Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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

Friday, October 31, 2008

No Post Here

Happy Halloween everybody! I'm going to do what I usually do when holidays come around. Namely, I'm vacationing from blogging today.

Well, in as much as you can vacation from blogging while posting about vacationing from blogging.


I may not have mastered the art yet. Someday.

Failing that, I've decided that the awesomest monster-movie ever would involve zombie sharks. Because they're zombies. And sharks. Possibly Samuel L. Jackson would be eaten. It'd be awesome.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Night Thinking

Well. Actually it's Thursday morning. But hey. Thursday. And there IS thinking. Awesome thinking.

There's revenge, fist shaking and shouting of the last word aloud. A veritable trifecta of awesome thinking.

You're welcome! :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Belated Star Trek photo reactions.

I'm kind of an incompetent geek. I'm actually really excited about the upcoming Star Trek movie (Mr. Spock was my very first adolescent crush, I think. Followed by Methos from Highlander. Then the Doctor. Or possibly Illya Kuryakin. I'm trying not to analyze what that says about my personality/taste) but I simply can't keep up to date on the news about it.

Blog@ linked pictures almost two weeks ago that I'd never seen! These!!!

I love that they kept the original uniforms. Yeah, they look cheesy. It's STAR TREK. We're not going to get the epitome of cool in anything going by the name of "Star Trek". Ain't happening.

Actually, given how much of sci-fi seems to involve leather or pseudo military garb, I kind of find the silly jumpsuits to be kind of retro-rebellious. If that makes sense. We don't need yer stinking cool and flattering costumes.

Spock looks AWESOME. Though he looks kind of like he's going to eat the brain of the guy he's gripping in that one picture. Then again, Spock's always been the "protests too much" sort with regards to emotions anyway. And he used to shout under Captain Pike.

...that came out dirtier than I intended, but it's late at night and I should be asleep.

I like the bridge scene, though I don't really like that Kirk's not in the full jumpsuit. I'm also not sure what I think of that guy as Kirk. He looks too dashingly normal. I just hope he can appropriately overact.

The rest of the cast looks phenomenal though. Urban's a little too recognizable to me in that group shot, but he looks awesome on the bridge. Chekov looks twelve (appropriately), Uhura looks smashing. Pegg might have the same problem as Urban for me, but I'll probably get over it. Maybe.

Honestly, this movie will have to be phenomenally bad, Salinger-Captain America bad, I suspect, for me not to have a blast when I see it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Comic Book Plotline Would I Want?

In yet another attempt to mask the fact that I have no blog post, I'm going to do ANOTHER audience query meme type thing. I'm sure most bloggers (and commenters) have done the whole "If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?" thing.

This is rather the "If you could have one superhero PLOTLINE happen to you, what would it be?"

For me, I think I'd want the time-traveling offspring that is older than me from a post-apocalyptic alternate future plotline.

I have a number of reasons for this.

1) I'm really not suited for children, however, I AM an egotist. This way I get the satisfaction of knowing my genes will survive me without having to raise it or go through hours of labor.

2) Undoubtedly, my offspring will be kind of badass, albeit in a slightly Liefieldian way.

3) I will get bad-parent-guilt angst without actually having to fuck up my own kid.

4) Even if I am a wretched parent, I'm still better than the post-apocalyptic future?

5) Access to nifty technology.

6) My offspring's taste in girl/boyfriends will mean I have the possible likelihood of getting mercenaries, robots, or lunatics as son/daughter in laws.

7) I would totally use it to annoy and tease the fuck out of whoever is my offspring's father (or mother, given that it's comic books).

It'd be fun! Also. Maybe it'd be a cyborg. Cyborgs are cool!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Animal Companions!

It occurs to me that if I were the kind of superhero or villain (let's face it, I'm far more likely to be the villain :-) to have an animal companion I think I'd want it to be a hummingbird.

I'm not entirely sure why, as I don't think it could DO anything useful. Well. Aside from fly backwards. I think I heard once that scientists don't actually know how hummingbirds can fly* and decided subconsciously that that was badass.

(* Honestly, I have no idea if that's true or a delusion, but it always sounded cool)

(** ETA: It might actually be bumblebees, but I like Hummingbirds better)

Also, it'd be nice to be the one in the partnership with the working attention span. Just once I want to be the one to say "For god's sake, would you FOCUS?"

What would you have?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Things I'm Slowly Learning from Kung-Fu the Legend Continues

Things I am slowly learning from watching episodes of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.

1) Being Shaolin means you talk really...really...slow. And vaguely Shatnerian.

2) Peter Caine is the Worst. Detective. Ever.

3) The only person who ever seems to do any real detective work is the computer technician.

4) It's oddly novel to have your computer technician be your most badass character. I think I approve.

5) Tiny people who always wear sunglasses are scary.

6) Poison nets are not nearly as formidable a weapon as you'd think.

7) Speaking of badass technicians who always wear sunglasses and carry around Desert Eagles to "protect their disks"...don't mess with their families. Even if they are named after Muppets . . . Especially if they're named after Muppets.

8) Being old and Chinese apparently entitles you to tell your apprentice and his son each that the other is dead.

9) If you are a baby Shaolin and are orphaned and henceforth adopted by cops, they won't just be any cops, they will be EX-MERCENARY COPS. Because the show really isn't implausible enough.

9 correllary) Have you ever noticed how in the 80s and 90s there was such an animal as the leather jacket wearing independant guy-mercenary who killed people for a living but wasn't exactly an assassin and sometimes had connections with the government and tended to saunter around the main characters like cats in heat?

I mean Alex Krycek's probably the most famous example, but the 80s/90s were chock full of their Lococcos and their Griffins and all that. You don't see them anymore. I kind of miss them.

...okay, really, I just find amoral violence hot.

10) Don't date Peter Caine. You will either be a bitch or dead.

Peter's kind of like Kyle that way. Only somewhat whinier.

Nah, he's pretty much exactly like Kyle.

11) Apparently a grey streak is enough to magically make a forty year old character old enough to have a twenty-five year old (implied) son.*

(ETA: Not referring to Carradine on this one. :-) I'm well aware he was quite over 40. :-))

12) There is a special correllary rule with regards to this show. If you are the biological child of someone who is badass, your adopted parent will be equally as badass in a different way.

If your natural father is a Shaolin Monk, your adopted father is an ex-mercenary cop with Connections.

If your biological father is a scary ex-mercenary, your adopted father is some sort of four-star general.

13) If you are framed for the murder of your girlfriend, the best thing to do isn't trust your Shaolin monk dad or scary ex-mercenary cop friends to do what they do best and actually clear your name, but to flee DURING YOUR OWN TRIAL and get hunted down by US Marshalls.

Oh, and make sure the first place you go is totally back to her apartment. You don't look guilty enough.

14) Peter Caine is kind of an idiot.

15) Cops never seem to mind the inevitable open case files that result from supernaturally inclined villains who get their asses beat by Caine and then run away.

16) Excessive force is never an issue either.

17) It's always a bad idea to let your homicidally inclined pet computer hacker off his leash.

17 correllary) though it's usually pretty funny.

18) If you're unlucky enough to defiantly insist that you're not your father in the form of unfortunate rhyme, the clip will totally end up in the opening theme.

19) Bad 80s hair actually migrates. As soon as one character gets a haircut, another will have it. Even if that character had a crew-cut in the season previous. Scary.

20) It's kind of funny watching characters slowly accept David Carradine's weirdness. In the first and second season, they'd jump/freak out when he'd appear out of nowhere. Third and fourth: it's all "meh."

Except oddly for Peter. Who does occasionally get surprised when his dad appears out of nowhere.

Because he's an idiot.


I may love this show.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


You know, I LIKED the Incredible Hulk but wasn't particularly inclined to go get the DVD. The more I keep hearing about this alternate opening though is starting to make me wonder...

So anyone who's seen it/knows anything about it, let me know, is it worth it?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Night Fights! Ladies Night!

Someone ought to have told this guy that it takes more than bondage to take a Fury, any Fury, out of the game:

P.S. Shut up Dino. Dawn Fury might not have her brother's balls, but she's still more badass than you.

For Bahlactus with love!

(From Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #69.)


This is why I always miss weekly memes. I had a nice panel lined up wonderfully for Thursday Night Thinking and...forgot about it until this moment. Friday! Hmph.

On the plus side, I do totally have a Friday Night Fights post idea lined up, that, god willing, WILL go up in the right time. *crosses fingers*

Having no attention span sucks for weekly memes. Hmph.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Non-Comic: Personal Update

This post isn't comic book related, but well, sometimes that happens. :-) Besides, I kind of wanted to blog about lawschool. Mostly for anyone who's curious. If you're not. Skip over this entry. :-)

Law school is more interesting this year than it was last year. Probably partially because we can choose our own classes, and partially just because having had the internship I now know what the fucking point to all this is. Sadly, I also know how little all of my classwork actually gets used in the job I actually want to do (pretty fucking little barring Research and Writing) which isn't really helping the motivation factor.

