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44 Comments

Off My Mind: Combining Comic Book Genres

Let's see more crossovers with genres within superhero comics.

People tend to think of superheroes when it comes to comic books. We all know that there are many different types of comics that don't have any superheroes or tights in them. On occasion we'll see a mix of the different genres of comics. Marvel Zombies managed to combine zombies with the Marvel characters. While you could say this has been successful, you can't really take it seriously because of the joking nature. It wasn't until the recent Curse of the Mutants one-shot, Smoke and Blood that I really started thinking about the crossing of genres. 
  

   
Since we've seen the occasional mixing of genres in the past, what would you like to see? Do you want to see more true horror in comics? Do you want to see more alien invasions mixed with superheroes? Do you just want superhero comics to focus on superheroes?

44 Comments
Edited by Danial79

I'd like to see more horror myself. I don't like Marvel Zombies because it's an "alternate reality"...

Posted by csimon

I just want Good Comics if it's good I will pick it up
Posted by Abnormally Warm Guy

I love G-man watching the movie.

Posted by ImperiousRix

I definitely do think that comics should try mixing up the story-telling a little more, and that'd definitely involve the mixing of genres.  If a major series wanted to throw in a horror or suspense arc every now and again, or even mix it up with something like a noir or sci-fi story, I think that'd be a pretty good thing.

Posted by uroboros

I would love to see a superhero comic with that more independent dark humour quirky vibe. Or a superhero comic that is a real horror because I don't see Marvel Zombies as horror, I'd like to see some real fear..which isn't necessarily gore..it must be possible because I've read books that have terrified me..so you should be able to cross that divide..

Posted by Mainline

I would love to see a hard scifi take on superheroes that's aggressively logical and rational (and scientific if not actually science), rather than the softer quasi-fantasy styled scifi.

I would love to see more slice of life (Unbreakable), competition (Yakitake! Japan), and tourney (Hajime No Ippo, Kill Bill, Hunter X Hunter) styled Western comics... the genre is far more prevalent in Eastern comics or film (see Shaolin Soccer). 
 
Westerns... definitely more westerns.  The one-off Secret Six issue taking place in the wild west inspired me to dig out my copy of Justice Riders.  It's a genre begging for more superhuman action... and there a few comics out there (The Guns of Shadow Valley, 6th Gun). 
 
Last one... would be a combination of hard(er) scifi, slice of life, western themes, and crime noir... ala Cowboy Bebop.  Comics could do with more excellent hybrids like that.

Posted by Green ankh

what i dont want to see is more vampires.
Posted by They Killed Cap!

Normally I would say no to genere crossovers but I loved Punisher Vs Marvel Universe. It was a good example of survival horror.
Posted by cbishop
@G-Man: I think you nailed it on the head, when you mentioned the "all-ages" aspect.  The Big Two have been all-ages for so long, they're too invested in it to get out without a ton of criticism.  They're already drawing criticism from fans, simply because the movie and comic versions of characters don't match up, or because the cartoon and comic versions don't match.  Or worse, because there are five different versions of a character out there (movie, animated, main universe, future version, and Ultimate/All-Star version). 
 
I don't think comics are really, really going to successfully cross-pollinate genres until book publishers get into the graphic novel biz, or a really good indie company comes along, that can compete with the Big Two.  I think as soon as that happens though, Disney or Warner are going to make a move to buy them.  I wish US companies could separate the art from the capitalism long enough to let comics grow into a something-for-everyone medium, like books, magazines and music.
Posted by Nerx

Cyborgs

Posted by GraveSp

DC had an alien invasion arc, Bloodlines and it Batman Confidential recently there were zombies, a werewolf and a vampire.  

Posted by Emerald Dragonfly

Grim and gritty reboot finally got to Comicvine! Yeeeeah

Posted by MrMazz

defiantly would like if there was more of a adult twinge to the current slate of comics but at least things aren't all creepy stereotypical 50's in comics

Posted by EdwardWindsor

I want to see another marvel 1902 style arc tied into a classic horror book.

