Sunday, February 14, 2010

50 Things I Had To Say About Avatar

Well, I did it. Being the whore for peer pressure that I am, I knuckled under and saw Avatar. In 3-d. What a trend-whore I am.

Naturally, as I am a loudmouth with a venue for my loudmouthery on the Innernet, I feel compelled to say something about it.

However, the crazy thing is . . .I don't really have a long dissertation about it. It was OK--nothing I'm in a hurry to see again or buy on DVD, it shows off the 3-d stuff pretty well but I am have no strong opinion about it one way or another, which is unusual for me, as I can usually find something to explode in an incandescent rage about, but here? Nahh. It was OK.

So, rather than try to weasel out of it and leave it at "Ehh, s'OK," I have elected instead to document some of the rather random thoughts I had about the movie. Ladies and jellyspoons, I give you 50 random thoughts about Avatar.

  1. Unobtanium? Really? They couldn't come up with another name somewhat more exotic and less on the nose than that? I hope TV Tropes had a good laugh at that one
  2. Let's go check--yep, they did.
  3. The older I get, the more I feel a bit conflicted about all these movies wherein a white savior comes along to learn the Deeply Spiritual Cultures societal mores (which he's automatically better at) and then becomes their leader and saves them from his own imperialistic group of evil honkies is more than a little patronising.
  4. Or racist.
  5. Funnily enough, I have seen the basic plot for Avatar about 25 years ago. Except it took place on a desert, and they called it Dune.
  6. This move has fewer sex offenders powered by anti-gravity devices, so it's a bit easier to take.
  7. Sigourney Weaver played Dianne Fossey, and plays Dianne Fossey if she would have had the option of wearing a gorilla suit to better blend in with the gorillas she was observing. That's the kind of meta referencing that folds in on itself with the same complicated patters that one might use to make a paper crane.
  8. Fun game to play while watching Avatar: Count how many time the lead actor's American Accent slips.
  9. The hammerhead shark elephant things are pretty inspired creature design. They were pretty damn gnarly.
  10. In fact, the planet and the floating mountains and stuff like that is mind-blowingly awesome, and feels so realistically done that it's a bit like watching a Discovery Channel documentary of a place that doesn't exist.
  11. The Na'Vi are . . .well, it's been a few months, I'm sure they're someone's fetish now.
  12. In fact, let's have a look at DeviantaAAAARRRRGH MY EYYYYYYEEESSSSS!
  13. There goes the last shreds of my innocence.
  14. This movie is comprised of so many predictable elements I was "ahead" of the plot at pretty much every turn.
  15. OK, so, everything in the planet is plug and play, and apparently the Na'Vi's hair actually has something that plugs into the animals and trees and stuff like that. So despite being a fully natural integrated ecosystem, Pandora is basically a big USB hub. Good to know.
  16. I'm pleased as punch that a USC linguist came up with the Na'Vi language, but, uhm . . .am I betraying my prejudices here when I say that by and large invented languages and stuff like that are a huge turn-off? If you feel the need to do it, well OK, but for God's sake please spend as much time on the story as you do on that, otherwise it's just gonna seem like empty show-offery.
  17. I kinda like that the romance (if you can call it that) is predicated on him being a non-entity and her insulting him at every opportunity until they get their USB dongles together and are all of a sudden in love sweet love for no other reason than the plot demands it.
  18. Reminds me very much of my relationships, except I never took any ladies out for a night of shooting arrows at things and learning the proper ceremonial way to shank them.
  19. I thought dinner and a movie would be enough.
  20. I'm kind of a sentimentalist that way.
  21. Hmm . . .wonder if the legend about the red dragon that no one else but this one venerated guy could ride will be important later?
  22. Oh hell, Wes Studi's in the movie, which pretty much guarantees he's gonna be dead before the end credits. Look, he's a good actor and it's not his fault that a Native American actor was picked to play huge-ass Thai kickboxer Sagat in Street Fighter--the man has to eat, for Christ's sake. Stop punishing him for one little mistake.
  23. And it has no parallel at all with Muad'ib riding the sandworms, nope. Couldn't possibly.
  24. Military dude needs a mustache so he can twirl the hell out of it.
  25. In parts, this movie reminds me of Ferngully.
  26. Not sure that's a good thing.
  27. Na'vi sex is . . .well, I'm changing USB devices in my computer as I type this and . . .it's kind of like that, only blue-er and somewhat less than erotic.
  28. But getting in on in sacred places shows how spiritual you are. Just ask Billy Jack or Columbo--they'll back me up on this one.
  29. You know, right before the whole run-up to the attack on Hometree, our heroes just kinda sit down and sulk for a good long stretch of time. I dare say I don't think much of our heroes' level of pro-activity.
  30. "Hometree" sounds like a bit of slag that's gone wrong, doesn't it?
  31. More and more it reminds me of where the Shirt Tales used to live.
  32. Except they had a cool rocket car and all the Na'vi have is USB 2.0.
  33. OK, so no one who's had their body downloaded into an Avatar at Funky Glowing Trees has ever survived the process. I wonder if this little tidbit of information will come in handy later?
  34. And that it will have no correlation at all to that moment when Muad'dib took the Water of Life, which every man up to that point that had tried to do had died horribly.
  35. Clearly, this movie makes me want to re-read Dune.
  36. Y'all should, too. But stop after book #4. Trust me.
  37. So all this stuff about the Earthers blowing the shit out of Hometree and the several minutes long montage of the Na'vi stumbling around shell-shocked and dislocated . . .wonder if that's an intentional parallel for anything from our history, say U.S. history? It all seems so familiar, somehow.
  38. Things this movie has taught me--the baddest airborne predator on an alien planet never looks up, meaning that altitude solves everything or the Na'vi WAY oversold the badass red dragon.
  39. Which, sure enough, our hero tamed and the Na'vi acted like he'd just cured cancer. I must be psychic.
  40. Credit where it's due--The Na'vi try to square off with the Earthers and get the living hell blown out of them. Now I like this part not because the Na'vi are getting slaughtered, but because, damn it all, I am still pissed about the Ewoks being able to hand the Empire their asses in Jedi.
  41. In fact, the action quotient of the movie is pretty darn bulletproof--the battles are exciting, there's too much crazy-ass camera work that obscures it, and it's done with enough variety that it keeps it interesting, and given that this movie is nearly three damn hours long, is a godsend in terms of not making it feel draggy.
  42. Plot's as dumb as a backward jackass, though.
  43. Hot shit, final battle time. The best part of this scene--and indeed, the movie--is that the mech suit Evil General had has like three huge guns on it, and when those get knocked off . . .he whips out a robot mech-suit sized knife. Yes, like Rambo and shit.
  44. I think more movies should have a robot with a knife, and he should be all like "I-WILL-CUT-A-BITCH." Yes, even romantic comedies.
  45. And the good guys win. Was there ever any doubt that the deeply spiritual blue lemur people who live in harmony with nature were going to take this thing?
  46. I mean, it's a bit more credible a victory than the Ewoks/Empire, sure, but . . .
  47. Oh dear, Our Hero is not doing well. I wonder in all the hubub has everyone forgotten about the resurrection tree that doesn't work.
  48. Unless you're the main character.
  49. Eyes open and . . .credits. OH CRAP A DRIPPY TITANIC-ESQUE LOVE SONG! RUN FOR IT!
  50. In conclusion, it's an OK movie--stunning visuals, plot you could dictate in your sleep, competent performances, stunning battle at the end. Mind you, if you decide to blaze one (or two) before you hit the theatre, I'm certain the visuals will be even more stunning and the story deficiencies will wash over you. Not that I in any way shape or form advocate the use of legally questionable ectstatogenic substances to enhance your viewing experience. I'm just saying the movie probably plays better after a few bong hits.


Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

I think I'll buck the trend and wait for the DVD, if I bother at all - enough of it has trickled in via cultural osmosis that I'm already sick of the damned thing...

1. Yes, they most certainly did. :)

3. And after "District 9", I'd honestly thought that particular trope had quietly gone to its grave. Good thing James Cameron had a shovel handy.

5. Confession: I have never, ever been able to get through a complete screening of "Dune", much less any of the novels. Not sure why. I might try again soon with the John Harrison adaptations, if only to try and understand its appeal...

7. Is it wrong of me to expect better from her? Lord knows there's little call for female action heroes these days, and more's the pity, but honestly. Dianne Fossey? Ugh.

10. And that's what annoys me about "Avatar" - it's so pretty, and so utterly devoid of real content, that just about anyone can project whatever they want onto it.

11-13. Well, honestly. You're lucky you're not a block of salt right now. :)

14. "Tell us, O Cassandra, where has the sweetness of life gone?" ;)

15. And if I know my Rule 34, there's going to be a lot of disk-swapping fanfic out there.

16. This message has been brought to you by the letter Qapla. ;)

17. Which just proves Pat Benatar was wrong: love isn't a battlefield, it's a computer virus. :)

26. If only they'd cast Tim Curry as the evil military man...

29. Well, Xena used to manifest telekinetic powers when she spoke Fortune Cookie, so maybe they were trying for that. :)

30. Like something your ex-hippie eco-friendly grandpa would tell you in an attempt to be "hip"?

35-36. And I would if Frank Herbert hadn't practically invented the Doorstopper Novel.

40. Apparently some "Star Wars" see the Ewoks as metaphors for, wait for it, Vietnam. If I facepalm any harder I'll decapitate myself.

42. And yet no one seems to mind?

44. Seeing as how this might result in Katherine Heigl getting stomped flatter than a nickel, I heartily approve. :)

46. But not by much.

48. Plot Armor Saves The Day! Boo-urns.

49. It's James Cameron. I suspect that someday he'll reissue Terminator 2 and tack a Leona Lewis song at the end of it. Just because.

50. An okay movie that's well on its way to making over a billion dollars. Seriously, WTF?

Kazekage said...

