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Over the past 30 years, comic books have grown darker and more adult orientated. Be it the advent of darker, more violent superheroes such as Wolverine and the Punisher becoming fer more popular than traditional "wholesome" heros like Superman or Spider-Man, or the launch of Vertigo's adult titles  such as Sandman, Hellblazer, Preacher and the Invisibles, good old fasion superheroes were considered lame and boring. The traditional ones maintained, but virtually all new characters and titles were edgy, violent and adult themed and have been so for decades.
Up untill recently.
More down there.....

Then came along writer Robert Kirkman. He first revived the decades dead horror comic books with the great series "The Walking Dead" currently appearing on AMC television.
 But more shocking than that was the birth of an old school teenage superhero. How a title like this got published in the first place is shocking. What's even more amazing is just how good it is and it's popularity.
 Mark Grayson is a normal teenager, who's father is Omni-Man: a Superman type who is the most powerfull super hero on earth. Omni-Man is a Vitrumite. A race of super beings who pose as heroes in order to colonize and enslave the populations of various planets to increase their empire. Mark doesn't know this however. He is just a normal kid who has a shitty after school job at a fast food joint. One day while taking out the trash, his toss of the trashbag goes flying into orbit (Eventually landing in England) and realises he has finally developed his super powers. He then decides to be a super hero, initially with his dad's help. Mark then befriends other teen superheroes. He battles an alien cyclops named Allen (Great unique character!!!!!) who ends up becoming a friend and mentor to him, and learns the truth about his father and fights him in order to save Earth from colinization. All the while, Mark keeps the faith that his father truely loves him and his human mother, and he is proved to be correct.
 Add in the great cast of supporting characters, including a Justace League inspired group called the Global Gardians (Who now have a spin off title of there own) as well as powerless "normal" friends and the typical teenager romantic drama we all went through as kids and you get a truley great series that flys in the face of what is supposed to be popular these days.
 I'm not the first person to be surprised by how much I love this character/series, and I don't expect to be the last. In this era wear dark brooding excessivly violent anti-heroes are all the rage., it's kind of nice to see a sweet nice innocent hero for a change.

Here is a youtube reprint of Invincible #2 for your reading pleasure.

Originally posted to Comic book geeks on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 10:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting (5+ / 0-)

    I spent some years collecting comic books.  I have Wolverine, X-Men, The Maxx, The Tick, Spawn, and Venom, so I guess I am into the edgier characters.

    When I moved into an office (FINALLY, a real office!) I put some of my comics in frames on the walls.  Geeky goodness.

    If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

    by Sychotic1 on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 11:46:50 PM PDT

  •  I'm into old school myself... (6+ / 0-)

    The whole dark and edgy thing that was so new and exciting 25 years ago became just another predictable meme with time. Watchmen was great...the quarter century of imitators not so much.

    I've been collecting the hardcover DC Jack Kirby reprints...the man is without a doubt not merely the greatest creator in the history of comics...but one of the great artists of the 20th Century PERIOD.

    I've also been on a war comics kick, getting the hardcover collection of Archie Goodwin's Blazing Combat & well as the EC Archive war comic reprints. Great art and solid stories with heart.

    I've still got thousands of old comics...primarily early seventies to mid-eighties...stored in long boxes in the basement.

    Most of the characters I enjoyed have been dulled by repetition, retconned into oblivion, or maimed beyond recognition.

    The Batman I grew up with was dark...but not so dark as he became post Dark Knight. I always saw the character's central motivation as protecting the innocent more than punishing the guilty...centered on preventing repetition of the type of tragedy that created him even more than on punishing it.

    My quintessential Batman story is the classic "There is No Hope in Crime Alley"...http://dc.wikia.com/.... NOT "The Dark Knight Returns."

    Nice to see somebody out there doing a kinder, gentler super-hero comic.

    (By way of full-disclosure I should perhaps admit that I am actually a professional comic book writer who has worked intermittently in the biz since about 1985...all with smaller publishers, no DC or Marvel work...virtually none of it super-heroes.)

    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell." Harry S Truman

    by Notthemayor on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 12:34:01 AM PDT

    •  Hmm...the link doesn't quite work right... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land

      But with a couple of click throughs you get there.

      "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell." Harry S Truman

      by Notthemayor on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 12:39:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The dark character path was cool (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      McGirk, Nova Land, satanicpanic

      when it was just a few folks. For example Colossus as the shining knight, happy go lucky Nightcrawler, and dark Wolverine were nice contrast and each as a archetype personality, made the team dynamics of X-Men interesting. But now there are just too many dark characters. Imitation is flattery the 1st time, but he second time it's a farce. We have now gone way pass the part were most new dark characters are interesting.

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

      by dopper0189 on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 07:54:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        satanicpanic

        X-Men went downhill after Chriss Clairmont left after his dispute with Jim Lee..... who also quit when he jumped on the Image Comics bandwagon. I always found it funny that the least popular artist, Eric Larson was the only one to publish on time and actully wrote great stories. At least McFarlaine had enough sense to bring in Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore. Liefeld, Portachio and Lee exposed themselves as horrible writers who couldn't keep a schedual. (Silvestri's Darkhawk wasn't half bad.)

