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Author Topic: Action Comics is out of Action  (Read 47703 times)
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ShinDangaioh
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« Reply #72 on: March 15, 2007, 05:29:53 AM »

Ah yes, the Johnny DC line defense.

If you can't handle mature themes in DC  comics, there is always the Johnny DC line.

I've always countered with the fact that I read the manga Bio-Bosster Armor Guyver and at times Blood of the Immortal.  Strangely enough, neither is as graphic as the more recent DC stuff.  Blood of the Immortal is supposed to be a bloodbath(the main character has to kill 10,000 men so that he can die), but now current DC comics have made it a bit pedestrian.  Heck the fight between Guyver I and Enzyme II is pretty sanitary and this is after Enzyme II crushed Guyver I's skull. 
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nightwing
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« Reply #73 on: March 15, 2007, 12:11:09 PM »

Well of course I've said it many times, but I'm getting old so I'll repeat myself again  Cheesy....

There is nothing "mature" about superhero comics.  Nothing.  Whether the stories feature dogs in capes and sprites from the fifth dimension or rapes, assasinations and beheadings, at their core they are still stories about people who fly, shoot beams out of their orifices and fool their closest friends with lame disguises. Therefore, the whole concept of superhero comics for "mature" readers is an oxymoron. The only mature comics reader is one who can recognize the juvenile nature of the genre and enjoy it for what it is, instead of piling on the sex and violence and kidding themselves they're reading something "grown up."

In my book, people who enjoy seeing mutilations and sexual assaults in comics are no different from the guys who write fan fiction about having sex with Smurfette or Strawberry Shortcake.  They are pathetic weirdos, and the fact that so many books cater to this twisted little cabal of fruitcakes is beyond sad.

I have two young sons who love books of all kinds, but I'd never let them read a new comic.  I may share my Showcase volumes with them, though, once I'm sure the crayons are hidden away.  Cheesy
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #74 on: March 15, 2007, 04:06:23 PM »

This is all only shocking if you're not paying attention to what's going on in popular culture as a whole. See the average action movie or horror film aimed at adolescents, and there's as much if not more violence.

And you think the violence in 52 is bad? Hooo brother, just WAIT 'till you check out those ultraviolent porno comics they make over in Japan. And spazzy teens are buying those by the truckload!

And this is all hardly a new or recent phase for popular culture. Edgar Rice Burroughs had far more violence in RETURN OF TARZAN alone (written in the 1910s-1920s) than any three Geoff Johns put together...and had a far more spectacular body count to boot!

(This is why I can never be a curmudgeon: to be a curmudgeon you have to think things are gettings worse, when the one great insight studying history reveals is how little things really change.)

Is the violence disturbing? Maybe, it all depends on your personal judgment. But it's hardly UNIQUE. Which is my point here about Geoff Johns: he's being unfairly singled out.

There was far uglier violence in DELIVERANCE than there was in RAMBO II. But look at the difference in culture: we're far more willing to embrace violence and sex in the era of BOB AND ALICE and SHAMPOO, than we are in the uptight, hypocritical eighties, the age of parents' groups banning heavy metal.

Quote from: DBN
And that saddens me, the mainstream titles used to be books that could be enjoyed by all-ages. One of my sons is of comic-reading age and I cannot fully share my hobby with him as my Father did with me.

I don't think it's lamentable superhero comics are no longer being marketed to kids, nor do I think it is a good trend, either - demographics are like gravity. How can you have an opinion for or against gravity? Or, rather, judging a comic based on the intended audience is being intellectually dishonest, because you're not judging a book by its own standards.

To put it another way, I don't think, say, the John Broome GREEN LANTERN is "better" than the Stan Lee/Don Heck AVENGERS because Stan and Don were going for an older audience than John Broome was. Maybe for other reasons, but not THAT one.

Well of course I've said it many times, but I'm getting old so I'll repeat myself again  Cheesy....

There is nothing "mature" about superhero comics.  Nothing.  Whether the stories feature dogs in capes and sprites from the fifth dimension or rapes, assasinations and beheadings, at their core they are still stories about people who fly, shoot beams out of their orifices and fool their closest friends with lame disguises. Therefore, the whole concept of superhero comics for "mature" readers is an oxymoron. The only mature comics reader is one who can recognize the juvenile nature of the genre and enjoy it for what it is, instead of piling on the sex and violence and kidding themselves they're reading something "grown up."

