Tag Archives: avengers

EPIC THEMES (and…some other stuff over there)

Jonathan Hickman is a comic book writer who has mostly taken over the two main AVENGERS books, and has also published a number of highly acclaimed creator-owned books that took remarkably innovative approaches to graphic narratives. But as much as I’ve enjoyed most of his work (especially his Secret Warriors which is one of my favorite Marvel series in recent years), I’ve noticed something…off…about his story telling (Red Mass For Mars and The Red Wing in particular both start off really cool and then…don’t really go anywhere).

Over at Tor.com, I’ve provided a detailed analysis of this strange narrative voice, but what it comes down to is that Hickman likes to explicitly tell his readers about his huge, epic, sweeping themes using marvelous spectacle and narrative devices. Then he finds a plot that works as an excuse for him to tell you about these themes and use these spectacles, and fills the plot in with characters, ’cause I guess you need those, too. And the theatre professional in me realized that this flies right in the face of Aristotle’s POETICS, which have long formed the basis for our understanding of Western dramatic storytelling.

I’ll let the rest of the article speak for itself:

“The Strange Poetics of Jonathan Hickman” on Tor Dot Com

There’s Nothing To Fear — But Fear Itself

Marvel recently wrapped their latest installment of the annual BigMegaUltra Superhero Summer Event, Fear Itself, written by Matt Fraction with art by Stuart Immonen. First of all, I want to congratulate those two talented creators with putting out the first big event book that shipped completely on time, a masterful feat in and of itself (if past event comics are to be any barometer). I realize that writing an event comic is a serious challenge for creators — the nature of such a series requires the writer to blow over the smaller individual character moments (usually reserved for the tie-in books) in favor of dictating the major action of the storyline. The supplementary titles are merely ribs; the main title is the spine of the story, and as such, is expected to present the major story beats with gusto, while still remaining completely self-contained. It is in this regard that, in my opinion — and I’m not just saying this with blind fanboy rage, but an objective mind — Fear Itself failed to make the mark. Continue reading There’s Nothing To Fear — But Fear Itself