Thursday, August 21, 2008

What voice goes well with "Imperius Rex?"

Somewhere along the way I picked up the impression that reading to one's newborn helps her development, regardless of what one reads.

Since I've been re-reading the Essential Defenders books, naturally I tried dramatizing a couple of issues (#s 5 and 6) for Olivia's benefit. Issue #5 featured Namor, Doctor Strange, and the newly-minted Valkyrie against Omegatron/Yandroth; and #6 pitted the non-team (this time adding the Silver Surfer) against Cyrus Black.

My question is, what can I do to make the voices distinct? Omegatron/Yandroth was easy, because the context indicates how ... slowly ... he ... should ... speak. The Doctor Orpheus voice didn't really fit for Doctor Strange. A Boris Karloff voice worked a little better for the Silver Surfer, but it became harder to sustain. I don't know what kind of accent Namor would have, and I didn't do anything special for Valkyrie.

(Thank goodness Olivia was asleep while I read the Avengers/Defenders crossover!)

I'm into the Steve Gerber issues now, with not so much Namor and Surfer but more Hulk and guest-stars. Any suggestions?


Richard said...

*snicker* The GCD lists the Black Knight in those issues you mentioned as "stoned." That won't make any sense to anyone who hasn't read them.

Anyway. I can't help but hear the Hulk's speaking voice as that of Mongo from Blazing Saddles. Pure typecasting! I associate Stephen Strange with David Niven -- utterly silly because he's an American surgeon, but that thin mustache fixed my attention when I was six years old and I've never been able to break that connection. Maybe if you imagine it as an affected upper-class transatlantic accent, not entirely dissimilar from Byron Orpheus but more like the voice James Urbaniak uses as Phantom Limb.

Namor would have a sneering, nasal voice rather than a deep, commanding "heroic" tone. A bit obnoxious; in a way, he's never outgrown being the snotty kid who went around saying things like "Sufferin' shad! I'll teach those Jap pilots a thing or two!" Accent? His dad was an American and he's been around Americans for 69 years (real time and Marvel time, one supposes) so he'd be accent-free to American ears.

I'm embarassed to admit I never gave any thought to a voice for Valkyrie. Nighthawk would presumably have the bland voice of an East Coast prep school dropout. And Tania Belinsky -- it'll be a while before you get to her, right? -- should have the voice of Natasha Fatale.

Tom Bondurant said...

Thanks, man! Olivia fell asleep about halfway through the Badoon storyline, but I'm not taking that as a criticism just yet.

She also slept through the Howard the Duck crossover, but I may have to revisit that one for her when she's awake. I'm looking forward to trying out my Tillie the Hun.

Anyway, I took your suggestions for Doctor Strange and the Hulk, although I probably made Doctor Strange a little more Mr. Howell than Phantom Limb.

I didn't do anything much for Nighthawk, Jack Norriss, or Vance Astro. For Charlie-27 I went a little deeper and slower, but not Mongo-style like the Hulk. Yondu came from the back of my throat, Martinex was whispery and Kif-Kroeker-ish, and Starhawk was a little higher and more sing-song-y. Valkyrie I tried to make tough, and Young Vance came out like that little kid in the Troy McClure instructional films.

One thing's for sure -- I'm gonna need a big glass of water to get through these extended storylines!

Richard said...

Mr. Howell! Of course!