Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Sunday, August 31, 2008


You know, as excited as I am about the new lego Batman game, being that I enjoy legos period, and the games combine the best part with having legos without the irritation of finding a storage place or losing them, I've never quite understood the point of lego-themed cartoons.

Isn't the point of lego Batman or lego Star Wars to represent the characters/settings/situations and have fun play-acting them? And/or using the pieces to build bizarre and amusing things?

I've never seen the Lego Star Wars cartoon stuff, so maybe there is some weird appeal to them. It still strikes me as very strange however.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chomp Chomp Chomp part II

Yesterday's post led me to youtube where I found this gem of a thing:

Rippy the Gator! In Lego!

Truly there is genius in the world today. <3

Friday, August 29, 2008

Okay, that's hilarious.

You know, I've stopped reading Teen Titans but this account of what just went on in the new issue makes me kind of regret that. Did that really happen? Really?

How twisted a person am I that my first response to that news is "...AWESOME."

Then again, I thought the part where Rippy the Gator ate Isis's brother in 52 was hilarious too. I realize that his name is Sobek, but well, the cheerfully grotesque stylings of the Arrogant Worms win out any day. know, I was going to comment that what happened in Teen Titans might be a wee bit much for a book geared toward young adults. But well, I've always been a little twisted. As a pre-teen/teenager, I think I would have found it very very funny.

Sometimes I think my first impulses to what's "inappropriate" for kids errs on the side of prudishness. Especially once I consider my own childhood. Honestly Summer Camp is infinitely worse on the poor innocent pre-adolescent/adolescent mind than a comic involving a carnivorous pet could ever be.

...and really, this is the same comic that introduced Trigon, Brother Blood, Terra and Deathstroke's inappropriate relationship, and so on, so I suppose freaking out now over these events seems a little silly to me. :-)

Remind me to pick up Teen Titans the next time I'm in the LCS. Heheheh.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In Defense of Rachel Dawes

This post was initially going to be a defense of Pepper Potts in the Iron Man movie, based on what some silly livejournal said about her measuring up poorly to Rachel Dawes. Ultimately I realized that Pepper doesn't need defense, as she is Alfred in high heels, and inherently awesome.

Certainly I think Pepper's the more feminist heroine than Rachel Dawes. But I ultimately think Rachel Dawes doesn't get a fair shake.

I've seen Rachel criticized as, in this movie, being defined solely by her relationship to the men. There's Bechdel rule accusations, and of course, there's the matter of her death.

But I think that simplifies who the character really was.

Rachel Dawes is not defined by her relationship to the men, really, it's the men who are defined by their relationship to HER.

Bruce sees her as his hope for a normal life someday. She's all a part of his fantasy of a Gotham that no longer needs Batman. However, SHE knows that this isn't possible. And when she realizes it, that's when she writes the letter. She was rejecting her role in his fantasy and she was honest enough to say so.

And in the case of Harvey, well, the unfairness of her death was enough to push him over the edge, which is something of a women in refrigerators type thing, except that I don't necessarily think it's that simple.

See, for me, the key to the "woman in refrigerator" trope is that the character is sacrificed for the growth of the male characters. In this case, I don't think that was actually the reason Rachel was sacrificed. I think that her death definitely had an effect on them, sure, but I don't think her death was intended for the reason of making Batman sadder or having Harvey become Two-Face, I believe her death was intended to represent the death of Gotham's Hope.

See, Bruce was blind. He thought that the hero Gotham needed, the hero without a mask, was Harvey Dent. He was wrong. Harvey was a good man, nearly impossibly good, yes. But he was wearing a mask too.

Think about his first appearance. He entered the courtroom late, was flippant, genial and charming. He seemed irreverent, trusting the idea of which lawyer would prosecute Maroni to a coin flip. And then when the gun is pulled on him, he cold-cocks the lackey and we see that the Harvey Dent we saw at the very beginning of the scene was not who he was.

Harvey subsequently reveals himself to be a schemer, manipulator and a control freak. His coin? Double-sided of course. Every time he pretends to trust it to luck, he knows what'll happen. He compromises the ideal of the profession: allowing a vigilante fugitive to cross into a foreign country and kidnap a foreign national. This doesn't mean he's any less of a good man, honestly, but it's pretty obvious why the people in Gordon's unit would call him Two-Face. He's a piranha, all cute and harmless looking one minute, then CHOMP, you have no arm.

And obviously he's not uncorruptable. But in the end, every single character was corrupted. Batman's most loyal and trusted friend Alfred has betrayed both Bruce AND Rachel's trust in burning that final letter. Jim Gordon, the most honest man in Gotham, had lied to keep a dead man's memory alive, and allowed another man to take the fall. Lucius Fox might have declared the super-sonic spy machine to be against his ethics, but that didn't stop him from helping Batman use it...just this once.

The only character in the entire movie who never once compromised her morals and never once wore any kind of mask was Rachel Dawes.

At the dinner table with the Ballerina, she didn't talk much. And Bechdel rule aside, there was a very good reason why. They were discussing Batman. She knows who Batman is. She knows that Harvey, being a prosecutor, needs to have fairly good people reading skills. If she speaks, either she tells the truth and violates Bruce's trust, or lies to Harvey...and that's even assuming he buys the lie and that the lie doesn't get his suspicions up and lead to the reveal of the secret somehow anyway.

And ultimately, throughout the whole movie, Rachel never lies. She's honest with Harvey about not being able to marry him. She's honest with Bruce about not being able to be his symbol of hope any more. She's doesn't even pretend not to be afraid of the Joker, even with him, she's honest. She doesn't scheme or manipulate. Even though she understands why Bruce is Batman, she doesn't ever give any indication that she truly condones it. And when Bruce does finally cross the line, allowing an innocent man to set himself up as bait, she calls him on it.

Actually, I'm wrong. She does lie once but I'll give her a pass for that one. After becoming Two-Face, he goes on his rampage about having to lie and tell the person you love that it's going to be all right when you know it's not. The thing is, Harvey wasn't really in that situation. At least once he found out that their friends would choose which one of them would live. SHE was the one trying to reassure him, trying to get him to talk about what his surroundings were like in the hope that he would be able to get out too.

And when he was rescued, she was happy for him and even then tried to comfort him. And then she blew up. As untarnished and good and honest as she was at the very beginning. In a movie where every single character functioned as some sort of symbol or another, SHE, not Harvey, was Gotham City's hope. And SHE, not Harvey, was Bruce's hero without a mask.

That doesn't change the fact of course, that it was yet another sacrifice of a female character and I can understand that being frustrated for some people. Personally though, I do think people underestimate Rachel's role in the movie. She came in a hero and she went out a hero and in a movie like this, that means a LOT.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On "Strong Female Characters"

I stumbled onto this post while compiling for WFA and it got me thinking. Be warned, as is generally true when I actually think, this post is remarkably incoherent and rambling and more of a rant than anything else.

