My MARVEL-ous Journey

One of my resolutions for 2007 was to gain an appreciation for Marvel. I am trying to discover why I hold undying love for the DC universe, yet am pretty much apathetic toward the Marvel cast of characters.

I am trying to take note of specific things about Marvel that bother me. Here are three I have decided on so far:

1. Marvel takes place in real cities in real America. Really there's nothing wrong with that, but it still bores me for some reason. Maybe I don't want my superheroes referring to 9/11. It's also too restrictive. Fictional cities means endless possibilities, and imaginative architectural artwork. It's also impressive the way that DC has done such a good job creating fictional American cities, that fans can actually be offended if a cityscape doesn't "look like Gotham."

2. Marvel is unbearable quippy and cute. It's not like I mind witty banter between my superheroes. I am a big Keith Giffen fan, for example. But what Marvel is often lacking are clever jokes. A lot of the recent comics that I have read have sounded like bad sitcoms.

3. I think I might hate Spider-Man. He. Won't. Shut. Up. I get that he's supposed to be full of bad jokes and kind of lovably annoying, but I seriously could not be in the same room as that guy for more than a minute. And I, of course, am talking about current Spider-Man. He used to be much cooler.

My journey to discover Marvel has involved the following so far this year:

- Reading Civil War (and all related tie-ins)
- Reading New Avengers in order
- Watching the Fantastic Four movie
- Watching Ghost Rider (seriously...not as bad as I thought it would be)
- Reading the rest of the Grant Morrison run on X-Men (I'd only read the first 10-12 issues or so)
- Reading the Frank Miller run on Daredevil
- Reading any Marvel that anyone lends to me or recommends

And so my quest has lead me here to Florida, where I will head to Marvel Island at Universal Studios in a few short days. I will interact with Marvel characters in their natural habitat and, apparantly, "ride them." I look forward to it, and will be documenting with pictures.

America, by the way, is amazing. They have fake diners instead of real ones.