Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Thinking about Hawkgirl

In my last post, I mentioned that I'm not terribly fond of Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl. Since I need a blog post for today anyway, I figured I'd go with that.

I don't hate Kendra as a character but I do rather dislike her right now and I really have a lot of trouble articulating why.

In very early issues of JSA, Kendra really interested me. For all my play-griping about Hawkman, I really do like the Hawks in general. They have wings. They hit people with maces. They're blunt and straightforward. They look cool. Their backstory is incomprehensible, but that's half the fun.

Kendra appealed to me. I liked her design and her forceful personality. I liked that she was hot-tempered and a bit reluctant for the hero role. Most of the other JSA members initially were either old hats or enthusiastic newcomers, so she made for a different perspective. I also liked the way she interacted with Courtney, Dinah and Kara.

I liked the relationship with Sand and the early relationship with Carter as well. I found her situation terribly sympathetic. She was confused, Carter was attractive, there was all the past life baggage. Perfectly understandable. I also liked how she kissed Sand for all the wrong reasons. (I'm not as fond of the hitting him thing, but...)

I suppose it was little things that started getting to me, really early on. As much as I liked the early Kendra/Carter stuff, the period in the comics right before he came back was one in which I started to find her very trying. It's not her fault, really, her characterization was perfectly understandable. But the storyline seemed to drag. It felt like Kendra-tantrum, Kendra-angst, Kendra-tantrum, Kendra-angst, hit-Sand, rinse repeat.

And this is a very personal thing, but the suicide thing also pushed a few of my buttons. I have...issues about suicide in general that I'd really rather not get into. I'm not adverse to a good story about attempted or actual suicide either in the present or having happened in the past to a character, but this didn't really work for me.

It doesn't make sense, I know, but I'd have much preferred it if she had *attempted* suicide in the past but actually died in some freak car accident or something. I have no idea why this is, but I'll chalk it up to personal issues and leave it at that

Those problems are small though, by the Roulette arc at least I was still enjoying and sympathizing with Kendra a lot.

I don't know, I guess I felt somewhere along the line Carter was becoming more developed and three dimensional and Kendra was becoming a caricature of herself. She went from being a conflicted, troubled girl trying to cling to her identity in the face of a very overwhelming past, to just being...angry. So much so that on the rare occasions where she's not angry, I can't really get a sense of who she IS or what makes her tick anymore.

And to be honest, while I really liked the early Carter/Kendra stuff, after a few years the on-again, off-again, will-they, won't-they was really really tiresome. Just do it already! Christ! At least when Sand was in the picture there was an added, unpredictable element.

I don't know. It probably wouldn't take much for me to like her again (My irrational love for my irrational hatred of Nightwing aside, I much prefer liking characters to disliking them and really only tend to need a way to "touch base" with what about the character works for me) and I do find her, like Carter or Batman, interesting in a group setting. I just currently have absolutely no interest in reading her in a solo comic right now.

Friday, March 30, 2007

I have a confession to make:

I haven't been reading Blue Beetle.

I did buy the first few issues right after the year jump and I enjoyed them well enough. Jaime is very likeable, his supporting cast is cute, the Beetle scarab is interesting and I really really liked the appearance of Guy Gardner.

Especially when he was fighting so hard with himself not to kill him. That was really cute.

Unfortunately, then there was a spell of unemployment, which meant I had to be really really scrupulous and penny pinching about my comic book purchasing. (Heck, it was probably irresponsible to buy comics at all during that period, but I did have some money saved up.) I ended up having to drop a lot of titles, which meant comics like Blue Beetle, Aquaman and Hawkgirl didn't make the cut.

I was sad about that. Well, I was sad about BB and Aquaman (I was just starting to understand what the heck was going on!), Hawkgirl not so much. I've come to realize that I'm not terribly fond of Kendra when she's not making Sand terribly uncomfortable. It's a shame too, a girl with wings and a mace kicks ass, and I did find her romantic issues interesting and sympathetic...but well, I love vagina dentata as much as anyone, but the series did nothing for me.

Blue Beetle, I was sadder about. I loved Ted Kord, and I still predict he'll be back in some form or another, but Jaime's really really cute and charming.

I like that Jaime's race feels natural without it being shouted from the rooftops/a giant neon sign, diversity in a Judd Winick comic. (For the record, I don't think Winick is a bad writer, but I think he tends toward "LOOK HOW DIVERSE I AM!!!" school of writing. Which is still, admittedly, better than no diversity at all. But I digress.) He's the sort of character I think of when I say "We need more gay/ethnic/whatever" characters. I don't know if Jaime's was a requirement to his creation "We need a hispanic Blue Beetle" or if it was just that the best idea for the new Blue Beetle happened to be a kid who was Mexican-American, but ultimately I don't think it matters. He's a very interesting, well developed character who is a member of an under-represented minority and I'd like to see more of that.

The story was an intriguing enough start, but I wasn't really deep enough involved at the time to rationalize keeping it over one of my hardcore favorites. From what I hear, it's getting better and better.

And Guy Gardner's going to be in it soon.

I kept intending to go back and catch up on the issues I've missed and put it back on my pull list, but I forgot. I'm going to now, though. I keep hearing talk of possible cancellation and I'm already feeling tremendously guilty that Firestorm was another one I'd let drop. :-(

I like good comics! I want good comics to stay! Also, Guy Gardner will be in it again! So I'm gonna give Blue Beetle another chance.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

"Go with take two", Deletion and Me

(Warning: Rambling Incoherency Ahead.)

Recently in the comments of one of my anti-character entries, I was asked why I didn't delete the entry since I've later posted about how I'd changed my mind about the character.

It's a good question really and my answer is simply that I don't believe in deleting my entries.

Actually, that's something of a lie. I don't delete entries but I have altered them in very specific situations. If for example, I've ignorantly used a term that offended someone, or if I've made a blatant factual inaccuracy I will usually fix it and put an (edited...) note at the end.

There was one essay that actually got severe after-the-fact alteration here on PFP. It was one of my first feminism essays and I'd inadvertantly misrepresented a particular person. This led to severely inaccurate mis-information being spread (I was very lucky that I had a very very small audience at the time, and thus the spread could be contained.) I removed any reference to this person and made an edit to the post explaining that it had been inaccurate and why.

I leave the "edited" notes so that any readers after the fact who come and see the comments that correct me/call me out can see that there was provocation. But I don't see the point of leaving up my unintentional slurs/misinformation after the fact. I want reading the blog to be fun for people.

Also, I've gone in and fixed my grammar/coherence months after the fact sometimes. Just like I've deleted and immediately reposted replies to fix my typoes/clarify my word posts. That's hypocritical, I know, but clarity is a common courtesy. :-)

Aside from this though, I don't believe in deleting anything I've written. Even the really really freaking stupid stuff, and I guarantee if you go back through my archives, you'll see a lot of that. And you will in the future. I've got old entries here that make me cringe with embarrassment that I'd really like to forget existed...

And that's not even getting into the idiotic things I've said in OTHER people's comments sections or message boards that I really wish I could wipe out...

The truth is though, as much I might be embarrassed after the fact about what I've said, the fact remains that I did say it. And if I wasn't willing to be called on the crap I've posted, I would friendslock them in livejournal or write them in a notebook at home. I'm not saying I'm always going to be willing to discuss it after the fact, but if you want to link to any blog post somewhere else and say "This is why Kalinara sucks...", well, I'm just going to have to suck it up and take it. I said it. I stand by it.

I also wouldn't want to delete any of my posts because of the really interesting discussion that I sometimes get in my comments. It'd suck to lose those, there's some really good stuff there. (Except when you disagree with me, of course. :-P)

What about posts that may link to mine? I know some of my anti-character posts ended up linked in weird places and prompted neat discussion there. (Mostly about why I was wrong, naturally. :-)) It'd be weird to read that stuff and not read what provoked it. (Also, I tend to get a bit annoyed myself when posts I link to and discuss disappear. Hmph. :-))

Mostly though I don't delete because, well, if I deleted every post that contained something I changed my mind on later...I wouldn't have much of a blog. I've got quite a few Green Lantern essays I'm still fond of that mention Kyle Rayner as my favorite Green Lantern...but my favorite is now Guy Gardner! Does that mean I have to change/delete all of those? Eeek! How many blog entries would I have left?!

Besides, I like it this way. It makes an entertaining, to me at least, chronology of me as a comic book fan. Here's where I liked Kyle. Here's where I read more Warrior/GL v2 and started to actually get Guy. Here's where I hated Hawkman. Here's where I STILL hate Hawkman. Here's where I hate Nightwing. Here's where I don't hate him so much. (For the record, I hate him again. I just have too much fun irrationally hating Dick Grayson). Here's where I don't like the multiverse, here's where I'm more open to it as long as the JSA-predecessor-legacy thing is in tact. Here's where I am vocally apathetic toward Cassandra Cain, here's where I realize she's the Guy Gardner of the Batclan.

