In recent years, Marvel Comics has been suffering a bit of a talent drain. Some have been nabbed by DC Comics, such as Tom King, but that’s not been the rule. Instead it has been Image Comics that has provided a welcoming home for Rick Remender, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Matt Fraction, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jamie McKelvie, Jonathan Hickman and more, while they’ve had to share the likes of Jeff Lemire, Jason Latour, Nick Spencer, Mark Millar, Warren Ellis and Kieron Gillen (a number of whom haven’t been interested in Marvel’s superhero books for a while now.)
The dilemma has been that Marvel creates stars, or rather gives comic book creators the opportunity to make big names for themselves on the back of Marvel’s familiar characters – only to see them use this newly found fame to publish their own titles through Image which that own, can turn into movies, sell toy rights, translate into foreign languages – and even if they don’t sell Marvel numbers, they get paid a lot more.
Marvel have been better at getting the big name artists tied down, but much of the fanbase seems writer-driven right now. Marvel does have Brian Bendis and Dan Slott to themselves, Ta-Nehisi Coates has provided a big “get” and there is much hope for Al Ewing, but Image and DC have been swinging bigger ones of late.
Well, I am reliably informed that Marvel is planning ahead of a charge. Taking time to line up big-name talent, new and old, across the board for a series of big name titles in 2018, to be created well in advance to avoid the shipping issues that can often affect such in-demand creators.
And planned to coincide with a year already full in the cinema with Deadpool 2, Black Panther, Avengers Infinity War, New Mutants (probably) and a Spider-Man Animated Movie.