Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Friday, May 29, 2009

My Meme Answers Are Still Absentee At This Moment

...wow. I'm having a really annoying week. :-) On the plus side, my job is awesome. On the downside, everything else has gotten a bit twitchy. (So yeah, meme is STILL open.)

I did get ahold of Marjorie Liu's X-Men prose novel "Dark Mirror" though. It's an interesting idea, definitely. Especially as I'm the twisted sort of person who really likes gender swap.

I've never read NYX, and I'm not a romance novel fan, so this is my first exposure to her work. She seems to be a decent writer, though I think her interpretations of the characters and mine differ slightly. Mostly Scott, who comes across a bit too...prim for my taste.

The man is repressed, sure, and a stick in the mud idealist, but he also has a fairly wide pragmatic streak and is quite a bit more adaptable than he gets to be in the book. Also Ms. Liu does pay some lip-service to his backstory, but it doesn't really come across in his characterization.

I do think the Scott and Jean stuff is pretty sweet though. The premise is that Scott, Jean, Wolverine, Kurt and Rogue are suddenly in the bodies of mental asylum inmates. Scott, Jean and Logan have the added confusion of waking up in bodies of a different gender. And without their powers. So a subthread in the story has to do with Scott and Jean dealing with the swap, their lack of mental bond (and tendency to rely on it a bit too much in lieu of real communication), and the possibility that this is permanent. It's very cute to see them adjust.

I also liked Scott's inner reluctance to look at his own swapped body since it seems intrusive to the woman who used to own it. Heh.

Wolverine got to be badass, but I kind of think he got to be TOO badass. I mean, don't get me wrong, I do think that Logan would do fairly well in a woman's body once he got used to it. However, I really don't think he'd be quite so blase and adaptable to that change as Ms. Liu seems to. He's a man who is used to playing on his machismo, walking into a room and making people nervous with his 'I'm going to kick your ass' sort of vibe going on. I'm not saying that he wouldn't adapt at all, but I think being in the body of a fairly average looking young woman would throw him more on the outset.

I don't quarrel with the ass-kicking elements, but I have to note that while lip-service is made to Logan's body being out of shape and not a fighter, this doesn't appear to have ANY effect on his fighting ability. (Whereas being in a barely five-foot-tall Chinese girl does impact Scott's own ability to kick ass, somewhat.) And I would have liked to see more negative impact to Wolverine's loss of power. A healing factor probably doesn't seem like much, but I think a fighter really would feel that loss. I'm thinking of that one episode of Galaxy Rangers where the team was blocked from using their powers, and Shane Gooseman, who's bio-defenses are something like a healing factor, ends up walking straight into electrified plants because he's used to shrugging that off.

Also, Logan apparently has the sort of charisma to make him an extremely likable woman. Which, um, I don't see. Sorry. :-) He also gets to effectively bitch Jean out of a crisis of faith. While I have no quarrel with his awesome "navigating the group through the city, while cops and everyone else has them on the run" skills, I find the other skills highly suspicious.

It's kind of funny that Logan seems to end up a lot more competent in any sort of tie-in (movie, book, game) than he actually seems to be in the comic.

As a positive note, I really liked the way she handled the X-Men side of the whole deal, but I was less happy with Rogue and Kurt's role. Except for a brief bit in the beginning, where Rogue faces a legitimately compelling crisis of conscience and a bit of banter here and there, they might as well not have been in the story. It was really more of a Logan-Jean-Scott show. On the plus side though, it was nice to see the characters interact without the triangle being a huge issue.

(Also, I'll forgive a lot for Logan and Jean trying to slut Scott up before the inevitable pool hustling scene.)

Hmm, thinking about it, the absence of the triangle is very interesting. For all that Wolverine seems to adapt better to his change than either Scott and Jean, he doesn't flirt with Jean-as-Jeff and never even contemplates continuing their weird not-romance with her-as-a-man. It's a nice, and fairly subtle for an x-property, examination of the differences between the two relationships.

The story ended very deus-ex-machina, and the villain's motivation made very little sense, and I came out of it still very confused about the role of the asylum or anything. But, that's not unknown to the comic as well. :-) So no real complaints there.

Really, overall, it's pretty decent. I might quibble a bit with the Wolverine-is-awesome bits, and some of the Scott characterization, but honestly, it's no worse than the X-Men cartoon of the 90s was and considerably better than the movies in that respect. And well, body-swap stories are fun in general. And like I said, I'll forgive a lot for the inevitable pool hustling/bar fight scene. :-)

2 Comments:

  • At May 29, 2009 4:47 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    I think this sounds interesting, but I can't quite get past the whole Logan without his abilities thing. Whenever he has lost his healing powers, he has trouble, which makes sense, but in the past,whenever he lost his OTHER senses, his enhanced sense of smell, hearing, etc, he had a tendancy to go a little bonkers, since he was so used to having them. So I can't see him adapting to an ordinary body with quite so much ease.

    I wonder, how did Jean do without her telepathy?

     
  • At May 29, 2009 6:29 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    She had some trouble but not as much as you'd think. The relationship aspect had the most focus.

    Scott and Kurt and Rogue had some element of relief without their powers, but it didn't get a lot of focus. I was rather disappointed in the way the book handled the mutant->human thing.

    The gender thing (except for Logan) was handled much better I thought.

     

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