Saturday, December 18, 2010


This morning brings this small tidbit that they're developing a TV series based on the Marvel comic series Alias.

I've been off reading monthly comics for a while now. Can't say how long, for sure. Three or four years. I completely left somewhere around the same time as the Batman R.I.P. storyline. Even at that time, I'd been experiencing severely diminishing returns on what I'd been reading. For a year or two prior to that, I'd been whittling down what I was reading. I think when I left, I had 3 books that I was picking up on a monthly basis: Batman and Detective Comics, which I'd been reading since the fourth grade, and The Walking Dead, which had only recently (at the time) been brought to my attention.

The cost had something to do with it. The cost of a monthly comic was creeping up into the 2 or 3 dollar range for your average Batman or Walking Dead title. It just wasn't worth that for something I was reading once, or maybe twice, and taking five minutes to do so. There was a time when I was spending 60 bucks a month, pretty easily, on what was essentially the literature I'd reserved for bathroom breaks. There got to be an ecomonomic wall. 15 bucks a week for something I was spending 15 minutes a week on just didn't seem economically sound.

On top of that, it was contributing to the stack of long boxes I currently keep in the second bedroom closet. That stack, which represents 20 years of fandom, I currently think of as a half-ton of fire hazard.

So, long story short, I stopped reading. Just wasn't getting much out of it. There was good stuff, but I just wasn't interested anymore. If there was something particularly good, I could find the trade paperback or hardback collection on Amazon or at the brick and mortar bookstore for cheaper than it would have costed for me to buy it in serial for anyway.

I say all that to say this: Alias was one of the last books I read regularly that I remember with real fondness. The writer of the linked article hit the nail on the head. The first 15-18 issues are truly fun stuff. Excellent writing. Interesting premise. Used the Marvel mythology as a means of telling the story, and not the story itself.

The last several issues did not do that, in retrospect. The tone in the final issues was so different that it made me pretty sure that Brian Michael Bendis wrote those first several issues in one spurt, in one creative session, where an idea or feeling or sense of mission were all fresh in his head. The last issues were so drastically different in feel that it made me think they may have been well after those first story arcs. Jessica Jones wasn't nearly as interesting as a character, and there were far too many superhero characters showing up in the story. It was almost a Brave and the Bold type of deal. Who's Jessica Jones teaming up with this month?

Anyway. A TV series might be good. It's something I'd pay attention to.


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