An open letter to Marvel Comics:
Guys, seriously, it has to stop eventually. I've been faithful. I've been good. I've followed the stories, from New Avengers' "Breakout", to House of M, to Civil War, right through to the Secret Invasion. I waited and read patiently, savouring each little tidbit, each revelatory moment that recast the last few years of Marvel U history into this rather ornate and well-orchestrated whole. That aside, I've actually enjoyed all those stories individually, as well as the whole tapestry. But the end of Secret Invasion? Did we get and epilogue of any kind? Did we get reactions from the public? Did we get Skrulls in the streets? Did we, at least, get a satisfying conclusion to the story? No. We got the teaser for the next big crossover. What a let down. I'm glad that you seem to have grand stories you'd like to tell, and writers willing to put in the years and effort. But here's the thing. While the Marvel U is undergoing crisis after crisis, and just picks itself back up and shakes off the dust, the real world is undergoing a couple of crises simultaneously that we can't just get back up and keep going from. As a result of these crises, I can't afford to buy your over-extended, constantly bigger and better stories. I have to put gas in my car. I can't afford to buy three or four books to understand what's going on in one title I enjoy. I have to deal with the increasing price of food. I can't even imagine what a let down the last few issues of New Avengers would have been if I hadn't been reading Secret Invasion. I really hope that the stories in your separate comics will actually be separate for a while, because I can't buy Dark Reign. I can't buy Dark Avengers. You have a substantial portion of my income directed to your company already, but it seems you just want more and more. Sadly, should the titles I enjoy no longer be able to stand on their own (as New Avengers and Mighty Avengers over the last 6 months have not), then that portion of my income will be put towards something else. I'm not even threatening to leave you for the competition, because that would be childish. I just want you to think about the people who are buying your comics, who likely put money aside especially for your comics, and who cannot afford in these trying times, to put much more aside. Is it fair to expect them to do so in order to enjoy the products you produce? I don't think so. I've been buying Marvel comics for almost 25 years. I have a lot invested in your characters. I've enjoyed their stories for almost as long as I can remember, and I would love to be able to continue to do so. I therefore ask that you allow me to continue enjoying the stories you produce, that you make it feasible for someone, for everyone, who can't find the money to collect five or six different titles, to still get a satisfying experience from collecting a single series. Maybe you will. Maybe Dark Reign will play out in the background of the titles I read. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. But if the last couple of years is anything to go by, I'll be wrong.