Jon Del Arroz on Marvel Comics the past few years

Mr. Del Arroz puts into words some good points about Marvel lately here:

The whole thing is well worth a read, but point 3 stands out:

3. Social Justice. It stems from the editorial down to the writers, and they’re al the same lockstep of trying to force a left wing social narrative on everyone trying to relax and read Hulk beating up bad guys in a pure rage. Your overall audience aren’t hipsters in New York City. We’re spread out across the country and are probably split mostly along the way they country’s split. Recognize that. I couldn’t find any book that looked like the iconic characters any longer. Everyone is a gender swap trans muslim whatever gimmick of the month to virtue signal how diverse they are. And it suffers from the same problems as the first two points I made about the industry. When this was done once or twice, it was something different. It was cute. It made news headlines. Marvel got a quick sales bump. They went for that cheap gimmick on repeat rather than maintaining excellence in storytelling. It’s not making something new, it’s using a marketing gimmick for what would have been a single issue of What If? 30 years ago. A bigger problem is it isn’t to evoke the same sense of What If? fun and wonder, it’s 100% completely for the virtue signal. That intent shows through, it annoys people. No one wants it, for real.

I realized the newest comic I’ve read was Mark Waid’s Daredevil, and that ended in early 2014. Part of the trouble with the constant stunts of comics is Event Fatigue. When I read headlines lately about Captain America is actually a member of Hydra, in the past I would have been somewhat curious to determine what really happened in the comics vs the news stories.

Now I mostly roll my eyes and don’t bother reading up on it.

I’ve recently gotten some Marvel Masterworks collections of the first issues of Amazing Spider-man from the 60’s, and while things are a bit dated and plots often are solved by MAGIC SCIENCE OUT OF NOWHERE (scientia ex machinia or maybe Deus ex scientia), there is a sense of fun, wonder and possibility. And my kids love them. I love them.

Comics haven’t been “your father’s comics” (like headlines often say about some new hyped change) for about 30 years. It’s time to have fun in four colors again.

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