Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by precita » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:46 pm

The mere fact that Batman now has had 4 different Robin's all of which have aged yet Bruce himself still stays around the 35 year old range is absolutely perplexing. This is why comics that never end don't make sense.

We're expected to believe Dick Grayson grew up from being a kid, became Robin, became Nightwing, joined the Teen Titans...and then Batman got Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and now Damian Wayne all in the span of about 5 years? What the hell?

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:53 pm

Let me further/better explain my point here:

The issue isn't whether or not a given work is politically/socially conscious. Of course a work doesn't necessarily NEED to be so in order to be interesting or worthwhile. It can help, quite a lot, in many cases certainly, but in no way is it a "requirement".

That being said though: the issue with the Avengers isn't that they're not politically/socially conscious. Its that the have almost NOTHING to them as a team, as a superhero comic, that makes them distinctive or makes them stand out. The X-Men is a frequent point of comparison with them because they're Marvel's OTHER notable major A-list superhero team, and until fairly recent years were the far, far bigger fish. And the X-Men have about a zillion reasons for why they were bigger/more notable and why they were just an inherently superior comic series compared to the Avengers. The politically/socially conscious aspect was a BIG overwhelming part of it. The most glaring for sure. But even that wasn't the one and ONLY thing.

I mentioned that X-Men had some non-political storylines as well, and that those were also better and more interesting because they so very often completely and entirely avoided the cliche, Silver Agey "save the damsel in distress being tied to the railroad tracks by the mustache twirling villain" sort of boilerplate nonsense that a book like The Avengers trafficked in as its meat and potatoes, opting instead for more surrealistic, edgy, and weird kinds of material (that borrowed for inspiration from much more avant garde stories well outside of the usual Square Jawed bullshit that a typical superhero comic would take from).

The point isn't that the Avengers sucked because they weren't politically conscious. Obviously not being politically conscious isn't inherently wrong or a negative in and of itself. Its that The Avengers did literally NOTHING whatsoever to distinguish themselves from just being another thuddingly generic, standard issue superhero team. The X-Men had the political commentary and the sometimes surrealist artsy demeanor. The street level Marvel heroes had grit, a pulpy mean streak, and an anti-heroic moral grayness (endemic to either the characters themselves, the stories they inhabited, or both) that made them stand out . Spider-Man of course has the quintessential "everyman" concept, the idea that a superhero was just an otherwise totally normal guy with very relatable day to day real world problems to juggle along with being a superhero.

The Fantastic Four, as much as I'm typically NOT that much of a fan of theirs, had the "explorers of the unknown" angle, and a ton of weird, cosmic mythology and Jack Kirby insanity. DC even, for all the shit I can (and have) easily throw at most of their non-Batman mainstays, also has a TON of really unique and distinctive characters on the more outer margins of their universe (Etrigan, Lobo, The Creeper, Swamp Thing, Constantine, Black Canary, Deadman, The Specter etc) who all have some really creative or unique "hook" to them that draws you in.

The Avengers though are... Earth's Mightiest Heroes. That's it. That's literally IT. There's NOTHING at all to them that makes them stand out in ANY way at all. At. All. Even though they comprise of members who have been individually more interesting in their own books (albeit not all too often typically, aside from Hulk), when brought together as a team they're just... kind of... there. There's no "hook" or "twist" or ANYTHING that so much as dares to be even MARGINALLY creative or unique. Like almost EVER. There's Vision's little "finding his inner humanity" storyline I guess, which is okay at times. But that's really about it as far as anything the slightest bit compelling goes.

No matter the era or the decade, their book literally just sits there and blends itself in with a bazillion shitty, awful cliches of the entire Western superhero genre, doing absolutely fucking nothing whatsoever to grab anyone's interest or distinguish themselves from the stereotypes you might have in your head about what kinds of things you'd expect from an average superhero series. And its gone on for years and years and years, decade after decade after decade.... and its always, always, always just the same. Old. Tired. Shit.

