Something from Axel Alonso’s last CBR piece stuck in my head all weekend:
For “cosmic” to matter, it has to be relatable. For Nova to compete with Spider-Man, Captain America and Wolverine — and we’d love him to — his story has to touch your heart and it has to be grounded in things you can recognize and understand. If the stakes of a Nova story only matter “out there” in space or on some far-flung planet, then no amount of good craft is going to help us reach an audience larger the hardcore cosmic fans.
I think what’s so odd about the statement for me is the idea that things can only be relatable if they’re happening on Earth. Surely a Nova story – or a Green Lantern story or whatever – can be perfectly relatable no matter where it takes place because the reader empathizes with the emotional journey/choices/situation of the characters, whether or not they’re human and living in a location that you can find on Google Earth? I can’t help but think that complaining that the stakes of a story only mattering “‘out there’ in space or on some far-flung planet” is kind of missing the appeal of a lot of sci-fi, not to mention storytelling-as-metaphor, which just seems odd considering Alonso’s history, as well as Marvel’s bread-and-butter of telling stories about people who can do fantastic things far outside the ability of its readers.
That said, it may explain why we’ve not really seen much of the Cosmic books over at Marvel in recent months…