Monday, July 02, 2012

An Interesting Thought from AO Scott

As much as I've always hoped to keep one foot in this particular corner of the web, my best intentions seem doomed to be forever mislaid. I don't have the time, energy or connection to maintain the format established, and even relevant, structured thought about the subject of comics seems to be passing me by. For those curious, I'm keeping my taste for sporting violence alive, and even talking a little superheroes in the process [courtesy Injustice: Gods Among Us], as the current webmaster of one of the webs largest and longest running Mortal Kombat sites -- Mortal Kombat Online.

There are a lot of reasons why I won't be completing my laborious anniversary review of DC versus Marvel any time soon. They are wide and varied, but as this site has existed entirely in the 'movie age' of comics, this excerpt I've stumbled across while reading an article on seemed like a nice comment to add. It's an interesting item to pause for thought. I hope it's not the last thing I'll post here. If it is, don't let it discourage you finding what archival information or discussion remains here.

... the kind of condescending dismissal practiced by Wilson and the cultural panic expressed by Wertham exist nowadays almost entirely as straw men. A critic who voices skepticism about a comic book movie — or any other expensive, large-scale, boy-targeted entertainment — is likely to be called out for snobbery or priggishness, to be accused of clinging to snobbish, irrelevant standards and trying to spoil everyone else’s fun.

What the defensive fans fail or refuse to grasp is that they have won the argument. Far from being an underdog genre defended by a scrappy band of cultural renegades, the superhero spectacle represents a staggering concentration of commercial, corporate power. The ideology supporting this power is a familiar kind of disingenuous populism. The studios are just giving the people what they want! Foolproof evidence can be found in the box office returns: a billion dollars! Who can argue with that? Nobody really does. Superhero movies are taken seriously, reviewed respectfully and enjoyed by plenty of Edmund Wilson types.