This will be the first in a column within the column. I’m a wanna-be writer. I’ve never been published and I don’t consider anyone to be in that field professionally unless they’ve received payment and/or been published. Thats why I call myself a “wanna-be” writer. I’m not a professional because I’ve never received pay and/or been published anywhere except the ‘Net. And posting on a website doesn’t count, lol. Keep in mind that it’s just my personal opinion.
Anyways, because I’m a wanna-be writer, I tend to dissect the writing end of comics more (if you can’t tell from my reviews). This series of columns will look at some of the current stories being told and how the plots of those stories fall short. Looking for the plot holes, so to speak.
Now the typical, accepted, definition of a ‘plot hole’ is where a plot goes from A to C and completely skips over B. Thats not what I’ll be concentrating on. What I’m looking for is the incomplete plots. The ones that were created but not fleshed/thought out fully.
The ones you read and go “that makes no sense”.
The lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you view it) guinea pig is ‘Namor: The First Mutant’.
The plot is this: Namor is sent by the X-Men to retreive Dracula’s head. The head is being kept by the Atlantean Vampires, called the Aqueos. In the process, Namor violates a truce between the Aqueos and the Atlanteans, called the “shallow truce”, which sets up the next couple issues of conflict.
Let’s forget that this is the start of Namor’s new ongoing series. That’s irrelevant to the plot at hand.
Let’s also forget the convienance of the head being taken by the Atlantean vampires. I can see the idea behind it. They (Marvel) want to launch a new Namor ongoing, capitalize on his increased presence with the X-Men and Dark Reign, so they figure that during the ‘Curse of the Mutants’ event would be the perfect time and they convientantly have a reason to have Namor off on his own little mission, so can tie in his new book with the event.
The plot itself is straight forward enough.
The ‘Shallow Truce’.
This is never fully explained. We don’t know what the terms of this truce are. The Atlantean Vampire High Lord, at the end of the issue, says that Namor has violated it. Presumably this is because Namor attacked the Vampires in their home.
Okay, that’s all well and good, except for a couple of things that are explicitly called out in the issue:
A – One of the atlanteans says the Vampires have been raiding the outlying atlantean villages at night. Wouldn’t this imply that the Aqueos have violated the Truce repeatedly prior to this event?
B- The Aqueos attack an Atlantean guard outpost and steal a magical vault, that only an Atlantean king can open, they also kill all the guards (the guard commander just happens to have a son who has his own private army, who just happens to be in the area when Namor just happens to need some soldiers…ugh). Wouldn’t this imply that the Aqueos violated the truce first? They attacked the Atlanteans first. They stole a relic from the Atlanteans. Isn’t that a violation of said truce?
C – The Aqueos are hiding the head of Dracula at the behest of Xarus, the new lord of vampires. They did so voluntarily. This brings them into conflict with Namor. Again, the Aqueos violate the Truce first.
C pt 2 – More to the point: The conflict between mutants and vampires, on the surface, is a Surface World issue. It doesn’t directly involve the Atlanteans (except Namor and those he brings in at his request, which again isn’t part of Atlantean policy), so how would Namor’s actions violate a truce between the Atlanteans and the Vampires?
D- If you’re Xarus and you’re trying to seperate Dracula’s head and body (why not chop the body up as well and hide those pieces?), and you know you’re going to be in direct confrontation with the mutants, why would you hide a piece of Dracula where one of the strongest mutants (who happens to rule a nation of people that thrive in that environment) can go? Wouldn’t it make more sense to hide it in the jungle, or the arctic or a volanco? Somewhere where only a select few can survive and retreive it? That way you wouldn’t need to worry about Namor bringing an army of Atlanteans.
All in all the “Shallow Truce” is pretty shallow itself. It’s just a convienant excuse for the vampires to attack the Atlanteans now (which they were doing before but anyways…). Except it just doesn’t make any sense. The issue would have worked exactly the same as it does without any mention of this “Shallow Truce”.
But by having the “Shallow Truce” mentioned, it adds a level to the story and because it’s incomplete, it just fails over all.
Clear case of trying to put too much in, when it wasn’t necessary.