I agree with what you're saying for the most part, but I don't understand how violence is somehow not a part of the superhero kind of story, something foreign or anathema to it. In fact, violence and sex to an extent are inevitable, and I don't just mean Comics Code stuff like Thor and Hulk pounding the stuff out each other in an abandoned warehouse district.

Stylized, over the top violence belongs in superhero comics. Superhero comics are an outgrowth of the b-movie tradition and aesthetic in many ways, where teenagers get their faces eaten off by space monsters, and seeing in what weird way the Plant Monster is going to kill next is part of the thrill.

Consider KILL BILL, which is pretty much just a Silver/Bronze Age Martial Arts comic made in movie form and the closest we'll see to a truly accurate IRON FIST picture: the violence FIT IN with the masks and the motorcycles and samurai swords and the villainesses with eyepatches, particularly the scene where Uma, with all the swagger she can muster, says "You are all free to go. But those of you that lost limbs, leave them here, as they now belong to ME."

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I agree, I would like a rating system that makes sense.  I used to be able to trust the CCA seal, but not anymore.  I don't think any of the individual comics you describe should get the same rating as an issue of Archie.  There needs to be "G" and "PG" equivalents for comic books. 

The industry needs to publicly publish what the CCA guidelines are - and then use the seal when the comic meets those guidelines, and don't use it when it doesn't.  Right now no one has any clue what it even means.

Potential readers (and parents!) deserve to be warned about certain things. 

I agree with what you're saying about a rating system that makes sense.

Does any comic use the CCA anymore? Marvel went off of it by 2002 - and I would argue they only pulled the sticker off to acknowledge the reality of the situation: nobody really was following the CCA anymore. And why should they? The CCA was a toothless, irrelevant hold over from the 1950s (insert any given speech by Frank Miller here).

Actually, I would argue the CCA started to be irrelevant come the 1970s. When you had the White Queen show up in what was essentially bondage leather on the COVER of UNCANNY X-MEN, which is the very definition of a mainstream title, you get a feeling this code doesn't have teeth anymore.
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« Reply #75 on: March 15, 2007, 05:00:28 PM »

And this is all hardly a new or recent phase for popular culture. Edgar Rice Burroughs had far more violence in RETURN OF TARZAN alone (written in the 1910s-1920s) than any three Geoff Johns put together...and had a far more spectacular body count to boot!
Well, I don't want to take the violence out of Tarzan, the Bible, or even what remains of the Greek myths.

I do think the the Tarzan series got incredibly silly, "The Return of Tarzan" was the last in the series that I read through, liking only really "Tarzan of the Apes" myself.

I think the point is that genre is important, knowing that the comics of your youth were about characters that solved problems with ability and intelligence (rarely rage and gore) makes it dissappointing for those who want new generations to see that.  And the new stories use the same titles and characters.

Its like growing up with "The Waltons" and then finding the modern iteration of the family is about extramarital sex with the office assistant, insider trading, and deliberately exploiting third world labor.
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DBN
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« Reply #76 on: March 15, 2007, 05:11:35 PM »

Quote
I don't think it's lamentable superhero comics are no longer being marketed to kids, nor do I think it is a good trend, either - demographics are like gravity. How can you have an opinion for or against gravity? Or, rather, judging a comic based on the intended audience is being intellectually dishonest, because you're not judging a book by its own standards.

To put it another way, I don't think, say, the John Broome GREEN LANTERN is "better" than the Stan Lee/Don Heck AVENGERS because Stan and Don were going for an older audience than John Broome was. Maybe for other reasons, but not THAT one.

I'm not judging the books based on their intended audience, I'm judging them based on their content. The actual content in the books I mentioned is of an R-rated level or more.

Yes, violence is a part of superhero comics. That's common knowledge and has been with us since the inception of said comics. I'm talking about depiction. The Golden Age Superman killed some criminals, but did the comics show him tearing a man in half on panel? No.

In JLU Aquaman had to cut off his hand to save his son, but did they show him cutting his hand off on screen? No. Did it have the same impact? Yes.

