Jan. 9th, 2017

marlowe1: (high school reunion)
2. All New Wolverine: Civil War II - I recently re-read 52 which I cited as the comic book series that got me excited about superhero comics all over again and while I still enjoyed some aspects of the story (Lex Luther was truly evil) I found the series as a whole rather painful to read. I would have been much more eager to let the creators pat themselves on the back for giving the world a lesbian Batwoman if they didn't draw the splash page with her entering the fight with her butt to the audience but still twisting enough so that you can see her boobs. And that was compounded by the fact that the writer was sad that he didn't get to have his "did she fake her orgasms" joke. The John Henry/Niece story was predicated on the idiot plot and the cliche of the strong black man who is poor but proud (kind of like those tv movies where the family always refuses to take a turkey because they don't take charity even though they are all starving - I don't remember where that scene was but I fucking hate it - I think I hate it more now because it is total Reaganomics bullshit where the only valuable poor people are the ones who are starving and proud. The ones who actually take the fucking turkey are the parasites of society with their food stamps and welfare).

Getting off the subject. Anyhow I realized that as much as I liked 52, superhero comics can still be just as stupid and cliche as they were in the 90s when I stopped reading them. And DC has been breaking my heart all last year as I read collection after collection that were just banking on people being really shitty to each other as a way of being deep and profound. The only stories I kind of liked were the ones where Brainiac kidnapped a bunch of cities and had them fight each other - mostly because almost no one wanted to fight and most of the time they just found ways of getting out of the bullshit battle royale scenario. But for the most part, I was reading post-apocalyptic after apocalyptic stories where DC couldn't stop killing off their worlds. Earth-2 gets invaded by Apokalips and everyone dies - but not before most of them turn evil. Superman takes over the world after Joker tricks him into killing Lois. The Batman-3000 future is assured (or whatever the fuck that's called) no matter how much everyone tries.

So it's refreshing to read the new Wolverine as a story about a young woman who also has to take care of her clone. That's not to say that Marvel doesn't engage in its post-apocalyptic meshuggas. Hell, Days of Future Past made The X-Men. And most of this series has Old Man Logan which is one of the silliest post-apocalyptic stories in comic book canon (the evil Hulks, the Clint Eastwood take on the Hulk blatantly ripped off from Unforgiven, the fact that Red Skull is president after killing Captain America because that's how democracy works - even in a post-Trump world that makes no fucking sense) and still it's actually fun.

Ok. First off, Squirrel Girl is amazing. I would like to say that Squirrel Girl needs to be a movie. Squirrel Girl needs television shows and cartoons. The opening story where Squirrel Girl is forcing Wolverine to clean up her mess from the time in the last story when she put a tracker on a squirrel is just enough silly to be awesome. And the ending where Squirrel Girl misinterprets the squirrel giving a speech about forgiveness and responsibility when all the squirrel wants is a fucking nut.

The Old Man Logan material falls into a nice groove where Old Man Logan is there to provide a contrast with the father relationship that Laura has with the original Wolverine (who is still dead) but since Old Man Logan comes from a place where everyone is dead and Gabby killed Laura, it gets to be a "you are him but you aren't him" story and that kind of flounders in the chase sequence and the Old Man Logan gets crazy bits. Also Gabby has wolverine powers which isn't much of a twist. Basically by the time the story is over, Old Man Logan is given the boot (because he tried to kill Gabby) and Laura & Gabby go their way. In a television show this would make sense because you can't keep Hugh Jackman on the payroll indefinitely but in a comic it need only make sense from a story perspective and since this is a comic about a young woman who is growing into her responsibility and power, a grandfather Wolverine character is just going to drag on the story.

Also the Civil War II tie-in seems idiotic. I think it's all based on pre-cognition crimes since I read Ms. Marvel dealing with the same thing a couple months ago. I guess it makes sense for the superheroes to fight about ideologies in which the reader can see both sides of the issue and it's better than the old reasons why they used to fight (they just met). It is still little more than an excuse to make superheroes fight.

3. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel You Know it's True - I can forgive the squirrel/girl puns in these titles. Ms. Marvel is still my favorite Marvel title at the moment, but damn Squirrel Girl has fun with its premise. And it's strange to use the term "fun" in relation to comic books. Aren't comic books supposed to be fun? Seriously, the main thing about comic books for better or worse is escapism. Of course, they don't have to be escapism and Will Eisner proved that graphic novels can be about whatever you want them to be about. Besides Alan Moore and Frank Miller took superheroes seriously with Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, but this led to many writers getting the wrong message. Instead of "hey let's work with the real world a little more and see what comes out" they went with "let's make everything really fucking depressing all the time because that's what the audience wants. Call this number if you want Robin to die after the Joker beats him into paste with a crowbar).

So Squirrel Girl is fun and I will not say that the next 3-4 books that I review, but damn it's great to have a fun comic book where the heroine isn't taking everything seriously. Goddamnit, she's Squirrel Girl. She talks to squirrels. She also has a big tail. That's it. So of course they have her taking on Galactus and winning (or at least convincing Galactus to stop getting a craving for snacking on Earth). And self-aware comics can be great (they can also be tedious) so when the opening story has people telling Squirrel Girl stories while waiting for rescue, of course Captain America is going to keep switching to Hydra (and even monarchy at one point) because why not poke at the biggest controversy in Marvel titles. The main story is about an evil squirrel from Asgard who turns everyone against each other and the roommate getting to go to Asgard and convincing Loki to become Cat-Thor - which is yes, Thor if he was a white cat. There are so many points where comics hit the reset button and come back to the state where they were at the beginning and while some have to be done (Wolverine is not going to stay dead), I REALLY LIKE this Loki who is just in it for the shits and giggles. Sure, super powered pranksters are going to be dangerous no matter how much they think it's all in good fun so Loki could be deadly eventually, but Loki just fucking around for his own amusement - that's quite beautiful.

4. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: BFF - Thus far this is the book that I admire more than I like. Moon Girl is a young black girl who is also a total nerd and is only slightly more fantastic than the average nerd kid (I could go on about how YA writers depict teenage and child nerds as super geniuses who are always making scientific and technological advances that are beyond most adults.) This is the set-up title. The dinosaur comes from another dimension or the past (I am not certain) along with neanderthals who form a street gang and take over the gang activity of gentrified Manhattan neighborhoods (weird) and then there's a great deal of material about what to do with the dinosaur. The Hulk is smart again. I suppose that works. Anyhow I look forward to future titles.
marlowe1: (Spinning Tardis)
Could someone please post this on my Facebook group. I really shouldn't have told a couple of racists to go fuck themselves. They got the vapors. The problem with being off FB is that I still want to talk about it but the platform is smaller here.

I saw a post on LJ that goes "National Turn off your TV Day" on Jan 20. This was promoted as a great protest against Donald Trump who cares about his image and will be very sad if he gets shitty ratings. Just like he was blaming the shitty ratings for Celebrity Apprentice on Arnold Schwarzenegger. The person posting the "protest" said that the beauty of it was that it did not involve calling or writing to anyone and that it was something that everyone could to let Trump know that the American people don't like him.

I strongly suspect that this bullshit was created by the Trump campaign. It could not be playing into Trump's hands anymore than a Trump tweet getting all the attention while he fucks over people. This is worse than Trump being allowed to claim credit when the Republicans changed their mind about destroying the independent ethics committee because he tweeted something.

If you turn off your television on January 20, NO ONE FUCKING CARES!!!!!!!!

The only thing you've achieved is to make yourself feel better. That's it. And if you don't write or call your senator (that's assuming that you are American and live in a state - obviously if you are Canadian you can do whatever you want) then you are useless. You are just fucking useless. You are worse than useless because you think that your pathetic protest is going to do a fucking thing when all it does is prove that Trump's distracting tweets are your lord and savior forever and ever amen.

Jeff Sessions is up for the Attorney General position. This man is a racist. He believes in segregation. He believes in civil forfeiture (meaning that the cops can take all your money if they suspect that you are a criminal and the burden of proof is on you) and he is one of the worst nominees.

