web stats

CSBG Archive

Emo is dead, thanks to Marvel Comics.

Marvel hasn’t had a lot of luck with trends.

For decades now, they’ve given us a bunch of series based on ‘that kooky stuff the young’uns seem to like s’much’ with the result that they usually come in at least a year after the trend’s been relegated to the 5 for a dollar bargain bin.

I mean, seriously, ‘Dazzler’? ‘Team America’? ‘US-1’? ‘Street Poet Ray’?

They’re essentially the equivalent of your uncool uncle with the socks and sandals who tries to keep up with the latest trends… or Bob Haney.

But now, they’ve realized that they can use their powers for good instead of evil. By finding really objectionable trends and using their Uncool Uncle powers to wipe them out.

So hooray Marvel, for having not one, but two superheroes who get their powers from self-mutilation. Let’s hear it for Penance of ‘The Thunderbolts’ and Sister Grimm of ‘The Runaways’. Hopefully, this means that the idea that self-mutilation, or cutting, which used to be a sign of serious psychological trauma can no longer be seen as fashionable by bored, middle class white kids who need to express the pain and horror that only having to be home by 11 p.m. or not being bought the car you wanted on your 18th birthday can bring.
C’mon Marvel, keep up the good work. Now, we just need a title featuring a Pro-Anorexic character and someone with Self-Diagnosed Aspergers’.

Do it for the kids, Marvel!

59 Comments

Pro-ana? Mike Turner’s got that niche covered! Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all night!

Just think, Cloak and Dagger, the 80’s teen hero duo can be replaced in the 00’s by Binge Drinker Boy and Anonymous Sex Lass!

Is self-diagnosed Aspergers actually big with the kids these days?
I’m so old that I can’t tell if that’s a joke or actually a youth fad.

Man, I’m equal parts amused and offended by your post.

I’m offused.

siter grim doesn’t actually self mutilate anymore, i think. she stopped a while back, and since then, if she needs to use her magic, she will brush her teeth til her gums bleed or something to that effect.

I hope we see a new character who describes everything as “ginormous.”

yeah nico doesnt cut anymore, she jsut uses other methods, brushing teeth, biting her lip…… being on her period

i always thought Penance was more an riff on sado maschoism than “cutting”. Look at his outfit! its like the Gimp in pulp fiction, straight out of an S&M club …not exactly emo…

Yea, TIVO, it’s all latex slave action.

Except for all the spikes he put on the INSIDE of the suit.

And that he put them there instead of someone else.

And that he’s not the slightest bit submissive.

And that he’s punishing himself for being involved in the massacre while simultaneously lashing out at anything that blinks wrong at him.

Except for all that, yea, he’s the typical bondage gay sex slave.

Wow, I didn’t know that about Speedball/Penance.

He’s my hero.

Can Marvel introduce a Chav character into Excalibur?

…Oh no wait, that wouldn’t work. Nobody in Britain actually READS Excalibur…
It was worth a shot.

I wish people would find out what emo really is before they talk about it. I don’t even like emo anymore, but I still get tweaked by the way people with no frame of reference whatsoever toss the word around. Kthx.

My students have been mocking emo in their strips for a year and a half. I have to figure that when even the twelve-year-olds decide it’s laughable, the trend’s WAY over.

“…and someone with Self-Diagnosed Aspergers’.”

That had me rolling. Almost worse than Emo kids.

I remember Comics Buyers Guide doing an article back in the late 80s/early 90s about how once a trend shows up on a comic book cover, that means it’s officially dead. The only example I can remember offhand were a bunch of recent covers having characters shout out “Not!” Funny article.

By the time a trend hits the comics, it’s usually been dead for several years.

So any day now I expect Ben Grimm to change his battle cry to, “It’s PWNNING time!”

I’ve always thought of Marvel as actually being the “cool uncle.” I think they’ve usually are not that bad in their attempts to be cool, with the exception of the rap scene in Waid’s Fantastic Four issue, but Waid is a DC writer to me, even when he writes for Marvel, so that doesn’t count. But yeah, DC, from the days of Bob Haney to now, has always been the uncool Uncle in my eyes. Anytime a DC comic tries to channel hip-hop even slightly I cringe. Remember the attempts by Connor Kent Superboy at using slang throughout his existence? They even had him use the word “posse” in the mid-90s! Ugh.

You forgot about Trauma from Avengers: The Initiative he was actually called “emo-boy” by The Gauntlet

I’ve always thought of Marvel as actually being the “cool uncle.” I think they’ve usually are not that bad in their attempts to be cool, with the exception of the rap scene in Waid’s Fantastic Four issue, but Waid is a DC writer to me, even when he writes for Marvel, so that doesn’t count.

