Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jim Balent (and Kim DeMulder) FAIL

From the Elseworlds title, Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham.

This worlds Two Face:


This world's version of Alfred:FAIL

The 3 costumes in the top panel:


Smallville - Apocalypse (season 7, episode 18)

This is the most fanservicey episode ever! Seriously, it took them an alternate universe to make Lois a Pulitzer prizewinning journalist, Clark to sweep her off her feet, her to see his super powers, give Kara the Linda Danvers name, make Kara work closely with Lex for a number of years and trust him implicitly, whilst Lex is President of the USA, and properly eviiil, and also put Clark in journalist and glasses mode?!

Brilliant. I remember back in season 1 we saw a premonition whereby Lex was in a white suit in the White House, and the countryside had been ravaged by what we assumed was a nuclear war, all burned out and blackened anyway. Well that's what transpired in this episode. My guess is they originally planned for this to happen in the seasons properly, but it didn't pan out that way. Hence Lex destroying the world with Braniac in this episode.

Also, Kara is exceedingly heroic in the fortress. Far more so than Clark. Clark is still a bit of a dumbass, but hopefully less emo after this episode.

2 more to go in this season, then bring on season 8. And please god give him the costume at least once somewhere! And flight!

Smallville - Sleeper

Brilliant! This has stealth Jimmy dressed like a ninja being coerced by the feds into spying on his girlfriend Chloe so that he can find out what secret government info she's after as the feds think she's a terrorist. Chloe gets caught, beaten up by scary tough fed lady, Jimmy distracts the feds by plugging his DS or somesuch into the pc terminal, gets all violent and rescues her. It's all intrigue and double dealing and threats of prison. Wonderful!
THEN when you think it can't get any better we find out Kara is on Krypton in the past and Braniac is trying to kill baby Kal so Clark has to make his way to Krypton asap so that he can prevent Braniac killing baby himself and therefore won't ceased to exist.
intergalatic time portal indeed!

This is FUN.

Comics review again

Finally got down to the comics shop today. I realised that I actually should have gone in last week as I was waiting for Batman confidential 20 and Superman/Batman 51. Nevermind.
This week's haul turned out to be pretty good. In addition to the above, I got:
Teen Titans, 62
Teen Titans yr 1, 6
Final Crisis - Rogues Revenge, 2
Superman, 679

Batman Confidential 20. Pretty enjoyable. I liked Selina and Bruce's exchanges, and Barbara has been pretty fun to read about. It's a shame that the cover features Babs and Selina in strategically ripped costumes, but at least the art inside isn't overtly sexualised. Having said that, I'm not too keen on the art. There isn't enough distinction between Selina and Babs other than their costumes and hair. It's done by a guy called Kevin Maguire, I figure he may just need to develop some more.

Superman 679. Really good. Lois's and Clark morning conversation I loved. Kara's immediate response to Clark's situation was heroic. I'm confused as to why she was sitting in the zoo with all the lions, other than it made a good picture, but it was very random. I am totally hooked to see where this story is going. And it seems that Krypto is here to save the day. I think that's awesome.

Final Crisis Rogues Revenge 2. Again, really really good. The Rogues are a particularly human bunch of enemies, they have their own code, they never kill a Flash (until they did, of course, but that's partially cos Inertia tricked them into it), and we know their back stories. They aren't through and through evil, they care about and look out for each other. And they're all sane (except for this new Trickster, who I'm convinced is actually psychotic). They know what choices they make, they've got everything on their conscience, and they're happy with that. To me, this is what makes them interesting to read about.

And now they've come up against a bunch of pretenders, who think they can take over. Well, they got showed pretty good, din't they? They were destroyed by the current Rogues, because having a weapon doesn't make you deadly. Having experience and viciousness does.
Now Inertia is wearing the Kid Flash costume he's gonna get his arse handed to him on a plate when the other Flashes find out, or any superhero. Except that I've got a feeling the Rogues will find him first, and they'll give him a mighty beating.

Teen Titans yr 1, 6 I don't get this issue. :/ It's been so long since I read the number 5 that I can't remember what was happening before, but for the life of me, I don' recall that it had anything to do with events in this issue. So, I don't get it. :/ Nice art though!