I think it's funny. I'm not static, my tastes aren't static. This blog is my running commentary as to my comic reading existance and by extension this period of my life. I might, if I've reason to revisit an earlier post, add a line about how the topic is revisited later. (Especially if it's a post that gets a lot of comments after the fact.) Usually I don't bother.

PFP is full of general incoherency, contradiction, batshit reasoning, utter idiocy, embarrassing-after-the-fact crap, and that's how I like it.

You want to read something that makes sense...go away. :-)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I've realized that, oddly enough, most (if not all) of my comic book reading is superhero related. What a surprise, huh? I'm not unhappy with this, mind you. I love superhero comics, after all.

But I've got a strange urge lately to hunt down some good old fashioned high fantasy (or even science fiction), alternate setting sorts of comic books.

I'm not terribly experienced with western comics though outside of superhero stuff, and I'm not really interested in going down the manga route again at this time.

Don't suppose you guys have any recommendations?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tangential Recollections: Non-Comic Related

This isn't really comic related, but it popped into my head while talking with my friend today, so I decided to post about it.

When I was in high-school I took three years of German language classes. Well, four technically, but we didn't learn much the first year on account of that teacher's nervous wasn't her fault, she was a very young German school-teacher really really not used to the atmosphere of an American school. And we were terrors.

Anyway, it was a pretty standard class up until my third or fourth year, standard study materials, text books, the like. The last year though, my teacher (a strict older woman with a doctorate in German literature and no patience for nonsense) decided to try something different. She'd had this children's book, retelling these rhyming folktales about two mischievous kids, complete with cute illustrations. She decided we'd read those primarily through the semester, learning context and vocabulary from them and supplimental materials rather than a text book.

The folktales/stories were about these kids named Max and Moritz, and they'd focus on their crazy mischievous schemes that would sometimes backfire but usually create triumphant chaos throughout their village. We liked the stories. Or at least, thought they were lame but cute. Considering we were teenagers, that was probably as close to a ringing endorsement as anyone's likely to get. They were silly and predictable, always ending the same way, with a singsong cadence and final happy illustration of the two kids skipping away, hand in hand

We got the stories in class on Monday, read them together, and studied the vocabulary and context and other fun things for the rest of the week. We never had the chance to read ahead and honestly, they were so predictable that none of us really thought about it.

Then we got to the last story of the semester. Yet more of the same old thing, Max and Moritz pulled a prank, people got mad, chaos ensued.

Except that Max and Moritz ended up hiding in a couple of flour sacks. (This was charmingly illustrated so we could see Moritz's hair sticking out cutely). Whereupon the miller, a frequent victim in the pranks, threw the sacks in the wheat thresher.

The end came with the same cute singsong ending and an illustration in which large grains formed the outline of both boys, including Moritz's cute tufts of hair...hand in hand.

The reaction of our class was impossible to relate. Our minds were blown, completely and utterly. This was not what was supposed to happen! I think we spent the rest of that week in an utter uncomprehending daze.

It was amazing really, an entire class of cynical and too-cool 16 and 17 year olds, grown up on Michael Myers, Jason, Freddy, Chucky and the like were all traumatized by a children's story. Frau Marlow, who may have been evil, was beside herself with glee. Like the miller in the story, she'd gotten her revenge on all the crap we'd put her through. She got us good.

I've actually thought about reading the stories again, but it's been six or seven years now. My German has descended to all but nil. And it really wouldn't be the same in English. Besides, I may not remember the stories themselves, but I will probably never forget that carefully drawn grain-outline as long as I live.

Sometimes I wonder if this hasn't some how influenced my comic reading sensibilities. (It's not traumatizing enough child murder/mutilation without a wheat thresher?)

All I know for sure is this: Germans are fucked up, man. :-)

Monday, March 26, 2007

My Civil War...

I've never really blogged about Civil War on here. Mostly because I couldn't think of anything to say that hadn't been said already. I thought it was very exciting, had some really interesting moments, and ultimately didn't make a lot of sense.

I mean, there is superhero registration that is but isn't like the mutant registration? Okay. But the difference really never seemed clear to me. I thought the character choices for each side seemed strange and arbitrary, and even in cases like Reed, Tony, Peter and Jen, really really didn't mesh with past history.

Also, the tone was inconsistent. Reed and Tony are portrayed so conscienceless and inhuman for most of the series and then they're the good guys? With the only remotely plausible explanation for their behaviors not even offered in the main series?

Not to mention, while registration could be an interesting debate, I never really understood why the primary groups fighting were, for the most part, groups already connected/affiliated/cooperative with the government. The Avengers, the Four...they are or at least were ALREADY government sanctioned teams. What about the X-Men? Why was a team that's basically a secret, private ARMY only peripherally involved in this debate?

Naturally, as I'm an egotist, this got me thinking about how *I* would write a story like this.

First, I'd define the Superhero Registration Act very differently from the Mutant Registration Act. The forced registration for everyone with powers is well, for one, not terribly viable For another, it's way too obviously skirting really close to a violation of human rights. I can't see any hero embracing something so easily abused like that. Unless they're stupid.

My Superhero Act would be centered specifically around vigilantism and superheroics. If someone wants to be a practicing superhero, they register. If they don't want to, they can't. In practice, it would be something like a grander-scale CPR license.

Basically CPR licenses are necessary because CPR is very easy to screw up. An amateur can cause even worse injury and even kill a person, if they don't know what they're doing. They can, then, be held liable for the consequences.

Considering how much property damage and how much potential for civilian casualties there are when it comes to superhero fights, it seems perfectly reasonable for many people to believe in a similar system.

Of course, there's similar downsides to both ideas. If an untrained person is the only one near a person who needs CPR, well, death is pretty much inevitable if they don't at least try. If an untrained mutant or meta-human is the only one around when someone is attacked by a villain, the same sort of downsides apply.

This allows for a situation in which many young heroes can find themselves in trouble and encourage involvement on the anti-side.

For me, the division between the opposing groups would be much simpler. Most of the Avengers, the Four, and heroes like She-Hulk with ties to the government, the justice system and bureaucracy. They would be pro-registration/licensing.

(Licensing would not just involve information classification, there would be classes, seminars, and tests)

Heroes like Spider-Man and the X-Men would be against. The X-Men have a number of very valid reasons not to trust the government (Sentinels anyone?). Spider-Man is known for his independence.

The majority of heroes will probably initially be in favor of licensing, until the downsides begin to show themselves. It's almost impossible to enforce after all, leading to escalating violence. Some may not like the government having so much influence over meta-humans in general.

Heck, I can't imagine foreign nationals like T'Challa being very happy about the United States exerting so much control/constraints on their heroes. Jurisdiction becomes a problem, space missions get REAL awkward. And the sympathy will start to shift.

A lot of people would find my version more boring, no doubt. It wouldn't escalate to violence so quickly. (The violence in the first few issues would be limited to incidences of licensed and un-licensed heroics). But I think it could be an interesting way to explore more of the way superheroics work in the Marvel Universe..

Oh. And most importantly, Captain America would be largely mixed until near the end of the series. Because, dude, for me at least, when Cap takes a side, it's over. That's the big moment. The climax. Everything after that is denouement and resolution.

The key though is that the audience should never, in my opinion, feel overwhelmingly that one side is "good" and one side is "bad". There isn't supposed to be an ultimately "right" side. That was where Civil War fell flat the most for me. The series seemed written from the beginning like one side was good and the other cartoonishly bad. Then when the bad side is suddenly the right side. Well. It's really bizarre.

Both sides should be sympathetic. We're dealing with HEROES here. Not monsters. Not even random guys. These are people who put their lives on the line every day for ideals and innocent life. Either side should plausibly win. (Though the bad guys can naturally exploit the situation). The ending shouldn't be easy.

I'm excited about Avengers: Initiative and the possibilities that the pro-reg resolution can bring in a storytelling sense. But I still think the whole deal could have been so much better.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Favorite Scene: Winter Soldier: Winter Kills

Okay, I'm too lazy for a post today so I decided to display one of my favorite bits from the Winter Soldier one-shot.

Namor and Bucky being cute:

Aww. Namor STILL has the same personality as my cat. And I really like how he's drawn here...though the collar scares me.

And Bucky is cute. I'm also not unhappy he's not dead!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Seems Promising:

I'm really really excited about the Sinestro Corps.

One, because it's Sinestro, of course.

Two, because yellow rings are neat.

