Friday, March 11, 2005

This just in: Comics filled with gays, tramps and junkies

When an article is headlined "When superheroes turn gay," you just know you're in for a treat.

Australia's Herald Sun seems surprised to discover that the squeaky-clean comics crimefighters of yesteryear have been replaced by -- let me get this right -- "gay, junkie and single-mum superheroes."

Speedy, once just a heroin addict, now is a "bed-hopping lad about town," while Jessica Jones is pregnant with Luke Cage's illegitimate child. And the gays. Don't get them started on the gays.

Melbourne retailer Steve McCredie attributes the "adult plotlines" to an aging readership.

"During the so-called comics golden age of the 1940s, '50s and '60s, comics were simple and written for kids," he told the newspaper. "Older readers might have a nostalgic fondness for the simple stories of the 1960s, but now it won't sustain their pop cultural needs."

I also recommend that this quote, from McCredie, be adopted as the official slogan for Free Comic Book Day: "Suicide, depression, incest, black magic, terrorism -- no matter how sleazy or dark -- you can now find it in some comics."