01 May 2008

Ok. So I haven't liked superhero comics since puberty. But, the other night I was talking to my brother and asked, "Have you seen Spiderman?", to which he replied, "I've seen the second one... Was a bag of shit." - I told him I've only watched the first one and thought the same thing as he.

Neither of us want to watch another of them.

This prompted me to ask myself why i had such a distaste for that genre now? A feeling that it was almost 'hurting' the medium that I've liked deeply for my whole life. I started to look at 'why' my brother and I dislike the spiderman movies (and parenthetically, why I probably hate the comics of the genre too.)

I said to my brother, "What do you expect when they make Peter Parker into a teenager? From memory, I think he's supposed to be a reporter for a newspaper." - and thats when i realised that 'heroes' are actually dissapearing. Adult one's that is. The mainstream media is feeding off the youth's narcisism and just putting a mirror in front of them. The only difference being a super ability.

Kids used to 'look up to' superman or batman. They'd view them differently than they do superheroes today (and dont give me the shit about it being a different world). Kids use to, in small ways, learn values, aspire & marvel at these superheroes. They were 'other worldly', at the very least, because they were adults. Just think of the limitations and shallow depth of character a superhero of 12 or 16 years old can have to be relatable to a young teenager? And just think of the problems that could arise from those same young readers thinking that they are these superheroes by virtue of being so closely reflective in their image at the age of 12. At least when one used to get to adulthood (the age of your favorite superhero) , one could (in retrospect, or not) process the information/lessons of your favorite hero more realistically. And if you did benefit from your hero, it would more than likely be positive by the time you turned 'legal'.

When I look at it, it's no surprise that I have little/no interest in today's superhero comics (ignoring the fact that they're written & drawn like TV commercials)... I mean, why the fuck would I see a teen-titan (or whatever) as my hero?

Anyway, I think it's an interesting observation.




Jason Franks said...

liked superheros when I was a little kid, but I never read superhero comics, I used to watch the cartoons. I had maybe 10 superhero comics til about the age of 18.

When I turned 18 some guys at school got me into comics and I read a bunch of superhero stuff then, mainly because it was the majority of what was on shelf... but I was never a fanboy for that stuff like I was for the more mature works that were coming out of Vertigo and other non-superhero imprints.

I guess I like crime and horror and science fiction better. I like monsters, not heroes.

For a lot of years I usually followed one or two superhero books--if I liked the writer--but now I don't read any. Don't miss 'em.

-- JF

Bobby.N said...

Yeah - I think that as one's tastes mature, I think you expect a lot more from your reading material (or any entertainment really).

Much of the superhero comics on the shelves seem written for the predilections of teenagers.

Not all, but most.



LFW said...


It has taken FOREVER for someone to finally ask that question and put it all together, and also do it CORRECTLY like you have mr bobby.

Partly the reason that it's like how it is because of the old tenement "kids want to be treated like adults...NOW!" clearly being an adult is a WHOLE lot better than being a kid, as an adult you don't get told what to do all the time (or appear not to get told).

because consumerism is all about trying to find new ways to make a dollar any way it can, the market then starts tailoring itself to make kids feel like they're more adults, leads to sexualizing the young, sexual exploitation of the youth, blah blah etc etc, everything else in the market follows suit because dollars speak volumes, old people wonder what's happenned to the youth of today?

pretty damn funny if you ask me, ho ho.

this is an excellent post, read your blog on and off now and then, always interesting



Bobby.N said...

Thanks LFW.

Your comments certainly seem plausible too. The bad thing about this kind of 'grabbing' the kids' money, is that its very short-term thinking.

Superhero comics aren't prospering (not that i care much) - but the stores that hold them will/are, which is a shame.



Bobby.N said...

I wrote that quickly.

I meant to say that i DO care about the 'stores'... in case it looks as if i don't.