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  1. #1741
    Uncanny King-Kamalu lemonpeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    At the same time I think comics have been able to approach themselves in a way they couldn't have in those medium that have helped them thrive to the point where they could reach successes in outside media.
    I hate to but I gotta disagree with you Front-o. there are very few characters that benefit uniquely, in a storytelling context, from being in the comic book medium that they couldn't benefit from in another medium. you look at characters like John Stewart and Hawkgirl on JL:AS/JLU or Cyborg on TT & Doom Patrol, they weren't particularly "thriving" from the approach that was being taken with them in the comics when they were pulled into the fold. What made them resonate with people weren't the things that come from the comics, it's the elements of complex contemporary storytelling and character work that made them work; storytelling they probably never would've gotten (and still don't more often than not mind you) in comics because the storytelling culture of DC is always behind. they are always affirming and reaffirming old ideas, whether it be because of a big reboot or because some writer or editor is feeling nostalgic and wants to do yet another "loveletter" homage to a bygone era.

    there probably was a time where storytelling in comics was a bit more forward-thinking (for the time) and considerate with their stories but, even though there were always shades of this issue before, it feels like at some point in the 2000s DC stopped caring about that sort of thing, and it shows. if you look at indie comics, look a the culture of storytelling in manga, it shows that if you are considerate of how storytelling evolves over time and let your creatives move these characters and narratives forward, you never have to worry about fans losing interest; maybe then you won't have to reboot every few years to trick people into reading the same characters and stories again.

    at this rate, we're not too far from mainstream comics no longer really being a storytelling medium but simply an IP far for mediums that know how to tell the stories modern audiences actually want to experience. that's probably a bit hyperbolically alarmist but I'm just saying, maybe the death of print isn't the only reason comics have been taking a hit across the industry. but, admittedly, maybe that's just the way I see it because I'm not really a "comic book nerd", I'm more of a general storytelling/pop culture nerd.
    SIGNAL/Duke Thomas is the Midnight Sun of Gotham(respect thread)

    Martin to Malcolm: militant Professor X is kinda the wave right now

    DC: Batman & The Outsiders, Teen Titans, Suicide Squad, The Flash, Justice League Odyssey, Far Sector, Red Hood: Outlaws

    Marvel: Immortal Hulk, Miles Morales: Spiderman, Black Panther, X-Men (2019), Venom, X-Force, Hellions, Giant Sized X-Men

    Anticipated titles: John Ridley IV's Batman w/Luke Fox, Love Army*, The Other History of DC*, X of Swords

  2. #1742
    Uncanny King-Kamalu lemonpeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire Savior View Post
    Most of mainstream comics' problems have to do with not being able to reach new readers. The average comic fan is probably a 45 year old (white) man who has been reading since the 1980s. That's not really an evil thing, but that type of person is likely set in their ways and just wants to see what they want to see the way they want to see it, so it becomes difficult to really advance things. What's more is that since the audience isn't growing, the companies are having to squeeze every bit of juice out of those fans that they do have with "shocking" events one after the other, which, ultimately, aren't good at all for storytelling and create an even higher barrier of entry for new fans. It's a really tough situation and I don't know if DC and Marvel Comics will ever really get out of that. Likely, what will happen if there is some revolution in comics, it will come from elsewhere (probably online somehow, with crowdfunding, webcomics, and so on). DC and Marvel will still be around I'm sure, and their IPs will always likely be successful, but I dunno' what will happen with their comics, especially if the Direct Market goes down.
    if that's the case then the solution is simple, they are gonna have to nut up and start telling that demo that they aren't the priority any more. if you want stories from the 90s or 80s or 70s then you should go read your old shit famo. the industry is taking a hit across the board. Marvel's had the right idea by taking bigger hits by radically changing the demographics and narrative elements they want to focus on, and while they do suffer from some of the same issues, they are far better equipped to draw in new readers than DC is. with the globalization of popular culture and the increased accessibility of prestige entertainment accross all mediums, the competition for eyeballs is getting too stiff for DC to be navelgazing and clinging on to a dwindling base. if I as a newer reader get fed up with the state of comics' storytelling culture I'll just pirate the titles I want and put my money toward the show or movie or manga I'll resonate with more because people invest in what they care about and steal what they don't. brand recognition alone only gets you so far.
    Last edited by lemonpeace; 02-09-2020 at 10:10 PM.
    SIGNAL/Duke Thomas is the Midnight Sun of Gotham(respect thread)

