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COMICS I posted this on a discussion board, prompted by a friend who noticed, as I do, the amount of darkness and other junk in comic books. I love comics, and share his concerns. Lots of comics are filled with that sort of thing, I agree. Seems like the stories or characters are created to generate covers of women of unlikely proportion in provocative poses that make a "wardrobe malfunction" seem redundant. The comic book business has suffered a lot over the years, and I suppose most of this, like your basic reality television plague and other shock-value television programming, is more business minded than anything else. 16 year old boys can't buy magazines of naked women legally, but who's going to stop them from buying X-Men comics? As for the demonic side, that seems to be a common occurence in lots of fantasy literature and other media. Off the top of my head, here are some thoughts as to the possible cause: 1. People who enjoy fantasy stories and ideas have an interest in the supernatural, and any non-Jesus pointing supernatural may skew naturally towards the demonic. Its real stuff out there. 2. As a child, anything remotely resembling Dungeons and Dragons or other fantasy based role playing games was automatically labled EVIL, worse than rock music or swing dancing. This includes fantasy type books, anything with wizards in it, etc. The re-mainstreaming of Tolkein's work has undoubtedly challenged this idea for our times, but coming from the conservative background that I'm sure I share with many others, it would come as no surprise to find very few Christians working in the field of comics or fantasy writing. The result, as anyone familiar with Bob Briner's work will recognize, is that the same Church that has pulled out of certain areas of public art and culture is now shocked and angered at the lack of good and redemptive work in that field. On another note, and I may not finish this thought right now: Superman was the invincible, flying, supehero in the mold that we consider them today. He was so unstoppable, the stories inevitably became boring. There is no tension when the good guy can't be hurt. That is why Stan Lee's stories for the brand new Marvel Comics revolutionized the art form, because his characters had basic, human problems. This also accounts for the popularity and accessibility of the new Spiderman films, because as Peter Parker narrates in the intro to the first movie, the story is about a girl. So the thing that makes a superhero story interesting is not the superabilities. Superman set the standard in 1938 and through the 40's. The stories are interesting because of 1. the badguys that challenge them, and provide tension 2. the everyday human struggles that provide perspective we can relate to 3. the limitations of the superhero to overcome his opponents. Every superhero since Superman has been lesser-abled. Kyroptonite was invented (and its a pretty dumb idea, really) because there was no other way for Superman to be challenged. Imagine a Rocky movie where in the Rocky knocks out every opponent in the first round. They would be very Short, pointless films. What am I trying to say? Its the darkness, evil and imperfection that seems, to some, to make these stories work, so that is what the author runs with. Some people only know darkness, and so they spend much more time fleshing that out then making the light side worth reflecting on and following. That is what makes Lord of the Rings and the original Star Wars trilogy so compelling, the good guys are fun to watch too, but even then its mostly in the context of darkness. Rambling complete.

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