Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Reviewing a Webcomic!

I don't usually write reviews for web comics on here, but this time I was asked to do so by someone who used a lot of flattery. I like flattery so I agreed. :-)

That could be an indicator of bias in this review. I tend to like people who give me compliments. Just so you know.

Anyway, the webcomic in questions is Gene's Journal. It depicts the "true" events of Gene Roddenberry's adolescence, which basically involved getting kidnapped by two aliens a lot, which apparently helped inspire the creation of Star Trek and other Roddenberry properties.

I'd never actually heard of it before, but it's actually really cute. This is probably my favorite strip, and is fairly indicative of the kind of humor of the comic. :-)

This isn't the sort of webcomic that has much in the way of plot or character development, but it's a humor comic, so those aren't required. The running gags, things like the aliens transporting Gene into inconvenient and humorous places just to mess with him and/or showing up in shrunken form in his food, make me laugh.

I was slightly surprised at how rarely the writers use direct Trek references. Obviously my favorite strip involves one, but they're used fairly sporadically throughout. To put it crudely: it's geek-friendly but not a geek-wankfest. Most of the humor comes from Calvin and Hobbes-ish wisecracks and fish-out-of-water type situations both with Gene and the aliens. You don't have to be a giant Trek-fan to get the jokes. :-)

It's very kid-friendly with cute, light-hearted G-rated humor. There's not a lot of bite to the satire, but that's not necessarily a bad thing (though I do think there are some missed opportunities there, but it's still a fairly new webcomic) and there's definitely a lot of affection for Mr. Roddenberry and his work.

The only real negative I can think of (and I'm not sure that it's a negative so much as it is an observation) is that, for all that the comic purports to be about young Gene Roddenberry, comic book Gene is pretty much an "everykid" type character. There isn't a lot that I, being a casual Trek fan and not one for biographies and who wouldn't know any of the Roddenberry clan from Adam, can tell is specific to Gene Roddenberry himself in the character of Gene.

Well except maybe with regard to girls. Rumor did have it that Mr. Roddenberry had a distinct appreciation for the female form. :-)

It's possible that the setting factors into this impression though. Gene Roddenberry would have been an adolescent in the 30s or 40s, but the comic strip itself is contemporary. I can see why the decision was made to do that since it probably makes the jokes more relatable, but I do think that it influences the way I perceive the character.

In general though, I like the comic. It's cute and fun. I'd recommend it. :-)

Friday, January 30, 2009

My thoughts on crossovers

You know, I'm always invariably disappointed by Marvel and DC type crossovers. Mostly because they always seem to degenerate into who can beat whom. Don't get me wrong, I like a little healthy competition. But they never fight over anything FUN.

I don't CARE whether Storm could beat Wonder Woman (personally, I call shenanigans on that one, but YMMV) or anything like that. I want to see the characters compete over things that entertain ME.

Like Peter Parker and Dick Grayson in an angst-off! Come on, who can emo more effectively. They can even bring feisty red-haired exes!

Or Jason Todd and Bucky Barnes in the ex-dead ex-sidekick royal rumble!

Or Wonder Man and Max Lord in a competition regarding who can copy their brainwaves into as many mechanical options as possible.

Rogue and Kyle can compete over how many loved ones and complete strangers their affections have inadvertently caused to be maimed or killed.

Nick Fury and Amanda Waller get to have a chess game. With heroes and/or spies as actual playing pieces. If the victims are lucky, they might be informed that they're in a game. But they probably won't be.

And who wouldn't want to see Catwoman and Felicia Hardy have a steal-em-and-bang-em-not-necessarily-in-that-order competition?

Wouldn't that sort of thing be so much more fun?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Miscellaneous Reactions

Damn, Final Crisis 7 is out already? Seems like I only JUST bitched about being behind on FC 6. :-) How time flies!

You know I have to admit, I had no idea Dilbert was plugging anything. To be fair, the only thing I really know about Dilbert is that my dad reads it as he's an engineer and apparently work is actually like that.

I do know that my Business Enterprises professor adored the storyline since he keeps using it as an example of agent's fiduciary duty to principal. I think he's in love. :-)

Also, I didn't know about the A-Team movie still going ahead. I'd have thought Miami Vice would have killed it. I have to admit, I'm kind of twistedly intrigued to see how they'll do it.

God willing, Dirk Benedict will write another lunatic letter. :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Interlude Absent a Post

Hm. I'm taking a break from blogging today. :-)

For the record, the best thing about Decedents Estates and Trust class is when we get into things like frozen sperm and other entertaining post-death adventures.

On my end, I've always kind of wondered about clones and how they'd fit into intestate succession. (Would clones count as children or siblings?)

Also: I hope that some of these folk have resurrection provisions in their wills. Otherwise, things could get awkward real fast. :-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wrong Answer!

