How Comic Books Got Me To Love TV
Maybe the title goes a bit too far. I’ve never really been in love with TV. When I was younger, my brother and I would be home alone during summer vacations, and if I got to the computer first (we actually raced from our rooms in the morning to the C64), my brother would spend the day in the recliner watching TV. We were extremely productive youths.
It’s not a habit I’ve ever taken up. I liked TV OK, but not enough to make it my primary mode of entertainment. My wife also likes TV a lot, so history repeats itself: while she’s watching The Voice or something, I’m over on the computer.
When shows like Arrow and Agents of SHIELD debuted, I wasn’t too excited bout it. For one, I liked the Marvel moves, but I am not a Joss Whedon fan by any stretch, and the show bears his distinct mark. And Arrow was on “The CW”, which means I’m way outside of it’s core demographic and expected it to be all 20-somethings-playing-teen-angst.
But I started watching Arrow backlogs because folks were talking about it on Le Networks Sociale, and I was extremely impressed. I went back in time to catch up on SHIELD and was initially less impressed, but the end of the first season improved significantly. Then The Flash debuted (with tie-ins to Arrow), and of course you can’t access any Marvel property without accessing all Marvel properties or else it won’t make any sense, so there’s that.
Now they’re talking about another DC spin-off called Legends of Tomorrow, linked here, today! and it looks just as awesome.
Of course, no discussion on comics would be complete without taking a side in the DC vs Marvel war. I have to side with DC, but only because my familiarity comes from the screen translations. I’ve got not desire to spend $5 on a 20 page comic book that I can complete in the bathroom and still have time to kill. But the Marvel adaptations seem to be very reliant on periods of lighthearted comedy mixed with over-the-top action (my issue with Mr. Whedon’s style), and an insidious plot to punish you with continuity confusion if you skip a movie (Hi, Ant-Man). DC’s shows, so far, have been more serious, and to me, more in-depth. I blame the fact that they’re on The Cwuh for the focus on interpersonal relationships and for The Flash‘s almost sophomoric vibe, but I’d rather have human drama over threat-of-the-week drama any day (which is why I love Battlestar Galactica so much).