Thursday, January 31, 2008

DC: The New Frontier #3 (2004)

As much as I enjoy my television, the movies are a far richer experience. I’ve been waiting all week for this picture to premere. It should prove most interesting. My telepathic abilities let me “connect” with the humans around me. It allows me to experience their emotions in collective and primary colors. I have found romantic comedies and horror pictures are best for this.

The cartoon is fitting. It is an adventure of Superman, the nation’s hero and protector. Lucky fellow. He’s from another planet, but his face doesn’t scare people to death. It must be so easy for him. I can feel the crowd’s love for him. It’s like that of a child for a parent. Ah, the “newsreel”! So much better visual documentation than television news.

“Challenging The Unknown.”

Up until this moment I thought police detective was the most appealing thing I could be. But these men-- good blazes what spirit!

“Invasion From Mars”

I had hoped the feature movie would help me understand what humans know about Mars... Is there not some research process for a film such as this? That’s supposed to look like a Martian? It looks like a big green potato. For goodness sake, I can see the strings holding it up! It isn’t long before I begin to realize this must be a comedy. I mean, really-- the props and sets are so cheaply made, the dialogue so banal. It must be on purpose. The problem with this comedy is I seem to be the only one who thinks it’s funny.

On the way back to my shelter I realize that nobody here on Earth knows anything real about me or my home. The characters in the film, and even the more gullible movie patrons-- I could feel their fear of the unknown. Their hatred of things they can’t control or understand. I decide that it’s for the best that the world doesn’t know about me. If my real identity were exposed, it could be quite dangerous.

“Did you enjoy the movie?”
“!?!-- How did you get in here?”
“Cut the pretense. Don’t you mean ‘Why didn’t I sense his presence? Why can’t I read his mind?’ That’s my secret. And tonight, I’m here to talk about yours... I took this off the leader of that mob at the church. Some sort of medallion or charm. I believe you have a book. Whatever’s going on is... beyond normal. My research leads me to believe you are ideally suited to pursuing this investigation. This is not a request. I’ve been watching you, Mister Jones. I know all about you. Except where you come from. My instincts tell me you’re to be trusted, but make no mistake-- it took a seventy-thousand dollar sliver of meteor to stop the one in Metropolis. With you, all I need is a penny for a book of matches.”

-By Darwyn Cooke. “THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER surprised me and turned out to be one of my favorite characters to write. The idea of an alien watching a 50’s film depicting aliens had some obvious humor potential... Batman makes the scene, in all his creepy glory. This encounter is also the first real notion that I may actually be building a story. We see that the night in the PARIS STREET CHURCH had wider overtones that are affecting people’s minds.”

“Enter King Faraday. Originally, King was nothing more than plot device, but like J’ONN J’ONZZ, he grew on me.” Super-spy Faraday, cigarette smoking man, broke down much of the subplot buried beneath the character vignettes. Our government detected Dr. Erdel’s signal in ’55, which a covert Argent team traced back to a Gotham observatory and scientist’s body. They reconstructed a footprint of the Martian, and were searching for the rest of him. The U.S. suspected this might be the vanguard of an invasion force, and set about constructing a first strike option, a rocket ship bound for Mars.

Back to DC: The New Frontier #2 (2004)

Forward to DC: The New Frontier #4, Part One (2004)


Anonymous said...

I can't WAIT for that movie....although, I'm a little nervous that Cooke may have 'modernized' the characters a bit too much. I picked the book up in the bookstore once and was astonished to see that Wonder Woman had apparently killed a village full of men....well, still, the art should be fan-freaking-tastic.

Diabolu Frank said...

Have you not read the book then? I have a mini-essay coming up about the historic mishandling of Wonder Woman. She's a bit much in her emmasculation of Superman here, but otherwise, Cooke's take is solid. It's clear Diana loves life and her fellow man in the story, so his take is ahead of most. REALLY looking forward to Miguel Ferrer as J'Onn...

Anonymous said...

I have not read the book, but I definitely want to. As far as his take on WW, I admittedly only scanned a few pages, so I'm perfectly willing (and hopeful) about having my fears proven unfounded.

Miguel Ferrer....was he the voice from JLU? I LOVED that voice for J'Onn.

Diabolu Frank said...

Ohhhh, no. I HATED Carl Lumbly's work on JL. Miguel Ferrer is a great character actor, probably still best known for his work on "Twin Peaks." I think his voice will be perfect for Cooke's take on John/J'onn. He's also a comic book fan, which is nice.

Anonymous said...

Wha? Ha, what didn't you like about his voicing? Admittedly, my knowledge of the character comes from early JLA comics and the show itself, so I can't say much about what fits him overall, but I really loved the way the portrayed J'Onn.

Diabolu Frank said...

It wasn't so much the fit... there's nothing inherently wrong with Carl Lumbly's speaking voice. It's the painfully affected manner he used it in the series. You can positively hear the actor puffing out his chest and twisting up his face-- overreaching until he gets to a place where he sounds anything but believable. He's trying too hard-- acting with all his might-- until he seems on the verge of blowing a gasket. It bothers me whenever I hear it, and takes me out of the show. That was a major issue with most of the recurring characters in the first year or so. It's one of the best things about JL Unlimited-- guest voices from more experienced actors lending credibility to the characters, instead of stripping it.