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Everything Dies

I'm following Hickman's New Avengers arc, Everything Dies. On one hand, the actual premise is quite interesting: what if everything is, indeed, dying, and the only way to get a few more hours or days for your world involves each time doing something soul-crushing, something that denies you the opportunity of seeing yourself as a hero? What does that to people who have come to need to see themselves in that light? [*] The Wheel grinds, as the Black Swan says. And I like some of the elements Hickman has added to the Marvel cosmology. Not so much Builders and so on, but the Mapmakers are cool, and also make sense.

Problem is, nothing's going to change, and we know it. There will be a way out. (Unless there isn't, and this is the end of 616, but no way Marvel will do that --- they haven't even destroyed the Ultimate universe so far, although hope is eternal --- and I think Reed would love the Mapmakers, but I digress).

Everything Dies is precisely the kind of story that would work best in an universe where things can happen. Hickman did something interesting with Red Mass for Mars (and I loved Pax Romana and sort-of liked the other time travel one), and a self-contained arc about the moral choices involved would have been interesting, if handled with more curiosity than grim-and-grit.

Heck, you can play it with Earth's death being the beginning of the larger human civilization, not its end. You *should* play it that way.

[*] I'm ignoring the eight way to avoid doom, Shadowing the Apocalypse; it's too easy a way out for them, and the fact that they aren't using it is, on itself, disappointing.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 6th, 2014 11:50 am (UTC)
*sigh* I do wish Marvel had an outlet for Elseworlds-style stories other than "What if-?!" Because everyone knows that the 616 universe is always going to be stuck in "illusion of change" mode, there should be ways to tell grander storylines with more consequences or exploring characterizations differently.

Then again, maybe keeping a tighter rein on that sort of thing is what's kept Marvel's continuity a little less swiss cheese-like than DC's. Sure, everyone likes a "Red Son" or a "Kingdom Come" but it didn't take long for the writers to start bringing in all the mixed AUs into the main universe in the loosey-gooseyest ways possible.
May. 6th, 2014 02:25 pm (UTC)
I'd love a fictional continuity with an explicit tree-like elseworlds super-structure (so you can tell all sorts of stories, kill people whenever you want, and so on --- a bit like git for stories), but that enforces strongly the tree structure, in that there are timeline crossings. As you said, Red Son or Kingdom Come are great, but trying to put everything together doesn't work.
May. 6th, 2014 05:17 pm (UTC)
Exactly. Marvel's in a weird position where, they tried to have something like that with their Ultimates line but rather than writers cribbing from that AU, the movies borrowed heavily from the modernization of that line and now 616 (or whatever the hell MarvelNOW! is...) is trying to make the main timeline more cohesive to the cinematic representation.
May. 7th, 2014 12:28 am (UTC)
That's true --- Marvel is in a tricky point, with the cinematic universe pulling comics, and not just the other way around. Which I think isn't necessarily a bad thing from the point of view of narrative coherence --- if nothing else, it should streamline things.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


cass, can you not

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