DC Comics

Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
23,786
Reaction score
60,357
compare those though to his recent DC stuff...

Justice-Leage-1-him-lee-full.jpg

meh.
 

James Gillen

Proud to be an American
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
563
Reaction score
1,047
I'm not going to try and convince you to alter your perspective in any way, but just as a counterpoint, I remember seeing the original Sea Lab cartoons as a kid...and absolutely loathing them. They were so mind-numbingly boring to me. And at that age, I was still entertained by Polka Dot Door. OTOH, I dearly love Adult Swim's Sea Lab 2021, easily one of my favourite TV shows of all time.(and featuring The Pub's own Erik Estrada in his finest role!).
SEALAB 2021: The reason marijuana was invented.

JG
 

JRT

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
365
Reaction score
678
Yes, the amount of material that appears in merchandise, tv, movies etc, that did not appear in some form at one time in a comic is minuscule. Until you start seeing a large percentage of IP appearing first in any format other than a comic, they will remain the IP generstors.
The "at one time" was my point; it seems to me like it's been at least a generation.

Well, there's always been an influence in other media on the comics, and it goes back a long time. Superman, for instance, never actually flew until the Fleisher cartoons, and Kryptonite was created for a radio serial and not in the main comics--plus when the movie came out there was some attempts to upgrade the look of Lois and Clark to match the movies. And the 1980s saw Firestar, a character created for a Spider-Man cartoon, become a full-fledged mutant superhero, eventually joining The New Warriors.

The lines are starting to blur more and more with the success of movies and TV. Phil Coulson never existed in the SHIELD agent rosters, but the movie ended up putting him in the cartoons and the comics, Nick Fury "Jr" was introduced in the main Marvel universe to match the look of the movies. And Guardians of the Galaxy ended up actually changing a few characters in the comics--Star-Lord had a different comic origin but they've erased that and given him a seperate origin. (Not the same as the movie, but similar--the original was never a midwestern kid who played pop songs). DC added the Wonder-Twins into mainstream continuity and I've heard it's actually pretty entertaining.

The other thing I think to remember is that how do we measure the "pop-culture" influence of the comics. One thing that makes it hard is that the most Iconic characters like Superman, Batman, etc, had a lot of cartoons and adaptations before the modern era of comics. Was Spider-man's rise to become Marvel's big start solely from the success of Lee, Ditko, and Romita's comic, or did the 1967 animated series help? Iron Man, for instance, was never a big icon as big as Spidey--but I think that changed with the 2008 movie. It's hard to measure it--and its even harder if you are measuring it based on your past fandom (being into comics as a kid and now being 40-50), and don't see what the kids are into if you've aged out of that era.

I also think comic characters were easier to be Iconic when there were fewer modes of Entertainment. It's possible Marvel characters were able to enter pop culture at a time when comics were still influential on the kids. Even in the 1970s--we only had 3 networks plus a smattering of UHF channels instead of even the 70 channels of cable, primitive video-games were just starting in arcades, etc. Outside of Saturday morning cartoons (and re-runs/first runs on UHF stations), comics were the only kind of genre that was appealing to the kids. Maybe the reason a comic character didn't break out is that other icons had taken over--Mario and Sonic entered the pop culture consciousness in the late 80s. Now? Good luck making anything that stands out in a medium that few people read outside of the long-time fans of the genre.

I think many of the characters will still come from comics first--but that's because Marvel and DC have a huge library of characters. However, the influence of the movies will be paramount and will be the thing that makes them iconic. We might start seeing new characters in either the movies or TV shows, especially since the comics have such a small audience now and (depending on the future) one of the publishers stops the current legacy method of monthly books in a "floppy" format.
 

Justin Alexander

Legendary Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
652
Reaction score
1,919
can the comics really to be said to be the IP generators anymore though?

The "at one time" was my point; it seems to me like it's been at least a generation.

Civil War (2006), Extremis (2005), and Miles Morales (2011) all popped to my mind as recent stuff that got pulled from the comics into other mediums.

On the DC side Flashpoint (2011) jumps to mind as a significant element of the DC television series.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
23,786
Reaction score
60,357
Civil War (2006), Extremis (2005), and Miles Morales (2011) all popped to my mind as recent stuff that got pulled from the comics into other mediums.