See, when I hear creators or advertisers go on about how THIS CHARCTER is awesome because she's a "strong female character", I have to admit, I usually wince.

Part of it's because I've seen far too many tv shows, movies, comics where someone decides "strong female character" is apparently best portrayed by nagging idiotic bitch.

Here's a piece of advice. If your way of demonstrating the strength and feistiness of your female character is to have her start bitching at the main male character the moment she walks into the room, usually over something that isn't his fault anyway, you're not doing a good job at making a good "strong female character", you are however doing a good job of establishing her as a crazy bitch.

Oh, and as a addendum, if you're writing a character that is anything of the following: brilliant scientist, doctor, lawyer, teacher, or hell, is over the age of fucking 15, please do not be having her respond to a provocative statement from a male character by slapping him. Adult professional women are not really that likely to resort to fisticuffs unless it's a sporting event or in self defense.

Another part of it has to do with what I used to call "the Lara Croft" defense. If the character is designed primarily for T&A, please do not be justifying it by equating her strong female personality to her willingness to jump around in skimpy clothing.

Sexual freedom is liberating, yes. But the fact is, most of these characters are still designed by men or, in the case that they're designed by women, are still subject to approval by corporate executive men.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to have a scantily clad female character, I personally enjoy scantily clad male characters, and in the case of attractive actors I'm all for equal opportunity for all. But please don't frame it as some sort of ultra-feminist choice that your heroine wanders about in leather fetish gear. Fictional characters do not design themselves.

Please note, I am not saying that a scantily clad and/or female character CAN'T have a strong personality. But please don't use the strong personality as an EXCUSE for designing the character's appearance to titilate the straight male audience.

Part of it has to do with when a creator goes out of his or her way to establish the female character as awesome and kickass in some manner or another...up until she needs to be saved by the hero. I'm not saying the heroine can't ever get saved by the hero, but how about a little tit-for-tat. Even if she's not a fighter, I'm sure you can think of a way for her to save his bacon if you really try.

Oh and when she needs to be saved, can you PLEASE have it be because of some area she's got a genuine weakness to? I don't want to see yet another "best swordswoman in the world" suddenly fumble her grip like an amateur opening herself up to the villain's strike. Maybe she was wounded earlier. Maybe he's tricked her. Maybe there's a hostage. Maybe she's never fought a wizard before. Just give the character some REASON beyond suddenly not being as good as she was throughout the whole story.

As a aside, I would like not to see the prickly ice-queen character suddenly swoon with poetic love into the hero's arms. A romance with that kind of character can be fun, but it's not something you can just say "And now they're in love." It takes some build-up damnit, and there's a way to do it naturally without wiping out all of the character's pre-existing personality!

Ultimately though, my biggest problem with when creators use the phrase "strong female character" when describing their own creations is that I think it's essentially become some advertising buzzword. This isn't to say that some creators, when going on and on about the awesome strength of their female characters aren't actually right. But when they do, they start becoming hard to distinguish from the idiots who seem to think repeating that phrase often enough will brainwash the audience into thinking it's true. But the thing is, when it's true, you don't need to say anything.

Xena, Ripley, Sarah Conner, Storm (non-movie version), Ms. Marvel, Oracle, Power Girl, Wonder Woman and so on and so forth don't NEED to be described as strong female characters. Because we already know.

Give me a trailer or advertisement of a female character kicking ass and taking names, I'll give the damn thing a try and if I like the character, then I'll be telling all my friends, enemies, colleagues, strangers on the street, about how awesome and strong and kickass she is.

If the character is really a strong female character, then shut up and let your REVIEWERS tell people that. It'll mean more coming from someone with no financial or creative stake in the product.

Think about it this way. There's a four year old who plays piano and his mother says he's very good at it. Of course she's going to say that. She's his MOM! Now if some random guy, say, old Bill down the street, says the kid's actually pretty good. THEN you might be more interested in listening.

(ETA: I clarified a bit more about what I mean by "Lara Croft Syndrome" in a reply on furikku's livejournal post. I'm linking it here because I'm too lazy to repost it and also because furikku's entry is pretty neat itself.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shameless Filler Post

I'm pretty sure someone tagged me for a meme at some point, but I forgot to mark the post. That's disappointing because honestly memes are good ready made post fodder when your brain is rotting through.

First day of classes went okay. My classes are actually really interesting this time around and my schedule is kind of awesome. Except I have to admit, the evening class is going to take some getting used to. I like having all that space in between, but there's a part of me that starts thinking around dinner time "God, I should be done with class for the day." Oh well, I'll get used to it. :-)

The Batman movie rumors are getting fun. Though if we're going to go with awesome older ladies with unconventional fashion sense for Catwoman, can't we get Eartha Kitt back? I <3 me Eartha Kitt.

It probably does say something about me that I seriously would rather see Cher in the role than Angelina Jolie. It's not even that I dislike her, as I think she's a decent actress and all. Maybe it's just over-exposure. Also, Wanted looked really, really bad. Eek.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bad Movie Blogging

Okay, to be honest, I know I ought to have a post today. But Monday is my first day of classes (I have a good mix if you're curious: Evidence, Professional Responsibility, Public International Law, Problem Solving and Dispute Resolution, and Criminal Procedure) and nervousness has wiped all topicality from my brain.

On the plus side, I did watch some wretched movies (and some good ones) with my good friend Matt (hereafter known as "Matt") so I do have SOMETHING to comment on. We rented the entire run of the Critic (excellent, naturally), two Poirot movies with David Suchet (though much to my irritation, the box for Peril at End House had Hercule's Christmas inside instead. I've only ever played a game version of End House and for the life of me couldn't see, in that case, how Poirot managed to prove anything. I've wanted to read/watch a version whole and see if it makes more sense that way), some version of Flash Gordon we haven't watched yet, the Cube, and Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans which stars a Penthouse Pet of the Year.

Naturally the one I'm blogging about is Deathstalker II.

We knew it had to be "good" from the cover. Two very Conan-esque halfnaked people with weaponry. By the way, there's no way our hero Deathstalker is remotely as built as the man on the cover. Just saying. The Penthouse girl might be that built (especially if she's a stripper. All jokes aside, I'd be afraid of pissing off a stripper. The kinds of routines they have to pull off with ten inch stiletto heels on? Totally builds a LOT of muscle) but she's never quite that badass.

We also knew it had to be good because the sci-fi section (as always a catch-all between genuine science-fiction, fantasy, horror that actually involves thinking, and utter crap) only had the sequel. For some reason, I've found that if a video store only has number 2 to what looks like a horribly crappy movie series, it usually means it's incredibly joyously and irreverently bad.

