Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Perhaps the MAN TRUE-est MAN TRUE, yet?

The venerated and now back-with-a-vengeance Gone and Forgotten recounts DC Comics most pointless deaths and articulates perfectly the end result of all this overblown gorn:

"They don’t wind me up in the way where it’s easy to find the humor in it, but rather they wind me up in a way that disappoints me. It’s a pretty common refrain - among those of us in the last few generations who have reached a respectable simulacrum of adulthood - that so-and-so “raped their childhoods”, that because some form of entertainment wasn’t exactly like we remember from our youth, it was therefore a betrayal and is bad, regardless of the fact that a new generation will remember these remakes and reimaginations from their childhoods when they are our ages and obviously it’s all subjective.

I promise you, that isn’t my complaint – I don’t want to read comics which are exactly like the ones I read when I was a kid. For one thing, I’ve already read those, I want something new. For another, I’m an adult now and I’m looking for more emotionally and structurally complex comics. And for yet another reason, most of those comics weren’t very good – if comics in 2001 were exactly like the comics of 1981, I might walk into DC’s Countdown:Arena and let two bigger, meaner versions of me from some grim alternate universes slaughter me off-handed – what would be the point?

I wouldn’t mind the death, destruction and degradation if only it had some purpose in the storyline – I wouldn’t mind a hundred thousand deaths or the massacre of an entire nation (well, I’m in luck!) if it made even one character feel sad for more than a panel. "

Well worth a read, as it says what I could never quite articulate about the ennui this kind of thing eventually generates--there comes a tipping point when you've seen just about every possible gory death that is conceivable and then one of two things happen:

1) It becomes funny (the original Dawn of the Dead is like this--you're meant to be desensitized to the violence)

or 2) You start kinda not giving a shit. It's like going to the circus and seeing the trapeze act 20 times in a row, by #15 you're so bored by the whole thing you just want it to hurry up and be over with already.

I'm at 2. How about you?


Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

I like to think they'll abuse the trope so often that subversions become more commonplace, ie: the incessant zombie trend giving us Shaun of the Dead and World War Z.

But then, this is Marvel we're talking about. For some reason I can't quite see them learning the true lessons of overexposure...

Kazekage said...

Well, it's an idea, I guess. The problem is that everyone toes the company line, so the idea of subverting in plain sight (a la Steve Gerber's Defenders) is nigh-impossible because no one sees anything wrong with it.

Well, the lesson they learned from killing the Torch was that they needed to kill more people, which funnily enough is exactly the lesson I thought they might glean from it.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Not yet, at any rate. It'll have to happen with the next generation of writers - this one's too mired in their own BS to see what's really needed.

At least they're predictable. We could make a fortune in the betting pool if anyone else still cared about Marvel Comics. :)

Kazekage said...

That presupposes there will be a next generation. I'm not so sure anymore.

Or if any of the addicts still had any money, which thanks to Marvel they don't. :)