I wasn't really referring to stories/plots as "IP", but sure.

Miles Morales is iffy in my book. He's so far just "Spider-man", evidenced by the fact that the adaptions of his stories by the MU just switched him out for Peter Parker. I think it will take time to see if he stands as a character in his own right - The Spider-verse may be a push in that direction, but it's still at the moment simply "Spider-man if he was an African American kid".
 

JRT

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
365
Reaction score
678
One thing I forgot to put above is that, I think, in the 70s and 80s comics were serving a need for folks who had graduated out of what a cartoon could show--even the action types that HB and Filmation had done., something to serve the tweens-to-teens, as more sophisticating writing was being done there (thinking of the classic writers and artists like Claremont, Byrne, Gerber, Englehart, Wolfman, etc). But as time went on, animation picked up on that--Batman: TAS, for instance, did that, and then after that Anime started getting bigger in the US, becoming more mainstream and accessible to the public.

Meantime, comics had started getting a little too insular, being affected by the boom-bust speculation of the 90s and forgetting about it's younger audiences. Stuff that was subtle became more overt, continuity became harder to maintain, etc.
 

JRT

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
365
Reaction score
678
Vis-à-vis Disney, their current debt is a negligible factor when you take into account they spent over $70 billion acquiring 21st Century Fox and the debt is already down to less than $50 billion. That's a long-term investment.

Yeah, people need to remember that debt, while having a negative connotation (no individual likes to be in debt), is also a key to long-term investment. Amazon had a huge debt and ran that debt for years, but long-term it paid off for them.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
23,786
Reaction score
60,357
Well, there's always been an influence in other media on the comics, and it goes back a long time. Superman, for instance, never actually flew until the Fleisher cartoons, and Kryptonite was created for a radio serial and not in the main comics--plus when the movie came out there was some attempts to upgrade the look of Lois and Clark to match the movies. And the 1980s saw Firestar, a character created for a Spider-Man cartoon, become a full-fledged mutant superhero, eventually joining The New Warriors.

Sure, certainly. Harley Quinn and Chloe from Smallville are famous examples of that.

The lines are starting to blur more and more with the success of movies and TV. Phil Coulson never existed in the SHIELD agent rosters, but the movie ended up putting him in the cartoons and the comics, Nick Fury "Jr" was introduced in the main Marvel universe to match the look of the movies. And Guardians of the Galaxy ended up actually changing a few characters in the comics--Star-Lord had a different comic origin but they've erased that and given him a seperate origin. (Not the same as the movie, but similar--the original was never a midwestern kid who played pop songs). DC added the Wonder-Twins into mainstream continuity and I've heard it's actually pretty entertaining.

Yeah...that, I kinda hate. Note the adoption of creations from media into comics, rather the alteration of established characters to fit a film or TV re-interpretation. Mainly as it's so short-sighted. Because Raimi gave Spidey organic webshooters, the comics decided to follow suit, and then the Garfield movies come around, and the web-shooters are back in the films.

But I long for a time when the Marvel Universe in comics was a self-contained world with an adherence to Continuity. That Marvel Universe ended with Shooter's departure, so it really dsoesn't matter much now.

The other thing I think to remember is that how do we measure the "pop-culture" influence of the comics. One thing that makes it hard is that the most Iconic characters like Superman, Batman, etc, had a lot of cartoons and adaptations before the modern era of comics. Was Spider-man's rise to become Marvel's big start solely from the success of Lee, Ditko, and Romita's comic, or did the 1967 animated series help? Iron Man, for instance, was never a big icon as big as Spidey--but I think that changed with the 2008 movie. It's hard to measure it--and its even harder if you are measuring it based on your past fandom (being into comics as a kid and now being 40-50), and don't see what the kids are into if you've aged out of that era.

I think there's a difference between cases where popularity increases through reaching a wider audience vs characters who didn't achieve popularity until the media came about. It's worth noting that most media adaptions of comicbook characters throughout the years have come about because of that character's popularity. It's a relatively recent (circa the 90s) trend of media seeking out relatively unknown characters to adapt simply because "comics/superheroes" in general are seen as popular enough to try and find an "in" to jump on that bandwagon. (I think Rocketeer would be the first, even if that one didn't pan out.

