I was recently reading savage critiques of Christianity, and as amusing as the vitriol was, and indeed as impressive as some of the scholarship was, it sent my mind on other tangents- chief amongst them the failure of the American superhero in comicbooks.
Stupidly high prices, a desire to maintain monopolistic controls over publishing, the plagiarism factories, smug false feelings of superiority and all the rest seem to me to have followed, rather than caused, the decline and fall of Marvel and DC.
In truth both Marvel and DC, just like Roman Empire in its time, exist in name only, with barbarian rulers in place of their original temporal and spiritual leaders. No one in their right mind could suggest that the current enemies within the gates are originating and exploring as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and the rest did in the early 1960s- establishment mentality is now dominant, with a "priesthood" and an "orthodoxy" preventing anything more than endless repetition.
With this state of affairs in place, what will happen then to what were once highly popular comicbooks?
By a process of slow death one can see several probable and highly probably steps towards total extinction.
Firstly, the feudal system of hirelings and fake independents will in fact establish itself even more firmly, with the fusion of the false facades of Marvel and DC with their true owners, and true cores, being Disney and Warner respectively. These latter organisations are classical media companies- faceless, resolute, unapologetically mercenary, soulless, adhering to mainstream agendas, disinterested in innovation, never releasing copyrights that have fallen to them.
Secondly, due to this fascistic control, and the alliance of corporations such as Disney and Warner with the current dominant controllers of the media, when that centralised empire falls, so too will Disney and Warner fall. This may not be as far off as some imagine. In the mean time, the battlefield between those outside the cosy walls of this incestuous industry and the slave soldiers of the corporate media will be the coopting of public domain properties and the attempt to revitalise the uneven battle by true independents by the discovery, more or less at random, of something that will decisively turn the struggle in their favour.
Thirdly, the corporate properties, already grim parodies of themselves, will continue to be debased to the point that they disappear from view. For evidence of how this happens consider the life cycle of Flash Gordon- from dominant cultural entertainment to plagiarised bastardised Star Wars version at the hands of Lucas to today where not only Flash Gordon is fading from knowledge but Star Wars in its turn has lost all cultural potency. Per Dale Arden, Sic Princess Leia.