X-Men and Fantastic Four having their film rights back at Marvel, because it could mean the era of promoting the Avengers this way might finally end. It's hard to say exactly how much of an impact this will have, but we're already feeling it even without the MCU yet. Just in the comics, we have the X-Men getting their own relaunch with over a dozen new titles planned after a "reboot" that completely redefines their place in Marvel, and the Fantastic Four have also returned to being the greatest team in Marvel after being quietly pushed away for a few years (and we get Future Foundation, Doctor Doom and an Invisible Woman mini as a bonus). Both are allowed to appear in media again, as MUA3 proves.

    I'd say they're back in Marvel's good graces. All it took was a 71.3 billion dollar purchase.

    Overall, as much as I like Marvel, it's bugged me as to how much they've been promoting the Avengers at the cost of everyone else. I feel Marvel was never meant to have a "Justice League" equivalent, because they're just too diverse for that. The Avengers was the place for the lesser heroes to build their own fanbases and draw from various parts of Marvel, much as how the Fantastic Four was the place for adventures, epic storytelling and worldbuilding, the X-Men was the place where the stories of heroic outcasts were told, and Spider-Man was the place for down-to-earth action with a sense of realism. Trying to fit the Avengers as their "Justice League" just seems like a bad fit because the universe was never meant to have one on that level.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Fantastic Member PlatinumThorns's Avatar
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    I mean...Hasn't it always been that way? Even before the MCU alongside the X-Men and F4, the "Avengers" were always associated with Marvel. Even back in the 80's-90's, the Avengers and JL have had numerous crossovers and were depicted as mirrors in different universes.

  3. #3
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    I honestly think the Avengers push peaked a few years ago and is now over, with few Avengers titles and more promotion going into the X-Men (which makes sense as it’s a more popular comics franchise and a future big MCU franchise).

    What bothers me is that ever since Hickman,who clearly had no interest in the Avengers and just wrote them as a generic super team, it has mostly been presented as a Justice League type of all-star team and many of the characters who are the heart of the team and it’s history - like Wasp, Wanda, Pym - have not been allowed to return to the main title. But in terms of dominating the line I think it really doesn’t any more.

  4. #4
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumThorns View Post
    I mean...Hasn't it always been that way? Even before the MCU alongside the X-Men and F4, the "Avengers" were always associated with Marvel. Even back in the 80's-90's, the Avengers and JL have had numerous crossovers and were depicted as mirrors in different universes.
    It's the easiest fit, however there's a crucial difference: Justice League is "the best of the best", while Avengers have more B-listers and below. It goes back to what I was saying earlier, as the Marvel Universe is too diverse, connected and far-reaching to seamlessly pull off having a Justice League equivalent. Especially since doing so came at the cost of everyone else. As I said, the Fantastic Four broke up, the X-Men was shoved into a corner with no promotion, and all big line-wide events starred the Avengers. That's not how it should be.

    Is it any wonder this began changing almost the moment the Fox buyout was official?

    I don't think we'd have the Dawn of X relaunch dedicated solely to X-Men, nor would the Fantastic Four return to being the greatest team alongside two different adjacent ongoings, in a world where Fox was still separate from Disney.

  5. #5
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    The core of the universe comprised of the best of the best united should be the core of the universe comprised of the best of the best united.

  6. #6
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurkle View Post
    What bothers me is that ever since Hickman,who clearly had no interest in the Avengers and just wrote them as a generic super team, it has mostly been presented as a Justice League type of all-star team and many of the characters who are the heart of the team and it’s history - like Wasp, Wanda, Pym - have not been allowed to return to the main title. But in terms of dominating the line I think it really doesn’t any more.
    There isn't enough room for all of the classic Avengers in a monthly or even 18 a year title, and the franchise should never be all-veterans, which is why they should have like 3-4 different books. But I guess 2 is too much for Cebulski.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumThorns View Post
    I mean...Hasn't it always been that way? Even before the MCU alongside the X-Men and F4, the "Avengers" were always associated with Marvel. Even back in the 80's-90's, the Avengers and JL have had numerous crossovers and were depicted as mirrors in different universes.
    Heard that the Fantastic Four mainly came about because of the Justice League as well.

  8. #8
    Fantastic Member ARkadelphia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    As it was for the longest time, the Marvel Universe could be divided into four main pillars: Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and the Avengers. Then you could go further into areas like supernatural, cosmic, street (outside Spider-Man), and miscellaneous. It worked the best this way, because the universe felt whole, with all areas properly represented and, well, a true universe rather than just stuff that revolves around a single team.