That the Avengers also exist within the fucking Marvel Universe, a comics brand that prides itself on, indeed was built upon and HINGES on, being unbelievably progressive and creatively forward leaning and constantly changing and reinventing itself with the times, that they're surrounded at all times by creative mold breakers like the X-Men, like Spider-Man, like Daredevil, or even the Fantastic Four (again, credit where due to a team I'm typically not too thrilled by overall), and yet utterly embody and personify almost EVERYTHING that is vanilla bland, creatively conservative, and samey about superhero fiction... that contrast by itself makes their boringness all the more ridiculously inexcusable and only invites unflattering comparisons with their far more memorable and vibrant Marvel contemporaries.

When you go back to previous pre-Disassembled and pre-MCU decades and look at how utterly non-enamored the general comics reading geek public typically was with the Avengers compared to the "throw your panties at the stage" furor raised over the X-Men or Spider-Man or Daredevil or (solo) Hulk or Ghost Rider or just about ANY other superhero book (Marvel or otherwise) besides them, its not at all remotely hard to see why that was or where the contrast stemmed from.

And as far as the comparison to Dragon Ball goes... again, I maintain firmly that the comparison between DB and Western superhero fiction isn't remotely fair or even warranting of a comparison as they're SO lightyears far removed from one another on just about every possible level. It isn't even like comparing apples to oranges: its more like comparing an elastic band with a Ginsu knife. They're so WILDLY disconnected from one another in terms of their creative goals and uses, other than the TENUOUS connection of being serialized comics with superhuman abilities present.

What does Dragon Ball have that distinguishes itself from Western superhero fiction? The fact that its not at all in any remote way a piece of Western superhero fiction is about as stark and striking a difference within the Western superhero genre as you can possibly get, just for starters. And what does it have to set itself apart within its native fantasy kung fu/wuxia genre? Its got Akira Toriyama. That in and of itself is all the unique distinction that you could ask for generally.
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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by ABED » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:09 pm

Well, maybe it comes across that way in the writing unintentionally, but The Avengers is an all-star team, and not a set team. That's a big difference. The X-Men is a set team and is essentially a family. That probably affects things.
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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Hellspawn28 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:57 pm

It seems like most people here mostly read Marvel and DC. I always been a fan of the indie comics and stuff from Vertigo the most. I like Marvel and DC, but I mostly enjoy the non DC & Marvel stuff the most. As a kid, Spawn was so cool because the suit is a part of his body and not some guy who puts on a outfit in a bathroom when no one is looking. With Marvel & DC heroes, I mostly like Ghost Rider, The Punisher, Daredevil, The Specter, Lobo, Swamp Thing, Deadpool (Even though I'm sick of Deadpool for the most part for being over saturated in today's nerd culture), Hellbazer and Etrigan the Demon because they are not kid friendly compare to most American superheroes.

I still don't like to compare them to Dragon Ball because they are nothing like Dragon Ball at all. I mean if I would compare my favorite comics to my favorite manga, at least comparing Spawn to Devilman would make sense since they are both demonic superheroes that fight evil demonic forces and deal with similar themes.
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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Jackalope89 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:56 pm

precita wrote:The mere fact that Batman now has had 4 different Robin's all of which have aged yet Bruce himself still stays around the 35 year old range is absolutely perplexing. This is why comics that never end don't make sense.

We're expected to believe Dick Grayson grew up from being a kid, became Robin, became Nightwing, joined the Teen Titans...and then Batman got Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and now Damian Wayne all in the span of about 5 years? What the hell?
Eh...
DC Continuity is kind of touch an go at this point. Some stuff from New52 has been retconned, while prior to New52, although originally retconned, has been referenced several times. So, the "5 years" thing may not be continuity.

Though of note, Superman's and Lois Lane's son (like I said, New52 stuff being retconned out) does seem to be a fan of Dragon Ball. Look over Alfred's shoulder. A very distinct hair style is visible.

[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

And, FYI, Super Sons is a great, and fun series that actually does feel like an anime/manga many times.

