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Should the superheroes take a break?


I assume when someone mentions the media of comics to a stranger, it entails three basic reactions- a. A general indifference towards the medium as a juvenile relic of a past which that person has outgrown, b. Recognition of certain characters originating from comics who have graduated to become cultural icons by virtue of wide dissemination across multiple electronic and artistic forums, especially film, television and the internet, or c. (which is also a scarce exception) Vehement response of gratification at finally finding that ONE other person who also likes reading comics as a form of art in and of itself. Reactions ‘a’ and ‘b’ are naturally more widespread, especially in India, and Kolkata, because here, comics have a very niche audience who are often also able to afford internet connectivity which is in most cases the only way for people to conveniently access the latest publications in the comicbook industry, since hard copies cost an arm and a visceral organ at bookstores like Starmark and Oxford, priced beyond comprehension (and with justification). That said, courtesy of the filmmakers’ interests in exercising their cinematic translations over the specific ambit of comics i.e. the one related to superheroes since the beginning of the millennium, and the resultant proliferation of movies based on characters and storylines from the colossal franchises Marvel and DC comics, the general populace in Kolkata have some grasp over the most popular tropes and archetypes of that specific genre of comics, even if it is by extension into a different medium of art, which has invited me to ask- is it enough to enjoy the movies, and by extension, why do people often stick to watching the movies instead of reading the books (which are not really very difficult TO READ)?
Recently, one of my best friends who enjoys watching all kinds of movies, and adores the ones produced by Marvel Studious, especially their canonical MCU (the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a project spanning for over ten years to bring together several iconic characters and storylines from their printed source material under one coherent shared narrative “universe) films, confessed that she always felt a pang of guilt discussing the movies with her friends who were also versed in said source material. Although that feeling shouldn’t necessarily have to be guilt, its understandable for a literature majors who cares greatly about cinematic adaptations of books, who happens to be a bookworm, and therefore enjoys reading the books as well as watching the movies, to feel out of place when it comes to comics. Thinking about it, the only response I had was- it is not her fault that she is not versed in the source material, because firstly, they are hard to get one’s hands on, and secondly, any of the MAJOR franchises, such as Marvel, have such extensive publication histories which are constantly revised, rebooted, and their continuities are so monumentally large and constantly thriving and intricate that it is damn near impossible to randomly join the bandwagon without exploding your heads. Books are self-contained with a finite length- comics, on the other hand, are never ending, and even though comicbook sales itself has seen better days owing to the popularity of the movies and television shows and the easier access they provide, paradoxically, the constant publication of newer stories endlessly is what intimidates the new reader from digging into the comics world? And despite being an avid comicbook reader (and a young one) myself, I wonder- should comicbook publication be temporarily shelved to allow the new reader to catch up, which might be beneficial to both the causes of popularizing other formats while also allowing more room for creative storytelling and newer, more engaging plots, by proxy?
Food for thought.


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