No Right Answer: Worst Graphic Novel Ever

Worst Graphic Novel Ever

Comic book movies dominate the landscape, but they wouldn't have seen the light of day if their source material was as bad as these graphic novels.

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What makes a bad graphic novel so... just really sad is this. Its HARD to screw up a graphic novel. You really have to TRY to do it so badly. The basic starting point of most graphic novels is "let's take that awesome run of comics and bind it together in an accessible form for readers to enjoy." Its a "best of" in a sense, usually. Reigns and Strikes Again... yeah the worst of the lot. I've read worse, but they don't have that element of "destroying" that Reigns and Strikes Again have. Similar (although not nearly as bad) can be said about the later Crises (Crisises... Crisi...) Infinite and Final. Each in their own little way chip away at Crisis on Infinite Earths. They each had their moments, but the pale attempt to create something epic on a whole DCU scale would ultimately be done better by later attempts (most noticeably so far anyway by Flashpoint leading to New 52) that went their own way as opposed to trying to imitate the success of Crisis.

Spider-Man can be great again; you joke about killing him, but I really like Superior Spider-Man, and Javier Rodriguez can do a really good action scene. That's why One More Day is way worse than Reign in context; Reign can be ignored as a weird possible future, but One More Day sees that Spider-Man has the potential to be new and different and exciting in the main canon (he's unmasked! Peter and Mary Jane get married! Aunt May dies, which is less happy but good for storytelling) and decides it will have none of that. It does this:


to any potential growth, it does it in the most terrible way possible, and it exploits Straczynski's knowledge of how to actually write the dynamic between Peter and Mary Jane to do awful things to the story.

When a local comic book store donated a whole stack of Spider-man Reign to a club at my university I should have realised there was a reason they didn't want them...

I can barely remember how it ended either, but some parts stick out. Like how after Doc Oct dies, his tentacles (still attached to his dead body) carry Peter away and bury him in Mary Janes coffin. Which Peter bursts out of later wearing his old Spider-man costume, which he buried with MJ. And there was some weird sub plot about Sandman's daughter...

Part of me wants to go and read it again to remember how bad it was. On the other hand my subconscious may be repressing the memories on purpose.

Poor, Poor Spidey. Everything in that story makes me wonder if it was written by the people behind "Other M." Good show again guys! And I have recently been in a huge debate, the outcome of which is utterly meaningless, and I wonder if you chaps might Like to weigh in on it. I think it could be a fun show. "See Kid Beats Ocarina Of Time in 20 mins"

/edit/ Is he strong? Listen chump, he's got Radio-active spunk! Hey There! There goes the Spider man!

SilverStuddedSquirre:
Poor, Poor Spidey. Everything in that story makes me wonder if it was written by the people behind "Other M." Good show again guys! And I have recently been in a huge debate, the outcome of which is utterly meaningless, and I wonder if you chaps might Like to weigh in on it. I think it could be a fun show. "See Kid Beats Ocarina Of Time in 20 mins"

/edit/ Is he strong? Listen chump, he's got Radio-active spunk! Hey There! There goes the Spider man!

That jingle will now be in our heads all day, thank you. What was the debate you were in?

Favorite Graphic Novel... Well as a stand alone series I would also have to go with Kingdom Come. In cannon, I really like Blackest Night. Although Dark Knight Returns was probably the best animated movie since Batman Beyond, that joker fight scene is fucking brutal.

Firefilm:

SilverStuddedSquirre:
Poor, Poor Spidey. Everything in that story makes me wonder if it was written by the people behind "Other M." Good show again guys! And I have recently been in a huge debate, the outcome of which is utterly meaningless, and I wonder if you chaps might Like to weigh in on it. I think it could be a fun show. "See Kid Beats Ocarina Of Time in 20 mins"

/edit/ Is he strong? Listen chump, he's got Radio-active spunk! Hey There! There goes the Spider man!

That jingle will now be in our heads all day, thank you. What was the debate you were in?

Its on the Forums. "Kid beats Ocarina of Time in under 19 mins"

The thing about Spiderman is no one ever let him grow or change.

Batman is the most famous reboot.

Wolverine went from villian to occasional hero to the best fighter that ever lived and is on every team.

Captain America went from being the walking Billboard and loud speaker of how great America is to being disenchanted with his nation and still fighting for a dream that he doesn't see any more.

Superman went from Boy Scout to 'I'm denying my God-dom because I just don't want it'

I don't even want to count all the changes the Hulk went through, from Professor to Savage to Future to Split from Banner Hulk to Windshield Wiper Repairman Hulk (the most Helpful Hulk there ever was...)

What mobility did they give Spiderman's character?

Still a picked on 'wimp', but how adults do it. Still taking shots of Spiderman. Still everything conspires to mess up in his life. No one has tried to write him really differently. No real proactive moves as Peter. No trying to become a writer or whatever. It seems like most writers say 'Parker should do this next, or this should happen to him!'. Or just dump some tragedy on his plate with him not actually growing from it, just becoming more of a sadsack.

