Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Heckling the Heckler
I don't get it. I just don't get it. I know that this series is very well regarded as a piece of superhero satire, but I just don't get it. For starters, I tend to run pretty hot and cold on the Bierbaums. To me, much of their work is too dense. Here, the jokes are often obvious or simply miss their mark. The 3X3 panel approach hampers Keith Giffen's ability to tell a story. Many times, I simply could not tell what was going on. There was next to no character development and I was often simply lost. I first read this nearly 10 years ago, and was quite puzzled. With a bit more comic book mileage under my wheels, I decided to tackle the 6 issues last week and it still did not work for me. Comedy is tough, and satire can be even tougher. I ran into the trap of admiring what Giffen and the Bierbaums were trying to accomplish while never truly enjoying it. Take Heckler #4, for example. The underlying theme here is a tip of the hat to the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote rivalry. It was clever at first, but then got stuck in a loop a became less and less clever as the issue wore on. I'll commend their effort, but the final product left a lot to be desired.