Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Marvel Continues On its Dark and Gritty Path

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Monday, October 08, 2012

Marvel Continues On its Dark and Gritty Path

Although I am now more or less (actually more) of a DC type of fan, it wasn't always that way, with my first comic book love being Thor, followed by the X-Men.  I loved things like Damage Control, Nextwave, The Incredible Hercules, the Thor, The Mighty Avenger by Landridge and Samnee, and I'm continuing to simply adore what they've done with Thor and Loki lately/

But if you are paying attention, I think you would notice that most of these books, at least the later ones, are the ones that are more lighthearted.  Ones that are written with a wink and a nod, with wit and cleverness and a sense of humor.  Have great plots and writing and art certainly didn't hurt either. 

With that said, some of my favorite DC books are also the ones with a lighter and gentler point of view.  I adore Silver Age silliness with a deep passion.  I loved Giffen and DeMatteis's JLI, Roger's Blue Beetle, anything wtih Green Lanterns and Robinson's Starman, just to mention a few.    I'm one of those apparently odd people who likes a bit of funny in my funny books.

So I had to sigh when I read that once again Marvel is going to be going Dark and Apocalyptic for its new Avengers book, which is going to be by Hickman, starring what appears to be the Illuminati again.  Although for obvious reasons, Xavier won't be in it.  For less obvious reasons, Namor will.  This...confuses me. 

Civil War was the final nail in my Marvel coffin, and all of the VERY numerous cross-overs since then, have only added to my distaste.  Remember Villains?  I guess that Marvel doesn't because I can't remember the last time, with the exception of what is going on in Thor and Journey Into Mystery, that a Marvel Hero actually fought someone other than another Hero.  It's getting tiresome. 

I realize that back in the Good Old Days, that was one of the things that made Marvel different and exciting from stodgy old DC.  In the DC universe (the REAL DC universe) all the heroes were bestest friends, and everyone loved them and they had their own goddamned museums for God's sake, whereas Marvel Heroes, always had to beat each other up for a few pages before they would team up.  And Marvel Heroes had so much more angst and stuff.  Fighting for a world that hated and feared them, fighting for a world that even gave NON-Mutant Heroes a funny look, it was a tough job.  Not to mention that New York was so full of Heroes that you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting one.  At least DC had other places for their Heroes to hang out in. 

But with the current state of affairs...with the whole Avengers VS X-Men debacle, where they killed Professor Xavier (again) and have turned Cyclops into a Villain, and where some of the X-Men are on the run again, and blah blah blah...do we really need to make it even darker and grittier?  Where is it ever going to end? 

Namor tried to wipe out Wakanda, and is on the run, along with Emma Frost and the Rasputins, while Scott is imprisoned, and being taunted by Captain America of all people.  How in the world can Namor be an Illuminati...working side by side with the Black Panther?  Who dumped his wife in a snit. 

I feel no compulsion whatsoever to read any of this.  When they start to write books where the Heroes actually go out and fight the Villains again...then maybe I'll give Marvel a try again.  And it might be nice to actually write some books that have things going on in their OWN plots as opposed to one more horrific, drawn-out Cross-Over.  I am So Sick Of Cross-overs!

I'm not saying that I am that happy with DC either, I really do miss my REAL continuity, and am counting the months until it eventually returns.  But in the meantime, there are some books that aren't bad at all, and I can enjoy the stories if I keep telling myself that it is all an Elseworlds...and that maybe someday all of my favorite dead characters will come back. 

And so endeth, the Rant of the Day.


At 1:03 PM, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

Yeah, I'm glad I didn't spend money on AvX. That Cyclops gets to have a martyr complex now is nauseating.

I will once again stump for Daredevil. Whenever other heroes appear, it is entirely helpful. OK, the one with the Punisher was a little rough, but c'mon, it's the Punisher! It's gotten a little rougher for Matt lately, but he's still trying to remain upbeat in spite of it all.

I also have high hopes for this Captain America book Remender and Romita JR will be doing. He's going to be lost in some other dimension, so there won't be any other heroes to fight!

Captain Marvel and Hawkeye both seem promising, though I doubt they'll last long.

At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Bryan L said...

I like a bit of lightheartedness in my comics, too, Sally. Your list pretty much mirrors my own. My Marvel purchases have dropped to Daredevil (I second Calvin's recommendation, at least for as long as Waid is on the book) and X-Factor, both of which still have a bit of whimsy. My DC list is pretty thin, now, too. Most of my comic buying is now focused on independents.

I will say, if you want to read a FUN comic, pick up Atomic Robo. Any of the trades. You can't go wrong. For my money, it's the best title currently being published.

At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between Marvel's "hero" vs. "hero" fetish and the New52's darkening darkness of dark realistic depression, I'm dropping more titles than I've been adding lately. It's not that I seek the light-hearted so much as I want to read comics about good guys winning. Marvel's out of good guys, and DC's don't seem to be winning. The only stuff I really look forward do is Invincible Iron Man (which will probably drop when Fraction leaves), Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman, though Captain Marvel and Hawkeye may get added to that list.

– Jack of Spades

At 11:54 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Heck, I forgot all about Hawkeye, which has indeed been quite good. With my luck however, it will be cancelled. All the GOOD books seem to end up cancelled! Auughgh!

So it's not just me? How much darker and grimmer can it get for Pete's sake?


At 8:48 PM, Blogger Jeff McGinley said...

I've been going back and forth between Marvel and DC for a long time as well (also mostly DC) but I think this is the first time in a long while where the grim pendulum has swung the bad way so far in both companies at once. Luckily there are still Essentials and Showcases occasionally.

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much darker and grimmer? Well, I'm still waiting for Cthulhu Avengers. And c'mon, they apparently thought Dark Wolverine wasn't redundant...

– Jack of Spades

At 2:15 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

There is indeed a wealth of back issues, from when things were a bit less...horrendous. I

And Jack, that's where things seem to be heading, that's for sure. Don't give them ideas!

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Erin S. said...

Yeah I quit Marvel after they got rid of Spider-Girl (Mayday Parker.) There were other reasons but that was the final straw. Very few of their books interest me. The ones that do I think would get "the touch of death" should I get into them.

At 6:18 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Erin, you too? It's so depressing when all the books that you like get cancelled! Critical acclaim doesn't seem to cut the mustard at all.

At 12:40 PM, Blogger notintheface said...

This whole "grim and gritty" thing in comics is spreading uncontrollably like a cancer or a virus.

I loved Avengers Academy, a book featuring young heroic characters I've really grown to care about. So what is Marvel doing? Cancelling the book in favor of one where some of those same characters, along with OTHER teen heroes, are used as cannon fodder in a "Hunger Games" knockoff story. The same book is darkening up Arcade to make him lok more badass. 'Cause that worked out sooo well with Dr. Light.

And then there was this week's Wolverine & The X-Men, which heretofore has been nice lighthearted, albeit sometimes violent, fun. So of course they brutally kill off one of the series' most beloved characters in this week's issue.


Of the current Marvel books, I'd recommend Waid's Daredevil, Defenders, Hawkeye, and Captain Marvel (especially for female readers). Hickman's wrapping up both Fantastic Four and FF this month, and both runs were wonderful. I'm optimistic about Fraction taking the two books over, though.

At 2:38 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Yeah, this whole thing with the "Hunger Games" stuff is just too much. I've always actually rather liked Arcade. Yes, he was a lunatic, but he had standards! If you managed to beat MurderWorld, he'd let you go, no hard feelings. At least on his side.

It's just...depressing.


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