There is no easy way for me to say this, so I’m just going to come out and say it; I think we need to break up.
I won’t deny that we had a good thing going for the past thirty years. You have been a rock in my life, helping me through some of my darkest moments. I can still remember the first time we met down at Romito’s Smoke Shop with my grandfather. You were just hanging out on the wall with all the other comics — I remember looking at all of them and picking you.
Admittedly, I haven’t always been the best for you either. There was that time in my early twenties when we stopped talking, and then again in my early thirties when I met my wife and had my son, but you were always on my mind. I had boxes of our memories still packed up in the closet.
We eventually got back together, and we’ve spent the majority of my life together, not apart. I hate to say this though, and it pains me, but you’ve changed so much since then.
I stuck by your crazy period in the 90s when you had a fascination with pouches and putting everyone in suits of armor. Like always, that phase in your life ended and life went back to normal. I guess it’s always been one of the things I’ve been drawn to about you, your willingness to try new things and experiment.
I even stuck by you through the years when you thought it would be cool to cancel our favorite ongoing comics, only to relaunch them again and again. I knew what you were doing, trying to catch lightning in a bottle with each new number one. That too passed, and things settled down again as they always did. I can even look back at those times, smile, and feel nostalgic compared to what you have become.
If I had to point a finger at one moment, to say this was when you changed, I’d say it all started when you began hanging around Disney. I might be wrong, and you might have always had these feelings inside of you just waiting to come out, but I doubt it. You see, when you spend thirty years of your life with someone, you start to understand them, usually better than they even understand themselves. This isn’t the real you, at least not the Marvel I first met all those years ago.
You used to be all about the story, dedicated to telling me something great. You still have that ability, sure, and there are flickers of that still. If there wasn’t, I doubt I’d have made it through the past seven years, yet I just can’t take it anymore. Oh, it didn’t start off this way. Like everyone else I thought the influence of your new friend Disney was great, and your movies had never been better, but to me you’ll always be the comics, not the movies.
I never thought I’d see the day that you would sacrifice parts of yourself, shunning the Fantastic Four and the X-Men the way you do now. It must be exhausting, how you constantly keep changing everything you do simply to fit in, to be liked by everyone. So the mutants and your first family have been coveted by Fox, so what? Is that any reason to cancel all their titles, treating their characters the way you do? Let’s not forget that you were doing the same thing to Spider-Man until Sony gave in to your demands.
You’ve changed, Marvel. And I barely recognize the world I fell in love with all those years ago. You care less today about your fans and more about whatever leads you to the next box-office record. That hurts. There was a time when your priority was telling the best story possible. It’s what made you the envy of your neighborhood. Everyone wanted to hang out with you, be like you, and not because you made the most money or appealed to everyone, rather because you were just you, the best storyteller we knew.
I hate to say it, but starting today we will no longer be seeing each other. I’ve decided that the best thing for me to do is distance myself from you because all you do anymore is hurt me needlessly. In the end, Marvel, you’ve become a plain old greedy guy, and I can’t stand watching it anymore.
I will always cherish what we had together; I wish you the best. Maybe someday, if you decide to stop all this nonsense, we can see each other again. But until then I’ll have to quit you cold turkey. If you’re concerned for me, don’t be. I’ve been hanging around a new crowd of people who see things like I do. I know you’ve heard of them, and please don’t think that I’m only doing it to spite you, but Image Comics, Boom Studios, Aftershock, Dynamite Entertainment, IDW, Dark Horse, and a number of other new friends will help me through this.
Take care of yourself — I truly wish you the best.
Your Onetime Biggest Fan