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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,129
In Reply To
America's Captain 

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,511
Subj: Re: How "relevant" do you want your comics?
Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 at 04:02:02 am EST (Viewed 83 times)
Reply Subj: How "relevant" do you want your comics?
Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 at 05:57:30 am EST (Viewed 159 times)

    I remember when "relevance" was a big thing for Marvel back in the 60s and 70s. I used to think it was pretty cool. But I was ten.

    Nowadays I don't want to see a single panel depicting or even discussing these topics:
    1. Rape
    2. Spousal abuse
    3. Child abuse
    4. Drug addiction
    5. Alcoholism
    6. Prostitution
    7. Pornography

    Two "relevant" topics I would be OK with are:
    1. Bullying
    2. Mass shootings

I'm not a big fan of the idea of reintroducing the Comics Code. Also I think the real problem tends to be badly-written stories about given subject matters (such as the ones above), not that there are stories featuring this. In some cases it also is a problem of overuse, e.g. I remember jokes about Frank Miller being incapable of writing women who aren't sex workers (he does seem to suffer from a serious case of Madonna/Whore Complex, seeing how he turned Karen Page into a drug-addicted porn actress but brought Daredevil's mother back from the dead as a saintly nun).

I'll just note that some of your taboo subjects were in fact used even in Silver Age comics, e.g. Kurt Marko was shown abusing his son Cain, his stepson Charles Xavier and his wife Sharon in the double origin of Professor X and the Juggernaut, and he apparently also drove Sharon to drink (I don't have X-Men #12 before me, so I don't know if that was already in that story or the alcoholic part was added in a later retelling). And Norman Osborn at times was abusive to Harry. (And let's face it, one of the reasons we saw comparatively little spousal abuse in before the 1970s was the prevalence of orphaned and half-orphaned memebers of the cast. In too many cases there simply was no spouse to abuse \:\-\) ).

    But the bully must receive stern (even savage) justice from his victims and the mass shooter must encounter the likes of Captain America who must save the day, utterly thwarting the shooter.

    Generally, I don't want to read about helpless (and hopeless) victims in comic books. I know they abound in real life. But I don't want real life to encroach too far into my comics. Helpless victims in comics simply aren't fun unless a superhero eventually smashes through the window from outside and pounds the perp into pulp before the victim is harmed. The hope of rescue must always be there.

    If we absolutely must have thugs who threaten rape, then let the intended victim be an undercover superhero who smashes the rapist into the dirt.

    I don't want my supervillains to be rapists. Rape is a cowardly act. I don't want my supervillains to be cowards. They defy the system, law enforcement and the superhero community. There has to be bravery in that despicable breast. That bravery is one of the elements that makes the supervillain fun.

Well, but they also often fall into the category described as a "superstitious and cowardly lot" by a great practical expert. ;\-\)

Personally, I find your dogma on bravery and cowardice very unrealistic. Just because a person is brave (in some respects) does not mean that they must adhere to a chivalric code of honour or that they are incapable of committing acts that some would see as cowardly. They could e.g. be believing in a "might makes right" kind of ideology, where preying on the weak is considered acceptable. And historically a lot of rapes and other acts of violence against defenseless victims have been perpetrated by warriors, mercenaries, soldiers etc., i.e. men who generally had to be and thought of themselves as brave.

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