Teen Titans 62 I liked. I know this is unpopular because they killed off Wendy and Marvin, in a particularly violent way (they befriended a mystery dog who turned into a giant killer dog and tore our Marvin's insides then went after Wendy, I reckon Sean McKeever is a cat person), but I enjoyed the issue. Lord knows where M'Gann has gone, Robin had a mini breakdown at Cassie, Eddie is Eddie and I don't know enough about Blue Beetle to have much of an opinion on him.

The dialogue was weird in this issue. I know Cyborg and Eddie waffling on about how much Wendy and Marvin meant to the team was there for dramatic tension to make their deaths more tragic, but they way it was done, and the way that they reacted, coupled with an issue of 52 included in the death panel has led me to a theory.

I reckon that this earth (as in this real life one where DC characters are fictional) and their earth are going to somehow merge and the characters are going to meet the DC writers and staff. That's what the Final Crisis is all about. So basically it's all going to go meta. A bit like the Dark Tower books where Stephen King met his fictional characters (which was a shit part of the series by the way). You just wait and see, I'll be right. ;)

Superman/Batman 51 This is hands down the most awesome and funny comic published in a long long time. In fact, the Impulse issues were the last ones to compete with these. It's THAT good. Lots of l'il leaguers turned up - cutesified mini rotund versions of the JLA. There was a goddamn Batman joke. Lil Batman and Big Batman's conversations were wonderful. L'il Batman's origin story is that his parents got shoved when he was 8 and that made him realize there was evil in the world. L'il Supes origin is that it rained a lot on Krypton so his folks sent him to earth so he could get some sun. L'il Kara cries when people fight and blows up windows.
There's hearts and lip shapes in the air when they see people they crush on!
It's freakin' adorable. So much squeee. Love love love.

Edit: And of course Mister Mxyzptlk said that he brought the l'il leaguers in to sell issues. Which backs up my Meta theory. Right?!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Warning: news re rape of a 12 yr old by a 24 yr old.
I read stuff that just makes me want to cry. A lot of what is said in the blog entry I don't need to repeat.
But -
"“Girls and young women need to be protected from their own immaturity and sexual curiousity at that vulnerable age,” he said."

What? Firstly, yes there's sexual curiosity, but that's not a problem. it's not a mistake, it's not immoral, it's a normal part of growing up.
Secondly, we don't need to 'protect' girls, because by using that word we insinuate that we can't change the rapists behaviour. Which goes back to the whole blaming the victim thing.
Don't say we need to protect girls, say we need to teach people it's wrong to rape.
Thirdly, I can't help but get the feeling that he's assuming that most girls are nymphomaniacs who can't wait to bed an older bloke (at least in the context of the rest of the article). wrong wrong WRONG.

Fucking hell what the fuck is everyone's fuckgin difficulty with a really basic common sense obvious, considerate way of thinking.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Graffitti and Elephants

The top elephant is called the ancient mariner and you can see the second one is a bee. I;'ve really enjoyed having these around town the last month and I'll eb sad when they're gone (this weekend). I still haven't caught all of them.

Also I was wandering back from work today I noticed some new graffitii sprung up.

Isn't that detailed?
I am so very impressed by this next one:

A bit confused about the 'oh aero' comment, but the art is amazing.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

From whence came this name?

I call my blog Pai, because *ahem* that's what the boyfriend calls me as a nickname *blush*, ok I call him the same back, but still *blush*. Anyway I've known she was a manga character for a while but haven't quite managed to read any of the books. This shall now be rectified! I've found them on the bookshelf, they're called 3x3 eyes. I hope they turn out to be good or I'm gonna be very embarrassed. At least I'll have lunchtime reading at work. I'm completely failing to finish the English patient, because Catwoman is that much more interesting.

Speaking of manga, I've decided to actually buy some yaoi. I won these off of eBay:
The Moon and Sandals (Vol 1)- Fumi Yoshinaga (rated M)
Black Knight (Vol 1& 2)- Kai Tsurugi (rated M
I'll be your slave - Miki Araya ( rated M)

Does M mean rated medium or rated mature? I only chose these ones cos they were going cheap and from the amazon reviews seemed a reasonable place to start. Anyone read these? Will they be good or awful?

