Jun 15, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 111: Klarion #2, January 2015

Did I say it last time? I think I did. Klarion is too weird to exist. This, sadly, should have been apparent to any who read it right from the beginning. It reads like an early-days Vertigo title, which I think is just a bit too experimental for New 52-era DC. Sigh.

What can I say about McCarthy's art. How about I show you instead?

And pretty much every page looks like this. At the end of the issue, while Klarion and Zell are climbing ropes, the panel borders twist and turn like the ropes themselves. This kind of page construction, in the hands of a lesser artist, could become very confusing very fast, but McCarthy's got a great sense of the flow of the story. I know I've just compared the series to early Vertigo, but that's in tone, not look. This is far prettier than any of the early Vertigo stuff. Perhaps this is the reason for the brevity of the series, though. The art is innovative, but still holds to the general aesthetic of the current DCU, while the story hearkens back to a publishing enterprise that the very existence of the New 52, in that it folded Vertigo versions of superheroes into the DCU, seems to discourage.

Klarion is weird. And not just content-wise, but context-wise. Like Dial H before it, it's just too strange to live in this new conservative DCU.

As a closing note today, I am still concerned that Klarion is falling into the same trap that the main characters from The Adventurers are: he's just not likeable. At least in Klarion's case he's a teenager, meaning at least some of his affectations are just that, affectations, designed to put off the "old people" who try to tell him what to do. But having read his wiki-history (I'm coining that term, BTW), he's been portrayed more as villain than as hero over the course of his quite long history. Not that, in a series of only 6 issues, we'll get to delve much into that, but it's worth keeping in mind. It's difficult to write a story about a villainous character, I would imagine. I'm struggling with this notion right now. How do you develop sympathy for the unsympathetic? I was going to bring up Dr. Doom from the Secret Wars series, but Doom's always had that sympathetic undercurrent, his accident, his loss of his mother, his love for Sue Storm. There's always been something about him, even though over-shadowed by his megalomania, that allowed a reader to put themselves in his place. I don't know that I can do that, yet, with Klarion. Give it a couple more days, I guess.

See you tomorrow.

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