Most of all, I love that it's not just going to be in the main Green Lantern comic. I mean, Hal has every reason in the universe to hate Sinestro, of course. Especially now that Parallax is pinned nicely on his head too. But other characters have their own claims on his hide, I'd reckon.

I'm particularly interested in any Green Lantern Corps-related aftermath. Soranik and Guy both have really really strong reasons to hate Sinestro, what with the being Stalin/Hitler-esque dictator of Korugar or the torturing into a crazy moron stuff.

I'd really like to see some of that addressed, if only as a strange bonding moment between the two characters. The enemy of my enemy and all that. :-)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Something funny:

I got a search hit from someone using the keywords "little girl kicking monsters ass".

I don't know why but this makes me smile.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Insert Irate Cursing Here:


Remember how I said I didn't really like Cassandra Cain?

Well, anyway, I was chatting with this jerk here and the subject of Brave and the Bold comes up.

Anyway, it occurred to me that as much as I don't like the character that much, a team-up between Cassandra Cain and Guy Gardner could be fascinating. He's all about the posturing and bravado, after all, and it'd be really interesting to see that partnered with the girl who'd see straight through it. Heck, she couldn't NOT see through it, with the way her abilities work.

Also, he's a former special education teacher. That'd adds another interesting element of interaction. Cassandra's always been around Bat-types. Her sanest vaguely parental figure is probably Oracle, who's not really equipped for dealing with kids. And we've all seen how well Bruce does with his sidekicks...

Guy though. Guy knows kids. He's trained for dealing with kids. Especially kids with special needs. Cassandra's definitely not like anyone Guy would have ever taught before, but he's got the skillset and experience to understand her condition and situation in a different way than any of the characters Cassandra usually interacts with. (Also, he's immune to the Bat-intimidation, which would help.) Where everyone else sees a quiet, competent, dangerous living weapon/colleague/ally, Guy would see a damaged kid.

That interests me.

Then I had another thought, unlike anyone else in the Batclan, he really could understand her situation in another way:

Cassandra Cain was raised by David Cain, intentionally damaged, in order to make her a living weapon.

Guy Gardner was left completely insane by the Guardians because while they could cure his brain damage, he was more useful this way. (He was too "hesitant" when he was sane.)

It's the same thing. Different setting, different scale, but it's exactly the same thing.

Then I had the unnerving realization that actually, my favorite character has a LOT in common with Batgirl.

Both of them are the intuitive and emotional members of a largely cerebral cast. The Batclan are more obviously so, as they're ACTUALLY intelligent, but the Lanterns all tend to be focused toward loftier concerns and ideals. They're all emotional, but Guy is the one that really coasts on his emotions (usually anger) more than the others.

They're both portrayed as essentially the most compassionate of their casts. Cassandra had that whole death row storyline for example. While Guy is really the only Lantern that would go out of his way to buy a newbie hero a drink. (Not that the others aren't nice, but well, they'd have to notice the newbie first.)

Both characters end up particularly noted for their capacity to forgive. (Even if Cassandra tends to do it without punishing said transgressors with insults and annoyances)

Both characters are on the outskirts for a long time for circumstances that aren't their fault, and mistrusted and misjudged until people get used to them.

They've both gone batshit crazy under the influence of others...


And that's when it hit me. I have my goddamned touchstone with the character now. I'm going to end up rereading Batgirl, and I'm going to have this whole "paralleling my favorite character" thing in my head...

And I'm going to like her.

It's starting already.

DAMNIT! It's not fair!

Quick reaction:

No energy for a real blog post but:

I really really hope Guy shows up in Birds of Prey really soon!

I hope I don't have to elaborate why. :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

On the new Fantastic Four Movie...

Rich's post reminds me of why I am definitely, definitely going to go see the new Fantastic Four movie.

It's not because I liked the first one. (Though unlike what seems like 99% of humanity, I actually did enjoy it.)

It's not because I like the Silver Surfer. Because I really really don't. Emo, fashion-challenged wanker...

It's not because I like the four, though I do. They're not my favorites, but I do like them. Especially Reed. Even when he's being weird, crazy and out of character.

It's because Ioan Gruffudd is fucking hot.

And he should be encouraged to run around in painted on costumes as much as humanly possible.

There. I said it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Guy is Sekritly Smushy!

Yay! Solicits!

I'm most interested in the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Special this time around (Shock, I'm sure!). Mostly as I love Mogo.

The Sinestro solicit though makes me laugh for this one part:

Hal Jordan has struggled to regain his reputation. Kyle Rayner has suffered great personal loss and reluctantly gained great power. Guy Gardner's trust in the Guardians is wavering. John Stewart's unbreakable loyalty soon will be tested. Together, these four men are the Green Lanterns of Earth…but why are so many Earthmen recruited into the Corps? What is their ultimate rolel in the future of the universe? And how will the secret of the rings’ power threaten the Guardians and affect Hal Jordan's future?

Oh, Guy, honey. Your trust in the Guardians is wavering? Do you mean the Guardians who left you in a coma for years because you were only an alternate and not a real Green Lantern? The ones that woke you up, finally, because some subset wanted a more aggressive group but left you crazy and brain-warped because you were too hesitant with your sanity intact?

The ones that let Hal take your ring in the most undignified manner after and only bothered to pop in when their golden boy went freaking crazy to hand you the last ring because they needed someone fast and their next option was some drunken artist in an alley? And then, even though they're telepaths, they let you take the blame for your Cyborg Superman fight/Old-School Green Lantern rescue adventure and get stuck guarding Emo-Boy Prime for a month?

And your trust is just NOW wavering?

Beneath that crusty, cranky, over-testosteroned exterior, you really are all smushy aren't you? Aww.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Random Ridiculous Realization...

Okay, during my "experimental tokenism" post, I got to thinking.

The reason my random character was Hal Jordan's son is because, honestly, Hal is the least suited of any of the Lanterns to ever have a kid. Also he sleeps around a lot and can be really stupid.

This formula naturally means that at some point in the far future, there needs to be a mini-series populated solely by Hal Jordan's illegitimate children. All of whom he meets as teenagers or young adults, since Hal with an actual child is a thought too terrifying for words.

My brain is a scary place.

Of course, it got me thinking of the other Lanterns.

John needs a nice stable half Korugarian boy and girl *cough*.

Kyle...provided he finds a girl that lives long enough...should have an angsty faux-nihilist poser daughter. (Ragnell's idea actually, but it's funny.) :-)

Guy, in this future that would never happen, needs a daughter. Or daughters. Because...well honestly, Guy with a daughter would be really twistedly cute. She'd be always dressed in impossibly cute pinafore like dresses, immaculate pigtails, and she'd always be in trouble for fighting boys on the playground.

Guy'd be all "Is this true?" She'd be all, "Yes, daddy." He'd be all, "Did you win?" "Yes, daddy." "Good girl."

She'd be unfailingly polite of course. :-)

Now Flidget suggests that Guy's daughter be a lesbian, because Guy would be at a total loss as to how to deal with any of her girlfriends (my suggestion: tying a ribbon to the shotgun).

That's funny, but then there's the comedic possibilities of Guy's daughter dating one of Hal Jordan's multitude of illegitimate sons.

Clearly, he'd need more than one daughter!

Also, I've decided he should have a son too. The baby of the family. A sweet-tempered vegan pacifist prone to sensitivity and even willing to CRY when upset.

Because sometimes, as much as you love your children, they are alien, incomprehensible beings. Also, Guy trying to figure out how to deal with a crying son is a very very amusing prospect.

Maybe it could be an Elseworld. Or Earth -3. Or an alternate future timeline or something. I don't know. It'd entertain ME though. And that's what counts. ;-)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Previews are fun!

Okay, remember how I said the Hal and Kara teamup will be awesome?

The preview agrees with me.

Kara's been growing on me a lot lately, but that Kara? I really really like that Kara. She's freaking adorable in those panels. I've always liked Kara when she's acting like an idiot because she's attracted to a guy (mostly because that same behavior is the reason I look back on my high school days and cringe with embarrassment).

I approve of the improvement of her tastes too. Hal is an idiot and a doofus, but he's a damn sight cooler than Nightwing. Or Boomerang.

Also, Hal trying to behave himself, snarking on Ollie and repeating "Seventeen, seventeen" is incredibly, incredibly funny. Poor Hal. You're so cute when you're trying to be responsible and NOT notice the jailbait blond in the "half-shirt".

This amuses me. This amuses me greatly. I am pleased!

Why I Blog!

Heidi and Shelly are asking the question about why we blog, so this is my turn.

Five reasons why I blog:

1. It's fun! I like to blog and express my opinions and have interesting conversations with people in my comments. (I've been bad about that lately. :-( I really do appreciate your input though, even if I've been bad about answering back!)