Let's just say for the first time in my life, I'm not crushed by a "B" average. :-)

My classes are kind of neat. I have Professional Ethics, International Law, Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution, Evidence and Criminal Procedure.

Criminal Procedure, while not what I want to do with my life at this point, is probably the most practical of my choices if only because I'm taking the fucking bar exam at some point. It's also the most helpful in my favorite hobby which is bitching about television shows.

Oddly enough, the most accurate, near as I can tell, use of lawyering in a tv show I've seen thus far is probably the third and fourth season of Due South. And I'm including the episode where the mob-guy's lawyer turns around and plugs his ears so as not to witness the crime in process. Though that's more an Ethics thing than it is Crim-Pro. But...well...sometimes, honestly, the law is absurd. :-)

Evidence is fun. It's an evening class that's supposed to end at 9:20, but somehow I've yet to miss an episode of Criminal Minds this season. :-) International Law is a bitch and a half, and I feel remarkably stupid in that class, but fortunately I don't think I'm the only one. The professor likes to call on anyone who makes eye-contact though and I sit directly in front of him which gets awkward.

Problem Solving is neat. Probably the most practical in my actual chosen career idea. Though I kind of like the thought of being a mediator. Mostly because I'm the type of irritating personality that likes asking leading questions and getting someone else to actually make the decision. Apparently that's a good skill set for the job.

Law: Making a career out of people's obnoxious qualities since Adam first said "SHE gave it to me. Blame her!"

Professional Ethics is the other class I get to use to bitch about television shows, so I'm happy there. The other thing about Professional Ethics, is that the class really ends up telling you what kind of person you are. I have discovered that I am pretty much a fanatic. Which may not be a surprise to my readers, but was actually to me. I consider myself fairly moderate. But nope. I'm apparently the fanatic in my class. No quarter. Sanction 'em all. Heh.

(Except when it comes to Legal Aid. I'm a fanatic there too, but differently and I'm so biased that it's not even funny. I WORKED Legal Aid, man. You can loftily condemn them all you want from your cushy academic desk jobs, fuckers. Not saying I or MY attorneys would have made the same choice, mind you, but I'm still far more likely to sympathize.)

I get the sense that most of the class would like to hit me with something whenever I raise my hand. I'm that annoying. Oops. Still, it's a nice change from last year for me, when I was too terrified to say ANYTHING. Now I feel like I have just enough experience to have an opinion and be really fucking obnoxious about it. Yay me?

But that's school pretty much. It may kill me and has totally eaten my social life (I have run out of Nick Fury comics so am totally turning my brain off by watching absolutely wretched 90s television. Right now, it's Kung Fu: the Legend Continues, which is so wonderfully dreadful that I may have to blog about it. If only to spare my AIM buddies my constant appalled/amused commentary. :-))

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gotta Start Somewhere

Diamondrock has an interesting post up where he asks about the motivation behind the recent creation of female characters based on pre-existing male characters.

It's a fair enough question. But I have to say, honestly, I don't really care about the motivation. I mean, yes, ideally, I'd like to see more female characters created for the reason of creating more awesome female characters. But in the end, if the reason the gals are created is for another hot chick in leather...

I'm actually okay with that.

You see, I come across very optimistic, I'm told, but the truth is...I'm a cynic at heart. I believe the men and ladies in the comic book companies are business people first. They have a product, they want to sell that product. I don't begrudge them for it.

Besides, I don't think the motive is much different than the motives behind creating Supergirl or Batgirl, for example. In the end, that was about selling a product too. I mean, reaching a female audience with the character was part of it. And maybe the sexual aspect wasn't as explicit as we see in character creation nowadays, but you'll notice that neither Kara Zor-El nor Barbara Gordon could ever be considered plain young women.

And Yvonne Craig certainly wasn't cast in the series because she was a Shakespearean-level actress. (Disclaimer: I have no idea whether or not Yvonne Craig is a Shakespearean-level actress, but I'm reasonably certain, either way, it wouldn't have been why she's cast.)

The key thing though, is that it doesn't, in the end, matter to me why a character is created as long as a character is created. Even a character with the most contrived and wretched introduction story can be crafted into a compelling being by a devoted enough writer. Having more female characters in the pot just increases that chance.

I don't begrudge straight men for wanting to read about hot female characters. Personally, I like reading about attractive men. I do wish that the comic companies would acknowledge that many men (and gay women) are attracted to women who do not always fit Hollywood's conceptualized standard of beauty. We see a LOT of variation in the physical types of the male characters created, but quite a bit less variation in the ladies. I think that's a shame and ignores the fact that many men/women really do prefer ladies that differ from Hollywood's ideal. I know a fellow who says Amanda Waller is the sexiest woman in the DCU. And I know more than a few folk who would agree with me that a girl Nick Fury would be the hottest thing ever.

And I don't mean "girl Nick Fury" like the Countess. I mean "girl Nick Fury" as a foul-mouthed, ill-tempered, manipulative, crazy, graying, forty-something with a propensity for blasting through walls on motorcycles, guns blasting. Screaming at her men, calling them "goldbricks" and random other insults, while blowing things the fuck up and probably losing half her clothes in the process.

Seriously, TELL me that wouldn't be hot. If you do, I will "pfft" and accuse you of having no taste.

But anyway, I think the lack of variety of hot female characters is a big weakness, but I think that's a different issue completely from the one at hand.

I don't actually agree with replacing male characters with female counterparts. I think that's an easy way to get the pre-existing audience to resent the new character. But I don't think that's the case in the examples given and as Supergirl, Batgirl, Hawkgirl, et cetera, show, there's usually enough room in the multiverse to comfortably have both characters. AND there's the advantage of having a preset cast to help establish various aspects of the new female character without having to invent a brand new supporting cast right away.

Also, much as I've had issues with Hudlin's writing of the Storm/Black Panther relationship, I have to say Girl!Black Panther sounds fucking awesome and I wish to subscribe to this newsletter.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yay! DC Solicits!

Yay! Solicits!!

Okay, redundancy out of the way. January's solicits look particularly nifty. Though the lack of Flash comic makes me nervous. And Manhunter's final issue just depresses me. :-(

On the plus side, Isis being back ought to be interesting.

Though the big what the fuck moment is this:

Written by David Hine
Art by Georges Jeanty
Cover by Ladrönn
Deathstroke nearly died fighting Geo-Force in DCU: LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, and now he needs to rebuild himself. He's not about to let a near death experience make him lose his place as one of the most dangerous villains in the DCU. Where will he start? What's next for the Terminator? And how high will the body count be when he's finished?
On sale January 21 • 32 pg, one shot, FC, $2.99 US

Okay, I'm going to preface this by saying I never approved of the over-powered badassery some writers give Deathstroke. Identity Crisis for example was completely ridiculous. There is no way you can convince me that that many competent heroes can act so moronic in a fight against one man, superior brain capacity or not. (Especially since the whole 10% of our brains thing has been quite debunked, thank you.)

At the same time, you're seriously telling me that Geo-Force nearly killed Deathstroke?! Geo-Force?! As in DC's LEAST badass geomancer ever?

I'm all for cheering for the underdog, but that seems HIGHLY unlikely. Sand? Sure. I can see it. He did once whap someone with the Rock of Eternity after all. Terra? Sure. Geo-Force?

Though admittedly with the whole Terra-issues alone, I'd kind of like to see the fight. But I'm going to have to fight to suspend my belief to do so.

Yeesh. Geo-Force.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Nifty Interlude

Oh my god. THIS is the most phenomenal cake I have ever seen.

300 lbs! And all that detail. My god.

Now I'm incredibly hungry. :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Random Pet Peeve

Did you ever notice how almost every time you have immortal or ageless male and female characters, the men are pretty much perpetually late thirties/forties (i.e. Wolverine, Nick Fury) while women usually appear to be physically in their late twenties at the oldest? (Black Widow or Mystique for example).

The older I get, the more that annoys me.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Meme Answers

Well, normally I have the post up much sooner. I overslept. :-)

Anyway. Here are my meme answers. I hope they entertain you!


All comic book characters this time!

1. Hal Jordan
2. Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine/Contessa Valentina de Allegro Fontaine
3. Wally West
4. Guy Gardner
5. Power Girl
6. Nightwing
7. Ultron
8. a Nick Fury LMD
9. Rip Hunter
10. Steve Rogers

A bit male dominated, but that's okay. :-)

Let's begin.


WM asks:

1,2,6,9. Who would crack a smile first watching a guy get hit in the crotch in America's Funniest Home Videos?

Okay, Hal, the Contessa, Nightwing, and Rip Hunter.

Hal of course. The Contessa's too classy, Nightwing would angst about it, and Rip Hunter knew it was going to happen. :-)

dan asks:

Who would be the guy getting hit in the crotch in America's Funniest Home Videos?


