Friday, July 06, 2007

Recommended Reading Before Work

More Stereotypes than Meets the Eye -- Okay, I'm a sucker for movies that involve explosions and aliens so I missed the vast majority of what she points out (Except for Jazz. I couldn't believe that one when I saw it). Nora (guest-blogging at ABW) has a much better rundown of the issues with Transformers than I would be able to offer.

Well, okay, I have a rant on the exclusion of Arcee in me, but that has to wait until I can find the interview and read the exact wording on why she was dropped.

Thank you, Judd Winick -- Kalinara lays out the most recent reasons why Judd Winick shouldn't be writing superheroes.

Seriously, I think Brad Meltzer could be saved with some pointers on the importance of action, but Winick seems to think his writing is relevant, trendy and revolutionary when its the same old sexist cliches dug up and used with an unhealthy mix of bad characterization.


Des this person actually think they know more about Green Lantern than me?
The concept of Star Sapphire is based on seduction.
Okay, a retcon is not the basis for a concept, its a revision of a concept and its as temporary as a sandcastle given the amount of nostalgia found in most comic book writers today. The basis for the concept is where it was created. That story is out in a Showcase collection. This one is accessible.

And honestly, I don't understand why I should find it embarrassing that I can write a full coherent essay on the nature of Star Sapphire in Green Lantern in five minutes, especially in response to someone who takes the time to read and troll essays about superhero comics.

And again with the "its only comic books" argument as if that makes it okay to put out offensive shit. Two things wrong there: a) being junk lit just means that when you pick the offensive bits out its a sign that the theme is that much more interesting (and in some cases harmful) because its so ingrained in society it surfaces even in the light stuff, and b) we're shelling out three bucks apiece for these things, dammit. A little consideration is not too much to ask even if they are just cheap thrills.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Well, to be fair, he was pretty whiny in Ion too.

Deep in the heart of Oklahoma, Ragnell the Foul stirs in her subterranean lair. She lumbers towards the ancient computer on her desk, turns it on, and goes to make her iced tea the old-fashioned way. When she returns, the computer has booted up, and the wonders of cyberspace await her. She logs on to check the news, and discovers to her delight an interview with Ron Marz about what he plans to do with one of her favorite characters. She reads eagerly, nodding in anticipation of September's comic books when she sees something distasteful. She frowns, rubs the dusty screen with a scaled forearm and squints at the monitor.

Yes, he did indeed just say that.

She sighs and reaches a clawed hand for her set of Wonder Woman stationary. She selects the blue paper with the red envelope, then picks up a green quill. The creature takes a moment to phrase her objection in the clearest yet least offensive manner possible, and then she writes.

Dear Mr. Marz,

I am writing because I found your quote about the nature of the Donna-Jason-Kyle love triangle in the upcoming The Search for Ray Palmer miniseries problematic. You stated:
One of the things we’re going to be doing in this book—is this sort of triangle—between Jason, Kyle, and Donna. Jason Todd and Kyle Rayner are not going get along. I think in a lot of ways Kyle is the good ex-boyfriend and Jason is the somewhat alluring bad boy—and the bad boy and the good ex-boyfriend never ever get along.

I believe your phrasing of this story idea presents a flawed and malecentric view of romantic relationships.

From the viewpoint of a man who has just seen what appeared to him to be a perfect relationship dissolve, the next man may seem to be of such a different personality that the two men are destined to clash even without a woman in the picture. To that end, such a different personality may seem like a "bad boy" to the discarded gentleman. And even though the supposed "bad boy" is not a bad guy at all, the differences combine with the circumstances to create the illusion that a low-down scoundrel (a devil perhaps) has stolen the lady in question (or that the lady in question is a duplicitous, fickle woman who just doesn't appreciate such a nice guy). Indeed, when this sort of thing happens continuously it may seem as though women in general are attracted not only to this particular sort of scoundrel, but to bad men in general.

And surely a good many of the men who have found themselves on the unfortunate end of this sort of event use the written word as a way of working out their tensions. Since romance is one of the oldest sorts of stories, and we have a few centures of ignoring female voices in favor of male voices at our literary backsides, this has probably happened quite a bit with few counterexamples. This would naturally lead to the side of the story belonging to the "Good Guy" (the "Nice Guy") being overrepresented in romantic stories to the point it becomes a cliche, the sort of thing everyone knows and everybody jokes about. And because everybody knows it, and jokes about it, they are quicker to believe it in their own lives when they see a seemingly perfect romance dissolve.

But honestly, if you look at the situation from the point of view of the woman, and not the "Good Guy," you will see that there is usually a very good reason to look for a completely different personality in the next man. More often than not, the apparently "Good ex-boyfriend" was needy, whiny, irresponsible, childish, or held a host of other character flaws that are not readily apparent in the new "bad boy." The "bad boy" has his flaws, but they are rarely the same flaws the woman was rejecting and in my experience the "Bad boy" usually has strengths in the very areas where the "nice guy" was found lacking.

So you can see how your setup for the Jason-Donna-Kyle love triangle perpetuates an already cliched and unfair stereotype that just adds to the pile of cultural crap that allows so-called "nice guys" to avoid taking responsibility for their own flaws, instead blaming women who won't put up with those flaws for being duplicitous and fickle, or blaming other men for "stealing" their girlfriends.

I could understand it perfectly if Donna was ignoring Kyle for Jason because he had been whiny, childish, temperamental, needy, irresponsible, or annoying, but he hasn't exhibited those character traits since your run on Green Lantern ended several years--

At this point, she pauses and twitches her prehensile tail. After a few moments of careful thought, she puts down her quill and places the unfinished letter aside. She replaces it with fresh paper, and starts to write once more.
Dear Mr. Marz,

I will be picking up The Search for Ray Palmer. The love triangle you described in your interview sounds very true to life, and I look forward to reading about it.

Ragnell the Foul
Four Miles Beneath Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Recommended Reading

Kalinara's on a roll.

(I dedicate that recommendation to the manager who turned around and yelled at me to smile yesterday. I've yet to see anyone do that to a male technician, but damned if I don't get told that at work three times a week.)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Green Lantern Fans, Help Me Test a Theory.

Okay, I'm watching the reactions to The Sinestro Corps and I'm wondering which version of Kyle everyone preferred, and how that coincides with whether or not they were happy with the special.

To that end, I have created a quick and simple poll. I decided on limiting the writers to just Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Judd Winick, and Ron Marz because all four of them wrote a fairly distinctive version of Kyle and put him in distinctive types of stories. (Plus, if I offered every writer who handled him for just one issue, it would get tedious. I picked the three writers who had him longest and the writer of the miniseries in question.)

Anyway, choose which writer of the four listed wrote the best Kyle Rayner, and whether or not you liked Kyle's part in Sinestro Corps.

(Poll Results)

Please vote, and feel free to leave conclusions in the comments. More on this one later.

Recommended Reading

I fully intended to rant here about the attitude towards superheroes and crying I found in this spoilery Sinestro Corps commentary. (I bookmarked it, but didn't say anything on the board because its page 22 of a 25 page post.)

But Kalinara beat me to it.

She put it better anyway.


Adam Hughes did the cover for the San Diego Comicon Keepsake book. We had a newsgroup discussion and I'd like to get everyone's first thoughts on this one.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Quick Note

I've seen three posts today that suggest DC characters have been replaced by Skrulls.

Wrong universe. DC characters get replaced by Manhunter robots, which are currently active and being led by an old Superman baddie. Adjust your theories accordingly.