Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MAN TRUE--Dream Match Never Ends

Continuing my efforts to bring your attention to worthwhile posts from the blogger intelligentsia, I submit to you the following from the utterly swell Mightygodking, who, in the midst of a dissertation on the malaise he feels surrounding comics, makes a few trenchant observations about a couple things, most especially Dark Reign, excerpted here for your hopeful enlightenment:

"Firstly, the whole “Norman Osborn in charge of the world” premise is just stupid, no matter how much one tries to justify it (and Marvel’s stories have tried to justify it a lot). Norman Osborn is not Lex Luthor; he’s not a brilliant evil tactician and never was. Norman Osborn is a lunatic who was loathed by the public and who barely holds it together, and even if you give him magical meds to make him completely stable, he’s still not Lex Luthor. When every single comic has heroes and villains alike saying “welp, this ain’t gonna last,” you need to think about how plausible your starting premise was. (Henry Gyrich, for example, would have been a lot more believable in the Osborn role for Dark Reign, because he is A) sane and B) respected.)

Secondly, these comics are incredibly metareferential. Now, meta isn’t a bad thing per se, but just about every Dark Reign comic has to describe itself in the “gosh, this isn’t like back when the Avengers and X-Men would go beat up the High Evolutionary then come back and have a picnic and ride bikes” way that started out twee and got tired in a hurry. When every goddamned character feels the need to point out that this comic isn’t The Good Old Days, there’s a problem: the “new Marvel world” only exists as a oppositive description of the previous Marvel world, because the “realism” that Civil War (and everything after) brought to the table isn’t realism. It’s a desperate patch to make the Marvel Universe seem realistic in a real-world context, but it doesn’t work because the Marvel Universe starts from the “riding bikes” era, which of course makes no sense in a real-world context, but that was never the point."

It's well worth a read, whether you agree or not.

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