Posts Tagged ‘comic books’

I have a friend who is an extreme movie-goer.  Loves movies.  Loves reviewing them.  Does not have a blog.  One of his common complaints is that there’s just too many superhero movies, and too many of them are flops for the “genre” to still be considered legitimate and not beaten to a pulp.  He says, what gives?  Suicide Squad was maybe decent at best.  Batman VS Superman is something we don’t talk about (literally never going to review that movie), the X-Men movies are slowly deteriorating, etc.  Now, this is his argument – it is not mine.  The last few Spider-Man movies had split personalities, with some people adoring them and some others wanting to puncture their eardrums, although I don’t remember them getting particularly high reviews.  I fall into the latter category to the extent where I also wanted to gouge my eyes out.

So, why do we need so many of them? If you don’t like even a slight mention of politics, look away now.  Move your mouse, have it hover the X button, press it, and get up and walk away.  Don’t have No Chill.  Although I hate to tell you – superhero movies very often get political.  X-Men can be (mutant registry, hello?).  Captain America can be.  America as in *AMERICA* (THE COUNTRY, AMERICA).  Batman can be.  The comics can be even more so.

Image result for captain america punching hitler

Real subtle.

Superheroes show us that (^), even when it’s not deliberate.  Superheroes show us Captain America punching Hitler.  Superheroes show us the X-Men fighting to not be put on a “list of mutants” type deal.  Superheroes show us alien Superman isn’t all that different except he’s really buff.  In the current divisive political climate, regardless  of what you think, superheroes show us that their situations aren’t actually all that different from ours.  And you know what?  We need to see that.  We need to be reminded to be everyday heroes.  We need to be reminded how the struggles truly are similar in some respects, and what we can do about it.  Sure, we aren’t rich and have a personal butler, and we don’t have superhuman serum, but we have something.  We have the power to organize, to fight back, and to argue with those in power.  We have the power to resist, even if it ends without a success.

With American politics being so shitty, my advice is to take solace in the fictional who undoubtedly harbor more power than we do.  Each movie, each comic, each character – has a statement to bring to the table.  Comic books are also a medium that do not shy from political commentary.  That’s why we still need superhero movies.  They can say things to a mass group of people, masked in a playful cloth.  They can comment – hell, their actors can also comment – unapologetically and brutally, but just subtle enough to not alienate.  We need them because, despite all this, they still bring people together.  But, they make them talk, too.

But why superheroes?  Can’t we just make a CIA movie?

No.  Superheroes give people hope.  Superheroes are people we look up to.  Superheroes are something bigger than all of us and everything we know if they were real.  You can fire a CIA agent.  A cop.  An FBI agent.  A masked vigilante can’t be fired.  They’re controlled by their morals and their power.  Since when did you look at a CIA agent and feel a sense of hope?

My advice is to harness that power for what you believe in.

But, just like divisive superhero movies – another takeaway – don’t forget who your friends are, even if you disagree with them.  Speak softly and carry a big stick.

But now, more than ever, we should be looking to them.

Advertisements

I’m going to just make out with my screen now.

I have missed this blog more than you have missed your extended family at Christmas.  I have missed this blog more than *my* extended family at Christmas.

What gives?

Well, the truth is, I am dating somebody.  While you have no business in knowing anything else, just know that blogging was really hard between school, two jobs (one seasonal, but getting another), a significant other, a dying cat (my cat died), and a fish tank that needed weekly changes.

Some things have changed.  My desire to blog, however, has not.  I wrote that bitchy post because I needed to break facade on why I haven’t been here.

Now.  I’m going to go month by month like last time and go through the movies.  I’m going to primarily focus on Superhero movies, but I may do a separate post for other movies.

DEADPOOL

Marvel is basically kicking off 2016 with Deadpool.  So many people, myself included, have been pining for the release of this movie back before it was even considered to be made.  Now, here we are, perhaps a little more than a month away from seeing Deadpool on the big screen, complete with Ryan Reynolds, breaking the 4th wall, and all the not-so-lovely (but lovely) things associated with Deadpool.  I’m not sure if I ever put this on my blog, but I really happened to like that Deadpool starts off sickly, and becoming Deadpool is his trade off to stay alive.  As a person who is chronically (though not terminally) ill, I can really appreciate the sick humor in this film.  For example, Captain America, who is sickly and just wants a chance to prove himself, becomes a goodie-two shoes.  Deadpool makes disturbing jokes from the beginning – as I often do about myself.  He doesn’t become a goodie-two-shoes. He becomes an antihero.  He doesn’t suddenly start trying to do right in the world like Captain America.  Nope.  He’s still sarcastic, still snarky, and perhaps a bit more brutal after all the events, and doesn’t become a villain.  And I like that.  Because just as doctors have a dark sense of humor because of the amount of awful crap they see, often times people who have health problems can also have a really dark, sick sense of humor.  The way he becomes Deadpool really appeals to that sense of humor (I have a very dark sense of humor).  I did not have such a dark sense of humor prior to my diagnoses.  After I got them, though, sarcasm literally became a second language, and I didn’t exactly hate everyone (aka, not like a villain).

I’ve been excited for Deadpool since Day 1.   After all the hoopla it’s experienced with being rated R, having sex scenes, breaking the 4th wall, and plot possibilities, I’d say this is going to be in the top 3 superhero films of 2016.  He sounds so much like the comic Deadpool and the fight for Reynolds to renew being Deadpool was well worth it.  And now, after all this time, we aren’t that far away from this Deadpool being the Deadpool to remember – not the Wolverine one.  Everything looks great – the acting, the character of Deadpool, the CGI.  I think this movie will be one of those where there’s lines everyone remembers.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

I want to apologize in advance.

I want to start by saying Wonder Woman has been horribly miscast.  I feel like the only reason they cast the person they did is because she was in the military and she’s skinny and cute.  Sorry – saying this from a perspective of a woman who works out quite a bit.  In fact, truthfully, I at one point had bigger biceps than the current actress.  I understand the rationale behind casting a woman who was in the military, but as someone who knows quite a bit about exercising and the human body, I can tell you being in the military five years ago might not mean much in terms of how fast someone deconditions.  Deconditioning is the gradual loss of muscle and ability of organs to perform (ie, running for 2 minutes or 20).  So while she may be disciplined to follow a rigorous exercise plan, that isn’t exactly the point of movies.  Movies don’t make men get buff, they just pick the muscles that make them look buff and exercise those, or just shape the muscles themselves without doing weight training (if anyone knows better than me, let me know, this is just what I know).  They exercise the biceps, the pectorals, and probably the trapezius on men.  Women don’t usually need to get buff for roles (let’s face it – Michael Bay is not doing women in action flicks any justice), so there might even be a lack of knowledge about how women gain muscle vs. how men gain muscle and how our physical anatomy might slightly differ.  This actress does not fit the role at all in my opinion, and her body type, in my opinion, does not match that of Wonder Woman’s.  And please do not say it’s because comics make people bigger than they realistically can be – which is true.  However:

