Saturday, May 13, 2017

Screaming Chicken Armor: Wonder Woman & Kingdom Come


Superhero comics are a unique genre in that most of its characters exist in a relatively ongoing-yet-static state, but are defined by hundreds of different writers and artists. So although most characters have some kind of foundation of who/what they are supposed to be on paper, that base is subject to the interpretation or reinterpretation of whichever creator is using the character in any given story.

If a character is around long enough, or achieves enough popularity/exposure, he or she will have stories that define them in the eyes of fans and other creators. Tales that will cement who they are and what they're about, or perhaps reinforce who they are and what they're about if the character had strayed too far or had been deconstructed in some capacity.
Or sometimes they're just really good stories that fans and creators embrace and, from then on, will point to and say: "There! THAT is what this character is all about!"

And sometimes there will come a story that redefines a character and changes the way they are seen. A deconstruction, a reconstruction, or maybe the creator just saw something in the character no one else ever had.
Sometimes it might be unintentional and even detrimental to the character.

Arguably, one of the best examples of a defining story that permanently shaped (or re-shaped, depending on your point of view) a character would be Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. The impact of that title on Batman is still felt to this day. See also Year One.
Another less radical example might be Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman—a tale many fans I've seen point to as a perfect encapsulation of everything Superman is, should be, and represents.

And Wonder Woman..?
She's certainly had strong, defining stories over the years. If asked, most fans will point to the runs of George PĂ©rez, Greg Rucka, and Gail Simone or specific stories like The Hiketeia.
But there's one book that has influenced how she is regarded in the eyes of fans and creators since its release that usually isn't included when people discuss defining Wonder Woman stories. Largely because it isn't really a "Wonder Woman" story to begin with.

That would be Mark Waid and Alex Ross's Kingdom Come.

Usually, when this story is discussed, it's more in regard to Superman and maybe Batman. Superman especially is very much the heart of the story.
But Kingdom Come is a seminal and defining work for Wonder Woman, even if it wasn't intended to be. It marks a significant turning point for her—both in her portrayal, and her place in DC as a whole—and for better or worse, has defined her in many people's eyes. Whether they realize it or not, it has colored the way Wonder Woman is presented, and its impact on her remains to this very day.

Friday, December 23, 2016

2016....as re-enacted by Jack Torrance

I've noticed a lot of people doing "Me at the start of 2016 / Me at the end of 2016" memes, so I decided to up the ante with a run through 2016 from beginning to end...as played by The Shining's Jack Torrance.

And so, 2015 ends and a new years begins. What could go wrong..?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

All The World Is Waiting For You


It's a-comin'....

So here we are, one month away—as of this writing—from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Not only that, but we've also gotten info on Wonder Woman's own individual movie, which has already begun filming.
So with the home stretch upon us, I thought I'd offer some thoughts on recent information regarding our Amazon heroine and her upcoming film debut.

Let's get rambling....

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

...uuugggghhhh...

Shortly after I first started this blog, I made a post discussing Wonder Woman's powers—specifically her endurance and stamina.

In this post, I discussed how Wonder Woman's ability to take/endure damage is often portrayed inconsistently and how that's a real problem with the character.
In particular, when it comes to poison gases or toxins, and I mentioned how there's something ludicrous—and extremely lame—that we have a god-like character who can go toe-to-toe with the likes of Superman, but can get knocked out cold by sleeping gas or chloroform.

So then there's THIS bullshit I happened to stumble across today....

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Miscalculations of the Star Wars Prequels

Huzzah, the first installment of the new Star Wars trilogy, The Force Awakens, is (as of this writing) just around the corner. And I thought I'd commemorate this occasion by......beating a dead horse and going on about the Prequel Trilogy.


Yeah, yeah, I know...pretty much everyone and their mother has critiqued the Star Wars prequels. We've now reached a point where most think-pieces on them fall into one of two categories: "The prequels really weren't THAT bad," or, "No, the prequels really did suck."

Personally, I'm in the camp that the prequels were not particularly good. So if you're expecting a defense of them here, you're out of luck—a lot of what I'm going to write here are my thoughts on why the prequels don't work.
However, don't expect cries of raped childhood or parroting of Red Letter Media either. I'm not interested in repeating the obvious complaints of too many special effects or poor dialogue or wooden acting. It's been done.

Overall, when I think of the prequels, what I see more than anything are creative miscalculations by George Lucas—hence the title. Because one thing I've noticed when people discuss the prequels is the question: have we any right to question George Lucas's vision, and was it ultimately impossible for him to meet the fans expectations?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Halloween: The Shape, Michael Myers, & Cthulhu


Full disclosure...I would be very hesitant to call myself a fan of the Halloween series.

That isn't to say I have no appreciation for them. I definitely recognize and respect the original for being such a ground-breaking film. As a fan of Friday the 13th, I certainly know those movies wouldn't exist without Halloween. And whenever the Halloween season comes, and AMC or some other channel has its inevitable marathon, I usually end up watching most or all of them.

Except Resurrection. Fuck that movie.

But of the big slasher icons—as I've mentioned in previous posts—I've always been a Jason guy.
Even back when I was young enough to actually be scared of these movies, Michael Myers just never hit me.

A lot of that can be chalked up to personal taste. I just found the atmosphere and background music of Friday—especially the earlier ones—scarier than that of Halloween. For whatever reason, I thought Jason's hockey mask more intimating than Michael's Captain Kirk.
Different strokes and all that.

But I think the biggest thing that always kept me from really getting into the Halloween movies and Michael Myers as a characters was, frankly, I just didn't buy him.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Top Nostalgic Movie Villains

And now for something a little different...from me anyway. A lot of people do "Top whatever" lists—I just haven't until now.

Everyone loves villains. Everybody loves a good "bad guy." There's that old adage: "A hero is only as good as their villain."
I wanted to do a top ten list of villains, but that's far too broad, so I decided to narrow it down to the villains that stand out from my childhood watching movies. I'm not going to pretend this is objective in any way, but these are the characters that, when I think of them, push that personal nostalgia button and take me back to my youth.

So let's bring on the bad guys...