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YMMV / Marvel: A Fresh Start

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  • And You Thought It Would Fail: There was a Collective Groan by much of the community at Marvel doing another relaunch just seven months after their last, and it was thought that it would only continue their Dork Age they had been stuck in for a good portion of the '10s. Fast-forward a year later, and the general reception is that Fresh Start was what had finally gotten Marvel out of the Dork Age, with new creative teams, new ideas, new stories and generally being more in-tune with their actual audience, have reinvigorated the Marvel brand. It helps that they've stopped their Character Shilling of the Inhumans at the expense of the X-Men, while putting mutants back as a core pillar of the Marvel Universe.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Marvel puts the heroes of old back into the limelight, after many fans complained that their newer replacements either didn't hold up or received too much Character Shilling. However, there are also those displeased with the return to the status quo.note 
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    • Many of the legacy heroes were still kept on, despite the changes. Some characters were given retools note , while other characters returned to the spotlight. note 
    • After several years on ice due to Marvel's movie rights feud with 20th Century Fox, the Fantastic Four are finally making their return to the Marvel Universe.
    • The shilling of The Inhumans seems to be slowing down, likely to placate the haters the franchise amassed in recent years due to the way Marvel was blatantly trying to make them into the new X-Men.
      • And by "slowing down" people apparently mean "killing off the line completely" as, outside of the only tangentially related titles like Ms. Marvel or Moon Girl, the *only* Inhuman book this initiative was Death of the Inhumans.
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    • The ending of Amazing Spider-Man #1 features The Big Damn Kiss between Peter and MJ on the very last page, hinting that they might get back together, along with the near-explicit addressing of One More Day given how much it's referenced in that same issue. Issue 2 confirms, that yes, they are a couple again.
    • Finally putting the X-Men back into the limelight after years of them being shafted into a Dork Age solely because of 20th Century Fox holding their movie rights. Now that Disney bought out the company, thus gaining their company's rights, the X-Men have promptly returned as a pillar of Marvel. To exemplify this, they've gotten the famed Jonathan Hickman to relaunch the X-Men with two major storylines that will redefine their place in the Marvel Universe, followed by a relaunch of brand new X-titles that start fresh as opposed to being in a constant state of stagnation. In fact, many were glad that Hickman convinced Marvel to cancel all ongoing X-Men titles (including the tepidly-received Uncanny X-Men (2018)) in favor of his relaunch, which will "reboot" the X-Men into what is hoped to be a new era of greatness.
    • After all the complaints about how they changed Spider-Woman's iconic costume to something more modest and less sexy in her 2014 series, she finally returns to the classic skin-tight suit starting with Strikeforce. Though, well-received by those who hated the new costume, this did cause fans who liked the new costume to be disappointed.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A few days before the reveal of the Multiple Man title, writer Peter David responded to a Twitter comment about Madrox's status as "most certainly not dead". At first, this looks like a case of PAD applying Word of St. Paul on a character, however, it looks like he knew a thing or two!
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • There's the fact that Peter Parker was gradually shunted back into poverty, moved back into NY and now lives in a shoddy apartment, and rooms with Robbie Robinson's son again, meaning that Peter is once again the "relatable loser". Many of Peter's fans didn't take that well.
    • Laura Kinney being thrown back from her Wolverine mantle while it was given back to James Howlett wasn't well received by some, especially in light of her new comic book being titled "X-23", hinting she'll go back to a codename she actually hates. That said, her comic focuses on trying to find an identity for herself, so there is still hope for her to find an identity of her own that doesn't involve her trademark codename, just like Gabby did.
  • Memetic Loser: Between Marvel getting the film rights to the X-Men back due to Disney's acquisition of Fox, the increased focus on bringing said X-Men back, and the Death of the Inhumans event coming after years of Character Shilling in an attempt to turn them in Marvel's mutants due to film rights, and not to mention the epic failure of the show starring them after it was supposed to have been a big movie, the Inhumans have become the official whipping boys of a very vocal portion of the Marvel community.
  • Old Guard Versus New Blood: Fresh Start panders to the older Marvel fans whose heroes had been gradually sidelined from Original Sin and All-New, All-Different Marvel onwards, whereas many of the newer Marvel characters get benched instead. Naturally older fans are mostly pleased by this whereas Marvel's newer audiences that got on board for these characters (and older fans that liked the newer heroes regardless) are less pleased. This seems to be slightly reversing with the revival of Nadia Van Dyne's title.
  • Pandering to the Base: With "Fresh Start", Marvel is being heavily accused of this in regards to fans who wanted the old status quo back at any cost. With many of the new generation being shunted aside (Riri Williams and Amadeus Cho losing their solo books, with Champions, a series that's also likely to get cancelled soon, becoming basically the only place they can appear), shafted back onto their old aliases (Laura Kinney and Sam Wilson/Falcon), or even depowered (Jane Foster), while the old generation takes their place back. There are a lot of older fans who feel happy about this as Marvel, to them, spent the last few years pandering to about everyone but the fans of the classic comics, and there are naturally a lot of new fans who aren't too happy with this as it derails many of the characters that got them into Marvel in the first place.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Quite a few creators on different titles have gotten mixed reactions to them.
    • Dan Slott's Iron Man, there are fans who are utterly wary of Slott's description of "Rick and Morty meets Black Mirror" — some are assuming that this means we're looking at fantastical sci-fi things the same way we saw Slott's take on Silver Surfer, others have taken this literally and are assuming we're looking at the advent of Pickle Tony Stark.
    • For Mark Waid's Dr. Strange, he's coming off of the popular run by Donny Cates, thus he has a Tough Act to Follow. This is also because many fans feel like Waid's been off his A-Game since Avengers (2016) and Champions (2016).note 
    • Readers are also concerned about Mariko Tamaki taking over writing X-23 after Taylor's well-received All-New Wolverine, particularly citing the tepid reception to and poor sales on her run of She-Hulk.
      • There is a big concern about forcing Laura back into X-23 codename and costume when part of her character arc in All-New Wolverine was outgrowing her past. In regards to Mariko Tamaki there are people who believe she is much better fitting on Laura than She-Hulk but are irritated that this is the second time she is given a book with what appears to be an editorial-mandated Audience-Alienating Premise, almost feels like they want to make her into a Scapegoat Creator.
    • The announcement of Slott on Fantastic Four has been heavily mixed — there are fans who know that Slott can write the team properly, having seen his Thing series, his Spider-Man/Human Torch mini-series and the times he's used them in Amazing Spider-Man. There are those, though, who are still burnt by his Amazing run and didn't like his Silver Surfer run at all who think not giving it to Chip Zdarsky, who is still writing Marvel 2-in-One, is a slap in the face.
  • Unexpected Character: Or rather "Unexpected Series" in this case.
    • The appearance of a brand-new series starring The Sentry. With the character being both a laughingstock and a sign of things wrong with Marvel, one would think they would stay away from him.
    • West Coast Avengers was a series that no one thought would be revived, considering it's been disbanded for twenty-four real world years without any talk of ever bringing them back. Granted, only Hawkeye carries over from the original team as the rest are new characters introduced in the '00s and the '10s, but still.
    • The revival of Iceman. The original title didn't last long, but has gained more attention over time with strong trade sales, which may have had something to do with it.
    • Even more surprising was the revival of Unstoppable Wasp. Initially the comics sold poorly and barely got noticed, and was released during what many consider a Dork Age. However, trades sold well and so Marvel is willing to give it another go. It helps there's a new guy in charge. That said, it's still surprising when one considers that the theme is bringing back the old guard as opposed to Legacy Characters, so them bringing back Nadia as a legacy title is still quite a deviation. What possibly justifies it is that Janet, Nadia's predecessor, will be playing a more active role as her mentor.
    • The announcement of a Shatterstar series definitely raised some eyebrows. While not without a following, Shatterstar isn't exactly iconic, and his film debut earlier that same year in fact had him dying before he could even fight as a gag C-List Fodder character alongside the rest of the X-Force.
    • Daughters of the Dragon had a short-lived six issue run from 2006 and never had Misty Knight or Colleen Wing headlined together in a title again. So bringing the series back over a decade later, even as a digital exclusive, definitely came out of nowhere.
    • Domino hasn't headlined her own series since 2003, and is usually put in team books as opposed to being solo, making it look left-field. Though, the interest in her character spiking after Deadpool 2 may have had something to do with it.
    • Because the Champions were made effectively to replace the Young Avengers as the main traditional teenage super team of the Marvel Universe, many didn't seriously think the Young Avengers would actually return any time soon. Then at New York Comic-Con 2018, C.B. Cebulski confirmed that a new Young Avengers title is on the way in 2019, and that fans of the series will be very happy.
    • Even if they're only One-Shots, the revivals of classic titles Love Romances, Gunhawks, and Ziggy Pig Silly Seal were a surprise.
    • How many people thought Black Cat was ever going to headline her own ongoing?
    • Though it's only a one-shot, Power Pack getting revisited, by their original creators no less, was a definite surprise.
  • Win the Crowd: As noted, A Fresh Start had an uphill battle due to being another relaunch that reset the numbering (which has been a major cause of Marvel's problems with fans, as many found things became too confusing), and the appearance that they were shunting the 'diverse' heroes. However, the runs that started from the relaunch have been well-received (in particular, Nick Spencer's Amazing Spider-Man has been massively redeeming both the book and Spencer himself), while the 'diverse' heroes have been saved from obscurity either by having them gain new books (Ironheart, Iceman, and Unstoppable Wasp, the latter two largely because of their strong trade sales), or grouped into team books (such as the new West Coast Avengers), thus mitigating the concerns that Marvel were going to pander to the fans who had been calling for those characters' heads. As a result, overall things have been rather well-received despite the initial concerns.

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