Are you ready?
Are you prepared?
Did you get a montage of training to get ready for today’s onslaught of Secret Invasion comics?
It’s madness, people! Seven books in total hit the stands today whether we like it or not; the good news is that actually reading them all makes the whole thing even more complicated so it’s best to pick and choose the Secret Invasion storyline you want to follow. It’s kind of how you kind of had to pick which writer’s interpretation of Tony Stark you wanted to follow out of Civil War?
Anyhoo, we’re not here to talk about that today, believe it or not. Today, we look towards the future, what comes next and why we all might want to carry around a little flashlight.
For the world is getting darker as we speak.
*Turn down your lights — where applicable*
Brian Michael Bendis came to the Diamond Comics Distributors’ retailer summit in Las Vegas on Monday to personally give the skinny on the face of the Marvel Universe in the wake of Secret Invasion. Just when we thought it was safe to pick up a book independently of a mega-event, we learn that the ‘trade dress’ for titles will include the ‘Dark Reign’ banner as heroes and villains alike make their way through the fallout of the Skrull’s attack.
Over at Marvel.com, Bendis elaborates:
This was an invasion, and from the invasion, certain people take the hit, certain people rise up as the heroes who you wouldn’t expect, and from that comes a new power status in the Marvel Universe that some would consider a dark reign and some would consider heaven. One man’s dark reign is another man’s ‘Finally!’”
There’s talk of new teams, new alliances, new directions, even newer dynamics, new newiness, all new, all different, and the Marvel Universe will never be the same again! We’ve all heard this before and, you have to give them credit, Marvel delivers on this promise again and again.
Avengers: Disassembled changed the team dynamic in the Marvel Universe for good and Civil War really did change the way heroes interacted with the rest of their world. Both of these events brought with them ‘darker’ themes. This isn’t a world where heroes can hang out in a mansion and leap to the fore when duty calls. This isn’t a world where heroes can save the day without getting second guessed or traditionally trusted. People don’t get together without a backup plan or secret misgivings about the whole thing. In the end, no one’s on anyone’s side but their own and no one trusts anyone.
How much darker do you need to get?
And, let’s just get this out of the way: between Dark Reign here and the Distinguished Competition’s grand idea of a ‘darker’ Superman movie can we just call a moratorium on the word ‘dark’? It’s just a cheap way of making things sound edgy without actually describing anything but a lighting change. If you want things to be more adult, realistic, grim, depressing, bleak, violent, gritty, whathaveyou, please use better adjectives. Otherwise you’re just using a buzzword that can be taken a bunch of different directions and saying nothing. It’s cool to be ‘dark’ these days in the media, why isn’t it cool to be succinct?
Right. ‘Dark Reign’ is apparently catching on a lot of the Bullpen’s imaginations according to Mr. Bendis, exciting them with new stories to tell and new directions to go in (NEW!!).
That’s what ‘Dark Reign’ is—it’s one of those ideas where you can do a giant story about it in the Avengers titles but at the same time, you can put it out there for any writer to jump onto, and almost anybody who’s books matter as the center and core of the Marvel Universe jump on board gleefully to be a part of this.
Oooh. “Anybody who’s books matter as the center and core of the Marvel Universe”? What does that say about the X-Men, who seem to have their own thing going on with the Manifest Destiny storyline? Or Captain America, who has been faithfully chugging along on possibly one of the best stories that Marvel Comics is proud to produce? In fact, looking at the big events, it’s very easy to find books that just don’t go with the flow; Mark Millar didn’t want to stop his run on the Fantastic Four for Secret Invasion, so the FF got a mini-series for the big event and the regular book kept its storyline intact. Daredevil seems to be doing just fine outside of the Invasion and there’s a whole line-up in space gearing up for a War of Kings that may or may not have to do with Dark Reign at all (though it would kind of be cool if it did).
I’m sure I’m not the only one experiencing a little event fatigue, especially with the seven books coming out today. The constant change within the Marvel Universe is exciting, but it can be daunting too as long time readers lose track of the heroes they grew up with to re-envisioning and drastic changes. But as long as they continue to sell, as long as we follow them down uncharted paths and territories, the event books are here to stay.
A Dark Reign indeed.