The only time they ever let Peter assert himself is when Doc Ock is in his damn body. They've kept the early 60's and 70's mentality of "You should like me because my life is so sad and you should pity and/or relate to me" character writing and kept it almost current in the new millennium where it seems the idea is "EVERYTHING GOOD IS STUPID, AND FUCK YEAH TO EVIL!"

How was that ever going to work?

I was going to say "Hey, wait, Superior Spider-man was great!"

...which, I mean, it is. But they killed Petey to get there, sooo...

ObsidianJones:
The thing about Spiderman is no one ever let him grow or change.

Batman is the most famous reboot.

Wolverine went from villian to occasional hero to the best fighter that ever lived and is on every team.

Captain America went from being the walking Billboard and loud speaker of how great America is to being disenchanted with his nation and still fighting for a dream that he doesn't see any more.

Superman went from Boy Scout to 'I'm denying my God-dom because I just don't want it'

I don't even want to count all the changes the Hulk went through, from Professor to Savage to Future to Split from Banner Hulk to Windshield Wiper Repairman Hulk (the most Helpful Hulk there ever was...)

What mobility did they give Spiderman's character?

Still a picked on 'wimp', but how adults do it. Still taking shots of Spiderman. Still everything conspires to mess up in his life. No one has tried to write him really differently. No real proactive moves as Peter. No trying to become a writer or whatever. It seems like most writers say 'Parker should do this next, or this should happen to him!'. Or just dump some tragedy on his plate with him not actually growing from it, just becoming more of a sadsack.

The only time they ever let Peter assert himself is when Doc Ock is in his damn body. They've kept the early 60's and 70's mentality of "You should like me because my life is so sad and you should pity and/or relate to me" character writing and kept it almost current in the new millennium where it seems the idea is "EVERYTHING GOOD IS STUPID, AND FUCK YEAH TO EVIL!"

How was that ever going to work?

That's a damn good point about lack of growth. Peter as a full journalist could be a great evolution. He could focus on hero - related issues as well to deflect from his apparent Spiderman obsession too. Lets assume he was IN NY for The Avengers: now he needs to find out all the whys what nots surrounding these events and probably use his own connection to Nick Fury (( If we can ever get past the first 3 weeks of his story, ENOUGH reboots already)) to at least get SOME info. Or failing that, drop by Stark tower. Lets not forget that Pete is also a brilliant scientist and may in his own right have a career in some field of Genetics or Comic book BS science.

Kyle is right, nothing interesting happens to Spiderman. Thi is because as Chris said, they only seem to write good stories that feature either Spidey dying, or MJ dying. The result of which is to have noowhere left to go with the character, so they just magic these characters back to life and restart. Which leads to your point; Peter hasn't grown as a character in 60 years! That hurts.

ObsidianJones:
The thing about Spiderman is no one ever let him grow or change.

Sums it up, basically.

What frustrates me the most is Spider-man, at this point, is LEAGUES better than whenever Marvel "reboots" him back to his 1970s/1980s status quo.

He was significantly more interesting as "Superior" Spider-man. Him being unmasked on TV made reading Spider-man exciting again (until it was retconned). His marriage to Mary Jane created the very best dynamic in comic books since Alfred and Bruce Wayne. Him dying in Ultimate Spider-man practically saved the whole Ultimate universe titles from cancellation single-handily.

But Marvel is "scared" to commit to any of these exciting ideas. I STILL have no freakin' idea why they were so hellbent on erasing the marriage to Mary Jane, while at the SAME TIME they were promoting hard Black Panther and Storm's marriage because, to paraphrase, "they had their two black leads in one title to generate sales".

The Amazing Spider-Girl, with Peter and Mary Jane's daughter, was unbelievably "amazing" proof that these situations could've led to something much better than they ultimately gave us. Peter in the role of father and husband, Mary Jane actually being the one to encourage her daughter to follow in Peter's footsteps, all of it led to the best Spider-man book of the past 10 years or more.

But Peter Parker "died" to me with "One More Day". It took his defining motto of "with great power comes great responsibility" and stripped all the responsibility away. Who cares about consequences if you don't even remember the mistakes you made? Who cares about responsibility when you can wish your problems away with magic? Who cares about your promises and vows to your wife (and even your aunt) when none of that matters because you can't accept responsibility for your actions?

Spider-man to me is "broken" and hasn't been fixed in several, several years. There's a reason Superior Spider-man was more enjoyable; we had a more interesting and compelling character to follow.

Trishbot:
But Peter Parker "died" to me with "One More Day". It took his defining motto of "with great power comes great responsibility" and stripped all the responsibility away. Who cares about consequences if you don't even remember the mistakes you made? Who cares about responsibility when you can wish your problems away with magic? Who cares about your promises and vows to your wife (and even your aunt) when none of that matters because you can't accept responsibility for your actions?

