A common conceit of today's comics writers.

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The_Watchman
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Re: A common conceit of today's comics writers.

Postby The_Watchman » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:50 pm

Mr Mole wrote:
The_Watchman wrote:Maybe its a double standard on my part or maybe its just context, but the killing in the Marvel movies bothers me less. Other than the Hulk (maybe), all of the Avengers were killers before that movie began but always in the heat of battle and the big three went out of their way to save and protect others. Even in the middle of the New York battle, Cap prioritizes saving people over fighting.

I agree with your general sentiment, but the one aspect of that movie that bothered me most was probably the continuing trend to totally abandon Hawkeye's roots as a character. He was trained in a circus, fun-loving, brash... He led a branch of the Avengers for years and helped turn a team of Thunderbolts into real heroes... And had a very strict code against killing. Now he's morphed into a semi-brooding, SHIELD assassin.

Honestly, I don't much care that Superman killed Zod. Zod had declared ware and was a legitimate threat to Superman and every other living being on the planet. That he did it with a trendy neck snap wasn't to my liking, nor did I like that he was all smiles and cheers for the rest of the movie. There should've been somber reflection on his actions and on the destruction and deaths that had just occurred, followed by an optimistic "I'm here to protect you now and I'll do everything in my (considerable) power, laying down my life if that's what it takes, to make sure nothing like this ever happens again."

It just wasn't Superman.

Agreed on both points. Hawkeye is one of my favorite Avengers and was quite disappointed they went the full Ultimates route with him. I thought his banter was decent in parts and the bit where he gets Loki for using the arrow catch was fun, but I feel making him just a SHIELD assassin really strips him of a lot of what makes him a great character.
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Re: A common conceit of today's comics writers.

Postby tomorrow » Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:55 pm

I don't think I'm hating on Superman or even Man of Steel (I like Superman, and Man of Steel was okay in my opinion), but no, there is no way any sane news organization (debatable whether these actually still exist) would portray Superman in a good light. Superman would most certainly be blame for the destruction of Metropolis and the loss of life involved and would the fact that he's an 'alien' killer (for any reason) would not sit well.

We have a secretive alien (and humanity/the news is always so fair toward "others", especially those who want privacy), whom the entire world is basically aware drew a bunch of other psychotic aliens to Earth (global announcement). These aliens killed who knows how many and wrecked not only a major world city but other areas as well. Superman participated in this death/destruction and publicly didn't seem to put much effort into minimizing it. While Zod did intend to convert Earth, by and large the fight between Superman and the other Kryptonians was publicly a personal fight between aliens with humans/Earth just being collateral damage. There is no way that this wouldn't be put on Superman. Superman at the end is publicly seen killing a fellow alien, and given the circumstances, it may or may not even be clear to the public that the neck-snap was only done to save that one family or if that's just how Superman rolls (actually, it IS how THIS Superman rolls as this was his first conflict and he chose killing... so killing is presently his MO, this Superman's answer to his problems, thus far is killing and destruction - he even destroys the government tracker at the end too... his answer to obstacles is death/destruction - but hey, this Superman was raised by a man who outright taught him that human life [even your own family] is worth less than mere possibility of revealing himself to the world... rather than that saving people/doing the right thing always comes first). Then there is nothing about Superman aiding in fixing the damage done, nope... he disappears thereafter and impedes reasonable efforts by the government of the nation he did the most death/damage to from keeping an eye on him.

Even with all the spin mastery in the world, Lois Lane could not realistically paint him as a good guy/non-threat. Lex Luthor would have a really easy time turning the whole planet against him. Heck, he probably wouldn't even need to do so. Heck, world peace might be achieved by the whole of the world setting aside their differences to come up with a way to eliminate the monster looming over them all. Farfetched but no more so then Superman having a positive image post-Man of Steel.

But I think at this point we may be hijacking this thread a bit.

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Re: A common conceit of today's comics writers.

Postby Darrin Kelley » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:38 pm

The problem I see is a lack of respect for the properties and material itself. The cynicism pushed by the constant effort to tear heroes down I believe comes from writers who really do not care for what they are writing. And it shows in the quality of the stories produced.

They see it as an easy was to a paycheck. Rather than an exercise in creativity. And honestly, I think writers like that would be better off in a fast food place flipping burgers. Instead of sullying the comics with their rotten attitudes.

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Re: A common conceit of today's comics writers.

