Well it’s about that time again… More like past time.. But we’re back for another installment. The new format’s working out it’s kinks and making sure only the top flight rants make it to you. So without further Adieu, I give you..
So while the lovely Courtney Rose is battling her ebola at the moment, (THANKS OBAMA!) I shall take stock of all that’s come down the pike lately in the nerdy world of doom, while sipping on my holiday elixir of booze.
It’s actually a pretty big week for news so I guess we should get right to the latest developments. Folks recently got their panties in a twist over this variant cover for an upcoming issue of Batgirl.
Which depicts a re-imagining of the classic Alan Moore story “The Killing Joke” . For those that haven’t read it, (if you haven’t I urge you to do so) it showed a grittier, and more mature take on the world of the dark knight as was the style at the time. The Joker committed the ultimate sin, in attempting to hurt Batman and Commissioner Gordon. he shows up at the home of the commissioner’s daughter Barbra Gordon (unbeknownst to him, also known as Batgirl) and shoots her in the stomach at point blank range damaging her spine and forever putting her into a wheelchair, until she “got better” somehow during the New 52.
To make matters even more sinister it has been alluded that The Joker might have raped Barbra after he kidnapped her broken body, but nothing definitive has ever been admitted by the original creative team.
Sadly it’s a case of people reading too much into something. The artist of the variant, Rafael Albuquerque, has asked DC to pull his art due to the backlash it’s caused. The fact remains The Killing Joke is a very important part of the Batman mythos that should not be overlooked just because it’s subject matter makes people squeamish.
We now live in a society where everyone has a problem with everything and feel that just because a person creates art or tells a story that personally makes us uncomfortable they should go out of their way to undo it, so we can live in the nice happy fantasy land where nothing bad happens to anyone.
I feel DC caved under pressures by an ever increasingly offended society and it sets a bad precedent. Now everyone is going to face a harder and harder road when they want to push boundaries and make the art they want to make. The cover itself was more innocuous than the book it was paying tribute to. Yes, Batgirl is crying in fear because a scary man has a gun to her head, but she is like 19/21 somewhere around there, and you don’t have context as to why she’s afraid. Her father could be bleeding out in front of her for all we know off panel.
Just because a female character cries does not make her weak. Crying regardless of sex does not make one weak. what one does after the shock and sorrow subsides is where the true character is shown. Perhaps two seconds after that image was depicted she could have steeled herself up, elbowed Joker in the stomach and kicked his ass from here to Sunday, then saving whoever was also being threatened and getting them to safety.
Point blank, the art is not sexist, your idea of what the art depicts is sexist. STFU.
Staying with the DC path, Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa, who will be playing Aquaman in Zak Snyder’s Batfleck driven shitstorm Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice stirred controversy while autographing promo posters at a local convention signing the poster:
“Fuck Marvel, Jason Momoa”
This of course sent the various fan camps in a tizzy, some going as far as calling Momoa, “unprofessional.” In all honesty, it’s just shots fired across the bow in the marketing rivalry between the two studios. (Warner Bros. and Disney respectively) I for one don’t find it unprofessional I do find it stupid. Don’t get me wrong, Marvel actors have said similar things about their competition with little blowback.
This again is another showcase as to where we have become a really sad, weak little society of fucking wimps that can’t handle a little trash talk. That’s the fun part of competition, egging on your opponent trying to throw them off their game… There’s a saying that says “If you can’t stand the heat, you’re going to be really uncomfortable when I tell you to go to hell..” or something like that.. I’ve never been good with sayings.
The difference between Warner’s trash talk and Disney’s trash talk, is that they’ve delivered. On a number of occasions, they’ve taken their least known properties and made them stars, whereas Warner Bros. can barely get their MAIN characters right. Man of Steel was fine, and to be honest (and when am I not brutally honest) The Dark Knight was the only good one of the Nolan Batman films. And that was just because of Ledger.
I enjoyed them for what they were, but they were mostly a pantomime of what Batman is. Very few people outside of comics understand that. Paul Dini is the only person to bring the real Batman to the mainstream in the amazing Batman: The Animated Series
Whereas Marvel has over the course of 11 some movies built their universe bit, by bit… Making Marvel a viable brand in the marketplace, Warner Brothers has not. Let’s face facts, the nearly billion dollar grossing Guardians of the Galaxy, and Oscar-Winning Big Hero 6, largely benefited from people willing to take chances on a film because of the quality they’ve gotten from other Marvel Studios films.
Warner Brothers has had one Superman movie, that did considerably well, (though not well enough to get a solo direct sequel it seems as Man of Steel 2 won’t hit theaters until 2018, 5 years after the original) Three Batman movies, which honestly no longer ‘count’ as Batman is being rebooted to fit into this new universe, and a string of films that never set the world on fire such as Green Lantern, Jonah Hex, Halle Berry’s Catwoman, etc.
So Dawn of Justice is truly the first film that will show whether it can stand toe to toe with Marvel Studios, universe against universe. I for one, am excited about it. The greatest thing about comics are the great debates of the time! “Can Superman beat The Hulk?” “Which company is better?” this is what competition is. Your best, versus the other guy’s best. Sometimes you’ll win a battle, sometimes the other guy does. It’s all about challenging people to make you continue to produce the best possible work. This sissy-mary “I hope we all win” BS is why we get the crap we get now. No, your competition is your enemy! CRUSH THEM! Have them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women!
