Heroes and Villains: Is There Too Much Content For Comics Book Fans?

Total Entertainment Forever

As a freelance comics whatever I am, It is my sworn duty to write about all the new, HOT comics as they hit the stands. Advance copies of upcoming comics flood my inbox on a weekly basis and I am in the enviable position of having to sift through them and gaze upon them with a critical eye. I love it.

Well, this week nothing caught my attention. Oh sure, there’s boilerplate superhero books coming out that I will no doubt read and enjoy purely on a base level…but nothing new and different. 

So I started to sweat. When you write a weekly column you enter into a sacred trust with your editor: Get your stuff in on-time and get your editor pictures of Spider-Man. 

Briefly, I had the idea of submitting a listicle of “The best places in the PS4 Spider-Man game to take selfies” but that seemed cheap and gimmicky to me. Spoiler: the number one place would be Uncle Ben’s grave in the cemetery at the North end of the city. Press triangle to pay respects.

Something I’ve been grappling with lately is that there is just too much out there for comic book fans to effectively enjoy. We are in a new golden age of genre TV and I simply cannot hang like I used to. Don’t get me wrong, my social calendar is far from full so I’ve got spare time. Spending that time parked in front of the television seems like a tremendous waste since that’s all I seemingly did in my youth. Remember M.A.N.T.I.S? Yeah, I watched all of those.

I managed to finish the entirety of Daredevil Season 3 this past weekend and by the end of it I felt very much like Matt Murdock looked for the entirety of the series. That’s thirteen hours of TV I put down over the course of one weekend, plus an hour of Titans and the hour and a half of the new Halloween movie. That’s a lot of media I crammed into my media-hole and it can’t be healthy.

Why binge watch? Well, if you decide to pace your viewing of a show you run the risk of opening Twitter, Facebook, or whatever and seeing someone’s dank meme that will end up spoiling the finale of the show for you. It’s very much a “get them before they get you”mentality and it’s driving me nuts. 

With all the time I spent watching stuff over the weekend I don’t think I had any time to digest it. I have the vaguest of recollections of Halloween (I liked it, solid B rating) and Daredevil (awesome fight scenes and acting) but I think I short-circuited something in my brain that allowed me to take any enjoyment from it by not allowing them to breathe. 

Serialized storytelling has been undergoing a change in recent years. Weekly gaps between episodes are almost a thing of the past when a lot of the streaming services are dropping entire season runs all at once. Thank god we still have monthly comic books and broadcast TV.

Netflix seemingly read my column from last month and has been going out of their way to make me look like an idiot by canceling both Iron Fist and Luke Cage in the last two weeks. In brief, I had put forth that the Marvel Netflix shows were all following the same three season structure (I did correctly predict the third season arc for Daredevil), and having forced their hand they had no choice but to cancel some shows. Sorry about that…my bad.

What happened next? Will Disney call these shows home to their new streaming service? Will we get a Heroes For Hire or Daughters Of The Dragon shows out of this? The way Marvel and Netflix were racking up MCU shows they were on-pace to outstrip the DC/CW Arrowverse shows.

Speaking of the CW shows… I love those shows in all their pulpy goodness. I’m fully aware that these shows are comic book soap operas and I can’t complain too much about that. They’re yet another facet of the overstuffed superhero tv genre and I almost can’t remember a time before them. Arrow has been on for SEVEN SEASONS. Seven!

While I’m thinking about the CW… is there a network mandate that states every series has to have the main character go to prison at some point during the run? It was The Flash last season and Arrow, Riverdale, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend this season. I know most of them film in Vancouver but do they also share writers rooms?

But I can’t stay mad at them. Why? Because they’re putting John Wesley Shipp back in his original 1990 Flash costume for this year’s Arrowverse crossover. I nearly wept when I saw the publicity photo this week that something I had wanted to see more of for 28 years was happening. It was cool enough casting him as Jay Garrik but that was some next level fan-service right there.

So, after all my ranting about the subject… I think it’s necessary for our sanity to enjoy these shows in moderation. Parse them out over a few weeks, mute specific keywords on twitter to avoid spoilers, and accept that you can’t possibly consume everything out there. Just remember, we’re in a golden age  of comic book adaptations that may not come again so enjoy it while it lasts. I’m certainly going to try.


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