Earlier this year, I laid out how Marvel Comics could streamline its monthly superhero line to just 12 books. This “What If?” scenario involved not just thinning Marvel’s superhero line, but completely rethinking how the company could and should deliver comics to readers. Most of us who want mainstream superhero comics to attract new readers know that the monthly, 20-page, $3.99 periodical has just not been getting the job done. If the Big Two superhero publishers want to increase their books’ audiences, I posited, something big needed to change.
Part of my plan was to condense several of Marvel’s “families” of titles into one, core monthly anthology. Rather than paying $12 a month to follow Iron Man, War Machine, and Rescue, Iron Man fans would be able to pick up one $5-7 book featuring all three of those characters. That way, the Marvel Universe would not contract substantially, fans would get more story for their money, and each character’s stories could eventually be split off into separate (monthly) digital series and trade paperbacks – so those who really want to read about just War Machine could do that if they liked.
I’d planned to follow up on my Marvel article by creating a “reduced” DC Universe before the end of the year … but then DC Comics beat me to it: