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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Default Are modern superhero comics kind of forgettable?

    1. Are the excessive number of event comics, kind of bleeding into each other creating a steady stream of forgettable arches?
    2. Is the realization that nothing really changes finally beginning to take its toll on superhero comics.
    3. Is the tapering off of new characters since the 90's really started to hurt story variety? (you can only watch the same characters go through similar story arches so many times)
    4. Is the constant speculation and criticism of internet culture-making comics seem more predictable?

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member HandofPrometheus's Avatar
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    I guess, since there's been many years of the same characters and themes going on, things just aren't as new. I would say though that events are more memorable than individual runs. Runs are becoming more forgettable to me over the years.

  3. #3
    Fantastic Member tbaron's Avatar
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    I think so many events happening is really watering it down. There used to be an event every few years but now it seems like they are coming up with one every few months. Its really getting bogged down and tiresome.
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  4. #4
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    1. Are the excessive number of event comics, kind of bleeding into each other creating a steady stream of forgettable arches?
    Not just particularly 'forgettable'... It's more that they don't matter. They don't matter to the audience... and they don't seem to matter to the authors or company either. You can be halfway through an arc and they're already spoiling the ending and pushing wha is going to happen in six months. Because THAT will be the new big thing that changes EVERYTHING... until you're hallway through THAT and they're pushing whatever comes next.




    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    2. Is the realization that nothing really changes finally beginning to take its toll on superhero comics.
    There has always been that realization. And even when it DID change forever... there was something that would make it irrelevant. That was the key... We knew nothing changes forever, but we (and the companies) could at least PRETEND that it would. Superman dies... we know it's not going to last. Batman gets replaced... we know he'll be back. We don't know HOW, but we know it will... But there were things that DID feel forever. Jason Todd's death, Hal Jordan's parallax turn, They were replaced they world moved on and there was never a real NEED to bring back Jason. (Hal needed to come back... but it took over a decade to do it right...)


    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    3. Is the tapering off of new characters since the 90's really started to hurt story variety? (you can only watch the same characters go through similar story arches so many times)
    Not at all. I honestly feel the new characters make the world TOO crowded and make things feel LESS important. Batgirl or Robin die... doesn't feel that important when there are 3-4 of them active at any given time. Green lantern quits and/or loses his ring.... We have SIX Earth Green Lanterns... How important is that ONE...

    Honestly most of the truly iconic and memorable stories I know always seem to take place with the BIG rivalries. Lex vs. Superman, Batman vs. Joker, or penguin or Riddler.. or SOMEONE major. Sinestro vs. Hal Jordan... Those are the BIG EXCITING EPICS. the eternal grudge matches. Trying to tell new epics with Jean Paul Valley or John henry Irons.... just isn't as good. They don't have the OOMPH that the originals do. So yeah... I don't mind a few new villains showing up once in a while... but just filling the universe with dozens of copies of other characters just to have a new player... isn't worth it to me. Those tend to be the stories that are the most forgettable.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    4. Is the constant speculation and criticism of internet culture-making comics seem more predictable?
    It's not about being 'predictable'. Things are outright SPOILED. Issue 100 is a drag out fight between XXX and YYY Solicitations for #102 tells you that having finally defeated YYY, see XXX settle into his new role... Then there is the inevitable bellyaching and backlash by YYY fans approximately 6 months before any changes actually take place. It's crazy how Authors have to deal with backlash for things that arent' even written yet...

    The other issue with such 'predictablitliy' is that stories take WAY WAY too long to tell now. Thor loses his hammer... we know he'll get it back. It took over 4 years to tell that story. with angry fans feeding on each other and making the fire grow. Eric Masterson took over for Thor and 25 issues later, Real Thor was back and Eric was Spun off into his own book. There was still people unhappy with the switch, but the fire was much lower and didn't feed off each other the way they do online now. I really do think that the internet culture has been TERRIBLE for comics in general. Now instead of picking up a book and seeing if you like it or not.. like we did in the 90's... Now people go online for opinions and it is a case of internet trolls vs SJWs fighting to see which books can be dead on arrival.

    I also think the TPB was the beginning of the end for Comics. I love TPBs myself... but there were a LOT of good books canceled because people Trade-waited and it didn't get the numbers... As a rule ANYHING that stops people from buying comics every month as they're published... is killing the industry.

  5. #5
    Incredible Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    I also think the TPB was the beginning of the end for Comics. I love TPBs myself... but there were a LOT of good books canceled because people Trade-waited and it didn't get the numbers... As a rule ANYHING that stops people from buying comics every month as they're published... is killing the industry.
    I think story length plays in there, too. I don't want to wait a year to get a single story. It's hard to hold interest or keep momentum that long or for fans like me to remember what happened without re-reading, etc.

    I loved Gotham Academy (excepting the Yearbook filler), and was surprised to find opinions here mostly negative. But I read it all at once, basically (over a few days). And I'm aware that second semester takes place over like a week. And it's basically one story, so it can be frustrating to take so long to finish and you can feel like not much happens in some issues in that case.

    And stories have to be better for me to be willing wait longer for them to finished. Like I'll binge-watch shows I wouldn't bother to week-to-week. But I'll usually remember the week-to-week ones better because I devoted more time and attention to them (including more internet discussion and theorizing).

    And if you don't like a story, next month's issue isn't something to look forward to because it's just going to be more of the same story. And for a long time.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    I think story length plays in there, too. I don't want to wait a year to get a single story. It's hard to hold interest or keep momentum that long or for fans like me to remember what happened without re-reading, etc.

