Just an update and a few thoughts.
This week has been another busy one. Work has me bent over and we have a Kickstarter running (have I mentioned it?) Here’s the link.
But I’ve had time to read a lot of comics. There’s always time, don’t let people fool you. Quite a lot have been to do with upcoming research for some podcasts and have involved Tezuka, Angelo Torres, ROM, GingerDead Man and more. Quite the varied week.
So this will be a quick one about some thoughts I’ve had that were reignited by my buddies at the 11 o’clock Comics Podcast and follow on about a conversation myself and Eamonn Clarke had about Miller’s ‘Born Again’ storyline.
You Need to Stop?
As I’m sure you’ll recall, at the end of those issues Matt and Karen are peachy. They walk down the street in Hell’s Kitchen hand-in-hand with big grins. They’ve both been through physical and psychological torture and come out the other side alive and better for it. Eamonn cleverly suggested to me that just maybe that should have been the end of the series. No reboots, no returns. Was he right?
The Eleven O’Clock Comics crew this week discussed when and where a comic should end and it got me thinking again. They spoke very eloquently about where they felt a series or character ended. Dark Knight Returns? Is that the end note for Batman? Is Green Arrow relevant after Mike Grell left? (You can have a listen to the episode here.)
So. Here’s the problem. Are some stories meant to be finite? Should we walk away at the end of the issue knowing that was a great story or run? Not sure if when Spidey or Batman or Wolverine were being created they’d be expected to run for 60 years or more?
There is of course a wider question to be tackled about an end due to diminishing levels of artistic quality. That’s an altogether different subject and often more relevant to an economic measuring stick. I’m saying – Should a story have finished there and then because everything needed to be said has been? Done. Walk away. Or, are they to exist as a never ending story. Different, strokes for different folks but I’m sure certain specific cases can be argued?
Many indeed could argue that after a certain point the writing of a series becomes little more than corporately controlled canonical fan-fiction. That was popular/made money/sold well/got a movie let’s keep flogging this horse?
Honestly, I’m not sure about Daredevil as a good case study for this theory. I’m still rolling it around in my head. But I did come up with a couple of examples for you.
Even the kindest of reviewers could fail to mention that Marvel’s ROM was a comic that lasted a lot longer than in reality it should have. It came from a toy line that lacked the story and emotional depth that us hardcore Bronze Age fans experienced reading it month in and out in a comic. It lasted 75 issues with the majority of it’s time being a fun soap opera of a comic. Tragic, full of action and a great supporting cast.
Then many years later it got resurrected. After an extensive and still ongoing copyright issue we got more ROM. In all fairness – the new series was utter crap and they should have left it alone. There’s not much more to say than that. It was not very good.
But, did it piss on the memories us fans had of the original series? Or, could we compartmentalise the two eras. Enjoy one maybe? Try the other, not like it and then seperate it? I suppose that takes some mental discipline that many can’t manage and would, I suppose, depend on memories and strength of feeling on a certain matter.
With the case of ROM it was arguably easier because there was a sizeable time gap between these two versions. It was also published by another company and there was no newsstand distribution for Joe Public to find it. Some ROM fans may never even have know about the newer reboot.
I’m just going to leave the above there. They speak for themselves. We all know why they brought the character back.
They really messed it up.
I wish they hadn’t.
Of course, you should always keep an open mind and allow for the opportunity to arise where your opinions may be changed. Something so good that it permanently resets the clock. Some may have thought for example, that the Len Wein/Bernie Wrightson Swamp Thing run could not be surpassed but then along came Alan Moore and Co. and proved that theory wrong. But these moments are hard to find these days. And, whilst I continue to read new comics daily my hopes for the next comics renaissance slowly fade.
Hopefully this ramble has got you thinking. Have a scan through the breadth of Big Two characters and have a think about who hasn’t had their definitive run? (Just like Tom King seems to be doing).
I’ve had a great morning of comics. I try and take some time over a coffee to read some new books and this morning they were a couple of crackers!
I double-dipped on the first issue of this series as it also had a variant from buddy Edison Neo. The second issue doesn’t disappoint and Stan Sakai is as good as ever. Hopefully they’ll be a nice hardcover at the end of this road that I can buy.
This was the last issue of this mini series (for the moment) and the writing and art was a joy throughout. I highly recommend buying this in trade if you have missed it.
It’s shaping up to be a busy year. I’m heading up to Glasgow for the Convention in a couple of weeks and then trucking onwards to meet up with the That Comic Smell boys in Dundee. Then later in the year I’ll be at Baltimore Comic Con and SPX.
The next NIA podcast is lined up for next week where myself and Tom Curry are talking some manga.
Last night was a blast at Awesome Comics where we talked about licensed comics with Keiron Squires. That’s where the GingerDead Man reference appears! You can have a listen here. It should be live about 11am today.
Many thanks for the participation. Stay off Twitter and try not to be a simp!