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Comic Theory Archives | Comics Should Be Good @ CBR

For DC and Marvel, the content of their books is the least of their problems


Well, that’s a cheery title, isn’t it? I’m going to write about Futures End and Original Sin, both of which had a “zero” issue that I didn’t read and both of which shipped their #1 issues this week. So, um, SPOILERS be below, arrrrrr!
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My way of reading comics does not necessarily equal your way of reading comics, and that’s cool

Recently, I’ve noticed some things in the comments, so I decided to write … a mission statement!!!! Everyone loves mission statements, right?
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Superhero comics versus superhero movies: Why does one get a bigger audience than the other?

02-24-2013 03;29;31PM (2)

A few weeks ago I got into a bit of an argument in the comments section for my latest “Flippin’ through Previews” post. After it had played out, I thought the kernel of the argument would make an interesting post about the prevalence of superhero movies even as superhero comics are still ghetto-ized. Yes, it’s another post where I postulate. I can postulate with the best of ‘em, I reckon!
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What should we call this age of comics?

I doubt if anyone is nominating the “Golden Age”!
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Portrait of the comic book reader as an old man

Famous 19 May birthdays: Atatürk, Ho Chi Minh, Malcolm X, Pol Pot (boo!), Pete Townshend, Andre the Giant … [RECORD SCRATCH] … Greg Burgas?!?!?
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Taking no chances: Mainstream superhero comics need a kick in the butt

I spend a lot of time coming up with provocative titles for my posts, you know! How’s that one?
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Theory: Christian Bale’s Batman = Adam West’s Batman

Thanks to The Hub, I’ve been treated to an episode of the brilliant 1960s Batman TV show just about every night of the week. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen many of these stories, and I’m positively delighted to experience them once again. Being a tenth-level geek, however, has the back of my mind spinning, weaving together connections between the campy pop series and later Bat-lore. The inspiration it provided the Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher films seems readily apparent– Batman Returns borrows a plot from a Penguin episode, Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze may as well be Otto Preminger’s, etc– but what could 60s Batman possibly have in common with the grim avenger from the current Bat-flicks? Why, quite a bit, actually.

You see, I’ve determined that Christopher Nolan’s Bat-films take place in the same continuity as the Adam West-led series. Yes– they are prequels, and I can prove it!

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Style Equals Substance?

Sometimes, the style in which a work is presented becomes the substantive element of that work, a thematic tactic used to make allusions outside the confines of the narrative. Form often follows function, but sometimes, form is function.

So Matt Seneca wrote this pair of pieces about Grant Morrison’s short-lived revamp of Wildstorm’s Wildcats and Authority properties, both of which suffered from crib death after an issue or two, never to return. That makes them little nothings, overlooked and ephemeral curios, but that also makes them fascinating. Were these comics too beautiful to live?

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Comics: The most versatile art form?

I was going to call this “Comics are awesome,” but I guess Bill Reed has already cornered the market on that title! Oh, and SPOILERS below, in case spoilering things bothers you. And some minor NSFW work stuff, too. Man, I’m out of control!
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The Many Tomorrows of Superman

by Robert Greenberger

A new era is about to begin for the Man of Steel as J. Michael Straczynski is given the key to the Fortress of Solitude. With his arrival a door closes on the megafiction aspect, something that has been a part of the titles since the last new era began in 1986 with the arrival of John Byrne.
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It IS Pretty Funny How That Sims’ “Racial Regression” Thing Worked Out…

You really have to give Chris Sims a ton of credit for the timing of his piece, “The Racial Politics of Regression Storytelling,” which he posted at Comics Alliance last week (Bill linked to it this Sunday, beating me to it).

The basic gist of the piece is that DC, by regressing to the previous incarnations of legacy heroes, is making a racial statement, even thought it is not their intent, since many of the newer heroes “losing” their jobs/titles were racially diverse and are losing them to the earlier heroes with those job/heroes, who are invariably white guys.

It’s a very interesting piece, especially as you note that Warner Bros. has been pushing these newer heroes in their cartoons (like Ryan Choi, the Asian Atom, in Batman: Brave and the Bold), so you’d think that they would not be regressed to the older characters easily.

However, that is not the case.

And with this week’s Titans: Villains For Hire Special…well…(spoilers ahead!)…
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How Kurt Busiek (unwittingly) ruined Marvel and DC superhero comics!

Come along with me, as I generalize like crazy! It’s what you love, right?
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Guest Spot: Scalped and the Stereotype That Wasn’t There

by John Lees (check out John’s column, Comic Book Club, at ProjectFanboy here)

Okay, so who reads Scalped? For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Scalped is a sprawling crime drama by writer Jason Aaron and (for the most part) artist R.M. Guera, published by DC Comics’ celebrated Vertigo imprint. Set on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in South Dakota, it tells the story of Dashiell Bad Horse, a prodigal son returning to his childhood home and falling under the sway of community leader turned gangster Chief Red Crow. The comic has been widely met with critical acclaim, not least from here at Comic Book Resources. As well as regularly reviewing the book, CBR has prominently featured Scalped right here on the Comics Should Be Good blog. The comic is a constant fixture on What I Bought by Greg Burgas, who offers plenty of insightful commentary on the developing narrative. Brian Cronin, meanwhile, devoted an entire week of 2009’s Year of Cool Comic Book Moments to Scalped. CBR ranked the series at #5 in its Best of 2009 list. Looking beyond this site, Jerome Maida of the Philadelphia Daily News not only ranked Scalped as the best comic of 2009, but as one of the greatest comics of all time.

But the response to the book has not been universally positive. Some detractors have accused the comic of
perpetuating negative Native American stereotypes, even going so far as to condemn those who praise Scalped as part of the problem. As readers of Scalped, are we guilty of promoting racism? Well first, I would suggest arguing on these lines takes us up a blind alley where we don’t look too closely into the facts and simply accept that Scalped and its author are racist, knowingly or otherwise. So I am going to take things back a notch, and ask: is Scalped really racist?
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The political leanings of superhero comics … revealed!

No, this isn’t another post about Captain America #602. It’s partly inspired by that, but it’s much more far-reaching than that. You recall that every once in a while I like to generalize about comics in such a way that it sends people into paroxysms of rage? Well, here’s another one of those posts! They’re always fun, aren’t they?
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Posing Questions to Comic Book Fans on the Internet – A Demonstration

“What color do you like better, red or yellow?”

“I hate red! So I pick blue.”

“Name three colors, with one of them being orange.”

“Purple, Red and Green.”

“What is two plus one”

“I hate math! I refuse to answer, but I think it is important to let you know that I am not just refusing to answer, I am answering to point out that I am refusing to answer!”

“What does that sign over there say?”

“I don’t want to look at that sign. I am enjoying the sign on the other side of the street, though, so I can tell you what that sign says.”

“Who is your favorite X-Men?”

“Dan Didio/Joe Quesada sucks!”


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