    Martin to Malcolm: militant Professor X is kinda the wave right now

    DC: Batman & The Outsiders, Teen Titans, Suicide Squad, The Flash, Justice League Odyssey, Far Sector, Red Hood: Outlaws

    Marvel: Immortal Hulk, Miles Morales: Spiderman, Black Panther, X-Men (2019), Venom, X-Force, Hellions, Giant Sized X-Men

    Anticipated titles: John Ridley IV's Batman w/Luke Fox, Love Army*, The Other History of DC*, X of Swords

  3. #1743
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonpeace View Post
    I hate to but I gotta disagree with you Front-o. there are very few characters that benefit uniquely, in a storytelling context, from being in the comic book medium that they couldn't benefit from in another medium. you look at characters like John Stewart and Hawkgirl on JL:AS/JLU or Cyborg on TT & Doom Patrol, they weren't particularly "thriving" from the approach that was being taken with them in the comics when they were pulled into the fold. What made them resonate with people weren't the things that come from the comics, it's the elements of complex contemporary storytelling and character work that made them work; storytelling they probably never would've gotten (and still don't more often than not mind you) in comics because the storytelling culture of DC is always behind. they are always affirming and reaffirming old ideas, whether it be because of a big reboot or because some writer or editor is feeling nostalgic and wants to do yet another "loveletter" homage to a bygone era.

    there probably was a time where storytelling in comics was a bit more forward-thinking (for the time) and considerate with their stories but, even though there were always shades of this issue before, it feels like at some point in the 2000s DC stopped caring about that sort of thing, and it shows. if you look at indie comics, look a the culture of storytelling in manga, it shows that if you are considerate of how storytelling evolves over time and let your creatives move these characters and narratives forward, you never have to worry about fans losing interest; maybe then you won't have to reboot every few years to trick people into reading the same characters and stories again.

    at this rate, we're not too far from mainstream comics no longer really being a storytelling medium but simply an IP far for mediums that know how to tell the stories modern audiences actually want to experience. that's probably a bit hyperbolically alarmist but I'm just saying, maybe the death of print isn't the only reason comics have been taking a hit across the industry. but, admittedly, maybe that's just the way I see it because I'm not really a "comic book nerd", I'm more of a general storytelling/pop culture nerd.
    I guess I come at it more as a comic book nerd so I see the comic medium, at least as far as the Big Two, as this big tapestry of creators and stories that come together and create this rich, unique, universe of stories that eventually all come together when their essence is put through an adaption.

    Like, the core of Hawkgirl in the cartoons or adaptions comes from the comics. She was prominently utilized in media adaptions, which helped her profile, but it's thanks in part to the comics that she's the character she is and there are stories and a mythos for creators to mine from even among all the various incarnations of Hawkgirls and Hawkwomen.

    B:TAS wouldn't be B:TAS without all the different writers, artists, and history of comics that Batman had under his belt when the creators came at approaching adapting the Caped Crusader.

    Even adaptions can only be so forward thinking by comparison when you see how many times characters origins get rehashed, re-done, or revamped for a new adaption. Sometimes those adaptions even go for older takes instead of newer ones. Look how much the Silver Age inspired Batman: The Brave and The Bold.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Better this than being invisibly queer like the people mentioned above. And I think those two make their own kind of sense.
    I don't disagree, but not a "Lois and Clark" level of sense.

  4. #1744
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sCartoonMan View Post
    That's the thing about making Dick Grayson bi-sexual, you'd kind of need someone to reciprocate. If it isn't either Wally or Roy, it might have to be Bruce or Jason.
    Bruce and Jason are his father and brother respectively. They are by far the worst ideas for a male love interest to a bisexual Dick Grayson.

