phoenix64: Pencil sketch of Batman's head (batman Neal Adams sketch)
From Eric Glover at Bleeding Cool, "Give Batgirl the Chair"

Yet Simone’s implication that meta-textual reasoning has been reserved for Oracle alone—or that DC’s creative integrity is somehow being questioned by it—rings somewhat false. Until now, DC hasn’t healed Oracle through an outlandish plot contrivance for the same reason Superman’s kryptonite allergy won’t be “fixed” by permanently dressing him in a protectively lead-lined suit, and the death of Batman’s parents won’t be “put right” with the comics’ life-restoring Lazarus Pit: In reality, using on hand sci-fi measures to erase our heroes’ most pressing challenges undermines what keeps them fundamentally appealing. Superman should be vulnerable to kryptonite because his weakness makes him human, and his strength despite it makes him a hero. Batman should continually wrestle with his parents’ death because his pain is his power, and his emotional conflict makes him an everyman. Barbara Gordon should cope with paralysis because her intellect is her greatest weapon, and her enduring will to use it makes her a miracle.

I highly recommend the article not just for statements like this but as a pretty thorough overview of the issue.

On a vaguely related note: I can handle a lot of change in a comic, even to the point of retcon. Probably the best example is Alan Moore's "The Anatomy Lesson" for Swamp Thing; it was a stunning move and yet only one of the reasons Alan Moore's tenure at Swamp Thing was a game-changer for comics (and vastly under-appreciated one if you ask me, but you probably don't want to get me started). And unlike a lot of people I was genuinely a fan of the character and title before Moore came on board. But a sure way for a writer to piss me off is to retcon the death of Batman's parents to make it the result of some kind of conspiracy. I think it's important that it was a random act and I think taking that away diminishes Batman's story. (I even got pissed when Andrew Vachss did it and I have a serious case of hero worship where he's concerned.) Stories matter, and we need to be careful not to forget what makes a story matter.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (Default)
Duuuuuuuuuuuudes. I finally read Batwoman: Elegy and the awesomeness hurts my brain, it really does. I knew it was going to be pretty fabulous but not THAT fabulous. Though I suppose I should always expect good things from Greg Rucka. I was especially blown away by her dad: yes Virginia, supportive parents do exist. I also totally loved her exchange with Batman; guess what Bats, you're not the only one that can achieve a nice bit of misdirection with their costume design. Also the artwork was delicious. Could have used more Renee but I quite liked the Renee that was there.

In the less than fabulous column I watched Bones last week ("The Blackout in the Blizzard") and it was my first new Bones episode in a while. I'd say it was because there was other stuff I wanted to watch but the truth probably has more to do with how much "The Doctor in the Photo" upset me. Anyway I was drawn back by, "science geeks coping with a power outage" and "stuck in an elevator". I have mixed feelings about a lot of it but there was one bit that made me see red: spoiler cut for her pleasure )

But on the other hand, BATWOMAN.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (Default)
When I quit smoking a few years ago my reading dropped dramatically due to habit association issues. It got a bit of a bump when my TV died but it's still nothing what it was before. Still, I thought it might be nice to post what I've been reading, so this is a new thing for me this year. Even though it will show you what a COMPLETE DORK I am.

Palace of the Plague Lord by C.L. Werner
Short summary: a northern barbarian seeking revenge for his tribe that was wiped out is chosen by a god for a quest with the promise of a reward that is almost too good to be true. A Warhammer tie-in novel. Short review: meh.
the rambling bits )

Baltimore: or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden
Short summary: an encounter on a battlefield in WWI instigates a vampiric plague and the soldier who was there gathers three friends who have had their own encounters with evil to help him fight. Short review: Well done, boys!
the rambling bits )

Batman: Arkham Reborn by David Hine and Jeremy Haun [graphic novel]
Short summary: Arkham has been destroyed and a descendant of Amadeus Arkham rebuilds it from plans Amadeus left behind. Short review: it brings the crazy and is for the most part a solid Arkham tale.
the rambling bits )

Batman: Arkham Asylum: Madness by Sam Keith [graphic novel]
Short summary: a day-in-the-life of the asylum, much of it through the eyes of a nurse working a shift that's waaaay too long. Short review: Enjoyable interpretations of our cast of crazies, especially the Joker; allows a nice creepy atmosphere to build but the payoff is a bit lacking.
the rambling bits )

B.P.R.D Volume 4: The Dead & B.P.R.D. Volume 5: The Black Flame by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi and Guy Davis [graphic novels]
Short summary: it's Mignola - awesome Liz is awesome, we find that Roger is better off not wearing pants and though everyone in a Mignola book has a haunted house for a psyche this time around it's Abe who does the guided tour. Short review: I feel Arcudi and Davis were good choices to work with Mignola. I loved Liz here; I'm still on the fence about Daimo. I wish these collections weren't so small, but I'm glad I could check them out from the library. And that's as rambly as I'm going to get with these.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (batman/bruce otp)
So for some reason I find myself thinking of what Batman might seek in a d/s encounter, and I just couldn't help but think he'd be such a demanding, whiny submissive that any dom/me would end up throwing their hands up in the air in disgust.

