Elders Of The Universe: It gives me great pleasure to pronounce K-Punk bang on the money in this post about the fabulous language of Marvel:

“Part of the reason why I love Marvel so much is that it inculcated a feeling for language in me at a young age. While the children’s books I was required to read were Relevant to Kids – i.e. boringly slaved to the reality principle (about pets and shopping precincts) – and written in an appropriately sensible, ‘accessible’ prose, Marvel’s language had the euphorically jargonized intensity necessary to bring unlife to its super-consistent hyperfictional cosmos.”

I am currently waiting for a package from Amazon which will contain several collections of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World series, which does this kind of thing too – not surprisingly, since Kirby’s scripting style was a kind of Frankenstein version of Stan Lee’s. They have the same glee and love of the concept-rush but where Lee had a copywriter’s joy in the flow of words, Kirby’s writing is all total impact, with natural speech utterly attenuated and emphases in the strangest places. His habit of putting semi-random scare-quotes round words just adds to the weirdness*. Fandom has never really embraced Kirby-The-Writer**, his style is just too crude, too intense, too anti-realist, especially for current tastes which view superheroes spouting pseudo-Mamet dialogue as some kind of triumph.

*(Backup scans to come when I get the books)

**(Kirby the concept-hive is another matter!)

The Brown Wedge