Saturday, September 22, 2007

We can't take what Ganthet says as fact anymore, can we?

In this panel, we see Ganthet the Guardian giving readers the priceless gift of his wisdom.



Unfortunately, that bit at the top about Parallax not being able to sneak up on Kyle because he knew Fear. (Yes, capital-F Fear.)

And the latest installment suggests that second bit about Willpower alone being more useful than Hope will be proven wrong before the end of this crossover.

Of course, being wrong there will be good. The problem is that Ganthet's been serving as Captain Exposition in parts of this crossover, so if he's wrong in these two areas how likely is it that he'll be wrong in something crucial and pertinent?

Oh, and in case you were wondering...

I'll admit it. There was a point in Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Parallax where I thought I felt my heart grow two sizes after I turned the page. (Don't worry, it shrunk again when I started reading reviews of the Green Arrow and Black Canary Wedding Special. I may have lost a size.)

Strangely, it left me with an ending where I'd predicted the "how" of it (Kalinara can attest to that one), but not the why of it. Usually I can guess the whys of a plot but the hows are what I read to find out.

I liked the art. Kyle's face and hair worked well, but I thought he was overmuscled. I like when he's drawn short and slender, with compact muscles so that the bad guy towers over him. Kyle's one of those characters I like to see outmatched in every possible way from the outset, even physically. It makes when he wins more impressive. Still, this was taking place inside Kyle's mind so works.

The stubble was interesting. I think Adriana Melo (the penciller here) and Patrick Gleason may be the only two artists I've seen bother to draw stubble on Kyles face.

This issue drives home how emotionally reserved Kyle can be, especially for such an expressive artist. He has his tantrums, yes, but the entire issue is set in his head under the worst stress imaginable and he's thinking very calmly about his problem for most of it.

Anyway, I'll wait on the "I told ya so" dance over this crossover until we see how things play outside of Kyle's head because I'm sure some of you are still convinced things will not turn out with Kyle on top even after this.

In the meantime there was a reference to some issues in this book that bug me (yes, its the role of women in this franchise and I should've known it would take a Marz-written book to shake them to the surface for me), and I'm trying to put together my thoughts on mothers and Green Lantern in respect to this issue. I might get a post out of either if I get the energy.

Also there's a point with Ganthet from Rebirth I have to reread because I think it'll come up again. (ETA: This point.)

The Wedding Special

No, I have not read it.

It was written by Judd Winick.

It doesn't matter that Amanda Conner drew it.

It was written by Judd Winick.

While I've no doubt that my reaction to Judd Winick being handed one of the best, strongest, and most popular female characters in the DC Universe would be massively entertaining I refuse to subject myself to it. I am not reading the scans. I am not buying the book.

This is a writer I still argue mishandled Jade, and she is my least favorite female character in the DC catalog. I've never seen a satisfying portrayal of an existing female character from this writer (there is always something in there that sends a piss-poor message about women's place in society, even when he tries to write "Strong"). I've rarely seen a satisfying portrayal of an existing male character from this writer (they have a tendency to shed their own personalities and become the stock Winick hero). He's even disappointed me utterly when it comes to his own creations.

I will credit him as the reason I learned to see through "strong" female characters, because his Jade was such a transparent attempt at a superficially progressive woman who still conforms to the traditional roles of a female character that I (previously ignorant) developed a eye for the trick. It doesn't matter that she fights and you say she uses her powers as well as Kyle, and it doesn't matter that he's intimidated by her. If you don't show her winning or show her matching him or show any reason he wouldn't want to piss her off other than the chance she'd leave his bed you might as well be writing the Lensmen. At least the sexism's upfront there.

Hell, this writer's the fucking reason this marriage idea made Dinah seem like such a putz. He's the one who wrote the sleaziest Ollie. He's the one who took Ollie into the unforgivable territory.

I'm just glad he's far far away from my favorite books.

(Oh, in case anyone is wondering who asked and brought on this rant, it was Chris.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Uhh...

I can't own this.

I tried the Ms. Marvel trades and adored them, but I don't want to buy the normal book. The covers are too offputting. Why does Marvel put Greg Horn on cover detail for all the female books? They could at least find an interesting cheesecake artist. Being extremely generous, his stuff looks like he stole an aspiring lingerie model's portfolio and is photoshopping different costumes on her pictures.

I can't even have an action figure.

I ordered a set of toys. I wanted the DC Animated Universe Kyle Rayner, who came in a set that included an animated-style Katma Tui (which you all know I wanted the second I realized it existed) and an Arkkis Chummuck. I got the set in the mail and opened them to find that there was a small clear plastic stand with a peg and the DC logo imprinted on it.

A single display stand.

In a set of 3 figures.

Interestingly enough, my John Stewart, Kilowog, and Tomar Re set had not come with a stand at all.

Figuring the major character was the one to be displayed, I flipped Kyle over and looked at his feet. Neither left nor right had a hole for the display stand's peg. I picked up Arkkis, a character I never had much interest in, because he was closer and checked his feet. No hole. I found the hole in Katma's right foot.

