Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GL Movie News!

Aw. I was really, irrationally, hoping they'd go with a John Stewart movie. Still This IS good news.

And Hal does have the easiest/simplest origin to get on film. And is the big cheese with the name recognition and all that. :-) So it really is the best idea. Still I really think a John movie would have been awesome.

I hope they go the same route as Iron Man really. Not storyline, but I really liked how they made the movie really emphasize all of Tony's better traits while still not forgetting that the man can be a total moron sometimes. :-)

Hal better get at least TWO concussions. At LEAST. Or it's not Hal Jordan!

Monday, September 29, 2008


You know, just when I think the Marvel Studios Avenger-type movies can't sound any better I come across rumors like this. (Here's a more official rumor type source.)

Methinks the variety writer has never been a Thor reader if he finds the choice of Kenneth Branagh as director "surprising". Then again, I find the choice surprising. Surprising as in "AWESOME."

What is it with Marvel Studios and their ability to pick people that makes me go "...I can TOTALLY see that." It started with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and doesn't seem to have missed a step since. (Well, at least when I ignore all the rumors that I don't like. :-P).

I would have never have thought of Branagh myself, I admit, but well, who better? And this way, we'll be fairly sure to have some decent Shakespearian dialogue now, won't we?


Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Quick Jab

I don't normally post during the day, but I've been catching up on online events while manfully trying to dodge this assignment eating my soul.

I don't place a lot of pride in my content, and sometimes I post utter crap in order to keep my one-post-a-day goal. That means very little quality control sometimes. And we all know I've nothing against the occasional funny panel from the 1960s. :-)

But if you ever see me post anything like this gem?

You have my permission to shoot me in the head. :-) Have a nice day!

No post today

Well, my International Law Journal cite-checking assignment is due Monday, so...yeah. No content today.

Why did I join this thing again?

Oh right, it looks good on a resume. I forgot that the reason it looks good on a resume is because it involves WORK.

Yeesh. Making me do WORK in LAW school.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Thought Re: Shining Knight

It occurs to me that one creator-comic match up that I'd really like to see is Tamora Pierce on Shining Knight.

I admit, her White Tiger didn't turn out to be my cup of tea. But Ms. Pierce is a very talented and successful writer, and I suspect that a time-lost Camelot knight who happens to be a young woman cross-dressing as a young man complete with nifty flying horse and Excalibur would definitely be within Ms. Pierce's area of expertise.

And if anyone knows how to pull off young-adult power fantasy particularly geared toward young women, I'd place my bets on Ms. Pierce. And now that she's had some comic writing experience under her belt, I'd bet she could do a fantastic job.

It'd be a comic, I'd really like to read. :-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

On Minx and Untapped Markets

A lot of other people than me have posted about the ending of DC's Minx line and much more intelligently. But I figured I'd add my own reaction anyway.

I'm sad, on an intellectual level, as I really liked seeing DC try something new as well as try marketing comic books for young women. I think that was a good idea and I hope they keep occasionally taking risks like that even if this particular endeavor didn't work out.

At the same time, I'm indifferent otherwise. I've never read a MINX book. I couldn't tell you what's good or not. None of them looked particularly interesting to me. I've never been much into slice of life dramas anyway, unless they have a phenomenal level of soap opera style cheese, and I drifted away from most manga ages ago. I'm a super-hero fan, plain and simple. I knew MINX wasn't for me.

But I'm still sad.

At the same time I'm hopeful. Because even if MINX failed, the overall impression still stands. DC WANTS young female readers. Those young female readers are out there, and even if this didn't grab them, something else may. The important thing is to keep trying.

What *I*'d personally like to see, though I can by no means assert that it would sell to anyone but me, is more superhero-comics for young women. It occurs to me that there are many young female heroes in the DCU and I think if packaged correctly, they could really appeal to young women.

There's nothing inherently male about superheroes after all, and I remember being one of many young girls religiously into shows like She-Ra and hell, even Sailor Moon. There were a gratuitous amount of tie-in products for those, as I recall, too.

I think what *I* would do, and I'm going to preface this with what we all know already: I have no marketing experience, I have no real notion of what anyone but me would buy, yadda and et cetera, what *I* would try is to re-package Supergirl and Batgirl and set them up as the flagship comics for a mini-line of superhero comics directed toward girls. I think characters like Wonder Girl (even if she is a bit angry/angsty at this time), Miss Martian (I'd bet SHE would entice some of the magical girl crowd as well as some of the sci-fi lovers), Stargirl (If Mr. Terrific can have two comics, I can't see why she couldn't), Raven (who would totally appeal to the cute little proto-Goths I see hovering about Hot Topic), maybe even Shining Knight to entice the high fantasy girl-crossdresses-as-boy fan crowd. Heck, why not give Spoiler her own comic with this group too? We KNOW she's got an audience after all. And heck, much as I dislike her, I admit, her costume/image is cool.

Oh and naturally, I'd want to bring back Amethyst. She's a quintessential American take on a Magical Girl, and if anyone gets to the Sailor Moon type crowd, it'd probably be Amethyst.

I'm sure not all the comics would succeed, but I think it says something that to this day little girls are still buying pink Supergirl lunchboxes without ever reading the comics. Cartoons like Winx and W.I.T.C.H. and all that sort of mind-rotting cute magic crap seem to be fairly successful. Girls like seeing pretty female characters in cute costumes playing with magic or superpowers doing good things and maybe meeting some good friends or finding a bit of romance along the way. DC has a plethora of young female characters with a variety of features and traits that would appeal to this audience, the trick is just getting the product out there and letting those little girls (and their parents) know that these exist.

Minx was a good idea, but it was, I think, a niche market, like general indy comics. The sales were never going to soar past a certain point. I suspect, however, that the potential market for Winx and W.I.T.C.H. and the Disney fairies and the Magical Barbie adventures, and Sailor Moon (or whatever magical girl type manga/anime is popular right now, I'm out of touch) is considerably larger than the kind of audience that would go for the Minx comics. I also think that DC and Marvel already have the tools at hand to change this. The real issue is actually using said tools and letting the little girls and their parents out there KNOW that you've got something here that they would probably like.

That's just my amateur two-cents. :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nick vs. Tank

Hmph, I'm sleepy and lazy and have no energy for a good rant today. So instead I'll give you something I've saved for just such an occasion. From Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #1:

Nick Fury vs a TANK!

Well, we all know who was going to win that one. :-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An Incoherent Dragonlance Fantasy Rant

This isn't actually comic book related...well, maybe it is, it depends on if there has ever been a Dragonlance comic, but my knowledge base is pretty much solely based on books. But I feel that I have to get something off my chest. (Be warned, this, as most of my rants is incredibly incoherent.)

I hate Raistlin Majere.

And it's not a "love to hate" thing either, like my thing with Professor Xavier, Hawkman, or Nightwing, I just generally and genuinely dislike and am utterly disinterested in my character.

He's not awesome. He's not compelling. He's not sympathetic. He's a half-assed villain at best. He's just really fucking irritating.

This apparently is a rare opinion in Dragonlance fan circles but I can't help it. He just sets my teeth on edge.

I think my biggest problem is that he's not grand enough to be an awesome villain. He's petty. He snipes at characters, is passive aggressive, and sighs irritatingly over the fact that his oh-so-nifty-hourglass-eyes see everyone aging and dying in front of him.