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by RandomGuy96 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:11 am

My familiarity with comics is mostly limited to adaptations and reading up on choice issues to get an idea of who a character actually is if I don't already know and hear they're going to be featured in a movie/game/show (at least in one case, Brainiac, this just confused me more). But even with that limited knowledge, I can say that Dragon Ball and mainstream Marvel/DC comics are different enough that no real comparison can be made. If the OP had instead said "how does Dragon Ball Z, the anime series which was a sequel to Dragon Ball and followed by either GT or Super, and based on the Dragon Ball manga, compare to shows such as 'Superman: The Animated Series' and 'Justice League: Unlimited', based on various comics from Marvel and DC?", the comparison would have been worthier.
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dbgtFO wrote: Please elaborate as I do not know what you mean by "pushing Vegeta's destruction"
He's probably referring to the Bardock special. Zarbon was the one who first recommended destroying Planet Vegeta because the saiyans were rapidly growing in strength.
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Herms wrote:The fact that the ridiculous power inflation is presented so earnestly makes me just roll my eyes and snicker. Like with Freeza, where he starts off over 10 times stronger than all his henchmen except Ginyu (because...well, just because), then we find out he can transform and get even more powerful, and then he reveals he can transform two more times, before finally coming out with the fact that he hasn't even been using anywhere near 50% of his power. Oh, and he can survive in the vacuum of space. All this stuff is just presented as the way Freeza is, without even an attempt at rationalizing it, yet the tone dictates we're supposed to take all this silly grasping at straws as thrilling danger. So I guess I don't really take the power inflation in the Boo arc seriously, but I don't take the power inflation in earlier arcs seriously either, so there's no net loss of seriousness. I think a silly story presented as serious is harder to accept than a silly story presented as silly.

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Hyena_Yamcha » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:31 am

i know this is out of topic but can anyone recommend a great comic series

i'v never read a comic in my i life and i'm looking for a series to get into
My English is poor .

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Apollo Fungus » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:25 am

Hyena_Yamcha wrote:i know this is out of topic but can anyone recommend a great comic series

i'v never read a comic in my i life and i'm looking for a series to get into
That largely depends on what type of comics you'd like to get into, considering how many genres of comic books exist. Granted, I'm not the guy you'd want to go to when it comes to comic books, but I can definitely make a few recommendations.

If you're a fan of historical fiction, I'd happily recommend From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. It's an adaptation of the Jack the Ripper murders, where all the various happenings of the time and numerous theories suggested over the years are arranged into a coherent, well-told narrative. As typical for an Alan Moore penned comic, it uses the medium of comic books to tell as best a story as possible, and it also comes with a massive appendix showing off all the research behind creating every moment, and arguably every panel. It's a massive book, and Chapter 4 overstays its welcome quite a bit (though that does seem to be deliberate), but I'd give it a read.

If you're looking for something a bit more comedic, there's Asterix by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. It's a farcical comedy-action series set during the reign of Julius Caesar, where a small Gaulish village manages to stay unconquered thanks to the magic potion crafted by the village druid and the combined cunning and strength of lifelong friends Asterix and Obelix. I would argue that Asterix is the spiritual successor to Looney Tunes, owing to the multiple levels of humour seen throughout (slapstick, satire, dialogue, characters, visuals, puns, madcap violence, etc.), and is definitely one to check out if you're a fan of multi-layered comedy.

If you're in the mood for globe-trotting adventures with character-driven comedy, look no further than The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé. One of the great comics of the 20th century, this follows the many adventures of reporter-in-name-only Tintin, his faithful dog Snowy, the boisterous, foul-tempered Captain Haddock and a rotating cast of memorable, hilarious characters as they go round the world, solving all manners of strange mysteries, retrieving stolen objects or friends, and much more. There's a lot to enjoy about the series, from its simple but clean artwork to its heavily researched settings to its almost cinematic use of panel layout, but I personally enjoy the series for the characters' personalities and how they can bounce off each other in many hilarious ways. A word of warning: the first two books (Land of the Soviets and Congo) were written very early on in Hergé's career and on the demands of a conservative editor, so they will likely seem a bit unpleasant in a modern setting.