  5. #1745
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonpeace View Post
    despite comic book IP's being the current media zeitgeist, actual mainstream comic book storytelling (especially and very pointedly DC) is largely still several years, if not decades, behind pretty much every other major storytelling medium; novel literature, manga, television, and movies. all of their comics may not be falling short of other mediums but, when you look at their wider media adaptations, the fact that so many characters are expanded on and handled so much better outside the page than on the pages they originated, it's indicative of the failings of major mainstream comic book storytelling culture.
    I kind of agree with this. Its a struggle to find much in current DC comics that you could put up against the best in new fiction, cinema, etc. However, in previous decades i'd say you could do exactly that with sone of DCs output - Moore, doom patrol, george pratt, shade changing man, dave mckean id happily put up against anything in any other artform from same time. More recently, northlanders i thought was very high quality and brian wood is extremely fine historical writer. Better than BBCs The Last Kingdom... maybe not. Better than Vikings... easily in my opinion.

    There is, imo, far less "literature" on the racks each month than in 80s and early 90s but then there are far more people buying ogns than back then so a huge chunk of audience has moved away from monthlies. Now i treat monthlies as a feet up chill out for 10mins - fun bit of genre fiction - rather than expecting anything else from them. If i want a more challenging thought proviking comic then its in ogns.

  6. #1746
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timber Wolf-By-Night View Post
    I've had the same complaint about tying her to Green Arrow for years. How many generations of fans are unwilling to think of Black Canary in any other terms besides "Green Arrow and..."?
    Latching Black Canary to Green Arrow is also a huge mistake. She is a viable character without being hitched to another character's franchise. She has plenty of longevity to have her own little corner.

    I dug the hell out of her DCYou book, and I think she's great as a member of the Justice League.

  7. #1747
    Mighty Member Vampire Savior's Avatar
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    I confess that I never totally got into the whole comic book fan thing, either. Not for lack of trying, I think. Obviously, I loved the medium and it fascinated me, but...just...something never totally clicked with me. Ultimately, I think it goes back to what I kind of talked about earlier. It's probably because I felt I wasn't getting the content I was really looking for (that's why that's an important point for me). Had I been, I probably would have dived in head first, but I always felt there was some barrier. Because of that, I've always sort of had an outsider looking in perspective on DC and Marvel. Or maybe not that. It's like I had one foot in the door and one foot out, and having that view...

    I think what has happened with DC and Marvel is they're not selling people on good stories, like most fiction at least attempts to. Whether intentionally or otherwise, it seems the main selling point of these comics is "shared universes," and obsessions with characters, and I think that only comic book nerds appreciate that. Most "normal people" are just looking for good stories, yet DC and Marvel (especially DC) are obsessed with how their universes function. They get away with banal story after banal story because they have an audience that will tolerate that so long as they get their hit of their favorite character(s) every month. It doesn't matter whether the stories are good or not. Just have their favorite characters present and don't make them look bad. The companies will prematurely cancel a story you're just trying to enjoy because they are getting ready to shift their universes again (see Grant Morrison's Green Lantern for a recent example). They shift the universe about every two months or so these days. So, just telling a story takes a back seat to ever shifting universe. How can a person who is just trying to enjoy a story appreciate this? This leads me to another point...

    It also seems to me that DC and Marvel expect one person to buy an entire universe line of comics, which is absurd to me. Manga, on the other hand, isn't typically going to try to force the person buying Berserk to read Fruits Basket. That would be weird and dumb, yet comic book nerds fall for this, and I think they're the only ones who will. Most normal folks will check out if the reading experience becomes cumbersome and a puzzle, because that's not what they're there for. They didn't sign up to read Fruits Basket and they shouldn't be arm barred into doing that to find out what happens next. They're also not used to reading stuff that does that. If they buy Hunger Games, there isn't a note at the end that tells them that they have to read Harry Potter and Twilight to complete the story.

