Marvel’s New All Ages Miniseries Is Not Good Enough
Marvel announced a brand new all-ages comic coming in April called Marvel Super Hero Adventures. It’s being written by Jim McCann with art by Dario Brizuela. The first cover art will be from my favorite two lady team from Japan, Gurihiru, who has been doing art for Gwenpool.
Aimed at young readers, this five issue Miniseries (there’s a reason I noted it’s a miniseries) will show that no hero is too big or small to have awesome adventures. Our buds over at Graphic Policy had a sneak peak at the first issue where Spider-Man heads to Wakanda to go on an adventure with Black Panther:
In the announcement, McCann said:
Marvel Super Hero Adventures is a chance to introduce the great heroes of Marvel to a brand new generation in exciting stories with lessons, adventures, and action that readers of all ages have come to expect from the House of Ideas! Each issue features Spider-Man teaming up with characters both classic, such as Black Panther and Doctor Strange, and popular new faces like Ms. Marvel. Together they battle villains like Doc Ock, Taskmaster, Venom and more. This is the book you can pick up and share with anyone from your kids to your friends!
The comic series is a great way for kids to improve their reading skills as well as provides material for parents to share and read to their children. The goal is to entertain and inspire with the series. The first adventure starts with Spider-Man swinging into Wakanda!
…And here is where I take a huge breathe and scream out in frustration.
Three years ago, I wrote a piece about the problem of kids comics. It’s 2018, and the problem is still here.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m so excited there’s a new Marvel comic aimed at children. It’s needed in a market where companies like Boom Studios, Joe Books, and books by Raina Telgemeier are kicking the crap out of the Big Two, Marvel and DC Comics in kids comics. Having old favorites like Spider-Man and the currently market hot Black Panther mixing with my girl and international Islamic icon Ms. Marvel is wonderful.
The problem that I have is what I noted up at the beginning of the article:
This is a miniseries.
Five issues. That is not good enough, Marvel. I don’t understand why this can’t be a new ongoing series.
Children want to read superhero comics. I see them all the time in my store looking for Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, and those little ladies want to see some kick butt women. DC Comics is doing a bit better at the kids market. At least they have Teen Titans Go! to offer up. Even then, it’s a bimonthly series. Six issues a year is the bare minimum, but at least they have constant new stuff coming out.
Marvel releases one, MAYBE two miniseries a year for children. A lot of their previous series are available to order like Marvel Tsum Tsum and Avengers: No More Bullying. These are available in trade paperback form. This works for your mid-level elementary school kids and up. But when it comes to a five year old looking to get their first comic, a trade paperback looks BIG. A book that “huge” to a five year old is daunting and scary especially when they’re learning how to read. The joy of single issues is that it’s more approachable to those younger kids. For three bucks, they can beat up the book, fold it, do whatever they want with it. A trade paperback has about a $15 price point. Parents are afraid to invest money in that when their kid could bend the pages, rip them, and play with it. This makes parents avoid buying these trades for their little ones.
This is why it would be imperative for Marvel to have an ongoing kids series in single issues. I would love to see it set up like IDW Publishing’s current Star Wars Adventures series. Every issue is a one shot or a two issue story. So far, no story has gone over three issues. Because of this format, a child can jump into any point of the comic, pick it up, and start to read it with no need for the previous issues. It’s a great series featuring character from the original trilogy, prequel movies, Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, and the current trilogy eras. It’s a brilliant format for this title. My personal favorite story was when Cassian Andor and K-2SO from Rogue One found a group of Wookiee children and had to babysit them. K-2SO is a surprisingly good nanny.
I would love to see Marvel have an ongoing kids comics with this format. They can feature their vast cornucopia of characters each month letting this series run for years.
But Hope, what about their all ages Avengers Assemble, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ultimate Spider-Man comics based on the Disney XD shows?
Do you mean these lazy bullshit excuses for comics?
Yes, I did just call them lazy bullshit excuses for comics books, because that’s exactly what these are. My store has lost money on these things. They sit on the shelves gathering dust with children having no interest in them. Why might you ask?
Children have already seen the shows.
I had a little boy look at one issue, tell me that he already seen that episode, and walked out of my store. I lost the sale. I haven’t seen him since. It was a miss opportunity where a little boy could have bought his very first comic book and started his new journey as a comic collector.
I also loathe these three bullshit comics because of how they’re made. They are literal screenshots from the episodes put into panel form:
This is so lazy. I have many friends who are sequential artists or comic writers toiling away in the lower ranks of the comic industry who would kill to get a chance to write for the Big Two. Here’s Marvel with three comics taking away three chances for new artists to break into the business.
Here’s a crazy thought, Marvel. Why not scrap these three lazy bullshit excuses for comics and focus on one good monthly ongoing title? It could be their freshman artist hazing title! They could give a new artist a couple issues, see how well they work with deadlines and in the company, and then consider putting them on other projects. If anything, it would give a new artist a chance to build their portfolio more. If there were any big time artists who wanted to do a fun one shot issue, it would give them that opportunity as well! Not only is Marvel putting out these terrible excuses of comic books, but they’re also taking away opportunities from new artists.
While I’m excited that we’re getting a new all ages kids comic, I really hope they expand it to an ongoing series. It’s needed so much in the market right now. Hell, I said it three years ago and it’s still true today:
A kids Deadpool series would make a killing. I get about 2-5 kids a WEEK asking for Deadpool comics. Oh my god, Marvel guys. You would make so much flipping money.
I’m begging you, Marvel. Please make a monthly series for children. I’m on your front lines working in stores selling your books. You’re not the one that has to tell a child there will be no issue #6. I’m the one that has to see their sad little faces, not you.
Back at Christmas, I had the hardest time finding an appropriate Spider-Man comic for my six year old nephew. I’m the manager of a comic store, we were out of back issues, and I had to order out of print Spider-Man comics from Amazon to complete his present.