15/12/2022  Here’s the thing - I have been imagining new visitors to the site asking “Why. on a site ostensible about comics. is there so little about super-heroes?”
Like all comic nerds I have spent many happy hours following the exploits of Batman, Superman, Silver Surfer, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, Phantom Stranger and the others. Been entertained and impressed by the inventiveness and quality of the art and the writing. Bought the comics and the books about the comics. I have watched most of the  many Marvel and DC Superhero movies.
But Super-hero comics have ceased to appeal to me. Every visit to my local library I browse the comics and graphic novels section but, once they also are predominately super heroes. it has been some time since I last took anything home.
Presently I am putting this down to  the writers and their preoccupation with  characters psychological problems, sex lives, insecurities and family disputes These are subjects that can be of interest in novels but which to me feel awkward when attributed to a man who spends much of his time wearing  a skin tight suit in primary colours. Recently I saw a report that a certain super hero had announce himself as homosexual. While I appreciate that might well give gays a sense inclusiveness in the world of costumed crime fighters - be interesting to hear from any of them - my own response was to ask how that would effect his ability to overcome the threats from villains with powers of their own or battle bad guys with bazookas. 
I blame Stan  Lee. With a considered effort to appeal to  teen-age boys Lee created in Spider Man a teenage superhero with those same  fixations and conflicts that are popularly  attributed to teenage boys. Been a while since I was a teenager and had passed that stage even in 1962 when  Peter Parker first got his powers so I was never the target audience. I assume the success of this approach to Spider Man is the reason other writers took it up and gave their leads social and psychological  problems of their own.. Could be that I am alone in being happier with the animal instinct of the likes of Jack Reacher than with any self doubt and soul searching of some contemporary characters and suppose it does raise questions about my interests and preferences,
If anyone would like to accuse me of being ‘anti-woke’ I would be happy to have that conversation.

All copyrights acknowledged

Submitted by alan on Mon, 2022-12-19 13:42


Can't fault any of what you say here; I think when the stories act as settings or conduits for mythic ideas, fantastic or science fiction-based, they work and can be exciting (but not personally a fan of superhero genre - prefer those type of idioms, adventure, science fiction or fantasy expressed directly). The content of 'hero' comics (and most other types, sadly) as they are now now would not have appealed to me at all when I was younger (I certainly enjoyed the ones I read as they were then). And more importantly, it doesn't seem to catch the imaginations of most of that age group I see now.

Happy Christmas, by the way !!

Submitted by Arthur on Mon, 2022-12-19 14:20


Hullo Alan,

I am making an assumption but perhaps fading superhero fandom could be an age thing. Loss of innocence and all that.

Merry Christmas to you too.





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