Well I haven’t read a comic book since I was a kid, but my how they’ve grown.
In the ones that I used to read, the feats were impossible, the scenarios highly unlikely, nobody grew old and most stories had a happy ending and I was fine with that. But the people in charge are deciding that comics should move out of the realm of fantasy and into the light of reality (although superpowers still appear to be mandatory).
I remember reading the Archie comics when I was in school – the thin ones that had about 15 pages which I would make short work of, so it never make any sense borrowing it from my friend unless I planned to read the same story over and over again.
Around the time I got to secondary school, the Archie Digests became popular and with its numerous pages and hefty feel, it was worth the wait that it was going to take for me to read it – because that one Digest had to make the rounds among all of my friends. Nobody had money to buy it, so we all had to wait our turn to borrow it from the person who did.
I can’t remember when I stopped being interested in comics, but when I saw one of the digests in the supermarket a few months ago, I regarded it with nostalgia. Not enough to open it and take a read though, but if I had maybe I would have seen that Riverdale has come into the real world.
I read last week that Archie’s character would be sacrificed on the altar of proving a point.
Apparently, he is to be killed when he “intervenes in an assassination attempt” on the life of a senator who lives in Riverdale. The said senator was pushing for more gun control, and he also happened to be gay. I’m not sure what upset the shooter the most, but I’m sure the message is in there somewhere.
Not to be outdone, the folks over at Marvel comics realize that their top posts should be open to all applicants, so in the name of equal opportunity Captain America will now become a black man who hails from Harlem.
Seems like the original character has grown old – some 90 years old – and I guess that even superheroes need to go into retirement too – or at least walk out before they have to be carried. Besides, how many times can they be expected to clean up the messes that we mortals continue to make? So a younger, fitter guy with more melanin is being given the chance to prove that he can do the job.
Comic book purists will ask how it’s possible that the person suddenly becomes a different race, but that’s probably what I’d do if I was working towards a colour-blind society too.
And since I have to please everybody I’d probably just go ahead and make Thor a woman because when her male counterpart can’t wield the hammer anymore, she’s just going to have to take up the slack. Isn’t that always the case?
I just hope she gets paid the same amount of money though. I know a lot of people will be happy if that’s one thing that doesn’t carry over from the real world.