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Comics, Characters, Stories You Can't Stand, But Everyone Else Loves?

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Title is self-explanatory.

For me, it's Frank Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. What a piece of shit this was. I like Miller's other stuff (SIN CITY, et al.) but this one did not sit well with me. From the "meh" story to the lacklustre art, I didn't like it at all.

I realize I'm in the minority on this one, and that criticizing TDKR is tantamount to heresy. But I just hated it.

What are your picks for "I don't like this, but everyone else does" comics, characters, or stories?

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I realise this is close to blasphemy, but Watchmen. Maybe because I read it in the mid 90's, and was a teenager. I enjoyed that 90's stuff at the time, Watchmen did nothing for me. Also, I pretty much guessed the whole story arc to Tales of the Black Freighter part-way through, and I rarely do that. It was just so obvious and I felt it took away from the main story. Which I wasn't enjoying to start with.

 

Maybe 20 years later I should give it another try, but I really have no great desire to do so.

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I cannot stand Wolverine. I thought he was overdone in the 90s. Little did I know. My Wolverine fatigue has finally caught up with the movies. Jackman's superhuman charisma did a lot to keep me on his side but now I'm just like... meh, more fuckin' Wolverine? No thanks.

 

I also do not like the current incarnation of Emma Frost. I loved her during Gen X but ever since she's been made into diamond and Morrison turned her into her personal fantasy (oh, she's British now? Okay, whatever) I just can't with her anymore. And how many times are they going to try to retcon her backstory? Oh she was drunk and/or high when she was 'evil'? Oh, she was abused by Sebastian Shaw and fearful of him so she did whatever he wanted? No. She was evil, she wanted power, she loved it. Then she woke up to discover that she didn't cut it as far as a benefactor goes and decided to side with Charles and try his way.

 

I'm a big Jean fan and it ticks me off that Emma's role in the corruption of Phoenix is ignored.

 

I used to love Rogue. I have no idea who she even is anymore. It doesn't help that I've dug out my Essential X-Men volumes and waded through literal years of the Rogue I loved. Say what you will about Claremont, he wrote CHARACTERS. I miss that Rogue.

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Wolverine bores me. He is in WAY to many books.

 

Wow, so I'm in good company.  I've always disliked WOlverine. (He and Deadpool are my 2 biggest pet-peeves over at Marvel, since I've come to grudgingly accept [and mayeb even like] the Punisher as I get older.)

 

And, while he was originally an interesting character, Marvel has now also overplayed the "Thanos" card.

 

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Oh yeah, Deadpool also.  I think since I stopped reading X-Men at the that Bishop and Cable and all that stuff started happening, those characters mean nothing to me.

 

On the DC Side, anything involving Darkseid or the New Gods/Third World stuff is confusing for me. I really really hate that Darkseid is so tied into the new 52 and Earth 2.

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Frank Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

AMEN!  There is only one small part of that book that I enjoy, and it's when the Joker comes out of his years long catatonia upon learning Bats is back.  That was cool the rest sucked ass.  I do like Year One, though I hate that he turned my girl Selina into a hooker.

 

My big one is Superman.  I hate him, I hate his villains, I hate his love interests, and I hate his stories (save for Red Son, that was a nice twist).  I appreciate his role in the history of comic books but the stupid Jesus metaphor makes me crazy.  The only times I can tolerate him is when he guests in a Batman comic, as Bats' cynicism plays off his annoying optimism well, and when Henry Cavill plays him (which is more about Cavill than the movie).  I will say that I find it impressive that DC managed to make Supes even worse when New 52 came out, and I didn't think I could hate him any more than I did.

 

I agree on Wolverine getting overplayed.  He needs to be put on the shelf for at least a decade.  Let Marvel focus on everyone else in their universe and then bring him back in a supporting capacity only.  Less really should be more where he's concerned.

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I was going to be outraged about someone not liking Harley Quinn, but I also wanted to complain about how much I dislike Deadpool and then I realized they're KIND OF the same thing.

 

But I still hate Deadpool.

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I cannot stand Wolverine. I thought he was overdone in the 90s. Little did I know. My Wolverine fatigue has finally caught up with the movies. Jackman's superhuman charisma did a lot to keep me on his side but now I'm just like... meh, more fuckin' Wolverine? No thanks.

 

I also do not like the current incarnation of Emma Frost. I loved her during Gen X but ever since she's been made into diamond and Morrison turned her into her personal fantasy (oh, she's British now? Okay, whatever) I just can't with her anymore. And how many times are they going to try to retcon her backstory? Oh she was drunk and/or high when she was 'evil'? Oh, she was abused by Sebastian Shaw and fearful of him so she did whatever he wanted? No. She was evil, she wanted power, she loved it. Then she woke up to discover that she didn't cut it as far as a benefactor goes and decided to side with Charles and try his way.

 

I'm a big Jean fan and it ticks me off that Emma's role in the corruption of Phoenix is ignored.

 

I used to love Rogue. I have no idea who she even is anymore. It doesn't help that I've dug out my Essential X-Men volumes and waded through literal years of the Rogue I loved. Say what you will about Claremont, he wrote CHARACTERS. I miss that Rogue.

 

Oh, preach on. I have never liked Wolverine, and honestly never really understood why people do, other than the saturation of the character that means you have to tolerate him, just to be able to read a few comic books. He's just an arsehole without the charm to take the edge off. I guess it must be the claws. Plus with the way Marvel made him unkillable over the last twenty years, there's just no jeopardy in any of the stories I've read that involve him. He's just a guy who turns up, drops a quip and slices up the bad guys. Wash, rinse, repeat. That doesn't interest me. I remember when X-Force was rebooted a few years back, with Wolverine and a bunch of stabby pals, and I laughed out loud when it was announced. Good grief, what a fucking dumb idea for a comic book. Guess I was in the minority there, though.

 

I also hate what Rogue became under Mike Carey. That is absolutely not the character I grew up with, and Carey pimping her out to his self-insert version of Magneto was just tacky. I hate it when writers do that (hey, X-writers, stop making Cyclops a badass because you wished he was cool when you were kids!).

 

On the other side of the aisle, I agree that TDKR is hugely overrated, and I think its reputation is built on shock value more than anything else, for how it did change the character in the 1980s. But another one, which I'm kind of surprised hasn't been mentioned yet, is The Killing Joke. I prefer the Joker as a malevolent entity without a past, so never appreciated efforts to humanise him. And I really hate the way that Barbara Gordon is reduced to a sick prop, used solely as a way of hurting the manly men who care about her. She has no agency of her own, and exists solely for the Joker to torture. Plus, I've read the story of when Alan Moore asked DC if he could do that to her, the answer was "cripple the bitch". Just the worst kind of casual misogyny.

