Seeing as how I’ve done both the top ten for best and worst superhero costume redesigns, I feel obligated to put my money where my artistic mouth is and take a stab at fixing or updating some of these costumes. I’ve picked five here based on:
It’s a particularly awful outfit that doesn’t fit…
ARG THESE REDESIGNS ARE SO GOOD.
SERIOUSLY SO GOOD.
I really LOVE the conceptual tweak of Superman. DC would never in a million years let Supes be anything but a humanoid, but it makes SO MUCH SENSE to have a PHYSICAL distinction between Superman and Clark Kent more than just throwing on a pair of glasses.
In my weekly column on Newsarama, Hey, That’s My Cape!, I talk about pretty much anything having to do with comics. This week I had to start my column with the words, “It’s a tough time to be a woman who likes superhero comics.”
I’m fortunate to know a diverse group of people whose eyes are…
Usually don’t reblog comics critique (since very little of it doesn’t reek of insecurity, nerd-rage and stupidity) but this is very succinct. Comics are retarded (stunted development retarded, not stupid retarded) when it comes to any semblance of gender sensitivity. We need to sort this shit out.
I don’t think it’s in my nature to relish victories. I have a very short refractory period of time between accomplishing something really great and feeling legitimately good about it, and realizing that there’s something bigger I want and I’m not there yet. It seems like the better I feel about something, the more dramatic the turn. I like to think it keeps me humble or that it contributes to my craftsmanship, but really, it’s just self-loathing and spite that drives most of my actions. I find spite a very compelling motivator.
Last night at the Ark was as close as I get to feeling a win. I think I felt good about myself for a solid 15 minutes after the show. It was nice to have everyone come out.
I’ve been quote diligent about eating veg the last few days as part of a health kick I’m trying to get on.
The cackling crones at work got pizza for the entire office. Both pizzas were loaded with meat. One was pepperoni and the biggest hunks of sausage I’ve ever seen, seemingly brutally torn by hand straight from haunches of the pig (this is why the terrorists hate us). I had several slices of the slightly less offensive pineapple and bacon pizza. My insides are planning revolt, but free is free is free is free.
OK, I’ll be honest with you people. Game of Thrones is disappointing.
I was told, near universally, that it’s drop dead amazing. And it’s… OK, I guess. It just seems like LOTR with tits and blood and a whole bunch of doggy-style sex.
Is that why it’s good? Is it the being on par with LOTR with a “mature” angle? Like, I get comparing something to Lord of the Rings is for some people the highest compliment. For me, it don’t mean much because I was never really into LOTR (the books i slogged through; the movies were epic, in that summer blockbuster, Independence Day good vs evil slugfest way).
I watched all 10 episodes in the first season. I followed the various plots pretty faithfully. I don’t think it’s bad TV, just not particularly good I guess. Almost every scene has someone delivering an action-movie quip in some steel-y way, which as I understand it connotes badassery (someone will be giving a person a hug after there dad dies and say something like, “Your tears will dry, boy. LIKE THE BLOOD WE WILL WREST FROM OUR ENEMIES.”). People die in epic, visually dynamic ways, blood spurts, we all cheer. We are faced with a battle between rich, morally-reprehensible aristocrat psychopaths (who totally engaged in incest, in case you couldn’t tell a] they were pretty fucked up and b] that this show is capital “E” EDGY) and scrappy, noble, working-class antiheroes.
Blondie McDragonblood arc seemed to be “The best way to deal with being sold into slavery is to learn to enjoy the rapings. Then your meathead husband will make you queen of the horsepeople and you’ll totally fall in love with him and he’ll give you an awesome baby. From raping?”
It’s not the misogyny of the idea (though it is pretty galling but bladdy blah, the Dark Ages, etc), it’s more just seems… Stupid? Maybe too harsh a word. Silly. Banal.
