Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Brief Note on Card

This saddens me.

Not because I'm an Orson Scott Card fan. I kind of liked the Alvin Maker series when I was a kid (I doubt I'd like it now) but I always thought the Ender series overrated. Hart's Hope was okay, but I couldn't get past parts.

Not because I'm surprised. I've read Songmaster. I wouldn't recommend it. Homosexuality (and pederasty) as written by Card. Yeah. Let's leave it at that.

(Naturally no distinction is made in the book between pederasty and homosexuality. It's another reason I would definitely NOT recommend that book.)

I feel for his fans though. Because it SUCKS to find out someone whose work you admire is someone who could spew that sort of rhetoric. And much as you try, you really can't read even the work you enjoyed without some awareness of that in the back of your mind. I've been there. It sucks.

Sometimes I wish we could just put blocks in our minds up, like Chatroom ignore, so we never have to hear what the artists/writers/et al who make our favorite stuff really think. But at the same time, I can think of a lot of people I admire that seem like really great people in real life too. And I wouldn't want to miss out on that just to ignore the assholes.

Besides, it's irresponsible to bury one's head in the sand. It's okay to enjoy something even knowing unsavory info, but it's not okay to pretend that stuff doesn't exist.

It's still depressing.

(Also, I'm disappointed in Marvel's decision to publish his comics. I can see why they would. Ender's Game and the rest are incredibly popular with nearly every geek I know. But I'm disappointed nonetheles..)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Brief Musings on Flash:Rebirth

You know, I have to admit, I never believed they'd actually bring Barry Allen back for good. I figured DC has too much invested in Barry as the dead Flash to truly bring him back.

It looks like I was wrong. :-)

Well, a cynical part of me does wonder if this series won't end like pretty much every "return of Barry Allen" story thus far, with some twist that will ultimately end up in Barry resuming his death.

I hope it doesn't though. I've never bought into the idea that there were some comic book deaths that are sacrosanct. It's comics. Part of comics is the implausible resurrection from sheer and certain death. It's like soap operas in that respect. How many times had Deirdre Hall died on Days of Our Lives?

I thought Jason Todd's return was problematic but there are still some interesting potential stories there. Bucky Barnes's return has been simply stellar. I think if they can pull of Bucky, who's death was so intrinsic to the Marvel universe, they ought to be able to bring Barry back for good too.

I don't actually care much for Barry as a character. I don't dislike him, he just tends not to register for me. I love Jay and Wally though. Bart I could do without, but heck, there's probably room there too.

I'm looking forward to this because it's Geoff Johns. GL: Rebirth had good stuff primarily for Hal and Kyle, but a bit at least for John and Guy, and opened the door for series like Recharge/GLC/Ion alongside the main series so everyone got to play. Hopefully that means that even if I don't care for Barry, there should be enough Jay and Wally stuff to make everything worthwhile and fun. There are fewer Flashes than Green Lanterns after all. :-)

So I definitely don't mind being wrong about this. I want to see what happens :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Something I always wonder reading 60s Tales of Suspense, which I may have blogged about before.

How does Steve Rogers hide that shield? Okay, sometimes it makes sense. There's the giant artist's portfolio that somehow doesn't break. Okay. And sometimes it's hidden beneath the trenchcoat, which makes sense, if you buy the fact that the trenchcoat is too long.

But sometimes...and I'm not sure how this is. He hides it IN HIS SHIRT. That thing is wider in diameter than he is! How in the world do people not notice a big blond guy with a disk in his shirt. (Sadly I don't have a scan just now. Later I'll amend one in.)

Then I realized.

Steve Rogers is a TARDIS. It makes so much sense now.

Or maybe it doesn't. :-)

I suppose it could be Pym Particles...which as I think about it, would be VERY useful.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Two Mini Reaction Posts in One

Reaction Number 1: (via blog@newsarama)

The first thing to know is that I'm really looking forward to the Watchmen movie and I thought the trailer looked PHENOMENAL. But the only thing I can think upon seeing this ad:

Dr. Manhatten has a really nice ass. But I kind of wish he'd put pants on.

Reaction Number 2: (also via blog@)

“The Marvel Universe has basically been turned into the Ultimate Universe, right down to the military super-teams,” Millar told Newsarama, “so now it’s time to go back and take things to the next level. I have a very big pad filled with notes here and am blazing on this stuff. I just want to take things to the next level.”


I have no idea where to start.



I'm not going to get into the whole pride in fucking trashing the Marvel Universe thing. I actually do like some of the results after all. But you know, the whole part of having the ULTIMATE universe was to tell DIFFERENT stories than the main universe! It shouldn't be a point of pride to turn the main universe INTO the ultimate universe!

But really, the "next level" just brings to mind all my theoretical ASBAR Green Lantern and Flash ideas. There is a point to which making things "more extreme" or bringing it to the "next level" just gets ridiculous (see: a good majority of the 1990s). Mr. Millar, you are rapidly approaching that point, if you haven't already.

But honestly, I don't care about the Ultimate Universe so PLEASE Mr. Millar fucking STAY THERE and leave 616 ALONE!

Thank you.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I might never have noticed this question while vicariously enjoying the convention if Brainfreeze didn't point it out.

You know, I do try not to judge since no one really knows what's going through someone's mind when they ask a question but...well, that question's kind of creepy. Asking about Wonder Woman in heels?

I mean, I'm sure it's just because that fellow (I'm assuming it's male) really likes the way she looks in heels. Which is fair enough I guess.

I think the real creepy part is that he/she takes the time out of a busy convention panel in which there's a finite time to ask questions and asks that. Why not just ask some of the artists? Heck, commission a few sketches.

I have to say, if I were at the con and had a question that the panel never got around to asking, I'd be just a little annoyed.

But then this is probably just jealousy talking anyway. Someday I'll be able to afford San Diego! I swear it!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Two-Headed Coin is Still One Coin

I've been reading a lot of reviews of Dark Knight and there's one criticism that pops up that I really must argue with.

It's not the Rachel thing or the Gordon family thing. (How's that for vague. :-P). I don't actually agree with those arguments for a lot of reasons which are spoilerific in nature, but I can see where they are coming from.

The criticism that I very very strongly disagree with, to the point of frothing irritation, is the one that insists that Dark Knight should have been two movies.

Be Warned for Massive Spoilers.

Serious, here be spoilers

The argument basically is that the story should have been separated into two movies, one featuring Joker as a bad guy and then one featuring Two-Face.

While I respect many of the people making this critique, I have to say that it a remarkably stupid argument.

The Joker's story and Two-Face's story are symbiotic. One can't exist without the other, and trying to separate them into two movies would change one very good, if long, movie into two complete and utter crap movies.

Without Harvey Dent's story, the Joker's story lacks horror. It has terror, sure. Most of his plots would still go as they did in the movie, wreaking havoc and destruction in their wake. But the horror element, that visceral, personal connection to fear and disgust would be lost.

Harvey Dent was the human face of the Joker's rampage. We saw him at his height and we saw him torn down and broken. His fate is the fate of Gotham. He takes the abstract fall and makes it personal.

Rachel Dawes can't fill this same role. Her death was quick and with relative dignity. She was obviously afraid, but she was holding it together. And when Bruce found Harvey, she didn't give into despair but kept calling out for his benefit. She died a hero. In the end, the Joker couldn't touch her.

But Harvey? The Joker took Gotham's Golden Boy and broke him body, mind and soul. The man who was the best of Gotham died holding a gun on a child, so mad that he needed a flip of a coin to determine death or mercy. And through his death, Batman became a reviled scapegoat, Jim Gordon, the most honest man in Gotham, became a liar, and Gotham itself is only being held together by a web of lies. The man who was supposed to be Gotham's savior became its doom.

The fate of Harvey Dent/Two-Face is culmination of the Joker's plan. It's his ultimate joke.

Moreover, as much as the Joker's story can't exist without Harvey's, a Two-Face movie is simply unfeasable.

The reviewers who suggest otherwise, I think, are missing one very important point.

Harvey Dent/Two-Face was not the villain of this movie. He was not even A villain of this movie. He was the victim. Yes, he did evil things, but he was also in unspeakable physical pain (considering Gordon established that he didn't take the medication and there certainly wasn't enough time for any real healing to begin), who had been personally terrorized after losing the person he loved, who from the way he described her as "his family" and the lack of any other indication of a relative, may well have been the ONLY person he really had. He wasn't an evil mastermind coldly scheming about bringing the city to its knees, he was just a broken man lashing out at everything he percieved as causing his pain.

It's not admirable and its not an excuse, but it's not the same as villainy either.

A movie starring Two-Face as the villain could not work because Harvey Dent's story is OVER. It was a tragedy. He was tormented, fell, used by the Joker and died. Yes, they could probably resurrect him, on account of this being comics, but it would not make any sense with regards to his character development to make him a villain. There really isn't anything left to do with him that wouldn't feel contrived or tacked on. His story is done.

The movie's long, but ultimately it's still one story. Not two.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Captain Jack = Captain America?

Urk, I really don't know what I think about this rumor.

I like John Barrowman well enough. And he certainly fills out a WWII era uniform well. Cap? Really?

I know I've argued that Cap is a role that doesn't necessarily require an actor so much as someone who can do more expression work with their bodies. As Cap is more the stoic sort of fellow more prone to quiet sadness and minor expression work than he is for the soliloquies or over-the-top emotion.

But I also don't think Barrowman's particularly GOOD at acting with his body. I liked him in Doctor Who and thought he was no better or worse than most of the Torchwood cast, but he's not, in my opinion, a very physically-expressive actor. His expressions of melancholy look more like constipation to me. I can get past the fact that I wouldn't call his physique "super-soldier" material, but it's harder to get past the fact that he's not yet shown, in my opinion, the physical expressiveness I think the role needs.

On the other hand, to be fair, I do think Captain Jack is a role that's written very limited and not one that would allow even Laurence Olivier to show off incredible acting talents. Barrowman can pull off self-effacing charm, which I think is good for Steve in quieter moments. And as shallow as it is, he has a nice warm smile. And I do think that's important for Cap. It's not a deal breaker, but it's something I personally think the character ought to have.

And it is possible, being that he's apparently done a fair bit of West End musicals, that he's better at physical expression than he lets show in Torchwood/DW. I'm assuming dancing is involved and as dancing tends to involve physical expression, I may be writing him off too soon. For that matter, theatre in general requires more physical expression than tv/movies, so that may be a good sign.

There is the plus that at least Barrowman has experience with one comic book-type role. I think a lot of decent actors' performance ends up broken in comic book or science fiction movies because they can't quite deal with the suspension of disbelief involved in talking to the aliens-who-aren't-yet-there or babbling technobabble or ridiculous statement of fact. And then there's the problem with the stupid costume. Cap's costume is not going to look anything but ridiculous no matter what they do with it. Ultimate tried taking off the wings, but ultimately the wings are not the problem. It still looks stupid.

It's weird but sometimes a mediocre actor can give a much better performance in a comic book movie than a good actor, if he's more comfortable with the trappings of the role. See as example: Chris Evans and Ioan Gruffudd in Fantastic Four. Chris Evans is not what I'd consider a particularly good actor, where anyone who sees Horatio Hornblower can attest that Ioan Gruffudd has the capacity to be phenomenal. But most critics/reviewers vastly preferred Evans to Gruffudd, and while some of that's the character (Johnny IS more fun than Reed) I think a lot of it did have to do with the actors' comfort in their roles. (And Gruffudd was much improved in Silver Surfer, I think. When he'd gotten more used to the whole thing.)

I remember watching the commentary for I think it was the Talented Mr. Ripley, where the director was talking about how difficult it was to cast certain characters. Because American culture is so different nowadays, it was difficult to find actors who could particularly resonate with the America of that time period. He chose a lot of British actors for that reason. I don't know if it's true that British actors really are better suited to playing 1940s Americans or not. I do think Barrowman has some sort of old fashioned quality that may well suit the character in his native time period. Well, more precisely, I think the guy always seems like he walked off a forties movie set. But that'd work really well, especially opposite other, more modern, Avengers)

(As a side note which may not make sense to anyone but me, Barrowman also might be a good choice for another reason. I've always felt part of Cap's appeal is that he lacks a certain amount of machismo that a lot of modern men/heroes have. I think Barrowman manages to infuse Captain Jack with that same quality. He's tough and sometimes badass, and very masculine, but without that machismo. If that makes any sense at all.)

Hmm, initially I was kind of aghast, but I'm actually warming to the idea. The key I think will be in the writing (and I heard GHASTLY gossip about THAT), but Barrowman is still ages better than those rumors of McConaghey or DiCaprio.

I'm actually starting to get enthusiastic about the idea. At the very least, I think it's a sign that the movie makers are on a good track.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Okay, This Whole Thing is Kind of Scary

Apparently lots of fans on livejournal are in an uproar because of something called "FanHistory", a wiki being made with apparently greed-related motives that, among other things, exposes the real names and identities of many prominent livejournal fans. (Some information here and a nice link list here.)

Okay, I'm not prevalent at all in livejournal fandom, in fact, I very rarely use my livejournal at all, and my real name and occupation is fairly common knowledge provided anyone has access to a search engine or newsarama and actually cares enough to look me up. So this isn't something that affects me at all.

Though amusingly I AM listed in FanHistory, solely for a wretched obscure Japanese series-based fanfic I wrote back in 2003. But I digress.

I'm still horrified by this. It's similar to what I feel when I see bloggers who use their real names express scorn toward bloggers/livejournalists that don't. I think whether someone uses their real name or a pen name ought to be their own personal choice and it does not invalidate any point that they make.

I mean heck, most of you (except for the bare handful who've met me in real life and seen my driver's license) have to take it on my word that I'm a 25 year old law student by the name of Melissa Krause. I could very well be a school teacher named Mark Matisse, for all the rest of you know. Even assuming there IS a 25 year old law student by my name in Michigan at my University, I may have found that out some other way.

I considered changing this blog over to my real name once I started at Blog@, since I'm really not bothering to hide it. But in the end, I chose to keep my penname out of tradition (I've used it in some form or another since age 14 or so), uniformity (blog, AIM, livejournal, et al. all use it), and the fact that quite a few of my real life friends actually think of me more by my screenname than my real name.

But that's my choice to make, you know? I CHOSE to keep my screenname but use my real name publically. It wasn't forced on me.

I don't understand all the business-idea aspects of this whole FanHistory thing. I have no idea how Ms. Hale intends to make money off of it. But I do understand that in the process, Ms. Hale is exposing certain livejournalists and making real life information available against those livejournalists' will.

That's terrible. It really is. You can find out a lot about a person just from their name and that can be troublesome or even dangerous. Consider the internet stalkers some people have reported! Or what about those awful stories about people who have had co-workers or supervisors stumble across their blogs and been FIRED. There are some very serious consequences being risked here!

But even without that, it's just basic disrespect! While it's true that anything posted publically is fair game for commentary and exposure elsewhere, I think posting someone's real name goes a bit beyond just linking someone's rant about Nightwing and mocking the shit out of it. (...not that I've done that...)

It's just...ultimately, I'm just really angry that someone would do this kind of thing. It's not a completely rational reaction, but I'm really appalled at this. People have the right to privacy and anonymity for their own reasons. This entire situation is abhorrent.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Flight of the Jackasses

Okay, given that I'm on a Silver Age Marvel kick at the moment (I do that sometimes.) I had a realization.

See, I was reading some issues of Avengers volume 1 and Tales of Suspense and well...

It's pretty much established. All of the original Avengers are self-centered twits.

One issue that brings this particularly in mind for me is issue 16. If you haven't read issue 16, it's fairly simple. Basically Cap fights Zemo alone on his island. The Avengers, to their credit, kind of want to help, but apparently Cap told them this was something he had to do.

But while he's out there fighting for his life, you have this:

Seriously guys, I'm not begrudging you a vacation, but wouldn't it be polite to wait to discuss it with the guy currently risking his life out there?

For that matter, does Cap actually have a separate residence? All I can think of during Avengers/Tales of Suspense involving Cap asleep takes place at the Avengers Mansion. If this is true, then that makes them even more dickish. "Sorry man, I know you live here and have nowhere else to go, but we need a vacation! Have fun leading some mouthy punk and two of Magneto's ex-lackeys to victory!"

I think what adds insult to injury is that in a team so supposedly equal that they take turns being Chairman, they decide immediately, without the input of the two missing members, that Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are part of the team. Now I'm not saying they're not good members, but it's kind of bad form. Seriously. Cap comes back just in time to see them being sworn in.

I think my favorite part is this, Steve is understandably aghast that the Avengers are disbanding:

You know what, Tony. Shut up. Just shut up. You all joined in fucking issue #1. Cap issue fucking number #4! That's a three issue lead.

This is issue #16, which means counting this issue Cap's been in a grand total of thirteen issues. That's thirteen issues together to your three issue lead. That ratio does not allow you to pull the "well I've been here much longer than you" card. Shut up.

You could have at least offered the man a vacation too. Jackass.

(Edited to fix a fact-checking error. :-))

Monday, July 21, 2008


Pardon me while I squeal embarrassingly like someone half my age! OMG!!!

From the solicits:

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and cover by Pat Gleason & Drew Geraci
The lead-in to “Blackest Night” begins with “The Sins of the Star Sapphire.” Catch a glimpse into the beginning of the latest Corps being formed and what it will mean to the Green Lanterns. Plus, Ice proposes to Guy Gardner!
On sale October 8 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


I'm sure there's a trick. There's always a trick! But I really really want to believe it! Favorite Couple Ever!

And SHE proposes to HIM! <3 Provided that she's not a shapeshifter or mind controlled or a clone, that's so CUTE!

I wonder if there'll be a wedding! I hope there's a wedding! But even if there isn't, I'm sure it'll be awesome...

As long as Ice doesn't wear lingerie down the aisle and have to stab Guy in the throat on their wedding night.


You won't be getting any coherent thought out of me tonight. :-)

Hawkeye is an ass, and bonus emo-Tony

One thing that always strikes me when reading Silver Age comics is how much Hawkeye amuses me. He'll never be one of my favorite characters, but there's rarely an issue that goes by where I don't end up shaking my head in amusement at one of his assholish remarks.

I think I actually prefer him to his DC counterpart, because even though Ollie can also be an ass, he's always got that enlightened liberal "I'm right/you're wrong" kind of assholishness. The noble asshole if you will. It can get a bit much (and I say that as someone who's fairly liberal myself.)

Clint doesn't need any high-falootin' reasons for his assholishness. He's just a clueless dick sometimes. I can appreciate that. So in celebration, I'm going to post one of my favorite Hawkeye is an asshole moments from Tales of Suspense 72:

I love this panel. It totally makes me snicker every time. I mean seriously. What an ASS. It's all "Oh come on, why aren't you over the fact that your sidekick blew up in front of you twenty years ago?"

I also love it though because Wanda actually tries to answer his question which is nice of her. But neither of these mental wunderkind actually seems to remember that thanks to that nifty iceberg, it wasn't actually twenty years ago to Cap. For Cap, it's been like, what? Three months? Gee, I wonder why he's not over it?

It's just so...shamelessly assholish. It reminds me of that Sweet Valley High book where the twins decide that a few months is much too long for their older brother to be grieving his dead girlfriend. And somehow his parents AGREE with this. They're only happy when he decides to repress it all and date some other girl. Yeesh. No wonder he ended up with that weird obsession about her stationary and all these other girls who just randomly look like the dead girlfriend!


Also, as a bonus for your amusement, from the same issue!

I love Tony's melodrama. Every issue of Tales of Suspense ends EXACTLY like that. Well, okay. Change up the angst. Sometimes it's "I wish I could return Pepper's feelings, but I could never trap her with a man at the brink of death!"

I'm crying silent tears on the inside, man.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Okay, this news makes me smile.

I quite enjoy Greatest American Hero (my ex-roommate simply adores it) and I was annoyed by the way it ended. So a comic book continuation is awesome news. I realize it'll probably suck. But more Ralph! And Bill! And the students! Especially the hot one played by Michael Pare!

I don't have a lot of patience with bumbling heroes, but the fact that he didn't know how to work the suit was never Ralph's fault. Besides, he was fairly clever, adaptable and always meant well. Also William Katt wasn't bad to look at, he had a dorktastic sort of appeal.

I just hope they'll actually use the likenesses of the characters. The old school Battlestar Galactica comic annoys me. Starbuck ought to look like Starbuck. Just pay the damn people and use the RIGHT image. Yeesh.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

No Post

I would have a post today but...I saw Dark Knight.

Awesome. And I say that as one of the few people in the world who thought Batman Begins was okay but not spectacular. THIS was spectacular.

I have no idea how to talk about it without spoiling like mad. So I'll take a break to process. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Superhero-derived Barbie doll perversion

Okay, this kind of amuses me and pisses me off at the same time.

I mean, intellectually, I can see why some people would be upset. The fangirl in me insists that Black Canary is awesome and that doll is awesome. I love the face and the design.

I can almost sympathize with the complaint though, since I remember seeing a lot of folk make similar complaints about Black Canary's own costume anyway. Figures those same types of folks would hop out of the woodwork now. They've clearly got nothing better to do than worry about the moral influence of a collector's edition Barbie doll.

But honestly, I wouldn't call that S&M style. Seriously. At worst it's a Biker-themed stripper's outfit. The one I always thought was clearly S&M was the Halle Berry Catwoman doll:

Holy hell is that tasteless. There is no way the Black Canary outfit remotely compares to...THAT.

I kind of want to mail one to each person who complains about the Black Canary doll. Just to show them that they haven't scratched the surface of corrupt superhero-derived Barbie doll perversion.

I suppose I'll just point and mock instead.

Atheism in the DCU

In the comments to my JSA post, Phil posted something interesting:

I didn't like the Mister Terrific scene much. It read like dialogue written by a person who's never spoken to an intelligent atheist in his life. Johns' written him well before, so I'll be patient with this character arch, but I really hope it doesn't turn into Michael "filling that God-shaped hole in his heart".

Can't we have one pop culture atheist who's not either a self-centred misanthropic prick or a tragic soul who's "mad at God"?

This stuck with me over a few days so rather than replying in a comment, I thought I'd make a blogpost about it. Hope that doesn't offend you, Phil.

Anyway. On one hand I sympathize a lot. Atheist characters are already rare and it's difficult to see someone who shares your beliefs caricaturized. But there is an element to consider that makes the portrayal of atheist characters that aren't either self-centered pricks or tragic souls very difficult in the DCU...

Because in the DCU, there is clear evidence of God/Gods. Wonder Woman was created by the Greek Gods and interacts with them on a semi-regular basis. Sand is favored by Dream of the Endless, who even stirred off his ass to get the JSA to save his champion's life. Supergirl (Matrix-version) became a celestial being. Zauriel was an angel. Etrigan and Neron tend to imply the existance of a god/gods/heaven as their opposites. Ragman and the Spectre definitely imply the Judeo-Christian deity's in place...and I'm sure I'm missing other examples.

I myself am not atheist, but I do think that atheism in our world is perfectly rational and reasonable. Neither the existance of a God/gods nor his/her/their acts have anything more than circumstantial evidence. If you're a person who requires proof, well then, it's perfectly logical to not believe in that sort of thing.

But the DCU HAS a god/gods. Many of them even. And witnesses and evidence. People can communicate with celestial beings. Mr. Terrific himself had interaction with the Spectre, if I recall correctly. So to be an atheist as we define it is probably not very rational in that world and requires a certain measure of defiance of certain elements of (their) reality. There needs to be an element fuelling the defiance. Be it misanthropic anger or tragic angst.

Actually, thinking about it. I think there is a way to rationally be an atheist in the DCU, though I think it does blur the line a bit between atheism and agnosticism. But it might be logical for DCU-atheist to accept that there are "god" and "gods" but doubt that those figures are more than just extremely powerful human-types. After all, how do you define "God" anyway? I don't recall seeing this perspective pop up in any of the atheism/religion discussions in comics yet, but I could very well be misremembering. That would be a way to be an atheist character without the character needing some sort of anger/tragedy fuelling their disbelief.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sentinel of Liberty 5 and 6

I was rereading Captain America - Sentinel of Liberty today. It's one of my favorite miniseries. I think my favorite part is issue 5 and 6, specifically the story involving the Tales of Suspense-era Cap/Iron Man team up.