It seems that the manufacturer (whatever mysterious division of Mattel and/or DC Comics is in charge of fucking up the female action figures, I don't keep track of such matters) felt that the only toy that needed help standing was Katma. So I tried and sure enough the only toy that will not stand on its own is Katma Tui.

Can anyone hazard a guess why that is?



Give up?



High. Fucking. Heels.

I suppose I wouldn't mind the high-heeled action figures if they could find a way to make them stand up with the high heels. But look there! They even filled in the plastic between the heel and the ball of the foot, and she still doesn't stand on her own. They know the toy can't stand with feet like that. That's why the stand is there. They prepared for the toy not to stand like that. But they didn't fix the design of the toy so that it doesn't need a fucking stand!

Would it fucking kill them to give her flat feet? What's the harm in giving a female action figure sensible boots? Wasn't in the original costume design? Its a toy, for fuck's sake! Its not like you're using a sharpie to put eyebrows on the Mona Lisa here. This is something to play with. Adding a little practicality would be a plus in this department.

Maybe this is not all in the heels. Maybe there's a way to redesign the body so she's poseable and has the high heels. You might have to make less spiky heels, thicker feet and legs, less of an hourglass figure, and an overall sturdier figure but it can be done.

But no, its more important that she look all pretty and feminine than be able to fucking stand up!

As it is, I now have to set up a little clay planet for all of them to stand in if I want to make a scene or a diorama (because that stand doesn't work unless everyone has one).

Bastards.

Oh, and as long as I'm talking about these figures -- why the hell can I make out the line over Kyle's belly-button? That's a strange detail to throw on an animated-style action figure. Was that muscle area visible in the cartoon?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First Ming, now this.

Sean Astin as Twoflower? (Via)

Okay, I know Twoflower is the Tourist stereotype (though I think they can play that as more the silly American tourist than the Japanese tourist and still cast an actor of Asian descent -- insurance salesman on vacation struck me as the American in Europe plot idea) and the whole Agatean Empire is transparently stereotypical Asia, but this strikes me as more instances of making a mostly white franchise even more white under the banner of "sensitivity." Just more of a pretty nasty trend of taking out offensive Asian characters and not putting any good Asian characters in to replace them.

There's got to be a better way to handle this stuff.

December Solicits

From Newsarama:
GREEN LANTERN #26
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Mike McKone & Andy Lanning
Cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
Setting the stage for the Green Lanterns' role in FINAL CRISIS comes Part 1 of "The Alpha Lanterns," a new story arc written by Geoff Johns with art by Mike McKone (TEEN TITANS)! Who are the Alpha-Lanterns? What bizarre cosmic surgery have they undergone? And how will they affect the future of the Green Lantern Corps?
In the aftermath of the Sinestro Corps War, the Green Lanterns are undergoing an unprecedented reconstruction and reinvention, and the controversial Alpha-Lantern project is in full effect.
Meanwhile, with Sinestro's true machinations for his war revealed to Earth's prime Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan and John Stewart, debate rages across Oa as lines are drawn and crossed, new bonds are formed, and old ones broken.
On sale December 26 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #19
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and cover by Patrick Gleason & Prentis Rollins
The pieces of the Sinestro Corps War are still falling as Guy is finally reunited with his lost love, Ice! And as Kyle Rayner tries to start his new life as a Green Lantern, Sinestro rings continue to empower new and deadlier forces in space.
On sale December 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

GREEN LANTERN/SINESTRO CORP SECRET FILES #1
Written by Geoff Johns & Sterling Gates
Art by Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, J.G. Jones, Patrick Gleason and Joe Prado
Cover by Reis & Oclair Albert
For the first time ever, the secrets of the Book of Oa and the Book of Parallax are revealed in short stories looking at the past, present and future of the Corps! This 64-page Special features new tales of both the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps!
In store December 19 • 64 pg, FC, $4.99 US


First: Ice! Yay!

Second, Kyle in space. This should be interesting because of the Parallax storyline. Being stationed on Oa means the paranoia focused on Hal before will either be lessened enough to let someone who's been Parallax be on Oa, or its just going to be an all-around worse situation for Kyle since he has to work in the heart of the Corps.

Third, check out the three covers. Same theme for all of them, not sure what that's getting at. Also, note the middle right (well, your left as you view the cover) of GLC and the Secret Files. Ice is important enough to be in the Corps picture. Katma's on the Secret Files, so we should get at least a Katma flashback part if not a little story and profile for her. (No, I don't see it as a sign of imminent resurrection. That's the Silver Age Corps on that cover. Still, if the writers like her enough they might bring her back later.)

Outside of that, Kyle's going to a gender swapped world and the Red Son world with Donna and Jason. Tangent characters are in Justice League of America, Wonder Woman's in The Atom, Alan Scott adn Jade are in JSA: Classified, Blue Beetle's going to space, Drew Johnson's on Supergirl, McKeever's starting his Birds of Prey run, and Cyclone is in an enviable position.