Thursday, 9 February 2012

Sneering at Super-Hero Comics; It's Not Big and It's Not Clever!

UPDATE: It's been a few years since I wrote this and I think I was being overly harsh to Max Landis.  View my more recent thoughts here. 

"Look, Elijah Wood's in it, it must be hilarious HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Max Landis, writer of the upcoming movie Chronicle, has made a new film about the '90s DC Comics storyline The Death and Return of Superman. Everyone on the internet seems to find it hilarious. Personally I found it tedious and annoying and could only manage to watch about half of it. It seemed to have nothing unique or particularly funny to say. The only thing that seems to differentiate it from about a million blogs and message board posts was the fact that a few celebrities were involved. The film spoke in the same supercilious and sneering tone as every other git with an internet connection who decides to take cheap, obvious digs at bits of pop culture in a misguided attempt to appear clever.

This film really touched a nerve with me. When did we all become Beavis and Butthead? Doesn't anyone actually enjoy pop culture any more? I've got nothing against taking the piss, but it's the sneering I can't stand. Taking something inherently a bit silly, like super-hero comics, and pointing out it's silliness in a sarcastic manner does not make you a genius! It makes you an arrogant twat. By all means criticise. By all means highlight where you feel the genre can be improved. By all means laugh with, or even at the silliness of the genre. But don't make out that you're somehow superior to everyone because you've noticed some plot-holes in a story about two flying men punching the crap out of each other.

Seriously internet people, it's getting tiresome. Mainstream comics can be silly, lazy, and rife with desperate ploys for cash, we get it. But sneering at something that's designed to be fun doesn't make you clever or funny, it makes you look like a bell-end. If you don't get any genuine, pure, joy from the genre any more then, quite frankly, fuck off and sneer at something else.


  1. ^ What he said. Seriously, I hadn't gotten around to watching that little travesty. Now, despite my son's recommendation that I would like Chronicle, I'm going to pass on it as well. This left that bad a taste in my mouth.

    The basic attitude is what I'm afraid the new show, Comic Book Men, is going to be like.

  2. I agree with you completely. How is it at all relevant for someone to rip on a widely panned storyline from nearly twenty years ago? It's like if I decided to make a video bemoaning the "death of cinema" by getting some of my dad's friends to help me re-enact "Encino Man." In comics, just as it is in any other medium, at least 90% of the output is garbage. But a medium should be judged for its highest achievements, not its lowlights, and laughing at a medium for producing something that isn't "art" is like kicking a fighter while he's down. It's an easy, low blow, and it doesn't take intelligence or courage to do it; all it takes is self-importance and a mean spirit.

  3. I totally agree with you on this. Landis is so smug here.



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