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Monday, December 25, 2006 

When I read Marvel Comics, I don't read them solely for darkness

And most certainly not one-sided darkness done only for the sake of it.

With this post, it's time to take on the whole notion that Marvelites are drawn to Marvel simply because of darkness, depression, and forced violence and bloodletting. I for one certainly never took to reading them because of those traits. And whether they're focused upon political themes, no matter the standing, I don't read them just for that either. I read them for adventure, to be entertained by the crimebusting heroes facing off against the villains. I also read them in hopes that there'll be a good lesson to be learned in morality in some way or other, and a pleasing resolution.

Now if we were to take the X-Men as an example, let me make clear: whenever I read it in past years, I most certainly didn't read it for this:

That's from Grant Morrison's "E is for Extinction" balderdash, and let me just say that it's one of the most superfluous acts of gore and gross I've ever seen in a mainstream comic. And it is not art. Why am I even posting it here? I should be so ashamed, no matter how much I want to make a point.

There are Marvel characters, titles and series that are dark. Daredevil, The Incredible Hulk, Dr. Strange, Tomb of Dracula, Cloak and Dagger, to name but some, are certainly among those that are. But not all the Marvel characters and their worlds are like that. The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, the Avengers and even Thor, are far from being dark (certainly when written well), and as for the X-Men, I'd say that would have to be in-between, just like Green Lantern. Perhaps even the Defenders are too.

Some of the best stories from Marvel, I might add, are those that end with optimism. Others can be those with a good sense of humor involved. I doubt I would've dug any of them if they could only end in sheer bleakness.

And what am I saying this for? Simply put, in order to make clear that, if I don't read Marvel for pure pessimism, then I don't read DC Comics for that either. So, where did DC's current management ever get the idea that any and all of Marvel's audience reads their books for darkness? I certainly don't.

It's arguments like these, if you ask me, that are needed in order to make it clear to DC that, if they think that this is all that any decent reader of Marvel is interested in, they're wrong. And hopefully, it's arguments like this that can help change the future of comics for the better.

Open trackbacks: NIF, Outside the Beltway, Point Five.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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