 

 

The fact that I just posted three buff men on this blog is proving a bigger point than they’re all incredibly good looking.  Yes, the characters they portray are bigger than normal humans, but especially with Chris Evans in that photo, it wasn’t too hard for anybody to at least attempt getting as close as they could to an accurate physical representation.  Why am I arguing this?  Because I think Wonder Woman was cast for her looks, and not because she might resemble Wonder Woman.  There are physically better options out there, because Wonder Woman standing next to these three guys – she looks tiny and looks like she can’t hold her own.  Wonder Woman’s shoulders are broad, and her upper body torso is clearly toned by muscle/shape.  I’m sorry, but, the actress doesn’t have that.  And don’t tell me I’m being nitpicky or superficial or “just be happy a woman is involved”, because:

 

Unless you wanted Captain America to look like this the entire movie, too, you should stop talking.

Otherwise the movie looks very explosive, and I haven’t decided if that’s a good or bad thing.  Sometimes the CGI looks a little iffy, like a video game.  The plot looks like it’s two buff guys fighting to figure out who’s better than each other and the entire city is their schoolyard (ironically destroying things among the people who worship/hate them).  Maybe I am wrong.  Maybe I will be completely blown away (by everything other than Wonder Woman).  And please, don’t show us his parents dying again – please… please.

Because we already have enough characters in this.  Apparently, Cyborg, Aquaman, and of course Lex Luthor are all in this too.  It feels like they’re trying to plan for the Justice League while also trying to cash in on everyone who has ever said “What if Batman and Superman got into a fight?”.  I don’t particularly like Lex Luthor either, for many of the same reasons I don’t like Wonder Woman, but I’ll give him a pass on creative expression on part for the movie makers. For the record, I do like Affleck as a Batman (nobody will ever be Bale), I just think the circumstances he’s in isn’t ideal.  Also for the record I love Batman and somewhat prefer DC characters to Marvel characters, but just.. their movies.. someone fell asleep at the wheel…

Still one of the three in the top 3, though.

ONWARD!

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

At first, for this movie, I was concerned about it getting stuffed.  And it still is.  The problem is, it still has the Avengers 2.5 feel.

Give Cap his own movie.  You’ve managed to renew the love of Cap in the public sphere.  Why would you include that many people?  I mean, yes, it will make a good movie, and I’m going to say this is my second choice for the top 3 of 2016 of superhero movies.  But give Cap his own spotlight.  Bucky, Black Widow, Falcon, and even Iron Man all get a pass from me (although I don’t think BW is necessary).  But Cap should get his own movie without so many others stealing his spotlight.  I understand the plot mostly centers around what he refuses to do – hence it being a Cap movie – but what kind of screen time does he get?

If this were an Avengers movie, that complaint would not be there.  And that is a big complaint for such a little section.  A Captain America movie should be about Captain America.

Otherwise, everyone looks good.  The movie looks solid.

… And all like, 34 characters.  Still will be in the top 3.  I just think they will need to give us some Cap later on to compensate for this.

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

 

What some might love about this movie – and some may hate – is Wolverine not being there.  I have to say this movie couldn’t have came at a better time as Hugh Jackman is getting ready to hang up his metal claws.  It’ll get us used to life without Wolverine for a little bit, because there’s no way he’s immediately going to be recasted right after Jackman retires.  It’ll spell it’s own failure, if they do, in my opinion, just because Jackman has become Wolverine.  He was even in a cameo in another movie as Wolverine (Believe it was a Night at the Museum).  When I see Hugh Jackman, I think Wolverine.  It’s going to take time and a good recasting to get me to think of another actor and see Wolverine in them.  That’s why this movie is such a breath of fresh air – we can reconnect with the other X-Men.  A lot of the X-Men movies have a heavy Wolverine presence.  Regardless if you love or hate it, Wolverine is going to go now.  It’s time for us to reconnect with the other X-Men.

And what better way to do that, is making them all young again without Wolverine?

I absolutely adore Michael Fassbender Magneto.  Ian McKellen is great, but Fassbender Magneto is a certain intensity I haven’t felt from a villain since The Joker in The Dark Knight.  He is electrifying.  Ian McKellen is very, very charismatic, while Fassbender makes you go “oh ****”.

I’m interested in seeing Cyclops and Jean Gray’s past as well as Magneto and Mystique if they touch on it, but I just hope it doesn’t overtake the film like another superhero movie I can recall…

This feels like the Civil War version of X-Men. But what I did like is that instead of hordes of armies like in Days of Future Past, we literally get natural disaster images that would, maybe, accompany the end of the world.  Apocalypse seems utterly terrifying, and evoking religious images or references would normally get a “guys, what the hell” sort of response.  But Egypt in itself is a nod to religion, and seeing him talk about religious references is a bit on the creepy side, as well as the dying worship he gets.  I don’t know too much about these characters otherwise, so this section might be short.  Either way I’m happy Apocalypse isn’t a big bumblefuck of CGI, and I’m happy they’re introducing us to different X-Men.  I’m also glad Magneto isn’t the main villain.

SUICIDE SQUAD

I, personally, am excited about this movie.  However, I know it’s going to receive flak for a lot of the characters looking a bit different than what we would consider traditional, especially since it has already.  What I originally said about this movie is coming true – the “villains” are technically the heroes, waiting to be the government’s scapegoat.  There isn’t totally too much to say about it other than I’m not yet impressed with the Joker, but I can’t judge yet because I haven’t seen him in action.  I remember somebody else by the name of Heath Ledger we wrote off, but I have a feeling about this guy that I won’t like him – and not because he’s not Heath Ledger. I understand people like the tattoos, but you don’t need tattoos to be a fucking maniac, so let’s see if they put as much detail into his personality as they have into his looks, regardless if you like it or not. Otherwise I’m excited for Harley probably the most.

 

Doctor Strange and Gambit will warrant their own post, I am slowly losing my sanity as I am trying to type this with two kittens who currently have the attention span of a squirrel.  No kittens were harmed in the making of this post, however, a cooling pad gave it’s life at the paws of kittens and my power adapter now is at 80% health.

Godspeed.

Sadly I applied to Marvel Comics for an internship multiple times, and I never was quite let in.  I constantly debated including my Psychology degree on my resume.  Little did I know the person who created Wonder Woman, was, in fact, a psychologist, and psychology plays a huge role in comic books and how we relate to them.  I was never quite let in to Marvel’s writing areas of the internship (or like, five other areas)… which sucked greatly, since I live in New York City and busted my fucking bum to get it in early.  But, now I can safely say I will include it if I ever apply again (sidenote: I don’t know.)

