I have a multitude of unpopular opinions; the following is one of them. The Marvel and DC universes have had their time and should now be taken out behind the coal shed for one last biscuit and both barrels.Who are these books made for anymore? Too childish for adults, too adult for children, too big to fail. The entire industry is running in ever decreasing circles of reboots that change nothing. We are expected to read stories where death has no lasting effect and any interesting twist that might tempt in new readers is retconed as soon as possible so that the volume of death threats Nick Spencer receives can stem slightly. They are a pair of snakes who swallowed their tails in the 00’s and have been steadily working their way up ever since.
I would love to see how the world would evolve if Superman died (properly died) or if Batman had succeeded in cleaning up Gotham and drove himself mad pottering around the cave. As it stands we have a series of icons standing proudly on shelves but if creators play with them they are immediately shot down by fanboy spittle.
“You aren’t taking my favourite grown man in a cape and little pointy ears seriously!”
“A hero doing a bad thing? Are you insane! Do you understand their legacy!?”
“Hey! She had three square inches of fabric in her entire outfit for plot reasons! You don’t even get her do you! Here’s a picture of your children with today’s newspaper.”
But fear not dear reader, I have a plan. We simply let a big bad win and nuke the world or what have you, then start a whole new universe with… wait for it. Actual new characters, you know, ones without decades and decades of baggage in tow.
It’s at the stage where even wonderful little books like Squirrel Girl are forced to renumber mid run because of some nonsense about a sneaky battle or something. Do you know how hard it is to get into something with as weird a numbering convention as Marvel books? It took four grown ups Googleing in unison half an hour to work out which of the #2s in our hands was the actual #2. If I had had anything better to do (or if that outfit wasn’t the cutest thing ever) they would have lost a reader. Face it, eventually the core fan base of comics will die. We are not working hard enough to make this mess of a medium feel accessible to outsiders.
I have a task for you, take a legible, easy to follow graphic (Preacher, Chew, or Saga spring to mind) to a mate who doesn’t read comics. We need people to know that the other side of the industry is about as simple as it gets, you buy the book and then you read it, no looking on the Wiki for a jumping on point required.
Sam Head. Tough on Superheroes. Tough on the causes of Superheroes.