Sep. 23rd, 2012

starfire11: (Default)
So I picked up the new Jaina Proudmore book from my library (yay public libraries) and it's okay. It's not amazing. BUT IT'S NOT AN ASSIGNED READING FROM SCHOOL AND IT'S SOMETHING I ACTUALLY WANTED TO READ AND IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY!

"But-but you find time in your schedule for shittons of WoW and stupid ol' Doctor Who and-"

SHUT UP ME INSIDE OF QUOTES! All of things! And those don't require much thought, so there!

So, SPOILERS, but apparently JainaxKalecgos is a thing.

I feel like I was theorized this, but then I pushed it aside because I've shipped JainaxVarian ever since ICC came out and I got past gunship and paid attention to the RP and was like "OMG ARE THEY SAYING THAT JAINAXVARIAN IS GOING TO BE A THING because it is ALL RIGHT THERE!" Seriously. They're like the same age. Varian NEEDS someone. He's too young to spend the rest of his days as a bachelor :D And what if Anduin gets kilt?

Also, like... I want mini Kalecs and mini Jainas running around in future Azeroth along with mini Tyrandes and mini Malfurions (OMG GAIS MOVE IT ALREADY! YOU'RE GETTING OLD!)... but I don't think a dragonxhuman hybrid is possible.

Admittedly, this is a world where a dragon and a stag gave birth to a centaur. Somehow.

BUT SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE! Come on!

I suppose it could happen.

Whatever.

I read some of the "Before Watchmen" bits. I don't really know what to think about them. They're mostly better than the reviews I read. The Ozymandias one was a little silly at times but it was interesting. I don't really know what to think about the Comedian one. The Nite Owl one was quite interesting - I enjoyed it greatly. The Silk Spectre one... was curious. I can see Laurie-of-Watchmen forming out of Laurie-of-Before Watchmen. The Minutemen one has potential. It certainly makes these characters more well-rounded for me. I look forward to seeing the next installment.

Overall, the art was a GREAT improvement. The things they showed that they couldn't show (or couldn't show WELL) in old comics were good (little kids in "good" families having opinions other than "mommy, I'm scared", being one of them, along with some of the more intimate moments between youngsters that created intimacy without being overly intimate... and so on).

Here's the thing. I enjoy some of the thing Watchmen says about the comic industry as a whole. There are a lot of problems with it, but some interesting things are said, and a lot of interesting things are done.

What I would love, even more than a revamped version of the graphic novel featuring updated art, would be a Watchmen styled in the Digital Age.

Watchmen was designed to use tropes in the comic industry without using known heroes like Superman, Batman, the X-Men, and so on. Tropes like age-transitions (the Silver Age to the Golden Age) for heroes, costume iterations (from the obscene - Emma Frost - to the ridiculous - Galactus), the heroic tradition being carried through families (Black Canary), animal companions (Ace the Bat Hound, Krypto), the anti-hero (The Punisher), the wealthy/playboy by day (Batman, Green Arrow), women being heavily sexualized, and so on.

Again, one of the especially amazing things about Watchmen is the fact that it did all this WITHOUT USING COMMON HEROES like Superman, Batman, and so on. What they're doing nowadays for the most part is updating old heroes or streamlining old stories. "New Frontier" is old storylines with new art and a bit of a realistic bend. The animated movie I watched took place in (I believe) a Vietnam-ish era, but with more realistic art. A more diverse cast is being introduced into stories: homosexuals, more blacks and minorities and religious diversity... and so on. Plot points that people wouldn't DREAM of using years ago are becoming widespread.

Okay, sure. That's great and all. But there's still plenty of problems in the industry, ESPECIALLY with all these things they're "combating". The industry seems to embrace stereotypes more than just write a character who HAPPENS to be homosexual or who HAPPENS to be Muslim. These things shouldn't DEFINE a character. They should just make the character more realistic. And if they do define the character, they should do it in a creative way. It shouldn't be that a homosexual male character hates or fears women and only likes purple and pink, or so on. Feature a group date between heroes where a female character brings her girlfriend. Show a day in the week where a character stops to pray in a mosque. It doesn't have to be a big deal. Heterosexual characters who show up with dates or who stop in churches or synagogues are no big deal. Why should these "new" characters be?

The problem a lot of these comics are having is the retconning of old characters, which makes a lot of people angry. A lot of writers are getting rid of the more ridiculous bits of comic past (see "Batman: The Brave and the Bold", and Wonder Woman and bondage, for two random examples) to create more "realistic" characters.

It's a battle between what they think the public wants and what they're willing to write.

But I want a new Watchmen! I want to see what that would be like in today's world. Something like Kickass... but more extensive. Kickass... I'd have to actually read the comics. That might be something close... but it still goes a little over the top.

Hmm... maybe this requires some extensive look-see...

Now, I haven't read the graphic novel, so I don't know how successful the movie adaptation was. But I did see the movie, and I did enjoy it, and I remember it somewhat.

It doesn't include a lot of the old tropes from comics: oversexualized superheroines (in the clothes department), animal companions, stupid catchphrases (to an extent - the writers and audience are aware of the awkwardness when they are used, and it is done away with after a time), most ridiculous costumes (we'll ignore the rich kid trying to impress his father who turns evil - he's kind of stupid and crazy, so he gets a pass)... and ridiculous weapons. And some others.

Yeah, it has some randomly rampantly sexual girls who are kind of weird and just fall in love with the nerds for not much reason at all. Nerds who become the center of things. It features those bits of current pop culture that are still widely used, and it makes fun of them.

While I would have liked to see a bit more development on the part of the female characters (there's only one major female character who gets a decent amount of plot devotion, and that's Hitgirl... who takes Lolita to the next level in certain ways), some interesting points are made.

