Thursday, October 12, 2006

Longbow Hunters #1

Longbow Hunters #1
Originally uploaded by blackbear88.
Unexpected Joy

OK, so this is a totally nerdy post. You don't like it, you can go read Doonsbury or something and come back later. But I've been having a hard couple weeks, in a life-stress sense, and today I got a little glimmer of sunshine, completely out of the blue. Or the green.

My pal Brian called me up to let me know that I should watch "Smallville" tonight. I never watch "Smallville"--in fact, I never watch any network TV, or really anything that could be described as a series these days. I can't handle the commitment. If I had TiVo, I might feel differently--but right now, I'm happy with my TV interaction being pure brain-candy that I flip on whenever I'm in the mood to vegitate. But Brian shook me out of my TV torpor with the information that "Smallville" tonight would feature the one comic book character I love more than any other--yes, more even than Nightcrawler. (Only just.) I've never been a Superman fan, although I enjoyed the first few seasons of "Lois and Clark" with my mom when I was living at home; so I never really even considered watching Smallville--gee, Superman again? Only now he's an angsty teenager? Gee, that sounds great. The one thing that could really spark my interest would be the introduction of a new character--specifically Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow. He debuted tonight.

So now that I'm watching, may I say first that I really like the dude playing Clark? He's cute, he's sincere without being irritating. I do like him. And I like the Chloe chick--though it took me most of the episode to figure out that I shouldn't be trying to match her up with any character I know from the DC mythos.... But WOW this show has some plausibility issues. I have a big hangup with shows that test my suspension of disbelief; other people say "oh, come on, lighten up, it's fantasy!" but I really feel like writers of shows like this should challenge themselves to write plots which actually make sense, and work around obstacles rather than just letting the main characters do stuff like....say..... walk unnoticed into an intensive care ward and take pictures of the patient's X-rays? WTF? I had several moments like this. Isn't Smallville somewhere in Kansas? Do the producers not know that Kansas does not sport forests full of ferns and cyclopean redwoods? It's like the mountains of Chicago... Etc., etc. ANYWAY, the point of my post was that Oliver Queen has finally hit the screen in something other than the occasional animated guest shot on Superfriends. As a hard core fan, I have to give it pretty good marks. The guy they picked to play him is H-O-T, there's no arguing that. And completely ripped, they've already had his shirt off for an entire scene (Lois is supposed to be falling for him, which is a little goofy but oh well.) He's a little smarmier than Ollie should be, I think, but they're doing the millionaire playboy angle which had more or less been dropped by the time I fell in love with the character. I have to say that his final scene in this ep--in which he has not yet been revealed as the Emerald Archer--was nothing short of fantastic. Apparently, next week we get to see him in full Green Arrow mode, and it looks like they're taking a bit of the Longbow Hunters look with him in that ep, as seen here in the glorious pencilwork of Mike Grell. I'm relieved to note that they're going the straight-up longbow version of him rather than Silver Age trick arrows and goofy costume. It was cool. It was very cool. And now, dammit, I have to remember how my VCR works so I can make sure I don't miss next week's installment.