Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Meet The Team: Marvel Boy

image

That’s Noh-Varr to you.

That’s Noh-Varr to anyone.

I had to start with Marvel Boy lust because of the news that Bowie was returning to the world stage today. He remains Jamie and my primary influence on the character’s visual and mood (specifically, in the Man Who Fell To Earth period, though there’s some Ziggy too). It’s not the first and won’t be the last. When a man has the chameleon aesthetic he works like that.

(The most successful previous one was our SIEGE%3A LOKI where Bowie in glam-mode was our model for our Loki%2C all nail-varnish eyeliner and the seductive potential of they-call-it-evil-we-call-it-us. Because we were in the Loki-should-be-hot camp way before Hiddleston brought anyone with any taste whatsoever to that particular yard.)

I’ll come back to sex as it’s important with Marvel Boy.

Noh-Varr has primarily written by two people previously. Formerly Grant Morrison in the original mini playing as a Namor-esque James Dean archetype Zen-Fascist and carver of expletives by blowing down city blocks in a decorative fashion. Latterly Brian Michael Bendis who took him into the heart of the Marvel Universe acquainted him with Earth gave him the mantle of cosmic Protector and lead to him being rejected by both the Avengers and the Kree. The aim was something that created a composite of those two approaches and send it off in another direction. How to square this particular circle?

It basically was reversing the process I did with the almost-as-argumentative Hope in Uncanny. Over in Generation Hope. She spent most of my run as a is-she-a-villain-or-not. But despite all that, when she was on the big stage, she knew what time it was – and it was the time to do the job. Like someone getting into a dream job, wearing their best clothes and even ironing for the first few months, she did the job. That’s Noh-Varr and the Avengers.

So when you go through that process, and you find yourself fucked over by every adult influence and formal organisation in your life, you may figure “Fuck them all” and look after your own nihilistic pleasure for a bit.

I got this feeling on the summer day when you were gone.
I crashed my car into the bridge. I watched, I let it burn.
I threw your shit into a bag and pushed it down the stairs.
I crashed my car into the bridge.

You’re on a different road, I’m in the milky way
You want me down on earth, but I am up in space
You’re so damn hard to please, we gotta kill this switch
You’re from the 70’s, but I’m a 90’s bitch

I don’t care, I love it. I don’t care.

Noh-Varr has two saving graces. Firstly, he hasn’t collapsed completely. He’s instinctively a hero – his hedonism is almost impossible to separate from a hero. Superheroism as Point-Break Surfer-Zen, world disasters as a wave to be ridden and mastered. Everything has been taken from him, and he acts like a hero anyway, because being a hero is the only thing that has ever meant anything to him.

(Random aside: Noh-Varr was totally the Wesley Crusher of his Kree ship.)

His second saving grace?

He loves Earth. He loves it in a way which us Earth dwellers may find a little embarrassing. And we find it embarrassing just because he’s seeing it with fresh eyes and we’re covered by the tar the 21st century tries to funnel into our lungs.

But Earth is amazing. Marvel Boy realises it, and he’ll die in the hope that some of us will too.

Hell, he’d die to ensure this record lived on.

He’s also hot.

Ever since our work on Phonogram, Jamie have strove to make our comics – for want of a better phrase – slash-fic-able. If you’re working in certain heroic fantasy genres, that’s part of the emotional churn. And that part is what loses the sort of person who thinks by Jamie redesigning Ms. Marvel’s costume he’s destroying the “sex-cake”.

(Oh man. Someone really did say Jamie had removed the icing from the sex-cake. Sometimes all you can do is blink when doing this gig. Blink so hard you hope your eyes open on some kind of better world. I digress.)

Anyway – point being: characters being sexy is cool but objectification in the process is bullshit. An inability to see the difference is a fundamental weakness. My wife’s in the next room watching Lord of the Rings, and I guarantee she’s thinking sexy thoughts about Aragorn. But that works without anything which annihilates him as a character, y’know? The readers mind will latch upon this stuff.

That’s how Jamie and me work.

Generally speaking.

Oh, Noh-Varr. You are the sex-cake.

Anything else?

Oh yeah.

Drop the “Boy”.

(The playlist is a mix of stuff that absolutely is transcendentally beautiful stuff which I connect deeply with the concept of being young, stuff which evokes my own personal experience of the emotions I’m trying to reprocess and stuff I just find funny. This is mostly the latter. Mostly.)

Notes

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  14. riverlace reblogged this from kierongillen and added:
    "Oh, Noh-Varr. You are the sex-cake.” Alright, post YA#1, I am so in love with Noh-Varr. I am so in love with him that I...
  15. zethsaire reblogged this from kierongillen and added:
    About Noh-varr, and what the writers are thinking about with him. Because the internet is whiny and doesn’t read this...
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