Heck, here's an example from the '90s. The Toyman killed Cat Grant's son, but did they show it in full glory on panel? No, and this was in the heyday of the Iron Age.

Compare the above example with the disgusting scene in JSA #3 in which Baroness Blitzkrieg is shown murdering a woman and child that on panel. Seven pages are dedicated to the massacre of the Heywood family. Seven. Yeah, I tend to think of that as going too far and is completly unecessary.

And yes, I've since dropped 52 and JSA from my pull-list in protest and dropped JLA a long time ago for being generally boring.
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nightwing
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« Reply #77 on: March 15, 2007, 05:58:54 PM »

Julian Perez writes:

Quote
This is all only shocking if you're not paying attention to what's going on in popular culture as a whole. See the average action movie or horror film aimed at adolescents, and there's as much if not more violence.

Yes, but as Matter Eater Lad suggests, this "hip trend" is forced onto superhero comics in a manner that runs counter to their nature.  Slasher movies are true to themselves: they're about gore and they deliver.  Modern action films are created for a specific purpose (mindless mayhem and destruction) and they deliver.  But these are comics featuring characters created in another time with another aesthetic entirely in mind.  The whole reason it's shocking that Psycho Pirate gets his eyes poked through the back of his head is not because it's violent, or even because it's more graphic than anything seen before.  It's shocking is because he's an familiar, long-running character with his roots firmly set in a simpler, more innocent time.  It's like having Donald Duck gang-raped in prison or Ronald McDonald tossed in a wood chipper. 

Does violence have a place in superhero comics? Sure.  Is hyper-violence fair game in a comics story?  I guess if that's what you want.  But when these modern hacks pull a cheap, easy stunt by taking a dump on characters they didn't even create, you'll pardon me if I'm not in awe of their "creativity."  It takes a lot of skill to build a house, but not so much to burn it down.  It might make you look "kewl" in front of your delinquent pals, but in the end you're a destroyer, not a creator.

If these guys want to tell stories about sex with superpowers, or how brutally "real" heroes would kill each other, then fine...let them invent their own characters and do whatever they like to them.  But when they deface the works of other artists, artists I consider superior in the first place, then I've got no respect for them. They're just punk vandals.

Quote
Is the violence disturbing? Maybe, it all depends on your personal judgment. But it's hardly UNIQUE. Which is my point here about Geoff Johns: he's being unfairly singled out.

I for one am not singling him out, at least not deliberately.  In fact, I don't think I've ever bought a comic he wrote.  I just use IC as an example because it was such a high-profile event that even I managed to read hunks of it (on the stands or on-line).  And what I saw was nauseating.  If I picked up a comic written by some other hack, I'd rail against that one, too.

But for the record, just because "everyone else is doing it" doesn't get Johns off the hook, anymore than it got me off the hook when I tried that line on my parents.

Quote
There was far uglier violence in DELIVERANCE than there was in RAMBO II.

And now comics provide both kinds! Lucky us.

Quote
But look at the difference in culture: we're far more willing to embrace violence and sex in the era of BOB AND ALICE and SHAMPOO, than we are in the uptight, hypocritical eighties, the age of parents' groups banning heavy metal.

Well, if you're going to compare eras, consider the journey from 1971, when Disney sued an underground comix publisher over the "Air Pirates" strip that had their characters engaging in sex and drug use (among other things) to the modern day, where Marvel and DC perpetrate similar acts of character rape on their own properties.  Thirty-five years ago, the stand was "you will not make money from disgracing our characters" and today the sentence ends with, "...that's our job!"




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VanZee
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« Reply #78 on: March 15, 2007, 11:14:29 PM »

[snip]


Well, if you're going to compare eras, consider the journey from 1971, when Disney sued an underground comix publisher over the "Air Pirates" strip that had their characters engaging in sex and drug use (among other things) to the modern day, where Marvel and DC perpetrate similar acts of character rape on their own properties.  Thirty-five years ago, the stand was "you will not make money from disgracing our characters" and today the sentence ends with, "...that's our job!"


[/snip]

One of the best posts I've ever read.  Acid, yet amusing.  Well done.
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« Reply #79 on: March 15, 2007, 11:32:49 PM »

it's all true!
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