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Modern Comics: Marvel and DC

ultrabender

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Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« on: January 29, 2018, 11:16:01 AM »
This is the era thats been called the return of the Dark Age of these two big comic book companies. Often panned for the recent new characters, storylines, themes. Do they have a chance to fix their reputation in the future?. Everyone has been unhappy how most of the comics been suffering. Some say only a handful were good but everything else is very bad.

Will Marvel and DC comics learn from these mistakes or just continue with the lackluster writing?.

Riv1

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2018, 01:03:51 AM »
Depends who you ask.
I mean, i've been reading comics since 1974, and the big two got bad enough for me to stop collecting for what, 4 years?
I've just gotten back into it (thanks, Nick), and even now, the big two make up only a fraction if what i'm picking up.
There are just a lot better/more innovative/less baggage heavy books being put published by smaller companies.   

AP

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 04:50:07 AM »
I think it will take a lot to sink either ship.

Riv1

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 06:16:32 AM »
Well yeah beither's going to sink, thats for sure, but providing quality comics is a whole other matter.

Whiskeyclone

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2018, 12:39:35 PM »
I was actually just thinking about how their plummet in quality has led to the slow grinding death of the comic aspects of this site. Those were the main suppliers of stuff we talked about, especially in ICT & its predecessors, but I haven't actively read any of their books since early in Aaron's Dr Strange run (not even saying that was necessarily the last I was collecting, but I remember that being something new that I tried around the time that I gave up). I've borrowed trades from the library and picked up the odd book here to try to give things a try but nothing has done much to wow me.

I guess anything could improve - some hot new writing talent, new editor or mandate...but I'm not optimistic and don't follow the industry enough right now to even be aware of things moving in a good direction.

Riv1

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2018, 04:49:07 PM »
I think its just at a steady 'meh'.
DC's better than Marvel, but not by much from what can tell.

XerxesTWD

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2018, 05:40:06 PM »
At this point, a majority of the medium is basically just a farm for movie and TV ideas.

Riv1

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2018, 05:51:57 PM »
Well thats a whole different subject.

MTL76

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2018, 06:20:19 PM »
Out of DC, I'm reading Priest's JLA and Deathstroke, and King's Batman and Mister Miracle (which is a limited series.)

For Marvel, it's only Ennis's current Punisher MAX, which is also a mini.


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Rufio

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2018, 07:26:10 PM »
I haven't been able to get into Marvel/DC for several years now. I pay attention by lurking here, but really nothing has caught my eye in awhile. My favorite character is Spider-Man, but I haven't even been able to read his series since JMS, Jenkins, and Millar left.

At Marvel especially, the degree of lazy writing, loose continuity, and extremist identity politics is especially annoying. Basically, all of the uninformed idiocy that used to be confined to CBR now appears to be part of mainstream Marvel. Hopefully, the recent book cancellings are the beginning of a change on that end.

I do plan to pick up Mr. Miracle once it's out in paperback format.

ultrabender

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2018, 10:32:49 AM »
Everyones not really happy how Marvel and DC comics keep making new bland characters that are uninteresting.

Visitor-Q

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2018, 12:12:05 AM »
It's all relative. As mediocre as things have been for the last few years across most mainstream comics, things aren't anywhere near as bad creatively as they were during the 93 - 97 period or the crappiest parts of the 70's.

Tom King has been doing some good stuff (Grayson, Vision, Batman, Mister Miracle). Priest's Deathstroke is still well done. Bendis's jump back to street level books before jumping to DC was a return to form after his crash landing X-Men stint (Defenders, Jessica Jones, Miles Spider-Man). Coates's Black Panther has been the best run since Priest. Deadpool has remained a really fun and interesting book with Duggan goin solo without Posehn. Etc.

Most books are mediocre or bad, but that's always been the case. The last few years haven't been a highwater mark for both companies at all, but there's still plenty of gold in them their hills.

Upper_Krust

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2018, 08:38:09 AM »
Everyones not really happy how Marvel and DC comics keep making new bland characters that are uninteresting.

Not sure if that's the focal point for the massive drop in sales and closure of many comic stores (closures that will only compound problems).

Problem #1: Decompression

Comics were already on a slow decline (IMO) because of rampant Decompression. Individual comics of today give you LESS of a story, LESS pages, LESS panels, LESS dialogue and all for a HIGHER price.

Writing for the trade means individual comic issues are now far less significant than ever. Back in the day stories were either self-contained, were two part with a cliffhanger in between or a really epic storyline might have had 3 issues; anything bigger was an event book. That's not to say larger arcs couldn't be set up, but individual stories might go on while something else is brewing in the background.

