Monday, 22 June 2015

Swamp Thing And The Universe

Alan Moore's Swamp Thing explores the Terrestrial hereafters:

The Region of the Just Dead;
Heaven;
Hell;
the infinite Chaos beyond Hell;
the Original Darkness that was before the Creation rising from Chaos and advancing through Hell towards Heaven.

Next, he visits Gotham City.

Then, he travels through the universe:

exiled from Earth, he spends time on an uninhabited blue planet;

launching himself into space, he collides with the Zeta Beam routinely teleporting Adam Strange from Earth to the Centaurian planet, Rann, and lands on Rann, which is dying because of an earlier nuclear war;

Thanagarians plan to trade environmental technology stolen from the vegetable civilization on the planet J586 for the Rannian Zeta beam so that they can use the beam to conquer Earth;

a liquid animal from Minraud near J586 drowns one of the Thanagarians;

en route to J586, Swampy is trapped and raped by a planet-sized AI of a kind that wander through interstellar space, either meeting to procreate or eating spaceships that land on them;

J586 has a member of the Green Lantern Corps but has heard rumors of the decline of the Guardians of the Universe who appoint the Green Lanterns to defend specific space sectors;

after traveling from J586 to the Promethian Galaxy, Swampy meets Metron of the New Gods who tries, using Swampy as his vehicle, to enter the Source but succeeds only in discovering an Aleph, a point from which it is possible to observe all other points in space-time;

Swampy returns to Earth.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Gotham City In Alan Moore's Swamp Thing

Captain Jon Logerquist founded Gotham City in 1635.

The suburbs include Evanston with lawns and shrubs and Gotham Village with vacant lots.

The techno-belt includes Allied Metalurgical in Little Stockton.

Uptown is Gotham Park.

The business district with Gotham Stock Exchange is to the south.

West is Glendale, originally a separate town.

East are the slums of Bryanttown.

North are Charon, comprising a hospital and two cemeteries, and Sommerset with woodlands and Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

SNAPSHOT By Andy Diggle and Jock

Brilliant premise. Likewise development. Plot twists. Surprise ending. Avoiding spoilers, the ending is a political statement that I agree with. IMO, the problem is solvable but by collective, not individual, action. But that is another political statement - and a more questionable one.

Comics should avoid too much self-reference, of course, but this one is great. Jake, comic book guy, shows his friend:

"WARRIOR MAGAZINE, 1982. RARE BRITISH IMPORT...
"FEATURING THE ORIGINAL PRE-MIRACLEMAN MARVELMAN!"

Friend (likeable, amusing guy) responds:

"NEVER-TO-BE-REPRINTED, TRAPPED-IN-ETERNAL-LEGAL-LIMBO ALAN MOORE GOODNESS?!"

Yes, that is a worthy comic book reference. For some posts about Miracleman, see here.

The Losers (and see here), Green Arrow: Year One and Snapshot make a superb trilogy by Diggle and Jock.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

The Hard Goodbye Film

I have now watched "The Hard Goodbye" in Frank Miller's Sin City film. The film is a genuine anthology with its own internal continuity. We see an 11 year old Nancy and then an exotic dancer called Nancy before we learn that they are the same person eight years apart. It is good to see her again in the intermediate episode.

We have to laugh at some of the absurd and implausible violence. Marv survives being knocked over by a speeding car twice in quick succession, can take any number of bullets or blows to the head and even survives the first jolt on the electric chair. Nevertheless, like Hartigan in "That Yellow Bastard," he winds up dead.

Marv was arrested, or rather filled with bullets, at the scene of a murder immediately after committing it so why was it necessary to force a confession from him? These police sure are corrupt, threatening to kill Marv's mother.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Sin City Film

A fully authentic dramatization from page to screen. Nancy age 11 and age 19 are superb.

Hero, heroine and villain seem to endure more than is humanly possible.

Hartigan was wrong to mutilate the perp. I thought that his partner shot him because he was doing this, not because the partner was corrupt. He also kills cops on his way to rescue Nancy which means that he crosses another line that would have made him a fugitive if he had not committed suicide.

The Senator practices injustice on an incredible scale. How could he prevent the examination of Nancy to confirm whether she was raped and, if so, by whom?

I have the second film on dvd and will watch it shortly.

10 June 2015: A very confusing film! I now realize that I have watched and commented only on "That Yellow Bastard," which is only one of four stories in one film. More comments might follow.

Transformations

When Alan Moore started to write Marvelman, later Miracleman, MM learned that all of his previous adventures had occurred inside a virtual reality.

When Moore started to write The Saga of the Swamp Thing, Swampy learned that he was not a man who had become a plant but a plant that thought that it had been a man.

In both cases, the entire basis of the series was completely transformed. And the transformations continued. MM's powers made him a benevolent global dictator, regarded as God. Swampy learned, thanks to John Constantine's intervention, that the passage of a man through fire and his transformation into a swamp plant is the first stage in the genesis of the next plant elemental, the guardian of the Terrestrial ecology. The elemental has powers that make him a nature god although Swampy had not suspected that he had such powers before he was written by Alan Moore.

MM changes the world. Swampy can change the world by transforming deserts into plains and forests but decides that it would be wrong to interfere in evolution in this way. The difference is that MM has his own continuity whereas Swampy must conform to DC Comics continuity where the pretense is that the world remains essentially unchanged despite the presence in it of powerful beings like Superman, other superheroes and the Swamp Thing.

In Watchmen, Doctor Manhattan and Ozymandias change the world because, although this group of characters began as the Charlton Comics superheroes who were incorporated into DC continuity, Moore was able to transform them into the Watchmen with their own continuity.