For the first time since graduating, I'm reading two fictional texts alternately. I've finally gotten around to reading The Maze Runner and it's creeping me out to the extent where I can't read it before I go to sleep. But I can't possibly go to bed without reading so I got over my dislike of, what I like to call (and which probably isn't a good name but who cares) "overlapping reading," and now I'm breezing through Eleanor & Park at an alarming rate. I know those two books are, like, so a couple years ago, but I can't help it if I can't keep up. I'd suck as any kind of cultural critic because I'd be writing reviews of things that (gasp) aren't trending right now.
Speaking of that which is currently trending, there's been a lot of doom and gloom grumbling about the Marvel/DC arms race (a.k.a. The Battle for our Hearts, Souls, and Wallets) and how it will inevitably lead to the demise of movies, TV, comics, storytelling, and possibly all pop culture as we know it. (Sorry, I'm too lazy to link.) Whether the hyper-expansion of each universe's franchise will suddenly collapse under the weight of its own complexity, thereby creating a singularity which pulls all of existence in after it (is that what a singularity does? I'm not especially sciencey), leaving nothing but a howling void, or we all simply grow bored with superhero narratives and move on, I'm surprised at all the complaining.
Okay, not totally surprised. This is the internet, and that's what it's for - cat pictures and endless nitpicking. This deluge of superhero stories isn't without its flaws - like crushing non-superhero-therefore-non-blockbusters at the box office and creating a market where investors only become interested in funding mega-hits. Or the fact that a female superhero with her own franchise is some kind of crazy pipe dream we crazy dreamers distract ourselves with in the wee small hours of the morning when dawn is still too far away for us to forget our deepest fears and anxieties.
Side note: yes, I know Supergirl is arriving this fall, and that's cool, but allow me to nitpick - as the name says, she's a girl, not a woman. And Captain Marvel isn't a reality yet. Honestly, I don't even know who she is (I'm actually not well-versed in actual comics), but I'm hoping it's an actual grown woman who gets as much fanatical attention to detail and mature themes as Batman gets - not some excuse for a pin-up version of a superhero. All things considered, I'm starting to think of Agent Peggy Carter as a miracle. But remember, she's filler for when Coulson & Co. are on vacation, and for a while it looked like she wasn't going to get a second season.
What I meant to say was, bring on the superheroes. We'll love the good and trash the bad. Pop culture and the universe in general will not implode and collapse in on itself. (Seriously? Is that what it does?)