Chap. 3, Act 1, Strip 5On Thursday - July 8th, 2010 17:48:24
No, this is totally not a retcon. The Professor was never supposed to be hunchbacked, it was always just his parachute he carried on his back - I thought he might need one sooner or later, so it was present from the get-go. He just never got around to use it. Even when he was falling from a great height. Or explain it to anybody. Or correct other characters when they referred to him as hunchbacked. Or correct himself when he referred to himself as hunchbacked. Really, I planned it like this all along. Oh, and by the way, there’s this lovely bridge I gotta sell…
Seriously, though, I just felt that the Professor’s odd anatomy had lost its luster, and just was no longer worth all the problems it caused for his usefulness as a character - so out it goes. Hey, it’s a B-movie - he’s lucky that I didn’t completely change his character and replace him with a different actor, which would just have been about par for the course. And the change also gave me the opportunity to advance the Professor fashion-wise. He’s not yet reached the present, but at least he has now arrived in the 90s. Admittedly, the 1890s, but nevertheless… (Hey, if it that kind of expedition suit was good enough for Allan Quatermain, it’s still good enough for Professor Dr.)
And yes, the Professor is - naturally! - fluent in Greek, both old as well as new. The scriptwriter - naturally! - isn’t, but he’s fluent in stringing together random Greek words taken from a Greek restaurant’s menu. Oh, come on, how many audience members are able to tell the difference? It’s all just a matter of good acting - if the actor is good at pretending he’s actually saying something, the audience will feel it all probably makes sense to someone. Somewhere. Sometime. Some people out there probably still believe that Peter Sellers was fluent in at least half a dozen languages (he was the great pioneer of drawing fake dialogue from real menus, especially regarding Chinese).
By the way, Mopey’s wide-eyed look in panel three shows that she’s indeed just wearing contacts, and has not sold her soul. Or if she did, sold it for something else, at least. And yeah, she’s completely surprised by the Professor’s change, because….uh, because he probably wore his labcoat until just now. Isn’t it always like that? - Regardless of the time that passes between a movie and a sequel, all meaningful changes that happened to any of the characters are always complete news to all of the others. Protagonists apparently don’t hang around with each other a lot when they’re off duty.
More on Monday.