Doug: Today I'd like some feedback on violence in comics. I suppose that's a stupid question, as in the longjohn books we're somewhat disappointed if there are not at least a few scenes of sock-'em-up roughhousing. When I was a child, I'm not sure I dwelt on just what it would feel like if I ever got punched by the Thing. Sure, I'd stubbed my toe on the cement, maybe bumped my head on a brick wall. But I'd never had a solid piece of masonry smashed into my body at a high rate of speed. I imagine that wouldn't feel very good! Nor would taking a full-on swing from Thor's hammer. I think we've all missed a nail and hit our thumbs or fingers with a household-use hammer. That doesn't feel very good, either. But, in either case, it sure looks extemely cool when a super-baddie is sent flying out into the ocean, or even through a wall (another sort of pain altogether).
Doug: So I get violence in comics -- it's a given. But I'm talking about a modern trend toward bloody and even personal violence. I'm thinking of the cover below, the first issue of the much-anticipated (at least in this corner of the universe) Neal Adams Batman 12-issue mini-series. Seriously -- entry and exit wounds, with blood just a'spewing forth, on the cover? I'm thinking of the panel in New Avengers when Luke Cage gave Elektra (OK, Skrull-Elektra) a swift kick in the crotch (hey, Mom always said not to hit a girl). Time was these sorts of scenes were in the black-and-white magazines, or in books that didn't bear the Comics Code Authority's seal of approval. But now... now you can see this stuff in books set right out on the shelf at the local grocery store or Barnes & Noble. Right there for your mom to see (gasp! -- back to reading under the covers with the flashlight!)!
Doug: Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Or is it simply the evolution of the medium, our social mores, or what? Thanks in advance for chipping in to the conversation with a word or two.
Doug: You can find this cover, along with full-color pages, by clicking here.