You know what? That's not actually an excuse to be a dick. And moreover, while my adolescent self might have been sympathetic toward the whole "Constantly overshadowed and disliked in favor of my stronger, nicer, more attractive twin" thing, my adult self would counter that with "Well, maybe they like him more because he's actually a better person than you! Make a fucking effort rather than stewing in your own bitterness!"

I suppose that part of it is simply that, while bitterness, jealousy and inadequacy are certainly realistic flaws and certainly lead to negativity in the real world, they don't compel me to think of a character as particularly awesome.

I think part of my problem is that Weis never really seems to allow him to embrace being evil. I think a measure of being a good villain is grandioseness. What does Raistlin do in the main/original trilogy? vaguely nice to a gully dwarf and a disguised god, and gets a book. And...that's really it, that I recall.

I'm sorry, but to be an awesome villain type character, you actually have to DO something! Kitiara? Awesome. Soth? Awesome. Raistlin? Half-assed at best.

Okay, granted, he does eventually go off to fight Takhisis. But you know what? STUPIDITY DOESN'T EQUAL AWESOME. The rest of the time he either seems to fluxuate back and forth: "Oh noes! He's mean to Caramon and Dalamar. But wait! He tolerated Tasslehoff! Oh and he gives his staff thing to his nephew!" The whole evil being with a bit of fondness for a good character could be interesting, but you kind of need to be a decent villain FIRST. (c.f. Kitiara's thing with Tanis and her brothers. THAT is interesting.)

Maybe it would have been better if he were black robed at the start. Or if his change to black robes were a bit more dramatic than him showing up one day with a new set of duds. There might have been something to build up the awesome villainness.

I guess what annoys me the most is that I really do think that the Caramon and Raistlin relationship has the potential to be genuinely compelling. I like stuff that involves relationships that aren't cut and dry. There's a way to do that complex love-hate relationship right. But the Dragonlance books really don't DO that.

There's a fantasy series by Sarah Monette that features at its heart an incredibly fucked up set of sibling dynamics. The characters are so incredibly damaged by their lives that there's no real hope of anything resembling a normal and healthy sibling relationship. One sibling is both thoughtlessly and deliberately cruel to the other, who usually just sucks it up and takes it because, heck, it's better than nothing. But for all that logic insists, "hey, someone should get these two as far away from each other as possible" I'm invested in the relationship and the incredibly unrealistic hope that some day the beleaguered sibling will stand up for himself and assert boundaries and the older sibling will finally realize what his downward spiral is doing to everyone including himself.

I'm invested in the relationship, because I believe the emotions involved. I believe the characters really do, deep down, love one another. I think that they have no real idea how ELSE to interact, the patterns are so ingrained. I appreciate however, that the characters actually manage to make an effort, not always successful, but enough of a visible attempt to give a little bit of hope. There's one book left to come. I don't know if there'll be a resolution. Or if the relationship will finally crumble. Or if it will stagnate as it has been. I do know I'm going to plop down 30+ dollars for the hardcover as soon as I possibly can to find out.

Raistlin and Caramon could be like that for me, but...I don't buy it. It's too one-sided. I like Caramon. I believe Caramon loves his brother and feels a filial duty toward him, while simultaneously disliking the man his brother is becoming and trying not to think about that and focus on the good points that only he seems to see. But Raistlin? The narrative TRIES to tell me that his emotions for his brother are complex and that he possibly does love and admire him even in the midst of all the jealous resentment and irritation. But I don't buy it. I don't buy that there's anything at the core of that resentment, inferiority and jealousy but more resentment, inferiority and jealousy of being faced with someone generally better than you are.

Which could be cool. But the story needs to embrace it! Stop trying to convince me the character is even remotely conflicted about his actions unless you mean it. Show him making an effort! Show a trace of guilt or conflict! Yeesh.

I suppose I could look at it another way though, and admire Margaret Weis for creating a character that is just a petty, ungrateful, dislikeable and irredeemable human being without giving him really any redeeming or sympathetic qualities and without making him an awesome grandiose villain. Which really is interesting.

Except I don't think the writing reflects this. Not being a mind reader or close friend of Ms. Weis, I can't claim with any certainty as to her intentions, but the impression I get from the story is that she thinks he's as awesome as most of his fans seem to!

The writing would have me think he's the smartest of their little crew. But what does he do? He gets and uses a book by a dead evil wizard against all wise advice, and then decides to go and take on the fucking goddess of darkness. The rest of the time, he spends bitterly snarking and insulting the very people he's relying on for pretty much anything. That's not smart to me.

The writing would have me think he's got some sympathetic qualities. But being less of a bastard to one gully dwarf doesn't change the fact that we have, as far as I recollect, never seen the twerp expend even the slightest effort to be less of a bastard to the people who are putting up with his ungrateful ass for most of the journey. You want me to find him sympathetic, how about having him turn to his brother and team and say, and mean the words "Thank you."

The writing would have me think that he's tragically marred from the Test, and that looking at people and seeing them constantly age and die is a hardship. Fuck it. As misfortune goes, that's pretty easy compared to some of the crap that's happened to his colleagues without the increased power to go with it. And if the Test's revelation was so fucking traumatizing to him, why not actually SHOW it?

There's a clear disconnect between me and the story here. Certainly other people see it differently. But I really hate the worthless waste of space of a character, and felt the need to express it. Now I feel better. :-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

30 Reasons to Love Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos

I've run out of Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos issues on hand to read. This saddens me. I was having fun annoying Ragnell with plot reactions. This is not to say the series is ALL good. For one thing, it's got a couple of pretty awful moments of racism for all its well-meaningness and occasional attempts to seriously tackle racism in stories. (Which doesn't always go well, but I admire the attempt enough to have originally put it on this list. Then took it off because it's a serious sentiment that doesn't really fit the rest of this list.) The problematic moments tend to be at their worst when the team ends up going to Asia/Africa for a mission, which is thankfully rare.

I think it's mostly a product-of-its-time kind of thing, but it does once or twice get bad enough that I really do feel the need to preface this list with this warning rather than just launch into cheerfully enthusiastic recommendation.

That said, there are many things that I do love about this comic.


Things I love about Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos:

1. Nick Fury vs. German Tank. Come on, I don't need to tell you who wins that one.

2. Nick Fury's propensity for being half-naked.

3. When characters themselves joke about Nick Fury's propensity for being half-naked. (i.e. when Dum Dum Dugan is exploded upon and comes staggering up in rags, and Fury's all "you're copying my style now?" paraphrased of course.)

4. Dino Manelli being Faceman before Faceman ever existed.

5. Letter columns making fun of Nick Fury's propensity for being half-naked.

6. Eric Koenig's on-again off-again nazi-ism. Pick a side, man! :-P

7. Koenig's whole "Oh god, they'll never believe me!" reaction afterward. (Well Eric, maybe if you didn't kidnap your NCO and give him to the nazis without telling him first, people would trust you more! Also the fact that your mournful thoughts at Nick Fury's funeral were that you really wanted to fix him up with your sister is really funny.

-Dude, I love Nick Fury, but you must HATE your sister.)

8. Every time they heavy-handedly emphasize that Reb Ralston is not one of THOSE Southerners. And then he gets to lasso things. :-) Because that's what jockeys do.

9. The gratuitous way pretty much every one-shot Howler dies at the end of the issue. (Though the one with the deserter was pretty genuinely shocking/heart wrenching.)

