Over a year ago, I had the fortune to attend my first ever New York Comic Con. It was a blast, and I simply ate up all of the random booths of independent artists and the panels, most especially. One panel that struck me was Marvel’s panel on the future of Digital Comics. At this point, we were treated to the premiere of the Astonishing X-Men trailer, as well as preliminary artwork for the next Spider Woman series. Both were significant in their own right. Astonishing X-Men was booting from the beginning of that series where Josh Wedon reinvigorated the team in some of the best writing I’d read in years for an X-Men book. Spider Woman was another reboot series that would release Motion Comics in parallel of the print book. This was sort of exciting, and the trailer got me suitably excited.
A few months passed, and I didn’t really follow what was going on with the Motion Comics run. I saw that DC was making some moves as well. Finally I had a chance to sit down and check out a few episodes of each.
Watchmen: I was sort of excited to see this was going to be included with the super duper special edition of Watchmen, and took a watch at about the first three issues/episodes. Having read the entire Watchmen series before I saw the movie, I was…dissappointed. Graphics were what you expect, and some of the ’80’s artwork maybe didn’t carry over well to my 20′ iMac. But wow, the production values weren’t what Marvel was promising from their own side. The biggest killer? When the use of only one voice actor started to grate on me was when Silk Specter started becoming involved. I didn’t last to far after that.
Astonishing X-Men: Again, this is a story I read, and to a point, just felt like a rehash. The motions started feeling like something different, but familiar. Not bad, but I can’t see dropping more money on watching these instead of the original comics.
Spider Woman.: Absolutely the best presentation of the trio so far. But maybe because it was the only new content I experienced. The delivery was great, and I didn’t have any preconceived notions of the voice actors thanks to years of the character being represented in cartoons or movies, for the most part.
When I was at that panel last year, the Marvel luminaries kept going on about how this was the future of their entertainment medium. It feels more like a loose experiment. People love their beloved Spider-Man and X-Men in cartoons or movies, or to be read on the printed page, or maybe in a digital fashion. But in any case, this all just feels like a weird stop gap in media.
Yet, with all of this “new” method of presenting books, somehow, it feels familiar. Oh! That’s right! I had this VHS tape when I was a child that I wore out watching over and over! What was it? That’s right…
What do you think of theses Motion Comics? There are free episodes and clips at the links above.