In which oldfolks gape aghast at how dark superheroes are now (major recent spoilers)

Discussion in 'Comic Book Culture' started by Shawn Hopkins, May 22, 2010.

  1. Sarada

    Sarada Active Member

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    A cover, eh? I'm surprised I hadn't see it until now.

    I'm know nothing about DC's ratings system (comics always seem to have the most stupid systems as it is), but if this is 'all ages' what in the world counts for the kid-friendly stuff?

    Not that I'm necessarily against the cover. It's all about shock value and hoping somebody'll pick it up to learn why there's a raging orange-haired guy (pun!) spewin' blood all over. Or maybe somebody's shooting tomato juice at his face and in the heat of battle he is angerly trying to consume it while fighting it out with this villain? :p
     
  2. Rusakov

    Rusakov Member

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    I'll get started on it asap! Maybe we should find some contenders for the award...
     
  3. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    I nominate the cat that a high on smack Arsenal "defended" from some thugs in Rise of Arsenal 3. We know it's dead after he's done with it, but it could have been alive when he started.

    [​IMG]

    Also, the guy who got his face melted by Dex Starr's puke.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones Trickin' N Treatin' Moderator

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    I doubt you'll have any shortage of nominees. Ryan Choi in the shoebox is my personal pick.
     
  5. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    Yeah, not exactly dignified, huh?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Anthonynotes

    Anthonynotes PBS: We rock harder than MTV

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    Yeesh... yeah, that's a pretty low point for Guy Gardner. A GL puking more blood than I suspect the human body actually contains on the cover of a book tied to a major, PG-13-rated/all-ages-appealing motion picture?! *Sigh*... then again, Time-Warner and its subsidiaries always did have poor marketing skills/judgment (compared to the much-tighter-ship their archrival Disney runs).
     
  7. Bat-Fan Beyond

    Bat-Fan Beyond Active Member

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    Actually that looks more like a matchstick box. A tiny bit more demeaning.
     
  8. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    Comic companies really shouldn't bother with replacing legacy heroes, especially replacing them with new minority characters in an attempt to add diversity. Because they know the fanboys are going to clamor for the old white guy back, and when the sales drop off they're going to give in and then the minority character has gots to go. Because that's what seems to sell comics these days that seems to mean a messy, humiliating death. I'm sure Ted Kord will come back eventually, for instance, and Jamie Reyes will probably be skewered on a pole or something. Maybe stepped on by a hard light construct boot.
     
  9. Bloody Marquis

    Bloody Marquis Quite smashing, eh?

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    *cowers in fear at what they'll do to Renee Montoya if Sage ever comes back*
     
  10. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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  11. Bloody Marquis

    Bloody Marquis Quite smashing, eh?

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    You don't need to be ashamed. Dex-Starr's origin story got me too.
     
  12. MDawg

    MDawg Nerfariously planning

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    I was about to scold you for hatin' on Dex, but I'm glad he's won you over. That origin story was pretty sad as well and in a roundabout way, also part of the original problem this topic addresses :sweat:

    I read the last lines of the origin as the animal's dialogue from We3, which manages to make it an even sadder story for me.
     
  13. ryandcow

    ryandcow New Member

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    Match box.
     
  14. Rusakov

    Rusakov Member

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    Hmmm, quite a few idiotic deaths. Perhaps this should be a contest...
     
  15. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Steven Sword! Moderator

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    The truth, via Progressive Ruin today:

     
  16. Bat-Fan Beyond

    Bat-Fan Beyond Active Member

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    With respect given to Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns as examples of dark superhero stories that were good, as well as influential, if we were to make a list of other stories that exemplify dark superhero comics, but only those that are really bad and over the top -- the worst -- what would make the list?

    I would say Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder should certainly make the list.

    What else?

    What about...

    The Ultimates/Ultimates 2? Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum?

    Identity Crisis? Infinite Crisis? Final Crisis?

    Justice League: Cry For Justice? Rise of Arsenal/Fall of Green Arrow?
     
  17. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    Despite conventional Internet wisdom the Dark Knight Strikes Again is neither that bad nor especially dark. It's just a big crazy Justice League story and fanboys threw a rod because it wasn't a carbon copy of Dark Knight Returns. Ultimates is quite good and Ultimates 2 is excellent.

