Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cartoon acrobats

Image © Michael Chevy Castranova 2016
The thing in comic book heroes these days — on TV and movies, and in the books — is everyone seems to be a gymnast and everyone is a master of some form of martial arts.
Even the much-praised Daredevil on Netflix, though he starts in a boxer’s stance, still flips about and kicks opponents in the head as often as using his fists.
That’s one of the refreshing things about the near-perfect TV version of Jessica Jones — she can jump, but there’s no acrobatic cart-wheeling in space. No Vulcan karate chops; she just slugs the bad guys. Or drops a refrigerator on him.
When the Scarlet Sparrow lost the Time Sword a few years ago in “Slipped,” I needed to figure out a way for her to defend herself. Guns definitely were out. And it had to be some means that would make sense for the 1920s.
So I figured the athleticism of dancers — I’m thinking of ballerinas I’ve known — would be different and a nice touch. That would explain her keen sense of balance and being able to achieve great jumps (both key traits of a cat burglar), as well as excellent stamina.
You can see an example of that in chapter 362, panel three.
As for Cartier Tour, in panel two, her unique skill set will be explained soon. Well, soon-ish.

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