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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. Bat-Fan Beyond

    Bat-Fan Beyond Active Member

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    Another comic that fits into the Zeitgeist of dark superheroes is Craig Kyle's and Chris Yost's X-FORCE.

    Having never read it, I'm not sure how good it actually is, but I am kind of drawn to it because of its dark concept and artwork.

    Has anyone here read it? If so, what did you think?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    I read the first two trades and they're really rather well done, except for being a bit self-conscious about the violence which would happen naturally with the concept. It raises interesting moral questions, especially when you consider who is behind it, and doesn't give easy answers. There is a pat answer given in the second volume but I don't think that's intended to be taken at face value, instead it's just a character deluding himself that his foundation is sound even though he's walking quicksand.
     
  3. Bat-Fan Beyond

    Bat-Fan Beyond Active Member

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    I picked up the first three trade volumes this week and I actually just finished reading the first one straight through this morning.

    I LOVED it!

    I haven't read any X-Men comics since Whedon's Astonishing X-Men, but this X-Force was a pleasant surprise for me. Yeah, it's dark and gritty, violent and gorey, but I don't think any of it is gratuitous or senseless; It very much serves the story, and the story is great, as well as the art. This was right up my alley.
    ---------------------------

    Also, last week I read Justice League: Cry for Justice. The art by Mauro Cascioli is amazing, and I actually thought the story was pretty good, although the last issue/chapter seemed both rushed in writing and in art and was the weakest part of it.

    I really don't read Justice League regularly, and while I am more a fan of the iconic team line-up of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, etc., I found the team line-up in this serious -- featuring Green Lantern, Green Arrow, The Atom, Supergirl, Captain Marvel/Shazam (Freddy Freeman), Congorilla, and Starman -- to be really cool. I'm only familiar with about half of those characters, but I thought they were all interesting and made up a great team dynamic.

    I know this is considered one of those controversial stories where fans didn't like some of the decisions that were made with certain characters, specifically with what happens with Red Arrow/Arsenal and then Green Arrow, and although I like those characters, maybe I'm just not as invested in them as much as other fans are, and because I don't read their series on a regular basis, I'm a bit ignorant with their recent status prior to this series, so I really didn't have a problem with the direction that was taken with them in it. Just like with X-Force,I thought that, although there is no definitive answer, it did, satisfyingly enough for me at least, address the moral question of how right or wrong it is for superheroes to kill or torture if it's for a greater good. Overall, it wasn't perfect, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.
     
  4. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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  5. suss2it

    suss2it Active Member

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  6. GWOtaku

    GWOtaku Moderator
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  7. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    That's today's DC comics for you. It's apparently a reference to this famous cover that William Gaines struggled to justify during a Congressional hearing:


    Someone who agrees with my analysis:

    http://thanley.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/flashpoint-2-variant-cover-is-pretty-messed-up/


    You know, if DC would make a serious pledge to remove the snuff element from their comics, I would get behind the reboot. Doesn't seem likely considering that the very event that leads into it features beheadings, though.
     
  8. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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  9. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord
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    I agree. There are ways to achieve maturity without gore. Real maturity of course.

    But, it bears repeating. If you want these kind of stories to die down, it helps to find and buy comics that don't succumb to the the dark/gore mentality.

    Complaining about it vocally helps as a means of venting, sure. But the solution in the end is to vote with your dollars.

    I mean, which DC miniseries of the 2000s sold more?:

    1. Flash & Green Lantern The Brave and The Bold (Classy and fun tales featuring Barry and Hal)
    2. Identity Crisis (Story with rape and death)
     
  10. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    This is the guy who writes the morose Life with Archie; I guess he'd know grim when he saw it.

    I had to laugh when I found this: he discovered his comic was in the Humor section of his Barnes and Noble and got angry. (It's in the Humor section of every Barnes and Noble, or at least every one I've been to.)
    http://kupps.malibulist.com/2012/06/09/i-am-not-amused/
     
  11. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    He's right, though. It's not really a Ha Ha comic, it's just there because of 70 years of inertia. It's like shelving Funk Winkerbean in humor.

    Antiyonder, I DO. I haven't purchased a new DC comic in years, except for buying the first issue of Justice League Dark out of morbid curiosity. But I still like talking about the issue.
     
