Friday, Scipio posted a review of a discussion he and Devon attended. To me, the most interesting comment, on a personal level, was what Scipio labeled an Unpleasant Unfortunate truth, courtesy of Tom DeFalco. Basically, that the Big Two will do certain storylines with the idea that it will piss off readers, because impassioned fan outcry seems to boost sales. I guess it's part of that "slow down and watch the car wreck" mentality. Technically, DeFalco was only speaking from personal experience, which would probably limit it to Marvel, but I've read enough to know DC pulls the same crap, so I'm tossing them in as well.
My first instinct was to make a snarky comment, something like 'I am shocked - shocked! - to hear that comics companies are intentionally trying to anger me to boost their sales figures!' But, that wouldn't have really added anything to the discussion (Scipio does snark in a much better manner), and I didn't feel much like channeling Claude Rains. Besides, I found myself wondering, when the hell did I get like that? That my reaction to such a statement is sarcasm, rather than actual surprise?
It wasn't in the '80s, because that's when I started reading comics, so everything was new to me, and I didn't totally understand how the world of comics worked. It wasn't even the '90s, which was mostly just me feeling lost as massive X-Crossovers and Clone Sagas roamed across 40 books, leaving me unable to keep up. Heck, when I made a serious return to comics in fall of 2000, I was still fairly upbeat and I suppose, naive.
I honestly don't think that there was any one event that brought it home, this realization that the people in charge at DC and Marvel were screwing with us. Rather, it was a combination of four: 1) Spider-Man gets organic web-shooters, courtesy of Disassembled. It made no sense, other than the fact it matched the movie, which seemed like a stupid reason to do something. 2) War Games, and the Stephanie Brown death. Pointless, occurred only because certain characters were written massively out-of-character. 3) Jack Drake's death, which combined with #2 to bollocks up Willingham's run on Robin, for the purposes of some P.O.S. mystery, and I use that term loosely. 4) The fact that pretty much all the characters in Avengers I really liked either died (Scott Lang, Hawkeye), or were knocked into near-oblivion (Kelsey Leigh) by Avengers Dissassembled.
All of it fostered this massive anger in me, but also left me picking up books to see if maybe the characters would have turned out to have survived after all, or they were injured, but now they're back. Books that, given my frustration, I shouldn't have been buying. And thus I realized I was being duped.
So here's my question: Have you reached a point where you feel you care for the characters more than the people in charge of them? And if so, what was the event that left to that?