Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
"Life-support system error, [A]bort, [R]etry, [I]gnore."
"Between Life, Death, is Sleep, Zombie!"
Of course, since I'm a comics geek, I kind of want to follow Oddity Collector's example and try some for comics as well. Because like every comics fan who can't draw, I'm aiming for a writing career. :-)
Comic stories that I'd like to write, in Six Words:
(Glorified Fanfiction Alert)
Batbooks: "She was more than just 'Robin'"
Birds of Prey: "There's only one Doctor Light now."
Blue Beetle: "He'd expected him To be taller"
Green Lantern Corps: "Vuldar reclaims her wayward children, eventually"
Green Lantern Corps (II): "Our common enemy is named Sinestro."
Ion: "All colors fade beneath green's glow"
Justice Society: "Sleep eternal is the true dream"
Robin: "But Janet Drake was my mother..."
Superbooks: "All golden lads and lasses must..."
Supergirl: "Jor-El always had a back-up plan."
Beyond: "The Universe in a man's pocket."
New Excalibur: "His older sister is even worse."
Young Avengers: "Phyla, meet your little brother, Teddy."
This is way WAY too much fun!
Wait, Wait, WHAT?
Harry Dresden rides an undead dinosaur.
An UNDEAD DINOSAUR.
As in a DINOSAUR THAT IS UNDEAD. A ZOMBIE DINOSAUR.
Dude. The only way that could be better is if it's a nazi dinosaur too. (Or if it was resurrected and ridden by a nazi first, I'm not picky.
There's a Zombie Dinosaur.
Okay, there goes my good intentions of not getting sucked into a new series. I HAVE to read it now.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
EiE: Infusing Estrogen in the JSA, Shining Knight
I was thinking though, from my vantage point of only reading the mini-series, that the new Shining Knight would be a good addition to the JSA.
For me, the real criteria to be a JSA hero is to have some sort of familial or legacy connection to the Golden Age. Ystin is stretching that definition a little, as the Camelot she comes from actually predates Justin's. And the two have not, at least as far as I have read, met.
However, there are quite a few legacy heroes that haven't interacted much with their predecessor and I think it would be pretty easy to write a quick crossover story with both of them that includes some sort of symbolic passing of the torch scene. That way there's a bit more of an "official" legacy tie.
I really like Ystin and I want her to succeed as a character. That said, I think she'd be better suited for a group book at the moment as opposed to an individual. This way she can hopefully build up enough of a fanbase to warrant a new comic. Also I'd like to see how challenges like the language barrier and strangeness of the new culture impact her in a group situation.
I think as a character, Ystin would benefit from a group. It would give her some support, which as a fourteen year old (fifteen now?) in a strange world, would be very necessary. And I think the JSA would be the best choice for a number of reasons.
The JLA is a team that tends to be portrayed as very iconic. Have a huge alien invasion, it's the big guns that you call first. The trinity. They're very grandiose.
In contrast, the JSA deals with serious threats, but on a more personal, down-to-earth level. The themes of the JSA are family and legacy. Thus most of the main villains have very personal ties to members of the team. Their fights tend to take place on Earth (or a pocket dimension) and the interrelationships of the characters even start to take on a family dynamic. (Poor Jay is always stuck as the mom.)
I personally think that Shining Knight is a character that would more suit the second. In her miniseries, her fights were less earth-shattering than they were personal. Gloriana Tenebriae's exposure and humiliation of Ystin was something beyond a standard villain taunting the hero bit. Galahad as a fighting opponent was very personal in a way that the JLA tends to avoid while the JSA embraces.
In January, Ragnell posted an awesome analysis of Shining Knight #4 as symbolic of the ordeal of puberty for a young woman. I have the first comment, which I'm going to basically repeat here because I can.
The thing that makes the miniseries work so well as a puberty-allegory is how alone Ystin is. Her isolation resonates emotionally with the isolation felt during that stage of life. However, that story is told. She's passed the point of no return. Once you've crossed that stage of development, you can't go back.
So now there's no reason to be isolated. In fact, part of being a young adult is to find out your new place and new relationships with your family now that you're no longer a child. Ystin's actual family might be dead, but that doesn't mean she couldn't forge new familial bonds.
The JSA would be good for that. Making the assumption that this cover is an accurate representation of at least part of the JSA roster, she's already got a plethora of surrogate siblings to choose from. Jay and Alan will, I'd imagine, resume their semi-parental roles to the group. Ted and Carter would be something like erratic uncles.
It does make me regret (more) the loss of Hippolyta though, because out of anyone who could take the girl under her wing, she'd be a fantastic choice. Even if Camelot and Themyscira are nothing alike, she'd also understand what it's like to be a stranger in a strange land. And they could practice sword drills together!
Even so, Power Girl is no slouch in the inspiring, nurturing role model department either. And I think Courtney would really shine if she had the chance to be a big sister to another hero. Playing the tour guide to teenage life in the twenty-first century is a role that I think would suit her. Also I think she'd make a remarkably good older sister figure. Besides, Courtney wears responsibility very well.
Also the JSA is used to time travellers. While none of them are from anything close to Ystin's time, many do understand the feeling of waking up in what amounts to an alien world. If anyone could sympathize, they could.
And Mr. Terrific could so invent a translator or something until she learned the language.
I just think it would fit really well. And we need more kickass women with swords, damnit. Swords are COOL. :-)
...Hmm. Hope she lives.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Because Searches are Funny
Today, however, is not that day.
Instead, I'm going to be terribly unoriginal (not to mention lazy) and post the last seventeen searches that got to my blog. Courtesy of Statcounter:
Of the last 17 people who came to my blog...
-Four of you came looking for "kalinara".
Congratulations! You found me!
