Saturday, April 7, 2018

Spoiler Saturday--Speech Therapy

If you missed it, in last month's Infinity Countdown #1, The Gardener made a little change to Groot: more "I am Groot."

Which I have no problem with. It's a fine conceit, but one that's ultimately super-limiting to creators. It can be tough to make Groot an actual character when all you can do is present one-sided conversations, essentially making him the Guardians' R2-D2. I, for one, welcome the newly verbose Groot (although I question whether always referring to himself in the 3rd person a la the Hulk is the best choice).

Which puts the ball firmly in DC's court. Because it's long past time they fixed Etrigan.

I've talked about his before. The Demon, aside from his entrance/exit spell, did not rhyme when Kirby created him.

Then, after his appearance in Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, it was pretty much all rhyme, all the time.

Some have done it better than other...but most writers really aren't very good at the rhyming shtick.

Which is especially frustrating, as Moore made it clear that Etrigan's verse was because of holding a particular rank in Hell. And since he has been demoted/promoted many times since, there's no reason for him to continue to speak in crap verse.

Others have tried, via story or retcon, to end the rhyming, but it never sticks. The Demon is always back to rhyming before too long, either by editorial fiat, or a misguided devotion to "do what Alan Moore did."

It's his version of "I am Groot"--his manner of speaking has become so synonymous with the character, it gets in the way of developing him as a character.

So, DC...if Marvel can dump "I am Groot," don't you think you guys could just put down Etrigan's verse? Please?

OK, you can keep some of his rhymes...

1 comment:

CalvinPitt said...

The current Demon mini-series (which I wouldn't recommend, it's kind of a lifeless slog, but oh well) has Etrigan rhyme basically as a reflection of his mood. He generally does it when he's feeling good, excited, eagerly anticipating violence, that sort of thing.

Andrew Constant's rhymes aren't very good - they're the basic, strained stuff I'd come up with - but it doesn't seem like a bad approach to have Etrigan rhyme when he feels like regardless of whether he's the proper "rank" or not. The character doesn't strike me as one who would care whether he was "supposed" to be rhyming or not.