Finding Depth in Comic Books – More Than BAM and POW

Comic Books on the Shelf

As a kid I didn’t read comic books. Well, unless you count the adventures of Archie and the Riverdale gang I guess. There was no Batman on pages in my life. The Caped Crusader was only present in old reruns with Adam West. But now that I’m an adult I've got my share of trades and issues on the shelf. They are mostly DC Universe stories, that’s just the way it is at my place. From where I’m sitting right now I can see The Green Arrow, Watchmen, The Losers, Trinity, Justice League, Superman and, of course, The Batman

I recognize that part of my loving these books is directly related to my trying to reclaim some part of childhood. But the other part is in the writing. Take a look at comics these days and it isn’t all BAM and POW. There’s good stuff in there. Bravery, cowardice, sex, conflict, politics to go along with BANG and SMASH.

The heroes are written with depth and character. They aren’t one dimensional or boring. It isn’t all about putting on tights and busting bad guys. Green Arrow is constantly trying to be the man he should be instead of the man it’s easier to be. Wonder Woman struggles with her desire for vengeful justice compared to the ideals of Superman and the League. And Batman has and will always live with the trust issues that come with having a secret identity and the decisions and loneliness that can come with it. These are all just variations of the same issues that all of us (I’m generalizing, I’m aware) deal with in our lives.

It seems that there has been a conscious effort to “humanize” our superheroes. The seperation between them and us is shrinking. The realism in the panels is increasing. And because of this I find myself more drawn to comic books now than I ever was when I was young.

Just like great novels, comic books are creating characters that readers can relate to. It’s a huge bonus to go along with the action and adventure. Don’t get me wrong here, the action is still the focus. These are still stories and universes that you can escape into. You can hide from the world in your comics books. You can imagine yourself in Watchtower. You can visit the Batcave. You can see it all on the pages. Just know that there’s more there if you want it.

And if you happen to be wandering the streets of Gotham or Star City look for me and wave.

Stay Awesome kids, POW!

creator of content, manager of community, writer, tweeter, coffee drinker. sports, comics, movies, food, music & pop culture geek. Proud MoBro.

Finding Depth in Comic Books – More Than BAM and POW

Comic Books on the Shelf

As a kid I didn’t read comic books. Well, unless you count the adventures of Archie and the Riverdale gang I guess. There was no Batman on pages in my life. The Caped Crusader was only present in old reruns with Adam West. But now that I’m an adult I've got my share of trades and issues on the shelf. They are mostly DC Universe stories, that’s just the way it is at my place. From where I’m sitting right now I can see The Green Arrow, Watchmen, The Losers, Trinity, Justice League, Superman and, of course, The Batman

I recognize that part of my loving these books is directly related to my trying to reclaim some part of childhood. But the other part is in the writing. Take a look at comics these days and it isn’t all BAM and POW. There’s good stuff in there. Bravery, cowardice, sex, conflict, politics to go along with BANG and SMASH.

The heroes are written with depth and character. They aren’t one dimensional or boring. It isn’t all about putting on tights and busting bad guys. Green Arrow is constantly trying to be the man he should be instead of the man it’s easier to be. Wonder Woman struggles with her desire for vengeful justice compared to the ideals of Superman and the League. And Batman has and will always live with the trust issues that come with having a secret identity and the decisions and loneliness that can come with it. These are all just variations of the same issues that all of us (I’m generalizing, I’m aware) deal with in our lives.

It seems that there has been a conscious effort to “humanize” our superheroes. The seperation between them and us is shrinking. The realism in the panels is increasing. And because of this I find myself more drawn to comic books now than I ever was when I was young.

Just like great novels, comic books are creating characters that readers can relate to. It’s a huge bonus to go along with the action and adventure. Don’t get me wrong here, the action is still the focus. These are still stories and universes that you can escape into. You can hide from the world in your comics books. You can imagine yourself in Watchtower. You can visit the Batcave. You can see it all on the pages. Just know that there’s more there if you want it.

And if you happen to be wandering the streets of Gotham or Star City look for me and wave.

Stay Awesome kids, POW!

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