Sunday, February 17, 2008

Comics Are Shit... It's Official (Part One!)

You know how when you have a kitchen where the hob is next to the draining board and you think "Shall I put all this dry washing up back in the cupboard before I start making dinner?" and you're lazy and/or have testicles so decide you won't, and then you make something which spits a lot of oil everywhere so you end up not only washing up the dinner stuff but all of the stuff on the draining board which now has a lovely patina of grease? Mmm, yeah.

So, two things lead me to the conclusion that comics are shit. Neither are new. The first is One More Day, a clusterfuck of an 'event', what we old-timers used to call 'a bad story', that, in this case, ran through Marvel's Spiderman comics with all the care of Ian Brady in a children's ward with all the axes he can carry and a promise that the police won't be turning up until after they've had their breakfast. As with all things there's a bit of a back story to this. The universe began, the earth formed and then, a while later, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made comics about superheroes that had issues and problems, except for the Fantastic Four who have always been teeth-grittingly anodyne and perfect it makes me want to vomit up the contents of both my, and several other people's stomachs. As time passed they started the speculator market by sticking an 'x' on any turd that came out of the office (The Astonishing X-Turd #1: 'If This be a Plumber!') until the turds left Marvel to set up Image comics and the company collapsed.

These day the company exists as a machine for letting Fox make really bad movies with the creating of comics as a license-fulfilling mad lady in the attic. Chief Mrs Bates these days is Joe Quesada who really should never have sought to become famous with hair like that (note to self: Destroy all photos of myself with long hair when I was under the misapprehension it made me look like Antonio Banderas in Interview With The Vampire and not a heavy metal fan who drank too much Diamond White). Joe spent his time as Chief Turd-Polisher by announcing that the turds had a much better consistency back when Peter Parker was single, he having got married so long ago that Mohammed supplied the booze for the bachelor party. After several years of going on about having Peter married to Mary-Jane Watson-Parker was a fucking sacrilege in a manner akin to your drunken uncle at family get-togethers never getting over the fact that his wife left him a decade previously and is now doing swimmingly with another man who knows how to give her orgasms, Joe finally issued a dictat that last year would be the year where the marriage was undone.

But it was complicated by reasons that Joe came up with in his brain. Despite the fact that the only people reading comics are overweight men in their mid-forties who still live in their parents basements (or in the UK loft-conversions) Joe harboured this strange delusion that the reason Spiderman comics are shit these days was not due to the writers but due to them having to write a married 'web-slinger' (ugh, I feel dirty). It seems that if there wasn't the frisson of the posibility of Spidey getting off with The Incredible Hulk then it really wasn't worth Joe coming to work in the morning. Joe thought kids of thirteen who read Spiderman wouldn't relate to a character who was married, although if the kids I know are anything to go by, his lack of a Wii, the fact that he never says 'fuck!' and doesn't shoot people he thinks are 'disrespectin' him blud' are probably bigger concerns. But he didn't want to have Peter and MJ divorce, because what child could possibly relate to two adults deciding that they lived different lives and no longer having anything in common?

So, due to the dictates of a company-wide storyline Spiderman revealed his identity to the 'imaginary world' that Marvel comics operate in. His Aunt gets shot a few issues later. While Peter Parker is a perpetual man-child aged in his mid-twenties his Aunt is about three hundred years old, showing that freaky genetics in the Parker family didn't start with his being bitten by a radioactive spider. So she's not doing well, and Peter isn't getting any help from the various superheroes he tries calling, sure they can travel through time and space but they can't help with his Aunt. And then Mephisto, the Marvel comics Satan-that-they-can't-call-Satan turns up and offers Spidey a deal. He'll save Aunt May's life, and he'll toss in making everyone forget that Peter is Spidey, but in return he gets to magically undo Peter and Mary-Jane's marriage, because that sort of thing gives him a massive hard-on for evil. The catch is that, deep in their souls, at a subconscious level, Peter and MJ will remember they were married, even if consciously they, and the rest of the Marvel Universe don't, and they'll feel a little bummed out and that will make Mephisto happy. Oh and to pad the story out Peter meets alternate versions of himself if he'd grown up without either super-powers or a wife (basically he turns out like the sort of man who reads Marvel comics) and 'the daughter that he and Mary-Jane will never have' who, due to some dodgy artwork looks like the sister of the butler from The Prisoner.

Anyway, I've momentarily run out of bile, so I shall return to this subject when I've refilled. Don't go away!

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