2. Writing out my thoughts sometimes gives me a new perspective. Sometimes mid-sentence, which probably explains the general incoherency of a lot of my blog entries.

That and they're all typed stream of consciousness. If I actually stopped to read over/revise/edit/think about what I'm typing, I'd never get anything posted.

3. I get to meet lots of neat people. Well, maybe "meet" is the wrong word, because in real life I probably wouldn't know most of you from Adam. However, I have a blast talking to you guys and you're all really neat.

4. I'm an egotist. Being linked and getting good traffic numbers makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. All "You like me! You really like me!" Or maybe not. But still, I'm loud, obnoxious and I like to be heard. :-)

5. If I didn't have a blog, I'd be talking at the wall. Seriously, I'm that sort. I read something, watch something, see something, and I've got hundreds of opinions that I have to say, often many times and ad nauseum. I know quite a few comics fans in person now, but for a while it was just me and Diamondrock and I used to chatter his figurative ears off in AIM. I'd imagine me getting this blog was a bit of a relief there, now he can actually get words in edgewise. :-P

So those are my five! I'm bad at tagging, so I won't. If you want to join in, join in! If not, you're all mean and nasty spoilsports! :-)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Experimental Tokenism?

In my last post, a pretty common sentiment that came up in the comments was the wariness toward creating a character solely to create a specific sort of character.

I can see their point, really. It's easy to create a token character that way, without giving them any depth.

But then really, if you stop and think about it, does a token character have to be bad? Supergirl could certainly be considered a token character. She's "Superman as a girl". Batgirl? Hawkgirl? They're naturally very developed and interesting characters in their own rights. Very popular.

But when it comes down to it, the original core idea was "a girl Superman".

So why can't a core idea be "a gay Green Lantern"?

I decided, as an experiment, I'm going to see what kind of character I can make using the frame quota idea "a gay Green Lantern" with about five minutes of thought:

Okay, now, I've decided that I want my Green Lantern to be a gay male character and to have ties to a pre-existing character. Mostly because I like that sort of thing, and because I like to tease Hal.

Hal's been active for quite a while as a hero. I don't believe they've ever given a date really, but he's been a hero for quite a few years before Guy and John showed up. He's definitely been a Lantern as of eleven years ago (as we see in Emerald Knights) and he's been portrayed as reasonably capable and experienced there.

He's the same age or so as Ollie, and Ollie was already active when Connor was born, so it's not terribly hard to imagine that Hal was active at that same time. Hal can then, pretty easily, have a child around Connor's age.

So there we go, a premise: Hal, during his first or second year of Lantern-dom was indiscreet with a female alien he met on his travels. This would have been back when his relationship with Carol was still shaky and on-again, off-again, so he doesn't need to have cheated on her or anything like that.

The mother being a female alien will allow the child to be a Green Lantern without adding to the multitude already from Earth.

Okay, now that we have a premise, we need a character. Green Lanterns are, by definition, pretty fearless and pretty dumb. This kid, who I'll dub "Han", (Because I like Star Wars), was chosen the traditional way, via ring, because he fits the qualifications.

Since Han is going to be his father's son in a lot of ways, it'll be important to define his mother too (to see what he gets from both). His mother will have been a high-ranking aristocrat of a high-tech civilization. Possibly a military officer, which will have given her an opportunity to meet Hal to begin with. She's brave, but far more structured and disciplined than Hal is. She's more Navy than Air Force, to over-generalize.

Anyway, Han grew up in this environment. He has a lot of family connections and money, didn't lack for much growing up, and had a particularly strong education. He's illegitimate, which in their culture also holds a bit of a stigma (possibly because Hal, as an alien, had never had his genetic profile evaluated...there could be all sorts of oddities in there!).

His upbringing was very strict, his mother loved him but she was distant, involved with her work. The rest of the family looked at him like he was some sort of unpredictable wildcard. They increased the discipline and rules just to be sure that he would stay in line. Nothing monstrous, of course, and they did care about him, they just wanted him to tow the line and make a good life for himself.

He's got all the mettle of a fine officer, ability-wise, but the pressures of his position have begun to grate on him. They're even talking about an arranged marriage (with a family desperate enough for better connections not to mind some wild-card genes), and the girl's nice, but...well. His interests don't lie in that direction.

He doesn't last long in military school. Everyone's watching him, either expecting him to be the stellar officer his mother is, or for his chaotic alien genes to prove him completely unsuitable for military service. He decides that he doesn't want to deal with this anymore, after all, why bother? He's better than this. So he steals a family ship and decides to go free-lance. Remnants of the Rann-Thanagar war start hitting this sector of space, he decides to help his people, there's lots of bravery ensuing and whoom. You have shown the capacity to overcome great fear.

So now, the character's on Oa. He's not designed for a starring role really, just as yet another side alien Lantern that'll show up every so often in GLC or GL for a single adventure and then go do his own thing.

He'll do well on Oa. There are no expectations there. He can even design his own uniform (paradoxically, it's designed very similarly to the military uniform back home, except green and with Lantern insignia...he's got some unresolved acceptance/proving himself issues). He's good, not great. He's on the upper group, technology wise, his people are probably about the same level as the Rannians or Thanagarians. He's not a scientist, but he's probably got at least some basic programming and tech ability that would be compulsory for military aristocrats of his planet. He's got basic knowledge of tactics and combat based on his homeworld, but he's got a LOT to learn.

He's not really used to having commanding officers. When he was freelance, he was pretty much on his own. Fortunately, the GL authority types are pretty informal and hands-off, so he can work well with them. He's not actually prone to rebellion, now that the stifling pressure of his home-life isn't a factor anymore.

The fact that he's half human may end up an issue, as, well, the other Lanterns have got to be aware of the over-whelming power/prominence of the multitude of Earth-based Lanterns. Most sectors have exactly two, and usually not from the same planet, Earth alone has four. Point five, in this scenario.

So he's charming, fearless, reckless and enthusiastic. He tends to trust his authority figures and he's eager to prove that he belongs here. He can be a little uptight, but a lot of that is just nervousness. It takes him a while to get used to Kilowog and *definitely* Guy, but really, when it comes down to it, they're the sorts of commanding officers/teachers that he'd always wished he had.

Most of his acquaintances are fellow nightlights who've heard all sorts of stories about Hal Jordan/Parallax, so all of them are pretty wary, aloof when it comes to the ex-prodigal Lantern. He probably wouldn't be one of the ones that would give Hal a hard time (since his teachers don't seem to appreciate that...), but he's not going to be very comfortable around the man.

As to how everything would ultimately turn out when things are revealed, I'm not sure, but I think it will be interesting. Especially as there would definitely be a point where, trying to get Alan's advice, Hal will eat his foot regarding gay, prickly, long-lost sons and get schooled for his trouble.

The thing about Han's sexuality is that it would be a part of his character, but not really any more than heterosexuality is for another character. There was some pressure growing up, but he's in an organization now where homosexuality is far and away not going to be the weirdest thing encountered there. His colleagues include a planet, a mathematic equation and Guy Gardner. He will probably meet interesting guys on his adventure, there will be chemistry and dates. He may get a neat alien love-interest who will probably end up in the fridge. It will probably throw Hal some, because Hal's a man with a lot of casual bigotry that he tends to overcome pretty well once he's forced to come face to face with it.


I'm sure it's an idea that wouldn't work for a lot of people. I think it'd be pretty interesting though. And not too bad, considering the prompt was "a gay Green Lantern".

I wonder what I could do with a prompt of "a gay Flash"...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Scattered Thoughts on Sexual Orientation in Comics:

This newsarama post is pretty interesting, linking as it does to a message board post that makes a very valid complaint. In the DCU, it mentions, there are quite a few more lesbian characters than gay male characters.

This is definitely true and it's definitely something that I would really like to see rectified with more gay male characters. Variety is a good thing after all.

However, and I hate to say this, whenever I see this argument, I end up bracing myself internally, because in my experience, it's very easy for this argument to be turned around as an attack on the lesbian characters in comics. As though it is the fault of the lesbian characters that they outnumber the gay male characters.

The first time I'd ever seen this argument was back during the Batwoman-is-gay kerfluffle. Admittedly it was phrased in the sort of "Why do we need another lesbian when gay men are so few! It's just pandering to the desires of the straight male creators." (This was also brought up by the fact that Batwoman is hot and sexy, rather than being dumpy and average looking. Which on one level I sympathize with, as hot lesbians are occasionally tricks used to titilate a male audience. But on the other hand: We are dealing with superheroes here, and if you can show me a "dumpy and average" looking superhero of any sex, race, creed, I'd be pretty surprised. Ted Kord at his heaviest was still more attractively pictured than most real people alive.)