    I would say Crisis on Infinite Earths deserves a mention for being the spiritual father of event snuff comics and for not holding up that great. They killed whole universes in that one. Then Zero Hour, which as far as I can tell was simply a plot to get rid of the Justice Society and make Hawkman even more confusing, a few issues near the end of the Eclipso series that indulged in wholesale D-List slaughter, Marvel's Edge sub-line (anyone but me remember this?), Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis to some extent, Cry for Justice, Rise of Arsenal, Battle for Bludhaven, and Ultimatum are all good candidates.
     
  18. Bat-Fan Beyond

    Bat-Fan Beyond Active Member

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    One that I just thought of and think should probably be on the list is WildStorm's WildCATs/Aliens one-shot written by Warren Ellis.

    Before Warren Ellis gave us The Authority, he did a somewhat revamped run on the WildStorm title Stormwatch, which essentially lead into The Authority series; But sandwiched inbetween the two titles was a crossover one-shot featuring WildStorm's flagship team WildCATs and 20th Century Fox's famous Aliens (under licensed to Dark Horse Comics).

    Although the one-shot featured both the WildCATs and Aliens in the story and in the title, it really served as a finale to Ellis' Stormwatch run as the members of the Stormwatch team all met their end in an extremely quick and gruesome fashion as prey to the Aliens.

    If you thought Jeph Loeb's rapid extermination of Marvel characters in Ultimatum was ridiculous, then you'd be really shocked if you had been reading Stormwatch and cared about the characters prior to WildCATs/Aliens, because in only the first few pages of the one-shot, the entire team is slaughtered with no remorse and practically no sign of who they were.

    And when I say no remorse, I mean no remorse on the part of Warren Ellis, who obviously tired of Stormwatch and really wanted to kill the characters off just so he could move on to The Authority. It was certainly quick and senseless.
     
  19. Superpan

    Superpan New Member

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    Actually, I loved Infinite Crisis. I mean it was the first big event I really ever read as it came out, plus all those years of buildup and it actually had a story to tell about what the DC heroes meant, plus how it bult off the continuity going back to 1938 was actually really enjoyable to me.

    While I have seen much controversy around the violence, the only offenders in that catergory (if I remember correctly) were Black Adam and Superboy-Prime, who were uber-powerful psychos and thus would NOT hold back their powers. So of course the results would be bloody. However, everything after that point was excessive I'll admit. It seems like the writers of the mainstream DC/Marvel comics have really crossed the line from action being common-place to violence having replaced it.
     
  20. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!! Moderator Reporter

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    No, actually, I didn't like DKSA because I just thought it sucked. It's a carbon-copy of everything else Frank Miller has written since he started writing Sin City, except with DC characters, and suffers from everything that makes me dismiss his recent writing as easily as I will praise his earlier works. I didn't find it especially dark or gritty, though, mostly because I just couldn't muster the energy to feel much of anything but disappointment at it.

    Erg. I dislike Mark Millar's writing largely because his one and only approach since he picked up The Authority is "Let's make everyone a complete and total jackass" (and I'd prefer to use a stronger word of comparable length that is not permitted on the forums). I also feel like they're all the same jackass in different skins more often than not. The Ultimates are the Avengers if all of them were jackasses. The comics themselves are wonderfully done giant-scale, wide-screen mayhem once they just shut up and start belting each other, but sooner or later they start talking again and that's when I kind of shut down over them. Never made it to Ultimates 2.

    More pertinent to the topic, I also think that the success of The Authority was also one of the worst things to happen to comics, since (like Watchmen and DKR) I think everyone completely misinterpreted the point of the exercise, including (especially?) Mark Millar. The whole idea of The Authority seems to me to be the flip side to Peter Parker's "Great Power/Great Responsiblity" axiom, where the heroes both take their responsibility a lot more seriously than the Justice League (to pick one example) and don't pull their punches. It's playing with the fascination with fascism that's lurking just under the surface of all superhero comics, but I think it's more as a cautionary tale than something meant to be emulated. It seems that the larger lesson almost everyone picked up from that was that you could do more extreme ultra-violence (even if The Authority doesn't really do that much on-panel) and turn all your characters into those unlikeable fascists and the fans will eat that up. It's the same sort of thing where Alan Moore created Rorschach to be an obviously psychotic monster and was then horrified to find that almost everyone thinks he's the coolest character in Watchmen.
     

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