Friday, January 30, 2009

in media res

I was teaching a bit of epic poetry this week, and, tonight, I put my kids to bed with a dramatic reading of "Batman: Brave and the Bold" #1 (the new Johnny DC title). That issue ends with a very brief and shallow interview with producer James Tucker, but in the brief and shallow interview, Tucker mentions how each episode just starts with Batman in the middle of an adventure and the audience catches up from there.

It's not an innovative technique by any means (as anyone who was paying attention in my English class should be able to confirm), but its so damned refreshing to see it used again. Nobody cares how Batman ended up fighting Signal Man with the help of Airwave. All that matters is: what's going to happen next?

It got me thinking about the loud anti-Final Crisis voices and the generally flat and slowly shambling storytelling of so many comics today. Comics could benefit from more "in media res" and less slow build up. Comics could learn from James Tucker. Please.


Andrew Wales said...

You must post these dramatic readings on YouTube! I would pay money to hear your Power Girl.

I was happy to see this new comic. Not as good as the show, but a fun addition to it.

preston said...

I agree that more comics should be less decompressed.

I mean "decompressed" shouldn't even be a word, it just sounds so unnatural you know nature didn't mean for its meaning to come about.

Anonymous said...

I was actually just thinking the same thing as I was writing up a synopsis of Final Crisis.

The Damaged Life said...

In my more cynical moments, I imagine that if FC 7 had ended with a big punch up on the planet Mogo, many of the complainers would have been satisfied.

I think that one of the best scenes exemplifying Morrison's brand of storytelling is in Seven Soldiers #1, where the actual killing of the Sheeda Queen in the automobile accident is so understated in comparison to the rest of the book that you'd miss it if you weren't careful. A great example of his ability to focus our attention on matters other than the usual 'big fight scene'.

Anonymous said...

in medias res
bad latin hurts my soul

Ben Villarreal said...

One day, Mr. Callahan, one day--that's the difference between your post on in medias res and mine!

Danny Djeljosevic said...


I think "in media res" was a pun.

Moving on...

It amazes me how much I like the Brave and the Bold cartoon. A younger me would have probably complained and sacrificed small living creatures for a return of the Bruce Timm neo-noir aesthetic.

But golly-gee, the show's fun.

Wonder if The Brave and the Bold is a sign of a gradual move away from the grim, "adult" superhero style.

More likely, it's just a pretty good kid's show.

Bryce Menard said...

I watched this while sitting my younger cousins tonight, right before Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker.