An Open Letter to Marvel Comics

Dear Marvel,

We’re pals, right? I mean, sure, we’ve had some rough times over the years, but it’s been a pretty solid relationship, so can we make like Cypress Hill and be real for a second?

What the hell, bro?

I refer, of course, to this:



Yes, it’s a solicitation for The Essential Power Man and Iron Fist, and at first glance, that looks like a great idea. It picks up where you’ve left off in both Essential of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, showcasing theiradventures as the greatest team to ever travel to another dimension and fight a guy who flew through space riding a giant green tiger.

But there is a problem here.



It skips an issue, Marvel. And as soon as I saw that, I realized what issue it was. Power Man and Iron Fist #73.



The one with ROM: Spaceknight.


Now look, Marvel, I realize that this one isn’t your fault. The rights to ROM are notoriously screwed up, and I’ve got to believe in my heart that if you could’ve published that issue, you would’ve, but seriously. Even though it isn’t technically legal, don’t you have a responsibility–no, a moral imperative–to include that one?

How can you deny your reading public a comic that opens with the greatest of the Spaceknights rampaging through Harlem and blasting hookers with his space laser?!



Really. You’re going to sit there and not publish that because of publication rights that haven’t made anyone any money in twenty years. Really.

Maybe it’s just that you’ve forgotten how freakin’ awesome this issue really is, and in that case, it’s up to me to remind you. See, while ROM’s crusing through Harlem on his Dread Mission of Cosmic Vengeance and blasting the living crap out of the shape-shifted dire wraiths who hide amongst humanity without bothering to explain to anyone that he’s not really vaporizing innocent citizens, Luke and Danny spend the first part of this Mary Jo Duffy/Greg LaRocque classic at the opening night of Day of the Dreadlox, a play starring the vaguely Chuck Norris-like Bob Diamond, wherein he fights odd little robots that roll around yelling “INCINERATE!

Yes, you read that right: Power Man and Iron Fist attend a play where Chuck Norris fights the Daleks. That alone should be reason enough for this thing to be classified as Essential, and that’s just what happens by page five.

Anyway, as I’m sure you know since it’s what happened whenever two of your characters ran into each other for about forty years, ROM and the Heroes For Hire need to fight before they can get anything accomplished, and it all comes down to A Pimp Named Solace:



Ah, the revenge of an angry man who unknowingly pimped a shape-shifting alien wizard. Like every element of this story, it speaks to all of us, even today… and yet, you would keep it from us.

You would deny us the action



…the pathos



…and the heartbreak



… of this most awesome of team-ups?

I say no! This omission cannot be allowed to stand, Marvel. I mean seriously, didn’t you guys mint up some highly-illegal quarters in flagrant violation of the law? Are you really willing to take on the U.S. Government to promote a Jessica Alba movie, but you won’t risk the wrath of Hasbro to bring us the Heroes for Hire and the Greatest of the Spaceknights, together at last?!

Say it ain’t so, Marvel. Say it ain’t so.

Best of the Best,
Chris Sims



BONUS FEATURE: Join The Revolution!


If you’re like me and you believe that we comics readers deserve and demand the return of Galador’s favorite son–at the very least in the team-up issues–feel free to take up the cause yourself:



Free the Vertigo Three!

Despite the fact that I don’t usually read comics news websites–which should be readily apparent to anyone who’s noticed the surprise on my face when I read through Previews every month–I did eventually get around to reading through Newsarama’s post-52 interview with Grant Morrison, and there was a bit that stuck out to me.

When he’s asked about which parts of the story were written by which writers, Morrison mentions that he “wound up with the space team because Animal Man was in there and the only way Vertigo would allow us to use Animal Man prominently was if I wrote the character,” my emphasis added.

Clearly, this can mean only one thing: Vertigo is holding DC’s characters hostage for their own sinister ends.

Admittedly, nobody wants to see more Grant Morrison Animal Man than me, and with the announcement that Adam Beechen’s going to be writing a mini-series about the Space Heroes, it looks like they’ve relaxed their stranglehold on Buddy Baker, but still: This aggression will not stand, man.

Don’t get me wrong: By and large, I love Vertigo and what they’ve done with most of the characters they’ve absorbed into their gothy, over-inked empire over the years, but you know what? Animal Man wasn’t a Vertigo book. It was a DC book for mature readers. And so was Hellblazer. And Swamp Thing. And yes, even Sandman.

I’m not saying that I want Jesse Custer to show up to teach the Teen Titans about self reliance or anything, but the characters that were imported from DC ought to be able to show up in the DC Universe for more than just a guest spot in Hawkman, especially if they haven’t had their own series in twelve years. I mean, come on: Dream of the Endless showing up to help the JLA fight Starro the Star Conqueror? That was awesome.

So tonight on the ISB, I’m taking a stand, and if you’re like me–if you want to see John Constantine teaming up with the Justice League like Tug, and if you want to see Swamp Thing show up and remind everybody that no, sorry, Geo Force is not “approaching Alec Holland levels,” no matter how much Brad Meltzer wants us to think he is–then gosh darn it, let ’em know!




And perhaps most importantly…



You hear me, Karen Berger? Let My Swamp Monster Go!