The mighty Selina Kyle

Yep, I am currently reading the Catwoman books. I finished volume 1 (1993 to 2001) a couple of days ago and now I'm on volume 2 (2002 to the present).
I'm mostly impressed, especially with the 90s stuff, I thought they'd be very painful to read, but no! The Selina shown in this run is brave, confident, daring, intelligent, resourceful and independent. She takes on jobs for the challenge and excitement of it as much as the payoff. She's carefree and not an out and out villain, she robs, but she doesn't kill and she always stands up for women and doesn't let anyone pull any sexist shit.

I particular enjoyed 9 deaths of the Cat (45) wherein Selina fights off 9 assassins with the assistance of Z, a very short man who's double crossing a guy named Rumboldt who put the hit on her, because Selina sank his yacht and pissed him off.

Number 54 is the favourite of this run. Selina steals a diamond, decides it wasn't difficult enough to steal so puts it back. This is repeated several times, purely to annoy and test the museum staff. After the final heist, she realises the owner has bankrupted himself with the insurance premiums and is actually hoping the diamond will get nicked. So after a chat with the owner she leaves it with him and a warning not to change the insurance policies or the security arrangements.

Number 58, wherein the Scarecrow gives Selina fear serum was also a pretty good story arc. Unfortunately this fear serum only bonds with estrogen, so apparently it won't affect men. I say that's some dumbass writing. Get thee back to a basic biology lesson please.

So, up until Selina moves to Manhattan it's a pretty Good series. Jim Balent's art was atrocious, but the plots made up for that. However when she moves to Manhattan, it all goes nuts. She decides to take over the biggest company there, becomes CEO, then runs for mayor, has various hits put out on Selina Kyle so as Catwoman tries to fight the assassins, and ends up throwing 'Selina' off a building in order to fake her own death.

Later during No Mans Land she has to break back into Gotham to get Batman some computer discs, which is fine and actually sensible. But then, Gordon decides he has to put her away, so she ends up captured, sent to a correctional facility and goes a bit nuts. She's broken out by Harley, given drugs to make her persuadable and nearly kills Gordon. Meanwhile she is reliving her childhood and talking about a sister who has never been mentioned before. And writing a letter to heretofore non existent sister. And Deathstroke is sent after her. And she and Batman finally kiss.
It made no sense.

Thankfully v2, from 2002 on is wonderful! The lovely Darwyn Cooke did a lot of the early issues' art, Catwoman has a spanking new costume, is no longer mad, has decided to not steal anymore and is trying to clean up the East End. we get 2 supporting cast members - Holly and Slam, and we meet her sister and sister's hubby. She's nearly a hero, but still herself.

Today due to a hangover gleaned from spending Friday night and most of Saturday in pubs, sampling wines and awesome beer, I have mostly been listening to Cold, Human Waste Project, Godsmack, Hole and Marilyn Manson. They helped! I am now going to catch up on Smallville season 7. Enjoy the rest of the bank holiday my UK readers, for the international ones, have a good rest of your weekend! I shall be going back to the beer festival tomorrow ;)

Views requested! What do non comic readers think of comics readers?

Heidi Meely has put up an interesting post here. She has polled a selection of her friends/acquaintances about their views on comics fans. Interesting reading. What I want to ask of anyone reading this blog, is please can you respond to the following questions:

1. When you think of comic book fans, what is your first thought?
2. Why is it acceptable to go see comic book movies but not read the books which the material springs from?
3. Have you ever read comics? Which ones? For what period of time? Why did you quit reading comics?
4. Are you aware of the fact that many of the people reading comics are female?
5. Would you ever attend a comic book show?
6. Have you heard about the sexual harassment that has occurred at comic book shows?
7. Any last thoughts?

Obviously this isn't very scientific, and won't yield a large sample group. Nonetheless PLEASE if you are reading this could you take the time to respond to the questions. I am very interested in the answers.

Thank you. :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

No. No no no no no no

This is really not a good idea. Batman works a as a dark movie, yes. Batman is a dark character, that's fine that works for him. Superman isn't. Superman is about light and hope. That's partly why the Supes/Bats comics work so well - light vs dark. They bounce off each other.
Applying the same methodology and thinking to both of them will result in at least 1 fucked up movie. Plus, the darkness wasn't what made The Dark Knight movie so good. There were loads of other factors - plot, acting, characterisation, detail, thought.
Superman doesn't work when he's made dark. He's uplifting, he shows us there's a better way, and he shows us what the possibilities are. He's not Batman!

