We’ve talked about Matt Fraction before, but we thought that since he’s now in Singapore for STGCC, if you could get time to catch up with some of his work, you should do so now. I’m not going to mention how embarrassed I was to have missed out on such a talent for such a long time (you have the other post for that), so let’s talk about why you shouldn’t miss out on his work.
Matt’s talent is insane, and he’s done in the space of a few years what few writers have been able to do in a lifetime. He’s gone from crazy indie book Casanova to mainstream Marvel hits like Iron Man, X-Men and Thor. And they’re all mindblowing.
I can’t narrow his body of work down to any one series; that’s how widely written they are. But if I had to choose, I’d say the two you need to pick up is Casanova and Invincible Iron Man.
Invincible Iron Man is your meat and potatoes. It’s a large, mainstream comic. But that’s not to say it isn’t amazing. A man doesn’t get an Eisner just be having a ho-hum series. He does it by reinventing the hero in a way that no one expected and yet in a way that seems so natural that readers wonder why it was never done before. And that’s what Matt did. The Invincible Iron Man Omnibus covers issues #1-19, and covers Tony Stark’s arc with Ezekial Stane, a genius with fighting a war of asymmetry against Stark Enterprises, as well as Stark Disassembled; the enemy this time being the breakdown of Stark’s own mind. In a world with superheroes fighting alien invasions, Stark’s wars against guerilla tactics and himself are refreshingly different, and demonstrate that one doesn’t need cosmic consequences to engender drama. And that’s why Stark, and all of the others with him (Maria Hill, Pepper Potts, etc) are believable characters that the reader can connect with.
Casanova… it’s not the exact opposite of Iron Man, but it’s pretty damn far. Instead of your traditional hero, you have your black sheep of the family, becoming the white sheep, and maybe even blue and neon sheep, and everything in between. It’s a comic of extremes, with time traveling multiverse twincest, hot robot girls, not so hot robot non-girl, all done in Gabriel Ba’s and Fabio Moon’s amazingly kinetic art.
Matt’s mentioned before; ‘I wanted to have everything I ever wanted to read in a comic again. I wanted to write the book that was perfect for me, that didn’t exist, that had everything I ever wanted to read in a comic again. If it found an audience, great.’ And that’s what it is. It’s the Green Fairy chaser to your Iron Man dinner.
I have to say that Casanova is probably not your everyday comic. It might not be for everyone, but if you love comics, or if you’re feeling adventurous give it a whirl. And if you like your comics with just about every theme and idea in the world. And if you want something to read and re-read and get your mind blown away every time.
So there we go. Matt Fraction. Read him. Love him. See him in STGCC, Suntec, December 10-12.