Holy Sigmund Freud, Batman.

A little story for you first, as I always did:  Psychologically analyzing people is fun.  It’s slightly addictive for the psychology nerds of the world, in my humble opinion.  Psychologically analyzing fictional people is probably even more fun. 

But in all seriousness, there is now a legitimate psychologically therapy called comic book therapy.  I am not lying.  Go to Wikipedia, type it in, and read it.  There are mounds of books published on this.  Literally everyone takes these things seriously.

Now, I’m sorry, S type fans (Superman type), I’m focusing on B-type heroes (which, if you don’t know what that is, it’s heroes without a super-power).  S-types are very much defined by their ability, not what they’ve been through.  Yes, what they’ve been through can be shaped by their circumstances, but I mean purely being affected by something that might have happened to them without a power inducing that situation.

Firstly, and this is pretty cool: They make us comfortable with uncomfortable topics.  They talk about all the taboo shit society avoids.  Death, mass killings, murders, sexual assault, disability (as a technically disabled person I can say society hates talking about it).  And it’s cool, because comic books/comic movies shove it in your face and you’re cool with it.  They shove so much uncomfortable shit at you.  Everything from discrimination to death to disability is in a comic book.  But it makes you wonder why we’re cool with, like, seeing Barbara Gordon be disabled by the Joker and not an actual physically disabled person.  I wouldn’t call it empowering, but I’d say once it seeps into a comic book it’s a step in the right direction.  It’s a way of talking about things we don’t want to talk about, and it’s a way of simply opening up dialogue about things we don’t want to talk about.  Hell, this is so true, that it can be used in therapy sessions to portray something that happened to someone.  If someone doesn’t want to talk about a particular traumatic event, according to Wikipedia, “Comic book therapy is a form of art therapy in which those undergoing rehabilitation express their experiences through personal narratives in a graphic novel/sequential art format that enables them to process their memories and emotions.”  It’s still a form of communication, and it’s still a form of talking about things.  According to another article (cited below), a psychologist used superheroes as a means of therapy for kids who had gone through traumatic events.  It got them to talk about things they didn’t want to talk about.  They are literally used to analyze their deepest fears and traumas – and I can’t help but get the feeling every time you watch a movie or pick up a book you are doing the same to yourself for free because that is what these things feature.  We face fears without talking about it.

Only furthering this, I see a lot of people who were relentlessly bullied who take to the haven of comic books. They usually feature a classic underdog story.  It’s like everyone and their mother has been in some situation that they can relate to because of these things.  Like, some guy’s parents did actually die and that’s why Batman is their go-to.  I always find people explaining why a superhero is their favorite is a major league, deeply personal question.  I’m not asking for your social security number, I’m asking why Superman is your man.  It’s almost as if they become woven into the cores of us much like they become woven into the core of pop culture (and as such, that’s why comic con is so fucking crowded).  And maybe our parents didn’t die in an alley because of a guy named Joe Chill, but, maybe they were absent for things.  Maybe they missed your graduation, shit, I don’t know.  We can relate to the psychology of superheroes.  We can relate to their psyche… and maybe that’s why we all have our personal favorites.  We’re emotionally similar to them.  I find The Flash annoying because he’s hyperactive – which I am not.

Now the really morbid part comes.

You know, almost all of them have some kind of thing they want to fix or escape.  And if you tell me you have no regrets in your life, tell me your secrets.

Oh, please.

We all regret something.  And most of the time, a superhero is working off of a regret, an event, or something they wish they could’ve changed.  Isn’t that like, half of the population’s motivation?  Make something better?  Improve something?  Like, people pick certain careers because they want to be better than their experience sometimes.  Sometimes they like what they see and want to make it better.  And we can feel an undying pain of guilt for things we might regret.  They’re super, sure, but they have regrets just like the rest of us.  And we want to run from them, but we’re not a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.  Maybe we want to fix something that happened to us.  And you know what?  You’re completely fucking powerless to fix it most the time.  The guy who sexually harassed you is somewhere in the world, the dying 6 year old is still dying, you still suck at math (I needed to lighten this mood).  Sometimes you can fix it, but sometimes you can’t.  Things stay with us – and things stay with them.  It’s okay to be a little fucked up (coming from someone who is, decidedly, fucked up a little bit).  It’s taboo to admit these things, but in this world?  It’s all good.

And wouldn’t we all like to live in a world where fixing the wrongs of the world was as simple as putting on a suit and knocking out a few teeth.

Citation:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/17/the-rise-of-superhero-therapy-comic-books-as-psychological-treatment.html

You heard me right.  Let’s talk about Christine.

Seriously, we are going to talk about Christine.  Christine needs to be talked about, here.  It is crucial.  Christine is a typical girl.  She does makeup, dyes her hair, and enjoys shopping. Travel and photography are a thing for her here.  Always doing that “posting pictures of her food” thing.  Obsessed with the arts and love stories.  Maybe she enjoys pets, too, always calling everything with two eyes cute.  Hangs out with guys.  This is Christine.  Maybe long, blonde hair if you want.

I know what you’re thinking: How could you do this to Christine?

Now, let me flesh out Christine a little bit more.

Christine does makeup and hair dye because she likes to cosplay comics and horror movies (her favorite kind of movies, mind), and her natural hair color isn’t blonde.  When she goes shopping, it’s for games, comic books, and sports supplies, because she rallied for her highschool to get a girl’s lacrosse team and ended up being the captain.  Her writing and arts interests lie in fantasy, like Lord of The Rings type fantasy, with a slight romantic and dramatic twist throughout.  Her favorite pet isn’t a cat – it’s a lizard, and she tends to think Skinks – yes, in all of their bug-eating glory – make the best beginner lizards, but her interests lie with the larger monitors.  She hangs out with guys, but hasn’t wanted to date.  And never has.  She’s not much of a cook either and is a blackbelt instead, so she didn’t cook that food she posted a photo of.

Right.. so that’s Christine.  What’s that?  Were you expecting Gucci bags? (Not that there is a problem with Gucci bags, but there is a larger point to this point.  She may buy Gucci every once in a while).

It was recently International Women’s Day, and while I am not usually a huge fan of Anything Day (reasons), I thought it would be an appropriate time to write this sort of post I have been planning quite a while.  Mind you, there is no real Christine, she does not exist.  If a Christine out there fits the description, you kick ass, except this is not intended to be you, or anyone you know, even if they are not named Christine.  Christine also has a birthday – she was born today at 8:00 PM, so unless you go through infancy to highschool in less than 20 minutes and happened to have physically come out of my head like something out of the Alien franchise are you the Christine I am referring to.  Sidenote:  I nor Christine hate men.  If I hated men, I certainly should not be involved in several male dominated fields (I am not referring to comics).

