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Old 01-10-2009, 05:26 PM   Tweet this Post! #1
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Default JSA's new writer [Willingham] and the Age of Superhero Decadence

Here's the link to Willingham's recent article/blog:

Superheroes: Still Plenty of Super, But Losing Some of the Hero

After reading it, I am very excited about his brand of JSA.


Basically, I agree with him.

here are some key excerpts:

Those are but two examples [Superman & Captain America] of the slow but steady degradation of the American superhero over the years. The ’super’ is still there, more so than ever, but there seems to be a slow leak in the ‘hero’ part. There’s even a term for it, coined by (I’m not sure who, but it might have been one of two respected comics journalists) either Dirk Deppey or Tom Spurgeon. Folks, we’re smack dab in the midst of the Age of Superhero Decadence. Old fashioned ideals of courage and patriotism, backed by a deep virtue and unshakable code, seem to be… well, old fashioned.


Along with many others, I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve gone too far, but not irreversibly so.


So, finally to the point of this note. Borrowing some wisdom from the famous parable of the mote in one fellow’s eye, and the whole beam in another’s, it would be the height of hypocrisy for me to make any call for our industry to clean up its act, until I’ve first cleaned up my own. I’ve already made some progress down that road. In my run writing the Robin series (of Batman fame), I made sure both Batman and Robin were portrayed as good, steadfast heroes, with unshakable personal codes and a firm grasp of their mission.


No more superhero decadence for me. Period. From now on, when I write within the superhero genre I intend to do it right. And if I am ever again privileged to be allowed to write Superman, you can bet your sweet bootie that he’ll find the opportunity to bring back “and the American way,” to his famous credo


As I said above, not all comic stories are about superheroes. Comics are a medium, not a genre. There’s still plenty of room for gray areas, stories of moral ambiguity, and the eternal struggle of imperfect people trying to find their way in a bleak and indifferent world. I plan to continue all of that and more in my Fables series. But for me at least the superhero genre should be different, better, with higher standards, loftier ideals and a more virtuous — more American — point of view.

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Old 01-10-2009, 05:41 PM   Tweet this Post! #2
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Default Re: JSA's new writer [Willingham] and the Age of Superhero Decadence

First off - I do enjoy some of the "gritty" characters and their adventures.

I'm absolutely against seeing a monolithical comic book storytelling style and genre.

But just like readers would justifiably be outraged at seeing an extremely kinder and gentler Wolverine and Punisher -- it is fair in my eyes to see the opposite happening with the champions of moral fortitude.

i know 'moral" can be a disturbing word to use for some - but to be clear, I mean that one has a personal code of ethics and standards that he or she always strives to live up to. Failure, at times, makes for interesting storytelling and personal growth. But surrendering to a constant state of failure or indifference is not. Heroes can get angry, but its something else when they are ina constant state of anger.

A superhero to me is a hero with superhuman, or at least extraordinary, powers. Those abilities - without the heroic nature, means they are not superheroes.

In fact, the difference between a superhero and a supervillain has now become a lot less distinguishable.

Some writers can walk that fine line and pull it off, but most create the equivalent of the trashier reality show vibe.

All I've been wanting to see is a few stallwarts hold on to the classic superhero principles. If some find those boring - then fair enough. Don't read them. I certainly wouldn't want all non-heroic books cancelled. I want everyone to have books onthe shelf they want to read.

So I am excited about Willingham taking over JSA now, because he gets what they are all about.
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:07 AM   Tweet this Post! #3
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Default Re: JSA's new writer [Willingham] and the Age of Superhero Decadence

I hope this wasn't too much of a rant for some of you - but quite honestly its probably my number 1 tpic when it comes to comic books these days.

it can be a touchy one, but things that really mean something to us often are.

I'd still love to hear other people's take on this issue.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:45 PM   Tweet this Post! #4
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Default Re: JSA's new writer [Willingham] and the Age of Superhero Decadence

If this is what we have to look forward to with the JSA, I love it. Companies are going farther and farther away from the superhero genre, arguably Marvel has none left...maybe Nova?

I like what he said about Superman .. "and the american way" which was not included in the movie and ticked me off (what perry said).

I would really love for this to do well and send a message.

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Old 01-20-2009, 05:52 PM   Tweet this Post! #5
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Default Re: JSA's new writer [Willingham] and the Age of Superhero Decadence

Sometimes, it seems some of the "grim and gritty" crowd want everything to fit that mood.

Its been very encouraging to see others [elsewhere] very happy to see Willingham take this stand.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:20 AM   Tweet this Post! #6
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Default Re: JSA's new writer [Willingham] and the Age of Superhero Decadence

I think Grimm and Gritty works for certain characters.

I can't see Wolverine helping a kitten outta a tree. But I think certain characters should stay unmovable. That to me is the biggest draw Superman has. His unwavering sense of justice. I can be in any situation and know exactly what Clark Kent would do. I digg that alot.

One More Day didnt work because Spiderman would never make a deal with the devil. It's wayyyy out of character for old Petey.

The Murder of Maxwell Lord did work however because Wonder Woman would snap a kneck to save the world. Shes a warrior.

I don't like when writers try and make a character gritter than he/she is. Unless its Geoff Johns than he can do anything. I mean come on he made Lightining Lad badass.
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Old 09-18-2016, 05:18 AM   Tweet this Post! #7
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Default Re: JSA's new writer [Willingham] and the Age of Superhero Decadence

This is why quite a few Superman fans were upset about Man of Steel. The Supes in that movie not only caused lots of collateral damage while fighting Zod and snapped his neck, But he was also written as a brooding and sad figure who has trouble relating to people. Which is everything comic/Superman is not.
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