Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vintage Weird

     Looking back over your life, you can turn up all sorts of things that contributed to your sense of weird.  As weirdness is often on my mind, I look back over the weird in my history and from time to time am delighted with what I rediscover there.  Two such things I dusted off and enjoyed recently were Doom Patrol and Nowhere Man.      
     Doom Patrol is a team of odd superheroes dating back to the Silver Age, but, as re-conceived by Grant Morrison, the oddness was ratcheted to a whole new level. If you're familiar with Morrison's recent work on Batman, or his superlative writing on JLA and All-Star Superman or the current run of Action Comics, you might be surprised that he made his name on hard-edged stories that flirted with the surreal, as in the Invisibles.  The first of collection Morrison's Doom Patrol stories, Climbing from the Wreckage, puts the heroes and their semi-nefarious boss Niles Caulder, up against the Scissormen, guardians of a world born from a parasitic book (and incidentally adapted from the psyche-scarring children's book Struwwelpeter).       
     Nowhere Man was a television series that lasted a single season, starring Bruce Greenwood as Thomas Veil, a photojournalist who returns home one night to find that his wife, his friends, his colleagues do not recognize him.  His entire life has, in fact, been erased by an organization that wants the film negative of a single image from him.  Like classically weird British sereies the Prisoner, Nowhere Man chronicled Veil's weekly run-ins with the organization and the plots they threw up against him.  Unlike most of those series that are cancelled after one season, Nowhere Man actually had provided a full-on explanation and a good sense of closure in its final episode.      
     Some vintage weirdness for those on the lookout.

1 comment:

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