Regardless, I thought I’d take a look at the history of women in comics.  By the way, if you haven’t figured it out already, Christine becomes Christine the Comic Writer, much like Rosie the Riveter.  Rosie the Riveter has a better ring to it, though, I admit…

Christine is inspired by Nellie the Nurse, Millie the Model (good god, really?), and Tessie the Typist (aka a fancy secretary, not sexist at all).  Apparently, starting in the Golden Age Archie Comics geared comics toward women and women primarily read comics but I am not at all convinced the storylines were anything deeper than learning how to use the vacuum (of course, being taught by a man) or fighting over a guy.  .. Or both.  Considering Archie Comics made the comic known as, well, Archie, which features two ditzy women fighting over who gets to date one (gasp) tall blonde dude, I am probably not far off.

Another sidenote is that this isn’t some PR appeal or some awful attempt at being politically correct: this is not my motive, and considering I curse on my blog, that would be a very misguided assumption on your part because cursing isn’t politically correct.  I actually do have a post in the works (mentally) about something regarding men/boys/males.  Originally, I was going to merge those two together, but I’d like to go to bed sometime before tomorrow morning for once.  I’m giving up playing Civ V for you.  Appreciate the post (or else).

But after that Golden Age, Nellie, Millie, and Tessie were all born.  And I am making Christine be born.

Women were either “career oriented” (wtf does that even mean?), perky teenagers, or romance heroines.  The romance involved women could either be good or bad, and if they’re good, they were probably stuffed in the refrigerator.  I don’t really get the whole “bad” vs “good” distinction, just because we could have a gay superhero (I’m being 100% serious) being tempted by another gay man, or a strong superhero woman being tempted by a guy.. but.. ok. This is still around – I recently saw some kind of book regarding comics and it specifically mentioned “tempting women”.  Like as an entire section.  Are we career oriented in that our career is stalking a male superhero now in some sort of odd desperation to date or have sex with him?  I don’t understand…

Among the first female superheroes were Scarlet O’Neil and Black Fury.  Scarlet O’Neil aka the Invisible Woman was plain clothes and walked around doing things like saving little kids and getting kidnapped.  In general, it was not action packed (source: Wikipedia).  Then you had Miss Fury who was.. eventually turned into a dude, obviously?  Black Fury (aka Miss Fury) became John Perry and Rex King.  She then wasn’t revived until 1991 in which case I am not including it.  I’m strictly ’40s to late 50s right now.

Who knew one of them would maintain a blog in 75 years.

And I know I may get the crowd who is like “get over it” but I’m not like actively blaming society for doing this 75 years ago.  It’s really just retrospective out of my own curiosity.  And Christine’s.

Regardless, after the slight abomination that appears to be The Invisible Woman, we actually see Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.  Of course, she happens to be blonde, and tall, and wearing heels, and white, but probably the best of the bunch at the time.  From Wikipedia:

As Trina Robbins, in The Great Women Superheroes wrote:[5]

[M]ost of [Fiction House’s] pulp-style action stories either starred or featured strong, beautiful, competent heroines. They were war nurses, aviatrixes, girl detectives, counterspies, and animal skin-clad jungle queens, and they were in command. Guns blazing, daggers unsheathed, sword in hand, they leaped across the pages, ready to take on any villain. And they did not need rescuing.

Sheena seemed to be pretty successful, and seemed to have a fair amount of abilities.  She was able to turn into whatever animal she made contact with and ability to communicate with wild animals.  The first superhero though, who was a woman, was apparently Fantomah, a woman who never aged and turned into a skull-like creature to fight crime (nice, I like the morbidity; it’s not “lady like”).  In a time where saving children without any action was the norm, at least it’s a step in the right direction in a time when Peggy Carter was still Captain America’s damsel in distress (I fucking hate that term).  She had always been needing to be saved, and I admit as a Cap fan it was nice to see Peggy take the stage for another reason than needing Cap to come save her.. really.

Yes, we’re hopping over to the big guys. Particularly, the history of Wonder Woman.

Funny story.. Wonder Woman was the suggestion from a wife of a guy.  William Moulton Marston, a psychologist, thought comics had uncracked potential,and his wife insisted he create a superheroine.. so.. he explained it as Sigmund Freud would, while also believing women should rule the world?:

“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”

If you’re unaware, Sigmund Freud had an R-Rated (is there something higher than R?) theory about women, that they didn’t want to actually be women, and they envied men because they were men, and they distanced themselves from their mothers for this reason and subsequently hung out with dad.  Frankly, I don’t want to be goddamn tender and submissive whether I am a woman or not.  But regardless, that was the mindset, I guess, of the time.  At least he listened to his wife and created the first widely recognized female superhero.  Really, I’m not delving too deep into this just because it’s blowing my mind a little bit.  That statement is clearly sexist but he also wanted women to rule the world, and was slightly sexist against men, believing women were more honest?  I’m supposing that is stereotype, therefore wanting us to the rule the world is also sort of sexist?  By the sounds of it, it’s meant in a stereotypical/sexist manner for both parties, with men elevated in importance, slightly?…

How I feel.

By now, though, we’re starting to realize women are people (now the Silver Age).  Lois Lane is created, Batwoman, Jean Loring, and Carol Ferris, all “career women”.  Iris West, Kathy Kane, and Vicki Vale have been thrown into the mix.  Still, though, sexism weaved some of their cores, as we all know Lois needed to be saved a few times, and Batwoman apparently used perfume and a hair net as weapons (god, at least make her use mace instead of perfume if you’re going to be sexist).  Unfortunately, I will not detail all of these, it’s 10 PM now, Christine is probably graduating high school, I feel like I am growing old writing this post, I’m eating peanut butter and jelly in mass quantities in an attempt to keep myself from starving.  Sort of like Tom Hanks in Cast Away.  But with a laptop, instead of a soccer ball.

Regardless of PBJ here, Marvel is playing catch up, and creates their first female superhero in the form of Invisible Woman…. several decades after Wonder Woman.. and Mr. Fantastic has had instances of.. abuse…

Come on.. you can do better than that…

Regardless, it is very interesting, considering Marvel’s movies/tv shows.  You know.. Black Widow.  Peggy.  Rogue.  Jean Grey.  All the superheroine Avengers. Wasp.  Regardless, originally, Marvel’s heroines (yes, we don’t need to say “female superheroes”) were treated as less than equal. It is almost as though they are quietly hiding away from their past mistakes.. and Not-So-Mr. Fantastic’s mistakes.. while creating all these strong women.  DC Comics was not a beacon of light, exactly, either, due to this policy:

[the] Editorial Policy Code regarding the portrayal of women, which stated, “The inclusion of females in stories is specifically discouraged. Women, when used in plot structure, should be secondary in importance, and should be drawn realistically, without exaggeration of feminine physical qualities”.