3 Random Facts About Me

Today I am going to share some little known facts about me. Lucky you. Heh.

1. I watch both South Park and Family Guy fairly regularly. I won't claim this is because of anything beyond a love of toilet humor and stupid things. But they do make me laugh. Also, I have a knack for missing the point of South Park's politics, since I usually come out of the episodes reading a very pro-liberal message despite the fact that I'm pretty sure the intended message is supposed to be more conservative or libertarian. It's nifty to see how my own political biases/blinders influence my perception.

(I also had the same sort of phenomenon happen while reading Fables. It's very peculiar, but kind of fun to realize that you may well be getting exactly the OPPOSITE message than what the writer intends. Heh.)

2. As a kid, I never really liked the cartoon Daria. This was rare, as the show was very popular when I was about 13 or so. Granted, it was very funny and also well-written. However, at the time it was on, I'd just switched middle schools in the middle of the year, and I was a sulky little runt with shoulder-length brown hair and glasses. And the kids in my new school were apparently far more inclined to watch MTV than the kids at my old school. It got annoying real fast.

It wasn't until high school (where I was much more comfortable anyway) that I finally got around to watching the show that I realized that it wasn't really much of an insult. Still, I've never quite been able to shake the lingering resentment enough to really enjoy the cartoon.

3. Because my right eye kind of flaked out a few years back, I'm not actually able to use 3d glasses or viewfinders (those kid toys that look like binoculars, that show pictures when you flip the lever). The last 3d movie I tried to watch was Superman Returns. Things just looked red.

I don't think I'm missing much, but it was odd to realize that it didn't work anymore.


Monday, January 26, 2009

An Action Figure Desire

Do they make any toys like Stretch Armstrong nowadays?

If you don't know what Stretch Armstrong is, it was a toy figure in the 80s (possibly earlier I suppose, but as I was born in 83 and am too lazy to look it up, I'm basing this on my own recollection) that was made of some weird goop so that you could stretch his limbs out really far and do silly things with them.

I always wanted one, but never got one and thus had to play with my next door neighbor's.

Anyway, I'm curious to know if there's something like that now. Mostly because I'd like to get three, dye one's clothes blue and give him grey temples, dye another white, and a third red with a pair of barbie sunglasses. Then I would stretch them out and tangle them into a big ball of fantastic plasticky elongated-ness.

I have no interest in an action figure of Reed, Ralph, or Eel on their own, but give me the chance to make one confused ball of limbs, and I would be overjoyed. I must look into this.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Revisiting the Meme

After some thought, I have actually figured out my choices for this meme.

My super-team would be:

Mace Windu (Star Wars, of course)
Nick Fury (Marvel Movies)
Frozone (The Incredibles)
And that fellow from Snakes on a Plane, who's name escapes me at the moment. (IMDB provides: Neville Flynn)

(And for aquatic missions, the guy that was eaten by the shark. Because, well, you always need shark-food.)

It's a small team, but one cannot doubt it for sheer badassery.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

No Post, Nyah

Annoyingly, I have no post today. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I don't even have a fill-in post. How annoying is that?

Well, I did end up seeing the Specials. It's kind of a parody superhero movie starring Thomas Hayden Church, Rob Lowe and Paget Brewster. I thought it started really well, but kind of fizzled toward the end. I didn't think there was enough climax or resolution. Something like that.

The characters and ideas were neat ideas though. But honestly, Mystery Men probably did the whole parody-lower tier-superhero thing better.

That said, I dug the mock-toy commercial. That was funny stuff. :-)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Annataz? Ellivllams ni? Gnitseretni!

...Backwards spelling is harder than it looks. Yeesh.

Zatanna now?

Wow, um. Smallville's really getting kind of desperate, isn't it?

It actually kind of reminds me of the last season of Highlander the TV series, where almost every episode seemed like it was auditioning to be its own spin-off or something.

I don't know. I thought the idea of introducing the Legion of Superheroes was pretty awesome, considering how they are a connection to the comic book Superboy. Green Arrow's steadily watchable, and the initial Justice League-ish episode was lots of fun. I haven't seen any Martian Manhunter appearances, but I've heard good things about that too.

Honestly, I think I'm just resentful that, as far as I know anyway, Green Lantern hasn't shown up yet. (He hasn't, right? I'd feel kind of silly if he had.) Or Batman. I mean, granted, the licensing for Batman is probably complicated as hell, and Oliver Queen seems to be fitting that role fairly well, but there's really no substitute for the real thing. :-)

And the girl playing Zatanna is really pretty at least. I bet she'll rock the top hat and fishnets. :-) Hope she's good at tongue twisters.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Okay, these look really neat.

I especially like the Spock one. After a green Barbie doll, I think the doll I wanted most as a kid was a Mr. Spock doll.

Sometimes it's fun being a geek. :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A New Meme.