    I loved Gotham Academy (excepting the Yearbook filler), and was surprised to find opinions here mostly negative. But I read it all at once, basically (over a few days). And I'm aware that second semester takes place over like a week. And it's basically one story, so it can be frustrating to take so long to finish and you can feel like not much happens in some issues in that case.

    And stories have to be better for me to be willing wait longer for them to finished. Like I'll binge-watch shows I wouldn't bother to week-to-week. But I'll usually remember the week-to-week ones better because I devoted more time and attention to them (including more internet discussion and theorizing).

    And if you don't like a story, next month's issue isn't something to look forward to because it's just going to be more of the same story. And for a long time.
    Yep. Gotta agree with that. There have been a lot of stories stretched to fit TPB that should have wrapped up in 2-3 issues tops. I've read a few of these month to month and it can get extremely frustrating waiting for SOMETHING to happen... ANYHING to happen...

  7. #7
    Relic Seeker Pinsir's Avatar
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    There are a bunch of New 52 era comics I remember vividly, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Supergirl, though admittedly there are tons of comics I read during that period that I don't. Most comics aren't very good, so they aren't worth remembering.
    Want to read Wonder Woman stories, but don't know where to start? Check out my top 10 lists for Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age and Modern Age Wonder Woman tales!

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  8. #8
    Fantastic Member mikelmcknight72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    1. Are the excessive number of event comics, kind of bleeding into each other creating a steady stream of forgettable arches?
    2. Is the realization that nothing really changes finally beginning to take its toll on superhero comics.
    3. Is the tapering off of new characters since the 90's really started to hurt story variety? (you can only watch the same characters go through similar story arches so many times)
    4. Is the constant speculation and criticism of internet culture-making comics seem more predictable?
    I'd tag on a fifth question.

    5. Is the cynicism and darkness of modern comic stories part of what makes them less memorable?

  9. #9
    Incredible Member Vampire Savior's Avatar
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    The comics largely aren't memorable because:

    a) Most of the time (not all of the time), the people making them simply aren't that good.

    b) The publishers don't incentive creators enough to make the comics better, and publishers don't offer good enough incentives to attract better talent.

    c) The publishers rush the creators, which contributes even further to banal content, and in a very large way.

    d) Because creators don't want to give up their good ideas (if they have any, oftentimes they don't) to corporations, they've gotten into the habit of using pre-established characters and ideas over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. This has conditioned the audience to not be at all responsive or interested in anything truly new, and no I don't count another Green Lantern as a new idea or new character. It didn't use to be this way, we saw all kinds of new stuff decades ago, some that failed and some that endured. The audience only wants to see the same thing over and again, even if they realize the content, by this point in its 60-80 year life span, is played out and banal. Because the content is so banal, even key, long running characters like Superman only have a handful of very, very memorable stories.

    d.2) Comics fans are a mountain of contradictions. There seems to be some alarming cognitive dissonance going on with them. They say they don't want events all the time, but that's what they buy. They say they don't want meaningless character deaths, but that's what they buy. They say comics are boring and predictable, but they'll only buy boring and predictable comics and ignore stuff that explores new ideas with new characters and new creators. However, this is somewhat understandable because a lot of the new ideas and so on aren't good. Most of the time, comics fans are their own worst enemies, and the content they continually pay for (boring banal stuff) is the content they deserve. Because they're more interested in "shocking" status quo shifts with these ancient characters than in actual good stories. I think things are like this due to very few new fans coming in once the newsstand market for comics died.

    People always say that comics have to compete with all this other media, and this is true. What I've found, though, is that comics CAN compete with that stuff, but only if they're very good. You rarely see very good comics. Most of the crap is just vapid.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Jekyll's Avatar
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    Largely depends on the creative team and the freedoms they are given.

    Examples: Chip Zdarsky is currently writing a very memorable and fantastic mini series about Spider-Man. Al Ewing is putting on a masterclass with The Hulk right now that will probably go down as one of the all time greatest runs of The Hulk.

    It is still possible to write memorable and fresh stories.
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  11. #11
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    What was the last run that turned things upside down and caught fire with readers like say Frank Miller or John Byrne or Alan Moore or Grant Morrison?

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member HandofPrometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iron chimp View Post
    What was the last run that turned things upside down and caught fire with readers like say Frank Miller or John Byrne or Alan Moore or Grant Morrison?
    I would say Geoff John's on Aquaman

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandofPrometheus View Post
    I would say Geoff John's on Aquaman
    Yes Geoff Johns is a good shout probably for multiple runs.

    Denny O'Neil in 70s
    Moore / Miller/ Byrne in 80s
    Morrison / Gaiman in 90s
    John's in 2000s

    I'm sure people can think of others but a popular major shift is probably something that only happens once a decade or even longer on average.

  14. #14
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    The comics I remember best are the ones that I read as a kid. When you're a kid, you're easily impressed by things you wouldn't notice as an adult and you'll spend hours and hours reading the same thing over and over (or watching the same video over and over, or playing the same game over and over). So you don't soon forget them. They're lodged in your brain and they'll be the foundation for all the other memories you build around them.

    So it's impossible to say if the kids reading comics now will forget them in twenty or forty years. The problem is there's not many DC and Marvel comics for kids anymore and the people reading them are mainly adults (not even teen-agers) who don't remember anything for long. If you want comics that aren't forgettable then you have to make more comics for kids.
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  15. #15
    Mighty Member C_Miller's Avatar
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    I'd argue that most comic books are kind of forgettable. It's why we remember things like Great Darkness Saga or Watchmen or Miller's Daredevil or any favorites. Like others have mentioned there are a bunch of great comics coming out now, but I think one of the biggest issues is that there are so many more comics right now and so many more avenues for storytelling. I think that a lot of the creators are doing their best work on creator owned comics right now.

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