I love comics. I want to make that an absolute and clear fact. I really do love the medium. I love so many characters, I love the windows into worlds unlike anything I could experience, but I've noticed something missing. I'm a fan of the Silver Age of comics, especially right at the brim of the Bronze Age when we got stories with serious undertones but still the old Silver Age, kid-friendly material. It was all about the hero who has to rescue the people from the bad guys and at the same time deal with his own personal demons. It was amazing to see Captain America fight off some villain and the day after consider himself useless because he wore the flag. That dynamic is mind-boggling. We see our heroes fight things that would kill us instantly and then have so many doubts, so many problems. Iron Man was a billionaire who had anything he wanted and could make a suit of armor for any and all situations and yet had to live at the bottom of a bottle to deal with who Tony Stark was. It's these moments I think are truly missing in the comics of today. The heroes, anymore, seem to, instead of being written on the ground saving folks from villains doing bad things that evolve into thick plots, deal with constant world-ending threats. I know the old way may seem cheesy to folks, but it's where they got their beginnings. Look at the modern issue 1 of Aquaman, it was so awesome to see him stop a group of bank robbers. It was quick, it was fun and man was it good. The issue wasn't about Aquaman fighting some terrifying, world-destroying thing but him dealing with his day-to-day while being both a hero and the king of Atlantis. We need more of that in comics.
When was the last time we saw the Avengers just hanging out? When was the last time you saw an argument that didn't lead to a Civil War or a Vs? These books were good, but at their heart they tend to contradict the heroes beliefs. Would Captain America, Iron Man and SHIELD really go into a war that would practically destroy entire cities and just leave it at that? I see Cap standing his ground but meeting on neutral territories like open desert or something along those lines. Not New York. I know some folks would probably accuse me of being a prude or close-minded but hang on! I think crossover events are ok. Infinite Crises was an amazing world threatening event that started and ending AMAZINGLY! The story was not 100% invasive to every book but every reader knew what was going on if something did happen in their book. It was done right. It was grounded.
The problem I see is that things have shifted from the hero to the super. Instead of stories involving men and women who risk their lives against villains and threats on the ground we see epic battles spanning nations and even worlds. Yes, we get the occasional story of heroes fighting everyday threats, but it builds into giant city threats. It's funny to sort of think, if there were so many bank robbers in the old days, whose stopping them now? So in closing to this long, pointless rant. Grab an old book and see if you can spot whats missing.