Is it still Wednesday somewhere on this planet? No? Damn.
You know, there are those weeks where you’ve forgotten to pick up some new, hot comic book on your weekly Wednesday run. It happens once in a while.
Sometimes you forget to buy an item, sometimes the shop forgets to stock the shelves with a particular item, sometimes they even forget to order it entirely and you’re left running to another local shop to pick it up.
This past Wednesday, it was the former.
This past Wednesday, the long-awaited Avengers: Endless Wartime was released. And if you didn’t pick it up, well, today will have to do!
Written by: Warren Ellis
Illustrated by: Mike McKone
Published by: Marvel Comics
The business of marketing and advertising comic books is a funny thing.
Avengers: Endless Wartime is being billed as Marvel’s first original graphic novel – or “OGN” as the industry peeps like to call these things. The fact is, Marvel has been publishing original graphic novels since at least 1982 when they released the well-remembered and still absolutely relevant The Death of Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin. That said, I guess you can consider Avengers: Endless Wartime Marvel’s first foray into book-sized original graphic novels for the modern market.
Avengers: Endless Wartime is the first in a proposed series of graphic novels that are stand-alone tales, easily accessible for a mainstream audience and sold in both comic book specialty shops and regular bookstores. Future books (if this one is successful) will be written and drawn by a host of acclaimed creators, with stories that work somewhat within the regular continuity of the various Marvel comic book titles published on a monthly basis. DC Comics has notably been doing this sort of thing for a few years now to great acclaim. They’ve already produced two Superman: Earth One books as well as a Batman: Earth One book. All three of these entries have had some good traction in bookstore chains.
That’s the real target demographic here, I think. The bookstore shopper. OGN’s, written big name writers and featuring big-name artists, are trying to turn novel readers onto to comic books. The shared ground is the graphic novel.
Marvel’s “first” foray into the “modern “graphic novel world comes from the acclaimed British writer, Warren Ellis, no stranger to comics. He’s written Transmetropolitan, Planetary, Red (made into a feature film), various mainstream comic book titles, as well as the novel Crooked Little Vein. Fan favourite artist, Mike McKone joins him. Together, they’ve produced a story featuring the most recognizable characters of the Marvel universe: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, pointing them directly at the people who don’t read comics, but watch the comic book movies. Because they’re in the know, regular comic book readers are going to pick these books up anyway. You and me? We’re just along for the ride here.
With an introduction by Clark Gregg, Agent Phil Coulson of the Avengers film and the hit Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series, Avengers: Endless Wartime is the story of Captain America and Thor, both dealing with a threat from their pasts that only the combined might of the Avenges can defeat. Memory, past exploits and the repercussions from decisions made are the antagonists here. Expect big action, witty dialogue and deft characterization that reveals exactly what makes these heroes, well, heroic.
Make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up Avengers: Endless Wartime. Whether new to OGN’s or a long-time lover of them, you’ll know exactly where you stand when someone asks “Where were you when Marvel Comics started producing original graphic novels – again?”
Every Wednesday (and sometimes on Friday) JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!