Marvel held a press conference today for it's Original Sin super-mega-crossover event comic focusing on its confusingly named tie-in book, Original Sins, and the mainstream comics media tripped all over themselves to pass along Marvel's marketing hype as gospel to their readers. We're going to use CBR's coverage of the event for reference, but really, you can find the same garbage on any other site covering the press conference.
CBR kicked things off by calling Marvel's marketing dude a "PR Guru." I just want you to soak that in for a moment. Marketing doublespeak is now something that people can be spiritual leaders of.
Marvel PR guru Chris D'Lando kicked off the call with a quick introduction on the "Original Sin" concept and how "Original Sins" follows from Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato's core series, which contains even more of the secrets revealed from the fallout of the Watcher's death.
So Original Sins is a limited series that functions as sort of a jam book where each issue will contain three stories by the regular writers of various Marvel titles about those characters so that the regular series of those books can go on uninterupted by the crossover. This is barely marginally different from the same scheme we've seen in Marvel and DC crossovers for at least the last decade - instead of getting a bunch of mini-series like Original Sin: Young Avengers, you'll get one mini-series called Original Sins that will feature the throwaway Young Avengers story in the vein of Siege: Embedded or Civil War Frontline. Of course, Marvel considers this to be an innovation roughly on the same scale as the industrial revolution, and CBR is more than happy to just regurgitate that verbatim, because if a comic book publisher says something, no matter how obviously hyperbolic, it must be true:
For the most part, creators will work in their own wheelhouse -- Robinson will do a Dr. Doom story, Soule, an Inhumans story; and Slott, a J. Jonah Jameson story.
"Original Sins" was the place to tell these stories, rather than the core solo series, partially because there's more than one story involving those characters. "It's as simple as it doesn't all fit," Alonso said. "Charles Soule has just launched an Inhuman book, he's in the middle of an arc, and it doesn't make sense to upend all that to do an 'Original Sin' story."
One of the major different aspects of how "Original Sin" was built is structure, which allows creators to tell their own stories that are related, but distinct from the core event. "It's a much simpler and cleaner structure than we've done before," said Brevoort. "Part of the reason this is so appealing is because we haven't done it before. ... It also means that the core story can focus on the core situation, which is the death of the Watcher, the murder, the investigation of the killer."
So this is totally new, you see. They've never done this before. But I know what you're thinking - if Marvel is trying something new, does that mean we won't be treated to events that will shake the Marvel Universe to its very foundations? Of course not, silly! Every Marvel event changes the Marvel Universe forever and ever:
Alonso stepped in to remind readers of the massive scope of "Original Sin," which will "transform the lives of most of our Marvel characters." Coming out of the event, there will be 5 brand new titles launched as a result, and at least three of the core Avengers-level character titles will be profoundly affected.
So just to recap, Original Sin will be very unobtrusive to the books it's crossing over with - after all, it "it doesn't make sense to upend all that to do an 'Original Sin' story." But they will also change those titles forever and ever and ever. It will both change them and not change them at the same time. Original Sin is Schrodinger's Crossover, and at least three of Marvel's seventeen ongoing Avengers titles better look the fuck out!
Now, while Marvel's hype and CBR's corporate fellatio may be annoying, that doesn't mean that the books will have no redeeming value. In fact, they look like a lot of fun. Some of the stories that will be included in Original Sins:
- A Lockjaw story in #1.
- A Howard the Duck story in #2.
- The return of Deathlok to the Marvel U by Nathan Edmondson and Mike Perkins.
- A Doctor Doom story by James Robinson.
- An Inhumans story by Charles Soule.
- A J. Jonah Jameson story by Dan Slott and Mark Bagley.
- A Black Knight story with art by Raffaele Ienco.
- A Young Avengers story by Ryan North with art by Ramon Villalobos will be the "core" of the title, appearing in each issue along with two new stories including the ones listed above.
Another positive aspect of the event is that Marvel views it as an opportunity to give chances to new talent:
"An event like 'Original Sin' allows us to give an opportunity to some folks a chance to come into the Marvel Universe, play with the toys we've got and get their feet wet," said Brevoort. "Everybody kind of forgets it now because he's been around for so long, but Brian Bendis was an indie creator for years before he was Marvel's top writer. That's a testament to his skill level and that he got to come into the sandbox and play. There's every hope that someone we bring in now could be the next Brian Bendis."
Maybe they'll even be less white and male! LOL!
"Look for another launch with a female lead character, as well," said Alonso. "We're zoning in on an eighth, so keep buying those books."
So it's certainly not all bad. Original Sin seems like an interesting concept, and if you like one-and-done stories that really won't mean much after the whole status quo of the universe changes forever in six months with another crossover (and it's okay if you do - not everything needs to be "important" - take note, Marvel), then Original Sins looks like fun too.
All I'm saying is, it's possible to report on this stuff without presenting everything paid PR professionals say as matter-of-fact truth. But you wouldn't know that if you get all your news from the big comics sites. The fact is, while this crossover may be entertaining to read, it's not going to change the Marvel Universe forever, and it's not an innovative format that will revolutionize the industry. It's the same, business as usual, annual super-mega-blockbubster event comic with tie-ins that will result in a new cover dress for six months before they do it all over again. And that's not inherrently a bad thing - but it is what it is.
I'm not going to rant about all that again, so read my article elaborating on the failure of mainstream comics journalism here if you're interested.
Original Sin/s begins in June. The Marvel Universe will NEVER EVER BE THE SAME!!!!!!1111