Roll the List #11: Top 3 Underrated Comics, Dalton’s Take
Yay…underrated scifi comics. I’ve lost a little interest in the topic because I [accidently] lost my entire write-up. And now I am starting from scratch. So now you will receive my admittedly shortened version of my top 3 underrated scifi comics! Enjoy!
3. Surrogates – What was adapted into a mediocre film was actually a great comic that was a thought-provoking tale of advancement in technology and its congruence with the evolution (or devolution) of our social behavior and psychological perspectives of ourselves and others. In a not-so-distant future, humans live their lives in mechanical vessels that portray us at the peak of our lives, sparing us the reality of sharing the aging process with those around us and seemingly saving us from harm. The story follows a detective living in this world who is trying to catch a murderer. The film seemed to dilute many of the key points of the comic and didn’t quite convey the psychological and social commentaries as effectively as the comic. I think this led many people to discount the comic, which I think was an unfair result of a mundane action scifi flick inflicting pseudo-bad publicity onto a solid piece of media.
2. The Sentry – The Sentry definitely belongs on this list as I can already hear the hissing and gnashing of teeth by me calling him underrated. Considered by many (especially those who declare themselves DC fans) as a Superman rip-off, the Sentry is actually one of the most intriguing comic book characters if given a chance. Where Superman is unique in his reverse-alter-ego persona, the Sentry is intriguing because of his psychological analysis of what a normal man would be like if he had god-like powers. Superman is Superman, not Clark Kent. His psychological factors spawn from the fact that his alter-ego is the human Clark Kent. The Sentry, on the other hand, is an everyday human with massive amounts of power. The psychological toll of his abilities and his incapability of handling the powers mentally is what makes the character interesting. The philosophical examination of what a human, with all their flaws, would be like if he or she had powers is a deep conversation unto itself. The Sentry gives a basis to start from, with his agoraphobic behavior that verges on insane. A fractured mind in the face of unfathomable power. Scary, and interesting.
1. Akira – Many will argue that this fantastic little piece of work is not underrated, and they might be right. But I do find it underrated because it is often lost in the shadow of the film. Akira the movie is one of the best spectacles in animation and is credited for helping establish and popularize anime in the United States. It should also be credited for helping establish the trend of manga-to-movie productions, which tend to have a common theme of getting the manga tossed to the wayside. This isn’t always the case (many have been into the Naruto manga because of the show), but sometimes the manga is underrated or even discarded because of the success of the film. Such is often the case with Akira, which was a superbly written manga with a more well-constructed story than the sometimes convoluted or under-examined film.
Overlap – No overlap this week. I envy Kyle’s extensive knowledge of comics outside the mainstream and the norm. While I am a connoisseur of Marvel and an amateur of DC mythos, everything else is admittedly foreign to me. This is where Kyle truly shines, and he was able to give a true perspective on this topic, and I applaud him for it.