The thing is, on one level it's definitely true. Lesbian characters are more common than gay male characters, and a lot of that really does have to do with the fact that the majority of comic creators and comic audiences are straight men. There is an element of pandering involved in these characters, whether we like it or not. And that's pretty awful.

But on the other hand, the alternative pretty much means no lesbian superheroes at all. It's a hard situation here, a lesser of two evils sorts of things.

In the meantime though, what we need is more lesbian AND gay characters in general, not less. We know that for every straight female hero that's character design is somewhat pandering, there are a number of straight female side characters at least that are given more normal, mundane, plain appearances. I think it'd help a lot if we had more lesbian side characters that are more normal/mundane/plain. After all, Batwoman's design is actually on the conservative end of the spectrum, heels aside, and is probably no more or less tawdry or pandering than say Manhunter. The difference is really that it's hard to think of, well, a lesbian Etta Candy, for example.

And honestly, I think there's an inherent flaw in the "there are more lesbians than gay men" argument, and that's that, in the end, it's targetting the wrong group. The scant handful of lesbians versus the miniscule numbers of gay men creates a false conflict. As though that scant handful of characters is the pool we have available for alternative sexualities period. If Kate Kane were straight, it wouldn't make Connor Hawke suddenly gay.

What the bigger issue is, what the bigger issue should be, in my opinion is that there are hundreds of straight superheroes out there. Possibly even thousands if we count all the one-shots or cannon-fodder types that have shown up for maybe an issue over the last half a century. Compared to those numbers, the portrayal of gay AND lesbian (as well as black, asian, hispanic, differently abled, and so on and so forth) is outright pitiful.

So how about we just have more? There are a lot of abandoned/inactive legacies out there that could shine with a new character behind them. There's still a lot of room for brand new heroes as well. There's lots of room for new supporting casts and even just one-shot people too. Why can't Diana's next studious scholarly liaison Julia Kapitelis and Helena Sandsmark be a lesbian? Why can't one of Hal Jordan's brothers (I think there's one still alive we haven't seen) be gay? It'd allow for some interesting reactions, for one. It's always fun to see Hal brought face to face with his own unconscious bigotry, and we'd get a chance to learn a little more about Amazon society in general.

Heck, there are a few heroic characters ambiguous enough in sexual portrayal to be easily read as being "in the closet" Obsidian. (Who was *actually* surprised that Todd turned out to be gay? I'm just sayin').

I just want to see more, you know? More variety of all types, in heroes AND supporting characters, would go a long way.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

So What's Thor Singing?

I can never resist a dumb meme, and Dave has a good one.

So what IS Thor singing?

For the record, I thought "Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?" would actually be funnier, but I couldn't fit it in the word balloon. Yea, verily.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

My Favorite Villainess

Loren's post about his favorite supervillainess got me thinking about mine.

I think my favorite supervillainess in comics is probably Roulette. I like Roulette a lot. She's clever, quick on her feet and resourceful. She also has awesome taste in clothes.

I particularly like the nature of her games and how they're so often specifically designed to their victims. She does her homework and it shows.

I wasn't as big a fan of her Superbuddies appearance, but her JSA ones were gold. Her games led to some of my favorite sequences: Sand and Carter in the race for the antidote, Michael and Pieter in the Chess game to the death... She pairs up the characters for the challenges in really really interesting ways.

I think mostly what appeals to me about a villain is how much the resonate with an idea that is genuinely scary. Johnny Sorrow for example is scary for me because of his obsession and divorce from reality. The man waited decades to get revenge on the child that killed him and that revenge is more important than even summoning the elder god that is his master. He's scary because he dramatizes everything to the point where it's like he's the star of a really creepy horror movie (like say Freaks) and his motto is ultimately the show must go on. It's surreal and unreal and just...scary.

Dementor is another favorite villain for me. In his case, he's more viscerally disgusting. He looks horrific, his comments are vomit-inducing. There's something very disturbingly childish about the concept though. So simplistically evil, he's like a child's concept of the boogeyman, the monster under the bed, the weird noises coming from the parents' room at night all rolled up in one. That is not the sort of monster an adult invents. Adult monsters are human, recognizeable and familiar, if warped. Dementor is definitely, definitely not.

Roulette has a different sort of resonance for me. She's dispassionate rather than passionately obsessive or monstrous. She's the roman commander watching the Christians get torn apart by the lions. Everything's about entertainment and profit with human emotion and human life never really resonating on her radar at all. Roulette is cold, rational and in her own way far more inhuman than either Sorrow or Dementor. She's like the embodiment of a normal human's real potential for evil, when the average joe becomes so lost in greed or hedonism that they use, abuse and destroy other people in the process without feeling anything. And while you or I will probably never become a Sorrow or a Dementor, we all have a capacity for complete self-centeredness deep inside us, which, if we gave into it, could cost us our souls. We wouldn't be human anymore.

I find her interesting. And I'm particularly drawn to her interactions with Michael Holt. It's the only time, aside from speaking to her grandfather's portrait, that actual emotion ever enters into her portrayal at all. It adds an element of chaos into the mix.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Audience Participation?

Okay, I'm feeling like a sap today so I'm curious about you guys's thoughts on romance again.

What's your favorite couple? Which couples, as written, never really ring right to you?

I think for me my favorite couple is probably Lois and Clark (especially since they got married.) One of the best weeks lately, comics wise, was the one where Busiek wrote that day-in-the-life-of-Superman in which Lois saves his ass while over in 52, she chews him out for jumping out of a window to catch up with Supernova.

They've had their ups and downs couple-wise, but in modern comics, I always find them absolutely charming. Lois is clever, understanding and always willing to knock him down a few pegs when he needs it. And Clark's sheer joy at her presence can't be denied. They're just so CUTE.

I also really enjoyed, though they never seemed to cross into relationship category, Barbara Gordon and Ted Kord in Birds of Prey. I liked their easy interaction and the way they seemed to genuinely enjoy just being around each other and talking. They had nice non-dramatic chemistry.

Also, Guy and Ice. Because even in the depths of his craziness and damaged-ness, he really tried so very hard to be a good, sane guy for her. He didn't tend to succeed terribly often, but she always recognized and appreciated his efforts and I liked that.

I can't think of a couple that really doesn't work for me, except maybe Dick and Babs. I ranted about them a while back. I suppose I have issues with Storm and Black Panther as well. But in their case, it's really more of an execution thing. Hudlin's writing style really doesn't work for me in this case, even though I think the couple is awesome in theory. (I'd really like to see Priest tackle the couple as, when he's not writing Green Lantern at least, his style's more to my taste.)

So what about you guys? Tell me about your favorite couples? Which ones never really worked for you?

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Non-Comic Related Note of Amusement:

Since I got my LSAT results back (163, if you're curious. :-) Not too bad I think, though my ego likes to think that with more sleep and a decent breakfast I could have done better. :-)) I've gotten a few invitations to apply to a few colleges, which is awesome.

(No guarantee I'll get ACCEPTED of course, but it's definitely been good for my ego.)

The funniest thing I've read all day was from the University of Iowa which included the line:

We consistently place over 70% of our students in places of employment outside the State of Iowa.

Even they know how much their state sucks. :-)**

(**No offense intended to any Iowans out there, naturally. If I got accepted, I'd totally go there. And bitch the whole damn time. I'm like that :-))

My Kingdom for a Shark-Repellant

I'm not a huge Batman fan. At least not on his own. I like him well enough in Justice League, or when he shows in other people's books like Robin, Superman or Green Lantern. But on his own, in his own book, I don't have a whole lot of interest in him. And I finally figured out what needs to happen for me to become interested in Batman.

He needs to have, somewhere in the Batcave, Bat-Shark-Repellant.

I'm not saying he needs to be characterized a la Adam West or anything. I'm fine with Ol' Grim and Gritty as he is. I like him better now than one year ago, but I don't think he needs to be particularly nicer.

But I want to know that deep down inside. Behind all the genius and brooding angst, the drive and the scariness, there is a man who took the time to invent Shark-Repellant. But not to figure out a decent name for it.

Seriously, the man's been on a team with Aquaman. Bat-Shark Repellant would have to be a useful tool at some point. It's probably part of those Tower of Babel plans. Make Kyle blind. Repel sharks. Makes perfect sense.

I wouldn't be surprised if he had it. But I need to see it. Just once. Then I can truly begin to appreciate Bruce as he's meant to be appreciated.