-Two of you came looking for "virgin whore costume"
I'd actually like to know what a virgin whore costume would look like. I mean, how would you tell? Is it like a pinafore with fishnets? Or a hooker outfit complete with own hymen?
-One person came for "little lolita"
Sorry, I don't post THAT much about Supergirl. (Sorry, couldn't resist)
-One person wanted "hot elf girls naked".
Don't we all?
-One person queries "do men want virgins or sluts?"
Dear, let me tell you, as someone without a penis and thus without any real qualifications for answering this question:
They want virgins. But only if they'll put out.
-One came looking for "fizzy puzzles"
I thought I was the only one to have trouble opening alka-seltzer bottles.
-One is looking for "superhero cameos in the sandman"
Ooh! Actually comic related! Sadly, I've never cared much for any non-Doddsian Sandman, so I don't know. Good luck with that though!
-One is looking for "designated sidekick"
Sorry, you took a wrong turn. You want to go here.
I'm prettier though. :-P
-One seeks "nick fury hookers".
Hmm. Well. I don't know terribly much about Fury, but from the bits I've seen it doesn't sound completely implausible.
Though honestly "nick fury hookers" sounds like a team name. Or possibly a marching band.
-One wants "1930 pornography"
Actually, I did see a pornographic silent movie from the twenties once. It was weird. And when the words appeared on the screen, they were in French. So I missed out on the story.
Then again, it was porn.
-Another sought "mangas beautiful pretty"
As a tip, from a person with a Japanese degree, manga's plural is "manga". Please don't make the Kalinara wince.
-And here's one for "shampoo commercial girls"
You know their hair looks so pretty because of hours with a personal stylist, right? V05 is only for us peons.
-And last but not least "ass mans paradise"
I'm always surprised by how little this one actually comes up. It always seems as though it should be more frequent.
--Hopefully there'll be something of substance tomorrow. :-) Maybe. Probably not.
Labels: search results
Friday, October 27, 2006
Why I Can't Read Ragnell's Blog When Sleep-Deprived:
I can totally picture the JSA having pictures of everyone in the whole damned DCU with one sentence to some up each of them.
Which of course lead me to invent my own. Some of which may actually be funny. (But probably not)
Hal Jordan: Will-Working Concussion-Bait
Oliver Queen: Loud, Liberal Archer
Superman: Goody-Goody Hick with a Messiah Complex
Batman: Meglomaniac in a Batsuit
Sand: Frequently-Disrobed Sandmonster
Diana: Amazonian Bondage-Queen, I mean Princess.
Oracle: l33t h4xx0r pwns j00
Kyle Rayner: Metrosexual Artist Lucks Out
John Stewart: Not Hal, Not Kyle, The Other One.
Phantom Lady: Physicist, Model, Auton
Nightwing: Angstier Than You.
Superboy Prime: Teenage Superman With Added Emo
Aquaman: Not As Lame As He Sounds
Guy Gardner: Proof of God's Sense of Humor
...this is far more fun than it should be.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Random Blatherings about the Gen-X pilot
The more dubious the quality the better. (That JLA pilot is a thing of wonder)
So when my roommate managed to track down a copy of that reputedly god-awful Generation X pilot. You know I had to watch.
My Reactions/Opinions. In no particular order:
--First, Banshee was hot. Incredibly hot. Sure he didn't look anything like the comic version. I don't care. He was hot.
--Screaming power always looks cool. It's been cool since Catalina on Space Cases. If I had a mutant power, that'd be what I'd want.
--His "accent", however, made my ears bleed.
--Emma's accent was horrid as well, but I will hear no ill word against Finola Hughes. As she is Teh Awesome.
--That wig was pretty bad though.
--Jubilee really should have been asian. You can't tell me they couldn't find some half-talented Chinese-American (or Chinese-Canadian as the case may be) actress to play her.
--I want to slap Skin. Angsty tool.
--I'm also disturbed by the way a supposed hero was perfectly okay with the fact that the girl he's dating was basically brainwashed into liking him.
--I really want to slap Skin.
--Mondo was funny though.
--I get why they couldn't use Husk or Chamber, given how high-budget the effects for their powers would be. But did they have to make the Husk-stand-in so bland?
--I liked the Chamber stand-in though.
--Emma and Banshee had a nice rapport though. It was kind of hot. I always regretted that their relationship didn't last.
--The villain was colorful and over the top, a good thing, but in general I thought the dreamscape plot was really freaking lame.
--And I'm someone who actually *liked* the JLA "Weatherman" plot.
--I really really liked their take on M. She was incredibly amusing. Too bad she didn't get to do much.
--So WHY did Emma keep the dream chair at the mansion?
--In the end though, it was STILL better than Mutant X.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Curse My Weak Will:
I'm a tagalong.
It's all her fault.
Stupid writing ambition.
This is going to kill me.
One dead Kalinara.
I hate you all.
Okay. I probably don't.
But yeah. Dead.
Dead, dead, dead.
How do I get myself into these things?
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Beefcake/Cheesecake Appreciation Week Round-Up!
If you know of any I've missed, let me know so I can add it to both lists!
10+ Hottest Male Heroes (here is a list of the ladies)
Aubrey (Anita Blake)
Anita Blake and Liberty Meadows
Batman and Superman (with added Batgirl)
Cyclops and Jean Grey
Cyclops, Jean Grey and Xavier's floating head
Dan DeCarlo art
Gameboy Game cover (Non-Comic)
Jack Kamen art
Julia Sawalha (non-comic)
Kids in the Hall (non-comic)
Mr. June (non-comic)
Nightcrawler (from Billi)
Paul Rudd (non-comic)
Power Girl, Fire and Ice
Projectra and Mon-El
Rogue, Harley Quinn, Aunt May
Saturn Girl and Shrinking Violet
Schoolgirl Witchblade statue
Monday, October 23, 2006
On the Star-Studded Swimsuit
When I say interesting, I must be honest, I actually mean hideous. It really is the most hideous thing I could imagine for her.
