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  1. #1

    Default Trashing Childhood Heroes

    Besides religion/philosophy and politics I really love comics, although I've noticed that a lot of them are essentially trashing the superheroes I grew up with, Batman's considered a mirror image of the Joker some sort of cross between Any Rand-Hitler dispensing summary justice and acting like a magnet for loons. I dont like this.

    Although besides not liking this myself I wonder are the kids that are growing up today sophisticated enough to understand what's going on here? Are comics for adults or mature readers, as the euphenism goes, now anyway rather than kids? The pricing would seem to exclude a younger readership, unless kids have more money than I did growing up.

  2. #2
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    I'd say that there are still many comics that are geared towards children. It's just that the older "heroes", in order to keep their original fanbase that has long since grown up, has had to gain a lot more depth as characters. I approve of this. Comics, like any other published media, gets ratings. It's up to the parents to decide what's age-appropriate and what's not. I'm also glad that these heroes are no longer as one-dimensional. It gives the graphic novel genre a lot more literary value.

    I love comics; Batman is my favourite "superhero". However, I love him precisely because he is human and not just a symbol. The age-old story of a strong male swooping in to save the damsel in distress is so limited and is something that people can aspire to (and correspondingly be disappointed with because it has no basis in reality) but not relate to. I'll also say this: as a female reader, the flawed character, juxtaposition of "ideals vs reality" and dark themes are what draw me into true admiration for the character. The idea of being able to find hope, and find a way, despite the complete darkness, confusion and moral ambiguity surrounding you is a much more valuable and powerful message than the comics' original conception of man saves girl. It also grows with you as a person and has a lot more re-read value. Let's just say that I didn't grow up reading the Archie comics.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Besides religion/philosophy and politics I really love comics, although I've noticed that a lot of them are essentially trashing the superheroes I grew up with, Batman's considered a mirror image of the Joker some sort of cross between Any Rand-Hitler dispensing summary justice and acting like a magnet for loons. I dont like this.
    I've always thought the evolution of heroes into real people rather than being vapid cultural icons was a relief. It seemed far more realistic to me; the other crap seemed silly and false. However, there is a line to walk between the two, it's easy to veer in one direction or the other and create a caricature.

    I personally did not have an issue with The Dark Knight, btw, which you seem to be referring to; and in fact thought it was one of the most profound visitations on Batman and easily the best Batman movie ever released -- even one of the best superhero movies ever released. I also appreciated finally seeing a retelling of a villain narrative based on amorality rather than immorality. Even if the impact of his behavior was detrimental in overt ways to society, there was a lot of truth in his comments on the arbitary structure people impose on society to "civilize" things; that they get upset only when someone breaks the arbitrary culture rules while permitting atrocity to occur as long as it's predictable and compartmentalized [away from them]; that chance is the great equalizer; etc. If it scared the shit out of someone, it wasn't because the Joker was lying, it was because there was a lot of truth in what he said.

    However, it's a more adult movie because of that. My eldest didn't watch it until recently (he's 15), and we watched it together, and then we talked about it. He's INTP, which helped; he really really liked it because it challenged his thinking and he could follow the various lines of philosophy in it, he thought it one of the best movies he's ever seen; but it's the sort of movie that could impact other kids differently. My other son and my daughter seem to have no real interest in seeing it (and my daughter would probably find it disturbing).

    But I guess there is a difference in how various people want to approach their heroes. Some want an idealistic shining icon of virtue on a pedestal that they can work to emulate if never achieve; some want someone they can relate to, within the realistic frameworks of daily life. I liked Miller's Dark Night in the 80's because it cast Superman and Batman as different types of heroes... and despite Batman being the hero and it being easy to villianize Supes, it also gave voice to Supes' side of things and while overall embracing the "boy scout" image also gave validity to Supes' approach and how Bat's approach was disruptive to overall community. (Really, it's a battle between order vs chaos... Bat's role was to deal with problems the system couldn't handle, but unfortunately he also did have to be kept in line since chaos allowed to run unchecked will destroy everything.)

    Although besides not liking this myself I wonder are the kids that are growing up today sophisticated enough to understand what's going on here? Are comics for adults or mature readers, as the euphenism goes, now anyway rather than kids? The pricing would seem to exclude a younger readership, unless kids have more money than I did growing up.
    Pricing stinks. I remember buying comics for 60 cents/issue, nowadays the price point is anywhere from $2-4. Some pricing has had to be cut back.

    I'm not sure who the comic readership actually is. I'm thinking that, a few decades ago, median age was much lower; nowadays, I'm suspecting there is a higher age, where the children of the past who liked comics still collect them as adults and drive the industry, and the kids coming into it nowadays only do so because they are seriously interested in comics rather than casually interested.

    There is more disposable income here in the States as well. I mean, kids have iPods ($80-200 instruments) and various other handheld tech. What's a Wii run? $220? But many families have them. I'm thinking kids can scrounge up some money for comics, if they want them; it's just that there is so much available free media (especially multimedia) that comics are probably more of a niche market rather than a wide-spread market than they were in the 60's and 70's, where every kid had some.
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  4. #4

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    It wasnt the Dark Knight I was refering to, either the movie or the comic, there have been a lot of comics which have taken up the trashing of Batman, like I say portraying him as a playboy who's part of the problem.

    I dont think that superheroes are or have ever been "vapid cultural icons", I mourn the passing of cultural iconography to be honest, its just one of the under valued vehicles for the transmission of culture between generations which has been lost or trashed by trendy pseudo-intellectuals who imagine they're smarter than that.

    I'm not sure that the changes in the Batman universe even reflect wider comprehension of the systemic and social as opposed to the personal or individual, and if they do if that's even a good thing, I think that's a very positive spin on the decline of the singular figure of Batman and the rise of a sort of "Team Batman" (Battle for the Cowl, in which Nightwing/Dick Grayson/Robin gathers just about every Superhero that's featured over the years in a network to assist him, along with their junior super sidekicks).

    People forget but at the time Batman was alone among the superheroes in using intellect, invention and hardwork to improve and perfect his strengths and skills sets as opposed to deriving super abilities from the sun, experiments gone wrong or the like.

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    Can you give specific examples of what you're talking about. You're being awfully broad.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Besides religion/philosophy and politics I really love comics, although I've noticed that a lot of them are essentially trashing the superheroes I grew up with, Batman's considered a mirror image of the Joker some sort of cross between Any Rand-Hitler dispensing summary justice and acting like a magnet for loons. I dont like this.

    Although besides not liking this myself I wonder are the kids that are growing up today sophisticated enough to understand what's going on here? Are comics for adults or mature readers, as the euphenism goes, now anyway rather than kids? The pricing would seem to exclude a younger readership, unless kids have more money than I did growing up.

  7. #7
    Senior Member knight's Avatar
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    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHujwj6RBSM"]bugs bunny?[/YOUTUBE][YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCST1kg7lec"]?[/YOUTUBE][YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejkguJ3wv9Y"]this i think as well[/YOUTUBE]


    You mean like this?

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