When Writers Put Back Their Toys

Because I go to a shop that's sort of far away from the place where I live, and also because I was home last week due to Thanksgiving, I hadn't gotten to read the Giant Size Thor Finale until yesterday, when I went to Millbrook to pick it up from my shop.

As the title of the issue indicates, it is JMS's last issue on the book, which is both a good thing and a bad one. On the one hand, maybe now that Kieron Gillen is writing the title, it'll ship on time. On the other hand, JMS's run was unbelievably fantastic- each time I thought it couldn't get any better, it did. The Giant Size Finale isn't his best issue of the series, but it is still pretty good (the highlight, by the way, is Volstagg being badass, something which will never cease to delight me). Unfortunately, JMS saw fit to end his run in a way that always makes me cringe: he decided to put his toys away before he went home.

When I say that, what I mean is this- JMS decided that, in the last issue of his run, he was going to reintegrate certain parts of the status quo before he started writing the title a few years ago. Now, this is his right, but I don't understand why writers feel the need to do this. By killing one of the most interesting characters he introduced during the course of his run, he prevents us from seeing where another writer would have taken the concept (one that was, by all means, worth developing further). Additionally, I think I wouldn't be quite so pissed about the whole thing if Kieron Gillen hadn't sort of mishandled the fallout (which is in the preview for Thor#604 at the end of the issue)- although I suppose it could still have the dire consequences for the book's villians that I think it should have.

I understand that the above paragraph is nebelous, and it was the less egregious of the two examples anyway- what really makes me wonder why unwriting of this sort is necessary is that JMS gives Donald Blake his limp back.

I know, I know, it doesn't sound like a lot, but it is- he couldn't have just let Donald Blake keep walking normally? Why not? I mean, it's not like it's essential to the character, or anything- if it were, the run wouldn't have been nearly as successful. The whole half-cripped-guy-turns-out-to-have-superpowers thing is pretty played out at this point, so I'm not sure it's actually going to bring anything to the comic that wasn't already there.

The only concievable reason why any writer should unwrite him/herself like that is because they don't trust whoever is coming up next to play with the new status quo very well (or, at least the first writer thinks the second one won't). Quite honestly, it's kind of arrogant, and it brings a run of issues that should have ended with a bang (Volstagg being badass and associated dick joke notwithstanding) out with a little bit of whimper.

I understand that this is, in the end, a very small complaint. The book is a good book, and I certainly recommend reading it if you want to get into Thor, but this sort of writing frustrates me to no end because it nullifies ideas that make comics interesting- something that we're always a little short on.

No comments:

Post a Comment