While I actually do like Tony as a character most of the time, but I'm afraid Tony falls into the same niche for me that Wesley Dodds does. Essentially, I'm most happy mocking the fuck out of him.

The best thing about this particular story for me is that it really carries through the two major traits of both characters that I've taken away from mainlining a cartload of 1960s Tales of Suspense issues at once: Cap is sweet and earnestly adorable, and a flipping moron.

Yeah, yeah, tech genius aside, when it comes to EVERYTHING else, he was an idiot. When you even have Happy fucking Hogan thinking, in one issue, that all of Tony's problems with Pepper would be solved if he'd just fucking TELL her he's Iron Man, you've reached the point of rampant stupidity. He spends all his time angsting about how he couldn't make her love a man on the verge of death, even though she's clearly infatuated with Iron Man, who as a superhero could die any fucking time anyway. He angsts about how she loves him and hates Iron Man, or vice versa, as the stupid bint can't seem to make up her fucking mind...

But I digress. Besides, Pepper's cool in the movie and even in that horrible animated movie so I can't bitch too much. And why the hell did Tony never invent a portable charger? Or at least a car adapter?

But that's a rant for another day.

Anyway, true to form, in this miniseries, Tony is at his breathtakingly stupidest. The entire story focuses on his internal monologue a few days after Cap's unfrozen. He has the bright idea to take Cap to Brooklyn to see all the changes. When Tony watches Cap being visibly bothered by the changes, he starts monologuing about how he thinks asking Cap to join the Avengers was a mistake and how the guy's out of touch.

What is his evidence for this, you may ask? It's because Cap is bothered by the fact that his hometown looks nothing like he remembered and because *shock among shocks* Steve CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT DAY OF THE WEEK IT IS.

If you think I'm lying:

Um. Tony. Sweetie. *I* can barely keep straight what day of the week it is. And *I* wasn't in an iceberg "a couple of days ago".

He then goes on about how Cap's likely to get himself killed. Naturally this leads to an attack by robots who then mind control Iron Man. Iron Man and Cap fight.

This leads to this monologue by the way:

"Even with one bootjet crippled by the robots, I figured I was more than a match for one disoriented acrobat wrapped in a flag."

...No. Sweetie. You're really not. :-)

This leads to asskickery:

I'm only posting this page for the part where he apologizes to Tony for breaking his deflectors even though Tony is currently mind controlled and trying to physically harm him. And is a moron.

Aw. Steve is adorable.

Anyway, the story ends with the robots trying to brainwash Cap, Cap throwing it off with his mad speechifying capability and Tony getting a fucking clue.

Here we see Tony eating crow and rolling up Cap's garbage, while Cap is always gracious:

Aw. The cutest thing is that, at this point in time, Steve probably actually believes Iron Man could take him in a fair fight. Awww.

I'll leave you with one last image taken EXTREMELY out of context.

The commentary pretty much writes itself at this point, doesn't it?

Good night everybody.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Miscellaneous Movie Musings

Oooh, apparently there's going to be a Watchmen trailer before Batman! That should be interesting!

I'm not entirely certain whether I think it will suck or not. To be honest, I only read it once, quite a few years ago now, and don't remember very much, so I can't judge it much as an adaptation. I do remember it being fairly substantial though, so I do wonder how in the world they'll condense the whole thing. But then people have condensed larger series after all.

I do like the costumes, from what I've seen. The acting choices seem interesting. I think the story might be one of those that are a bit "too clever" though. Meaning that, in the right hands under the right circumstances, it's awesome. But one tiny element out of place, and it falls apart into a smug incoherent mess. It's usually worth the risk, but so very frustrating when it fails.

But I'm also easily distracted by action and neat costumes and explosions. (I adored V for Vendetta after all.) So I'll probably enjoy it either way. And Dark Knight promises to be awesome enough to give any of its trailers a retroactive sheen of awesomeness too.

Also, Aaron Eckhart's hot. :-P

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Was Wrong! (Beware of Spoilers)

Okay, a while back I expressed my doubts about the Get Smart movie.

Actually, I have to admit. I was totally wrong about this one. I saw the movie today and was really good.

(I shouldn't have to warn you that there will be some spoilers in this right?)

I figured, as a fan of the original series, that I wouldn't like it. But I really think it worked. (And Carrell's Adams voice is much better in the movie than it was in the trailers I'd seen.)

I think what made it work for me was the particular tone of the humor. It was very funny but it wasn't mean spirited, I think. I don't always mind mean humor, but it wouldn't have worked here.

I think the best example of the kind of humor of the movie was in one part of the movie in which Max and 99 are in Russia. 99 is dancing with a villain and Max ends up asking a fat girl to dance.

I have to admit, I cringed as soon as she appeared on the screen. I'd seen more than enough "comedies" to figure out where this was going. Especially given that the dance was the sort that involved lots of lifting. I knew I'd feel so bad for that poor girl by the end of it. And while, as I said, I don't mind vicious humor sometimes, I prefer it when it's targetting people who deserve it, not poor innocent folk who are only guilty of not fitting in to Hollywood's standards of beauty.

But the moment of humiliation never came. Even when, at the climax he lifts her over his head. I was expecting a "CRASH" or something else cruel and embarrassing. But it didn't happen! The most physical humor regarding her size was a bit of sweating and a mumbled "Thank you for jumping." The girl got to saunter out, head held high, and middle finger ready to the skinny little model types who'd mocked her.

And that's the thing really. There was a joke there, but the girl was a part of the joke, not the victim of it. They could have gone the traditional route and humiliated her, but instead set up a situation where you could imagine that she went home with a triumphant, happy memory to savor for the rest of her life. It was awesome!