Spider-man to me is "broken" and hasn't been fixed in several, several years. There's a reason Superior Spider-man was more enjoyable; we had a more interesting and compelling character to follow.

I'm not going to lie, I'm the biggest Spiderman fan. So take what I'm going to say with a grain of salt.

But I think you got it right here.

Spiderman is a character built on an ideal. Not one that he actually cherishes, mind you, but fears. He fears his power. Every time he's about to act, he trots out that phrase to make him take the most passively active stance he could.

What if he were to think about it? Change it. With Great Power Comes great responsibility... What if he TOOK responsibility? Not just feared it, like he fears his actions will mess everything up. Suppose they might? Take responsibility for them. Make them better. Be more of a Captain America, who sees how his nation has used him and his actions, but still tries to fight for the best outcome according to him.

Although I love Spiderman, he always just seems... reluctant. He's always trying to give up Spiderman. How many more comics did they try to sell by Peter giving up the suit? Mary Jane was afraid he was going to get hurt, Guilt over actions he did as Spiderman, Clones Clones Clones, Magic and the like. It seems every writer is just so ready to make Spiderman give up to fear us back into reading instead of... Oh, I don't know, making him more Gung Ho.

Not actively hating his responsibility. Not having everyone actively hate him, or better yet, take actions to really prove them wrong instead of shrugging and saying "This is Spiderman's Lot in life". If he embraced Spiderman as apart of who he is just as Bruce Wayne feels that Batman isn't a costume, but his complete personality... The comics would just get more interesting.

Hell, Peter's first action EVER as Spiderman was the desire not to get involved. That lead to his defining moment of his life, sure, but every action since then seemed to be as penance instead of the genuine urge to save his world. It leads to a really wishy washy character.

... But he makes me laugh. It's a tough relationship, him and I have.

ObsidianJones:

Not actively hating his responsibility. Not having everyone actively hate him, or better yet, take actions to really prove them wrong instead of shrugging and saying "This is Spiderman's Lot in life". If he embraced Spiderman as apart of who he is just as Bruce Wayne feels that Batman isn't a costume, but his complete personality... The comics would just get more interesting.

Hell, Peter's first action EVER as Spiderman was the desire not to get involved. That lead to his defining moment of his life, sure, but every action since then seemed to be as penance instead of the genuine urge to save his world. It leads to a really wishy washy character.

... But he makes me laugh. It's a tough relationship, him and I have.

And that's the strange thing... Spider-man is popular in SPITE of that, because when he IS handled well, he's great.

... But he's rarely been handled well as of late.

Marvel - and comics in general - has had a very poor track record with their characters these past several years. Spider-man got it the worst, but everyone from Wolverine to Iron Man to The Fantastic Four all got dragged through the character-derailing mud these past few years. There's a reason Marvel's Annihilation, set during the same timeframe as Civil War, was my favorite book they've put out in a decade; heroes rising to the occasion to save the universe from ultimate evil. Like heroes should. Nova, in particular, rose to be one of my favorites, buoyed by the fact he unabashedly LOVED being a hero with cool powers that could help as many people across the galaxy as he could. So of course Marvel "killed him" off and replaced him with a very Peter Parker-esque whiny kid who doesn't want the responsibility and has to ask his mom for permission to fight villains.

When Peter was "witty", he was always my favorite. I loved the post-Clone Saga era where him and Mary-Jane reestablished their lives and she was fully in support of his life (she was VERY well written at that time. Her smacking the Chameleon around their house with a baseball bat never ceases to put a smile on my face).

And I think that's why, with Peter so... unlikable and uncharismatic lately (largely due to not having Mary Jane to bounce banter off of at home), the "other" Spider-men titles picked up the slack and did it better. Spider-Girl was the perfect Spider-man book - funny, witty, heroic, fun, adventurous, romantic, silly, intense, action-packed. Spider-man 2099 rose up to give us one of the most heroic Spider-man incarnations ever. Even Flash Thompson as Venom is more "heroic" than Spider-man is largely because he became Venom because he wanted to be a hero LIKE Spider-man.

And I think that's why Doc Ock's Superior Spider-man is so good. It's fun. It's a semi-reformed villainous anti-hero trying and failing repeatedly to understand and be a true hero. We're engaged. We want to know if he'll succeed or slip up. We want to know if he can find redemption or if the comic gods above will demand he return to his expected "status quo". We strangely care more about him than we have for Peter in the past several years because, unlike Peter, he actually IS making an effort to enjoy heroism and being admired rather than feared and rejected.

We all know Peter's coming back... but, like many fans, I'm more dreading it than looking forward to it.

Heh, I thought All Star Batman was going to get a mention in today episode.

Best spider man was in "the other" and during the civil war.

Trishbot:
And that's the strange thing... Spider-man is popular in SPITE of that, because when he IS handled well, he's great.

