Noticing a decline in comments on his Marvel blog, Executive Editor Tom Brevoort bravely asks: "If you were given the power to make a single change at Marvel to make things better, what would it be? This can involve story, creators, personnel, direction, anything -- but you only get one. What would it be?"
A lot of the responses are what you'd expect when readers play fantasy publisher: fewer "big events," more reprints, lower cover prices, fewer X-titles, revive certain characters or concepts.
But it takes just three posts for commenters to begin setting their sights on ... the writers.
"I hate to say it, but less Bendis," writes gaveedra. "It is not that he is bad, but I think that him being connected to almost every book dilutes the story potential of a shared universe. It makes everything a little too planned and less spontaneous."
"I'd fire Jeph Loeb," offers scorpionspupil. "The man has effectively lobotomized the Ultimate Universe, tearing out every last shred of intrigue and replaced it with zany non-sensical splash pages. Also he has turned The Hulk into a glorified game of Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots. I know he sells, and for the life of me I can't tell why, I used to figure it was because of his art teams, but even now McGuinness and Cho have been very underwhelming."
Dusty, meanwhile, wants more creative teams who are on a title for the long haul: "Don't need Mark Millar, Warren Ellis, or any other hit and miss prima donnas for their 6-12 issue runs."
And the very serious Spider-Man Fan -- "Just remember you asked for our opinions," he warns -- makes his opinion of Brian Michael Bendis very clear: "Bendis is not God. Someone should tell him. Tell Joey Q while you are at it. I like some of his work, but he is no Stan Lee. Too many people have been outed, too many have been killed. Too many gimmicks and drawn out storylines. "
Don't worry, Spider-Man Fan doesn't give Marvel's editors a pass: "Hire better editors. I catch more continuity mistakes than your editors do. How about a detailed history on file of every major marvel character (like in the old days). Some fan has probably put one online already. Make sure that your editors read them. Same for writers. I almost get sick when a new 'fan fave independent' writer comes on to a series and butchers a character."