So more or less, women in stories was discouraged, unless they happened to somehow supplement the superhero.  Which.. just about makes sense.  Obviously.  Though, everyone did this it seems – I guess DC just put it in writing?  Did Marvel do it too?

Regardless, I’m moving on, because I bit off more than I can chew.  To the Bronze Age! (sidenote:  If I seem like I’m rushing, I’m waiting for a larger point and I am about to hit one.  This is all pretty generic information).

The part we’ve been waiting for.. assuming I was alive.  The feminist era.  The part where all the women realized, there is something seriously wrong with Mollie the Model or whatever godforsaken terrible name they gave her.

Aside from the comic character “Man-killer” being made, this was overall not that bad of an era.

I just.. I don’t have a witty comment for this.

People start realizing women are just as capable of leadership as men, and Mrs. Fantastic becomes the leader of the Fantastic Four, and Wasp becomes a founding Avenger.  Jean Grey becomes Phoenix, Storm is created, and one man sets out to revamp some of them: Chris Claremont.  He revamps and helps settle Rogue, Psylocke, Storm, Jean Grey, and Kitty Pryde.  Suddenly, the teenagers become serious, and women are now a thing (as in popular).  Notice a lot of those or all of them have been in movies, now, or very famous at the least.  But the elephant in the room is not any of these: It’s Ms. Marvel.

Ms. Marvel isn’t in a movie.  She is getting her own movie.

Ms. Marvel, apparently, seems to embody Marvel’s troubles with representing women during that time due to her controversy.  She worked at a magazine obviously geared toward women, and her headline was “This Woman Fights Back!”.  It’s very possible Marvel picked Ms. Marvel to be their first female-led movie, well, because that is more or less what she was designed for in the first place.  She was a symbol of the push to get more female characters and not portraying women as damsels in distress – let’s only hope she lives up to that despite not being known to the general public.  But still, despite the apparent symbolism here, do you think someone like Black Widow would’ve been a better pick?  Is there any possibility there will eventually be a Black Widow movie?  Is that why they picked her and not some other random superheroine?

In between all of this, we get Barbara Gordon, who is injured by the Joker after the events of The Killing Joke, who takes things a step further – she is disabled, now, but became the leader of Birds of Prey.  She’s another example of the strong women blossoming now, and everyone collectively realizing women are people and not cooking machines.

Now, we hit the Modern Age.  Now.  Probably your childhood.

We start off the era with Tank Girl:

The eponymous character Tank Girl drives a tank, which is also her home. She undertakes a series of missions for a nebulous organization before making a serious mistake and being declared an outlaw for her sexual inclinations and her substance abuse. The comic centers on her misadventures with her boyfriend, Booga, a mutant kangaroo.

I’m sorry.. I’m sorry what? A mutant kangaroo?  What the hell?  I know nothing about this, so I’m not commenting, but, if you happen to know, do tell me, because mutant kangaroos?

Still, women were treated as sex stories.  Because sex sells.  As a result, the wonderful and amazing and my personal comic writer hero, Gail Simone (she retweeted me once!), started the Women in Refrigerators campaign after seeing a Green Lantern comic where GL finds his girlfriend dead because of a villain and stuffed in a refrigerator.  Ever since that, using women for the “sex sells” excuse and depowering or killing women has become less and less.  And that is where we are now, along with more LGBT diversity such as Batwoman.

Yeah.. more work to be done, here.

I understand that both sexes are inaccurately portrayed, but this is also the guy who made “Captain America” become “Captain Americhest” (seriously, that drawing has obliques everywhere).  Above is Ms. Brokeback, considering her back is anatomically broken because of the need to exaggerate her chest and butt.  There is still work to be done, but hopefully, if that trend means anything, we can get it done – without gender tension.

At least X-Men has shown it has strong female characters, and two female-led movies are on the way.  Now, finally, we are reaching some semblance of equalization.  Peggy Carter helped paved the way.  Wonder Woman got it started, and Ms. Marvel helped us out.  Black Widow kicks ass, and X-Men is chock full of X-Women.  Finally, women are having a bit of a foothold in comics because of the characters.  We aren’t all the same, and we don’t have the same interests – including the traditional ones.

When you read comics or create female characters, think of Christine the Comic Writer.

(Happy belated International Women’s Day).

So I love this show..

Um..

End of review.

Not really, but you should know where this is going.  I will be doing episode 1 and 2 together.  FYI: I knew I would love this show.  I love Peggy.  I loved Peggy in The First Avenger.  Girl is kick ass.

First of all, and probably the best thing about it was the tie ins with Captain America, but not to the point where it feels like all we’re doing is learning about Captain America and Peggy can’t hold her own.  It’s made pretty apparent that Peggy is not a damsel in distress despite her love for America’s hero and we are reminded of that through parts shown of the movie itself.  She moves on but doesn’t forget.  She is a woman who is strong, but is so overlooked nonetheless.  Part of that is because of the Captain himself, but we can’t forget that’s why we know Peggy.  It let’s us know we are smack dab in between the two movies, and sort of forget The Winter Soldier even ever happened yet because it is so immersive.  The time frame is done amazingly – we are reminded she is a woman in a time where man literally thought this about women:

Nope, this isn’t a prop.

The time frame works amazingly, and it lets Peggy shine.  The amount of sexism could get anyone cringing, but the fact is it’s almost necessary for Peggy to ram people with staplers (by the way, that was awesome).  It’d be hard to justify the amount of punching and epic moments she has if she were not in that time frame. Without that time frame, she wouldn’t be able to do some of what she does either – because she’s a woman, they assume she’s innocent and cutesy, but then she’s casually breaking into a drawer.  And that is decidedly awesome.  The time frame and the sexism does something else, though: Everyone else who’s sexist highlight why Peggy won’t date anyone else – good guy Cap doesn’t quite act that way, now does he?  In addition to basically being necessary, it highlights the qualities of not only Peggy, but Captain America, too.

You know what else is awesome?

The dynamic between Jarvis and Peggy.  You know, with Howard Stark basically being why this is happening, I actually wondered where he’d run off to… and then he ran off, literally, and we are stuck with two people with the same accent might I add (good touch!) that defy each other.  They work well together but only because they clash to the point where its hard for them to understand each other’s motives in the beginning.  Jarvis doesn’t get it – why the urgency?  He uses fancy words, talks calm even when it’s appropriate to be cursing like a trucker, and then you have Peggy who is casually throwing people out of windows in the kitchen.  If Peggy needed to have a partner in crime, nobody works better than Jarvis, simply because of how oddly detached he is from it.  I mean, he is Stark’s butler, you would think he’d be a little bit more… fired up over this.  But no, he casually asks where to drive as everything is going to blow up.  The humor between them seems to be perfect – a good balance between serious and joking, enough to get something done but make you wonder how they will do it in the process.  Probably what I love about Jarvis, though, is that he’s not overtly sexist.  He does have sexist qualities, though: some of his comments really come off terribly sexist.  He highlights a problem even in present society:  Sexism without even realizing it.

