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Comics you bought after they jumped the shark*

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics you bought after they jumped the shark*

Kevin Church’s rant (which, even though everyone else in the blogaxy has already linked, I will link to here because I’m under ridiculous pressure to do so!) got me thinking about continuing to buy comics that aren’t very good anymore.  We’ve all done it, people!  So I thought about the books I have purchased that I should have given up on … and lo, I had a post!

Back in the day, it was easier to buy titles that weren’t all that good.  Comics were cheaper.  Simple as that.  So you could stick with a title in the usually desperate hope that it would get better, and it wouldn’t make such a dent in your wallet.  These days, it ought to be easier to drop a book, because if you’re spending three dollars on a flimsy comic book, it should be good, shouldn’t it (hey, that sounds like a good name of a blog – I wonder if anyone’s taken it?)?  But occasionally, we keep buying crappy books.  Usually because of our childhood affection for the characters.  I’m not here to argue that you should give up books – do what you want with your money!  I just thought I’d share some series I should have given up on, why I didn’t, and ask you the same.  Won’t that be fun?

The nice thing about many comics is that even if they go downhill, they can easily come back with a new creative team.  So some of these comic books returned to glory, or at least good stories.

Uncanny X-Men.  I think this might be on everyone’s list, because we’ve all bought the X-Men in the past and the book has sucked major ass at some point.  But it’s the X-Men!  I should have dropped this around the 320s, just around the time of the Generation X crossover thingy.  It didn’t really ever get better after that, but I kept buying it.  What the hell was wrong with me?  Through Zero Tolerance, through the Seagle/Bachalo issues, through the Alan Davis issues (how I wish they had been good!), through Claremont’s return, through the brief Joe Casey run, and into the Chuck Austen run, I bought it.  Austen finally drove me away, well over 100 issues after I should have dropped it.  Sheesh.  A few decent ideas – Operation: Zero Tolerance could have worked, and those new fake X-Men could have been cool – but mostly just crap.  Except Claremont brought Dazzler back briefly.  That was awesome.

Amazing Spider-Man.  I’m not sure when this jumped the shark.  I started buying it right when McFarlane came on, before those issues skyrocketed in price, and some hardcore fans would say it had already gone too far into the suckiness by then.  But those stories were pretty entertaining.  Larsen took over, and I think when Spidey got those Captain Universe powers (or whatever he’s called), I should have bailed.  I definitely know by the time Cardiac showed up, any semblance of goodness had been left far behind.  I wised up not long after that, but I have a good thirty issues in my collection that I fear to re-read in case my brain explodes.  I came back when Straczynski took over, and then bailed again with issue #500.  It sounds like my timing was pretty good on that call!

Moon Knight (third series).  The first series suffered a bit when Sienkiewicz left, but Nowlan came on, and it got canceled before it could suck.  The second series lasted only six issues and never had time to become very good.  But the third series was actually pretty good for a while.  It started to slip early in the 30s, but James Fry came on the art and it got trippy and very weird for a bit, but in the 40s and 50s it really started to suck.  And then the horror of Stephen Platt came on board.  I dropped it with issue #50, and then picked up the final few issues cheaply just for the hell of it.  Even though I paid about a third of the cover price for the final ten issues, they still aren’t worth it.

Justice League (second series).  Two words: General Glory.  Holy crap, that was an awful story.  Giffen and DeMatteis recovered just a bit for “Breakdowns,” but then they did the revamp with both JLAmerica and JLEurope.  And then we got Bloodwynd.  Ugh.  I should have bailed after the first General Glory issue, but I stuck around for about fifteen issues after the revamp.  At least I dropped it before they could cancel it!

The Gotham Earthquake/No Man’s Land.  Now that we’ve seen the “relief effort” of the various levels of government in New Orleans, the idea that the feds would bail on Gotham makes slightly more sense than it used to, but it’s still one of the dumbest ideas in the history of comics.  At the very least, Gotham is a major seaport on the Atlantic with (presumably) a deep harbor, so the income alone it would generate would preclude the government from cutting it off from the rest of the country.  Arrrrggggghhhhh!  But that’s neither here nor there – the No Man’s Land stories that ran for a year in the Bat books got progressively worse, despite a very few bright spots.  I stuck around because I love me some Batman, but all it got me was another good female character getting killed by the Joker.  Fine work, DC.  Good job.

Finally, I suspect that Ultimate Spider-Man may have jumped the shark, but I keep buying the trades.  I only write “suspect” because there have been some lousy stories in the past (Geldoff, Bendis?  Really?) but it has rebounded.  I think maybe that Gwen’s death was the turning point, and the last two trades (“Silver Sable” and “Deadpool”) have been really weak.  Gwen’s death, especially, pissed me off, even though I knew it was coming.  I’m still going to buy the trades, because I want to see how Bendis and Bagley finish their run, but I wonder if this whole Clone Saga and whatever else has come since the Deadpool story is any good.  What say you, good readers?  Has USM lost any goodness it once had?

I could probably think of a few more, but those are the ones that I can think of without digging through my collection.  Some titles I bought after they went bad, but I like to think I bailed on those very soon after they went in the tank.  These are the series where I doggedly kept going back, hoping against hope that it would get better.

Don’t be shy, people!  Share yours!  You know you have them!  And try to give at least one that’s current and you’re not entirely sure if it’s jumped the shark.  We will advise you.  Come on, we’re all friends here!  No one’s judging you!**

* Yes, I’m aware that the phrase “jump the shark” has jumped the shark.  But it’s such a perfect description of the phenomenon, so I’m using it!

** Yeah, if you believe that, I have a really, really, really beautifully drawn, completely coherent Marc Silvestri comic to sell you.

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