And also I thought Superman Returns was a damn good movie and Bardondon Routh made a good Clark and Supes. As a lifelong Christopher Reeve fan that's saying something! The only fault I can find with it is that more dialogue would have been good - it was very action orientated. That doesn't make it a bad movie, but it could have been better. And the apparent stalking doesn't bother me, at all.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


My sexual assualt post got linked at WFA. :o I'm not particularly proud of that post as I reckon it's a bit incoherent. Ahh well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Comic reviews

Spoilers for Final Crisis Revelations, GA/BC\11, Booster Gold \11, Action Comics \868.
Final Crisis Relevations \1. I got suckered in. It's gonna feature the Question and Batwoman. And it has a religious theme. I'm suckered. And it was actually pretty good! I do like the Spectre, I like the whole idea and concept. I'm intrigued as to how Renee's gonna get out of this mess, I like the whole moral debate and resentment Crispus has for carrying out the Spectre's duties. It's interesting.
I would have even liked Dr Light apparently getting torched, except that he appears to have Raven, Starfire and Donna Troy cowering in ripped rags, tears and fear by the bed. Now I'm not reading Titans, or any other Final Crisis minis (except for Final Crisis) which I guess is where this led in from, but I can't quite fathom why these 3 women are cowering like that.
Even if they were stripped of their powers, they'd still fight and they wouldn't be scared of him, they'd be disgusted.
And because of that I think the whole scene is a fake. Y'hear that DC? Rampant misogyny makes the storeis fail!

Booster Gold \ 11. Time travelling fun! Alternative histories and a really good cover. I likrd. Lighthearted.

Action comics \868. I don't buy that Kara has never seen breast Implants before. So I choose to ignore that panel and assuem she's taking the piss out of the reporter. Lovely art and a good story. I particularly enjoyed Kara's horror at seeing Brainiac and her gentle puzzlement over where Kal is. Given that I am jumping on in the middle of an arc yet I wasn't lost about the plot, is a testament to good well placed writing. it seems obvious but so often this basic stuff is forgotten. There's a lot of crap out there.

GA/BC \ 11. I love these covers. Thsi issue totally felt like a filler. I know we found out who shot connor and who the faux Ra's is, but this issue really won't make sense on a standalone basis. Still, it moves the plot on and I'm still interested so it's cool!

This weekend, well from Thursday, I re read the first 50 issues of Teen Titans. :o Love that book.

As I've gvien up on Trinity I won't be buying anything this week which will be good on ye old finances. At least until I spend an extra tenner next week buying the Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis trade. I've read one issue and the art is breathtaking. Should be good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rather creepy..yet fun

Mocked up Batman cover. Actual art, fake words. Courtesy of Like Scratches in the Sand.


Something about this is just really lovely (The lady is working at a music store):

Customer: “Hi. I’m coming from the intersection at *** and ***. How would I get to your store from here?”
(I give the guy directions. I can tell he’s tuned me out after the first street or two. He then cuts me off before I finish.)
Customer: “Good, good! I got it. Thanks!” *hangs up*
(The phone rings again five minutes later.)
Customer: “Hi! I just called you a few minutes ago, asking for directions.”
Me: “I remember.”
Customer: “Yeah… I took that turn on *** like you said. Then I got lost again. I’m at *** and *** now.”
Me: “Okay…” *gives him directions again*
Customer: “Okay! I got it this time. Thanks!” *hangs up*
(Phone rings again five minutes later.)
Me: “Hi again. Where are you now?”
Customer: *laughs* “I’m at *** and ***.”
Me: “Okay. You’re almost here. Turn on *** and go straight until you see a gas station. We’re in the strip mall a little after it.”
Customer: “Okay!” *hangs up*
(Phone rings again five minutes later.)
Customer: “It’s me again! I’m at the gas station. I don’t see your store.”
Me: “We’re in the strip mall after the gas station, it’s down the road a little bit.”
Customer: “Oh! I see it. Okay, I’ll be right there.” *hangs up*
(Phone rings again five minutes later.)
Customer: “I’m in the strip mall now… and I don’t see your store. I’m gonna feel SO stupid if I’m in the wrong strip mall.”
Me: “At this point, I’m not even sure you’re in the right state.”
Customer: *laughs*
Me: “Okay. Do you see a donut shop?”
Customer: “Yes! I see a donut shop!”
Me: “Good. Drive to the donut shop. Now, do you see a cell phone store?”
Customer: “Yes! It’s next to the donut shop.”
Me: “Good. Drive to the cell phone shop. Now drive a little past that. Do you see the girl in the next store who’s on the phone and waving at you?”
Customer: “Yeah! Is that you?”
Me: “Yeah. Come on in…”

From Well worth a chuckle.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More shameless self promotion

I'm still selling stuff on ebay. Free comic to anyone who buys something and says they foudn ti via this blog.. Yes I will post stuff internationally.