 

No wonder Moore has since claimed he never intended the story to be canon, and states that it's the worst thing he's ever written.

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Harley Quinn.

 

Agreed.  

 

Harley Quinn is not even a comic book character in my view.  I admit to having liked the character (and actress) in a limited capacity within the Animated Series universe, but to me she is a good example of what can go wrong when you let the popularity of a television or film adaptation influence the comic book universe.  The Batman comics in particular have had this problem for decades.

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John Byrne as a writer/artist, most prominently with his famous (2nd) run on Fantastic Four (issues #236-295).  I was in the "recommend books for David" thread and someone praised it and, well, this popped out:

 

I swear, I cannot stand John Byrne as writer/artist.  He disregards continuity at a whim, and his right-wing politics really come through.  Not to mention his racism. (Yes, I said it.  He's a goddamn racist.)

 

Genocide of a whole race?  No big deal if they're "asparagus people".  (Byrne originally wanted Dark Phoenix to get away with it; Jim Shooter put his foot down and said, no, she had to die.  And that's how we got Uncanny X-Men #137, one of the best comics of all time.  Then, years later, Byrne had enough clout to get Jean un-killed.  {I forget if this is after Shooter was fired.]  Gee, thanks.)  Or how about letting Galactus eat the Skrulls' home planet and kill fucking billions, after Reed Richards had saved Galactus's life for no logical reason whatsoever, and then when the Skrulls quite logically come for Reed's scalp, Byrne pulls this nonsense trial that's like "well, entropy has to exist, Galactus is a test, too bad if you failed it, nanny-nanny-boo-boo."  Yeah, well, entropy doesn't have to be personified in Galactus, per se, though.  You could let the big killer die, and eventually there would be another personification of entropy in the cosmos, but in the meantime billions and billions of innocent lives would be saved.  But, y'know, the Skrulls are green and ugly, so who cares how many of them die?

 

(Oh, and that whole "it's a test" bullshit?  Not only does it come off as incredibly chauvinistic, since the FF kick Galactus off of Earth every other Thursday but he keeps eating everyone else, but guess what the single other recorded [at the time of Fantastic Four #261] instance of Galactus getting beaten was?  [byrne didn't know, and wouldn't have cared, because he didn't write it, therefore it doesn't count.  Asshole.]  The Dire Wraiths, that's who. [Who?]  Yes, the Skrulls' divergent race [think Romulans to the Skrulls' Vulcans, or vice versa], those parasitical bastards who were created to be the 1950s--retro "sneaky alien/pod people" villains in the licensed-toy-property adaption series Rom: Spaceknight, that's who. 

 

[side note:  Bill Mantlo, who got stuck doing all these toy-adaptation series, actually did a hell of a job on them. Check the work he and Michael Golden did on Micronauts and even Rom, with Sal Buscema as the primary artist, has its charms.]

 

(So yeah, the Dire Wraiths, forgotten villains of a backburner B-list series, beat Galactus once.  In Rom #25, the Big G goes to eat Wraithworld, but their combined sorcery sends him away, hungry.  And yet, not five years later, when Rom's series is winding down and getting cancelled [and the toy is probably out of production], there's a full-blown happy ending where Rom not only has saved Galador [his planet] and regained his humanity [or Galadorianity, I guess], but the Dire Wraiths have been completely, entirely, utterly and irrevocably wiped out, gone forever.  So Galactus, whose crimes Byrne excuses by claiming "it's just a test of entropy, don't blame me!" is actually beatable by pudgy lamprey-tongued uglies who ultimately got wiped out of the Marvel Universe by fucking Rom.  Gee, I guess beating Galactus isn't actually an impartial test of a race's cosmic fitness to survive, huh, JB?  Maybe he's just a big mass-murderering bastard, and if you get a chance to let him die, you let him fucking die.  But John "Genocide is really cool as long as no white people get hurt" Byrne disagrees, and pretty much ruined the character of Reed Richards, once my favorite hero, by making him his apologist for slaughter.)

 

And then there was his "the Vision is just a robot, it's disgusting that the Scarlet Witch ever married him, I'm going to wipe his mind and unmake their kids" thinly-disguised anti-intermarriage filth in West Coast Avengers.  Hey, Canucklehead:  a) synthezoid, not "robot" and b) what part of "Love is for souls, not bodies" don't you get, exactly?

 

So yeah, I pretty much loathe Byrne as a writer, even if he did co-plot Uncanny X-Men (and Iron Fist and Marvel Team-Up) with Claremont;  while Claremont is no prize on his own, either (Colossus boning 15-year-old Kitty Pryde on the "we're about to die, who cares about statutory rape" exception?  Storm the Space Whale?  Forge, the World's Most Useless X-Man?  His whole hissy-fit over Avengers #200 and that ridiculous Annual where Professor X and Ms. Marvel spend the entire book scolding the Avengers [and David Michilinie by proxy] because Claremont is too dense to understand that Michilinie's story was meant to be ambiguous?), he did a good job on tamping down Byrne's excesses and they were magic together.  Ditto for Roger Stern as Byrne's writer on Captain America, although that partnership was too brief.  (Barely a year, IIRC.)  But that whole Byrne run on Fantastic Four makes me cringe, and I haven't even mentioned the jamming in of the resolutely cardboard She-Hulk, or John's firing longtime FF inker Joe Sinnott because he wanted to ink his own pencils, discovering that he couldn't ink the Thing in the familiar Sinnott manner, and creating a plot twist where Ben "devolved" to cover for this incompetence.  Sigh.  (I'm still not entirely sure this isn't why he ultimately wrote Bashful Benjy out of the book, to be honest.  Well, that and JB's pointless masturbatory fixation on the She-Hulk, that is.)

 

I can think of a few other complaints, too, but this is too long as it is.  And John hasn't always stunk as writer/artist:  his Namor was good, and so were the first two years of Alpha Flight (if you ignore the disgusting issue #6).  But when I hear Byrne's FF work praised, the hackles just go up.  I remember living that, month by month, and it was five years of hell.  And I guess I've been saving this rant up for 30 years, or however long it's been…thanks, internet!

 

***

 

I should point out that my comic reading tapered off once I got the internet in '01 (the joke that was X-Continuity had bored me out of that corner of the M.U. and the Spider-Clone "saga" pretty much did the same for Spidey, but I was still hanging in there with Avengers and affiliated titles), so I'm not the best equipped to judge more "modern" work, but every stinking issue I've seen of Brian Michael Bendis's work has, well, stunk on ice.  Cutesy and condescending, with plotting "skills" stretched to glacial speeds because of the medium's now-slavish addiction to the TPB format.  And this is a guy who's worked hard to give the forgotten 1970s characters respect (I have no idea what Brother Voodoo is doing as Sorcerer Supreme, but I like it) but everything I read of his I just want to tear into little shreds of paper.  Just horrible.  But I hear I'm not as alone on that one, so it's just a footnote.

Edited by DAngelus
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I should point out that my comic reading tapered off once I got the internet in '01 (the joke that was X-Continuity had bored me out of that corner of the M.U. and the Spider-Clone "saga" pretty much did the same for Spidey, but I was still hanging in there with Avengers and affiliated titles), so I'm not the best equipped to judge more "modern" work, but every stinking issue I've seen of Brian Michael Bendis's work has, well, stunk on ice.  Cutesy and condescending, with plotting "skills" stretched to glacial speeds because of the medium's now-slavish addiction to the TPB format.  And this is a guy who's worked hard to give the forgotten 1970s characters respect (I have no idea what Brother Voodoo is doing as Sorcerer Supreme, but I like it) but everything I read of his I just want to tear into little shreds of paper.  Just horrible.  But I hear I'm not as alone on that one, so it's just a footnote.

I stopped reading comics sort of as Bendis's career was just about to take off. Other than his work on Powers I never really liked his stuff. And readying sort of what happened in marvel comics continuity in the last 10 or so years it just seems insane to me how many changes he made. I mean it seemed that this guy had his hand in everything including destroying the Avengers and then even worse putting Wolverine and Spiderman on the team. To me that doesn't make any sense other than being a giant cash grab. I mean why not throw Han Solo, Mickey Mouse and Optimus Prime on the avengers too?

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As a writer, I think Brian Michael Bendis has a lot of strengths, particularly in the quieter, character-driven moments. He seems to do really well when writing more light-hearted, throwaway stuff that puts a smile on your face. Decompressed, I believe they call it, and it can sometimes be a full page of the comic book equivalent of a two shot. It depends on your tastes, I guess. I'd rather have that than the sort of 'every other page is a splash page fight' storytelling of some other writers.

 

The big, genre redefining stuff? Not so much. I didn't mind Avengers Disassembled, and I thought House of M was a cool idea, and a more interesting alternate universe than any other that Marvel have come up with. But I understand why those stories rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way, and it's clear that Bendis will never be above throwing certain characters under the bus in order to tell the story he wants to tell.

 

Wolverine and Spidey on the Avengers? Well, I can't abide Wolverine, but I thought at the time that it was an editorial decision, to maximise the audience for the book. I've always had an issue with the pariah status of the X-Men in the Marvel Universe, when the likes of the Avengers and Fantastic Four are so loved. Why do they never go to bat for people that they know are good? Always bugged me. But an X-Man on the Avengers isn't new. Beast was a member for years. Spidey never really fits, and they did make a point of that when they were trying to get J. Jonah Jameson to endorse the new team, and he refused because of Spidey's presence. But I like the way Bendis writes Spidey, so I was okay with that.

 

The less said about his pet characters, like The Sentry and The Hood, the better.

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As a writer, I think Brian Michael Bendis has a lot of strengths, particularly in the quieter, character-driven moments. He seems to do really well when writing more light-hearted, throwaway stuff that puts a smile on your face. Decompressed, I believe they call it, and it can sometimes be a full page of the comic book equivalent of a two shot. It depends on your tastes, I guess. I'd rather have that than the sort of 'every other page is a splash page fight' storytelling of some other writers.

 

The big, genre redefining stuff? Not so much. I didn't mind Avengers Disassembled, and I thought House of M was a cool idea, and a more interesting alternate universe than any other that Marvel have come up with. But I understand why those stories rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way, and it's clear that Bendis will never be above throwing certain characters under the bus in order to tell the story he wants to tell.

 

Wolverine and Spidey on the Avengers? Well, I can't abide Wolverine, but I thought at the time that it was an editorial decision, to maximise the audience for the book. I've always had an issue with the pariah status of the X-Men in the Marvel Universe, when the likes of the Avengers and Fantastic Four are so loved. Why do they never go to bat for people that they know are good? Always bugged me. But an X-Man on the Avengers isn't new. Beast was a member for years. Spidey never really fits, and they did make a point of that when they were trying to get J. Jonah Jameson to endorse the new team, and he refused because of Spidey's presence. But I like the way Bendis writes Spidey, so I was okay with that.

 

Interesting about Wolverine and Spiderman on the Avengers. I never really read those stories, I stopped reading comics before those things happened and only read about them online. Most of the time I was reading avengers was during Busiek's run and I loved those. So something so different seems weird to me.

 

Another thing I hated was The Ultimates. It seemed like such a huge ripoff of The Authority. It was so irritating it made me retroactively hate Mark Millar's run on The Authority.. 

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On the other side of the aisle, I agree that TDKR is hugely overrated, and I think its reputation is built on shock value more than anything else, for how it did change the character in the 1980s. But another one, which I'm kind of surprised hasn't been mentioned yet, is The Killing Joke. I prefer the Joker as a malevolent entity without a past, so never appreciated efforts to humanise him. And I really hate the way that Barbara Gordon is reduced to a sick prop, used solely as a way of hurting the manly men who care about her. She has no agency of her own, and exists solely for the Joker to torture. Plus, I've read the story of when Alan Moore asked DC if he could do that to her, the answer was "cripple the bitch". Just the worst kind of casual misogyny.

 

No wonder Moore has since claimed he never intended the story to be canon, and states that it's the worst thing he's ever written.

 

Lots of agreement here.

 

One of my objections to Harley Quinn, aside from the annoying characterization of the animated series, is that the Joker should never have a sidekick.   It makes the character more pedestrian, less menacing.   I could maybe understand the Joker having a sidekick for an adventure or two, provided he murders the sidekick in the end simply because he can't help himself.   But otherwise, no.

 

I have always deplored what was done to Barbara Gordon.   

Edited by millennium

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Lots of agreement here.

 

One of my objections to Harley Quinn, aside from the annoying characterization of the animated series, is that the Joker should never have a sidekick.   It makes the character more pedestrian, less menacing.   I could maybe understand the Joker having a sidekick for an adventure or two, provided he murders the sidekick in the end simply because he can't help himself.   But otherwise, no.

 

I have always deplored what was done to Barbara Gordon.   

 

I do like Harley, but I've never enjoyed her with the Joker. The idea, that was touched on in her solo series, that her mental illness rendered all the horrendous acts of violence she committed to be almost Looney Tunes goofy, was pretty interesting. And I really liked the way that her friendship with Poison Ivy was developed. Her attempts to reform and live her life within the rules have been pretty engaging. i really enjoyed Gotham City Sirens, which centred around Harley, Ivy and Catwoman living together and trying to go straight. 

 

But Harley as an adjunct to the Joker? Yeah, I agree it never really worked. It did humanise him too much, and the idea of him being a boyfriend to anyone is just too creepy for words. I do not, ever, want to think about the Joker as a sexual creature.

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As a writer, I think Brian Michael Bendis has a lot of strengths, particularly in the quieter, character-driven moments. He seems to do really well when writing more light-hearted, throwaway stuff that puts a smile on your face.

 

Well, any good writer can do comedy.  But Bendis's attempts are the things I called "cutesy and condescending" above.  Three quick examples:

 

1)  Although I don't read his books, I do see a scan or two posted online occasionally.  One time, apparently Hawkeye was starting to date Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew, not Julia Carpenter whom he'd already dated in West Coast Avengers) and Captain America (Steve, not Bucky, and fuck you for that [although it worked fine in the movie, I admit]) is wandering the grounds and catches Clint/Jessica about to canoodle and goes "Is this a thing?"  Some banter later, Hawkeye and S-W are now inside, where Iron Man is puttering on something mechanical and Tony also notes the closeness and goes "Is this a thing?"

 

Oh, hee-hee, isn't that CUUUUTE!  Steve and Tony used the same phrase, all the Steve/Tony slashers on tumblr now have "evidence" they are meant for each other, awww!  Never mind that Steve Rogers would never use the phrase "is this a thing?" in his freaking lifetime, what's good character voicing compared to pandering to the 'shippers?  If Bendis hadn't killed off the Vision (at that time), maybe he could have had ol' Vizh say "is this a thing?" too, never mind how far outside the character's lexicon that would be, just to keep the "joke" going.  Holy facepalm.  (The again, maybe BMB wouldn't want Vizh horning in on the "purity" of Steve and Tony's lurrrve.)

 

(And btw, I have no clue where Steve/Tony slash comes from.  Sure, Cap is gay from space, what with all his weeping and sighing over Dear Dead Bucky and his Hot Teen Ass*, but Tony?  Sometimes a quinjet is just a quinjet, honest, guys.)

 

(*As noted, I haven't read any of the books in which they un-kill Bucky, but have they ever addressed the fact that the new backstory for Bucky/Winter Soldier means that Buck was lying to and spying on Steve every single moment they spent together?  Seems to me Steve might have a reason to be a little pissed, hypothetical homosexual impulses aside.)

 

And I'm certainly not the first to note that Bendis's character voicing is horrible; everybody talks exactly the same way.  Perhaps the most awful example I ever saw was the death of the Wasp in Secret Invasion (and wow, what a clusterfuck that was, the series, the idea of killing Jan and the [pardon the pun] execution, all of that), where, instead of it happening "live", somebody is telling about it in flashback, and I swear I didn't have a clue who was supposed to be speaking.  (I think it was Luke Cage.  I'm not saying Luke should be saying "Christmas!" or "Sweet Sister!" every other page, like this was 1974, but the ponderous "grim" words could have come from any of a dozen characters' mouths.  Just awful.)

 

2) Another "comedy" scan.  The Avengers have just won some battle some place overseas and the huge-ass quota of Avengers on the team (including both Caps) is standing around, posing in the wreckage, when Spider-Man asks when they're getting out of here because, hey, he's got a job he's got to be at in the morning.  (Reason #5 why having Spidey on the Avengers makes no sense, as John Byrne (!) of all people pointed out in a story in the '90s, but I digress.)  But Iron Man says they have to make a show for the local population, or some such, and Spidey hasn't been trained on how to fly the jets, so someone is going to have to fly him home.

 

At which point, I shit you not, over a dozen of Earth's Mightiest Heroes suddenly devolve back into second-graders and do a quick game of "Not It!"  For fuck's sake.  (Thor gets to keep a microgram of dignity by saying "Nor I".)  All to set up the "punchline" where Spidey has to get a lift from the (Red) Hulk, who can't fly the plane either (isn't Red Hulk actually General T.E. Ross?  I think Ross has his pilot's license, guys…), so Spidey will have to cling onto the Hulk's back as Hulk leaps all the way home.  (From Europe?  Can the Hulk actually leap the Atlantic?)

 

OMG!  Bendis, you are SOOOO funny!  Poor Spidey, always having those humanizing problems!  Never mind that, in an actual Avengers comic, Steve or Tony or Clint or whomever was in charge would have quickly assigned someone to fly Spidey home and that would be the end of it, rather than all this juvenile "not it!" bullshit.  Never mind that Steve (or Tony, or Clint, or Wanda, or Jan, or whomever) probably would have made Spidey get up to speed on the jets within a week of his joining the team.  Never mind that the Avengers might have decided there was a good and logical reason not to take Peter on overseas jaunts, or that Peter might have made this a condition of his membership.  Never mind that Peter Parker has probably piloted a peck of planes through the years.  (In Amazing Spider-Man #131, for example.) Never mind that, even in the extremely unlikely event that "Spidey can't fly our jets" was true, this would be an excellent time for him to get some flight practice, with a qualified pilot (like ex-USAF Carol Danvers) there to supervise.  (And never mind that I'm betting Red Hulk didn't leap all the way to Europe [or wherever], so I'm thinking he'd be a bit pissed about having to leap back, just because none of the other lazy asses want to fly him [and Spidey] home.  Not to mention all the people who get Hulk-sized impact craters in their back yards because the rest of the team makes him get out and leap.)  Bendis has his "realistic" joke, haha!  So funny!  Except for where he assassinates everyone's character, and story logic…

 

3) The very last Bendis comic I own is the issue #1 of a new Avengers title that was given away on Free Comics Day in '09.  In this comic, in between Wolverine getting The Thing to join the Avengers despite his also being in the FF (where Wolvie also points out that he's on two separate X-Teams ["my secret power is multi-tasking"] and my god, could Bendis piss in the face of those who want just a modicum of continuity any more blatantly…grrr…), in between the almost glacially developing "plot" (Damion Hellstrom is bad again [still?] and mugs first Dr. Strange and then Brother Voodoo and steals their mystic stash of weed, or whatever), we get a "comedy" bit where the last Big Marvel Event has left enough Avengers for two teams, and they have two HQs, so Tony Stark "sells" the rebuilt Avengers Mansion to Luke Cage for $1.  (Which Cage doesn't have on him, but Iron Fist does, despite the fact his costume doesn't have pockets…and can't you just feel the brain cells dripping out of your head?  Plus I love Luke and Danny, but seriously, wtf are they doing as Avengers?  Isn't Cage's entire bit about helping individuals in a community?  Isn't Danny completely not the type to tie himself to a schedule of regular meetings and monitor duty and such?  I mean, he never even bothers to show up at Rand-Meachum, now he's part of a quasi-military outfit? Really?)

