Last week, Marvel may have answered that question when they promoted a new issue of Wolverine with preview which were so violent, that they had censor bars.
Now part of me wants to dismiss this as just a empty marketing ploy to promote the first issue of Wolverine: The Best There Is. I don’t actually think what’s under the bars really merits being barred out (on the internet) Still, the fact that readers are left wondering whether this is or isn’t a ploy sort of supports a recent statement by Robert Kirkman on excessive violence in mainstream comics - NOTE: This is not a direct quote, but rather a second hand account of what Kirkman said on DigitalSpy.com. I don't have a quote to the direct quote at this moment, but will search for it tomorrow. Thanks to Trey for keeping me honest. ;) - JS
According to digitalspy.com the makers behind The Walking Dead in both the comics and the AMC Network reported in GQ magazine that the violence in comics is also damaging not only the society but also young children. Robert Kirkman of the magazine said that he has reading comics since the age of fifteen and he had never come across a comic with rape and dark elements that are present today. He said that such material was inappropriate for children and this is the reason why these comic books were damaging the reputation of the society in front of children today.
Which leads us back to my opening question. I decided the best way to decide this would be to list all the excessively violent scenes from comics within the past 3 years. With the help of several other comic readers, this is the list I came up with:
:: SPOILER WARNINGS ::
- Lizard eats his own kid Spider-man 631
- Sentry rips Ares in half in Seige 3
- Blob eats Wasp in Ultimatum 2
- Wonder Dog eating Wendy and Marvin in Titans 62
- Gory beating of Marlene in Moonknight Shadowland 1
- Kryb (a grisly hunchbacked Sinestro Corps alien who only attacks Green Lanterns who have newborn children. After murdering the parents, she puts the children in her sac-like back.)
- Nightcrawler’s death in X-force 26 (vol 2)
- Family at Picnic buzzsawed to death Justice Society of America 7 (vol 3)
- The Cat scene from Rise of Arsenal 3
- Every other issue of Secret Six ;)
When I posed this question on the Bleeding Cool message boards the general consensus was that most of the excessive violence we are seeing these days is used to jazz up weak stories or to pander to the Grande Guignol groundlings that seek out those *Awesome* moments in comics today.
Perhaps this is just a result of all entertainment becoming more violent and graphic. This is a world where Saw, CSI and Grand Theft Auto reign and movies are commonly called into question for being too violent. In my Wild Wild West article, I mentioned the show was eventually removed from CBS because of concerns of violence. Looking at the show today, the mild fisticuffs that raised eyebrows in the 70's make that concern seem absurd.
So with all that, isn't it expected that the level of violence in comics would rise? Perhaps not when they were published under the Comics Code, but those days are gone. Outside of the comics code, there is nothing intrinsically different about comics that would keep the modern levels of violence from seeping in. In some cases, older writers with more nostalgic leanings might shy away from excessive violence, but not this new generation of comic writers. (There are some notable exceptions like Jonathan Hickman and Jeff Parker, but then again, their books aren't tearing up the charts like the more violent ones seem to be.)
What do you think? Do you agree with Robert Kirkman? Have mainstream comics become too violent?
Anyway, as a Pallet Cleanser, let us now enjoy the light hearted adventures of The Little Wise Guys from Lev Gleason's Daredevil Comic
[ Daredevil 65 ]
[ Daredevil 66 ]