Really.

That’s so strange. I can certainly see that in the seventies, but from the eighties forward DC has been by far the more experimental smarter, and well, cooler of the two publishers.

Huge props to Marvel for publishing Kabuki, mind, but I can’t think of anything else outta Marvel that would really challenge their superhero-centric reader base.
While DC regularly takes chances on like “Can’t Get No,” “Sloth” and the Minx Line.

If trends showing up in a comic book means that the trend is officially dead, then someone needs to put a “cute” captioned picture of a cat in one post-haste.

And Croc’s in your cave, breaking your things!

“from the eighties forward DC has been by far the more experimental smarter, and well, cooler of the two publishers.”
I think the distinction that has to be made here is that as I read it, T. isn’t referring to DC the publisher, but rather the DC Universe.

Ah crap. Stewpid quote tags. I don’t think I can edit my own comments.

Dave – OK. THAT I agree with. I think Marvel’s superehero books are generally a notch better than DC’s now, and have been for quite a few years – At least since the beginning of Jemas’ tenure.

Marvel’s more “street”, which people who like to hallucinate about their comics being cool will use as an excuse to claim Marvel is cool. Anyone who makes this argument is, by definition, not at all cool.

This is because, in fact, no comics are cool, and they have never been cool. Trendsetters and tastemakers do not now, nor have they ever, read comics. Now, reading comics with total lack of concern for feebs who think they aren’t cool? Now that’s total geek chic, and will make a particular subculture think you’re really cool.

Comic book properties can be -made- cool in other media, mind you. But comics themselves? Never cool at all. Not even the stuff getting reviewed in New York Times. Reading, you see, is for old and boring people (unless it’s Harry Potter).

“I wish people would find out what emo really is before they talk about it. I don’t even like emo anymore, but I still get tweaked by the way people with no frame of reference whatsoever toss the word around. Kthx.”

I can’t believe nobody has made fun of this post yet (unless it was a brilliantly meta insult on emo people).

Dazzler is WAY cool. Don’t compare her to those others. It was a great series!

I think the distinction that has to be made here is that as I read it, T. isn’t referring to DC the publisher, but rather the DC Universe.

Totally agreed. If you take the publisher as a whole and include Paradox Press and Vertigo and even the cartoon network and manga stuff, I’d definitely call DC the cooler publisher. But as far as stuff published in the two mainstream universes, I think DC is hideously corny in comparison to Marvel.

As long as there are teenagers, there will be Emo kids. They might change the terminology, but they’ll still have effeminate hair and make-up, wear clothes that are too small for them, and listen to whiny guys sing about not getting laid.

hmmm…

My partner works in a secondary school (High school in american) and she could tell you that emo is still huge on this side of the Atlantic. Obviously, the kids who aren’t into it make fun of the kids who are, but that’s no way to measure whether the trend is still hot. Kids have always made fun of each other.

As for associating emo with self-harm… I wish I could argue with it, because I know that the opinion is mostly based on prejudice (just like all the people who assume I’m a right-winger because I listen to heavy metal), but in this particular case it also happens to be true. It’s one of the big issues my partner has to deal with on a regular basis.

And I’m with Mongoose- if this really is the way to end a trend, then I’m submitting my chav superhero to Marvel tomorrow.

well, around here, south of the border, this hideous trend is quite the novelty, but then again, we sorta import trends after a trhee-five years period.

But since the translated comics also come with year and a half of lateness, I`m hoping that kids will know the misadventures of Penance and co. just about when they had adopted the new imported coolness.

Hmm. It was actually addressed in a story that Nico wasn’t a cutter and was annoyed that her powers made people think she was.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 15, 2007 at 4:42 pm

But as far as stuff published in the two mainstream universes, I think DC is hideously corny in comparison to Marvel.

Except for something like Starman which was cooler than anything Marvel has ever done.
(But I’ll pay its cooler than most things DC has done, even in that time at Starman’s peak where DC was trying crazy stuff like Chase).

Hmm. It was actually addressed in a story that Nico wasn’t a cutter and was annoyed that her powers made people think she was.

That sounds like a comment from a creator through the character, and the creator should have realised that you don’t market a book for teens (especially teen girls) where a character cutting themselves is a good thing, whatever their reason for doing it.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 15, 2007 at 4:42 pm

Oh, and hilarious post Pol, it cracked me up.

Pol, you’re in a better position than anyone to keep us updated on whether or not Marvel’s emo-killing technique is successful. Just keep track of the numbers of emo kids milling about near the store!

Aw, Sean beat me to the punch. Was that for real?

Honestly, Dazzler is cool in the same way that Bill Shatner or Adam West are.
They’ve realized their inherent lameitude and have managed to rise above it. See also Fin Fang Foom and MODOK.

