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02/12/2003

 

By John Steib

Tsunami 


Thank you, Marvel Comics! I was sitting here scratching my head trying to decide what to fill this space with and Marvel went and made a "major" announcement to give me something to talk about.

Coming in April is a new "wave" of monthly titles named "Tsunami" (donít blame me for the puns) that use Japanese storytelling techniques as a model. The goal of these new titles is to attract a different audience than those currently buying Marvelís monthlies. Marvel has noticed that comics (specifically Japanese manga) are selling to non-comic store customers (namely younger readers and girls) in chain bookstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble. Rather than trying to make girls read Avengers or Thor, Marvel decided to create titles with a different emphasis on pacing and character development and maybe even (gasp!) romance. If the top selling trade paperbacks in these chain stores are Love Hina, Inu Yasha, and Gundam Wing, you arenít going to attract any new readers with another Wolverine title.

Marvel introduced their new wave with a series of teaser images on some of the popular comic news websites. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed once I actually heard the titles. But, it took me a day or so to realize that maybe these titles arenít necessarily "for" me. So, rather than blast these books before reading them, Iíll hold my opinion until April. (Wow, growth from a comic book store guy.)

"Namor" the Sub-Mariner has been in comics since 1939. Heís been everything from a nazi-basher to a super-villain and now heís going to be a teenager. And heís in love with a surface girl. (Okay, maybe I havenít grown *so much* that I canít snicker at the Little Mermaid-ness of this one.) The first issue is only 25 cents!!  Itís co-written by Bill Jemas and Andi Watson with art by Mizuki Sakakibara.


 

 

 

 

 

"Venom" is going to be the sci-fi / horror title featuring everybodyís favorite brain-eating symbiote that used to be Spider-Manís costume. This time, the symbiote jumps from person to person.  Written by Daniel Way with art by Francisco Herrera.



 

 

"Sentinel" features a sophomore slacker and the giant mutant hunting robot he finds in his dadís junkyard. (Okay, I saw this movie, too.)  Written by Sean McKeever with art by Udon Studios.



"Human Torch" promises more straight-forward fun and action than some of these titles. It features the fiery member of the Fantastic Four.  Written by Karl Kesel with art by Skottie Young.  This is the one Iím most looking forward to!



 

"Mystique" is the blue-skinned shape shifter from the X-titles (and movie) that hopes to feature "Alias" type adventures.  Written by Brian (Y the Last Man) Vaughn with art by Jorge Lucas.




 

 

"Runaways" is billed by Marvel as "Smallville meets Harry Potter" and stars six young friends and the secret they share.  Another title written by Brian Vaughn, this time with art by Adrian Alphona.





And there you go. Itís not exactly "Peach Girl" or "Cowboy Bebop" but itís a different take than you normally see from Marvel. And, as Iíve said in the past, it doesnít hurt to TRY something different to attract new readers. These are still Marvel characters in the Marvel Universe doing Marvel-type things, just at a different pace. Now, if only somebody could explain to me what "Marmalade Boy" is...


John Steib
Collector's Edge WEST Store Manager

 
All comments (c)2003 John Steib and may not be reproduced in whole or in part, without written permission of the author.


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