That's way too much primary color. *Clashing* primary color. It hurts my eyes.
Not to mention, I can't imagine WHY Diana would wear such a thing. I mean, sure the corset and hotpants attire is a little silly. But at least I have a vague idea how it could be considered armor. At least when the corset is properly drawn to look like a breast plate, anyway. Sure, it doesn't do much actual protecting, but honestly, Diana is invulnerable. She doesn't NEED much protecting. She can go out fighting in a glorified bathing suit.
The linked costume though? The cape HAS to get in the way when fighting the way Diana does. (She's a hand to hand fighter with a smaller reach than most male opponents. The cape would just be something they could grab and trap her.) And as for the costume itself, it's not only ugly, it's also constricting. Assuming that it's unstable molecules, or whatever the DC equivalent is supposed to be, and actually does provide some armor, it's still got to be uncomfortable. I mean, it's fine for a woman like Sue Storm or Jean Grey. But Diana doesn't NEED that protection.
In a way, oddly. Diana's bathing suit has always set her apart for me. In a good way. I mean, okay, the men don't show the same amount of skin, and that's hardly fair. But Diana's costume means something to me aside from just indicating her physical invulnerability. In this climate, where it sometimes seems like a woman can't cross the street in a parka and snowsuit without being accosted by someone, it becomes even more a symbol of power to me.
Diana doesn't need to fear the eyes of men. She doesn't need to hide. She doesn't need to worry if that guy looking to long across the street is going to try something. She can run around in a bathing suit and fight crime if that's what she wants to do, because it's comfortable, it doesn't hinder her movements, and because it's cute.
I don't know if a man can really understand my feelings about this. I don't mean to be sexist, it's just...
My whole life, I grew up hearing "it could happen to you". I've heard all the statistics and the warnings from well-meaning parents, teachers, guidance counselors, resident advisors, over and over again.
"Never leave your drink unattended."
"Don't go off alone with a stranger."
"Don't accept rides from strangers."
"Always tell someone where you're going."
"Always bring a friend."
"Don't walk by the river after dark."
And so on. It's all sensible advice of course. Good to know. Wise to follow. And we all know why too.
We've also all heard the defense of "Look at how she was dressed! She was asking for it!"
I'm not saying, of course, that guys don't get raped, but I don't think that the average guy can quite understand what it's like to live with that constant awareness.
That's why the image of Wonder Woman is so powerful for me. She's my ultimate feminine power fantasy. She's powerful. She's respected. She's dignified. She's one of the three biggest names in the entire DCU. She gets to kick ass and take names. And she does it all in a bathing suit.
Now, I'm not saying I want all female characters to be dressed like that. I LIKE bodysuits and protective clothing that looks like it could actually protect. I prefer to have most of my heroines covered up. It's more sensitive and usually looks better.
But Diana is special. Please leave her alone.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Beefcake/Cheesecake Appreciation Week, Day Nana!
Jason Blood strapped half-naked to a table. It's not the first time it happened, it's not the last. But it is nice to look at.
Anyway, B/C week might be done here at PFP, but don't let me stop you from having fun with it! It's been great seeing everyone's entries! I'm gonna try to get a link list up soon that has everyone's! If you'd like to make sure I don't forget you, feel free to leave the URL in the comments of one of my Week posts. I'll make sure you get added!
(Panel courtesy of Demon: Driven Out #4)
Saturday, October 21, 2006
B/C Appreciation Week! Day...um...sechs!
Ferrous Buller's contribution!
Friday, October 20, 2006
B/C Appreciation Week, Day E.
(Or rather, I decided to interpret it that way because I'm tired and lazy and more people should enjoy this image anyway. :-))
From Green Lantern Annual #6:
Kyle Rayner dazed in a loincloth!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
B/C Appreciation Week Day IV
Does it count as cheesecake when they're unconscious?
Regardless, I really like this image. The ripped clothing's a bit gratuitous...(honestly, either it's made of unstable molecules and grew *with* her, or it didn't. In which case, it can't grow at all. No decorative ripping!)
That said, I think the image is oddly pretty. I have an odd appreciation of size-shifters that remain in scale when they grow. It creates such a lovely juxtaposition sometimes. Like here, with Hulkling against her hand. Or in the Avengers animated cartoon, when Hank collapses and Jarvis runs out worried and his height is the same as the width of Hank's forehead.
The image is like an old fairy story. The normal sized person surrounded by tiny magical people. Or Liliputians. Whatever.
I just like the image. :-) It's pretty!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
My Heartfelt Appreciation
I have no opinion of whether one is better than the other. I have no interest in said subject and if it weren't for the fact that the various discussions surrounding made for a workable Point/Counterpoint piece for Newsarama, I would have been comfortable enough not acknowledging it at all.
However, this post from Occasional Superheroine has finally mattered enough to me to provoke a response.
I have a lot of respect for the proprietor of this blog. She's thoughtful and intelligent, fun to read. But this entry did something very few things over the internet are capable of doing for me.
This entry sent me into a BLIND CAPS-LOCK ABUSING RAGE.
It's a novel feeling, one that is rare and thus appreciated.
So I thank you for that.
Thank you, for belittling the sincere efforts of female comics fans in making our voices heard.
Thank you, for implying that the sole reason any of us complain about matters such as the over use of rape or dehumanization of female characters is out of some sort of misguided attempt to change the industry.
Thank you, for not acknowledging that sometimes we express our horror, anger or disgust simply because the object deserves to have such feelings expressed.
