Wayne’s Worlds: Always Avoid Adjectives

The Avengers continue to sell for Marvel, but naming these comics always drives me mad!


Batman, Spider-Man, Avengers, Marvel, DC, All-Out, Urban Legends, Detective Comics, The new Avengers title went “all-out”:

“A brand-new AVENGERS title is launching this fall that drops readers directly into the Avengers’ most breathtaking missions! Written by award-winning novelist Derek Landy, known for his outstanding work in the recent CAPTAIN AMERICA & IRON MAN limited series, and drawn by Greg Land, the superstar artist who over the years has brought some of Marvel’s most memorable battles to life, ALL-OUT AVENGERS will start in the middle of the explosive action as it races to a shocking climax! “

Here’s a brief description of the story:

“An alien attack. A missing piece of wormhole tech. A city warped, its citizens transformed into hideous creatures loyal to an Empress from the far side of the universe. And a certain Captain Marvel, looking to her fellow Avengers with murderous intent… .”

Fans who attend comic conventions have often seen Mr. Land’s art for sale there. He’s quite the famous artist, so you can look for this title, also with Mr. Landy’s scripting, to be a big seller.

My only concern is that this kind of storytelling I associate with Howie Chaykin, who made me figure out just what was going on when I read a book he wrote. Sometimes I could do it, but other times I had to give up and bail. I hope that latter thing hasn’t happened with this title.


Batman, Spider-Man, Avengers, Marvel, DC, All-Out, Urban Legends, Detective Comics, Calling this title “All-Out Avengers” accomplished a couple of important things. First, the words “all-out” leans into an action title (at least, when you don’t want to use the word “action”) better than many other words or phrases.

Second, it also appears early in the comics on the stands if they are listed in alphabetic order, which many local comics shops do! Even if Marvel is in its own section, it will still be among the first books a fan with money to spend will see.

Third, it also keeps it near other “Avengers” books. Granted, some stores already group comics with certain characters or teams (like keeping all the Spider-Man titles in one section). It helps fans who want to follow their favorite hero(es) have an easy time of picking them all up.

Also, the Avengers have the benefit of having a name that starts with the letter “a” so it almost always will be at the “head of the line” when it comes to displaying comics. That is, if you have the word “Avengers” as the first in the title. Probably the best-known “other” Avengers title was the “West Coast Avengers.” However, that book was on the other end of the alphabet from the regular Avengers comic.

Marvel is known for using adjectives in the names of their comics. For instance, Spider-Man books have been “Amazing,” “Peter Parker:,” and “Spectacular,” just to name a few. There have also been “Web of Spider-Man” and “Untold Tales of Spider-Man” as well.

Unless you physically place the “Spider-Man” books near each other on the stands and out of alphabetic order, this will take a serious amount of looking by fans of the Web Slinger.

Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer what DC has been doing with the Batman comics. Often the first word in the title is “Batman” rather than an adjective that can place the comic away from the regular Batman comic each month. A good example of this is Batman: Urban Legends. Also, DC has recently been putting the word “Batman’s” before Detective Comics so stores will indeed keep the Bat-titles near each other. Given Batman’s current popularity, it just makes sense to me!


Batman, Spider-Man, Avengers, Marvel, DC, All-Out, Urban Legends, Detective Comics, I know that the group’s name has been in use so long that people have not been focused on what the word actually means, but “avengers” should be defined as “person(s) who take revenge for an offense.”

In other words, you are righting a wrong that has already existed. I’ve never known just what offenses they were avenging.

I’ve been around long enough to remember when the group initially was formed, and even back then, I was a little confused as to why they chose that name.

As I’ve already pointed out, having a name that begins with the letter “a” helps in what is known as “product placement” or getting your book near the beginning of the list or comics on display stands.

Of course, comics placement is kind of like lettering in a book—if it is done well, you don’t notice it. However, if it is NOT done well, you see it right away.

For instance, I’ve been at shops where I literally have no idea what order the comics are placed in. Are they all together and alphabetic? Are they grouped by comic companies? Are they in some other order I can’t figure out? If I have to ask someone who works at the shop, it’s more trouble than it is worth!

By the way, there’s another Avengers book coming soon–Avengers Beyond! Wonder what Batman thinks about that?

As always, making it as easy as possible for a store’s customers to get what they want is certainly the best policy!

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