Let's pause to savor how bad Judd Winick's dialog for Dr. Sivana was in the most recent issue of Green Arrow / Black Canary.Okay, I get that many younger writers are really just writing fan-fic, and so love to pull characters out of the DCU's left field to solve their plot problems, rather than sticking with toys closer to them in the sandbox. But, really, this reads like an issue of the DC Challenge.
Wait, so, Ra's Al Ghul was actually Shado, with some flimsy explanation given as the charade? Why not just put in an honest caption box that says, "Yeah, this'll be a great surprise reveal to the readers! No one will guess it! Take that, Geoff Johns!" When her son was dying of leukemia Shado naturally sought out.... Dr. Sivana?!?! World expert on, um, leukemia? Disease? Destroying Captain Marvel?! Who used Plastic Man's blood to ... cure leukemia? Repair brain damage? And the thing he wants in return is.... killing Green Arrow? I'll believe a man can fly, but my credulity needs an injection of Plastic Man's blood to make these kinds of stretches.
Anyway, if you're going to use Dr. Sivana, please have him be recognizable as such. Winick starts off with Dr. Sivana speaking appropriately: "I will say you've piqued my curiosity"; "You travel in circles that are not unknown to me." Yeah, that's about right. But it degenerates pretty quickly...
"You guys"? "Peepers"? "Whack"? "Doesn't fill my glass"? "Screws with Green Arrow?" "Kick your asses"?
Raise your hand if you want Dr. Sivana to talk that way. Those with your hands raised, go buy some Marvel comics.I get that writers sometimes feel the need to modernize characters a bit. But when and why did "modernization" come to mean, "I'll write this character as if they were in the cast of Friends or Buffy"? Perhaps it's an attempt at greater realism (very common among those who are concerned that, although they love comics, they aren't "cool" enough, and are desperate to make them -- and, by extension, themselves -- cool enough for hoi polloi).
I hope it's not an attempt at realism, because no one I know talks that way. At least, no one I know for very long. And, as I have mentioned before, it isn't "normal" to have comic book people talk "normally". They aren't normal; that's part of the point. They don't dress normal, they don't act normal, why on earth would they talk normal? A pig in a dress is still a pig, and having one of literature's most traditional mad scientist figures talk like a castmember on the Real World just seems incongruous and inappropriate, not "realistic".
The tragic part is, I can spy the soul of the real Sivana, desperately struggling to maintain some dignity and assert itself through such atrocious dialog. At one point, he even manages to squeak through a somewhat disjointed but still technically correct haiku:
"Y'see, that's funny.
You think you have me at a
Poor little guy. Shame on you, Judd Winick, for making me sympathize with the World's Wickedest Mortal. Readers, rally to my cause! Help Dr. Sivana express himself in haiku as he rebels against being forced to speak inappropriate dialog! Here's my own offering:
angers Dr. Sivana.
Heh heh. Heh heh heh."
WHAT HAIKU FOR THIS SITUATION CAN YOU COMPOSE?P.S. By the way... "vanytes"? Okay, I understood Chemoids, and Molemen, and Doombots, and Un-Men, etc. But why the heck are plasticized ninja generic figures called "vanytes", and why isn't even a hint of explanation given as to the etymology? And don't tell me Sivana wouldn't stop to explain, because that is exactly something Sivana would do, particularly since he prattles at length in this scene about how and why he made them. So, is it pronounced "van- nights"? If so, I'm dumbfounded. If it's pronounced "van ee teez", then it's straight Middle English (Like Wycliff's "Vanyte of vanytes, seide Eclesiastes, vanyte of vanytes, and alle thingus vanyte"), and (I assume) a meta-commentary on why writers like Winick do things like this.Still, they would make great Heroclix low-point generics, with plasticity and a bit of regen. Fun!.