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M views: Why do we read Superhero comic books

5 May
– By Manks

I have been a superhero comic book reader since I can remember, and I have often been asked what draws me into their highly stylised and unrealistic world?

Each person has their own answer to this question, and no single answer is correct.

One of the reasons why we come back to the Superhero comics are because they inspire us. These larger than life creations struggling daily through the worst the world has to offer them, and coming out on top. Their never say die attitude.. ….even after they are literally dead ( there’a  joke here somewhere on the state on Superhero comics – Blackest Night I am looking at you!)

Lets look at some of the tragedies that have befallen the Bat-Characters for example

Batman
The most poignant tragedy is perhaps the murder of Bruce Wayne parents, which drove him to haunt the criminals as Batman. This in itself is a commendable feat. But then



When Bane Broke Batman



 Bane conspired and used many of Batman’s enemies to tire him out and when Bruce was at his limts, struck and broke Batman’s back, paralysing Bruce ( Storyline – Knightfall)

Bruce fought through the depression of being beaten , the pain of paralysis and re-learned how to operate as a Bat from scratch (Knightsend).. He did not give up! 

I still remember the scene where after every new fight he would go to Gotham’s tower and attempt to jump, giving up each time. He just didnt have the strenghth of will left anymore. For the first time in his life he was scared. He thought he was invincible and Bane had shattered his illusion.

Richard Grayson ( Robin / Nightwing) : The original robin, after the tragedy of his parents death willingly followed Batman’s directions to become one of the most respected superhero amongst DC community. He IS the next generation leader of DCU heroes. He possesses all the skills of batman without the angst. In his career he has faced deaths of friends and family, yet he trudges on.



Death of Tim Drake’s (Robin) father



 Timothy Drake ( also known as Robin III) suffered a horrible fate when he couldnt save his dad (Jake Drake) from getting killed by the boomerang.
It is incredibly difficult for me to imagine anyone continue to operate under such immense grief and regret. Yet he still does.

Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle) is the epitome of courage in the Bat family. She was shot by the Joker in The Killing joke, paraylsing her forver. For a long time she was depressed about losing her legs and not being able to operate as Batgirl.

But then one day she decided not to mourn anymore, but use whatever she has to help in whichever way she can. She took the guise of Oracle and started using her techinical know-how to help all vigilantes. She even formed an all female Superteam called Birds of Prey to go where she couldnt and do what she couldnt.
She is now far more successful as Oracle in fighting crime than she ever was as Batgirl. She has become the information hub for all superheroes and a crucial member of the Justice League.
She took an awful incident and converted it into an oppurtunity. Inspirational stories doesnt get better than this!

Commisioner James Gordon has been suffering since he has come to Gotham. He lost his wife and son to a divorce. He was tortured by the joker and made to see enlarged pictures of his wounded adopted daughter Barbara Gordon in an effort to drive him insane. His second wife, Sarah was murdered by the Joker, which even let Batman to allow Gordon to have a free shot at joker if he wanetd to.Through all of this, his sense of duty and ethical compass has been unwavering. He is an inspiration to Batman himself .


This panel says a lot of things about the Bat-world, Two of most tragic personalities in Batman’s life : Jason Todd ( Robin II) and Hush ( Dr. Elliot) ..
We all know Jason’s story: He was killed by the joker , revived  by the vagaries of fate. Even though he is on the wrong side of the law, in his mind he is still fighting for the innocents. Even death couldn’t stop this now anti-hero
Catwoman
She’s been a villian, She’s been a hero, and then she realised someone tampered with her mind to subdue her criminal mentalities. So whatever she’s doing isn’t of her own accord. She also had to give away her child as it was too dangerous for the child to be associated with her. Is there a greater pain than being forced to split from your child? But she endures. 

And these characters are just the tip of the Superhero comics.. They get knocked down but they get up again, no one’s gonna keep them down..
If you aren’t reading superhero comics, you are missing out on inspirational tales that would shame many a “book” reader.
Remember: Nicolas cage , Jerry seinfeld and  Barack Obama all have one thing in common.. They all love superhero comics.. Don’t deprive yourself of these tales because they are just “superhero tales”. 

Animated Reviews : Young Justice (Episodes 1 & 2)

1 Dec

Young Justice – Independence Day
Episodes 1 & 2
Cartoon Network
-Review By Manks

Synopsis:
Teen sidekicks (Robin/Speedy/Kid Flash/Aqua lad) are invited to the hall of justice thinking they would officially become part of the big league! But soon they realize they still aren’t trusted by the league completely yet. Once the League is away, the teenage sidekicks find a mission of their own rebelling against the orders of the JLA and start investigating the fire that broke out at Cadmus, where they find more than they bargained for – mind controlling Genomorphs and a clone of Superman calling himself Superboy.

Comments:-

This series is in Dc comics continuity, based on a parallel earth – Earth 16 (if you are a reader of DC comics , you would understand what this means, else just let it go.), where superheroes are still a recent phenomenon.

PAD’s Young Justice

If you thought that this is going to mirror Teen Titans that came out a few years ago on a similar premise you are wrong. Unlike Teen Titans this series has a serious tone to it from the get go. Needless to say the cast of characters is quite different. Its more current Teen Titans cast (which itself started out as the excellent comic series Young Justice by PAD)

What I liked?

– The animation and voice work is top notch. I couldn’t find anything to complain about here
– Characters stayed true to their established demeanor. Robin is witty, Kid flash is chirpy and Speedy sulks

– Aqualad: Has to be the breakout character for me. This is a new avatar of aqualad created especially for the show ( which Goeff Johns liked so much that he introduced the new aqualad in DC universe proper in one of his issues of Brightest Day).

– I am one of those who liked the entire Superman death and return saga. Superboy was my favourite character during that period. So reference to Cadmus and seeing Superboy breakout again (although not quite in the same cavalier manner) was great fun. I wanted Superboy to shout his signature “Don’t ever call me Superboy”, but this Kon-El is a little serious for that.

-Gaurdian! They used the Gaurdian. About time for Mr. Harper to get into the animated action scene

– There is going to be an over-arching plot to the entire series. This will keep the mystery alive and make me want to come back, even if to see whether my suspicions were correct

– Finally , they are using the name Young Justice, which is one of my all time favourite comic series. I only wish it was an adaptation of the same comic, but alas, you cant have everything!

What I did not like?

– You could see the story beats from miles away, hence it wouldnt be amiss to say it was a little predictable.

– I couldn’t exactly fathom the reaction of Superman when he meets superboy for the first time. Maybe it’s just me, but I would expect Supes to react a little more warmly.

– No Speedy when it came to action time! I Kept expecting speedy to jump in any moment.So I guess in a way, Young Justice did surprise me. I think he just might turn up as Arsenal. We will see..

– I personally would have liked a little more humor in this animated show. Its Young Justice not JLA. Fun and humor should come naturally to teens.

– I found it a little weird that there weren’t many people in Cadmus. There were 52 sublevels but hardly any people..

Final word:
I say that the premiere episodes were a little predictable , but there are only a few ways a team can start, so I can let go of the unpredictability factor for this episode. What I am excited about is how speedy would return? I personally think he would come back as Arsenal., but then it wouldnt surprise me if he showed up turned to the darker side especially since the promo doesn’t show speedy but arrowette. If that happens I would be a little dissapointed.

Despite its minor faults , its a worthy successor to DC animated Legacy. Time to follow the young guns of Dc universe once again.

Rating 8/10