Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Man, just imagine if this had been good . . .

So good friend Alex calls me and tells me I have to do a web search for Infantino art. I'm not much of a fan of his stuff (particularly the stuff I grew up with, which got real weird and had awful, wide faces), so I was curious. He said there was a great Cap Marvel/Billy transformation page with Samarai, even.

So I go looking and I find this.

Now, by all indicators, this was probably not a very good comic book.

But just imagine that it were!

Firestorm, Cap Marvel, Cyborg, Samarai, and Plastic Man? What an oddball combo. Plas and Cap I've loved since childhood, and those others guys I don't really care either way. But just imagine if some great writer/artist combo took this random assortment of action figures--I mean characters, and wrote a great story.

There's something to be said for randomness, and it's something I don't think we see enough these days. Everything is so carefully planned and deliniated. The DCU is so very neat and tidy. Even when it's awful rape comics, everyone stays within their boundries pretty much.

If you're going to have a silly shared universe like the DCU, why not go hog wild with it? Bring in guest stars that don't seem to make any sense. The best issues of Marvel Team Up, Brave and the Bold, or DC Presents were the ones with the characters that didn't seem to belong together. The writer really had to work to make a story out of Batman and Sgt. Rock, for instance. DC is hellbent on tying everything together. So it's high time someone just did a cannonball into the pool and had fun.

That's reason number seventy nine that I can't wait for Seven Soldiers.

EDITED PS: If this post seems rushed, I apologize. But someone had to stop Mad Brian Cronin's spree. Six posts in a row! Bloggers, we must be more vigilant, lest the untamed beast we call Brian escape from his cage once more.


Blogger Lex said...

You know I'm right there with you in excitement about Seven Soldiers. Everytime I find out some new info about it, it just makes me more excited.

And I agree that there should be more randomness. A lot of guest appearances I see just seem too forced. Rip Hunter shows up in JSA, but he's part of the plot and connected to the enemy. Why can't he just pop in to help out for no other reason than because he can?

And writers seem to force characters into weird situations. Like when the Superman writers had Black Lightning in President Luthor's cabinet. It seems like characters are shoehorned into odd places for no other reason than to show that it's a shared universe. Why can't characters just pop up randomly and not have to be part of the story?

This is what I'd like to see for a Black Lightning appearance in Superman:

"Oh, I'm sorry Superman. I didn't mean to take down Metallo when you had him under control. I was just worried that he might destroy that youth center. Well, looks like you have everything under control. Bye now."

See, that was less than a page and now Superman can return to the main plot. Why would stuff like that be so hard?

I think the current Plastic Man uses the shared universe well. The guest appearances aren't essential to the plot, but they're really fun.

1/12/2005 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I concur with Joe...more of you post entries!!!

1/12/2005 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

"There's something to be said for randomness, and it's something I don't think we see enough these days."

Maybe the writers think that having characters pop up like that would detract from the flow of the story or confuse readers too much if some random B-list character popped up in the middle of a story. Not saying I disagree with you or anything. I think if you have a shared universe with that many characters, you should use it to your advantage. One of the few things I liked about Crisis was when the various characters were going around to different corners of the multiverse they had no business in, meeting Sgt. Rock and the DCU western characters, and I liked how Paul Grist juggled characters from so many different genres and eras in Jack Staff.

1/12/2005 11:09:00 PM  
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