It has gotten fairly omnipresent, hasn't it?

3. I'm really eager to see District 9. I've heard a lot of good stuff about it. :)

5. Dune is an acquired taste, and an awful lot of it is not particularly action-y (which is a problem you have when adapting it into a movie) and what's left is rather evenly paced stuff involving court intrigues, philosophy, world-building and examinations of sociologies that don't exist. If that's something you may be interested in . . .well, it works well. Just stop after book 4. Trust me.

7. That's basically her role here. I mean, she gets to kick a little ass, but honestly--she's Dianne Fossey and that's that.

10. You know how sometimes you don't know whether to laugh or cry? Yeah, that's what I felt when I saw that story. *L*

11-13. Well, maybe a little. ;)

14. Of course, when you consider that ot made scadey-eight hillion jillion dollars, it seems no one listened to this Cassandra either, did they?

15. Look away. Baby, look away. :)

16. Touche.

17. I wondered why there was so much less dancing and throwing drinks in guido's faces this time out. :)

26. He was the bomb in The Shadow, y'know. Just a great big old sheet cake of hammy awesomeness.

29. Nahhhh. Nothing so mundane. :)

30. I expect it in a Diablo Cody movie any day now.

35-36. Well, some it's just a glossary, so it's not all raw length. It's no Stephen King's IT

40. I have heard this. It makes me think Apocalypse Now needed more Ewok attacks, as it could only have helped that movie . . .

42. Earnings are no barometer of quality. Transformers 2 and Twilight did rather well financially too, despite killing a bit of the soul of all who watched them.

44. Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

46. Celebrate the love, yub yub. :)

48. It's +10 against drama!

49. I could actually go for "You Could Be Mine" re-done as a love ballad. No, wait, I take that back--let's not give Axl any ideas . . .

50. In a world where Megan Fox is considered hot and Twilight makes money hand over fist . . .this is, well, not shocking, really. :)

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

And then some - I just can't get away from it. The only consolation is knowing that James Cameron movies tend to get overexposed very, very quickly (remember "Titanic" and that damnable Celine Dion song?), so there's still a chance the whole thing will go away in a year or two.

3. It's quite good, especially when juxtaposed with "Avatar" - it takes the exact same metaphor of aliens as an oppressed minority, but subverts the whole post-colonial White Man Saves The Day routine.

5. I take it that's when Kevin J. Anderson, Man of a Thousand Fails moved in? :)

7. Why do I feel like this movie could've been so much better if Weaver had played the protagonist's role?

10. I ended up getting dizzy from all the eye-rolling, but that's just me.

14. Let's just hope this particular story ends the way hers did: with lots of fire.

15. I would, if big-breasted Na'vi women didn't keep popping up on practically every single site on the Internet. We are not amused.

17. I have the uncomfortable feeling that there's a sequence on a cutting room floor somewhere wherein the Na'vi dance around a fire and smoke pipes. Even JM Barrie thinks that would've been too on the nose. :)

26. Ethan still can't watch "It" without shuddering every time Tim Curry pops up as Pennywise the Clown. He can't even play the Soviet campaign in Red Alert 3 without getting this hilarious grimace on his face. Curryphobia: the Not-Very-Silent Killer!

30. Oh, come on, she's not that bad. ;)

35-36. Ah, "It". You know, I pride myself on being able to cope with horror reasonably well, but I draw the line at Sewer Pedo-Orgies. Seriously, Stephen: what in the name of Ronald McDonald were you thinking?!

40. Or, conversely, Marlon Brando should've staggered onto the set of Endor and torched him some midget bears. :)

42. And Siege sells 100,000 copies. Maybe we should start at the bottom of the sales chart and work up?

44. Stupid TV! Be more funny! :D

46. The sad thing? Singing Ewoks is still better than just about anything Lucas did in the Christmas special.

49. Oh, I'm sure he has so few working brain cells these days, that anything short of a neon sign lit directly in front of his face would give him something that could generously be described as an idea. :)

50. Shocking? No...

Kazekage said...

Hopefully this will be the case--I thought Avatar was OK but even I am completely sick of it by now. One hopes that something this omnipresent will burn itself out quickly, but being that it's been three months or so already . . .ehhh, taking its sweet time.

3. Everyone's telling me it's really something to see, and it's on the Netflix queue. :)

5. Not really--actually Herbert wrote the last 2 books, which should be OK, the problem is book 4 is so completely and successfully a closing chapter that anything after seems a bit unnecessary. Then of course, Anderson and Herbert the Younger came along and upped the awfulness ante . . .

7. You would think that this wouldn't have been an alien concept to Cameron because y'know, Ripley and Sarah Connor, but apparently we had to have the block of wood for some reason.

10. I roll my eyes so much I end up needed my glasses more and more often. :)

14. Where there is life, there is hope. :)

15. Rule 34, rule 34. :)

17. It wouldn't surprise me as there's damn near every other Native Americanm cliche on film--I mean we have the "forgiving animals for having to kill them" thing, the "vision quests," the rites of manhood . . .

26. I can't say I blame him--Curry as Pennywise is just about the only successful and effective thing in that movie. My next question is, then . . .does he mildly freak out when the ship's doctor shows up in Hunt For Red October?

30. Heavens no. She's worse.

35-36. Yeah, and it totally derailed the rest of the book for me, because it was disgusting and totally unnecessary. Mother of God how in the hell does that seem like a good idea? Ever?

40. How do you think he ended up with that midget in Island of Doctor Moreau?

42. They're selling them to someone, that's for sure, but few people seem to admit to buying them. I gotta say--and I say this through gritted teeth--Blackest Night is sooooo much better than Siege especially now that the Sacry Zombie Stuff has abated.

44. No TV Make Homer . . .do something . . .

46. That Christmas special killed younglings. :)

49. He does, and that's the problem. From what little I heard of Chinese Democracy it's either too ambitious with no ability to back it up or no ability and no ambition.

50. I'll see your demotivator and raise you with the best Star Wars fanfic EVER

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Oh, I'm thinking more along the lines of two years for people to really get over it. At the end of the day, "Avatar" just doesn't have enough substance to keep people talking about it after the immediate wave of popularity subsides.

3. The racial metaphor can be a bit anvilicious, but then, you're going into this after "Avatar". Orders of magnitude, etc. :)

5. I watched both Harrison miniseries, and... well, to be honest, it was a bit of a sucker-punch. I liked the first part of "Dune" well enough: decent acting (Ian McNeice was hilarious as the Baron), and the web of political intrigue was just complex enough that I could enjoy it without getting lost in the various rivalries going on. And then they went out into the desert and it's bloody "He Is The Chosen One" again. It was particularly frustrating because, unlike the David Lynch version, the political storyline never really disappears - I only made it through "Children of Dune" because James McAvoy spent most of it half-naked and the boy's cute, but I also thought that if they'd gotten away from the whole Desert-Culture-as-Alien-Jesuits thing, they could've told a pretty compelling story about Alia's deterioration and her increasingly violent hold on the people.

7. Of course, now that I think about it, you could argue that in Cameron's mind, Sarah Connor isn't the hero of the story, Ahnuld is. And Ripley isn't the hero either, she's just the Final Girl who happens to survive. Which would at least make "Avatar" consistent with his views. It'd also mean two of the most positive and powerful female figures in action cinema were accidents of interpretation...

10. Just make sure they don't come loose and start rolling down the street. :)

14. And where there is Anti-Life, there are incomprehensible comics. ;)

17. I suppose we should be grateful they didn't end the film by sending the protagonist to Tribal Council and having the Na'vi vote him out...

26. I tend to think of "It" as I think of "Watchmen" - there's something about the way the story's told, winding back and forth through all these different times and places and focalizers, that doesn't translate well to a 2-3 hour long movie. If you cut it up into miniseries, gave it 6-9 hours, maybe you could get more of it out there... but it would still take monumental effort and a pedantic attention to details that would make Peter Jackson feel right at home. (And he's never seen The Hunt For Red October, though now I have an idea for April's Fools. Thanks! :))

30. Bearing in mind that the only exposure I've had to her work is "Juno", which I liked quite a bit: how so?

35-36. I honestly don't know. If I stand on my head for an hour or two, maybe get some vodka in me, I could probably try and justify making Princess Di a mutant or the Goddamned Batman, or even that 9/11 JMS issue of Spider-Man with Dr. Doom and Magneto crying in the ruins. But preteen gangbanging? Nope. I'll likely spend the rest of my life having no bloody idea what that was all about.

40. I always figured he was so wasted that he stumbled into the Fantasy Island set and kidnapped the little guy. :)

42. So they're either hypocrites or there are Atari-E.T.-sized mounds of these comics buried under various LCS... And I see what you mean re: "Blackest Night" - if only because it actually has a plot, whereas "Siege" (much like its predecessors) is perpetually "setting the stage".

(More coming up!)

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Cut due to size. On Blogger. I think I just broke my own record. :)

44. "Simpson scandal update: Homer sleeps nude in an oxygen tent which he believes gives him... SEXUAL POWERS!" :)

46. "But, Your Honor, it's not like I forced them to watch it! It was Christmas! How was I supposed to know they'd start bleeding out of every orifice?"

49. Either way, no ability. Not that that's stopped anyone in the music business, ever...

50. Holy Carp. I... wow. I'm going to need some time to find something that can top that. Wow. :)

Kazekage said...

Well, one wonders. It depends on how hard this movie hit with people who aren't us and how soon they can get the sequel out to continue the momentum. Either that or our culture is such that nothing hangs around very long without a lot of hype to keep the balloon inflated.

