Just one episode in and it’s already painfully obvious that Darabont is much, much, much better at writing this story than Kirkman could ever dream of. I don’t dislike The Walking Dead comic, but I’ve stated my problems with it, and I am cautiously optimistic that the TV show could weed out all that bullshit, while keeping the great elements of the story in tact.
I’m not gonna talk about the show at length until a few more episodes have aired, but man, that premiere was impressive. The zombies look FANTASTIC, maybe the coolest-looking zeds I’ve ever seen. The make-up, the way they move… it’s like they’re actually gross decomposing corpses, rather than cartoonish monsters. And the horde scene! Motherfuck, that was intense. Rick Grimes is instantly likeable, and the scene where he returns to put the park zombie out of its misery choked me up like whoa. Best of all, the characters actually speak like human beings instead of bullshitty one-dimensional archetypes. I am really stoked that the first episode was wildly successful, and I hope this show sticks around for a long, long time. I will write more about it soon.
Yesterday, I played catch-up with the first five issues of the new Lex Luthor arc of Action Comics, and yeah, it’s great. The first cover indicates that it’s tied into DC’s “Blackest Night” event, but don’t worry about that. I haven’t read any of that Blackest Night/Brightest Day nonsense, and this story efficiently provides enough exposition that the need for prerequisite reading is eliminated. All you have to know is that Lex briefly possessed a magical ring that gave him great power, then he lost it, and now he is trying to find it again.
Lex Luthor is a character who I’ve always thought could be really fascinating, but is actually pretty damn boring 90% of the time. Not here. The writer, Paul Cornell, seems to have two goals in mind with this story… the first is to provide an interesting character study of Lex Luthor, and the second is to be funny as fuck. So far, mission accomplished on both fronts. Cornell subtly plays up my favorite interpretation of Luthor – a guy who is sick and tired of people relying on all-powerful god-men for salvation, wants humanity’s fate to be back in the hands of humanity, and wants to become an all-powerful god-man to make this happen. Lex is smart enough to perceive the irony of this worldview, but tunnel-visioned enough to not really give a shit. This internal struggle is taken seriously enough here, but is also often played for laughs. When he’s explaining to his robot Lois Lane girlfriend (!) that her perspective is invaluable to him, and then follows up that compliment by saying, “That will be useful to me when I’m a god in space,” I actually laughed out loud. I’d recommend this series to anybody who enjoys stories told through the villain’s perspective (such as Brian Azarrello’s brilliant Lex Luthor: Man of Steel), or anyone who just feels up for a playful and hilarious romp through the DC Universe.
By the way, I wish that I could appreciate the much-ballyhooed appearance of Death, but I haven’t read Gaiman’s Sandman yet, so the awesomeness of this crossover is a little lost on me. However, this being my first introduction to the character, I really like her. And watching Lex go through the stages of grief in regards to his own death was really fun, his method of “acceptance” being especially ass-kicking. I really gotta get around to reading Sandman, but it’s great to see Vertigo characters starting to leak into the DCU. Hopefully Swamp Thing is next, because dammit, that’s where he belongs!
That should just about do it for today. Well, after I show you the ridiculous Jason Todd Halloween costume I slapped together for myself over the weekend:
God, I’m an idiot! Happy November, everyone!