Monday, December 31, 2012

Gods Among Us...or Not!

I like the work of Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, and Neil Gaiman,
and other big name prolific wunderkinds...more often than not.
And I very much adore nearly everything Alan Moore has written.
(The great exception being "The Killing Joke," which epitomized
the unnecessary violent trending and 'realism' (ugh!) in super-hero
Yet I don't gush over them as other fans do, nor think them infallible.
Rather, I question how it came to be that they garner more leeway
with projects than others.

No slight against their talents, but there are many talented, wildly
imaginative writers out there. I can't envision that these folks were the
first to pitch concepts that so thoroughly pushed the envelope or
flirted with the outrageous or broke the rules altogether.
No, others before them had crazy notions and pitched them out, but
were waylaid by editors and publishers who shied from the new or
trend-setting or controversial.

What has been published by these modern men stands apart as unique
because it is often ground-breaking and original...but I wonder how
much earlier we might have seen similar outside-the-box stories
and characters and projects if others were given the same faith and
So, I don't worship at the Temple of Morrison. He's told some good
stories, sure, but some ridiculous ones as well. The pomposity of the
4th wall break in Animal Man still gets me giggling. Just because
something is aggressive in its hubris doesn't make it great. It was
an interesting concept turned grandiose verbal shakedown. Meh.

And you can create cross-temporal, unmentionably powerful, five-
dimensional creatures with unpronounceable names to dazzle our
senses...but you think you need to close the gap on suspension-of-
disbelief by giving Wildcat magical '9 Lives' (what was wrong with
being a great boxer?) and a metagene to Batman so he can literally
not be stopped. Gag.
 That's probably the worst offense; the whole gimmick for Batman
was "He's the hero YOU could be." No, not literally...but fantasy
is kind of the point to the darned thing. Now, he's unstoppable,
death-holds-no-sway, a contingency for every conceivable situation,
boring-ass, suspense-destroying Batman. It's the equivalent of soap
operas starring only wealthy characters; who the hell can relate?
 Unlikeliest of unlikelies, there is now the Cult of Johns. Again, Geoff
Johns has done some fine work. But when he jumped the shark with
all this Rainbow Lantern stuff, reading like a 5th graders fantasy
comic script notebook....he lost me.

It seems to be what the kids are after, though, so more power to them. I
imagine folks in Jonestown used to like the taste of Kool-Aid, too.

Let's make a deal; just admit that even good writers are capable of
bad ideas or lame stories, and we'll be good. Okay? No, a
good cult member...put down the pitchfork!


No comments:

Post a Comment