Taylor: One of my favorite scenes in any Quentin Tarantino movie, of which there are many, is the training sequence when Beatrix Kiddo is under the tutelage of Pai Mei. At first, the wizened martial arts master is reluctant to teach a white America woman, but eventually Beatrix’s tenacious character convinces him of her dedication to her chosen craft (killing). It’s a goofy scene that’s intentionally over-the-top in its reference to kung-fu films of old, but that’s part of the pleasure. Adding to my enjoyment of the scene is the fact that this particular segment of Kill Bill references a key archetype of storytelling: the hero’s training. In virtually every story ever written, the hero, at some point, must confront the fact that their best just isn’t good enough. Sometimes this leads to personal growth and sometimes it leads to a training montage. Whichever the choice, it’s hard to find a story where this doesn’t happen. Keeping that in mind, we shouldn’t be surprised that the myth of Pandora is being given the same treatment. However, which road will the writers take? Personal growth, training, or a mixture of the two?
Today, Shelby and Scott are discussing Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E., originally released January 16, 2013.
Shelby: I’m going to be honest: I just finished the last issue of Frankenstein, and I have no idea what just happened. I’m not sure what I was expecting; the last issue wrapped up so conveniently with the formation of the nigh-unstoppable undead army we’ve seen in Animal Man. Even though this issue isn’t a part of Rotworld, and even though it is the last issue of the title, I guess I thought there would be some sort of connectivity between issues 15 and 16, that we would see some kind of closure for these characters we’ve come to (briefly) know. Instead of having Frank go out in a blaze of glory, Rotworld style, or having Frank and Nina live happily ever after, Matt Kindt has returned these two to “same old, same old” and the effect is…rather hollow. Continue reading →
Scott: Perspective is everything in storytelling. Storytellers can have a profound impact on how a story is received based on the information they have access to and how they choose to present that information. Really good storytellers include personal touches that show their passion for the subject, giving emotional weight to the story. I would venture to guess Frankenstein is not this type of storyteller. Frankenstein has fairly simple tastes; he likes killing monsters and not being around people. So how do you elegantly tell a story about a character whose preferred mode of communication is a disinterested grunt? Take the story out of his hands and tell it from a third person point of view, which writer Matt Kindt does to beautiful effect in Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. 15.
Today, Patrick and Scott are discussing Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E 14, originally released October 10th, 2012. This issue is part of the RotWorld crossover event. Click here for complete RotWorld coverage.
Patrick: 2003 was supposed to be the year that the Matrix series ruled the world. To follow-up their genre defining 1999 masterpiece, the Wachoskis planned an all-out media blitzkrieg. Over the course of six months, they released two enormous science-fiction action movies, a set of animated shorts that tied directly into those movies and a AAA video game whose narrative wove throughout the movies and the shorts. Naturally, the movies were the flagships of this Matrix armada, so when they weren’t very good, the whole fleet sank. But I played the everloving shit out of that Enter the Matrix video game. It worked because Enter the Matrix had to embrace conventions of a video game directly, instead of stylishly dancing around them (as the films did). It might have seemed strange when Morpheus would tell you to collect three keys to access the next level, but there’s something refreshing about that objective-based narrative — especially considering that the terms of victory in the Matrix movies were becoming ever more grim and convoluted. Frankenstein is the Enter the Matrix of Rotworld: what it lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in clarity of objective.
Today, Shelby and Scott are discussing Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E 13, originally released October 10th, 2012. This issue is part of the RotWorld crossover event. Click here for complete RotWorld coverage.
Shelby: I liked the zero issue of Frankenstein. I already know the original Frankenstein story, so I just enjoyed this comic book take on it. Sure, I didn’t know anything about S.H.A.D.E., including what the acronym stands for, but it didn’t get in my way of appreciating the story being told. Knowing that we’d be covering the title at least through Rotworld, I foolishly thought I didn’t need to know anymore, that I’d be able to pick up issue 13 just fine. Apparently, I forgot how comic books work; even with the familiar faces of the Red and the Rot to guide the story, I have almost no idea what is going on here, so bear with me.