Marvel publisher Dan Buckley believes that Marvel Comics content creators are naturally “influenced” by the awesome factor of the company’s film universe.
In case you’ve been living under a rock in a galaxy far, far away, the Marvel cinematic universe has been one of recent most successful film experiments. Its interconnected stories about characters sharing a wider world have accumulated millions of fans who routinely make Marvel and Disney Scrooge McDuck-ian amounts of money. It would make sense, in turn, for Marvel to look for ways to replicate the success of its movies with the less lucrative comics that inspired them. To some however, things like the recent retconning of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s parentage represent active attempts by Marvel’s film arm to forcibly make its comic universe more closely reflect the company’s films.
It’s an idea that Marvel’s Dan Buckley would argue against. Speaking about the film-to-comics bleed over recently, the published affirmed that the emerging similarities are far less intentional. “The fact is the comics universe continuity is driven by editorial and the creative people within that area: the writers and artists involved with the editorial staff, and business management people in the publishing group,” he explained. “We allow the publishing people to tell the stories that they’re telling, but when a movie comes out and does something with a character that we find to be cool and also is very defining of the character, that will probably start influencing what the comic continuity will start looking like because the creators we have writing those products are influenced by that movie.”
In example, Buckley pointed to the way that Thor has transformed over the years. When the character was first created by Jack Kirby back in 1962, “it was sci-fi.” That said, “different artists’ influences” have led the series down different paths that “felt more like Norse mythology or The Lord of the Rings.” Following the release of the recent Thor movies however, the “feeling of what Asgard looks like” in the comics is something that Buckley would describe as being “more sci-fi again.”
Now, just speaking personally, this is an explanation that I can buy to a certain degree. As a person who’s pursued creative endeavors at several points in his life, I can safely say that the shape of what I’m working on has often been influenced by my shifting obsessions with different movies, TV shows and books. That being the case, it’s still kind of hard to believe that some of the decisions Marvel’s made recently haven’t been born from a desire to more closely connect its comics business to the lore of the movies. The increasing prominence of the Inhumans, the crossing over of Agent Coulson to the comics universe, the fact we’re only a few months away from having five Guardians of the Galaxy books in circulation? These, to me, don’t feel like content creators just taking an interest in whatever the Marvel flick of the moment is.