The thing is, while the writer of the article is right to say there can be plenty of great "darker" stories, the problem is the balance has tipped so far toward the dark stories. The kind of 1-off "fun" stories he describes are in such high demand by some fans mostly because they're just so rare these days.
Pull List; seems to be too long to fit in my sig...
I think I'll remain in my Silver Age bubble, thanks.
Basically, I think superheroes are freakin' goofy, and sticking such inherently ludicrous creatures in dark, rapey rape stories just makes a lot more work for the writers. It's like using a screwdriver to pound in a nail - These characters were designed to tell a specific type of fairly light story, and if you completely change their narrative context it (A) requires a lot more work to do well, and (b) comes off as absolutely ridiculous if done poorly.
Keep in mind, I'm not advocating simpler stories, per se - But I'm advocating an awareness of the techniques of art and literature (specifically surrealism and symbolism) rather than the TV movie of the week or HBO-style dramas that Identity Crisis was trying to tonally emulate. Use the goofiness of the Flash and Green Lantern as a strength, rather than ignoring it or working around it!
MarkAndrew at Comics Should Be Good
Within the fantasy realm of superheroes, there's alot of dynamism, but people need to be rooted in something. When everything gets upended and turned on its head within the realm of a suphero story, it can make things very unnerving. Suddenly, everything seems ludicrous and suspension of belief is much harder. Also, we become attached to these characters to a certain degree and identify with them, and often don't like it when they are drastically changed or put in very different circumstances.
Empty winds scrape on the soul never stop to realize/Animal whisperings intoxicate the night
Hypnotize the desperate slow motionlight/Wash away into the rain
Blood, milk and sky....
I should note that A.) I wrote the article and B.) I don't particularly care for Identity Crisis, just that the comments thread from Linkara's post brought out the kind of entitled, insular, developmentally arrested mentality so repellent in online fandom.
You confuse "fearing drama" with hating bathos.
In addition, from where I sit, it's the entitled, insular, developmentally arrested mentality that's responsible for tripe like Identity Crisis.
"If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me." - Alice Roosevelt Longworth, on manners
"It's not whether you win or lose, it's whether I win or lose." - Peter David, on life
While I do think people can get carried away with their criticism of Identity Crisis (as trashy as that comic is), I don't think they fear drama. A lot of these same people really like Watchmen.
What irritates many people is darkness for darkness's sake. Fun for fun's sake is in demand because it's so rare these days.
Which would you rather have? I'm going with fun.
I just hate having characters undignified and brutalized just for the sake of cheap pathos. Once the companies stop equating drama with misery and realism with gore, then maybe I will stop hating the darkness.
http://www.unsolvedmysteries.com/usm393671.htmlOriginally Posted by sarahtheboring, at LJ, on the subject of LotR fanfiction
Anyway, DC seemed to be, with 'Identity Crisis' and 'Cry For Justice', trying to combine elements of the Silver Age and the Dark Age, and this resulted in products that had the worst of both worlds. We had the ludicrous plots and bizarre character motivations of the Silver Age combined with the 'dark for darkness's sake' of the Dark Age. All played dead serious. And this ... was not a good combination.
People like what they like. A lot of folk don't want to see their character/world stray from what they like about them and that's cool.
I personally like my characters to be re-invented in all sorts of ways, to be darker or lighter, but I don't like the shark to be jumped within a run. I have issues with really long continuities often necessitating returns to the status quo.
If I start a new run I'm happier to consider it a reboot/reinvention and let it establish itself, whatever the tone or shifts in the characterisation, than a story necessarily part of/reliant on the history of the canon. Over a long enough time the canon just never convinces me.
As for the dark stories, I don't think they're always the best; but conflict is the mining room for drama, and being open to dark stories does open more possibilities up in terms of conflict. The most exciting drama is often very dark simply by the nature of conflict and how it is compelling. But hey I just read The World's Greatest Superheroes and it was great. It made optimism truly compelling.
That said I'm 25 and I don't see how I could ever run out of good stories of any style, at least til I'm retired... Unless I become seriously rich in the mean time, perhaps... Never in history have so many good comics been available.
