The Dark Side of Comics

DISCLAIMER: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR THE COMIC STORIES OF CIVIL WAR, ORIGINAL SIN AND AVENGERS ARENA. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED…also all story concepts and pictures do not belong to me but to Marvel Comics) By: Christopher Johnson

Introduction

Earlier this year I had an article discussing “Why I Read Comics”. Since then I really wanted to focus on the opposite side of the coin. Not necessarily why I don’t read comics(Because that would not be true), but just a few things in general that annoy me. I narrowed the list down to three things; retcons, meaningless deaths and dull events.

Retcons

Retcons can be used in any medium and can reverse any interesting character development. During the “Civil War” storyline Peter Parker was married to Mary Jane and about midway through he unmasks himself revealing to the world that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. “One More Day” is a retcon that undid all of this. Peter made a deal with Mephisto to save the life of aunt May but in doing so it would be that he never married Mary Jane and that no one remembers that Peter took off his mask. In my opinion the world knowing who Spider-Man could lead to some new and interesting stories that will now never happen. Retcons like this annoy me because they just feel like cheap cop-outs.

Pointless Deaths

Next I would like to discuss death in Comics. Now I know I wrote an article about it (Can be found here) but the primary focus was to discuss a death story done right. That unfortunately is not always the case, the 2014 series “Avengers Arena” by Dennis Hopeless is a “Hunger Games” style book with death as the premise. Now with that said almost every death in the book had meaning and made sense from a story perspective expect one. We even were given a glimpse of everyone’s lives before they were kidnapped and at the end we see everyone who cares about these teenagers…expect for one. Red Raven appeared in the first two issues and she died because she tried to escape. This death was really the only poorly done death in the book because there was no impact, no emotion and we don’t even see who cared about her disappearance. There was no emotion involved. There was no point for her to even be in the book thus her death is pointless and death done wrong annoys me. Now with saying all this there is something worse in comics simply due to how often they occur and that would be…

Dull Events

Events…well kind of. Whether it is a large event or a mini event, Marvel has at least 3 a year with most having very little impact in the long run. We have reached in over saturation of events to where most are not even good stories. I have so many to choose from to discuss but I will highlight the event called “Original Sin”. This story began really good, it was a great mystery about who killed Uatu the watcher but about midway through it became “the original Nick Fury’s pre death eulogy”. The problem lies within completely changing the concept and everything involved with the event to where every question the original concept brought up was twisted around and answered in the most unexpected ways. This in turn makes the event dull and not fun to read. So, currently in the marvel universe the original Nick Fury is the new watcher and it feels like they did that just to push him aside in favor of a more MCU style Nick Fury but that is a topic for another day.

Conclusion

Overall these things will not stop me from reading comics altogether but I tend to try to shy away from reading material from writers that use these tactics too often. Retcons, pointless deaths with no emotional ties and dull events are three things that really annoy me about comics. If you enjoy any of these three topics or if there is something else that annoys you about comics then feel free to let me know and of you are interested in reading future blogs when they are posted then feel free to “like” comic conversations on Facebook.

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