OK, I’ve Got a Beef with Avengers Assemble #16. And 15, sorta, but not as much.

OK, so, if you read a few of Marvel’s titles, it’s pretty clear that continuity is….spread pretty thin. For example, Captain America is in Dimension Z in his own mag, Avengers, New Avengers, Avengers Assemble, Uncanny X Men…..and doing different things at different times in all of ’em.

I’m OK with that.

There are a lot of crossovers and “big picture” stories that will perhaps enrich your experience of the Marvel Universe if you read them all. Age of Ultron, I’m looking at you.

But I’m OK with that too.

What I’m not OK with is making a single Title impossible to follow by requiring that crossover issues of other titles be read. If somebody wants to read only one title per month, they should be able to do that with a reasonable expectation of not getting “lost” or having story-critical information be missed because it happened in another title.

Captain Marvel’s Brain Lesion, I’m looking at you.

~SPOILERS~

In Avengers Assemble 15, Captain Marvel battled alongside the heroes of Britain against the Ultrons. She mentions the brain lesion that makes flying a health risk for her. As I’m reading, I’m thinking, “OK, that didn’t happen in Avengers Assemble. That’s slightly douche, but I’ll give them a pass.” At the end of #15, Captain Marvel is inside Ultron Brittania’s HQ when it explodes. Nice cliffhanger! Neato-Keen! Can’t wait for the next issue!

In #16, Captain Marvel is in her apartment. In New York. Yes, still with a brain lesion, but dude…what if the only title you read was Avengers Assemble? I still don’t know why, when or how Captain Marvel got the lesion, or escaped the exploding building or GOT FROM LONDON TO NEW YORK. I’m assuming the answers are in Age of Ultron, or Captain Marvel, or Avengers Enemy Within, but story arcs shouldn’t be crafted such that one MUST read other issues to “get it”. Reading other arcs/titles should enhance the experience, but not be required just for a basic understanding of the story.

Not cool, Marvel. A fan of 35 years and change has lost a lot of respect for you with this tactic.

Avengers Assemble was put out to capitalize on the fever-pitched excitement surrounding the Avengers Film–it’s “Avengers Light”. Suppose some young fan collects that title, and only that title–which, at $3.99 a whack is completely feasible. You have done this young reader a great disservice with the complete discontinuity between issues 15 and 16 of Avengers Assemble.

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3 responses

  1. #15AU was an Age of Ultron tie-in issue. It took place in an alternate reality. You can simply discard it entirely from continuity, because in terms of continuity, it never actually happened. It was just an awesome alternate universe story. I mean, #15AU ended with Captain Marvel dying. It wasn’t a cliffhanger. She was flat-out dead. That big explosion was her sacrificing herself to destroy Ultron’s hub in London. Hence, “Carol Danvers WAS Captain %!#@$* Marvel.” And Faiza saying she can’t feel them.

    As far as the lesion goes, it was established in Captain Marvel’s ongoing solo. And all you need to know is that she has a brain lesion, and when she uses her flight powers, it grows bigger. Eventually, it’ll get so big that it’ll cause brain damage, erasing her memories and personality.

    Crossovers are nothing new in comics. As a reader of 35 years, you should know that. They’re something that goes back to the ’60s. They started to become big in the ’80s, then took over the industry in the ’90s, and have continued to dominate the industry in the 2000s. The Enemy Within, at least, is a limited-scope crossover, between two books written by the same writer. I suspect it’s largely a way to try to get the Assemble readers to check out Captain Marvel.

    You should totally check Captain Marvel out, by the way. It’s an amazing book. Captain Marvel’s a great character, and Kelly Sue DeConnick writes her with such humanity. And she writes the best friendship in comics, between Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman. I know it’s another $3 to your monthly budget, but that’s not too bad, and in a couple more months, it’ll be Marvel’s only remaining female solo title, so I think it deserves the support. And it is just an incredibly good book.

  2. I was very, very tempted to start picking up Captain Marvel’s title when it came out…but I already subscribe to oh…9 or 10 titles…plus other “pick ups” here and there so I had to make some tough choices 😉 I’ll be reading AU as soon as it comes out in trade and I’m really looking forward to it! Ultron is one of my fave “love to hate” characters.

    I hear and respect you on all points, loud and clear. I do know about crossovers and the necessity for Marvel to market as much as they can to as big an audience as possible…but I do still feel that a reader should be able to read just one title if they please, and not be TOTALLY lost by the continuity being presented in just that one book.

    Crossover should enhance the experience for those that can afford them all–they should not be required reading simply in order to have the first clue. I keep thinking of some imaginary kid who can only afford one comic a month–what if that comic was/is Avengers Assemble? I’m sad for him or her.

    Love Kelly Sue’s writing! She transformed Avengers Assemble as soon as she took it over. Love, love love.

    And as for Captain Marvel’s “Death” in the alternate reality–PUH-LEASE!!!!! Death is rarely more than a passing ailment in the Marvel Universe, so it was most definitely a cliff-hanger for those of us who haven’t read Age of Ultron yet.

    Thanks for responding!! Great hearing from someone so in the know. Appreciate you taking the time. Peace!

    mjolnir

    • For the record, AU was a pretty mediocre event overall. You can read it if you want, but it’s probably not really worth it, for the most part.

      And nope, Carol died in that reality. She blew herself up. No cliffhanger, just a dead superhero. Until the Age of Ultron was erased from having happened in the first place, which brought back all the heroes who died in it. Which is all the heroes.

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