Why do bad things happen to good fans? Whether it’s atrocious art, ridiculous writing or something else entirely – some crimes against fandom cannot go unanswered. When that happens, it’s time to say “BLAARGH!“
In a recent very hilarious post Chris Sims of the Invincible Super-Blog and Comics Alliance commented on Marvel’s upcoming ‘Heroic Age’, the company’s supposed return to optimistic and happier storylines. Obviously, this promise is false and misguiding for young readers or ones with short-term memory.
People can continue and “blame” Alan Moore, Frank Miller and the UK invasion of the late ’80s-early ’90s for making mainstream and superhero comics grittier, darker and maturer, but all in all — comics were never really deliverers of sunshine to begin with. The alleged happier Golden Age had a chauvinist and egoistic Superman; a Batman slapping inferior women and shooting small criminals to death; Wonder Woman wasn’t much of a symbol of progressive female, serving as a lady in distress in fetish costume — and that was from a writer who actually supported feminism in its early stages; and Captain America kicking butts of Nazis and “Japs”, serving as the emblem of the good guys (what? They were evil so it was okay to hate and kill each one of them!) Silver Age? A social outcast on the verge of spraying his school cafeteria with a machine gun, Peter Parker instead became a superpowered pain in the ass; Reed Richards was such a genius and evolved than others, that he stole a spaceship, ruined his friends’ lives and treated his girlfriend/wife worse than a mope; Harry Osborne and Roy Harper (a.k.a. Speedy) were so happy with their lives, that they injected themselves with heroin, probably to calm down a bit.
Shall I remind you all when was the Punisher created and what war/’70s movie genre originated his peaceful methods of dealing with the crime world? And what about Batman? After Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson moved on, others made Batman and Robin into goofy characters in childish situations with hints of homosexuality/pedophilia, and the 1966 Adam West campy TV show didn’t help matters either. However, in the early ’70s Dennis O’Neill and Neil Adams returned to the early dark era of the Cape Crusader and reintroduced him as a loner and grittier vigilante. Miller’s take on the character 15 years later was merely an outcome of their successful efforts.
So there you go. With that in mind, DC’s ‘Brightest Day’ and Marvel’s ‘Heroic Age’ are nothing more than another revamps. That’s nothing to say about the quality of the upcoming stories, but anything that is part of the PR machines of these two giant corporations – now more than ever – should be taken with a grain of salt.
Tomer Soiker’s grim and gritty days involve a big plate of seafood and photos of Rush Limbaugh in a bikini. Yikes…