My good friend (and occasional victim) Matt had an idea for a meme and I thought it was nifty, so I swiped it for the blog.

By the way, how do you pronounce "meme"? That's bothered me for ages.

Anyway here it is:

The initial idea was to create a team of four heroes, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, only the catch is that each hero must be a character portrayed by the same actor.

That seemed nifty to me, but I am hindered by the fact that there are many actors for whom I really can't think of more than two or so applicable characters. However, as a kid, I always enjoyed the Bobbsey Twins books, so that gave us the notion about how to modify the meme.

So now the challenge is to create a team of four to eight members, which comprise of sets of doubles as played by the same actor.

For my set, I decided to do a team of six:

1) An Obnoxious Investigator: Tony DiNozzo - NCIS (played by Michael Weatherly)
2) A Cyber-Journalist Hacker: Logan Cale - Dark Angel (played by Michael Weatherly)

3) A Shiny Sentient Warship: Andromeda - Andromeda (played by Lexa Doig)
4) A Doctor: Dr. Lam - Stargate SG-1 (played by Lexa Doig)

5) A Genetically Enhanced Super-Soldier - Aeryn Sun - Farscape (played by Claudia Black)
6) An Intergalactic Con-Artist - Vala - Stargate SG-1 (played by Claudia Black)

This is a team that works well in my opinion. Obviously, this team would be centered around space exploration. And by "space exploration" I mean "shooting the crap out of bad guys" of course.

I think they should actually get along fairly well. Andromeda probably wouldn't find this crew of hacker, obnoxious flirt with penchant for contracting ancient diseases, con-artist, super-soldier, and doctor/voice of sanity too much different from her old crew. Though thankfully there is no annoyingly cryptic purple/gold alien or Kevin Sorbo.

Keeping Aeryn from killing DiNozzo or Vala (who ought to get along swimmingly) might be a trick at first, but ultimately, she should be able to get used to them. The crew of Moya was also made up of irritating people, and at least here there are no Muppets.

We already know that genetically altered super-soldier ladies are Logan's type, and he might appreciate one who doesn't pout as often. While in turn, she seems to enjoy intelligent men who get injured a lot, so there may be possible chemistry in that team-up.

DiNozzo, being the only one from a non-sci-fi universe would be good for the "fish out of water" perspective. He's fairly adaptable to craziness after all, and well, he'll be hanging out with a geek and four beautiful women. I'm sure he'll manage.

And really, considering the inevitability of certain team members (read: not the girls) of getting drugged, kidnapped, catching diseases from the dark ages, getting contrived viruses designed to keep apart romantic couples for yet another season, and finding various other reasons to keel over, it's probably a good thing to have a doctor in the mix.

Heh, this is fun.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Solicit Babbling

Yay, Solicits!

I'm most excited about Flash: Rebirth I think. Though I'm also a little nervous about the "Dead Speedster" thing. I don't dislike Barry (though I don't like him as much as I like Hal. Near as I can tell, Barry's not nearly as appeallingly appalling as Our Man Jordan. And I love more when I can mock.) but Wally is MY Flash, and given that he's been the Flash since I was approximately age two, I really don't want to see him killed off.

To be fair, he's a Flash, and their resurrection rates probably tie the Green Lanterns. But it would annoy me, especially considering that Wally got a fairly decent send-off in his own comic.

How many other speedsters are out there now, though? It better not be Jay. I may love Wally most, but I'd actually be more pissed off if they killed of Jay. Because you just don't DO that.

I'm still looking forward to it though. God willing, it'll end like GL: Rebirth and everyone'll have their own Flash back. <3


If someone is to inherit Batman's cowl and he/she is not a shark, I hope it's Man-Bat. Not because I'm particularly fond of the character. But to have Man-Bat become Batman seems almost palindromically fitting.

...and finally am I the only one who has a hard time picturing freaking Jericho as some sort of mastermind out to destroy the Titans. I mean, I know he's been used as a villain before...sort of. But even then, it didn't seem so mastermind-y. But then, it's been a while and I may be mis-remembering.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I finally read GLC. And I liked it! A lot! I really like the way they're using the Star Sapphires and it makes more interesting story potential.

I'd feel a bit more comfortable if we saw a male Star Sapphire though. Just one or two. Female-dominated is more fun than female-exclusive in my experience. And it intrigues me to see men in traditionally female type roles sometimes.

One part did give me pause though, and it's the same part that -brainfreeze- blogged about here

My problem with Kyle and Soranik is three-fold.

1) Like Brainfreeze, I'd rather not see Soranik defined by her role as "girlfriend".

2) I don't want Soranik to die.

3) She and Kyle never really seemed to jive romantically for me.

I mean, maybe a bit during Recharge, but even then, I thought Soranik had much more interesting chemistry with Guy. Granted, now that Tora's back, there really isn't a contest. But still...