The movie starts out with a man who is later revealed to be Deathstalker stealing something from some scantily clad evil Queen. He's kind of scruffy but not bad looking, with horrible flippy seventies hair. I actually thought this was a replay from an ending scene of the last movie because the bit closes out with her snarling "I'll get my revenge in Deathstalker II!!!"

Matt says she actually said "I'll get my revenge AND Deathstalker, too." I honestly think my version makes for better dialogue, but who knows.

Deathstalker is a charming sort of gentleman who manages to lure many many attractive women characters to him without having one single redeemable quality of his own. Well, to be fair, he'll defend a woman from a bunch of jackasses who are trying to beat her up but only after being remarkably dismissive and assholish to her first. He spends most of the time fighting really poorly, being remarkably stupid, acting like a jackass, attracting beautiful women, and well. That's about it.

The other main character is the Penthouse Pet girl (Monique Gabrielle is her name, because I feel bad for relegating her to one particular career move), who actually plays two characters. The first is "Evie" a runaway princess. As all great actresses, Ms. Gabrielle takes great risks in this performance by way of wearing a burlap sack and allowing her hair to become limp and stringy. The second is the evil sorcerer created clone of Evie who gets to be all primp and polished. This allows Ms. Gabrielle to showcase her acting range from "whiny" as the real Princess Evie to "petulant" as the clone.

Okay. I should stop being mean. Deathstalker's actor (John Terlesky) really isn't any better. And all things considered, I actually don't tend to hate Evie as a character, which is remarkably rare for this type of fantasy movie. I do think she's whiny and not that bright, but honestly, she's LOADS smarter than Deathstalker himself. (She actually knows to duck and hide behind things during a bar fight rather than stand there screaming pointlessly.)

As an example of how stupid Deathstalker is, he SEES her dragged out of a building by guards screaming "I'm a princess, you know!" And still doesn't figure out that the princess in distress in her "vision" was her. And then later blames her for keeping it a secret from him.

Oh and he also says this CHARMING line of dialogue: "Ordinarily I don't mind seeing a woman get a good beating if she deserves it."

She wins my affection however mostly for the part where Deathstalker introduces himself to her and she gives him a bemused look and asks if that's his first name or last name. He of course acts like that's a stupid question. But honestly, I'd ask the same thing. That's a really stupid name.

Of course, as is customary in any crappy fantasy movie the villains are genuinely awesome. They include the evil wizard Jerak, who's kind of got a poor man's David Bowie thing going on, and actually stabs a henchman while talking to him via a floating pool. I don't approve of gratuitously killing henchmen (which this joker does a lot), but that was kind of awesome.

There's also the Queen from the opening: Sultana. She has the advantage a bikini mostly. But I liked her anyway, mostly for her interactions with the one-eyed henchman guy who's name I can't recall.

One-eyed henchman guy was awesome, especially when he takes a good five minutes describing every member of his gang of cronies who have very impressive resumes and all die in less time than it takes to introduce them.

I don't honestly remember much of the real plot. I vaguely remember Amazons putting Deathstalker on trial for crimes against womanhood, with trial actually meaning wrestling match with very large woman complete with wrestling ring and Rocky music.

There may have also been a death trap involving a pendulum swinging toward Deathstalker's private parts, but that might also have been my cheerful fantasy.

Ooo, nope, according to the review I googled, that actually happened. I KNEW there was a reason I liked Sultana. Here's the review I found if you actually want to know more about the plot: He also helpfully denotes all the stolen lines/materials. Apparently this Deathstalker is actually more enlightened when it comes to women than the previous. That's good to know!

By the way, it occurs to me that I've probably spoiled everyone who reads this blog considerably as Evie is pretending to be a Seer named Reena (I think she made some prediction or other and that's why she was thrown out but much like the whatever-it-was that Deathstalker stole from Sultana, it never really mattered after that point) but well...seriously, I have no guilt about that. It's a craptastic movie. You don't get protected from spoilers for craptastic movies. Besides, she announces she's a Princess in the first scene she's in!

Also for the record? There are no Titans. I'm annoyed by this.

...I wonder if the video store has Deathstalker III.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"Who Can Save Us Now" - A Review

Okay, so earlier this month I recieved a review copy of "Who Can Save Us Now?" This is a book featuring short stories about superheroes. I actually owed this review a long time ago but there were some chaotic events that kept me from reading it until now.

It's hard for me to review this book for the basic fact that, having read it, I don't think I'm actually the target audience for this book. For one thing, I don't much care for short stories in general, I prefer novels to sink my teeth into, but also, well, I don't think these are superhero stories so much as they are general fiction stories using vague superpower trappings as a medium.

Let me see if I can explain what I mean.

A few years ago, I took a fiction writing class. I thought it would be neat to learn to write stories. I had high hopes of learning to write in various genres: adventure stories, science fiction, fantasy, history, romance...

Actually, as it turns out we didn't write in ANY of these genres. See, apparently there's a difference between writing fiction and writing genre fiction. I learned this the hard way when my teacher made me redo one of my assignments where we had to build a story around this very weird bit of dialogue about a guy claiming to be a plumber talking to some woman. She said that my story had "too much plot" and was "like a tv show." Me, I said "Well, does it sound like an entertaining tv show?" She said, "I suppose, but you need to rewrite it."

I don't remember what my original story was, I think I'd decided the dialogue sounded very ominous, so I decided to make it some sort of coded spy dialogue that was a warning that someone was about to kill the other person. I'm not going to claim it was a good story, but I would have been happy to get graded on its merits. My second story ended up being some conversation between two old people who reunited after a very long period of time.

I can't fairly evaluate the quality of the first story. But I do know that the second was hackneyed, contrived crap deliberately meant to play on cloying sentimentalism. It was terrible. But worse, it was boring.

And I got an A. That's when I realized the professor and I were simply working with two different concepts of what made good writing. Her criteria included things like craft and workmanship, subtext and subversion and deeper underlying themes and meanings. Mine ultimately is simply that it entertain or capture the imagination of the reader. I can't imagine anything more thankless than writing fiction that DOESN'T do those things. But that's why I'll never write the next Great American Novel or Short Story. And I'm okay with that.

For the record, I ended up with a B in the class. Though I did have to rewrite a few more stories.

But anyway, that entire digression does have a point. The stories in Who Can Save Us Now? often make lip service to Captain America, the Avengers, Kirby, Kane, Shuster, and so on, but I don't really get the impression that most of the writers truly love superhero comics. Heck, some of these stories are not even superheroic at ALL, and bear more resemblance to Kafka than Superman.

