So I've been asked to be a bigger nerd on this thing. No, seriously. You see, I've become part of a subculture of internet mavens who follow the blog of a punk rock singer/savant that we all follow, not just because we like the music, but because he has some damn good stories and entertaining prose.
So, nerdy, eh? Well, the title of this post comes from the recent run of The Immortal Iron Fist. I've grown fond of graphic novels as of late, in the wake of Watchmen (I'll get to that shortly), and Iron Fist is one I can't wait to get a hold of in softcover editions.
The story follows a wealthy young man who inherits the mantle of Iron Fist, a martial arts expert defender of a mythical city. He basically fights against other defenders and the forces that keep the hidden world hidden. He's also fighting against his history and the fate that all those who were Iron Fist's before him have ceased to be so at the age of 33. Guess how old our protagonist just turned?
Regardless, the art in these volumes is top notch, blending gritty action with marital arts crispness. It evokes a real underdog superhero story with wonderful wit- our lead, Danny Rand- utters some of the most memorable lines I have seen in the past year. The title, though, comes from his predecessor before a large battle against the forces of evil. I seriously recommend this run as it blends sharp wit with a flurry of fists.
But about Watchmen... The book is absolutely amazing. It is everything you want in a great novel- it questions the human condition in an interesting way and from multiple view points. We see existence from the vantage of the totally human to the depraved sociopath to the utterly insane and the transcendent. Really, you have to read this book as it is just...great. The art, however, sends the text over the edge. The imagery is unique and provides so much insight into the text that the two are inexorably linked forever.
But the movie just sucked. I do not want to go into all the reasons, but the main one, for me, is this: it tried to be a superhero movie.
Now, all superhero movies are about the human condition, but about how the superheroes reconcile their alter egos with their humanity. One of the nice thing about the novel is that it forced us to look at the inverse- these heroes are forced to abandon their adventuring aspects and have to reconcile their humanity with this aspect of the world. The problem is that the movie did not get this and tried to be a superhero movie- it took out the examination of the human condition, but left in the giant blue dick.
Well, that's all I really have to say about that for now. Watchmen is a fantastic book and the movie tried so hard, but it just missed on the big screen. When you're retelling a story, keep the point in tact.