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Monday, May 21, 2012 

Vandal Savage co-stars in Silence of the Lambs ripoff

James Robinson's next step of making the DCU additionally gruesome is a miniseries called "DC Universe Presents: Savage" where Vandal Savage co-stars with a daughter, and in this fawning USA Today coverage, they say:
DC Universe Presents issue 9 begins his next tale, a three-issue arc by writer James Robinson and artist Bernard Chang that reintroduces Savage into the DC Universe and debuts his daughter, Kassidy Sage, the FBI's top profiler. [...]

In past DC Comics stories, the immortal Savage has been a violent sort ever since the beginning of time, but Robinson has him locked up in Belle Reve Penitentiary, a maximum-security prison housing the worst of the worst. He has been there for 12 years for murders that have branded him a serial killer by society, although the actions were completely justified in his eyes.

Meanwhile, his daughter has grown up and risen through FBI ranks following the shock and resentment that goes with finding out your dad is a major-league bad guy. And when Savage has a copycat killer on the loose who has kidnapped a high-ranking government official's daughter and time is running out to save her, Kassidy is forced to visit Belle Reve for some fatherly advice on catching the killer.

It's a Silence of the Lambs-type scenario full of complications and mysteries, Robinson says, but because he didn't want the story too much like the movie, he decided to take Savage out of jail instead of keeping him there à la Hannibal Lecter.
Which is only guaranteeing he'll soon escape and commit more crimes. This certainly is quite a retcon, turning Vandal into more of a serial killer, which is a lot less impressive or appealing than the warmonger and world conquestor he was years before. In fact, I'm not sure he was ever depicted as a one-dimensional mass murderer in the past, so this definitely sounds like a much more grisly rendition than any I've ever known of in past storytelling. Robinson's depiction also sounds like he's reduced Vandal's intelligence level.
"If you have Vandal Savage, at some point you want to see him kicking ass, this hulking guy," Robinson says. "As the series progresses, you'll see him enter into the actual crime scenes, and things take twists and turns from there."

The arc will definitely have Savage talking about his immortality and his adventures in the past, the writer promises, although what he most wanted to explore was the dichotomy between how he views his actions as fairly reasonable and everybody else who finds him a complete lunatic.

"I wanted to get into the whole duality of crazy killers where often they can appear very civilized on the surface, and yet there's this raging fire within them that often can never be quenched," Robinson explains.
It sounds more like he's flipped, and developed a facination with far too much evil. Which, now that I think of it, has been the problem surrounding superhero comics for a long time: writers seem far too interested in the villains and not enough on the heroes. It's something I'd call villain-worship, and it's not healthy.
Crime fiction is Robinson's favorite genre and in this DC Universe Presents arc he's enjoyed returning to the same type of detective-style comics he has done with Batman in the past, but there will also be "superheroic elements to it and the fantastic side of things," he says.

"It isn't just a crime book but there is definitely that feel and I've enjoyed putting that on and writing that sort of comic, which is not something you get to do that often."
Considering how bad a writer he's become, I don't think it'll be either superheroic or fantastic. That it's a "crime book" is actually the problem here - too much of that genre has leaked in everywhere, and that's why superhero comics are no longer enjoyable, because the very genre is way too dark. And Robinson's story doesn't sound very imaginative.

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The inmates running the DC aslyum need to be stopped. This doesn't sound good at all; it sounds like more darkness and depression, which we've seen way too much of over the past decade or so.

Wow... that sounds... uh, awful.

What could possibly possess anyone to take the brilliantly oddball idea of an immortal caveman conqueror and turn him into yet another dull serial killer?

Isn't it time we got past the Lecter stereotype, anyway? Silence of the Lams came out over 20 years ago, after all.

Yeah, Drizzt, I never understood the "appeal" of the Lecter movies. I always thought they were overrated movies and pretty damn disgusting movies at that. And the reason why the inmates running the DC asylum are changing a great idea (where else but in comics do you have immortal caveman conquerors) into a really, really lame idea (turning him into a serial killer) and a tired one at that. All in the sake of "realism" and so they can be "dark" and "edgy."

Speaking of the Hannibal point, apparently there's going to be a TV series based on the character (on NBC of course). I definitely won't be watching it.


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