This is not to say the stories are bad, though personally I found more than a few to be over-enamored with their own cleverness. The best example of this, I think, is the story "Girl Reporter" which takes a Superman-Lois Lane type relationship but paints the superhero as an image conscious, immature meathead. Not only is that sort of warping of the dynamic not even remotely a new idea...personally, I'd say Wally West and Linda Park did that much better...but the biggest impression I got from the story was smugness.

A lot of the writers did have very interesting character examination pieces here. Some interesting themes. But...they're not superhero themes. Like the one with the little girl who can use her powers once and only once in a futile child's plan to help her mother's life improve and regrets it for the rest of her life. It's not a bad story. But it's not a superhero story.

Many of the stories have miserable endings, which wouldn't be bad necessarily, but I got the impression (though to be fair I didn't go back and count) that they were the majority of the endings. Characters were dislikeable or sellouts. Self-absorbed or just annoying.

I suspect that many of these writers are straightforward fiction writers attempting to "subvert" the superhero concept for a clever themed fiction story. I think that a lot of them succeeded. But that's not what I was looking for. I wanted people who were altruistic and genuinely liked to and wanted to help other people. I wanted teamwork and friendship and strength of character. Essentially, I was looking for a celebration not a subversion of what superheroism means.

And honestly, I found some of the stories simply dull. But that's a problem I tend to have with short stories a lot. They need to grab me from the get go to catch and keep my interest. A novel is different. I can give a novel time to slowly build my interest, because I know that even if it takes 20 pages or so to get interesting, there's still about 300 pages left. But too many short stories only JUST manage to get interesting when woosh, done.

However, there were some stories in the book that I did truly think were absolute gems.

"Nate Pinckney-Alderson, Superhero" which stars a six-year old would-be superhero and his idolization of his jackass neighbor, a normal guy who had saved a baby, is adorable.

"Remains of the Night" succeeds, for me, where "Girl Reporter" fails. It's something of a subversion of the Batman-and-Alfred relationship in which the Batman-esque character is the downright grotesque Silverfish. It wins on a number of levels. First, there's something of an actual plot. Second, though not the viewpoint character, I get the impression that the Silverfish, though disgusting, is a man who likes to be a hero and help people. And in the end, the right characters got their just desserts.

"Pentecostal Home for Flying Children" isn't really a superhero story, I think. But the concept intrigued me and there were parts that genuinely made me laugh.

And finally I would totally read a comic book about either "the Meerkat" or "the Rememberer". Those were the stories that really evoked, for me, the fun of the superhero genre. The characters were fully realized and three-dimensional. I wanted to see what would happen to them. I wanted them to succeed and I felt regret when the story ended.

So that's pretty much my take on the book. If you're a fan of general fiction as well as superhero comics, I think you'll probably like the book. If you're like me and spent most of your English classes sneakily reading a Star Trek book carefully hidden under your desk, it might not be for you.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Apparently Warner Bros intends to reboot the Superman franchise.

Personally, I think this is a very good idea.

I realize I'm saying this as a person who genuinely liked Superman Returns, which is a rare opinion in some circles. I enjoyed the overall story, heck, I even liked the love triangle (I give them props for not making Richard weak or a tool, which would have been very easy). I liked Kate Bosworth as Lois and Brandon Routh as Clark.

But I really did think it suffered as a direct sequel to the other movies. For one, Kate Bosworth was younger at the time than I am now. Doing the math, she would have had to have started at the Daily Planet at the age of what, fourteen? She'd be barely eighteen at best when she had the cute four year old kid of Superman.

That doesn't work for me. For obvious reasons. Not in the least because it's creepy. I LIKED her Lois, I did. But after the sublime Margot Kidder I was disappointed. I wanted to see a Lois that was of appropriate age, damnit.

Brandon Routh did a good enough job as Superman, even though it seemed to be a somewhat thankless role. He channeled Christopher Reeve well enough, but I thought he was fettered by it. I would have liked to see Superman by way of Brandon Routh, not Superman by way of Christopher Reeve by way of Brandon Routh.

I do think, with the great cast that they had, they could have made a phenomenal origin movie. And the storyline could have been much better than the bizarre combination of Jesus symbolism, rehashing of the first movie, and love triangle that this one turned out to be.

I'd also have liked to see a Superman a bit more concerned about squishing people with a stalagmite and more inclined to punch things too.

So if you couldn't tell, I think this is fantastic news. :-)

Friday, August 22, 2008

More Convention Controversy: CAHP

I don't always see eye-to-eye with the folks at Girl-Wonder about everything. But THIS is something I can very firmly get behind.

They've also got a nice FAQ up here. Those documents do a fantastic job of explaining why a sexual harassment policy should be in place as well as offering suggestions as to what the individual person can do. Check it out!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In Defense of Lawful Good

Some of the comments to Mightygodking's superhero/villain alignment thingy got me thinking. (It's an old post, but I found it via Rich. Thanks Rich!)

Of course some of the logic in the comments is pretty crazy. Batman as lawful good? Have vigilantism and civilian terror tactics become legal in the DCU now? Superman as neutral good because he protects everyone from floods and crime and the like (because apparently following the law means that if I see a person caught in a flash flood, I'm going to leave him behind?). Personally I agree with MGK's take on pretty much every character there except possibly John Constantine, who, depending on the writing and the story, occasionally creeps into chaotic good for me.


But what really got me is how misunderstood "Lawful Good" as a concept really is.

Lawful Good characters fascinate me, because ultimately they are, I think, in a very precariously balanced position. Lawful good does not mean following the laws to the exclusion of common sense or morality. It doesn't mean following laws that are plain unjust or unfeasable. It doesn't mean ignoring evil or misfortune because everything is accordance with the laws. That's Lawful Neutral.

It also doesn't mean you can break laws just because you disagree with them. Laws are, at least ideally, designed to protect and serve the rights of the populace. And violating those laws is violating that protection and those rights. Even if the end result is good. A neutral or chaotic good character can take those liberties, a lawful good character cannot.

In the case of Batman, for example, it's simple. Vigilantism is illegal. VERY illegal. He may have a less antagonistic relationship with Gotham's police than otherwise, but that doesn't make him lawful. Personally, I'd argue Batman as Neutral Good. He's aware of the laws, will uphold them when it is good to do so, and will break them when he sees the need.

A lawful good character really cannot do that. It's a balancing act in which the character is often torn between ethics (law, chaos) and morality (good, evil) and find some way to reconcile the two. (Mind you, a lawful good character is not perfect and may have to make a choice occasionally one way or another, but it should never be EASY.)

Superman, I agree with MGK, is Lawful Good. Though to be fair, it's remarkably rare that Superman is involved in stories that really involve conflicts between ethics and morality without there being an easy answer. I haven't read very many stories like this and its possible that, once I've read more of these sorts of stories, that my opinion will change.

