Monday, October 23, 2006
When Superheroes Were Allowed to be Funny
These days I read more Marvel than I do DC. I think it was back in 2000 when Cap'n John turned me back onto comics after I'd spent a few years away, and the tool he used was the Daredevil: Visionaries trade paperback, collecting the first eight issues of Kevin Smith's run on the series. Shortly after that I began to follow all of Marvel's then-new Ultimate Universe, and it wasn't long until I was embarrassed to realize that I'd returned to the Marvel Zombie tendencies of my youth.
And although I'm following fewer Marvel titles now than I was then, I find myself gravitating back toward independents rather than back to DC. Because while there are a few outstanding DC books, like Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman series (which, tellingly, exists in its own continuity), these days I find the DC Universe to be a bit tedious.
Based on the events of Identity & Infinite Crisis, I can only assume that there was an editorial mandate somewhere along the line to eradicate humor from everything they publish. And I consider that extremely unfortunate, because for me the heyday of DC Comics (post-Silver Age, at least) was the '80s.
That's right: The era of the Giffen/Dematteis/Maguire Justice League and, of course, Giffen's Ambush Bug... the halcyon days when laughter could still be heard in the DC Universe. Which is why I was extremely surprised last week when, in the humorless aftermath of the various Crises mini-series, Ambush Bug turned up on the cover of DC's 52: Week 24. Maybe there's hope for the DCU yet.
For the story behind the picture of Ambush Bug above, click on it and read the caption for it on my Flickr page.