    In recent years, however, this has changed thanks to an attempt to be in perfect synergy with the movies (which is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole). This really began in 2012 with the success of The Avengers, and while the steps to move the Avengers to the center dates back to the mid-'00s (New Avengers/House of M/Civil War all helped to move the Avengers to the heart of Marvel), it's here where it was kicked into high gear.

    The problem with trying to push the Avengers this heavily is that it came at the cost of everyone else. The X-Men were shoved into a corner with no promotion, no video game or animated series appearances, and stuck in an endless loop of regurgitated stories while playing second-fiddle to not just the Avengers, but the Inhumans. God, the Inhumans is one of their biggest misfires I remember. The sole saving grace is Kamala Khan, but I've found many to believe her Inhuman connection is her greatest weakness, and I can see why. The Fantastic Four is another example, given that their title was cancelled for three years and didn't return until it became clear Disney was buying Fox. Like with the X-Men, they got quietly pushed away so they can promote the Avengers above all else.

    Marvel is so fixated on events, and all the big line-wide stuff is Avengers. Sure, you had your events for X-Men, but they were on the side such as the Inhumans vs. X-Men (which was a terrible series). Everyone having become an Avenger at one point or another makes the idea a lot less special, and all the most important stuff being related to them makes the others seem like add-ons. This is related to the other media: The video games weren't allowed to have X-Men/FF just because of higher-ups not wanting to promote Fox, giving us the terrible Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. The X-Men/FF were barred from appearing in animation as well, and that's a sad fact. The Avengers being the total focus of Marvel means everything else takes a backseat, and the characters, lore, worldbuilding and concepts established outside of them don't appear, causing the Marvel Universe to seem only half as big as it really is.

    Just look at the MCU: In the movies, Spidey wants desperately to be an Avenger. In the comics, he's always been much closer to the Fantastic Four. A lot of the issue with MCU Spider-Man is that they made him an Iron Man fanboy, too reliant on the shared universe, and of course, the Avengers factor way too much into his story.

    And this is another reason why I'm very excited with X-Men and Fantastic Four having their film rights back at Marvel, because it could mean the era of promoting the Avengers this way might finally end. It's hard to say exactly how much of an impact this will have, but we're already feeling it even without the MCU yet. Just in the comics, we have the X-Men getting their own relaunch with over a dozen new titles planned after a "reboot" that completely redefines their place in Marvel, and the Fantastic Four have also returned to being the greatest team in Marvel after being quietly pushed away for a few years (and we get Future Foundation, Doctor Doom and an Invisible Woman mini as a bonus). Both are allowed to appear in media again, as MUA3 proves.

    I'd say they're back in Marvel's good graces. All it took was a 71.3 billion dollar purchase.

    Overall, as much as I like Marvel, it's bugged me as to how much they've been promoting the Avengers at the cost of everyone else. I feel Marvel was never meant to have a "Justice League" equivalent, because they're just too diverse for that. The Avengers was the place for the lesser heroes to build their own fanbases and draw from various parts of Marvel, much as how the Fantastic Four was the place for adventures, epic storytelling and worldbuilding, the X-Men was the place where the stories of heroic outcasts were told, and Spider-Man was the place for down-to-earth action with a sense of realism. Trying to fit the Avengers as their "Justice League" just seems like a bad fit because the universe was never meant to have one on that level.

    Thoughts?
    Sounds like you are complaining about a problem that no longer exists due to the Fox buyout
    “Tell me, are you an Avenger now? The brand is not what it once was” - Mr. Sinister, Uncanny X-Men (2019) #19

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurkle View Post
    What bothers me is that ever since Hickman,who clearly had no interest in the Avengers and just wrote them as a generic super team, it has mostly been presented as a Justice League type of all-star team and many of the characters who are the heart of the team and it’s history - like Wasp, Wanda, Pym - have not been allowed to return to the main title. But in terms of dominating the line I think it really doesn’t any more.
    It does bug me that there aren't 'room' for classic Avengers like Hank and Simon and Janet and Wanda, because they have to 'make room' for people who haven't traditionally been Avengers, like Spider-Man, Wolverine, Dr. Strange, Conan, etc.

    I don't mind the occasional new or surprising addition to the roster, but a friend recently got me an Avengers T-shirt that had Spider-Man and Wolverine on it, and no women at all (and certainly no Hank Pym or Vision or Wonder Man!). I was like, 'thanks!' and waited till he was gone before shoving it in the back of my closet, never to be seen again.

