Monday, February 20, 2012

Golden Grahams Justice League Comic

Every once in a while, I need to be reminded that comics are supposed to be a fun part of my life. After the DC New 52 Survey results, Before Watchmen, Gary Friedrich, Comic Book Men, Edgar Rice Burroughs' Estate, and everything else that has happened recently, it seemed like there was nothing but bitterness surrounding comics. Everyone seems to be upset by something that is happening. And this is supposed to be my 'fun' hobby.

I needed some comic joy.

It all started when the Supergirls at home were excited to have bought some Golden Grahams cereal that had free inside Justice League comics! FREE INSIDE COMICS!! Their excitement made me think I am doing something right as a dad. I know the news of these comics is old, but their response was fantastic.

Inside I found Golden Grahams Justice League #2, done by comic veteran creative team writer Paul Tobin and artist Derec Donovan. It had a such a simple and wonderful ending that it reminded me of why I read comics as a kid and why I persist in this hobby. It reminded me why I want my kids to grow up reading comics ... well, the right comics.

In the comic, an AI robot becomes self-aware, goes out of control and begins manufacturing more of himself with anything he can get his hands on including people's cars, store items, etc. Superman and Wonder Woman are called in to stop it. The robot's creator says it is like a child, just trying to understand what it is and trying to build a society around it. But it is learning.

The robot then telepathically bonds to Superman and gets a feel for Superman and what he represents.

It sees Pa tell Clark that he has a responsibility to help others.
It sees Clark studying law.
And it sees Superman say that all he wants is truth, justice, and for people to peacefully co-exist.

It links to Wonder Woman in the same way.

It sees Hippolyta tell her that she must leave Paradise Island to better all mankind.
It sees Wonder Woman tell a policeman she is happy to help with a crisis.
And it sees that she values the wisdom of Athena more than any other power.

After absorbing that heroic outlook from the heroes, the robot stops its building rampage and begins helping clean up the mess it made. The heroes inspired a robot to do good ... to be a hero itself.

Maybe I am an old stick in the mud.

Maybe I am a curmudgeon.

But I actually like reading comics where the heroes are heroes, doing good for its own sake. This isn't a distrusted Superman being attacked by the army and shunned by citizens. This isn't a Wonder Woman embroiled in a bloody family feud. These are heroes trying to help, and being role models for others to aspire to be like. Wonderful.

I happily read this book with my kids. And I was reminded what I loved about comics when I was their age. And the acrimony of the business was forgotten, at least temoporarily.

And then ate delicious cereal!


Martin Gray said...

Looks like a great little book. Is it post-New 52? I'll be interested to see how far merchandising tie-ins stray from the classic looks and feels as time passes.

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I totally agree that comics should be fun. DC shouldn't just have a few comics per month marketed toward children, as it does now. The "Johnny DC" line is not enough. I would love to see many mainstream comic books that are available for all-ages to read and enjoy. Boom Studios has titles featuring Disney characters, Dark Horse has its Harvey Comics reprint line, and Archie Comics continues to sell in my comic-book store. But what about DC? Sure, they have books based upon whatever cartoon is appearing at the time, but why is there nothing, literally nothing, that I feel is appropriate for children in the DC "New 52". How many years now has it been that Superman has been depressed and mopey, hunted by the police and military, and distrusted by the public? Last month's issue of "Superman," where a possessed duplicate/clone(?) of Superman murders prisoners and throws a reporter to his death left me feeling irritable and very sad that a great hero and role model for children has come to this. Sure, I know it wasn't the "real" Superman, but can you imagine a child picking up that issue, reading it, and feeling as horrible as I did? I have been reading the Post-Crisis Byrne reboot of Superman from 1986 and the Perez Wonder Woman reboot from 1987, and what a difference! Audiences for comic books sure have changed over the years. I know DC is after the coveted 18-35 male demographic, but here's a news flash to DC: If you make an effort to create and market more comic books for children, they and their parents will buy them! Children, both boys and girls, love superheroes. But the product actually has to be on the shelves first!