We are shown characters who do not have superpowers. Who do not walk around wearing fortunes (except for the evil kid), who are not invulnerable, who have normal lives, who are not constantly Brady-Bunch-style happy.

We are shown characters who BLEED when they get beat up. Who get BEAT UP when they get beat up. Who DIE and STAY DEAD. We are shown the results of tragedies. We are shown how simple it is for someone like this to get tracked down. We are shown how trauma changes a life, especially a child's life. Especially for a child who isn't as damn lucky as kids like Bruce Wayne who are left with extensive fortunes. We're shown a male protagonist who actually wants a girlfriend in for physical reasons, not noble ones. I appreciate the noble ones, but honestly, I'm a bit tired of EVIL characters being represented by being desirous of physical wants, while good characters only care about noble things. That's NOT the way the world works. People have physical urges. While I would prefer a well-rounded relationship, a character who doesn't act like a soap opera is a welcome change from things. Plus, women aren't THROWN at this guy. He only gets ONE girlfriend the entire movie. While it's nice to thing that putting on a set of tights is a way to attract the ladies... it's really not. I can honestly say that there are two attractive costumed men in the comicverse, from my perspective: Spider-man in the Toby Maguire movies, and Captain Marvel's cape (the DC version). That's a dude and A CAPE. I don't like Captain Marvel, physically. I think he's really ugly, actually. His powers are fun. OP. But that's just like Superman. And I don't find Spider-man physically attractive in the comics. I don't find Toby Maguire physically attractive - just either him in the suit or WHOEVER is wearing that suit. DAMN can they wear a costume!

Note, I prefer Chris Hemsworth, to his depiction in the comics. There are a few instances were characters while NOT wearing their costumes, are attractive. And those are few and far between. Too many heroes are ridiculously over-muscled and grotesque to be called "attractive". And sorry, but I don't drool at the sight of muscles.

Heck, the only male costume pieces I like in the comics are Spider-man's red-blue costume (for the most part, in recent comics) and Captain Marvel's cape (which is amazing). The female costumes are mostly meh (and ridiculous, to boot), and the rest of the comic world is a Tye-dye mess of screw-ups.

So yes. Kickass showed a somewhat realistic depiction of the Digital Age reacting to a costumed hero. One) YouTube phenomenon. Phones everywhere. Internet spam. Two) Professional criticism. Any trained fighter would see the massive flaws in a plan like this. Cops and soldiers exist for a reason. Three) Only people with mental problems are attracted to a person dressed in a stupid costume who gets beat up by thugs and does what in the world? Nothing that important, really. And so we have the Females of the movie, who have demonstrated their issues throughout the movie!

If you put on a crazy costume, most likely you will get the same response those "real costumed heroes" get when my mom turned the show on a couple months ago. We laughed and mom said "crazy people like that actually exist. How sad". This, from a woman who rates male actors with me on sexiness, and who argues with me about what makes a man attractive. I assure you that, for most people interested in men that I know, less is more. Yeah, the guys (and other people interested in women) are obviously loving women dressed in like nothing, but that's not reserved to them. You start sticking men in nothing (do you wonder WHY women flock to Hugh Jackman's movies? Because he finds some excuse to take his shirt off in almost all of them!), and you'll see some more attention.

Now I don't mean that the answer to getting increased female readership is to pop more Hulks into the comics. The Hulk is not attractive. Wolverine in the comics is not attractive. Sabertooth is not attractive. Just... seriously.

Crazy people. Crazy people like them.

Then there's guns. You know those scenes where the screen is FLOODED with gunfire of some sort, and the hero MIRACULOUSLY dodges it all? Those scenes?

See, THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN (that often) in real life! It just DOESN'T happen! People shoot you a lot... you're gonna get hit SOMEWHERE. That's part of the reason people make fun of amateur gunfire: spray the target, hope one bullet makes it. Try to beat a fight through probability. That's why people liked Gatling guns when they were first created. They were first, you didn't have to reload them like older guns, which had a PAINFULLY long reloading time, and they fired LOTS of bullets, so you had VASTLY higher chances of hitting your target.

And then there's recovery time. You see characters in comics get but up and OCCASIONALLY you will see them facing the consequences of these fights. It's mostly women (Oracle, cough cough), but it OCCASIONALLY happens. Most of the time, you just see them show off MAYBE a couple bruises, and then just go right back into the ring.

I love the one moment when Lara Croft falls through a window and says she can't rest yet, even though she's exhausted. And then, for the rest of the story, she doesn't show any sign of weariness, even though she doesn't sleep a wink.

Sigh.

Do we need to mention that time when Batman REPAIRED HIS BROKEN SPINE?

I'm not entirely certain that Kickass escapes this. But at least it features a hero who gets shot... and experiences the results of getting shot. And a hero who experiences the results of getting beat up.

I don't know...

I've been reading more Civil War... it's interesting. I really, really want to read Deadpool now. The only Deadpool I've read outside of Civl War is his brief cameo in Ultimate Spider-Man... which was really nothing big. It wasn't funny. It was kind of... eh.

Civil War so far has been... you know, I don't really know what to think about Civil War.

I'm very confused about WHY Peter and Tony had to reveal themselves. For Tony, it feels somewhat superfluous. For Peter it's like... um, okay?

I don't recall there being a part of the act that stipulated "you have to reveal your identity to the public". All it seems to require is that you report it to the government. It's like you put yourself into a database, like CIA or Secret Service operatives. It isn't public knowledge. It's just data. They know who to turn to. They have your file.

Yes, that knowledge could get out. It's in more hands. More eyes see it. More people know it. But honestly, even without government control, that information can get out ANYWAY!

So I'm done for the night. Ta.

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