Thursday, October 7, 2010

Creeper as a Demon

There was a six-issue Creeper miniseries that came out in 2006. It firmly established his origin as purely scientific. Or at least as scientific as "multiple personalities brought on by smart skin that gives you a healing factor, a laugh that makes people's ears bleed and a green speedo that materialized out of nowhere" can be.

In fact, Creeper has always had a (pseudo) scientific origin. Originally, he was was given a device that switch back and forth between his Creeper wardrobe and whatever he was wearing. He was completely sane, but he acted insane in order to scare criminals. Later writers had him begin to show signs of genuine insanity, and eventually his origin was retold by Keith Giffen so that he actually was insane . . . at least when he was the Creeper.

In the 1990's, Creeper got a solo series which made both Jack Ryder and the Creeper genuinely insane. Jack Ryder suffered from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and a host of other psychological issues, which resulted in the creation of the Creeper persona. It was an excellent, if short-lived, series which had as much psychological drama as action.

The 2006 retelling of Creeper's origin doesn't really clearly fit anywhere within previous storylines, but it still maintained the split personality and insanity that the character had developed.

Then Keith Giffen turned the Creeper into a demon that possesses Jack Ryder in the poorly written Reign of Hell series. This destroyed the psychological drama that had made the character so interesting and intriguing, and essentially made him the poor man's Etrigan. Not only that, but it retconned the new origin that had been established two years earlier. And Keith Giffen should have known better, since he wrote the retold origin which made Creeper insane in the first place!

Sadly, rather than ignore Reign in Hell, Creeper is being even more poorly written in the current run of Outsiders . . . by Dan Didio. (I'll save my rant about editors not being writers for another time.) Creeper is now a dime-a-dozen demon with no signs of insanity and no signs of the character who I had grown to love. In fact, he was better written in Countdown . . .

I know DC Comics and Dan Didio don't give a damn about my opinion, but I'm going to ask this anyway: Please, please, please drop the "Creeper as demon" plot point. It was poorly written, poorly executed and poorly conceived. I miss the lovable maniac I grew to love . . . and I'm sure I'm not the only fan of the Creeper who feels that way.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wonder Woman Movie

Just watched the Wonder Woman animated movie. I'm . . . underwhelmed. Although the plot had some problems, my main problem was with Wonder Woman and how her character was handled.

I'll admit that I don't read Wonder Woman regularly, but what I have read about her tells me this:

Wonder Woman is kind. She doesn't shove her views and morals in others' faces. Instead she leads by example, showing compassion, mercy and kindness. She shows women are men's equals by example. She doesn't treat men as inferiors, but rather as friends and equals.

Wonder Woman can be brutal in a fight, but she is just as willing to help redeem an enemy as she is to administer a beatdown. In fact, she would much rather help an enemy become a friend than fight them. She favors diplomacy over violence, but understands that violence is sometimes necessary in order to protect the lives of others.

The Wonder Woman in this movie is not that Wonder Woman. The Wonder Woman of this movie reminds me of a caricature of a man-hating feminist: one that believes that women are the epitome of virtue and that the world would be perfect if only those evil men weren't involved. (Admittedly, there are some crazies in the feminist movement, but most aren't like that. And Diana certainly never was like that.) She's arrogant, cocky and she isn't in the least bit regal. To be fair, she still is shown to want to do the right thing, help others and make the world a better place . . . but her claims about wanting to bridge the gap between "man's world" and the Amazons seem hollow given her actions.

Even though I'm not a huge fan of Wonder Woman, it still bugs me to see a portrayal this far removed from her comic book counterpart. I think I'm gonna go read the "Gods and Mortals" TPB, and wonder why they didn't just adapt that instead. Because it would have rocked.