... But he's rarely been handled well as of late.

Marvel - and comics in general - has had a very poor track record with their characters these past several years. Spider-man got it the worst, but everyone from Wolverine to Iron Man to The Fantastic Four all got dragged through the character-derailing mud these past few years. There's a reason Marvel's Annihilation, set during the same timeframe as Civil War, was my favorite book they've put out in a decade; heroes rising to the occasion to save the universe from ultimate evil. Like heroes should. Nova, in particular, rose to be one of my favorites, buoyed by the fact he unabashedly LOVED being a hero with cool powers that could help as many people across the galaxy as he could. So of course Marvel "killed him" off and replaced him with a very Peter Parker-esque whiny kid who doesn't want the responsibility and has to ask his mom for permission to fight villains.

When Peter was "witty", he was always my favorite. I loved the post-Clone Saga era where him and Mary-Jane reestablished their lives and she was fully in support of his life (she was VERY well written at that time. Her smacking the Chameleon around their house with a baseball bat never ceases to put a smile on my face).

And I think that's why, with Peter so... unlikable and uncharismatic lately (largely due to not having Mary Jane to bounce banter off of at home), the "other" Spider-men titles picked up the slack and did it better. Spider-Girl was the perfect Spider-man book - funny, witty, heroic, fun, adventurous, romantic, silly, intense, action-packed. Spider-man 2099 rose up to give us one of the most heroic Spider-man incarnations ever. Even Flash Thompson as Venom is more "heroic" than Spider-man is largely because he became Venom because he wanted to be a hero LIKE Spider-man.

And I think that's why Doc Ock's Superior Spider-man is so good. It's fun. It's a semi-reformed villainous anti-hero trying and failing repeatedly to understand and be a true hero. We're engaged. We want to know if he'll succeed or slip up. We want to know if he can find redemption or if the comic gods above will demand he return to his expected "status quo". We strangely care more about him than we have for Peter in the past several years because, unlike Peter, he actually IS making an effort to enjoy heroism and being admired rather than feared and rejected.

We all know Peter's coming back... but, like many fans, I'm more dreading it than looking forward to it.

Once again, you're killing it by being so on topic.

I'm with you on the reluctance of the powers. I mean, yeah, as we all know, the obvious choice of having superpowers is Superman. Who wouldn't pick that? However, if I had to pick anyone from the mid-tier realm of heroes (actually having powers, but nothing rivaling Wonder Woman, Sentry, The Scarlet Witch, or any of the Gods), I would so pick Spiderman. Strength, speed, Spider Sense... and the web swing seems like such a fun way to get around. Spiderman has it.

However, I think what resonated with me the most is when you said Spiderman is popular in-spite of that. It made me go back and remember why I liked him as a kid. And the answer is simple. I was a geek outcast growing up. Not being taken seriously by my family or my peers. Seeing Peter go through the same thing, the same self doubt, and then put on the costume despite of it all because it was the right thing to do encouraged me. It did a lot for me, teaching me just because everyone is against you (maybe even yourself) doesn't mean you not able to do what you have to do.

And the disconnect came with time. Because I grew. And sadly, I don't have super powers. Nor don't I have the best of luck now. But I realized life isn't going to stop dumping on me, so either I have to get better and get stronger or I can let it crush me.

Spiderman has still stayed in his holding pattern, though.

Never venturing more than a few moments of being brave and self assured. Still 'Life sucks, even though on paper I'm really awesome'. Worse yet, he did always blame the costume for his faults in life. People targeting his loved ones to get to him... Ok, then try a new tactic. Don't go around in the bright red and blue, maybe. You're vastly intelligent, you're quicker than any human has a right to be, you're super strong, and you have near ESP. Why aren't you giving Batman a run for his money, Spidey? If you're afraid that the suit and the powers will bring trouble on the doorstep of those you love, then use your genius and your abilities so it won't! Imagine a new arc of comics where Spiderman learns to use his powers in a different way, becoming a different fighter and trying to involve it for the sake of using his power to the fullest of his capabilities and taking the responsibility not only to do the right thing, but making sure that his actions won't have repercussions on his loved ones.

Now please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that he should full on try to ape Batman. but He has abilities that would make for a much more efficient fighter if he learned to hone them. People would never, EVER see this man coming if he just put his mind to it. But he just rushes in like a red and blue missile. Even if he doesn't go the the super stealthy route, he can do so many more different things with his abilities that... I really don't remember seeing any comics with him training other than learning the Way of the Spider. And I don't even know if anyone kept up with that.

It goes back to the Great Power, Great Responsibility thing. He blames his power for everything. He never takes the responsibility of making his power work for him.