10. Izzy Cohen's kids.

11. Gabe Jones's fiancee. Whatever happened to her? Isn't he dating Peggy Carter now, or did I just hallucinate that? Still, the fiancee was pretty cool.

12. That one Nazi disguised as a janitor, who has a metal fist, and ACTUALLY SHAKES IT in anticipation of his wrath.

13. Any time one of the Howlers says the phrase "Music to my shell-like ears!" with regard to Nick's ranting. It happens a lot.

14. The fact that Nick really has gotten saner with age.

15. That in the future, Nick's code word to verify to his former comrades that a message is from him is a string of insults and/or curses.

16. That Percival Pinkerton is simultaneously the most absurd American stereotype of a Brit ever, up to and including all the stereotypical slang: "I say, old chap" "Old bean" "Cheerio!", wearing short shorts with a beret and a pom-pom, and constantly carrying around an umbrella that he calls a "bumbershoot" and also the single most badass member of the Howling Commandos ever. Seriously. Including Nick fucking Fury.

17. The guy manages, while hanging onto the hood of a truck, to STEER IT WITH THE HANDLE OF HIS UMBRELLA. Also in the future, he becomes Hugh Hefner. Complete with scantily clad girls dressed as bunnies.

18. Gabe Jones using his trumpet as an offensive weapon. And not by hitting people with it. Though he's done that too.

19. Seeing tiny Jake Fury and realizing he is equally as moronic as a 20-year-old as he is as Scorpio. Seriously. Nick apparently got the ONLY share of brains in that family.

20. The sheer non-entity that is Jonathan Juniper.

21. Nick Fury fighting a fellow non-com to defend poor Private Steve Rogers. (With bonus Undercover Bucky!)

22. Running smack-head-first into Marvel's stretchy rubber timeline when Nick encounters a young "Major Richards."

23. Dum Dum Dugan's wife.

24. Dum Dum Dugan.

25. The fact that the psychologist who manages to save Nick's sanity after a month of convalescence ACTUALLY SAYS: "In spite of what I've done for you, it is I who owe you! For if you hadn't cracked up, your Howlers would never have rescued me."

Which, true. But dude! Harsh! Fortunately it's heavily implied by the last panel that Nick is planning undue and ungrateful violence against the jerk. Go Nick!

26. Baron von Strucker's seeming obsession with putting Nick into half-naked bondage.

27. They blew Pamela Hawley the fuck up. And then brought in a lookalike nazi spy to mess with Nick's head. It's cliched, but honestly I hated her anyway.

28. Happy Sam Sawyer's mancrush on his favorite sergeant.

29. Nick Fury's dad fighting the Red Baron!

30. Nick Fury.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Random Thought: Re: Dark Knight

I loved the Dark Knight movie but THIS is hilarious. And it gets on my biggest critique of the movie too which is:

Okay, the hospital employees and patients in the bus get kidnapped and set up to look like bad guys while the bad guys are playing hostage in order to trick the cops into killing the wrong people. I get that. It's a bit cliched, but I get it.

But why, when Batman figures OUT what's happening, does he not use one of his nifty gadgets to ring up the SWAT teams and TELL them? You can't tell me that between the sonar goggles and everything else, he can't actually do that.

But instead we have him beating the fuck out of poor innocent SWAT people who are just doing their damn jobs. And the dangling out the window like that? I'm sure they wouldn't let someone with a weak heart be a SWAT member, but still, that's a law suit waiting to happen!

Batman is kind of a dick.


And in other news, I'm STILL reading lots of old Sgt. Fury issues. Which is vastly entertaining. Especially the one where the new recruit has a "dark secret" about dying of cancer, but I swear to god, with the way he sighs and has "If you only knew, Sarge!" thoughts when Nick's ranting about and calling them lovesick school girls, it really seems like his "dark secret" was something else entirely.

Oh and Nick Fury has a really fucking creepy and inappropriate relationship with his step-mother. Eek.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Did I Hallucinate This?

Okay, I know I've got some readers who are Conan fans or at least familiar with the Conan universe, right?

I've had this question for a long time kind of bugging at me, and it occurred to me, "Hey! You have a blog, dimwit!" So there we go.

I'm not terribly familiar with the Conan universe. I always was more fond of Cormac Mac Art instead as Howard products go. I'm not sure what that says about me, but there ya go. However, when I was a kid, I did totally watch the Conan cartoon. There was violence and I'm easy.

Anyway, there was a character that showed up in one or possibly more episodes that I always liked. He was a guy who possibly had a green thing on his head. He also had two wolves named "Sasha" and "Misha". I know this because the sole thing I remember of the cartoon was him calling their names.

I don't remember WHY I liked this guy, but I did. Considerably more than Conan himself. ANYONE out there know who I'm talking about? Does this character actually exist in some form or another in comics/movies/book form? Did I hallucinate him out of thin air?

Help a girl out, wouldja?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sherlock Holmes movie news?

Well, if this is true, that's mildly interesting. And befuddling.

On one hand, I've always thought, though it's never been borne out of the movies or television dramas I've seen, that Watson was indeed supposed to be the handsomer one of the two of them.

But I have to admit, Jude Law was not where I was thinking they'd go. I mean I get the logic for Robert Downey Jr., the same way I get the logic for him for Iron Man: genius, kind of self-centered, charming, and substance-abusing. But Jude Law?

He IS talented, but I don't know...

Then again, I never thought Russell Crowe was that bad an option. The man's aging well, and Watson was always more of a man of action, I thought. Still, at least between Downey and Law the movie will be pretty.

(I do like the comments on the community I linked, particularly the one about how sidekicks only belong in comics and B-Westerns. Yeesh, defensive much? :-) And I really don't think it matters which one of them is taller either. Heh.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos, a Showcase:

Okay, people might have realized by now that I'm very much a fan of Nick Fury. Well recently, I've had the chance to sit down and read some of the very first issues of Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos. You know, the ones before someone finally clued the colorist in on the fact that Gabe Jones was supposed to be African-American? (Fortunately they do fix that eventually.)

Well anyway, I've discovered an intriguing trend regarding the early issues.

This is from Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos Issue #1:

Nick Fury! Injured and half naked!

From Issue #2:

Nick Fury! Running and half naked!

Issue #3:

Nick Fury! Grenade throwing and...half naked!

Issue #4:

Nick Fury! Fondling a gun and...half naked! Now it's just getting silly!

Issue #5:

Nick Fury! Sword fighting and half naked! Because he can!

Issue #6:

Nick Fury! Smirking and...well, you know.

Issue #7:

You know, I'm starting to suspect that this series is entirely just one giant excuse to draw Nick Fury half naked.


I love this series.

Plus, as a special bonus: Half-naked Fantastic Four cover Nick Fury! Complete with helpful arrow just in case we wouldn't recognize him in so many shreds of clothing!

Because I love you all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wonder Woman complaints that make me giggle a lot.

Okay, you ever read critiques of comics by people you respect and out of the blue they say something that really makes you scratch your head, despite how much you generally admire their opinions?

Today I read someone complain that one of the problems with the Nemesis and Wonder Woman relationship is that it's "too quick".


You know, on one level I DO understand the complaint and I DO wish the relationship had a bit more fleshing out that wasn't written by Jodi Picoult, but...

This is the character that traditionally, before the crisis, yoinked a hot blond pilot from the ocean and decided to follow him off the only place she'd ever known because, I dunno, she liked his ass? (To be fair, our boy Steve DOES have a nice ass.)