To directly address your example of Spider-man, the comics were massively popular, which is why that cartoon was made. Recall this character was debuted as a back-up feature in a dying comic, and it was only the incdibly strong response to that leading to him getting a regular series, and it was the best-selling status of that series that led to Spidey being adopted as the flagship character for the company. I think in thaty case sapecifically, the '67 cartoon was popular because the character was popular, not the other way around.

But this is all sorta sideways to the point I was making. Even if we attribute Wonder Woman's widespread popularity to the Linda Carter series being adopted as an icon of the feminist movement at the time, or Iron Man only being ushered to the upper echelons of "main heroes" when he previously was sort of a B-player, those characters existed in comics to be taken and presented as-is to the public, and rose through the strength of those concepts. Iron Man wasn't successful because of what Hollywood changed about him, rather what the film was able to convey that was the essence of the character from the beginning.

In other words, it's not about measuring the popularity as it exists or the paths it traced to get there, it's about the creation of that archetypal figure that has the potential to achieve that. And I think the clearer indication of that is through the failures rather than the successes. Catwoman was able to move on from the Hally Berry trainwreck. Spidey was able to survive a series of abysmal films and cartoons. Batman has been able to persist through the height of campiness to the darkest of grimdark to Lego parody.

I think it's like Hercules, or King Arthur, or Robin Hood. Superheroes are the mythical Hero narratives of the twentieth century. And just as it doesn't matter how many really excrutiatingly painfully bad King Arthur films or TV or cartoons they make, the character remains a potent archetypal figure that artists are perpetually drawn to interpreting and audiences drawn to experiencing again and again. Some superheroes have that - many don't. And the ones that do have that all seem to originate from a generation or two ago or longer.

100 years from now, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if children are still watching Joe Chill gun down Martha and Thomas Wayne, or seeing a young boy learn the relationship between power and responsibility. I really doubt they'll be watching the adventures of Stormwatch, or thrilling to the continued exploits of Captain Marvel though.


I also think comic characters were easier to be Iconic when there were fewer modes of Entertainment.

Well, no doubt it's easier to be popular when there's less competition. I don't think that's the same as Iconic though.

It's possible Marvel characters were able to enter pop culture at a time when comics were still influential on the kids. Even in the 1970s--we only had 3 networks plus a smattering of UHF channels instead of even the 70 channels of cable, primitive video-games were just starting in arcades, etc. Outside of Saturday morning cartoons (and re-runs/first runs on UHF stations), comics were the only kind of genre that was appealing to the kids. Maybe the reason a comic character didn't break out is that other icons had taken over--Mario and Sonic entered the pop culture consciousness in the late 80s. Now? Good luck making anything that stands out in a medium that few people read outside of the long-time fans of the genre.

Manga is very influential on kids. It's not "comics" (which is just an artform) that lost the cultural cache among the youth - it's simply the superhero genre. I could go on a giant tangent now about how a combination of multiple factors in the American mainstream comic industry basically made a concerted effort to drive away a new generation of readers, including trends that contuinue to this day, but I won't for the moment. Suffice to say, I don't think it's competition from unrelated media. I think it's quality and presentation.

I think many of the characters will still come from comics first--but that's because Marvel and DC have a huge library of characters. However, the influence of the movies will be paramount and will be the thing that makes them iconic. We might start seeing new characters in either the movies or TV shows, especially since the comics have such a small audience now and (depending on the future) one of the publishers stops the current legacy method of monthly books in a "floppy" format.


Again, I tend to use the term Iconic and Popular as distinct concepts. Popularity is often fleeting, iconic is forever.
 
Last edited:

Voros

Doomed Investigator
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
10,794
Reaction score
19,109
I think the idea of sustained continuity and coherency in superhero comics that have existed for decades upon decades is a bit hopeless. Even Claremont created convoluted and tangled plotlines over his decades of heading the X-Men. The creative challenge of writing for an extended period at an often insane pace is going to lead to exhaustion, incoherency and drops in quality, as any long-running commercial manga shows.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
23,786
Reaction score
60,357
I think the idea of sustained continuity and coherency in superhero comics that have existed for decades upon decades is a bit hopeless. Even Claremont created convoluted and tangled plotlines over his decades of heading the X-Men. The creative challenge of writing for an extended period at an often insane pace is going to lead to exhaustion, incoherency and drops in quality, as any long-running commercial manga shows.

