Next Big Arc

Shattered Heroes

So Fear Itself is starting to wind down and will be finsihing up soon.  So whats next for the Story Arc happy folks at Marvel?  What else, more arcs.

A bunch of one shots grouped together and called Shattered Heroes.  This is being pitched as less of an overall arc and more of a story progression/direction for certain titles.  These issues will focus on the immediate aftermath of Fear Itself for some of the characters involved.

There are also two Fear Itself spin-0ffs/mini-arcs in the work.  The first is the Fearless and is more stories about the fallout from Fear Itself and some of the X-Men Schism stories, but more broad then the Shattered Heroes one-shots.

The other mini-arc is called Battle Scars and will be what Tim Brevoort has called ground-level scale involving characters such as Captain America, SHIELD, Taskmaster, and other mercenary folks.  This series will be more of a super-espionage type rather then galactic battle.

These new arcs have been defined as a re-aligning of the Marvel landscape after so many epic story lines have rocked the Marvel Universe.

Happy 50th to FF and Stan the Man

Stan Lee ArtWe have just passed a landmark in comics history.  50 years ago today the first issue of Fantastic Four #1 was published marking the start of the “Modern” marvel comics and heralding in the Silver Age of comics.  It is humbling to think back 50 years to what we now take for granted and look at this in its place and time.  Say what you will about Stan Lee, and I have been heard to complain about the “marvel” method of making comics and his writing many times, the man is a visionary.

When Stan and his guys published this seminal issue 50 years ago, they were breaking with industry trends and really taking a stand.  Stan (I feel like I should say Mr. Lee out of respect, but he is such a household name its hard not to say just Stan) had a vision, inspired by his wife, to make “human” super-heroes.  He planned on characters with real flaws of humanity.   His characters got jealous and angry, argued amongst themselves, showed vanity, and generally acted like human beings.  On top of that, his stories didn’t take place in some made up metropolis but took place in real cities with the characters in his world reacting to real current day events.

On top of all that, he brought his fans inside the world of comics and created a real community that didn’t exist before.  He has been creadited with being one of the first to display not just the writer and artist, but the inker, letter, and colorist as well.  He published and responded to fan letters in a freindly manner that really helped solidify Marvel in the minds of his fans.

And, never on to give up, he made comics a vehicle for confronting the problems with society.  He pushed back against the CCA (Comics Code Authority) to publish a story involving drug use, regularly made mentions of the Vietnam war including a memorable Iron man story that involved civilian collateral damage, and had major African American characters confronting the racial issues in the country.

So thanks Stan.  And happy 50th Comic Milestone Day

Marvel Chrome App

Chrome Marvel App

Marvel launched their new Chrome app, and I am of mixed feelings about it.  It does make it so you have wider access to comics you purchase through apple devices, which is very cool, but it still isn’t all the way there. Here is what it gives you:

1. You can buy comics digitally onto your computer.

2. You can download comics purchased off of the apple app.

3.  You can access comics through the Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited if you are a subscriber.

 

These are all very cool features, but it some major problems creep up.

The biggest is while you can view comics purchased on IOS devices it doesn’t work the other way.  You can’t see comics purchased from chrome on your apple device.  My guess is this is an issue with Apple, as they tend to lock down outside content coming in on the apps pretty hard.

Also, while being able to access DMCU through the app is cool, and it uses HTML5 so you don’t have to worry about flash, it isn’t all that helpful seeing that since you are at computer browser you could do the same right through the site.

Also, the menu for finding comics leaves much to be desiered.  It is annoying locating specific issues, especially back catalog stuff.  Also, there is some promotional stuff mixed in with the catalog making it confusing (This is also a complaint about the Apple app as well).

We still need more on the mobile front.  MDCU subscriptions should be view-able through the app on Apple devices, and the extreme lack of apps on Android and Microsoft mobile platforms needs to be addressed.  But making comics purchased digitally not stuck on one platform is a good start.

All in all its a nice addition, and I truly believe the more Marvel makes their comics available to the general public the better it is for them.  People are going digital so should Marvel.