Monday, April 30, 2007

These heros they rise and these heros they fall...


so this is odd eh? Two postings in a month? I have to say I'm weirded out too, but in a good way. Its a fuzzy weird that warms the stranger parts of my stomach (now that isn't gross at all...) now on to other things.

This is more of a "hmm" post than any kind of story, unfortunately. (though I think this thought will lead into a story at some point, we'll see). This "hmm" has to do with superheros and, more specifically, spiderman 3 that hits theaters everywhere this weekend. It has me worried, honestly, I'm worried, and heres the reason why.

There are a few writing techniques that a writer might employ to keep a series like this going. When a film hits the third installment, it has to have something that the first two didn't or else your audience is going go feral and start fires in anger. you have to keep the story fresh. Alot of the time that means adding more. New characters, new plot new twists and new settings. It appears that spiderman 3 plans to use the first two. (NOTE: continuing storyline is another thing that keeps a trilogy rolling, and spiderman franchise uses those wonderfully. Not in a Lord of the Rings sort of story arc, but subtly in the character relationships and certain events.)

We've seen in x-men that cramming as many classically cool characters and story lines as possible into a film is not a winning combination. There hits a point of confussion. S3 plans on three villians, sandman, venom and the Hob-Goblin. I'm worried that its too much. Saying that, the themes that come with these characters are extremely similar. Harry needs revenge for his father, peter is looking for revenge for his uncle and, well, we all know what Venom is about: a creature born for revenge.

Can the directing staff balance these characters? I'm honestly not sure. History says yes, the previous installments have been wonderfully imagined and recreated for the big screen. That said there has never been three villians, each big enough to carry his own movie. Add to that mix Spiderman's inner demons he must resolve all the while romancing MJ and getting sage advice from Aunt May.

Its a big film full of big ideas and alot of larger than life characters. So much so that it has fan boys drooling. I want to say this movie will be amazing, I really want to. And it could be. It has potential to be greater than the previous two, it could surpass any other superhero movie ever created! It could! But after a disappointment like xmen 3, where the CGI was amazing and the story was a confusing hodge podge of dribble strained from one of the richest superhero worlds in existance, I hesitate. Pheonix, Magneto, Beast(finally!), angel, collosus, juggernaut... how could have they went wrong? But they did.. and S3 could too.

Thus I hesitate and thank goodness for teh interweb where I can post my thoughts where they will be lost among the hundreds of thousands others.

End thought one.

I actually had another thought, that is similar but at the same time not. How does a new writer create a new hero? Think about the attempts recently and compare them to the household names. Highschool high? That wasn't a serious SH flick. Zoom... not up to speed. Mystery men? Again a comedy. You can stretch the defination and go to characters like Riddick but he doesn't really fit. You could say "the incredibles" but thats animated. Most current blockbuster films are going to comic books to get their heros. I can't blame them. Rise of the Silver Surfer? Of course I'm going to go see it, and it wouldn't matter what story they pick or if they decide that the best way to beat him is with a clown army. Its the silver surfer! Might as well be the golden surfer, its a no brainer when it comes to ticket sales.

I think thats the trouble. You would need a good character, and I mean really good. And your story has got to be tight, so tight it starts to restrict circulation. But on top of that you need to break through the "whos that?" Because your character will not be superman, he won't cling to walls and he won't ride a flaming bike. Also, unfortunately I would say a huge percentage of the good powers are taken. Flying, shooting fire and freezing junk have all been taken by about a dozen other characters. Original superhero models are hard to come up with, so on top of everything else you have to break the "pffft that guy's just like daredevil, spiderman, iceman, pyro, xavier..." the list goes on to infinite.

bottom line. Original superhero = tough. Therefore I want to try it. Stay tuned for a few shorts about heros and, possibly, maybe something a little longer about the "Returners". Except I'm not allowed to start anything new until I have something finished... so off to work on 1001 :) still, short stories are good breaks... haha. until next time!

John, the Writer

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