Actually, I thought Soranik had the most chemistry with Iolande. :-) But that's probably just me. Too bad.

I'm sure I'll enjoy it. But I really REALLY hope they don't kill her off. Doctors are cool, damnit!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Search term puzzlement

The most recent search terms people have used to find PFP are:

"Harley Quinn shows what she got"

"Transformers slash fiction"



Clearly I'm either doing something wrong or doing it very very right.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

For the record:

If I ever find myself in the position to question another person's feminism, another woman's feminism no less, merely because she likes a company, product, or person that I may not like or may have even had a negative sexist experience with or because of, I think that will be a time that I need to seriously reconsider my priorities. Hell, it'd be a time to reconsider who I am as a person.

No one says feminists have to agree on everything. No one says that feminists have to like one another. But we don't have the right to weigh and measure one another's feminism like that. We're better people than that. All of us. And it's a poor person who would try to use that kind of bullying to attempt to shame and quiet another person's honest criticism.

And yes, for the record, this is totally about this.

(For the record, the link URL, and the page it goes to, spoils the ending to Final Crisis #6. Just so you know.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Really Hope I Get to the Comic Shop Today

Thank god I'm finally going to get to the comic shop today, because trying to avoid Final Crisis spoilers is a pain in the ASS. :-)

Not that it's anyone's fault but my own, but holy crap is it annoying to not be able to read Bloglines.

I'm excited to read that the Watchmen case has settled. IP isn't my area and I don't really understand the intricacies of the case, but I'm just glad that the movie is going forward. :-) I don't know if the Watchmen can really work on the silver screen, but I really want to see the attempt. And the trailers look awesome.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Because Bad TV is fun TV

Willow got me watching Dark Angel again, for the first time in ages. And you know, it's actually not as bad as I remembered. Season 1 is actually half-decent! (Season 2 on the other hand...though between you and me, that virus thing made me laugh my ass off.)

Sadly, Jessica Alba was a much better actress back then. Granted, she wasn't very good at expressing these things we humans call emotions, but it kind of worked for the character. She's good at "inscrutable" at least.

And surprisingly, she does manage a certain amount of sexual chemistry with Michael Weatherly. Considering she had two incredibly hot co-stars in Fantastic Four, PLUS a metallic greek god in the sequal, sniffing after her and managed the sexual tension of cardboard, it was a welcome sight. I spent most episodes going "For god's sake, jump him already."

Logan Cale, by the way, is what you get if you crossbreed Lois Lane and Oracle. Seriously. It's kind of fascinating. Lois with l33t hacking skillz. Also, the inability to shave or stay out of a coma for two episodes running.

It's kind of fun to alternate with NCIS, if you can keep your brain from exploding. I particularly enjoyed re-watching the episode where DiNozzo and McGee meet for the first time and compared credentials. I totally ended up voicing over: "You know, in another universe I was you. Only I was better looking and spent most of my time unconscious."

I kind of dig the whole dystopian future scenario, though it does make my head hurt if I try to think about it too closely. Fortunately, I'm a comic fan and can shut my brain off.

I also enjoyed the way they kept trying to convince the viewer that Jessica Alba's character had superior intelligence. Sorry. I can buy that she thinks faster and has a better memory, sure. But fast moving fruit salad is still fruit salad. She looked good throwing punches though.

So yeah, I've been enjoying it. :-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Personal Update

I've settled back up at school, which is nice. And my classes are actually really interesting, which is even better.

The one downside is that my Elder Law class takes place while the new NCIS episode comes on. But that's why they invented VCRs. Explosions and gun fights and implausible comic booky plots can wait. :-) I'm excited because this is the first class I've taken that's directly related to what I actually want to do when I can officially drop the "proto" from my "proto-lawyer" status. :-)

My classes include Business Enterprises (which I'm not terribly enthused about, but my professor is, at least, a very swanky dresser), Managed Care (which I know nothing about, but seems interesting), Courts and Social Policy (which has all of four people in the class), Decedents, Estates and Trusts (which I've since learned is also called "Stiffs and Gifts" which makes me giggle) and the aforementioned Elder Law.

They're kind of neat!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Knocking On Other People's Match-Ups

Okay, this kind of post is a fun idea for a hypothetical post, but I have to say, I don't agree with ANY of the possible match-ups. (found via.)

Well, maybe Bruce Wayne and Paris Hilton. I don't much care for her, but I could possibly see Bruce seeing the value in a girlfriend as vacant as she appears to be.* I mean, it's not as though this one would ever stumble across the batcave. Or even notice him go off to crime fight at all. I'd like to think, however, that Bruce would be able to find someone that vacant who's a little less trashy. I'm sure there are "party girl" types out there who at least have not been photographed sprawled drunkenly in a limo without undergarments.