 

Plus, apparently, Matt Fraction, who was writing Iron Man at the time, had put a long-term story in place about how Tony Stark was absolutely, positively, completely broke.  (If he was still drinking, he couldn't even afford Keystone Light or Old Milwaukee, never mind Cristal.)  So maybe he wouldn't "sell" prime Manhattan real estate for $1.  

 

But what does Bendis care about inter-series continuity?  That's for geeks, fuck 'em!

 

And, of course, the Mansion is (a replica of) Tony's childhood home, so if he was going to sell one of his two properties, it would be far more likely he'd sell the Stark Tower.  But Bendis hates history and anyway he's emotionally attached to Stark Tower because it was part of his pitch to get the series:  "No Mansion, no quinjets, no government clearance."  Which I bet someone who glanced at the pitch thought it meant Bendis was going to completely redo the series concept (I know!  He could have the Avengers fake their deaths and hide out in the Australian Outback! [And that's the arc that stopped my collecting X-Men regularly, but I digress…]), but no.  All BMB meant was that the Avengers now operate out of a completely-different Tony Stark-owned piece of Manhattan real estate, they fly slightly different jets (are they back to calling them quinjets now, or not?) and we no longer even bother to address pesky details like "hey, how do the Avengers get away with launching jets from mid-town Manhattan, anyway?  Wouldn't the FAA object?", because they're boring.  Oh, Brian, you're so hip.  Gag.

 

No, I've never seen the famous "Daredevil discusses the benefits of thin-crust vs. deep-dish pizza" or whatever that bit of "realistic" "decompressed" storytelling was (by "decompressed", we mean padding two issues' worth of plot into a six-issue TPB run, right?), but I doubt that would impress me, either.  As I said, I've yet to see anything from him that wasn't pure crap, although I'm sure, like in every case, there's bound to be a few exceptions that prove the rule.  (But I'm betting the sequence that was famously parodied as "Dr. Doom writes My Little Pony fanfic" wasn't it.  Just a hunch.)

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I haven't read anything else by Bendis, except for All New X-Men. That's pretty entertaining, once you get over the dopey premise. Beast is willing to mess up the timestream just to prove a point. Okay. And just why did the X-Men have a time machine lying about anyway?

 

Because the members of this forum like it, I tried the new Ms Marvel. I'm not saying it's bad, I just don't like it. I think it might be the secret identity stuff. Is there a reason she doesn't tell her family what's going on, other than it's a trope?

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Well, any good writer can do comedy.  But Bendis's attempts are the things I called "cutesy and condescending" above.  Three quick examples:

 

I fail to see what makes them condescending other than the fact that you don't like them. Cutesy? Without doubt. But not all comic books can be raging assholes slashing things up with claws or being super-cool amoral dicks all the time.

 

Bendis just enjoys playing up the pettiness of human behaviour in the unlikeliest of situations. And I'm pretty sure, having watched the last twenty years of television, that's not an uncommon writer trope. It's called subverting the expectations, and seeing a bunch of superheroes act like children can be very amusing.

 

As for crap continuity and not respecting other writers' work, I wouldn't single Bendis out there, because nearly everyone at Marvel has been guilty of that. The problem is exacerbated when Marvel insist on doing these universe-encompassing crossover 'Events' every few months, rendering much of what individual writers have been doing pointless. Yeah, Bendis has been a culprit-in-chief, but I think he's more indicative of the slipshod attitude of the Marvel editors than anything else.

 

(*As noted, I haven't read any of the books in which they un-kill Bucky, but have they ever addressed the fact that the new backstory for Bucky/Winter Soldier means that Buck was lying to and spying on Steve every single moment they spent together?  Seems to me Steve might have a reason to be a little pissed, hypothetical homosexual impulses aside.)

 

 

I have no idea what this even is. I've read the entire Winter Soldier storyline from start to the last few issues of Brubaker's run, and I can't think of anything that suggests Bucky was lying to and spying on Steve. Ever. If that's something new that Marvel have concocted in the past couple of years, then they suck. But as far as I'm aware, Bucky hasn't been in many books at all since his ongoing series ended. And Bendis was never involved in any of them.

 

Because the members of this forum like it, I tried the new Ms Marvel. I'm not saying it's bad, I just don't like it. I think it might be the secret identity stuff. Is there a reason she doesn't tell her family what's going on, other than it's a trope?

 

 

From what I've seen of that book, it seems to be playing up the fanboyism of the character, much in the way that Young Avengers did. So maybe she thinks she can't tell her family because that's what superheroes do.

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Yea I agree that Bendis isn't the only one spitting in the face of continuity. I'm not sure if this is fair, but I kind of give him a pass for...well being Bendis. I know what his reputation is so when I read something written by him so I expect some inconsistency and quirky dialogue that might be OOC. Not sure why people who don't like his writing bother picking up his books if they know they don't like his style.

 

As for the topic at hand, I'm really not a fan of all the new Green Lantern stuff by Geoff Johns. It feels like one step forward, two steps back. He expanded the universe, but now it's insanely complicated and kind of silly.

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And this is why Bendis works so well in Ultimate Spider-Man. He's unshackled from decades of continuity and is writing a teenage character who plays to his strengths as a writer. 

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Thor as a woman?  Captain America as a black man?

 

Is the writing pool at Marvel so shallow that they have to resort to stunts like this to grab attention? 

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Or, it could be seen as an interesting change. Besides, all big entertainment companies like to get attention. Marvel is no different.

