The most hilarious thing I’d seen solicited in months was the “Marvel Bromance” trade paperback.

39950712I remember it being solidly mocked amongst my blogging peers, as is anything Marvel tries to do that is hip, because Marvel is not hip. They are at best occasionally ironically hip. But they seemed to at least understand that, on this trade, because the solicitation text is a winking, knowing, funny piece of writing:

If This Be Bromance–! Marvel’s greatest buddies take the spotlight in this one-of-a-kind collection, and it’s male bonding like you’ve never seen — as Cable and Deadpool swap stories, Wonder Man and the Beast share a plane ride, Spidey and the Human Torch battle back-to-back, Wolverine makes a bet with Nightcrawler, Black Panther and Everett Ross lay their feelings on the line…and the Warriors Three set sail for fun! Plus: Captain America and the Falcon, Iron Man and Jim Rhodes, and more! Be here as Marvel says, “I love you, man!”

But it did get some… coverage… in the larger not-just-wonks blogosphere as well, as MTV’s Splash Page ran a pretty straight-up piece on it.

Alas, it appears that the Bromance is over.

Just moments ago I got a press-release about a very familiar sounding project, with a more conventional title and solicitation text with all of the winks and knowing edited right-the-fuck-out.

The Buddies of Marvel Take Center Stage in Marvel Super Hero Team-Up
The best buds of the Marvel Universe come together in the explosive Marvel Super Hero Team-Up collection featuring an all new cover by Jorge Molina as featured on MTV!  An all-star list of creators including the likes of Stan Lee and Chris Claremont deliver the mighty men of Marvel uniting to battle evil, save the day and…win some bets?! Captain America, Iron Man, Jim Rhodes, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Deadpool, Cable, Nightcrawler and more get the spotlight as their friendships are put to the test!
Marvel urges retailers to check their orders on Marvel Super Hero Team-Up, as the collection generates mainstream press and significant buzz.  Which guys get along best in the Marvel U?  How do super heroes really hang out when not fighting crime?  Check out all the answers in the testosterone-filled Marvel Super Hero Team-Up!
MARVEL SUPER HERO TEAM-UP TPB (JUN090651)

The Buddies of Marvel Take Center Stage in Marvel Super Hero Team-Up

The best buds of the Marvel Universe come together in the explosive Marvel Super Hero Team-Up collection featuring an all new cover by Jorge Molina as featured on MTV!  An all-star list of creators including the likes of Stan Lee and Chris Claremont deliver the mighty men of Marvel uniting to battle evil, save the day and…win some bets?! Captain America, Iron Man, Jim Rhodes, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Deadpool, Cable, Nightcrawler and more get the spotlight as their friendships are put to the test!

Marvel urges retailers to check their orders on Marvel Super Hero Team-Up, as the collection generates mainstream press and significant buzz.  Which guys get along best in the Marvel U?  How do super heroes really hang out when not fighting crime?  Check out all the answers in the testosterone-filled Marvel Super Hero Team-Up!

MARVEL SUPER HERO TEAM-UP TPB (JUN090651) [solicit info removed]

A quick check reveals that yes, in fact “JUN090651″ is the item formerly known as “Marvel Bromance”. Apparently the word… and concept… of Bromance was just a little to hip for the room and we get a “team-up” collection. We also get all the kitsch taken out of the solicit, and the phrase “testosterone-filled” added in. Maybe that was the copy-writer’s revenge for having to dull-down the original solicit?

Here’s the thing that I find the most intriguing about all of this though, the press release I received doesn’t mention anywhere that this thing used to be Marvel Bromance. I mean, they’re mentioning that the book got coverage “on MTV”, but the reason it got any coverage at all is because it was called Marvel Bromance. Seriously. Here’s the quote from MTV:

Given MTV’s history with covering great moments in “Bromance” history, Marvel wanted to give Splash Page readers the first look at the never-before-seen Jorge Molina cover to “Marvel Bromance.”

Marvel tried something different, got some decent press coverage for it, and then… totally balked and tried to pretend it never happened. They did implore retailers to “check their orders” on the book though, without mentioning that they never ordered a book with this title, or why it got all of the “buzz” that they’re touting. It’s almost like Marvel panicked or something.

I hesitate to draw any conclusions from this, I mean publishers change the titles and descriptions of already-solicited books that have received good media coverage all the time. This  could just be Standard Operating Procedure, right? But the more I look at these decisions, the more I feel like the whole thing feels a little bit… queer?

- Christopher


11 Comments on “The Bromance is Over… for Marvel”

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  1. Mike says:

    I see what you did there

  2. Halliday says:

    I hope they have that issue where Hercules and Thor have a totally hetero wrastle after Jarvis accidentally covers them in massage oil he was bringing for Tony’s bi-monthly shiatsu appointment with Black Panther. Now THAT was testosterone filled!

  3. Travis McGee says:

    Come on Chris – less commentary on publishing companies willfully consigned to irrelevancy, more focus on sharing stories from JAPAN!

  4. Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment » Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes says:

    [...] Publishing | Retailer Christopher Butcher notes that the term “bromance” apparently didn’t work well for Marvel. The publisher has retitled the Marvel Bromance trade paperback, collecting “male-bonding” stories starring such buddies as Wonder Man and the Beast, Wolverine and Nightcrawler, and The Warriors Three. Now called Marvel Super Hero Team-Up, the book gets new, more conventional solicitation text, too. [Comics212] [...]

  5. THE BEAT » Blog Archive » Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 8/7/09 says:

    [...] Bromance is dead at Marvel…and Chris Butcher explains [...]

  6. David T G Riches says:

    I wonder if this will put a stop to a collection of Marvel Two-In-One starring the Thing because there were some great “Bromance” stories in there including the one where Ben Grimm buys the Sandman a beer.

  7. Joe S. Walker says:

    Marvel drops terrible idea. Well, that’s a novelty.

  8. Bryan says:

    I get a huge boner thinking about all those old Wonder Man/Beast subplots.

  9. Russ Burlingame says:

    The funny thing is once you take the irony out of the project, and use a generic “team-up” in the title, it immediately begs the question why no women are involved in the project. It reinforces what a lot of people think is wrong with superhero comics by excluding women and focusing an entire book (especially a reprint book where you could have chosen any story in your library) on just male characters. I feel like if they couldn’t have used it the way it was conceived, maybe it would have been better to send the whole thing back and rethink it.

  10. Blog@Newsarama » Blog Archive » No More Bromance? says:

    [...] related comics posts out there on the web so I don’t have to, I find this piece on “Marvel Bromance,” or now, apparently “Marvel Super Hero [...]

  11. Unico says:

    Bromance should be in a lot of comics, especially Western comics.

    Stop being so scared to show that men have feelings.

    sorry if this double posted.

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