Oh wait. Sorry, he's not a number. Still it would totally happen so he can angst.

So: Wally, Guy, Power Girl, or Ultron...

Probably Guy, it's the sort of thing that happens to him. But he won't angst about it. Because he is not Dick Grayson.

2 and 7 have a presidential debate. Who wins?

The Contessa is a better public speaker, certainly, but I suspect Ultron, because the Contessa is an Italian national, and the Ultron-bots would hack the vote anyway.

The Fury bots might vote en masse, but they've probably all been shot in the back again.

5 and 9 have a vice-presidential debate. Who cares?

Power Girl and Rip Hunter?

A lot of horny young men. Also, mad scientists hoping for more funding for time travel experimentation.

A Contessa/Power Girl or Ultron/Rip Hunter ticket would be kind of awesome.

Due a time-travel experiment gone wrong (not that they ever go right...) it turns out that one of 3,6 or 8 is secretly really the parent of 10. Which would freak 10 out most?

Wally West, Nightwing, or a Nick Fury LMD...

I think the LMD would take the most explaining, but considering that Nick Fury's involved, I think Steve would have to acknowledge it's possible.

Nightwing would freak him out more. Because angsty time/dimension travel aside, if Nightwing's your dad, that means Batman is your adopted Grandfather. And that's just freaky for ANYONE.

8, 9, 10: Who would you choose to do your next assignment for you?

An LMD, Rip, or Steve. Depends on the subject really. If it were civics: Steve. If it's mad science: Rip (provided of course he doesn't reference developments that haven't happened yet.)

Actually though, my next assignment is in my professional ethics class. So I think I'll pick the Nick Fury LMD. Because no ethical dilemma can't be solved with robot duplicates.

You've been chosen for a 5 year rocket trip to space (and probably back too but y'know how unreliable these fictional space rockets can be so no promises) and you get to take 2,5 or 9 with you. Who goes?

The Contessa, Power Girl, or Rip Hunter. Hmm. Rip's got more technical knowledge, but I'll go with Power Girl. Because she's Power Girl.

Best blogger: 2 or 7?

Ultron, no question.

Most likely to injure themselves in a household accident: 1 or 9?

Since Hal Jordan is an option here, there's really no contest.

Most likely to make a surprisingly tasty cake: 3 or 6?

Wally would probably get distracted halfway through. Whereas man-angst allows for much time to check the baked goods.

And he WAS raised by Alfred. So Dick.

Most likely to survive being dumped from a moving car into the mean streets of Chicago with only their wits, a donut and a map of 1924 Brussels: 4, 8 or 10?

Hmm, Guy, a Furybot, or Steve in Chicago. I think Steve would make lots of friends, Guy would get in lots of bar fights, and the Furybot would get shot in the back. Because that's what it does.

But I suppose if I must pick most likely, it'll be Steve. Because he's actually been to Brussels.

Greg Saunders asks:

2,4,8, and 10. Which of these will be America's next top chef?

I think I'll go with the Contessa. Guy and Steve are more inclined to plainer fare, I'd reckon. While the Nick Fury LMD is hindered by the fact that 1) he's a robot and 2) he's modeled after Nick Fury. So without a splash of Helmut Spargle's secret liquid, my money's on the Contessa.

scott asks:

Watch out! Bears are attacking! How do 3, 5, and 10 react?

Well, Steve will try to gallantly distract the bears from Kara, who will be annoyed and start educating Steve on how she can take care of herself thank you. And Steve will respectfully listen, while still trying to protect her because he's silly that way.

Wally is busy snickering. Fortunately at some point before the tirade started, Wally probably zipped the bears back into the forest/zoo cage/whatever.

1 vs. 4. The game: Clue

I call Hal Jordan somehow injuring himself on the game board.

7 vs. 5. The game: Calf roping.

Ultron vs. Power Girl in roping calves. I suspect Ultron would just make robot calves, so Power Girl. She might have gotten lasso lessons from Diana.

9 vs. 2. The game: Foxy Boxing.

Hmm. They are both quite foxy, but Rip's wardrobe leaves much to be desired. And the Contessa totally dropped Nick Fury when they first met. So I'll go with her.

6 vs. Nick Fury. The game: Seducing 4.

Nightwing vs. Fury, seducing Guy Gardner.

Ow. My eyes. Well we know they both like redheads. Guy's a DC character, so my long running theory about all Marvel characters wanting to bang Nick Fury doesn't apply.

I think my money's on Nightwing. Because Fury HAS his own cranky redhead on staff, and HIS has a fetching mustache. Also. It would totally annoy Batman.

8 has become The King (or Queen) of the Hobos.

Didn't that kind of happen to the real Nick Fury in Nick Fury vs. SHIELD? Oh wait, they got shot first. But they would TOTALLY have made him their king given time.

Anyway, I suspect that, provided he doesn't get shot in the back first, he will bring them to SHIELD, where they can be trained to be awesome spy-hobos and join the assassin-nuns to save the world.

Ragtime asks:

Professor X will turn over leadership of the Classic (1960s) X-Men to either 1, 2, or 3. Whom does he choose?

Hal Jordan, the Contessa, or Wally West. Egads.

While it might be hilarious to see Warren Worthington and Hal Jordan on the same team, I think I'll have to go with Contessa. As she's the only one I would trust in a leadership position period.

2. 4 and 6 have a street fight for possession of Guy Gardner's Green Lantern ring, which he lost in a bar bet. Who are you rooting for?

Oops. 4 is actually Guy Gardner. Oh well. I vote for Guy of course. Nightwing would be crap with a Lantern ring.

3. When Dr. Don Blake hits the ground with his walking stick, he no longer turns into Thor. Now he turns into either 5, 7, or 9. Explain why your choice makes perfect sense.

Power Girl, Ultron or Rip Hunter. Well, Power Girl of course. She's blond. Also, she is powerful. And I'm pretty sure at least one of her confused origins might have involved possible divinity. If not, I'm sure it can be retconned in.

4. When 10 e-mails a profession of true love to 8, 10 accidentally hits "reply all," sending a copy to 5. How does 5 react?

I think that Power Girl would be fairly tolerant, but also annoyed that she finally meets a thoughtful gentlemanly fellow who doesn't mind the occasional feminist rebuke, and of course he's in love with a damn robot.

LurkerWithout asks:

1 and 10 play mixed doubles tennis with 2 and 9, who wins?

Hmm, well Steve's a super-soldier, but I don't think he's ever played Tennis. And he's paired with the klutz of the two universes. So my money's on the Contessa and Rip. Just because neither of them will give themselves a concussion on a tennis net.

1, 3, 5 and 7 have to put on a show in high school. What do they do?

Hal, Wally, Power Girl and Ultron.


A Streetcar Named Desire.

(It makes sense in my head.)

2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 go for groceries. What breakfast cereal do they pick?

The Contessa, Guy, Nightwing, a Furybot, and Steve Rogers...

The Contessa: Golden Grahams
Guy: Count Chocula (because there's never a time when vampire/bat jokes aren't appropriate.)
Nightwing: Count Chocula (to fuel his bat-inadequacy)
Furybot: I'll go with Lucky Charms. :-)
Steve: Maybe Frosted Flakes?

SallyP asks:

Tim Gunn comes in to advise #'s 2,6 and 9 on their respective wardrobes. Who loses it, and bonks him on the head?

Well, the Contessa dresses phenomenally, so I can't see him saying much to her. Rip and Nightwing however are fairly disasterous fashion wise.

I think Rip would be more apt to just bonk him though. Or sic him on Booster.

It's Autumn, and the leaves are falling in #'s l,3,4 and 10's yards. How do they clean them up, and do rakes even enter the equation?

Well, Steve probably uses a rake like a nice fellow. As to the others: Wally uses the speed force to cheat, of course. Hal and Guy have rings and will probably turn it into yet another competition. Hal will win and be a dick about it.

#'s 5,7 and 8 decide to go square dancing. Who ends up with a sprained ankle?


Anonymous asks:

1 gets launched into space to watch bad movies. Which 2 get picked to help keep the sanity?

Probably Guy (4) and Kara (5). Mostly because he's used to Guy by now (and no one tirades like Guy) and because Kara is hot. :-)

2,9,7 get picked to lead the Avengers. Who do they pick to fill out the roster?

Hmm, the Contessa, Ultron and Rip Hunter. I would imagine it would involve a lot of robots and time travellers. :-)

As well as dysfunctional father-son relationships.

The Contessa may end up recruiting a lot of cranky chain-smokers.

3 and 6 are hired to write Teen Titians. What changes do they make?

Wally West and Nightwing...

Well, I think Bart Allen would be back and Tim Drake would finally get laid.

4, 8, 5, and 10 have to double date. Who picks who?

Well, Kara will pick Steve I'd imagine. As Guy and the Furybot will be very annoying and Steve is a gentleman.

