Alright I said it, I don’t care much for superheroes. Like most people of my generation I grew up with superhero comics and cartoons. A steady diet of Batman, Spiderman, X-men and Ninja Turtles. But, something happened along the way that changed my mind.
Why? Well, I believe it was the same thing that drove me away from comics back in the 90s. Killing off characters just to get sales, reseting storylines and each issue seemed to have multiple foil covers strictly for a collector market. I was always the guy who actually read my comics instead of just keeping them in a poly bag. So you can imagine my dissatisfaction with all the marketing gimmicks.
I got tired of all the crap and walked away from reading comics for years, sticking with novels instead. It was only when I found a copy of Heavy Metal years later featuring Skydoll, that I was given a new idea of what comics could be. Fully painted, weird, sci-fi and anything your heart desires, superheroes were just the gateway to get me in the door. It shouldn’t surprise me that I have moved on. Storylines don’t need to be rebooted and re-imagined every 5 years. A comic story can be self-contained like a novel, a revelation for sure. The birth of the graphic novel happened sometime while I was away and I may have missed out on the genesis of the idea but I’ve come back to see the future.
Over the last few years I have since gone back and read some of the classic superhero graphic novels. Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke among others but I can’t find the interest in following what Batman is doing now. I have gravitated toward different things like Preacher, Hellboy, BPRD, Conan and Saga. If the library carries it I will give it a try that way I’m not stuck with anything I don’t enjoy. No pressure to finish if the book sucks and only purchasing the stuff that matters to me.
I haven’t totally given up on superheroes just yet. The only two hero books that I read now are Invincible and Savage Dragon. The writing for Invincible is exceptional and Ryan Ottleys’ art is badass as well. Constant twists and turns all created by the same creative team that has a planned ending to the story. As for Dragon I have huge admiration for Eric Larsen, he writes and draws every issue himself and has done so since the beginning. Eric has set the story in real-time so the characters change, age and grow throughout the book. Just like Jack Kirby anything goes in his world. Superhero or not there must be a good tale first.
I guess my problem with superheroes is how they are handled by Marvel and DC. I would much rather read a creator owned title these days. That way you know there aren’t too many cooks in the kitchen messing things up. Story by comity just doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. There is so many great books waiting to be discovered, I won’t be trying to recapture my youth collecting every Issue of X-men or Batman. Give me something different, that is pushing the boundaries of the medium.