Shameless self promotion over. Thanks for listening!

Assualt, sexual violence and the confusion around this issue

Trigger alert?
It's possible that this post may trigger some people..there won't be anything graphic in here it's just me speaking about the general attitudes around this, but I don't want to set anyone off if I can help it.

This is a really loong (and possibly unfocused) post, but if anyone gets to the end I would appreciate their comments.


I've been reading bits and bobs on the blogosphere recently about assault against women. No surprise there, it happens a lot, the sites I want to read cover this.
One site is When Fangirls Attack! This is usually a link blog, but as explained in this case, they sometimes cross post. The post in question is this one, dealing with the sexual assault experienced by women at the San Diego Comic Con this year. And I do believe that what is described is sexual assault, I am not here to debate whether that judgement is correct or not and if you disagree on that point I would suggest you don't read any further.

I'm feeling rather sensitive about this subject, you may have guessed.

Like every single woman I know I have been groped, leered at and had stuff shouted at me. I have been told not to walk home alone at night on my own for my own safety, to expect 'attention' if I wear something low cut or revealing, to be told I look whorish if I wear something revealing. At the same time I've been told I'm prudish and not sexy if I wear something more modest, because god knows my main aim in life as a woman is too look sexy and all my self worth should be tied up in that.
(Do a search for women's fancy dress. Of all the modern costumes, being sold in stores now, do you notice a theme? Is that really the only option we've got? To be consumed by the male gaze? I refute that, that's not what I'm here for, I have other functions as a human being and I am worth more than my body).

Anyway, the link to the WFA post. I soundly agree with that essay. Completely. I don't see how anyone could not. Take a look at the comments. Yep, I got involved, but as this isn't a hey look at me post, please look at what the others are saying. You can see why I got involved, I won't repeat myself here.

But the discussion seemed to spiral away from the initial post (not helped by me, I know) until the options became either/or. It doesn't have to be that way, as Ragnell said there are 3 possible approaches to take. (Although I would take issue with the idea that being assertive helps against attack..I have complicated reasons for thinking that which are muddled enough in my own head that I can't go into here. I don't know if she's right or wrong.)

Nevertheless, the views that upset me are that most or all people are taught that sexual assault is wrong, and UNDERSTAND that it is wrong. People really don't know this. Or they don't know what constitutes sexual assault. They think grabbing someone's ass isn't assault. It IS. But because they think everyone knows the difference, they think that it is just 'some' people who don't care. I don't think it's that 'some' people don't care, I think it's that 'most' people don't know what constitutes wrong behaviour.

Ask 100 random people on the street is sexual assault wrong, my guess is most will say yes. Ask them what if the woman was drunk, or wearing 'sluttish' clothing. Then you'll get different answers. Break it down into someone attempting to kiss another, and attempting to have penetrative sex with another, you'll get different answers. Oh but it was only a kiss! It's still assault.

The education I'm talking about would teach respect for other people's bodies, it would cover all the areas above. It will teach why victim blaming is wrong. I don't think that this will eradicate all sexual violence, but it sure would go a long way towards helping.

I don't mean to insinuate that we should never be prepared, we should never fight back, but if we're talking about this issue and we fall back on the personal responsibility argument, we will never get away from victim blaming. We will never start talking about how we teach people that it's wrong to assault others, in any way shape or form. Personal responsibility, when taken by itself, is a reductionist argument that doesn't allow any other views. It takes the emphasis away from the real problem. Looking at why victim blaming is wrong will force many people to look at their behaviour in the past and consider whether it was acceptable or not. And I bet we've all done wrong things, men and women.

