Monday, August 25, 2008

Closing Universes -- a guest post from Katherine

With a new school year to prepare for, I'm looking for a bit of help keeping my daily schedule with this blog, so if you're interested in doing a guest post on something comic book or pop-culture related, send me an e-mail (TCallah AT, and we'll see if we can get you on the Geniusboy Firemelon train-to-fame-and-fortune.

Today, I have a guest post from Katherine of Superheroes Space, a virtual community of comic book fans that features forums and a blog. Katherine's a 30-year-old superhero aficionado who's been reading comics since she was a child. Right now, she's really enjoying Secret Invasion but says that she remains loyal to Wonder Woman "if only for the fact that there are almost no female heroes in the comics world that can sustain their own comics." Here's what she has to say about Marvel and what she calls "Closing Universes":

Secret Invasion ends in November and at that time the Marvel Universe will change dramatically. We will be informed who was a Skrull and who wasn’t, and there will probably be empty places in the Marvel Universe that we know and at least partially love.

The new story of Ultimatum starts in the first week of November when the upcoming five-issues run instead of Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four.

Ultimates 3, Ultimate Power, and Ultimate Origins all lead to it so it probably won't build the story from scratch. In a sense, Ultimatum will do to the Ultimate Universe what Secret Invasion does to the Marvel Universe. David Finch said that it would close the Ultimate Universe, meaning some of the titles would cease to exist after the fifth issue of Ultimatum.

I have a very good feeling about the what Marvel is doing, both in Secret Invasion and in the planned Ultimatum issues. In fact I would recommend that DC watch and learn. It is a good opportunity to discuss the branching of the stories and side stories that became such a big part of the comics culture. I like the interaction between the superheroes and the creation of the universes, but, at least for me, it becomes spread too thin.

Too many side stories, too much to read just to follow the superheroes that I really want to follow, and the stories of the universes became too divided in themselves. Maybe others won't agree with me on this one, but I am happy that the branching process is being reversed at least partially. Marvel is in the process of creating more cohesion in their stories and opening space for new developments and creativity.

In a sense it is a risky move as they terminate many stories that work at least partially, but I like the new order that is being created and the opportunities for entirely new stories and directions. I have the feeling that by 2009 we'll have very different Marvel comics than the one we know today, and a change can be a very good thing.


[Note: I don't have any sense that the conclusion of Secret Invasion will have that much impact on the Marvel mainstream -- not nearly as much as Civil War had, but maybe Katherine's right. Maybe Marvel in 2009 will bear little resemblance to the Marvel of the past couple of years. The Ultimate Universe will certainly look a lot different. What say you?]

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