Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Return of the Meme!

I haven't done a ten characters meme in a while. Since I have fun with them and don't have a post for tonight, I figured I'd open it up.

You know the rules: I think of ten characters, you ask me questions like: if #1 and #8 have a karaoke contest, who wins?

We all have fun!

Contribute your questions below!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

You know, sometimes in all my comic love, I forget how much I love reading actual BOOKS.

Ahh, books. They're wonderful, wonderful things. Law school occasionally kills the desire to look at yet another block of text (comics has an advantage there, thanks to the bright colors!) but oh, how it is worth it!

I would write poetry to books, but well, trust me, no one wants to read my attempts at poetry!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Character I Liked...

You know who I always thought was a missed opportunity as a character?

Joseph, from the X-Men.

That is, the amnesiac youth-ized clone of Magneto that everyone thought was the real thing for a while?

I mean, sure, his origin was very, VERY 90s, but I actually thought he was a lot of fun. Maybe because his personality was designed to be as anti-the real Magneto as possible. I really thought there was a lot of unexplored potential in the character idea, especially since it seemed like they killed him off (or magnetosphered him, whatever) just after he found out he was a clone and not the original.

Maybe it's just that, now that Magneto seems to be trying to redeem himself, I want them to throw another justifiably resentful kid in the mix. This one hasn't even gone crazy yet!

But really, Joseph was great for two reasons:

1) His mom was a mad scientist and girl mad scientists are kind of rare.
2) He wasn't Gambit, and thus was a much more interesting romantic option for Rogue.

They ought to bring him back! He was cute!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm contemplating going to see Shutter Island because it looks really good. (Though I'm not really good with scary type movies so I don't know.) But I have this weird mental block with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Like...I KNOW he's actually a good actor. And he's been in a lot of risky and interesting projects and played a wide variety of complex characters.

But whenever I think of him, I still think of Titanic first. And also, he seems to have stopped aging at 18, and somehow that prevents me from taking him seriously as an actor*.

*Apologies to all ACTUAL 18 year olds reading this.

It's like this mental block. It's weird.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Puzzled musings about Under the Hood.

Wait, so they're really doing Under the Hood?

Wouldn't it be better to, you know, do the story he died in first? Or maybe a Lonely Place of Dying? (Tangentially: I always actually thought that would be an interesting introduction to the whole Batman mythos. Since, like Tim Drake, the audience already KNOWS who Batman and Robin are, but aren't really used to the idea of Robins being mortal. So by starting it there, we'd get a view of the characters from a completely different direction. But I get that the notion probably would bore other people. I just like using the different perspectives characters have regarding other characters.)

It's not really like if Marvel wanted to animate the Winter Soldier arc, since most people familiar with Captain America know that Bucky Barnes is/was dead. There are a lot of people who are fans of non-comic Batman who don't even know that there WAS a dead Robin. Won't that lose some of the impact?

I mean, I actually liked "Return of the Joker" a lot, but the point of that was more of a "Whatever happened to the Joker/Robin?" "Under the Hood" seems like it requires more familiarity/fondness to the character (Batman Beyond had the previous animated series to work on, after all) or at least an emotional connection to his death.

It's a weird idea to me to do a "This changes EVERYTHING" type story, when you haven't established the status quo. At best, you'll have like an old Golden or Silver Age oneshot: Robin dies tonight! "Oh no, Robin's dead!" "Oh wait, he isn't!" Fun, but not really with any sort of emotional impact.

Unless I'm wrong and they DID the death story already and I just missed it. (Always a possibility. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)

I'm sure the movie will be decent, but it still seems like a weird choice.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I know I've been on an X-kick lately (I tend to cycle in and out of my favorites as to which one gets my primary focus at any given time) but can I just say...

This month's Green Lantern Corps was awesome. Completely. And utterly.

I'm thrilled about the Emerald Warriors news, and I think John will get a far better share of attention in GLC than in Green Lantern (and Ganthet too!), but I'm going to miss the Kyle/Guy team-up darnit. :-(

Oh well, there's always crossovers.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A brief note

Okay, as much as I'm looking forward to Second Coming and I think it looks neat. I have to say, I'm getting awfully tired of all the solicit covers with Hope crying on the front.

Yes. I get it. HOPE is CRYING. Can someone please just hand her a kleenex and go punch someone?

Monday, February 15, 2010

An Awesome Scott Summers Moment

Most of Austen's run on X-Men is pretty awful, in my opinion. What with the Alex-leaving-Lorna-at-the-altar shit, Lorna being a flipped out homicidal slutty shrew, and don't get me STARTED on the Nightcrawler idiocy.

