Thursday, February 23, 2006

Signs You're Taking Your Comic WAAAAY Too Seriously

So, reading through this week's releases, there were two moments that made me think, "Man, this dude is taking this comic waaaaay too seriously." One each from Marvel and DC.


First off, we have J. Michael Straczynski, who devotes an entire page from the latest issue of Amazing Spider-Man to addressing some continuity error during "The Other" storyline (by the by, wouldn't it have been neat if they could just have explained The Other away during one page of a Spider-Man comic?).

I am not sure, though, if the fact that Straczynski has Tony Stark and Peter Parker turn to the reader, breaking the fourth wall, and raise their eyebrows (as the explanation given, that the reason Mary Jane arm was broken in one issue but fine in another is because Tony Stark has this high-tech patch-up kit that he uses because he breaks so many bones, and it uses flesh-colored latex so that it makes the bandage look like skin, is fairly on the hokey side) MITIGATES the hokiness of it, or exacerbates it.

I'm leaning toward mitigates it, as it makes it seem like a joke.

However, "joking" or not, if you devote one page of a comic to what essentially amounts to being a "No Prize," then you are devoting one page too many.

This, though, PALES in comparison to this week's Green Lantern, which is essentially a tribute by Geoff Johns to the writings of....Geoff Johns!!

I understand that, perhaps, Geoff Johns lays awake at night thinking about the ramifications of past Geoff Johns' stories, and, heck, I will admit, I know for a fact that there ARE people out there who were quite upset that, in Green Lantern: Rebirth, Hal Jordan punched Batman in the face. And those people who really want Batman to FINALLY accept Hal Jordan as the Greatest Hero Ever Ever Ever.

But does anyone really think we needed a comic designed to:

A. Let Batman punch Hal Jordan in the face


B. Win Batman over to the love of "The Greatest Superhero Ever Ever Ever"?

Well, Geoff Johns apparently thinks so, so that is what we got with this week's Green Lantern.

First, Batman decks Hal Jordan, and it is hard to see that as being "fair," as the two weren't even arguing when Batman did it. Which is a really weird way of getting "even."

But the end of the issue, where Batman tells Hal how happy he is that Hal has returned?

I am sure there are people out there who wonder how Flash goes to the bathroom, who was Batman's 2nd grade teacher, whether Kryptonians have flatulance or what kind of moisturizers Black Canary uses.

Doesn't mean you should write stories to appease those ten or so people.

Heck, I'm pretty sure you shouldn't write stories to "appease" people period.

It's taking comics waaaay too seriously.

That being said, if Marc Andreyko doesn't show me what kind of tampons Kate Spencer uses, I swear, I will set myself on fire.

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Blogger T. said...

You read Geoff's Green Lantern? The little I saw of Rebirth guaranteed I'd never give the regular series a shot.

2/23/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

There's little I don't read.

2/23/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

*looks around warily*

I, um, actually enjoyed Green Lantern. It was refreshingly Infinite Crisis-free superheroing, and read a lot like one of the old Brave and the Bold team-ups.

But yeah, the punch was awkward.

I also picked up Amazing Spider-Man (for like the first time ever), and wondered precisely what the hell all that about the broken arm was, since I didn't read any of The Other.

I think it's definitely a "fourth wall" thing, since JMS routinely gets nailed by Spider-freaks on trivial (and large) continuity issues.

2/23/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

Kryptonians do have flatulence, though it does not smell like that of humans. Instead, when a Kryptonian poots, the air is filled with the aroma of honey-glazed ham and sweet potatoes.

So now you know.

And knowing is half the battle!

2/23/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Chad said...

I guess making commentary about fandom is gonna be the new "cool" thing for creators to do. Waid started it with his sideswipe at fans in that recent issue of Legion. Now J Michael getareallastnameIcanspellyoumanyou gives an ironic little shout out.

I'd imagine Chuck Austen will be starting a comic called "Wow, Internet Fans Suck....and Here's Some Titties!" any second now. Too bad it won't be at DC.

2/23/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

" Waid started it with his sideswipe at fans in that recent issue of Legion."

Man, how weak was THAT!!

That, I think, was lamer than either of the things this week.

How do you write THAT story and then write this week's issue, which includes all these homages to past Legion stories?!?!

2/23/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous red_Ricky said...

First, Batman decks Hal Jordan but by the end of the issue, Batman tells Hal how happy he is that Hal has returned.

Either Batman's Bi-Polar now; or he's been taking some Pimpin' Lessons!

2/23/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

There's little I don't read.

Brian Cronin reads comics so you don't have to. He dies every Wednesday for our sins.

2/23/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Spencer Carnage said...

I punch my friends all the time.

2/23/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger melvin p. mouse said...

spencer carnage is funny.

2/24/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger melvin p. mouse said...

but anyway,

First, Batman decks Hal Jordan...
But the end of the issue, where Batman tells Hal how happy he is that Hal has returned?

This is what gives the people writing slash fiction the idea that slash is something they should be doing... it's like a lover's spat!

2/24/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Aditya Bidikar said...

I got the first ish by mistake, and got the next two to complete the story, but if this is what the rest are like, glad I didn't bother with the ones after #3.

Rebirth was ick.

2/25/2006 04:11:00 AM  
Anonymous stealthwise said...

I really enjoyed the latest Green Lantern, as well as Rebirth. So sue me, I like the Hal Jordan character, and I like my comics to be FUN. The dialogue between Hal and Bats was dead on, and I don't mind a bit of "fan servicing" once in a while, especially if it makes for an entertaining story.

2/26/2006 03:44:00 AM  
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