         Back to the X-Men, Grant Morrison did a phenominal job deconstructing the overblown and overstated mythos and ripped to shreads the previously existing themes. I loved how Wolverine found out his true history and chalked it up as "I was a sick person who liked to kill" and Jean Grey saying "Move on Scott, all I ever do is die on you." And Cyclops ends up hooking up with Emma Frost.
        I don't follow Marvel anymore, except for Daredevil. Too many crossovers.

        FIVE TONS OF FLAX!!!!!

        by McGirk on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 07:06:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They Learned the Wrong Lesson (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land, satanicpanic

      The comics publishers learned the wrong lessons from the successes of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns.  They thought the lesson was:  "Dark and Edgy is Popular", when it should have been "Keep the Characters Real!"

      Alan Moore himself recoiled against the "Grim 'n' Gritty" trend he had inadvertantly spawned and by way of contrast, created the 1963 series for Image.  Now granted, that series had it's share of twited Moore stuff in it as well, but on the whole it was a respectful pastiche of the Silver Age.

      Keith Giffen seemed to be bucking the "Grim" trend when he began writing his silly spin on the Justice League, but at the time he claimed he was inspired by Watchmen.  Moore had given writers precident for inflicting Reality on Super-Heroes, (something which technically speaking Lee and Ditko did with Spider-Man), and Giffen realized that reality sometimes means bits of mundane absurdity; Blue Beetle snorting coffee out of his nose.

      Of course, a lot of people seemed to overlook that Giffen's supposedly goofy JLI had some incredibly dark moments too.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 09:29:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Surprisingly, Grant Morrison has been (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ninkasi23

        addressing your issues. After years of DC trying to turn Batman into the Punisher, Grant has abolished the previously trendy Superman/Batman fude and returned them to being good friends.
        Grant is a Discordian, like me, and wrote the Invisibles, one of the most fucked up twisted mind fuck comics of all time. Yet he has shown reverence to the architypes of the industry and made efforts to return them to their heroic "Better man" ethics rather than trying to compeat with other "anti-heroes" who came later, including his own creations.
        Not that I dislike edgy characters, but I hate seeing classic characters trying to emulate whats trendy.

        FIVE TONS OF FLAX!!!!!

        by McGirk on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 07:24:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe I should break down and take a look... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          McGirk

          I've heard good things about Morrison's Batman.  

          For a long time the character was perhaps my very favorite.  The O'Neil/Adams version...Archie Goodwin's work...the Englehart/Rogers might have been my favorite...I loved Jim Aparo's Batman as well.

          For a long time Batman was the mainstream character I most wanted to work on.  (At Marvel, my choice would have been Captain America...I seem to prefer the less supremely powerful characters.)

          The colder and crueler he became the less I cared.

          Glad to hear it's being reversed.

          "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell." Harry S Truman

          by Notthemayor on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 09:28:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Kind of going in the opposit direction (0+ / 0-)

            During his run on New X-Men, Morrison abandoned the absurd meme that Magneto was somehow a Malcolm X to Xaviar's MLK, and returned him to the power hungry meglomaniac he is.

            FIVE TONS OF FLAX!!!!!

            by McGirk on Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 01:21:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I read alot of indy stuff as well (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land, ninkasi23, Iberian

      Hate, Eightball, and the graphic novel Punk Rock and Trailer Parks stand out. Also, Serina Valentino, the auther of the Goth girk title Gloom Cookie is a personal friend of mine.

      FIVE TONS OF FLAX!!!!!

      by McGirk on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 09:35:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Usagi Yojimbo! (5+ / 0-)

    Ran across this at the public library maybe 15 years ago.  I have almost a full set of the compilation volumes by now, several years later.  They make good birthday/Xmas presents, 8-)

    We always had comics at home (we had all sorts of reading stuff)...  not so many superheroes, more like Tarzan, Mighty Thor, Magnus Robot Fighter (also my husband's fave), Sgt Rock.  This would have been ca. ... 1955-65??

  •  Maybe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    McGirk

    in the future your character could learn all sorts of cool things about his dad no one else knew (can't blow his super hero cover).

    Get Some Sleep :-)

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace- Hendrix

    by Maori on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 01:12:52 AM PDT

  •  Classics Illustrated (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, McGirk, Limelite, Nova Land

    These were the comic books for me.  I enjoyed the others, superheroes, Archie and His Friends, etc.  But my favorites were the CI series.  I went to a site recently and discovered a complete list of titles and was amazed at how many I could have read if I had only had the financial wherewithal.

    Interesting diary, thanks.

    Just waitin' around for the new Amy Winehouse album

    by jarbyus on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 06:07:48 AM PDT

    •  Hung Around the Display Cases (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land

      at the drugstore pawing over CIs.  They spurred me to read the real classics.  "Ivanhoe" sticks out in my mind as a classic hero comic in that series.

