Saturday, February 10, 2007

COMICS: What's New With Marvel and DC

The state of Marvel comics today is a troubling one for me. I have found in the last year or so that my patience has been severely tried with this whole Civil War thing that Marvel has been waging. It was interesting at first but now I am bored and a little tired of my favorite heroes fighting each other. At first I welcomed this plotline of Captain America going rogue because he did not agree with the US stance on the Super Hero Registration Act. I liked the idea that Tony Stark, who originally did not like the idea, decided eventually to side with the government because he wanted to be a good American and obey the laws, okay noble enough. I even liked when the two leaders Cap and Iron Man began to butt heads on their Democrat vs. Republican ideologies regarding the constitutional entanglements regarding this registration. When Iron Man started hunting down and putting heroes into a secret prison in the Negative Zone, he effectively became a bad guy.

Sure you can have a good strong debate about whether super people should be running around unchecked; there is a good point for that. Unfortunately if you lock said heroes away in said secret prison when the hero has not even committed a crime, well that makes you, kind of a dictator. So my problem with Civil War now boils down to essentially a bad argument. Obviously, in the beginning of Civil War it was very easy to relate to Iron Man's situation and why, in his mind he had to side with the government, but I feel like now the writer's have taken this thing so far over the line that it is now impossible to see Iron Man as anything but a villain.

Two reasons come to mind so far, he and Reed Richards made a clone of Thor that went crazy and ended up killing a hero from the Thunderbolts, Goliath. Did Reed and Tony put the Thor clone back in the freezer, never to be used again? No of course not, they rewired the thing, with the hope of course, that this doesn't happen again. This may make them seem actually stupid rather than evil. The second is when Iron Man hired the worst of Spidey’s villains to beat the shit out of Spider-Man when he decided to cut and run from Tony's employ. What kind of hero employs super villains to kick the shit out of a beloved hero in order to, I guess, show that hero that he is on the wrong path? Sounds like Norman Osborn to me, (They hired him too by the way) but no, it is Tony Stark Iron Man. I don't mind disagreement with the heroes, I don't always mind when a hero goes rogue or bad for a time or even altogether, but what I do not like is a bunch of writers who meticulously build a case on two sides of the spectrum and after a few issues get sloppy and lose the direction of one of the arguments. They have essentially made Iron Man a villain, almost a year before his big Hollywood debut starring Robert Downey Jr. So I implore Marvel to stop with the House of M's and the Civil Wars, get back to telling individual stories about some of Marvel's greatest heroes. I know your sales are up, but give us a little breather here, just for a while--Y'know Spidey could use it.

Over at DC things seem pretty interesting. I have really enjoyed 52 as they focus mainly on second, third and even fourth tier heroes and villains as they try to make it through a year without the big three (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman). They have focused on characters like former police detective Renee Montoya, Booster Gold, The Question, Black Adam and his family, The Elongated Man Ralph Dibney, Steel, his rebellious niece and much much more. Even though the story itself seems global even universal the writers still seem to keep the themes localized to a few characters at a time allowing the story develop naturally with cohesiveness and a compelling mystery. Personally I wish they could do the 52 format forever. (I know, I know it would be really hard to sustain something like this every week for too long, but it would be cool nonetheless.) Lex Luthor's Everyman project storyline has been intriguing and I have really come to enjoy Steel and his character arc. Hell, even Booster Gold has been really interesting and that is quite a leap from a few years ago when I was hoping they would just kill the character--he was extremely annoying, plus his name is Booster Gold--something don't sound right about the name. Anyway, 52 has been flawless, this is exactly what Civil War should have been and I hope Marvel is taking notes.

In other comics I have laid out a couple of covers of some books everyone should check out in the near future. Enjoy.

The Boys

Green Lantern

Green Arrow

Amazing Spider-Man


Captain Mike said...

Happy Birthday... you Nerd!!!

Speck said...

Crap is it Bday time already? What is the damn calendar got deleted in an accident a few months ago.

Anyway, I see you listed The Boys per my recommendation. I think that is the pen-ultimate book about what do you do when super heroes go unchecked. That book is just balls out crazy and risky.