Dick who hates your blog compares super hero comics to metals, both heavy and nu:
-Nu Metal: I think there’s a case to be made that all superheroes as a genre are more like heavy metal than any other musical genre. Both are frankly ridiculous, especially to outsiders. Even mature, not-stupid fans struggle to apologize for some of the dumber tropes in each genre. Ever tried to explain Spider-Man’s origin to a regular person? Ever tried to explain Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie to a regular person? Both activities will make you feel dumber than you probably are. And yet even non-fans will recognize something primal and compelling in a Black Sabbath riff or a Jack Kirby splash page.
Given this, the Nu Metal comparison is obvious. Nu Metal lyrics definitely tend towards whiny self-focus (what some might call “emo” tendencies). This brings to mind Crying Superman and the pervading sense of gloom which clings to modern superhero comics. (Seriously, is this something that appeals exclusively to whatever weirdos comprise the majority of Marvel/DC fans these days? The general public voiced its opinion on Crying Superman through its apathy towards Superman Returns, so this isn’t a larger cultural phenomenon.) Furthermore, Nu Metal privileges aggression over hooks; similarly, superhero comic writers increasingly rely on shocks and surprises rather than, well, all the things which one associates with writing as a craft. And then there’s the misogyny thing.
This analogy falls apart, however, when we consider the role of influence. For all its faults, Nu Metal bands broadened the appeal of heavy metal by bringing in influences from other, disparate genres. Nu Metal is not wed to the past; it is (was?) an inherently forward-looking sub-genre. Contemporary superhero comics, conversely, are aggressively antiquarian (some asshole might even call them culturally necrophiliac). Fans of Nu Metal rewarded bands which took risks, pushing them further from the traditional definition of “heavy metal.” Marvel/DC fans, obsessed with continuity, consider any break with the past as prima facie evidence of a comic sucking. Clearly, then, these similarities between Nu Metal and contemporary superhero comics are superficial; at their respective cores are contradictory views on the relationship between roots and fruits.
The heavy metal comparison could probably be taken further, but seems pretty spot on. As far as Nu Metal goes, I associate “crying Superman” more with emo … I think he has more in common with Dashboard Confessional than Linkin Park, but I don’t know if that would hold up if you took into account all of the genre.
Dick also goes on to try and make comparisons between comics and Dixeland Jazz … for all of the, um, Dixieland Jazz fans out there. Of course, I didn’t make it that far … I stopped reading after I realized he wasn’t going to make a comparison between Spider-Man and Jon Bon Jovi.