Guy and the Furybot would probably have fun annoying the fuck out of them though.

k.d. bryan asks:

2 and 3 VS. 8 and 9 in a triathlon of County Fair Contests - a Pie Eating Contest, Riding Lawnmower Race and a Three-Legged Race. Naturally, the duos can decide which of them tackle the first two challenges but they must work together for the last one.
Who wins?

The Contessa and Wally vs. the LMD and Rip Hunter.

Well Wally's got a speedster appetite so I think he'll be the pie eater on his end. The Furybot has a mechanical stomach, so he'll be the pick on his end. Wally will win.

Rip Hunter's ridden a dinosaur, so he gets to ride the lawnmower. The Contessa has not, sadly. I suspect Rip wins.

I think, given that Wally's a speedster, he and the Contessa will win the three legged race.

Willow-bee the Cat asks:

3 and 7 are stuck on a desert island in the middle of nowhere. Which of the two figures out how to get them back to civilization?

Well, assuming Wally can't run across water. I expect Ultron builds many little Ultron-bots and gets them back home.

Or sends Wally back home and remakes the desert island into a new seekrit base.

1, 4, and 9 are (for whatever reason) taking a night class together. The three of them are assigned to work together on a group project about the evolution of techno. What happens?

Well, Hal keeps skipping out for dates. Which pisses Guy off. However, Guy and Rip do actually finish the project.

They fail though, because Rip keeps referencing technology that doesn't exist yet or inventing things on the spot, and Guy's answer to everything is the Green Lantern Ring.

2, 5, 6, and 10 compete on Project Runway. What happens?

Oh dear lord. Well, the Contessa likely wins as she actually has taste and class. Kara's not too bad off though, and while cleavage baring, her designs are at least functional.

Nightwing's designs are a trainwreck of color clashing and hideous lapels. While Steve's involve, if we're lucky, tiny wings and stars and stripes. And if we're not lucky, they involve man-cleavage.

Mana G asks:

3 and 5 get married. Who are the best man/maid of honor, 1, 6, or 8? Who would be most likely to burst into the wedding confessing their love for 3, 2 or 9? Would 5 be more likely to wake up the morning of the wedding next to 4 or 10?

Wally and Kara huh? That almost makes sense!

Dick would be the man of honor, easily. Rip might be more likely to declare his love for Wally. (Wally can run through time after all).

And as much as Kara would probably prefer to wake up next to Steve, she'd totally wake up next to Guy with a massive hangover.


Will Staples asks:

7 and 10 are on a date. Where do they go for dinner, and what movie do they watch afterward?

Ultron and Steve hmm? They'll probably go some place nice and home-y for dinner. Maybe a family restaurant like Applebees. Then they'll go see the Matrix trilogy. Ultron has a thing for Hugo Weaving and keeps booing whenever Neo's on the screen.

rob s. asks:

2, 4, 6, and 9 are Reservoir Dogs: Who's Mr. White, Mr. Orange, Mr. Blonde, and Mr. Pink?

I've never actually seen that movie, but going off the Wikipedia page...

Guy's crazy so he gets to be Mr. Blonde.
Contessa's a spy so she gets to be Mr. Orange.
Nightwing's angsty and good with the blind faith, so he gets to be Mr. White.
And Rip's good at reminding everyone to keep on track, so he gets to be Mr. Pink.

Anonymous asks:

6, 2, 4, and 8 are teleported into New York's Grand Central Station and all forced to go through through the subway system. While the city is celebrating a sports victory. How do they manage? Who survives with their sanity intact?

Well Guy and Fury (well, the Furybot) are fairly crazy as is. However, Guy does like sports so possibly his spirits would be high enough not to scoop people out of his way with his ring.

The Furybot's more likely to shout obscenities at people, but this is New York, so who'll notice? He'll probably get shot in the back by one of Nick's enemies, because that's how Furybots roll.

The Contessa's a slippery sort who can probably stoically endure. With some gratuitous violence to people who annoy her. And much as I hate to praise Nightwing, being from Gotham and dealing with that mess, probably means he'll be fairly adept in the subway.

Maybe he'll mope about Batman doing it better though.

Somehow, 9 caused 7 to possess 5's body. 7 and 5 have to share. How do they pass the time until 3 can fix things?

Rip causing Ultron to possess Kara. I suspect they'll spend most of their time building things, as Kara used to run a computer company as I recall, and Ultron likes building mini-Ultrons.

At one point Ultron will totally try to seduce Hank Pym. Because it's creepy.

1 doesn't know it, but there's a surprise birthday party in store for them. Which two would plan/execute this best? Worst?

Guy and Kara would probably plan this best. Guy is his good friend/nemesis after all. And Kara's both got a good head on her shoulders, and a very nice rack with which to distract Hal.

Worse would probably be Wally and Dick, because Wally has way too much admiration for Hal and would totally let things slip.

Though thinking about it. A party thrown by a Furybot would totally rock.

Flidget Jerome asks:

2, 3 and 7 find a baby abandoned on their doorstep. What do they do with it?

Oh dear. The Contessa, Wally and Ultron, huh?

I don't know how the Contessa is with children, but Wally IS actually a fairly decent (if unconventional) father. Ultron would of course want to cyborg it into another weapon, Victor. I'd imagine between them though, the Contessa and Wally could protect it.

And Nick Fury as a babysitter is a very scary thought.

WM asks:

Bucky gets killed. Who would inherit the Shield, and why?

Tsk. How morbid. Hal, the Contessa, Guy, Kara or Nightwing.

I guess I'll have to go with the Contessa as she's the only one in the Marvel Universe. Failing that, I suppose, Nightwing, as he's the most used to the idea of taking on an overwhelming legacy.

He might even be fairly good at it, since Cap kind of combines Batman type fighting with Superman type inspiration.

He'd angst too damn much though. Buck up little soldier!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Captain America (1990).

I haven't forgotten yesterday's meme, but I'd figure I'd give one more day for questions to come in.

Meanwhile, I finally broke down and watched the Matt Salinger Captain America movie. And wow.

Let me put it this way. If there was ever a movie that makes the David Hasselhoff Nick Fury movie suddenly seem GOOD (as opposed to merely awesome) it's this movie.

It's hard really to put a finger on what makes it actually bad. I mean, rewriting the Red Skull to be an unwilling Italian child victim of the Super-Soldier experiments is pretty much a miss-step. Call me old fashioned, but I don't believe the Red Skull is supposed to be a character we're ever supposed to empathize with. Like the Joker, I think he works best as a force for terror.

And I always liked his relatively trauma-free back-story. The fact that he was a simple hotel employee that somehow carried enough hate and passionate zeal to impress Hitler himself, there's something a lot more interesting in that to me than yet another warped child victim. Sometimes people are just monsters.

They never really adequately flesh out the Skull's role as a terror-monger/propaganda symbol either, which I think is one of the strongest aspects of the character. And also, without the Skull as an image of terror to work against, it's really hard to explain Steve's costume. Apparently the Italian lady version of Erskine really liked Red, White and Blue.

That was the in-movie explanation for the costume, by the way. Moreover, because Steve botched the first mission against the Red Skull, no one ever learned who he was.

By the way, he ended up strapped to a missile aimed at the White House, kicking it in midair, and knocking its course off to Alaska where he was iced over until found by a "West-German Alaskan Facility"

To be fair, this movie was made in 1990. The same year as the re-unification of Germany. But...why do the West-Germans have a facility in Alaska? This is never explained.

By the way, when Steve bursts out of the ice. One of the members takes one look and snaps a picture. He doesn't actually try to STOP the guy from leaving or TALK to him or anything.

BUT the picture gets run on the front page, whereupon the President, who happened to have been in Washington DC as a boy when the missile was aimed at them, AND looking at the sky at the time with his camera, who zoomed in and got a good look at him.

Um. I don't mean to be a doubting Thomas, and I admit, I don't know a whole lot about 1940s technology. But was it really common for kids to have their own little cameras complete with zoom in capability back then?

But I digress.

One thing that annoyed me about the movie in particular was the way Sharon Carter is dealt with. Sharon's not so much a love interest here as she is "spunky teenage sidekick." Actually as sidekicks go, she's not bad. She speaks Italian, for example and is sensible enough to bring tape recorders... Honestly, she looks and acts a LOT like Chloe Sullivan.

Which would be fine. I like Chloe. The only problem is that SHARON CARTER IS NOT A TEENAGE GIRL. Sharon Carter is a fucking SUPER-SPY. Even at her swooniest, silliest sixties characterization, this was a woman who was so important a SHIELD operative that she could never agree to marry Steve because Nick Fury needed her too damn much. Sharon Carter does not need to be carefully protected in combat situations. Sharon Carter would be stepping back while Steve took out 9 of the 10 bad guys surrounding him only to coolly step forward and belt the last one as it tried to ambush him from behind.

