What’s your opinion on reality in comics?
BWAHAHHAHAHAHA! Please. Some indie comics aside, comic books have the most disregard for its audience. I honestly cannot think of another entertainment medium which hates its fan base as bad as comics do. We, readers, deserve it, though. We allow ourselves to get slapped around left and right, but always end up waiting for things to get better. Raise your hand up if you were one of the people who said or heard someone else says something along the lines of, “Give the story a chance to develop. You don’t know for sure what Nick Spencer has planned for the future of Hydra Cap.”
And I am going to get mad at myself as well because I was that person. What did we get in return? Secret Empire. That’s what. A story in which the real Steve Rogers turned out to have been Hydra since being a kid. How many more times will we get bad comics because our standards weren’t demanding enough? You know who gets what they want all the dang time? Gamers. They complain about every little thing and companies actually have to go through with it. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 had to remove its in-game purchases (microtransactions) after the backlash. The publisher, EA gained massive callouts from all over the industry.
Assassin’s Creed is now an improved franchise taking its time by not releasing any more annual games. Konami is on a brink of death because the gaming community is so outspoken about its terrible practices. The gaming community is the fastest growing one and for a good reason, because it guarantees quality and innovation. You see every time us, comic book readers see a lack of consistency, in reality, a story pulled out of its ass, we just wave our hand mentioning how little of a big deal it is because it’s so embedded in the medium. And if Marvel or DC need more of is the backlash. You see! That’s the power of fandom. But what did we get in return for paying their rent of the Big Two?
Since 2015 there have been 3 more relaunches coming from Marvel that have represented everything wrong with the industry and only now, with the upcoming relaunch in 2018 we can really say something solid may come out of it. DC course corrected themselves with DC Rebirth, but the quality of some of these stories is really all-time low. Let’s name all the crossover since the start of DC Rebirth:
- Night of the Monster Men
- Justice League vs. Suicide Squad
- Superman Reborn
- The Button
- The Lazarus Contract
- Dark Nights: Metal
- Doomsday Clock
- Super Sons of Tomorrow
Majority of these were either mediocre, bad or passable. If you were to compare the quality of The Button, a top seller to the big seller in the movie, TV or video game industries, it would get laughed at or completely disregarded. Also, we’re so used to breathing in a stinky air that we eventually stop noticing it and start accepting it as a norm. Two prove both of these points let’s look at “one of the best” DC Rebirth titles out there, Superman by Peter J. Tomasi. All in all, an amazing story. At least it started off so with an emotional father-son bond. Then we get the epic return of the Eradicator and with that, the rest goes to the bathroom to flush everything into the toilet already in issue 4. The art also takes a huge nosedive. I mean look at those faces.
Next, the battle goes from Fortress of Solitude to the city. They teleport from one place to the other for some unknown reason, but before that happens we get this.
Only comics can waste two full pages out of 20 on background characters that won’t matter to the story at all.
Then the confusing death hurricane powers of Eradicator mind-control everyone into some Kryptonian zombies? Then Superman escapes with his family to a Batcave located on the moon, which by the way was never ever established before in the DC Universe until now. The writer just wanted it to happen so we got it. Also, the fans won’t hate on the idea of a Batcave set on the moon because it sounds so badass which is another fault of ours. You know why people love the MCU? The universe is built is strong. They set up concepts so naturally and develop the world in a way that progresses with multiple payoffs to satisfy its audience. With mainstream comics, you get none of that. Anyone remember Scott Snyder’s Batman run? Endgame in particular when Batman had to fight the Justice League? It was so badass until this happened:
Now I don’t know about you, but when I read this I got a whiplash. A friend I introduced to comics came up to me and pointed out the scene after borrowing him my trade paperbacks. This whole “Batman is always prepared” concept has reached a point where it is jumping the shark. By the way, this expression originated from a James Bond film when audiences criticised its disregard and the respect of the fans. And these aren’t nitpicks. You can find them in the majority of the mainstream comics and it harms the perception the medium.
But nothing is as bad as the deplorable trend that manifested in the 90s.
The Death of Superman was responsible for some of the cheapest way of making money. You know we live in an abusive market when publishers can just kill off anyone they want to, to then bring them back, get those sales up and have us fall for it every time. Alright, maybe we don’t fall for it every time, rather accept the fate that this is the way it will from now on be. It’s gotten so bad to a point that Wikipedia even included a category solely dedicated to the characters who came back from the dead. Do you know any other medium with such an infamous reputation?
You know it’s bad when Wikipedia asks for help.
The revivals are as offensive. Superman turned out to not even be dead. He was in a Kryptonian-Coma….<sigh> Okay. Or when Peter Parker died, but in truth, his consciousness was still somehow there. Alright, that’s really stupid. So the reason why it passed under the radar must’ve been justifiable, right? Wrong! “Superior Spider-Man story ended up providing for some cool stories,” is what you’ll hear others use to defend it, but if we had both, cool story moments and proper execution, the medium wouldn’t be looked down upon. They even managed to kill off Wolverine! And Deadpool! But since the fans get back characters poorly killed or revived, does it really matter?
In fact, many people I know who have quit the medium did it because it’s all just a cycle now, constantly repeating itself. Honestly, even I cannot blame them for doing so. Some of you may doubt their fandom, to begin with after hearing such statements, but why would we find an issue about something we all can at least somewhat agree with, especially being a valuable form of criticism?
I am so sick of seeing terrible stuff being greenlit every day while in comics a terrible title gets another relaunch.
Realism in mainstream comics doesn’t exist. And I don’t mean it in a sense which everything needs to be realistic. I mean it in a way where things should believable within the bounds of the rules of the universe. Imagine if Dan Slott would have introduced the Vanishing Point and made that the reason why Peter’s consciousness was able to coexist with Otto’s or some other idea and then build upon in Secret Empire that would nicely explain things. You know, make things seem more believable, not created out of nowhere for the sake of the writer trying to find a lazy way to knot everything together. Often writers create silly rules which visibly took little effort to come up with that eventually get forgotten post the given run or even story arc. Ultimately it does affect the stories being told, which is why need to start putting more pressure on the creatives to do a better job and is that really a bad thing? Remember when Nightwing had his identity exposed? I do as much as the brain-numbing levels of this terrible 3-paneled rubbish. This is how they made his identity secret again. You can call it the comic book version of trying to set up things so it later feels natural. Boy, is this painful to read.
Revealing secret identities is probably the 2nd highest thing to get undone after deaths. A lack of pressure can also lead to things like Clone Saga, One More Day, Sins Past or Clone Conspiracy, where all cases there is little holding the writers back because they know it’s easy to get away with. Now, I’m not saying it doesn’t exist at all, Hydra Cap or Spider-Ock catapulted into a number of death threats. What I am seeking for, though is a higher demand for quality. Battlefront 2 didn’t get tweaked to the consumer’s desire with a single death threat. So If I hear Spider-Totem ever again I am going to kill someone and if I see anyone else use the Speed Force to create a suit of fabric I will kill myself.
SideNote: Peter and MJ will once again be married in the main continuity. Slott purposefully saying, and I quote, “The marriage is NEVER being officially restored” just to later bring it back and have it be a bigger deal. The similar tactic to the revival of deaths.