    #171 Shawn Hopkins, Jun 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2012
  12. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord
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    Believe me, the post I made wasn't targeted towards you.

    I was merely responding to your post because of the link, and it's really more of my critique on how the common approach to the issue is to merely point out how distasteful comics have grown without trying to plug in discussions on the comics avoiding the dark, distasteful approach.

    Sure the dark, distasteful comics can really be a turn off, but I sincerely doubt that Marvel and DC would make them the majority if they weren't selling well. In contrast, if fun and classy titles were selling at a much better rate, there's no doubt that there would be more of them.

    Case in point, back in 2010, I made an opposite thread to this, here: http://www.toonzone.net/forums/showthread.php?273446

    Now really, I don't take it personally if my threads don't merit over 50 posts of response or if they die out.

    No, the problem is that in the end, it seems like no one has an interest of spreading awareness of the good comics out there or at least comics lacking the problems of the topic. And really, if anything is to change for Marvel and DC's output of comics, they need to see that there is a serious market for tasteful comics.

    Sure, we can type/write or say how we find Marvel and DC's direction flawed, but the dollars are ultimately the only effective means of communication.
     
  13. brickrrb2

    brickrrb2 Active Member

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    Why is DC doing this?

    Making their heroes dark and depressing.

    I mean Superman is suppose to inspire hope

    And Why are they going to lengths to change his outfit
     
  14. KYO'NYUU IMOUTO

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    There's no reason to shy away from being dark or introducing change. In fact, I'd say there hasn't been enough change in the shared universes DC sets up over the years.
     
  15. brickrrb2

    brickrrb2 Active Member

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    But when you read Superman it's not suppose to leave you crying

    And Wonder Woman should Never use Guns

    The thing with change is 99.9% it's never for the better
     
  16. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord
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    Mod note: Merged "Why is DC doing this" with this thread since it's basically the same topic.

    Yeah, but like many things, they do tend to go overboard.

    Well, dark superhero comics arguably make more money than the fun and light hearted ones. There are quite a bit of comics outside DC's mainline that you might appreciate if you don't mind going outside the familiar stuff.
     
  17. Gatordragon

    Gatordragon Everybody scream! This is Halloween!

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    I think Superman's new outfit looks cool. They finally got rid of those silly trunks (I like to call them speedos). They added a red belt to break up the blueness of his outfit so I'm cool with it. Same goes with Batman and his trunks.

    I've been enjoying the New52. I've never really been into comics until I read some New52 comics. Watching Young Justice helped me get into comics too.
     
  18. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    Um, the whole thing reset four times, everyone has died and gotten married and been replaced with minority or turned gay or lost a limb, everyone has had several new costumes. Compared to your average sitcom the level of change in comics is drastic. Imagine if Home Improvement killed off Tim Allen's character and replaced him with a Hispanic kid, that's what we're dealing with. Yes, usually things go back to the base level but that's because superheroes are immortal and their stories have no endings. So they sort of go through cycles of frantic change and return to authenticity.

    And there s definitely something wrong with introducing darkness for its own sake or sticking it somewhere it doesn't fit.
     
  19. KYO'NYUU IMOUTO

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    "Return to authenticity" isn't a thing. It's "return to self-imposed customs from the sixties that we've refused to give up on and force on all media for these franchises despite wanting to try and drag this crap on for decades with no actual beginning, middle, or end." A challenge isn't a challenge when you take it back five seconds later.

    I didn't imply that.
     
  20. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    You seem to have some negative preconceptions about superhero comics and a desire to stuff them into a mode they don't fit in. It is better to embrace what they are, a never-ending battle as it were.

    I think the cycle of change/return to authenticity perfectly describes what happens in superhero comics. When your story can never actually end, it becomes a series of internal cyclical journeys, spheres within spheres. So each character changes and grows within these boundaries until they come to a point where their story should end (Spider-man gets married to Gwen Stacey and grows out of superheroing, as an example Marvel found itself faced with). At that point the story needs to start over or end, most often the choice is to bring a character back to what is felt to be essential about them. If they do it right, though, each cycle adds to the history and the richness of the character.

    On the darkness question, I thought we were talking about Superman? Dark does not fit Superman.
     
    #180 Shawn Hopkins, Jul 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2012

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