10 comics to read if you love reality TV
Reality TV is the kind of TV programming that began in the early ’90s and is meant to follow “real people” and their daily lives instead of professional actors and scripted stories. The earliest form of this type of show included game shows, hidden camera shows, or those that allowed people to show off their talents. MTV The real world, one of the first modern reality TV shows to air, is seen as the start of the trend that continues to this day.
Over the past few years, comic book creators have taken the concept of reality TV and used it in various ways in their comics. This concept has been used by the most prominent publishers and independent creators to deliver compelling and memorable stories.
ten The new Teen Titans treated reality TV like situations years before it was popular
In 1980, DC Comics revived the Teen Titans with the creative team of Marv Wolfman and George Perez. This new incarnation saw the established Teen Titans team of Robin, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl, joined by new teen characters. The series, set in San Francisco, introduced three entirely new characters: Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven, who, along with Beast Boy (Changling), have joined the Doom Patrol.
While almost all incarnations of the Teen Titans look a lot like a reality show, this era in particular is a lot as Robin and Starfire got romantic and nearly married; Terra, who Garfield constantly fell in love with, would betray the team in Deathstroke, as well as other events. This historic race has all the elements that modern reality shows try to portray, but does so organically.
9 Superstar: As seen on TV, a hero whose strength was determined by his popularity
Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen Superstar: As Seen on TV tells the story of Superstar, a hero of the era of reality TV, who becomes more powerful as his popularity increases. He makes a deal with his father, an international media mogul, to promote him in order to keep him powerful enough to save the world from Robo Sapiens, the techno-genius who is also his deadliest enemy. If that wasn’t enough, Superstar has to distinguish between staying famous and not just becoming another “property” in his father’s wallet. Overall, the Image Comics 2001 graphic novel is an interesting take on the reality TV trope, even if it is not one of Busiek’s most memorable works.
8 Pedro and I recount Judd Winick’s friendship with his MTV classmate The Real World: San Francisco
Judd Winick is a writer and comic book artist who first rose to fame as a cast member of MTV’s Real World: San Francisco in 1994. Following his stint on the series, Winick released the original autobiographical graphic novel . Pedro and I: friendship, loss and what I learned, which tells the story of his friendship with AIDS educator and fellow cast member Pedro Zamora after the reality series.
In the graphic novel, Winick describes his childhood experiences and those of Pedro before their appearance on the MTV show. This compelling memoir, from a reality show, allows readers to experience the vital message Pedro advocated and how Winick was affected and grew as a creator.
7 Marvel’s New Warriors Tried To Elevate Their Status By Being On A Reality TV Show That Led To The Civil War Event
Marvel’s New Warriors were featured on a reality show during the Zeb Wells and Skottie Young limited series titled Reality check. The 2006 story finds Night Thrasher reforming the team with previous members Nova and Speedball and Namorita, and making them the subject of a reality series. As part of this reality series, the team travels through small towns across America to fight criminals. Throughout the series, Zeb Wells takes a light-hearted approach to this lower-level super team that seeks to stay relevant. Wells also doesn’t hold back the satirical take on reality TV and the media as a whole, delivering a compelling story, which would eventually serve as a catalyst for the Marvel Civil War event.
6 Kelly Thompson’s West Coast Avengers
In 2018, the Hawkeyes, Kate Bishop, and Clint Barton reformed the West Coast Avengers in the 10 issues led by Kelly Thompson. The team is completed by America Chavez, Gwenpool and a guy named Fuse, who are the subject of a reality show, thanks to member Kid Omega’s solution to Kate needing a way to compensate members of the team. Kate reluctantly agrees to allow the film crew to record their personal lives and assignments, which goes wrong.
The concept of reality TV mainly used is that of “confessional” interviews where the characters interact with the film crew. Thompson uses these panels to develop character and as a way to skillfully manage any exposure necessary to bring action sequences to center stage.
5 America’s Got Powers was a riff on America’s Got Talent featuring teenage superheroes
America has powers is the Image Comics miniseries from Jonathan Ross and artist Bryan Hitch, starring on the America’s Got Talent reality show, starring overpowered teens. These teens and their powers are the result of a strange crystal that landed in San Francisco and made all women pregnant, giving birth to children with extraordinary powers. The government enslaves these special children and uses them for entertainment. The protagonist, Tommy Watts, is a kid who has no special gifts but who may have to save the world after entering the arena. The story is an interesting take on the superhero genre, but explores a variety of big social issues.
4 Punk Rock Jesus Tells About Jesus Christ Clone Whose Upbringing Is Told Through Reality TV Show
Punk Rock Jesus Iis a six-issue miniseries written and drawn by Sean Murphy for DC Comics’ Vertigo comic book line about a clone of Jesus cloned from the Shroud of Turin. The story is about the clone of Jesus (J2), who grew up on an island and has his entire life televised and scripted for him for entertainment purposes. Its existence divides the religious community, politicians and scientists over the ethics and implications of cloning, whether he is the son of God or not.
A drop in ratings and his mother Mary cut from the series causes J2 to run away, become a punk rocker, and ultimately go to war with those who created him. Punk Rock Jesus is Murphy’s outlet for his commentary on organized religion, Christian fundamentalists, and the role of the entertainment industry in American culture as a whole.
3 Mixed reality TV themes of young heroes in love with superheroes in the DCU
Young heroes in love was the 18-issue comic book series released by DC Comics from 1997 to 1998, containing many tropes seen in reality shows where a group of people live together, and romance and conflict arise. The series, created by Dan Raspler and Dev Madan, features a random group of young superheroes that the self-proclaimed leader of the group unwittingly manipulates. While the team was at times part of the larger DC Universe, most of the series focused on their exploits both as superheroes and in their private lives. The series was groundbreaking because it featured one of the first LGBT male relationships.
2 Crowded mixes darkened concert economy themes with a hint of reality TV
The Image Comics series Cluttered takes place in the future where the economy is mostly based on job sharing, and some of the strangest services are available through apps. One of these application services is combine, a platform that allows for legal assassinations, so when Charlie Ellison finds out she’s the target of such a campaign, she hires the lowest-rated bodyguard via the Defend app to try to survive the opening season of 30 days on his life.
Written by Christopher Sebela with artists Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, it’s a fun adventure, especially since one of the bounty hunters is a guy who has his own reality show, kind of like Dog, the bounty hunter. The story has a lot of great moments as Charlie, and his bodyguard not only tries to stay alive, but also to find out who wants Charlie dead and why.
1 Infinite vacations took reality to a whole new level
In 2013, Nick Spencer and Christian Ward took reality TV to the next level in the Image Comics series. Endless vacations, where alternate realities and limitless variations of yourself are not only common, but on sale, allowing people to buy and trade their way through the multiverse of themselves. Even though the series is just six issues, Spencer’s ambitious storytelling satisfies at the end, which matches Ward’s jaw-dropping artwork offering readers a must-read, high-concept story. If the technology existed, there would likely be a reality show like Infinite Vacations with people lining up to participate.
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