Superheroes

Hey, not offence but

this wonderful specimen of a human being has started a blog for her new upcoming book, and it is my duty as a bisexual nonbinary person as well as a lovestruck puppy full of admiration to pitch it to you:

Lesbian. Superheroes. Aimed for young adults.

You want to support this. Trust me. Oh, you already support it? Then go follow @writeitgay for snippets and other info about these adorable teen lesbians who’ll do anything to keep their powers… so they can keep being enemies?

Also, go thank @malinwolf for coming up with this brilliant idea. She’s an awesome noodle.

dompaul12  asked:

"Ellis sees them as in need of change if they’re going to work going forward." Going of of what you said in regards to Blue Rose, what/how do you think Superheroes could/should change?

Well, this took longer than expected. My computer froze and had to be reset when I was initially writing out my response to this one, so I lost all my original writing, and then…well, then there were a couple weeks where I didn’t answer anything because I had finals, and then I was too tired during spring break. Back now though, and I’ll start working through the question backlog, starting here.

So up front: there is a very big difference between how I think things should change, and how they actually will. Given how many decisions on the part of the Big Two seem to be purely spur-of-the-moment reflex actions, forecasting their moves may well be a sucker’s game. And I could absolutely see the current upper-brass riding out the current state of affairs and eking every last drop of profit from the current fanboy set, knowing that by the time the whole thing crashes and burns they’ll all have different jobs.

For how they should change? One of the biggest necessities is already happening: the demographic shift. Not fast enough, but superheroes are looking a bit more at a time like the world that reads them, and if you really want to position them as defenders against injustice and oppression, straight cis able-bodied white guys are not exactly the ones taking the brunt of it. We’re not the ones in need of representation either: whether through legacy characters or changing the originals (or wholly new ones, though the rules of which franchises are important at DC and Marvel have been set down solidly enough that that’s only so practical), if one straight white guy was changed to be otherwise every year for the rest of my natural life, on my deathbed I could open up a comic and still see plenty of characters who look just like me. We can make room.

Closely related to that is my thought that soon, the concept of legacy heroes is going to be taken to an entirely different level. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are both contracted for several movies past when Chris Evans’ contract runs out, so it’s not hard to gather what the long-term plan is for Captain America in the MCU – probably the reason behind Steve Rogers’ current treatment in Secret Empire, since branding him a Nazi is at this point a more permanent way of getting him off the board to clear the way for Sam Wilson than just killing him again. Nightwing getting a movie, rather than the more well-known Robin or Batgirl, seems telling of DC’s own long-term plans since Dick’s the one who’s spent time as Batman in the comics. Miles Morales is getting his own animated feature next year, and the inclusion of Donald Glover in Homecoming suggests to me that they’re setting up Miles’ inclusion in the MCU proper. The world is about to get very used to the idea of a superhero identity being something that can be passed down and shared, and that’s going to have a direct impact on the status quo of the comics. Expect two Spider-Men, two Iron Men, two Captain Americas, a handful of Thors and multiple Flashes to be the wave of the future, not a weird trend that’s going to die down once things settle.

On a similar note, while I don’t think this is anywhere near as imminent, I think the broad concept of continuity – as in a linear month-to-month sense of who does what where, with timelines for different periods of characters’ history – is going to be severely weakened. Marvel’s overstuffed with continuity and DC is restoring its own in full force, and both have demonstrated an unwillingness to dump anything after DC’s attempt at doing so didn’t pan out. DC in particular is even indulging in previously verboten character developments that they were concerned would too heavily age their biggest names: Superman and Batman both have thoroughly-established biological children with their own superheroic identities at this point. After a certain point, all the 5-year and 15-year timelines in the world are going to stop functioning, and while I don’t see them ditching continuity between the books altogether anytime soon, I think we can expect things to go increasingly slack in that area.

Aesthetically, we seem to be moving increasingly towards a more freewheeling, punk sensibility again. Daredevil and Hawkeye left us with a general mood of ‘back to the fundamentals’ in style and storytelling that endured through the first half of the decade, but DC’s failed attempt at doing so with the New 52, Marvel burning through the goodwill it built up with NOW! in recent years, and DC’s current attempt at a more traditional approach doing fine but not exactly setting the world on fire (especially with the looming “oh Jesus, they’re really gonna do it” endgame of the Watchmen crossover) has me thinking that, at least for now, that approach has hit a creative dead-end. Books like Midnighter, Prez, and Gillen/McKelvie’s Young Avengers seem to me much more indicative of what’s going to grab people’s attention in the immediate future – weird high-concept pop books bending the iconography and legacy aspects of larger superhero universes towards offbeat new takes.

Finally publishing-wise, like I said, I doubt either of the Big Two feel any need to change things up here. Were I to run the world though, I’d start getting books out in magazine format to grocery stores and movie theaters: rather than 20-page serial publications,* massive 150-200 page books grouped by theme. So rather than getting Superman and Action Comics, they all come out in chapters with Supergirl, Superboy and any other features as part of the monthly $20 SUPERMAN magazine with individual stories later to be collected on their own in trades, Shonen Jump style. It’d be a better dollar value, get the books out into a larger venue in a recognizable format, and expose readers to a broader extent of stories with each purchase that they might want to purchase individually in trade format later.

* Not that they wouldn’t have their place – there’s no reason not to continue selling them like that on Comixology, and indie titles intended to be serialized could still be presented as such.