Thursday, August 14, 2014

SUPERHEROES - And Why It's Time to Let Go of Them

Superheros. We love them. We're obsessed with them. And by "we," I mean everyone I know, except me.

Why are "we" so obsessed? Just today, CNN gave us this headline: "Meet your new Aquaman." Why? Why do I have to meet my new Aquaman? If I remember correctly, I liked Aquaman for about 5 seconds when I was a kid watching Super Friends on Saturday morning. Now he and Wonder Woman will be appearing in the "new" Batman vs. Superman movie, and I have to ask, "Who fucking cares?" Why is it that we keep recycling Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, waiting to see who'll be the next actor to succumb to the harsh judgment of millions of hardcore, purist, aging comic book enthusiasts out there? Have you even SEEN a kid reading comic books lately? No, because they don't. Why are "we" so obsessed with these old characters from an outdated, bygone era? Are we so afraid to let go of our childhood? Are we so afraid of new characters to love? Shit, if this were the case, then they should've made at least 16 new Snoopy movies for me to enjoy, because that was my childhood hero.

We don't just need new superheroes, but new characters, PERIOD. But is there room for new faces? We're a country with a huge film entertainment industry, and all we can come up with is, "Did you like the old Superman or the new Superman? Old Spider-Man or new Spider-Man?" Dude, has anyone noticed they're still the same superheroes over and over, even if played by a new actor? Why are we splitting hairs? As they say in Spanish, "Hasta cuando??" Until when? Come on, people. IT'S TIME TO MOVE ON!

Time for RISK-TAKING! There are thousands of writers out there, poised on the edge of a new creative renaissance, writers struggling to be heard, seen, read. Thousands of them, creating all sorts of unique characters for people to fall in love with, fascinating characters who explore new worlds, yet we keep dumping millions of dollars back on Stan Lee. Newsflash: Stan Lee doesn't need any more money!!! He's old, decrepit, getting more and more stinking rich on the business of recycling his old shit, while some young writer is struggling to pay his bills and feed his family with his fantastic new story lines, if only someone would look at them! Let's start letting in some new blood, new worlds, new civilizations, and I don't mean by making 5 more Star Trek movies. Yes, I love Star Trek, but it's 2014!!!! We do not need to see how Kirk and Spock would look and talk as played by yet more new actors. They're still Kirk and Spock! How will we fall in love and keep evolving as lovers of art if we are always looking at the Mona Lisa as painted by 5 different artists?? It's still the Mona Fucking Lisa! Please, I'm begging you...stop going to see these movies. It isn't until you stop paying for them and start demanding new ideas, new faces, new talent, that the film (and book) industry will evolve into the 21st Century.

Look what happened when someone decided to take a risk with Harry Potter, a new character 20 years ago--LOVE, EXCITEMENT...that's what happened. Young readers were so thirsty for something refreshing and magnificent that they fell in love with JK Rowling's "new" creation, and right they should! But now we need more. Please, editors, directors, producers of book and film entertainment...let's please put these superheroes and other old tropes to rest. They accomplished what they set out to do. They boosted morale pre and post wartime, and they united the country, and all that. Yay. Awesome. But now it's 60 years later, and it's TIME. Go see a movie you've never heard of before with actors you've never heard of. Pick up a book by someone you've never heard of, and if you're a writer, don't stop trying to be heard. Don't stop knocking on those doors. Be better than your competition. Eventually, you'll catch their attention, but we need help. We need for readers, viewers, consumers of visual storytelling to please give originality a chance. Let go of the old superheroes. And go find some new ones.

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