This here is where I'm starting to feel my loss for Spiderman comes. I mean, for two people who never talked before, who probably live on different sides of the earth who both just happen to love Spiderman (or how he is when handled properly) to sit here and nitpick at all the faults we all see while being able to offer tweaks to make it better... Why hasn't any of the writers thought of these things? Why just lump tragedy and gimmick after gimmick on top of a confused character? Why not take, I don't know, a twelve issue run when crime is light and have Spidey swing around and think about all the good he's done? How he can become more assertive. How he should become more of a hero, and less of an oddly active neighborhood watch captain who seems to be voted in against his will. Use the end of the run to actually put those views into practice via some event.

Make Spiderman become proactive in his own damn life instead of listening to sayings that kept him from evolving into his own man, and the naysayers who he saves on a consistent basis.

ObsidianJones:

Trishbot:
And that's the strange thing... Spider-man is popular in SPITE of that, because when he IS handled well, he's great.

... But he's rarely been handled well as of late.

Marvel - and comics in general - has had a very poor track record with their characters these past several years. Spider-man got it the worst, but everyone from Wolverine to Iron Man to The Fantastic Four all got dragged through the character-derailing mud these past few years. There's a reason Marvel's Annihilation, set during the same timeframe as Civil War, was my favorite book they've put out in a decade; heroes rising to the occasion to save the universe from ultimate evil. Like heroes should. Nova, in particular, rose to be one of my favorites, buoyed by the fact he unabashedly LOVED being a hero with cool powers that could help as many people across the galaxy as he could. So of course Marvel "killed him" off and replaced him with a very Peter Parker-esque whiny kid who doesn't want the responsibility and has to ask his mom for permission to fight villains.

When Peter was "witty", he was always my favorite. I loved the post-Clone Saga era where him and Mary-Jane reestablished their lives and she was fully in support of his life (she was VERY well written at that time. Her smacking the Chameleon around their house with a baseball bat never ceases to put a smile on my face).

And I think that's why, with Peter so... unlikable and uncharismatic lately (largely due to not having Mary Jane to bounce banter off of at home), the "other" Spider-men titles picked up the slack and did it better. Spider-Girl was the perfect Spider-man book - funny, witty, heroic, fun, adventurous, romantic, silly, intense, action-packed. Spider-man 2099 rose up to give us one of the most heroic Spider-man incarnations ever. Even Flash Thompson as Venom is more "heroic" than Spider-man is largely because he became Venom because he wanted to be a hero LIKE Spider-man.

And I think that's why Doc Ock's Superior Spider-man is so good. It's fun. It's a semi-reformed villainous anti-hero trying and failing repeatedly to understand and be a true hero. We're engaged. We want to know if he'll succeed or slip up. We want to know if he can find redemption or if the comic gods above will demand he return to his expected "status quo". We strangely care more about him than we have for Peter in the past several years because, unlike Peter, he actually IS making an effort to enjoy heroism and being admired rather than feared and rejected.

We all know Peter's coming back... but, like many fans, I'm more dreading it than looking forward to it.

Once again, you're killing it by being so on topic.

I'm with you on the reluctance of the powers. I mean, yeah, as we all know, the obvious choice of having superpowers is Superman. Who wouldn't pick that? However, if I had to pick anyone from the mid-tier realm of heroes (actually having powers, but nothing rivaling Wonder Woman, Sentry, The Scarlet Witch, or any of the Gods), I would so pick Spiderman. Strength, speed, Spider Sense... and the web swing seems like such a fun way to get around. Spiderman has it.

However, I think what resonated with me the most is when you said Spiderman is popular in-spite of that. It made me go back and remember why I liked him as a kid. And the answer is simple. I was a geek outcast growing up. Not being taken seriously by my family or my peers. Seeing Peter go through the same thing, the same self doubt, and then put on the costume despite of it all because it was the right thing to do encouraged me. It did a lot for me, teaching me just because everyone is against you (maybe even yourself) doesn't mean you not able to do what you have to do.

And the disconnect came with time. Because I grew. And sadly, I don't have super powers. Nor don't I have the best of luck now. But I realized life isn't going to stop dumping on me, so either I have to get better and get stronger or I can let it crush me.

Spiderman has still stayed in his holding pattern, though.

Never venturing more than a few moments of being brave and self assured. Still 'Life sucks, even though on paper I'm really awesome'. Worse yet, he did always blame the costume for his faults in life. People targeting his loved ones to get to him... Ok, then try a new tactic. Don't go around in the bright red and blue, maybe. You're vastly intelligent, you're quicker than any human has a right to be, you're super strong, and you have near ESP. Why aren't you giving Batman a run for his money, Spidey? If you're afraid that the suit and the powers will bring trouble on the doorstep of those you love, then use your genius and your abilities so it won't! Imagine a new arc of comics where Spiderman learns to use his powers in a different way, becoming a different fighter and trying to involve it for the sake of using his power to the fullest of his capabilities and taking the responsibility not only to do the right thing, but making sure that his actions won't have repercussions on his loved ones.

