This month's topic is one that is certain to be on the minds of comics readers anywhere. It concerns the most important problem facing the comics industry in the late eighties, and that is--

We interrupt this installment of Mark's Remarks so we can bring you the following commercial announcement...

Good news for AVENGERS fans! Beginning this August you will have three (count 'em) three Avengers books to look forward to per month. Joining AVENGERS and WEST COAST AVENGERS will be SOLO AVENGERS, a book devoted to solo exploits of all your favorite Avengers past and present who do not already have solo features (namely Cap, Iron Man and Thor). That's twenty-five individuals by our count. We're going to do the book like the old TALES OF SUSPENSE and TALES TO ASTONISH, of the late sixties, with two different stories in every issue (you know, the way the recently revived STRANGE TALES is doing it). The lead feature every month will be Hawkeye, who seems to be the Avenger that you readers feel is most deserving of more exposure. The co-feature will be a rotating spot among the twenty-four other living Avengers, with Mockingbird, Captain Marvel, Doctor Druid, and the Scarlet Witch among the first Avengers slated to appear. The stories in SOLO AVENGERS are not going to be offbeat, uneventful day-in-the-life tales where nothing significant happens to the hero. Uh-uh, the SOLO sagas are going to be fraught with significant character developments, brand new villains, and hear-rending action. In short, these stories may well be the one place all year that Avengers without their own books will be able to strut what they've got on their own, and you can bet each hero is going to give it all he/she has! The Hawkeye series will be brought to you by Tom DeFalco (ace THOR writer). Mark Bright (ace IRON MAN penciler), and Joe Rubinstein (ace MARVEL UNIVERSE inker), while the co-features will display the talents of a plethora of creative types. If you're a fan of either coast's AVENGERS, we think you're going to like SOLO AVENGERS!

We now return you to Mark's Remarks which is already in progress.

...chance is for us to all clearly voice our opinions on this subject before the choice is taken out of our hands.

--Mark Gruenwald

I'd like to take this space to publicly congratulate former IRON MAN writer Dennis J. O'Neil, now an editor and writer for another comics company (okay, DC Comics-- there, I said it) who was elected Number One Favorite Editor of 1987 in one of the major fan awards presentations. Denny is one of the few people who can legitimately claim to being of my mentors, he is one of the comics industry's most formidable talents, and is furthermore one of the most interesting guys I ever shared an office with. Working as his eidtor on IRON MAN for three years was always a gas (or was that just the Indian food we used to eat on plot lunches?) and I hope circumstances permit us to work together on something again someday. Denny is currently writing what is unQUESTIONably my favorite non-Marvel book (no names, please) and had I only known he had such gripping tales left in him, I would have canned him on IRON MAN rather than letting him leave of his own accord! Denny, you're Number One Favorite Editor in my book, too.

--Mark Gruenwald

"Back at the dawn of the Marvel Age of Comics, a fellow by the name of Stan Lee remarked that you readers were the true editors of our comics. It's a basic premise that everyone in the popular media has to abide by: give the public what it wants. The problem, of course, is determining what the public wants. The public is not just one person with a clearly defined preference. No, the public (for Marvel Comics) is made up of hundreds of thousands of buyers, young and old, male and female, rich and poor, liberal and conservative, etc. It is impossible to please everybody in your reading audience. For every person delighted with a dramatic new change, there is another person who wishes it had stayed the same. And yet, if everything stayed the same all the time, the stories and characters we do would start to get very predictable, and readers would get bored. So from time to time, we have to take chances, try new things we're not sure the public will go for, just to shake up the status quo and get away from the same old same old.

All of which leads us to Wonder Man's costume. (You just knew this was going somewhere, didn't you?) About ninety per cent of our correspondents clearly stated they did not like Simon Williams' new look. You, the real editors of this book, were pretty clear about that. So, the first opportunity we got, we've changed his costume again, back to something on the order the majority of you professed to prefer: a jacket, black tank top, and tights. If only all public mandates were so clear, my job would be easy. Please continue to write in to express your opinion often. I won't know what you like and dislike unless you tell me. And if enough of you dislike something, well, anyone want to buy a slightly used green-and-red Wonder Man costume?

--Mark Gruenwald


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