Beard: An abundance of AvengersWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A hit movie for a comic book company can be like printing money, but it can also be an excuse to print more comics. Since the build-up to last year’s Avengers film and its staggering success at the box office, Marvel Comics has gone whole hog in assembling a line of titles to insure that fans of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” never want for even more adventures of their favorite super team.
Now, with the addition of two more monthly Avengers books, the company also risks reaching the point of over-saturation.
There are currently seven ongoing series that make up the prime continuity “Avengerverse”: Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Avengers Assemble, Avengers Arena and Young Avengers. July brings the new Avengers A.I., which boasts a team of robot and android heroes, and September marks the debut of Mighty Avengers, which appears to be a more of a grass-roots assemblage. In addition, there’s also A+X, which teams solo Avengers members with X-Men characters, and Marvel’s all-ages mouthful of an entry, Marvel Universe Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, not to mention Ultimate Comics Ultimates, an other-dimensional version of the Avengers.
So, what are the dangers of nine different main Avengers titles co-existing on the racks? Comic industry history’s shown that too much of a good thing can lead to consumer apathy and burnout, which of course leads to canceling titles. There have been times in the past when rival DC Comics has flooded the market with an equivalent Justice League tide, but despite that, the companies never seem to learn from such over-zealous publishing. There’s also the risk of sullying the brand by including more and more Marvel heroes on the roster; the number of characters who have not been an Avenger at one time or another over the past fifty years or so is shrinking to the point of farce. Of course, with recent announcements of future Avengers films, this may all become moot and nine ongoing titles may not be enough. Marvel may have to simply rename themselves Avengers Comics, Inc. and print more money … err, books.