Sunday, December 31, 2023

Hell is for Heroes

Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Hell yes.

I began to warn the world nearly three years ago that the superheroes were on their way to a well-earned - and long overdue - final death. 

Knowing all too well how it takes these kind of things to cycle out, I realized it would take some time. Projects in production needed to be released - and totally bellyflop at the box office - before anyone believed me. 

And now Judgment Day has finally arrived.

Of course I had the inside track, having freelanced for Marvel in its various iterations since the mid-90s. And I really knew the final bed had been shat once my phone stopped ringing. There just wasn't any work to be done - no one is buying this stuff anymore. It's been over for a while. It's just taken time for the corpse to stop twitching.

I revisited the topic here and here, long before the Grim Reaper came to take his toll. 

How insanely terrible is the situation? 

How completely and utterly dead is not only the superhero genre but all geek culture genres? 

This is how terrible it is:

Believe me, Toys R' Us was utterly annihilated on a fraction of the unsold stock this YouTuber has documented at close-out stores of last resort like Ollie's. As someone who cut his teeth in the action figure business, let me tell you: "apocalyptic" is far too mild a term to describe this disaster. 

This is utter desolation.

This worthless, patronizing Woke crap - which Disney and Marvel were betting their entire futures on - is hated not only by middle-aged babymen on Twitter and YouTube, but it's hated by literally everyone

Worse than hated, actually - it's ignored.

Never mind what NPC and conspiratainment-junkies might tell you, based about their feeble grasp of box office sorcery: this is the real final death. Toys and merch are where the real gravy is made; it's how marginally-profitable films continued to get produced. Without this revenue stream, there is only despair and oblivion. 

Still don't believe me?

Wall Street does. I'm old enough to remember when it would be a catastrophe if Disney's stock price dipped under 100.  So are a few things in my fridge. And yet even with inflation, here we are.

It's over. So, so, so over.

But don't despair - there literally never needs to be another comic book published or superhero or sci-fi movie made again. There's a century's worth of material already made and ready to be explored if you so desire. Nothing more -- zip, zero, zilch -- needs to be said. 

Moreover, nothing new of any value whatsoever ever will be said. 

It's all been done and no one will ever do anything better than what's come before. Certainly not the feeble, hate-filled freaks who stink up the writers' rooms and editorial offices these days. 

And with infantilized young adults not having children - and the children that are coming up seem to be mostly illiterate and uneducable, according to exasperated teachers on TikTok - no one will ever say anything worth hearing, reading or watching about these ancient IPs ever again. 

I mean EVER.

But be of good cheer, Pilgrims. 

The stories have all been told and told well, over and again. Celebrate the past works, the great creators and creations, and enjoy the grim fate that awaits the despoilers of the old gods. It will be a strain of schedenfreude of a level never before witnessed.


In the meantime, check out this epic discussion with my man Recluse on The Spandex Files: The Death, Rebirth and Re-Death of Superheroes. It's a rave-up of a rare kind, straight up.


While I do shovel dirt on the supergods' spandex caskets, I also celebrate what has come before and the warm memories we'll always have in our hearts. I'll be forever grateful to the real heroes -- the creators who made wonderful stories for lonely, messed-up kids to be inspired by -- as well as the truly great people I worked with at the House of Ideas.


Here's the skinny on the book itself:

The Spandex Files is 280 action-packed (and lavishly illustrated) pages of information and edutainment, filled with the chills, spills and laughs you've come to expect from your pal here at The Secret Sun! 

Also available in Canada, the UK, in GermanyFranceSpain, in JapanAustralia and other major sellers as well!