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    • CommentAuthorimmaterial
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007
    Remakes of films are usually cynical and disappointing moneygrabs, with a few exceptions (I enjoyed Demme's remake of The Manchurian Candidate to a degree my indifference to the original would have suggested was possible -- it was great fun, and I highly recommend it). But for some time now I've been thinking about remakes of classic, or at least worthy, comics. Warren showed a lot of foresight when he stopped publication of Planetary every time Cassaday got diverted into a different project for a while. The end result is monolithic and beautiful: one story told by one writer and one artist.

    But consider Grant Morrison's classic run on Animal Man. Apart from the Bolland covers, the writing far exceeded the artists he was given. I'm thinking specifically of Chas Truog. The thing is, the writing is classic: the art is not. Wouldn't it be nice to see some of your favourite comics redrawn by artists who love the stories? Come to think of it, wouldn't it be great to see Bolland actually draw the stories those covers covered? (I know, I know -- never happen).

    But wouldn't it be an interesting way for artists to break into the business? To take a classic single issue that's already been drawn and completely reimagine it -- without laying a finger on the text, just throwing out the art and starting over? Then submit it to the company of your choice. It wouldn't be intended for publication, of course.
  1.  (320.2)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Ryan Bodenheim does this for some parts of <a href="">his portfolio</a>. If you're curious, he also has <a href="">a DeviantArt page</a> where he has two pages from the upcoming <em>A Red Mass for Mars</em> by Jonathan Hickman.

    I do see what you mean, though I don't think it's been done commercially.
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007
    Ultimate Spider-man was a remake of the original Spider-man story. Overall it has been good run. All Star Batman on the other hand has been a huge disappointment to me. I don't want to see artist use the exact same script. I think there are to many pitfalls, and no one wants to see their work compared to another person, especially when it comes to artists.
  2.  (320.4)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    What's not to like about <em>All-Star Batman</em>?

    How does it even qualify as a remake?
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007 edited
    'Re-imagining' seems to be the latest editorial craze (see Ultimate + All-Star Line or even the Alex Ross/Alan Moore stuff with publicly licensed characters).

    What was Morrison's recent Seven Soldiers saga but a great, ketamine-induced remake of older characters?

    Hell, our host here on Whitechapel 're-imagined' the New Universe not long ago.

    It's getting a bit much.

    I mean, it's not long now that we'll be witness to the ungentle sodomy of Archie characters, replete with heroin habits, piercings, and rat-infested squats in the South Bronx.

    Some things are better left alone...although if I had to remake a mainstream character, it would be Martian Manhunter. Wow, did they fuck
    him up. Great potential for weirdness, meta-lensing society, pop culture...literal Heinlein 'Stranger in a Strange Land' character, and they just take a titanic, sweaty beershit all over him.

    And they had all
    sorts of options. What do they do?

    "I used to look like He Man with a giant protuberant frontal ridge and receding hairline.
    Now I'm gritty, because of my giant green penis-shaped head, high collar, and boots. And hey! I'm wearing black now. My nipples are no longer exposed. Gritty.'

    I'd start from scratch.

    Give him titanic, hentai-like genitals, with which he smacks the underworld of Gotham until the whole place is a starry-eyed, traumatized utopia, and even Bruce Wayne is afraid to leave the house at night.
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007
    "What's not to like about All-Star Batman?"

    "How does it even qualify as a remake?"

    It has gotten better over the past few issues, but the early issues felt as if Frank was phoning it in. As far is being a remake, well DC marketed it as a retelling of how Batman brought Robin into the family. This current arc is not really about Batman, it's about Robin.
    • CommentAuthorimmaterial
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007
    Re-imagining is fine if you can improve the thing, but that's not really my interest here.

    Think more in terms of a great script by Orson Welles, but directed by Michael Bay.

    Doesn't that script deserve a second chance? And should we worry if Michael Bay's feelings get hurt?
  3.  (320.8)

    If you're talking about creators' personal takes on older material, then really we are kind of talking about Bendis's Ultimate Spider Man or Millar's Ultimate X-Men or the two of their remix of Fantastic Four.

    And that's a slippery slope.

    At what point do you add Bruce Wayne's rape by Joe Chill after his parents' murder, just to remain salient and shocking? At what point does remixing the old material thin it out to the point of irrelevance? Alan Moore's 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' brought characters of old fiction--the superheroes of their times--into the modern age. Update HIS script 10, 20 years from now, and you have a remix of a remix. It's like an echo of an echo, and that's pretty awful.

    At some point, the well really does run dry, and you have to dig a new one. Leave the old stories and characters alone.
    • CommentAuthorimmaterial
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007 edited

    I'm absolutely not talking about creators' personal takes except in terms of the art. All I'm saying is that some scripts, because they were mishandled, never actually have been definitively told, and maybe haven't achieved quite the reputation they deserve because of it. A script like that certainly seems to me to be fair game, especially if the new version isn't even intended for publication, but is simply to allow an artist to display their chops to a publisher.

