Sunday, July 05, 2009

Random post of comic Randomness

Christ, but "Old Man Logan" is quite possibly one of the worst comics I've ever read

I think "Old Man Logan" is the epitome of everything WRONG about big two super-comics - it literally coasts on using Nostalgia and telling and not showing you.

As an example, this scene would be totally in place in OML:


HAWKEYE: Where are we?
LOGAN: Outside a place called Forbush, Wyoming
HAWKEYE: know what happened here?
LOGAN: I heard. He saved the entire state. Fought off the Sinister Six Thousand and Ultron 940. Moved the population to that abandoned base on Mars.
HAWKEYE: He was the greatest of us all


And the people would EAT THAT SHIT UP. That's why I can't stand "Old Man Logan"

Marvel is really on a 70s kick right now, when you think about it.

To give a dramatic illustration, let's compare Marvel's biggest gun with a pair of hacks. Brian Bendis vs. Abnett and Lanning. Both of them are currently working on 70s properties (Abnett and Lanning on "HOLY SHIT WE'VE GOT NOVA AND FUCKING ROCKET RACOON AND GODDAMN ADAM WARLOCK AND STARLORD WHO NO ONE HAS EVER GIVEN A SHIT ABOUT EVER" (Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova), and Bendis with "SPIDER WOMAN AND LUKE CAGE AND BROTHER VOODOO AND MS MARVEL ARE FUCKING AWESOME AND NO ONE BUT ME HAS EVER REALIZED HOW SPECIAL SPECIAL THEY ARE" (New Avengers). Ostensibly, these are the same thing really - a fetish for 70s characters that have lain dormant and are being revived simply to keep the intellectual property alive. What is different is that while Bendis has technical skill and an ear for dialogue and a large fan following, he assumes that you actually give a shit about Luke Cage or Spider-Woman to begin with. I don't, so I generally don't give a shit about New Avengers aka "Brian Bendis REALLY loves 70s characters". In contrast, Abnett and Lanning are competent craftsman who actually realize that ABSOLUTELY NO ONE knows who Starlord and Rocket Raccoon are, or are even that familiar with Nova, so they take the time and effort to construct passable, if not particularly innovative, narrative structures that do a minimal job of investing you in the character. You may not end up caring anyway, or you may not like the story one way or another, but at least they do the minimum job of trying to build emotional investment.

Of course, what will be interesting is when the next generation of "fans turned pro" enter comics and we get revivals of 80s and 90s stuff. Yeah, that'll be...something...god only knows what though.

On Bendis again - but I guess the point of his work on the Avengers franchise now is to remold the #1 superteam of the Marvel Universe into a noir setting, and man the failings of that approach are obvious, especially in the latest issue where Hawkeye says "we have to kill Norman Osborn" because 1) that is so insanely out of character for Hawkeye that it beggars description, and 2) because that kind of logic only works in mob movies. I don't think many of the writers at Marvel realizes that noir genre logic doesn't...actually, you know, WORK IN REAL LIFE. But again, maybe this is just the result of too many like minds in the Bullpen.

The End League is a well-intentioned misfire: In all the interviews, Rick Remender states that his intention was to show that a world in which "an average human being at random gets superpowers" would not be favorable to "the good guys", but we never see that. Instead we see a bunch of thinly-veiled DC and Marvel Analogues, and how the thinly-veiled analogues for Lex Luthor, the Red Skull, and Joker turn the planet into a toilet. I mean, it's not bad per se, but it doesn't really address Remender's intention to show what "real people" would be like with superpowers because most people wouldn't become anything like Superman or Spider-Man or Batman or the Red Skull or the Joker - most people would be somewhere in between. Irredeemable suffers from a similar conceit, and thus failure.


mrjl said...

I think that a world where random people got superpowers has as good a chance of favoring good guys as bad. At least if you're really talking random and not a despot in a third world country "randomly" gets superpowers.

MrCynical said...

I'm not refering to the whole good vs. evil thing, I'm talking about "real people" vs. "thinly veiled analogues of Marvel/DC". I think you are correct in your assessment, but my problem isn't there.

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