The thing that bothers me most about it and that I can’t help but smell on the breath of the people who are recommending this show to me is that it stinks of conspicuous world-building. The title sequence seems basically a primer on the geography of the fucking place. I get nervous around these types of shows because I worry that its going to try and trick its audience into confusing trivia for content. This is obviously and incredibly well-developed world and I’m sure their series bible is as thick as a cinderblock (yeah yeah, I know its based on a series of books already and it’s all in there, the books are better, yaddy yaddy), I just don’t know if that makes it good.
The cast admittedly IS great. Peter Dinklage is always magnetic to watch, and it’s nice to see the kid from Skins getting decent work.
I know I’m being a fuddy duddy. I feel like I’m missing something because everyone and their mom seems to like this show and thinks I would love it. I’m just legitimately curious what about it is really great. I mean, it’s OK. And I’m not saying that in this detached, cynical way. I love good genre, epic battles, hacky/cliche subject matter be damned.
I’m going to give you all a perfect reason to write off my criticism: I don’t think I’m a fantasy fan. The whole “LOTR with tits” as high praise as the former part of the statement may be, doesn’t really resonate because I don’t much like LOTR. I see its merit, just doesn’t do it for me. The swords and (kinda) sorcery shit just ain’t my bag. I will say, however, that I am usually an ENORMOUS fan of the complicated interpersonal/micropolitical dramas that HBO has in spades (please God, WHEN WILL BOARDWALK EMPIRE COME BACK?).
So the question is, and I implore you all look deep in your souls for the honest, unbiased answer to this: IS THIS ACTUALLY A WORTHWHILE SHOW FOR SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T ENJOY FANTASY? What about it do you enjoy, and is this a merit found in just good TV or is is exemplary genre fiction?
I'm trying my hand at being an observational stand up comic. Wanna hear my first joke?
"Hey, don’t you hate it when you’re trying to sleep and you’re paralyzed by a creeping dread at the impending failures that loom over you all the time? You know, the ones that creep into your heart and make it beat all spazzy and ice over your soul? WASUP WIT DAT???"
I love comic books. More than that, I love SUPERHERO comics. You know, the arrested development stories where dudes in spandex beat the shit out of each other for 22 pages in an unending, pointless struggle with some bullshit or another. I honestly LOVE them. I’ll take Iron Man over fucking Blankets any day. There’s something invigorating about it. The violence, the high melodrama.
But honestly, there’s a part of me that, were there to suddenly spring up a new reich and all us comic book fans were loaded into the trains and sent off for the work camps, I’d say to myself, “Yeah, we sort of had that coming.”
I finished “Supergods” by Grant Morrison a week or so ago. I liked it. I really like Morrison, not just his work but his perspective. I like where his head is at. He has a certain love and reverence for the Superhero that is exciting and charming. He is simultaneously an intellectual, psychedelic, messianic spaceman set on spiking everyone’s punch and a wide-eyed kid reading the latest issue of Green Lantern under his covers at night. He (very nearly) has the ambition and craft of Alan Moore, but without the almost compulsive need to gruffly dismiss the most popular genre as shite. He has a certain filter for pop culture that I like.
The book is a lovely read, even if its a bit light on substance and frequently new-agey nonsense. He can be occasionally too much of a smart-aleck apologist (a skill all us superhero nuts develop early and hone over the years), but he’s a creative and open minded one.
Anyway, my favorite of his meditations was on the nature of fiction. His take (as far as I can understand it) is that nothing is real and that everything is real and that is FANTASTIC. Everything counts, even though none of it really matters, and that is EXACTLY why it is the most important thing.
He’s a metafiction guy, but not self-conciously so like Neil Gaiman (who seems obsessed with telling stories about telling stories and, at some point during the story, grabs you by the ears and goes, “HEY, DID YOU KNOW I’M TELLING YOU A STORY???”). He talks about characters as both unchanging and completely adaptable, utterly fluid. The ones that exist most sublimely in this state are the most enduring, the recognizable icons. And they cannot be broken or discarded so long as they have relevance and resonance with us as readers.