All things considered, by pre-Crisis Diana standards, our Diana is moving SLOW. She's actually known him for more than a month!

It's kind of like the complaint that Hippolyta being so gung-ho about Diana having babies is suddenly out of character.



The woman who wanted a baby so much that the Goddesses made the first baby any Amazon had seen for THOUSANDS of years out of CLAY just to shut her up...

I couldn't IMAGINE where the gung-ho baby-mania characterization comes from, really. :-)

Sorry guys and gals, I love ya, but this is where our opinions must part ways. Heh.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ooo Tekwar Comic!

You know it's rather peculiar that William Shatner working on a TekWar comic has actually made me sit up with interest.

I have to admit, I kind of like TekWar. A lot. Jake Cartigan's an interesting character and I've always thought the use of "tek" as a sort of VR-related drug was nifty. I hadn't seen that before. I think I HAD seen the cryo-storage as punishment thing before, but I thought TekWar's use of it was pretty neat.

I also really adored the television show when I was twelve or so. (It's also why I was so happy to see Torri Higginson on Stargate Atlantis. I was all: "OMG! Beth Kittridge!!!" I am such a dork. Actually, that may also have been what enticed me to watch Earth: Final Conflict. "Doctor Anne from Highlander and Sonny Hokori! Neat!" I kind of love the tiny tiny pool of actors that seem to wind up in EVERY Canadian-filmed sci-fi show. It's like a people version of "Go-Fish")

I always found it kind of interesting that for all Shatner's reputed egotism, he didn't cast himself as Jake Cartigan as I recall Jake in the books to be quite a bit older than Greg Evigan. But I kind of digress.

Anyway, I wonder when we'll be seeing concept art. I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Miscellaneous bits.

I know this probably doesn't mean anything...

But I think Eva Longoria would be absolutely PERFECT for playing the Wasp.

She's tiny, pretty, and has played spoiled rich women with complex relationships with men before. It's kind of like the RDJ as Iron Man thing, when I stop and think about it, I can't really think of anyone better suited.

Of course, this is probably a bit non-feminist of me to say this, I think the key to how well Jan would work would really, really depend on whoever they got to play Hank. THAT would be the difficult role, in my opinion.

On the plus side: December's solicits look good:

Though I think it's an inherently unfair world that allows Geo-Force to be mentioned in a solicit (even if it's the comic of his sister-or-not's namesake), when my favorite character never is. But that's just me pouting. :-) I am looking forward to seeing the end of the JSA story-arc though. :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

On Diana's Costume

Okay, for the record, I think the not-real-but-ought-to-be Wonder Woman poster as seen on Michael May's blog among other places is positively stunning.

And really ultimately gets to the bottom of my irritation of people who continue to insist that Wonder Woman needs a different costume to be taken seriously.

Okay, granted, she's in what amounts to being a slightly armored (depending on the artist) bathing suit. That's remarkably ridiculous! No one's going to take a woman fighting crime in a bathing suit seriously!

She ought to be in footie pajamas wearing underwear on the outside in primary colors!

Or we could always dress her up like a giant rodent! That'd make her look less stupid!

Am I the only one seeing a logical fallacy here? Are leotards, which, I might add, are actually worn as athletic garments in a variety of endeavors from swimming to dance, to gymnastics, to weight-lifting because they are inherently practical, light-weight, sweat resistant, and do not restrict movement, really more ridiculous than blue tights with carefully detailed red panties atop?

The day I see Olympic Athletes wear footie pajamas is the day I'll yield to that line of logic. And even then it may require the help of mind-altering substances.

Now one line of argument that does make some sense is that there's no protection in a bathing suit for people trying to hit you. This is true. But honestly, I've taken martial arts before, I was never particularly good at it but I did, and you know? A martial arts gi is not any better at impacting force from physical blows either. Heck, even with padding that shit fucking hurts, and martial artists in media don't tend to actually wear padding in much of anything and no one complains when they can take blows that could drop a tank. Do you really think Ken or Ryu wear padding? Probably not.

If Ken or Ryu can generate pyrotechnics and take a ball of like in the chest while wearing a karate gi and live, I'm perfectly willing to buy that freaking Wonder Woman probably doesn't have a whole lot of need for protective outer garments.

Besides, there's nothing to say that, like the fanposter shown on Michael's blog, that an armor-esque design can't be incorporated into it, after all. Variations on the armored leotard thing hasn't hurt She-Ra or Xena's sheer feminist-icon-asskickery potential. Yeah, her limbs are uncovered, but that's not actually a completely unfamiliar concept for certain combat type societies.

Ultimately though, the leotard is Diana's costume. And no matter how much they've tried to change it over the years, from 1940s to the present day, well over half a freaking century, that will always be Diana's iconic costume. The general public is going to be a lot more skeptical of a Wonder Woman wearing the admittedly awesome white pantsuit than they are the red leotard. To the non-comic book fan, a white pantsuit does not say "Wonder Woman". Lynda Carter's pretty red leotard does.

Besides, that poster just shows how AWESOME it can look with the right actress/model and designers with a clue could make it look. That poster pretty much wins my argument for me. :-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008


You know, I have a confession to make. When I read solicits and the like, I almost never actually look at or register the covers. Well, usually. Unless it's particularly neat and/or has Sand, because I like acknowledgment that my favorite character does actually exist.

So I didn't notice this upcoming teen titans issue until visiting Nevermore999's livejournal (I totally stole the picture from her too.)

In the corner that Shining Knight?

If so, insert girly shriek here!

Shining Knight was my favorite Morrison revamp and I was really hoping to see her SOMEWHERE in the DCU damnit. If she does end up in Teen Titans, I'll have to add that series to my pull list for good!

I know McKeever's got mixed reviews, but honestly, I've read a lot worse for characters I liked marginally less than Ystin. :-)

Saturday, September 13, 2008


For the record and I just want it said: I HATE cite-checking.

That does bring to mind something though:

Anyone who reads this blog is probably well aware that I don't mind the occasional curse word or seven. And I tend to think censorship of an already fairly adult oriented comic like All-Star Batman and Robin is silly anyway.

But Miller, while I understand the desire to make sure the black boxes are the right length, couldn't you have gone the old fashioned route and used symbols? You know, like the rest of us?

Just checking.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Darn You Gail Simone!

You know, I really liked the idea of Nemesis and Wonder Woman dating when Heinberg started up Wonder Woman. Then Picoult started writing and I didn't like the idea as much, though I was warming to it again when Simone took over.

And now Simone has made me love the idea again. Bowling together was one thing, but it's just so cute seeing the floating clam and the meeting Hippolyta and everything like that!

Stop toying with my emotions! :-)

Seriously though, I'm enjoying the dynamic as much, if not more, than I would an actual reversion/restoration of Steve Trevor. I think they fit together very well right now. And it's so darn cute!

And Hippolyta would be the awesomest mother-in-law ever. <3 "Not food! This man is NOT FOOD." You have no idea how often I've had to say that to my pets too. :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Co-opted Livejournal meme #2256

Taking part in a livejournal meme! I like memes. :-) (Co-opted from lurkerwithout who gave me the letter "B")

5 Characters Meme
1. Comment on this post.
2. I will give you a letter.
3. Think of 5 fictional characters and post their names and your comments on these characters in your LJ.

