Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Curse III

Alan Grant once mentioned in conversation that, if an author who has been commissioned to write a novel about DC Comics characters takes too long to write it, then he does not earn enough to make it worth doing. These works must be written well, which they are, but also fast.

Some are short and light. Greed, discussed earlier, is 166 pages of quite widely spaced text whereas Curse (New York, 2004) by Alan Grant is more substantial with 274 pages of slightly smaller and more closely packed text.

Do the narratives show many sign of hasty writing? No. The writers who are given the job know what they are doing. Maybe this sentence could be reconsidered:

"Pete's face flushed red with embarrassment." (p. 16)

This version of Pete Ross is black. Do black people darken rather than redden?

Meanwhile, the plot thickens. The omniscient narrator has told us that an old evil has stirred. The minister reads an old manuscript that describes a dog badly injured by a wagon wheel, then five dogs die in accidents in Smallville. It is perfectly possible that a curse is at work. Superheroes are a composite genre, combining elements of science fiction, fantasy and action-adventure. Clark's extraterrestrial origin can coexist with supernatural phenomena.

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