The power of friendship

I just finished watching The Defenders. It reminded me of a classic comic book crossover. Specifically, it reminded me of just how contrived comic book crossovers were and how they were mostly just excuses to see our heroes punching bad guys together in between punching each other.

You know that episode with the Defenders standing around in a large empty room yelling at each other? That was basically like half the scenes in Infinity Crusade. Plus Zero Hour had a lot of scenes where the good guys were standing around gaping at a computer screen, which we were at least spared in the show but instead got the exposition around dinner in a Chinese restaurant. Smaller crossovers seem to work better, at least when talking about the Arrow universe.

Anyway, I guess the punching in The Defenders was fun but otherwise we really need better narrative justifications for crossovers.

American Justice

A proposal on reform for the United States Supreme Court:

My view of statutory and constitutional interpretation/construction, btw, is that appellate judges should always strive to figure out what a law could reasonably mean (by looking at the universe of possible meanings derivable from the text and the circumstances of its enactment) and then pick whatever meaning that Captain America would prefer. If the Supreme Court did this consistently, I am sure that we would live in a much better country.

Captain America versus Cuba

Over on Space Battles some people have been discussing what the 20th century would have been like if the movie version of Captain America had been around – Vietnam, the Iran Mossadegh thing, the Bay of Pigs. Then someone posted a comic book treatment of what Cap would do during the Cuban Revolution:

[Captain America]’s going to kick open the door to Fidel Castro’s guerrilla hideout and give the strongman a speech on ethics, individual responsibility and freedom and the ideal that the Cuban people should strive for. Then the two of them are going to go out and fight evil Batista’s fascist dictatorship and Rogers will train his ragtag guerrillas into diet Special Forces. During the War in the Mountains, entire battalions of Batista’s troops will switch sides after being given an eye watering speech on freedom and American history. Then in the climactic issue, Captain America leads his… I mean Castro’s… Rebel band into Havana and they storm Batista’s palace and suddenly realize the power behind Batista’s dictatorship was HYDRA all along working with the evil Mafia Maggia. Using American Judo Boxing, Captain America defeats the Supreme Hydra before Batista takes Fidel Castro’s brother hostage and is like… I’ll kill you all unless you put down your weapons! So Captain America puts down his shield and then Batista shoves Raul Castro aside and then takes aim at Captain America and FIRES!

But Che Guevara, the idealistic young man with a promising medical career who decided to become a freedom fighter and has become like a protege to Captain America suddenly leaps into the path of the bullet as Fidel Castro hoses Batista down with a burst of gunfire from his All-American ™ Tommy Gun. Che Guevara dies in Captain America’s arms, his last words being… “I would have liked to have seen the Washington Monument…”

Afterwards, Captain America makes another speech to Fidel Castro about some Latino dude he knew back in the Howling Commandos, because all brown people are kinda similar and then asks what Fidel Castro will do. And Fidel Castro is like I’m going to redistribute liberate the wealth stolen riches of the landowners fascist supervillains and foreign businesses Maggia criminal groups to help support the poor and working class Cuban people in order to build a better future by investing in infrastructure and education. And Captain America will be like, that sounds like the right thing to do! And Fidel Castro will respond… it’s the American way!


Wake me up inside

I was sick a few weekends ago so I watched all of Daredevil in one day. I’m not a huge fan of DD but I’ve read a bunch of the comics and I have to state that the show somehow translated the sensibility of the comics to TV. The consequences of living in a world with superheroes is an unspoken concern for the show and for its characters. It’s not quite The Authority in questioning the ability of weirdos in circus costumes to enact positive social changes through fisticuffs, but at times the show kind of hinted in that direction.

I was somewhat surprised at the very oblique appearance of mystical Oriental hoodoo. I’d thought that the show was going to be completely grounded in the street level stuff and would be just about DD versus the Kingpin. By the way, Wilson Fisk is never called Kingpin in the show, nor is Leland Owlsley ever referred to as The Owl. Anyway, I assume that this Orientalism is for setting up the Iron Fist kung fu show that’s coming later. Perhaps we’ll soon see the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven.

Finally, I have to wonder just how much Marvel’s New York is like the one of our world. The battle in the Avengers couldn’t have turned present-day Clinton to this show’s Hell’s Kitchen no matter how badly the reconstruction was mismanaged. The widespread police corruption, at the very least, couldn’t have happened in just a couple of years (one of the cops says 18 months). The only explanation I can come up with is that Fisk was already entwined in the fabric of the city long before aliens invaded.

Anyway, I did like the show. I almost never binge watch, so when I do, it’s because a show is exactly on my wavelength. If this is what Netflix’s Daredevil is like, then I’m looking forward to the rest of the superhero shows that are coming. Personally, it’s Jessica Jones that I’m most interested in.

The resurrection of Jessica Jones

Cover image for Alias #23

I posted quite a while back about the Alias comic book series being developed for TV. The series is about a superhero washout lurchingly eking out a living as a private detective in New York. The comic book was actually heavily influenced by Sex and the City, of all things, what with its foul-mouthed protagonist living the single life in The Big Apple.

