COMICS PORTAL: Spider-Man’s Eyes and Batman’s Ears

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I read a lot of “whodunit” stories, and watch a lot of mystery shows on the tube.  I have to know who is responsible for what happened, and why. My TiVo is chock full of detective shows. The puzzle I’m trying to solve these days is, when will ever I get the time to watch them?

I pride myself on noticing trends and similarities. Some of my friends hate it when I point out that the two people talking to me are both wearing the same outfit.  Or when I see that a lot of us wore (insert color here) (shirts or pants) for some reason that day. Hey, it’s a living!

I find that this talent isn’t as common as I used to think it was. Lately, I’ve been noticing four comics trends changing—especially ones I thought would go on forever!

EVERYTHING BIG IS SMALL AGAIN

1. Back in the ’80s, Todd MacFarlane wasn’t a millionaire—yet. But he set a trend of drawing Spider-Man’s eye covers so large that they pretty much covered up his whole face!  Lately, though, that trend has reversed, with many Marvel artists drawing them much more narrowly—some of them so tiny I can’t figure out how Peter Parker can even see through them!

2. Batman’s “pointy ears.” I remember looking at Kelley Jones drawing the Dark Knight and noticing the ears on his cowl standing up so tall that I wondered how he could get through doorways without walking on his knees. Like Spidey’s costume, “less” is apparently “more” these days, so the Bat-mask looks less like two Samurai swords and more like pimples.

ODD TEAM-UPS

screenshot20110118at247I know that there’s nothing that comics fans love more than two characters we haven’t seen get together grace the same pages of a new release, and I’m sure Batman and Superman made an unusual pairing when that first happened.  But Wolverine and Spider-Man? Hercules and Deadpool? The Green Hornet and a female Kato? It feels like the comics companies are all throwing their heroes into the deep end of the pool to see who can work together!

EVERYTHING NEW IS OLD AGAIN

Back in the aforementioned-‘80s, new spins on old characters were necessary to appeal to the ever-changing comics’ audience. Now, however, Hal Jordan is back as Green Lantern, Barry Allen is again The Flash, and the Black Cat is even in New York City again! Instead of the Legion of Super-Pets, we got the Pet Avengers! And DC went “ape” a while back when all the company’s main characters turned into gorillas—which I hoped was the last time I’d ever see that–until Marvel did the same thing. I swear—someday that dark blue leisure suit I still have hanging in my closet will be “smooth” again!

FACTS ARE OPINIONS AGAIN

I guess I’ll never get why some people confuse facts with opinions.  I have a lot of friends I disagree with, but we don’t disagree on the facts.  Facts are facts, while opinions are much more subjective. The Flash is fast—that’s a fact. Nobody likes the Flash—that’s an opinion. If it were a fact, you could provide the polling data to support that claim. And please don’t “universalize” a perception as if it were a fact. Just because you and your friends don’t like someone or something doesn’t mean everyone feels the same way.

Just to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with having opinions. We all need to be able to separate them from real, honest-to-goodness facts.

I’m good enough at observing to notice that I should now end this column!  Until next time!