Friday, December 02, 2022

Comic Book Rant

The website, I mean; CBR. Oh, that's right, it's supposed to stand for Comic Book Resources. I think you'll understand how I could make that error.



is it always wrong?



Dazzler (how bad is it, when I'm complaining about Dazzler being misunderstood?)



Green Arrow 


The Joker (the title alone made me want to punch someone off a bridge)



Namor (I resent being made to think about Namor)


I mean, maybe not ALWAYS. 

But not for lacking of trying,  it seems.


Bryan L said...

Yeeesh. I skimmed through a few. They all feel like somebody had to generate copy on a deadline and just grabbed a comic book at random and riffed on a character without putting any thought into it.

Just to bring up Namor again and risk your ire, his wings don't provide lift or direction. He clearly levitates. The wings are more of a psychological crutch than an actual aerodynamic asset. In other words, their presence helps him focus his flight ability. Same for other biologically winged characters like Angel. It's psychic, not physical.

Dazzler's "immortality" is just beyond stupid.

I'm not touching the DC "profiles."

Anonymous said...

There are a few ways to explain the impressive wrong-headedness that can infect comic book readers who take their art too seriously.

The first, of course, is that the easiest way for a mediocre person to feel less mediocre is to take on a contrarian position and declare themselves a genius.

And of course there are people who are so committed to viewing the world through a given lens, they use that lens where it doesn't belong. Like, with the claims that Batman could fix all of Gotham with money ... those are people who are so into the 99% / 1% divide that they try to apply it to everything. Well, the Joker isn't going to go sane if we increase the minimum wage, and Killer Croc won't turn nice if we give him free tuition. But when a person refuses to put down their lens, there's nothing you can do for them.

But then there are people who refuse to understand Superman or Batman, and I have a theory. There was a time when people would read about aspirational characters and say, "maybe I should be more like that". But these days, readers take it as an affront that fictional characters could be fundamentally better people than they are. A mirror is put before them and they don't like what they see. So rather than try to improve themselves, they develop the reflex of finding fault in everything aspirational characters do.

Superman maintains a secret identity ... ? DISHONESTY! Supervillains come to Metropolis ... ? IT'S SUPERMAN'S FAULT! Superman doesn't do manual labor ... ? ELITIST!

The other side of that theory is, people don't want to believe that villains are illainous; they're all products of their environment. Now, I freely admit that I think some villains benefit from nuance; Doing Evil is a motivation that works for the Red Skull, but not many others. But it is far too easy to take "nuance" into this whole weird area where every effort is made to frame the villains sympathetically, so that they are victims without agency. So that time the Penguin killed an underling ... ? HE COULDN'T HELP IT, HE HAS WEIRD HANDS!

The net result of both sides of this theory -- that heroes aren't heroic, and villains aren't villainous -- brings us to a place where nobody should be judged for their shortcomings, nobody can help being who they are, nobody should feel like they should try harder. It's a stance for those trying to justify their mediocrity.

Scipio said...

"the easiest way for a mediocre person to feel less mediocre is to take on a contrarian position and declare themselves a genius."

Scipio said...

"Superman maintains a secret identity ... ? DISHONESTY! Supervillains come to Metropolis ... ? IT'S SUPERMAN'S FAULT! Superman doesn't do manual labor ... ? ELITIST!"

I hadn't notice how that attitude underlies all of those; nicely done.

I do wish my commenters would sign their comments; mostly it's just a great wash of Anonymous Thoughts, even when they great ones like that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Maybe I'll sign my posts as HJF1, which of course stands for "Hal Jordan Fan #1".

I got in the habit of not signing Blogspot posts long ago because, honestly, there used to be a-holes afoot. Remaining Anonymous was the best way to avoid becoming someone's punching bag. But now I know I'm safe from mockery forever and ever.

- Hal Jordan Fan #1

CalvinPitt said...

I only go to CBR for when they post DC or Marvel's monthly solicits these days. Whenever I see a link to anything on their site, or anything from it discussed, it's the sort of thing you're discussing. The contrary takes, based on slim to no evidence or such a severe misreading of the actual material I wonder if the person is actually literate, presented as some arbitrary list ("10 Times Batman Was a Bigger Threat to Gotham City Than the Joker!".

I'm sure it's a clickbait approach. Write an article with a "provocative" headline and get people to click on to either confirm their opinions, or make them angry so they broadcast its existence to others. It's certainly an approach, I'll say that, but one I try not to indulge. There are easier ways to get irritated.

Too bad, I loved the Comics Should Be Good blog Brian Cronin and a bunch of others writers had on CBR's website, but that's long gone now.

Anonymous said...

As a young fan, I was excited to disover a website with comic book respources, and I think I got a year or so of that.
I feel like a lot of these problems stem from the average reader being 35 instead of 15.
Reg that first Superman article--isn't a reporter working class?

Scipio said...

"But now I know I'm safe from mockery forever and ever."

As a Hal Jordan fan it's not a matter of "safe".
It's matter of "immune".

Gary said...

I set up a filter to only allow posts through to my mailbox from CBR if they meet certain criteria - I stopped reading it over a year ago as I got fed up with the never ending listicles like "10 Things You Never Realised Superman Would Eat" or "5 Places Batman Danced The Batusi"

Lazy clickbaiting bollocks that I can do without, to be honest.

Anonymous said...

So, how do you feel about Bleeding Cool and Bleeding Fool?

Scipio said...

"So, how do you feel about Bleeding Cool and Bleeding Fool?"


Scipio said...

""10 Things You Never Realised Superman Would Eat"

1, That's funny and EXACTLY something they would do.
2. Sadly, my mind IMMEDIATELY starting generating the list, with "Green Kryptonite" at #1. "Need salt."

Anonymous said...

...those are websites, and ones that have rather extreme political bias (I'll let you figure out which one leans in what direction).