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The end is nigh. What comes next?

Talking about being a "completionist" in the previous post reminded me that i wanted to talk about this. The key 'graph is here:

Whatever the causes of all the above, Marvel's commitment to the printed comic should be watched very, very closely in the coming 24 months. Marvel's licensed out its toys and its kids books. Who knows what else they could license out.

And some of the comments:


I've been saying that from the get go. As Don Rosa always likes to say, Disney doesn't like to publish it's own comic books, which is why they've always let other people do it. It might not be long before we see Boom or Dynamite getting a chance to publish Spider-Man or Hulk.

Paul O'Brien:

The obvious question is, if they're not interested in magazine distribution, and they're not interested in the backlist necessary to sustain bookstore distribution, what ARE they interested in? At some point, is the penny going to drop that they could axe the entire line tomorrow and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference to the licensing value of the characters?

Obviously, this is something that's been on my mind since the bankruptcy and then since the Disney acquisition. There's a couple of possibilities. The first is that publishing rights do get licensed to a Boom or Dynamite, and that company basically continues the current continuity. In that case, for me there's no change. I read that Spider-Man/Red Sonja book and it was fine. Not great, but ok. I'm assuming the company with the licensing rights can attract better creators and things basically go on as before.

The second possibility is that the books get licensed but the new company does a complete reboot, or write timeless non-continuity books like a Mickey Mouse or Archie comic. Or the books don't get licensed out at all. In all these scenarios, it's the same to me. It means i'm done. Not with comics altogether, but my focus would be more on picking up trades of critically acclaimed, probably mostly non-superhero books, and in much lower quantities. The bright side for me is that it actually defines a finite period of Marvel Universe comics, and it would really feel like an obtainable long term goal to collect them all and eventually incorporate them all into my timeline project. Which a part of me finds really appealing, even though i do think Marvel is currently publishing a lot of good books and i'd hate to see it stop.

The third option is the worst, but probably also the most likely. A third party gets the rights to continue publishing, and it becomes ambiguous as to whether or not the books are really in the old continuity or not. They say they are but there's tons of contradictions which they don't really seem concerned about. Or they do a half-reboot like DC is currently. Or Company A gets the license, runs with it for a few years, and then loses it to Company B and the hand-off isn't done well. At that point i'm stuck in an ill-defined half-state. I probably continue collecting for a while, then decide that i'm done. Then hear good things a few years later and try to get back into it and scramble to make it all up. Etc. That's what i fear most, more than the books just getting cancelled or rebooted.

Clearly it's not all about the current readers. There's only, what, 100,000 of us at this point? If it makes more sense for Disney/Marvel to dump the comics and focus on making movies and cartoons and t-shirts, i'll understand. I just hope there will be a clear point of delineation.

By fnord12 | October 10, 2011, 4:32 PM | Comics

Reference from SuperMegaMonkey

This is all pure speculation at this point, of course, so i won't start ranting about the end again. But there was some wild theorizing earlier that the coming of the Phoenix in AvX would end in a DC-like reboot of Marvel, and this sounds like a half-step in that direction.    Read More: Trying not to panic!

Reference from SuperMegaMonkey

As i've said before, what's alarming to me isn't that Marvel might do a reboot. It's the possibility of a stealth reboot that bothers me.    Read More: SuperMegaSpeed Reviews