3. Oh well, y'know Avatar handled it with such a delicate touch . . .

5. Most of Alia's degeneration happens in the book, and wouldn't have made for great TV, since it's all interior monologue. As to the "Chosen One" stuff . . .yeah, it's a bit bog-standard, but in the first four books at least, there's some interesting things done with it--by book 2, the Chosen One may not be a Good Thing and has become worse than the regime he replaced, and by book 4, the new Chosen One has created another Chosen One with the explicit aim of negating the need for Chosen Ones forever and ever, amen. It's a bit more complicated than all that, but it makes sense in the end.

7. Wow, that really depresses me. Probably true, tho. :(

10. Could happen any day now!

14. Covered those in the Jim Lee-era X-Men post I did. :)

17. Uh, well . . .actually . . .kinda, yeah.

26. Me beef with "It" is that that damn kid-orgy lifts the needle right off the record for me and destroys what's been built up to that point. I like the cyclical nature of the threat and the overlay with the secret history of Derry and how King works up some interesting explanations for behavior. (I hope he doesn't blame me for this later. :) )

30. I find her stuff more than a little twee, is all. Everyone is talking way too wittily in a way that suggests what might happen if Kevin Smith and Tarantino pounded out a particularly chatty baby.

35-36. Yeah, and it really pisses me off because the book was going so well up to that point. But I liked Insomnia, so what the hell do I know? ;)

40. You can't kidnap King Fausto of the Forbidden Zone, Diana. He will mess you up if you try. :)

42. One of the facts of life for comics fans--even if they hate it, people will buy it to hate on it. This is why I own the first three issues featuring Red She-Hulk. :)


Kazekage said...

You are exceptional in all ways, Diana.

44. I thought that was just a comfort thing.

46. Your crime is Life Day and it's 18 and Life To Go! Yes, I made that Skid Row reference.

49. Well, one can only trade on the goodwill of Appetite For Destruction for so long before we must address the Emperor's new clothes finally, yeah?

50. It is totally epic, isn't it? You should hear me read all Yoda's dialogue in my Yoda voice. It'll make you cry rainbows of joy.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

I think it's more that our culture isn't producing many things that can transition into the next zeitgeist. Maybe Harry Potter, but I don't see pop culture fads like "Twilight" or "Avatar" attracting a new generation of fans ten years later.

3. Like a wooden mallet to the jaw, I'm sure. :)

5. They did all right in the "Children of Dune" miniseries, showing that it's partly the pressure she's under and partly her "dialogue" with Baron Harkonnen. I suppose I'll try to get around to the books someday, but there's a long queue.

7. You know, that might actually explain the last two "Terminator" movies and "Avatar": Cameron's lost the ability to accidentally create strong female characters. On the bright side, his perspective counts for less than nothing when it comes to audience reaction, and the show was called the Sarah Connor Chronicles, after all... :)

14. I saw! I'll have to disagree that Austen's run was better than Claremont's nadir, if only because Claremont at his worst is incoherent - with Austen you always understand the full horror of what he's doing and you're powerless to stop it. But yes: Zala Dane! The Shadow King! SKRULLS! Not the X-Men's finest hour by a long shot, although I suppose credit's due for trying something different, even if it didn't pan out.

26. Whenever I reread it, I just skip over that part. I have the pages marked and everything. Given that this has absolutely no effect on the rest of the novel, you have to wonder whether King's editor could've "lost" that sequence just before the book went to print.

30. She does have a way of creating endearing characters, though; I just want to put Marshall Gregson in my bag and carry him around. :)

35-36. Well, "Insomnia" didn't have kiddie sex, so it wins by default, doesn't it?

40. Eh, just slap on some kneepads and that'll be that. ;)

42. Well, it's the same old problem with comics - whether the fans buy it or not, Marvel gets its money from LCS orders and there's really no reliable way to predict sales on the customer end; Marvel can hype up some comic as being Rilly Rilly Beeg, and the stores place the orders, and that's it. What do they care if two months later there are still a thousand copies of Red She-Hulk #1 on the wall?

Only when I'm around exceptional people. ;)

46. Ooh, now there's a punishment fit for the creator of Jar-Jar Binks: lock him in a room and play "18 and Life" and other hair-band horrors until he repents. And then turn the volume up.

49. Just as I've always said: there are (and should be) limits to goodwill. In the words of Janet Jackson, "what have you done for me lately?" :)


Kazekage said...

For the life of me, I have no idea why my original reply didn't go through. It seemed like it did, but we'll do it again . . .

I think as subdivided as audiences are in general the idea of a widespread hit on the order of a Star Wars or anything on that level probably won't happen again, because the channels of communication have gotten so diffuse.

5. It's pretty accurate in terms of that, of course, they kinda lost the setup in that when Alia's mother took the Water Of Life, Alia's mind gets opened up to every generation of her ancestors in the womb and, well . . .she was never quite right, really.

7. When I look back on it, I'm wondering if Cameron's exemplar of a strong female character was Helen Tasker in True Lies. and that's depressing.

14. Well, the idea, as I understand it was post #200 Claremont was going for all-new villains, which is all well and good. The problem was, they all sucked (Most X-Villains from 1987 on are just . . .ghastly. I mean Nanny? The Reavers? The Right?) but none of them were worth a damn, and Calremont's disengagement over not being able to use Mad Jim Jaspers took a heavy toll on the quality of the book.

Austen . . .well, one of these days, someone will ask Jemas "seriously--why him? On everything?"

26. I blame King's nostrils wheezing on a blizzard of coke, as this and the tentacle rape scene in Tommyknockers add absolutely nothing to the respective books, but probably got to stay in because he'd crossed the event horizon that says "cater to his every whim because he makes stupid amounts of money"

30. You make him sound like an action figure. :)

35-36. By a mile.

40.But he has a zombie army! And a zombie Marine Corps!

42. Well, they only care about it in hindsight, or just about the time that everything starts getting under-ordered because the comic stores were left with a glut of unsold crap from the last Beeg Event. You can tell it's going to happen when you start seeing a lot of foil covers and holograms in quarter box.

Awww. :blush:

46. I like the idea of cold metal justice being exactly that. Because that means I'd be totally immune to it. :)

49. That's the line of credit I extend to everyone. Once. If they fail in that, that's it.

50. Hmm . . .I have threatened podcasts on people befo--HEY! This is like the Jedi Mind Trick!

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Blogger's attempt at an April's Fools prank?

That's very likely. And somewhat depressing, isn't it? I'd certainly hope that if something genuinely good came out it'd get due recognition... but common audiences have probably become so fractured that only the lowest common denominators have any hope of cross-demographic appeal...

5. Which explains how the Baron got into her head, since he's her grandfather. But insofar as the miniseries is concerned... they probably could've depicted that more clearly. Say, by having her interact with anyone other than the Baron, just to make the point re: all those people she'd been connected to.

7. Now, see, when I remember Helen Tasker, it's that moment where she accidentally drops an Uzi down the stairs and kills a dozen people. And then I go to my dark place for a while. >:(

14. Mind you, after seeing him completely miss the point of the Fury when he came back, I'm not entirely convinced we'd have been better off with his take on Jaspers...

26. Is it sad that I find an unthinkable amount of drugs to be more plausible than any artistic justification he might have?

30. More like a plush doll. Very huggable. :)

40. Are we talking Romero zombies or 28 Days Later quasi-zombies with the running and the borderline intelligence? Because it makes a difference - as with Daleks, I'm just not scared of monsters that can be beaten by walking up a flight of stairs. :)

42. The problem is that they only apply that kind of thinking on a case-by-case basis, so "Secret Invasion" might lose about 60% of its sales over six months but as soon as Chocolate Reign #1 comes out it's back to 150K again.

46. So you could get a front-row seat to see his head finally explode under the pressure! Wear an apron, it'll get messy. :)

49. I can be more flexible depending on the author in question: I took me much longer to quit Alan Moore than, say, Bendis - I think it was only about a year from the start of his decline circa "Avengers Disassembled" to the point where I just swore off his work.

50. THIS IS NOT LIKE THE JEDI MIND TRICK. :) (Which reminds me: who was she supposed to be, exactly? I needed bloody annotations for the Syndicate roll call...)

Kazekage said...

I think it had something to do with that Forbidden Zone .wav I tried to link to . . .occasionally Blogger decides it hates that kinda stuff.

Although, looking on the positive side, at least the people who find these things will really be behind them. Of course, that'll make them even more resistant to revisiting them or remakes, I imagine as more people gets fixed ideas of what we things should be . . .

5. They could, and really, they should have, as it's not a subplot in the book, as much as it is part of the main plot. The mini-series soft-pedaled that at the expense of building up Leto II for the next movie which never happened.

7. Yeah. Nothing says "female empowerment" like a crummy striptease and not being able to fire a machine gun, eh?

14. Oh God, we wouldn't at all. You can see it all over the post #200 Uncanny X-men that Claremont wants to do new things, but he has no idea how to do it effectively anymore.

26. It does sound more like the kind of thing you could justify on a coke binge, eh?

30. Awwww . . . . :)

40. I love that one of the first things done with the Daleks upon their return was for them to go rampaging up a flight of stairs. :) So they're more dangerous that ED-209, at least. As to Forbidden Zone, eh . . .very little in that movie makes sense (e.g.--there is a dramatic plot turn that is revealed by a talking chicken) so really, we could be talking anything, really.

49. I've never really gotten into Bendis, but even as a casual observer, I could tell he was well out of his depth when he started on Avengers, and seven years hence, nothing I've seen from him has convinced me otherwise.

50. This is not like the Jedi mind trick . . . Oh, I know this one! That was the eeeevil version of Looker from the Outsiders, and I think her name in the movie . If you don't know her, it's because she's always sucked. The first baddies they fight after crossing earths are the evil versions of the Detroit Justice League and the Outsiders. I think Elongated Man, Katana, Vixen, Black Lightning, Vibe, and Halo were in that first scene, actually . . .

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Use Youtube, it's friendlier to the environment. :)

True, though I like to think any remake worth its salt will win the diehard fans over - BSG certainly stands head-shoulders-and-buttocks above the original (stylistically and creatively speaking). If it makes for more discerning audiences... well, I like to think that maybe they won't give the third Transformers movie to Michael Bay, hmm?

5. To be fair, I'm not sure how you could do another miniseries starring a giant penis-shaped monster with James McAvoy's head. That's the sort of thing you'd expect to find in one of SyPhy's Z-list movies.

7. I've come to avoid action movies of the James Bond/Schwarzenegger/Stallone types for precisely that reason. Of course, there aren't many alternatives in that particular genre that make for decent viewing: "The Long Kiss Goodnight", "Aliens", "Terminator 2", maybe "Kill Bill" - it's a bit over the top for my tastes but I appreciate what it's trying to do.

14. More's the pity, seeing as how the X-Men are probably the only franchise with a built-in excuse to try new things. Just call it a form of evolution and ding, instant credibility.

26. Coke? Not really: I'm thinking less Al Pacino in Scarface and more Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting. :)

30. And that's exactly what I say every time he turns up! :)

40. Better a talking chicken than a floating head, I suppose...

49. He had his moments in the early days of his career: "Jinx" and "Goldfish" were impressive examples of modern noir, and his work on "Daredevil" was especially bold given the pattern that character had been stuck in since the Miller years. You're right, though, that the turning point was "Avengers": it was his first real failure as a storyteller, and he ended up completely unable to correct his mistakes, so it all just snowballed until he turned into the utter monotonous failure he is today.

50. I think I recognized maybe two or three: Elongated Man, because of the whole Sue Dibny thing back in the day, Vixen from early JLU before I dropped out... yep, that was about it. No idea about the others, but then I never knew anything about the non-core Leagues or the Outsiders other than their names and their complete inability to sustain ongoing series...

Kazekage said...

If they'd had the clip I wanted, I would have, believe me. The one most commonly available would have broken your mind, I fear. ;)

Well, or they'll find a different audience and another generation takes ownership of some aspect of the concept and it'll continue that way. Will it lead to more discerning audiences? I don't know. It may just make the divisions even more rigid than before.

5. Why couldn't they? I mean SyFy's a slag tern for some kind of veneral disease, why not meet it head-on? They're gonna run out of "evil superfish" movies sometime after all. ;)

7. As someone who tries to write women-friendly action (cringing as I toot my own horn again) I struggle to give it it's own flavour so it doesn't look like I scratched out a dude's name and wrote a female character's in. One of the subtleties that got lost whe, say Chow Yun-Fat brought that whole "Chinese gunman" stuff over here was that, since the handgun was not an invention native to China, the use of and reaction to using one had an entirely different feel than Stallone blasting a village to pieces, and I feel like a way of creating appeal is to think about it and give it that kind of flavour. Did any of that make since or did I just ramble? ;)

14. Will it sound hyperbolic if I say that here and now, the X-Men are as directionless and lifeless as during the Silver Age Factor Three days? Because they are, and turning 'em into vampires or whatever the hell they're planning to do isn't going to fix that.

26. Weird, I was always told heroin made you feel more secure. YOU LIED TO ME, LOU REED!

40. The gun is good. The penis is evil. Sean Connery in a banana hammock is wrong on every conceivable level it is possible to be wrong on and still function on our plane of reality.

49. Well, there you go. Had he just stuck to what he knew, there wouldn't be a problem. As much as I like to think people should have a chance to at least have a run at something to see if they can do it, after seven bloody years of public failure (and apparently more to come) even I think one's second chances should be cut off.

Well, they were just there as cannon fodder, really, so you weren't missing very much. I have to be honest here--it was totally of my time, and I was down with New Teen Titans and Infinity Inc and all that but I have never, ever, EVER understood the appeal of The Outsiders.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

That's probably for the best - I've got so much work on my plate at the moment that I can't afford another emergency brain shutdown like that time I saw "Requiem for a Dream"...

The problem, though, is that networks and studios continue to evaluate the success or failure of a creative venture as if cohesive audience response is still possible. Which has led to some infuriating cancellations, because the fanbase does exist and is loyal, but no one's taking that fragmentation into account.

5. Sure, but I expect they'll just graduate to "evil superlemur" when that happens...

7. No, I see what you mean - it's not enough just to create a gender-swapped Rambo, because that character type will still act like a man. The key is to acknowledge difference without qualifying it, if that makes any sense: women in traditionally male genres should have a markedly different style and approach to situations, but these things shouldn't be depicted as better or worse than the male archetype. Just different.

14. As a franchise, that certainly seems to be the case, which is probably why I'm being drawn more to books that focus on individual characters, like "X-Men Legacy", or books that are completely outside the main discourse (ie: "X-Factor"). Not only do I not know the overall agenda for the X-Men franchise, I find I don't really care at the moment either.

26. Some people see babies on the ceiling, some people see kids having an orgy. Go figure. :)

40. I always wondered if "The Penis Is Evil" was the stone head's way of saying "Uh, Sean, we can see your junk. Please put it away."

49. To be honest, I think he could've gotten better at it if he hadn't indulged in John Byrne Syndrome: the man set himself up with a forum of yes-men who basically drowned out any legitimate criticism. And if you don't feel you're making any mistakes, why try to improve? And now he's completely stagnant.

Maybe they just exist so they can Go Dark someday and announce that from now on they'll be the INSIDERS. :)

Kazekage said...

Well, unlike Requiem For A Dream, Forbidden Zone won't make you want to cut your wrists. It will, however make you shout "Now what the hell did I just see?"

They can't really measure it, is the problem, and anything they can't measure they fear and try to make go away. I mean, for God's sake--we've JUST now gotten to the point where DVR'ing is actually included (sorta) in ratings--that's how far behind the curve they are.

5. What the Nazis called the "uberlemuren," to be sure. :)

7. Yeah, exactly. I hate to keep pulling these kinds of examples, but it's like different styles of martial arts--all of them are valid as means of kicking ass, and all of them have pretty interesting visual elements. The idea is to use different ones to keep things visually interesting (or if you're Chris Nolan, film the fight scenes in Confuse-O-Vision, but that's another rant) and keep them from getting all "same-y." No reason to intentionally limit your options, unless you work for Marvel or DC. ;)

14. And you know, I begin to wonder if the whole business of having a whole homogeneous line really works anymore or if it's time to go back to the early 2000's paradigm of "different books in different styles, just under the same general subject." Instead, I think they're fighting Dracula. Again.

26. Not touching that one, no sir . . .

40. It's entirely possible, and if it were so, that would be the one sensible thing in that whole damn movie.

49. Yeah, that probably doesn't help things, either, but good Christ, I hear more complaints about his stuff now than I do accolades, so either he sticks to just his own board, or he has the most blinkered existence possible to have on the Internet.

Or they could just go away altogether! I wouldn't say no to that . . . ;)

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

To be honest, that was my reaction to "Requiem" too. :)

The sad thing is, calculating DVD sales could've saved a lot of good shows that got the chop...

5. Brill, simply brill. :)

7. It comes down to precisely that IMO, the need to acknowledge cultural and gender-related differences even if you're assimilating them into a different narrative. One reason Ripley works in the second Alien movie is because there's a second component to her character (her maternal instincts) - if she didn't have that, she'd just be a slimmer Ahnuld.

14. I don't think it was ever a feasible strategy once Marvel really hit its stride in the '70s and early '80s: too many writers on too many books with too many different directions. And every time they tried to pull the franchise together with some glorious crossover, it'd fall flat. I think the only reason they're not going for more diversity is the paralyzing fear that they'll split the fanbase even further - I doubt either Marvel or DC can stand to lose many more readers.

40. They should put Zardoz on that "Scared Straight" show. Best anti-drug PSA ever filmed. :)

49. Probably both - there's a lot of willful denial (ie: the whole "Read it again knowing what you know about Wanda" bit - guess what, Brian, it didn't help) but he also has an entire forum of bootlickers approving everything he does. And it's not like his critics find him so polemic that they make the effort to crash his forums; Bendis' particular affliction is a stupidity so dull it practically requires an apathetic response.

I'd agree, but you know Johns or DiDio would just bring them back a few years later, Original Recipe and all. :)

Kazekage said...

But Forbidden Zone is far funnier than Requiem and that means it wins by default.

It has, actually--Futurama and Family Guy spring immediately to mind, but not many studios use that as a barometer.

5. Heh. If making fun of Nazis is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

7. Yeah, but the reason it works in the movie is because it's kept subtextual--at the beginning of the movie, the Marines don't object to her being there because she's a woman, they object to her because she's a civilian. One of the easiest ways to sell something as not a big deal (e.g.--female characters, gay characters) is to treat it as not a big deal.

14. Well, we're coming dangerously close to where any splitting of the audience would be the equivalent of dividing by zero, so . . .yeah.

40. True 'dat. True F'N dat!

49. That's . . .awful, tragic, and makes the coming prospect of him attempting to write more "heroic" stuff . . .well, gut-unflinchingly terrifying, really. :)

Well, DC did have a universal white force bringing back a whole bunch of white characters just about the time Chris Sims was lamenting the de-racialization of superhero comics, so I put nothing sufficently dunderheaded past them.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

It also has Tattoo (always funny) versus strung-out Jared Leto (...), so yes, Forbidden Zone does indeed win. :)

Not enough studios, I'd say. I mean, yes, bully for Seth McFarlane and Matt Groenig, but I can think of a few Fox victims that might've stood a chance at renewal...

5. Indeed. :)

7. True, but you also have the Hispanic woman who's more masculine than most of her teammates, and she gets the biggest gun. When you have that end of the spectrum present, everything else pales in comparison.

14. Based on post-cancellation figures, "Heroes" apparently lost twelve million viewers in three seasons. All because of creative incompetence. If nothing else, I suppose we can still take comfort in knowing that sometimes the audience does exercise quality control...