I can believe that Chloe Sullivan could someday grow up to BE Sharon Carter, perhaps, but she's definitely not there yet.

Contessa Valentina de Allegro Fontaine (or however Marvel is saying her name this week :-)) might have been played by a less adept actress. But at least SHE got to stay a super-spy. And gets to demonstrate this by leading efficient teams separate from the lead and shoot bad-guys in the head.

I'd be delighted with a Chloe Sullivan personality in say, Spider-Man. Give Mary Jane something to do besides being waspish and shrill. But Sharon Carter's definitely not the type of female character that needs that treatment. (I'm also not sure why the mother that she's supposed to look so much like is named "Bernie" instead of "Peggy". That just seems like a silly meaningless change.)

That's ultimately not what killed the movie for me.

It's not Matt Salinger even. I mean, he's a very mediocre actor and I pray that the new Cap actor is a much better fit, but it's not as though David Hasselhoff was pulling off every Fury-snarl either. He's not even that bad looking a man. In fact, during the parts of the movie where he gets to wander about kicking general ass in civilian clothes, I actually think he's kind of hot.

The costume however is really poorly designed. I mean, okay, it's inevitable that the Cap costume looks a little stupid, but we don't need to compound this by sticking on fake ears. And the cowl shape was really bad against Salinger's nose. Salinger has a flat, kind of squashed looking nose, which works fine and is even quite attractive when he's maskless, but makes his face look squat and lumpy under the cowl. I don't know how many ways there are to cut a cowl and still have it be identifiable, but whatever they did didn't work.

Oh, they explained the 4F thing by giving him polio which I thought was a fairly clever means to explain why an otherwise fairly hale looking young man wasn't at war already. But then they had to give him inflatable muscles. Which...yeah. If you're going that route, just fucking cast two people. Cast a tiny spindly boy and then a bigger young man from a somewhat similar ethnic background so that they look like they could possibly be related. Either give a reason for a lack of pronounced physical change, or GIVE us an actual physical change. But don't half-ass it. I should be able to see Cap's physique and not picture him landing on a porcupine and popping.

I did like when they had him throw things. Tables. Garbage can lids. And of course the shield. That much was good. I always like seeing Cap chuck objects at people.

Ultimately, I suspect what killed the movie for me was a lack of internal consistency. I don't think the movie makers really knew what they wanted to do with the movie, or with Cap, and it showed in the inconsistent details. It didn't fit together.

Say what you will about David Hasselhoff's Fury, it was fairly clear that the writers knew 1) exactly what role SHIELD played in their version of the Marvel Universe; 2) how different characters were aware of and related to Nick Fury himself; and 3) how their internal timeline was set up.

They were, to be honest, a tad shaky on timeline matters and they never concretely establish a WWII origin, though it's somewhat implied at least. But they were generally fairly steady in their concept of how things happen, and the changes made were either very minor appearance-wise (Dugan's mustache, Val's hair) or made sense given the limited time for the story (the sudden closeness between Nick Fury and Clay Quartermain, the melding of Alexander Goodwin-Pierce and Jasper Sitwell, and so on.) Essentially, it's fairly clear that the movie makers had a very clear idea as to what the movie is, who Nick Fury is, and what SHIELD is, and kept to those ideas. And they ended up with a product that while undeniably flawed, fit together in a clear and consistent manner.

But Captain America, not so much. And it's little details that really demonstrate this.

For example: we first see the Skull as a boy somewhere between 10-14 when he's taken by fascist forces and experimented upon. Seven years later, it's 1943 and twenty-something Steve Rogers is experimented upon. But when Steve and the Skull clash, the Skull is clearly MUCH older than twenty years old (and much older than Steve) and is in a high enough position in Hitler's army that the number doesn't make sense.

Bernie apparently married her husband after waiting for Steve for sixteen years, a fact which moves Steve, and leads to the only genuine emotional moment of the movie. But Sharon Carter is at most twenty herself. Considering that this takes place in 1993, and one of the reasons Bernie gave for marrying someone else is wanting children because she was thirty-eight...

Something's not adding up.

Finally, and the biggest problem, is that the movie doesn't remember the role of Captain America in its own universe. This is a story where Steve botched his first mission. Ergo: no Bucky. No Invaders. No crossovers with the Commandos. No newsreels or propaganda. The only person who knows he exists is a young boy who manages to take a blurry picture with his camera. "The man on the rocket" is what the boy will refer to him later.

Certainly, no one recognizes the costume. But... When Sharon and Steve are driving through Italy, and he fakes car sick to get her out of the car so he can steal it and leave her out of danger (which would be clever and funny, and was the first time he used it against a conspiracy nut friend of the President's, but Sharon's the only one of the two who speaks Italian...) Sharon sing-songs "Captain America is carsick?"

Which...okay, I can assume that he told her his code name. But so far, she's known him to be a slightly doofy, bumbling, yet very combat adept weird guy. Aside from a fight scene or two, he hasn't been particularly impressive, even if she does know about the serum. The sing-songy amusement makes sense from characters in the Marvel universe, even those that don't know him that well, because, well, he's Captain America but that title means nothing to her and on his own, he's not been impressive enough to warrant that kind of amused glee.

Also when they finally do rescue the President, the President somehow KNOWS he's called "Captain America" despite having no idea who the guy was aside from "the guy from the rocket". Even if he heard the Skull ranting about it (and the Skull is very fixated for a guy that pretty much WON his only encounter against Steve) there's very little evidence for the guy to connect.

Moreover, in the last confrontation with the Skull, the Skull goes on and on about Steve being "a clownish symbol no one cares about", and Steve saying calmly in the one Salinger line reading I actually liked "I care". This would be a fairly powerful scene. In a different movie. But it's not thematically supported here.

It isn't that no one cares about Cap as a symbol. The issue in this movie is that no one knows who he is. That's an entirely different issue.

Essentially, he's saying that the values that Captain America symbolizes and the spirit that led Steve to make the decision to become Captain America no longer exist or have been rejected. But for that to work, we'd have needed some kind of culture shock or disappointment or feeling of alienation to support it.

Actually, the best example for comparison is, of all things, Austin Powers. When Dr. Evil and Austin are facing each other, and Dr. Evil mocks him by saying how everything that Austin valued in the sixties: free love and all that don't have a place in modern society. Austin himself experienced this culture shock with Elizabeth Hurley's character after he'd slept with the enemy spy. And even though he and Vanessa came to an understanding, that confrontation and the other moments of general ill-fittingness were important, because then it actually meant something when Austin explains that it wasn't really about the free love or swinging or all that, but that those were just expressions of what really mattered, and THOSE values are still alive in the present day.

But it doesn't work in Captain America, because Steve never really HAS those moments of alienation or culture shock. I mean sure, he thinks conspiracy-guy's a nazi spy because he has a Japanese radio and a German car, but that's hardly the same. And really all the people Steve meets are good folk: the conspiracy nut, Bernie, Sharon, the Italian family, even the President at the time is a reformer out to save the environment and make things better for everyone. The only evil people he meets are the Red Skull, the Red Skull's daughter, and their followers.

Heck, even the negative things that Steve ends up researching thanks to conspiracy-guy's words: the deaths of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr have been explicitly established to have been arranged by the Red Skull.

The only real conflict between Steve and the future might be that no one knows who he is/remembers him. But that's not a "Captain America" thing. At least, it's not about Cap-as-a-symbol so much as Cap-as-a-man. And it could be an interesting story. But Steve really isn't a good character to explore that with. Even when he WAS a propaganda symbol, Steve didn't do things for recognition. Steve did good deeds because they needed to be done. He didn't expect thanks or admiration. If anything, Steve's flaw in 616 Marvel is that he consistently underestimates his own effect on people.

And this version of Cap really isn't that different. He's not as much of a deep thinker as his comic counterpart. And lacks a certain element of common-sense, competence, and affinity with people. (Or at least the movie didn't let him explore it.) But his general zeal to help is the same.

So ultimately, there really isn't ANY internal personal conflict. And trying to tack one on at the end doesn't work. Maybe if Steve ended up running afoul of the Government. Like if they perhaps wanted to study the effects of the serum and make him a lab rat, or use him for ethically questionable missions. Or he ended up constantly face to face with people who appear selfish, uncaring, cruel, or thoughtless. Then it might have worked. But in this movie? No.

So yeah. It's a bad movie. On the plus side though, it makes me more excited about the upcoming one. There are plenty of indications that they already know exactly how the universe fits together, and specifically Cap's place in it (and suddenly I'm overjoyed by the whole "The First Avenger" thing. I thought it was lame before, but I'll take lame if it means that they have a consistent idea) and so far, Iron Man and Hulk pretty much nailed exactly what WORKED with both of those characters in my opinion.

And the whole Branagh as directing Thor thing is so perfect that I'm excited all the more. Besides, it can hardly be worse. :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Resurrecting an old meme

I hate when this happens. I have nothing to blog. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

So I'm going to try another meme like this one in an attempt to get the creative juices in my brain flowing again.