But there was one thing he did that I actually really liked. And that was his portrayal of Scott Summers.

Okay, a bit of background. Alex was dimension travelling for a while. He came back in a coma. The girl, Annie, was a nurse at the hospital. She didn't know who he was, but between the telepathic assistance of her son (long story) and her own kind of crappy life, she started falling for him.

Anyway, she sees a news article, figures out who her patient is, and calls the institute. Scott comes and retrieves his brother in a very cute scene leading to this bit from Uncanny X-Men 412.

(It probably should be noted that the scene Scott interrupted made it pretty obvious to anyone with eyes that Annie was falling hard for Alex.)

But anyway. I love this. I really do. This is Scott at his kindest right here. Okay, granted, he's not very GOOD at it. I put up the full page, because it shows exactly how abrupt he is. Scott, you have all the subtlety and gentleness of that brick someone chucked at your head during Exodus.

But at the same time, it totally melted my stone heart a little. Because abrupt or not, it really was the kindest he could be to her. At the moment, (telepathic son connecting their minds on a subconscious level aside), Annie is in a fantasy that will very soon come crashing into reality. Alex had a girl (Lorna), Alex loved the girl, and she's waiting for him. Scott could be more tactful, but he's essentially just ripping off the bandaid here. And the nice thing about his abruptness is that he never makes any accusation or reference to her previous behavior or emotional attachment. He lets her keep her dignity.

That means a LOT. For someone like her. For someone like him. That's pretty much all they've got.

And this might be intentional or not, but it really reminds me a LOT of the X-Factor storyline with Jean, Scott, and Madelyne. Granted, there are notable differences: the biggest being that Alex is in a COMA rather than too chickenshit to actually TALK to Annie/Jean. (As a side note, when you start looking at the characters in question, Annie has a lot more similarities to Scott than to Jean, far more than Alex does.) But I still wonder if one of the reasons he's doing it is because of his own experiences. He's doing for his brother what he wished someone had done for him.

Scott also gets additional awesome moments in otherwise mediocre storyline. He is the one to really notice that Alex, once awake, appears to be much more interested in Annie than Lorna. And even tries to get Alex to get a clue about his own feelings before either going through with the wedding or doing something really dickish like leaving her at the ALTAR. (*cough*DamnitAusten*cough*). Of course, being Scott, he does this by way of a shapeshifting stripper taking Annie's general appearance as opposed to, you know, TALKING with his brother. But Scott's always been good at taking dickishness and dysfunction to utterly magical levels of awesome.

And he's always incredibly kind to Annie. Not always the warmest, most approachable kind of kindness. But, it was true to the character, and nice. And really one of the few bright spots in a not so very appealing run.
Oh, by the way. I did this formspring thing:

If you ever really wanted to ask me a question, feel free!

I'm really boring though, so yeah. :-)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

(Some of) My Biases, Double Standards, and Hypocrisies Enumerated

I am a very biased individual. This is not a flaw, in my opinion. Everyone has biases, and one of the reasons I created this blog was to showcase mine.

And argue with interpretations of things that I think are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. But I digress.

Of course I don't expect you to share my biases, and healthy disagreement is always fun. But please note, that if we do discuss anything about comics, these biases will probably come up:

1) The following characters are utter assholes who I would still find somewhat sympathetic even if they shot a puppy:

A. Guy Gardner (Green Lantern/Warrior)
B. Sanderson Hawkins (Sandy the Golden Boy/Sandman)
C. Scott Summers (Cyclops)

1b) In storyarcs where these characters are assholes and other characters are also assholes, I will probably be biased toward these characters.

1c) Perhaps because of the whole "we hate those faults most that we see in ourselves", hypocrisy is a huge, huge pet peeve of mine. If one character is being a complete asshole, and one character is being a hypocrite. I will probably favor the complete asshole. It's a thing.

2) The following characters are NOT assholes, never would be, and if there is a story that makes them so, it is WRONG:

A. Steve Rogers (Captain America)
B. Sam Wilson (the Falcon)
C. Alfred Pennyworth

2b) If you characterize Steve Rogers as anything but one of the nicest people around (even when punching people in the face or brooding angstily) you are WRONG.

3) The following characters are idiots, and if there is a logical explanation of their actions, I will probably ignore it in favor of mocking them:

A. Dick Grayson (Nightwing/Batman)
B. Charles Xavier (Professor X)
C. Wesley Dodds. (Sandman)
D. Remy LeBeau (Gambit)

3b) Anything wrong with the X-Men part of the Marvel Universe can totally be blamed on Charles Xavier.