I think it's possible with a strong overarching vision and editorial control...in other words what Shooter brought to his role as EIC, which led to him being hated as much as loved. The Mignolaverse is managing it now on a smaller scale.
 

Endless Flight

Tea Time
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
9,737
Reaction score
23,563
Continuity is certainly possible to maintain. You just have to care. Marvel back in the 80s cared, because they had the people in place, like Mark Gruenwald, who was a walking Marvel encyclopedia.
 

Apparition

New Generation Grognard
Administrator
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
2,358
Reaction score
3,740
This does not bode well for DC Comics.


AT&T is planning tens of billions of dollars worth of cost cuts, AT&T President and COO John Stankey told investors yesterday.

For the company-wide cuts, AT&T management "has looked at effectively 10 broad initiatives that we believe can generate double digits of billions over a 3-year planning cycle," Stankey said at a Morgan Stanley conference, according to a ]transcript posted by AT&T.

One of the first of those 10 initiatives will include job cuts, which Stankey called "headcount rationalization." Stankey noted that AT&T has already been cutting jobs but said the company plans "additional work" in that area

[...] Longer-term cost cutting would start paying off after about two years, Stankey said. That will include "IT rationalization and architecture rationalization, turning down applications, movement to the cloud, getting cost efficiencies in our very, very broad infrastructure, some of that facilitated by portfolio rationalization." AT&T is also looking at ways to reduce electricity costs and a "billing and credit collections rationalization," Stankey said.
 

Justin Alexander

Legendary Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
652
Reaction score
1,919
I wasn't really referring to stories/plots as "IP", but sure.

If we're talking strictly characters, then: Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Spider-Gwen, Cassandra Cain, and X-23 are the first to come to mind. Savitar and Max Mercury I guess are getting a little long in the tooth now. The various animated series, particularly DC's, have pulled more recent characters, too.

This the percolation you generally see with characters, though: Originate in comics. Usually seep into TV series (or, before TV, movie serials). Couple decades later have enough traction that somebody green lights a film.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
23,786
Reaction score
60,357
If we're talking strictly characters, then: Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Spider-Gwen, Cassandra Cain, and X-23 are the first to come to mind. Savitar and Max Mercury I guess are getting a little long in the tooth now. The various animated series, particularly DC's, have pulled more recent characters, too.

This the percolation you generally see with characters, though: Originate in comics. Usually seep into TV series (or, before TV, movie serials). Couple decades later have enough traction that somebody green lights a film.

i guess time will only tell wehether they have staying power. I'm just dubious, even if I'm well aware I'm no longer the target audience.
 

JRT

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
365
Reaction score
678
Vis-à-vis Disney, their current debt is a negligible factor when you take into account they spent over $70 billion acquiring 21st Century Fox and the debt is already down to less than $50 billion.

Bumping this thread to show that at times, you would actually engage in increasing debt to help pay off other debt.


This is an example of what a company would be afraid of -- COVID-19's effect on the economy and Disney's various properties. When we look at the long term figure, the success of Star Wars or Marvel is a drop in the bucket.

But switching this back to comics, I think the comic publishing divisions may be affected a lot harder with this. Another Hollywood Report article shows how vulnerable the direct market might be in this time.

 

Endless Flight

Tea Time
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
9,737
Reaction score
23,563
DC has published this as a graphic novel after it was released as three large issues at the tail end of last year. It’s being hailed as one of DC’s finest efforts in years, if not ever. The story takes place in 1946. It’s an adaptation from a story that took place in the Superman radio serials.
F878EB24-A1E4-4615-95B3-8E9EAB78FE57.png
85C3174F-3EB5-44DB-9619-1FBBDE4870DA.jpeg
8BDA507B-2073-44EB-AADD-592BC30BCF09.jpeg
 

Chris Brady

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
2,506
Reaction score
2,192
I am....incredulous...
I'm amazed. The fact that a REHASH of an OLDER STORY is considered somehow better than anything recent, like Batman: White Knight, or other books, boggles my mind. Are they saying that nothing modern will ever beat an old story? That's...

Depressing.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
23,786
Reaction score
60,357
I'm amazed. The fact that a REHASH of an OLDER STORY is considered somehow better than anything recent, like Batman: White Knight, or other books, boggles my mind. Are they saying that nothing modern will ever beat an old story? That's...