Marvel is going to come out strong with Age of Ultron, and Captain America 3, (now with Spider-man flavor!) so Warner Bros needs to find something to prove they can hang. These sad, brooding “we’re not making comic book movies, comics are for kids, look we have that brrrraaaaaaam noise from Inception and no color! We’re for grown ups” style of filmmaking isn’t going to cut it anymore. The audience now has a choice. Bring your best! You know Patton Oswalt said it better than I ever could so let him go.
Patton Oswalt Talks DC, Marvel, Star Wars & More!
Before we move onto the house of mouse, let me finish the DC portion of this blog touching on the “new looks” of the DC Comics coming this summer. After Convergence, the storyline that is going to un52, the New 52 we’re going to see our beloved characters getting a costume change once again.
“Superheroing doesn’t pay the bills so The Man of Steel becomes the new spokesperson for Levi’s jeans”
In an attempt to continue the hipster notion that “super-heroes are dumb and you are dumb for liking them” DC has decided to “upgrade” several of their iconic characters to more mature looking outfits.
Batman will go from the caped crusader to looking like someone who really likes Ben Edlund’s “The Tick” and Japanese anime. I suppose he couldn’t take the comparison’s to Tony Stark so he decided to get himself a bitchin’ new armor. Which is a bit more high tech than his former side-kick chose.
Yes, that is Dick “Nightwing” Grayson fighting crime in a stylish 3 piece suit, or he has decided to quit being a hero and become a security guard for Brooks Brothers, either or.
Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern is either going to challenge Brock Lesnar to a UFC prize fight or drop the dopest hip hop album in the galaxy.
Wonder Woman has decided to lose pretty much everything that makes her wonder woman for a more video game look. DC pretty much has come out of the gate with some of the worst things about non-comic fans getting into comics, thanks to our take over of the popular culture.
Comic Books are like the girl from “She’s All That”, she was always hot (even if not romantic comedy movie hot) but no one saw past the glasses and the overalls, until Mr. Sarah Michelle Gellar made her wear a tight dress and make up and now everyone wants to bang her. However, just like Laney Boggs, even though we’re gussied up and so damn pretty, we still don’t feel like we should be hanging with the cool kids.
So we change and adapt and do all the things we tell ourselves we shouldn’t do in our personal lives to win friends and get ahead. We’ve lost our way, we’re no longer counter culture, trying to shake people up and give them a refuge from the dulled wailings of the oncoming Idiocracy, we’re trying to be like them so they’ll like us, and only losing ourselves in the process.
You’re a Wonder, Wonder Woman, just as you are! As a lifelong reader, I admit it’s become a chore to read the new releases every Wed. they’re so bland and shallow like the rest of popular culture. But then I’ll go back to reading the books I loved when I was younger and remembered what comics truly could be.
Stop “Taylor Swifting” comics, people! We’ve always been better than everyone else. Don’t dumb us down for movie folk. Challenge them to read and learn about actual characterization!
And speaking of dumbing down a property….
Josh Trank, the idiot that keeps Go-Pro in business, is still making the abomination that is the Fantastic Four movie. In fact, the sequel which was already greenlit (Thanks Obama) has already been pushed back now that a better film has taken it’s release window.
Trank is honestly, everything I hate about filmmaking. Don’t get me wrong I love the stuff we do at Channel 757 and the projects I am working on with my friends (Go Broisodes!) but Trank is the quintessential hipster, film school a-hole that you just want to punch, that people love for some reason, supposedly because they too, are hipster doofuses. And from all my years working in this business, these idiots are legion. ESPECIALLY once you get to L.A. (which is why I could never live there, as I’d be arrested for assault on a weekly basis)
I couldn’t make it through Chronicle. I really couldn’t. I got about 45 minutes before my eyes almost rolled out of my head with his shitty directing and terrible dialogue. I still refuse to see Whiplash, just because the non-Mr. Fantastic is in it, even though I love JK. Simmons.
So this is happening… Just try to ignore it. Hopefully it’ll go back to Disney soon. I take the words of The Immortal Bard, Shakespeare when thinking about this atrocity.
” If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.”
Fox will continue to earn my ire, as after so many bad X-MEN movies, (DOFP was the worst so far) we go once more into the breach for X-MEN: Apocalypse next year, taking my favorite era, the 1980s, one of my favorite villains, Apocalypse, and Bryan Singer’s whiny BS and finding a way to screw up gold on a plate.
It’s bad enough that Fox gave us the terrible Gotham show, and killed my beloved Firefly but it’s determined to destroy Marvel’s best franchises. I hope one day Disney swoops in and rescues them as they recently did Spider-man.
Before I sign off I’d like to point out that the opinions and language expressed within this column remain solely mine, and do not reflect the opinions of Tom White or Channel 757. Tune in next week as the prettier one of this duo returns with a vengeance, as I continue to drink heavily and pray entertainment world gets better, before I get fed up with this BS business and become an assassin for hire. (my fallback position)
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!