Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Hey Kids! Comics!

    I grew up with comics. From the time I was about three or four I was exposed to the graphical storytelling art form. It all started off with my older sister’s DC Comics collection. She had several comics but I remember her Superman and Justice League comics especially (I think she also had some Wonder Woman issues too).
    It was too long ago and I don’t remember any specifics of the comics but I know Superman and Jimmy Olson had some adventures together. I also remember the various Green Lanterns and Flashes from the old Crisis crossovers.
    Next up was Green Lantern. I had a few issues of that at a point where Hal Jordan quit the Green Lantern Corp for a bit and John Stewart took his place (and also quickly revealed his secret identity to the world). Around the same time, I also had a few issues of ROM: Space Knight. I remember an issue of ROM where he was changed back into a human and also his girlfriend took over his partner knight’s (Starshine) body.
    I also had a few scant issues of the old Marvel Star Wars comic. It was okay but even as a kid I felt it sometimes strayed too much from what made the movies so great.

    I got more heavily into comics with G.I.JOE: A Real American Hero. I loved the toys at the time and started buying the comic at issue #50. I enjoyed the stories as well as the art. Shortly after, I also started buying Transformers as well (also toys I collected at the time). G.I.JOE was a gateway drug that got me heavier into other comics such as Captain America (during Mark Gruenwald’s long run) as well as X-Factor (Simonson run) then later comics such as the Avengers, X-Men and several others.
    I also got into Batman for a while around the time Tim Burton’s movie came out (I actually preferred the comics interpretation more). At some point I took a long break then came back years later, picking up with Batman again and a few others.
    Eventually, all the gimmicks got on my nerves and I slowly dropped away from comics entirely. I’ve gone back every so often time and again over the years but it seems like newer comics just don’t have that same spark the older ones did.
    I like old school comics best. One and done stories. Or ones that are multi-part stories that actually entertain you with a good story. Too many modern ones do nothing to entertain you or change anything. I read a six issue Justice League origin (new 52 one) where barely anything happened! For $5 an issue I expect better.
    There’s also too many events and other dumb gimmicks (remember the foil and holo covers of the 1990s? Or the trading cards?) Just tell me a good story! Why is that so hard now? Are the writers incompetent or do the companies not permit them to do so, focusing instead on immediate cash grabs instead? Either way, it’s just not the same.
    The lack of quality in the comics from the Big Two are a part of why I think the MCU movies are so popular. They’re generally more concise. One and done (while being part of a bigger story arc with the Infinity Stones. But that doesn’t usually overwhelm the individual movies). Sadly, as time goes on, I think the big over-arcing stories might eventually ruin the MCU and DCEU as well. It’s inevitable somebody somewhere will think they’re a storytelling genius and attempt some ill-advised mega story that loses the audience in the process.
    Anyway, just give me a good story and I’ll be happy.


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