4) The following characters are awesome, full stop, and if you try to tell me that they are weak portrayals or something otherwise annoying, I will want to cause you pain.

A. Karen Starr (Power Girl)
B. Jean Grey-Summers
C. Sharon Carter
D. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle)

4b) That said, I think these women have assholish tendencies too. Which is why I like them.

I undoubtedly have more biases, double standards and hypocrisies to be discovered, but these are the ones most likely to come up in any comic discussion on this blog. :-)

Secret Avengers:

I'm really enjoying all the Secret Avengers adds. I have my own guesses of course. (For the record, I think the redemption one is actually two people.) But, and I asked this on twitter too:

Do we actually know yet why they'll be the "Secret" Avengers? Are they like...special ops? Are they outlaws? Are they just X-Treeem?

It seems weird that we'd need a secret team in the "Heroic Age." But it definitely could be interesting.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Nice Guy Syndrome - Why I Hate Warren in Early X-Factor

Recently I've been rereading early issues of X-Factor (because I'm trying to find the bit where Cyclops gives the Talk to Rusty Collins. No luck yet, but I'm determined). Of course, being a Cyclops fan, I have to brace myself a little because even I admit that the whole Maddie/Nathan thing is definitely not Scott's finest hour.

It's not nearly as one-sided as a lot of fans tell it of course, but it's still hard to watch a fictional character completely fuck up his own life.

What surprised me this time around, however, is how much I find myself hating WARREN.

Especially for bits like this:

Fairly understandable reaction

Warren is an asshole.

I think Jean's freak out is fair. She comes back, her boyfriend, who she loved with all her heart, was mentally linked to, and who, though I don't think she remembers it right now, loved her enough to propose marriage when he thought she was still the Dark Phoenix, is suddenly acting like a robot to her.

Tangentially, this gets into one of the most unfair criticisms I've seen tossed at Scott for this arc: namely that he doesn't tell Jean about Maddie. But he tries! I mean, look at this page from X-Factor 1: (click to enlarge)

Worst. Philanderer. Ever.

He's starting to tell her right there! The first time he sees her again!

There are quite a few times like that too. Granted, he could have tried harder, but it's not like it was a hush-hush secret. And considering that Jean's complaint is that he seems to hate her, he's certainly not lying to get into her pants again.

But back to the Warren hate.

See, on one hand, I do get Warren's problem. He's attracted to Jean. He's worried about Jean. And he does not approve of Scott not talking about Maddie.

I don't even disagree with his sentiment. Scott's being a repressive chickenshit who's trying to ignore the problem of impending divorce by Not Thinking About It. Which is a big problem even if Jean weren't in the picture.

But the thing is, the panels are from X-Factor #6. Warren's had quite a bit of alone time with Jean. If he REALLY thinks she deserves to know, there's no reason he couldn't just tell her himself instead of making with the smooth talk.

But see, that would make him the bad guy. The betrayer of trust and confidence. So instead he goes to whack Scott with a clue bat. Which I approve of. He absolutely SHOULD take his friend aside and let him have it. His silence is not only hurting himself, but it's also hurting Jean. It's got to stop!

Warren doesn't DO that though. Instead, he confronts him, in FRONT OF JEAN. He's essentially forcing the conversation himself. Which makes him a two-faced, lying, back-stabbing shit.

See, this way, he gets to play the knight in shining armor, saving damsel Jean from the asshole villain's lies. But at the same time, by forcing a confession from SCOTT, he would get to come off smelling like a rose. He didn't betray a confidence. He's a whistle blower!

Fuck you, Warren. If you're going to back-stab your friend at least have the balls to do it honestly.

Warren in this arc is the quintessential Nice Guy (tm). The girl he loves is pining for a guy who totally doesn't deserve her. A guy who's secretly a dick, but she doesn't know that. When she finds out, she'll drop him like a hot potato and go for someone more worthy of her!

And that attitude is exactly why Nice Guys don't get the girl. Women aren't fucking merit awards. We're not prizes that you get for being a such a swell guy.

Women, like guys, make their own choices in partners. And like guys, sometimes we don't always make the wisest choice. But you know what, that's OUR decision.

That jerk over there? Odds are, he accepts that. Or at the very least doesn't make his utter devaluing of our ability to make our own choices so fucking apparent.

