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 Post subject: Adult vs. Kids Comics
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:17 am 
Squire
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I read comics for most of my childhood and probably for a few years after I was no longer a kid. I read them because I loved the stories, they were pure escapists fantasy, and collecting them was pure escapism as well. My comics went up in value, it was like a kid sized stock, I was investing in the future, Wizard said so.

Towards the end of my time reading comics as a kid I began seeking out more "adult" material. To my middle-school boy mind "adult" meant more violent, gritty, "real" only you don't know real at that age do you? I remember picking up Watchmen and not getting it. The coolest character is a weirdo, what is with the overweight Batman dude, and why is the blue Superman such a douche? I stuffed the wordy weird book away, and moved on to real adult material like Jim Lee's X-Men and the gritty Todd McFarlane Spiderman series. A few years later, after I had stopped buying comic books, I found Watchmen in a stack of books, pulled it out, and was amazed. Where had this been?

Middle of last year I became a Dad. Being a Dad brought me back into reading comics for two reasons. 1.) I was up late at night a lot and needed quiet entertainment 2.) reading a novel at 2AM just isn't possible. I saw the Marvel app out for the iPhone, downloaded it and bought some 2AM entertainment.

Now the point of the post (wordy I know - sorry about that) for those of you still reading. I got the free "Identity Crisis" on the DC Comics app for iPhone. I've always drawn a distinction between adult comics and kid comics. The art is the most definitive aspect. Sandman, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, these titles were around when I was reading comics as a kid. I thumbed through them, bought a few, but they were not really kid comics, they were mature, but not in the exciting way, they were mature in that weird way. I didn't get them, and I didn't get the art.

Now we have Identity Crisis. It has the Elongated Man, a silver age hero deluxe. You have Dr. Light, a silver age bad guy. You have a rape, a murder by a hero's wife, compromise and cowardice on the part of the Justice League. WHO IS WRITING AND READING THIS TRASH???? Is this a bad joke? I'm sickened. I know the whole Identity Crisis is a few years old now, I'm just catching up, but these are superheroes, and it looks like a superhero book. Was this played for shock value?

I'm appalled, I really am, and the sad thing is this doesn't appear to be isolated. I see a lot of what I would call the "maturing up" of comics. Why? I mean I get that the demographic might be shifting older, but might that be because there is some confusion about what comics are about? I don't want my kid picking up a comic at 8 or 9 thinking he's getting a Superman story and reading about a rape, not just reading about it, but seeing somewhat obscure visual representation of it.

I'm not saying that every superhero book should be geared towards kids, Watchmen is a superhero book. There is a difference in style and delivery. Mature isn't adding nudity and violence to a book, its adding depth to the book. Kids, younger kids usually will shy away if done right because there isn't something fast moving to keep their attention. I don't consider Identity Crisis mature, its a middle school boys idea of mature, is that where a lot of the books are at?

I know this is a long rant, anybody else out there upset by this?

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 Post subject: Re: Adult vs. Kids Comics
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:41 pm 
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that's not really a problem,as 90% of the books you or your kid might buy won't have anything indecent in them with the exception of murder.

and you're not the only one upset by Identity Crisis.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:37 pm 
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ID Crisis is generally seen as a poor book.

But these days if comics have strong adult themes, they have a warning on the cover. You'll still see Wolverine slicing people apart without warning, but he won't then defecate on the corpse on-panel unless there's a warning of some sort.

Authority has adult themes without resorting to sex. Just extreme violence and political narratives. It also deals with homosexual marriage and adoption, which is nice.

At the same time, there are plenty of child-friendly comics though. Tiny Titans, Marvel Superheroes, Batman Brave And The Bold, the Marvel Adventures line, Archie...

I think the one good thing that came from ID Crisis, was that creators realised that it most definitely wasn't the 90's anymore. So they needed to stop getting more EXTREME and serious.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:47 pm 
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acelister wrote:
ID Crisis is generally seen as a poor book.

I kinda liked Identity Crisis - sure it was sensationalist and crapped on a few established characters but was enjoyable enough.

Mainstream comics nowadays are pretty much squarely aimed at the teen/early-20s market. Anything deemed to be "all ages" is now marginalised as a "kids" book and subsequently suffers from low sales, even if it critically acclaimed like the recently cancelled "Thor, the Mighty Avenger" book.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:49 pm 
Squire
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There is a way to do a superhero comic that is aimed at the teens / 20's market without resorting to making it "mature" book. Don't get me wrong I am not opposed to a mature superhero book, I love Watchmen. What Identity Crisis did was take established superheroes, perhaps the most mainstream superheroes you can find, and they took those characters, put them in a book that "looked" like standard superhero book, then they inserted rape. They didn't crap on a few characters, they raped them, some of them literally.

They played the whole thing for shock value, and that is my problem. The art, the characters, the style all said standard superhero book, the content was quite different.

When Morrison wanted to do Arkaham Asylum with Batman they took the story and put it to Dave Mckean's art. To a kid browsing that comic looks weird, they don't get that the art is telling part of the story. They just know it looks funny, and they pass it up and move onto something with "normal" art. Same thing with Watchmen. I didn't care for Watchmen at 8, 9 years old.

