i remember the day the thought balloon died. well, not the day, but the general time when i said "hey, i haven't seen a thought balloon in a while." and i was disappointed. i like thought balloons. i find them appealing as a means to remove comic books from other visual media. it brings comics closer to the novel, but in a more fluid and dramatic way, depending on the class of writer and artist, of course. also, i like how they look like clouds.
sadly, the much ballyhooed return of thought balloons to mainstream comics last week was somewhat disappointing. it wasn't that they were used poorly, in fact i felt there were often clever concepts the art would have difficulty explaining (though that cho can do little wrong, providing for his awkward fan-boy amazon thing), but because they seemed like an exercise. like a test. kirkman bet bendis a whole run of rom the space knight that he couldn't use thought balloons and bendis did the smart thing and took him up on it. because rom is awesome.
it's too quick. he writes thoughts like he writes his dialogue. snappy. why be so clever in your own head? a distinction in tone between the two would have tightened the rhythm a little. it would have been pleasant. and on top of that. bendis almost exclusively uses these short thoughts to directly oppose the spoken words. i get it. clever. we don't always say what we think. move on.
of course, i like bendis's writing on the whole, i think most complaints about his snappy patter are missing the point. these are stories about people flying and fighting for "what's right," why should they sound like real people talking? but when you throw thoughts in like witty retorts, it kind of confuses things. of course, i will discount the possibility that i am some kind of dinosaur and would like all my balloons to say "but that's lois lane, my girlfriend in my alter ego as clark kent. how can that be?" and i will eventually evolve. we'll see.
now, having said this, my overall opinion of the book is high. i enjoyed it. old fashion slam bang. the marvel equivalent to the brilliant work johns and eaglesham are doing once again with the justice society. let's just hope that new avengers isn't bendis's answer to meltzer's jla. (sorry, tonio.)
Labels: mighty avengers, thought balloons