I kind of think this is why so many readers come out of early X-Factor hating Scott. Because we all have a little Nice Guy in us. (Even girls.) And Scott went from being the underappreciated loser in the original run that we all feel for, to BEING the jackass that the girl loves who totally doesn't deserve her. Now he's the enemy.

But the key is, for all of Scott's many many faults, the one thing he's never done was devalue Jean's choice. When Jean dated before they got together, he watched wistfully and thought about missing his chance. When he knew Jean was attracted to Logan, he'd occasionally wish to be a little more like Logan. But even at his worst, he's NEVER acted like he automatically deserved her. He's never acted entitled to her. And THAT, more than anything else, is why she always picks him in the end.

Because he respects her.

And Warren doesn't.

If Warren really disapproves of his friend's conduct so much, he should have taken him aside and confronted him. To be fair, I'm editing to add, he does do this, but...

If Warren truly felt Scott's silence was hurting Jean, then he should have grown some balls and told her himself.

Shut the fuck up and go get Apocalypsed already, Warren. I'm sick of you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Watchmen Sequel Rumors

I'm not sure if I'm bothered by the idea of a Watchmen sequel type comic or not. Probably not, really, as I tend to share Diamondrock's take. It's good, but never seemed as legendary as I've seen other people say.

I suspect it's because I came into comics so late, when the medium's already pretty grim and gritty. I've never experienced (except through back issues) the superhero genre that Watchmen is deconstructing. Maybe that's why it's a bit lost on me.

I think a sequel's probably likely to suck though. Some universes are open and some are closed. DC and Marvel could take some event from thirty years ago in their main timelines and suddenly sequel it up no problem, because it suits that kind of storytelling. But Watchmen's self-contained and done. It'd feel weird to tack onto it.

And well, what about the characters? They're usually the reason for a sequel. But in this, the most interesting ones are dead (Rorschach), irredeemable (Ozymandias), or elsewhere (Manhattan). And the others are weak and complicit in a cover up.

I suppose after deconstructing 70s/80s comics, they could move onto deconstructing 90s/00s comics and bring everybody back., seems like that's been done already.

I would be interested in some follow up vignettes for certain characters. A glimpse of what the world after Ozymandias's plan would actually be, but a full on sequel seems pretty pointless. IMO.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Second Coming Musing

You know, I really ought to be suffering event fatigue right now, but I'm actually really looking forward to Second Coming. (The X-Men crossover.) Probably that's because I'm enjoying Nation X so much.

For the record, I find Magneto's character arc really fascinating, and Magneto's not a character I tend to like easily. They actually made his umpteenth redemption arc interesting though, since it's the first time, to my knowledge, he's ever done the redemption thing while trying to (seemingly genuinely) follow someone else's leadership. Before it's always been as Headmaster, or his own particular semi-neutral head, or Joseph who doesn't count. (I always wish they'd bring him back though. He was a cute baby-Magneto clone.)

Watching him try, and sometimes fail, to overcome his own take charge instincts and prove his earnestness is pretty interesting!

I am pretty sure they're going to kill off my favorite character though. (I'm sure you can't possibly guess who THAT is.) Mostly because that would cause the most chaos in the current X-set up.

Most of the other characters dying (i.e. Emma) would just make things simpler in some respect, and that's no fun.

Also, this image pretty much confirms it for me. If anyone else were dying, he'd be in front of a tombstone or something. But in front of an open grave? Framed by said open grave? Alone in the shot, with a cross and an angel?

Yep. Totally dead. (Man, this is mean, but I really hope the actual comic isn't drawn by Acuna.) I'm actually looking forward to it though, because if any character could really use a vacation, it's him. And well, he'll be back. :-)

I'm not sure how I think the Hope or Jean thing shakes out. But I am looking forward to Jean coming back with her husband dead this time. Let HER be the one who has to wait/date around/get bitchy comments from her teammates, friends, and kids for it, this time. :-)

(It probably should be noted that I'm usually wrong about my predictions. But still, it'll be fun to see either way.)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I am now 27 years old.

I'm going to sleep like the old woman I am. :-) Good night!

Friday, February 05, 2010

As It Turns Out I Kind Of Like the Vision

I have, through magical proto-lawyer skill, somehow managed to convince both Ragnell and myself that we actually like the Vision.

I mean, yes, he is kind of emo. And his color scheme IS terrible. But he's got some good points too, and his relationship with the Scarlet Witch (and also the one-sided bickering from Quicksilver) is cute.

