Marvel’s Senior VP of Publishing talks Alpha Flight!
Brevoort: ….I believe that for a series to have a fighting chance at sustaining a long-term run, it needs to have a distinct “core concept”, some patch of ground that it occupies within the Marvel Universe that it stands on that makes it unique and different and special — and the tough part is that it needs to be both simple to understand and it needs to be commercial. And that’s extremely difficult to do. This has always been one of the difficulties with Alpha Flight, for example. Traditionally, Alpha Flight has been defined by two interlocking concepts: they’re “The Avengers of Canada.” Now, to me, for a sustaining series, that’s not a strong enough core concept. For one thing, the Avengers are the Avengers of Canada, since they’re the Avengers of everywhere. So that part doesn’t really hold water. And thereafter, the book’s identity comes down to geography, and that’s not a universal-enough thing for the majority of readers to care about. I suspect the same kind of thing is true of Captain Britain and MI:13. Doesn’t mean that these characters or the stories they’ve appeared in aren’t cool and haven’t been done well – but it does mean that over the long haul, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep a series like this relevant to the audience.
And for the record, the same notion of a core concept goes for solo character titles as well. If your book doesn’t have a strong enough core concept, you’re likely to eventually be ground away by the tide of time.
Tags: Alpha Flight, Tom Brevoort