Saturday, February 15, 2014
There is probably no more confused publishing history in comics than Star Trek. That could have to do with the fact that it is really a TV/movie property and the publishers make a fraction of what they make with properties they own, but I think it probably also has to do with the creative control the owners of the property maintain. With the advent of the JJ Abrams reboots, the continuity is now so friggin confused that one need a name and number program to figure out what is going on.
Last summers "Star Trek: Into Darkness" is another continuity bender, this time rebooting the classic Trek villain Khan. But by the same token, Khan is a classic upon which to do such bending since he is really the hinge that moved the property from TV to theaters. He is classic Shakespearean bad guy, a hallmark of the Trek movies to be sure. One of the great faults of the otherwise utterly enjoyable Abrams reboot was the lack of quotation of the Bard.
So, what about the comics? Forget them - they're worthless. They are an exercise in merchandizing, not storytelling. They are testament to the fact that comic books are an art form unto themselves with their own rules for storytelling and that those rules are different than other medium. If you cannot fee up the makers of the comic to tell the stories suitable for comics, don't bother.
IN fact,t he comics are suffering across the board as the characters move to the big screen. The comics, whose revenue is miniscule compared to movies, are now viewed as marketing arms for the movies and much of the best story telling is happening in the title not so widely known. This is certainly true for Marvel/Disney. DC which is following a different marketing trajectory is doing a better job of this, but it is a problem.
There are limits to the cross marketing phenomena.