And it should be an aerosol spray.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

An Interesting List:

Now. Over in this post's comments, Scott and I got into an interesting discussion about whether rape is overused in comics or not. He provides me this list of female heroes that haven't been the subject of rape (or attempted rape):

1. Arachne (a.k.a. Spider-Woman II)
2. Armor
3. Atom Girl
4. Aurora
5. Batgirl (Cassandra Cain)
6. Batwoman (the new one)
7. Black Alice
8. Black Betty
9. Blink
10. Bloodstone, Elsa
11. Bordeaux, Sasha (Black Queen)
12. Bulleteer
13. Cairea (in the Hulk now)
14. Carter, Sharon
15. Chase, Cameron
16. Cooper, Valerie
17. Crimson Fox
18. Crystal
19. Cyclone
20. Dagger
21. Dead Girl
22. Dean, Karolina
23. Donovan, Milla
24. Duran, Courtney
25. Dust
26. Echo (a.k.a. Ronin)
27. Elasti-Girl
28. Enchantress
29. Energizer
30. Fahrenheit
31. Fairchild, Caitlin
32. Fallen Angel
33. Fire (Black King’s Knight)
34. Firebird
35. Firehawk
36. Gamora
37. Gorgeous
38. Gypsy
39. Hill, Maria
40. Hudson, Heather (Exiles version)
41. Infectious Lass
42. Invisible Woman
43. Irons, Natasha
44. Jenny Quantum
45. Jones, Jessica
46. Judomaster
47. Katana
48. Kent, Martha
49. Knight, Misty
50. Knockout
51. Lady Blackhawk
52. Lady Mastermind
53. Lady Shiva
54. Lang, Lana
55. Liberty Belle
56. Light Lass
57. Light Speed
58. Lilandra
59. Luna
60. M
61. Ma Hunkle
62. MacTaggart, Moira
63. Madame Xanadu
64. Manhunter
65. Mary Marvel
66. Medusa
67. Meggan
68. Mercury
69. Midnight, Jessica (Black Queen’s Bishop)
70. Miller, Layla
71. Minoru, Nico
72. Mirage
73. Miss America (Freedom Fighters version)
74. Moonstone
75. Namora (Agents of Atlas)
76. Night Nurse
77. Nightmask
78. Omega Sentinel
79. Parker, Aunt May
80. Phantom Lady III
81. Phyla-Vell (Quasar II)
82. Platinum
83. Polaris
84. Sabra
85. Power Girl
86. Power Princess
87. Princess Projectra
88. Pulsar (a.k.a. Capt. Marvel, Photon)
89. Rainmaker, Sarah
90. Raptor (Brenda Drago)
91. Ravager
92. Raven
93. Red Bee
94. Sage
95. Sawyer, Maggie
96. Scarlet Witch
97. Sersi (the Eternal)
98. Shadow Lass
99. Siryn
100. Songbird
101. Spaulding, Roxy (Freefall)
102. Spider-Girl
103. Spitfire
104. Squirrel Girl
105. Star Girl
106. Starfire
107. Stature
108. Stepford Cockoos (do they count as 3?)
109. Summers, Rachel (Marvel Girl)
110. Supergirl
111. Surge
112. Tabitha (a.k.a.Boom Boom, Meltdown)
113. Talisman
114. Tarantula (Heroes for Hire)
115. Tautin, Josephine (“Mademoiselle Marie,” Black Queen’s Knight)
116. The Question ( the new one)
117. Thompkins, Leslie
118. Thunder (in the Outsiders)
119. Tigra
120. Traci 13
121. Triplicate Girl
122. Troia
123. Venus (Agents of Atlas)
124. Vision (the Ultimate one)
125. Vixen
126. Waller, Amanda (White Queen)
127. Wasp
128. Watson-Parker, Mary Jane
129. White Tiger (the newest one)
130. Wolfsbane
131. Wonder Girl
132. Yorkes, Gertrude
133. Zatanna
134. Contessa Valentina DeFontaine

Okay, let's look at this list a moment. It's a NICE list. It makes me happy. Sometimes I get pretty cynical about comics, so it's good to have a list like this. So I want to take a closer look...

The following characters are less than five years old real-time (with many thanks to Chris Sims for his help):

3. Atom Girl
6. Batwoman (the new one)
7. Black Alice
8. Black Betty
13. Cairea (in the Hulk now)
17. Crimson Fox
19. Cyclone
22. Dean, Karolina
23. Donovan, Milla
25. Dust
32. Fallen Angel
34. Firebird
37. Gorgeous
39. Hill, Maria
46. Judomaster
56. Light Lass*
64. Manhunter
69. Midnight, Jessica (Black Queen’s Bishop)
70. Miller, Layla
71. Minoru, Nico
77. Nightmask
80. Phantom Lady III
86. Power Princess
87. Princess Projectra*
93. Red Bee
98. Shadow Lass*
114. Tarantula (Heroes for Hire)
115. Tautin, Josephine (“Mademoiselle Marie,” Black Queen’s Knight)
121. Triplicate Girl*
124. Vision (the Ultimate one)
129. White Tiger (the newest one)
132. Yorkes, Gertrude

(*Current reboot, at least)

The following are non-love interest, non-hero supporting characters:

24. Duran, Courtney
48. Kent, Martha
62. MacTaggart, Moira
79. Parker, Aunt May
95. Sawyer, Maggie
117. Thompkins, Leslie

The following are underaged (More thanks to Chris)**:

2. Armor
3. Atom Girl
5. Batgirl (Cassandra Cain)
7. Black Alice
19. Cyclone
22. Dean, Karolina
24. Duran, Courtney
25. Dust
29. Energizer
38. Gypsy
41. Infectious Lass
43. Irons, Natasha
44. Jenny Quantum
56. Light Lass*
57. Light Speed
59. Luna
60. M
65. Mary Marvel
68. Mercury
70. Miller, Layla
71. Minoru, Nico
86. Power Princess
87. Princess Projectra*
91. Ravager
98. Shadow Lass*
101. Spaulding, Roxy (Freefall)
102. Spider-Girl
104. Squirrel Girl
107. Stature
108. Stepford Cockoos (do they count as 3?)
110. Supergirl
131. Wonder Girl
120. Traci 13
132. Yorkes, Gertrude

The following are robots:

82. Platinum
124. Vision (the Ultimate one)

Hmm. You know, suddenly this list doesn't make me nearly so happy. :-(

**In the case of the underaged characters, I tried to base them as accurately as I could based on age when joining, most recently declared age that I remember, and approximate in-comic time passing. In some cases, I would imagine I'm mistaken/misremembering. Feel free to correct me. :-)

Zero Hour's Still Pretty Creepy

I was rereading parts of Zero Hour and it got me thinking.

In general I think Zero Hour is a lot of fun (admittedly I'm reading it a decade after the fact, so there's much less waiting). I really liked the side stories, like the issue of Robin where Tim and young!Dick got to team up.

And you know, any plot that leads to Kari Limbo blowing the hell up...

I was reminded though of a plot I really really hated...when some genius decided it'd be fun to knock Power Girl up via her dead Atlantean grandfather's magic spell.

Egads. Who in the world thought that'd be a good idea?

And the weird thing is, I LIKE kids. Kids from alternate futures, kids artificially aged, with weird conception events... I tend to enjoy those stories. The fact that Power Girl spawned a mage son who comes back an adult should have interested me. But it didn't. It really didn't.

Ultimately the problem for me is the circumstances of the conception. For me, the fact that she was impregnated without her consent seems very very close to rape in my opinion. VERY close. Something that doesn't strike me as necessary in Kara's backstory.

The fact that the spell-caster is her (sorta, now not?) Grandfather is very creeepy.

What I don't get though is why someone felt the need to resort to that story in the first place if they wanted Kara to have a very powerful, surreal sort of son. There was a much easier solution in place.

Power Girl had slept with Hal Jordan, while the latter was starting to become Parallax. Now there's nothing to really say internalized Oan power is hereditary, but there's nothing to really say it can't be. If that's too much of a stretch, perhaps something in the nature of Parallax awakened his son's magical instincts that came from Power Girl's then Atlantean nature.

Not to mention how interesting Zero Hour could have been if Hal's son was running around there too. (Heh, what about Rebirth?)

And I have to admit, I've always wanted a story where some teenaged kid shows up on Hal's doorstep all "Um, you're my dad." Hal's been indiscreet for a LONG time. And it'd be funny to watch Hal try to be a dad. Honestly, even Kyle Rayner, who I wouldn't trust with a houseplant would probably be more suited to fatherhood.

Kara's kid being Hal's would be freaking hilarious now that Hal's not evil. And maybe he'd have had a better shot of being a lasting character in the DCU if both of his parents were significant to the DCU. (I might be being generous here. Much as I love Kara, I wouldn't actually call her particularly significant during Zero Hour).

Mostly, I just hate that they decided to go with completely unnecessary creepiness, adding elements of violation where it didn't need to be. Not when there was an easier, more consentual way.

