- An X-Men manga? It's been done before. But the new deal struck between Marvel and Del Ray to create an original X-Men manga is a whole new ball game (and especially hilarious; I mean, when it's American people doing "manga," it's not really manga then, is it? Since the defining trait of manga is the fact that it's JAPANESE? But, they call it Manga and it'll sell more!) This is a description of the new comic book series. Take a deep breath.
X-Men will be a shojo style manga [from the press release, I understand this to mean a girl's comic, kind of like a romantic comedy --A], where the Xavier School is still a mutant academy, but it's an all-boys school – with Kitty Pryde, the heroine of the story as the only girl in the school. Kitty is torn between the popular Hellfire Club, led by Pyro, and the school misfits who she eventually bands together as the X-Men.
- Hear that sound? That's me, dying a little inside. Dear god, did they just all sit in a circle and think, "What's the stupidest thing we can do?" And once it came to them, they decided to go with it! And what's the saddest thing? They can do their little "shojo" girl's comic, but it will still be read primarily by 40 year old men, just like everything else with the X-Men label on it. It's not going to change anything. It's not going to bring in a whole new audience.
- Which you know is what they're trying to do. They're trying to dress it up and make it fresh, repackage the product to gain a new audience. But here's the deal: 1) the reason girls USUALLY don't go in for superhero stories is because the superhero is, frankly, a masculine power fantasy, and 2) the reason kids USUALLY don't go in for superhero comics (but they eat up the movies and cartoons) is because you have to be familiar with the past twenty years worth of stories in order to understand the damn things. Hell, I can't even follow most of them these days. I just read my little Ultimate Marvel line and that's it. Imagine a kid coming home from next summer's The Dark Knight movie, going to the store all excited and wanting a Batman comic. What will he find? That Batman has an illegitimate son named Damien, that he doesn't get along with the other superheroes because they wiped his memory in order to keep him distrustful of criminals, and his second sidekick has come back from the dead but he's not in the book anymore because right now he's off travelling through alternate realities in an effort to hunt down a former superhero called The Atom. What are kids supposed to do with that, other than drop it and go play X-Box? I'd have a hard time blaming them.
- And having Kitty Pryde play through a paint-by-numbers plot wearing a fetishist schoolgirl outfit isn't going to make much difference. If it does... then I should have much less faith in the good taste of the buying public than I do. And I really don't have much faith in them.
December 09, 2007
More from the department of bad ideas
Posted by Andy