As both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, his friends and family have always shaped Marvel’s most perennially popular protagonist. Many of Spider-Man’s greatest adventures have been infused with the additional drama directly derived from the presence of his loved ones. Some have been held captive by super villains, turned into were-creatures, beaten up, hospitalized, crippled, traumatized for life, turned into criminals, had their marriages dissolved and some have even made the ultimate sacrifice. No, not appearing in a Spidey book written by Todd McFarlane. I’m talking death, folks. Well, as dead as one can be in the today’s comic book marketplace.
Just over a year ago, Steve Jobs got up on stage and presented to the world the iPad. From the moment it was unveiled, I knew the way we consume comic books would be changed forever. By the time the god-device arrived in April, a slew of digital comic apps were ready, and my digital collection began to bloom. But as we approach the one year anniversary, it’s time to look ahead at ways the industry can attract more readers to the digital format and enhance the reading experience for those already on board.
2010 was a year of ups and downs for the comic industry, and when it comes to comics in the direct market, there were plenty of downs. In a year that saw several months where the top selling comic sold fewer than 100,000 copies, it’s time to pick through the year to discover what were the top selling comics of 2010.
When I volunteered for putting together a Top 10 list, my first inclination was this would be an easy process that essentially wrote itself. Instead, I found myself pouring through back issues and digging into the graphic archives of the Interwebs. My mission statement was clear: The Top 10 Comic Book Covers of the 80s. Who knew that it would be such a rigorous process, eventually taking me approximately 3 hours to compose?
Over the years comics have given us a staggering number of alternate realities, many of them just thinly veiled excuses to put our favorite superheroes into improbable situations with minimum clean-up. But sometimes alternate realities and alternate futures yield something more, sometimes they accomplish exactly what they should; to allow us to examine a character under a different light. What follows is a list of the best, most successful or so-ridiculous-they-come-back-out-the-other-side-and-are-cool-again characters from alternate dimensions or futures. To make it on this list a character had to be A) interesting B) be from the same company or creator that owns
Or -“Because Stephen Demanded It…” So, Stephen challenged me to come up with a good Top Ten topic for the week, and (as is my way) I tried to come up with something positive to say about the nature of the world. For various reasons, I’ve been out of sorts lately, and all I could come up with were a series of whines and complaints about the world in general, and comics in specific. Rather than try and deny my inner nature, I have decided to find a positive spin on my own negativity, by talking about characters that I love and enjoy, who don’t
Or – “And Not Always For The Better…” Every medium has watershed moments; stories, characters or events that change the paradigm for all art of that type. Going back to the days when movie careers were ruined by “Talkies” (look up Gloria Swanson sometime) these shifts can be jarring for everyone involved, from the creators to the fictional characters themselves. A sea change is always invigorating, but there’s not way to control or to predict where such reimaginings will actually take us…
Warner Bros. Animation took cartoons away from the Saturday morning kiddie line-up and made it accessible to people of all ages when it introduced Batman: The Animated Series to the world. Superman, Batman Beyond, and The Justice League all earned high praise from fans as well. While the writers and producers spent a great deal of time finding just the right voice for Batman (Kevin Conroy), Superman (Tim Daly), The Joker (Mark Hammill), and Lois Lane (Dana Delany), it’s the casting of the guest stars who proved the creators wanted to craft the best animated television shows possible. The list
Or – “Sometimes I Don’t Get What People Like…” Since the beginning of Major Spoilers, I have repeatedly bumped into the realization that not everyone thinks that my favorites are all that awesome. People miss the grandeur of the 3-D Man, they fail to see the conceptual brilliance that is The Scarecrow, and talk about Batman whenever I try to explain how Matter-Eater Lad single-handedly saved the universe three times. But there are several cases in comics where I just cannot fathom why the fans aren’t rushing out in a buying frenzy for nine monthly titles featuring their adventures…
A trope is a recognizable theme used in storytelling. The kidnapped princess, the final battle, the training montage, these are all tropes we have seen again and again. Usually recognition of a familiar trope is a good thing, it lets the audience know how they should feel about things and sets them up either for a satisfying conclusion or an excited twist. But what happens when a trope goes stale? When you can’t watch two hours of TV without seeing the same situation over and over, like the wriiers just emptied their cliche bladders all over the place? Some themes have suffered this fate, through excessive use now they accomplish the opposite of what the writers want, to take the viewer out of the experience. What follows is a list of tropes that I find tiresome, troubling and most of all trite.
With all the brouhaha surrounding the new Wonder Woman look, it’s a perfect time to take a look at other costume interpretations of the Amazonian princess and be thankful for what we’ve been given. Some possibly NSFW images after the jump.
Or – “I Decided Not To Call It “Top Ten Characters Who Can Go $&@$ Themselves…” There are a couple of tenets that I try to always observe in my work for Major Spoilers… Rule #1 – Don’t assume that you’re right. Rule #2 – At the end of the day, it’s just lines on paper. Rule #3 – Your mileage, and everyone’s, may vary. Rule #4 – Try to keep it positive. Still, I truly believe that everybody needs to break the rules once in a while. Recently, my growing rage at a certain comic book character has led