Or blog, as the case may be. My livejournal is remarkably boring. :-)

So five characters that come to mind beginning with the letter "B"...

1) Bruce Wayne: obvious for any comic fan, I'd reckon. :-) I have a weird love/hate thing with Batman. I like the idea of Batman, I suppose, more than I like the actuality. I mean, I appreciate the place he fills in the DCU and certainly would not want to see the JLA without him, but I find I don't much care about him as a character.

Initially I wanted to argue that he's predictable, as it doesn't matter really what's going on, nine times out of ten, you know Batman's going to glower and do something badass. But honestly, in comics, everyone's predictable. And I've never been able to hold habitual badassery (how's that for a coined phrase?) against a character.

In the end, I suppose it's just that when I think of Batman, I think of him more like a force of nature than a character. He's just so BATMAN. I'm not particularly interested in his internal conflict in the same way that I don't care about the existential angst of a hurricane. What IS interesting to me is the way that the characters around him react, do they run out of his way? Or do they face the storm head on? That's when I find Batman interesting. Essentially I like him best as a catalyst for the other characters.

2) Bucky Barnes: It's probably no surprise that I love Bucky Barnes. I particularly like how Brubaker took an impossible idea: resurrecting one of the two staple dead characters in the otherwise resurrection tilt-a-whirl of the Marvel universe, and made it making it utterly ridiculous. There's just something so quintessentially comics about the whole thing.

Seriously, how do you resurrect Cap's kid sidekick who died in a bomb explosion over the Atlantic toward the end of the war? Make him a brainwashed, cryogenically frozen, soviet-assassin! Oh! And make him a cyborg to boot!

In what other genre would that even work? Except maybe a soap opera.

I like Bucky as Captain America too, though I don't think it's a permanent change. And to be fair, I'm glad it's not. I love Bucky as a character. There are few characters that will clothesline a purse-snatcher in the middle of their well-deserved angst sessions. But I do think he lacks some quintessential element of conflict to make a good long-term Captain America, which is that love/hate relationship with the laws and the government. If/when the Government does something Bucky doesn't agree with, there isn't going to be any sort of intense contemplation and character struggle possibly culminating in some ill-advised wardrobe change (Seriously, Steve, v-neck open to the navel is not a good look for any man). Bucky's a pragmatist. He'll just do what he wants anyway.

That said, I'm enjoying his run as Captain America because I think it shows interesting things about his character and about Steve's in abstentia. It's also interesting to see the lasting effects that the role has on him and what, if anything, he'll end up taking away from it when he's done.

Ideally, I want to see Bucky end up the leader/mentor to the Young Avengers. Mostly because that would be awesome. Also, they could use guidance and he's got the advantage of basically being the first "Young Avenger" so to speak.

3. Barbara Gordon. I'm one of those fans that argues ferociously against Barbara Gordon ever becoming Batgirl again. This isn't to say that I've really got any opinion about whether she should remain paralyzed or not. I think that the character is a strong character either way. I just get really annoyed at the argument that she was better as Batgirl.

I suppose in the end, it's a militant feminist fanaticism at work that is utterly irrational for me. But the thing is, I can never believe that she was better as Batgirl, because Batgirl is a role that was patterned after another, a male, superhero. Batgirl was inherently subordinate to Batman. And whether or not it was an intentional choice or not, by patterning herself after Batman, Batgirl was essentially agreeing to play by Batman's rules and not her own.

That's also why I was satisfied immensely by the end of Andersen Gabrych's Batgirl series. I thought that it was particularly appropriate that Shiva holds up Cassandra's belt and asks her how many of the gadgets were her own invention. The answer was none, of course. Gadgets weren't Cassandra's way. They weren't what she was good at. And throughout the series, Cassandra had been forcing herself into a mold devised by Bruce Wayne rather than truly embracing what she can do for herself.

For example, her guilt over killing in the past is understandable, but the lengths to which she allowed Batman's own judgment of her actions to effect her self-worth was unhealthy to the extreme. Batman is defined by his trauma, and by embracing his path, Cassandra was also in a position where she had to be defined by the killing rather than at least making attempts to deal with it. And really, even if I hand-wave Bruce somehow NOT spending a good chunk of his vast sum of money getting experts examining the girl's brain to help her possibly overcome whatever brain damage exists to keep her illiterate, I can't excuse that Batman implicitly allowed his own aversion to therapy to not ever really consider getting that poor girl some psychiatric help. If ANYONE deserves to be able to sit with a non-judgmental figure in a nice comfy room, even if she doesn't ever actually talk, for a few hours, it's Cassandra Cain.

I was really annoyed that DC seemed to have a different reading of the end of Batgirl than I did. *I* thought Cassandra was walking away because she had accepted herself, where she came from, and who her parents were, and was finally going to find out who that was for herself and not defined by the terms of some borderline psychotic in a bat-suit. Apparently DC read this as embracing her inner psycho or something. Oh well. Sometimes that happens.

And let's not get started on poor Helena's stint as Batgirl. The one thing that always got me is that somehow in the process of being fired the costume that she designed herself ended up with her replacement. Admittedly, that may have been more Barbara's decision than Bruce's, I honestly don't remember. But either way, apparently taking on a role like Batgirl apparently involves ceding design copyrights to the organization when you're fired.

Ultimately, I vastly prefer Barbara in the role that she created, she defined, and that she has no obligation to answer to anyone else beyond any other superhero in the DCU. (Translation: Superman looks disapproving and Batman probably glowers and says something cutting, but ultimately you're still your own damn authority, thank you.)

4. Belle from Beauty and the Beast: It's weird. I always tend to hear from other girls my age how Belle is pretty much the best disney princess (barring Mulan, who I've never counted on the basis that she's legitimately awesome and that just seems like stacking the deck.) I did like that she had brown hair and eyes, like me, and liked to read, like me, but to be honest, I never found Belle any more proactive than any of the other princesses. She goes to the castle out of martyrdom and falls in love, because, well, let's face it, the Beast was awesome. She does have the advantage of not wanting marriage I suppose, but in the end, I always found her a bit bland.

I suppose if asked to pick a favorite of the "traditional" princesses, I'd have to go with Ariel. She was childish, immature, and gave up the awesomeness of being a mermaid for the boringness of being a human, sure, but at least it was her decision. She's the one who went to the sea witch. She's the one who made the terribly risky bargain. And she really didn't do it for the prince either. As much as she thought she loved him, I've always thought that she did it because of her father's betrayal. His destruction of her treasures was possibly the single most monstrous thing I'd ever seen a "good" parent in a Disney fairy-tale do. At six, I was traumatized.

I do have a fondness for Aurora too, but I admit, she's really not much, if any, more proactive than Cinderella or Snow White. The advantage for Aurora was how beautiful that movie was, Maleficent's sheer Maleficent-ness, and the fact that unlike any of the fairy tales that came before, Sleeping Beauty actually managed to make Philip into a character in his own right. Snow White or Cinderella's princes were cardboard cut outs who possibly didn't even have a name, how utterly dull would happily ever after with them be? But Philip was such an awesome guy that I was happy for Aurora at the end. It's the core rule of romance novels at work, the key to a good romance novel is in your hero. If the reader can't fall in love, at least a little, with your hero, it doesn't matter how well written the rest is, it's going to, in the end, fall flat as a stone.

She also had the best dress. But I'm irrationally irritated that despite the fact that the most iconic images of Aurora involved the dress being blue, stupid Disney constantly puts her modern "Disney Princess" incarnation in pink!