The single greatest example of the pinnacle of a Lawful Good character, to me, is Captain America, original flavor. Steve Rogers was CONSTANTLY caught in the struggle between ethics and morality. He followed and upheld the laws. When the law violated his morality, he left, became Nomad, fought for change to the law, or found some other means to reconcile the conflict. Even in Civil War, when he was so flagrantly against the Government, he remained lawful. To him, the Registration Act was unlawful, unconstitutional and an abuse of power. In essence, to Cap, the Government was acting unlawfully.

Bucky Barnes as Captain America makes for an interesting contrast, but it's clearly temporary. Even if we're not looking at the fact that this is COMICS and thus resurrection is inevitable anyway, Bucky's not lawful good. There's never going to be any conflict between acting according to the law and doing what's morally right.

It annoys me when gamers and geeks paint lawful good characters as idiot frothing at the mouth fanatics. We've all seen the Quixotic Paladin stereotype charging idiotically into danger on the white horse. But that's an over simplification. Morality is simple: good, evil, right, wrong, do unto others... and all that. Ethics are hard. Laws are made by humans and humans are flawed and in as much as they're ideally supposed to protect people, they are also used by those in power to keep their power. To be both lawful AND good requires contemplation and deep thought, balance and rationality, and most of all sacrifice.

Besides, trying to attack windmills is probably in violation of some law or another anyway.

Ultimately, when it comes down to it, given the choice I will, most of the time, prefer to read about a Lawful Good character rather than a Chaotic Good one. It's the Cyclops vs. Wolverine thing to me. I'm not sure I'd consider Cyclops to be "lawful good" per se, given the whole illegal secret army aspect to the X-Men, but of any character in that group, I'd say he comes closest. (While Cyclops and Batman both take part in illegal activities, I would be more inclined to see Scott as Lawful over Bruce. There's a difference between being an oppressed and villified minority fighting against an unjust and possibly evil regime that sends killer robots after you and being a filthy rich millionaire out to scare the life out of some lunatic in white greasepaint.)

Anyway, I know most people I know prefer Wolverine. As he is more badass and awesome and this is pretty undeniable. But personally, I think it's EASY to be Wolverine. Not that I think it's easy to have suffered through his insane backstory, tragedies, injuries and loss or anything like that. But when it comes to morality and ethics...he does what he wants. He's a moral guy and certainly has to make hard decisions, but I don't ever get the sense that he's bound by anything outside of that.

Cyclops is conflicted and angsty and brooding and makes an outright tangle of his relationships and is a repressed and sometimes assholish sort of fellow. But I find his struggle to do what's right and balance all the responsibilities and pressures and other issues in the great taffy pull of life. I think it's HARD to be Cyclops. I certainly wouldn't want to do it. And that's what makes him more compelling to me.

(Remind me to blog sometime about my sudden realization that Guy Gardner-post-brain-damage-getting-fixed may be the most lawful good of the four Earth Lanterns. In a very bizarre, brain-hurty kind of way.)

In the end, I just think the entire concept tends to get an unfair shake. It's HARD to stay within the rules, do the right thing and still WIN. There are very few opportunities for badassery, you get labeled as being uptight or sanctimonius, and it's certainly not as much fun. In the end though, it can be VERY interesting.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Legos and other Reactions


I want this game, but more than that, I want an entire Lego DCU game. I mean, think about it. Lego Superman! Lego Green Lanterns! Lego Justice Society! Lego Booster Gold! (Oddly enough, lego Booster Gold intrigues me the most. He seems made to be a lego.)

I think the best part is that little hip-cocked pose in the first shot there. Aw.

Wouldn't a lego Guy Gardner be the awesomest thing ever?


Okay, better? A lego MOGO. A lego Mogo would be AWESOME.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Something is Better than Nothing

You might remember a few days ago, I linked this post by John DiBello on this blog. This post has, naturally, been linked many other places and prompted interesting discussion and even some dissention.

There are two types of dissention that I've noticed most prevalent. The first is of the type that questions whether some of the instances are indeed sexual harassment. Some of this is in the "Asking for a date is now harassment?" or "We can't criticize someone's art now?" vein of questioning. Personally I think those questions ignore fairly obvious details from John's post (namely things like not taking no for an answer or the critics targetting only female artists) but it's a fair discussion and not everyone's going to agree.

The other type of dissent though gets me just a bit angry. It's the type that uses the argument "Well, it's a he-said-she-said thing and it's really hard to prove..."

Did I say angry? I meant to say furious.

Look, I'm a pragmatist. I'm also a law student. I know how difficult it is to prove any sort of accusation like this on little to no evidence. I also know how important innocent-before-proven-guilty is, and I'd certainly not want to see someone kicked out of a convention based on a misunderstanding or even a lie.

I'm realistic. I realize that if SDCC actually HAD a policy in place, the employees there would only be able to institute it a very small percent of the time and much sexual harassment will go unreported or un-dealt with.

In all actuality, a policy like that would probably be damn near useless.

But it would be a GESTURE.

Right now the fact that SDCC has nothing in place for a sexual harassment policy just tells me that, as a woman, I am not welcome or wanted at SDCC. This tells me that my safety and security doesn't matter.

And you might point out that men are also likely to be victims of sexual harassment, and you're correct. In essence, they're saying that the safety and security of these men don't matter either.

It doesn't need to be much. How about just "If you're a victim or witness to an act of sexual harassment, please report it at room so-and-so." Or maybe just "all violators will be removed from the convention." Basic, simple, and while hard to enforce, it would at least be SOMETHING.

Oh, and to any and all commenters who have said something about what John could-have-should-have done during these instances, go fuck yourselves.

Have a nice day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Penguins are cute

So all this talk about Norway knighting a penguin got me thinking...

(I'm not actually judging Norway for knighting a penguin, since I firmly believe if the United States could knight people, we would totally be knighting Paris Hilton or Angelina Jolie or something. I'm very cynical about American pop culture.)

Wouldn't a comic about a penguin-knight be awesome? Or at least adorable? It'd be like Shining Knight. Only. You know. A penguin.

I don't even know how it'd use a sword, but it would certainly be cute.

Do Penguins and horses get along?

I think I know what I'll want to commission from convention artists next year. :-)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name

This makes me both excited and nervous about the upcoming He-Man movie. But honestly...mostly nervous.

I mean first of all, let's take the title. "Grayskull" is, to be honest, a good title. It's catchy. It's intriguing. But Grayskull isn't the center of the movie. He-Man is. Why not just call the movie He-Man?

Let's face it, most people are not likely to go to a He-Man movie unless they were fans of either of the cartoon series. And it's going to be pretty obvious what it is, so why cool-up the name.