Last edited by 142857; 01-28-2012 at 05:30 PM.
For me the whole point is that super-heroes by their very nature tend to be somewhat silly concepts and the idea of putting in too many "dark and gloomy" elements just ruins them. As others have commented, while something like Alan Moore's WATCHMEN was well-done, that book featured characters who were created specifically for that story and whatever befell them, we accepted it as part of the tale being told. However, someone like myself, might be furious if say Batman started killing people or Green Lantern became a drunken lush and tried to rape Zatanna! In fact, to this day I despise AVENGERS #200(vol. 1) for it dealt with the actual rape of Ms.Marvel!
While I might enjoy something like IRON MAN:DEMON IN A BOTTLE, that story never displayed anything like nudity or foul language; didn't shy away from the very real problem of alcoholism; nor was it out of place for Tony Stark who previously had been consistently portrayed as a real-life playboy type of character.
I guess what I'm saying is that I personally want limits placed on "realistic drama" in super-hero comics. If a writer wants to produce something more like CSI or DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES there are still many other options open to him or her:
1. They could create their own characters in a new series (such as THE BOYS)
2. How about just creating a dramatic series WITHOUT super heroes? (Such as OMAHA, LOVE AND ROCKETS, STRANGERS IN PARADISE and many others...)
Last edited by LEADER DESSLOK; 01-31-2012 at 06:50 PM. Reason: tweaks
TUCO (Eli Wallach): "Whoever double-crosses me and leaves me alive--he understands nothing about Tuco!!"
The key is verosimilitude.
For example, the New Krypton storyline. What is it about? Superman just enlarged Kandor and now we have 100.000 Kryptonians in the Artic, after that, in the opposite orbit of Earth. There's essentially a army of Supermen in Earth, and all of those people have different life histories, personalities, ideals, character, etc. Those people are NOT Superman, for good and for bad, but they got his powers.
If it was a Silver Age story, Krypton would be this super-perfect Mary Sue-ish planet where everyone is nice and peaceful and, after saying bye-bye to their new Earthling friends, they would go away to their mary sue planet and nobody would be bothered. BO-RING.
Except that we don't have the naiveness of the Silver Age today, realistically (in a verosimilitude sense, as in, normal things that happen in the universe where the story happens), we know that people tend to snap once the power goes over their heads, and even if Zor-El and Alura are quite nice chaps who probrably will happily enjoy tea with the US President, not everybody is so nice. And Kryptonians are not perfect, in fact, they're all too human, just because they're scientifically more advanced doesn't mean they're better. We have a example of this in the Phantom Zone convicts, lots of bloody murderers, psychos and mad scientists dumped in a far-away corner of reality. Also, more advanced societies tend to have a superiority complex, and if they can become GODS with just some yellow light, then its going to be upped to the nth degree.
Also, Earth has been invaded so many times that it was about time Governments took measures to prevent alien invasions, and a Kryptonian invasion would be the mother of all alien invasions.
So on one hand we have two planets, full of different people, with different POVs, and one's afraid of their demigod neighboors, and the other is afraid of being killed by their paranoid puny human neighboors who are clearly resourceful enough to do it. In the middle, we have Superman, who is the man between both worlds, the immigrant who now watches his homeland being poised to fight his adopted land.
There's no "evil kryptonians" or "humans are bastards", there are individuals and organizations, each one having their own plans for their planet, the war and the peace. And there are others with their own agenda, like Brainiac. This is why New Krypton is awesome.
THIS is the kind of drama I want, not the whiny "oh noes, oh I suck for having immense powers given free of charge and no penalty" or "Gubment is eevul and hates super-heroes, despite them saving the world one million times over" bullshit that seems to be around the Wildstorm-fied DNCU.
*sigh* No, I'm not--Yes. Yes, I'm Superman. Your bullets will bounce off me and I'll stare you to death with my heat Vision. May as well hand over the gun before I BEND it - John Henry Irons, the hero know as Steel