(* In all fairness, I feel as though I should say that I don't know Paris Hilton from Adam, and she could well be quite smart for all I know. She certainly comes across very vacant however.)

Okay, maybe also Cassandra and Snake Eyes. Though I tend to think one quiet ninja type is enough for any couple. I'd rather pair her with someone who just wouldn't stop talking. I think I've said it before, but my ideal couple that never was would be Cassandra Cain and Bart Allen. The challenge of reading body language of someone who never stands still would be interesting. And also, it'd be cute.

Probably the most WTF pairing on there is Namor and Ann Coulter. I mean really. How unfair is that to poor Namor? A guy gets a little pissy and someone wants to pair him with Ann freakin' Coulter?

Though I suppose I shouldn't talk, because all of a sudden I got the notion that I'd love to see a first date between Namor and a Doctor Laura type media figure. I don't think it could possibly go beyond a first date, and in truth, I have no idea how even the one date could come about, but I have the distinct feeling it would be hilarious.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Question

Have Zauriel and the Spectre ever teamed up for a book? Because that always seemed like it'd be an interesting team up. Maybe with the Peter David Earth-Angel version of Supergirl, too.

Actually, what would be really fun would be to have a nifty Shadowpact type adventure with them, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Ragman, and other religious/god/myth affiliated heroes whose names are escaping me at the moment.

Possibly Mr. Terrific too, because Atheists ought to get representation as well.

I couldn't imagine what kind of PLOT it would entail, but I'd kind of like the villain to be an unexpectedly well-educated Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Or a deranged clone of Charles Darwin.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Hm, well, I'm settled in up in school. Which is nice. :-) Classes start tomorrow, which is less nice. But inevitable.

I have determined that the best outcome for the whole Battle for the Cowl would be...a shark. Because a bat-shark? Awesome.

And given 60s Batman's propensity for carrying around shark-repellent? It'd be poetic!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I need to pay more attention!

...okay, why did I not know about this Sanctuary television show? Clearly my school induced Sci-Fi channel deprivation has cheated me.

Insane Victorian-inspired pseudo-steampunk that includes among other things: Tesla, Jack the Ripper (sort of), Dr. Watson (sort of), Amanda Tapping with equally horrible fake black hair and accent? Young guy who has more chemistry with hot older main character old enough to be his (great grand) mother?

It's like the few bits I liked from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, that one Ultima game where you take a bunch of historical figures to Mars, and other fun things like that.

Also, Peter Wingfield was like my first crush EVER, so there's that too.

I would have to catch the season finale first, too. I had no idea what was going on, but it looked nifty at least. After looking at what Wikipedia says, I think I may have to look into this further. :-)

Honestly, I needed a new tv show that's silly and marginally absurd and takes dimly recognized characters in a new direction. And despite certain people's best efforts, Merlin just doesn't do it to me. It's probably because they're all so damn young. I like being able to at least PRETEND to be younger than some of the main characters on my tv screen, damnit.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Disjointed, pre-new-semester rambling.

I have nothing to blog about and an incredibly long, tedious car ride back up to school. Yay. :-)

On the plus side, the new semester looks interesting so there's that.

On the downside, my law school is taking part in a conspiracy to drive me further insane, as only ONE of my grades for the last semester has shown up in the system yet. It's crazy-frustrating.

Could be worse though. :-)

I've decided that I would like to see a superhero with the power to put people to sleep with his voice. It would give me pleasant flashbacks to undergrad, when I had a professor or two with that exact same power.

I'm not sure what kind of arch enemies that character would have, but I'm sure caffeine would be involved somewhere.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I'm slightly aghast that a tv show themed after a teenaged Superman can last for nine seasons.

Well, not really. I'm happy for the fans of the show. Doesn't do much for me, but I like when MY shows last, so I can be happy for them too.

Though, since there's no way in hell he's remotely plausible as a teenager anymore (and hasn't been for at least five or six years), couldn't they just give him the fucking cape? They've introduced fifteen thousand different kryptonite-type villains, Braniac, Supergirl, the Justice League, the Legion, and so on and so forth. Would it really be THAT bad to let him dress like Superman?

It does make me regret that the Graysons wasn't made after all. I mean sure, it would have sucked and made no sense as a series premise. But the comedic potential of a 30 year old Dick Grayson with living parents and no Bruce Wayne in sight would be gold!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Babbling about Batman

I have to say, I pretty much agree with this post by Diamondrock. It IS really hard to believe that having criminals suddenly believe Batman's dead would cause everything to go to hell, if we look at the fact that he'd been gone for an entire year relatively recently in comic book time.

Granted, I rather subscribe to the point of view that I think Dark Knight represented very well: that rather than acting as a deterrent, Batman's fear-based tactics caused the criminals to become more extreme as a response. So that probably effects how I see the entire deal.

