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Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Relaunching series yet again for a "fresh start"? Now that's a mistake

For Marvel's alleged "fresh start", it looks like C.B. Cebulski's perpetuating the mistakes of his predecessors, even if there'll only be one Avengers series as opposed to all the superfluous spinoffs they put out over several years (including an "Uncanny" spinoff, as if X-Men's use wasn't enough). First, let's take a look at what this article says:
Marvel Entertainment has released a promotional video teasing “a fresh start” for its superhero comic book line this May, with creative team changes and a return to the classic versions of characters including Iron Man, Thor and Captain America.

“I can say, walking through these halls, I’ve never seen more enthusiasm and excitement for where Marvel comics is going this year,” emphasizes Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski in the promotional short, which teases “New series, new creative teams, new directions [and] new beginnings.” “Not since Marvel Now [the 2012 relaunch of Marvel’s publishing line] have we had such an over-arching, line-wide change of talent on the Marvel comics line,” he adds.

[...] The most recently created characters in the image are Ms. Marvel (who debuted in 2013) and the Robbie Reyes incarnation of Ghost Rider, who first appeared in 2014; unlike past Marvel relaunch images, there is no debut of a mystery character or new redesign for an existing hero.
Umm, do they mean the Muslim Ms. Marvel and at least one more "diverse" concoction are part of this? I do know I spotted Carol Danvers, still in the Captain Marvel guise, in one of the promo pictures, and still looking like an otherwise unfeminine tomboy, but if the Islamic propaganda is still prevalent, then no sale here, I'm not buying into this.

Anyway, here's IGN's coverage, which more officially confirms the relaunches at number one:
Marvel Comics will be kicking off a relaunch of almost their entire superhero comic book line this May, with a new Avengers series by writer Jason Aaron and artist Ed McGuinness acting as the flagship title.

Check out the cover to Avengers #1 and some interior pages by clicking through the slideshow gallery below.

Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort wants the Avengers -- and the rest of Marvel’s new comics -- to get off to a fresh start, and nothing does that better than a new #1. This means that the return to legacy numbering done as part of last year’s Marvel Legacy relaunch will be going away. Brevoort did express an interest in keeping the legacy numbering around in subordinate fashion for select titles, but ultimately he favors keeping things as clear and unconfusing as possible for readers.

The new Avengers series will ship 18 times a year and be the single Avengers title going forward. For years Marvel has had multiple Avengers books that made up a sizable chunk of their publishing line -- New Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Secret Avengers, etc. -- so this comes as a big change. It won’t come as a surprise to current readers of the Avengers because January’s Avengers #675 saw all Avengers monthly books merge into one weekly Avengers series for a story called “No Surrender.”
Gee, I'm not sure if Aaron's the kind of writer I should be trying out, seeing how he was part of the effort to put Jane Foster into Thor's role. (Speaking of which, if they've put her to death by cancer, I'm hugely disappointed by that.) And relaunching any title for the millionth time at a number one should serve as a warning signal. That just isn't how to win confidence from an audience, and I highly doubt anybody familiar with Aaron's involvement in some of Marvel's crossovers will see reason to fully trust him to do better this time. It's decidedly not a good step for Cebulski, but then, I'm sure some knew his appointment alone wouldn't guarantee this'll lead to improvement.

I only saw Carol Danvers in the promo pics they offer, so at least that might signal relief, but if they're stuck on the PC character/costume design, that's very bad. As is the way She-Hulk's drawn with absurdly masculine-looking muscles. Update: as seen in a picture here, the Muslim Ms. Marvel is still in use, so it's pretty clear propaganda continues to prevail.
The series will borrow the storytelling format of Aaron’s run on Thor that bounces back and forth in time to tell stories about the character in different eras. For the Avengers, this means shifting between the present day Avengers and the prehistoric Avengers from 1,000,000 B.C. that were introduced by Aaron in last year’s Marvel Legacy #1. The threat that ties these two stories together is the Dark Celestials, which are 2000-foot tall space gods. (Loki was also a part of the story, so expect him to be up to no good, as usual.)
Oh, this isn't inspiring confidence either. Doesn't sound like he's got a coherent vision in mind. What do we need to hear about a stone-age Avengers team for anyway? That kind of stuff only diminishes the modern team. And the following isn't encouraging either:
Though Marvel is starting fresh with this new Avengers #1 comic, the characters themselves will be bringing some baggage with them. Given that the last time Carol Danvers saw Tony Stark was when she was knocking him into a coma at the end of 2016’s Civil War II, Aaron acknowledged that the two won’t be on great terms when they see each other again, jokingly adding, “They’re not exactly all warm and fuzzy with each other.”
So they're keeping that embarrassment intact? I've said this before, many of these modern plotlines are so awful, they should be dropped from canon, and definitely from emphasis. Now that is not what I would call a "fresh start", if all they care about is sticking with forced characterizations.
Robbie Reyes, who debuted as the All-New Ghost Rider in 2014, is the odd man out from the group as the relative newcomer.

“Robbie Reyes is sort of the new kid on the block, he doesn’t really know any of these other characters, they don’t know him. They know the Ghost Rider, but this is a Ghost Rider not quite like anyone they’ve ever met before,” Aaron said.
And if he's part of their whole social justice push and shove, chances are even in a team title, this could overshadow him considerably as a character, another valid reason to be wary of this latest, needless relaunch.

Cebulski shouldn't have authorized relaunches, because that does not guarantee a "jumping on" point. In fact, if they still go by the mandate that stories be 6-plus issues in length for the sake of trades, that's another serious mistake. Why must everyone be put in a position where they'll have to try and buy several issues to complete a story? Or, why can't these tales at least go straight to the trades, and not put people in a position where they'd have to pay 4 dollars, if Marvel still goes by that price? It's just not viable anymore, and the use of questionable writers who'd been around for several years is another reason to doubt this'll be a sincere effort.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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