This from Tom Crippen's 2006 review of Civil War (from The Comics Journal #281):
The Marvel heroes are fighting each other in a very serious, no-fooling-around war, like a Shakespeare history play but with mutants and Nick Fury robots and everything else we're used to seeing. The effect is weird. We are supposed to feel the tragedy of Reed Richards' and Tony Stark's fatal flaws, but it takes a tremendous leap to believe they can have fatal faults. You have to believe that this time the editors won't snatch the ball away and there won't be a Reed clone or some secret mind control or a reality shift.
Skrulls, dude. Skrulls.
Crippen makes an excellent point in his involved description of the giant-sized funeral of Goliath - Civil War turned out to be fucking hilarious. I know everyone's pissed off at Marvel right now, but you have to admit that they have given us no shortage comedic material since the whole 'Cap must die for MySpace' thing.
I suppose that is Crippen's point. Super hero comics, by there very nature need to be fun, not 'realistic'. Of course, every piece of fiction must have the ability to resonate on a realistic or human level in order for readers to relate, but wasn't that sort of subtle awareness always what was so great about some of our favorite comics?
Ultimately things like this mean nothing. Next week, or the week after that, there will be some other ridiculous marketing ploy designed to shock us (or delight us) into buying more units. Some of us will comply. Some of us will not. This does not diminish our love of the medium. It only strengthens it, and makes it clear where we stand and what we are willing to put up with.
In spite of being point on about why we as comic fans should probably not make a big deal about the zombie Mary Jane cover, Steven Grant is incorrect about the story featuring a zombified Mary Jane in it. I love what they've done with the Out-of-Continuity Mary Jane comics, but that's not what irritates/upsets me about this cover. What is upsetting is that it's just another crass example of consumer capitalism desperately flailing its arms around in an attempt to survive. More than anything, the seriousness with which the most ardent fans and the publishers themselves take these stories, characters, and images, is pitiful.
I'm not saying that our beloved fictions are not important. What I'm saying is that they're too important to let it be bogged down by the same exact bullshit we have to deal with. So let's all be good grown-ups and let the play be play.
Let's have some fun...
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