    Specifically: there's a great issue of Morrison's run on Animal Man in which the protagonist takes peyote on a desert butte with a Native American and has a vision in which he looks outside of the comic book frame and actually sees the reader (or, as it later turns out, Morrison himself). It's a great bit, but a huge part of the impact is lost because Chas Truog, whatever kind of artist he may have turned into since, at the time didn't know which end of the pencil to use. So you had groundbreaking writing being ignored by a lot of people because the art was almost too horrible to be looked at.

    I'd just like to state my position that when I started this thread I never thought Bruce Wayne would wind up being raped by Joe Chill on account of it. Sorry, Bruce.
  4.  (320.10)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    <em>All-Star Batman</em>, to my understanding, was the further adventures of the Miller version of Batman. Also, a brilliant pîss-take.

    Then again, I liked <em>The Dark Knight Strikes Again</em> and am waiting quite patiently for <em>Holy Terror, Batman!</em>.
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007 edited


    Given that stance, I'd very much like to see a lot of the 90s material, specifically all the L*efield influenced toilet paper, re-drawn by creatures with thumbs and fully developed frontal lobes. Favian Nicieza actially wrote some good stuff for titles like (vomit) X-Force, making the best of a bad situation. I'd also like all of the non-Barry Windsor-Smith/Bart Sears stuff redrawn at Valiant. Specifically the Magnus: Robot Slayer shit, because it looked like the 1970s vomited all over itself, and it could have looked amazing in other hands.

    PS: Bruce Wayne was asking for it.

    PPS: I must be on powerful drugs. I just referred to Magnus: The Robot Slayer, and my testicles didn't explode with fiery divine wroth.
  5.  (320.12)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    They're rebooting <em>Youngblood</em>, actually. With Joe Casey and Derec Donovan.

    P.S. Miller needs to steal Ellis' idea and have Batman wear a necklace made out of the nipples of his victims. Or a cross-over with Rapeman.
  6.  (320.13)
    Nah-nuh-nah-nuh-nah-nuh-nah-nuh RAPEMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

    And suddenly, Robin's short pants/thong make absolute sense.

    The fog has lifted.

    And yeah, I'm aware of the Joe Casey reboot. Casey's pretty competent, but at this point, the property's dead. It was only vaguely interesting when it started, and since then, Peter Milligan's beaten the 'hero-as-media star' concept to death. Not much more to say about the subject, and Casey's probably not going to be as entertaining as Milligan.

    As for other material that could be better art directed, which I think has sort of become the main point here (cinematic updates to old scripts), I'd also really like to see David Mazzuchelli or Sean Philips take on the first Powers arc. I completely understand why the Bruce Timm style's been in place, but I'd be very interested to see what the old storylines would look like with a different aesthetic. It would be an interesting change.
  7.  (320.14)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    What Milligan books are you thinking of?
  8.  (320.15)
    • CommentAuthorBill Reed
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007
    I would probably buy New X-Men again if Frank Quitely went back and drew the whole thing, but then, I'd rather just wait for something new from him.
  9.  (320.17)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Oh right, I'll have to check that out.

    Bill Reed: The current run on <em>New X-Men</em> is actually quality stuff. Well on par with Mike Carey's take on the <em>X-Men</em>. Do treat yourself.
  10.  (320.18)
    i dont know how i feel about the idea of redoing a script, but the valiant stuff DEFINITELY qualifies. some of it was just so bland-not even bad, just kinda there.
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    It is really tricky to do right and the story has to be solid and the writer has to really be able to add something subtle and important to it.
    When the first Ultimate Spider man came out I thought it would never work because it had been done to death. Boy was I wrong.
    The writer has to know what was great about the old material and add a bit more of it. I think this must be way harder than simply coming up with an original idea.
    I think I could do a great Batman movie because there are things I both love and hate about the character/series.
    Batman should be like Darth vader, rarely on screen but having a huge impact. The story should be mostly about the villians. They are more interesting characters anyway. George Clooney made a terrific Bruce Wayne. Bruce should be as F--d up as batman and a caricature of himself ,like a male Paris Hilton and batman is his split personality. I would have a totally different guy play him.
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2007
    How many ongoing comics have long runs with the same team of author and artist? I can only think of a few (Ultimate Spider-Man, Alias, Planetary, a few others). In fact that's a personal pet peeve of mine. I like to see some writers have longer stints (Some books seem like they have 6 writers a year) and have the same artist along for the whole ride.

    While I do think there are some great artist who do some amazing work, I think I'd rather see them work on new work then going back and redo something that has been done. Sometimes it's best not to mess with what was made in the past.