Now please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that he should full on try to ape Batman. but He has abilities that would make for a much more efficient fighter if he learned to hone them. People would never, EVER see this man coming if he just put his mind to it. But he just rushes in like a red and blue missile. Even if he doesn't go the the super stealthy route, he can do so many more different things with his abilities that... I really don't remember seeing any comics with him training other than learning the Way of the Spider. And I don't even know if anyone kept up with that.

It goes back to the Great Power, Great Responsibility thing. He blames his power for everything. He never takes the responsibility of making his power work for him.

This here is where I'm starting to feel my loss for Spiderman comes. I mean, for two people who never talked before, who probably live on different sides of the earth who both just happen to love Spiderman (or how he is when handled properly) to sit here and nitpick at all the faults we all see while being able to offer tweaks to make it better... Why hasn't any of the writers thought of these things? Why just lump tragedy and gimmick after gimmick on top of a confused character? Why not take, I don't know, a twelve issue run when crime is light and have Spidey swing around and think about all the good he's done? How he can become more assertive. How he should become more of a hero, and less of an oddly active neighborhood watch captain who seems to be voted in against his will. Use the end of the run to actually put those views into practice via some event.

Make Spiderman become proactive in his own damn life instead of listening to sayings that kept him from evolving into his own man, and the naysayers who he saves on a consistent basis.

I love where you guys are going with this! I am a huge spidey fan - look, that's ME in the black suit and Fedora. I am also curenlty in possession of a LOT of free time. I account myself a half decent artist, what do you two say to FanFic Time?

I have a theory about what happened to Frank Miller to make him so goddamned insane, and I think he wrote DKSA after it happened, hence why it sucks. One night, Miller's in his living room watching a marathon of film noir movies on TCM, keeping the lights off to set the mood. Suddenly, he has to go to the bathroom. He gets up, but trips over his coffee table and bashes his head on it. While slipping into a coma, all the grim-n-grittiness of his movies slip into his subconscious and warping his mind. Also, he wet himself. I don't know when he wrote 300 relative to his other "crazy period" work.

Now about Spider-Man, there have been recent attempts to make his life not suck. He's an Avenger and a real scientist, building Spider-gadgets at his day job at Horizon Laboratories, but these positive moments seemingly exist to build up until something awful happens to him. When was that? Just before he "died" and Dr. Octopus swapped minds with him to take over his body and life.

Some of the other commenters above me have gone through how Peter Parker's "Great Power, Great Responsibility" thing makes him afraid of what he can really do, which is why he's so against just killing off his enemies. Which is strange, since he's on The Avengers, and every member of that team has been compelled to kill at sometime, mostly nameless minions of HYDRA or A.I.M. or The Hand and the odd supervillain (who come back from the dead anyway because comics). Hence why he gave Bucky Barnes a hard time when he was Captain America, and doesn't like the Punisher (then again, I don't think any of the real superheroes like The Punisher, but that's another story).

SilverStuddedSquirre:

Trishbot:
SNIP

SNIP

I know that writing for an on-going monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) comic is hard (I've done it myself), so I do understand why Marvel usually seems so hellbent on keeping things simple with the status quo and why bad writing is so prominent...

...But when I think back to my favorite Spider-man comic books, none of them are remotely near the more recent ones. Granted, Clone Saga was a very low point (even if Ben Reilly himself was loads of fun as the Scarlet Spider), but there were some outright masterpieces worth reading around that time that took Spider-man in new, bold, exciting and even PERMANENT directions (well, they lasted over 20 years before being retconned). Stories like "Kraven's Last Hunt", the Venom Arc, so many others.

One of my favorite arcs was when Norman Osborn officially came back, taunting and antagonizing Peter's personal life until he snapped and beat Osborn senseless... which Norman recorded and sent to the police, making it seem like Spider-man had mercilessly attacked him and turning Spider-man into an outlaw. Spider-man couldn't exist without being arrested. So what was the solution? His wife, Mary Jane, made him a new costume, helped him get MULTIPLE alternate hero identities, and he went right back out there to fight crime as a brand new hero. It was... fun. So much fun. It had Mary Jane front and center helping him back onto his feet and getting involved in his life (using her theater and fashion skills to create new identities for him). Peter wasn't moping around that he lost his Spider-man identity; he was eager to get right back out there and help people, no matter what. Even better was this whole arc developed him significantly during moments where he would get caught up in the role of a "new" hero with "new" powers that he would forget he even had his old Spider powers at times. It was also an era that introduced a lot of great and entertaining supporting cast members, had Peter seeing "his" influence on the world (not as Spider-man but as just a man making a difference, no matter the title he bore), and it eventually had him using his multiple identities and Mary Jane's help in getting back at Norman Osborn and clearing his name (by outwitting Norman, who didn't realize the brand new hero he had taken to sponsoring was in fact his old adversary). It was just so... fun.

