Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../vb/legacy/post.php on line 280

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../vb/legacy/post.php on line 280

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../vb/legacy/post.php on line 280

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../vb/legacy/post.php on line 280

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../vb/legacy/post.php on line 280

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../vb/legacy/post.php on line 280

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../vb/legacy/post.php on line 280

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../vb/legacy/post.php on line 280

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../vb/legacy/post.php on line 280

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../vb/legacy/post.php on line 280
AlphaFlight.net - State of the Heart (yep, another opinion piece)
  • State of the Heart (yep, another opinion piece)

    There's something been bugging me lately about modern comics, and I think I've finally worked out what it is.

    It came up partly because of the upcoming The Last Airbender movie, directed by M. Night Shyamalan. I've enjoyed most of his movies, but the tone and pacing are polar opposites to the cartoon.

    Then somebody asked me to lend him recent DC or Marvel comics so he could get into them. The most recent thing I could lend him that was good enough was Young Avengers (he'd already read Runaways).

    I think we've all noticed that comics follow the vagaries of fashion, same as anything else. The current fashion is ultra-realism; in comic book movies, I think the peak is The Dark Knight.

    The thing these trends do is abuse the trope. It could be good once, on one thing, but they shove it on everything, until you're sick of it. Even though the realism one is doing the same, I'm still behind it.

    Trying to be grounded in the real world is fine; my problem comes when they take it too far. (No, I do not read comics about flying people who shoot frickin' lasers from their eyes because I want ultra-realism. Odd, that.) It wasn't enough for The Dark Knight to be realistic; everything had to be normal. Gotham was a typical US city, as if the Gothic lyricism of Burton's couldn't exist (ever been to Paris?). The characters couldn't be freaks - so we got a "Joker" who was nothing like the Joker. (A 'natural' clown-face is unrealistic? Then compromise. Ever heard the term 'albino'? Or 'goth'? Or 'John Wayne Gacy, Jr'?)

    What I first noticed about the realism trend was the colour palette - all earth tones. (I don't know if anyone thinks they're more realistic, or if they just coincidentally came in with the trend.) I realised I found it claustrophobic and unemotional.

    I began to realise the same thing about comics following the current 'realism' trend. They're cool, they're usually pretty good, but they have no emotional resonance. Most of their characters don't have lives outside their superhero world - they're now soldiers, always superheroes, and I just don't care. (Part of this is my own fault; for some reason, I only read team books, which don't have time to explore individuals' lives.)
    They're not about people anymore, they're just cyphers.
    In fact, Cypher drove it home for me - seeing him being all efficient and military in Uncanny #523 made me realise that just as Golden Age characters were all the same, so are the current ones. It's a different 'the same', but it's that doesn't alter the core problem.

    The realism trend, for whatever reason, lacks humour and emotion. Like the new Airbender movie (I suspect), they've got rid of the heart. They seem to forget what I'm reading for in the first place. And that just drives me away.
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. S.B.i. Design's Avatar
      S.B.i. Design -
      I'd actually have to agree with this.
      Comics were never really suppose to be SUPER realistic.
      I find with the movies though, to make everything more realistic, makes it easier to show. In the Dark Knight, Joker should have been rocking a huge straight nose and yellow coloured eyes, if we were focusing on comics and cartoon series. But instead of doing that, they simplified his appearance and made it more realistic. Despite the change, I actually really liked how he appeared and his 'new' background story.

      Comics shouldn't have the same feeling though. Art frees you from any real restrictions that a live-action movie would. I think that's why I really like the new Iron Man movies, it's realistic but also kinda shows how Iron man is like.
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Yeah, the Iron Man movies strike the right balance, I think. Though they also include something else that often seems to be missing from this new style: humour.

      Oh, and the music of Queen... um, you really don't always expect that in comics, though, do you? Though it does happen...

      - Le Messor
      "I ain't gonna go and see Queen no more!"
      - Queen, I Go Crazy
    1. Muerman's Avatar
      Muerman -
      Quote Originally Posted by S.B.i. Design View Post
      I find with the movies though, to make everything more realistic, makes it easier to show.
      I totally agree with this statement, the whole reason they adopt a more realistic look is that it is easier to achieve in a believable way. I think we'll all agree that if the X-Men movies were true to the costumes of the book, it would stand a good chance of coming across as looking a little cheap. (Keep in mind that I LOVE those costumes, I just can't imagine a way of pulling it off).

      I do, however, also hate when the styles of the movies get adopted by the comic books, I don't know if it's to cash in on the fans the movies create, but it kills me when things developed in the movies find their way into the books. (The uniforms in the X-Men title when it becomes New X-Men for a time is the perfect example of this.)

      I miss the days of more developed stories, the "major" events every few months is really starting to get old. I'd prefer some good story telling above the "next big monumental shift" any day. Honestly, how many upheavals can really happen in such a short period of time? I suppose I'm speaking more directly to the X-Titles... but it's pretty rampant.
    1. Flightpath07's Avatar
      Flightpath07 -
      Rampant = A social insect with elbowed antennae, on a steep incline. May come with a safety helmet and a wee little motorbike.
    1. DIGGER's Avatar
      DIGGER -
      Could you imagine Wolverine in the sewers beneath the Hellfire Club in his leather movie costume? Gack! Rampant then by definition would be named EVIL BOWHEIVEL?

      DIGGER
    1. Flightpath07's Avatar
      Flightpath07 -
      Rampant then by definition would be named EVIL BOWHEIVEL?
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      FP: It's an Evil Kinievel joke. No, I can't spell that.

      Quote Originally Posted by Muerman View Post
      if the X-Men movies were true to the costumes of the book, it would stand a good chance of coming across as looking a little cheap. (Keep in mind that I LOVE those costumes, I just can't imagine a way of pulling it off).
      Apparently, when First Class comes out, you won't have to.

      - Le Messor
      "Help me out here, Spock, I don't speak loser."
      ~ Spike
    1. Flightpath07's Avatar
      Flightpath07 -
      LM - got it, thanx. I was just pondering a comeback to it, and got stumped.