Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why No Comic Book Love?

Since I started this blog back in March of 2008, I've done a plethora of posts about comic books. Early on, I did talk about other things, but it didn't take long for this blog to be dominated by comic book talk and comic related entries. That has died down considerably and not without reason.

As far as just comic books go, my interest in this was gone down quite a bit. The biggest factor in all of this relates to Spider-Man. The character has always been my favorite super hero and twice I've been there when Marvel has run the character through the ground. The first was during the Clone Saga in the 1990s when the company attempted to tell readers that the Spidey of the two decades they had been reading about had been a clone.  The second was at the end of 2007 where they had Spidey make a deal with Satan to save aunt May in exchange for his marriage. If you've never heard of the story, I'll save you the trouble and say just say that it's even more stupid than it sounds and far worse than the Clone Saga. Unfortunately the dark days of Spidey were just beginning. After Spidey made his demonic pact, things just kept getting worse with the protagonist being portrayed as constant idiot, lame new villains, bland new supporting characters and bad writing. For the last 3-4 years the regular line of Spider-Man comics have been an unfunny joke.

The worst part is, there doesn't seem to be a clear end in sight for this mess. We've yet to really be shown anything that make's Peter's new girlfriend, Carlie Cooper, a worthwhile love interest and no, having the entire supporting cast tell us how awesome she is does not count.

Did I mention the insane amount of variant covers? Since Spidey sold his marriage to Satan and became single, just about every issue of Amazing Spider-Man since #546 has had multiple variant covers, so this sort of inflates sales numbers, which are a far cry from what they used to be before this debacle began.

There's also talk that the comic industry is headed back to the 1990s and from the actions we've seen both DC and Marvel take, there is some truth to this. Captain American was killed a few years back. He's all better now. Batman was killed recently. He's also fine and dandy. Seeing a pattern? Shock value and gimmicks seem to be taking top priority over telling a good story just as it was in the '90s.

Johnny Storm, the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four has just been offed and FF #587 was the last issue because the FF book is going to be rebooted. The issue where Johnny died was also polly bagged, just like Superman #75 was when big blue was killed. I'm sure Johnny will have had enough chicken soup to get better in time for FF#600, which is when the "new" FF book will go back to it's old numbering, something just about every single Marvel book has done.

I'm tired of rape stories, fed up with people in power making decisions to take books back to "the good old days," and I am sick, sick, SICK of comic heroes/villains being killed just to make the reader gasp, or I should say try to make the reader gasp because many of us already know that death in comics is super cheap.

My disdain for comic books doesn't mean I'm completely done with them. I still think Tiny Titans is a fantastic book for kids and adults and I want to check out the Disney BOOM! line of comics like Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck and DuckTales. I still have some DC graphic novels I need to pick up and talk about and when I get the chance I'll give me thoughts on those. There are also things I'll being talking about that relate to comics such as some shows in the DCAU (DC Animated Universe), which is my all-time favorite series of cartoons.

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