It’s funny, because Image actually has two titles that have been running and evolving continuously from the very start. I don’t know how many original readers are still onboard, but they’re both over two hundred issues at this point. They’re Spawn and Savage Dragon. I’m less familiar with what’s been happening in Spawn but in Savage Dragon Erik Larsen has been moving the story along so that the star of the book isn’t really the star anymore, but his son, who looks for all intents and purposes exactly like him, and of course the basic story has changed because the son doesn’t have the same backstory (amnesiac bad guy, which was totally genius).
I bring this up because whether or not these things were originally meant for kids or best understood as being for kids, that’s been beside the point since the Marvel Age began, and even earlier, when DC kicked off the Silver Age with “The Flash of Two Worlds,” which is not a story you’d do if none of it is supposed to mean anything after a certain point.
If you find yourself growing distant from the concept of reading comics over a long period of time, then it’s absolutely up to you to just walk away. Because, and fans have the hardest time with this, if you persist with something you no longer enjoy, you suffer and your perception suffers, and you end up assuming it’s because of the material when it’s really…It’s you. It’s you. It’s always you.
Comics were at their most popular when they were being read by soldiers during WWII. The perception that they were kid material ironically traces back to Seduction of the Innocent, in which some nutcase tried to scapegoat the medium for what he perceived as…what every previous generation perceives, that the one that follows is inherently worse, “corrupted.” The longer comics have been around, the more natural that awareness of who’s reading has evolved. It’s not even why they’re reading or how, but that increased awareness of the readership by the readership, the fans coalesce their perceptions and are convinced they have a right to dictate in a direct fashion what happens next. They’re disappointed and so they complain loudly. It should probably be called Internetting. When fans used to get together, it was for something positive, like helping bring back Star Trek (temporarily). Now they seem intent on killing everything they love “for its own good.” Which personally, I find insane.