June 16, 2012

10 Easy Ways to Piss Off a Comic Book Reader

That's via Newsarama, of course, master of the comics-related top 10 lists. I won't go through all ten, but I wanna point out a few that require comment from me. Like,

#10. CONTINUITY ERRORS/RETCONS. I don't mind the latter nearly as much as the former, mainly because the former is really inexcusable. Retcons, when done imaginatively and thoughtfully, can be worthwhile and make for great stories. Case in point. Even ones I didn't necessarily like made sense and were great reads (like John Byrne's work on West Coast Avengers).

#7. COMICS THAT PREACH. I've written about this ad nauseum. If you didn't know that, then check out the Colossus comics section. There's a plethora of such rants!

#6. UNEXPLAINED CHANGES. See #10 above. But this is even worse.

#5. STORYLINE REDOS. Creators will always yank (hopefully) the best aspects of good past storylines to incorporate into their own (hopefully) good stories. But lately, the Big Two (Marvel, DC), with their alternate universes, have allowed creators to redo past stories en masse. Some have been good (The Ultimates vol. 1, for example, on which The Avengers film was largely based) and some not so good (like J. Michael Strazynski's Supreme Power and Squadron Supreme) This lack of originality is also seen in films of late -- way too many redos (Amazing Spider-Man, Total Recall being two of the upcoming ones).

#3. PERCEIVED 'DIVERSITY FOR THE SAKE OF DIVERSITY.' The issue here is the perceived forcing of diversity for diversity's sake. But unlike diversity in, say, education which has no tangible benefits in educational achievement, diversity in a field like comics actually can be beneficial by drawing in more readers. Expanding what is the old, traditional roster of mostly Caucasian heroes/villains is quite prudent with our rapidly changing demographics. The eye-rolling, though, comes about when established characters are changed for diversity's sake, like the recent "outing" of the original Green Lantern.

#2. DEUS EX MACHINA. These are comics, after all, so when things get rough and/or writers need a "way out," we get things like the Ultimate Nullifier (allows Earth to ward off Galactus) and/or a near-omnipotent Franklin Richards who creates a "pocket universe" in which heroes can live for a year, and then bring them back. Or, a character like Immortus who is made "responsible" for virtually every Avengers story ever written. But it does get weary if such is utilized too often.


Posted by Hube at June 16, 2012 01:04 PM | TrackBack

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It does do a good job of explaining pretty much I find wrong with comic books today. This is one of Newsarama's better lists.

Posted by: Carl at June 16, 2012 02:41 PM