A little while ago, I was waffling on (as is my wont) on the topic of the inherent ‘darkness’ of magical do-gooders who wear brightly coloured costumes and fight monsters, when my brane wandered down a previously unexplored pathway and came up with this.
Many of you may have already read it, but here it is for public consumption.
The Superhero as Playground Equipment
I like to look at it this way.
There’s a park with slides and swings and stuff in it. All the swings and stuff are designed for kids, and the kids enjoy playing there.
One night, Frank Miller and Alan Moore wander along. They play on the seesaw for a bit and muck around on the swings. “Hrm…” they think.
Then they go off. They invent a new kind of high tech mechanical swing-set. It’s a bit intense so they doesn’t encourage kids to ride it. A bunch of grown ups who used to play in the park when they were kids ride the mechanical swing-set and really dig it.
Suddenly, all sorts of people are building weird new swingsets and seesaws and jungle gyms which were never designed for kids. It’s getting difficult for kids to find places to play because these new amusement centres are taking real estate away from the old-style playgrounds.
Suddenly, all the adults who are enjoying riding these weird new rides discover the old playgrounds they used to play in when they were kids. They kick all the kids out and start souping up all the rides so they’re no longer safe for the kids to play on.
Across the country, kids everywhere are looking around at these new swings and seesaws and tyre-swings and merry-go-rounds and thinking… “This looks terrible.”
Any kid who DOES venture into a playground is surrounded by strange 30 year olds sitting around on their swings and seesaws and talking about rape and vengeance and boobs. Most of them are wearing Spider-Man and Punisher t-shirts and smell weird.
So yeah, what’s wrong with ‘mature’ superhero comics again?