40. I saw Betty White's turn as Grandma Loretta on SNL - it wasn't exactly the first time a "Scared Straight" demonstration made me laugh, but it was the first time the intent to make me laugh was there to begin with. :)

49. Which is exactly why I'll be waaaay over there with Mike Carey and webcomics. :)

And then they killed Ryan Choi, which just goes to show you that whenever you think DC can't get any lower, you will always be wrong.

Kazekage said...

And that's even before you've seen it. That's gotta be some kinda record. :)

I can think of quite a few myself--stretching as far back as Brisco County, actually. :)

7. Very true. Of course, if I remember right, Sarah Connor got to handle some heavy stuff for T2 as well--nowhere near the level of the minigun, but yeah, pretty close.

14. . . .eventually. How long was that show in freefall, again?

40. She's also quite funny in Lake Placid, actually--that and her inadvertent crime sprees on Boston Legal prove that she's not to be underestimated for sure. :)

49. Gives you an opportune time to check out Achewood, dunnit? :)

Yeah, I have no idea what the inverse of "serendipity" is, but holy hell did DC ever step in it, and then stepped in it again by killing off another minority hero. Is it ignorance or apathy? DC doesn't know and doesn't care, it seems . . .

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

That's the only great thing about "Requiem for a Dream" - it'll make almost anything else look better in comparison. :)

Of course, there's also no shortage of series that probably would've aged better had the axe come down sooner, "Supernatural" being the most recent example. I'm still cringing over that awful Power of Love finale...

7. One of my favorite scenes is at the very end, when she's got the T-1000 over the vat and she keeps reloading the shotgun with one hand. Bad. Ass. :)

14. Well, season 2 wasn't particularly good, but season 3 was when they started handing out Idiot Balls like a tennis machine set to "Eradicate".

40. I very rarely try out new sitcoms, but I just might give "Hot in Cleveland" a chance, even if she isn't the main character.

49. Achewood and about two dozen others are sitting in a Favorites folder I haven't touched in months... but I'll get there eventually. :)

The tension seems to be more between ignorance and, well, deliberate "whitewashing". The sad thing is, it's not even new to comics - Marvel had that whole "gay purge" a while back where you weren't sure if they were doing it on purpose or just hadn't been paying attention, and either way it's still horribly backwards...

Kazekage said...

Well, the only two things I think that have it beat in the misery department are The Plague Dogs, Threads, and the last two Pink Floyd albums with Roger Waters, but on the plus side, the whole movie becomes delightfully surreal if you look at it as a Gargoyles/Labyrinth crossover gone catastrophically wrong. (and yes, I can sense you wincing with recognition at what I mean. :) )

They seriously did that? In 2010?

7. My favourite badass moment for her (Besides the shotgun--that is hardcore, tho) is when she misses Dyson with her first shot, flips her gun to full auto and proceeds to destroy his house with gunfire. It's no accident that my two major crushes on fictional characters were Sarah Connor and Ace from Doctor Who who destroyed a Dalek with a baseball bat because it called her "small."

What they say about me, well . . .gosh, is that the time?

14. That's when it became what Patton Oswalt might call a failure pile in a sadness bowl.

40. You can never go wrong with Betty White involved in some level. Look at how long Mary Tyler Moore ran. It's the Betty White Effect.

49. It's gonna be time for me to review the latest Achewood collection here soonish, I think. :)

Well, if anyone looked at the big picture I'd like to think they'd be utterly mortified and make every effort to know that was not their intent, but as they seem to be in a Marenghi Bubble . . .no sanity can get through.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...


It gets better: the Power of True Love lets Sam win control of his body from Lucifer just long enough to throw himself into Hell forever and for all time. And then the big "cliffhanger" is Sam turning up outside Dean's house a few days later. What-ever, Eric Kripke. I'll pass on the Kool-Aid, thanks.

7. You know, I eventually came to accept Lena Headey as Sarah Connor, but I think that's exactly what was missing in her portrayal: that flat-out destructive whirlwind Hamilton channeled so well.

14. Indeed. Honestly, I never thought I'd be sitting here, utterly relieved at the news that "Heroes" was cancelled. The fact that no one's even talking about a Save Our Show campaign speaks volumes too.

40. I think her best role was Rose Nylund on "Golden Girls", though. She had amazing synergy with Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan.

49. As if I needed more persuasion to read it. ;)

That's some Bubble: DiDio and Quesada are openly confronted with the facts of the matter on a regular basis, and they just pull a "Durr-what?" that redefines Obfuscating Stupidity. And I really have no idea if they're just that stupid or if that's the only way they can deflect criticism. I don't know whether to pull my hair out or theirs. :)

Kazekage said...

But Goliath is also the guy who gets in the longest fistfight about putting on a pair of glasses ever in the movie They Live, and there's all KINDS of great reasons to watch that. :)

That's . . .that's awfully feeble. It's hard to imagine one could make Lucifer completely jobbed out, but . . .wow, they did.

7. Yeah, I can't imagine Lena being as deadly as Linda with nothing but a syringe and a bottle of bleach.

14. I think actually people would happily donate money to keep it off the air, really.

40. And Golden Girls lasted how long? See? SNL probably got five more years on the air just by having her guest host.

49. Now if I can just sell you on Empowered . . . ;)

In the face if all common sense, Quesada is doing another story about the spider-wedding (Or Mary Jane is marrying Hunter Rose. The art's unclear) That's how strong the bubble is.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

"They Live": "V" done right and in less time. :)

I think they just bit off more than they could chew: "Supernatural" was at its best when it dealt with small, personal stories. Suddenly they were visiting Heaven and Hell and fulfilling ancient prophecies and setting up an honest-to-absentee-God Armageddon - spending an entire season harping about the Inevitability of Fate - so they lost their nerve at the last minute and spat out the most cliched, "easy" resolution they had. It goes back to that feeling I've mentioned before where just once, I'd like to see the less popular but more creative concept play out - yes, destroy the world, trash the set, go post-apocalyptic. Why not? But no, now we're getting another season of douchebag angels and snide demons and I'm just done with the whole damn thing now.

7. Oh no, she didn't have that at all. Though I suppose she did humanize Sarah to an extent, and that was necessary for a series that ran as long as TSCC did...

14. Meanwhile Tim Kring's walking around like this but with Marenghi bubbles, talking about how proud he is of the show and that it reached a "global consciousness". To paraphrase the late Gary Coleman: whatchu talkin' bout, Tim? The last time anyone had unreserved praise for "Heroes" was 2007.

40. I'm conflicted: is that a good thing or a bad thing? :)

I caught an episode of "The Golden Girls" a few days ago - I kept vacillating between the humor and the sobering knowledge that three of the four main cast members were gone...

49. That's going to take a bit more work: I've read some of Adam Warren's other work and I'm not quite sold on his mad skillz just yet. :)

I guess that if it's good for nothing else (and it won't be), at least we can take solace in the fact that it's sure to drive K-Box into the kind of foaming frenzy that'd make him a spokesperson for Gillette. ;)

Kazekage said...

I wish the new V were even a tenth as awesome as that movie. That said, I would also accept Jack Burton vs. the Lizard People also.

Oh, so even after punking the Devil out they're doing more of them? I think, as with "Smallville" they're just resolved to ride the horse until the legs fall off, even if it's long past a reasonable point of closure.

7. I don't think TV is ready for movie-level Sarah Connor, who, given how fiercely protective she was of her child and the lengths she'd go to to protect him, makes me wonder how Lena Headey might work as Christine Spar . . .admit it, there are parallels.

14. Man, I'd be crowing about reaching a "global consciousness" if I'd invented a show that somehow became more of a laughingstock than that Knight Rider reboot from a couple years ago. That's something I'd want on my c.v. for sure.

40. Uhm . . .you know, even I'm not sure, when it comes right down to it . . .

It is a bit unsettling when formerly permanent things that you grew up with start falling away like that, isn't it?

49. Step 1--Forget everything you knew about Adam Warren's work up to this point . . .Empowered has an entirely different tone at it's heart, even if there are some of the usual Warren touches.

Whenever I feel like I might be getting too bitchy for my own good, I always pop 'round and have a look at whatever's grinding his gears at the moment. I know whenever I get that angry (and start getting into MILF porn) a line will have been crossed . . .

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Indeed, what is Kurt Russell up to these days? :)

Well, "Smallville" is probably the poster child for Sweet Jesus Would You Just Stop Already? - on a whim I watched a first-season and ninth-season episode back-to-back, and... well, on the one hand, I have to give them credit for having the cojones to do that kind of sea change on the show where it drifts so far from the original premise that it's a different creature altogether - and really, maybe that's the only way to avoid seasonal rot by your fourth or fifth year - but on the other hand, it hasn't actually gotten any better. Sexy people running around without the slightest acting ability, with dialogue that makes "The Eye of Argon" sound like Richard Castle.

7. Hmm... I don't know, I think the key to playing Christine Spar would be an innate ability to switch off your emotions at will during the Tujiro part of the story, and then go into full-blown Hell Hath No Fury for the Argent half. Not sure Headey has that kind of range...

14. Exactly! Yes, Tim Kring, the whole world is talking about "Heroes" - but they're not saying anything good about it.

40. Absolutely. And Betty White's 88 years old... when we lose her, something real and tangible will be completely gone. It just stresses how we're becoming the product of a previous generation, where "Golden Girls" are to me what the Monkees were to my parents...

49. I just didn't find the premise appealing - I get that it's tongue-in-cheek but I'm sick of the whole dialogue about objectifying women in comics. Just done with the whole damn thing at the moment.

It's the Helen Mirren Line: the moment you start openly fantasizing about women old enough to be your grandmother, it's time to check yourself into the nearest bughouse. :)

Kazekage said...

He was in "Death Proof," which was an awful awful movie that he was very good in. Alas, lately all he seems to be in are John Carpenter's DVD commentaries, which seems to be a bit of a waste, dunnit?

Funny thing--there have been nine--nine--years of Smallville, and I've never seen so much as a promo for it, but I never quite understood how you could get so much out of never showing Clark as Superman--really, how long can it last before you've got to pull the trigger on it? Instead, I guess the solution to the problem is just to be as rubbish as possible.

7. I don't know. I think she could probably do it, because while the action part of things might require her to go berserk, there's a lot more controlled fury in the back half of the arc, as I recall.

14. Yeah. That is rather a vital distinction to be made, you'd think.

40. It also means that an inevitable Golden Girls reunion will be along to disappoint you as so many reboots and revivals have done me. ;)

49. Well, that's a part of it, but it's not the main point of it as much as its grown into a metacommenary on superhero comics in general now. And also, there are plenty of absolutely golden character moments. I teared up at the end of the last volume, I'll admit.

I . . .wow. I felt embarrassed confession my crush on Ace back in the day, but on a scale of peccadilloes I will never, ever equal the utter nastiness of the image in my mind even if I start right now and work at it for the rest of my life. I mean . . .eew.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Depends. Is he doing those commentaries in-character as Jack Burton? :)

That's pretty much the web they spun for themselves: on the one hand, production values and the general approach to powers and superheroism made it all look... well, like a CW show. Fair enough for a re-translation, but if it's a CW show there's no way in hell you can put Tom Welling in red and blue spandex. So they kept delaying that moment until the series finally lost touch with its own premise (it's not even set in Smallville anymore!) - so no one even expects the spandex anymore.

7. Not as much as I would've liked; certainly not when she finally came face-to-face with Weaver.

14. I was very strongly reminded of something Quesada said to justify "Onslaught Reborn", that people were still talking about it ten years later. And when you're taking queues from Jabba the Q? You've jumped the shark so hard you land on a different continent.

40. Oh, I've learned my lesson with remakes. The very last one I'm bothering with is the upcoming Nikita series, and I'll be giving them exactly one episode to win me over. I have fond memories of the old LFN before it got weird...

49. It just seems to me that he's perpetuating the conventions even while commenting on them - you can poke fun at your heroine getting stripped naked on a daily basis, but at the end of the day, that's still what's happening.

K-Box: When you need to lose five pounds in five minutes and ordinary bulimia just won't do. :)

Kazekage said...

Nope--But that would be wonderful. It basically turns into Russell and Carpenter all but ignoring the movie and shooting the breeze. :)

And now apparently he's in . . .another costume but not red and blue tights. Man, I'm sure it was that kind of "outside the box" thinking that made Marvel think Jeph Loeb was the kind of guy to handle their TV thing.

7. I need to watch that again. I don't remember fine details, but I do remember it feeling kind of rushed. Of course, had they not decided to waste so much time at the goddamned sleep clinic . . .

14. Yeah, that's certainly justification for doing something massively foolish again. People still talk about 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombings, but I don't think that means they want to have another one.

40. They're remaking that again? What is this, the sixth time?

49. Well, I would say the arc of the character indicates her slow triumph over that but . . .agree to disagree. :)

I have found, having paid a visit to BitB recently . . .it's saying something when his MILF fixation isn't the ickiest thing he's confessed to . . .

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

That's understandable - at the end of the day, how much can one really say about a John Carpenter movie? :)

He looks like a bloody Neo expy. In 2010.

7. They seemed to literally wake up with about four episodes left in the season and realize there was an entire truckload of loose ends they hadn't touched in months.

14. What's especially frustrating is, due to massive ego, lessons aren't being learned: they're just repeating the same mistakes again and again, hoping for a lucky roll of the dice.

40. I have no idea. I enjoyed the first few seasons of the '90s series - it had a refreshing amorality and didn't shy away from depicting the "good guys" as considerably less-than-nice. Not sure how well that'd go across on the CW, though.

49. Fair enough...

Well, no, there's also his utterly mortifying fascination with imagined incest between actors playing a mother and son for an AT&T commercial or something. Artwork was involved. Excuse me, I need to shower. :)

Kazekage said...

Well, a lot to my mind. If it's They Live or Big Trouble In Little China you can say "awesome!" If it's Ghosts of Mars you can say "It sucked!" and if it's Prince of Darkness you probably would say "What the hell was that?! ;)

Yeah because that wasn't totally played out EIGHT DAMN YEARS AGO.

7. Man, everyone was at the sleep clinic during that season, it seems, eh?

14. Which is about par for the course. With every movement in comics or movies, ultimately their own hubris is what does them in eventually.

40. I'm guessing, knowing what I know of the CW, that it will involve twenty-somethings looking very sad a lot.

I am totally speechless now. There is really nothing I can say about that, as my mind refuses to comprehend it for fear of damaging something critical. So I will instead go have lunch and watch "Stingray" on DVD. :)

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

And if it's "Vampires" you spend most of the movie arguing which Baldwin brother just got eaten. :)

I'm rather sure green script will come running down the screen if he starts wearing sunglasses at night.

7. Quite. :)

14. Those Bubbles do seem to be getting more and more impenetrable, though - it's one thing when you get a letter or two a month from some disgruntled reader, it's another when every single forum and review site on the Internet is laughing at you and you still stay the course.

40. Oh, I don't know - "Gossip Girl" and its contemporaries might benefit from the occasional shoot-out or parkour. :)

It might comfort you to know that there are worse things out there than K-Box. Though not by much. :)

Kazekage said...

Or laughing at James Woods, who behaves for most of the movie as if no one told him he was being filmed. :)

That's why you never switch the blade on the guy in shades, y'know. ;)

14. Well, it's funny that given the fact that the die-hards are all that's left, you'd think they wouldn't treat them with such naked contempt, but then again, they're still around even after being treated with such naked contempt so they probably deserve what they get.

40. That's . . .unusual for a show that I would have imagined was about girls gossiping.

I don't know if "comfort" is exactly the word. What's the word for "feeling surrounded more than ever?" ;)

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Ah, Corey Hart. Fun fact: his second album was apparently called "Boy in the Box". I don't know if that's a reference to pedophilia or a K-Box shout-out, nor do I know which option is more troubling. :)

14. That's precisely it, IMO: both Marvel and DC seem to have twigged to the fact that they have a core readership that will never abandon them, no matter how bad things get - Batman piddling himself, dead cat nunchaku, the 53rd reiteration of the Clone Saga... it doesn't matter. They have a guaranteed level of sales, which means they really don't have to try. At this point I honestly think it's just a happy coincidence when something goes right, like Carey on "X-Men: Legacy".

40. Shame on you, for not knowing it's so much more than that! It's about rich girls gossipiing. ;)

Based on my recent gaming experiences, I believe that's called "being Zerg Rushed". :)

Kazekage said...

I like to think Corey Hart lives in Hypertime. Thus, all those probablities are true, and the new soundtrack for my weekly perusals of K-Box's LJ is now "Never Surrender." :)

14. But there is some slow, inevitable decay. Raising the prices won't plug the hole of the readers you shed because of the high prices. As for Legacy, it probably exists because it makes just enough money that people leave it alone, or like ROM was, Marvel forgot they were publishing it, so the people working on the book could do whatever they wanted. :)

That said. . .you know, I actually bought a Clone Saga back issue recently. It totally wasn't the worst thing I've ever read, believe it or not.

40. That's what I get for being straight. :) I would educate myself but . . .y'know, MAD MEN's back, so . . .yeah. :)

That'll work!

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Does that also mean he'll become irrelevant as soon as K-Box punches the walls of reality? :)

14. Four dollars an issue is just not going to happen as far as I'm concerned. They were pushing their luck with three, to be honest.

I think "Legacy" survives more on Carey's reputation than anything else - it got roped into "Necrosha" and "Second Coming", so it's not like it's completely self-contained. I suppose we should be grateful that they're putting out one good X-book a month...

Oh, I believe it - I've always thought that the Clone Saga was ahead of its time, in the sense that the whole concept of a protagonist questioning his very identity was something that only really took off in the early '00s. Then again, this being Marvel, I doubt they would've managed to pull it off properly even if they'd had the zeitgeist on their side.

40. I really, really need to get around to seeing that, don't I...

Kazekage said...

No, but I might. ;)

14. Oh, believe me, I know. The problem is it's a short-term solution to a long-term problem. The smartest thing to do would be to re-build the audience from scratch and make a concerted effort to get this stuff out to a younger generation. That means newsstand/bookstore distribution, that means digital, that means relying on something other than the goddamn comics shop, and that may mean re-evaluating the 22 page comic as the ideal delivery system for it. It may be years before it turns a profit, but if you want comics to continue, I don't see how you get around it.

Thank heaven for small favours, eh? :)

It was a clever idea, and I really did kinda like it when Ben actually got rid of the damn hoodie and got to be Spider-Man. It was interesting to see them play around with that new status quo, and even if it hadn't stuck, it was kinda cool to see them let that run for awhile. Sort of like during "Funeral for a Friend" you had Superman books without Superman in them (Before that became standard operating procedure for Superman books, as it is now)

40. In the name of making it easy to catch up, I am being cagey with spoilers for the new season just for you, Diana. :)

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Well, we can always pick on Jesse Baker instead. :) He may lack K-Box's occasional common sense, but I'm sure the rabid howling at the moon is so much more entertaining.

14. If they had the foresight to plan ahead like that, they probably wouldn't be in the mess they're in now.

More of a mixed blessing, really, since I keep sticking around for those few genuinely good books when I'd probably be happier just dropping Marvel and DC altogether. :)

That might have been the last gasp of storytelling being prioritized over sales stunts - I'm sure the higher-ups expected the Clone Saga to pay off, but it was in no way a guaranteed success. And in spite of the risks, they chose not to play it safe.