Honestly, it reminds me of my first reaction to seeing how Ultimate took away Cap's wings which amounted to: "You've got a guy dressed up skin-tight in an American flag and you think taking off the WINGS will make him look not-stupid?!"

No matter how you dress it up, it's a He-Man movie. He-Man's forever going to be hokey nostalgic fun that hurts to think about. A catchy title's not going to make He-Man suddenly cool.

The article gives me pause too. On one hand it does seem like Justin Marks actually likes the cartoon. But his emphasis on making things work and making rules for WHY Trapjaw has a metal jaw...

I don't think it'll work. No matter what they do, it's going to fall flat. Besides, why explain? No one ever really explained why there was what amounted to a Wild West cantina on Tatooine. The audience is usually more than happy to offer their own theories.

...God, you know, I'm all for loyal adaptation, but a live-action Trapjaw is going to look fucking stupid. I'm just saying.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Non-Comic, yet again

I'm somewhat upset because I had my last day of my internship today. Most of my cases are completely finished, with a couple waiting on a few steps that basically any of the new people could do. But...

I don't wanna go back to law school!!! I wanna stay at my jooooob.

On the plus side, I splurged at the bookstore and picked up the first four books in the Temeraire series on recommendation of some folks. It's like Horatio Hornblower with DRAGONS!!!

So I guess all things considered, it's been a good day. :-)

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Link for You

I honestly don't have the energy to post today. But fortunately, John DiBello, friend and helper of Bully, made one, so I don't have to.

Go here. Read. Now.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

WoT movie?

If it weren't for blog@, I would have no idea what's going on.

Anyway, apparently there's going to be a Wheel of Time movie.

I repeat. There's going to be a Wheel of Time movie.

This is not a knock against the story or Mr. Jordan, but holy hell, I thought trying to shove the Lord of the Rings into movies were a tight squeeze and there are THREE of them.

I honestly can't imagine how they'd manage to truncate even just the FIRST WoT book into a single movie. The amount of characters alone! A mini series, I could see, but a movie?!

On the other hand, given how movies have to truncate novel plots anyway to get them to fit into about two hours, it might be a good thing. They can chop out everything extraneous and maybe I'll finally be able to wade through the sucker.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In which I'm a judgmental bitch...

I'm going to be extremely judgmental for a moment and say I find these anime eyes things creepy as FUCK.

Intellectually I know that this really isn't any more ridiculous than, say, dyeing one's hair peroxide blond or putting on enough greasepaint to kill a small horse (It's depressing to look at a drug store and see just how many aisles are devoted to products to make women look as unlike themselves as possible)...and to be fair, contacts are much less drastic a change than, say, plastic surgery to look like Barbie or a cat or something.

But irrationally, it still creeps me out. Probably because it's anime and while I love anime, I have no intention to look like a two-dimensional drawing.

Admittedly, eight years ago or so, during my big manga/anime phase? I'd have pounced on this like mad. Well, maybe not. I'm not a contact lens person, and to be honest, I'm one of those sorts of people who look infinitely better with glasses ON than off. But I'd have THOUGHT about it.

Still, anime eyes? Kinda creepy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Shiny Objects Starboard

Why did I not hear of the Star Trek MMORPG until now?!

Yeesh, my nerd-fu is made of fail, clearly.

Still, that looks awesomely awesome. I like the thought of being able to pick races and gather crew. God knows when I'd have time for such a thing. Or the money to actually play a for pay RPG. (I do occasionally MUD, but that's free). But it really does look fantastic.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Movies and other miscellaneous...

Most of this weekend I spent watching movies with Diamondrock. Obviously, you know about Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk, but what you do not know is that we also picked up a bunch of godawful dollar store double feature DVDs. My mother also provided others. I normally don't watch a lot of movies, so this was a treat for me.

The first thing we saw was Hercules Unchained, with Steve Reeves. It was kind of awesome, even though neither of us had seen the movie it's a sequel to ("Hercules", appropriately enough.) It was of the entertainingly bad quality. The real hero was Ulysses, who in the Sandy the Golden Boy vein of sidekicks infinitely more competent than their mentors, pretty much saved Hercules's ass a thousand times over. I particularly liked how they introduced each member of the crew at the beginning like some sort of Ancient Greek Justice League or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

...I would totally read an Ancient Greek Justice League.

Highlights: Hercules fighting a tiger, Hercules throwing a giant off of a cliff, Ulysses in general, that nameless soldier guy who verbally bitchslapped the evil queen and lived. Hercules being a general dick.

The next was Hercules against the Moon Men. You'd think with a title like that the movie couldn't possibly not be awesome. Sadly...much in the vein of Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, you'd be wrong. Seriously, somehow they managed to take a premise that should be categorically AWESOME and make it BORING.

Highlights: None, seriously.

After that we watched a version of Zorro starring Alain Delon. It wasn't bad though it had this incredibly cheesy "la-la-la-la Zorro's back" song that made Diamondrock twitch and rant. I thought it was cute. It was a bit too long though. Hortensia really pulled the corset off well though.

Highlights: Zorro driving a stagecoach off of a cliff.

This was all Saturday Night. On Sunday, we went to see Dark Knight again (IMAX style), and after that my mom loaned us her copy of In the Name of the King. This is a Jason Stathem fantasy movie based on Dungeon Siege. Yeah. It also had Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, and other notables. Also. Ninjas. Long lost sons. Surprisingly badass wives. And they ACTUALLY killed the cute young kid at the very beginning of the movie and that took me quite aback. I kept thinking they were gonna fake us out and reveal the kid was alive, but nope!

Highlights: Ninja, also, surprisingly dead kid, also, why you shouldn't boast about eviscerating some kid in front of his previously damsel-in-distress mom.

Finally, we saw the Richard Chamberlain version of the Count of Monte Cristo. I'd actually seen this before at age 12, when my seventh grade French teacher gave me the book to read and then showed the movie to the class. I liked the book, but parts of it were draggy and boring for me (I was possibly too young to really appreciate it) but I really liked the movie, despite some of the changes. The only thing I really remembered was how badass Edmond Dantes was when he'd count off his revenge. "Three." Awesome.

Happily, the movie actually did rock as much as I remembered it doing. They did a really good job shoving a god-knows-how-long novel into just 100 minutes. Some of the revenges were a bit different, but the changes made sense given the format and still followed the gist of the novel. Also, Richard Chamberlain is badass.

Highlights: the whole damn thing.

So anyway, that was my weekend (or at least what I recall of it. :-P). It was fun!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reaction to the Incredible Hulk (Massive Spoilers)

I saw the Incredible Hulk with Diamondrock! It was good! Not as good as Iron Man, but still good.

A note: I didn't actually see the Ang Lee version so I can't make any comparison. From what it sounds like, Ang Lee's is a fascinating character study but far less a movie I'd remotely be willing to see. I liked this version though.

