Saturday, April 26, 2003

Storm #3 Review

A writing trick that has always annoyed me is the classic “have your less-famous character beat up a famous character, so it makes your less-famous character look better.” It’s a silly plot device, because “being able to beat up someone” is not some big deal. As Wizard used to say in the early days, Iron Man alone could probably take out most of the X-Men, doesn’t make him better than the X-Men. Reginald Hudlin used this trick in his Black Panther, but what’s even more annoying is that he took a plot that Christopher Priest had already done and redid it to have it come out the “have your less-famous character beat up a famous character, so it makes your less-famous character look better” way. Priest came up with the clever plot of having Captain America visit Wakanda during World War II and interact with T’Challa’s father, the Black Panther of the time. Hudlin decided to rewrite this encounter as the Black Panther beating the crap out of Captain America, and, in Storm #3, writer Eric Jerome Dickey has T’Challa add a little insult to injury when someone brings up the incident, as T’Challa says that no, his father did not defeat Captain America in hand-to-hand combat, as Captain America had his mighty shield and enhanced strength, so it was even MORE embarrassing for Captain America to lose. That really doesn’t have much to do with Storm #3, but it irritates me, and I figured you’d all like to know that…hehe.

David Yardin and Lan Medina do a nice job on the art for this series, but there really isn’t a lot for them to draw, as the whole issue is basically just dialogue, which is fine, as Dickey does a nice job with the dialogue, a great improvement over the first two issues relative dearth of dialogue (and, along with dearth of dialogue, dearth of depth). Dickey spends a LOT of time on a debate between T’Challa and the man who teaches Storm to steal stuff. It is very interesting. Later on, Dickey also does a good job on the interaction between Ororo and T’Challa. I specifically enjoyed the underlying current of sex – Ororo is inexperienced in that department, and she is given advice that she needs to be MORE experienced if she is expected to become a woman. How Ororo deals with this information, and her questioning of whether T’Challa wants sex from her, makes for an interesting characterization conflict.

Sadly, that’s the only interesting conflict IN Storm, as the actual conflict is pretty much moronic. Some dudes want Storm because she’s a “wind-rider.” That’s basically it. They have no real motivation, and they don’t really have a personality, either. Imagine if the adults in the Peanuts comic strips were villains – that’s the level of depth these bad guys are given. In this issue, we meet the super-powered Bull, who will undoubtedly make some trouble for Storm and T’Challa next issue, as we see him punch a charging bull so hard the bull’s neck breaks – so he’s pretty badass. He only appears in a couple of pages, though, so I don’t know why they gave him the cover of the comic. And, as you can see from the cover, he looks pretty dorky.

In closing, I would not recommend Storm #3, although there was a good deal of interesting discussions in the comic. For a moment, I was able to really get into the characters not just as “Oh, hey, this is a young Storm! And a young Black Panther,” but as actual, in-depth characters. I could almost imagine this working as an actual story. However, the other characters were seriously lacking, and the overall plot is pretty boring, actually, so I was, all in all, quite unimpressed.

Read the Review


Blogger CalvinPitt said...

You're right. i did want to know that Hudlin is totally screwing with that Black Panther/Captain America fight.

I remember Priest had them fight, it was pretty even, but Cap realized it was a situation he and his guys couldn't win, so he stod down, and T'Chaka (that was the guy's name, right?) respected that show of intelligence.

4/26/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger The Fortress Keeper said...

"Imagine if the adults in the Peanuts comic strips were villains..."

I always thought they were! :)

Re: Hudlin & The Panther, I'm trying to pretend Hudlin's take on the character never happened. Priest's work was so much better.

Like the reviews and new format. It's a great consumer guide...

4/26/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Can we blame Hudlin for tinkering with the T'Chaka/Cap fight? I thought Dickey was writing this.

5/01/2006 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

He's riffing on Hudlin's version of the fight from Black Panther #1.

Like I said, it related to this issue, as Dickey added insult to the injury of Cap getting his ass kicked by having T'Challa also essentially trash talk "Yeah, my dad kicked his ass, and it wasn't even a fair fight - but my dad STILL kicked his ass."

5/02/2006 10:03:00 AM  
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