40. It's high up in the queue, believe me. :)

Kazekage said...

Man, I swear . . .on that LJ it's like K-Box's tightly focused mania is focused through the prism of LJ into Jesse Baker's multitudinal craziness. Somehow, comparing them to the cover of Dark Side of the Moon, an album about insanity, is really the most insightful thing I could say about the two of them.

14. Planning ahead in superhero comics is like procrastinating about recharging your fire extinguisher--it's good you thought of it, but it good intentions do sweet FA when the house is already on fire.

It's a bit like life--all your happiness is brief little bits where you get out of the constant rain. ;) If you can find one or two books that swim against the tide, all power to you. I can't.

The thing is, like the Age of Apocalypse, it's one of the rare times you can bend the rules of the never-ending superhero soap opera and actually create things with a definite tangible end point to them. It also makes the return to the usual monthly grind slightly fresher.

As it's somewhat off the usual track of our conversations and you liked Gargoyles so much, I'm mightily intrigued to see what you make of it. :)

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Ah, but in that configuration, which of them is the rainbow? :)

14. Oh, I've no doubt it's too late at this point - especially since they'd just end up repeating the same mistakes again, and nowhere is this more evident than what happened to the Ultimate Universe. For an imprint designed to avert the mistakes of the past, it only took them half a decade to completely self-destruct.

Of course, my "loyalty" has limits: in the unlikely event that Mike Carey drops the ball, or (far more likely) the price continues to rise... well, I'd be sad about dropping it, but I wouldn't regret the decision.

Exactly - and this was before cynicism became the dominant attitude among readers, so they could have gotten plenty of mileage out of a completely new status quo. And they squandered the opportunity.

It's next on the list. I can already tell you this much, though: methinks I'm going to have a truly epic crush on Jon Hamm. :)

Kazekage said...

The rainbow signifies the crazy skittles they make. :) Oh K-Box, I would not have imagined you were a Mad Men fan in one million years. For one thing, there's a marked lack of MILFs . . .

14. Well, it was inevitable, really. Would Heroes Reborn have worked ten years out (or one? I kid, I kid)It's the nature of ongoing multi-title narrative universes to accumulate barnacles and contradictions--with that many cooks, you just can't help it, I think. That said, when your braintrust is Millar and Loeb, you sorts deserve to fail, y'ask me.

The price thing is killing me in terms of new comics as well. I was not quite as sorry to see Atlas go down, if I'm honest. The muddled story and the damn 3D Man didn't help, but I was having trouble justifying $4 for something I was only faintly enjoying.

True. Given the general downbeat tone of the books post M-Day and the grinding bloodbath that was Second Coming, if any franchise could have used a more optimistic upbeat bent, I would have said the X-Men. Notice I did not say "fighting vampires" anywhere in there. :)

Hey, who doesn't? It's an equal opportunity "cake" show--the dudess have Christina Hendricks et al to crush on, the ladies have Jon Hamm and his suave savoir faire seasoned with a hint of melancholy. :) The man does "woobie" very well indeed.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Well, Christina Hendricks is 35... I imagine he took one look at her, said "Close enough" and got to work. :)

14. I disagree: there are certain lessons one could learn in looking at how the DCU and MU evolved. For example, don't subordinate your entire universe to a writer who clearly isn't up to the task; don't make sweeping changes for the sake of an "Event" without considering the consequences; and for God's sake, dead means dead. :)

The problem is that the lessons haven't been learned: even with just three primary writers, the Ultimate Universe caved in on itself rather spectacularly and ended up repeating mistakes made over a 40-year period in less than five. That's an accomplishment, but likely not what the higher-ups were hoping for.

Absolutely. It seems absurd that I should actually have to say this given that it's so self-evident, but if I pay more for something, I expect a better product in return. And even the best comics I'm still reading aren't so captivating that I couldn't give them up if I had to.

Given Marvel's typical shameless pandering to what they think is the zeitgeist, we should probably be grateful the X-Men vampires don't sparkle.

And, if the Emmys were any indication, he can sing and dance too. Delightful. :)

Kazekage said...

I suspect it was more than one look, but it's best not to dwell on the unsavory aspects. :)

14. I think that it's the same result, really--you end up with a lot of disarray. Part of it is a certain amount chaos is inevitable in any system, but they don't help themselves any by saying "Oh, and uhm, Magneto floods the Earth and kills everyone except who he doesn't."

I don't know what they can do to pull it out, really. The same people who messed it up are still in charge of it and they never admit failure so . . .yeah. I think it's just doomed to quietly die off in the corner over there.

It would seem to be self-evident, but considering the whole obnoxious contempt the big two have for their audiences, even this small lesson is lost on them. The most money I dropped on comics in the last few months was on the Marvel Hardcover sale. Which I wouldn't have gone in for anyways except the price was right for the material. What a concept.

Shhh . . .they'll hear you. I'm already waiting for the TRON-themed outfits for everyone. :)

He's a man of many talents. I cannot wait to hear your reactions to Mad Men.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

I don't mind the chaos per se; it's not that they're making mistakes, it's that they're making the same mistakes. Magneto flooding the world to no real effect doesn't strike me as much different from Thanos killing half the universe only to have it pop right back up.

Just as well, I suppose. The sooner it shuffles off, the sooner we can wax nostalgic about the good old days when it was actually worth the paper it was printed on...

Of course, it's tempting to imagine that with the law of diminishing returns being what it is, they're going to hit the Mea Culpa Wall sooner rather than later. :)

I guess we should be thankful they're pimping Tron and not, say, "Jersey Shore". Because I have no trouble seeing them drop Spider-Man, Wolverine and Captain America into tanning salons. Sally Floyd could be their liaison to those scabrous wretches on MTV, the better to connect our heroes to the true essence of America. :(

Well, we know how that turned out. ;) Still love me the Hamm, though.

Kazekage said...

Well, in defence of Thanos, it's the law of Chekov's Gauntlet--if you have a magic wishing glove in Act One everything it does will be rolled back by act 3. Did the flood have any real effect, ultimately (no pun intended)

Man, wouldn't that be good? I give it until the time when they have no more first-string creators to make it worth promoting and it'll be irrelevant sooner than you can say "Astonishing X-Men."

We've said that so many times, though, and not so much as an "oops" yet. I mean, why is Matt Fraction allowed to write anything long after he's proven he can't do anything interesting? Why is Daniel Way Chuck Austen 2.0? Who in the blue hell is Victor Gischler and why should I care? ust give me one--ONE--book I can like that is NOT a reprint, Marvel that's all I ask.

No, some other entertainment venue I love is triying to dick-ride on Jersey Shore, and it's turning out pretty dire. Besides which Diana--every time you say stuff like this, I have this vision of someone at Marvel saying "I've got one that can SEE! into their watch and vanishing to plot Christ knows what horrible comics. ;)

So it wasn't all bad. :) I tell you--he needs to be Superman, doesn't he?

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

I seem to recall hearing that Bendis' first issue of post-reboot Ultimate Spider-Man (or Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, or Ultimate Spider-Comics-Man, I don't even know anymore) basically had a page describing the six-month cleanup period, and then... business as usual. And I'm guessing any characters killed during Ultimatum will be back within three years. Because at this point they couldn't escape that trap even if they saw it coming.

Considering their current batch of talent is Bendis, Millar and Loeb, it rather seems like they're already there. :)

I imagine Fraction gets assignments because his pitches sound so much better in theory until he actually sits down and writes; but Daniel Way? I've got nothing. To be fair, he's not offensively bad in the way that Liefeld and Austen were, but the man's about as sharp as chocolate pudding.

I'm for any scenario that would have Bob Iger staggering around muttering "Dear God, what have we done?" :)

Now that would be a bit of casting brilliance. Come to think of it, that might be part of the problem with Superman these days: between Brandon Routh and Tom Welling, it's as if there's some consensus that Superman has to be a "pretty boy" rather than a grown man, and really, that doesn't seem to be working at all.

Kazekage said...

Yeah, so Ultimatum really counted in the end, dinnit? This is what I was talking about before--these kinds of apocalyptic scenarios have been so abused now and treated like a joke that it's lost any and all power to shock, or at least it is for me. :)

And they burned them out . . .pretty quick, didn't they?

Yeah, I have never really understood Fraction's "magic touch," really--to me it reads like he desperately wants to be Grant Morrison despite the notable handicap of having no original or interesting ideas of his own.

I know, right? I hardly think, given Superman's general appearance on some level (depending on who's writing him that day) as a paternal or big brother (lowercase) figure, why not someone slightly older than the CW norm? Someone who can bring a little more gravitas than the latest hot young thing off the CW.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

That's probably a symptom of the larger problem: creative directions are so easily overturned these days that nothing sticks. It doesn't matter how much individual writers struggle against the status quo, by now we've become accustomed to the notion that it'll all snap back sooner or later.

About the only charitable thing I can say about Matt Fraction is that his work has never flat-out offended me, and wow, the situation must be dire when that actually sets him apart from his peers.

Especially since your typical CW actor tends to fall more on the "a-duh" side of the acting scale. Not that one needs a particular range or depth to play Superman, but at the very least you'd need more than two facial expressions.

Kazekage said...

Well, it's like what happened with comic book death, isn't it? Like death, the whole status-quo shakeup thing has been done so often and never makes a lick of difference ultimately and the disingenuous-ness of the exercise just annoys people because it's like "Yeah, whatever. It'll be all back to normal eventually or it won't."

It's disappointed me, but the bigger issue I have with it is that I've never liked it, either. I'd cut the guy a little more slack if he'd actually done anything I'd found interesting.

I know, right? Then again, CW actors are a dime a dozen and they work cheap, there's always a chance economy may take precedence over wise decision-making. It surely wouldn't be the first time. :)

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

It probably doesn't help that they're getting increasingly desperate the further sales sink - and in typical Marvel fashion, they're responding to the decline with More Dakka rather than trying to figure out why things have gone so wrong.