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I really don't know how the Thor as a woman is even going to play out. And I read Thor. Falcon taking over as Cap now that the Super Soldier Serum has been sucked out of Steve is less jarring to me. I'm actually excited by it. It's not the first time someone has taken Steve's place (although when Bucky did it, I believe the world was supposed to think he was, in fact, Steve Rogers... that would be harder to pull off with Sam in the role) and Sam has been a part of the Captain America world since very early days.

 

Steve will be back. They all come back and that's fine, too. But Sam as Cap is something I'm totally okay with, to be honest.

 

Thor as a woman doesn't bother me but I just wonder how that even comes about. His book has been dancing along timelines with stories taking place in the past, present and future simultaneously and there hasn't been a hint of this.

 

Granted, I'm not reading the majority of the Original Sin storyline save for anything that actually hits a book I do read and the Thor & Loki: Tenth Realm story that ties Angela in so it's possible I'm missing significant story plots. Or does Thor change gender during the upcoming Axis storyline? I don't even know but I'll admit to being curious about it.

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I'm a purist.    I don't like anyone wearing the costume other than the person it was made for.    Azrael as Batman, Dick Grayson as Batman, the list goes on ... I never liked it.   My feeling was, I only get to spend time with this character once or twice a month, now it's squandered on a gimmick.    And said gimmick was usually played out over multi-issues, so the storyline (IMHO) was screwed for months on end.  

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I'm a purist.    I don't like anyone wearing the costume other than the person it was made for.    Azrael as Batman, Dick Grayson as Batman, the list goes on ... I never liked it.   My feeling was, I only get to spend time with this character once or twice a month, now it's squandered on a gimmick.    And said gimmick was usually played out over multi-issues, so the storyline (IMHO) was screwed for months on end.  

 

Only got to spend time with Batman once or twice a month? The guy was ubiquitous in DC comics, in the years preceding his 'death'. He was everywhere! The thing that annoyed me most about Dick taking the cowl is that suddenly, Batman wasn't in every book any more. I don't think DC ever really explored what Dick Grayson becoming Batman might mean to the wider DC Universe. This was a guy that everyone liked, the social butterfly who was friends with everyone from Beast Boy to Superman, and could naturally be called in to help out on anything, without being grumpy about it. But DC just seemed to decide, 'he's not the real Batman, so we won't treat him like anyone thinks he is'. I think Judd Winnick was the only guy who seemed to realise the potential, when he had Dick helping out the JSA in Generation Lost.

 

The Batman and Detective titles were great during that period, though. Those writers really did look at how a new, friendlier and more approachable Batman impacted on Gotham City.

 

I also loved Bucky as Captain America, because Bucky is an amazingly developed character, with one of the strongest arcs in comic books, over the last two decades. And Brubaker told the story so well, up until he decided, 'I'm leaving, no one else gets to play with my toys', and ruined it.

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I don't hate Bendis, but I think I've identified a flaw in his work. He's too fond of a joke, to the point where it detracts from the plot. Story should be first, then a joke if it fits.

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I quit reading comics before Wolverine's ubiquity became ridiculous, but I hated the way they undid all the growth Magneto had experienced when he replaced Charles Xavier by retromodding it to be some sort of mind alteration performed by Charles. Seriously?

I hate Deadpool! I will die a happy man if a year goes by without seeing anyone dressed up like him at DragonCon!

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I quit reading comics before Wolverine's ubiquity became ridiculous, but I hated the way they undid all the growth Magneto had experienced when he replaced Charles Xavier by retromodding it to be some sort of mind alteration performed by Charles. Seriously?

If I remember Moira MacTaggert claims the procedure didn't take and Magneto reformed of his own free will.

 

I realise this is close to blasphemy, but Watchmen. Maybe because I read it in the mid 90's, and was a teenager. I enjoyed that 90's stuff at the time, Watchmen did nothing for me. 

 

 

I also read Watchmen as a teenager in the mid 90s but I liked it, especially think the issue with Laurie and Dr. Manhattan on Mars. The last few panels is the one of the most beautiful things I've ever read in a comic.

 

A lot of Grant Morrison's work is like watching 2001: A Space Odyssey, I get some of it, but a most of it just confuses the hell out or me! 

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A lot of Watchmen's power comes from the Cold War setting, with the idea that the USA and the USSR were locked in an impossible, unending death struggle and maybe, just maybe, there needed to be cathartic act to break the "Gordian Knot", no matter how horrific.  The reader is supposed to be torn, as Dan (Night Owl) is, knowing the villain was wrong but wondering if maybe he was right, too.  It makes a lot of sense from a 1985 perspective…but since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the villain comes off as insane and the "heroes" as weak-willed for being susceptible to his fantasies, IMO.  (I never understood the idea of making the movie.  The series is brilliant art, but it's more dated than the John Carter series became, once telescopes proved there really were no "canals" on Barsoom, er, Mars.)

 

About Bucky, as I said, I haven't read those books, but here's what I'm talking about, per Wikipedia:

 

 

In 2005, series writer Ed Brubaker returned Bucky from his seeming death near the end of World War II. He additionally revealed that Barnes's official status as Captain America's sidekick was a cover-up, and that Barnes began as a 16-year-old operative trained to do things regular soldiers and the twenty-something Captain America normally would not do, such as conduct covert assassinations.

 

So either Steve's just willfully turning a blind eye to Bucky's doing the wetwork he refuses to do himself, which really doesn't fit the character IMO, or the Buckster is fibbing to him when he goes off and does that sort of thing, and also that whole "oh I'm just the camp mascot who caught you changing into your uniform, can I be your partner?" meeting story was probably a lie, too. (IIRC, the first time I read about this it said that Bucky had specifically been "embedded" as Cap's partner to keep an eye on Steve and report back to the brass [Cap being a vital asset and all], but I don't have a specific citation for that, now.)  The reading I get from the details of the retconned 1940s storyline is that Bucky did things he never told Steve about and that he, essentially, wasn't who he said he was. Hence my thought that Cap might be a bit put out about these developments, when he learns about them.  But JMO.

 

Finally, let me spin off from the topic of "comics you can't stand but everyone else loves" and give a "comic I used to love but on re-reading have no idea what the hell I was thinking".  I am a huge Steve Englehart fan and was so very excited to have him return to comics in the 1980s after being away for almost a decade.  (I'm way more invested in writers than I am artists; pretty pictures are nice, but as long as it's legible I only care about the story.)  So I devoured West Coast Avengers (Steve E. writes a Hawkeye-centric book? Be still my heart!) and Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer and I even collected a DC book for the first time in my life, with Green Lantern, which transitioned into Green Lantern Corps with issue #200.  But while the Marvel runs have held up with time, I re-read GL/GLC last year and wow, was it bad.  Even the creation of bad-ass Guy Gardner (a comatose milquetoast character with exactly two appearances in history when Steve got the book) couldn't make up for all the plot fails, misogyny, simple-minded chauvinism, and of course, Arisia's classic "but Hal, I used my ring's power to give myself a slightly older body, so now you can have sweet 14-year-old poontang and not feel guilty about it!" and Hal buying it.  