And it's been years since Spider-man "clicked" on all levels like that. A Spider-man that faces great threats, yes, but does genuinely WANT to be a hero, no matter what this hero is called or how he's received.

It was also an arc that makes "One More Day" so unbearable... because it had one of the most romantic and moving speeches I've ever seen written, where Mary Jane asked him if he wanted to retire since Spider-man was outlawed and nobody would blame him. He revealed he didn't go out there every day, getting beat up and beat down, for his sake, but to make the world better and safer for the people he loves, and that SHE was the main reason he went out every single night and dealt with everything life had to offer.

It's hard to imagine that a Spider-man like that existed once. He did. I read it and I loved it and I'll still treasure those stories. Maybe one day that hero will return or be reinvented for a new generation with the same level of care and talent behind it.

SilverStuddedSquirre:

I love where you guys are going with this! I am a huge spidey fan - look, that's ME in the black suit and Fedora. I am also curenlty in possession of a LOT of free time. I account myself a half decent artist, what do you two say to FanFic Time?

I say Stan Lee knocking down our doors with a 'Peep This, True Believers. Subpoena time!'

But we fans have to stick together. Don't want to sound elited, but we fans know what we want. And sometimes we needed to be heeded instead of ignored for the creative mind.

I mean, I write, but I realize my writing would have no worth if no one values it, no matter how creative it is.

I don't read graphic novels, but all you needed to say was "cancer seamen" and I would've been instantly convinced which one was worse.

DKSA is fantastic, and I will defend it to my last breath.

My vote is for Dark Knight because not only is Frank Miller a terrible writer, his artwork is just god awful. Often you can say "well the writing was bad bad at least the artwork was nice" or vice versa with a comic, but when Frank does both you have ugly poorly drawn characters saying stupid lines and repeating themselves constantly like they are suffering from brain damage. There is no enjoyment to be gleaned anywhere in those books because when you aren't facepalming at the dialog your cringing at the amateur level artwork.

4173:
DKSA is fantastic, and I will defend it to my last breath.

Go ahead, then. What did you like about it?

I mean, personally, I didn't really enjoy it. The art style was a bit too garish and underdeveloped for me, Batman seemed like even more of an obvious power fantasy than usual, the book was cluttered with too many things that it wanted to tackle with none really getting much depth.

Still, if you have anything that could put more of a positive spin on DKSA, I'd be happy to hear it. I mean, I liked Year One, DKR, and Miller's run on Daredevil.

Well, considering how spidermans whole world seems to be turning around his penis, no wonder they went with radioactive semen. It sounds less "awful" and more "Self-aware".

Great episode, I'd never really heard of wither of these before now (prbably bevause I don't read a lot of comics), but they sounds REALLY stupid.

To pull out something from the middle of the episode, though, I never realized how much I wanted Clint Eastwood as Old Man Logan until right now. That would be the coolest thing.

TheRiddler:

4173:
DKSA is fantastic, and I will defend it to my last breath.

Go ahead, then. What did you like about it?

I mean, personally, I didn't really enjoy it. The art style was a bit too garish and underdeveloped for me, Batman seemed like even more of an obvious power fantasy than usual, the book was cluttered with too many things that it wanted to tackle with none really getting much depth.

Still, if you have anything that could put more of a positive spin on DKSA, I'd be happy to hear it. I mean, I liked Year One, DKR, and Miller's run on Daredevil.

The art style was a bit too garish and underdeveloped for me,

The first thing I'll say, like a couple other under-appreciated works (GRRM's A Feast of Crows and A Dance with Dragons) it is the sort of thing that suffers from only being read once.* Once the pressure of needing to know what happens next is relieved, the book, and particularly the art, breathes. At a slower pace the art becomes more of a guide than a representation; it sets the scene and lets one's imagination paint a fuller picture in a way I find difficult with typical comic art.**

Batman seemed like even more of an obvious power fantasy than usual

Batman may be a power fantasy, like Rorschach in some ways, but fantasy is really the key word. His plans only work because he is damaged and largely terrible AND because he is facing cartoonish levels of evil. His power only works within the fantasy and it is only good for destroying that fantasy. The Batman of the DK universe has a built in obsolescence he prophecizess, knowingly*** or not, at the end of the book. That was the old Batman and he'll need to become something new to be of value.

the book was cluttered with too many things that it wanted to tackle with none really getting much depth

It was, but I think that's stylistic. The book is equal parts homage and parody.**** It sets the pace and ramps up the excitement. I know that may sound contradictory to what I said about the art breathing but it's not. You're supposed to be overloaded by words and ideas. The reader is given freedom to select the ideas that are most interesting to them and to explore them in a personal way while breezing over others.

And man what ideas! The private hells (and heavens) of the Justice League, Carrie Kelley,

, The Question and Green Arrow, Jimmy Olsen. Unlike the video (why does Kyle think Superman didn't love Lois) I even think he manages to do something interesting with Superman's humanity.

