Ever since Marvel revealed the New ‘New’ Warriors to the public and received the massive backlash that they did, I started to think about why we even admired superheroes in the first place. What was it that drew us all to admiring people like Static Shock, Superman, Black Panther, Raven, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Storm etc?
The answer is simple, yet in modern times there are those that want to forsake that concept for that of their own. We like super-heroes or superhumans simply because they are the superior version of what we humans could never achieve. Simply put, we like to look up to something or admire something that’s better than us, which gives us this sense of goal to strive for ourselves. We want to be inspired into being something better. Watching ordinary people become the best version of themselves, mentally & physically, while going up against near-impossible trials is entertaining to experience. They are driven by a goal, whether it’s a moral code or a selfish need, and it’s compelling to see their goals or morals be put in question or put to the test while following their journey or adventure. That is something the common reader can relate and aspire to in some degree.
The fact of the matter is, we want superheroes or superhumans to be kinda relatable yet superior to the reader. It sounds weird when I write it down but the past few decades of comics have shown this to be true. We all like Batman because of his moral compass, but also cause he’s the peak example of what a human being can become! This goes the same for Wonder Woman, who is peak human status as a woman. Nowadays, it’s almost frowned up for heroes to look like…well heroes! I mean if you’re jumping off building and fighting on a consistent basis, you’d likely be in great shape. Now that’s taboo, especially with newer female heroes.
We want to be able to understand the heroes/villains and see them in situations that we as readers can only dream of being in. Cool characters with great stories to tell!
Comic books and Superheroes have always acted as a sense of escapism, a way to leave the real world, if not for only a brief moment, and enter a whole new world, familiar yet different. However, most importantly, we want to see cool fights. Now, the modern take of this by Marvel’s writer is admirable but misses the point entirely. I’ll be frank, I don’t want to see lame-ass average looking people as heroes. It sounds bad but that just the truth of the matter. Heroes are meant to be cool, do cool shit and look cool doing it. Yes, we have lame heroes in the mix too but the bulk of why we read comics is to see cool shit on panels. This is why manga as of late has been doing well over here in the west.
Look, I don’t want to get political (this time) but Malcolm X made a very valid point that seems to now hold up more than ever. He said,
The white liberal aren’t white people who are for independence, who are moral and ethical in their thinking. They are just a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. The same as the white conservative is a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. They are fighting each other for power and prestige, and the one that is the football in the game is the Negro, 20 million black people.
A political football, a political pawn, an economic football, and economic pawn. A social football, a social pawn. The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance of the Negro, and getting the mind of the Negro. Then the Negro sides with the white liberal, and the white liberal use the Negro against the white conservative.
My point is that these people who are trying to champion diversity, may not necessarily have the best intentions in mind, and in fact, is having the opposite effect on people’s minds when it comes to diversity. I feel like the more Marvel’s writer continues on in this backward crusade for diversity, it, in turn, will create this mindset on people who will instantly reject anything that remotely diverts away from the “norm” and chuck it all to “SJW & Forced Diversity” file in an effort to “rebel” or to “stick it to the man”. This is bad because there are genuinely great stories out there being told but not enough people know about them. Or, they might be Marvel writers who wants to tell great stories with new characters but are been peer pressured by their peers to stay the course of self-destruction.
And now, because of this, you’ll soon start to see these same writers use the claim “we made new characters but you people didn’t like them, so we’re going back to replacing old with new”, instead of just admitting that they are wrong. I can see them use that talking point when characters like Snowflake and Trailblazer fail. That’s how I feel right now, and is why I try to promote new indie works from fans more often. I believe that Marvel, and to an extent DC are reaching an end to their reign in the comic book industry, and just like we see indie games take a more prominent position in the gaming field, we may start seeing a change of a sort with comic books in the form of Webtoons, webcomics, and Manga. Basically, comics going digital means anyone has a shot in creating a great character with great stories.
I hope I made sense in my rambling just now. Let me know what you guys think?