 

I mean, JFC, when Hal gets his book back (after cancellation and a run in the weekly version of Action Comics) he's going to have grey hair…maybe he's not the character you should be breaking the statutory rape laws with?  The Colossus/Kitty Pryde boinkage I referenced upthread at least had some excuses (he was only 19 to her 15 [and a virgin himself], there was an Imminent Death Exception, it was just the one time) to avoid being totally squicky; having 30-something Hal Jordan go from being amused by Teen Lantern having a crush on him to regularly sleeping with a 14-year-old ("but Hal, the years on my planet are only half as long, so technically I'm 28!") just because she "ringed" her body to adulthood is just really, really gross.  Or I'm getting cranky in my old(er) age, one of the two.

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About Bucky, as I said, I haven't read those books, but here's what I'm talking about, per Wikipedia:

 

 

So either Steve's just willfully turning a blind eye to Bucky's doing the wetwork he refuses to do himself, which really doesn't fit the character IMO, or the Buckster is fibbing to him when he goes off and does that sort of thing, and also that whole "oh I'm just the camp mascot who caught you changing into your uniform, can I be your partner?" meeting story was probably a lie, too. (IIRC, the first time I read about this it said that Bucky had specifically been "embedded" as Cap's partner to keep an eye on Steve and report back to the brass [Cap being a vital asset and all], but I don't have a specific citation for that, now.)  The reading I get from the details of the retconned 1940s storyline is that Bucky did things he never told Steve about and that he, essentially, wasn't who he said he was. Hence my thought that Cap might be a bit put out about these developments, when he learns about them.  But JMO.

 

Cap knew exactly what Bucky was doing, and didn't turn a blind eye to it. It was Bucky's job as a highly trained soldier to do that stuff. Brubaker retconned their whole story, to give it a more realistic, modern slant, and to remove the idea that Captain America lugged a kid sidekick around the European Theatre of War with him as some sort of mascot. So instead, he had Bucky actually be assigned to Steve's team as a 'wetwork specialist', because in Brubaker's vision, Steve was actually a soldier who fought as a soldier, rather than just 'socking Adolf on the jaw' every month. As such, his identity as Captain America wasn't a secret for Bucky to discover anyway. Bucky knew Steve was Captain America when they were introduced.

 

The 'doing things Captain America couldn't' was partly a matter of PR for Steve's role as a star-spangled hero but mostly because Bucky was trained for that role and Steve wasn't. That's like saying the SAS or SEALs are underhanded because they do things normal soldiers don't. And Bucky was never reporting back to anyone on Steve (again, unless that was introduced after Brubaker's run as some sort of angst). Steve was Bucky's commanding officer and friend.

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God, I thought I was alone on so many subjects.

 

I can't stand Brian Michael Bendis and his characterizations.

 

John Byrne is a living pustule,  Joe Quesada is a fucking tumor that needs to be removed, Mark Millar needs to be banned from superhero writing, and Frank Miller is a danger to himself and others.

 

I hated Ed Brubaker's run on Captain America and especially The Death of Captain America storyline.

 

I want Spider-Man's marriage restored just so Mary-Jane can divorce is ass.  Ditto with Jean Grey and Cyclops.  People get divorced, Quesada.  Deal with it.

 

I liked some bits from the 90s (the Jim Lee X-Men costumes, the rebooted Legion, Grant Morrison's Justice League).

 

Oh, so many feelings, so little time!

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because Claremont is too dense to understand that Michilinie's story was meant to be ambiguous?

 

Giving birth to the man who raped you was supposed to be ambiguous?

 

I hate that Geoff Johns and Bendis were given the keys to the Kingdom of their respective companies.

 

I hate the Sentry. What a paper tiger. I never understood why writers need to prop up their favorite characters by having them overshadow established characters, and making those characters jobbers. Did Sentry have to be overpowered? He defeated Galactus on his own! Wait, Sentry was just punched into orbit by Blue Marvel! While beating up the rest of the Avengers heavy hitters! I can't wait to see what the next writer will do to Blue Marvel in order to prop up his respective character.

 

Not a huge fan of Hickman's Avengers. Its fine, but not outstanding.

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I hate the Sentry. What a paper tiger. I never understood why writers need to prop up their favorite characters by having them overshadow established characters, and making those characters jobbers. Did Sentry have to be overpowered? He defeated Galactus on his own! Wait, Sentry was just punched into orbit by Blue Marvel! While beating up the rest of the Avengers heavy hitters! I can't wait to see what the next writer will do to Blue Marvel in order to prop up his respective character.

 

Heh, the ultimate bit of Sentry trollage by the writers was at his funeral, where Rogue revealed that he was the only man who could touch her for years (because... who the hell even knows what his powers were supposed to be, but he could, okay?!), and she used to sneak off to have sex with him, possibly even while she was supposed to be in a relationship with Gambit.

 

A completely needless, throwaway bit of dialogue that would damage Rogue's character for a lot of readers, but was just there to make Sentry look that bit more super awesome and special. 

 

Bendis created his own supervillain too, in The Hood. And he was even crappier than Sentry, was. Some mook who lucked on a couple of magical guns and a cloak, and was able to rise to the top of New York crime because of it. I don't even know what happened to him, but a highlight was when Balder completely schooled him in Fear Itself.

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Bendis created his own supervillain too, in The Hood. And he was even crappier than Sentry, was. Some mook who lucked on a couple of magical guns and a cloak, and was able to rise to the top of New York crime because of it. I don't even know what happened to him, but a highlight was when Balder completely schooled him in Fear Itself.

 

The Hood is still around, still being pushed as some great supervillain and not a Silver Age gimmick addled B-Lister.

 

Another unpopular opinion (hope I haven't already said this because my memory ain't what it's cracked up to be) is I don't like British comic book writers, with the exception of Neil Gaiman.  If they find superheroes silly or beneath them or just flat-out hate them, why do they continually write for them?   

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Because superheroes are the ones that get the most publicity and thus money?

