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Subj: Re: Is Thor really decompression though?... and I don't think Watchmen is either.
Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 06:46:18 am EDT (Viewed 140 times)
Reply Subj: Is Thor really decompression though?... and I don't think Watchmen is either.
Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:49:51 pm EDT (Viewed 160 times)

Hey seeker! \:\-\)

> I honestly can't see what the problem with Watchmen is. I think it is a great film for what it is. It was about as faithful an adaptation you are going to get. The only thing major they changed was the ending and even then it was in a way minor.

The problem is that not all great stories make great movies. Watchmen is a great example of that. Its slow, gratuitous, predictable, none of the characters are really heroic (and therefore audiences will be unsympathetic towards them) and the payoff isn't worth it.

> I think part of it is not that older people have shorter attention spans, but now days most people want action in their films every fifteen minutes and if it is not happening they complain it is too slow. This applies even more so to superhero movies that most people automatically think will be action films. You can notice this if you watch old movies and compare it to modern day films. I think part of it may be our "instant" gratification society.

Agreed to an extent. But you shouldn't spend $150 million dollars on a movie virtually devoid of action like Watchmen. Its idiocy...just ask Bryan Singer.

> The problem is that people this time around are actually missing out on something. Watchmen is one of the most complex comics ever. The reason it comes across slow and long is Moore had only about twelve issues to fleash out each character to a full extent. Add in the background material and you have one of the most deeply interwoven stories of the graphic model medium. The movie did a surprisingly good job of adapting this as much as possible. It was not perfect and I still think the graphic novel is better, but for what it is it does it very well.

Thats part of the problem and why League of Extraordinatry Gentlemen is a much better and much more coherant and entertaining movie.

> I normally hate it when people say something is a piece of high art that the masses lack the intellect to fully appriciate. Tell the truth two-thirds of the time I think such things are full of it. Watchmen (the graphic novel at least and to a lesser extent the film) is something I think does have an artistic side the masses simple do not get.

It was obvious the masses were not going to get it (anymore than the masses got the recent Final Crisis crossover). Therefore the fact that it was made as a mainstream movie with a mainstream blockbuster budget is actually a fault of the decision makers who gave it the green-light. Not a fault of the public at large.

> As to Dr. Manhatten appearing naked, that is to emphasize his growing disconnection with humanity. He is so far beyond humans that clothes do not matter to him anymore.

Understandable, but after the second time we see the glowing azure member it became gratuitous.

> I think decompression is a problem. I do think it can suck the life out of a story, but I don't think Hulk is any better. The strength of decompression is "rich in character development and mood rather than plot progression." The weakness is "unnecessarily stretching out the page length of plots, thinning out the content per page in order to earn more sales and money for a limited amount of work." Both sides have merit. Let me use three different stories to illustrate the differences:

Okay, fire away.

> 1. First six issues of Mighty Avengers. This was pointlessly decompressed. If you don't remember it was an Ultron plot. Issue one had the team assemble and encounter Ultron. Issue two was just talking to Ultron and some flashbacks. Issue three was just a Sentry/Ultron fight. Issue four-six were figuring out how to beat Ultron and some other stuff I don't remember because it was so then. The whole thing should have only been four issues at most. There was no development for what was a short plot just to get the team going.

The irony being that Bendis hyped this (and in the process tricked even me) that he was going to try a more faster paced action-oriented style with Mighty Avengers.

> 2. The new hulk series-This has the opposite problem and was in a way decompressed the other way. Six issues of nothing but fights with nothing to confirm anything about RHulk other then he was not Ross or Sampson. No character or plot development. Just random characters appearing to fall down before RHulk. This one gets away with it more because there was lots of action, but still decompressed with less development then many comics in that period.

I disagree with this. If Hulk has a problem its Loeb's logic gaps. Not character development. The key element to the start of this series is the question "who is the Rulk". Its self-defeating to reveal this too early. Also with Rulk's true identity underwraps it becomes more difficult to fully flesh out the character. But with plot and character development purposefully slowed to protect Rulk's identity its unfair to say we have seen none of the above. Certainly A-bomb's character is developing and we now know Rulk has a plan of sorts (his chat with Thundra being one element of that).

> 3. Thor-Thor has been accused of being decompressed. I think it has but in the "right way." Each each has usually had something major happen. Issue #1 had Thor return, two Asgard, three, Heimdall, four Warriors Three, five the villains, six everyone else, seven and eight Odin and a backstory to set up further points, nine plot development on several fronts and frost giants, ten Balder becomes prince, eleven Steve Rogers and Balder as prince, twelve Loki, thirteen Bor.

Theres a difference between something interesting happening and something exciting happening. In 13 issues Thor has been in peril once!

How many times was Thor in danger for the first 13 issues of Stan Lee's run...or Walt Simonson's run...or Dan Jurgens run...?

How many villains appeared in the first 13 issues of JMS run? Contrast that again with any of the others.

> The strength of decompression is character development and mood. JMS has done that. It is true he probable could have done it all in about three issues, but I think that would be rushing it too much. People have to remember that the medium has changed and that where used too a single page might be nine or more panels that has lessoned. Unlike what Bendis and other writers do where they just spend page after page of not moving the plot forward at all or even developing the characters JMS is actually developing the plots and weaving them togeteher. That is what makes Thor a fasinating read over those others. It is true RHulk is action packed, but it is like eating pure sugar with nothing else. The stories have no substance. I admit that is what the majority of the comic audience probable wants, but to me JMS offers a depth I find lacking in other stories.

> I will admit however that he could work on the action a bit more, but the depth of the story and actually making the gods seem like gods makes up for it.

What JMS seems to have forgotten is that you can have character development and still have action. He can have his slow build up to the main plot (Loki's scheming) while at the same time introducing action oriented sub-plots. Look at Walt Simonson's run...he had Surtur (and Loki and Lorelei and Malakith too) scheming from the get go. But their scheming was 'in the background' which left for the introduction of Beta Ray Bill, Fafnir, Eilif, Algrim, Odin's Brothers, the Casket of Ancient Winters, Malekith, the Wild Hunt etc.

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