2.8: On the Anticipation of the Webbed Reincarnation

I hate comics.

I used to love them. I used to be terribly enthralled in all of the storylines that moved my beloved heroes through the world. I used to think Marvel comics could do no wrong. I wondered aloud at the Uncanny X-men and the love triangle between Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Wolverine. I saw the icons of the label as characters who were largely untouchable and beautiful and capable of amazing stories.

That fell apart around the teenage years.

It happened most vividly as the 2d world of comics made it’s fiercest entry in to the realm of movies. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999) was in the nascent idea stages, the comic universe was straight up falling apart. I believe 2006’s Civil War represents the peak of the comic landscape for that particular brand. This is where comics and politics blatantly interacted in a way the marvel universe in particular had never chosen to do. Unfortunately, the storytelling went completely off the rails by the end. It led to some good (World War Hulk) and some bad (the eventual retcon of Steve Rogers as a hydra lackey and ‘pass the shield’ philosophy that followed his ‘death’). It also sparked the modern MCU.

Meanwhile DC was on the rise. Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985) proved they had the infrastructure to reboot comics wholesale and in an effective way. Nevermind the Goku level superheroes and limited plot devices, these guys had writers and a collaborative nature that was bar none. Infinite Crisis and Flashpoint were incredibly directed stories that crossed through so many comics that I went legit broke. I discovered a fascination for many more heroes than I’d followed even in Marvel. I fell in love with the Bat family–namely Oracle and Tim Drake (Red Robin, World’s actual greatest detective) and then that all went to hell.

The wonder of Flashpoint led to the horror of New 52 where they changed everything… in the sing song way that Marvel changed everything to make more user-friendly characters. It is all bad now in both worlds. Red Robin is basically a cast off–one of a half dozen Robins walking the earth. The cool asian Batgirl is, well, not Batgirl as they retconned Oracle to be not crippled, ruining an incredible storyline. Marvel…. well, at this point there are more ‘spider people’ than I can count. You can catch at least six of them on the latest Disney Spiderman show…

Maybe that is it right there. I won’t blame Disney entirely, because Batman vs. Superman shows that everyone can get a hero story very wrong. Still, the storytelling I grew up loving has all but faded from this world. Logan payed homage to a lot of that. It serves as a reminder that there was a golden age of superheroes, but now the media and merchandising rule the day.