Look, it was funny in my head, all right? Like, comic strip panels funny.

Also, you Nolanverse Joker/Batman folks: I try to live and let live but please no fisting with those fingernails, mkay? It makes Baby Captain Jack Harkness cry.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (batman/bruce otp)
You know what I want? I want Batman to have a worthy female antagonist where it isn't all about teh sex (yes I know, everything is about sex, but anyway). I realize this is too much to ask for Nolan and his studio money but I can dream, right? Ooh, reboot Oracle as a villain, then you could take some of what TDK seemed to be trying to say about technology and play with it.

(Now stop right there. No, I sure as hell am not saying Oracle is a neuter because she's a paraplegic. I've read some damned hot paraplegic Barb fic - and wouldn't mind seeing more. I am certainly referring to the fact that she largely doesn't operate in the physical world.)

Mostly though I want to see a woman kick his ass without feeling the need to hump his leg in the process.

You know what else? Is there any chance we could backtrack a bit to the part where Batman is the Dark Knight Detective? The part where he uses his mind as well as his neato fighting skills and expensive gadgets?

(Obviously I need to watch BB and TDK again to remember that I really like them. It's just that the whole Catwoman vs. Talia debate that's going on in regards to the next movie makes me a little cranky.)
phoenix64: Pencil sketch of Batman's head (batman Neal Adams sketch)
Between the critical attention Frank Miller was getting for The Dark Knight Returns and the success of Tim Burton's movie, the publishing world became very Batfriendly in the late eighties/early nineties. One of the results of this was a series of prose anthologies, The Further Adventures of Batman with sequels that had stories focusing on Catwoman and the Penguin (eventually Superman and Wonder Woman got the same treatment). There were some impressive authors in the roster, but the stories ranged from just OK (Isaac Asimov's story appears to be missing part of its denouement and the Lansdale story is a God of the Razor tale which I've never been able to get into. I think it's the shoes; I always end up thinking, "How could he possibly walk in those...?" and then my suspension of disbelief is just gone.) to a few that could have learned a thing or two from fanfic.

However, there was another anthology, The Further Adventures of the Joker, and that subject appears to have really gotten the creative juices flowing. Not every story was a standout, but the duds were rare compared to the ones that succeeded. The anthology included some of the creepiest portrayals of the Joker I've ever seen, and some surprisingly piercing looks at Bats himself. I still enjoy going back to those stories almost twenty years later.

What is it about the Joker?
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (batman/bruce otp)
Observations on a second viewing of The Dark Knight:

Spoilers are anarchy )


Aug. 9th, 2008 11:01 pm
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (batman/bruce otp)
Because it had to be done.
phoenix64: Pencil sketch of Batman's head (batman Neal Adams sketch)
I've been noodling over some things about Batman that are actually related more to Batman Begins than The Dark Knight.

For the most part I'm a big fan of reinventing classic stories. Shakespeare in outer space? Go for it. I actually think the US remake of Touching Evil was pretty good (though I'd almost gladly volunteer to sabotage the US remake of Life on Mars).

But I still have my touchy areas, and a big one is Batman. Don't get me wrong, like any long-lasting character I've seen different writers do all kinds of interesting things with Batman and I usually like the results. But you DO NOT MESS with Batman's backstory.

Cut for length - no spoilers for The Dark Knight )
ETA: Mild spoilers for TDK in the comments.
phoenix64: Pencil sketch of Batman's head (batman Neal Adams sketch)
I don't think much of anybody is READING this (yes, I know, I'm in a whiny place), but if you are, and if you want to, yes, let's talk about Rachel Dawes.

spoilers for The Dark Knight )
phoenix64: Pencil sketch of Batman's head (batman Neal Adams sketch)
Oh, Bruce. Oh my poor boy.

As many accolades as he will undoubtedly get, I doubt that Christopher Nolan will truly get the recognition he deserves for telling this story.

Oh my poor boy.
phoenix64: Stop making me think, I'm believing over here (DF quote I'm believing over here)
OMG Watchmen trailer.

I am still not entirely convinced, but as a guy over on the Whitechapel board put it, it might be best to think of movies like The Dark Knight and Watchmen "more as heartfelt tributes to the source material rather than 2+ hour adaptations for jaded fans to bitch about". I have no doubt that the director is doing this with a lot of love, especially since he's giving us a Tales from the Black Freighter DVD (OMG OMG OMG), but baby sometimes love just ain't enough. Plus it still stings to see Alan Moore's name so conspicuously absent from the credits.

Incidentally, I'm one of those comic geeks who given the chance will natter on at you about how Moore's run on Swamp Thing was in some ways much more pivotal in a "this changed everything" way than Watchmen. Not that Watchmen isn't the superior work. It's the only title that I've been willing to shell out the cash for one of those Absolute editions of. Though I'd probably go there if Arkham Asylum ever gets one.

I hate that I can't justify skipping work tomorrow to go see Batman. And considering how badly my foot is healing, I should probably stay home this weekend. Aaaargh.


phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (Default)

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