Also, the skeeviness I expected to result from the twenty-year age difference between Carrell and Anne Hathaway wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. It helped that they gave her a throwaway line of actually being close to his age but looking younger with plastic surgery. I'd still have preferred casting an older woman, but it pretty much worked for me.

Alan Arkin and Terrance Stamp were awesome too, naturally. Brilliant casting all around.

I really didn't expect it to be very good. My mother and I picked it on a whim (the original plan was to see Hellboy. We'll still see that of course, just...later). But it really was hilarious.

I love being wrong about this sort of thing!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thing I Thought After Rereading JSA 17

Something that occurred to me while rereading Justice Society #17.

Sand's life sucks.

I mean, okay, Gog's going around granting wishes/fixing everyone's problems.

You have the characters whose problems are small and easily fixed Cyclone's monkey and Stargirl needing to be reminded of her awesomeness.

You have the characters with some sort of physical ailment (seemingly) permanently impaired: Mid-Nite's sight, Damage's face, Thom's insanity.

You have Power Girl being sent to her home dimension.

You have the characters that Gog seemingly can't hear: Mr. Terrific, Citizen Steel, which sucks in its own way but still...

But as for Sand? Who Gog CAN hear?

He gets a nap!

I'm not saying he didn't really need it. Or that he won't appreciate it. But my major reaction is still:

That's how you know your life sucks.

But it was cute how Dr. Mid-Nite settled him nice and comfy against the tree. Aw.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Spoilers Totally Make Me Buy More Comics...

You know, I'd stopped reading Booster Gold. It's not that it's not a fun, good comic. It is. But money's tighter than I'd like and there were other series I enjoyed even more.

But...damnit. I think I have to start buying it again.

See, I have this thing where there are particular storyline elements that immediately shift a book/tv-show/movie from "I guess it's okay" to "OMG! Must read/watch/devour!"

For example even though I don't much care for most seasons of Power Rangers, despite my ex-roommate's best intentions, all it took was "Oh, one character's secretly a robot" to make me watch Operation Overdrive religiously. Hell, I even watched an entire series of Charmed, which may well be in the running for stupidest show alive, for the whole son-from-the-future-that-they-don't-know-is-their-son plot. (Actually, anything involving people who know each other ending up secretly and unwittingly related. I think I saw Empire Strikes Back too many times as a kid.)

I don't think I need to tell you what just got spoiled for me, right?

Yeah. Okay. Fine. I can't afford it, but it's totally back on the list. Can't fight destiny. Now I have to go track down my old issues of 52 and buy those missing issues of Booster Gold so I can reread with this new information in mind.


Friday, July 11, 2008


I have to admit, my first reaction to this news was "WHAT?!" Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes?!

Then it occurred to me, that in much the same way that Robert Downey Jr. made a perfect Iron Man, he could also probably make a perfect Sherlock Holmes.

I mean, on one hand, Downey is an actor with substance abuse problems and fairly undeniable talent playing Tony Stark: a self-absorbed playboy with substance abuse problems and undeniable genius.

And on the other hand, Sherlock Holmes is a self-absorbed egotist with substance abuse problems and undeniable genius.

Both Tony and Holmes also have long suffering best friends (or a few in Tony's case) as well.

Thinking about it? I can see it.

How well does he pull of an English accent?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yet More MK/DC day I'll get bored of them.

Damnit. I really have to stop posting reactions to everything Blog@ shows for the MK/DCU game. I HATE fighting games. I have no intention of playing the game no matter how cool it looks.

But...Catwoman! In a good costume!

Though, there is a skeptical part of me wondering, as kick ass as Selina is, how the hell we're supposed to buy that she can stand toe to toe with folks like Raiden or Sub Zero. I mean, Batman, okay. He's a devious bastard and has gadgets up the wazoo. But Selina?

But then again, I never bought that Johnny Cage could be a serious combatant for anyone so if he can make it, certainly SHE can. So I'm probably thinking too hard about it. It's a fighting game. It's not supposed to make sense. :-P

I hope someone who buys the game sets Selina vs Kitana and takes screenshots. Because that would be an awesome fight., wait. What I really want is screenshots of a Johnny Cage vs. Nightwing fight. Because watching those two losers beat the crap out of each other? Priceless.

Tangentially it occurs to me that the only time I've ever played a Mortal Kombat game was a game boy edition of Mortal Kombat II. I never got very far, and the only character I could do much of anything with was the shapeshifter. For some reason though, I could only turn him into one of the ninja girls. Which i did. A lot. At the age of ten, my favorite hobby was to turn an evil shapeshifter into a transvestite.

That probably says a lot about me right there. :-)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wonder Woman Article!

Hmph, internet trouble last night, so I decided to heavily overdose on Ultima IV (Damnit, I forgot to talk to the freaking ankh.) instead and post today.

Sadly, after so much time to think I came up with...bupkiss.

But I have to say I really like this tv-guide article.

For one thing, I really like the casting. I didn't know Artemis would be in the movie. I stand by what I said before, though, in my mind Diana has a deeper voice than Keri Russell. Before anyone reads anything anti-woman/anti-feminine in that, I'll clarify that my own voice is quite a bit deeper than Keri Russell. I think Diana should sound like me, of course. :-)

I do think she'll be able to pull off the character though, which is the important thing.

Mostly though, I really like what Nathan Fillion has to say about Steve Trevor:

"What I like about Steve Trevor is that he's a very real guy. He's very honest and he's very natural. He doesn't apologize for much. And he's about as normal as a guy can be while hanging out with Wonder Woman."

I wish the folks at DC would have remembered this in the 1980s. Then maybe we wouldn't have such a depressingly Steve-less reboot. Oh well, maybe if the movie does well enough, they might consider adding a younger namesake cousin or something. I like Nemesis, but he's no Steve Trevor.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Cat Fancy...

It's probably wrong that I kind of want to see a tongue in cheek team-up or antagonistic comic featuring Catwoman, the Cheetah and Tigress, isn't it?

I mean the absolutely wretched puns alone...

Though, on a more serious note, I don't think I've ever read a team-up between Wonder Woman and Catwoman, which actually surprises me. There ought to be one out there somewhere. I'd be fascinated to see how the two women interact.