Posted by G-Man
Edited by TerryMcC

There have already been plenty of superheroes mixed with film noir, westerns, and mystery, and even comic book cowboys and grade B sci-fi (long ago with Spur Jackson and “Space Western” look it up it’s on here.)

But how far are you willing to go?

Romance? (Young Mutants in Love?), Musical Comedy? (Secret Wars the Musical?), How We Won’t (insert sporting event here) Against All Odds?    

Posted by Fabcomics

Personnally, I always thought that you could find pretty much all genre in superheroes comics. Like G-man said, there's "horror/zombie" genre with Marvel Zombies (and i'll add Blackest Night and Necrosha, in some ways), and Sci-fi with the Green Lantern books at DC and all the Space books at Marvel. 
But you can also add :  
- western with Jonah Hex,  Cowboys & Aliens,...
- teen romantic comedy with Ultimate Spider-Man and Runaways,...  
- detective, police drama and noir genre with Batman, Daredevil, Alias, the "Marvel Noir" line,... 
- drama in... a lot of books ! 
 
So, for me, you already have that mix of genre.  
 

Posted by SladeRogers

I'd really love tyo see more dark, gritty comics. I would like to see a demon invasion or something, I haven't really seen one in Marvel. I mean outside of Ghost Rider and other magic-based characters, I wanna see how would Steve Rogers. Clint Barton, Tony Stark, and Bucky Barnes fair against demons without help from Thor or anyone. I'd really like to see an all soldier story arc, called Frontline or something, where all the soldiers in Marvel (Captain America, Punisher, Wolverine, General Thunderbolt Ross, Bucky Barnes, and whoever else just get together and do what military soldiers do.......KICK ASS!!!!!!! Oh, and I wanna see more Noir. 
Posted by Mainline
@G-Man said:
" I totally forgot to mention Cowboys & Aliens as a comic. "
Psyched about the movie for this.  I'll watch that first before picking up the book to avoid spoiling myself.  However, that made me remember two of Geoff Darrow's genre mix-up works:  

The Big Guy and Rusty  - This is period "NASA-punk" (similar ethic to steam-punk but a "what if" on 1960s tech) crossed with the Japanese giant monster and giant mecha genres... Astro Boy and retro-Iron Man meet Godzilla and other 50s film villains (mutants, aliens, etc)
Shaolin Cowboy - Not as fond of this as Big Guy, but still you get kung-fu, western themes, and absolutely insane mutants / monsters  

And, as expected from Darrow, everything is hyper detailed (so too much gore for the mainstream but nonetheless beautifully rendered gore) and rather violent... definitely not for kids.
Posted by Dr. Maxwell

No mention of Vertigo at all? That makes me sad

Posted by GothamBat

I'd like to see Batman team up with the brothers from Supernatural. That be awesome.

Posted by AirDave817

I miss the DC Elseworlds line. There were some really good mash-ups. Although they seemed to be Bat- or Supe-centric. I'm not big into Zombies or vampires, so this latest Marvel Monster mash doesn't really do anything for me. It seems more like cashing in on a fad than storytelling.   
 
 

Posted by NawfalQ

I hear the idea for horror-genre... but I am afraid it could just saturate an already over-saturated market with more vampires and zombies. There would have to be, I think, more emphasis placed on "Twilight Zone" eeriness.

Posted by G-Man
@AirDave817: Funny you should mention Elseworlds. I'm reviewing one for this Wednesday's Garage Reviews.
Posted by frsty13
@Mainline said: 
I would love to see more slice of life (Unbreakable)  
 You should check out Astro City.  When it doesn't have a story arc going on, it's very "slice of life" and easily one of the best titles I've ever read.   
 
The Red Star is another great mash-up comic, combining Sci-fi with Russian history.
 
A lot of the genres you mentioned were actually covered by Crossgen back when they were around (although not always very well).    
 
The problem is, most of these titles just don't get much attention.  And as good as they are, it's bound to happen when there's years between story arcs or issues.  Still, I would love to see Comic Vine cover more indie comics.
Posted by Doctor!!!!!