Thank you, for caricaturing the whole of online comics feminism into a blind, regulation happy, creativity stifling bunch of feminazis who can only be happy with a list of impossible, idiotic rules.
Thank you, for reducing us into some sort of hive mind that all blindly rage at the same issues with the same priorities.
Thank you, for including on the aforementioned list of rules, that no woman should be portrayed above a C-cup, which, when considering that real women do occasionally exceed this measurement, satirizes us as misogynistic and self-hating as well
Thank you, for constructing this image that is so very much like those that our opponents use to deride and lambast all those who take up the feminist cause.
Thank you, for providing our opponents with another weapon to use against us.
Thank you, for reminding me of my feminist pride.
Because, frankly put, I don't care about "How to Make Money Like a Porn Star". I don't care about "Lost Girls". I DO care about feminism. I may not be as outspoken or direct as most. But I AM a feminist and I'm proud of that.
And I don't care to be derided, caricaturized or belittled, not even by one of my own.
Beefcake/Cheesecake Appreciation Week: Day Three
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Beefcake/Cheesecake Appreciation Week: Day 2
Power Girl in her underwear.
Yeah, it's a little gratuitous. But hey, at least there's a reason for her to be in her skivvies, as opposed to certain others.
What I like about the image is the, well, power inherent in her stance and in her frame. She might be sans clothing, but it's not phasing her. She's not embarrassed or awkward. She's matter-of-fact, confident without flaunting or posing, and no-nonsense without looking the least bit over-sensitive or over-defensive.
And her muscle tone! This is a woman who could kick your ass without breaking a sweat or a nail. I've always liked that about Power Girl. And in this image, it's really obvious how powerful a frame she has. She is built to support her always-admirable assets. Her hair is pretty too.
Also, last but not least. Her underwear is not only attractive but also ACTUALLY SENSIBLE! How cool is that?!
Monday, October 16, 2006
Cheesecake/Beefcake Appreciation Week!
We're going to post and/or link some of our favorite cheesecake or beefcake images everyday this week! Come join in! It'll be fun!
For my inaugural post, I'm going to link this from Flidget Jerome!
Because Sand - clothes = A Very Good Thing
Sunday, October 15, 2006
There Are No Lions Here
They were very eloquent, well reasoned arguments, but something about them left a mildly bad taste in my mouth. I decided to file it aside for later thought.
Very recently I found myself revisiting the idea in my mind. On one level, I sympathize completely. It absolutely sucks to see one's belief system and life-path reduced to a caricature. I've complained about that very thing in my post about Catholicism. It's not fun and can be downright meanspirited.
So I sympathized with the bloggers in that sense, but there was something about their entries that grated on me. A sense of persecution that left a bad aftertaste. Not all of the complaints were like this, of course, but there were quite a few that seemed to be claiming victimhood.
And I'm sorry, but when you are a member of the dominant religion of this country. When your religious creed is regularly used to deny basic human rights to a group of people (regardless of whether you yourself believes this is right or wrong). When people have to fight to keep a scientifically supported theory like evolution taught in science class over religious doctrine and to keep organized institutionalized prayer out of public schools...
Then you can NOT play the victim card here. You CAN'T. Your religion runs this country. Your religion is being shoved down the religious minority's throats every minute of every day. Even if it were true that Christianity is unfairly portrayed in this one area, you still hold dominion over every other aspect of our lives!
Besides, I'm reasonably certain that if you got the major decision making personnel of Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse and so on together and asked each one what their religion is, the majority of them would answer some denomination of Christianity. This is hardly astonishing as Christianity is the dominant religion of this country.
(At the risk of making swift generalizations, I don't think it's a stretch to imagine men named "Didio" and "Quesada" were at least raised Christian, regardless of their religions now.)
Actually, I'm not even sure that the complaint ultimately holds weight. I mean, sure, those mean intolerant preacher caricatures are infuriating, but let's look for a moment at Adherent.com's website cataloging the religious affiliations of comic book characters.
This site is incredibly useful because it categorizes all of the superheroes by their religious affiliations as established in the comics themselves. If you click on the links provided, you'll see that they've gathered a variety of evidence for each, based on creator quotes, scholarly theories, and examples within the text/graphics themselves.
Now, I'd estimate 1/2 to 2/3 of the names on that list to be some denomination of Christianity. Admittedly, the amount that they practice within the text can be debatable. But still the number of Christian heroes vastly outnumber those of any other religion.
Sure, we rarely see outward expressions of faith by these characters. Except for celebration of Christmas, naturally, or the giant church scene in Infinite Crisis. But we rarely see a Jewish person do anything more than wear a Star of David or light a menorah. Diana gets a little more focus on her pagan religion, sure, but given that the gods created her... It's really not any more focus though, than is received by characters such as the Spectre, Zauriel or Peter David's Supergirl, all of whom became living representatives of a (usually) benevolent Judeo-Christian God.
Even the atheists don't get very much lip-service, honestly. When they do, it's designed to contrast them as a minority against the rest of the DCU. That's hardly counting.
I can see why this can lead to the desire to show more outwardly religious characters in the DCU. And I'm always glad to see that sort of character exploration.
But when you think about it, most of these characters are already living up to the ideals of the Christian religion. They're just, kind, brave. They protect the weak. They act with honor. They do unto others and all that.
Basically, they're living the Christian ideal already. In as much as anyone humanly can.
Finally, there is one main reason that I think the complaints ultimately lose momentum...
According to Adherents.com, Superman is a Methodist. While it's not overtly stated in the text, as far as I know, it's pretty clearly a part of the man's life. We've seen him enter into religious dialogues with clergymen. We've seen him attend church. We've seen that he does NOT drink alcohol.
