Saturday, April 10, 2010
The two big comic publishing houses have always liberally "borrowed" from each other, but rarely have they just flat out ripped each other off as they have with the two characters that we will look at in this post, and the villainous one that follows in two weeks. Today we will start with the DC version of teh character - AMAZO. He is a robot/android that can absorb and imitate the powers of those he is up against. And so he bacame the entire Justice League rolled into a single being.
Amazo defies my first rule of comics - that the character has to look great to be great. The comic book version of Amazo does not look too bad (that's what you see depicted here) but the animated version is flat out boring. Compared to the Marvel version of this character though, even the comic book version is dull. And yet, Amazo is by far the superior character - much better written and much more textured.
Of course, the look of the Marvel version, as we shall see in a couple of weeks, is very gimmicky and that may be why he was never invested with the kind of writing that has made AMAZO so, well, amazing.
What I like best about AMAZO is that they have used him to explore the limits of power and the fact that even though he can obtain meta-power without limit, he has found in unfulfilling. That is quite the object lesson for the youngster that dreams of someday donning cape-and-cowl and becoming a super-hero. Though a villain, AMAZO's story is one which illustrates that heroism is not in the power, but in the choices one makes.
I am typically not a big fan when "real life" intrudes into my comics - I really like my fantasy fantastic, but AMAZO is an exception to that rule. He teaches me that I can be a hero, even without power.