Missed Directions: Superhero Fatigue

Even the greatest aficionados among us suffer from it from time to time – and that’s superhero fatigue. Even superheroes themselves get tired of being superheroes. It happens.

The harder core I happen to get from time to time, the more the backlash, and the greater the exhaustion. I want to continue to read about the surreal adventures of Superman, Batman, Booster Gold, Supergirl, the JLA and the JSA and all the rest, but between thoughts of wanting to be a part of the continued adventure comes a somewhat more cynical thought about storyarcs.

Superman will save the day. Supergirl will figure it out. Batman and Booster Gold will fix what’s broken in the world and move on. As the comics from last month pile up, what to do, what to do?

1) The first step in overcoming superhero fatigue is to acknowledge it. First step. Check.

2) Put down the comic. Take a break. Don’t look at the uneven pile of dozens of comics titles in the corner of the room. Don’t upset yourself over it.

3) No, really. Put down the comic.

4) Do something. As in: do something else. Something non-comic related. You can’t force your way out of superhero fatigue. Check in with yourself each week. If you buy comics weekly keep buying. If you buy them monthly keep buying. But, back off for a bit on the actual reading. Even the greats in physics, sports and music need to put down their instrument of choice sometimes just to keep the magic alive. So do readers and writers and artists of comics.

5) Still fatigued? Keep doing something else. Get as much rest and nutrients as possible. Even some sunshine. Distract yourself. Don’t worry about getting lost in the storyline or forgetting. Maybe throw in just a bit of comfort food. Remember, superhero fatigue is nothing to be ashamed about. Give yourself time. But, if you’re beginning to recover, proceed to step 6.

6) Take a look at those comics and break the pile down into a few easily digestible sub-piles. Think of it as first tier, second tier, third tier. You know you’re getting over superhero fatigue if you can go straight to the third tier – your least favorite comics. But, I recommend starting with three of your favorite titles – the first tier this may revive you. Read the first one. How do you feel? Are you compelled or does it still feel forced? If you have to think too much about these types of questions go back to step 5. If not, congratulations, my friends, you are beginning to recover from superhero fatigue!