He's pretty clearly portrayed as a quietly pious religious devotee. Perhaps not all the scripture means everything that it once may have, but the spirit is clearly there.
And he's brave, wise, true. He makes mistakes, but only out of the best of intentions. He believes in the goodness of people, in helping where needed and stepping back to let people live their own lives.
He's tolerant. He makes a very visible effort to respect everyone's different beliefs. He's attended Shabbos dinner and made a very sincere attempt in following the customs that were very different from his own.
Superman is one character, yes, but he is the flagship character. Superman IS DC Comics. The image of Superman standing on the world, cape waving like an American Flag. That's an image recognized by people all over the world. He is SUPERMAN.
And he's one hell of a good Christian.
I admit, Superman and other devout Christian heroes will never get the attention with regards to their religion that the loud, obnoxious preacher gets. When people think of Christianity in comics, they're not going to think of the good guys, of the moderates and the temperates, tolerants and true. They're going to think of that raving preacher, threatening fire and brimstone, demonized for hatred and intolerance.
They do say that Art is a mirror of Life.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
A Legacy I'd Like To See...
Now, being the legacy nut that I am, I really *really* want to see someone new take on the name in Richard Stanton's honor (making up for being reduced to a birdcage joke, hmph.)
It occurred to me though, honestly, in today's society, a man dressing like an old woman to stop crime is simply not edgy enough. As entertaining as *I* find the idea, my generation is a jaded, cynical bunch.
So my suggestion is to take one of those cracked out gender-shifting type plots and make it a reality. Make the new Madame Fatal a man somehow transformed or brain-switched into a female body.
Maybe borrow a page from Ghost in the Shell, and have it be an android body. The persona occupying it would be male of course. :-)
It's really easy to fuck this sort of thing up, I admit, but it could be an interesting way to play with gender perspectives. How people react differently to men and women. Things like that.
And heck, I'm a gamer, I've seen the kinds of female characters that men seem to like to play in RPGs...we wouldn't need an excuse for a very skimpy showy costume.
Okay, I admit it. I only want to make this character to poke fun at the gamer guys. :-) But I think he/she could be fun!
Friday, October 13, 2006
A Character I Don't Get...Deadpool...
Deadpool. Wade Wilson. Whatever. I simply do not get this character.
I don't HATE him and there are times in his comic that I do find myself giggling, but in general, I'm completely apathetic towards him. I have no emotional attachment, and while good jokes can make up for that, I'd quickly begun finding the humor repetitive and tiresome.
Maybe I'm just reading the wrong comic or I've missed that one must-read comic that even the worst character has that finally makes them click. I don't know, but I'm definitely missing something here.
Anyway, can any Marvel fan help me out here? Am I the only one to not care for Deadpool? Can any of you help me appreciate this character?
I do like the yellow speech balloons.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
More Multiverse Ramblings...
I haven't seen the hardcover myself, as it costs money I don't have at the moment, but these quote changes intrigue me.
I actually thought I'd be more vexed about the idea of a reformed E-2, but I'm not. This is probably though because of my own argument here.
Because they don't seem to be re-dividing Earth-New to do it. Manhunter with her very strong JSA/All-Star Squadron ties is clearly on the same Earth as the Wonder Woman that killed Max Lord. Her compatriot Obsidian is in the JSA. Mr. Terrific and Alan Scott are in Checkmate, Terrific's in Action Comics. Jay's in the Flash.
So...it's all good.
In fact, I think it could be great. Suddenly I want to know what would happen if this modern JSA that I love so much could actually meet the pre-Crisis versions...or their descendants/successors. Is there a Kal-L alive there? How does being on a different world with (probably) no JLA successors change them? Is there a Huntress and Dick Grayson there, to finally make the old fanboys happy?
Where will Power Girl decide to go?
It might be a trick. It very likely is a trick. But I'm interested nonetheless.
(As long as MY JSA, the REAL JSA as far as I'm concerned, gets to stay as forerunners and legends on Earth-new. :-) I'm biased.)
This intrigues me.
(Edited to Add: Ooo. I just had a thought. What if on Earth-2 there is a Jade still alive. What would it do to OUR Alan (that is Earth-new, no Superman in the Society Alan...I'm possessive) to find out that another version of him did not lose his child...THAT could be cool!)
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
In Defense of the Space Bug:
The accusation was that through the retcons of Parallax and Arisia, as well as the resurrection of most of the dead Lanterns, Johns was robbing Hal of any sort of flaw or accountability of his actions. Stripping him down into some perfect fanboy-ish ideal.
Which is an accusation that befuddles me, for a number of reasons.
While I understand not liking Hal as a character, nor Johns's writing style (he does often have problems, I think, with pacing and dialogue), the complaint that Johns is removing all of Hal's flaws and mistakes simply doesn't fly with me.
Because Hal Jordan is not a ten year old character. Yes, retconning Parallax into a possession story, Arisia into an adult and restoring many of the lost Lanterns removes many of the character's more unappealing developments, to make the argument that it destroys who the character is completely ignores the fact that this is a character that had been in existance more than thirty years before Emerald Twilight.
And anyone who thinks that Hal was somehow a flawless character before then really needs to whip out Showcase and read again.
Hal Jordan is a character that is arrogant and egotistical. He believes he knows what is best and his confidence unshakable, even in the face of wiser/more knowledgeable people's disapproval. He is controlling with power issues. He is occasionally blind and presumptive, and completely self-centered. And he doesn't tend to learn from his mistakes until they're slapped in his face more than once. He can be really freakin' stupid. Also, karma visits him on his bad behavior by hitting him in the head. A Lot.
