In the shadow of our Batman discussion, Mike and Casey continue their discussion with Joe Preti and Pól Rua. We dig into the weapons-grade weirdness of comic book writer Grant Morrison, and why his work probably shouldn’t be your introduction to the medium.
We get into the contrast of revolutionary artistic experimentation vs. conventional competence that doesn’t reinvent the wheel.
We dive into the stick and meta-textual question of comic book continuity, and whether it’s better to hold a Crisis on Infinite Earths-style event to get rid of story elements you don’t want to keep, or whether it’s better to simply ignore them without explanation.
And finally, how exactly did the Ewoks perceive the Battle of Endor at the end of the Return of the Jedi?
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You know, If we go into “we think too much on this” territory, Then Keep in mind that The Ewoks should be extinct since the rebels Dropped a Death star on their planet. So I think it’s actually Worse meeting their “gods” then what you claimed.
I’m with Mike; Grant Morrison is very hit and miss, for me. Quite often, he comes off as Alan Moore-lite and others he’s just a good storyteller. Quite frankly, like Moore, he strikes me as someone who talks bollocks to get a reaction. I often wonder how much of the drug use is BS to make himself seem like William S Burroughs or Michael Moorcock. He definitely worships Moorcock and owes him a ton, including royalties, based on his thefts from Jerry Cornelius, in Invisibles (as well as the royalties he should be paying to Giussani sisters and Marcel Allain & Pierre Souvestre for Fantomax). Then, on the flip side, he does All-Star Superman, which channels the greatness of Elliot S! Maggin’s Bronze Age Superman stories (especially his two novels, Last Son of Krypton and Miracle Monday). I prefer him on Zenith to a lot of his later stuff, and Animal Man over Doom Patrol, and any of that over Swamp Thing.
Re: Zack Snyder; he’s a music video director given bugger budgets. He can’t tell a story for more than 3 minutes and most of that is just disconnected images, set to music. I don’t think he has ever read any of the comics he’s been involved with (movie-wise); he’s just looked over the images and cherry-picked them. I am skipping this film as it looks like the final act of Dark Knight shoehorned into scenes of pointless destruction, and an attempt to copy Marvel. DC and DC-related movies work best when they try to be their own thing. Really, if they want a Justice League franchise, lose Nolan and Snyder and put Bruce Timm in charge. Then, we will get something entertaining, yet faithful.
DC seems to work better on tv, where they can devote several episodes to develop characters and the world, as they did in the comics. DC was always a writer-driven company and the tv structure plays better to it. Marvel was an artist’s company and the movies play well to that.
I think DC/Warner would be better suited to developing some of their lesser-known; but more cinematic properties. there’s great mileage in things like Enemy Ace, Bat Lash, Jonah Hex (done like the comics), Manhunter (with or without Batman), Kirby’s 4th World, Kamandi, Warlord, Starman (James Robinson version), and others. Marvel could benefit, too, as people grow tired of the superhero formula movies and look for something different. There’s an audience for Master of Kung Fu (complete with James Bond trappings), Killraven, Deathlok, Ghost Rider (the western original, later renamed Night Rider) or Dominic Fortune (Raiders of the Lost Ark meets the Shadow, by way of Errol Flynn).
Re: Jar-Jar. I still think Jar-Jar could have been a redeemable character, had Lucas written him a deliberately heroic moment. He has an accidental one or two; but, not a deliberate. To illustrate, I always cite Krull. It’s hardly the greatest film in the world (mostly due to a bland lead, in Ken Marshall); but, it has a great supporting cast of actors and characters. One is Ergo, the bumbling hedge wizard, played by actor David Badley (Charlie’s teacher in the original Willy Wonka). Ergo is a braggart, a fool and a coward; but, he develops a friendship with a young boy, an apprentice to a seer. The boy’s master is killed by the Slayers and Ergo acts to comfort the boy, by granting him a wish, a puppy. Ergo turns himself into a little puppy, which delights the boy. Later, he returns to form and the Cyclops, Ren, nods in approval at him, though Ergo tries to act like it was a minor thing. That is the first moment. The second is later, when the band of heroes invades the Beast’s fortress. Ergo finally pulls out a good spell and turns himself into a tiger, to defend the boy from the Slayers. He suffers a horrible wound, which he still has when he returns to human form; but, he stays by the boy’s side. Ergo goes through a journey from fool and coward into hero. He shows there are hidden depths and he gains respect. If Lucas had done the same with Jar-Jar, he would have gotten a pass.
Jar-Jar befriends Anakin; but, he does not protect him or really do anything other than entertain, via cheap (and ineffectual) slapstick. Even when the battle comes, he doesn’t deliberately try to do anything. he just trips and gets lucky. Had he finally faced his fear and led the charge against the droid army, it would have elevated him. Had he put himself in harm’s way, to allow Anakin to make the key shot, it would have elevated him, or saved one of the Jedi and gained their respect. Had he been responsible for creating the Rebellion, to atone for his part in the creation of the Empire, he would have been redeemed across the trilogy. He needed to play a role beyond comic relief to be a full character.