Depressing.


I'm reading the first issue right now. The art is....fine? competant but lazy?

The dialogue is stilted and unnatural. The plot is....well, I'm waiting for it to kick in, actually.

I'm not impressed so far. I haven't read any DC since the new 52 except the Damien Wayne stuff and All-Star Superman, and that was nearly 8(?) years ago, but I have to wonder how bad current DC could be that this is being held on a pedastel. But as I said, just about to finish first issue, I'll give my thoughts when I finish all three. Something pretty damn amazing needs to happen though, for this to belong in the same sentence as DC's "best ever"...I mean, we're talking Alan Moore's Watchmen, his run on Swamp Thing, The Killing Joke and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tommorow?, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, Jame's Morrison's Starman, Morrison's Doom Patrol, The Invisibles, and Arkham Asylum, Loeb and Sale's The Long Halloween, Darwyn Cooke's Final Frontier, Mike Mignola's Gotham By Gaslight, etc. So far this isn't even in the same ballpark.
 

Endless Flight

Tea Time
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
9,737
Reaction score
23,563
I thought the best thing I read back in the 80s was The Killing Joke. I thought it was better than Year One, which was decent IMO. I tend to like stories that take place over a large number of issues so I tend to like the stories that took place in the monthlies. Stuff like the Hobgoblin Saga hooked me big time.
 

David Johansen

Legendary Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
3,519
Reaction score
5,533
There was a very good Mister Miracle mini-series a year or two ago, Matt Fraction, I think. Anyhow, it depends a bit on how well you like stories about depression and suicide. " 'Darkseid is', what does that mean anyhow? People just say it but what does it mean?" Also, the most lethal use of a veggi tray in comics history.
 

Chris Brady

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
2,506
Reaction score
2,192
I'm reading the first issue right now. The art is....fine? competant but lazy?

The dialogue is stilted and unnatural. The plot is....well, I'm waiting for it to kick in, actually.

I'm not impressed so far. I haven't read any DC since the new 52 except the Damien Wayne stuff and All-Star Superman, and that was nearly 8(?) years ago, but I have to wonder how bad current DC could be that this is being held on a pedastel. But as I said, just about to finish first issue, I'll give my thoughts when I finish all three. Something pretty damn amazing needs to happen though, for this to belong in the same sentence as DC's "best ever"...I mean, we're talking Alan Moore's Watchmen, his run on Swamp Thing, The Killing Joke and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tommorow?, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, Jame's Morrison's Starman, Morrison's Doom Patrol, The Invisibles, and Arkham Asylum, Loeb and Sale's The Long Halloween, Darwyn Cooke's Final Frontier, Mike Mignola's Gotham By Gaslight, etc. So far this isn't even in the same ballpark.
The idea that this is considered good honestly saddens me. I LOVE comics. Yes, I know I've harped on this point ad nasuem (Or is that nausea) but it's true. And this is what it's been devolved to. Marvel is a script farm for Hollywood (most of the people there have rich elite backgrounds, like Daniel Kibblesmith of New Warriors, he's a millionaire and a former script writer for the Stephen Colbert show.) and DC... Dan Didio did a lot of damage by allowing Bendis to kill Super Sons as a comic, this was a fan favourite, as well as letting Tom King write Batman for so long...
 

Chris Brady

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
2,506
Reaction score
2,192
There was a very good Mister Miracle mini-series a year or two ago, Matt Fraction, I think. Anyhow, it depends a bit on how well you like stories about depression and suicide. " 'Darkseid is', what does that mean anyhow? People just say it but what does it mean?" Also, the most lethal use of a veggi tray in comics history.
Tom King, and it devolved into his usual maudlin story telling.
 

David Johansen

Legendary Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
3,519
Reaction score
5,533
Yeah, it's a bit sentimental but it's nice to see a fourth world story where Darkseid gets his ass handed to him. I also liked Orion being called out as a dick and part of the problem. The layering of the normalacy of a suburban lifestyle contrasted with the New Gods weirdness. People sitting on couches eating vegitrays. Honestly, I don't read many comics anymore. It seems like anything I like gets cancelled and the stuff I can't stand just keeps getting repeated.

