A Certain Point of View: Marvel Comics Oddities

Way back in the olden times of the 1980s a few odd things happened at Marvel Comics. The “New Universe” being one of them, OK… one of the biggest. I’m not here to write about that though, since I’ve already done that. No, I am here to talk about a few titles that I am still scratching my head over.

Sure, Superpro is from 1990, but I feel like it’s an 80’s idea so I am including it. So, Team America, US1 and Superpro. Who were these books for? I sort of understand the NFL partnering with Marvel, and that would play far better now that it’s cool to be a Sports Ball affectionate and a comic book nerd at the same time. Back then, though… oil and water. And “High Adventure Trucking Down the Highway”, who wouldn’t love that? Me. The answer is Me.

This is were titles like DC’s Showcase, or a Marvel Presents would have been most valuable. Putting out a few feeler stories, then waiting for the numbers to bear out whether or not the concept is hit-miss-or-middling. Developing a whole series on some sort of, what seems to be a whim, is just folly. Just like the off timing of the Superpro book, Team America would have played better back in the heyday of Evel Knievel, and US1 missed the CB/Truckin’ craze by almost a decade. It’s as if there were a creative team being held against their will and constantly hit with cattle prods to be more creative.

Do I like these titles? Nope. The concepts are ridicules and the execution, what else could it be. I guess I can respect the audacity of it all and trying to come up with something new. That’s as much praise as I will give.

Brute Force was another of the “WTF?” titles for me, but it was a far more creative idea and saving the planet never goes out of style. As you can see, this was a limited series which is another great way to test the market to see if an idea floats. This one sank, but it was a spectacular sinking.

I know that using comics to sell toys, toothpaste, television shows or movies have been a thing for a long time, sometimes you have to just question the editorial decision to green light some of these books that are meant to be a series. Not everything is a Star Wars, G.I. Joe [ARAH] or Transformers, but you get out of it what you put into it. Develop a great concept, a plot and backstory with great dialog, then cap it off with a solid rendering team… all that should get you a hit. Even then, hedge your bets with a mini series, or anthology book. Heck, now you can pop out some free content on the web and gauge what you have from there ㋛

Until next time… peace, long life and may the force be with you.

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