Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Warren Ellis will drown your puppy in front of your children to prove a point.

Or alternately, "I don't think Warren Ellis likes superheroes all that much."

Okay, that's not as harsh a statement as the actual title of this entry, and I'm not saying that the man has actually drowned a puppy in front of children, but have you ever read anything the man has written? Sure, it's brilliant, and sure, it's engaging, and sure, it even makes you think about stuff you might never have even thought you had opinions about, but damn!

I just finished reading last week's issue of No Hero (#4), his superhero comic from Avatar Press. The tag line for the series has been: "How Much Do You Want To Be A Superhuman?" I really doubt I'm exaggerating (but I might be), but I would assume that 99.9% of regular readers of superhero comics have at sometime or another wondered what their life would be like if they had super powers (or some similar variant of said wondering). As kids reading these things, it's such a rush to imagine yourself swinging through New York City with Spider-Man or soaring above Metropolis with Superman, or even battling against Magneto with the X-Men. As we get older and the pressures and stresses and worries of the real world start to push these fantasies out of our heads, we go back to these "funny books" every Wednesday to reclaim a little bit of that joy, to escape the pressures if just for a handful of minutes.

So then this British writer comes along, this bald, demented little man who mainlines Red Bull and excretes vitriol, and he takes our hopes and dreams, our escapisms, and he twists them and turns them and makes us think. We can no longer what it would be like to just have powers, now we have to wonder how our frail human bodies would react to increased muscle mass or cybernetic parts. We have to wonder about the nature and responsibility of the hero as a proactive force rather than a reactive one. And I won't get into magic since I don't understand it all that well.

And you know what pisses me off about all this? I fuckin' love his work. I read and absorb everything the man produces. Why? Because he's so damn good at what he does. He doesn't necessarily rely on the readers' suspension of believe; he examines the causes and consequences of everything. He's like a reporter writing very graphic and detailed fiction, giving us the whos, the whats, the wheres, the whys and the hows, whether we want them or not.

So damn you Mr. Ellis, and thanks. And I guess I don't want to be superhuman all that badly anymore.

No comments: