Friday, March 30, 2007

Rare second Friday post

-JMS lets us know why his Thor will suck:

"I've just never understood why a Norse god would speak in Medieval English. Never parsed for me, even as a kid. So I'm going for more of a sense of antiquity in the grammar and style rather than tarting it up with "these" and "thous." The closest tonal parallel would be Aragon in Lord of the Rings. The sense of dialog there has the feeling of formality and otherness, but without resorting to tricks."

First, that's not a medieval dialect; if it were, we'd have a much harder time understanding Thor. Elizabethan English is, IIRC, considered Early Modern English, which is why we can basically understand what Shakespeare wrote. Second, this reminds me of what Brian Cronin wrote about the Hulk--writers are afraid of writing genuine Hulk dialogue. I guess that's the case for Thor now too. Look--Thor is a weird character. He's a mythological figure AND an intellectual property of Marvel's. The Marvel version of Thor is not the same thing as the Thor of Norse mythology. So it's okay to have Thor talking like Shakespug; in fact, it's the right thing to do.

And then Joe Quesada reveals that Jeph Loeb's plans for Ultimate Thor include "medieval speak" [SIC!!!]. So JMS is now officially inferior to Jeph Loeb.

-Nobody's talking about it, but Douglas Wolk made a really interesting point about digital comics piracy this week. I still think my system (replace work-for-hire with work-for-nothing) is morally and economically sounder, though. Just let someone like Adrian Tomine re-tell the issue of Metal Men in question. I mean, yes, there will be some subtle changes: Platium will be wearing barrettes in her hair, and all the male robots will look like they've got a big wad of chaw in their mouths. And it will be far less entertaining than the originals. But that's the price you will have to pay for free comics in the future. (If none of this makes sense, click here.)

-Speaking of Joe Fridays, this week's edition featured this picture:



At first I didn't realize that Optimus Prime was standing behind Captain America. Which made me realize that Optimus Prime is really just a machine. Which, in turn, led me to compare Optimus Prime to Mechazawa. And now I realize that I would buy this ludicrous mini-series if and only if the relationship between the Avengers and the robots is sort of like that between the students and the robots in Cromartie High.

-One final item from the Quesada Q&A: Matt Fraction is rumored to be writing Amazing Spider-Man after JMS leaves? Really? I like Fraction a lot and I'll certainly check it out, but I'm a little wary of such a development.

3 comments:

Ed Cunard said...

First, that's not a medieval dialect; if it were, we'd have a much harder time understanding Thor. Elizabethan English is, IIRC, considered Early Modern English, which is why we can basically understand what Shakespeare wrote.

Yes, that's exactly right. Of course, if Thor spoke Middle or Old English (hell, it'd be hard enough getting some of the letters represented if it was Old English--I don't think most keyboards carry ŋ, θ, ð, or þ), most comics fans wouldn't be able to read it.

Then again, most comics fans probably won't read Thor anyway, so.

Dan Coyle said...

Actually, Dan Slott is the rumored candidate for ASM. Because he hasn't freaked out enough when it comes to the Internet.

When you're not superior to Jeph Loeb, it's time to stop writing for a long, long while.

New Avengers/Transformers- You know, I'm not afraid to say it- The past 20 years of my life have been building to this. So, basically, if it sucks, I can honestly say Stuart Moore ruined my life. Not many people can say that with certainty.

Anonymous said...

JMS: Continuing his never-ending quest to make every single one of Stan Lee's characters slightly more boring!