Postby Dragonblade » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:56 pm

tomorrow wrote:I don't think I'm hating on Superman or even Man of Steel (I like Superman, and Man of Steel was okay in my opinion), but no, there is no way any sane news organization (debatable whether these actually still exist) would portray Superman in a good light. Superman would most certainly be blame for the destruction of Metropolis and the loss of life involved and would the fact that he's an 'alien' killer (for any reason) would not sit well.


Hmm, I disagree. Based on how the government and media in our world goes out of its way to avoid painting with a broad brush and tries to explain that the actions of terrorists are not representative of the religious or ethnic groups they purport to come from, I'd say that most of the media would be quick to defend and embrace Superman. Especially if a public face like Lois tells his side of the story.

The problem with Man of Steel's ending isn't the death of Zod. I viewed that as perfectly in keeping with a young rookie Superman desperate to save the lives of the family in front of him. Its the uneven pacing that doesn't clearly explain how much time has passed (which must be weeks) before showing a smiling Clark show up at the Planet. They also don't deal with how literally world changing these events would be, saving that for the sequel I guess. To millions of people, Superman would literally be space Jesus, to others a dangerous threat. But he would absolutely be the most famous (or infamous) figure in the history of the planet.

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Re: A common conceit of today's comics writers.

Postby Flying Cobra » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:15 pm

Imagine where this conversation would be without Fredrick Wertham and the Comics Code...

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Re: A common conceit of today's comics writers.

Postby Darrin Kelley » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:20 pm

Flying Cobra wrote:Imagine where this conversation would be without Fredrick Wertham and the Comics Code...


Wertham simply pointed out the destructive practices and trends of the comic book industry of his era. Shined a light on the fact that the industry was self-destructing due to its own excesses. The fact was: Wertham was a catalyst that forced a stagnating industry to change itself.

However. The Comics Code itself was drafted almost entirely in the biggest players in the industry to absolutely crush their competition utterly. Instead of real substantive change that would benefit the industry as a whole, the Code was a bloody axe used with impunity on the whole medium.

Self-regulation just plain doesn't work.

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Re: A common conceit of today's comics writers.

Postby saint_matthew » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:02 pm

Dragonblade wrote:Hmm, I disagree. Based on how the government and media in our world goes out of its way to avoid painting with a broad brush and tries to explain that the actions of terrorists are not representative of the religious or ethnic groups they purport to come from


Hahahahahahaha, please stop, it hurts to laugh that much: Mercy :lol:

Darrin Kelley wrote:Wertham simply pointed out the destructive practices and trends of the comic book industry of his era. Shined a light on the fact that the industry was self-destructing due to its own excesses. The fact was: Wertham was a catalyst that forced a stagnating industry to change itself.


I'm sorry but you can't defend the mans intellectual dishonesty: The guy wasn't doing something noble for the benefit of the industry, he was a liar (objectively was a liar), who falsified academic findings, to fabricate a moral panic in an attempt to become famous, to the detriment of society. I'm sorry, but there is nothing redeemable in that mans actions: He was a close minded bigot who wanted to blame comics for "societies failure" as he put it in his book.

I mean just look at the mans methodology & as someone who likes science, if I could go back in time just to beat him into a coma with an aluminium baseball bat, I would. The man singlehandedly destroyed the enjoyment of something relatively benign because of his own personal bigotry.

I mean his methodology was so deliberately slimy, that he deserves to be ejected from the human race on principle.

Darrin Kelley wrote:Self-regulation just plain doesn't work.


Funny you should mention that, because Fawcett did just that in 1942, with something called the Fawcett Comic Magazines Code of Ethics.... Actually come to think on it, I'm pretty sure Horwitz Publishing had something similar.
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Re: A common conceit of today's comics writers.

Postby Darrin Kelley » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:05 pm

saint_matthew wrote:Funny you should mention that, because Fawcett did just that in 1942, with something called the Fawcett Comic Magazines Code of Ethics.... Actually come to think on it, I'm pretty sure Horwitz Publishing had something similar.


And where are they both now? Gone. Extinct.

They were the exception. Not the rule.

The biggest players in the industry used the Code as an anti-competative weapon.

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Re: A common conceit of today's comics writers.

Postby saint_matthew » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:07 pm

Darrin Kelley wrote:And where are they both now? Gone. Extinct.


Actually no. Horwitz still exists today (though they do mainly novels, pulps & magazines these days) & Fawcett only went under because National sued them out of existence.

