Monday, January 24, 2005

Oy, where are the updates...

Well, can’t say I’ve been rather diligent in my blogging, but I beg forgiveness, for as the eve of Babylonian elections draws ever nearer, the number of guests in my inquisitors chamber grows in direct proportion. I am not going to talk about Babylon or walks on the dark side or bad things this time though—lo I have become rather depressing dear reader, and surely you are ready to find a happier site ( or something). So this entry if going to be fun. I’m going to talk about comic books.

I love comic books. I mean really. Career, sure it’s OK. Family guy? Sure I am, and I like to think I’m OK with that too. But I love comics. Is it the seamless blend of visual art and narrative storytelling? Is it the iconic heroes embodying concepts like Truth, Justice, and doing the right damn thing? Maybe it’s the epic stories that span years of real time and generations in the comic book world. The fact is these modern myths thrill me, and I am hooked. There is of course the question that plagues all American comic book fans: DC or Marvel?

I love both. I will give my description of why I love each, and then we’ll talk about which one I prefer. Marvel Comics offers a variety of colorful characters who have miraculous powers, but are people like you and me. When Spidey laments over Gwen Stacy, we feel it. When he’s worried about classes, we understand it. We can commiserate with these characters because as Stan Lee says, when he wrote these characters he put his own thoughts and personality traits into them. Hulk is Stan’s anger. The Everlovin’ Thing is Stan’s sense of being an outsider. They are ordinary people in extraordinary situations and we love them for it.

DC? These are gods. Superman is all that is good and beyond temptation. Batman is the concept of justice in persona. Flash is the essence of speed itself. These are not people you commiserate with, these are people you aspire to. I don’t identify with Batman, but I want to be him. These are characters of a new Olympus.

So which do I prefer? DC. I like the bold presentation of iconic characters with no excuses. Sure I enjoy Wolverine, and love the well-written tales of his struggle with the animal within (sound familiar?), but as I said before, I want to be Batman. I want to be Superman.

OK, there are other comic companies too. Sam Keith’s The Maxx for Image was terrific, and Devil’s Due has some great franchise (GI Joe) and originals (Love Bunny and Mr. Hell). No issues with the good independents, but I think they will always be just that—the independents. I will always love Marvel; Hulk, Spidey, and anything Ultimate. But then there is DC. I can see my grandkids reading Superman like my grandpa did. Maybe 2000 years from now, High Schoolers will have to sit through American Mythology instead of Greek mythology. No more “Explain how Zeus gave birth to Minerva as the Goddess of wisdom…” but rather “How did Jason Todd succeed Dick Grayson, and what happened to him post Crisis?”

Wish I could be there. I’d get an A.

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