INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
And I want to talk about comics and video games. Which could be why I’m letting that whole sexual prime thing go to waste.
Paul Dini’s writing the new Batman video game. Of all the superhero icons, Batman may have the dodgiest history in video game translations. This one sounds like it could break the trend of Bat-mediocrity at best on that front. It helps that this is a stand alone story and not a tie in to that movie everyone has seen but me, actually, because they don’t have to adhere to the movie’s schedule and just shove the thing out the door. So, you know, good news for fellow comic book fanboys of the Super Mario Generation, potentially. I’m getting tired of movie adaptations of comics anyway; I want them to clog up the basepaths in the future dominant medium of entertainment already! Also, it will be nice if any of the future Batman games can be on the Wii, so I can coercively interogate the Joker more interactively, and my mom, dog, and my inbred, periodically violent third cousin, too. It’s for the whole family! I want to at least throw a batarang with a Wiimote.
Obligatory gushing reference to Baldy McTrippypants, LSDeity of this blog; how cool would it be if Morrison wrote this? Or any video game, really? How about an Animal Man game where Morrison is the last boss and you have to listen to his monologue about how he’s still a hack who couldn’t figure out an ending for the story! Or at least a Sebastian O. first person shooter! You could mow down fops and dandies in the Victorian Matrix! A we3 co-op game? That would be more adorable than even Little Big Planet! A Seaguy Bejwelled rip off people can be inexplicably confused by? There’s a lot of potential there, I think.
Moving on to print comics, I finished reading a couple of GNs recently that I want to talk about a little. First up is Matt Fraction and Steven Sanders Five Fists of Science, one of the many Image trades I picked up from the comic and skateboards store that very quickly became just a skateboard store this summer. The fact that their trade selection was 90% Image comics may have been one of the reasons they made that switch so quickly, but it worked out for me, and for anyone who actually likes reading me (whoever they are), because I’m systematically reviewing them all.
Five Fists is one of Fraction’s pre-Marvel stradom GNs, although it only predates his first published work for them by a few months (if I have all this straight in my head; margin of error +/-1,000 there). It’s a fun addition to the “gonzo action adventure mucking about with real historical figures” genre, of which Image has published my two favorite examples.
This comic doesn’t have Abe Lincoln dragon punching anyone, but it does have Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla hatching a scheme to force world peace upon… the world which involves a steam powered mecha, so it’s a toss up on which one has the bigger trump card there. Throw in Lovecraftian elements and outright slander of J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie (the two are intertwined, actually), and you have a good time with historical fiction on your hands. Exactly what you’d expect when the guy who writes Casanova tries his hand at this material. If nothing else, even fictional reprsentations of Twain are more entertaining than most writers even approach being.
As I have mentioned before, I really, really don’t care for the Richard Isanove-esque digital inking style that Sanders employs here. It just looks blurry and damn near bush league to me. That said, underneath the technique I care not at all for, he does a good job with the material. His facial expressions are very good, and he has fun with big action set pieces. Just a shame they’re buried under a digital crayon veneer.
Aside: If Five Fists of Science were the title of an Eros comic, it would have been completely different. I really, really had to say that.
I also finished off Kyle Baker’s Why I Hate Saturn recently. It’s an interesting book, especially when compared to the currently running (after a lengthy hiatus, mind you) Special Forces. Where SF is a down and dirty, Frank Miller parody/topical satire, Saturn is basically Ghost World if it featured adults, and they were sisters, and one of them was crazy. But otherwise; just like that notable Clowes comic I use as a tenuous frame of reference whenever there’s a female lead who isn’t in kicking things in their underwear.
So, if you liked Ghost World but thought “Man, I sure wish Enid and Rebecca had all of the traits of the character traits Brad just mentioned, and also a bazooka was used at some point”, then this definitely the comic for you. Or, you know, if you just want an engagingly written piece of humorous fiction that, while dated (the copyright on the beaten copy I snagged is 1990), still sings where it counts, then go ahead an seek this out. Just don’t expect a comic.
Well, not in the sense that there are word balloons. There are panels, but the dialogue is never set in them. It’s almost like an illustrated novel, really. Well, not really, because the pictures tell the story, and the dialogue is nearly incidental at times (if almost always witty and funny, and ocasionally profound, especially when the main chracter, Anne, meets a bum runs in to a homeless George Carlin, more or less). But, you know, it’s not laid out like your average comic. That leads to one visually exciting yet challenging splash I’m too lazy to scan but is worth the price of admission, whatever that may be. Unless that price is $16.25. Specifically. It knows why.
My greasy dipshit language aside, if you’re more of a philistine than I am and haven’t checked this book out, you probably better get on that soon. Even if it can be boiled down in to a high concept of “Ghost World meets Sex in the City and then turns in to Thelma and Louise at the end”, doing that would be a disservice to everyone involved. Anyone who does that should be banned from the internet.
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