Banned Books Week is coming up later this month, a celebration of freedom of speech and the right to artistic expression. But what if banning books is sometimes the right thing to do? While we here at Bleeding Cool support the message of Banned Books Week in general, we’ve given it some thought and come up with five books which we believe should be banned for the betterment of the comics community.
(The listicle below contains some spoilers for some of the books we want to ban.)
Ed Brisson and Pepe Larraz’s assault on the time-displaced teenage X-Men and their associates has already gone on long enough, resulting in casualties like Bloodstorm and Cable, and leaving the status of both Iceman and Angel in jeopardy. Before this X-over event is over, who knows what kind of torture Brisson and Larraz plan to inflict on our beloved X-Men. At present, there’s only one Cyclops left in the Marvel Universe. Can we afford to allow Brisson and Larraz to kill him off, leaving us with exactly zero Cyclopses just when Uncanny X-Men is getting relaunched? We should put a stop to Extermination later this month during Banned Books week by banning it as soon as possible.
Superman and Action Comics
With the arrival of superstar writer “The Great One” Brian Bendis to DC Comics, we’ve already seen the beginning of the Bendisization of the DC Universe. How long before DC is plagued by annual super-mega-crossover events, characters and teams being “disassembled,” and characters speaking dialog like “…the hell?!” It may already be too late, but we have to try.
Maybe if we ban both of these Bendis Superman books, we can nip things in the bud before they get out of hand. Which brings us to our next book that should be banned…
Heroes in Crisis
Bendis was barely Bendising up the DC Universe for a few months when DC announced Tom King and Clay Mann’s Heroes in Crisis, a super-mega-crossover event that will rock the heroes of the DC Universe to their foundations, leaving nothing ever the same again. But do we really need an Identity Crisis revival in 2018? Is it plausible that a spandex punchkick extravaganza will handle complex topics like PTSD with any kind of grace or tact? Even more so, one starring Batman, a character whose entire career is based around brutally beating mentally ill criminals and locking them a mental health facility with, to put it mildly, extremely questionable conditions and practices? And besides, how many popular DC characters will need to die to make this book feel “important” enough, only to force us to go through the trouble of It’s time to pull the cord on this and ban Heroes in Crisis outright before it has a chance to inflict any more damage on the already struggling DC Universe.
Scott Lobdell’s Nightwing
No. Just no.
Return of Wolverine
By all rights, we should be up to our elbows in Wolverine cameo appearances, Wolverine joining every super-team in the Marvel Universe, and sanctimoniously criticizing better characters like Cyclops, oblivious to his own murderous hypocrisy. But when Marvel decided to stretch out Wolverine’s return with the extended cash-grab Hunt for Wolverine event, we were given a second chance. Laura can go back to being All-New Wolverine, Old Man Logan doesn’t need to die in a 12-part maxi-series, and Wolverine can stay where he belongs: in the grave, bub. All we have to do is ban Return of Wolverine before the first issue hits stores. And as a side bonus, we can spare ourselves this:
Runner Up: Venom by Donald Cates and Ryan Stegman
Since relaunching Venom, creators Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman have been making claims on social media that Venom is actually a better comic than Watchmen, the seminal work of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (not to be confused with Neonomicon, Alan Moore’s fish-semenal work). This kind of disrespect for the classics could undo the very foundation upon which the intellectual property of major comic book publishers is built. And what is the true meaning of Watchmen, if not to uphold the contractual rights of intellectual property owners? Therefore, we feel that there’s no better course of action than to ban Venom and preserve Watchmen’s status as the most respected comic of all time, as evidenced by all those prequels, sequels, and adaptations.
What comic books would you like to see banned during Banned Books Week? Post your suggestions in the comments, and we’ll do our best to call for their downfall at our earliest convenience.
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