In a weird sort of way, I've never really liked the idea of Batman as a legacy hero anyway. Batman Beyond was fantastic, don't get me wrong, but I thought it was fairly significant that the series functioned basically by completely transforming the role entirely. Terry's Batman was fun and interesting, but he wasn't a terrifying shadow-dwelling creature of the night. He wasn't a man nearly mad with grief dressed up in a bat costume in order to fight fear with fear.

I thought Nightwing's whole Prodigal storyline was (or at least should have been) the perfect vehicle to separate him from the would-be-successor role. If you measure a sidekick's maturity and level of adulthood by when he assumes the role of his mentor, than Dick had reached that point. And then he gave it back. And it wasn't a regression at all, it was Dick Grayson returning to the role that Dick Grayson was meant to be. The Batman role was a digression, not an end-goal.

Tim Drake's probably the best character temperamentally and intellect-wise to become a Bruce-style Batman, but honestly, the whole Titans of Tomorrow storyline was probably fairly accurate in terms of determining what would happen if Tim actually did become Batman. Tim's a very nice, well meaning boy, but he lacks... something in his moral compass. He's too tolerant of shades of gray.

Bruce keeps together as Batman by having a very black and white moral code. It's not always very fair (especially to poor Cassandra Cain) but it's what keeps him from crossing the line. Dick is generally more accepting of the foibles of others, but keeps the same strict moral code for himself. Tim... Well, for all of my issues with Devin Grayson's run on Nightwing, the one thing that I was always intrigued by was the role Blockbuster's death played in his downward spiral. The fact that he'd let Tarantula drop him was a big and devastating event that shook his perception of himself and his morality.

This intrigued me because in one of the very FIRST stories where Tim Drake became Robin, he ended up facing King Snake, with Shiva at his side. And the story's climax involved Shiva dangling King Snake over the edge of the building about to let him drop. And Tim, knowing full well what she would do, walked away.

Granted King Snake came back, but Tim didn't KNOW that was going to happen. And that wasn't some new writer's way to rewrite the character as an EXTREME or dark character. That was in one of the first stories! (It's compiled in the Robin: A Hero Reborn TPB, if you're curious.) His track record since then hasn't been extremely stellar either.

Like Bruce, Tim's brilliant, determined, calculating, and willing to take extreme measures to make things safe, but without Bruce's equally extreme moral code, I don't think he'd be able to take the role without it swallowing him whole.

I do think though, that if Tim were to go dark, he would be a much MUCH awesomer prodigal Robin than Jason Todd could ever be.

Thinking about it, I actually think Barbara would be the only character that I could actually imagine taking over Bruce's role, having both the intellect and ability to carry on his work and the morality and strong sense of self to keep from being swallowed up by it. But then, I'd really hate to see her limit herself like that.

But yeah, ultimately, I really don't think that Batman works as a legacy role. The sane and smart thing for the Batclan to do if they believe Bruce is dead would be to retire his cowl, and continue to protect Gotham in their own ways, since no matter who ends up with the role, they're going to end up miserable.

But then, if they were sane, they probably wouldn't be Batclan. :-P

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

On A Purely Hypothetical Note:

If I were to somehow learn to draw enough to write a lawyer-themed web comic, which would be better anthropomorphosized-animals representing the lawyers?

I mean, sharks are traditional, but I'm really a lousy artist, and I'm not sure how to begin to use a shark to draw emotion.

Cats maybe? They're independent, snarky, think they're better than everyone, and would probably eat your brain if they felt like it and had the opposable thumbs required to get at it. On the other hand, it's hard to be intimidated by something that can be distracted by a well placed thing of yarn.

Vultures might work, though they've got the same problem as sharks.

But a webcomic starring a vulture-lawyer WOULD be hilarious. As long as there are no earthworms, I'm literally and truly phobic of earthworms. (Don't ask.) Since birds eat worms, this might end up being something of a concern.

This is all theoretical, as I can't draw a straight line, but sometimes I do wonder about these sorts of things.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I Think Too Much About Stuff Like This

In the vein of every other "normal career person in a superhero universe" type comic book notion I've touted here, I've also decided that a comic book about crypt keepers and undertakers in a superheroic universe would be awesome.

Funeral directors too. I mean, what kind of coffin do you pick for the probably-apt-to-be-alive-again-eventually superhero? Do you take super strength into account? How do you handle Jean Grey's many many inscriptions? Do you just carve a line through the death date

Jean Grey
1975* - 1992 2004 2008

Or maybe something like:

Jean Grey
1975 - 1992; 1994-2004, 2007-2008

(All dates made up because I have no idea how the rolling timeline works anymore.)

I'd guess the crypt keepers would need SOME superpowers if only to protect the graves from evil villainous graverobbers seeking to take magic artifacts and/or clone their favorite adversary. And to help the newly resurrected folks too weak to break out of their own coffins before they suffocate or something.

