So, my friend Rob went to Comicon this year, as he does every year, and he brought me back some swag. One of the things he brought me was Green Lantern: Blackest Night #0, which was mostly a preview book featuring the new direction for the character and blah blah blah. Honestly, I don’t give a fuck about DC super heroes any more. They’ve all died and been replaced and then been resurrected, and after a while, it all just boils down to bullshit. When I was in high school, The Flash (Barry Allen) died and he was then replaced by his now grown up kid sidekick (Wally West). Some of the coolest superhero comics I read in the 90’s were Flash comics featuring the Wally West flash. But then he apparently went away for a while and was replaced by his kid sidekick (I guess, I’d stopped reading years earlier). Now, I have no fucking idea what’s going on, because I read the short story in Blackest Night #0 and it was basically a conversation between The Flash and Green Lantern. Only The Flash is Barry Allen again. And Green Lantern is Hal Jordan again, who has also died, been replaced, and, finally, come back from the dead to resume his role as Green Lantern. And they’re standing at the Batman’s grave, who has apparently just died recently (for the second time) and the conversation they’re having is basically how both of them died and came back from the dead and how crazy all that shit is and, “Do you think Batman will find a way to come back from the dead?”
Are you confused yet? Because I am and I’ve been reading comics for 35 years. And that, really, is exactly why I don’t read 99% of all Marvel and DC comics any more. That, plus the fact that I’m 40…
Which pretty much makes the vast majority of superhero comics no different from Dr. Demento, in that they’re no more or less stupid now than they were when I was a kid…they’re mostly just a phase I went through. But the realization that the stories I loved so much as a kid were really little more than just servicing a copyright kind of saddens me a little bit, and in that regard, superhero comics are nowhere near as cool as Dr. Demento.
Comics as a medium, however, are still as wonderful as ever. And I can back that up by pointing you in the direction of The Programme and The Nightly News, as well as long-running classics like American Splendor and Love & Rockets, both of which have been nothing short of great for the last three decades. And that makes me happy.
For a more entertaining conversation about comics, go here.