I'm lucky in a way. I read DKSA before I really knew about Frank Miller. I'd read DKR and Y1 and seen the Sin City movie. I knew he was an important person, comicwise, but I didn't know anything about his personality or reputation (or ASBAR). I know that my feelings about DKSA could well be wrong in a more objective sense than is normal for art (ex. how much of the political opinions are supposed to be profound gospel), but that's unavoidable I suppose.

I hope this makes a modicum of sense, it's late and I'm trying to articulate thoughts I've never really had to organize before.

*Granted, people are busy and there's a lot of entertainment out there. A work needing multiple readings can be a real issue.

**I'm not making a value judgement here. There's a lot of quality comic art, but even the good stuff I tend to consume superficially unless I work at it.

***His role in Luthor's downfall? Providing a distraction in the form of a punching bag.

****That isn't the best word, but for the life of me I can't think of a better one.

Oh god, where to start.

One More Day has already gotten a ton of mentions and for a lot of reasons. Clumsy retconning, stilted and contrived writing, just plain bad scenario setup... the list goes on. I reserve a bit of my vitriol for the anti-escapist commentary in the comic itself, which goes as far as to state that people who get into video games as escapism are losers because we don't get to be heroes in real life... as spoken by an alternate universe Peter Parker. You know, the kind of statement that has be wishing the writer of that bit somehow chokes on his own pants. Also, worst deal with the devil either. Flash did the 'sacrifice their marriage' thing far better and much more convincingly, and finished in a very convincing way. The harm it's done? Well it wrecked decades of continuity and characterization on its own. That's probably enough. As for a better handled Spider-Man piece, well, Spider-Man No More has always been a stirring piece about the real notion of the responsibility that comes as the price of Peter's powers and influences.

All Star Batman and Robin is... worrying. Re-imagining things is one thing. But this? Ugh. Batman deserves better--he's not like the rest of us mentally, certainly not. The Killing Joke (my counterpoint for Batman having been handled better) proved that he had more in common with Joker than either of them would care to admit openly. But portraying him as a violent and unhinged sociopath, gleefully ruining the lives of most of the people he comes across and committing neglectful acts of abject child endangerment and abuse? That's beyond not right. Not helped in the slightest by what I've read of Frank Miller's directing notes for the artist, which is quite literally so cringe-inducing sexist that it's bad, even for someone who's seen enough on Tumblr to become jaded about the public outcry. The way that women are written and depicted in this series is nothing short of vile and edges into misogynistic---there's your harm.

Rob Liefeld's...anything, really. The man's a nice guy, I understand, but honestly... I see a lot of his comics floating around the local used bookstore, and as an amateur commissioned artist, I see the flaws there and I feel bad knowing this man was paid millions for this stuff. As an amateur paid writer, I see the flaws there and I feel bad knowing that this man was paid millions for this stuff. How is it that my drawings resembled human beings more than his did when I was in school? The ills? Boy oh boy. You could lay the whole stupid 90s era of comics at his feet. Art style, writing, characters... you name it. Anyway, as for what he's done that's been done better--Cable (when it got handed off to Fabian Niciezia), Deadpool (when it got handed off to Fabian Niciezia and later Joe Kelly), the whole concept of writing for teams of myriad and disparate heroes working together (Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Justice League, X-Men, Teen Titans, really, the list of well written teams goes on)...

I should stop before I start depressing myself or anyone else any further thinking about what's gone wrong with this industry.

Frank Miller hasn't done much of anything interesting in years, in my opinion. All Star Batman is alright. But I can't take it seriously, it's more like a parody of Batman. Fun to read and joke about, but the story isn't anything great. All I got out it was "The Goddamn Batman" and how much of a dick he is, painting rooms yellow, while sipping lemonade to make fun of Green Lantern.

That said, I do appreciate his influence. Without Ronin and Daredevil, one of my favourite comic series wouldn't have been created. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Anyway, I've never followed comics too closely, I just pick one up every so often.

I never considered his sperm being the thing killing her, until I heard people mocking it.
As far as I remember, it was that he as a whole was being radio-active, and I think 'fluids' were mentioned, but I assumed it meant saliva because I assumed they'd use a condom when having sex.

It doesn't make it good, though.
I just mostly remember it being dull and forgettable, which you might either argue is better or worse than Miller's lunacy.

Surely ASBAR, AKA "The Adventures of Crazy Steve" is the worst goddamn Batman story? But I'm unsurprised that Miller has produced something even worse. Why do people trust him with the Batman Franchise again

And if we are talking about Miller, this comic by David Willis is of course always appropriate

Firefilm:
Worst Graphic Novel Ever

Comic book movies dominate the landscape, but they wouldn't have seen the light of day if their source material was as bad as these graphic novels.

Watch Video

What are your thoughts on Spiderman/Doc Ock? (SpOck) Cancer-semen?! Are you frakking kidding me?! Were they even trying?!

 

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