ejne7: Comic art illustration of a Latina cop (Default)
ejne7 ([personal profile] ejne7) wrote2010-09-21 09:50 pm

Superhero comics at the end of the world

Just read about Wildstorm's demise.

It was Wildstorm titles that made me start going to comic book shops, without which I'd probably do more worthwhile things with my day than I currently do; without which I'd never have met some of my best friends. It was Wildstorm titles that made me think the kinds of stories that I'd like to tell some day had a natural home in comics. Hell, it was Wildstorm titles that taught me everything I know about the care and feeding of orphan tigers, the best way to deal with a steampunk alien warlord from a parallel universe, how useful heat vision can be for hotdog vendors, how many people you can impress with a stupid name and a bad haircut, and what a villainous art nouveau Fantastic Four might look like.

Still, the metaphor that springs to mind is of something being removed from life support after suffering too long.

You know, though, the idea that the December issues of Wildcats and The Authority will be the last ever suggests a mindblowingly rare opportunity in mainstream superhero comics: to tell a story that's really about the end of the world.

I mean, really about the end of the world. To write an apocalypse that isn't a continuity reboot. To sweep everything away not with the intention of building it back up again in a way that'll appeal better to new readers, or better suit a new editor's agenda. To create something that isn't an event, but the end of events, that isn't "AFTER WHICH THE UNIVERSE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!" but "AFTER WHICH THE UNIVERSE WILL NEVER BE!" It never happens (in the things I read, at least - shout me if you can think of a case when it does) - even if the writers mean for a story to be the last, shared universes make it almost impossible for this to stick (or at least impossible for fans to take seriously an attempt to make it stick). What might a superhero comic look like that wrote this idea seriously, terminally, that was really going to be the end? That had to make meaning for its characters in the face of there never being a retcon, a reboot, or another story? What if you wrote a comic that didn't leave its characters only comics-dead?

Is this what a really atheist comic would be like?

You know who could've done something like this damn well: Warren Ellis.

And there's probably your trouble.

As someone who wants to make comics the death of Zuda also looks a bit like another narrowing of the ways.

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