Despite a history of questionable judgements, Hal Jordan continues to defy his superiors at any given moment when he believes he knows what is best. He'll lie to co-workers and friends to ensure they come on career-risking missions with him (and it doesn't matter if Guy would have come along anyway and knew Hal was lying. It doesn't change that Hal lied.) He immediately believes that Batman's legitimate misgivings about a mind-controlling entity are expressions of personal dislike. He even presumed to make a "perfect world" hallucination for his friend...one that was lacking because he didn't truly understand him. He also lacks the trust enough to get close to any of his military co-workers, instead choosing meaningless empty one night stands in an effort to drown out his problems rather than deal with them. And he ends up banging his head on the Batmobile because he's too damn dumb to strap in (or, for that matter to keep his ring on a military flight.)
I'm not condemning the character, but when I read those examples over, I see Hal Jordan. It's the same man who used his sexual attraction to Carol to try to make her do what he wanted, who played endless games with his identity because it gave him an edge over her. He recruits an acquaintance as a successor/partner, without ever revealing his own identity, insuring that they'd never be on equal footing. It's a man who presumed John Stewart's passionate disagreement was an expression of personal dislike. That Guy Gardner's injury related insanity was the same sort of thing. He's a man who drowned out grief and guilt through marrying another man's fiancee. He's a man who drifted from job to job, girlfriend to girlfriend, directionless, rather than truly face his real problems with the military, with Carol, with anything else.
Even just taking this tiny handful of events, altogether, I'd say that we're looking at the same man here. A flawed, even occasionally dislikeable man who really doesn't learn from his mistakes. But has charm and genuine feeling for the people around him.
His succumbing to Parallax was one event, his dating of Arisia also one event, and I'm not sure how changing those really alters the whole.
Especially when the Parallax retcon does NOT actually absolve Hal Jordan of guilt of anything but the worst atrocities. The idea portrayed in the comic book is that Parallax begin influencing him somewhere around the time he got the grey streaks, but it did not take full control until HAL JORDAN destroyed his Oan battery prison. That means that as much as Parallax might have been a voice whispering in his ear, Hal was still responsible for everything that happened until that point.
Which is enough, honestly. The other Lanterns' suspicion of him is warranted. He's a man that lost control. Hell, the Parallax retcon actually exposes Hal as the weakest of the Lanterns. Parallax was in that prison for millions of years and the only person it could influence enough to actually release him is Hal Jordan. Hal gave in. Hal was the ONLY person to give in, in millions of years. That's what I find fascinating.
If anyone came out of Rebirth or Green Lantern with an elevated, exalted status it's Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner. Kyle for being the only one to never succumb to the influence of a demon that when freed could possess a Guardian. And Guy for being the one who forgives. In exchange for Hal's obvious lies, he follows the man into the void and after all's done, he covers for Hal and takes punishment in his place.
I think it's pretty obvious who shines as the better man here, and it's not the star of the book.
The resurrection of the Lanterns doesn't actually take any guilt off Hal's head either. Hal believes he killed them, remembers killing some of them. And they seem to remember that as well. And even if you don't look at it that way, he's still not absolved, as these characters' capture and torture by the Manhunters is something that he, at least indirectly, bears some responsibility for.
The thing is though, the two major retcons, Parallax-as-possession and Arisia-as-adult are incredibly necessary if one is to keep Hal Jordan as a hero. Because, Guy and Kyle aside, what he'd done as Parallax was pretty close to unforgivable and it's debatable how functional Hal could be as a hero without the background circumstances changed. The gray-hair signifying growing influence also allows us to smooth away other occasions which took Hal above and beyond his usual flaws into an outright hateable human being.
And as for Arisia. We had a hero dating a hyperaged 13 year old girl. Which is A Problem. No matter how you spin it. This way, it's much cleaner and Hal can get the borderline-pedophile stain off his character.
Hal isn't flawless. The narrative actually calls him on this. Hal's being placed in the underdog position as a consequence of his own actions and it makes for fascinating reading because he's never been in that situation really. Ever.
The past isn't being ignored and Hal isn't being idolized. Kyle's still around, Guy's still around, and solicits promise that John not only will be around but will have a damn good reason for being absent.
It's a good time to be a Lantern fan. :-)
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Multiverse Musings: Incoherency Warning
I like the sense of legacy and direct inspiration available that way. Also, I like having a world where Jay Garrick can raise Barry Allen's grandson, where Hal Jordan's successor can date Alan Scott's daughter. I like the thought of the JSA as the forerunners with the JLA as the heavy hitters. It makes for an interesting balance and a sense of lineage that works much better for me than Barry Allen getting his code name from a comic book. (Wouldn't Clark or Bruce or Diana have noticed that the other comic book characters/their E-2 counterparts, had the same secret identity names?!)
That and I'd really rather not see the Earth-2 characters shunted aside, because that would get real annoying. I'd much rather see them interact, at least, sporadically, with their Earth-1/New Earth Counterparts...without the need for dimensional travel being referenced.
I'm particularly glad that at least right now, no one but Power Girl seems to remember the split Earths. This is just a personal thing, but I never liked the thought of Superman and Batman in the JSA. I think they tend to overshadow the other characters. Besides. They WEREN'T in the original JSA anyway. Hmph. I also like Hippolyta a lot, and think she's much more in spirit with the original Diana. I like that Hippolyta is remembered as Hippolyta, and that the heroism of the JSA isn't pinned on a man in blue and red tights.
But that doesn't mean I'm against the thought of a multiverse in general. Because a multiverse could be FUN. I LOVE Elseworlds. And I've always liked the "for want of a nail" sorts of scenarios. What if a character turned right instead of left?
I think they should be used sporadically though. While it's lots of fun to shove a character into a different dimension, where everything is familiar, yet different, too often loses the impact.
But it can be lots of fun! (Hal Jordan falling into a world where Parallax never struck and Kyle Rayner is eevil! I'd read that!)