 

I don't like Neil Gaiman, actually. There's nothing actually wrong with him, put the pitchforks away. I respect him, wish I had his creativity and success. I just don't enjoy his stuff.

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Because superheroes are the ones that get the most publicity and thus money?

 

That's it!  That's the one thing I couldn't put my finger on about British comic book writers - the hypocrisy.  They slam superheroes and the people who like reading them, but they write those comics anyway!?  Where the hell do they get off saying such things?  Has anyone called them out on this?

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Hey, let's not lump all British comic book writers into one big pile. Sure, Ennis, Millar and Moore give them a bad name, but there are plenty of guys who have written some great stuff. It's just mostly not for the big two publishers in America.

 

John Wagner created Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog, building the foundations of 2000AD. Alan Grant did great work with both characters too, as well as Judge Anderson. Grant also did the first mini starring Lobo, for DC, and he created the Batman villain, Zsasz. Pat Mills created Sláine, ABC Warriors and, most importantly to me, Charley's War. I don't think he's ever worked for Marvel or DC. Peter Milligan created one of my all-time favourite comic stories, Bad Company. Robbie Morrison created Nikolai Dante, Shimura and Shakara. Alan Davies has spent much of his career writing superheroes for Marvel and DC. And then there's Simon Furman, who did so much amazing work for Marvel UK in the 80s, particularly with Transformers. I always feel like anyone who didn't read Furman's work has never really experienced the best of what Transformers could be.

 

And as mentioned, there's Neil Gaiman, who clearly loves superheroes. Even though his best known comic book is Sandman, Gaiman revived Marvel's old Eternals characters, he wrote some great stuff for Batman, some Miracleman and Marvel 1602

 

Despite his reputation, I don't think Grant Morrison dislikes superheroes either. Hell, the man wrote an entire book about what superheroes mean to him and to society. He doesn't dislike them, he just likes himself more.

 

So please don't paint all British comic book writers with the same brush, just because the most famous ones are misanthropic, wannabe nihilists who feel they're smarter than everyone else. I would urge people to check out some of the stories I've mentioned, because they're just flat out good.

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Hey, let's not lump all British comic book writers into one big pile. Sure, Ennis, Millar and Moore give them a bad name, but there are plenty of guys who have written some great stuff. It's just mostly not for the big two publishers in America.

Alan Moore doesn't dislike superheroes, he dislikes the business of comic books.

 

I'm not particularly fond of him as a person, I hate the way he writes women (although he's got nothing on Frank Miller), and a lot of his more recent work gives me with willies (Lost Girls was flat-out gross), but I don't think anyone who's capable of writing Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow dislikes superheroes.

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All right, I will give Danny Franks and Starri credit with the points they made.

 

Yes, not all British comic book writers hate superheroes.  I just can't stand guys like Mark Millar and Garth Ennis, especially Millar.  I find their writing repulsive, though this is their intent.  And yet they still get accolades for their stuff.  It's vexing.

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 having 30-something Hal Jordan go from being amused by Teen Lantern having a crush on him to regularly sleeping with a 14-year-old ("but Hal, the years on my planet are only half as long, so technically I'm 28!") just because she "ringed" her body to adulthood is just really, really gross.  Or I'm getting cranky in my old(er) age, one of the two.

 

This actually happened?   I grew up with the Comics Code Authority which, in hindsight, doesn't seem like necessarily a bad thing.

 

But I suppose comic books aren't really for kids anymore.   What kid could afford them anyway?  I used to buy them with money from my newspaper route.   Twenty cents each, five for a dollar.   I guess the aging fan base wants the same superheroes they grew up with, but edgier more adult stories, so that's why the CCA was abandoned.

 

The character I hate is Robin.   Always have, in every incarnation, including every other superhero sidekick ever created.    They all go back to Robin.

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Was Hal and the under-aged girl not around the same time that it was revealed that Slade Wilson, a middle-aged man, was having a sexual relationship with the sixteen year old Terra, and using her as an inside agent against the Teen Titans? Perhaps DC had a writer or editor at the time with some... unusual interests.

 

Also, while not as weird but still gross from my point of view because of the thinking behind it: Marv Wolfman writing himself in to Teen Titans as Terry Long, so he could marry the teenage Donna Troy. Terry being an older man who was Donna's professor in college. Yeesh.

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Was Hal and the under-aged girl not around the same time that it was revealed that Slade Wilson, a middle-aged man, was having a sexual relationship with the sixteen year old Terra, and using her as an inside agent against the Teen Titans? Perhaps DC had a writer or editor at the time with some... unusual interests.

That particular part of the Judas Contract was supposed to be disturbing, so I'm not sure it's quite the same thing.

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I like the concept of aging Dick into Nightwing, but have never seen a good story where Nightwing is compelling or fun or pitted against a cool villain of his own.

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I just read through A Death in the Family and A Lonely Place of Dying and in spite of how well known they are, I don't think either story is particularly well written or deserving of the attention they seem to get.

The first story at least gives us the opportunity to sympathize for Jason Todd before he is killed off. It sent him out like a hero, which I appreciate, but all of the stuff about the Joker just feels a little flat. He isn't gleeful or funny and if the character wasn't drawn as the Joker he could essentially be almost anyone else. The Middle Eastern diplomat angle also strikes me as a bit odd, considering the encounter Jason Todd had with the diplomat's son just before the storyline. It also just seems like too easy of a way to keep the Joker from immediately being killed off by Batman. I also think I just don't like seeing the villains be so completely brutal. It's stuff like that that made comics far less appealing to me.

As for Tim's introduction, he really comes off like a fanboy who insists on being included in spite of the very very obvious reasons why he should not. I like what the character eventually became, but his introduction was tremendously forced, just in terms of his characterization.

Are there really so few good Batman stories out there that stuff like this which has pacing and characterization problems is considered gold?

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There are a lot of good Batman stories.  "A Death in the Family" is just not one of them.  It's a stunt.

 

"The Long Halloween" which was a big influence on the Nolan films, for starters.

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In the same vein of "what was I thinking", I'm really not a fan anymore of Jim Lee's art.  He's better than a lot of his cut-rate clones, but I still don't like his style at all and I'm really glad mainstream comics art has seen a lot of different and better styles come along since then.  And leaving style kind of aside, he's really not good at drawing a variety of different facial expressions.

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A lot of people have said the Wolverine, no, no, no, I really think Wolverine is very interesting, ah, I feel this story is like a fighter who go through too much is talking about his extraordinary life.

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