And dealing with vandalism and bizarre tributes and funerals in which people with hypersonic screams try to sing funeral hymns...

The gravestones for the oft-resurrected would be the best part of the idea though. Imagine the fun after the family gets utterly tired of the nonsense and starts getting really snarky inscriptions in the granite.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Doctor Who Thoughts

...the new Doctor is about a year older than I am. Jesus Christ, I feel old.

I am kind of disappointed actually. I really liked the Patterson Joseph rumors. Not in the least because I was really excited by the idea of a non-white Doctor.

My disappointment has nothing to do with the new guy really though. I've never seen him in anything, so I haven't a clue whether he's good or not. But really, I like every Doctor, so I'm probably going to be fine with him.

And hell, if he sucks, they'll just regenerate him faster. That's the joy of the franchise. :-)

(And it's not like the whole 13 thing will be a real barrier I'd reckon, there are plenty of implausible ways to extend that if they darn well feel like it and I suspect they will.)

I'm still weirded out by the age though. The Doctor is in my age group. Egads.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Now Presenting!

Ladies and Gentlemen, you've probably seen this elsewhere, but in case you haven't may I present to you the new home of the former Great Curve/Blog@Newsarama v. 1 bloggers:

Robot 6!

It's a snappy name that I don't quite understand, but think is remarkably neat anyway.

If you're curious to know what I'll be doing, I'm resuming my Variations on a Theme link column. It'll be on Fridays (godwilling) instead of Saturday, but otherwise be pretty much the same until the boss tells me to change it. Heh.

Though one change is that one week out of the month, I might be foregoing Variations in order to type an opinion piece. Which won't be anything new to you guys since you read my opinions HERE, but there ya go. I hope I have something interesting to say.

My other news is that I have finally succumbed to Ragnell's bullying and gotten myself a twitter feed. I can pretty much guarantee that I will be the worst twitterer ever. And I should warn you, if you do read my gibberish, I am quite a bit crankier/more acerbic on twitter than I am on my blog.

The icon by the way is an actual real picture of me balancing a box of tomato pie on my head, from when we visited my grandmother on Christmas Eve. (No one outside upstate New York seems to know what tomato pie is, so here's the wikipedia entry.)

The chips came from my father, who also took the picture. See, my dad is just a little off kilter in the sense that most normal parents, seeing their 25-year-old daughter balancing a thing of tomato pie on her head, would probably be annoyed at the immaturity and make her stop and act her age. My dad is an engineer. So his response to seeing that was to start taking things off the table and place them on top of the box in a bizarrely improvised game of Jenga, to see whether or not I could keep them up there.

I drew the line at the glass of soda though. I know my limits.

The tomato pie was unscathed by its adventure on my cranium and was delicious.

Friday, January 02, 2009

First Rant of the Year!

Warning: As customary, this rant is likely to be incoherent, irrational, and probably not make a whole lot of sense. You are duly warned.

Okay, so one of the many things I like to do in lieu of anything productive or worthwhile is play computer games. I really like Neverwinter Nights, mostly because there's so many fan-made games that it's like having a never ending library at my fingertips. I'm not very GOOD at the games generally, but well, I'm earnest and that counts for something.

Anyway, the most recent module (game) I played was a really neat ninja-type story with a female main character. I thought the writer did a magnificent job with atmosphere and it was neat playing in a world that was influenced by Japan and China rather than the usual pseudo-Europe that seems most common. The story was really interesting too.

One part of the story involved an act of sexual violence against the player character. This would have probably been upsetting, but the author clearly warned any player of this occurrence in the documentation as well as the place I downloaded it from, so well, I was warned. And to be fair, it made sense in the story development.

While it may occasionally appear otherwise to a reader of my blog, I'm not completely adverse to stories that involve rape or other sexual violence. I do tend to think it can be overused, and is often a crutch for lazier writers as an easy means to add drama or angst to a (usually) female character. But that's not always the case. And sometimes, like in this module, it doesn't bother me.

So why am I ranting?

Well, I read this interview with the author in which he says:

12) I get the feeling that no matter how strong or skilled a woman is; ultimately she is still a victim in your modules. Is this what you intended, and if so, why?

Yes, that was intended. The PC has to realize that being a woman in this time and place, life is tougher. She has to prove herself way more than a man would to get the smallest amount of recognition. In the late feudal Japan, women were seen as mothers or servants. The PC has to face discrimination, disrespect and contempt. I want the PC to work awfully hard to become a heroine. Just a few decades ago, women didn't have the right to vote and if they wanted more rights, they were just seen as hormonal - frustrated beings... I wanted everyone to feel how unfair and ridiculous it was.

I don't think I have to express how irritated this answer made me.

There are many things wrong with that answer. Now, I don't believe the author was necessarily thinking of female players when he answered, but as a woman myself, I do not feel as though I need to be reminded of the power imbalances and "ridiculous" treatment of women that tends to pervade history. And as sexist as this probably sounds, I certainly don't feel I need to be reminded of it by a MAN.