  10. #10
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    Heard that the Fantastic Four mainly came about because of the Justice League as well.
    That would actually be the Fantastic Four. The story I've read over the years in various books on the history of Marvel** is that got into superheroes again because of DC's Justice League. They weren't even doing superheroes in the late 1950's and it was mostly monster of the week/sci fi comics. There were no serialized stories. Every thing was "done in one" with few exceptions. The most common version is that publisher Martin Goodman (who was married to Stan Lee's cousin) was playing golf with the head DC comics Jack Liebowitz. He was telling Goodman how putting Super-Man, Batman, and Wonder Woman in a team comic was a big success for them. Goodman went back to Stan and told him to come up with a team of superheroes. That resulted in Stan and Jack coming up with the Fantastic Four. The Avengers came later.



    ** Sean Howe's book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is the most recent retelling that I've read and well worth picking up

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    The Avengers were at their best in the Roger Stern era where it was a dumping ground for B-C-D listers by and large, with the exception of Cap (who was certainly an A-lister by a thin margin).

  12. #12
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARkadelphia View Post
    Sounds like you are complaining about a problem that no longer exists due to the Fox buyout
    True, the problem may no longer exist. But we shouldn't forget that for as awesome as things were, there was the other end of the coin. I'm as relieved as anyone that X-Men/FF are coming to the MCU, and they're being treated properly in all media including the comics, but don't you think it's a little sad that it happened to begin with? How they treated two very important Marvel properties that were essential to their success all because they were petty over film rights?

    This of course led to the main problem with how they were pushing the Avengers as their Justice League: The only team that matters. This doesn't work by very nature of how Marvel works. Marvel has so many super teams, whereas DC's are relatively few. It's just sad when Marvel has so much to offer, but they only allow you to see a certain amount because they want to keep the focus on the Avengers (ie the big team they had the film rights to).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post

    The problem with trying to push the Avengers this heavily is that it came at the cost of everyone else.
    Once upon a time, I’m sure fans of anyone who wasn’t an Avenger, FF, etc felt the same way about how the X-Men were everywhere in the 90s and 2000s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    The Fantastic Four is another example, given that their title was cancelled for three years and didn't return until it became clear Disney was buying Fox. Like with the X-Men, they got quietly pushed away so they can promote the Avengers above all else.
    Marvel not really caring about the Fantastic Four predates the Avengers push.


    Just look at the MCU: In the movies, Spidey wants desperately to be an Avenger. In the comics, he's always been much closer to the Fantastic Four.
    Spider-Man has been a reserve Avengers since at least the 90s.



    A lot of the issue with MCU Spider-Man is that they made him an Iron Man fanboy, too reliant on the shared universe, and of course, the Avengers factor way too much into his story.
    The only Avenger that factors into MCU Spider-Man’s story is Tony and even then not by much.


    Overall, as much as I like Marvel, it's bugged me as to how much they've been promoting the Avengers at the cost of everyone else.
    Thoughts?
    If anything this era seems like the first time in decades Marvel has cared about anything other than one or two properties. The Guardians of the Galaxy are an important franchise in the MU, the Inhumans push might have failed but it was something, Carol Danvers is doing something other wasting space and we’ve got new and popular characters like Kamala Khan and Miles Morales who have a chance of sticking around.
    Last edited by Agent Z; 09-13-2019 at 07:26 PM.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    That would actually be the Fantastic Four. The story I've read over the years in various books on the history of Marvel** is that got into superheroes again because of DC's Justice League. They weren't even doing superheroes in the late 1950's and it was mostly monster of the week/sci fi comics. There were no serialized stories. Every thing was "done in one" with few exceptions. The most common version is that publisher Martin Goodman (who was married to Stan Lee's cousin) was playing golf with the head DC comics Jack Liebowitz. He was telling Goodman how putting Super-Man, Batman, and Wonder Woman in a team comic was a big success for them. Goodman went back to Stan and told him to come up with a team of superheroes. That resulted in Stan and Jack coming up with the Fantastic Four. The Avengers came later.



    ** Sean Howe's book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is the most recent retelling that I've read and well worth picking up
    Yep. 10 years after World War II, superheroes had finally been gaining widespread interest again, with DC publishing heroes such as Martian Manhunter, Batwoman, Barry Allen, Supergirl, and Hal Jordan as well.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post

    Marvel not really caring about the Fantastic Four predates the Avengers push.





    Yeah, the Fantastic Four started to die way back when the X-Men started to rise. And that death spiral massively accelerated once Byrne left. The Fantastic Four hasn't been an important property since decades before the Fox/Disney feud.

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