Over at the Bendis board, Mystery Men and Hulk artist Patrick Zircher stated that he’s in favor of a “line-wide relaunch” at Marvel, similar to what DC will be debuting in under a week with “The New 52.”
His initial post in the thread simply said “you know you want it,” but after some folks thought he might have been joking, he clarified his position and explained his thoughts in detail:
It’s a great idea. That many ‘regulars’ don’t see it, well… mainstream comics needs a larger readership. Which it just might get as it enters the digital age– unless those new readers are put off by storylines wrapped in 50 years of arcana.
As it is, individual books get rebooted frequently anyway– but piecemeal relaunches make for a convoluted shared universe.
Still, I’d like to see a genuine relaunch, one with more conviction than an alternate universe, one with origins and focus on the core concept of each character. Everything approached as if the heroes and villains are new. Origin stories are powerful and give characters a lot of meaning and resonance. I’d like to see that done with She-Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Luke Cage, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, etc.
There are currently a couple of dozen books that feature a wide assortment of characters from all corners of the MU. If you actually connected the dots in the personal histories of these characters, some of the relationships seem strained at best. As readers we have to filter a character’s past into what we want to remember and what we don’t– or read a wiki entry to know what the hell’s going on.
This led to a good deal of back and forth between Zircher and others debating the merits of such a move (as tends to happen on online forums), with the artist suggesting that it may very well be something that Marvel is already considering.
Let me put this another way, if you don’t think Marvel isn’t watching closely how this unfolds for DC, watching how successful or unsuccessful this approach, this relaunch, will be– then you aren’t thinking.
If it succeeds in a big way for DC, if it wrests the market share from Marvel, Marvel will very, very likely follow suit– maybe not this year, maybe not the next– but they’ll look at what worked in DC’s big relaunch, what didn’t, and try to top it.
Think Zircher is on target? Would you be pleased if Marvel attempted something like this? Let us know in the comments.