The blue is much prettier!

5) Crap, I'm utterly drawing a blank on "B" characters. I guess I'll go with Ben Grimm. You know, to be honest, Ben's probably my least favorite of the Fantastic Four. I mean, when he's not angsting about his appearance, he's a fun character and I like him a lot. He certainly gets the best lines and some of his story arcs are far and beyond the best in the bunch. But it seems like whenever the writers are at a loss of something new to do with him, he's back to going on and on about how he's a rock monster.

Yes, that does kind of suck, but honestly, compared to the kind of shit that tends to happen to other folks in the Marvel Universe, a physical transformation strikes me as having gotten off a bit lucky. Besides, no one forced him to fly that shuttle.

I admit freely that the Fantastic Four movie is a guilty pleasure. It's not very good, in a lot of ways, though the extended cut does manage to smooth out the most jarring parts of the narrative and make the character development make more sense. But I'm never going to claim it was a good movie. There was one thing I thought the F4 movie did really well.

They cured Ben Grimm. Okay, it was temporary, okay, he went back in to save his friends. But they cured him. And when he went back in there, that was his choice and his willing sacrifice. Theoretically they can build another machine in the future if he really wants it, but by giving him that proactive step, they've taken from Ben a lot of the angst factor. He's not a monster. He's a hero. It frees up the movie version of the character's potential to explore the other, more appealing, aspects of his character.


I think I broke the rules somewhere or other in this whole spiel. I can't help it, I'm very fond of digression. :-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shamelessly Mercenary

Howdy. You may or may not have noticed that I have an amazon search thingy on my sideblog thing.

This is a shameless attempt to bilk money out of you. I have no particular need to fund or anything like that. I just like money. :-)

Anyway, if you decide you're interested in some book or movie I'm blathering about, even if just a "surely Who can save us now must be better than she says it is!" give it a try sometime?

If not, that's okay too. :-)

(Amazon Marketplace has DVD copies of Deathstalker 2 as well! Just FYI :-P)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Non-Comic post: Personal Update and Book Babbling

Hi Guys! Thanks for all the recommendations! I've read some of them before but some of them are new to me. :-) I'll definitely have to give them a try!

Basically what happened, if you're curious, is that I had an assignment of considerable size due. Finished it. Then, fumble fingers that I am, deleted it. And I'm not talking recycle bin either. (Let me tell you though, that just killed THAT habit quick. From now on, the recycle bin is my best friend!)

I did manage to redo it in time, but holy crap, I could have cried.

What I ended up reading to cheer myself up was my old copy of Those Who Hunt the Night, by Barbara Hambly. Which remains the only vampire novel (or rather duology) that I can actually stand.

It features an ex-spy philologist at the turn of the twentieth century who gets hired/enlisted/blackmailed by a vampire to find a vampire killer. It's got a very nice atmospheric element.

Hambly's kind of hit or miss with me. Her Star Wars books tend to suck for example. But her vampire stuff is great.

For one thing...her vampires aren't angsty. While all the Louises and the Angels and the Edward Cullens and the Vampire the Masquerade/Requiem sorts are moping over the ills of long life and nifty powers, Don Simon Ysidro would just walk in, sneer at them, and get his shit done. Or hire some human guy to do it. :-)

And there's no "Oh, I drink cows blood! I'd NEVER hurt a human!" crap going on either. The Vampires in Hambly have to kill their victims ultimately. It's how they stay alive. They're genuinely monsters. Albeit appealing ones. But it makes the quandary of the main character much more interesting. He's pretty much stuck helping a race of serial killers who are liable to eat him without conscience when he's done.

The main character's wife is pretty cool too. As she's a physician (naturally given the time period, she's more involved with research than with actual patients) and is more interested in the medical theories behind vampirism than in fleeing in terror from them. She also gets to be more prominent in the sequel, where she essentially hires the vampire to save her husband.

The most appealing character, of course, is the vampire. As is pretty much a necessity in this kind of story. And Don Simon Ysidro is probably my favorite vampire character in pretty much anything. He's dispassionate, practical and fairly inhuman and a walking relic of a previous time. He probably gets a bit closer to the angsty cliche in the second book, but it's more a faint melancholy than the usual mopey mess. And it doesn't stop him from getting things done.

I HATE angsty vampires. You have cool powers, you don't age, and you eat people. Deal with it. :-)

It's not a terribly good mystery. I judge mysteries on the basis of whether the audience could, theoretically, figure it out before hand. I don't really think it's possible in this story. But at the same time, it's a fun story that hangs together fairly logically and has appealing characters, and I was much cheered up afterward.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Okay, the truth is, it's been one hell of a night. So, um. No post for you. Serious. But as I could really use some escapist cheering up, someone recommend a good fantasy or sci-fi book to me.

Anything you've enjoyed lately would be great. :-)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Why I'm Enjoying JSA Right Now.

You know, it's funny, a while back I stumbled onto a criticism of JSA that basically had to do with all the Kingdom Come love. I didn't save the link, but I'm sure you get the jist and it's really not a criticism that I can argue with. It IS very Kingdom Come heavy right now. It did get me thinking because well, I've never been all that interested in Kingdom Come myself and I'm really rather antagonistic toward the multiverse aspect in general, and particularly I've never liked Superman as a member of the JSA. Oh, and considering my favorite character has very little panel time, I SHOULD be frustrated by the inclusion of more characters.

But I'm really enjoying JSA and honestly, I suspect that it's the comic I look forward to most every month. Well. At least until Ice proposes to Guy. (Hope-hope-hope it's not a trick. <3)

It's just weird. I should hate this arc, but I'm really enjoying it. I suppose that's down to a few factors.

1) Sand actually has panel time. I'm shallow, but there was a good portion of two or three YEARS when he got nothing but a throwaway mention! Here he might be asleep, but that's actually significant to the plot! And really, they didn't need to waste a panel showing him asleep at the manor, but they did. And I'm glad. I'm looking forward to seeing if his little present has some backfiring elements like Mid-Nite's and Starman's so far. It'd be nice if Obsidian had more of a role, but considering he's had a nice liplock with Damon in Manhunter, I can't get too irate on his behalf.

2) I like the new members. Cyclone and Wiley-Kat (I'm sorry, I never remember Wildcat's kid's real code name and I watched way too much Thundercats as a wee one) are very likeable, though I don't think the latter's done much lately. I like the Cyclone-Damage-Judomaster thing going on. I'm leery about Judomaster herself, but I'm willing to give Johns a chance. I like Citizen Steel a LOT. And I also enjoy Lance Corporal Reid and his giant pink ray of doom. The Roosevelt connection always felt a bit tacked on for me, as there are plenty of unused All Star Squadron members to connect him to if one must, and I'm leery about basing characters as relatives of actual people. But I suppose if the Roosevelt family doesn't mind, *I* am certainly being over-sensitive.

3) In retrospect what happened to Reid was incredibly predictable. But at the time I was genuinely surprised. I like this sort of thing. I SHOULD have seen it coming, but I didn't. :-)

4) Much to my UTTER shock, I LIKE Kingdom Come Superman. As I said, I never really liked the idea of the big three in the JSA. That always seemed like a very Silver Age revision, when the original JSA barely featured them at all. Moreover, I liked the way the post-Crisis revamp forced them to feature new/lesser known characters where they would have just gone with the standard three. I've always thought Sandy in Young All-Stars probably would have been Robin before the Crisis, since the important aspects to his use there was being the most established member of the group as well as being the doubter/racist. (Though to give Thomas credit, when he wasn't being the tacked on racist, his personality was probably the most developed of the group and was the very loyal to the original Kirby/Simon incarnation.)

