Marvel fires back with ‘Point One’Written by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Last month, DC Comics, for many years now the traditional second-place finalist, pulled ahead of rival Marvel Comics to grab the lion’s share of the comic book market. The venerable firm’s complete relaunch of its line brought both publicity and fortune, the expected result of such a wholesale change in its product strategy, but Marvel has not taken it on the chin — it has forged ahead with the release of a kind of preview book for the months ahead.
Monarch Cards & Comics’ Ed Katschke called the Point One one-shot “Marvel’s latest attempt to push its line of comics.”
“Point One is a strange one indeed, although not without its little pleasures,” he said. “It’s a 64-page book that is chock full of teasers for upcoming Marvel projects and retails for a rather steep $5.99. Normally this kind of project leaves me cold, but I was pleasantly surprised how effectively the various creators use the short story format.
“The book begins with a framing device involving one of Marvel’s most beloved cosmic beings, the Watcher, and writer Ed Brubaker does a fine job of setting up the reason for the book’s existence, while artist Javier Pulido invokes comic art legend Steve Ditko’s funky style as the main characters fall down the rabbit hole and begin to experience various flash forwards into the future.”
Marvel has put its top creators on Point One, a sign that it’s serious about marketing its line. Characters involved include Nova, the X-Men, the Scarlet Spider, the Avengers and a hero who’s often been relegated to subpar status over the past several years.
“The best of the six previews included in this issue features Marvel’s former Sorcerer Supreme and current New Avenger, Doctor Strange,” Katschke noted. “In a tale harkening back to Strange’s original ’60s tales, writer Matt Fraction and art team Terry and Rachel Dodson give us a spooky tale of mystical madness which sets up the upcoming Defenders series due out next month.
“The final story is actually the tease of a teaser. A year ago, writer Brian Michael Bendis showed us a nightmare future where evil robot Ultron has taken over the planet after Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers, failed to stop him. It’s not a great short story, but as a teaser it works well.”