My opinion on tackling this problem? Education first. Rules in the handbook/convention book/whatever stating that assault and abuse will not be tolerated, combined with a real system in place to deal with problems as they happen. And lastly, if anyone tries something on smack them in the face. Without fear of retribution. I'm totally with the Digital Femme on this one.

If you want more views on the SDCC controversy here's a second useful link list from WFA:

This whole discussion has come up about because we don't understand that women's bodies aren't our own. We don't understand that our bodies are not a public commodity. We focus the whole debate on what women are doing to themselves and with themselves. On a similar note, I found this essay (through WFA again) about the depiction of the female Muslim within comics, in this case, the X-Men. I link to it here because part of it also deals with women's bodies and how we view them. In this case, how America depicts a female Muslim.

I don't know know anything about Islam really, I suspect that if I do read and agree with a comment about the burka and it's role in preserving modesty, that that doesn't show how much I know, but rather how much I've been shown and haven't questioned. I.e. white privilege. Which is really something I should sort out. For my tuppence worth, I think anyone should be able to wear what they damn well like. So long as it's not imposed on you by anyone else, what's the beef? If we in the west say arr it's a tool of the patriarchy and you're subjugating yourself, aren't we saying that our value systems are better than theirs? And doesn't that stink of privilege and colonialism and racism?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

WFA's back!

Hurrah!! And it looks liek I'll be picking up Action Comics from now on. It's got Supergirl in it. And a really lovely drawn Kara at that. And what looks like irreverent wittiness as the dialogue.

I'd also like to point out these panels from a recent Hawkman comic. An example of truly truly bad writing. Who agreed to that?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Comics frenzy!

Yup. It's been a comics frenzy. God I've read so much recently.

Spoilers ahoy.

JLElite mini - re-read this after I finished Batgirl. Really really good. I got a lot more out of it now I know more backstory etc.

Trinity - still reading it, but am no longer offended. I don't really care either way to be honest so I can probably drop it soon.

Joker's asylum - Scarecrow and Two Face - Ooh yeah, I really really enjoyed both of these! I didn't know much about the character's before but now I'm really intrigued.

Two Face year 1 - issue 1. I also really enjoyed this. Bought it from a shop in Romford with a very chatty sales guy, who gave me a discount and also pointed out his sexy corner!*

Huntress number 6 - Wonderful. :) Although the last panel was corny. I shall enjoy the whole mini in sequence soon.

Manhunter 33 - I don't like the art on this. I can see why people like it, but I like my art glossy, and this isn't. The plot and everything else is good though, so I shall keep getting it.

Supergirl 32 - Oh Kara, you've matured! Love the older her costumer. And poise. She makes the right decision, she felt like her own person, finally. Not like a supporting cast member. And Empress is in the next issue! I like Empress, a lot, I still think her powers etc are a bit dubious, but she is great.

Buffy 17 - Not as exciting as I had hoped :/ And I'm quite frankly shocked to see Willow turn to the dark side again. I'd assumed it was Drusilla leading the way. Nice of them not to put a Buffy upskirt shot on the cover.
I'm on Buffy season 3 at the mo, and by god the main cast's attitude towards Faith is irritating. So she has sex, she dresses like a 'bad girl', get over it! I realise this is a fairly accurate portrayal of some teenagers attitudes, but it's so hypocritical. You just know that Willow is the same between the sheets (As evidence I submit to you Evil vampire Willow and her later more open relationship with Tara) and Buffy has a wild streak in her (Spike sex), yet they pretend to be so bloody puritan and innocent. Grrr. I've never understood people like that. It's ok to say you like sex! It's not a character failing! *Gnashes teeth*

Robin 176 - I only bought this cos it's Spoiler. I cannot start buying all the bat titles, I don't have the room or the money. Must. Not. Buy.

Superman/Batman 50 - Aww I love this title! So far I've been buying the trades but decided to sue this issue as a jumping on point. It's great! I love seeing the two of them interact, light and dark and all that. :) And the fathers meeting retcon pleases me too, I like the concept of fate in my books.

Final Crisis 1-3. I wasn't gonna buy in. I wasn't'. I'd bought Rogues Revenge but that's because I'd just finished the Flash and I'm narked that they killed Bart off. But then I saw that gorgeous Supergirl cover. And remembered it was written by Grant Morrison. So i caved. And it's pretty darn good! I'll need to re read it to get it all to sink in - I was a bit stressed on first reading - but yeah I'm impressed. Here's that Supergirl cover:

Isn't it beautiful?

