Thursday, May 26, 2005

Sumerak Attack

THREE books in the same week, and ANOTHER one coming out next week!

It's a Sumerak Attack!!

And reading three Marc Sumerak books in one week (Marvel Adventures #0, Power Pack #3 and Machine Teen #1), you see some striking similarities between the books.

1. Characterization is number one. Sumerak makes sure that the first thing that gets established in every title is the characterizations of the character. It is almost like he is running off of a "making characters fully realized" checklist.

2. Families are good. Marvel Adventures tells us how great families are, Power Pack tells us how great families are, and Machine Teen shows us what a man goes through to have a family.

3. Action is secondary. Of the three, one of the books (Machine Teen) really doesn't have ANY action in it. The other two books both feature Dr. Doom, and the fights are really pretty secondary (mainly involving Doom-Bots blasting at people).

4. Humor is present, and it is genial. All three of the titles have this.

And #5, the biggest key to a Marc Sumerak book that I have seen is INTERACTION.

He spends a lot of his time building up characterizations of the folks in his titles, and the end result is to throw them together so that each character has a fully realized dynamic with another character, and it follows logically.

Sort of like someone setting up a large set of dominoes carefully, then tipping over one and seeing how it affects every OTHER domino.

I particularly enjoyed the parallels he draws between Johnny Storm and Jack Power were great.

All together, though, the main thing is that he is writing for a VERY particular audience here, which is a younger one.

So the Marvel Adventures one, in particular, reads very much like a primer on the Fantastic Four and their conflict with Doom.

Power Pack #3 is a very Arthur the Aardvark look at superheroes (Arthur is an excellent show, so not a knock there!).

Finally, Machine Teen is also a simple tale.

I supposed I would recommend Power Pack #3, and say that, for the audience it is geared toward, Machine Teen and Marvel Adventures work very well.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Power Pack #3 is a very Arthur the Aardvark look at superheroes (Arthur is an excellent show, so not a knock there!).

I love Arthur! I've been quite annoyed that my 4-year old son has recently moved on to Archie's Weird Mysteries and I no longer get my morning fix!

Um, yeah...Sumerak, though; I'm loving his work on Power Pack and its Franklin Richards backup. #3 was a lot of fun and made me want to pick up Marvel Adventures, too. Still not sold on Machine Teen but maybe I'll give it an in-store flip.

5/27/2005 09:13:00 AM  
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