Monday, January 04, 2010


Marvel Comics’ follow-up to the highly acclaimed Spider-Woman Motion Comic by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev is actually a bit of a surprise. Rather than another work created specifically for the format, they have gone old school (or as old school as one can go in the new realm of this technology) and chosen a story already presented in comic book form – “Gifted” the controversial first storyline from Josh Whedon and John Cassady’s Astonishing X-Men.

One might think this is a backward step in motion comic production until one actually sees it. This is moving forward into new territory. With the help of Neal Adams’ Continuity Studios, who also directed “Gifted” along with original artist John Cassaday, Marvel is bringing a whole new dimension to the artform.

Originally motion comics of the twenty-first century were nothing more than moving some elements across a static background to imitate movement, similar (sadly) to the infamous “Marvel Super Heroes” cartoons from 1966. Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D., a few months back was the first to be designed specifically for the motion comic format and utilized a style that brought the story and action to life.

Now, Neal Adams, who pioneered the realistic artstyle in comics of the late 1960s and early 1970s, takes things even farther into the future with Astonishing X-Men. These characters breathe. They speak as if animated, blink, move, etc. This is the next wave. It has to be seen to be believed. Marvel is riding the wave of the motion comic to the next frontier. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

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