There’s probably a thousand podcasts meeting that description, but whatever. This one is ours. And we run through a host … Continue reading Shallow & Pedantic 8 – Comic Books and Other Shenanigans
Probably that’s not news. I haven’t felt at home in some time, really. Maybe that’s just getting old, but even … Continue reading I Don’t Feel At Home in Pop Culture Anymore
Yes, I know. The first Batman movie came out in 1966, and was filled with moments of epic hilarity such as “Some Days You Just Can’t Get Rid of a Bomb!” I watched it a little while ago with my oldest. It’s grand, campy fun. We all know what I’m talking about, nerds.
Red Letter Media, casting about for horrible movies to mock, as they do, settled upon supplying a commentary track for Batman & Robin, the ne plus ultra of ridiculous cartoony nipples-on-body-armor dreck that sank the franchise like a filagreed Batmobile at the bottom of the harbor until Nolan made art out of it.
And I suppose that said moldy pile of creative leavings deserves the mockery. I say “suppose” because I was wise enough not to see it, having been warned by my brother how bad it was. I wasn’t really that interested anyway. The franchise had been declining since the first sequel. Yeah, I said it. Batman Returns, the one that still had Keaton as Batman and Burton directing, is a confused, sloppy pile of whatever that people got excited about at the time because it had Michelle Pfeiffer in a tight leather suit with a whip (once, in the before time, in the long long ago, that was a thing). It has Penguin as some kind of drooling special-needs freakazoid rather than the most intellectually astute of Gotham’s rogues, and the actual bad-guy is Christopher Walken, as some kind of non-canon business dude. It’s boring, and it’s to Batman what Corpse Bride is to The Nightmare Before Christmas.
And Batman Forever is overwrought and underwritten, with way too many threads in the air and none of them given proper time. The silly Schumakerness of it replacis the Goth-ish Burtonic dread with a weird nod to the 1966-style camp, while trying to make us take it seriously. Only Jim Carrey’s over-the-top rubberface Riddler stands out (which is saying something). So overall, anyone would be better off watching the Nolan series, grim as it may be.
But there was that first movie. A movie that stormed the box office in the summer of ’89, proving that they could be successful. A movie that seems to smell like the 1980’s. A movie that was purple and black and bloody and may still be better than anything that followed it.
Being the continuance of a series abandoned… I never read any of D.C.’s New 52, because I objected to it … Continue reading Comic Book Post #5
I finally got the last two issues of Three today, and I am absorbing the boulder-to-the-face that is their finale. At the fifth issue, finality. That’s several pleasant layers of verisimilitude mixed with economy of storytelling. I’m saving it for next month’s post.
Besides, I thought I might chime in on something that DC’s been doing that’s annoying me. No, not killing Batman. That was merely lame. No, not the whole New 52 reboot. That’s merely desperation. No, I’m talking about the whole “Before Watchmen” franchise, and specifically what it did to the Comedian.
On paper, the characters from Watchmen should be ripe for some prequel exploitation. They’re masked heroes who had a decades-long history in an alternate universe. Plenty of story to tell, and plenty of freedom to tell it in – provided you don’t abuse the chronologically-later storyline of the original graphic novel.
But this right here, this is garbage: Continue reading “March Comic Book Post: Please Don’t Humanize the Comedian”
This was supposed to be January’s Post, but I didn’t get around to it. There will be a February post as well…sometime in April, the way things are going.
I’ve been meaning to address this scene, from Issue #2 of The Star Wars, but I was waiting for it to get addressed. I’m waiting for Annikin to have to, you know, apologize for knocking a Princess the hell out. Leia does start to complain to Luke Skywalker in the following issue, but is cut off by the death of her father at imperial hands. That’s where it’s been left, and both characters seem as though their fine with it. We even see the obligatory romance blossoming between the two, for which this event must be the obligatory hair-pulling.
The other reason I haven’t gone after it with the vigor of say, this blogger, is because this is a rough draft. This is the part of the creative process when you just kind of throw things around and see what sticks. This is, thankfully, something that didn’t stick around. The actual princess Leia has far more spine than this silly little girl getting all upset about her lack of entourage (she’s more like Vespa from Spaceballs, really), and neither Luke nor Han ever lay a finger on her, not because they’re so fond of her (“no reward is worth this”) because it’s not necessary to beat a woman in order to awaken her to danger.
My guess is the contrary cliche worked its way through Lucas’ noggin onto the rough draft page, where it was excised as a cheap piece of tension that didn’t fit either character (both of whom largely ended up being other characters).
BELOW BE SPOILERS
I picked up the new Three and The Star Wars yesterday. They’re pretty awesome, but I’m saving my discussion of them for a later post.
Today I’m going to pick up a gauntlet cast down last month, and talk about Superman: Red Son, which will dovetail nicely into this piece by Chris Yogerst in the Atlantic, “Stop Calling Superheroes Fascist”.
Yesterday I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do for years, organize and file my comic books. It took me the better part of a morning, but I’m terribly pleased with the general sense of imposing order on chaos.
I am no more than a dabbler in comic books. I read them sporadically as a kid – Mostly Batman, in the wake of the 1989 film (although I do have a vintage, wrinkled Transformers comic, from that long plotline when Optimus Prime had had a core dump or something and Ratchet was leading the Autobots).
In recent years, I’ve put my money in large-scale graphic novels, to the idea of getting more for my buck. I’ve got the Alan Moore masterpieces (Watchmen, From Hell), a few of the “classic” Batman Graphic novels (The Dark Knight Returns, The Killing Joke), a few lesser-tiered (Dark Victory, Hush), and some of the USE-ALL-THE-DC-CHARACTERS tomes, Infinite Crisis and such.
I also have the Batman that was on the shelves in November of 1976, when I was born. Birthday present from my wife, who – bless her – encourages my nerderies.
Yeah, I’m a DC kid. Deal. Continue reading “November Comic Book Post: The Geek Returneth”
This is why I pretty much only read Batman. Because Batman is too completely messed-up a character to have a … Continue reading Gay Green Lantern is Gay (UPDATED)