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Marvel and DC comic books have been around for almost a century. In that time, they have managed to spread through nearly every aspect of pop culture. However, although they have existed for so long, not that much of their content has changed; in fact, many writers are simply retelling classic stories these days. Not only that, but the way that people think of these comics has also stayed the same. For instance, when people picture Batman, they picture Bruce Wayne, exactly like fans from 30 years ago. The same thing goes for other characters like Spider-man, the Hulk, and Superman. This right here is the issue.
Marvel and DC comics refuse to evolve. Sure, a lot of the writing has changed since their early comics but the content has not. The same stories and characters are being recycled again and again, and this has made their stories become stale over recent years. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen Iron man drink or Spiderman and Mary Jane break up and get back together. A story can only be original and ground breaking once. After it’s retold again and again, it loses the aspects of itself which made it stand out, and eventually, it becomes boring.
Even death itself has lose its value in Marvel and D.C. comics. Literally, almost every character in both universes have died and come back to life. The only dead character I can think of who has yet to come back is Uncle Ben (though after the Superior Spider man fiasco, I wouldn’t put it past Marvel). When a character dies, fans know that they’ll be back in a year or 2 ,and then the status quo will go back to normal.
The issue with Death isn’t even about characters not coming back, it’s about the ones that do. For instance, Steve Rogers is a prime example of someone who should have stayed dead. It’s not that he’s not a good character; it’s just that he has decades of stories exploring said character. There is no more reasonable depth which can possibly be given to him. After his death in the Civil War, Bucky Barnes should have stayed Captain America. Post resurrection, Bucky was a fresh character. Even today, there are factors of him which have yet to be fleshed out, and Marvel could have taken advantage of that to give fans a fresh character with new stories. Instead, they decide to bring back Rogers a few years later and give us the same tired plotlines.
Another example that perfectly embodies Marvel’s need to evolve comes in the form of what can be seen as one of the worst stories ever written by the company: Civil War 2. While trying to do something which wasn’t cliche, Marvel gave us the same old tired heroes vs heroes story. That in itself is not what makes the production bad; but the reason that they were fighting did not even make much sense, and the protagonists were portrayed out of character to move along a rushed, barely thought out tale, and that is why so many fans were unhappy with it. There were simply so many other ideas that the writers could have come up with.
If Marvel and D.C want to survive, they need to change. Both companies need to introduce new characters, storylines, and writers. If not, fans will eventually run out of patience, and without fans, they simply will cease to exist.
Author: Jaylen Pearce
Editor: Mara Zain