(Besides, it's hard to really wrap your brain around getting impregnated by your grandfather's magic, but who can't sympathize with someone making a mistake, sleeping with the wrong person, and ending up with some unforeseen VERY long term consequences?)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spoilery Reaction to Current Events.

Warning for Spoilers

So um. Mighty Avengers #1.


Just when I thought girl-Ultron couldn't possibly get any funnier.

Seriously, what the hell? It's so awesomely crazy, it's perfect.

All I can say is that it's probably a damn good thing Hank's already started seeing Doc Samson and taking his meds. Because when all this comes out, the man is going to need them.

The only thing that'd make it better is for Tony to call him "Dad".

Oh god, this is priceless.

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Movie I'd MAKE:

This post of Tom's got me know what movie (or mini-series) I'd love to see that they'd probably never make?

Justice Society of America.

I know it'd never happen, for one thing, it doesn't have name recognition to attract anyone but comic nerds anyway, but I'd think it could really be fun.

The backstory would, of course, be the trickiest aspect, but actually I think it'd be easier to do than say, Justice League. Honestly, if Superman, Batman and company are all teaming up in a movie, the audience are going to want to know how and why. No one would want to miss the first meeting between Clark and Bruce, and everyone else. There'd have to be a big threat, and we'd have to see Gotham, Metropolis, and how the heroes become aware of the threat...

In contrast, I think the Justice Society could be a lot easier. The average movie-goer won't *really* recognize the characters, so it won't be as big of a cheat if they're already acquaintances. And really, all we NEED to know about the JSA is that they were teammates during WWII. One flashback in action and done!

Then all it takes is a line or two at each characters' introductions to determine how they're still alive and relatively young. Heck, with characters like Alan or Sandy, we wouldn't even need a line. Solidifying out of green flame or earth will pretty much explain that bit real easy.

(For convenience sake, I'd have Sandy the Golden Boy already have the earth powers in the WWII flashback. That way the cool nifty special effect powers get to stay without need for complex sand monster explanation)

The line-up I'd choose would be:

Alan and Jay (team dads, most recognizeable),
Ted (gruff uncle, also good for PG to bounce off of),
Mr. Terrific (he'll be also the medical doctor, annexing Pieter's role).
Sandy (kid in flashback, adult in present, also in a good position for vaguely romantic subplots. Movies like those.)
Stargirl (Heart of the team, naturally)
Hawkgirl (Very simplified backstory)
Power Girl (Also simplified backstory)

Alan and Jay are obvious choices, I think. They really are the core of what makes the JSA work for me, that close familial feel. They're the group parents. Also their powers are kickass. Ted is fun because he's an authority figure that'll still play with the kids. Sandy's there because he's my favorite, damnit. Also, there needs to be a few younger members. He's in the neat position of being the youngest of the old-timers, and doesn't really fit in with them OR the second gens, so it'd be fun to play with that aspect of the generation/time gap.

I'm a bit uncomfortable with the fact that all the old-timers are men, but Hippolyta's simply too recognizeable. And it could be something brought up by Kara or Kendra to criticize the inequity of the whole group.

Michael was tricky. I actually like Pieter better, but I really like them both. The cast would have to be small though, and their parts/lines could easily get redundant. The role of team tech and team doctor are very easily combinable and I think Mr. Terrific is probably the more impressive of the two. What with the T-spheres. He'd need a more direct mentor/student role with the previous Mr. Terrific, I think, to make the passing the torch element simpler and quicker, but heck, he's in the same line of work, so it'd be easy enough.

Stargirl's a given. I'd probably just not mention the interim Starmen though. They're a bit...complicated. There might be a passing mention to others, but she'll get the rod directly from Ted. (I'm kind of liking the idea of her swiping it to join. :-) Shades of Stars and STRIPE)

Kara will need a pretty simplified back origin. But the daughter of a major team-big-wig trying to escape from her father's shadow and prove herself at the same time is something that would resonate with a lot of viewers. I'd like to avoid direct mention of Kal-L though (Also: no dimension hopping). Maybe he can be only briefly glimpsed in flashback. From shadow or the back. A funny in-joke to fans who know who that guy must be.

Kendra is tricky, but I think she'd be useful. Another powerhouse sort of character, the wings are iconic too. Very visually striking. I'd want to keep her with the reluctant hero personality she had at the beginning of the JSA storyarc, because her "I'm only here out of necessity" will balance Kara's over-achievingness and Courtney's mischief. Also, the unhappy loner finding some measure of acceptance and comfort in a surrogate family can be heartwarming, subplot wise. I'd keep her backstory really, really simple. Possibly a basic reincarnation thing (amnesiac of course) and have her stumble on the wings/nth metal, maybe at a museum.

(I'd also like to cast Kendra as someone of African-American or Middle-Eastern descent. She's very pretty in the comics, but more diversity is always good. And why does the reincarnation of an Egyptian princess need to be white?)

Also, all movies seem to need a little bit of romance, so a Sand/Kendra thing would probably be the best bet as long as it stays low key and doesn't interfere with the main story. (And I'd totally want a sequel where Hawkman comes back. Simplified, of course. :-P) Besides, it'd be cute to tentatively pair the reluctant hero with the time-lost, out of place character. (I also think it'd be cute to have Kara flirt with Michael. I'm all about tech-geek flirtation :-))

I really wanted to add Dinah too, but I refrained. For one thing, she'd be difficult to give an emotional subplot to. The older heroes have the thought-washed-up/not-needed comeback thing, the younger heroes want to prove themselves. Dinah doesn't need to prove herself, not with her obvious experience, her powers aren't visually striking, and honestly...visually, we've got a lot of blondes already.

The plot would be pretty simple, possibly cribbed a bit from the first arc of JSA. The heroes get together for Wesley Dodds' funeral. Something goes wrong. Whoosh! Out of retirement! Mordru would probably be too complicated. At least without the Dr. Fate connection, but there are a few large scale villains that could work for an intro.

Ooo! Karkull and Obsidian! And Kara can mention how she, Todd and others made a team once to follow in the footsteps of their elders. Not to mention, family stuff is always fun. :-) (Todd would of course redeem/rehabilitate himself at the end...and on the team in the non-existent sequel!...where he comes out!)

I'd like to play up the contrasts/similarities of Kara and Todd's situations maybe, since they're both the kids of the real intimidating powerhouses of the JSA.

Costumes are tricky though, because honestly...most superhero costumes DO look silly on real people. Especially real people who are gaining in years (Alan, Ted and Jay at least should look older) And honestly, they'd probably scare away any non-comic fans.

But heck, this is MY hypothetical movie damnit. And if I want Alan dressed like a Christmas Tree Ornament or Jay to have a funnel on his head, they're going to damn well do it.

Besides, they'd look even sillier in black leather X-Men.

I don't think it'd be a masterpiece of a movie by any stretch of the imagination, but I bet it'd be a fun way to kill a few hours. I'd watch it at least. :-P

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Whew, back! Internet trouble sucks!

Anyway, you know what annoys me most about the commotion over, well, shall we say Captain America #25? (In case someone somewhere managed to not hear about it...)

...I'd never gotten around to putting Brubaker's Cap on my pull list. I kept meaning to, I'd pick it up in the store, but I never remembered to add it.

And I didn't get to go to the shop yesterday.

I will NEVER get this issue.

Stupid jerks, it's not like it's going to be permanent, didn't we go through this with Superman?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wedding Bells?

I'm always a little behind, news-wise, but there's a revelation here that make me sad.

I'm not a huge Green Arrow fan, but it'll be a shame to see the book go. Ollie's got some of the most interesting supporting casts around that tend to be under-appreciated and under-utilized.

I'm more sad though about the proported proposal between Ollie and Dinah Lance, though.

I don't hate the couple, honestly. I like Ollie and I like Dinah...I just prefer them apart rather than together. Especially since I'm still stewing in a fan-entitlement sulk about the abrupt breakup between Dinah and Pieter Cross in JSA.

I CAN hold a grudge. :-P

Still, I did complain before that I wanted a wedding. And Ollie settling down would be kind of nice to see. Dinah in a wedding dress would look smashing. So if Dinah DOES accept the proposal, the result could be fun to see. What's the proper etiquette for attending a wedding in costume?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


You know how I complained about Cassandra Cain...I've since come to learn that it can always be worse.

See, I'm on average not much of an X-people reader anymore so I'd somehow only managed to learn snippets of this character.

Now I disclaim, I have never read an issue with this character. I have never even seen the X-Men evolution episodes with this character. Perhaps the writing was actually good enough to make the character much more palatable than she sounds in the wikipedia entry.

But dear gods, I can't imagine how.