Probably what’s best about Howard Stark, though, is that it does tie into the Iron Man movies with the mention of Roxxon and also (apparently) the showing of Doctor Vanko.  It appears everything that isn’t Captain America is subtle – but it’s there.  Personally, I view those a bit like eggs.  Like, you know, you don’t fundamentally need it to understand the show, but if you understand it it just makes everything a little more awesome.  And, if you learn, you can always re-watch and find out something new.  Finding out something new during a re-watch is just about as good as it gets, for me, because I find very little reason to rewatch basically anything.

But… the villains might have me re-watching it.

I was frequently getting confused on who was who in the beginning.  Who was Peggy’s company, who was the rival agents, etc.  Society is overall something Peggy needs to overcome – it’s a villain in and of itself.  Sometimes they do come off a bit unclear, though, as to who’s who and who’s doing what – but I can imagine that’s because it’s the first two episodes, and if they told you, well, it’d be that they told you too quickly.  There’s just a lot of names to catch and a lot of faces to remember – some without names.  They should develop her co-workers more – not just the necessary ones.  Why is Sousa so nice to her, for one?  Do any of them have ulterior motives? I’m sure that’s next.

The other thing I loved, though, was the radio show.  It was a nice touch, once again making us feel immersed in the time without making us feel like we were bored without the glam of the 21st century.  It seemed to directly contradict events and Peggy’s personality itself – it also makes me wonder how well she can handle constant reminders of her lover, especially as she finds things of his or reminiscences occasionally – things like his file, or things like at the end of the second episode.  Despite her love for Steve Rogers, it doesn’t make her vulnerable.  Her mission itself makes her vulnerable – leaving some tracks behind remind us she is not infallible – they have the license plate.  They saw her foot tracks.  Even the best agent can’t think of everything – and it leads us to root for her.

The teaser for the next episode leads us to question everyone – and clutch our pom poms in anxiety.

Also, kids, when I grow up, I want to be like Peggy Carter.

What do I look forward to in 2015?

Simply put.  Sorry I’ve been a little irregular lately, and also not terribly active on Twitter.  I’m sick (again, but different type of sickness this time). However, I went places and did things… probably too much so, resulting in my head cold that I am trying to get rid of.

Tom Hanks, anyone?

Tom Hanks, anyone?

Yes:  I went to FAO Schwarz.  However, my Manhattan excursions for this year are now over, and if I didn’t decide that, I’m sick, so I’m forced to decide that.  Tom Hanks, though.  I want to watch Big so terribly bad, now.  yes, I bought a stuffed animal.  It was obligatory.  Everyone thought I was a tourist, anyway (sidenote:  New Yorkers normally hate being mistaken for tourists in the city they live in).

So in terms of movies, what do I look forward to?  Looking over a list, I’m going to tell you.  Right now.

January:

I keep seeing commercials for Blackhat, and I sort of want to see it if I don’t even know what it’s about.  I can’t tell you much more than that because I don’t actually know about it.  I’ve just gotten bombarded with commercials.

Another movie on the list is Selma.  I have a particular fascination with history-related movies, particularly semi-modern history movies.

Perhaps my guilty pleasure will be Taken 3, though.  Yes, I realize critically they bomb.  I realize it has a cult following.  I see the flaws with the Taken franchise, but I still love it nonetheless.  The characters are the epitome of stereotype, but that’s okay, because we get to see Liam Neeson kick ass.  And who doesn’t like a good Liam Neeson ass kicking?  To be fair, if someone was going to kick my ass who is famous, I’d want Neeson to hands down.  He’s good at a nice ass kicking if you need one.  Therefore, while I fully understand why the Taken franchise is nothing but a cult following, I understand why the followers follow it.

You see this? This is why I’m rambling.

I want to see Agent Carter in January as well.

February:

In this month, I will probably find a way to see Kingsman: The Secret Service, even if it’s another movie I don’t know that much about.  I know it’s comic related, so why not?  (I also know Samuel L. Jackson is in it).

Nothing in February really jumps out at me.  Spongebob movie, maybe?  Jupiter Ascending, perhaps?  Probably Jupiter Ascending.  I’m telling you right now, though: I don’t look forward to Fifty Shades of Grey.

Will I review it?  I don’t know yet.

… I mean, maybe if it’s wildly popular or really good, but I really just don’t want to.  I will if it’s popular, in the end, which it probably would be.

March and April:

Nothing really pops out here.  I see Mall Cop 2 listed, another Paranomal Activity, and Cinderella.  Sidenote:  I am not seeing Chappie.

May:

Now the big kahunas are starting.  Yes, no duh I am excited for Age of Ultron.  I’d say most comic fans are. They’ve built the hype enough for it.  I think it’s safe to say this movie is shaping up to be a good one.  I mean, I sort of already gave my thoughts for Ultron in my Avengers review, so if it’s a bit lacking, that would explain it.  I look forward to Ultron, I look forward to building our Cap VS. Iron Man feud, I look forward to seeing a not-so-lighthearted Avengers film.

June:

Perhaps the most controversial of all.

Jurassic World.

I guess I’m excited, but not really because I have hope it’ll be a good movie.  I’m excited mainly because I’m finally seeing a JP movie in a theater, even if it doesn’t feature Sam Neill.  From a critical standpoint, I’m really pretty hesitant because of stuff like this:

Yeah….

The fact is, they’re going to have a hard sell with this and with the D. rex.  I get where they’re going, but they’re going to need to juggle corny and story and making statements, which is generally a hard balance to get.  I understand they want to make a statement that humans are bored of the natural world and no matter how much we get, we just keep on taking – but the fact is, they’re going to need to effectively juggle that efficiently.

Also, Ted 2 comes out here.  Seth McFarlane, so I’d expect it to be a comedy.  Again, don’t know very much.

July:

Terminator: Genisys comes out, which as far as I can tell is a gimmick considering they purposely spelled Genisys wrong.  From what I know, this movie is just going to piss off a lot of people.  The movie Minions comes out, which are from Despicable Me.  I’ll definitely be watching this, and considering the internet’s mild obsession with minions, I don’t expect this to have too many problems with drawing people.  Another movie on the slate is Ant Man, which I don’t actually know the general consensus for.  It seems split, last I checked.  Honestly, I’m a comic fan who doesn’t know that much about Ant Man.