It's interesting also that both women ended up taking the final step and killing an antagonist relatively close in time to one another. They, admittedly, did it for different reasons, but it's still an interesting connection. Besides, I'd like to see more of the women in Bruce's life get together and mock him. :-P

Really though, I just think ladies' personalities would interact very interestingly. They have such different ideologies, but at the same time, have quite a bit in common as well. I can't imagine there ISN'T a pre-existing team-up issue out there somewhere, but I've never seen it. I hope to find one eventually. :-)

Monday, July 07, 2008


I had a peculiar thought. I can't really think of any X-Men who are ex-American (present-day) military. I can think of a few that served in foreign or alien military, and maybe Wolverine, who seems too much of a wildcard to really be counted anywhere, but aside from that, I'm drawing a blank.

It seems odd because there have to be SOME members of the military who discovered mutant abilities later in life or perhaps hid theirs for a long time.

Then again, I suppose it makes sense. It's hard to imagine a soldier who takes an oath to this country being comfortable as part of what amounts to a secret army. I'd imagine if an ex-military man/woman did suddenly discover powers, they'd be more inclined to join a governmentally sanctioned group like the Avengers or make their own little patriotic militia instead. Xavier's army on the other hand is scary and devoted, a hidden force of highly trained super-powered combatants who have been known to take on governmental facilities. I can see why someone would shy away from that.

I don't really have a point to this. It's just a thought that popped into my head. Though I think I would like to read a comic involving an ex-military mutant militia (alliteration unintended). With absolutely NO ties to Xavier or any of the existing X-teams. It seems like there would be an interesting dynamic there.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Eggplant and Lime Green

So I finally got the chance to go to my local comic shop for the first time in ages, naturally I've got myself a nice stack to catch myself up on. While at the comic shop however, I saw this:

(Image swiped from here.)

On one hand, it's a very nice figure and I particularly like the face and removeable sunglasses/mask. On the other though...

The suit/trenchcoat costume is supposed to be LESS silly of the Sandman's costumes! I know it's green and purple in some of the comics too, but somehow it manages to be green and purple without being quite and purple. (The picture actually doesn't do it justice as to HOW green and purple it is.)

I mean, honestly, the box talks about how, via glasses and mask, you can transform Wesley back and forth from the Sandman or not. And I have to take this as more evidence of Wes's moronitude becuase really...either way, he's wearing eggplant and lime green.

If I see a masked man wearing eggplant and lime green. Then a guy in glasses wearing the same outfit. I'm not going to assume they're different men. I'm going to assume that only one man in existance would actually wear that color combination willingly and attack him!

And they keep trying to blame the purple cowl costume on Sandy! Sandy, barring a few exceptions, actually knows how to dress!

Saturday, July 05, 2008


They've got preview pages of Captain America: White up.

I have to say, it does look interesting but I'm a little disappointed. I think this version is probably closer to the original concept as originally envisioned in WWII. But I've really fallen for the Brubaker conception of their early partnership and I was really hoping we'd see something closer to that. I really like the way they're portrayed as fairly close in age and how the different life experiences, and Bucky's new role as scout/assassin/mess-cleaner plays with the original dynamic. (It's interesting how this version's Bucky, in some ways, seems older than Steve, for example.)

CA:W seems like fun, but a lot more traditional in interpretation. And I'm not terribly fond of Sale's art style in this. I think it suits the overall theme, but it's not really to my taste. Also, Bucky looks too...young Dick Grayson for me.

I'll still give it a try, because it's Cap and I love Cap, but I'm still a bit irrationally disappointed.

But on the plus side, Avengers/Invaders is flipping awesome and portrays more of the dynamic I like to see, so there's always an up-side. :-) (Which reminds me, I really need to blog about that at some point!)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Babbling Meandering Thoughts on Robin

Heheh, I'm always interested in this debate. In a sense, I can see both sides. I love Robin, but Robin is really really hard to make workable in a movie sense.

Ultimately though, I do think that people arguing against Robin ever appearing in a movie are deluding themselves. It's not because of my own fondness for the character. (Or fondness for disliking, as the case may be.) It's because, no matter how much these fanboys may grouse and groan, Robin's a very important and undeniable part of the Batman mythos.

I mean, heck, when it comes down to it, Batman himself only existed for what? Two years? Before they made the Boy Wonder. That leaves sixty-eight years where there is a Robin, (or an ex-Robin) in some form or another. And thanks to the Adam West show, Superfriends, the Justice League, and any of the Batman cartoons, Robin's pretty well cemented in the minds of any non-comic fan too.

Heck, even folks who've never heard of A-listers like Green Lantern or Flash know that "Dick Grayson" is/was "Robin".

And Nolan, Bale and company can keep making movies and pretending he doesn't exist, but it's kind of like trying to ignore the big elephant in the center of the room. Eventually they're going to have to find a way to deal with it. They're deluding themselves if they think otherwise. People are going to keep asking.

I do get some of the problem though. By nature, Dick's role was to represent hope and a tiny dose of brightness in the darkness that is Batman's life and Gotham City. That's not something that can translate well to these sorts of movies which I think tend to bask in the darkness more than comics are apt to.

I think personally, if *I* were going to do a movie-take on Robin, I'd skip Dick Grayson altogether. I'd have a few lines at the beginning establishing that there was a Dick. That he was Robin. That he lightened Batman up a little. Then they had a falling out and he split. But I'd start it with Jason Todd. Blowing the fuck up.

Because let's face it. The non-comic book audience knows how the Batman and Robin story goes. But when Robin blows the fuck up? That startles people. I remember being fairly young and finding out that one of the Robins actually DIED. I didn't read comics at the time but I was aghast. It works as a good anecdote to the Robin-lightening effect too, if you kill him.

Then I'd basically have the story borrow liberally from "A Lonely Place of Dying". Not the events exactly, but the whole Batman-losing-it-even-more, kid-figures-out-Batman's-identity, kid-tries-to-help-without-Batman's knowledge kind of thing.