      Popeye was my favorite cartoon hero -- but I don't think he was ever in a comic book.  Anybody?

      Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

      by Limelite on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 09:34:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Popeye (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nova Land, McGirk

        There was at least one licensed Popeye comic done in the 1980s titled Popeye: Born of the Sea; a surreal manga-influnced comic, if you can believe it, that was drawn by Ben Dunn, the later creator of Ninja High School.  It was... interesting.

        I can't think of any other licensed Popeye comics, and you'd think that Gold Key or Harvey or someone would have done it at one time or other.

        Of course, Popeye started out as a newspaper comic strip, and I think that strip is still running; albeit in very few newspapers.  Back in college I stumbled across a small black Chicago newspaper, the Chicago Defender, which still ran the strip (under it's original title of "Thimble Theater").  That paper also ran "Mandrake the Magician" and a number of adventure strips I had thought long dead.

        "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

        by quarkstomper on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 12:32:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ARF ARF ARF! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nova Land, McGirk

        There were Popeye comic books published from the 40s till the 80s.

        I remember some really bad ones from when I was a kid in the seventies.  Probably only the Bud Sagendorf run is any good...I've never actually read them...I have most of the Segar newspaper strips and love the Fleisher Popeye cartoons (the later one suck eggs)...but they are much beloved and Sagendorf's rep is very good...there is a reasonably priced collection available: http://www.amazon.com/...

        In the late 80s or early 90s I wrote a couple of stories for a humor comic anthology titled Overture...a Popeye tribute (rip-off?) called Sputnik, which was basically Popeye in space...didn't last long but it was fun to do!

        "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell." Harry S Truman

        by Notthemayor on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 12:44:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kirkman (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    McGirk, Nova Land

    I'm not that much into superheroes stuff, although Invincible is one of the better ones for sure. I do read and buy tons of comics mostly Graphic Novels and indie stuff.

    In comic book format I follow Scalped (best hard boiled in long time), Fables, The Walking Dead (Kirkman's other superfamous series) and Mouse Guard.

  •  Hey, Kids! Comics! (6+ / 0-)

    It's been many years since I could afford to buy comics, but for a while during the late '80s and early '90s I bought a lot and even hovered on the fringes of being a comic book creator.  I started reading Daredevil shortly before Frank Miller left the title; I read Blue Devil and the Keith Giffen Justice League International, and Atari Force; the Comico Jonny Quest comic, and many more.  I read Watchmen when it first came out, and saw the industry beginning to learn precisely the wrong lessons from it.

    And I created stuff of my own.  I sold the script for a 3-issue limited series called Celestial Mechanics to a small company called INNOVATION which was actually fairly successful for a brief moment around 1990.  I wrote and drew several short stories for Antarctic Press, the publisher of Ninja High School, and later for Radio Comix.

    And eventually I drifted out of comics.  I still kind of watch what's going on in the industry from a distance; and I keep drawing myself.  I have a webcomic that I do.  But a lot of the mainstream comics I see these days just seem unappealing to me.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 09:18:15 AM PDT

    •  Hmm...Celestial Mechanics... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land, ninkasi23

      I am trying to place it...I remember hearing the title.  I worked a little at Innovation myself...did some work on Hero Alliance and was supposed to edit a revived line of HA titles when the company shut down abruptly.

      Did a wee bit of work on Justice Machine...helped plot the relaunch of Lost In Space but never got to write an issue...co-created and co-wrote one of the original Innovation titles called Lunatic Fringe...

      Still in touch with a bunch of people from Innovation...Dave, Scott, Faye, Diana...don't know how many of them you might have known.

      Small world-wide web, isn't it?

      "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell." Harry S Truman

      by Notthemayor on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 12:29:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Think I Met Dave Once at a ChicagoCon (0+ / 0-)

        Celestial Mechanics was part of a line of b&w comics Innovation put out around 1990 that was going to show the industry how b&w comics should be done.  This was shortly before Innovation went bankrupt.  It suffered, sadly, from scheduling problems.  The artist Gary Washington, was unable to finish his pages on time.  The second issue was badly delayed and the third had to be done by a different artist.  Which is too bad, because I really liked Gary's artwork.

        CM was a space opera caper story involving an Evil Corporation and plucky girl mechanic out to seal the secret of the Semantic Loophole Space Drive.  I wrote a sequel and for a while was working on doing the artwork for it myself to be published by a different company, but alas, other projects got in the way and I lost touch with other artist I was collaborating with.  I never finished it.

        "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

        by quarkstomper on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 11:19:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I once had an artist vanish mid-book... (0+ / 0-)

          And never heard from him again.

          I think I worked with Gary Washington on something once...can't remember what...New Humans maybe.

          So you draw also?  Always wished I could.  I can't even write legibly.  Thank God for computers.

          Campiti is an agent now; has had an agency called  Glass House Graphics for 18 years.

          Don't know if you have any interest in trying to find comics work but here's a link to his site: http://www.glasshousegraphics.com/

          "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell." Harry S Truman

          by Notthemayor on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:46:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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