Dear Marvel, 2013 was a mixed bag. You creatively expanded the Avengers universe, but painted yourself into a corner on a lot of Earthbound titles. Here’s what I’m hoping for in 2014:
1. Enough with the time travel. Age of Ultron and Battle of the Atom have pushed this envelope as far as it will go. Both stories included explicit descriptions of how the space/time continuum has been shattered, so there’s two stories that have pretty much laid it out that we can’t do any more chrono-hopping. The Thor book was the only successful and enjoyable romp across the ages. Maria Hill said it best this year: “I want you to go back in time and kill whoever invented the time machine.” The fact that the surviving piece of the Infinity Gauntlet is the Time Gem makes me shiver a bit.
2. Have Wolverine take a few of those vacation days. Internet rumors strongly suggest that Logan will die around August. Fine. I’ll take a year or so off from Captain Stabbyhands. At this point, Marvel could do a crossover with Sesame Street and Grover called “Wolverine Does Not Appear In This Book,” and by issue #3, James Howlett would show up anyway. It’s a big 616, folks, Logan doesn’t have to snikt-fix every problem. And as far as Wolverine actually dying, I point you towards the Deadpool “Dead” story arc.
3. Oh my the “O5.” Bendis and All-New X-Men, congratulations for nuking whatever momentum the wave from Messiah Complex through Schism had left in it. Sure AvX wasn’t perfect, but when compared to these O5 shenanigans, it’s holding up better in hindsight. Iceman sucks, we sure don’t need four of him (well, we’re down to 2 now). We’ll see how the Trial of Jean Grey crossover goes. Somebody fix this. Please.
4. If you kill a character, leave them dead. Another Geek League writer pointed out Winter Soldier as the fastest resurrection in recent Marvel history, during Fear Itself. I’m guessing Peter Parker will be back soon. We’ve been without Charles Xavier for a year. But we just got Cable and Nightcrawler back,not to mention Daken, Banshee (in his second iteration as a zombie henchman), Sentry, and ironically enough, Grim Reaper. So let’s leave Scarlet Witch and Rogue in the ground for a while.
5. Fearless Defenders. Bring it back. It was awesome. We need more. Nuff said.
6. Minimize titles. There’s Uncanny X-Men, All-New X-Men, X-Men, Wolverine and the X-Men, X-Men Legacy, Amazing X-Men, Uncanny X-Force, Cable and X-Force, Uncanny Avengers, Avengers, New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, Avengers Assemble, Secret Avengers, Avengers World. See, Fantastic Four and Future Foundation work together just fine, cover all the bases, and respect the fans’ wallet. So get trimming.
7. Give Remender more work. I know he’s got some indie projects going, but this guy does great work at Marvel. Move Bendis off of X-Men and hand it to Rick.
8. Bring back What If?. Then we don’t have to worry about the canonical consequences of, oh, I don’t know, just say, for example, time travel.
9. Creating a new villain can work better than fighting the same one again. Again. Look at Gorr, the Builders, and the Apocalypse Twins. The best story arcs of 2013 were rallied against new blood.
10. Coherent chronology. Somebody want to put these events in order for me? Here you go: Ragnarok Now, Infinity, Battle of the Atom, Killable. Exactly. I didn’t think you could. Yes, it’s a big sandbox, but the editors need to work this out. Otherwise we get nosebleeds trying to do it ourselves. Here’s hoping for a fun year. Looks like a wedding in April and a Canadian funeral in September. I remain optimistic for All-New Marvel Now!