Darrin Kelley wrote:They were the exception. Not the rule.


Actually many of the publishers of yore had such publishing stipulations.
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

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Re: A common conceit of today's comics writers.

Postby Darrin Kelley » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:46 pm

saint_matthew wrote:
Darrin Kelley wrote:Wertham simply pointed out the destructive practices and trends of the comic book industry of his era. Shined a light on the fact that the industry was self-destructing due to its own excesses. The fact was: Wertham was a catalyst that forced a stagnating industry to change itself.


I'm sorry but you can't defend the mans intellectual dishonesty: The guy wasn't doing something noble for the benefit of the industry, he was a liar (objectively was a liar), who falsified academic findings, to fabricate a moral panic in an attempt to become famous, to the detriment of society. I'm sorry, but there is nothing redeemable in that mans actions: He was a close minded bigot who wanted to blame comics for "societies failure" as he put it in his book.

I mean just look at the mans methodology & as someone who likes science, if I could go back in time just to beat him into a coma with an aluminium baseball bat, I would. The man singlehandedly destroyed the enjoyment of something relatively benign because of his own personal bigotry.

I mean his methodology was so deliberately slimy, that he deserves to be ejected from the human race on principle.


Wertham is the excuse that the whole industry uses to ignore the fact that, at the time, the whole comics industry was imploding and on the brink of self-destruction. He's the excuse used to ignore that part of history. Blaming Wertham is easier for them than accepting any fault for driving an entire medium to near extinction. The intellectual dishonesty of this is not lost on me. And it shouldn't be to anyone else.

Wertham did do the industry a big favor back then. His self-serving controversy made comics relevant and topical again. Something that became a subject of household conversation. When before that, the whole medium was set to die off in obscurity. Because the industry was simply not adapting to the to a changing marketplace and the presence of new media of the day at all. The whole industry was badly broken by the time Wertham entered the picture.

It's not doing any favors to anyone to simply blame Wertham and ignore the more pressing that were facing the industry during that age. Just like it is not doing anyone any favors to pretend that the comic book industry is healthy right now.

Yes, I'm getting back to the "we make comics for 45 year old men" comment from DC Comics. Because it shows how utterly damaged that the medium has become. And it all comes down to the fact that the industry itself is doing absolutely nothing to either expand its audience or address the absolute critical seriousness the ever-shrinking market they have come to rely on to the exclusion of all else.

Before Wertham, comics were facing impending extinction. It's 2014 now. The medium is facing another extinction threat. Only this time, there is no Frederick Wertham do the industry another favor by making comics a household word again.

I believe that the future of comics is not with the big two now. The big two are a big part of the problem. And they certainly will not be part of the solution. Because they seem content to bleed an ever shrinking base of existing customers dry with cheap sales tricks and outright cons. Rather than actually doing anything to truly address the issue.

No, the future of the medium is with the Independants. The real risk takers. The people who are willing to experiment and take chances with new approaches. And who continually take the risks necessary to take the leap into new marketplaces. That's the future. That's what is necessary to save a dying medium.

In my view, Marvel and DC are like Nero, blythely playing a fiddle while Rome burns around him. Only it's the whole comics medium burning now..

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Re: A common conceit of today's comics writers.

Postby saint_matthew » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:59 pm

Darrin Kelley wrote:Wertham is the excuse that the whole industry uses to ignore the fact that, at the time, the whole comics industry was imploding and on the brink of self-destruction.


Darrin I'm not sure if you are aware of this but the industry is ALWAYS on the brink of self-destruction: if there was ever a time in which it weren't we'd all die of shock. Its a perpetual cycle of companies getting a new idea that "revolutionises the industry" only to run it into the ground 5 to 10 years later, till the next "revolutionise the industry" thing comes along & then that becomes the new thing that will be worked into the ground, till the industry is once again on the brink of self-destruction.

Darrin Kelley wrote:No, the future of the medium is with the Independants. The real risk takers. The people who are willing to experiment and take chances with new approaches. And who continually take the risks necessary to take the leap into new marketplaces. That's the future. That's what is necessary to save a dying medium.


LOL, no. I'm sorry but the indi's do not have the resources to give the big two the run for there money, so no matter how many risks they take it doesn't matter to the industry, because they don't make up a sufficient market share. Never have, never will. It would require a third company, one with real backing get back to basics, back to the fundementals of publishing fiction for the industry to normalise again.... But that won't happen while comic companies exist only as fodder for movies.
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov


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