Superfreaky, The Slow, Embarrassing Death of the Superhero, by Paul Constant (02/10/05):
A boy of about 8 tugged on his father's sleeve at one of the many booths packed with plastic-wrapped back issues. "Look, Dad," the boy said, genuinely excited, "They have Conan comic books!" The father ignored his son, grunting in response, because he was too busy ogling a double-sized Green Lantern anniversary issue from the 1980s. The few kids in attendance seem to know that superheroes are dead and shameful, safe and dull, that they never change and they always win.
I noticed a young man in a black trench coat dressed as Doctor Octopus, the bad guy from Spider-Man 2. He had affixed to his trench coat "tentacles" made out of soda cans duct-taped end to end, and a Doctor Octopus action figure was sewn onto his hat. Each of the four tentacles extended about four feet out from his waist, and for most of the convention he wrestled with his own robot limbs, staggering from booth to booth, humbly accepting compliments on his outfit from awed fanboys.