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I Like Superheroes, But…* (Part 1 in a possible series; no guarantees)

by  in Comic News Comment
I Like Superheroes, But…* (Part 1 in a possible series; no guarantees)

*Not to be confused with “I Like Superhero Butts,” my 368 page treatise on the work of Ed Benes and other practitioners of camel toe rendering in sequential art. Just wanted to clear that up from the outset.

I like superheroes, but not unconditionally. In fact, my love of the capes ‘n’ cowels crowd comes with more strings attached than a favor from the mob. Here’s one in a possible series, if I feel like it (I don’t have the best track record of honoring commitments in that regard; I’ve sort of jumped off of Jumping On Points for the moment):
I like superheroes, but I’m not automatically interested in superheroes in other mediums any more. It occured to me, while watching the 42nd Ghost Rider commerical (give or take a couple) of my evening television viewing, that I haven’t seen a superhero movie in a long time. I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to watch either Superman Returns or X3 last summer, and haven’t even felt like renting them. I haven’t seen Elektra or Catwoman, either, come to think of it (although that’s less a lack of interest and more the fact that they screamed “Do not watch me!” at the top of their figurartive lungs. I get the feeling Garner and Berry might even scream that at the top of their lungs if they were being honest). Part of that is because I just don’t have the attention span to sit through many movies these days (I blame Tivo; if I can’t fast forward through something, my viewing experience feels confinint), but I used to go to any comics related film playing at my local multiplex with bells on. I mean, I paid to see Daredevil, for god’s sake! If they ever make a sequel to that one, you’d have to pay me a lot to watch it. Unless the Owl is the villain. Because, c’mon; the Owl is the greatest Marvel villain ever.*

I am eagerly anticipating Spider-Man 3, and I have to admit, I do kind of want to see the aformentioned realization of Nicholas Cage’s dream to play a superhero, but I no longer view every new superhero-based film’s release as an event. Because they aren’t; they’re too commonplace for that. Part of the appeal for the original Spider-Man and X-Men movies was that I had waited my whole life to see it, and I was still a teenager when those movies came out; I can only imagine how people who had followed the characters for their entire life spans felt.** 

But now that Marvel is an actual Hollywood player and superhero movies have gone from flash in the pan to an established genre, who cares? There’s nothing special about a new superhero movie release; it’s like getting excited about the train schedule. They arrive like clockwork, and are about as exciting and distinguishable as your average Greyhound.

I’m also not onboard with the cultural phenomenon that is Heroes. This is the kind of show I would have eaten up with a spoon a scant few years ago, but I can not muster a single ounce of interest in it. I say that not as a value judgement; it could be a great show for all I know. I just literally can’t work up the enthusiasm to watch it. I’I feel the same way about Battlestar Galactica, but that’s one for my “I like Sci-Fi, but…” series on a blog to be named later. The premise is new to TV, but given that it’s been around in some form since anything from the New Universe to the Lee/Ditko Spider-Man, I genuinely can not care less about normal people with powers. With a cast bereft of actors whose work I like (although I am amused by Milo Ventimigila’s* name), and given the fact that I have fatigue over of all of these slowburn adventure shows to come out of Lost’s wake, and I just don’t care, even if I still feel a nagging obligation to because it’s about superheroes. That has yet to outweigh my disinterest, but it’s there. It generally goes away when I watch my weekly reginent of six and a half hours of pro wrestling and multiple sitcoms, though, so that’s where my heads at regarding the old idiot box.

It strikes me that this may come across as more jaded and cynical than I intended. Maybe I am more jaded and cynical about superheroes than I thought I was. I do like seeing them in other mediums; I like that I can get my epic superhero fix from video games, for instance, since I generally avoid crossovers like a horde of flaming, plague spreading rats who want to talk about how I should watch Heroes. But that’s a cynical, jaded story for another time. Maybe.

*I was just testing your sarcasm detectors. Although if they had the balls to not only make a Daredevil sequel but make the Owl the villain, I’d have to watch it out of admiration. Because that’s Colbert-worthy ballsiness right there.

**I’m talking about people old enough to have followed the Silver Age Marvel characters since their inception. Geezers like Greg Hatcher. Who also probably followed the Model T since its inception.***

***I want to let Greg know that I meant no disrespect in calling him a geezer and comically exagerrating his age. Although c’mon Hatcher, you’re like totally old! And yet we share a love of Silver and Bronze age comics. Which makes me feel old. Damn you, Hatcher, you geezer!

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