Sunday, March 09, 2008

Notice to Mark Millar

I think I finally get it.

You see, I kind of wondered what the whole point of Civil War was for you, and how the Registration Act was supposed to work. I know in some interviews you compared the idea of Registration to when the gunfighters of the Old West became the sheriffs and that the other gunfighters who wouldn't go along became outlaws and ultimately relics of the past. Which is fine, really. Except for the fact that after that happens, there are no real westerns. That's kind of the end of the genre. So it hardly makes sense to write a story that you figure effectively ends the superhero genre. Not great if you are into job security.

Ok, the next is the "realism" canard. And yes, I will concede, the Registration act would be a realistic response to a world where people shoot lasers out their eyes and fly around. However, I would like to take a moment to introduce you to something: The body of work of Western Literature and drama. From Odysseus to Sherlock Holmes to James T. Kirk to Jack Bauer and Dr. Gregory House, to name but a very, very few, their stories can all be broken down to this very simple cliche:

They were outsiders. They went against the system and fought the stodgy authorities. THEY ARE USUALLY RIGHT.

See that? That formula works 99% of the time because at the end of the day, everyone roots for the underdog fighting the system, no matter how unrealistic it would be or how much, in real life, you really wouldn't want these guys to run amok all the time.

I mean, who roots for the system? Who roots for the guys in the suits with the authority?

Do you root Jack Bauer to be wrong and for LA to blow up in a nuclear explosion?
Would you like to see the criminal outwit Holmes?
Do you cheer on Superman when he went up against Batman at the end of the Dark Knight Returns?

Oh...that's it isn't it?

You are pissed off with Frank Miller. Because when he wrote that, when he dragged down and degraded Superman in order to elevate his vision of Batman, you took it personally. You were furious that they made Superman into a patsy that could be taken down by Batman. And you waited until you could get a chance to rewrite that story, but you couldn't do it with the DC characters. So, you had a powerful, benevolent superbeing that was smarter and "better" than humans (Iron Man) face off against a principled man who was the pinnacle of human achievement (Captain America), and not only did you have the Superman win, but you had the Human renounce his principles in order to hammer home your point. You finally got your revenge.

Well, enjoy it. Enjoy the games where those in power are "the heroes" and everyone else is a misguided simpleton.


I'm rooting for the underdog.


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