I don't think Arn Munro would be used so well in Manhunter right now if Superman were still in JSA-era continuity. Alan Scott, Wes Dodds, Jay Garrick and Ted Grant all had stronger roles I think as the most senior members without Batman and Superman there, while Hippolyta filled the Wonder Woman role nicely.

(Dumb question: Why, instead of all the stupid time travel stuff, didn't they just retcon Hippolyta as having left Themyscira briefly during WWII and fought with the JSA. It wouldn't retcon Diana's early post-Crisis appearances any MORE than the time travel had done, and it would have given Donna Troy back her original origin.)

Anyway, I've always been antagonistic to the notion of putting the big three back in there because I felt it would take away from all the creative and interesting developments of post Crisis. But I think that the Kingdom Come Superman is actually a brilliant compromise.

I LIKE KC Superman as a character and what they've been doing with his past. I like the interactions between KC Superman and our Superman and the sympathy our Clark has for him. Also his interactions with Power Girl. I like how he generally seems to fit with the JSA crowd, and lets them have a Superman while still keeping to the post-Crisis history I like so much. I don't think I'd even be adverse to an AU Batman, though I'm not sure he wouldn't be redundant with Mr. Terrific, Wildcat and Sandy around.

It does bring us some interesting options with regards to bringing back some version of Earth 2 characters that people love and miss, even if they're not ACTUALLY Earth-2 characters. Huntress for example. I know a lot of folks who'd be thrilled to see a Helena Wayne in an ongoing again.

5) Focus on Power Girl is very good. And I like the way they're dealing with her origin. I'd imagine some people are frustrated by the Annual, but I enjoyed it. (Obviously there had to be SOME catch, or we would lose us a Power Girl.)

6) I think they're doing a good job with Gog. The storyline is a bit too stretched out, which is a problem I've always had a bit with Geoff Johns. I like his work a lot, but I've often thought most of his storylines could be told in far fewer issues. The whole nine-issue Hal-is-back set up arc for Green Lantern, I honestly felt, could have been pared down to four or five fairly easily. Infinite Crisis itself probably didn't need to be more than three or four. (With a fourth or fifth for the kind of neglected superheroes vs. escaped criminal stuff and the fight against Superboy.) I THINK the problem is that Johns is so busy adding cool character moments and subplots that the main story tends to get a bit out of control.

But I am enjoying it. We all know Gog is bad. But the process of getting there is pretty interesting. And I always like seeing the JSA ram up against high-powered or godlike villains. They do it a lot and they're good at it. And I think they're doing a good job of differentiating things FROM Kingdom Come even while paying homage to it. We know things are going to end differently. It'll be fun to see how.

(Speaking of God-like villains, can we have a Johnny Sorrow story again soon? I miss that sick sick bastard.)

7) Mr. Terrific's atheism. I know they're not really doing this part well. But I do like that they're TRYING.

8) I'm not actually finding Starman tedious. I'm sure I will again when this is all over and he's likely absurdly insane again. But then I'm also hypocritical there too. Really though, between this and the Legion story, I'd imagine he can be placed on the back burner for a little while after this.

9) Sand had panel time! And actually a monologue an issue or so ago! I hope somehow he ends up flying. I know he's kind of overpowered already and it doesn't really make sense with the rest of his nature/powers life really sucks and I'd like to see him get something nice for once.

10) Um. I dunno. Naked pink-themed people with horns amuse me?

But anyway. Those are things I'm enjoying about JSA right now, even if it is very very much a Kingdom Come wankfest. :-) It's still a lot of fun.

And my favorite character gets panel time. I don't think I mentioned that factor previously. :-P

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Again I Prove My Lack of Good Taste

Good morning. Really, considering how late this post is, I kind of wish I had something to say.

Heh. Well, Blog@ has some movie rumors at least and they're always fun.

Apparently there WILL be a new Spider-Man movie. I hope he isn't quite so emo in this one. I mean, I know Spider-Man's supposed to be but...there's a balance, you know. Also, no dancing. Please.

Though if it comes out around the same time as the Cap movie, I know which one I'm seeing. I mean 1) Spider-Man 3 sucked. 2) Iron Man and Incredible Hulk were awesome. 3) I love Steve and would watch even an incredibly crappy movie with Captain America in it before I watch a good movie with Peter. I mean, hell, I OWN a copy of the Matthew Salinger, Italian-Red-Skull one. So there.

Probably not seeing the Wolverine one though. I'm not a fan of Wolverine. I hate Gambit. And I don't understand Deadpool.

I'm actually kind of relieved they put all three in the same movie so I can avoid them more efficiently. :-)

On the other hand, I'll skip to the theatre for Ghost Rider 2 if it happens. I know this is more evidence that I have no taste, but really, I thought Ghost Rider, for all that it was a wretched movie, delivered exactly what it was promised to deliver. It was fun. It had a flaming skull. I'd watch it again and happily. :-)

Friday, September 05, 2008

No Post Today

It's been a busy week. But here! Look at the dolphin I won at the crane machine when I went to see Incredible Hulk a month or so back!

It's not particularly vocal like Bully or others, but it's very aerodynamic!

Cute yeah? :-)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

This HAS to be a hoax right?

Someone at Scans_Daily posted this peek of James Marsters as Piccolo. (Courtesy of here)

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

My inner middle school anime/Dragon Ball Z fan is crying. Admittedly, I think it'd be hard to pull off Piccolo at all live action and not be stupid but...if there is a way, THIS IS NOT IT.

That is not Piccolo, that's some washed out Albino Romulan that somehow fell into the Chronicles of Riddick's dead person maker. No.

What the fuck is up with the body armor? Seriously. Is it that hard to get something that looks vaguely like a gi? I mean, I get that there is a problematic element to the cloak and turban costume. But body armor is like...the ANTITHESIS of Dragon Ball.

These people are supposed to be ridiculously durable monkey and/or green people with silly pun names beating the crap out of each other. There IS NO BLACK ARMOR DAMNIT.

I should be grateful this is Dragonball and not Dragonball Z. I'd hate to see how they'd fuck up Vegeta. (Tiny with a widow's peak is not that hard, but this convinces me that THEY'LL FIND A WAY TO FUCK IT UP.)

Though I do think casting James Marsters as Piccolo IS kind of inspired. Heh.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Identical Cousins?

Someone with Google Images and too much time on their hands is now my hero:

Kermit Bale

Come to think of it, have we ever seen those two in the same place at the same time? GASP!

Non-Comic: Silly Spycraft 2.0 Book Rant

Okay, you may or may not know I like role playing games. I grew up playing them in some form or another and they're fun. Okay, that's established.

Anyway, last time I was at the comic book store I ended up taking home a copy of Spycraft 2.0. This is because I have a thing for spies. Especially cheesy sixties spy shenanigans. Sit me in a room with a bunch of Mission Impossible, Get Smart or Man from UNCLE DVDs, I'm a happy camper.

I was looking curiously at the alternate campaign sections, because I'm never happy unless I'm trying to do something much more ridiculously complicated than the standard, apparently. There were some of the obvious settings/themes: Military, Conspiracy, Espionage, Near-Future, Light-hearted, Street. Some more surprising ones like Apocalyptic, Horror, Pulp or Western.