Everybody knows Zombies go great with everything.
Edited by Rosencrantz&Guildenstern

I always wondered how would a Charlie Chaplin-Wolverine amalgam story look like. Seriously!XD
 They do have common traits: the underpriviledged, unlucky, yet slightly vegabond little man doing his best in order to survive and be a good person in an unfriendly world. 
 
I'd especially like to see a Wolvie adaptaion of The Kid from 1921: Imagine a silent, black-and-white animated movie starring Wolverine with his gritty grumpines accompanied with Chaplinesque slightly downtrodden, burlesque charm. The orphan could be little Akiko. After some healing factor augmented slapstick humor accompanied by Chaplin's typical music, when reaching the part when Logan'd be held down by the policeman in order to catch the organ, Wolverine'd suddenly go berserk all Rucka\Robertson style, the music would switch into Pantera-metal while the crazed mutant slashes through his opponents, adding some crimson to the monochromic view ;). Victory wouldn't taste too sweetly, however, for now Wolverine must find a horribly frightened Akiko and somehow regain her broken trust.
 
Call me an oddball, but I'd really enjoy a story like this.

Edited by NexusOfLight
@Mainline said:

" I would love to see a hard scifi take on superheroes that's aggressively logical and rational (and scientific if not actually science), rather than the softer quasi-fantasy styled scifi.

I would love to see more slice of life (Unbreakable), competition (Yakitake! Japan), and tourney (Hajime No Ippo, Kill Bill, Hunter X Hunter) styled Western comics... the genre is far more prevalent in Eastern comics or film (see Shaolin Soccer). 
 
Westerns... definitely more westerns.  The one-off Secret Six issue taking place in the wild west inspired me to dig out my copy of Justice Riders.  It's a genre begging for more superhuman action... and there a few comics out there (The Guns of Shadow Valley, 6th Gun). 
 
Last one... would be a combination of hard(er) scifi, slice of life, western themes, and crime noir... ala Cowboy Bebop.  Comics could do with more excellent hybrids like that. "

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Alla this right here. Everything this dude said needs to be done, like yesterday within DC and Marvel.
Posted by TheMess1428

How about Marvel Mystery Theatre?

Posted by BenB

I want to see it go back to the roots of comics and do a nice pulp action type storyline. I want to see Batman fight hand to hand on top of a biplane or Wolverine explore the amazon

Posted by jamdown

I WANT MARVEL VS. DC

Posted by Omegavondoom

About 1/3 of the books I get monthly are horror themed, I'm a bit of a horror nut. I wouldn't want to see a favourite superhero book of mine totally taken over by horror though, but I wouldn't mind seeing characters like The Punisher or Batman taking on more horror themed story arcs (as his done in a lot of his one-shots) 
 
The Blackest Night (DC) story arc was interesting in that it had the dead coming back, and actually being part of continuity. 
 
As far as Marvel Zombies goes, I wasn't a fan until Ash from Evil Dead stepped for a few of the issues. Now that was interesting, I saw it more as crossing a horror icon with comics than comics with horror... if that makes sense?

Posted by Mr. Dead Pool
@Omegavondoom said:
"As far as Marvel Zombies goes, I wasn't a fan until Ash from Evil Dead stepped for a few of the issues. Now that was interesting, I saw it more as crossing a horror icon with comics than comics with horror... if that makes sense? "
Yeah it makes sense. I'd like another Army of Darkness/Marvel crossover. They could have it start were Ash gets transported to that werewolf Marvel dimension. I think that would be cool. Ash has only fought undead guys since the first Evil Dead, werewolves would be a cool new thing for him to fight. Not that I don't like Ash any less for only fighting undead, but it would be cool to see him fight something he's never fought.
Posted by Mainline
@frsty13 said:
" @Mainline said: 
I would love to see more slice of life (Unbreakable)  
 You should check out Astro City.  When it doesn't have a story arc going on, it's very "slice of life" and easily one of the best titles I've ever read.    The Red Star is another great mash-up comic, combining Sci-fi with Russian history. A lot of the genres you mentioned were actually covered by Crossgen back when they were around (although not always very well).     The problem is, most of these titles just don't get much attention.  And as good as they are, it's bound to happen when there's years between story arcs or issues.  Still, I would love to see Comic Vine cover more indie comics. "
Thanks, I've been a longtime Kurt Busiek fan so I've got almost all of Astro City up to last year or so.  I picked up Red Star for its art but couldn't get into the story based on the periodicals.  I have the trade somewhere but haven't gone back (and I routinely accidentally call it Rising Stars by accident for the better known Top Cow title).  I never got into Crossgen and it seems that was pretty much the trend. :P
Posted by ateygheyev

