Saturday, October 24, 2015

Five characters I'm honestly getting a bit sick of...

Ever flip open a comic or switch on some cartoons and think, "Gee, this guy again?". Maybe I'm just getting old, but some characters are just getting a little tired to my eyes. Perhaps they're overplayed or just over-hyped, but when I see these characters, I'm inclined to to just put the book down or turn of the programme and walk away. I rarely do, but I think about it.

1. Batman 

First things first, it's not so much Batman in his own comics that gets to me, but rather, his proliferation and representation in other comics. Growing up reading comics in the 1990s, I always got the impression that Batman was a little too busy to be dealing with the Justice League all the time; like he was on the books, but only showed up to the big meetings and world-ending crises. However, since about 1999, it seems like Batman is pretty much living in JLA HQ, telling everyone how shit they are and saving the day single-handed. You have a goddess, a space cop and a guy who can go for a swim in the sun and they have to rely on the insane billionaire with a bat fetish to pull them out of the fire.
I blame the writers for this one. The guys who grew up with Batman and are unable to separate their childhood hero-worship from the job they have to do now. It seems to me that all Batman does these days is grunt "I'm Batman" and punch people whilst brooding. What happened to the world's greatest detective? For me, Batman's humanity was always his greatest strength, and that seems to have been lost over the years.

Have I mentioned that I really enjoyed Deadpool/Cable? Because I did. I know it may seem like I rip on Deadpool a bit, but really, there are some comics of his that I think are pretty damn good. That said, you know what comics those are? The ones were Deadpool  has a team backing him up or is involved in a partnership. Deadpool by himself, cracking wise and breaking the fourth wall, can get a bit tiresome for me; wall-to-wall shtick can wear out its welcome after a couple of issues. Deadpool is a great guest-star or good partnered with someone very different; in fact, Deadpool/Cable does this very well. Cable's Messianic preaching and self-inflicted martyrdom would be tiresome by itself, as would Wilson's violent tendencies, but together, they work in a manner that most tired buddy-cop films would envy. 
Much as with Batman, it's the rabid fandom that has grown up around Deadpool that irks me the most. Even suggesting that the quality of Deadpool comics is patchy invokes a reaction almost as severe as implying that slow children would be an inexpensive source of dog meat. To me Deadpool is like sprinkles, great on something else (like ice cream), but I don't want a whole bowl.


Yeah, going to cop it over this one, but damn, I wish there was less Goku in Dragonball/Z/Super. Personally, I've grown out of the adolescent power-fantasy stage, so Goku is about the least interesting character in the Dragonball setting for me; all he does is train, fight and eat, he has no depth or development. Hey, I can sum-up every DBZ story in one sentence: Goku finds the problem, gets injured, the Z-Fighters try not to die, Goku comes back and defeats the villain by being more powerful than before. Can't wait to see the next stage after Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, what will it be? Super Super Saiyan God Ascended Super Saiyan? Triple Extra Bacon Deluxe God Super Saiyan?
I guess it just bugs me that, in a show with so many characters and that tried to put the focus on Gohan repeatedly, that we keep coming back to "Goku powers up and punches it harder" as a narrative solution. With the right kind of eye, one can see the editorial hand come in on DBZ a few times and sit Goku back in the spotlight to appease the fans. Akira Toryiama must have a veritable mountain of cash by now, why is he still pandering to the masses? This is the stage in his career when I expect to see a Poly-rhythmic synth Jazz album or something, not more of the same.


Again, another "don't get me wrong" moment. Thanos is a brilliant villain, hands down one of the best in the Marvel Multiverse and I can't wait to see him tear up the MCU. Through Adam Warlock, the Infinity Sagas, Annihilation and other stories, Thanos has left an indelible mark on the Universe. Honestly, his death in Annihilation was the perfect capstone for his story in my mind and I was a little disappointed to see him come back so soon in Guardians of the Galaxy. The passing of Thanos should have been a big deal, but it never rippled back to the larger Superhuman community. I know why Thanos is back, it's because people picking up comics want to see the characters they see in the films. That's why Bucky is no longer Captain America and why Thanos was dead a New York Minute. 
For me, Thanos is a big deal and should always be a big deal. Yes, tying him into the MCU was a great choice and has me champing at the bit for Infinity War, but it has made him a bit ubiquitous. When Thanos shows up it should be the pinnacle of the story, not the overture. Again, it's not that I dislike Thanos, but rather that I'm seeing him a bit too often.

The Joker  

Seems like every time I get a new Batman story, the Joker shows up to cause some chaos. Even a story about Black Mask or Bane or Catwoman will have an unesesscary Joker cameo to drag in readers, plus he'll be on the cover. I get that with a medium with as small an appeal as comics, every issue sold is a big deal, so you may as well bring out the big guns, but Batman has such a big Rogue's Gallery and it's always the bloody Joker! The Joker is a loose canon, an unknown quantity, a grenade with the pin pulled, now knowing what he's up to is almost as nerve-wracking as seeing where he's at. The novelization of Batman: No Man's Land does it about as well as one could hope to; showing the Joker walking out of Arkham at the beginning, then not having him crop up again until the final third of the book. 
Is anyone else a little annoyed that Joker is in Suicide Squad/Batman vs Superman? Ok, so The Dark Knight was a little while ago now, but he seems unnecessary to the story really. The best Joker stories place him at the centre of the narrative, having him being a supporting character seems a bit wasteful, if one were cynical, one may be tempted to say that it was a bit of a cheap cash-in.

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