What I was really looking forward to was something historical themed though. I'm not a huge stickler for historical accuracy and any game I run is undoubtedly going to be at least a little bit silly/cheesy anyway, but I thought it might be an interesting idea. Certainly there's a lot to work with. There are a lot of pretty infamous Revolutionary War or Civil War figures after all. Or my favorite era for espionage: the Elizabethan Era.

Considering all the pots Sir Francis Walsingham had his fingers in, you'd think there'd be all sorts of possibilities worth at least a BLURB in the Alternate Campaign section, right?

Nope. Nothing. They have don't have any blurbs on tweaking the game to fit the era that pretty much INVENTED modern intelligence (let's just say there's a reason Neil Gaiman used him as the base for Nick Fury in 1602) but they have blurbs on the WILD WEST.

Come on! I like shootouts and gun-slinging in the ok corral and outlaws and that sort of thing too, but it's not really well suited for SPYING. The kind of campaigns center on "renegade saviors" and "personal quests".

Okay, admittedly, something like the Bourne Identity would suit Spycraft, I'd say, and IT has renegade saviors and personal quest(s) up the wazoo. But it's also got the evil shadowy corporation to fight against! I'm pretty sure that you need some kind of scary commanding type organization to either work for or fight against seekritly to be a spy thing.

Okay, admittedly, if I stop and think about it, I can find some potential in the setting, but I still resent the fact that it got a blurb over various other historical settings that are ACTUALLY KNOWN for involving spies.

Oh well, it's a perfectly good book otherwise and worth the money. I'm just irrationally irked.

I guess I'll just have to tweak an Elizabethan era campaign myself. Hmph, stupid book. Making me actually get off my ass and do my own damn thinking. Yeesh.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Shameless Pondering Over a Comic I Haven't Read...

Over on kali921's livejournal, on a post entitled Marvel & Interchangeable Female Characters, Summers Edition she discusses a recent event from X-Factor which kind of puzzles me. As I don't really want to go trolling the comment section of someone who's engaging in their perfectly justified right to vent, I thought I'd blog about it here.

I've quoted the pertinent point:

Suffice it to say that I'm extremely disenchanted with David, X-Factor, and this is the final straw.

Yes, that's right. Scott and Emma have a dystopianfuture!AU kid.

We already have three awesome dystopianfuture!AU Summers kids, that being Nate Grey, Nathan Grey, and Rachel Grey.

I'm going to quote the very awesome [info]aj's thoughts on this:

"WHY THE EVER LOVING FUCK did you kill off Jean if all you wanted to fucking do was replace her with a blonde. There is such a goddamn thing as hair dye, you unmitigated asswipes. You know what!? I would malign your ancestry, Marvel PTB, but that would just be completely inadequate and unfair to people who can't defend themselves.

God fucking damnit.

And the worst part is that you're doing everything you can to make Emma Jean. You are doing a violent disservice to both fucking characters and basically telling me that women don't matter because they're replaceable by some other set of boobs in hot pants who is 'owning' her sexuality by dressing like a goddamn lingerie model."

Okay, I'm going to admit I haven't read the issue. Peter David is not usually to my taste and there's no character there that I particularly adore enough to buy the book. But there's a hole in this logic somewhere for me.

First of all, isn't the whole point of Cable*, Nate Grey and Rachel Summers that they're from dystopian alternate futures?

And the whole thing about alternate futures is that occasionally you see the results of different match-ups for characters. Given how tied in Scott Summers is with dystopian off-spring, it seems only natural to me that at some point he'd have a dystopian alternate future child with Emma Frost.

Honestly, I'm surprised he doesn't have an alternate future child with WOLVERINE somewhere in the Marvel universe.**

*Isn't Cable Madelyne Pryor's kid anyway? That kind of puts a wrench in the Emma=Jean thing, I'd think.

**I would totally read this comic.

I do acknowledge that the plotline isn't terribly original, but I don't think it marks anyone "turning Emma into Jean". For one thing, if they really wanted to replace Jean with Emma, why bother creating a NEW alternate future kid. Just retcon her INTO the timeline as the character's mother. Maybe her genes somehow got included in the mix. Or she was secretly an Askani. Or she adopted Rachel when she was five. Something like that. Yeah, they're all stupid ways to do it. But honestly, it's comics. Much as I love Marvel and DC, we've all seen them do stupider things.

Creating a NEW child, seems to me, to be a fairly clear way of distinguishing her from Jean. Emma Frost is obviously not going to react in the same way Jean is. This new child is invariably going to end up interacting with and contrasting with the other kids. This is setting her apart from Jean and adding an interesting wrinkle with Jean's upcoming nine-millionth resurrection.

We all know it's coming.

I definitely sympathize with being frustrated that apparently David feels the need to recycle plot points for female characters who are involved Scott Summers. But I do feel like it's a far cry from acting like the two characters are interchangeable.

But given that I've not actually read the issue, I really don't know. Maybe David IS writing Emma exactly like Jean, for all I know. Anyone who's actually read the issue, how is it?

Monday, September 01, 2008

On a Dark Superman Movie

It's occurred to me that while I blogged enthusiastically for a reboot of the Superman movies, I never blogged on the idea of a "darker" Superman movie.

The thing is, ultimately, I think I really want to know what their idea of "darker" is before I can really make a decision about whether I like the idea or not.

Obviously, Superman is not suited to be "dark" in the same sense as Batman is "dark". Superman is a hopeful and inspiring character at heart. He's not particularly tortured or angsty. And honestly, I've never even liked the killing off Jonathan Kent thing that a lot of the mediums have going on. I think that kind of tragedy is entirely unnecessary.

But I do think it's possible to make a good and somewhat dark-toned movie about a reasonably light, moral, upstanding, and inspiring character.

I mean, I wouldn't call Luke Skywalker a dark character at all, but Empire Strikes Back is highly regarded as the best Star Wars film. (I actually liked Return of the Jedi better as I think it shows the pinnacle of Luke's character growth from whiny but sympathetic kid to quiet badass. :-))

The crew of Star Trek the Next Generation can never REALLY be dark (Not in the same sense as say, DS9) but First Contact was, and that was my favorite TNG themed movie.

Heck, I think Brubaker's run of Captain America is another good example of a fairly dark storyline involving an inspiring character. Well, before they killed him off at least. :-)

Really though, that's why I'm not reacting with disgust at the news of a "darker" movie. Because there are Superman stories that can be written that are still "dark" without tarnishing the character with the same brush. There are ways to balance idealism with a serious or dramatic tone without turning the character into a Batman who can fly.

The key is, of course, to get producers/directors/writers that have a very clear vision of the character and what they want the movie to do. But so far, I think Warner Bros has done a fairly good job of that with the Batman properties. If they find someone who suits Superman like Nolan suits Batman, then I don't have any qualms about a "darker" Superman movie.

As long as Superman doesn't gratuitously kill henchmen with falling chunk of rock. That STILL bothers me about the much "lighter" Superman Returns.

Anyway, there are so many ways to screw it up of course. But I don't necessarily think that saying they're making a "dark" Superman movie indicates they learned the wrong lesson from Batman.

They might be thinking of the adage/cliche that a light shines brightest in the dark. And I'm really looking forward to a Superman that shines.