I won't continue on this track of ranting, mostly because I have to acknowledge that the author's first language isn't English I believe, and it's possible that he didn't intend his response to be quite so...presumptuous. Certainly I've said things that came out a lot more offensive than I meant, and I AM a native English speaker.

The part I WILL bitch about is how, to me, the answer contains an argument that I've seen a lot by authors who use rape or sexism as a plot point. It's what I call the "realism" argument. Basically it's when authors bring up the status of women in a real world historical culture as justification for the treatment of their female characters in the fictional universe.

I think the most recent time I recall seeing it was in a Q&A by Mercedes Lackey* somewhere (sadly, I do not remember the URL), where she was asked about why both her heroines Tarma and Kethry had rape in their backstories. In this case, she made lip service to rape and the role/treatment of women in medieval Europe. And I won't say she's wrong. Certainly in medieval Europe, the standard base for most fantasy worlds, rape was not uncommon against any woman. And certainly Feudal Japan wasn't very enlightened about women's roles either.

(* I admit, I totally have a secret weakness for Lackey's Valdemar novels. They're like the fantasy equivalent of popcorn. They're not very substantial and the kernels tend to get caught in your teeth, but they're a fun way to pass time without needing to think too hard.)

But it's still a bullshit excuse. For one thing, it doesn't MATTER ultimately how women were treated in late Feudal Japan or in medieval Europe when you're talking about this game or those books. You know why? Because this game and those books DON'T TAKE PLACE IN THOSE TIME PERIODS.

These are not historical games. They're FANTASY. They might be inspired by those time periods, but the settings are not those time periods. They have magic. They have cultures that don't and have never existed. Kunoichi (the game) has dwarves and elves. The world of the Valdemar books have sorcerers and gryphons, and I'm pretty sure one of the books has some sort of pre-industrial version of a fucking SHOWER.

Medieval Europe also had plague, dysentary, cholera, and other fun and icky diseases, none of which I've seen in ANY Valdemar novels. Or if they are there, they NEVER strike any of the main characters. All of whom conveniently take baths in winter (not terribly common in Europe back then, if I'm not mistaken), NEVER suffer vermin, have beautiful well-kept hair, all of their teeth, and correspond to a modern concept of beauty.

Japan at least had regular bathing and generally better tooth care, but it also did not, as far as I am aware, actually have a seekrit ninja "scorpion clan" training up beautiful women in order to plague villages, temples and daimyo. So there you go.

As I said, the realism excuse is bunk because these stories aren't SET in Feudal Japan or Medieval Europe. They're set in worlds inspired by those periods, but in each case, the authors (rightfully) picked and chose what parts of those periods that they were going to include and what parts they were going to discard. They CHOSE to include sexual violence, not because it's "realistic" but because it was part of the story they wanted to tell.

It's well within any author's right to include something monstrous because it's part of the story they want to tell. Certainly some folk (including me) may complain and criticize sometimes, but that's par for the course. I just wish these authors would have the balls to be honest when questioned and say "That was the story I wanted to tell" rather than trying to distract the topic with the practices and customs of the original, non-fictional culture. It strikes me as a little cowardly.

That said, I really did think the game was a lot of fun. :-)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009!!!

It's been 2009 officially for about three hours in my time zone (EST), and I decided now's a good time to write my blogging resolutions!

1. To write more rants! I like ranting! I just am remarkably lazy. Still, I've got a few in my mental queue that I can probably churn out. :-)

2. To write some more character analysis type things. I haven't done those much (if at all) last year, and I think it's fun to babble on incoherently about how I think certain characters tick.

3. To hopefully make my filler posts a bit less obvious. :-P The downside to keeping to a strict once a day blogging regimen is that a lot of the time, you find yourself posting utter crap. At least if you're me anyway. I know that's pretty inevitable, but I'm hoping to make it a LITTLE less obvious.

4. To get to the comic shop more frequently. :-) It's much easier to think of content when I can actually read my damn comics, tis true.

5. To do more with my second love: bad nineties tv. I'm contemplating episode reviews. Not because I'm good at them. Merely because I want the excuse to type "In this episode, the evil businessmen out to take over Chinatown are armed with poison nets. Which they throw on people. And it actually works. This show is awesome." I'm not sure if anyone would be interested in reading them, or if I have the stamina to keep it up, but I'd have fun at least. :-)

6. To write more. Thanks to Ragnell, I have a vague idea for an occult based story. Which is annoying. To say the least. Still, the character concept seemed to be amusing, so there's a plus.

7. To keep more up to date with things I promise to talk about. Especially reviews. Laziness is not a good excuse.

8. Finally, to column awesomely on our new not-Blog@ blog!

Wish me luck!