phoenix64: Fraser and rubber ducks, text: ye olde rubber ducks of subtext (ds rubber ducks of subtext)
or
Hulk PROCESS!

So I'm rereading a Hulk story called "The Last Titan" (which actually began its life as a prose story, but in this case I'm reading the graphic adaptation) and it's been almost the end of the world for a while now, with no one left alive but Hulk and Banner. Banner figures he's about two hundred years old, and he's tired and lonely and he wants to die, but Hulk refuses to die. Hulk's rationale for this is that if he dies, all those people who tried to destroy him, be they supervillains or General Ross or Banner himself, "wins".

I have some issues with forgiveness and letting go. So yeah, that was interesting.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (Default)
Is anyone else besides me ridiculously excited about the Phineas & Ferb/Marvel crossover that the Disney channel is going to be doing?
phoenix64: guy looking disgusted, text: i hope something eats you (rh guy i hope something eats you)
So DC has taken the Amazons, the embodiment of feminism in the DC universe for 70 years, and turned them into a group of women who kill men after having sex with them and enslave their own male children.

I am completely flummoxed that there are people who AREN'T horrified and disgusted by this.
phoenix64: animated batman, text: everybody batdance! (Bat Dance!)
I just have to take a moment to say, for all the crappy decisions DC has made recently (and still are apparently), I have to take a moment to celebrate one thing they've done that makes me incredibly happy:

THEY BROUGHT BACK HELENA WAYNE!!!

I don't think I can properly express how much Helena Wayne's Huntress meant to me as a kid. My favorite comics character had always been Batman because of his lack of super powers and his motivation. The Huntress was the closest thing to a female Batman, not a kid but a woman, not a helper or a wannabe but a fully realized hero who didn't need anyone else. I was 15 when she was written out of existence in Crisis on Infinite Earths. A few years later I was so excited to see DC introducing a new Huntress series, but when I read the first issue and realized they had taken Helena Wayne's look and given it to a completely different character I was crushed. I was never able to take to Helena Bertinelli.

I know Helena Bertinelli has had over twenty years to gain fans who are probably pretty upset right now. I know there's much about this Helena Wayne that may be different than the first one. But for now I'm just really, REALLY happy to see her back.
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 (DF quote good looking)
I did something a little odd tonight: I skipped Criminal Minds in favor of watching Human Target. And I'm pretty OK with it.

Yes, the Sunday premiere of Human Target was a bit bland, but it had just a little something that I thought deserved a chance. Plus I apparently will now follow Jackie Earle Haley anywhere. (Incidentally, this apparent stereotype casting of Jackie Earle Haley as psychotic comic characters is something I heartily approve of. Cletus Kasady/Carnage sounds nice, but I'm open to suggestions. Christopher Nolan, I'm looking at you.) Anyway, tonight's show showed more promise, a little more complexity in the storyline, and of course some juicy hints at backstory. You'll have to forgive me, I have zero familiarity with the original comic. Which is a little strange for me, but anyway.

Besides, he's more than a bit MacGyver and I am a child of the 80's after all. It probably won't last but I think I'm going to stick with it.
phoenix64: Pencil sketch of Batman's head (batman Neal Adams sketch)
OK, I know Primeval is just fluff, but that didn't keep me from actually shrieking aloud when Abby said, "Girls don't talk comics."

Uh yes, quite a few of them do. Some of them are pretty cute, too.

More importantly: hey, Hodges and Haines, HOW COULD YOU HAVE ABBY SAY THAT?! How many comic-reading young girls did you just make feel a smidgen more insecure about being themselves by that comment? You idiots.

Even more importantly: that's hardly even a real question. Wolverine, of course.

Oh, and about that reveal spoilers! )
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (batman/bruce otp)
Observations on a second viewing of The Dark Knight:

Spoilers are anarchy )
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: 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.

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