Well, he did do some solid work on "Immortal Iron Fist", but that was co-written with Ed Brubaker and I've long suspected that Fraction's contribution was on a conceptual level - the other Immortal Warriors, the tales of the various Iron Fists like Wu Ao Shi, etc. And Brubaker was the one who spun those concepts into fully realized stories.

Really, you only need to look at "Smallville" to see how that works - I caught a recent episode out of curiosity, as they're apparently doing a Darkseid arc now, and I was sure I'd accidentally picked up a softcore gay porno instead: all half-naked boys with blank faces being tied up. Then Michael Hogan turned up, and I remembered that's the other thing CW does so well: wasting guest stars. :)

Kazekage said...

Well, that's all they know how to do now. We're no fighting for crumbs, so if the sales sheets say people are buying a lot of one Avengers or Deadpool book, then print a whole lot more of them to soak up every dollar you can until they move on to the next thing. And that's all they apparently know how to do.

I imagine they were, because, uh, I gotta be honest . . .to me, Fraction writes everyone in the same voice, and that voice is that of an unbearably smug asshole. Plug that handicap into a book like Uncanny X-Men with it's cast of 200 and it's like the most annoying talking greeting card you can imagine--you want to hurl the thing across the room to get it to shut the hell up.

You look at Smallville. That sounds really ghastly, you know. I know I'm not in TV and obviously know little about how these decisions get made, but is a cosmic villain, surely to be fought in a grand scale battle with the universe at stake, is the best venue for all that a show full of pouty effete actors on a budget of roughly twice that of an underachieving fan film the best way to go about it?

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

I think that, more than anything, is the source of the frustration currently working its way through the blogosphere: it's likely still possible to turn things around, but that would require DiDio and Quesada to set their gargantuan egos aside and recognize the mistakes they're making. Which, given that Internet commentary is the only real input they get these days (do comics even have letter pages anymore? None that I've seen...) shouldn't be too much of a stretch. But rather than take an honest look at where they've gone wrong over the years, they're utterly convinced that they just need to keep pushing more, as if quantity is the problem rather than quality.

Yes, those "clever" introductions in Uncanny X-Men got rather tired after the fourth or fifth iteration...

Well, here's how I see it: hypothetically speaking, if the point of "Smallville" is to strip Justin Hartley and Tom Welling down to their knickers on a regular basis and string them up in compromising positions, I might be the target audience. But I certainly wouldn't see it as a DC series, and certainly not even remotely connected to Superman.

Kazekage said...

Well, I think the frustration comes more from the vertically integrated contempt that seems to be out there that suffuses every level of the business. I look around the comics sites now and what do I see? The people who buy comics hate the comics they buy. Comic shop owners hate their consumers. Comic creators hate the fans. Heads of comic companies hate the fans and it seems like everyone is in the mad race to be the first person to tell someone else to go fuck themselves and . . .really. I play at being angry here, but it's getting a bit much even for me. Which is why the blog takes such continuous and extended terms for the retro, I suspect. There's not much good news in the current comics scene for me.

God, didn't they? Of course, if they were written with more specific voices (or we had a cast of a little less than 200) we wouldn't need witty captions to differentiate between everyone.

So it's . . .bondage porn trojan-horsed into the homes of millions as a Superman show? I'm kinda glad I've never seen an episode now. It sounds right ghastly. But then, the misunderstanding of Superman as fallen God eternally suffering for the sins of the people he's worn to protect in one way or another is a pretty systemic misunderstanding of the character, innit?

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Exactly so. It's a bit much, isn't it?

Sometimes I think those are actually Fraction's Post-It Notes, the kind you'd use to sort out who's who. Because otherwise he'd get all mixed up and confuse Colossus with Wolverine, and all hell would break loose. :)

Ghastly, yes. Occasionally hilarious too, because if I recall correctly the pilot episode had Clark stripped to the waist and tied to a post in the middle of an empty cornfield, suggesting that someone had a Superman-bondage fixation at the planning stages. And here we are, a decade later, and half-naked pretty boys are still getting tied up all over the place. How they got from that to Superman is, and has ever been, beyond me.:)

Kazekage said...

It is, and all that I get from things like Slott-gate and Aaron going after Alan Moore is a rather disappointed sigh and frankly, it's just not worth it to me to get involved in. A walk through the oceans of comics circa 2011 would scarcely get my feet wet.

I can only imagine the mix-up. There'd either be a lot of statutory rape or surrogate daddy-ing, and either of those would be icky. But that's what he gets for thinking a cast of bloody 200 character was going to work in any meaningful way, isn't it? Mind you, it's not impossible to make an extended cast work--Busiek's Avengers frequently rotated cast members in and out in an effort to keep things fresh and give as many Avengers face time as he could, but there was always a core element that stayed fixed. I don't give a shit about 200 mutants on a rock in the ocean trying to make Mutant Israel. We did that better than this ten years ago and no one needed to be made a vampire to make me give a shit.

Man, I . . .you know, people told me that Smallville was hilariously misbegotten from the start and yet, I continue to hold myself aloof. I do find it amazing though, that about 15 years ago, we thought frog-eating clones were the worst thing a Superman series could do. And then Clark started using his heat vision whenever he got horny . . .and then . . .

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

It does seem like the discourse of comics is deteriorating alongside the actual material - not only are the stories becoming more contrived and backwards and ridiculous, but even talking about them tends to veer more towards K-Box territory than an intelligent discussion - present company excluded, of course. :)

Well, rotating the cast was supposed to be the big post-Utopia idea, wasn't it? You get all the X-Men in one place and then pick a few per storyline. That's actually a viable long-term plan, because you can alternate character beats with some longer subplots without completely losing direction. Still, Fraction's leaving the book in April, to be replaced by Kieron Gillen - I might actually drop in at that point, since he did that lovely SWORD miniseries a while back...

Have you been reading the Sims/Uzumeri reviews? They're as incredulous as we are, only they're actually watching the whole damn season. :) (And while the frog-eating clones were bad, I'd say the absolute worst was Superman vs. Howie Mandel in the Battle to Save Christmas. Brr.)

Kazekage said...

Aww, thanks. I will try, in the midst of my profane inveighing against things which disappoint me that I will freely admit that I'm kinda full of shit. Part of that's because I look at things which may or may not be worthy of serious critical thought (or my irreverent version thereof) but most of it's just my dismay at the fact that you can't say anything about comics here lately without it touching off a flamewar and people immediately run to the trenches. It's like hockey with just the fights and no hockey.

Well, that would have worked, I supposed, but for the twin problems of 1) spending forever setting up the stupid status quo and 2) Matt Fraction can only write characters in one voice, and he nicked that from Joss Whedon. I don't know much about Gillen . . .I may or may not give it a try, assuming he's actually allowed to individuate the characters again.

I can't say that I have--Smallville's not on my radar even as a car-wreck kind of curioisity, but I can imagine it's fairly ghastly indeed. I had forgotten about Superman vs. Howie Mandell, but I could actually probably go lower than that if I had to--I did watch the old Superboy show, after all. ;)

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

I imagine that's the end result of the Big Two's current strategy: the readership has become so polarized that middle ground barely exists as a concept anymore. I mean, you look at something like Roy Harper's Impotent Kitty Nunchucks and either you're disgusted or you think it's kewl that he might get back on the junk again. Not much room for moderation when the stories are so bloody extreme.

Eh, I suppose they might as well just break them all up into teams again, that seems to be the only way writers can cope with the characters.

So you made it through this? I am impressed, sir. :)

Kazekage said...

Is it? I can't imagine anyone read that and thought anything about it was cool. The overwhelming thing I took from it was how stupid it was and that if I ever did anything like that, I wouldn't show my face anywhere out of utter crippling shame. If there are people who thought Rise of Arsenal worth anything, I have two things to say to them: "Fuck you, and I don't want to know you. Ever."

Aren't they killing off someone every quarter, now? I'm sure that'll think the herd some. Failing that, Diana, your precognition has turned out to be right, because that's precisely what they're doing--a Cyclops team and a Wolverine team. I myself can hardly contain my indifference.

Stacy Haiduk will see a 14-year old dateless wonder through a lot, Diana. And this is easily the most shameful thing I have yet admitted on this blog, I'm sure. :)

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

See, I know we joke about the average George Romero zombie having more intelligence than the entirety of DC, but purely as a commercial entity, it's impossible for me to believe that they aren't trying to target a specific demographic. (Whether or not it's the one they should be targeting is, of course, an entirely different matter.) So somewhere out there are people who read "Rise of Arsenal" and absolutely loved it. And if that thought sends an arctic chill through your bones... well, now you know what true horror is. :)

You know, I think they actually made an official announcement to that effect? Can't say for sure as I've stopped paying any attention at all to comics news, but... well, that certainly sounds like something Marvel would do.

I mostly remember her from "Brimstone" - the role didn't really give her much to do, though. As for being dateless at 14, just remember the words of Betty White during her infamous takedown of Facebook: "When we were kids, we didn't go around telling people we were single. We were kids! It was weird if you weren't single!" :)

Kazekage said...

Well, that's the tragedy of it, isn't it? We're now pandering to whoever's left, and the only people left have such low standards that the industry pushes stuff that they would have tossed in the bin fifteen years.

They did. And I swear I think that's when I finally just had enough and my feelings about the comics industry turned into actively hoping it will die instead of pathetically trying to crawl despite the fact that half of it's been run over and even if it could it'd die before it made it anyways.

That was the one where the cop was sent back by the devil and had to shoot out everyone's eyes and stuff like that, yeah? Betty has a point--er, more about a Facebook than dating at 14, though. God knows if you hadn't gotten to at least first base by then you were obviously gay. :)