I've begun to notice a curious divide when it comes to the geek franchises – and it may be a flight of fancy or pure ignorance on my part. But sitting on the edge of summer with so little to talk about leaves me no choice but to explore it, and try to convince you to read it. I apologize.
Geekdom is notorious for how eagerly it borrows and pillages from every single genre. Everything from Greek mythology to Unforgiven has been borrowed and reworked – sometimes into iconic brilliance such as Superman or Wonder Woman, or into pulpy fun like Mark Millar's Old Man Logan. Discovering what inspired Star Wars, Blade Runner, or Dune is a favorite topic of discussion for the hardcore geek. Scholars hold conferences on the influences of Joss Whedon. It's what keeps the whole machine of sci-fi, video games, and comic books ticking.
Doesn't it feel like we've stalled out on that? Last week, I wrote very optimistically about a renaissance of sci-fi and while I genuinely believe that can happen, I wonder if inspiration can spring from watching Marvel and DC the way it has from reading them.
There are recent movies that suggest that it can. We finally had original superpower stories with Hancock and Push. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor draw on comic books and video games for their manic filmmaking, using the immortality of Batman and Super Mario Bros as a perfectly good reason to keep Chev Chelios around. The world of Shoot 'Em Up seemed ripped from the pages of Vertigo, but wasn't. I want to believe that it's the first
first creative stirrings of a generation raised on a frenetic diet of comics, video games, and Star Wars. Why wouldn't that pop culture concoction spawn some original superpowered stories?