Looks Matter

So, I watched the first five episodes of the motion comic adaptation of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men run. And as much as the plot’s a lot of fun, I have to say, it looks terrible:

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When I first saw previews for this, I assumed the animation looked so choppy because it was an early cut or something. Not so. It’s rare that I’d express doubts about an entire form, but motion comics seem to me like a dubious product for a couple of reasons. First, there’s no reason to translate something from the page to an animated screen unless you think you can add something to it or valuably reinterpret it. The voice work is nothing particularly extraordinary, so the visuals need to justify the project, and they don’t. The motion comics are only barely different from reading a page, and they’re so awkward it’s a detrimental viewing experience. X-Men: Evolution may not be a masterpiece, but it’s a fluid viewing experience, and putting the mutants in the context of a relatively normal high school is a pretty cute idea:

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And right now the third through fourth seasons (the first two are in syndication to Disney HD at the moment) are on Hulu, so unlike the Astonishing X-Men motion comic, you don’t even have to wait for your fix!