Wednesday, March 04, 2009

No Time For Fun

No time for blogging today, I'm afraid. However, rather than let you go without content all week, I'll post a couple questions / comments. Everyone's talking about an awesome film adaptation of Alan Moore's best comics work lately*, so I figured I'd get in on the action:

1. I recently watched Swamp Thing after not having seen it for about twenty years. I remembered it being incredibly awesome. On reconsideration, maybe not so much. It turns out that all the batshit crazy stuff I remember from the film only actually starts to happen in the last twenty minutes, and all the stuff leading up to that is . . . maybe not so much. Sort of like the Otis scenes in Superman, only with more guns and lasting over an hour. But then, that last twenty minutes is pretty damn weird, so there's that. That last fight in the swamp with giant wolfman Arcane - if the whole film had been like that, it'd be a classic.

2. Also, it is really weird how they tried to make Swamp Thing a kiddie TV star back in the late 80s. I'm sure I'm not the only one to point that out. Considering that the sequel, the USA network live-action show and the cartoon show came out after Alan Moore recreated the character, it's even more (a-hem) bizarre. Considering how weird people at DC get about media tie-in properties, it's amazing they were able to maintain such cognitive dissonance between the heavily merchandised TV and movie character and the weird, horrific comic book.

3. On that note, why didn't they make a comic tie-in to the cartoon show? It's de rigeur, and it has been for decades - every time you have a cartoon or live-action television show with a comic book character, you have to do a specific comic book tie-in (I know the cartoon show only lasted 5 episodes, but the USA network show was on for, what, three years? four?). Wouldn't it have been awesome if there had been a Swamp Thing Adventures animated-style comic being published in the late 80s alongside Doug Wheeler's run on the "Mature Readers" version?

4. If DC ever gets their shit together, I expect to see another Swamp Thing movie. I imagine the character still has some recognition, at least based on the way those two films were flogged to death in the early years of cable television (I remember there was a time when it seemed like HBO played Swamp Thing every damn day). Especially if the Jonah Hex movie actually gets made and does halfway decent - there might be room for more in the way of second- and third-tie unconventional non-super hero comic book stars. Any Hex movie would naturally be a western, and any good Swamp Thing movie made now have to be horror - but it remains to be seen whether or not movie audiences are enthusiastic to see superhero movies that aren't really "superhero" movies. They sure lined up around the block for Punisher War Zone.

Bonus Round -

4. Why does the Swamp Thing talk with so many elipses? Is it because his plant body has a hard time producing sound (that's always been my assumption), or is he, like the late William F. Buckley, just really damn ponderous?

* Yes I know the Swamp Thing movie predates Alan Moore's run. Allow me my little joke.

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