The rules:

I'm gonna make a list of 10 characters, it is a secret list. If you want, comment to this post with a question like, "2 and 8 have a dance off, who wins?" and then I answer them in a separate post and it is the most fun meme ever. And you can ask as many questions as you like.

(My answers last time.)

So, um. Please ask me things. Otherwise I will be sad. :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sometimes There Really Aren't Words...

I spent hours (not really) trying to think of some witty way to introduce this scan from Nick Fury vs. SHIELD #6. (Yes, I am fixated. Shut up.)

I got nothing. Really. So here you go:

And no. Context really doesn't save this. At all.

If you must have context: Bad guys get control of SHIELD, replace people with LMDs, hunt Fury for five issues, catch him, and then apparently decide that a thong and harness are appropriate garb for crucifixion and dress him accordingly.

Yep. That's how I want to go out. Wearing my crucifixion thong.

Here's a bonus for those of you that haven't run away screaming. Some fisticuffs from the same issue!

That is not Baron von Strucker, by the way. This has led me to the conclusion that all bald men secretly want to strip Nick Fury and tie him up. If I were him, I'd be eying Charles Xavier VERY closely.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Who Rumors!

Ooo!!! Doctor Who casting rumors!!!

And a good one too! He was very funny in his episode of Doctor Who and while I disliked his character, I was supposed to, I suspect, so it's all good.

I really like David Tennant's Doctor, but I'm an old school Who-fan, really. I've long since come to terms with the recasting thing. (Besides, my favorite was Peter Davison anyway. I couldn't help it. He was young, angsty, cranky and swoony. Fortunately, Colin Baker was my second favorite. Mostly because he reminds me of my cat.)

It should be interesting when they hit the 13th, but then there are many many excuses to stretch it out longer, so it's all good. :-) I'm excited!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Neurotic Interlude

I have finished all my major assignments for tomorrow.

This is actually a bad thing. See. What many don't know about me is that I'm neurotic as all hell. I HAVE to leave things to the last minute possible, because if I don't, I will do the entire assignment, stare at it, go "WRONG WRONG WRONG" tear it up and start all over again from scratch.

And now I'm eying my International Law Outline. As I'm pretty sure it is NOT what the Professor wants and he's gonna hate it and...

Yeah, this is why I procrastinate. Because as long as I'm working straight up to a deadline, I can't scrap it all. It's also why, unlike some procrastinators, I did really well in my internship. Everything was so important and needed to be done NOW that it was like working with a constant deadline. It was: find-the-way-to-do-it, write-write-write, give-to-attorney, fix-fix-fix, give-to-attorney, fix-fix-fix, give-to-attorney (repeat as necessary), get signature, put in envelope, address, mail, next one, GO! Interspersed with other assignments and telephone work and stuff. I was always busy and everything HAD to be done and there wasn't time for neurotic self-doubt.

I miss my job. <3

On the plus side I've been distracting myself with the internet and web comics recommendations (THANK YOU ALL!!!) and other nifty things like these pictures for the Sherlock Holmes movie.

I'm sure lots of folk will disagree, but I think they actually look really good. Jude Law in particular does NOT look at all like I was picturing! I think I'm looking forward to the movie.

I think I'm going to go look at many many many more pictures until this caffeine high wears off and I crash to sleep.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Thoughts on Action Comics 870

I have to admit. I'm kind of disappointed by the death of Jonathan Kent. (Though to be fair, isn't it like his third death since Crisis?) It isn't a huge deal for me, mind you, but I suppose it just feels unnecessary.

I mean, it made sense in the Silver Age or the George Reeves-Superman backstory. The death of Jonathan (I think it was Ephraim for the Reeves version. Or Hiram? Something old school and vaguely Amish like that) was an important part of Superman's development, introducing him to the notion that he can't save everyone and providing a tragedy that, forgive me for saying so, is somewhat more REAL than the many Kryptonian deaths that Kal-El was too young to witness/remember.

The thing is though, none of those reasons really work for the post-Crisis Clark, in my opinion.

The first problem is the whole "can't save everyone" lesson. Which is a good lesson for a superhero to learn. It will be very helpful in helping Clark adjust to the recent deaths of characters like Sue Dibny or Ted Kord or J'onn Jonzz or Conner Kent. Or one of the countless other dead friends/superheroes/victims that Clark couldn't save because he's not omnipresent.

Come to think of it. Superman hasn't been able to save a lot of people long before this version of Jonathan Kent managed to kick the bucket. So...wouldn't he have learned that lesson already?

I think that also, somewhat, addresses the idea of a personal tragedy befalling him too. Honestly, I'm kind of irked that Clark has never really addressed the fact that his SON is dead. Admittedly, their relationship was very awkward and Clark did not play any consensual role in his creation...there still ought to be SOMETHING. He did care about the boy after all.

And as much as we love our parents, it must be that much more devastating to lose a child.

But even discounting that, and the deaths of other friends, the loss of Krypton IS fairly real for Clark. He has a lot more knowledge and experience regarding that planet than his counterparts had when THEIR Jonathan Kent's died. He has a reasonable understanding now of the kind of people Jor-El and his wife were. And he knows what he's lost. Having Jonathan alive didn't diminish that tragedy.

And for all that there's a Campbellian aspect in the hero gaining maturity through the loss of a parent/mentor, that doesn't really work in this case. Clark's not some newbie come lightly. He's more than confident and capable enough to rely on his own judgment.

I mean, take Kyle Rayner in contrast. Yes, yes, baseline WiR origin, sure. But the whole significance of Alex DeWitt's death wasn't that she was his girlfriend. When we first see Kyle, he's brash and feckless and has no real understanding of the seriousness of the ring that the funny blue person handed off to him. It's Alex who explains the significance of the costume. Alex is the one who educates him on how he needs to be a hero and helps him figure out how to do it. In two issues or so, she's pretty much defined his role as Green Lantern. And THAT is why she had to die. Because a hero isn't really a hero until he's calling his OWN shots. Until he's operating on his OWN judgment.

Jonathan Kent though wasn't any such heroic mentor like that. And while killing off parents is a fairly standard part of a lot of heroic stories, there's a reason that tends to happen when the character is a child or adolescent. Because THAT is when we still define ourselves primarily by our parents.

But Clark is an adult. He lives on his own. He manages his own money. He's married, he has a family. Clark clearly loves his parents and visits them often and occasionally gets their advice, but he doesn't define himself by them either. He's his own man. And while I'm not saying that Clark wouldn't be devastated at the loss of a parent (I don't think anyone's ever old enough or independent enough not to feel that loss to the bone), it's not the same thematically as a younger hero losing a parent.

Essentially it's a matter of need and acceptance. Clark loves his parents, but he doesn't need them in the same way a child/adolescent does. And the older a person gets, the more we start to understand that someday, hopefully a long time in the future, our parents aren't going to be there any more. That doesn't mean it's not INCREDIBLY devastating when they do leave us. But again, in terms of NARRATIVE THEME, it's not the same.

I guess I just don't see the point of this. It's a natural part of life, sure. But I don't READ comics for their portrayals of natural parts of life. So this is something that I'm less than happy about.

That said, there's always the possibility it won't last. And even if it does, well, I'll get over it. It's not something that crushes my joy of comics or anything like that. It's just mildly irritating to me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Something I Wanted to Share

Recently I had a dream in which Nick Fury, Amanda Waller, Simon Illyan (from the Vorkosigan book series), Jim Phelps, Alexander Waverly, M (as played by Dame Judi Dench) and Elim Garak were all sitting around a table playing some sort of game. I suspect it was Sorry! Because my brain is like that.

Oddly enough I remember thinking "Isn't Sorry a four player game?" but my dream did not listen to me. It rarely does.

I don't remember much else about it. Except everyone was pleasant enough, except for Nick of course. And everyone was secretly sending underlings to investigate everyone else, except for Garak who had no underlings (though in retrospect I suppose he could have tricked the Doctor into doing it), and everyone was plotting secret what-if scenarios revolving around taking the others out.

Eventually the board game got eaten by a shark.


I'm not sure what exactly that says about my subconscious. But I suspect I may have a "secret" fetish for spymasters. Hm.

(By "secret" I mean "known by anyone already" of course.)

An Annoyance of Mine

I have been thinking of something that annoys me. It's not a recent thing. Or rather, there hasn't been anything recent to spark this. It's just something that's been in and out of my head pretty much since I started blogging here. Which is: I get annoyed when people I like, often bloggers themselves, say something like "Don't you wish [this fan] would put that kind of energy into something productive?"

I mean, for one thing, it's hypocritical. We're BLOGGERS. COMIC bloggers. And one of the prerequisites for being a comic blogger, I believe, is the capacity to vent our spleens on figurative paper on command about things that don't matter. I can't think of a single blogger who hasn't done this at some point or another. The guy who'll write three paragraphs on how Wolverine could take out Batman in a fight has no right to tell someone ranting about fishnet stockings that they're taking the hobby too seriously or putting too much energy into it.