And finally I'm reading JSA 16, annual and 17. For this I blame Heidi Meeley! And the Alex Ross cover. And the Power Girl theme. I didn't like the inside art that much - it felt very static, and some was just poorly done, but the story of a God coming to earth, healing everyones pains, that's the kind of thing I'm a sucker for. And as Heidi says, it is all going to go to hell in a handbasket. The other reason why I like these sorts of stories.

And I still haven't talked about Babs giving Cassandra that teeny weeny bikini in Batgirl yet. Really it's more a piece of string than a bikini. Babs would never do that to a vulnerable girl like Cass. Babs knows she isn't ready or used to male attention and she knows exactly what will happen. In short, Babs doesn't need Cass to look hawt. Babs also understands you can look hawt while wearing more than two very tiny circles and some string. The same plot point could have been demonstrated with Cass wearing a swimsuit.

*gnashes teeth*

*Where the Grimms Fairy Tales and Witchblade stuff was! get your mind out the gutter!

Things that go MMMMM (magazines)

Me, I been reading a few lately. Diva I tend to get every month and last month it did a gender issue. Tres interesting. Articles on drag kings, passing as a man, trans issues, butch v femme, lesbian books, unisex toilets, muff operations, facial hair and why lesbian pole dancing is not a good thing. Twas good to read.
My only complaint, as usual, is that it very rarely looks at bisexuals. We sit neither here nor there, I'm not entirely relaxed in straight company and neither am I entirely relaxed in gay company. I sit in my office and hear the odd joke or comment (nothing outright homophobic) that very promptly 'others' anyone not straight. The few times I go out with gay people I am always assumed to be straight.
I am only truly comfortable with a few friends who firstly remember that I like women and secondly know that's it's not a big deal. And it would be be nice to have a magazine that recognises this, especially as the reason I started buying Diva regularly was because I was having a bit of an identity crisis. You know, we really need some prominent bi people in the public eye, not girls snogging each other to get in the papers. Woulda made my life a lot easier growing up.
But then I read in the editorial Diva's comment on that stupid research I talked about a while back. And they also asked where did this leave bisexuals, hurrah! I'm not invisible!
I haven't found anything in the current issues that recognises Bi people though :/

From the lesbian contingent to the thoroughly straight contingent. Glamour. Christ. At least Diva recognises feminism and there is this underlying assumption that anyone reading it is feminist, and knows that feminism is a good thing. Lesbians - more self assured than hetero people anyone? Probably not. But maybe more self assured about some things. Or maybe that's a very dumb thing to say.

Anyway. the editorial in Glamour rocked! It talked about the media fabricated female rivalry between, well any successful woman int he public eye. It talked about how it's a myth made up by men to demean us all. It talked about the vileness of criticising women simultaneously for being too fat or too thin and the horrible double standard applied to men and women who have sex (Rod Stewart and Ulrika Jonsson being given as examples). It mentioned how despite what some (men) may think or want to think, we are not competing against each other for a bloody man. It even suggested the swap the gender game, where when you read an article trashing women, put men's name in instead and see how ridiculous it is.

Sublime! And then it gets ruined by focusing purely on shopping, marriage, the new rules of sexy, a vile interview with P Diddy who shows himself to be a homophobic dickwad, and dating rules. ugh. But this wouldn't be a problem if we had women's magazines that weren't dedicated to the above. At least Glamour doesn't circle perfectly normal bits of women's bodies with For Shame! printed in big letters. It doesn't put women down for being fat or ugly, and it provides info on work stuff.
But my god it's just fluff. And the underpinning basis of the magazine is that you must buy clothes and make up and look hot. And you must do so in an up to the minute and utterly fashionable way.

Things that make you go MMMMMMM (and ebay) Movies

At the very least, things that start with M, in a roundabout way.
Spoilers ahoy, for The Dark Knight and Hancock. .

But before that, can I start with a shameless self promotion of the stuff I"m trying to flog on ebay? Here is a link to my items for sale. Tell you what, if you buy something and tell me you found it from here I'll throw in a free comic. I can't promise it will be a good comic, as it'll be one I don't want anymore, but hey, comics!
(This isn't really working is it?) Please go have a look anyway!