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Super Sonic » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:57 pm

Apollo Fungus wrote: If you're in the mood for globe-trotting adventures with character-driven comedy, look no further than The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé. One of the great comics of the 20th century, this follows the many adventures of reporter-in-name-only Tintin, his faithful dog Snowy, the boisterous, foul-tempered Captain Haddock and a rotating cast of memorable, hilarious characters as they go round the world, solving all manners of strange mysteries, retrieving stolen objects or friends, and much more. There's a lot to enjoy about the series, from its simple but clean artwork to its heavily researched settings to its almost cinematic use of panel layout, but I personally enjoy the series for the characters' personalities and how they can bounce off each other in many hilarious ways. A word of warning: the first two books (Land of the Soviets and Congo) were written very early on in Hergé's career and on the demands of a conservative editor, so they will likely seem a bit unpleasant in a modern setting.
That's why the excellent Nelvana series of the early 90s with the first Sailor Jupiter as Snowy, didn't have episodes of those books. But yeah, Tintin is cool. Hyena_Yamcha, if you like comedy, I'd recommend Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. It's excellent.

Also on topic, it's not so much of comparison, but would like to have seen DB drawn by some comic artists known from the big two, like the Romitas, George Perez, and especially Jack Kirby. One can wonder.

Also with what RandomGuy said about adaptations, I recall once mentioning how like DB some adaptations of stories have moments that are better than the original source material. For example, how a lot of folks say they prefer Trunks going Super Saiyan in response to Gohan's death rather than him just being so in the manga, a lot of folks prefer Aquaman losing his hand to save his son in the Justice League cartoon rather than some villain and piranhas in the comics. And while the Heathcliff comic with mainly a one panel strip with folk commentating on things i funny, prefer the 80s Dic cartoon where Mel Blanc gave Heathcliff a great voice, and the nice theme song that many of my friends can still sing on demand.

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Jackalope89 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:08 pm

Hyena_Yamcha wrote:i know this is out of topic but can anyone recommend a great comic series

i'v never read a comic in my i life and i'm looking for a series to get into
Super Sons from DC Comics. Takes the son of Superman, Jon Kent, and the son of Batman, Damian Wayne, and teams them up for basically a junior version of "World's Finest". 10 or so issues so far, and each of them has been fun to read. The two are, in many ways, basically their fathers, in child form. And the series is practically begging to be animated.

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Theophrastus » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:40 pm

Like other people have said, I'm not super comfortable trying to make a direct comparison in terms of plot and characterization.

That being said, since I'm currently slogging through Spider-Man's Clone Saga...I really appreciate just how much quicker of a read Dragon Ball is on a chapter-to-chapter basis in comparison (though that also applies to most other manga I've read).

[spoiler]As a side-note, the Clone Saga totally gets a worse rap than it deserves. It absolutely warrants criticism, but people have a tendency to act like it's one of the worst things to ever happen in comics, and...it's really not. Granted, I'm saying this with the benefit of hindsight and knowing how things ultimately shake out, but most of the individual storylines that comprise the Clone Saga are fine. The real problem was that the whole thing spends way too long just spinning its wheels because of editorial/marketing mandates, with a few bits of genuine stupidity sprinkled throughout. When the saga is actually moving forward with the plot, and knows where it actually wants to go with things, it's generally pretty enjoyable, at least IMO.[/spoiler]

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Baggie_Saiyan » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:10 pm

precita wrote:The mere fact that Batman now has had 4 different Robin's all of which have aged yet Bruce himself still stays around the 35 year old range is absolutely perplexing. This is why comics that never end don't make sense.

We're expected to believe Dick Grayson grew up from being a kid, became Robin, became Nightwing, joined the Teen Titans...and then Batman got Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and now Damian Wayne all in the span of about 5 years? What the hell?
This is comic book world where things like Lazarus Pit exist and stuff like a machine with memory of Batman that can be implanted in anyone (who can handle it). I don't see how one can be perplexed by it.