Or, okay, they have the right to say it. But they're still full of shit.

It's one thing to say "You're wrong, and this is why..." than it is to say "Can't you put your energy into something more productive?" The latter is just plain rude. And it doesn't matter if the other person is a flipping idiot, you've lost any argument right there.

For another thing, not a single one of us really knows what's going on in another person's life. Even those of you that I've met or hung out with personally...I don't know everything you do every day, and likewise you don't know everything I do. We don't know that the girl ranting about how some creator or another's incompetence in 1986 led to the downfall of some character isn't also putting that energy into some real world causes as well. Blogging and commenting do not make up the totality of a person's life.

For a third, it's kind of ignoring the fact that blogs (and comment sections of blogs) are pretty much MADE for people to rant, bitch, or blow off steam. And while, I admit, I've been annoyed enough by a few long essayed comment-based rants/discussions that I felt were tiresome or counter-productive enough to whack my comment policy on people, I also understand that it's the opposite side of having a subject that we feel so strongly about.

When you love something, you have strong emotions about it. When you have strong emotions, sometimes you just have to let fly with them. There's nothing wrong with that, and in fact, there's everything right about it. It's a good thing to care about your hobbies. And it's a good thing to get excited about them. It's fine to put time and effort into them and to be able to remember details and talk about them. And provided you're not letting it interfere with living a healthy, happy life otherwise, it's perfectly fine to get angry/upset about them too.

Let's not belittle each other for indulging our passion. It's something we all do. It's something we like to do. And there's no reason to mock one another for doing so.

Of course mocking someone because they're WRONG, well, that's perfectly reasonable. :-P

Friday, October 10, 2008


THAT issue of GLC WOULD have to come out the week I have two fairly important assignments due Monday, wouldn't it?

I may have to go grab my comics this weekend after all. Even though I had all these lofty plans about holding until next week.


At least tell me if it's as awesome as it looks? No tricks right?

You can't see me right now but I'm totally pulling the big-eyed watery look on you.

*sigh* Stupid life getting in the way of me enjoying my favorite couple.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Diamondrock Loves Me!*

Diamondrock loves me so much that, since he knew I don't read Deadpool, he scanned THIS for me, thus making my day AND saving me from having to think of an actual post!

Eee! So cute! I think the pacifier in lieu of cigar is the best part. (Though somewhat ruined by the fact that Fury isn't smoking a cigar in the "real" scene, Quesada. I appreciate the anti-smoking message in general, but come ON. It's Nick Fury!)

(I mean seriously. If Nick Fury were a role model for youngsters, there's a lot more to worry about there than smoking. How about the rampant love of explosives, the maniacal violent tendencies, the foul language, odd ignorance about basic paleontology, or the propensity for replacing oneself with a robot double on dates? REALLY.)

Still, baby!Nick Fury made my day. I may grow to like Deadpool yet.

*in a platonic sense of course. :-)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I have the due dates for a couple of different, fairly important, assignments coming up in the coming weeks. Naturally this means one thing.

Keeping sane by exploiting my utter lack of attention span!

Normally I do this by going back through and reading archives of webcomics that I remember I like once in a blue moon. However I'm running out of my very short list, pretty fast.

So um, if anyone out there are big webcomics readers, can you recommend me some? I think you guys probably have a fairly decent idea of my taste by now. :-) And if not, well, tell me about comics you like. Maybe I'll like them too. (What? I can have facets! ...maybe.)

Any recs would be appreciated!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Team-up Thoughts

As you've probably noticed on account of me posting very little else, I've been on a massive Nick Fury kick lately. What can I say? I like my men insane, prone to replacing themselves with robot duplicates, and apt to blow shit up. It's a kink.

One thing I've noticed about my massive mainlining of various series and one shots and the like is that...I've actually been really enjoying Wolverine.

This is a fairly big thing for me. See, I don't really like Wolverine. I don't hate him, mind you. Not like I bask in my hate of Nightwing, or even my more general and genuine hate of certain other characters. I think Wolverine's a nifty idea and agree that in the issues where he was first prominent, he was remarkably badass and I can see why so many fans imprinted on him.

Me, though, I've always thought he was kind of overused and overrated. Part of it's probably that I've always been somewhat more sympathetic to the over-responsible, repressed, stick-up-their-ass leader types than I am the renegade bad-boy. Mostly because I think it's a lot EASIER to be the renegade bad-boy than it is to be the responsible leader. Anyone can go half-cocked and be a bad-ass. Being the leader takes work.

I like the interaction between Wolverine and Cyclops, because I like Cyclops, but in the end I find it immensely predictable. Except for the occasional moments of unexpected bad-assery from Scott, or the flash of mutual respect that occasionally drifts its way in there, the encounters seem to follow the same basic pattern they did for the past, what, twenty years? And 9 times out of 10, it seems, Wolverine gets to come out on top and as cool as ever.

It gets awfully tedious, you know?

In contrast, the one shots or crossovers where Wolverine and Fury team up? They don't tend to fit that same pattern for me. Possibly the difference is that Scott Summers, for all his angst and brooding and multitude of issues, is a relatively sane man. Nick Fury, it must be said, really really isn't.

It's hard to be the stereotypical renegade rival bad-boy when your "responsible leader" counterpart is pretty much batshit insane.

Besides, you can't out-renegade Nick Fury. You can try. You can do your whole "Well, if you can't handle it, I will!" type gritty spiel at the end of the whole monologue of deep past connection to the villain of the story, that's when Nick will look at you over his cigar and go "I put a tracer on him when I saved your ass," and then the wind'll be taken from your sails nicely, won't it?

(I enjoy the fact that Nick will force his ally to sit through a monologue of "how I'm connected to this villain" before revealing that he can track the twit the whole time. Because he's a jerk.)

Wolverine doesn't get to coast in his usual interaction patterns when opposite Nick Fury. He's still Wolverine, but the dynamic is a lot less predictable to me. I'm really enjoying it. I may have to hunt down more team-up issues.


And on a tangential note, has there ever been a Namor/Nick Fury team-up issue? Because that just strikes me as funny. Especially as both characters seem to grow more kick-ass with the less clothing they wear. The book would essentially be a giant strip-tease. And I would be Amused.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Nick Fury is Not a Paleontologist

As evidenced from Strange Tales 139!

I love the floppy fins.

The best part is that it's only AFTER he wonders about the fake-dinosaur breathing fire that it actually occurs to him that he can't float in mid-air.

Ah, Nick, I love your crazy crazy brain.

Oh and by the way? The name braino-saur? Totally Tony Stark's fault. Seriously. Heh.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Day of Joy

I am now fortunate enough to own my very own DVD copy of Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD. (Which I've reviewed here before).

I am happy, so happy that in lieu of a post, I will instead gift you with this image of an inexplicably hot Nick Fury, a far-less-inexplicably hot Contessa, and Nick Fury's remarkably swanky pad.

Hot. Also. Swanky.

(This panel is part of the rather infamously censored seduction sequence" from Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD #2.)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I Would Not Buy This

I like Tony, I do. I also like Japan. I like Japanese comic book art too, for all my general veering away from manga/anime. But THIS is fucking creepy to me. Seriously.

I'm not sure if it's the proportions or the expression or...I don't know. It's just creepy. I think if I had one of those in my dorm room I would have nightmares or something. Even if the nightmares just involved it falling over and being unable to lift its creepily oversized head from the floor.


Friday, October 03, 2008

Ego-searching Weirdness

Sometimes I come across the darnedest things when I ego-search "Kalinara".

Like this Star Trek fanfic in which my namesake is apparently the part-Romulan second officer of the U.S.S. Zuikaku, who the Captain ends up banging.

I don't have a monopoly on the name after all, but it's uncommon enough that if you type it into a search engine most of what you find does relate back to me.

It's a little unnerving as both the character and I are 5'6" brunettes. I am not, however, a smoking hot part-Romulan woman in Starfleet. But I'd like to think I could have been. :-)

Sadly, there doesn't appear to be much of a plot. (Though apparently Romulan women are REALLY good in bed. In my personal opinion however, 6 times in 4 hours doesn't sound nearly as much fun as say *one* time throughout four hours, but well, that's just me.) It would have made my day to see my inadvertent namesake kick someone in the head or nerve pinch them.

Oh well, it's still a funny coincidence. :-)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

Apparently Smallville wasn't enough. Now there's going to be The Graysons...

You know, I'm actually kind of intrigued by this. Smallville made me despise Clark Kent to the point that it took a weekend mainlining Lois and Clark to remember why I enjoy the character again. But... I ALREADY hate Dick Grayson with a passion. So, will I hate him more? Or will I hate him so much that it will cycle right around to liking.

