Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre

Before Watchmen Wednesday!

I really had a hard time making myself care about this comic. I’m not sure if this is because I don’t love Silk Spectre, if it is because I don’t have a lot of interest in the San Francisco counter-culture scene of the 60s, or if I never bought in to the villains and overall plot. But I never really got engaged in this limited, and even found myself skipping some pages.

Laurie Jupiter does come off like a normal girl. She has a crush on a boy, she gets mad at her mother, and wants to live her own life. Darwyn Cooke lays out a path for her that makes sense and shows the path of her becoming a woman. The problem is there aren’t enough super-heroics in it for me.

Just like in the Minutemen series, Cooke keeps the tone fairly light. Laurie’s life isn’t awful at all, and in fact the darkest parts of it come from her mother (the original Silk Spectre) and the Comedian. This is as it should be; those are tragic characters in well-established cycles of destruction. The problem is… the book is almost too light! I didn’t get wrapped up in Laurie’s problems because they just seemed to be so off-the-wall and 60’s kitschy.

Amanda Palmer does a fantastic job, as always. Her characters have different builds, especially the two Silk Spectres. The use of classic art interjected into the panels gives Laurie a “real girl” type quality that makes her very endearing. I thought the LSD sequence went on way too long, so long that I found myself skipping most of the pages. Palmer clearly spent time creating a lived-in world for Laurie. The neighborhood, friends, acquaintances, and villains of San Francisco are all tremendously lived in and real-feeling.

The problem is, I’m sort of like Hollis Mason when he makes his brief appearance. It’s not really a world I’m interested in seeing more of.


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