How comic books reflect our society

2 Feb

Mary Jane gets married to Peter. Cover to The ...

We interrupt this blogging of inane Obama socialism (of which there is a lot going on recently) to blog about inane comic book writing.

I was a big fan of Marvel Comics from the late 70s. I watched Marvel Comics superhero cartoon shows on TV (Spider-Man and The Marvel Super Heroes). And my favorite superhero was Spider-Man.

As I grew older, I stopped following the comics. With my kids, I thought it would be cool to introduce them to Spider-Man.

Imagine my shock a few years ago after subscribing to then-new Amazing Spider-Man comics (we got issues #544-547) that the Spider-Man I knew and cheered for no longer existed.

One More Day: Peter and Mary Jane's marriage never existed

The Spidey comics I bought were the last in a series called “One More Day” and the start of a new series called “Brand New Day.” In it, Spider-Man agrees to a deal with a demon called Mephisto to save a dying Aunt May (even though she supposedly died back in issue #400) in exchange for making his marriage to Mary Jane to have never existed, thus rewriting that part of their pasts.

Demons? Seriously? Are writers really that desperate? And Peter Parker agreeing to save an old Aunt May’s life in exchange for the eradication of his marriage? Preposterous. Would even Aunt May herself want Peter to do that? Of course not. What’s more, while saving the elderly is noble, undermining the permanence of marriage is not.

So now Peter Parker and Mary Jane basically barely recognize each other. Say what?!? Talk about an infuriating mental disconnect for Spidey fans.

I couldn’t take it. I stopped reading and cancelled my subscription. I also started reading with my kids the old-school 60s and 70s Amazing Spider-Man comics instead—the ones commonly referred to as being from the Silver Age of comics.

But wait. There’s more nonsense since my comics subscription cancellation. According to Wikipedia, The Amazing Spider Man comic no longer even exists anymore. Apparently, in issue #700, a dying Peter Parker (magically) swaps bodies with Doctor Octopus. This ended the iconic Amazing Spider Man title and launched a new replacement comic book title lamely called The Superior Spider-Man. So Peter is supposedly dead while Otto Octavius is Spider-Man.

Huh?

And, oh yeah, when Spider-Man is trying to woo Mary Jane now, it’s really Doc Ock trying to woo Mary Jane.

Can you say, ‘Ick’?

Am I the only one who thinks comic book writing gets more sick every passing year?

Whatever. We’ll see how long that ridiculous idea lasts before things change. Again.

Comics routinely rewrSuperior Spider-Manite their own history through retroactive continuity, which further makes it hard to trust what happens in comics. After all, how do you know that anything you’re reading right now might be wiped out in a future issue as “Oops, that didn’t really happen.” Dead people didn’t really die (right, Superman?). Clones, fakes, deals with the devil, alternate universes and much more are typical comic book copouts that pass as new story arcs.

There’s no longer a delineation between good and evil, as there was in the Silver Age of comics. Good guys can become bad guys (see Marvel’s Civil War story arc in various titles), good guys can swap bodies with bad guys (Spider-Man with Doctor Octopus), good guys can team up with bad guys (Spider-Man with Venom), good guys can fight to the death against other good guys (Avengers vs. X-Men), and more. This moral relativism in comics reflects the same in society.

Those who long for “the good ol’ days” will find that to be sadly true in comics as well.

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