The “Marvel Comics Writers Unite!” panel Saturday at Comic-Con would have been interesting anyway, given the mix of high-profile industry names sharing the dais: Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Mark Waid, pictured, and Chris Claremont. But things got a little more interesting late Friday, when Waid tweeted that, as of that day, he had “stopped reading super-hero comics.” He soon elaborated: “there is a new, recent cynicism to many of them that I find exhausting and mean-spirited and uninspiring and life-denying,” though he did give props to the work of Grant Morrison and Ed Brubaker, as well as Matt Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man.
The obligatory obsessive discussion followed in fan circles, including the message board of Brian Michael Bendis, Waid’s upcoming panelmate and a writer responsible for a whole lot of current superhero comics. When a poster shared his thought that Waid wasn’t “slamming creators of the big 2 specifically,” Bendis objected a bit. Bendis further promised (with a smiley face, it should be noted) that he was going to bring it up at their panel in San Diego.
So, no, don’t expect a catfight or royal rumble at the panel on July 24, but it’ll probably be a noteworthy affair, chockablock full of discussion on the current state of superhero comics from some of the people best equipped to have such a talk.