Marvel’s Subversion a Failed Success
It’s the classic superhero story arc. The comic book publisher was bankrupt, defeated, then reborn with its heroes supercharged by the nihilistic sensibilities of Scots author Mark Millar. The risky “Ultimate Marvel” venture raked in billions from magazine racks and the box office, where the record-breaking Avengers proved that the brand had regained its powers. But then it went too far, with heroes being gruesomely killed on paper, alienating fans and inspiring this month’s Secret Wars comicgeddon, killing off the Ultimate brand as the movies and competitors it inspired continue to triumph.