The age of spandex-clad super heroes may be slowly coming to an end... or so writer Grant Morrison and Marvel big shot Joe Quesada say about it.
While talking to the London Sunday Times, Morrison gave his take on the coming possible evolution of the typical comic book super hero, saying, "The real heroes in the world are those guys who ran into the collapsing buildings of the World Trade Center trying to save lives. Spider-Man wasn't there and Superman wasn't there. Those firemen in oilskins and helmets were there, not superhumans in costumes. In the wake of September 11, violent superhumans are not enough anymore. We should be putting the current international developments in context rather than just having wrestling matches between colorful characters."
Morrison added, "I've already started writing X-MEN as a pacifist comic. They don't believe in violence. They want to change the world in other ways. I don't think there will be as much fisticuffs anymore. I always thought that was rubbish anyway. I'm more into the philosophical basis of comics, the ideas they explore."
Morrison cites that the cliches of the superhero genre seem to be happening in real life, explaining, "The world's real No 1 super villain is a charismatic, exotic madman who has his own headquarters in a cave. How close is the real world coming to the comic world? We were talking about crazy madmen launching attacks on the world years ago."
Morrison also revealed that he's hoping that besides the Marvel mutant characters, he can get the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man out of their long underwear and into relatively normal duds. He's also hoping to get DC Comics to follow suit with Superman and Batman.
If you think this is all just an oddball fancy on Morrison's part, Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada weighed in on the issue, saying, "The de-costuming of heroes is a trend we've been heading towards at Marvel this year and that you may see more of in 2002. Not every hero will reveal their identity, but some will. Marvel's heroes have always been much more powered down than our competitors', so they deal with threats and life on a much more human level."
However, writer Mark Millar (ULTIMATE X-MEN, THE ULTIMATES) thinks all this talk of heroes changing clothes will be temporary. saying, "A more likely scenario [than it disappearing completely] is evolution and maturation - as well as the action, we're now going to see the consequences of the action, and that's no bad thing... They are about to become a lot more empathetic and the characters will be forced to be more three-dimensional. As a writer, I think that can only be a positive thing."