August:

Goosebumps and The Fantastic Four.  I’m having an incredibly difficult time taking F4 seriously, and Goosebumps is a long-running book series turned movie, so I’m presuming this is going to be geared toward children.

September and October:

The Intern, which I’ve heard a lot about, comes out.  Myself personally I am not terribly excited for this movie, but it might show me otherwise.  The Jungle Book comes out in October, along with an untitled Tom Hanks movie focusing on the Cold War.  The second movie, of course, has peaked my interest.

November and December:

The Peanuts movie!  Yes, perhaps a bit childish, but I do want to see it.  I remember being a kid and always watching the Peanuts around holidays so excuse me if I consider this a must.  The Good Dinosaur seems kiddish but cute, and of course The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 is in this.

December is probably what everyone is waiting for with the release of Star Wars The Force Awakens.  I had someone else write my Trailer SW post, so I’ll let you know in 12 months… I have some catching up to do..

Not going to watch Star Wars movies, or anything.

I’m sorry this is short and sweet, but..

I’m sleeping.

Hello,

If anyone is happening to want to be like my Star Wars guest poster and write a guest post (or want me to write a guest post), feel free to contact me at twitter.com/FictionalPlanet.  Just tweet to me!  If you need an alternate way of contacting me, comment below you would like to have my e-mail address.

I’m open to comic arc reviews, movie reviews, trailer thoughts, etc.

As some Twitter followers may know (twitter.com/FictionalPlanet) I plan on releasing my own comic book.  This was posted on my blog while it was on Blogger.  I have decided to repost it here:

Without further adieu:

Q: so… What’s his name?
A: not going to give you that just yet!

Q: Give us something! What is his character like?
A: you are using how many social profiles right now? Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr?
This character is a play on the world we live in.  He’s a play on various aspects of society that are hotly debated (like SOPA).  He is a very political character and he is very relevant to society.

Q: hero or villain?
A: neither.

Q: anti hero or anti villain?
A: honestly, not even that is too clear cut but I’d lean on anti hero.

Q: so any other heroes?
A: what’s good about this character is that I don’t need to make him the only hero in whatever universe he is in.  Truthfully, no other heroes want to actually interact with him because they don’t trust him.  He isn’t innately bad or a villain.  He just makes you question morality, good and bad, the basics of what make us human.

Q: Did any work influence you?
A: George Orwell, 1984.

Q: how about villains?
A: you’ll fine out in time.

So, Cap: TFA.   I did a story in the earlier Captain America: The Winter Soldier review, so no story this time.

So basically the premise is – this is Captain America’s origin story.  The Captain introduces us to himself, and he does become the Captain.

Don’t doubt this guy.

We see Cap kick ass.  We see Cap rescue the people nobody wants to.  We see Cap decide he’s not some guy in a Star-Spangled-Spandex-Suit.  We see Cap decide it’s up to him to do his own mission – nobody will help him and people will only stand in his way.  We see him still help the people who stand in his way.  We see him do amazing things – and happily so.  This movie really does Cap’s good nature and past justice.

But really, the entire movie has a very upbeat tone.  Once again, Marvel dazzles us with their usual superhero formula. Marvel pretty much makes everything be sort of the same while being different with their superhero origin stories.  Everyone sort of overcomes some kind of personal challenge.  It was a good way to introduce us to Captain America.  As a once member of the general audience, especially when I first saw this movie, it was a good way to set the stage for The Winter Soldier and also introduce us to Captain America.  Overall, it felt like it was about time we got a serious film about a character that is basically known because he exists.  I mean, it was only fair to assume America would enjoy a movie about a guy named, I don’t know, Captain America.

The movie, unlike a lot of superhero movies, had a very light tone to it.  I mean, we see this scrawny sickly kid trying to get into the army with his best friend urging him to forget it.  I mean, obviously, we know he’s going to get in even if you’re unaware of him being a living science project.  We all know he was in the military even before it needs to be said.  I guess I liked that about it – that it was lighthearted.  Nothing was imminent to blow up, nothing was like really crazy tense and dark.  I guess it was a step back from what we usually see – The Dark Knight was dark, The Winter Soldier was dark, the entire Batman trilogy was dark, and Superman even was dark.  Captain America gave us a break.  If everything is dark, it just eventually get’s old.  It feels like everything is always going to be in ruins.  And I like Captain America for giving us a break.

But sometimes, we get too much of a break.  The plot was decent, especially the juggle between origins and plot.  However, it really felt like it dragged.  I mean, I watched this movie with non-comic book people, and toward the end they just were pleading with me for the movie to end.  While I don’t consider it quite that bad, I think for the time it spent on the screen we could’ve gotten a bigger bang for what we sat through.  It did feel long.  The acting was great, especially Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell, and Evans himself – but there were just some parts of it that felt like you were doing the army exercises yourself.  Loooooong.  The movie as a whole could’ve been paced better and I think part of that problem was trying to weave in all the information they were.  They were weaving in a plot, weaving in HYDRA information, weaving in Captain’s origins, weaving in Bucky, weaving in the future of Cap, weaving in Peggy, and so on and so on.  It was a lot to take on.  It felt a little bit jumbled to see all that stuff thrown in, and I think as a result, some things were lacking.

HYDRA.

HYDRA definitely came off more as a threat in The Winter Soldier.  It felt underdeveloped.  Red Skull was semi assumed to just know who he was, same with various other HYDRA officials.  It was just somewhat assumed that we know who they are.  Aside from that, they just didn’t get developed enough as a villain or villains.  A lot of it was Cap’s origin story, and Cap and Peggy.  At least, though, we learn something about them for their big debut in The Winter Soldier.  At least we get a taste of Bucky.  It’s hard to not view this film, solely, as the predecessor to The Winter Soldier.  As a standalone, it’s a little harder to appreciate this film for what it is.  I mean, yes, it’s still a fantastic film, infinitely better than The Amazing Spider-Man ever could have been, but when you do put it in perspective that this was truly the first of the trilogy, you sort of realize why HYDRA itself can’t be terribly developed.  Maybe Red Skull still could have used it, especially since he is such a harsh enemy toward Captain America, but not HYDRA, otherwise thunder would’ve been stolen from the sequel.  I generally like the plot, and the acting.  Out of all the films I’ve seen, I probably love the underdog tone the most in this movie.  It’s not hard to relate to a scrawny kid who can’t live his life’s dream.  I mean, maybe none of us are entering an Insta-Buff (TM) machine, but even so.  How many people do you know can’t do their dream job?  Whether it be illness, location, or just rejection, it’s an easy thing to relate to.

Especially if you happen to be a dermatologist.  You are screwed.

But, perhaps that’s what I love about this movie.

