Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Kimota!" Isn't The Same These Days

I have officially lost all patience with Marvelman Family's Finest.

I reviewed the first installment of this projected 6 issue limited series back in July. I wasn't exactly effusive in my praise. Well, we've made it up to #4, and I'm still waiting for this to get better. I suspect I'd be waiting an eternity if it weren't scheduled to end soon.

I used the term "bizarro offbrand clone of the original Captain Marvel and his family" in that prior entry, and boy, does it fit. If you've never read the old Captain Marvel books of the 1940s & 1950s, they are filled with delightful cartooning and clever storytelling. I would daresay that they are the superhero comics of that era that hold up the best 60+ years later. They are high quality entertainment, be it in 1950 or 2010.

Marvelman and his crew are, to be blunt, pale imitations of the Marvel Family. They emulate the basics, but the spirit is just lacking. The art ranges from interesting to much less so. As for the storytelling? Well, it varies. Sometimes, it is just OK. Sometimes, it reaches new lows of banality like "Kid Marvelman and the Bad-Tempered Farmer" (an honest-to-goodness story title!). And sometimes?

Sometimes, Gargunza (the dimestore Sivana) makes a trip to the Department of Redundancies Department.

I want to like these stories. I really, really do. I don't remember disliking the reprints Eclipse put out way back when this much. But then, I didn't miss them when I got rid of them. I genuinely don't think it's antipathy toward Marvel, as I have been buying more of their books than anyone else of late.

No, these stories are just bad. I don't know if it's the ones chosen for this series, or if my standards have improved, or what. All I know is that they make me long for the real Marvel Family as I read them. I can genuinely understand why Alan Moore chose to take a revisionist route when writing his version of these characters. Any other method is the path to madness.

I can't begrudge anyone for liking these stories, especially if they grew up with them. Nostalgia can color our opinions, and I'm just as guilty as anyone. And really, I cannot find it in my heart to hate a comic that puts forth a villain named "Young Nastyman" with a straight face. But c'mon Marvel, don't ever do this again. Please?

Oh well, at least the covers are nice.

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