Saturday, July 09, 2005


Fantastic or Incredible?

Michael Chabon is truly "one of us." It's not been a secret for a good long while now, but it's always nice to be reminded. His Notes on the Fantastic Four, from a mid-nineties pitch session, serves as a tantalizing little glimpse into what might have been, and makes one wish to inhabit the alternate reality in which this film got made, instead of this one.

"The world of the movie is a timeless, more innocent world, a world where Evil lives behind an Iron Curtain on the Dark Side of the planet, a world where, even in 1995, it is always November 21, 1963. Men still wear hats, kids are into hot rods and spaceships, women have bouffant hairdos, and New York City is the vibrant, shiny capital of the Free World. A Technicolor, bossa nova, Douglas Sirk world."

Interestingly, though Chabon points out that his plot bears a lot in common with Alan Moore's paean to the Fantastic Four and sixties-era Marvel in general, 1963, it occurs to me that the flavor that Chabon describes here in much more in keeping with Brad Bird's The Incredibles. I've been tinkering on a project for the last couple of years with Lou Anders that places superheroic-type characters in a very similar milieu (though to very different ends). Maybe it's just something about those kinds of characters that demands that kind of treatment.

It also sounds similar to the milieu of Kurt Busiek's Astro City and, to a lesser extent, Moore's Tom Strong. I think a lot of superheroes really require a more innocent era.
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