Wednesday, March 21, 2007

No Alarms And No Surprises

This is strange to write on a blog but…

I miss the comic book universe pre-internet.

One of the biggest reasons I was pro-kill Captain America was not so much because I wanted him to die (I would rather Superman die and stay dead long before I would choose Cap) but because I was impressed with Marvel’s ability to keep this a well guarded secret. Any time Marvel or DC can actually surprise me, no matter what it is, I’m on board.

I love surprises.

I remember the *plink* of the bullet going through Kitty Pryde and hitting the thought to be dead Colossus.

I remember Xorn being revealed to be Magneto.

I remember not knowing that Robin was going to die. (Imagine how that would have played out today. A 10 AM Wednesday post - interviews Geoff Johns about "A World Without Robin")

Call them cheap tricks. All I know is I read those comics multiple times.

There didn’t used to be so many options. I never fucked with the newsgroups because it was so unorganized and messy but once I went to Newsarama the first time. It was over. Now we have thousands of comic blogs and websites getting their information from Marvel and DC, Previews books, weekly spoilers from Rich Johnston.

Nothing that happens these days are a surprise. Even things like Civil War or Infinite Crisis when we don’t know what the final issue will be like, we know what the editorial landscape will be for the next 3 months.

Sadly, the only pleasure I get like that is from my older brother.

Our basic system is this: I buy all the comics and read them. Then every 3-4 weeks, he comes to my apartment and takes them home with him to read. He doesn’t go to Newsarama or Comic Book Resources or even this blog unless I forward him a link. The only advance comic book knowledge he gets is from me.

So after he finally dives into the weeks of comic books I’ve just given him, I get a ton of phone calls:

“Holy shit!”
“I can’t believe he’s dead”
“YOOOOOOOOO! Why didn’t you tell me?”

I never tell him (Okay, sometimes I tell him what to read first) because I am vicariously living thought his sense of awe and surprise that I have long since lost.

It’s too late for me. I read at least 7 comic websites a day. I am addicted to spoilers. I can’t help it...

The day that Captain America #25 dropped, I didn’t know Captain America died until I actually read the issue because I was on vacation and wasn’t using my computer so I didn’t go to my daily bookmarks list.

I heard all the stories of people being spoiled by Yahoo and NY Daily News.

Even the cashier at Golden Apple tried to spoil it for me assuming I already knew but I was like “Don’t say a thing. I haven’t heard anything about it yet and I haven't read it.”

I got into my friend’s car, read it, said “Oh shit!” and felt like a technological child again.


buckshot said...

Yeah, I had a similar experience with the Cap thing. Was gone on vacation, came back, decided to catch up on the news, and then the comics. Only the comics were in the news that week. And Cap was dead.

Now, I was lucky to have been oblivious to all the Civil War #2 spoilers before I hit the shop that day. THAT was a great comic reading moment. I got to that last page and my jaw hit the floor.

I think the most maddening thing about these spoilers is, we have the power to take them away. If we could just manage to unplug ourselves from the blogs and newsites... it's easier said than done.

neo said...

Yep I've lost all that surprise when I was younger and back then as a kid in Nigeria, there was no internet, and when it finally arrived dial up took FOREVER. So it was the tried and true storefronts, copping the latest stuff stores got from overseas...

toothpick said...

this is actually one of the reasons why i'm m.i.a on the cotw posts on okp. i swore off newsarama et all, but cotw was full of swipes and links anyways so i had to stop. that said, i still thought civil war 7 sucked and cap dying still felt anticlimactic. but maybe that's not about being spoiler-free...i think in some ways i'm just older and jaded as a fan.

ella m. said...

I think I've reached a new level of cynical. Though I had no advance knowlege of Captain America's death (I avoid most comic blogs/sites simply because I find some of the hair splitting to be a tad excessive), my first thought upon finishing the book was not shock.

It was a guess at how many months it'd take for that decision to get retconned to make way for the next "big" event.