Clone of Wolverine? Okay. I can buy that. Made female because the Y chromosome couldn't copy? I suppose that sort of makes sense. (Though really, that probably wasn't even necessary. There are biological factors that can allow a genetically male fetus to develop female sexual characteristics.) The gratuitously angsty backstory complete with abuse that makes Cain's treatment of Cassandra look humane, prostitution and a penchant for cutting. And she outperformed Wolverine in simulation missions by the age of twelve...

All that I could accept in a character. Not necessarily happily mind you, but like Cassandra, I could probably react to all that with mild apathy and be done with it.

But *toe claws*?! They gave her *toe claws*?! WHY?!?!

Okay, any Marvel readers out there...please, PLEASE tell me she's better in execution than concept. I was actually starting to get really interested in the character concepts I'd heard about in New X-Men, but the idea that this character exists scares the crap out of me.

Kitty Pryde is honestly too much for me a lot of the time. I don't think my brain could handle this girl.

Please tell me she's better than she sounds...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Something I'd Like To See...

Okay, I've been having fun debating in this thread here, and somehow got inspired. I don't think Jarodrussell's ideas are really compatible with the Oan-Corps setting (especially after decades of system-defining continuity), but they did inspire me to think about what I'd really like to see in the DCU.

I want a virtual sub-reality. I figure with all the alien and advanced tech running around the DCU, there's a distinct lack of, well, cyberpunk potential. I mean, with the processing power that has to be available in the DCU, there'd be massive possibilities for virtual reality.

We've seen how complex artificial intelligence can get in the DCU, there's basically limitless potential. There could be entire civilizations living entirely in the computer matrix, translated into concepts understandable by human beings. Any sort of story would be possible.

This would be a universe in which twenty-first century Earth programming knowledge really would be able to crack the fabric of reality. Characters like Barbara Gordon or Mr. Terrific would be particularly formidable in this setting, easily the equivalent of a Green Lantern in the "real world", and as I'd posted before, the Thinker would be loads of fun to explore.

It'd be a fun way to explore different sides of the characters, exposed to very different situations. Heck! There's no reason Barbara couldn't return to her Batgirl identity while adventuring in the virtual reality while maintaining her Oracle identity in the "real world" (Also allowing room for Cassandra to stay Batgirl as well) and EVERYONE could be happy. (That's not even getting into the possibilities inherent in virtual simulacra of dead characters. I know it's not a case, but I think a Batcave-AI version of Steph could be a pretty neat memorial.)

Since the setting isn't bogged down with decades of previous continuity, the rules and systems are wide open for development, while guest star and crossover potential from the "real world" DCU would be pretty limitless. I think it'd be a lot of fun!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Reason #336 Why Sandy Is Cool:

Because Sandy deserves more appreciation:

Many heroes get temporarily blinded and spend a few panels angsting about it and frantically trying to regroup before getting their asses in gear. Not this kid!

Way to go, das Fleidermaus. You got your ass kicked by a blinded twelve year old because you didn't shut the hell up. You suck.

Du bist einen Vollidiot.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Here be Amazons?

The more I hear about Amazons Attack, the more I want to read it. Especially if all this is really going to be some sort of retaliation of the treatment of Diana after her killing of Max Lord.

Of course, I'm biased, as I firmly support Diana killing Max, in the events of that comic. She outright asked him, with lasso, if there was any way to stop him. And I'm still a bit annoyed that I don't recall Superman ever appearing at any of these trials to testify on her behalf. He was THERE after all. Being mind-controlled and the ultimate reason she HAD to make the choice.

Of course, I'm a bit behind this month, so if he HAS shown up to speak on her behalf I rescind my gripe. :-)

Anyway, I understand the need to put her on trial as well. As well as why she goes through with it. But I really couldn't see the Amazons being terribly happy about this and now that Infinite Crisis is over, I'm really glad that they're making their displeasure known.

I mean, dude, they're a bunch of grown women who in their millenia-long lifespan have all collectively raised a grand total of two children (I'm presuming Donna counts again). I'm trying to imagine the kind of hell my mother and aunt would raise if *I* got some sort of trouble like this. (The idea by the way is terrifying). There is NO WAY the Amazons would let this sort of thing fly.

(Hmm, I wonder if Kara will get to play a part in this too. She did spend some time there after all...)

Though I really miss Hippolyta. She ought to be spearheading this charge. Heck, it'd make for fantastic conflict with the JSA too. And it's not like every other major death from OWAW hasn't been rectified. She's the chosen of gods which should really be more useful in this sort of situation.

I'm not sure what'll happen, though I doubt the Amazons will be terribly successful long term. After all, Diana appears to be cooperating with her own trial and probably wouldn't be terribly happy about all this chaos done in her name. But at least the show of sisterly/motherly/aunt-ly? solidarity is there. Which is really sweet.

Now if only they can get her comic out a bit more regularly. :-)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Heroes, Revisited Again:

Heroes showed its seventeenth episode last Monday and I thought now it's probably late enough to post without worrying too much about spoilers for the series, especially for last week's episode..

Okay, in terms of diversity, Heroes got a lot of flack towards the beginning. All but two of the Heroes were American. (Mohinder and Hiro excepted) All but two main characters were white (Mohinder and Hiro still excepted), all but two were men (Claire and Niki excepted), the two women were both blond and problematic in characterization (One's an inexperienced teenager, one's definitely not in control of herself).

So how does it stack up now?

In terms of non-American Heroes, there's been a little headway. Hana Gitelmann (featured prominently in the comic tie-in, appeared in one episode so far) is Israeli. We've seen an Indian dreamweaver and at least lip service paid to others throughout the world, though Mohinder's efforts are focused in America.

Racially, things have gotten a bit more diverse. Ando's part has become prominent enough to consider him a main character. Niki's African American husband, DL, is now a main protagonist with powers of his own, their son also has powers though is still a minor character. The Haitian has moved beyond his role of "silent lackey" to become a force to be reckoned with. Simone has also increased in prominence, the center of a love triangle, though her Fridging, shall we say, makes things awkward. (Though that does not, at least, seem to be quite the end to her story.)

As for the portrayal of women in general: Niki is still a pitiful example of touted strength, but weak will. Jessica is more interesting however. Claire has certainly come into her own. We've seen more female heroes in the form of (red-haired) Charlie and (brunette) Eden. The first was more of a Gwen Stacy/Alexandra DeWitt style motivator than a character (I honestly don't understand the fuss over her death, given it was pretty obvious the moment she was introduced what would happen), and the second died as well, with a hero's last show of defiance. (Brunette) Hana Gitelmann appears in one episode but seems to be set up for some prominent interaction while a new dark-haired hero while another dark-haired woman with unspecified powers has appeared, connected to the "Paper Factory". Claire's biological mother Meredith has appeared, an apparently experienced fire-starter with dubious ethics. Sylar's new string of victims (two so far) included one older woman.

Simone's fate was probably inevitable, considering her role. A love triangle is more interesting without the lynchpin.

This past episode, even perpetual flake and victim, Sandra Bennet (Claire's mother) showing surprising mental/emotional fortitude and faith in her total acceptance of her daughter's state. And even more surprising continued faith (if understandibly wary) in her husband.

I have to admit, as a brunette myself, I find the (mostly-joking, I hope) accusation that any woman who isn't blonde is fated for death on this show is a little silly.

As for sexual orientation diversity, that one is still problematic though joking aside, I'm actually glad the character of Zack isn't gay. His relationship with Claire and lack of prominence would have meant that it would never be really featured anyway, which means the show producers would be able to take credit for having a gay character without ever really making that clear on the show.

That said, I'd really like to see some homosexual (or bisexual) characters show up or be revealed as the case may be. It's an area where Heroes is particularly lacking.

I do think Heroes needs work, still, but I think as tv shows. especially first-season, go, they've got a particularly good start now.

And for the record, my favorite character's now HRG. It's the suit and gun. I can never resist an attractive older man in a suit, glasses and a gun. Rowr.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Character I Don't Get: The Hulk

Yep, I hate to admit it, but the Hulk is a character that's never really settled for me. I honestly don't understand the appeal.

Well, the smashing is good, but honestly there are more appealing characters around that also smash.

I admit, I've rarely seen the Hulk in his own comics. In the very few appearance I've seen, he tends to follow the same pattern: He does something stupid as Banner, he does something stupid as the Hulk, he blames everything on the Hulk. It was actually the worst part of that Ultimate Avengers movie. (Dude, when the young hot-shot claims that hiring the other guy was a mistake and HE would have done better, he's not supposed to be RIGHT. Hank would have actually done his job. Though possibly there would be a killer robot somewhere in the end results. And on a tangent, it's really weird to characterise HANK PYM as the young hot-shot.)

So is he different in his own comics? Does he take responsibility? Or does he blame all his screw ups on being the Hulk?

What DOES make this character cool?