Friday, November 26, 2010

What Happened to New Comic Book Characters?

X-Men, from the
What happened to new comic book characters? I'm talking about how the two major publishers of comic books (Marvel and DC) appear to rely only upon their tried and true characters. The 1960's and 70's had an explosion of characters for Marvel and DC, most notably with Stan Lee's creations of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and others. The characters that emerged out of these pivotal decades are the same that dominate today's comics, over 40 years later.

I recognize that it is expensive to introduce a new comic character. Launching a new book with an unfamiliar character is a risky and expensive move by any publisher. Centering an already popular book around a new character is also a risky and expensive move as it can alienate an already devoted audience. However, the risk of not introducing new characters is that the older ones will become spread too thin and be overused. It takes gumption to introduce a new character and I strongly feel the major publishers are playing it far too safe. They (publishers) should hire talented individuals and trust them in their creative abilities. If not, then comic fans will never know what characters could be introduced to their beady little eyes on a monthly basis, and of course, begin to cherish as much as the old characters.

Echo, by Terry Moore, is
one of the few recent
examples of a new character
but from an independent
While there a few exceptions (referring primarily to the Vertigo line of comics), I can only hope that the major publishers will change their ways in the near future. Please, take a chance and allow fans like myself to experience new character creations. Even if it is a flop, it will still be a step forward. It will also provide diversity to the now static comic shelves. Through those mistakes perhaps we can also gain a better appreciation of where this wonderful medium is headed.

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