My issue with Identity Crisis is that it looked and read like a superhero story. Inserting some graphic violence doesn't make it mature, adult maybe, but not mature, its what writers do who are looking to "adult" up a story but don't really know how.

A book doesn't have to be all ages to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Green Lantern may go over the line sometimes but for the most part it stays in the kid friendly yet enjoyable category. The Flash is a great example of a book that has been fun yet kid friendly.

There is no other medium where a writer could get away with what the writer of Identity Crisis did. TV, Film, even some of the more adult oriented cartoons wouldn't go that far, at least not yet.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:56 pm 
Marquis
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Actually, rape has been in a couple of episodes of Family Guy and South Park. And was even a plot-point in an episode of Futurama. Amazon Women In The Mood.

Of course, those rapes are always played for laughs and aren't uncovered only due to a murder inquiry...

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 Post subject: Re: Adult vs. Kids Comics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:21 pm 
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"Death by Snoo Snoo !" FTW :lol:

there's was also a time when Dick Grayson got raped by the Tarantula.

the chick,not the dude from the Golden Age,thank goodness. :-)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:59 am 
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This kind of thing isn't even new(ish) to be honest. Long before Identity Crisis we've have Mystique being "taken" by a devil on a church altar in Uncanny X-Men and a wet, shrunken Hank Pym making his way up Wasp's naked body in the Avengers on the Marvel side of things.

These things happen in mainstream comics from time to time but they are rare compared to the volume of books produced.

Basically I think (and please feel free to correct me) you're aiming at the (violent) sexual aspect of things. Which is fine but why just this & not violence in general? When I was reading comics as a kid it was fist fights, energy rays & the occasional gun. Now it's much more visceral, up to and including heroes being graphically ripped in half (eg. Ares in Siege).

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:50 pm 
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Spaced wrote:
When I was reading comics as a kid it was fist fights, energy rays & the occasional gun.

See the 90's animated series' of: Spider-Man, X-Men, Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four... It was always energy weapons.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:37 pm 
Squire
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Spaced wrote:
This kind of thing isn't even new(ish) to be honest. Long before Identity Crisis we've have Mystique being "taken" by a devil on a church altar in Uncanny X-Men and a wet, shrunken Hank Pym making his way up Wasp's naked body in the Avengers on the Marvel side of things.


This happened in 2003 right? That is the closest I could come for a date just using Wikipedia. I'm not an X-Men fan per-se so it doesn't upset me like IC did, but I do find it a little off-putting. I don't consider 2003 to be all that long ago, maybe that speaks to my age, but that was only a few years ago.

Quote:
Basically I think (and please feel free to correct me) you're aiming at the (violent) sexual aspect of things. Which is fine but why just this & not violence in general? When I was reading comics as a kid it was fist fights, energy rays & the occasional gun. Now it's much more visceral, up to and including heroes being graphically ripped in half (eg. Ares in Siege).


My issue isn't specifically with one type of violence over another, the sexual violence is worse IMHO than the straight violent acts because its more of a violation. My issue is that the Justice League is not about rape and gruesome violent acts. Family Guy makes all manner of really course jokes, that is what that show is about, crude humor, but you don't turn on the Cosby Show expecting to see rape jokes, nor would you want to (I hope). Saturday Night Live could do a spoof of the Cosby Show and make course jokes and it would be fine, its the context.

IC took established characters, and put them in a continuity based book (not a SNL / Elseworlds skit), and then violated what those characters are about. It looked like a Justice League book, during the beginning of the story it read like a Justice League book, but to me it wasn't a Justice League book.

Do you get what I'm getting at? You pick up a Punisher book by Garth Ennis you expect to see some heavy stuff, but everyone knows that.

Its not deep or groundbreaking to "shock" the reader with a violent rape, its course, rude and lowest common denominator of writing.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:49 pm 
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ID Crisis wasn't very good in my opinion. An example of (possible) rape in DC comics was Action Comics #592 and 593. Basically, Big Barda was brainwashed by a alien named Sleez. She was made to dance basically naked for him, she is almost put into a porno with superman, and it is alluded to that she may have been raped.

Here's a good article on it

http://unitedmonkee.com/2010/09/16/weird-comic-thing-big-barda-tape/

While it isn't confirmed like what happened to Sue Dibny, I bet more young people were reading action Comics than read Identity Crisis. Personally, I dislike these comics more than ID Crisis.

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 Post subject: Re: Adult vs. Kids Comics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:55 pm 
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speaking of AC #592-593,here's a funny video review by Linkara:
Code:
http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/linkara/at4w/27576-at4w-actioncomics592
http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/linkara/at4w/27652-at4w-actioncomics593

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 Post subject: Re: Adult vs. Kids Comics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:36 pm 
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Lex Talionis wrote:
speaking of AC #592-593,here's a funny video review by Linkara:
Code:
http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/linkara/at4w/27576-at4w-actioncomics592
http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/linkara/at4w/27652-at4w-actioncomics593


Thats actually where I first heard about it. Linkara is a great comic reviewer.

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