You have senators. My senators are Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (or Kristen - whatever it's some white girl name) and I have been writing them letters, contacting them via their websites and calling the numbers so that they know that I want them fighting these nominations with every effort. Forget about just voting against them. I know that they are going to vote against Sessions (they better fucking vote against Sessions. They are representing New York after all) but I want to make sure that they do all they can to defeat Sessions - filibustering, making deals, bullying Rand Paul to actually live up to those mostly stupid libertarian principles that he espouses, etc.

So now it's your fucking job to call these people as well. If you think that you want to oppose Trump, yeah go ahead don't watch his fucking inauguration. It promises to be a boring depressing shit show, but don't for a fucking second think that it will make a fucking bit of difference when it comes to giving this rapist motherfucker even a second of consternation.

Call or write your senators. If you don't know your senators - FUCKING GOOGLE THEM - also punch yourself in the face for being so fucking ignorant, especially if you think that you are opposing Trump by watching a DVD or youtube on Jan 20. And then write or contact them.

If they are Democrats, then make sure they know that they BETTER work for the good of their party and block these fucking stupid nominations. If they are Republicans, then it's even MORE important that you contact them. Simple majority is all a nomination needs to be confirmed and the Republicans have a simple majority. Without someone like Rand Paul or Marc Rubio switching sides and voting against a nomination, we are fucked. There's a very good chance that the Republicans will vote as a block, but it's YOUR job - yes YOU - to contact them and make sure that they do not do this.

Thank you.

And also remember that if you are posting an anti-Trump article and NOT calling your senator or representative to oppose his policies (and his nominations) then you are even WORSE than your dumb fuck cousin who voted for Trump because Russian Times told him that it would be a good idea.
marlowe1: (PIGGY!!!!)
I turned off Ray Donovan. I just stopped. Fifteen minutes into episode 9 and I realized that I didn't want to watch anymore of this tough guy posturing where all the women are either shrews or really shitty actresses (looking at you daughter character with an actress who seems to have failed at the Kristen Stewart School of Acting). Also since it's a Showtime show there are never going to be any fucking consequences for any of the characters. The show is going to pretend that someone is going to die or something will get lost or Ray Donovan is going to jail but it's not like the fucking Sopranos where these were actual consequences. No matter how many times Jon Voight's pimping criminal character gets caught or in trouble with the mob he will get off. Ray Donovan is doing I don't know what the fuck but he will mumble his way through his tough guy dialogue.

Not even Ian McShane can save this thing. There was a reunion between McShane and the woman who plays Donovan's wife because Deadwood was cool, but it doesn't get any further than Deadwood was cool (of course David Milch never quite got over that one). Everything is shot in the dark and everyone is acting tough but mumbling at the same time and everyone is a fucking loser, and not even in a fun way. They are just sweating losers and the show lets them be losers. I also strongly suspect that the writers are just getting off on tough guy posturing bullshit which means that poor Liev Schreiber has to get stuck in one role the whole fucking time. Hell the first season was the source of steady paychecks for Jon Voight AND James Woods.

I could say that the homosexual subplot ended the show for me (the Ian McShane character had an affair with his daughter's husband) because yep, gay men are just there to get killed with iron pokers when they get too pissy with their father-in-law/former lovers. Also Katie Holmes is still a shitty actress but I guess she has learned how to smile with her mouth in the middle of her face so that's something.

I feel a little hypocritical since I managed to watch all seasons of Californication and even enjoy it as a fantasy of a writer who wrote one stupid book and now gets to drive around Los Angeles having as much sex as possible. So there are some Showtime shows that I can stomach (I even liked the first couple seasons of Weeds - right until we got to the scene of "It's a flash mob! It's fun!" - No idiot, it used to be fun and now it's tedious - hey that's a great metaphor for this fucking show).

This show reminds me of Luck in that it's about sweaty losers talking like tough guys and never getting anywhere. Unlike Luck, this show actually makes some narrative sense so it's much less interesting (seriously guys what the fuck was Luck about? Besides horse racing. I honestly have no clue). Plot wise, it's like Dexter where it has four episodes worth of story dragged out over 12 repetitive and boring episodes.

Someone should hold an intervention of Liev Schreiber. He's way better than this dreck.

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Tim Lieder

July 2017

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