CB Cebulski Replaces Alonso as E.I.C. at Marvel, But Will Fans See Any Improvement?

Axel Alonso, who replaced Joe Quesada as EIC in 2011, is now stepping down from his post and C.B Cebulski is taking over the role:

Marvel Entertainment, the home of Captain America, Spider-Man and the X-Men, among other colorful heroes, is undergoing a change in leadership. The company released a statement Friday announcing the appointment of C. B. Cebulski as editor in chief. Mr. Cebulski is replacing Axel Alonso, who served in that role since 2011 and is leaving Marvel.

“It’s crazy. It’s an honor. I’m blown away by the opportunity,” Mr. Cebulski said in a telephone interview from his home in Shanghai. He said he wants to foster talent at each step of creating a comic. “We always hear about the writers and artists, but people forget the inkers and the colorists and the letters,” he said. “Each of them is an artist in their own right.”

After a stint as a translator and a freelance writer, Mr. Cebulski joined Marvel full time in 2002 as an associate editor. In 2011, he became the vice president of international brand management for the company. In his new role, Mr. Cebulski will be responsible for the editorial and creative side of Marvel’s publishing division. His duties will include recruiting new talent and helping shape the ongoing sagas of the company’s heroes.

We’d all like to think this signals good news, but the wise observer knows even now, after all the increasing damage that resulted under Alonso, we can’t expect it to change so easily. Clearing away many of the awful and political storylines from continuity is, IMO, a step that could come in helpful, but there’s no telling if Cebulski’s really willing to do that.

Another vital step they should take is restoring the Spider-marriage and respect for Mary Jane Watson as a character, but who knows if they’ll do that either? Plus, there’s quite a few reprehensible writers still employed at Marvel, including Dan Slott and Nick Spencer, whom Marvel would be better off without, but who knows if they’re willing to part ways with such awful people who’re hostile to the core audiences? They also have to stop pandering to SJWs, another serious error they made along with the flood of leftist politics and crossovers shoved into practically every book they’ve put out over the past 5 years.

And if Cebulski’s not willing to take any convincing steps to move Marvel back in a more acceptable direction, then he can’t expect the majority of fans to wait around.

The NYT article predictably tossed in some favoratist propaganda for Alonso’s sake:

As one of the public faces for Marvel, Mr. Alonso sometimes found himself at the forefront of controversies. In April Marvel took a beating on social media after seeming to link poor sales to a lack of enthusiasm for newer characters who were female or had diverse backgrounds. In fact, it was a handful of retailers in a small subset of comic-shop owners who felt that way.

In May 2015, Captain America’s temporary alignment with Hydra, a Nazi-like organization, was received so poorly that Marvel had to release a statement indicating to readers that the good Captain would return. “We want to assure all of our fans that we hear your concerns about aligning Captain America with Hydra and we politely ask you to allow the story to unfold before coming to any conclusion,” it read. Captain America’s heroism was restored this past August.

As expected, they won’t admit how poorly the diversity-replacements were in terms of story quality, nor the dumbed down artwork. Nor do they stress clearly how the new characters were intended to take over the roles of the white protagonists proper, while said whites were all but kicked to the curb, or worse. Oddly enough, Newsweek, by contrast, said:

At a retail summit last year, Marvel’s Vice President of Sales David Gabriel told attendees that the sales slump was due to updated versions of classic characters: a mixed-race Spider-Man, an Asian Hulk, a female Thor. Alonso was part of the discussion and seemingly agreed, saying Marvel had gotten too political. “We’ve gone through a period where in pop culture as a whole (and you guys notice that as much as we do), there’s been this massive discussion about inclusion and diversity,” he said. “But Marvel is not about politics.”

Maybe not Marvel, but Quesada and Alonso most certainly are, and if he was trying to take some of the heat off himself, he failed, mainly because he wouldn’t apologize for all the nasty leftism and pandering he put in. And here’s why to view the news about the new EIC with caution:

Cebulski, on the other hand, has always been entrenched in Marvel’s attempts to include heroes of diverse backgrounds. He began his career in manga, and worked on the Marvel Mangaverse in the early 2000s. He also worked on the Runaways spin-off Loners, overseeing Nico Minoru’s storyline in the series Mystic Arcana.

Hmm, is that a fact? No wonder nobody who cares about Marvel can think of this news as an immediate cause for celebration. Because truly, it’s not. If Cebulski ultimately doesn’t do anything to restore Marvel continuity to a better condition, clear away all the overt leftist politics and get the crossovers to cease, then nothing’s been accomplished at all.

At the same time this news was announced, The Hollywood Reporter also noted Dan Buckley, the main company manager who did nothing to improve their dire straits, is being promoted himself:

Dan Buckley, the longtime publisher of Marvel Comics, has been promoted to president of Marvel Entertainment.

Buckley has been publisher of Marvel Comics since 2003 and, in recent times, has also overseen animation and digital, having the title of president, TV, publishing and brand. The new role now puts the games, global brand management and the franchise groups, which oversee licensing and merchandising, under his purview.

The move means that Buckley, who continues to report to Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter, will manage a portfolio covering all of Marvel except for its movie division, Marvel Studios, which is run by Kevin Feige. […]

Under Buckley’s leadership, Marvel began successful annual publishing events that brought entire lines of books together, such as Civil War and Secret Wars, launched a series of reboots and rebrands and brought more ethnic and gender diversity to the company’s hero lineup. He also made big strides online, launching, for example, the Marvel Unlimited digital subscription service, and partnered with Scholastic to get Marvel’s books outside comic book stores.

Seriously? That’s what they consider a success, when the crossovers/events virtually took up space in every ongoing series Marvel put out since 2004? Year after year, you had crossovers that got considerably worse with each consecutive entry. The gender diversity pandering’s already been discussed by just about anybody, and again, they make no mention of how it all came at the expense of the white protagonists in nearly every way. There’s no mention of the stereotypically written Asian Hulk who could make comments like “totally awesome Hulk”, and replaced Bruce Banner almost wholesale for a certain period of time. Amazingly, Miles Morales didn’t lead to the same with Peter Parker as Spider-Man, but even that merger with the main MCU proper lead nowhere fast.

And since Buckley came up, is Joe Quesada still there too? With people like that still running the store, that’s one more reason why I wouldn’t count on Cebulski’s appointment to EIC ensuring sorely needed repairs will take place. If Dan DiDio could maintain any influence at DC even after moving up the corporate ladder undeservingly, then don’t be shocked if Quesada and Buckley’s poor influence could still reign supreme. Executives in the higher echelons of a business can still have a bad effect on what goes down below.

Update: Ace of Spades certainly isn’t optimistic Cebulski’s appointment will lead anywhere.

Originally posted at the Four Color Media Monitor
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Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1