Also it allows for the opportunity of some Nocturne-esque fucked up offspring possibilities to break people's brains with. (Nocturne= AU kid of Kurt Wagner and Wanda Maximoff). There's some hilarious and/or terrifying potential there. Like...what if Guy Gardner and Amanda Waller ever had a kid?
...hmm, maybe it'd be better if we just stuck to a universe for now, after all...
Monday, October 09, 2006
But this makes me feel just a little vindicated. :-)
That said, I'm not sure how successful this attempt at crossover marketing will be. As much as the similarities between comics and soap operas should actually appeal to that audience, I'm not sure the format does.
The common soap opera audience person tends to read for escapism, usually things like romance novels. An audience that spends 7 bucks on a romance novel may not be inclined to shell out 3 for something much much shorter. Trade Paperbacks might have better luck, being a longer story for their money.
Getting them introduced to comics that might appeal to their kids might be a good plan. I'm a little concerned about the negative stigma still surrounding comics though. There's still the notion that comics are "junk reading" and like video games, any positive effect they might have on a kid's willingness to read tends to be over looked.
Still, despite my cynical doubts, I'm really happy to see the attempt at least. I hope it works!
Labels: soap operas
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Why Captain America is a better mentor than GA Batman...
In the Golden Age, Captain America was a better mentor than Batman.
If this were Batman, he'd have made Robin wear the corset. But Steve? If anyone is going to dress up like a woman, it's going to be him.
It's his patriotic duty!
Man, that's one ugly woman.
(picture from Captain America Comics #2, and ganked from here.)
Saturday, October 07, 2006
The impossible has happened.
There was no way, I thought, that Dick Grayson, as he's become could ever be salvaged, even if I did like those brief scenes in Obsidian Age or Infinite Crisis.
I was wrong.
Or maybe I was right.
I've heard Nightwing #125 was basically Dick Grayson of 20 years ago instead of Dick Grayson today. I can see that actually. He very much resembled, for me, the Dick Grayson I saw in A Lonely Place of Dying.
And that was, I think, the best thing Wolfman could have done.
This Dick Grayson...I LIKE this Dick Grayson. He's competent. He's smart. He's got a little angst, but he's dealing with it. He's making proactive choices to improve his life instead of just reacting to the bad stuff.
He's got a sense of humor!
My god, I never realized how much I missed Dick Grayson's sense of humor. Oh you wonderful thing, what HAPPENED to you?!
The comic was a bit slow, but I liked it. I thought the bits with Dick figuring out his civilian life were great. The two new girls are interesting.
I didn't even mind the gratuitous shower scenes. Because for the first time, they weren't of a character I despise.
THIS is what Nightwing OYL should have been all along. Dick finding his footing again. Dick with some confidence, ready and able to face the world on his terms. This is Robin grown-up damnit. This is a man I could believe to be Batman's first and best son, a man respected by the whole DCU, an experienced veteran of weirdness by the age of 25 or so. And I like him.
I really like him. I want to read more about him. I want to know what job he gets. I want to see him figure out the bad guy. I want to see where things go with those girls.
I don't hate Nightwing. This blows my mind.
(I still think Dick/Babs doesn't work. But I'm starting to understand what Kory sees in him.)
Labels: dick grayson
Friday, October 06, 2006
That's not something I'm particularly proud of, but hey, I was five. I named my cat Glimmer. I was a baby fangirl.
Anyway, I've always been a bit more of a He-Man fan but this is great too. I'd buy it even if only for her origin movie, which had been the first thing I'd ever seen in which the female character consistantly shared equal importance in status with the male, first as an enemy then as an ally. It would have been so easy to end up relegating her into a sidekick status (since obviously the twin thing makes "love interest" not an option) but she was never anything but partner.
Also I always kind of thought Adam and Bow hit it off a little too well. Glimmer might want to rethink her options...
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Random Thought About Outsiders:
Is it wrong that my first thought while closing the book is that either Anissa or Grace is going to end up dead?
Maybe I've gotten a little cynical in my old age...
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Necromancy for Dummies?
It could be debated as to whether or not this is a good thing, but as it's a fact of comics, it's probably not going to change.
But I'm curious, out of everyone dead (or in limbo) right now, who would you most want to bring back and how/why?
For me, it's a very tough choice honestly. I love Ted Kord very much, I think Kon-El brings a rarely explored dimension to Clark and Lex, and Katma Tui totally got gypped...
But weirdly, I think the first person I'd want to bring back is Jade. Because Jade to me is all about missed opportunities. She'd have glimmerings of being interesting, but she'd end up stuck in the same damn ill-suited role. She's the sort of character concept though, that really could be made something of. (I know I have my own ideas.)
She's the daughter of Alan Scott with Green powers. A normal girl who, one day, finds herself green, with magic, and the equivalent of a superheroic princess with a confused/messed-up twin brother. She was interesting from that perspective and I always thought it was such a mistake making her Kyle Rayner's exotic girlfriend or saddling her with the Corps concept. She's not a Corps character and not suited for it, she should be on Earth. But I digress.
In his JSA story arc for One Year Later, Paul Levitz did what I thought was impossible. He took Jade, as she was, without any sort of abrupt change in her character or plot-related growth, and made her likeable and appealing. I wasn't a huge fan of the rest of the storyarc, but I was intrigued by that Jade. I want to meet that Jade.
Heck, if Obsidian can be redeemed in my eyes (I'd initially NOT been terribly fond of the character in JSA, but now that he seems to have made the effort of getting therapy and finding happiness in Manhunter, I love him), then Jade definitely has a chance.
She's Alan's daughter with green magic powers! There is nothing about that that isn't cool.
