The blogosphere went wacky over the Wonderdog controversy. What? You don't know what I mean? C'mon! Sure you do! It's been everywhere!
For those who were lucky enough to escape it until now, here's what it's all about. Not so long ago, the DC comic Teen Titans introduced their version of the old SUPERFRIENDS cartoon characters, Wendy and Marvin. This was met with virtually universal disinterest. Anyway, W & M soon found their 'Wonderdog' and, in issue #62 (still on the stands, folks! Get yours now!), Wonderdog kills and eats them.
Here's the infamous pic:
This brought a lotta bad words from lots o'bloggers. The gist of the complaints primarily being centered around the fact that the killer-dog scene appeared in what was considered an 'all-ages' book. Well, at least there was no warning label on the cover saying, "BEWARE! ONCE BELOVED CARTOON DOG KILLS OWNERS INSIDE!"
That doesn't really bother me all that much.
Because, after all, comics haven't been for kids since about the mid-80's. Once DC showed Robin and Starfire naked in bed in a Direct Market only issue of Teen Titans (Hey! There's that name again!), the cat was out of the bag. Some of you may remember the brouhaha that little panel created. DC's response was that it was ONE panel in a comic that could only be purchased through a comic store and wasn't out on the newstand, ready to pervert little minds. That was a stupid argument, of course, as any kid could walk into a comic store and buy that issue (or today's #62, still on the stands, folks!) with nary a curious eye from the shopkeeper.
But I wander.
The point is that many, many comics today aren't fit for kids to read. At least, not the kind of kids we used to be. Ah, those bright, halycon days of youth! When our fresh-faced, angelic minds weren't at risk from those nasty comic books. But for today's youth? Hell, they could probably make up worse stories on their own.
Now, of course I don't mean that the little ones should be seeing cadaver eating dogs in their comics. But, as has been stated in other places (Val D's excellent Occasional Superheroine for one), there's no middle ground between comics for little kids and adult comics. Once you tire of the Archie's and the pap that Marvel and DC try to pass off as kid's comics, you graduate right into the arena of such lovely family fare as Identity Crisis where Dr. Light rapes Elongated Man's wife in a flashback that occurs a few pages before she has a brain seizure and is burned to death.
So there's no transition period where young teens can read about superheroes who go around fighting crime and protecting innocents. So, I wonder, why is that? Is it because such comics don't sell in today's market? If that's true, why not? Have we really come to the level where the typical teenage reader WANTS to read about hungry Wonderdogs and crispy rape victims? Has the audience for comics become so de-sensitized to violence and inhumanity from the media and video games that they cannot believe that anything else could exist?
For me, I wanna know who the hell thought that the hungry Wonderdog was a good idea? I mean, c'mon! The people who would be the most put off by this are the fans of the original cartoon! If you put W & M in there to appeal to them, then why the hell do you kill them off like that? Is it just a giant F-U to those readers? Does DC picture readers sitting there and jumping out of their seat as they read that page with their fists pumping in the air yelling, "YEAH! Go, Wonderdog! Eat those jerks!"??? Is it meant to shock and stun the reader?? "OMG, if they could do that to Wendy & Marvin, than NO-ONE is safe!" What? What is the freaking logic here?? Someone please explain this to me!
I was never a big M & W fan. Even as a kid I thought that they were incredibly lame and cringed every time they came on the cartoon. But some people, I'm sure, must have liked them. And they, I am damned sure, are just waiting for the Wonder Twins to get theirs too!