Anyway, the news about TV show was all the way back in 2010 so I was afraid that deal fell through like so many things in the entertainment world. But guess what? Netflix is producing the Jessica Jones series along with TV shows for Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.

I’d been wondering why the street level superheroes were absent from Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (and may I remark that I greatly dislike the unnecessary reminder of which company owns the franchise in the title of the show?). It seems like a no-brainer to have low-ranked costumed vigilantes in a TV show. The kind of superheroes who fight bank robbers and purse snatchers instead of alien menaces or vast armies of evil minions are also the kind of superheroes who don’t have flashy powers that would be expensive to fake decently on a TV show’s budget.

So it turns out Marvel was saving Stilt Man and The White Tiger for these TV shows. I’m just hoping they’ll be able to do something like what Arrow did for DC’s street level characters, because then I might die of a massive nerdic superhero overload.

Or the shows might turn out to be like House of Cards but with superheroes. Which would still be pretty entertaining.

The Further Adventures of Terrifica

The Womb: Terrifica vs Fantastico album coverI don’t think I can express how much I like Terrifica, my favourite Real-Life Superhero. Let’s just say it’s a lot. Who could not like someone who dresses up as a superhero and goes from bar to bar saving women from drunken hook-ups they’ll probably end up regretting? (Besides jerks, of course.)

I haven’t heard about her lately so I assumed she retired. Be that as it may, I just found out a couple of neat things about her.

First, The Womb has a couple of songs about her (remastered version here). They’re free to download, too, though I chipped in on Paypal just because.

Second, Terrifica used to have a website of which no full record exists. She stopped advertising her superhero career on it after a while. She’s also an artist, which explains why her costume is nicer than for a lot of other Real-Life Superheroes. You can actually find out the school where she got her Bachelor of Fine Arts from simple googling if you so desire.

Third, Terrifica apparently trademarked her name and image all the way back in 2000. Well, she applied for it back then, as apparently it takes a few years to trademark things since it wasn’t officially registered until 2004. If anyone out there ever wants to get in touch with our erstwhile superhero, that’s where to find her (more contact info here). Heck, you can look at the actual paper application yourself. The filing makes her sound like a performance artist, which makes perfect sense:

The description provided to the USPTO for TERRIFICA is educational and entertainment services performed by a superhero, namely conducting lectures, seminars, and classes regarding social responsibility to public drinking and victims of intoxication.

Also, a pharmaceutical company abandoned a trademark for the name “Terrifica” which was apparently a thingy for “combined nutritional additive and sweeteners for use in food and beverages for human consumption”. They filed in 2004 and the application is marked as ABANDONED – NO STATEMENT OF USE FILED as of 2006. The little guy wins against the corporation! Terrifica, fighting injustice by her mere existence.

However, Terrifica is menaced by that most insidious supervillain of all: legal bureaucracy. Apparently trademarks need to be renewed between the ninth and tenth year of registration or they will be considered abandoned, meaning it has be done sometime in 2013. I wonder, will our heroine renew her trademark?

Evidently Terrifica (or rather, Sarah) has moved on from this part of her life, so it’s entirely possible she’ll let the trademark lapse.

But stay tuned, dear readers, because I will definitely follow this story.

Superman: Man of dickery

As was foretold by Nostradamus, someone has posted a snarky takedown of the plot holes in Man of Steel. I liked the movie okay but I admit to having low expectations. My good feelings toward the film may also be be as a reaction to the virulent antipathy one of my viewing companions had toward the portrayal of Superman. Have you ever stumbled across the online rantings of a comic book nerd railing against ridiculous minutiae? Watching the movie with this guy was like that, except I was hearing the words come out of an actual person’s mouth.

So I thought the movie was okay but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better. It was too long, for one thing, and the climactic action spectacle was kind of turning into a mishmash of violence and camera cuts by the end.

But why read what I say, when you can read the snark over at io9?


(on Krypton)

Jor-El: Our planet is dying. Clearly, the only solution is to shoot a baby into space.

Lara-El: It’s the only thing that makes sense anymore!


Young Clark: So I’m kind of thinking I should use my powers for good, to help people and stuff.

Pa Kent: HOLY SHIT NO. You must never reveal your powers to anyone! People will figure out you’re an alien! The government will take you away? Got it? You must never help anyone ever.

Young Clark: Even if it’s a schoolbus full of children about to drown?

Pa Kent: Especially if it’s a schoolbus full of children about to drown! You just sit there, and watch them drown, one by one.

Young Clark: That doesn’t seem right.

Pa Kent: And if for some reason someone else saves the bus, IT IS UP TO YOU TO PUSH THAT BUS BACK IN THAT LAKE AND MAKE SURE THOSE CHILDREN DROWN.

Young Clark: Wait, what?


Continue reading “Superman: Man of dickery”

Celebration time

Bea Benedicto as Jubilee

Cosplay is usually rather bargain-basement in its aesthetics but this one is actually pretty good. It even manages to change enough about the character’s costume so the clothes doesn’t look stupid in real life.