Definitely should cross-pollinate.  Life isn't one genre, so stories should be not be bound by one style.  Besides, it way more interesting...like steam punk.

Posted by laurax

Ohhh yay!
Posted by AirDave817
@G-Man said:
" @AirDave817: Funny you should mention Elseworlds. I'm reviewing one for this Wednesday's Garage Reviews. "

Cool! I'd ask which one but...
Posted by greenenvy

I am trying to get into sword and sorcery so I would appreciate some superhero combining with that to see how it works and see if it gets my interest. Is there any good ones already that I can read  like this that  I can read?  Please let me know guys by posting or commenting thanks. 

Posted by difficlus

i want more horror and suspense too...

Posted by puiwaihin

You get to see more of the crossover concept when it comes to Anime, although the genres that get mixed are somewhat limited-- typically noir detective, romance, drama, and comedy.  If written with that intent from start to go it makes for a very powerful treatment.
 
Comic book writing tends to focus on the big story arc.  It weaves in elements of romance or suspense to make the whole story more fulfilling, but those other aspects, however well done, are not the central focus of the writing.  This makes for good writing in an epic style of story, which is what the majority of comic writing is.  However, the breadth and depth of comic characters would serve very well for other genres and the superhero identity and the struggles they are going through make for delicious background material to tell another story.
 
I know I'm going to get some groans for mentioning these shows, but you can see this with the most recent "Superman" television series.  The first series was "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman", which ostnsibly was a superhero show but was primarily concerned with relationship between Superman and Lois Lane.  While the show failed in terms of making a Superman hero story that comic fans would find appealing, it succeeded in creating a romance story that was built up against the backdrop of Superman's/Clark's day to day hero work.
 
The series Smallville is another Superman crossover which in the earlier seasons was a "coming of age" story rather than primarily a hero story.  In fact, the earlier seasons with their focus on the main characters of Clark, Lana, Lex, and Chloe make a stark contrast with the later seasons which focus on the hero aspect and the heroic/epic story arcs and the relationships and character development took a back seat to plot concerns.   What was initially a genre-crossing series evolved into a primarily comic-like show.
 
While these two examples are from television, there's no reason comic writers cannot do the same thing-- and in some ways it can be done better in the comic format.  That's not to say that comics should stop doing epic story arcs.  That's the bread and butter of the comic industry and I would hate it if comics all of a sudden became lovey-dovey or avant garde to the extreme.  Just that there's clearly room and a market for these types of stories.

Posted by goldenkey
@jamdown: I'd love this done again just done well and by done big named writers and artists.  I don't know why, so everyone would be happy, just have DC and Marvel right their own versions where their characters win the battle.  example - Superman vs Hulk in Dc Supes wins and in Marvel Hulk wins.  I wouldn't mind seeing where some Marvel and DC characters end up in the others universe for a little while.  Not just a one shot but a few short series.  They each of muti-verses so why not.  Last time around it was so damn cheesy and weak. 
Posted by NXH

I couldnt stand marvel zombies. I remember when the 1st volume came and everyone i knew was praising. but it wasnt something i would want in my collection let alone read. 
i prefer the sci-fi element in super hero comics. secret invasion was good, i agree with g-man, even if it was dragging.

Edited by Comicjew
Posted by NightFang
@csimon said:
" I just want Good Comics if it's good I will pick it up "
             What this person said!