The comic book industry is in a bad place.
Sales are terrible and continue to trend toward the inevitable bottom of the current cycle. Few books are generating any excitement or engagement among fans or critics. Potential new readers have gone to other genres and formats while veteran fans have been systematically alienated.
There are no easy solutions or silver bullet fixes to the industry’s multitude of problems. Many things need to change for a rebound to take root in earnest.
But when looking at several flagship franchises at DC and Marvel, each has a key problem that, if addressed, could go a long way toward bringing eyeballs back to those crucial books.
Problem: Avengers Mountain
In their time, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have set up shop in places as ritzy as a Fifth Avenue Mansion or SoCal beachfront estate and as humble as a Brooklyn apartment or a tin shack in New Jersey. While Avengers Mansion remains the team’s gold standard, other HQs have worked over the years. The current team sports a large and interesting line-up, but its meeting place is…odd: the hollowed out armored shell of a dead space god, half-buried near the North Pole.
While it’s certainly one of the more unique superhero bases, Avengers Mountain seems like a bad fit. One of the elements that always gave the team its identity was that they lived in and operated among the people they served. Sometimes that wasn’t always a good thing for the bystanders of the MU, who were in danger of becoming collateral damage, but it grounded the team in a way that more remote or obscure sanctums wouldn’t have. Everyone in the Marvel Universe knew where the Avengers hung their capes. Anyone could walk up to the front gate, to ask for help or mount an attack, depending on the situation. It gave the team a unique feel that being sequestered in the frozen wastelands in a space corpse just doesn’t.
Solution: Bring Back Avengers Mansion
It’s been too long since that iconic locale was used, and it’s high time the Avengers returned to New York.
Problem: Batman Takes a Back Seat