Tuesday, January 05, 2010

On Superman, DC in general, and how reading Marvel feels like waiting to see the dentist

Greetings True Believers! Sorry for being so absent, I will finish Legends of the 70's series shortly! Right now just going to go over some quick thoughts about one issue in particular, DC in general, and then Marvel's major malfunction. But first things first.
Read Secret Origins #3 because EVERYBODY I know who reads comics was raving about it, and I have to say I'm a little disappointed. In fact if I was grading Johns I might have to give him a 0 due to plagiarism. This was a mash-up of three Superman movie/tv shows in comic book form. It's good stuff, and entertaining for sure, but why can't people shake the Donner influence? It's so heavy handed in this issue, everything from the briefcase getting stuck in the revolving door, to the helicopter sequence (which was SLIGHTLY different), Clark is all awkward and trying to introduce himself to people while wondering around the city like he has never seen a big city before. He is even the oafish Donner Clark right down to the 'Gee Lois that'll be SWELL!'. Really? Swell?! Then there is the Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman stuff with the witty and romantic banter while breaking into the Lex Luthor's weapons unveiling. Which is ripped right out of the Animated Series, robotic exoskeleton military armor and all. I like that they are portraying a Lois and Clark style Lois because I really thought the show got her character across, but it's still just a copy of the character from the show (see her doe eyed look when she first sees Superman, then go watch the Lois and Clark pilot when Superman flies her into the Planet... same doe eyes!). Very little new there but I am going to give it points for portraying Lois well whether they stole it or not. Anyone who has been reading Action Comics knows what I mean when I say if we can at least get a likable Lois Lane we'll take her, whether she is plagiarized or not. Where it is original and interesting is the last two pages where Superman realizes not everyone will trust him right away, and that he may have made a huge mistake revealing his powers in public as the persona of Superman. But man, it really seems like I have been told this story before...alot before actually.
All of this 'redefining the origins' in Secret Origins leads me to the next topic of discussion, the state of the DCU in general. Earth One Superman and Batman stories are to be retold exclusively in trades by JMS and Johns respectively. Now, what I do understand is the greater marketability of the TPB format as a starting point that won't intimidate the Starbucks in the Chapters crowd who will never pick up a comic book and will only read graphic novels. I get that, DC wants to sell some books to the massive market they can't reach from the shelf of a comic book store. What I don't get is why they feel that to tell a compelling story they cannot work within the current continuity they have. Why not wait until next year when the big Kryptonian story wraps up and Bruce Wayne is back and just put these two great writer's on the books?
And of course, Marvel. It's been no fun waiting for Siege but it is finally here, and it better be worth it. Because the Reign has bored me to tears. Really all I have to say about that is that it is about time.
Till next time True Believers!

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