Thursday, February 27, 2003
I didn’t really want to say anything about Mango Comics’ DARNA until I got to read the third issue, but since people have started to comment already, I might as well say what I’ve got to say.
I was disappointed with the first issue.
I expected more out of it.
In the great words of Mel Brooks, “It was nice… not thrilling, but nice.”
The art was nice, but I’ve seen Ryan Orosco do better in other books.
The story was nice. It felt like I was reading something Stan Lee wrote back in 1963. Which is exactly my problem with the book, it feels like something that would’ve been great way back in 1963.
Was the character of Narda/Darna really updated for the year 2003?
So, she’s in college now and lives in a dorm with two sexy dorms mates and uses a cellphone, but didn’t the Darna movies do that already?
So Valentina is now a popular celebrity figure that everyone loves and adores and she will use that to her advantage to… oh I don’t know… rule the world? But didn’t the Darna movies already do that as well?
So, Darna now seems to have telepathic abilities that allows her to give people headaches and amnesias. She also now has telekinesis(?) and can levitate cars. Well, I think that’s nice… not thrilling, but nice.
So, maybe I just expected too much.
What was I expecting to read?
I was hoping to read something that would excite me and entertainment me and the first issue just didn’t do that.
I hate to compare but I think it’s the best way to explain what I was looking for.
In stories like BATMAN: YEAR ONE and DAREDEVIL: YELLOW, the writers remained faithful to the origin of the characters, but they were able to show us something new about the characters—they showed the reader events that happened around the corner and behind closed doors. So, if you re-read the original stories, you can easily imagine that those “new scenes” really did happened.
Another example: the four issues of SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS “ filled in the blanks” of what happened in the six-issues of John Byrne’s MAN OF STEEL. Jeph Loeb’s story gave us new insight to that classic origin.
When I read DARNA, I wasn’t expecting a MAN OF STEEL story where details and characters are added and deleted. Bryne revised the look and culture of the planet Krypton. Bryne got rid of Superboy, Supergirl, and Superdog. He made Clark Kent a hunky football star, instead of being the mild-mannered waterboy of the team. Bryne changed so many things about Superman’s history because he wanted to update, improve, and make the Man of Steel relevant to the times.
When I read DARNA, I wasn’t expecting a WATCHMEN and read about a post-modern, deconstructed Dark Darna in an S&M outfit.
I was expecting a comic book that would be fun and exciting and entertaining. I was expecting to know more about Darna… to see the things that happened around the corner and behind closed doors… to see her as human and not just another girl in spandex.
I want to know if there was any bigger reason why she came here. What’s up at Planet Marte and do all women look like her? What’s the real deal with Valentina? What happens if she gets her hair rebonded?
I wanted to meet Darna again and feel like I was meeting her for the first time and she would tell me all these great, wonderful stories. Instead, it felt like meeting up that friend who keeps telling you the same old “great fish story” you’ve heard time and again. It was nice… not thrilling, but nice.
That’s my two cents about the first issue.
And I await the second and third issue, and hopefully, they’ll prove me wrong.
I’m telling everyone about the launch and that the book is now available because groups like Mango Comics need the support. They’ve put together the money and they’ve put together the plan and that’s something not a lot of local comic book groups/studios/dudes ever do. (Me included.)
So, see you back in the comic book store in 30 days.
Posted by Budjette at 9:55 PM