I think Tim's personality would work well for this sort of movie. He's contemplative and kind of gloomy. No clownish antics or cheesy lines to try to lighten the deal. No "Holy Rusted Metal, Batman!" or "Chicks dig the car." For all the problems I have with Dixon's writing in some respects, I always thought he did well in re-envisioning a Robin that worked well in this cynical age. The general lack of smart-aleckness would be rare and welcome. (And heck, Batman's reluctance toward getting a new sidekick would probably work well in channeling Christian Bale's own dislike of the concept. :-P)

That said, I do think a straightforward Dick-as-Robin story would probably work fine as long as, like Loeb says in the linked article, they take it slow. Also, I personally would prefer that whether they went with Tim or Dick, they didn't put some kid in his twenties in the costume. I get that thirteen's probably too young to work on the big screen without people twigging on to the idea that dragging a child into vigilante-dom's a bad idea, but I think there IS sort of blank spot age range there that could work if they try.

I really do think they'll have to do something eventually though. It's not really something that can be ignored forever. They'll look like total chickenshits, afraid of a teenager in elf boots. Yeesh. :-)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I'm alive!!!

Ooo, that was fun. I would have posted last night but we got a fairly good sized thunderstorm.

In fact, as I found out, the good sized curb-side tree I was parked under apparently got struck by lightning and split, so a good half-chunk slammed to the ground and just MISSED my car!

How's that for luck? :-)

Unfortunately we lost power though and still don't have it back. Naughtily, I'm blogging from work. Hopefully we'll get power back before the weekend though or I may be incommunicado for a while. Sucks but what can ya do?

HOPEFULLY, I'll catch folks later. (On the plus side, this'll give me the chance to pop over to the comic book store! I've fallen behind again, so I'm totally seizing this holiday weekend...even if I have to read by candlelight! This couldn't possibly backfire on me! :-P)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Just because I didn't go, doesn't mean I can't comment...

I didn't go to the Chicago convention this year. Mostly because neither my ex-roommate nor Ragnell could go, and it's not nearly as much fun to go alone.

That and my wallet can't quite handle it. Instead, as my blog has already related, we hung about and watched stupid things and generally enjoyed ourselves. I don't regret it.

Though I am a teensy bit sad about missing out on panels like this and this one.

Especially the latter. The former is always interesting (and for those of you who may not have noticed (Ragnell's broken her hiatus. Mine's still going for now, but I have the distinct feeling my guilt over leaving her to do all the work should kick in any time now and I'll be resuming my "do one-fifth of the work, get half the credit" contribution. :-P). But still, Greg Rucka and Gail Simone talking Wonder Woman? Awesome.

I like the thought of Simone making some new villains for Diana. I do think she's got some good villains in her mix (and admittedly some clonkers) but heck, that's no reason not to play around with new ideas. I'm not sure what I think about the "Doomsday" one. One one hand, I think the notion of a being created out of soil from a lot of genetic cleansing sites is a really interesting idea. On the other, though, it kind of reminds me of Captain Pollution in the whole equal-and-opposite vibe. :-) Which means that it could turn stupid pretty quick. But I tend to like Gail Simone's work, and when I don't, it's usually because I just don't care for the characters/concepts and not out of any problem with the writing. (See: Secret Six.)

So I'll probably enjoy it.

The Marvel and DC panel sounds like fun too. Especially with all the fussing I've seen online about how DC (and Didio) is apparently screwed because Final Crisis 1 didn't sell as well as Secret Invasion. That never made sense to me because in actuality, I don't think Marvel and DC are in competition. It's not like we're talking about utilities or phone companies or anything like that here. With cable or telephones or electricity, yeah, you pick one company and you use it. If you switch, you switch to a new one and don't give any money to the old one.

But comics aren't like that. People buy comics they like. Sure, lots of folks, myself included, do have a general preference for one company over another, but even the most hardcore DC or Marvel polarist usually enjoys at least ONE comic produced by the other side. And even if one does better in any given month, it doesn't mean the other is suddenly in dire straights. It's not a big deal if Final Crisis comes in second to Secret Invasion. It's still coming in second and that's not a bad position at all.

I think the panel sounds like it had nifty insights into the different stylistic elements of each company and would have been fun. :-)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Random Thoughts that made me Laugh

Today I spent most of my evening getting my ass kicked playing the 1987 remake of Ultima and there's nothing like the ego deflation of utterly sucking at a game that came out when you were FOUR, that's a remake of a game that came out three years or so before you were born to clear your head of anything resembling actual thought.

Does make good stress relief though. I'm hoping to eventually make my way up through the series. I've played quite a few of them but never in order, so it seems like it would be fun. At least until I get distracted. I'm hoping to at least make it to the game where you, Nicola Tesla, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Rasputin, Buffalo Bill, and others end up on Mars. Because that just sounds neat.

But anyway, because of that, I've given up on compiling everything in a coherent post and just slamming a few random thoughts on here in no particular order. (That's today's excuse, anyway!)

- If the Batclan were the family on Full House, Wally West would totally be Kimmy Gibler.

- How the hell do you make a sequel to 300? Wasn't the ending fairly definitive?

- I think I once mentioned my belief on how I think an All-Star Batman and Robin-style Green Lantern would be hilarious and involve Hal Jordan fighting crime alongside his three child prostitute sidekicks: a scarily-competent African-American boy, an ill-tempered redhead, and a tiny dreamy black-haired kid with a penchant for eating his female clients. But you know what would be even funnier? ASBAR-style Flash. Seriously. In my head, it's some sort of bizarre Frankenstein meets Oliver Twist story in which a secretly demented Barry Allen pathologically dates women and steals their nephews, stepsons, whatever, and uses them in his desparate experiments to make another like him. It'd be demented.

- I tried to think of an ASBAR version of Wesley Dodds and Sandy Hawkins and my brain just tried to manually eject out of my head.

...give me a few days and a lot of coffee.

- Do you think Neptune Perkins had to have a giant salt water tank in the senate chambers? Because I think that would kind of put the damper on the debate.

"Senator Perkins, would you like to respond to the Senator from New Mexico's rebuttal?" "Glub."

- I'm somehow surprised that I've never seen a Drizzt Do'Urden/Nightwing crossover slash fanfiction. Then again, the sheer angst level might well destroy the universe.

But there's potential for a truly amusing parody in there somewhere.