    There are also rules in this universe that are enforced by professionals and fans. For example, no matter how long this universe goes on, no character will ever be as important as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Then there's Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, and Aquaman behind them. If that doesn't jive with you...well...oh well.

    Going back to expecting one person to buy a whole line of comics, I am usually staggered when I hear how some people regularly spend $400 a month on comics. I usually don't say anything, because that's their business and that's totally fine, but what I'm really thinking is, "WTF!? Are you like buying every single comic being printed!?" I think it's primarily people like that who are keeping this whole thing afloat. Most people aren't going to do that.

    I think what I'm getting at is that it's a special type of person who is going to actually like an arrangement like this. It's very different from any other reading experience, and while that does make these comics rather unique in ways, there are A LOT of things that I believe many people will perceive as negatives. You essentially have to be a comic book nerd to really be into it.
    Again, I don't think I'm that type of person. I'm usually just looking for really good stories that will appeal to me, and I find I don't often discover that in comics from DC and Marvel, and I don't like the bizarre idiosyncrasies of these companies. I don't mind shared universes, but I think comic companies often go waaaaaay overboard with that concept. All this said, when I do find comics I really love (very rare) there's like nothing better. Fun comics are REALLY fun!

  8. #1748
    Mighty Member Rise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonpeace View Post
    despite comic book IP's being the current media zeitgeist, actual mainstream comic book storytelling (especially and very pointedly DC) is largely still several years, if not decades, behind pretty much every other major storytelling medium; novel literature, manga, television, and movies. all of their comics may not be falling short of other mediums but, when you look at their wider media adaptations, the fact that so many characters are expanded on and handled so much better outside the page than on the pages they originated, it's indicative of the failings of major mainstream comic book storytelling culture.
    Well, there's also the fact superhero movies haven't been going for decades doing movies about the same characters over and over again until there's nothing more can be said about them. Even now there are people who are getting tired of them and it's only a matter of time before they stop being the "media zeitgeist".

    The lacks of variety and the shared universe are the biggest issues facing superhero comics nowdays (plus fans who are allergic to any new ideas).
    Last edited by Rise; 02-10-2020 at 04:48 AM.
    “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”
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  9. #1749
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    'Shared universes' really do get in the way of good stories. I think a lot of fans really just love facts and trivia and that's where the slavish devotion to continuity, which drives these huge expanded universes, comes in.

    Continuity should be something that props up a story, something that adds to it- it shouldn't be everything. When it works the way it should, there's nothing better. Reading New 52 Aquaman all the way to the most recent issue of the Rebirth Aquaman- it's all one big wonderful story. You do not need to acknowledge every single Aquaman ever to get that.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 02-10-2020 at 04:53 AM.

  10. #1750
    Mighty Member Rise's Avatar
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    It's also what killing the writers's passion for their books because they always have to worry about what other writers are doing, limited in their use for other characters they want and get derailed for a temporary sales boost. If any writer dares to ignore other books and do what they want, they end up getting grilled by fans.

    Shared universe is causing more troubles than its worth.
    “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”
    – Dale Carnegie

  11. #1751
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I don't think that's really a big part of the Nightwing fandom; most of us argue about whether he should be with Babs or Kori. The "Dick is gay/bi" fanart is just people who *wish* he were. And I get it, Dick's hot.

    Aside from the fact that nothing in print has ever supported the idea, I struggle to see it though, and I don't think I'd care for it if it happened. He's the DCU's official pretty boy, so he ends up being gay? Feels like typecasting to me. I'd be down with it for an Elseworlds or something, but not main continuity; too much precedence already.

