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Saturday, September 28, 2013 

Albany Times-Union's "non-geek" perspective is more like "knee-jerk"

The Albany Times-Union's comedy blog features a post by a woman who says she's speaking from a non-geek POV, but she sure doesn't sound like she understands the circumstances that led to the medium's downfall:
Comic books- a non-geek perspective. I wouldn’t say that I love comic books, I kind of like them but really, really want to love them. I love comic book movies. I can’t get enough of Iron Man, the Avengers, all of the Marvel characters but then I saw that DC Comics was issuing a story that involved a world with just villains until one of them, Lex Luthor, rises up to be the good guy and save the world. Knowing a little bit about comics, this sounds like a really cool idea and I’m going to check it out but I’m not getting my hopes up too much.
I don't think it sounds very cool at all, but at least she admits she's keeping her enthusiasm to a minimum. Unfortunately, her view of the DCU is a classically childish one:
Here’s why, the DC comic world is flawed. How can they have a guy that’s pretty much indestructible like Superman be on the same level as Batman who’s essentially just a rich guy with lots of toys. So then you need super powerful villains to go up against Superman but we’re supposed to believe that these same villains who can beat him, then lose to Aquaman? A guy that swims really fast and talks to fishies? This is the sort of discrepancy that I really hate. Sure, it’s fiction and I’m not supposed to think it’s real but come on!
Sigh. She's incapable of suspending disbelief, and she perpetuates the juvenile view of Aquaman as merely a guy who talks to animals. I guess Hugh Lofting's Dr. Doolittle wasn't her forte when she was a kid either.

And since when did Superman's enemies commonly fight Aquaman? Not often, so I don't see what she's driving at. She even alleges the Big Blue Boy Scout is "indestructible" without acknowledging all the stories with kryptonite, magic, and high tech alien weaponry that gave the Man of Steel a hard time. She really does know little, and that's why she wasn't qualified to make this argument until she did better research. This may be on the comedy blog where it was written, but I find it anything but. Every paper that takes such a lowbrow approach to DC without even offering gratitude to the early writers for all the effort they put into publishing what they hoped would make for good escapism is only furthering a bad perspective and tearing down many years of decent storytelling, much like DiDio's own group today.
Some people get uptight because the female heroines have impossible bodies that only a single man in his 30s could come up with but not me because the male characters do too. It’s just that they’re wearing these outrageous outifts! How is someone supposed to fight crime or rob a bank when they have to constantly pick their thongs out of their butt cracks? And walking in 4 inch heel boots is hard enough, let alone beating up a bunch of bad guys. Don’t even get me started on capes! Capes haven’t been in style in centuries so who thought that was a good idea? Why not powdered wigs and monocles?
Why not just overcome your juvenile perceptions of superhero tales and write something intelligent for a change? This doesn't do anything for the medium.
Then there are just so many comics out there! There are 100s of titles, how can I possible pick the one that I might like and meet my criteria of realistic heroes (possibly pudgy) wearing modest clothing in evenly matched fights? And then I have to worry about story lines being entertaining. Maybe, just hypothetically, I have a crappy life and need an escape to a fantasy realm. While theoretically wearing my wonder woman pajamas? Or maybe I just like to go into comic book stores knowing that there’s a 9 out of 10 chance that there aren’t any women in there. That makes me the superman of chicks! Which I guess would be Supergirl :/
Why didn't you pick one before you wrote this trivial item? Here's a suggestion: try Marv Wolfman and George Perez's work on the New Teen Titans. Look for and read it next time before you settle down in front of a keyboard writing way too easy, ambiguous and childish commentaries about comics for mainstream papers and their websites.

And why is she worried about the stories being entertaining? Shouldn't that be worried if they turn out to be horrible? Which is just what DC and Marvel's output are these days; exactly why I can't recommend any new books they're publishing.

For somebody who says she speaks from a non-geek POV, she sure is speaking from a cliched mainstream media-based perception of pop culture.

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"There are 100s of titles, how can I possible pick the one that I might like"

One wonders how she's able to pick up a TV remote. Or use a browser.

Until recently, everyone was complaining that DC characters were too perfect or less flawed (compared to Marvel ones). And now that they are as flawed as Marvel ones (doesn't help that 90's Marvel staffers now run DC), people are complaining about that. Can't please everyone, it seems.

Indeed, you can't please everyone. Bill Cosby once said that trying to please everyone was the key to failure.

And good point on Dc being ran by 90s Marvel staffers, who pretty much ran things to the ground over there. Now they're doing the same thing at DC, although Johns and Didio are mainly responsible for that.

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