08 Feb, 2011
So the Super Bowl has come and gone (Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 26), and the biggest spectacle of advertising has as well. This year, we were treated to three comic book movie spots (What happened Warner Bros.?): Cowboys and Aliens, Thor and the first footage for Captain America: The First Avenger.
Cowboys and Aliens was originally a graphic novel from Platinum Comics. The title says it all: Aliens show up in the Wild West. Cowboys fight them. The 30 second spot didn’t really do much beyond that, which is not a complaint. It’s not exactly an adaptation of the book, but of the concept. It looked fun, so I might go see that one.
I’ve been leery about Thor since the premiere of the Comic-Con footage. It could take itself way too seriously and become a stuffy, stiff movie. Of the three movies, I was most excited for this pre-footage. Now, it’s second, maybe even third. Still not over excited yet, but not completely turned off.
Captain America surprised me. I was really happy with the before and after Steve Rogers. It captures the magic of the original Kirby/Simon fantasy of a magic serum making someone a Super-Soldier. Chris Evans looks amazing as Steve Rogers and Cap. I am legitimately excited to see what he and the rest of the cast do with one of the more iconic Marvel characters.
When I was growing up, the proliferation of comic related cartoons had begun , and things were good for a time. Then, with the death of the Saturday Morning Cartoon (Thanks Xbox!), there were fewer and fewer superhero cartoons. Young Justice is the newest DC show… and it leaves a lot to be desired.
The biggest common fanboy gripe might just be that they put Dick Grayson (Robin) and Wally West (Kid Flash) in the show instead of Tim Drake and Bart Allen. Tim and Bart are contemporaries of the rest of the Young Justice crew in the comics, and it just feels off to me. If that were my only problem, the show would still be solid. It gets worse.
The dialogue and characterization are my biggest complaints. Robin has to stop with this “I think it’s funny to take the prefix out of a word and use it, like “whelmed” and “aster” (disaster). Even Connor is doing this. It’s not funny, it’s not remotely funny. It’s ny. Connor is my major sticking point. They’ve decided that he comes from the “Christian Bale School of Superhero Growling”, and even then Christian Bale at least is playing a dark character (awesomely). Superboy’s snarling, unfriendly persona is a complete 180 from his comic book counterpart, as well as Superman’s cold distance from him. Ms. Martian is also a bad 1950’s teenage girl stereotype, and I hope she’s allowed to grow into her own, without doing the “I baked cupcakes! I have a crush on Superboy! These two things define me!” routine.
To be fair to the show, there have been about 5 episodes that have aired (counting the 1 hour pilot as 2 episodes). There’s still plenty of time to iron out the kinks and smooth over the rough patches. Two and a half hours do not a television series make, but if the same themes are played throughout the series, without any development from the characters, I might just tune this show out. Where have you gone, DCAU? Our fanboy nation turns its lonely eyes to you, woo woo woo…