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February 03, 2006


Peter Hensel

The hastiness of Shiloh's self worth's actualization didn't bother me at all. Everyone reading the comic understood it would happen, if not from knowledge of basic superhero tropes, then the previous Seven Soldiers series' thematic variations, so I saw the hasty run through as similar to Superman's origin retelling in All Star Superman #1, which was just a page long. While the origin is an integral component of Superman's feature, it's a foregone introduction like Mister Miracle's triumph over existential terror is a foregone conclusion, although I can see your point as a problem of Morrison's pacing, where he enters freestyle mode and doesn't properly sequence events, which hurt the latter part of his X-Men run (notably Planet X) and a couple Doom Patrol stories.

And on another note, I realized I misspelled my name in the blogger profile. It's Hensel, not Hesnel, but many thanks for the reference.


I guess I feel the conclusion--or really, the character's path to the conclusion and their emotional climax when they reach it--shouldn't be as foregone as a sixty-year-old premise. Sure, we all know Shilo is going to recover from the Anti-Life Equation somehow, but if it's that rushed and that simple then the Anti-Life Equation doesn't seem so terrible, surely not the intended effect.

It really is just a matter of pacing, and a small one at that--two more pages, gained by pushing back the grocery store scene to the next issue, would have been enough to do a sprawling Kirbian scene of transcendence and freedom. And to follow that up with the death scene would be devastating (although hopefully with better dialogue than we got). But reducing the pivotal Kirby scene to a single mawkish panel wastes all the oppressive emotional build-up of the previous pages.

The name is fixed, and thank you for the post!

Jim Roeg

Ack! And here I thought I was being so original with my Bluebeard observations! Don't know how I missed your mini review of ASS#2, Marc. (Did I read it awhile back, forget about it, and then appropriate it? Hate it when I do that.) I'm adding a citation to my review. Btw, nice piece on Casey!


I think the Bluebeard stuff was sufficiently overt that many readers reached that insight independently; I'm pretty sure I wasn't the first.

Incidentally, thanks for posting that link to the Perrault tale--that's going on the online course reserves for the week I teach Angela Carter. (Oddly enough, I added "The Bloody Chamber" to the syllabus less than a week before I bought Morrison's own revision of the Bluebeard story... but then Morrison is no stranger to synchronicity.)

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