Thursday, June 02, 2005

New Comics Day

The DC Swirly has begun stamping the books.

Villains United
Y the Last Man
Shanna the She-Devil

As a long time reader of DC books, Villains United has appeal in an expanded universe flavor, it's enough for me but worrysome on the whole. The books seems unashamedly aimed at DC familiars, because the references, character appearances, and inbred dialogue that are tossed left and right would be completely obtuse to even a semi-regular reader. Lex Luthor has some lines and briefly serves to drive the plot forward, but he's never even mentioned by name. As far as any browser is concerned there are a few panels with some white, bald guy in a black shirt. There is nothing to suggest he's Lex Luthor, other than he's conversing with Black Adam, Doctor Psycho, and Talia-- but my god, man, how many people even know who they are, even by sight, in costume or out?

I don't mind at all catering to fans, I've been guilty of it on past occasions myself. It is odd that a book with ties to Infinite Crisis, "the Big One," is so trenched in DC mythos that it simply takes many inferences for granted. That, to me, takes a book outside the grand art of storytelling. In an example I use often, I say that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is an excellent movie. And not because it's just a cool Star Trek story that really hit a chord with fans. If the movie were simply called The Wrath of Khan, and there was no history, no Star Trek canon, no Star Trek at all, it's still a damn, damn, good movie. It's a masterful work of science fiction centered around a significant human drama. You can choose to forget everything that has come before or after in the Start Trek universe and lose yourself in the story that's being told in the most classic of fashions. You can even go so far as to entirely replace the setting-- I've always imagined what it would have been like with two rival merchant captains out on the high seas-- and the characters, story, and drama fall right into place. The best part is that you don't have to know (or even like) anything about Star Trek to enjoy the film. And that's how Khan transcends both it's history and genre.

Comics are endless sequels, some serial, some literal. It is a rare issue that can hold it's own unto itself. Villains United sells like crazy, so I guess everyone who's into DC is picking it up... but that's a nasty little snake eating it's own tale.

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