Grotesque Anatomy
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
  Marvel Age: Threat or Menace?
I really don't know how to read the news about Marvel's new "all ages" imprint, Marvel Age.  Well, OK, I know how to read part of it:  The regurgitation of old storylines with "newer" art and "fresher" dialogue exposes Marvel's creative bankruptcy.  'Nuff said.  But insofar as Marvel is willing to take a chance on newer (read: not decades-old) properties that stand a chance of appealing to younger readers, I'd like to be optimistic.  True, so far the titles slated for collection (SENTINEL, RUNAWAYS) aren't exactly new, but then neither is most manga when you get down to it.  What matters is that the concepts aren't immediately perceived as ancient and may actually interest children.

It's also nice to see Marvel willing to experiment with formats a bit.  The "Tokyopop-sized collections containing five or six issues each, reprinted in full color, with a $7.99 price point" sound like a decent bargain.  I just hope that Marvel is serious when they say:
We’re dedicated into making sure these get into the right hands, and not sitting back and just throwing this out there, seeing the shops order maybe two copies each, and then we’ll move on to the next thing. We really want to work to get these into the hands of the kids who should be reading comics.
Given Marvel's scattershot approach to new initiatives recently, you'll forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

And this is just ugly.  Ugly and sad.

Marvel Age FF

This is one interview where bracketed "stage notes" would have been helpful.  Marvel’s Manager of Sales David Gabriel said, "It will have a little bit of a manga feel to it, but not so much that someone will look at it and think we’re bringing the Mangaverse back."  Did Gabriel manage to say that with a straight face?
Like Unto A Thing Of Irony!

Iron Fist

by John Jakala

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