Comic books have been around forever, so, of course, they were bound to reuse a couple of ideas every now and then. No matter how good the comic is, they’ve all fallen prey to at least one or two cringe-worthy clichés. And since comic books are having a Renaissance of sorts, there’s never been a better time to call writers out on overdone ideas and ask them to do better.
After all, they make stories look stale, boring, or plain predictable. These are the clichés that we should, for the love of Bruce Wayne, retire for all eternity:
Gratuitous Female Nudity
Sometimes this is in the form of an impossible anatomy, the huge breasts followed by a tiny waist, and long lean legs. Other times it comes as ridiculous poses that seem to highlight nothing but the character’s physique. More often than not, it’s all of the above plus an absurd, barely there, costume.
Women in comics have been objectified for ages. And what’s sadder, attempts to diversify female representation are received with vicious backlash. But in this day and age, female characters should receive the same kind of treatment -and amount of clothes- as their male counterparts. While there’s nothing wrong with showing off the female body, it shouldn’t be at the expense of character development or a consistent plot.
Bringing in Clones
Everyone seems to have a clone. And we do mean everyone, from Lex Luthor to Magneto, and the man of steel himself. But far from being a compelling and imaginative idea, it’s been more like something jaded writers have come up with when they can’t find any new plots.
Maybe there’s a new comic book author who has a great idea for a clone’s story, but so far it hasn’t been done that well. Clones seemingly surface out of nowhere, add barely nothing to the main storyline and most of them disappear after a few months. The universe doesn’t get any better or richer because of them, and the heroes seldom learn anything because of them. Really, there are no reasons to add clones besides “creators need a break, so we’ll be leaving you with clones for a while”, and in that case, it might be better if writers just take a vacation.
The Super Unrealistic Dialogue
A few decades ago, a villain making an exit punctuated with a
“you have not seen the last of me!”
might have been threatening even. Nowadays, is way too theatrical and over the top not to seem unrealistic. Even heroes with a penchant for long monologues, seem way too ridiculous to be taken seriously.
While no one expects any comic character to talk like a regular person (with Deadpool being the most common exception), no one likes to read a contrive dialogue that just reminds you over and over again that your reading fiction. Just as the drawings and plotlines of comics have evolved over the years, so should the lines. No more “Holy Bunions”, please.