Be warned of spoilers.

I even liked Bruce Banner himself, and given how much I tend NOT to give the character any stretch of benefit of doubt, that says much. Edward Norton is good at playing mild and appealing and somewhat angsty without being whiny.

...I also, god help me, thought the CGI Hulk was kind of attractive. (I think it's the hair. I have a thing for shaggy hair and sharp features.) They did a good job with expression-work. The Hulk felt "alive" for me. There were parts that I couldn't quite pretend I wasn't watching CGI, but well, that's pretty much inevitable, I think.

I liked Liv Tyler too. Betty Ross is no Pepper Potts (thank god, if you're talking 60s comic versions, :-)) and is a bit more relegated to damsel in distress at this one. But I did still like the character. Even if she never really got to do anything sciency. That part where she climbs on TOP of the Hulk, trying to help keep him under control was pretty impressive honestly.

I liked Blonsky for most of the film. I don't really think the whole Abomination thing was his fault. He was drugged up the wazoo by that point and if Banner isn't responsible for the mess he makes as Hulk then I don't think the little British guy could be held accountable for decisions made under the influence. He seemed like an okay sort of guy before that.

I also liked seeing how they rendered his ability after even one dose. It reminds me of Cap. And anything that reminds me of Cap is a good thing.

Which means I really liked the movie because holy hell did they hint/reference Cap up the wazoo.

I think I've figured out why I liked Iron Man and now the Hulk so much. I think a lot of creators of comic book movies like to try to make the audience forget they're watching a comic book movie. Sometimes this works really well, as seen in Dark Knight. Other times not so much. But Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk seem to embrace the whole comic book aspect and, while being mass-market accessible, are so chock full of easter eggs and winks at the fans that it feels like...

I guess it feels like most comic book movies are made to appeal to the mass audience first with the geeks/fanatics as an acknowledged part of the audience but not the focus. In contrast, I really do feel like Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk were made for the fans first, with the directors and producers keeping an eye on accessibility, but still not just focused on making a good movie involving Iron Man, but in making a good Iron Man movie.

I have no idea if the above two paragraphs make sense to anyone but me.

The best thing about the movie though, especially watching it so soon after watching Iron Man, is that there really is starting to be a sense of the whole Marvel Universe here. I would never have thought actually having the movies in the same universe could work. Or that they could be so effectively building toward an Avengers movie. I'd have, honestly, figured that a big team-up movie like the Avengers would be permanently relegated to direct-to-dvd status.

But watching this movie after Iron Man just makes me seriously anticipate the next one. And the next. Hell, I even want to see Wolverine, despite my severe dislike for the title character AND Gambit, AND my lack of interest in Deadpool (though I acknowledge Ryan Reynolds = perfect casting) just to see if they somehow manage to tie that in as well. Each movie stands alone enjoyably, but the interconnections and the anticipation are practically killing me. When are Thor and Ant-Man coming out again???

And I have to admit, I think DC's missing out. I was on the side of "Well, it'd probably be better if the Justice League movie DIDN'T have any of the solo-movie actors and were kept separate from the individual movies," but now... Truthfully, I've no idea how you could make the Nolan/Bale Batman work in a universe with other superheroes, but at the same time, I can't help but think how a post ending credit tag scene with Brandon Routh standing in the batcave saying "Can we talk?" would rock my comic geek socks off.

As much as I think Dark Knight was the better movie, there was no one part that made me sit up with sheer delight so much as that already-spoiled-but-forgotten-about-by-this-point-of-the-movie appearance of a certain Marvel character at the end. It's the goofy comic fan in me.

So anyone got more info/gossip/rumors on the Cap movie for me yet? Please-please-please?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Non-comics Catch-Up

It's a busy sort of time period. I'm hideously behind on my comics again. On the "plus" side, I've got one week left of my internship. Plus is in quotes because, all things considered, I'm going to miss it incredibly. I learned SO much more than lawschool.

Why can't law work on apprenticeships again?

But on the real plus, Diamondrock came to visit! Diamondrock is the guy who got me into blogging! We saw Iron Man! Again for me. But heck, it's a fun movie. I keep missing seeing that darned shield though. 2nd time through was much the same as the first. No hidden insights that I missed the first time.

Tomorrow we're going to see the Incredible Hulk. I'm leery because I don't much like the character, but my mom says it's awesome. (She saw it while we saw Iron Man.)

By the way, my mother's badass. I saw Iron Man the first time with her, and she was the only person in our theatre who didn't cringe when he started pulling that long pipe thing out of his nose.

Nothing else to type. I'm going to bed so as to rest myself sufficiently to entertain my guest and NOT fall asleep at the keyboard while AIMing to Ragnell again. :-( (Sorry!!)

Friday, August 08, 2008

I have to stop looking at search keywords

You know what the best thing about statcounter is? It can make you feel better about yourself.

Take me for instance. I'm crazy, hypocritical, judgmental and silly. I can't deny this, because it's true. However I've also never typed the word/phrase "" into a search engine.

I don't mean to judge anyone in the world do those concepts go together?

Is this some kind of fetish I really don't understand?

Weeeird. Of course now *I* have to type it into a search engine to see what pops up. Heh.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Quick Slide-In Post

Had a fun time with my internet connection last night (apparently it really likes flaking out at inopportune times.)

You know what would be a really interesting crossover pairing? Two-Face and Wanda Maximoff.

I mean think about it. He's replaced morality with chance and throws everything onto a flip of a coin. She affects probability and luck...and well, alters reality as we know it, but that's beside the point right now.

I just think it'd be really interesting to see them meet up. I wonder if there's a luck-manipulator in the DCU...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

FINALLY (Spoilers for Iron Man)

I FINALLY got to see Iron Man. I know, I know. But anyway, I really enjoy it.

And if you're like me and haven't seen it this late in the game, well:

(Spoiler Warning)

Heck, they managed to make Pepper Potts likeable. And she's my least favorite part of 60s Iron Man. I HATED the little twit. But she was tolerable here.

Actually she was badass. I'm a bit annoyed by the feminist critiques of her that I've read, really, claiming that she didn't do anything but push buttons that Tony told her to. I disagree with that. Certainly Pepper's no technical genius, but if anything, she's ALFRED. And you're not going to dismiss Alfred for his domestic god abilities damnit.

I remember reading someone somewhere criticizing the "taking out the trash" comment as misogynistic. But honestly, the bitch started it. And I could only wish to respond as coolly as Pepper did. And I say this all as someone who on average really doesn't like Gwyneth Paltrow.

