I am torn between my love of comics as a vehicle for superheroics and my love of comics as an art form. Comics as a medium can support both, but for me, I will always associate comic books primarily with superheroes (and vice versa). Over the course of the past week or so, I’ve been reading all appearances of the Abomination in chronological order, and last night it struck me that the superhero comics of today are just as different from the comics of my youth as the comics of my youth were from those of the Golden Age. Using the introduction of Superman as a starting point, midway between 1938 and today is 1975, juuust about the time I was really getting into comic books.

Last night, I pulled the next stack of comics I plan to read out of one of my “recent” boxes. I am up to the five-part “Dark Mind, Dark Hearts” story written by Bruce Jones (Hulk #50-54). I had kind of forgotten that this story existed, but flipping through it (I don’t plan to re-read it in its entirety until this coming weekend) I was reminded of the plot elements. Excuse me if I get some of the details wrong (I’ll correct myself next week if I do), but essentially Bruce Banner has an affair with the Abomination’s ex-wife. There are several fairly graphic (yet tasteful) sex scenes, some of which end up on looped video tape played back to the Abomination to torment him in captivity.

I compare this to the Abomination’s first appearance in Tales to Astonish #90-91, which I read for the first time (reprinted in Marvel Super-Heroes)… right around 1975 (comics “midway point”) come to think of it. That was definitely my first exposure to the work of Gil Kane, and there’s a particular one-page sequence (you’ll remember it if you’ve ever read it) of a prostrate Rick Jones hugging the Hulk’s ankle and begging him for help as the Hulk drags him across the missile base, that remains as powerful today as when it was first drawn in 1966.

Anyway, the topic is “Are Today’s Superhero Comics Too ‘Realistic’?” and the floor is open for discussion.

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Oddly enough though, I'm finding more of Marvel's current output to be "fun" as opposed to DC.  It seems like DC's idea with the new DCU was essentially to leech all of the fun aspects of it's characters and replace them with death and dismemberment.

I'm finding that, while I like a lot of the books I read, I don't love them. I see old friends trying to be "current" and "edgy" but it just looks like new actors recast in established roles. You know them but they're different now. That's how I deal with DC.

Marvel, it seems to me (and I stress that), appears to be focusing on the politics of being a "super-hero". The Avengers are in charge now of the MU. No one voted for them and if you go against their agenda, they will take you down. And the world seems okay with that. The X-Men are looking for political power, to govern their own affairs. But the Avengers won't let them. They don't see them as mutant rebels but rebellious super-heroes. Despite all that has happened in the MU, it is still Steve Rogers and Tony Stark who feel that they know what is best for Hope and why won't the X-Men trust them?

I really want to see how their differences are resolved, if they truly are.  

Mark, you're reading the wrong stuff.  Check out stuff like Daredevil, New Mutants, Journey Into Mystery, Mighty Thor, Wolverine and the X-Men, Fantastic Four and FF, etc. Those are Fun comics. 

Denial...denial...denial...no, really.

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

  How could Daredevil be a fun comic after all that he's been through?

Waid squares that circle with panache. Not even 12 issues in, so you should get on board. I can vouch for Journey into Mystery too. Solid stuff that doesn't rely on marketing-driven 'shocks' for storylines.

Every time a new writer/creative team takes over a book, it's like the Cosmic Reset Button. Daredevil right now is not the Daredevil from Shadowland. I would be surprised if that's brought up again. But Mark, that's a good thing! Enjoy Daredevil now and forget whichever version you hated!

...Jeff , could you spoil that Scarlet Witch storyline for me , please ?????????

  Mark , there is a certain irony in the history of the " G " rating in the MPAA ratings system that I have only time to lay down the basics here (and can't check out now:-(0 that may bear some relation to the topic we're discussing here -

  In the first few years of the MPAA , especially the first 5 or so , movies got G ratings that would NEVER to-day .

  Planet Of The Apes (the first one) ,

Oliver! (Dickens)

and , as a re-release , Gone With The Wind , for three .

Tell you what Mark, here's some scans from Daredevil #10 and Daredevil #10.1. Just to catch you up on the plot, Matt has in his possession a hard drive with enough incriminating evidence to take down several major villain groups, and those groups want it back and want Matt dead.

Language warning for the comments.

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

  How could Daredevil be a fun comic after all that he's been through?

SCARLET WITCH SCENE FROM AVX #0 (SPOILERS): Basically, the Vision and the Scarlet Witch show up at the same place and the same time and the Vision basically tells her, "You used my body against my will as a weapon against our friends and allies. I never want to see you again," leaving Wanda standing there with a big ol' tear in her eye.

I wrote about that scene here and why it's confusing.


From today's Daredevil by Mark Waid...

What did he (who?) say?

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