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Keb takes his final look at Marvel NOW! and the Outhouse. It has been a long and tumultuous journey and we cap it off with continuing series falling under the NOW banner.
Okay, hello. I am not dead yet. I do hate numbers and I’m considering dropping all my Marvel books and moving to Mexico. Why Mexico? My dog is half Chihuahua, so that's where his ancestral roots are.
Okay all racism aside, here are the final numbers for the continuing series that fell under the Marvel NOW! banner. While most of these series were listed on the Marvel NOW! Wikipedia pages, not all of them were listed. I decided to add a few as some people were either adding or dropping them. The titles that are considered official NOW books are: Daredevil, Journey into Mystery, Avengers Assemble, Wolverine & the X-Men and Red She-Hulk. For the sake of my survey, I added: Hawkeye, Winter Soldier and Captain Marvel. They all seem to have that “Join the Revolution” thingy at the bottom, so I’m counting them. Besides, my Hawkeye trade has the Marvel NOW! logo on it. If there’s a problem with that, go file a complaint.
So what was the big deal with these books? It’s hard to differentiate. We can’t say that they all got new creative teams because Daredevil and Wolverine & the X-Men kept the same teams. Journey into Mystery and Avengers Assemble definitely got a creative shuffle, with Kathryn Immonen and Kelly Sue DeConnick (respectively) taking over writing duties. Red She-Hulk was obviously a continuation of the Hulk series written by Jeff Parker but keeping the numbering intact. So everything was kind of a mixed bag. Different things changed in different titles.
So let’s see how they did number-wise.
Captain Marvel (by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Friends): Seriously, is it so hard to find out who the regular artist on this series is? Really, no wonder titles like this never last... Anyway, Captain Marvel is another one of those “not NOW but kinda NOW” titles that has the NOW logo on its trade. The series features Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel, not Ms. Marvel for all you sexist pig bastards out there. Prior to NOW, 6 people were reading this title and one jumped on with the NOW launch. That’s a pretty good jump in numbers if you ask me, especially for a title that doesn’t seem to have a regular artist. Two people have dropped the book since NOW, so it still retains a readership of 5 OHers. I’ve heard good things so I’m going to buy it eventually. I hope it doesn’t get canned soon though.
Avengers Assemble (by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Stefano Caselli): People always complain about too many Wolverine titles but there are like 45393 Avengers titles. I have no idea what Avengers Assemble is but I assume it was the one that was launched by Bendis and Bagley. Prior to NOW, the book had 6 readers. However, half of those readers jumped off before the NOW creative shuffle. Now helmed by Outhouse Twitter Friend Kelly Sue DeConnick, the book managed to snag a couple (2) new readers. While the book actually lost readers with the launch, the good news is that no one has dropped Avengers Assemble even though many are threatening to. Did you hear that Marvel?! Grrr!
Journey into Mystery (by Kathryn Immonen & Valerio Schiti): Another one of those creative and character shuffles. The Tumblr-loved Journey into Mystery not only got a new creative team but also a new protagonist. The focus of JiM was shifted to Sif with Kieron Gillen taking Kid Loki to Young Avengers. On the Outhouse, there were 4 people reading Journey into Mystery and 2 joined with the NOW launch. That’s pretty good. No one has dropped it just yet. As for the Tumblr reactions, we’re still waiting for word from OH Resident Tumblr-Addict Punchy, who has failed to check in numerous times. At this point we have to assume he’s become far too involved in some sort of Thor & Loki cosplay and can’t talk to his friends about it.
Red She-Hulk (by Jeff Parker & Carlo Pagulayan): As I stated before, this was originally titled “Hulk” and had the same creative team. That’s all I can really tell you because this was one of the least popular titles of this bunch. The title had just one (1) reader going into the event but surprisingly managed to pull in 2 new readers. However, after the event, one person decided to drop the book, so there are really just two people reading it. That’s all I got. It should be noted that Outhouse Resident Tumblr Expert Punchy stated: “I planned on getting Red She-Hulk and never got round to it.” We can probably blame Journey into Mystery cosplay for this.
Wolverine & the X-Men (by Jason Aaron & Nick Bradshaw): I have to admit, I’ve been buying this book in paperback format and it is pretty bad-ass. I’m behind so I didn’t include it in my survey results. Anyway, this book remains fairly popular with the OH crowd. Going into NOW, there were 7 readers of the series and one person decided to start picking it up. That brings its readership to 8 people! While it’s not a huge cluster of readers, it’s still pretty decent for a title that’s approaching issue 30 AND features Wolverine. I’m hoping that it stays that way and that we’ll get to see more Wolverine fighting family members. Seriously, that dude has some messed up family members. Who names their child “Dog”? That’s like naming a donut “Steve” then selling it on eBay. Some people’s children...
Winter Soldier (by Jason Latour & Nic Klein): Okay, this is another book that doesn’t fall into Marvel NOW! I don’t even know why I’m adding it; maybe just to show how easily a writer leaving can change how readers react to a book. Heading into NOW, the title had 5 readers under writer Ed Brubaker. After Bru decided to leave Marvel, the title lost all but one (1) reader. That’s a pretty significant drop. With that, I highly doubt the title will last. That’s a shame because Jason Latour could be writing the best comics ever, but we’ll never know because there are too many people who like Ed Brubaker too much. Meh.
Hawkeye (by Matt Fraction & David Aja): Okay, I saved the best for last, bro. File a complaint if you don’t like it. With dialogue that, at times, reads like you’re hanging out at a Woodbridge Tim Horton’s parking lot and perhaps one of the most awesome themes in Avengers comics ever, Hawkeye is probably the most awesome book ever! And it was popular too. There were 10 readers heading into the NOW event and another 4 have jumped on (and I didn’t count myself since I’m trade-waiting). I have to say that I agree with all 14 of these people. No one has committed the act of high treason and dropped the book either. It’s that good. If you haven’t bought it, you better go get it! Like, right now. Seriously stop reading this and put on pants and go to the store!
So that’s it for this group. As you can see, while branding some of their titles under the Marvel NOW! banner managed to bring in a few OHers, the move wasn’t really a huge deal for Marvel. I’m not sure how the sales numbers show as a whole. If by slapping the NOW logo on their titles, the intent was to pull in a few more readers, it definitely worked! Titles such as Hawkeye and Daredevil definitely saw a strong increase in OH readership even though they were probably the two most popular Marvel titles heading into the event. Other titles like Avengers Assemble and Red She-Hulk didn’t do so great but are still managing to bring in new people. I’d say it’s just a matter of “when” they decide to cancel those series.
As I stated back in the overview, Marvel NOW! was a huge success for the company. It was also quite successful on the Outhouse as it managed to ramp up readership among the forum members. 13 of the 26 titles that were either re-launched or added to the NOW line-up managed to pull in new readership numbers of 50% or more, so I’d say that’s impressive. It’s kind of hard for TheBass to call us an anti-Marvel site when so many of us have jumped on the Marvel-wagon with the NOW event.
What would be really nice is to come back and find out how many of us are still reading the Marvel NOW! books a year or so from now. What would also be nice is if Marvel let the damn books come out before having another event that goes and screws everyone up. And what would also be nice is if I could get an ice cream sangwich, PRONTO!
I’m done. Peace, love, unity and justice for all! Make babies not war!
Written or Contributed by Keb Ellis
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