Got to thinking about it today and since there is little chance that anyone from Marvel would ever browse to my site, I went ahead and did a somewhat childish thing and sent them the following letter:
Perhaps this is going to the wrong address. If so I am sorry, but I hope you can see time to send it to someone who might be more along the right lines. If it is the correct one then I am glad.
I have been a Marvel fan for a long time, since perhaps age 6 or 7 when my dad bought me my first comic. For the last few years I have lost touch with the Marvel universe, not on account of anything that Marvel has done, but more on account of things that they haven't done. With the recent release of Marvel character movies, I have found myself interested again in becoming a Marvel fan, but I still find the same lacking from Marvel that was there before, but with one bright point on the horizon that I hope will signal the coming of a new idea. When I was a kid I found great interest in reading the comics that Marvel put out, but as I grew older I became more involved in computers and find it harder and harder to deal with getting a paper comic and reading it. I also keep all the comics that I get and I have real problems storing them in places that not only protect them, but allow them to be read in the future when I want to. I also have the problems of not having a comic with me when I have enough downtime to actually sit and read it, which very often ends up being when I am not at home. I like most geeks carry a PDA with me and store a lot of info and documents in it. I find myself reading these when I am sitting in line or wait for various things. This is time that could be better spent reading Marvel comics in my opinion. 🙂 What I would hope for from Marvel is some type of e-book option for their comics. The dotComics things that are on the web are a great start, but there are only a few titles there and I have no way of storing them for later reading. Plus, I feel somewhat like I am cheating Marvel and the people that are writing the comics, and that isn't my intention. I have no problem paying for the comics that I read and would pick up at least 4 subscriptions right now, if there was a easy way for me to carry them with me to read at my leisure. Perhaps a little less than a normal subscription since there would be no printing and mailing, but that isn't a big thing. I think it would be an easy way to make money since the comics could be emailed to people when they are ready, or posted with some type of login for them. This also solves my storage problem since hard drives are cheap and I can store a million comics on there and it takes up no more physical space than before. I really feel that this is a viable option and I hope that it could be considered for the future.
Another thing that I have been thinking about is the lack of a Marvel Universe type computer game. I was a big fan of the Marvel Universe role playing game system when I was a kid and I still have one of the player rule books that I leaf through every now and then. It was a great system and worked really well. I am not sure if it is still in production in any form or not. I was reminded of this the other day when I picked up a computer game called Freedom Force at Best Buy. Apparently, it was a pretty big game this last summer, not sure how I missed it. Anyway it is a RPG squad based game where groups of super heroes set out on missions. It is a great game and follows somewhat along the lines of the Marvel RPG system in that powers can be increased and added for experience points and such. A really well developed game, which is really only missing one thing, Marvel. It is based on characters that were created specifically for the game and have no real connection to me, beyond what the limited story can provide. I have spent a bit of time trying to create characters in the game that resemble my favorite Marvel character so that I can think of them that way. It would be awesome if Marvel would make this game in the Marvel Universe. Perhaps Marvel could form a deal with the company that made the game to port their system over to the Marvel Universe? This would allow people to play as the characters that they know and love. It would also be a great thing if the system was enhanced to allow for player created missions, somewhat along the lines of Neverwinter Nights style gaming. Doing this would allow for endless play in the game and a huge fan base to start using the characters, powers and stories that they love for gaming entertainment. Marvel itself most likely wouldn't even have to implement all the characters and such, as I am sure there would be enough fan support for something like this to get a large amount of the creation done by fans. I know the alliance with Activision has been enhanced, so perhaps there is a direction to go there, but perhaps partnering with the Freedom Force developers would cut down on some of the cost and time to develop such a game. The Activision deal names several key Marvel characters, but I think it is important to the system to not be specific to one character, but to allow for the freedom and love of characters that each fan has.
I have written about this here (http://news.brentnorris.net/wsnm/news.php?artc=115) on my weblog, though I have said less than I have here. I most likely will be posting this letter as well (http://news.brentnorris.net/wsnm/news.php).
If this is not the correct address please provide me with one that I can continue correspondence with as I would really like to see something come of these ideas and others that I have.
Assistant DTC, Edmonson County Schools and Marvel Fan