Tuesday, 6 July 2004

Spiderman vs the Storm Riders

Yup, I watched Spiderman 2 last week, and boy was it great. It was spectacular, amazing, and whatever other speculatives the comics use to describe the webhead. Go watch it, it's probably the best movie this year.

Anyway, on the subject of Spidey, I have to admit that though I'm a big fan of the movies, I've hardly touched the comics themselves, besides that daily strip in The Star that I've been following religiously even until today, since I was a wee little kid stuck in Pahang with no comic shops in sight. In fact, all I ever knew about Spiderman were those strips, and the occasional appearance in the Children's TV show The Electric Company (Spiderman, where are you coming from; Spiderman, Nobody knows who you are!!!) where he would throw nets over the bad guys instead of webbing.

Anyway, this here blog is supposed to be about mostly books and reading, so I shall talk about my comics addiction in the past. Nope, I did not read English comics by Marvel or DC, even though I like the superheroes themselves. What I DO know about the characters themselves, I pick up from the Internet, and those nifty 'guidebooks' to the world of the X-Men, Spiderman and so on, that they sell in Kinokuniya.

The Comics I DID read came from a nearer country - Hong Kong. I used to be addicted to Tin Ha comics, (aka. Storm Riders) and Ba Dao (literal translation: Powerful Knife. Sounds stupid, I know.), and other Chinese 'Wu Xia' comics and books. These were the comics where the fighters could 'fly', and had super-duper 'powers' that involved using their 'Chi' to fight. It sounds stupid on paper, but trust me, the comics were great fun to read.

Tin Ha was created by Hong Kong artist Ma Rong Chen, and the main story revolves around two martial arts/'wu xia' heroes called Nie Fung (aka. Wind), and Bu Jing Yun (aka. Cloud). Their stories start from being obscure kids who are 'adopted' by an evil overlord (there's always one of THOSE in these comics) called Xiong Ba to pass his martial arts to. Wind ends up being a master of Xiong Ba's 'Wind God' kicking techniques which emphasizes on speed, while Cloud learned the 'Pai Yun Chang' (Literal translation: Cloud palm technique), which emphasizes on unpredictability of the strokes. Thus, Wind ends up being one of the fastest martial arts exponents in the world, while Cloud becomes a powerful fighter that is known for his unpredictability and power.

The main draw of the comic was the martial arts, which for me were great fun to read about. All the different strokes and outlandish techniques made for immense fun, and it was always great to see Wind overcoming the odds with his speed, or Cloud just beating the heck out of his enemies.

ALSO, the stories in Tin Ha were unlike all the other comics at that time, especially stuff like Drunken Fist and Long Hu Men, where the characters would just beat the crap out of one another, with hardly any story going on. In Tin Ha, at least the two lead characters had vastly contrasting stories and backgrounds, and had very interesting stories to boot.

The comic has been running for AT LEAST fifteen years (if memory does not fail me), and although I sort of stopped reading them a long time ago, I still have my stash of comics which I hid from my father a long time back. I remember reading a Spiderman comic once while I was still in that Tin Ha-craze, and thinking, "What the heck! So boring!"

Well, now I think the Spiderman comics are ok reads, but compared to what I felt reading those Chinese comics back then, I think I'll settle for the Spiderman movies instead. (Oh, and BTW, don't bother watching the Storm Riders movie that came out some years back, the one starring Ekin Cheng as Wind and Aaron Kwok as Cloud. It SUCKED).


Anonymous said...

Review on Storm Riders comics sounded great....but the movie? YUCK! I have to agree wif u, couldn't bring myself to endure watching the entire movie. Well, I didn't, until today, I don't really know what were the scenes like.....

Anonymous said...

Hey MeiJyn here, JAnn pointed me here, cool blog on books. :D

Anyway, jus wanted to offer to lend u Artermis Fowl's books, I jus bought the new one too but haven't read it. Currently reading The Da Vinci Code, now that's one cool book! Can't turn the pages fast enough!

Drop by my website sometime - http://www.jyn.biz.

Btw, miss reading ur articles in the daily!

The Visitor said...

were you guys on Mars when you watched The Storm Riders? it's a great comicbook adaptation! i guess the nuances were totally lost on you Philistines! (note: for maximum effect, read the above comment while imagining The Visitor making hoighty-toighty, uppity, artsy-fartsy faces)

eyeris said...

Great adaptation my foot. After spending almost ten years reading the comics, I should now. the movie completely took the magic of the story away, and the two leads never came NEAR to what the characters in the comics were like.