With The Dark Knight and Watchmen, the masses have become more familiar with an approach to super-hero storytelling with which those of us who read comics have been familiar for years. Darker, more mature and more violent plots and characterization has been in vogue for about a quarter century, pretty much since the publication of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen in 1986. Many have argued — justifiably — that the trend has taken things much too far.
Even Dick Giordano, notable comic artist and editor for decades, says things have grown too dark in the genre. In a recent interview with The Toronto Star, Giordano admits as much, even taking some responsibility for the trend.
Many point to the unnecessary Dr. Light/Sue Dibny rape scene in Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales’s Identity Crisis in 2004 as a prime example of the excesses of the grim-n-gritty trend. This week, as I thumbed through the pages of a recently released super-hero comic, I happened upon another such “Eww” moment.