I’ve been reading Alan Moore’s mid-80s run on Swamp Thing. It’s a little too self-serious at times, but for the most part, it’s tremendously entertaining and delightfully weird — a panel-driven, four-color eco-horror soap opera.
Speaking of eco-fiction, reviews and essays about James Cameron’s forthcoming 3D mega-movie Avatar are pouring in: In the New York Times, John Anderson calls it an “eco-pacifist space fable” and suggests that, with most of the pre-release buzz focusing on the technology, the movie’s biggest surprise will be its political subtext. And Jeffrey Wells says it’s “the most flamboyant, costliest, grandest left-liberal super-movie anyone’s ever seen.” The hint — underlined in this early clip — is that the movie is a fairly obvious Iraq war metaphor. Reviews so far are quite positive, but given the recent box-office history of movies that revolve around Iraq, I wonder: Are Christmas moviegoers actually going to be interested in a nearly-three-hour-long, $250 million anti-Iraq sci-fantasy blockbuster? Tough to tell, obviously. But it’s certainly possible, I think, that Cameron’s figured out an effects-driven solution to the problem of widespread disinterest in such movies.