WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! FULL CURMUDGEON MODE HERE!

There are a number of things about superhero comics that seem to have gone out of vogue in recent years, and I fear that I may have seen the last of them.  Here's a quick list of things I shall lament losing:

10 things that I'll likely never see in (superhero) comics again

* Heroes fighting and defeating villains without the destruction of the world or the populace of this or that city being in question - Seriously, when was the last time the Penguin held up a bank or Electro knocked over an armored car?  Does everything have to be the world ending?

* Heroes fighting other heroes and it being a misunderstanding - These days, if a hero fights another hero, there's no misunderstanding. The hero is just as apt to be behaving as a villain. I understand shades of grey, but it's gotten boring.

* Villains more interested in loot than destruction - Please, could we have Roy Raymond, the Getaway Genius again?

* Heroes acting like heroes - It seems that Marvel especially has forgotten that it's heroes are actually seflless heroes. I'd love to see that again.

* A good fight between a hero and a villain - Are there villains anymore, or is it all just one mish-mash of conflicted personalities and bad decisions?

* Secret identities being given more than lip service - Yes, I know the concept is thoroughly ridiculous at this point. I for one find that sad.

* Villains that don't kill - Hey, remember when crooks just stole stuff?

* A fight I can follow - Despite the advances in computer coloring and everything else, why is that so few of today's artists know how to draw a fight?

* A populace that celebrates and reveres it's heroes - Yeah, Superman should just stand down when the Parasite comes to town, right?

* Characters having the option to think themselves out of a predicament other than killing the antagonist - Seriously, do superheroes--especially smart superheroes--even think anymore?  The Illuminati is the worst example of this, but the entire idea is that the heroes will come up with a solution that doesn't involve destroying a single life, right?  Isn't that the point of superheroes?  That they can find a way to solve the problem that keeps everyone alive?

Yeah, I know I sound like a irascible old fogey talking about this, but as a wise man said, "When you speak of adding realism to superhero comics, you're really talking about taking all of the fun out of them." Or something to that effect. Of course, said sage also thinks Captain America would beat Batman in a fight seven days a week and twice on Sundays.

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Remember when Iron Man was accused of killing or kidnapping Tony Stark? That's not going to work any more.

The problem with Lucius Fox was suddenly Bruce Wayne wasn't making everything himself. This eventually led to "Batman is stealing from himself!" Wasn't it Dark Knight that established Bruce Wayne is just a mask for Batman? From then on he's usually been depicted as just on the edge of losing it completely.

What If claimed Conan could beat Captain America.

Ron M. said:

The problem with Lucius Fox was suddenly Bruce Wayne wasn't making everything himself. This eventually led to "Batman is stealing from himself!" Wasn't it Dark Knight that established Bruce Wayne is just a mask for Batman? From then on he's usually been depicted as just on the edge of losing it completely.

The thing is, The Dark Knight Returns was about Batman 30 years in the future, embittered by all the bad things that happened between then and now. But, unfortunately, too many writers took that as the template for Batman's personality in the present.

Ron M. said:

What If claimed Conan could beat Captain America.

Yeah, but that's an imaginary story.  photo tongue.gif

Aren't they all? (Except maybe the Human Fly, because Marvel kept telling us he was REAL!)

It looks like writers are still using The Crossing as a template for Tony Stark.

Connected to "the advances in computer coloring and everything else" - Comics I can read without worrying I'll blind myself if I hold it the wrong way in a strong light. This was something I liked about the essential/showcase volumes. Who would have thought they still made newsprint? The ads for the essentials on Amazon state the black and white newsprint makes one remember newspaper comics instead of comic books. Clearly the writer wasn't aware all comics used to be on that kind of paper.

True, but back then, newspaper comics were in color only on Sundays. Now some newspapers (unfortunately, not my local paper) are in color every day. 

Claptrap and hooey!

ClarkKent_DC said:


Said sage truly is a wise man.  old photo old.gif

Think I saw daily comics in color once. There've been far too many black and white comic books to think of newspapers. Remember the glut that started with Ninja Turtles and ended with a crash? Everybody had clones of the turtles. Even Marvel did something with elephants. "Power Pachyderms."

Claptrap and Hooey. Why didn't anybody ever make a team with those names?

I am ambivalent about daily newspaper strips in color. It doesn’t matter so much anymore, I guess, but back in the “Golden Age of Newspaper Comic Strips” the dailies and the Sundays were drawn differently, the dailies clearly intended to be presented in black and white.

40-50 years ago in St. Louis, the Globe-Democrat (now defunct) presented dailies in b&w, the Post-Dispatch in color. But the Post-Dispatch did such a poor job with the coloring the job must have been handled by an intern with a crayon. Also, they tended to color characters clearly intended by the cartoonist to be Caucasian as if they were African American in a (misguided, I feel) attempt at political correctness.

The coloring these days is a little better, especially if you read your comics online, but I still think the dailies are intended by the syndicate to be presented in b&w. A while ago Joe Staton did a flashback sequence in which the Sundays were colored in sepia tone, however the dailies were presented with their usual garish colors.

They're convinced nobody will look at anything unless it's in color. ME-TV insists on running the awful Ted Turner colorized episodes of Gilligan's Island where the sky and water are purple.

They're convinced nobody will look at anything unless it's in color, because young people won't look at anything unless it's in color.

For them, the equation is simple: black-and-white = old = boring.

In the Spring of 2014 the Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip had a story involving the old (Avengers Vol 1 #1 vintage) Iron Man armor being used by J. Jonah Jameson against Spidey. I followed it on the King Features site (Comics Kingdom).

The Sunday strips had the armor colored gold head-to-toe. The daily strips attempted to color it red and yellow, with poor results. And this was the King Features site!

But purple water new and cool.

They're running other shows in black and white, Rifleman, Donna Reed, and I Love Lucy. But after running the black and white Superman episodes once they've been sticking to the color episodes. Which makes them look more like the Adam West show that comes on right after Superman.

It's getting closer and closer to adding "Heroes having costumes that have been around long enough for people to immediately recognize them."

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