Mostly though, I liked how they got rid of the parts that seemed so incredibly stupid about 60s Iron Man: Namely the secret identity. We already knew Pepper and Happy would follow Tony to the ends of the Earth. Knowing he's Iron Man wouldn't change anything. And it was just plain rude to keep it from the Avengers when he knew half of their identities as well.

"Bodyguard" was an implausible excuse and I was amused to see the movie make fun of that. But also, I like the nice clean way they cut through the crap. Everyone knows! Yay!

RDJ was perfect. Admittedly, I thought he was pretty much playing himself. But still he's charming and likeable. I also liked how even with the stupid bodyguard story excised, they still managed to retain some of Tony's innate moronicness.

Seriously man, if you're going to test BOOT THRUSTERS wear a FUCKING HELMET. Especially after the FIRST time you wham headfirst into a wall. Twit.

It does make me want a young twenty-something Steve Rogers though, just to see RDJ's Tony corrupt the poor thing.

Even though I meant to look for it, I still totally missed Cap's shield. I wonder if it was during one of those scenes where I was busy going "HELMET, YOU IDIOT"

I won't say the movie didn't have problems or wasn't a bit predictable (I mean, ultimately, let's face it it's fairly hard to make a comic movie truly unpredictable anyway) but I really did enjoy it. Not as much as I enjoyed Dark Knight, but pretty high up there. It's a good year for comic movies. :-)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Miscellaneous Thought

This is probably a thought that's occurred to everyone else but I'm occasionally slow on the update so here it is...

Scott Summers has Jean Grey
Tony Stark has Pepper Potts
Peter Parker has Mary Jane

And so on and so forth.

But is it just me or does SOMEONE in the 1960s/1970s Marvel office have a thing for leggy redheads? :-)

Monday, August 04, 2008

On Cap Looking Back

One of the things I've always found interesting about Captain America (616 version) is that for all that he's a throwback and a relic and the living representative of values we tend to overlook and take for granted or dismiss entirely, the character is usually not very nostalgic for the time period he left behind.

I mean sure, he misses Bucky. And certainly he's often at a loss in the modern world, be it looking for a job or place to live, or just getting accustomed to new social mores. But it occurs to me that even in those situations, he's usually too busy trying to think of ways to deal with it rather than thinking wistfully back at what was lost.

And it occurred to me that this actually makes sense to me. Because all things considered, Steve Rogers would have no reason for nostalgia, what-so-ever.

I mean, consider it. What does he have to remember fondly? He was born in 1921 (according to Brubaker anyway), which means he was eight during the Crash. Then you have the Great Depression, starvation, poverty, illness, death (for example the amusingly Dickensian melodrama that is his mother's death from lack of medicine), ethnic prejudice (it's kind of interesting that, as an Irish brat in NYC, Steve wouldn't have been considered "white" by a lot of people), even more sexism and racism and all sorts of other things.

And then you have the Nazis and the War.

Considering it like that, what in the world would Steve have to be nostalgic about?

I doubt it would be old-fashioned values. Steve is a good guy raised with good values, but a former tenament brat from Brooklyn*'s going to have a real good notion of the seedier side of humanity.

Less crime and violence? Um. Brooklyn* street kid. IRISH street kid. Racial tension, economic tension, all that. Heck, think West Side Story with less ballet.
(I can imagine Steve chuckling at the notion that some guy could run through Spanish Harlem calling "Maria" and only ONE girl answers.)

Hard working people? Maybe that one. But then, during the Depression, it's not like anyone could really afford leisure time. Well, maybe the Rockefellers. But the average Joe? You gotta work to survive.

It's particularly interesting to me since I don't think the Golden Age Cap comics ever really went into his backstory that much, beyond the "how he got his powers" part. I may be wrong, but I suspect most of the backstory we have now is a Silver-to-Modern Age invention. They COULD have given Cap a more Clark Kent-ish farm boy backstory, and explained the 4F thing as some sort of grotesque illness. But instead they went with the most Dickensian backstory possible (inner city, Depression, alcoholic-and-possibly-abusive father, mother-dead-of-the-only-enough-medicine-for-one fiasco, and so on and so forth) in a way that makes it seem pretty unlikely that Cap could ever look on that time period with anything resembling nostalgia. Clark Kent, sure. He could go with the rose colored glasses and wistful mis-memory, but Steve? Not so much.

It's as though Marvel writers specifically made a Captain America that HAS to look FORWARD for solutions to our problems rather than backwards, and that's no bad thing really.

(It does make me want to see Steve Rogers verbally bitchslap one of those Family First nostalgia-mongers into next week. With his mad speechifying skills? It'd be glorious)

(ETA to add: Depending on the origin story, replace "Brooklyn" with "Lower East Side Manhattan". I think most of the points still stand. :-))

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Watchmen Ads.

I know there's a very strong possibility that it'll suck or fall flat, and that to even work remotely on the big screen massive amounts of changes will need to be made but these posters really make me want to see the movie.

I still have problems with Dr. Manhattan's ass. I don't know why. It's very prominent, I guess. I may be a prude.

I think Sally Jupiter's is my favorite of the posters. It's just got some sort of Golden Age-type sass. The pose and expression are very Betty Grable-esque pin up girl to me.

Or maybe Ozymandius's. Just because it is awesome. The others are all great too, of course.

This is probably blasphemy but I think I like them better than the originals, which are good, but don't have the same sense of atmosphere for me.

I'm really excited about the movie.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Okay, this is pretty neat. I like the thought of someone using Supergirl's symbol like that. It sounds really cute.

Though I kind of have to agree with the commenter that asks how it's different from the Superman symbol. Which is a good question. Still, I wouldn't be adverse to wearing clothes with the superman symbol either. :-)

I think I like it best though because it's an acknowledgement, indirectly, that yes, indeed, there are women who read comics and get something empowering out of them. The odds of a non-comic fan even noticing the Supergirl motif, or being particularly interested if they did, are pretty slim I'd guess. And it's been quite a few decades since that wretched Helen Slater movie.

Comic fans are the ones who'll be interested in buying it and who'll find it empowering.

Considering how often I've seen it claimed that female superhero fans don't exist (or ought to be reading manga instead because it's so much more empowering) it's really nice to be acknowledged as a marketable audience. :-)

I want a trenchcoat with the Supergirl symbol on it!

Friday, August 01, 2008

No Post No Post Nah-nah.

Hi. No post today. Too tired. Instead I'd like to highlight my three favorite search terms today:

perverted doll designs july 2008

-Somehow I suspect real dolls are involved. Or possibly Dolfies. Never trust anyone with Dollfies, I always say. :-P

rhododendron and use of crossbow

-I don't know how this works, but it sounds interesting.

about prince of hell coming to earth to find love/manga

-In terms of shoujo manga, this is as generic as "man who was alien is now a superhero, wears spandex." Yeesh.

See ya tomorrow.