- Superheroes and Other Heroes,Thoughts on Comics
I don’t WANT to be sick of superhero comics, but…
- December 16, 2019
I discovered something about myself yesterday that sort of made me feel a little sad: I’m sick of superhero comics.
Or, well, maybe “sick” is a strong word. I’m not sick of superheroes as a concept. I still enjoyed that Into The Spider-Verse movie, I’m interested to see what that new Lauren Faust-headed Superhero Girls show will look like, I’ve had fun watching the Flash and Supergirl shows…. and I still find the majority of the Marvel movies well-made and interesting.
And comics as an art form is something I’ll never be sick of. I’ve adored comics since I was little and devoured the classic Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge comics. There are still webcomics I follow near-religiously, and there are quite a few European comics I still read. I even still keep up with Ms Marvel and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, which ARE superhero comics… and of course IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which might classify as pseudo-superheroics?
But. Well. Yesterday I was talking to a few comic fans, on two different occasions, and in both instances I was faced with complaints about the state of comics today. (And by “comics,” they meant “superhero comics,” obviously.) The words “political correctness” and “forced diversity” were used, and I was pretty certain the terms “pandering” and “SJWs” would start being used as well… I’m going to say it openly: I like diversity. I think there should be MORE diversity. Because more diversity means more variation, means more interesting stories. And I think white cishet guys in their 20s-30s already have an abundance of representation, heroes and role models, so I say bring on more genders, more races, more sexualities, let’s really demolish the cookie-cutter characters and have a wide and varied cast of characters. And I was trying to voice this opinion, but then…
… not quite sure what exactly set it off, but…
…something just BROKE inside me and I realized how TIRED I was of it all.
DC’s never-ending string of crisises that reboot the universe, cause THIS time we’re going back to basics or whatever, and BATMAN IS EVERYWHERE. Marvel’s waffling and over-hype of the big changes that never stick around anyway because nobody’s able to accept change. The CONSTANT WHINING from the fans, especially the whining about “forced diversity,” whatever the hell that means. The INABILITY of some people to accept any sort of comic that wasn’t a superhero comic. The overblown angst, the exaggerated self-importance, the drama and depressing darkness because everyone has to be unhappy all the time in superhero comics. I was so SICK of it. I’ve never had anything against superhero comics before, but all of a sudden the entire genre, with its fanbase and creators and never-ending loop of “return to the basics” and no change and overdone angst and crisises and everything, just loomed over me as this huge, angry and depressing MESS.
I may have said a few things then. I don’t know.
After sleeping on it a bit I don’t really know how to feel. I’ve always rolled my eyes at people who denounce the superhero genre, and I’ve never understood people talking about how “the fanbase ruined that franchise for me” before… but now I’m actually starting to see what they mean, because… I think the fanbase has at least HELPED ruin superhero comics for me. And at the same time I’m annoyed with myself; I feel like I’ve become too touchy in later years. It takes a lot less to annoy or upset me now than it did before, and I get into far more arguments and fights, and I scolded myself for letting a few people ruin something for me that I used to love…
But I don’t know. This may have been in the works in my mind for a while. I know I’ve been growing less and less patient with superhero comics for a while… especially DC and Marvel, but even comics like Astro City. And Astro City’s a GOOD superhero comic… the characters aren’t particularly interesting, but the stories, artwork and storytelling are top-notch… and yet it’s started to just annoy me. To the point where I haven’t even had the desire to start reading the Astro City TPBs I got on the cheap a couple months ago. And I’m starting to realize… I don’t WANT to read about superheroes anymore. I don’t CARE about the interconnected Marvel or DC universe, I don’t give a FUCK whether Batman could beat up Spider-Man or not.
This is kind of an alarming thing to find out, to be honest. I already don’t watch anime or play video games. I don’t like Star Wars, Star Trek or Doctor Who. Superhero comics was one of my go-to cards for geek-cred. I can already hear the dudebros insisting I’m a “fake geek girl.” But, I’m afraid I’ve just lost my enthusiasm for the genre. Maybe I’ll regain it… but for the time being, I’m planning on taking a LONG break from superhero comics. For those of you who were hoping to see me draw a superhero-themed comic… I’m sorry. I’d planned to, but at the moment I just can’t deal with superheroes.
And… I know you guys mean well, but PLEASE don’t start recommending superhero comics that you think are good in the hope of re-kindling my interest. It won’t work.
And that’s all I had to say for now. Thanks for your attention.