I just read an article from Wizard #175, about a Marvel writers “summit” regarding Civil War and the Marvel Universe during the rest of 2006. In it, creators including Brian Michael Bendis, Joss Whedon, Joe Quesada, Mark Millar and J. Michael Stracynski are discussing the possibility of bringing a certain character back from the dead. Wizard’s Mike Cotton writes, “Some argue that today’s fans know the character being suggested as a candidate as a symbol rather than as a person. Others simply long for the character’s return. Still others explain it just ‘feels’ wrong, like a stunt.”
Then Jeph Loeb makes what might possibly be the stupidest (yes, I said stupidest, and spell check didn’t correct me) comment I’ve ever heard regarding comics. “What interests me most about this idea is that 80 to 90 percent of the people think it’s a bad idea,” says Loeb. “People will talk about this for years. The worst thing we can do is have everyone like it.”
What?! The worst thing you can do is have everyone like it?! Isn’t the worst thing you could do is write a story so bad that no one wanted to buy it? And isn’t the best thing you could do write a story that everyone loved so much that they all wanted to buy it?
You know what ideas “80 to 90 percent of people” thought were bad? You know what people have been talking about for years? The Clone Saga. Heroes Reborn. Hypertime. Armageddon 2000. Why on God’s green Earth would you think following the formula that gave us those gems would produce a winner when all the evidence points to something closer to Cap-Wolf?
Now you know what else people have been talking about for years? Watchmen. The Dark Knight Returns. Kingdom Come. Marvels. Maus. But people don’t talk about them because they shook up the industry years ago.
People talk about them because they’re good stories, because they liked them. And good stories will continue to sell themselves long after the controversy has died down. Ten years from now we could be saying, “Man, Infinite Crisis still holds up as one of the greatest superhero comics of all time.” Or we could be saying, “Hey, remember when Marvel brought back Gwen Stacy a while ago (or Uncle Ben, or Mar-Vell, the only three I think fit the description up top)? Wasn’t that a disaster?”