Many of us have long been lamenting the current state of superhero comics--some of us because we're old curmudgeons, some of us because we're dissatisfied with the directions that Marvel and DC are going towards, some of us for other reasons.
It's easy to complain, but how would you fix things? What changes would you make to improve the content and quality of the comics that are so beloved to us all (I'm making the assumption that anyone who's bothered to create an account here loves comics).?
Let's leave this out of the equation:
* Make em cheaper!
Sure, we'd all love for our hobby to be cheaper,but unless and until we can come up with concrete numbers to back up the ideas we have, it's flogging a dead horse.
Here's some of the ideas I would have:
* Stabilize the characters. Enough fake-rebooting every 5 years, Enough fake-rebooting period. Decide who and what the mainstream characters are and keep them that way. Characters that aren't working may simply be confined to limbo until someone has a new approach for them.
At the same time...
* Don't be afraid to have multiple versions of your characters. Is there any reason we can't have different versions of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, the Avengers out there? Comics fans are smart enough to figure out when they're seeing a tweaked or different version of a character. Why not have stories featuring the Siegel/Shuster version of Superman up against the current one? I think there are fans for both. A Batman who's a Bat-god vs. a Batman who's the world's greatest detective and rarely fights costumed villains? I'd buy the latter in a heartbeat, and I think many others would as well.
* Stop chasing the mythical "casual fan". there are no casual comic book fans. There are tons of people who like Batman or Superman or Spider-Man or Thor or Iron Man or whomever, but the vast majority of these people have likely picked up and read fewer than 10 comics about those characters They love the TV and Movie versions of these characters, sure, but it doesn't translate into increased purchasers of comic books.
There are new fans interested in buying comic books, but from everything I'm hearing, most of them are extremely frustrated over the constant shifts and changes. Theey--much like us--want to read about the characters they love, and while they don't mind minor changes they don't enjoy the constant upheaval. These are not casual fans, but much like us, they've invested in the character and care about them, and they want good stories.
* Limit events Yes, this sounds curmudgeonly, but hear me out. Right now, we have event after event after event after event after event happening, and it's getting to the point that events are no longer events--they're the status quo. It's extremely difficult to maintain that level of excitement, or to get people to care about the umpteenth threat that's going to destroy the universe/Earth. Right now, these events plain don't count. Why should anyone care about Galactuswhen Thanos, the Kree, the Skrulls and the Shi'ar all have their own plans to invade Earth/take over the universe? Even well crafted events like Planet Hulk lose their meaning quickly as the status quo is returned.
I'm not saying eliminate events entirely because it's obvious that many people enjoy them, but it makes sense to limit them to, say, once every couple of years. By doing so, Marvel and DC could build much more excitement about them,and likely eventually sell more comics, or at least trades.
* Remember there are villains, and some of them are quire good/fun It seems over the last ten years or so that both Marvel and DC have come tot he joint decision that people are much more interested in seeing the heroes fight each other than they are in seeing them take on villains, to the point of taking heroes and having them act villainnous (Tony Stark) or turning them into out and out villains (Terry Sloane). Meanwhile, some of the better villains in both Marvel and DC's universes have been turned into jobbers.
A good villain can make for a much better story, even if said villain may not e the most fearsome out there. Written intelligently, the likes of the Vulture or the Grizzly or the Pied Piper or Captain Cold can be turned into interesting, fascinating characters. Heck, someone even managed to make Boomerang interesting.
There are many excellent stories that can be told with these characters as antagonists. It's a shame more aren't these days..
* More diversity Actually, I have to admit that both Marvel and DC are doing better along these lines, as more women and persons of color are being injected into superhero comics, frequently with success. However, I'm not so sure that either company always has a good grasp on what makes these characters tick, or why their fans enjoy them. From what I've seen, younger fans especially want characters they can relate to but that also sort of belong to them in the same way that Peter Parker or Wolverine belong to older fans. Unfortunately, Marvel and particularly DC seem unaware of how to capitalize on these characters' popularity or put them into situations that reflect changing times and attitudes. They don't want to see popular female character A swooning over a man, they want to see her kicking butt and taking names, and if she does have personal life problems to resolve them in an intelligent manner.
Anyway, these are some fo my ideas. Feel free to rip them apart and shred them, but please also share yours as well.
I think it was more Siegel wanted to show the effect of an out of control 10 year old Kryptonian. I'd like to think he didn't think that it would be very funny. Of course, I haven't read Men of Tomorrow in some time, so I'd have to review it to make a declarative statement.
So Ron, I'd love to hear your ideas on how you would make the current crop of superhero comics better.
Seems that would make the risk of everyone finding out where he was too great. Like the orphanage in the Golden Age that gave him to the Kents before he wrecked the building. Unbelievable that nobody at the orphanage would read about Superman and figure out he was that weird kid that kept breaking things. Or that babysitter in the Bizarro comic. (Unless she'd had a nervous breakdown long before he became Superman and got put away, so no one would believe anything she said. Actually she'd make an interesting villain.)