Comic writers have gotten lazy in that (to paraphrase Shooter) each comic should be treated as if someone's first and each comic should have the reader hungry for the next issue (Cliffhanger, big reveal etc.). Most ongoing issues don't do any of that; either the writers don't have the talent to do it or they don't care enough.

Decompression kills pacing and if you have a slow turn around of storylines (say one story every 6 issues) then you risk LOSING the reader if they get bored with that particular story. If you have a faster turn around of stories or better yet overlapping plots and sub-plots then there is a much better chance you will hold the reader's attention.

Problem #2: Stories Don't Matter

Added to which the big push of the Pose Cover (as opposed to a story related cover) means comic covers don't even try to sell a STORY - because stories don't matter anymore, only the brand matters. Generic pose cover after generic pose cover kills any sort of variety and interest.

Not to mention the whole variant cover thing (especially at Marvel) has just gotten way the fuck out of control. It smacks of desperation.

Problem #3: Constant Renumbering

In the past the practice was to make every landmark issue special (double-sized, culmination of a big storyline etc.). So issue #25, #50, #75, #100 etc. This meant every two years the company would give an extra big push behind a title and hopefully some of that press would garner new readers and bolster existing ones.

But it seems less about long term readers today and more about short term speculators. The near constant number #1's from Marvel again smack of desperation.

Jason Aaron (on Thor) is on his FOURTH #1 issue in six years (yet I'd guess his biggest selling issue was the #700). Other titles are routinely cancelled (for low sales) and then relaunched with the same writer!

Problem #4: The Gary Sue/Mary Sue

Remember when heroes used to get into trouble? When they fought AGAINST the odds? Well you can forget all those exciting and dramatic storylines because this is the era of the Gary Sue/Mary Sue.

Instead of crafting an 'edge of the seat' tale that puts the hero in jeopardy and have friction between different characters to create drama, lets just have the hero win easily and everybody love them - those'll make for great stories won't they!?

No. Far too many modern stories fall into this moronic bullshit; its as if many writers don't have a fucking clue.

In terms of covers what the hell happened to comic covers that put the hero in peril? The answer being we don't really need them now in an era where heroes win easily and don't get in trouble...which has the knock on effect of eliminating the Cliffhanger...which in turn removes a lot of the desire to read the next issue.

Problem #5: Identity Politics

The biggest problem of the past 4 years has been the rise of writers forcing (typically left wing) politics down the readers throats.

People don't want to be preached to in their entertainment and the dwindling sales confirm that. People want escapism. They want sexy women. They want heroically proportioned men. Super heroes and heroines are EXAGGERATED ideals, not bland mundane portrayals.

I want heroes to be heroes and villains to be villains. Under identity politics it seems the heroes are the villains, while the villains have become the heroes and new heroes behave much as old villains would (nasty, self-entitled, narcissists).

A lot of this approach seems to have been stoked by Hero vs. Hero events, but its really gotten way out of control.

Also remember hetero-romances in comics, virtually a thing of the past.

So lets see what the modern comics have generally sucked out of the stories:

A. Meaningful action, because Gary Sues/Mary Sues win easily.
B. Meaningful drama, everybody loves these new 'heroes' they are the bestest and smartest at everything and importantly much better than the old heroes we used to have despite the lack of experience of the new 'heroes'.
C. Meaningful relationships, can't have any of that toxic heterosexuality.
D. Meaningful suspense, heroes are no longer placed in jeopardy.
E. Meaningful emotions, such outbursts might well trigger readers.
F. Meaningful comedy, can't risk offending anyone...unless its Trump.
G. Meaningful morality, instead justify criminal acts against the innocent by demonizing their sex/race/religion.
H. Meaningful heroism, don't you know its the current year; women don't need men to rescue them.
I. Meaningful intellect, how many times are we told character x is a genius but they act like a total fuckwit?
J. Meaningful villains, who needs great villains when the new heroes always win so easily.
K. Muscular men, lets overdose male heroes on soy rather than steroids, why aspire to be extraordinary when you could be ordinary!
L. Sexy women, women apparently feel intimidated by sexy female characters...until of course its time to cosplay.

Strange

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Re: Modern Comics: Marvel and DC
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2018, 12:14:02 PM »
Everyones not really happy how Marvel and DC comics keep making new bland characters that are uninteresting.

Which has been the case since.... forever... She Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Monica Rambeau, War Machine, and so many others all had similar complaints.

Honestly, Marvel and DC have always produced large amounts of trash. Sure, there have been Series and runs that were great but we kinda tend to forget the awful series and runs that were published at the same time.