I actually kind of want to find out!

The one thing that irritates me is "DJ". Yes. I get it. "Dick" is a fairly old fashioned nickname we're not likely to hear anymore. But, haven't we learned anything from trying to take the wings off Ultimate Cap's helmet? We're talking about Bruce Wayne's first and most famous ROBIN here. And even if we're not likely to see him in elf books or a domino mask, the audience is going to damn well know they're watching ROBIN.

Trying to modernize Dick's name does not address the innate cheesiness that is Dick Grayson, which is this is a kid who is going to dress up in elf boots and green panties IN PUBLIC at some point in the future. Having a first name that's a euphemism for a male sexual origin or a disagreeable fellow is the least of his problems!

(There better be circus hijinx, damnit. That's all I'm sayin'.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Blog Maintenance Post

Well! I finally gutted out my blogroll for the first time in a good two years. It's kind of depressing to see how many of the blogs I loved so much closed.

I think it's because I rely so much on bloglines for news, that I tend to miss how long some blogs go without updating. It makes me sad to think I've missed them leaving.

On the plus side I've FINALLY added quite a few folks I ought to have added a long time ago. I need to dig through my links to find the others. Though, you know, if you want a link up here and don't want to wait for my lazy ass to remember, please drop a line here.

You can pretty much assume that if you're a reader, I'd probably like to link you. :-) I just a have a nonexistent attention span.

(If I linked you before and somehow aren't now, please tell me too, I'm sure I lost some links in the process.)

Oh and finally, if you're on my blogroll and want off for whatever reason, drop me a line too and I'll take you off no questions asked and no hard feelings.



The Empress on a Nude Beach

This may be considered to be jumping onto a bandwagon. This may well be true. At any rate, I'll take that risk.

Recently my friend and blogging partner Ragnell wrote a post taking a very popular "feminist" blogger to task.

I can't claim to be unbiased. I don't agree with said feminist blogger, well, hell, let's not be coy. I don't agree with Valerie D'Orazio on many things. I have often blogged these disagreements. But I have always tried to keep it to the scope of the disagreement and not my feelings about Ms. D'Orazio herself.

I have a lot of respect for what Ms. D'Orazio's achievements and her ability to market herself to her audience. I admire her ability to reinvent herself on a fairly regular basis, taking hits that would actually cause the average blogger to pause and re-evaluate the whole situation, re-grouping and coming back on a 75 degree angle stronger than ever.

What I've never liked was what I see as her inclination to use other people. She's used WFA as a stepping stone more than once, which actually doesn't bother me that much, as I'm aware that many people have used WFA to reach a wider audience quickly and hell, I've done the same thing myself.

Her tendancy to twist the words of other people and make them into strawmen, I'm far less fond of.

I don't know what Ms. D'Orazio's actual beliefs are. I don't know whether she's a feminist or not. I do know that I have seen her spin a blogger's minor plaint into an attack on all men in feminist discussions. And well, we all remember the comment moderation kerfluffle and the John Stewart incident. Hmm, come to think about it, I seem to remember my DC Legacy Hero post getting linked a few times to argue in contexts that were not mine. Ah, Here's one!:

Lisa Fortuner provides guidelines for writers of international characters, courtesy of "The Mainstream Comics Industry":

"However, the Mainstream Comics Industry advises against researching another culture and creating a well-rounded original character based on actual facts, because this could result in your readers thinking of foreign nations as places with a rich history and culture populated by a variety of individual thinkers who are worthy of respect as human beings. This leads to the audience raising their standards and refusing to pay for books that don’t adhere to that standard."

But Lisa, if you just think of those characters as Legacy Heroes, and give them a chance instead of tearing them down because of supposed inaccuracies and "uninspired characterization" (my God, as if there really is such a thing), maybe they can blossom.


You know, considering the extensive editing experience Ms. D'Orazio has under her belt, I'm surprised she doesn't know that quotations in a block quote are redundant.

I suppose there's also this one:

An interesting note in terms of the nominees for best character in both the male and female categories -- while Luke Cage and Amanda Waller received nods, DC's "Legacy" characters, with the exception of David Lapham & Eric Battle's The Spectre in Tales of The Unexpected, did not.

It's not that I mind the extra attention, but I find it odd to be linked there at all. Unless of course she were trying to attack my argument indirectly.

I suppose I do tend to hold a grudge for a long time. :-)

You know, it strikes me, that that's a lot of effort. (Especially considering that the first of those two posts went up a MONTH after mine.) When I want to attack my opponent's argument I just post a blog post to explain why I think they're wrong. Much easier that way. But I digress.

What actually prompted this post today though was this.

Apparently Ms. D'Orazio believes her "posts hit a cord" (I presume she meant "chord". A common mistake, I've made it myself. I don't pride myself on my editorial experience mind you) and thus compares herself to Jennifer Walters being asked to not be She-Hulk and be "acceptable instead". Oh and somehow porn got involved in it. Which is bizarre to me, as the only critiques I've seen of Ms. D'Orazio's post I've seen never mentioned porn. But then I don't know about every piece of criticism she's recieved, so maybe that was the issue.

But I want to talk about the Jennifer Walters comparison for a moment. I read Savage She-Hulk too. Adored it. Blogged about it. I think it's amazingly feminist and Jen is an amazingly strong character.

You, Ms. D'Orazio, are no Jen Walters.

The whole point of Ragnell's criticism, which I believe was the critique that got the most attention and rightly so, wasn't to somehow force you into some mold of respectability or acceptability.

She was calling you on a) being an idiot. Which you are. Seriously. All that whole John Stewart/Jefferson Pierce experience from you would have needed was an "Oh, sheesh, sorry, I was tired. I MEANT to type Jeff Pierce." We'd have been okay with that.

She was calling you on b) inconsistency. Which you are. I read your blog with sheer amusement and joy to see where you're going to heel turn next. I actually PRAY Cloak and Dagger is an ongoing just to watch you change the series' focus and direction each time you get a bit of pointed criticism.

She was calling you on c) pandering to the lowest common denominator. My words, not hers. Your target audience is people unhappy with change to their comics and needing a scapegoat. You target Dan Didio at every possible time. You once wrote an ill-conceived and illogical diatribe predicting Dan Didio getting fired, (which I'm very proud to have countered and called you on.)

Hmm, apparently Countdown didn't kill his career after all. Huh. Fancy that. (By the way, your predictions? The same kind of generalized tripe that ANYONE with half a brain can come up with and be at least 85% right in the end.)

She also called you d) superficial and e) the "safe feminist". Meaning she was accusing you of BEING JEN WALTERS FOR THAT DINNER EVERY POST OF YOUR BLOG.


I read Ms. D'Orazio's blog for WFA reasons and sometimes because she does have something interesting up. I try not to comment because I don't like being a troll, I do and will post my disagreements here.

And go ahead and TRY to burn me in effigy. I'd like to see it.

Or, you know, stop being that Empress and actually put on some real damn clothes.

A Quick Avengers Initiative Thought.

You know, I'm not a big Dan Slott fan. I'm not sure why, I think it's left-over irritation from (what I perceive as) the big turn toward mean-spiritedness that She-Hulk the comic did toward the end of his run. I've also never been particularly interested in the Great Lakes Defenders, to be truthful.

Though tangentially, it occurs to me, between the Detroit Justice League and the GLA, what IS it about this area that inspires all the joke superhero teams? Then again, I'm FROM Michigan and I'm not sure I can take a superhero actually working in Michigan seriously either. Unless he's here to protect us from one-another's incredibly bad driving. I'm not talking traffic jams like in California or NYC. We have enough room to drive anywhere. We just SUCK at it. Seriously.

However, he did have a not crazy*, not torturing-his-underlings Nick Fury in Avengers: Initiative last week! So I'm kind of forced to like him again.

(As a clarification I mean: "not crazy above and beyond the usual Nick Fury insanity way")

Though I admit, Nick's speech does ring a bit off to me. Admittedly, there are still many issues of Agent of SHIELD that I haven't gotten to yet, but I'd never really thought of Nick Fury as the speech making type. The "we were scared in WWII" speech seems much more like a Captain America speech to make instead of Nick Fury.

Fury always seemed more of a "give everyone high explosives and yell at them until they blow shit up" sort of leader to me. But that's a small complaint compared to the "torture-your-underlings" kind of leader. So I'll go with that. :-) Maybe he's channeling Steve. Or maybe he has a posse of secretly assassin trained nuns waiting in the wings to knock sense into the kid if his speech doesn't work.

(I have no basis for this. I just always thought Nick Fury ought to have a squad of secretly assassin-trained nuns. It's what I would have, if I ran SHIELD. They could rap ANYONE's knuckles.)

So yeah, right now, I'm kind of appreciating Dan Slott. At least until he starts being a dick to one of my friends online again. :-)

(On a tangent note: I'm totally starting to see what flidget_jerome sees in Jocasta. :-))