For instance, I really liked the recent Ultimates book where they rebooted Galactus into the life bringer and encountered a version of the New Universe characters. Really, the idea of the government of the United States just handing the entire cosmic portfolio to Philip Nelson Voight and saying "just handle it, we don't want to know" is hilarious. I'd really have liked to see more of those guys. I even liked the High Evolutionary getting conned by The Maker (Ultimate Universe Reed Richards).
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
23,786
Reaction score
60,357
OK, so...I understand now why "Superman Smashes The Clan" is held in such high regard.

It isn't the art or the writing, obviously.

It's...not actually the comic. It's the author's notes at the end, and how the comic ties into that and what it represents.

So, just to go over the comic first, it's...well, it's not very good. You know what it reminds me of?

You know those "special edition" comics for small children that they used to hand out for free where a Superhero "takes on An Issue"?

"The Hulk Battles Tooth Decay" "Wonder Woman vs Anorexia", "Captain America and The Schoolyard Bullies"? That sorta thing....

This is pretty much exactly that, and written in just as ham-fisted and patronizing a manner. The main character is a young Chinese girl, whose only discernable character trait is that she throws up a lot. Her family just immigrated to the States, and end up in Metropolis, and the KKK shows up to chase them off, but Superman stops them, and everyone learns a lesson.

Shoe-horned into this is a sub-plot about Superman coming to grips with being an Alien. Seeing as he is 30-something years old at the time of the comic, but reacts emotionally to it like a ten-year-old, this would have been best left out.

Also, despite the story ostensibly taking place in the 1940's, nobody talks or acts like it's the 40's. There's literally no reason for this story to be set in the 40's other than, I guess, as a reason to have a childhood baseball game have some sort of social importance, and so the main character can go see a movie with a Fu Manchu stand-in and get upset about it.

But none of that is really what this is about. In fact, this would have been way better if they'd left the comicbook out entirely.

See, after the comic parts in each issue, what we get is the biographical story of the author growing up, as the son of a first-generation family of Chinese immigrants. How the author discovers Superman, and what that character comes to mean for him. The racism and discrimination he faced. And, interspersed with that, an overll story of Chinese immigrants in America at the turn of the twentieth century, and the trials they faced at that time, coinciding with the rise of the second KKK prior to WWII.

This is a poignant, and touching story, a deeply personal story that is tied to a wider cultural story, interwoven with a meditation on the importance of Superheroes and what they can mean for a young reader.

It would have made a very good blog post, or magazine article.

The comicbook, then, is incidental. The author obviously deeply cares about comics, and about Superman, but that doesn't translate into talent.

It's significant to these stories in the back of the comics tht everyone who worked on the comic was Chinese, but there are many ASTOUNDINGLY talented Chinese artists working in and outside of the comics field. Unfortunately here, the artist was chosen because they are Chinese, but not because they are a great artist - they are not. I guess the letterer was probably Chinese too? They did fine, no complaints.

Anyways...is it worth picking up?

Well, again, not for the comic. How interesting/applicable the author's personal story is, is probably up to you. It might be really touching and make a lasting impression on a young Asian adolescant, especially if they are going through the typical adolescent phase of feeling disconnected and ostracized from society. It might be a curiosity for those really interested in history. For a jaded middle-aged not-Asian adult? Not so much.

Is this one of the best comics DC has ever done? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Not even close. As I said, the comic isn't even just good.

But it will probably tug on the heartstrings of certain readers, and I'm sure you already know if you are that sort of person. Just as I'm sure that a suspicious majority of those people online who will no doubt be singing it's praises will be doing so to score Twitter Brownie Points among their social circle.

Anyways, I think now I'm going to track down the original radioplay that this comic was ostensibly based on, because it sounds interesting.
 

Stan

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
1,550
Reaction score
2,953
OK, so...I understand now why "Superman Smashes The Clan" is held in such high regard.

It could also have to do with the fact the Gene Yang is famous for a comic writer, especially in the larger world of literature outside of the ghetto of supers comics. He's mostly known for American Born Chinese, the first graphic novel to be nominated for a national book award and to win a Printz award. His Boxer/Saint books on the Boxer Rebellion was similarly received. He was the recipient of a Genius Grant. He's also done Avatar, a run on Superman, and the Chinese version of Superman. I've read American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints. He's good but I wouldn't put him in the league of Marjane Satrapi or Alison Bechdel who have also done soul searching autobiographical comics.