OK back to the actual point of this post.
I saw The Dark Knight. Fuck me, it's fantastic. I finally like a Batman movie. Hell, I even like Batman in this movie. Favourite parts? The potato peeler. The fact we have no back story for the Joker. The ways his plans were so delicately and precisely orchestrated, and made fools of everyone else. The detaisl of it. Jim Gordon - wonderful tache! The normalcy of it. I mean, I can see a guy like the Joker turning up on the streets somewhere. It wouldn't be too outlandish. Aaron Eckhart was good. I experienced a moment of joy when I realised it was him from The Core, my favourite movie.
Maggie Glylenhall was also very good, there's alot of substance to her. Unlike the woman from the first film, who was awful.
I gather people have talked about the WiR aspect of killing off Rachel. It didn't bother me. It didn't feel cheap, we got to know her first, it wasn't sexualised, and yes her death was there solely to drive the plot forward and create Two Face, but it wasn't gratitutous.
Tis a shame Montoya wasn't included. Or Babs.

I also saw Hancock. An enjoyable way to pass a couple of hours. Had a twist I didn't see coming.
One of my non comicy friends said a whiel ago that he thought it was a pretty good concept for a movie - the flawed superhero. I imemdiately thought, but we've already got lots of them. And watching the movie Hancock reminded me of Guy Gardner. Ok, so Guy's way more arrogant and confident, Hancock is fundamentally lonely. But they're assholes in very similar ways.
Hancock's outfit just reminded me of the 90s Nightwing outfit. I say FAIL.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Blog break

Not blogging for a while. Life stuff keeps happening (to friends, not to me) and I'd prefer to sort that out or at least bury my head in the sand for a while.
When time allows I still want to write a post on Batgirl and that damn stupid bikini. And the Batman movie - is awesome. But more specifically why the Wir aspect doesn't bother me.

2008 is looking to be a crap year.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Cass Batgirl - initial thoughts on her and Batman

So. I'm about 50 issues in to the Batgirl run. Nearly done as I've only got up to issue 75, I think. I'm enjoying it far more than I thought, especially considering my earlier comments about the crapness of Cass's ability and how it doesn't make sense. I still think it doesn't make much sense, but I'm not so bothered anymore.
For those of you who don't know, Cassandra Cain was brought up in isolation with no verbal communication and no language. An assassin named David Cain brought her up, never spoke a word to her and trained her to be an assassin. Her language became body movement - she could read what you were thinking, feeling and intending from your body, the way you moved and stood etc.
I still think that's a bit stupid. And no I don't think Superman, or Wonder Woman, or the Flash, or Green Lantern or Green Arrow or anyone else's abilities are stupid. That's just the way I am, my suspension of disbelief doesn't stretch so far as Cass. Or Batman either for that matter - dressing up a as a giant bat? Ridiculous.

Anyway. Despite that, I am liking the comic. Cass is very intense. For a long time she adores Batman, she worships him. He knows this and he's using her as a weapon in his war. He regards her as the perfect fighter and when he discovers she may have killed someone when she was 6 years old (she's now 17), despite the fact she didn't know what she was about to do, he is ready to dispose of her as soiled. He's a wanker. I don't believe that he cared about her as an individual, yes he cares for life and wants to preserve life at all cost, but it's an abstract to him. He doesn't want to know the individual.
Which kinda makes his preserving all life mantra hollow. Because when you've got people close to you, who you see often or work with often, if you don't open up to them and value them as individuals, if you don't engage with them and treat them with respect, then you don't really value their life do you?
Of course, this is mostly just a problem with Cass. The rest of the Bat family don't let Bruce be such a jerk - they force him to engage with them because they've got strong personalities and are confident and stand up for themselves. But Cass isn't. She's a mess. She was never touched or hugged by David Cain, she's never known physical affection, she knows violence and fighting. And without Babs' interference she could have just wilted into an automaton. And Bruce wouldn't have done anything until it was too late. Jerk.

Now I haven't read any Batman own title comics. I intend to rectify this, but meanwhile, if anyone reading this does read the Batman own title stuff, could I have your thoughts? Have I got him all wrong? I appreciate that he may have been kept distant in the Batgirl title to increase the feeling of isolation to the reader - to show us what Cass is going through. It could be a literary device to help us read more into the character.

Next Cass topic: why the fuck did Babs give her that bikini?