Here is the continuation:
The Mary Jane comics are one of Marvel’s many attempts to appeal to the preteen/teen girl demographic. It’s one of the few times that the comic book industry as a whole has tried and succeeded in creating an entertaining comic targeting young girls that wasn’t horribly sexist. The comic itself takes place in an alternate version of the Marvel universe where Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy went to high school with Norman Osborne, Peter Parker, Flash Thompson, and Liz Allen. Despite occurring within a superhero infested universe, the book has very little superhero fare. Spiderman makes few appearances and is presented largely as an unrealistic celebrity crush of Mary Jane’s until very late into the comic’s run. The comic is largely centered around the typical teenage problems experienced by Mary Jane and her friends, particularly problems involving teenage dating and crushes.
Thankfully Mary Jane completely shies away from more complex social issues facing teens like teenage sex and drug abuse, subjects that works of this nature seem drawn to and typically tackle in simplistic, unrealistic and condescending ways. At a glance the book does seem to lack any real depth, but if you give it a chance it does actually have a lot to say, particularly concerning teenage romance. And even if you’re not a teenaged girl, the book’s still a fun read. McKeever has written some of the most amazing and delightful dialogue to ever appear in a comic book. The characters are all deep and well drawn out while remaining average, immature, angst-ridden teens. What really sets McKeever’s comic apart though is that he manages to perfectly capture how it feels to be a teenager and what most of us went through when we first started developing romantic feelings.
People have gotten tired of superhero vigilantes. Superman is the last active hero, working in secret for the US government. The others have all retired of their own volition, or they’ve been forced into retirement by Superman. As the crime rate rises in Gotham City and Two-Face is released from prison, a 59 year old Bruce Wayne decides to come out of retirement and once again become Batman, ultimately leading to a fight to the death between Batman and Superman. Upon its release the comic was ill-received in the mainstream press because of its darker portrayals of Batman and Superman, but has since come to be regarded as not only one the of most important and influential Batman books, but one of the most important and influential comic books ever written.
With The Dark Knight Returns, DC was once again trying to revitalize
the popular Batman character for the modern era. In revamping the Batman
character, Miller opted to show a more realistic version of Batman, but
instead of changing Batman’s history for the sake of realism, Miller
instead looked for reasons for Batman’s actions that made sense. For
instance, he painted a bright target on his chest because he can’t put
Kevlar on his head. Beyond simply deconstructing Batman though, the
comic also explored deeper themes of how the role we’re meant to play
changes as we grow older, elitism and the place superior people should
hold in society, and the nature of superheroes and what they really mean
How could any other title have made the number one spot? It is better regarded than any other comic book in history, it has won numerous awards, it was the only comic book included in Time’s list of the 100 greatest novels of all time, and it is the most popular work written by a man who is considered by most to be the greatest living comic book author. Moore started by taking the idea of what it would really be like if superheroes existed. What he ended up with was sexual deviancy, homosexuality, vigilantism, political and national exploitation, men and women who feel they are above the law and a public that ultimately scorns their existence.
The work itself is meant as a deconstruction of the superhero story (and anybody who’s read a lot of criticism on literature or film knows that critics and academia alike adore deconstructions). Although it is the first real deconstruction of the superhero genre, that in and of itself is not that great of a feat. Moore however goes one step further and deconstructs Nietzsche’s superman; a philosophy, which more so than any other, has been tied into the idea of the superhero. Moore presents us with four different supermen, all conforming to Nietzsche ideal, and each following the ethics of a different school of philosophy. We then see what becomes of supermen when they exist outside theory or the idealized world typically found in comic books, and more importantly what they do to the society they exist in.
How about you guys! Please share some comic book titles that you consider as awesome pieces of literature!