    I could see Damian growing up to be gay. The super violent and angry Robin feels less stereotypical than Dick or Tim, and Damian's a kid who doesn't have decades of stories establishing his sexuality. He could totally grow up to be gay or bi or pan or whatever. Now, I don't support the idea of Damian and Jon Kent; their entire dynamic is a bromance, not a romance, and it'd feel like a weird shift to change it now. But Damian or Jon could both end up being not straight and I'd be fine with it, as long as they remain brothers from other mothers.
    In addition to the "he's hot" thing from the usual circles, I can honestly see the idea of Grayson being bi. He's the type who is in general very comfortable with himself, including his sexuality, and from this thought process, he wouldn't have any struggles expressing such, regardless of with whom. He's also had many extremely and genuinely romantically charismatic relationships with other males over the course of time. Even if Grayson wasn't sexually attracted to other men like he is to women, if nothing else, I can definitely see him as being able to be written as a character who could form and hold strong romantic attractions to other men. (And to the point made along the lines of "80 years of stories" saying otherwise, said time frame is such that no one who wasn't evil was allowed to be anything other than straight; that alone, I feel, is not a deterrent to such an interpretation.)

    By comparison, I had to kind of think on the notion of Tim feeling like he could be bi (outside the usual circles that turn all the remotely cute boys and girls bi and gay). That said, with some thought, Tim and Conner's relationship could be said to be a valid perspective for seeing it that way, at least on Tim's end. In contrast to Tim, though, Damian is someone I can also see coming into his sexuality as bi, albeit, he would be considerably more turbulent then Grayson, since Damian is turbulent with most things that deal with feelings and emotions. (He'd, rightfully, be just as turbulent in expressing feelings for a female character.)

    In a sense, I see Dick Grayson like Johnny Storm. Johnny would make a stronger case, though (and Johnny would be more poly or pan than just bi).

  12. #1752
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    I don't think that "shared universes are the devil", like the vibe I'm getting from the last few posts. It is a narrative tool, like any other. And it is fun. It can even be (and has been) genuinely frustrating when the aspects of a shared universe and continuity are not used to their full potential, if not outright ignored.

    Really, like any tool, it can be misapplied, mishandled, or misused. And that can be (and has been, and sometimes is) limiting and stifling, depending on the story, the creative team, and general circumstance. There's also the reality that one person's shared universe and continuity adherence is another person's "fan-wank" and yet another person's character/story derailment. This reality applies to creative teams just as much it does to fans and readers in general.

  13. #1753
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. D. Guy View Post
    I don't think that "shared universes are the devil", like the vibe I'm getting from the last few posts. It is a narrative tool, like any other. And it is fun. It can even be (and has been) genuinely frustrating when the aspects of a shared universe and continuity are not used to their full potential, if not outright ignored.

    Really, like any tool, it can be misapplied, mishandled, or misused. And that can be (and has been, and sometimes is) limiting and stifling, depending on the story, the creative team, and general circumstance. There's also the reality that one person's shared universe and continuity adherence is another person's "fan-wank" and yet another person's character/story derailment. This reality applies to creative teams just as much it does to fans and readers in general.
    Some people really enjoy all the continuity and big events etc and thats cool - if you are reading and enjoying it thats most important thing.

    But if like me, all thats not for you then dc have plenty mini series, side books, and other things to read that have nothing to do with that.

  14. #1754
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rise View Post
    It's also what killing the writers's passion for their books because they always have to worry about what other writers are doing, limited in their use for other characters they want and get derailed for a temporary sales boost. If any writer dares to ignore other books and do what they want, they end up getting grilled by fans.

    Shared universe is causing more troubles than its worth.
    At the same time, continuity within a title can prevent a writer from leaving a smoking pile of wreckage in the wake of the arc said writer wanted to tell, and sticking the editor and subsequent writer with a lot of repair to do.

  15. #1755
    All-New Member Robin_Hood's Avatar
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    The problem isn't continuity or shared worlds, two of the most popular anime are the index franchise and danmachi both have shared universe with multiple shows.
    The real problem came when in the late 80s/ 90s when they flipped all the writing from 3rd person omniscient to 3rd person limited, a lot of peoples complaints about decompression in stories come from this, it also flips the focus from the world building and the characters relationship to focusing only on the main character.

    Most characters designed around one writing style break when forced into another

    The other problem is toxic head cannon rules writers/editors/marketing departments come up with wile hiding behind the term modernization, when it's only them forcing their limited fetish onto everyone, reducing books to be aimed at small group of fans who agree with them

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