Sunday, October 14, 2007


Lost Moore

If you dipped your toe into the shallow end of the comics-blogosphere the last few days, you might have seen this, in which Rob Liefeld reveals the "truth" about Alan Moore.

Um, right...

If nothing else, though, this bit of windbaggery inspired Kevin Church to post the full text of Moore's script for Youngblood #4. This is the first I've seen of the script, though I'd seen a synopsis of it years ago after the line folded. This is the time-travel western story, in which the modern day heroes of Youngblood are transposed into the old west, while the wild west heroes of Young Guns are displaced into the modern day, and it is naturally chock-full of goodness and fun.

The fact that Liefeld has been sitting on anywhere from a few to a half-dozen or so full scripts (and god knows how many pages of treatments and pitches) written by Moore is just galling. There's also the conclusion to Supreme which, if I understand it correctly, exists in at least a notional form. If you're unfamiliar with the latter, it is something of a hidden masterpiece by Moore, only somewhat marred by wildly uneven art--some of it truly spectacular, some of it execrable; unfortunately, though, Supreme ended two issues before the conclusion of the story (it's somewhat more complicated than that, since the book was cancelled and relaunched in the meantime, and shuffled from one publisher to another, but the simple version is that it's something like a twenty-four part story of which only twenty-two parts have been published).

There are rumors about an actually "complete" collection of Supreme, which one hopes would include those final two scripts in text form, at least. The final issue to see print, with art by Rick Veitch, was a glorious paean to Jack Kirby, which even the addition of a few childishly crude figure drawings by Liefeld in the opening and closing sections failed to sour.

I loved Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse on Supreme. Youngblood with Steve Skroce was off to a great start too. Ah, those were the days. Thanks for screwing it all up, Liefeld.
Moore's contributions to that whole universe, not just Supreme, but Youngblood and Glory and all the various and sundry one-shots and miniseries, were a huge, huge influence on me. I don't think Liefeld ever really understand what he had there, as is certainly evidenced by his recent comments. Moore was really doing something remarkable, building a fictional universe not just from the ground up, but with a whole scaffolding of backstory underground as well, that worked not just as a metacommentary on superhero and adventure comics, but as great superhero and adventure comics in their own right. But the stumbling block was always Liefeld and the artists he chose. Skroce was great, Sprouse was terrific, Veitch was letter-perfect, but the sub-sub-Liefeld clones were difficult to get through, and are one of the main reasons it's hard to recommend that series unreservedly. And the worse art is invariably Liefeld's own. There is probably no greater gulf between intention and execution than the Liefeld-drawn bits of Judgment Day; in the "zero issue," bits of the script were run at the end alongside Veitch's character designs, so we could actually see the enormous disparity between the scene as conceived by Moore, and as executed by Liefeld. Just heartbreaking, really.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by 

Blogger. Isn't yours?