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:10 pm

The Clone Saga was a trainwreck. However, at its best it was at least an entertaining trainwreck.
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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by 8000 Saiyan » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:16 pm

Polyphase Avatron wrote:The Clone Saga was a trainwreck. However, at its best it was at least an entertaining trainwreck.
Compared to the One More Day comic? Yes.
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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Super Sonic » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:44 pm

Another thing I was going to say is that the characters do at times say things that you can see happening in older comics. For example, Vegeta's line, "My heart is pure, pure evil." Now I haven't seen that scene in Japanese where I assume it sounds badass, but in English, he sounds like a card-carrying supervillain. When that happened in the Kai dub, I next had the image of him, Aizen, Orochimaru, Char, Queen Beryl and Leader Desslok as the Japan branch of the Legion of Doom, complete with the Hall of Doom now sporting a samurai helmet.

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Jackalope89 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:34 pm

Super Sonic wrote:Another thing I was going to say is that the characters do at times say things that you can see happening in older comics. For example, Vegeta's line, "My heart is pure, pure evil." Now I haven't seen that scene in Japanese where I assume it sounds badass, but in English, he sounds like a card-carrying supervillain. When that happened in the Kai dub, I next had the image of him, Aizen, Orochimaru, Char, Queen Beryl and Leader Desslok as the Japan branch of the Legion of Doom, complete with the Hall of Doom now sporting a samurai helmet.
There have been some "What if" anime Justice Leagues thrown together here and there.

Before anyone says anything, I think Gohan or Future Trunks deserve to be on it before say, Goku.

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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:46 pm

Jackalope89 wrote:
Super Sonic wrote:Another thing I was going to say is that the characters do at times say things that you can see happening in older comics. For example, Vegeta's line, "My heart is pure, pure evil." Now I haven't seen that scene in Japanese where I assume it sounds badass, but in English, he sounds like a card-carrying supervillain. When that happened in the Kai dub, I next had the image of him, Aizen, Orochimaru, Char, Queen Beryl and Leader Desslok as the Japan branch of the Legion of Doom, complete with the Hall of Doom now sporting a samurai helmet.
There have been some "What if" anime Justice Leagues thrown together here and there.

Before anyone says anything, I think Gohan or Future Trunks deserve to be on it before say, Goku.
Goku would fit better on the Avengers, because they're full of egotistical people who like to fight just for fighting's sake and to show off.
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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by ABED » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:22 pm

Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Jackalope89 wrote:
Super Sonic wrote:Another thing I was going to say is that the characters do at times say things that you can see happening in older comics. For example, Vegeta's line, "My heart is pure, pure evil." Now I haven't seen that scene in Japanese where I assume it sounds badass, but in English, he sounds like a card-carrying supervillain. When that happened in the Kai dub, I next had the image of him, Aizen, Orochimaru, Char, Queen Beryl and Leader Desslok as the Japan branch of the Legion of Doom, complete with the Hall of Doom now sporting a samurai helmet.
There have been some "What if" anime Justice Leagues thrown together here and there.

Before anyone says anything, I think Gohan or Future Trunks deserve to be on it before say, Goku.
Goku would fit better on the Avengers, because they're full of egotistical people who like to fight just for fighting's sake and to show off.
The Avengers are still actively out to protect the world. They aren't warriors trying to test their strength. If they had advanced warning of killer robots, they would be trying to stop them.
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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:00 pm

ABED wrote:
Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Jackalope89 wrote: There have been some "What if" anime Justice Leagues thrown together here and there.

Before anyone says anything, I think Gohan or Future Trunks deserve to be on it before say, Goku.
Goku would fit better on the Avengers, because they're full of egotistical people who like to fight just for fighting's sake and to show off.
The Avengers are still actively out to protect the world. They aren't warriors trying to test their strength. If they had advanced warning of killer robots, they would be trying to stop them.
They have had some real jerks as members, though.
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Re: Comic Fans: How does Dragon Ball compare to your favorite American comics?

Post by Super Sonic » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:30 pm

That's a lot of Super Teams. Ever hear of Guy Gardner? But yeah, quite a few teams would've had surveillance done on Gero at least.

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