What’s Stephen Wacker’s Problem? Nova Fans Feel Insulted


[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4789:]]Back in 2005 a new Marvel Cosmic golden age was upon us.

Tom Brevoort, Andy Schmidt and Keith Giffen had unleashed Annihilation, which was released along side Civil War, so it sorta went under the radar.

It was a heavy science-fiction based series which saw the likes of Fantastic Four villain, Annihilus, invading and decimating billions.

Characters were killed – my favorite being one, Quasar (thanks, DnA) – and characters were brought to the forefront, with one being Richard Rider, Nova.

All the while the series was taking place, Editor Andy Schmidt took to the CBR message boards to mingle and chat with the fans.

Schmidt would answer any questions he could about the series as well as putting up with all the rabid Quasar fans (myself included) as they blasted him for killing off their favorite character. Schmidt even let it be known that he included a big clue in earlier issues as Annihilus was shown wearing the quantum-bands, and admitted he was disappointed that none of the fans caught on.

It was really nice of Andy to do that and his love of comics shown through brightly. It was truely a sad day when he left Marvel.

Fast-forward a few years and now Marvel Cosmic is getting relaunched yet again, but this time under Jeph Loeb, Brian Michael Bendis and Editor Stephen Wacker.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4790:]]Well, Wacker has turned up at the CBR message boards, but as to exactly why, that’s up in the air.

Marvel has already caused tension – to say the least – among Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy fans by canceling their favorite books for no apparent reason other than Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios taking notice. So instead of bringing DnA and the current editorial team into the fold – justifiably so – Axel Alonso decided to kill the books and relaunch under a new team.

Getting back to Wacker, it’s my guess he was more or less ordered to take on the new Marvel Cosmic, along with Bendis, and I’m not exactly sure why, but Wacker hasn’t been the most cordial of editors to grace the CBR message boards. Current Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy fans are bringing up questions about the previous Cosmic books getting cancelled and the fact that the new books seem so much different than their cosmic counterparts, which the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie seems to be based on. Then there is the fact that Loeb, Bendis and McNiven have downright insulted the previous writers, editors, titles and their fans in recent interviews.

It’s just not professional.

Speaking of CBR, they have now begun to delete forum posts that don’t jive with editor Stephen Wacker’s new Cosmic regime. Users that post questions about what exactly is going on and asking for a serious answer from Wacker are deleted.

Wacker has even told fans to not buy “his” books.

One fan’s response to Wacker’s behavior follows, and I hear fans are also gathering to notify and petition Disney (not Marvel).

If anyone at Marvel remembers the Quasar cake, petitions and t-shirts, the Nova response should be interesing.

Two “Point-One” comics, one digital comic, and an entire season of the animated “Ultimate Spiderman” is plenty of exposure to NINO. As I previously said, I’m JUDGING based on what I’ve seen so far – not pre-judging as you and several others here keep accusing. The comics portrayal so far have been no different than the USM portrayal.

What doesn’t work?

1. Hackneyed: Angsty teen loser gets fantastic powers out of the blue, stumbles about as he learns to use them, copes by developing an attitude. Hmmmm – never seen that before in comics. Been there many times with many different comics; and Marv Wolfman did it better with the real Nova in 1976. And then we finally moved on from that to something new for the character – Nova Volume IV with a mature, powerful, leader of men. That is, until you, Loeb, Brevoort, et al decided to hijack the concepts and create a new tribute character vastly inferior to the original. 

2. Juvenile: That last Point One story could have just as easily been an “all ages” book aimed at children. Nova Volume IV dealt with more mature storylines and SF concepts – and talked up to us. Your version is aimed at the same audience as USM and talks down to us. It even ends with NINO threatening to tattle-tell the Avengers if Diamondhead doesn’t leave him alone. Add to that NINO having to ask his mom’s permission to join the Avengers, him getting his a– handed to him in every fight on USM, and dialogue like “Epic Fail” – and he comes across as a side-kicky teen twit on par with Burt Ward’s Robin from the old Batman TV series.

3. Disrespectful: Your editorial team’s entire attitude toward the established fan base has been disrespectful from the start. The commentary in interviews and your posts here about the subject are pretty solid evidence. The concepts have been watered down and bastardized – again disrespecting the legacy of the character and the loyal fan base.

4. Parochial: You’ve taken the “Cosmic” out of Marvel Cosmic by making the character Earthcentric. Some of the best cosmic stories (Annihilation, Thanos Imperative) of late had absolutely nothing to do with Earth and were better stories because they had absolutely nothing to do with Earth.

I was a Marvel customer beginning back in 1974 with The Mighty Thor #227 – a good cosmic tale that holds up well to the present day and has absolutely nothing to do with Earth. I bought Nova #1 in 1976 and have been a fan of the character to the present. So yes, I’m a long term customer and a long term cosmic fan. And I have an unapologetic opinion about the direction you are taking “cosmic.” It’s the wrong direction and I refer to your take as “Marvel Pseudo-Cosmic.”

You can use whatever excuse you like to justify your attitude. Whatever makes you feel better. But you come across as defensive, hostile, and antagonistic toward fans (i.e., actual and potential customers). I could speculate as to what personal demons drive your anger but I won’t. Face it, a lot of the older fans feel alienated by your take on the concepts and the attitude of your writing and editorial staff. Like it or not – that’s the way it is and some of us are going to say so on forums such as this one or one of the many others – and not just passively keep quiet or lap up whatever you want to serve us.