As to how I'd bring her back. Well honestly, it'd be pretty easy. We already saw her interact before. And we've seen Kyle create constructs of split personalities. So really it seems like it'd be really simple. There'd just need to be a way to make a constructed body permanent. Magic maybe. Some talisman? I'm sure something cool could be used.
The one catch is that her powers are in Kyle now. But then the Pulse/Starheart magic is much more chaotic and "alive" seeming than Oan technology, so perhaps it could be explained like that. The power changes and grows, so that even though she gave most of her power to him, she had enough left to regenerate it back somehow. Or her dad's own nature helped with that somehow.
It's comics. It doesn't need a terribly comprehensible explanation. :-P
Anyway, it's weird. There are a lot of dead characters I like a lot more than Jade. I don't even like Jade very much. But ultimately, I think her fate offends my sense of fair play. I want to give her a fighting chance to be cool. I want to give her some sort of chance at all.
So yeah, Jade's my first choice. Second is Kreon, because Boudikka without Kreon is like peanut butter without jelly. It's okay on its own but really really works best together.
And he's hot. Yeah. I'm shallow.
Anyway. You know my choices, how about you?
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Random Ridiculous Realization!
Whether you're a housewife (Ma Hunkel), an archeologist (Carter Hall), a train engineer (Alan Scott) or a socialite (pretty much everyone else), if you're in a Golden Age comic, you will invariably kick ass.
Or scream a lot and get kidnapped.
Guess which category Santa Claus falls in:
That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Santa kicks ass.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Ramblings about a Bird in Fishnets
Today I want to try something different.
I always say "It's not about the costumes" but even I have to admit that many times that is what I rant about.
So I thought I'd focus now on a costume that I like. One that is both sexualized and decidedly impractical, but I like it anyway.
I'm talking about Black Canary's costume, specifically the one with the fishnets.
My practicality winces occasionally at the thought of actually fighting crime in those shoes, but honestly, I think it's perfect for Dinah for quite a few reasons:
1. It's honoring her mother. Dinah is one of the few female-to-female legacy characters.
2. It's got an old-time movie appeal to me. Dinah is one of those characters that I tend to think should always be depicted as an old-movie star, like Veronica Lake. (Hal Jordan is another for me. In his case, Cary Grant) One of those classically beautiful women who can make fishnets look classy. Sure her costume is more cabaret than Sunset Boulevard, but I think it fits the overall atmosphere.
3. She's an adult woman. This isn't a sixteen year old engenue wearing a sash with delusions of grandeur around her waist. Dinah is in her thirties, possibly forties (Lazarus youthing not-withstanding), she's experienced and confident. She knows her body and how to dress to impress.
I guess the big difference is that for me, it seems that Dinah is old enough to understand the wardrobe choices she's making instead of performing some adolescent cry for attention.
4. Dinah is a woman that knows her limits. She may sacrifice some practicality for style, but she also knows her skills and capabilities well enough to be able to do this. She is a character that is sometimes flighty, but never stupid, she knows what she can get away with.
5. And this is oddly important to me: She doesn't wear it when it's socially inappropriate.
When Dinah was in the JSA, she wore a plainer no-fishnet ensemble. While it lacked in 40s-ish style, I really liked what the choice seemed to say about her character. The JSA is classy, and even if they probably wouldn't mind what she wears, it seems like a nice show of respect to dress a bit more conservatively. Also she's on a team with men she considers like uncles. It would make sense not to feel the need to show off so much in this case.
While I realize the costume design really didn't have anything to do with the teams she's placed on in the meta, out-of-comic-book sense, I like that I can attribute such a motive to the character herself.
Now that she's not on the JSA anymore, I much prefer her in the fishnets.
6. It's iconic. That's what I think of when I think "Black Canary" and that's not a bad thing.
7. It's genuinely sexy. I have nothing against sexy heroines. As long as the sexiness suits the character. Dinah Lance should be sexy. Supergirl and Stargirl should be cute. Hence I bitch more about Kara. (To be fair, I agree with many: the comic itself IS improving, I'm not completely won over yet...the high school experience portrayed rings a bit oddly to me...an adult trying to evoke a time/mental state he'd left a long time ago. But the comic is definitely on an upward swing.)
Anyway. I like Dinah's costume, just like I like Storm's. I like sexy, showy costumes...when they are pretty and suit the character.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Started off terribly slow, but there were a few twists later that genuinely surprised me. The ending made me go "Whoa".
I've heard actually some complaints about the female characters. One is a cheerleader, frequently in uniform, one is an Internet stripper/single mom. In some sense I see what they're saying, but in the other sense, I think they may be being a little hasty. It's the first half of the first episode after all.
The stripper lady IS pretty cliched down to the uncontrollable, violent power. But the cheerleader really doesn't seem to be the same. She's in uniform because her scenes tend to take place during the day. I admit, I personally hadn't noticed, being too distracted of her pushing her bones back in.
Stripper lady is a martyr doing everything for her son, but the cheerleader is shallow, whiny and very very teenaged. It's not necessarily a pleasant look at adolescence, but it's pretty accurate. I like her so far.
I don't know what to make of tragic painter/heroin addict guy. He's attractive but he seems like he could get old real fast.
Of the two brothers I found the jerky politician brother more interesting than the nurse. But hey, nurse might be pretty but he can't quite match Adrian Pasdar. Besides, I think their family dynamic is more layered than immediately obvious.
Hiro is darling. Genuine enthusiasm!
I think the Kitty Pryde mistake was intentional on the part of the writers. Think about it! What do geeks love most? One-upping people with our geek expertise. So if you can get a thousand geeks to feel superiour watching your show they might come back!
I'd totally do that.
Where are the villains though? Aside from that one guy...and Lex Luthor he isn't.
Well. I'll watch for at least another week. :-)