Debate and Discussion

Being a super hero isn't fun any more.
Kline at 3:11PM, April 4, 2007
posts: 26
joined: 9-28-2006
I think you missed my point. Which is fine because I didn't really have much of one. It was mostly a minor aside. To clarify, I wasn't saying that predictable hackneyed writing was good. I was playing off the idea of formulas and how a genre is partly itself a formula or set of conventions that define it . And that in itself is not automatically a bad thing. Take Insomnia or Memento. Both are basic cat and mouse crime fiction. Insomnia is more conventional than Memento but both are working with the same ingredients and are compelling movies despite the common cat and mouse setup. Police procedural fiction in general is something I find formulaic but it is the ability of the writers to populate that formula with interesting characters and surprising plot developments that can make it enthralling. It isn't necessary to redefine the genre to tell a good story and if the writer is worth his or her fee it is the telling that will make the story good. And Morrison is a good example of just how creative someone can be while playing with conventions straight or for subversive purposes.

I know the story of 300. It is Frank Miller's account of that story that made me enjoy the comic. I know that in the first Spiderman movie nerdy Peter Parker would pine for MJ, gain super powers, don a costume, fight a super villain, overcome personal obstacles of some sort, and live to see another day. Kind of defeats the tension if you know the hero will come out victorious and yet the story was told so well that it made me forget all this. And when it comes to DC/Marvel books the fact that these characters have been around for decades really hurts dramatic tension too. How many times has Batman fought the Joker? I know the company will hit reset as many times as it needs to in order to keep these properties going which is why it is hard for me to really care about the death of Captain America or any character for that matter the way a reader might worry over the fate of characters in Harry Potter's conclusion. So with that in mind the only reason I would read a DC/Marvel super hero book is that the creative team tells a good yarn.

It's apple pie. Same basic elements but a skilled baker is going to convince you that you've never had apple pie until you've had their apple pie. All of this is to say that while a good radical shake up isn't necessarily bad it as you say there is more than one way to skin a cat and it isn't always necessary to turn things on their head to entertain readers. Execution, execution, execution. A skilled creative writer can always find ways to surprise their audience or look at things from a new vantage point even when working with limited ingredients and sometimes that is part of the fun of genre fiction.

And it occurs to me that this post could actually be used to support the type of super hero comics I complained about earlier because it lines up with the argument that changing the tone of the books is just a way of looking at the material with fresh eyes from a different vantage point.

By the way, the writers you named? I've read interviews with each where their opinion of the super hero genre ranged from ambivalence to outright hatred. Ennis for example seems to have an agenda against the genre. Has this changed? Not that taking a sledge hammer to things can't produce evolution. I just think it is interesting (and not in a sarcastic way) that the examples being put forth of the future of super hero comics are guys who don't much seem to like super hero comics.

(Oh and of course “skin a cat” work too if you take an anatomy class. ha ha.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:19PM
wesxcomix at 10:58AM, April 5, 2007
posts: 41
joined: 12-12-2006
As long as there are problems in this world, there will be problems in our fiction. I guess the old trend of superheroes has fallen to the way side. Kids today are very complex and understand things a little better than our generation. They have access to multiple ways of getting to the world and its problems. I just think that what Marvel and DC are doing brings those problems to an even more understandable level for young readers. They can relate to the characters, yet they look up to them because of their iconic status. The readers can see how their Heroes would react in a situation that seems so really can help them figures some thing out them selves.
Sure, I like fantasy and make believe, but when it all comes down to it you always come back to reality. I think it is about time that the superheroes join our struggle, normal life.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:48PM
subcultured at 11:30AM, April 5, 2007
posts: 5,392
joined: 1-7-2006
kids today get free internet porn. add that to the equation!
back in my days, to see even one areola we had to work hard to find them

along with how fast you can get info and news, the environment for kids makes them “mature” faster
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:02PM
mlai at 1:15PM, April 6, 2007
posts: 3,035
joined: 12-28-2006
I also have a grudge against the entire genre. This entire thread has been informative, I just want to add something fans don't want to admit.

Superhero comics are boring.

How many times, how many years, is it going to keep doing the same thing, over and over and over?

Don't tell me to go look up such and such title because it has a fresh take, or to check out Watchmen because it's a classic, or I'm missing out because I'm ignorant and biased. I don't give a ****. I've never read War And Peace, you don't see me losing brain cells over it.

As long as it's got even a hint of superhero in it, a lot of ppl like me (and that's a lot, judging by the poor sales of those “top” titles) just don't want to know. They/We will be waving at you from the manga aisle.

The entire superhero genre needs to die. Completely. Then ppl will care again, and judge works on its own merit.

Comics as a whole must branch out, must tell self-contained stories which don't rehash the same cast over and over, and must inform the casual reader of that fact.

Why is manga so popular? It covers every subject matter, uses every style and every theme appropriately (because it doesn't have to be shoehorned), all authors own all their stories and developments, and have self-contained stories. And ppl know it.

Even international manga monoliths of the 90's, things like DBZ, end. You can bet on your firstborn son's life that if DBZ was created by Marvel/DC, it'd still be running today. But it's manga, so it ENDED. Did manga get hurt as a result? Hell no. It's strengthened in the long term as a result. It didn't continue on with resurrection after resurrection, lose itself in the changing of the times, and re-focus on irrelevant crap like teenage pregnancy or drug use or whatever.

I hate the mecha genre with a passion. I also don't care for girls' manga. I don't care if a story is a classic within those genres; I don't read them. If manga was all about mecha, or perceived to be all about mecha, I wouldn't read any manga! And if authors changed during a story I followed, I'd eventually stop reading anything from that publisher. Would you read a Tom Clancy novel and tolerate a change of authors at page 119?

These things seem like basic truths of literature to me.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM

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