Also, we need a character who speaks entirely in 1337 5P3@K!
And Gail Simone’s got the Emoticon guy in ‘Tranquility’ happening.

Time to show how comics can do some good in this crazy, mixed up world!

Well, as far as Chavs go there was always Gav the Chav in Hellblazer, but he got slashed to death after 3 issues.

I’m fairly certain Quesade killing emo makes him a philanthropist of some sort.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 15, 2007 at 7:44 pm

I don’t even like emo anymore, but I still get tweaked by the way people with no frame of reference whatsoever toss the word around.

I took my definition of emo from a t-shirt that said ‘Emo: The Sound Of Two Boys Kissing’.

Is it wrong?

FGJ: yes, you are wrong.

It is the sound of one boy crying.

Ahh, ‘emo’, what a wonderful catch-all word that people use to describe anything sad. I miss the phrase ‘teen-angst’, at least people got the definition right.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 15, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Well there’s angst, and then there’s dressing in black, gluing your hair, crying all the time and saying pretentious shit about how no one understands, and yet not knowing of The Smiths.

You know, when I were a lad, we called it “goth”.

And I’d like to change my definition. Emo is the sound of four or five men trying to get into the knickers of several thousand under age girls.

I know exactly what ‘emo’ used to mean, but as it’s a meaningless transitory marketing term, I feel free to distort its meaning as much as the general population does.
It’s not a concept I feel I have to be precious about.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 15, 2007 at 11:39 pm

You know, when I were a lad, we called it “goth”.

Where I’m from, the goths were always bigger than me.

So I define emo as a goth I can kick the shit out of.

Emo is pretty much used in the same way as gay by all the teenagers I’ve been around since I started teaching; for anything and everything you think is dumb. I’ve asked some kids for definitions, and from what I remember, it involves whining (which I was aware of) and cutting (which I wasn’t). And yeah, it was goth when I was younger, too.

@FunkyGreenJerusalem:

The T-shirt I saw said “If you’re happy being Emo you’re doing it wrong!”. Heh.

Anyway, the MU might seem cooler than the DCU but I wonder how much of that comes from other pop culture referencing Marvel rather than the other way round. Maybe if Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come album would’ve been better received the DCU would be cool too.

Thanks very much.

Sidney Assbasket

November 16, 2007 at 7:17 am

Is this the same Emu that used to hang out with the dear, departed Rod Hull?

What?

“I define emo as a goth I can kick the shit out of.”

Now now, there’s no reason to commit physical harm to an emo kid.

Just say something depressing and they’ll do it for you

Wouldn’t kicking their ass go a long way to prove their defeatist “my life sux” attitude? While it may be satisfying, it’d probably only engourage them.

Too bad a symptom of Self-Diagnosed Aspergers is the lack of desire to read…even comics. Marvel would have to put their socially inept little creation into a cartoon in order to achieve the desired effect.

Anyway, the MU might seem cooler than the DCU but I wonder how much of that comes from other pop culture referencing Marvel rather than the other way round.

The Marvel Universe isn’t cooler because pop culture references it more, pop culture references the Marvel Universe more because it’s cooler.

Emo used to refer a clutch of Dischord bands (Washington DC) in the early/mid-80s, most notably Rites of Spring (later half of Fugazi). That shit was great, imo. The stuff the kids call emo for the last decade … not so much.

I used to DJ between bands at a club and got called in for an emo show. I was spinning RoS and was asked by some nob to play emo. Go figure.

I then turned my back and played Black Flag.

I remember when bands like Karate were called “emo,” and they played boring songs. The same riff over and over for six minutes. It was like stretched out punk with clinical depression. Then there was “screamo.” Ugh. Still, it’s better than My Chemical Romance (like Queen, but whiny) or any of those bands that like the Cure & Joy Division a little too much.

Darn Robbie for sullying the good name of Penance!

Gonger-

I feel your pain man! Does that sound too emo?

I love Fugazi, and Bad Religion, and when the word “emo” first started being bandied about by the british music press those two bands would usually be referenced as the main influences.

So when I finally got to hear some of that… well, “fashion rock” would be the best thing I could think of to call it… I was not impressed.

Wait, if people with Self Diagnosed Aspergers don’t read, why do I only ever see them posting stuff on the Internet? I thought they all read comic books and watched Star Trek reruns and stuff, and that was what caused their Horrible Affliction.

Regarding “emo”, I am amazed at how lousy music for teenagers keeps getting _worse_. It’s at the point where I’m almost nostalgic for New Kids On The Block.

any one who disses emo should think wat they are say cuz emo comes from the word emotional and instead of people going and saying they are depress

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives