So if every half-baked concept, and every strong idea that was ruined in the execution, can't just be lodged under
I will visit the bad in comics soon enough but let's look at this question of where fantasy falls down and becomes something less. Two of the most extensively used powers for characters, apart from superstrength, are the powers of speed and flight. And it's the old sawhorses that get brought out to explain why a hero has wings or can zip round and disarm the baddies before they have a chance to draw: mutation, exposure to chemicals, alien beginnings. These can be taken as given since they are so broad. Who knows what chemicals were struck by lightning, splashing Barry Allen, and who cares?
So it strikes me as particularly inept that there should be characters with these abilities who lack any believability. Step up Red Raven and The Whizzer.
The trouble with Red Raven isn't so much his costume but the notion that he got it and its strange powers from a race of bird people who live in the clouds. Nobody was expecting Aristophanes' The Clouds but still, clouds change, they move, they dissipate. How can you live in them in anything but a metaphorical sense?
Compare this with the Fantasticar. It's supposed to be fantastic, it was intended that way; the fantasy works because all the reader has to accept is that Reed Richards the scientific genius has invented it. And that's sufficient. Nothing can make those bird people stay in the air the way the Fantasticar does.
Similarly no science can make mongoose blood give you superspeed. It's like imagining that a skink would hand you holy scriptures written on copper plate. And who believes that?!
Posted by berko_wills at 3:12 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 7 January 2005 1:59 PM EADT