Thursday, December 07, 2017

“Your Reclamation, Then” | Marvel Classic Comics #36 (1978)

The Marvel adaptation also spends several panels faithfully having Scrooge wake up and fret over the weird passage of time. It does some different things with the Spirit, though.

It does away with both holly branch and extinguishing cap, but the biggest change is the choice to make him decidedly masculine (including a beard) and not at all childlike. He's not an old man by any means, but he's essentially a younger version of the Spirit of Christmas Present.

He does have the bright glow (not from the top of his head, but I like the dazzling aura effect as it's drawn). What's weird is that Scrooge still makes the comment about wanting the Spirit to put his cap on, even though there's no cap. I'd tally that up with the other evidence in this adaptation that Scrooge is mad, but the Spirit also refers to the nonexistent cap as if it's there. I haven't been able to come up with an in-story explanation that makes any sense, so no Marvel No-Prize for me.

There's also a lettering flub where the Spirit mentions Scrooge's welfare, but Scrooge's response is omitted. So when the Spirit says, "Your reclamation, then," he's not replying to anything verbal. Maybe he's reading Scrooge's thoughts, but we aren't privy to them as readers.

Then there's one other oddity around the Spirit's touch. Instead of putting his hand on Scrooge's heart, he simply holds his hand out, palm up. And he says, "Bear but a touch of my hand... here." Not "here" as in, "On your heart." But as in, "Here's my hand for you to touch."

I don't know why Doug Moench changed the line, but it does something interesting in conjunction with the art. The way the hand intersects with Scrooge's cap, it's possible to read the panel as the Spirit's touching Scrooge's head. That's very interesting to me in a comic where I've been questioning Scrooge's sanity for a while. Instead of Scrooge's heart needing healing, perhaps it's his mind. That's obviously not the intended reading, but it fits with the other things I've been noticing and forcing onto this version.

Finishing out the scene, I like how it holds the end of the Spirit's sentence ("and you shall be upheld in more than this!") until the following panel as he's dragging Scrooge out the window and into the air. It's quite dramatic.

1 comment:

Caffeinated Joe said...

Definitely a major change from Dickens' idea of the spirit. Wonder what the reasoning was behind it. Also ends up making all of the spirits decidedly male. Not that it matters, just interesting.


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