It’s interesting how quickly, even before the infamous code descended and cut out some of the popular gory lines, comics became dominated by superhero/crimefighter stories, due of course to the mad success of Superman. Sure, there have always been pulp adventure and horror comics, but when most people even think of comic books, it’s the heroes with which they associate the genre. The writers are driven by the publishers, who are driven by sales, which are driven by readers — so the natural conclusion is that a story about a badass goodhearted hero who fights crime is what the audience wants to read.
Drawing by Anthony Tan via fyeahww on the tumblr.
Comics are such manifestly wish-fulfillment-meets-folktale, flimsy-and-touching paper myths, that I think there’s a beautiful lesson here: we want to read about the hero who fights crime, who is “against” troublemakers and waiting with her golden lasso to show them what real trouble is, because we, ourselves, wish to do that. We wish to have a secret identity and fight for those who have no voice, to put a stop to injustices against our fellow men. All these generations of readers have wished to make the world better, not just for accolades or girls but because it is the right thing to do. And that’s really a great and inspiring thing. It’s sweet and charming and kind of triumphant, isn’t it?