Scott: There are two types of “bad guys”: those with real, understandable motives, and those who are just purely evil. Think Two-Face versus the Joker in The Dark Knight. Some villainous characters have a humanizing characteristic, a defining tragic trait or plight that the average person can feel sympathy for. That’s not to say they always redeem themselves, necessarily, but they’re harder to root against than those who are simple embodiments of greed or hate. In Swamp Thing 31, Alec takes on both types of bad guys, and each is socially relevant in surprising ways. If it wasn’t clear already, Charles Soule is doing things very few writers have the creative energy, or the guts, to take on.
Today, Shelby and Jack are discussing Earth-2 5, originally released October 3rd, 2012.
Shelby: Reintroducing old heroes to old audiences is not easy. The whole New 52 relaunch has been about juggling continuity and fresh stories to keep both new and old readers satisfied. I’ve seen it as a great opportunity to learn more about characters new to me. I don’t feel so attached to old continuity, and instead like to discuss the differences between the old and the new, and what they mean for the story as a whole. I don’t know how I’m supposed to have a meaningful discussion, however, when I’m distracted by poor writing and cluttered art.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Earth-2 4, originally released August 1st, 2012.
Patrick: Self-awareness is all the rage these days. You can get away with telling any story – no matter how cliche or inane – by simply having the characters acknowledge the various well-worn tropes they’re engaged in. It’s a safe way for writers and film-makers to assure their audience that they’re in on the joke – yes, we all know how crazy this looks. Joss Whedon is the king of this sort of thing (y’all saw Avengers, right?), but you see it everywhere. There are a couple of draw-backs to this approach, but the biggest danger is that of white-washing your characters’ personalities. If everyone is savvy enough to comment on their genre-adventures, then no one’s really an individual. Another big draw-back is that it makes everyone extremely — and interchangeably — chatty. While Earth-2 manages some neat concepts and fun characters, the cut-and-paste nature of the dialogue is holding it back in a serious way.
Today, Peter and Patrick are discussing Earth-2 3, originally released July 4th, 2012.
Peter: Alan Scott’s sexual orientation has been quite the hot topic lately. But Alan’s transformation into the Green Lantern of Earth-2 brings with it many more interesting and surprising developments than just the one hot-button issue. As Earth-2 slowly repopulates with costume heroes, he will certainly be playing large role. The character has been pretty much completely redone with the New 52, which means we have a total reinvention of the Green Lantern side of his character. But there is no way I am going to spoil that on the home page.