What we must always keep in mind is that Marvel is a business first and foremost and, as a business, it is probably doing as well as anyone could possibly hope to do in the current market. Recent sale numbers indicate an overall decrease in the comic book market, with no single book selling more than one hundred thousand copies, but Marvel still maintains a commanding market share that clocks in just shy of 50% compared to DC's sub-30% share. As the article points out, the economy is in a horrendous shape, and people are buying less of everything, but Marvel is still dominating over DC (and all the other companies) in terms of sales.
Marvel is also doing better than everyone else in public relations, marketing, developing and encouraging new talent, and in editorial control (save for a few mishaps here and there). And while no Marvel movie is probably going to come close to The Dark Knight in terms of sheer ticket sales, Iron Man was a very big commercial and critical hit for the first entry in the franchise and Marvel has more control of the content and release of their movies than DC does, which is odd considering DC is owned by a movie studio.
I may not agree with everything they do in terms of creativity and direction of their titles, but, going back to the point of Marvel being a business, it is obviously working for them. For example, I would love to get to read Nextwave 2 - Strontium Whore of the Atomic Lighthouse Brigade, but I can understand why Marvel has not gone forward with more of the series. Both Ellis and Immonen are high profile talents that command a sizeable paycheque and if the profit is not big enough to warrant publishing the series, it's perfectly logical that a second series should not be brought to bear. Creativity is nice, but it does not pay the rent.
All that said, Marvel isn't perfect either, which brings me to the point of this post - what do you think Marvel is doing wrong? I already have several things in mind, but I still want to hear from you, the readers. This will serve a dual purpose of confirming/denying my thoughts and providing new ideas and point of views that I may have not thought of myself. So, just like Kirk did when he asked what you thought DC was doing wrong last year, I want to hear what you think and will be incorporating reader comments and ideas into my follow up to this post next week.
One thing of note before I let you get to the commenting, as with the What is DC Doing Wrong series Kirk did, please try to keep this as objective as possible. You may hate One More Day or the current direction of the X-titles or wish there was another volume of Nextwave or what have you, but that doesn't mean Marvel is doing something wrong in that regard. That said, there could definitely be cases made against any of those changes, so feel free to provide reasons for your thinking Marvel did something wrong in regards to those, or any, things you list.
So, to ask yet again,
What Do You Think Marvel is Doing Wrong?