Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Is nothing sacred at Marvel anymore?

The hits just keep on coming at Marvel.

Consider what has happened in Civil War II so far:

1. War Machine (James Rhodes) was killed off in the Free Comic Book Day preview of issue 1, prompting the current conflict.

2. She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) is in a coma, and there were teases, if not rumors, that she, too, would be killed off.

3. It's been spoiled already, as reported previously, that Tony Stark would shed the Iron Man armor after the conclusion of the miniseries, and his teenage protege, Riri Williams, would be his successor, wearing gender-neutral armor.

And, now........

4. She-Hulk's cousin, Robert Bruce Banner, the original Hulk, is the next one to be killed off pro tempore.

This is the result of the newest Inhuman, Ulysses, having foreseen that Hulk would, in a murderous rage, kill the other heroes.

Ah, but therein lies the rub.

Ulysses has been pushed, in wrestling terms, as the breakout star in the miniseries, as Marvel, throwing shade at Fox, is pushing the Inhumans very hard in their cinematic universe, extending that push into print. If writer Brian Bendis hadn't already taken heat from purists over the passing of the Iron Man armor, and I'm sure that this has happened, though I'm ok with the idea, he has to be getting nuclear heat now from infuriated fans of the Green Goliath. I'm not sure how older readers have received Amadeus Cho as the Totally Awesome Hulk, but a better way to, again, using wrestling terminology, get Cho over, would be to have Banner as more of a mentor, even though Cho is supposedly a genius. A much younger genius.

After more than 50 years of "Hulk smash!", punctuated with long periods of a more intellectual Hulk (and Cho falls into the latter category, I think), Banner is being laid to rest---at least for now. This, of course, isn't going to last, not when Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) factors into "Thor: Ragnarok", due in about a year or so.

You would think Marvel would learn by now that while they're obsessing over mainstream media attention for all the moves they've made, they again are ignoring the salient fact that their product is read by not just kids, but adults of all demographic groups. Fans and shop owners can tell the casual newbies that "it's just a story", but the story is lost amidst the need for attention in the Dan Buckley era at Marvel.

Trust me. By this time next year, they'll come out with something called, oh, I don't know, Hulk: Resurrection. We won't be the least bit surprised.

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