Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo
Sat-Sun Oct 29-30
According to Newsarama, Marvel is starting up a new campaign called "Marvel Age" which pitches existing characters at younger readers, retelling their original stories "in a modern way."
This sounds fairly similar to what the "Ultimates" line was supposed to do - retell the original stories in a modern way (shedding 40+ years of convoluted continuity and providing outreach to new readers). It sounds like they're anticipating this comparison - in the Newsarama interview, the distinction is drawn between the more mature, cinematic Ultimates line and the new kid-friendly Marvel Age campaign.
Don't get me wrong - I'm in favor of reaching out to new readers. I thoroughly approve of trying to build a new fanbase in their formative stages while they still have many potential years of comic buying ahead of them. But sweet jebus, another retelling of Spider Man? Another relaunch of the Fantastic Four? "House of Ideas", my ass! They've got about five! How many times are they going to rehash, relaunch, and otherwise tool around with the same overused set of characters?
Still, it's pretty sneaky - there's some efficiency in simply reusing the same idea pool over and over again under different campaigns. You get at least a few readers who've never seen it before, and you get the fanboy contingent who will eagerly reread the same stories in hopes of seeing how their favorite characters fare under the revamp. Crafty!