Monday, 17 June 2013

Beowulf And Comics

Google confirms that Beowulf has been adapted into comics more than once and also discloses that there is an illustrated edition of Seamus Heaney's translation.

Currently reading Heaney's translation, I have so far found three short passages relevant to comics:

"...a baleful light,
"flame more than light, flared from [Grendel's] eyes."
(Seamus Heaney, Beowulf, London, 1999, p. 24)

"The hero observed that swamp-thing..." (p. 50)

"'A protector of his people, pledged to uphold
"'truth and justice...'" (p. 55)


Clark Kent begins in Smallville and I think that any new adaptation should start there.

If Krypton must be part of the myth, then I suggest that the story of Kryptonians should begin when the god Rao rescues a band of shipwrecked Terrestrials, transports them to the harsh environment of a Kryptonian plateau, the lower surface being uninhabitable, and guides their evolution so that their bodily form remains unchanged but its efficiency increases to cope with higher gravity, denser atmosphere and greater extremes of heat and cold, Rao's purpose being to breed a hero who will return to Earth when Krypton is destroyed.

This is one of two explanations of why Kryptonians exactly resemble white North Americans that I elucidated in an earlier post, "Getting Superman Right." I envisage a Krypton series and a Smallville series running in parallel, the former covering the history of a planet and ending when Kal-El is launched towards Earth, the latter covering Clark's childhood, youth and move to Metropolis and ending when he dons the costume for the first time: two prequels to Superman.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Man Of Steel Film (Spoilers)

A good different version of the story. My daughter, Aileen, thought that the early scenes were much better than the Smallville TV series.

Not Perry White but Perry Black!

At the end, is Lois taken in by the Clark Kent disguise or does she just pretend to be, to preserve appearances? Imagine if she knew all along but was just pretending not to. Does she say, "Welcome to the Planet," or "Welcome to the planet"? (10/7/13: Of course, she already know he was Clark Kent, having tracked him to Smallville.)

"Superman - that's what people are calling the alien." Good line.

We notice a Lexcorp van in Metropolis so we expect Luthor to be the villain in the sequel, now that Zod is dead - deliberately killed by Supes? I would say that Supes had no choice but, on the other hand, killing is supposed to be the one thing that he doesn't do. This is the Dark Superman.

The Kryptonian colonies dying out because cut off from Krypton doesn't make sense. They had their own planetary resources, otherwise why colonize them? Jorel's technological ghost has become a feature of different continuities but requires more explanation.

Supes is indiscreet in telling the Army guy that he grew up in Kansas. That would enable Military Intelligence to follow the same trail that Lois did if they hadn't already.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Astro City

Years ago, a fellow comics fan said he would lend me Astro City. I had never heard of it and thought he meant an Argo City mini. I read some of the collections but not all eight and certainly not the Dark Age or the Silver Agent. The first run was 59 issues. I thought that the collections were superb, a really fresh take on superheroes: what it would be like for ordinary people living in a city where there are superheroes and a haunted suburb. The Superman equivalent has not space traveled from a destroyed planet but time traveled from a prevented future.

There were unexpected details like:

Astro City still has Superman and Batman as fictitious characters;
a cartoon anthropomorphic animal is literally animated and signs up for new media presentations like ads etc;
people picnic on the flat roof of a skyscraper to watch a super-powered battle overhead.

I have got no 1 of the new run from Vertigo but am not sure where this is going yet. Hopefully, it will be as good as the earlier series. I am contemplating buying the collections, which apparently are among those works that are always in print, after I have completed Garth Ennis' The Boys