I haven't read this book but when someone famous does a work with a clear statement that most people agree with, they automatically get praise regardless of the work's quality. People want to show that they are onboard with the idea; after all, you're against the KKK, right? I wouldn't be shocked if a story based on a 1940s radio show for kids was ham fisted. I doubt that I'll read it for the same reason that I skip most feel good biopics - yes bad things happened to them, they overcame, and people should be like them. I can get all that in a minute without sitting through a tedious, obvious story based on it.
 

Endless Flight

Tea Time
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
9,737
Reaction score
23,563
I’m usually leery of anyone who says anything is the greatest of all-time right when it’s released. That usually never happens in any form of media or even in things like sports, when athletes are put up on pedestals. It takes years and years of contemplation on the subject matter and what kind of impact it or they had in their respective fields and even outside of it.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
23,786
Reaction score
60,357
It could also have to do with the fact the Gene Yang is famous for a comic writer, especially in the larger world of literature outside of the ghetto of supers comics. He's mostly known for American Born Chinese, the first graphic novel to be nominated for a national book award and to win a Printz award. His Boxer/Saint books on the Boxer Rebellion was similarly received. He was the recipient of a Genius Grant. He's also done Avatar, a run on Superman, and the Chinese version of Superman. I've read American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints. He's good but I wouldn't put him in the league of Marjane Satrapi or Alison Bechdel who have also done soul searching autobiographical comics.

Yeah, I'd never heard of him, but I avoid Biographical comics like the plague.

I’m usually leery of anyone who says anything is the greatest of all-time right when it’s released. That usually never happens in any form of media or even in things like sports, when athletes are put up on pedestals. It takes years and years of contemplation on the subject matter and what kind of impact it or they had in their respective fields and even outside of it.

Yeah, for me, it's always a slow build that starts with the fans, never the media or the critics. It's always a word of mouth like "holy crap, this is amazing, you should check this out", among readers, and it takes a while for the outside world to catch up.
 

Chris Brady

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
2,506
Reaction score
2,192
It could also have to do with the fact the Gene Yang is famous for a comic writer, especially in the larger world of literature outside of the ghetto of supers comics. He's mostly known for American Born Chinese, the first graphic novel to be nominated for a national book award and to win a Printz award. His Boxer/Saint books on the Boxer Rebellion was similarly received. He was the recipient of a Genius Grant. He's also done Avatar, a run on Superman, and the Chinese version of Superman. I've read American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints. He's good but I wouldn't put him in the league of Marjane Satrapi or Alison Bechdel who have also done soul searching autobiographical comics.

I haven't read this book but when someone famous does a work with a clear statement that most people agree with, they automatically get praise regardless of the work's quality. People want to show that they are onboard with the idea; after all, you're against the KKK, right? I wouldn't be shocked if a story based on a 1940s radio show for kids was ham fisted. I doubt that I'll read it for the same reason that I skip most feel good biopics - yes bad things happened to them, they overcame, and people should be like them. I can get all that in a minute without sitting through a tedious, obvious story based on it.
So it's not about the story, or the characters, but about the writer.

Talk about missing the point of comics/books.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
23,786
Reaction score
60,357
Talk about missing the point of comics/books.


Comics are about the cult of personlity now (well, I say "comics", I just mean DC/Marvel)

Remember when comics didn''t even have writer/artist credits? We've come a long way baby!
 

Chris Brady

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
2,506
Reaction score
2,192
Comics are about the cult of personlity now (well, I say "comics", I just mean DC/Marvel)

Remember when comics didn''t even have writer/artist credits? We've come a long way baby!
I remember when they did, and all it meant was it was going to be a good book. I miss the 80's.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
23,786
Reaction score
60,357
I miss the 80's.

As do we all...

Or, well, I miss how comics were written and drawn in the 80s.

I don't miss the lack of graphic novels or general availability. I now have access to thousands of comics at the touch of a finger, that I neither would have been able to afford, nor had the years to track down in the 80s.

But....that's it. It's over. The characters in those comics don't exist anymore, either abandoned or replaced with doppleganers. Their caretakers are gone.
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top