If I were to list what’s wrong with Marvel Comics today, one of the top things would be that it takes itself too seriously. What made a book like Mary Jo Duffy’s Power Man and Iron Fist so much fun was that you’d get a random appearance by one of Steve Gerber’s Headmen. Weird, crazy, D-list characters could come in and throw a beating on Luke or Danny without disrupting cosmic continuity or in any way mattering to the Marvel Universe as a whole. They’d do it just because.

Books like the current Hawkeye and She Hulk try to tap into this by presenting stories outside of the “major” doings in the “important” books, and they’re doing it well, but they’re still fairly serious. You don’t have a sense that anything can happen…

There’s no danger. There’s no surprise.

Or, maybe there’s a little surprise, but it’s not as wacky and madcap as it used to be.

These kids today. Things were better when I was a lad. We had Headmen.

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