A new app from Marvel Comics aims to give readers the power to create their own comics. Sort of. The inability to draw or find an artist capable of matching their creative vision once limited writers with dreams of comic book stardom. Marvel: Create Your Own aims to eliminate this problem by giving writers a platform for constructing their stories independent of a human artist.
Marvel: Create Your Own operates by utilizing established backgrounds as well as digital mannequins modeled on various Marvel Comics heroes and villains. Aspiring comic creators can choose a background for each panel, pose their characters however they want and then just add in the required props, dialogue balloons and text.
The new application was announced on Marvel's website. While an official release date has yet to be announced, interested fans can put themselves on a mailing list to receive updates as the project nears completion.
It remains to be seen, however, just how many interested fans there will be given the many restrictions Marvel Create Your Own imposes upon its users. One of these, unsurprisingly, is a claim of ownership of any comics created utilizing the app. This makes sense from a legal standpoint but most of the other imposed limits seem extreme even by the standards of Marvel Comics, whose unfair treatment of artists is the stuff of legends and led to the formation of rival publisher Image Comics.
Some of the odder restrictions include a ban on "Sensationalism (killer bees, gossip, aliens, scandal, etc.)", which would seem to eliminate any possibility of utilizing most of the characters from Guardians Of The Galaxy or Marvel Comics cosmic series. The rules for the app's use also prohibit "Guns (firearms, bullets, etc.)", "Obscenity, bad or offensive language, proxies for bad or offensive language (X@#%!), body parts, or noises related to bodily functions", "double entendres" and "Any content that is otherwise inappropriate for children." This likely means that fans will be unable to use Deadpool or at least unable to use him in a manner that resembles an actual Deadpool comic. And forget about telling your own Punisher stories with a ban on guns!
Perhaps most worrying is a restriction that outlaws any "content that could frighten or upset young children or the parents of young children." As a final bit of irony, Gwenpool features prominently in all of the advertising for Marvel Create Your Own. This is amusing both because of the character's dependence on guns, suggestive humor and the recent cancellation of her comic book.