But really, I like him for two reasons:

1) He slouches.

slouchy vision

Actually, more than slouches. He downright sprawls. It's hard to explain why I find it so interesting. It might just be, well, he's an ANDROID. And an emo one. Emo Androids should sit up straight and rigid! They shouldn't slouch.

A slouching robot is downright fascinating to me!

2) He wears incredibly dorky turtlenecks.


I realize it must be hard to tear your eyes away from that warped schoolgirl monstrosity that Wanda's wearing, but the Vision's turtleneck is a thing of beauty.

Why is he wearing it? I HAVE NO IDEA.

But yeah, these two panels have made me inexplicably fond of Vision. (Also, I think Tommy/Speed needs a father figure who isn't physically capable of getting irritated with him.) Now I want them to bring him back (preferably in a way that lets us keep the little one too). Because I kind of miss his slouchy, bad turtleneck wearing, emo ass.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


I have Farscape DVDs! I probably shouldn't have splurged, but as I babbled on Twitter, I love the show so. Sci-Fi by way of Jim Henson, kinda.

Also Crichton's the hottest bimbo astronaut ever. And Aeryn Sun is basically Cyclops with boobs.

And I'm reminded that I totally want to bring Katherine Summers back as a badass Aeryn Sun style space mercenary. Hey, if Corsair could be a space pirate, it's only fair.

(And I figure Scott gets most of his personality from his mother. Since his father is kind of a dipshit and a tool.)

God I love this show.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


OMG. I want this!

The Wonder Woman Encyclopedia, I mean. So pretty! I'd buy it just for the cover image.


Monday, February 01, 2010

On Getting Girlfriends Into Video Games

Okay, I was just shown one of those "get your girl into gaming" articles via twitter. (Thanks to Dorian.) The article itself is here.

Can I give the guys in the audience some advice? Girls aren't, in general, stupid. If said girl can't figure out at least the basics of a game via manual/tutorials in game, she probably doesn't want to play the game.

And if she really needs help, she'll probably ASK you. Otherwise, she probably doesn't need you to hold her hand during it.

I will give the article credit for pointing out that tastes are important, if she hates horror movies don't show her Resident Evil. But then he goes on to hype starting simple with FIGHTING GAMES. You know, with the really long/fast executed combo-moves, steep learning curve, weak plot, tendency for T&A, and likelihood of making your hands hurt like hell after an hour or two. Yeah, that's what I'd spring on someone brand new to video games, really. (Unless she's got a lot of violent aggression to work through or is a really mean hand at Rock'Em Sock'Em robots. Then, maybe I'd go for it.)

(Edited to add, since I wasn't quite saying what I meant to here: I'm not saying girls don't LIKE fighting games. I just don't think they're a great choice to intro to someone who's brand new to video games. I'd work my way up to them.)

And then the rest of the advice seems to be either common decency (stop when she wants - I don't want to meet the guy who NEEDS this advice) or badger her to play and then freaking carry her throughout the game. Which seems like it wouldn't be any fun for EITHER player.

If guys out there want my sincere and honest advice on how to get a girl into videogames, I will tell you the one method that has the BEST chance of actually being successful:

Sit down, play your video game, and shut up. If she's interested, she will ask you about the game. If she's not, then shut up and continue to enjoy your damn game.

Win/win. Yeesh.

Miscellaneous Book Type Babbling/Site Recommendations

Okay, I was going to post something about my take on the whole Scott/Jean/Logan triangle (and why Logan is not the "dangerous" option), but I got distracted by one of my many many pointless and non-productive hobbies. Reading romance novel reviews.

I don't actually LIKE most romance novels, but I find the reviews fascinating. It's interesting to see what actual readers think of the various tropes and themes. And watch them tear apart the horrible ones.

Much rarer, they'll mention one that actually...sounds really entertaining.

Like this review of Zombie Jack.

I mean, yeah, Zombies are kind of overused now. But apparently, this book involves a zombie as a romance novel hero. Who also ends up a male stripper. To "Monster Mash" of course. Apparently his arm keeps falling off. That sounds AWESOME.

Apparently the female lead is weak, but for that concept I'm tempted to wing it. I'm gonna have to track this ebook down.


On a tangential note, I've seen at least two of my friends recently talk about how awful Legend of the Seeker is. And while I don't care for the shows. I am amused, because the books...are AWFUL.

This site dissects them so much better than I could (I only got through the first book and half of the second.) The best part is, everything in bullet points HAPPENS. And the site provides the links to quotes and citations.

It's kind of brilliant and I recommend it as a way to kill an afternoon or so.