Marvel’s “Limited Series” in a serious freefall

Here is where I, as a 37 yo geek, get to tell my version of a “when I was a kid, I walked to school uphill both ways barefooted…” stories.

Flashback 1980’s – Marvel’s limited series coming out were big events, they were stand alones, they were compelling, they had purpose, they did not use five issue when two would do, they were not filler… in short, they were wonderful!

As a comic reader, you felt happy that there was some limited series coming out that involved your favorite heroes, it made you feel like you were getting a bonus, a present of sorts. Sure, they were not all memorable, for every Secret Wars or Wolverine l.s., there was a Beauty and Beast (Dazzler / Beast story) or Fallen Angels (New Mutants V.1) series. But they were all meant to further the characters involved.

Back to today: two words – Marvel Apes! These two words alone summarize Marvel’s veering away from the joy that is reading comics and a pursuit to fleece the Marvel Zombies out there, not to mention continuing humiliation like Marvel Apes one-shot specials (Marvel Apes: Grunt Line, etc.) and other sequels. With so many of the limited series coming forth, it has to do with how much money Joe can bringin, because it surely isn’t about providing readers with a bonus to make us feel good.

There certainly are big events. Heck, in some ways it seems like everything is a big event these days, but when an event like Secret Invasion or Dark Reign has so many series / one-shots attached that you need a second income to pick them all up, something is wrong. And some of these one-shots don’t even connect (who can forget the classic World War Hulk: Ghost Rider issue? Or the Secret Invasion Punisher series?)

The bottom line is that the magic is gone from the limited series, it’s not a “sepcial event”, it’s a given and they mostly stink!  That maybe is in part why Marvel has moved to having the more substantiated sub-story lines move to an on-going series rather than limited series format (i.e., Dark Avengers).  I read two series this last wee that initiated this rant.  Fantastic Force and Skrull Kill Krew (vol 2).

Fantastic Force follows a group of heroes from an alternate future who bring 8 billion refugees from a destroyed Earth to Nu Earth, an artificially created duplicate of ours (minus pollution, ecological issues, crime, etc.) that was meant for only the finally elite.  The future refugees are at odds with the creators of Nu Earth who are considering them squatters.  The only people who could follow this strange story are those who have read “The Death of Invisible Woman” arc in Fantastic Four, and then
only a certain percent would care.  Grade: C

Skrull Kill Krew focuses in on Ryder, a skrull hunter who is killing skrulls who weren’t involved in Secret Invasion.  Ryder’s girlfriend is nothing more than a head in a jar and it turns out Ryder might be a skrull himself due to the writers, re-writing the classic Fantastic Four #2.  Really messed up and not fun at all!  Grade: D-

ok, rant over… discuss among yourselves!

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Updated: December 7, 2010 — 8:37 am

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