This is a really beautiful, lovely idea. It’s nuanced, encompassing, and its utterly benign. Morrison is doing God’s (himself a fictional construct) work by saying it.
Fraction (a disciple of Morrison) defends his right to, y’know, do his fucking job thusly:
I just did an interview on Fear Itself #5, and it’s gone from having questions to being told, now, that Thor wouldn’t say “ass.” Thor isn’t real. My Thor doesn’t talk like Stan [Lee]‘s Thor and his Thor didn’t talk like [J. Michael Straczynzki]‘s Thor, and his Thor didn’t talk like Walter [Simonson]‘s Thor. Everybody’s Thor talks differently. Also, being told that Spider-Man wouldn’t leave. Spider-Man, who has single-handedly kept the costume-shaped trash can industry afloat in the Marvel Universe. Spider-Man, who has quit numerous times. I’ve been accused of misspelling the name of a character I made up. I made it up; I can spell it however I want to. I can spell Odin with a “U” if I want to.
This is an utterly sensible response to utterly nonsensable criticism. He’s writing a character the way he sees fit. Obviously Marvel (and, a few notches up the totem pole, DISNEY) doesn’t have a problem with this or they would have shitcanned his ass. More than that, how these character would talk is a totally moot point since thy don’t talk unless WE (as creators/readers) have them say something. They are fiction.
Predictably, the comments that follow are shameful. Not shameful as much for their ignorance, but for their stubborn inability to let go. There are a few that hem and haw in the semblance of logic, usually to the effect of “I understand his logic, but he’s wrong,” but a choice bit of righteous indignation that sort of typifies the response is this:
When Fraction was a kid, did he like it when other kids came to his house, broke his toys, made a giant mess and left? That is the equivalent of what he’s saying. These characters don’t belong to him. He is being given permission to play with them for a while. He needs to respect that they belong to other people.
You… You people don’t get it do you? THIS IS WHY PEOPLE THINK SUPERHEROES ARE FOR KIDS AND RETARDS. Because you stubborn fucks believe that they “belong” to anyone but the eons and that any interpretation that “rings false” can actually cheapen the stories you love and is worth getting mad about. THESE CHARACTERS AREN’T TOYS. They don’t “belong” to us, or Marvel, or Disney, or America, or ANYONE. They are sewn into the fabric of forever, always able to be thrown on in infinite iterations without ever expending their value.
STOP IT. You’re ruining it for the rest of us. Please, GROW UP. People see us obsessing over these arcane and inane “rules” and seeing profundity in the trivia and they lose respect for the genre. And frankly, THEY SHOULD. Not because the nerd archetype is innately “flawed” or because “geeking out” over something is wrong, but because we childishly believe that OUR fictional constructs somehow is exempt from the rules of popular interpretation. Being a canon aficionado isn’t a crime unless one loses track of the fact that canon exists within the endless continuum of reality and that just leads to better, more compelling art.
We are killing the thing we love by sheltering and doting on it. People see us toting around the bloated, drooling object of our affection, dressed in clothing too tight for it’s age, and they are disgusted and baffled by it. THAT is where the image of the overweight, nitpicky, slovenly nerd originates: it is potential gone stagnant. They see it reflected in the art we love and they shake their heads disapprovingly.
Please. This is a plea to any rational, reasonable people out there who love superheroes and wouldn’t mind seeing comics remain relevant: be generous and open-minded. These ideas are stronger and more pliant than you could ever imagine. Spiderman will survive being half black and half hispanic. Superman will still be superman despite utterly a polite curse-word. Thor will still be a BAMF with a hammer after saying “ass.”
“When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.”—
Playing all the monster hits of yesterday, today, and tomorrow!
“9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.”—
Please be aware of the fucking CRAZY SHIT that is considered an “abomination unto God” before quoting scripture to condemn homosexuality. Think, in your lifetime, have I ever been to a Red Lobster?