Even after Captain America get’s the Instant Buff treatment, he still is true to the character he was before.  Like, for example, being awkward around women.  He just doesn’t get it, despite the fact in the movie women are throwing themselves at him (the cheating scene).  I’m going to be honest.  I didn’t consider a lot of things memorable about this movie.  I mean in the sense of one liners or particularly really strong scenes.  But the part I will not forget about this movie – ever – is the tension and affection between Steve and Peggy.

I just loved it.

I wish I could explain why, but probably because in movies like The Dark Knight we see a slightly feeble Rachel be taken.  We see a Rachel split between Dent and Batman who obviously hides his identity. Gwen Stacy proves to be just as passive. I just loved seeing how strong of a character Peggy was.  Peggy shot at a super soldier.  And made him cower.

She’s a badass.

She’s the badass I needed in a movie.

And she’s not even a superhero.  She’s a love interest.

I needed that.

I don’t think we need absolute bombardment of women in media to get equality.  And I am a woman.  I don’t think we should make an All-Female version of Avengers (I don’t mean different female Avengers.  I mean a female Iron Man).  We need more like Peggy.  We need more like Black Widow.  We need more like Wonder Woman and Batgirl.  Peggy is totally aware of this whole spandex thing.  She doesn’t hide from it.  She’s so snarky even just when we first meet her.

The dynamics between them, for me, literally made the movie.  And it also made Captain America.  Captain America still managed to seem human despite being a technical superhuman.  Seriously, no other superhero than Captain America is so human.  Everything about him is so down to earth, like his “kid from Brooklyn” line.  Like rescuing the men they wanted to give up on.  I will say it again – Captain America is The Man (TM).

Overall, the music was good, the plot was good, the effects were great, but things needed improvement, especially Red Skull and his development.  Red Skull felt almost childish at some points.  Captain America, though, not only saves the day, but his movie from his villain.  And his relationship saves it too because it’s adorable.

Overall, it’s just a good movie. It’s just one of those movies you just sit and decide to watch because you can.

And where is the fun in anything else?

The Dark Knight Rises.. you aren’t kidding.  He rose, man.

But a little story for you first, as always.  This movie, when I first heard about it, was especially close to my heart.  Why?

*hyperventilation*

As you may or may not know, I love Catwoman.  I have always loved Catwoman.  Like, as I said in the QA, I wanted to find a Catwoman costume for Halloween, and I was consistently pissed off that I couldn’t.  And like a good little Catwoman fangirl, my parents never knew this.  I kept it hidden (not joking).  I used to just casually scour the Halloween costume pickings looking for a girl superhero costume, but I wanted Catwoman in particular.  Why?  I don’t know.  I don’t know what led me to Catwoman to begin with, but that is what I settled on, probably because she was stealthy, sneaky, and just amazing at her job.  I liked she didn’t have a good or bad vibe about her, she just did things and decided what she wanted to be that day.  And I never found it.  But, that entire time, they weren’t aware of my wanted Catwoman costume.  They were unaware of this for years on end.  I just told them of this 4 months ago or something, and I stopped trick or treating a rather long time ago.

And, just, I saw her to be in this movie, and my life was complete.  Until a few other things made it less complete, but still complete nonetheless.  The premise of the movie is that basically Bane wants to expose Harvey Dent and Commissioner Gordon, and Batman comes out of retirement for it.

So when the movie opens, we get a feel for Bane, but it’s pretty apparent it’s not true to the comics.  First of all, Tom Hardy is a shawty (I may as well make him seem cool in the process).  And, I mean, in comparison to comic book bane, he is really.. different.  I mean, I know Tom Hardy got buff, but when you compare the two of them side by side, you know which one is more imposing.  Granted, yes, that is always the case because comic books aren’t drawn realistically per say, but you can still be as imposing or translate over into real life.  It felt like when they translated Bane, they forgot a few crucial characteristics about him.  Bane sort of seems very one dimensional.  We don’t really know that much about him as a villain-person.  And, I mean, in the movie, he just seems so… pissed off, for no reason.  I mean, yes, we get the plot and all, but I read his wikipedia article and my heart is aching for Bane (not too much, just a little).  Osito the bear, for instance.  The fact also is, in the comics, Bane seems a little bit more “crazy”, for a lack of a better term. But here’s the problem:  His mask is different.  His Nolan mask is used for a constant supply of medication while his comic mask is because he’s addicted to venom.  I like Nolan’s better (I’m so, so sorry, right now).  The reason why is because we missed out on that Bane Meet and Greet in the movie.  There is only so much shit you can cram into a 3 hour long movie (some of it really being shit, and I will get to that).  So, Nolan didn’t do all the “feel bad for Bane”, but he did make him able to be related to by making that mask supply him with medication in the most ironic way.  Bane is physically strong, but then you just… crack his mask and he turns into a puppydog?  It’s a really ironic weakness for Bane to have, and I don’t think Nolan would be able to do both.  It was either psychotic addict or sympathetic villain.  There was no way to do both, and given Batman is already maxed out in depression, if we got psychotic Bane…

Coming out of retirement?  Fuck that.

I just don’t think Batman could’ve needed antidepressants because of Rachel and then had a massive steroided-out Bane.  It’d just be like, nevermind, Gotham, burn.

But we get something else with Bane.  Granted, he’s different from the comics, but I can’t hate on it too much because he’s a stark contrast to the Joker.  I think if we used his psychotic episodes it’d be too similar and it’d just be a different film.  Bane is the epitome of terrorism.  Bane is a terrorist.

This movie has so many political undertones I can’t even list them all (and I’m not going to try).  But, a few themes I noticed are the obvious corruption, police issues, jail ethics, government documents/ethics of secrecy, and Bane being a terrorist.  That is what I’m going to talk about, because I could write a 10 page paper on this movie and it’s political undertones.  Given my blog posts are in the 1k-2k word range, you know I am capable of doing it, so I am honing in on one issue and talking about it that way you don’t need to read this post over a small lifetime.

Bane is scary despite all of those things I noted about him.  Yes, he’s short, yes, he need stilts, and yes, he is not as big as comic book Bane.  But he is still scary.  I found those scenes with the stock exchange horrifying.  I found that stadium scene so powerful that it got me physically uncomfortable.  Bane himself is a political statement, and frankly, it’s amazing.  The Joker is a political statement sort of, but the Joker is more of a psychological perspective and using the world as his mental playground for Batman and himself.  Nonetheless, Bane takes that a step further and basically does what people try to do. People with bad intentions focus on large gatherings (Boston Marathon bombing), and the stock exchange in New York City because they know what it will do… Bane did all of that.  And you can tell me it’s fake, and it’s fiction, and to not look into it that far.  But.. what he did was enough to give me goosebumps.  I can’t say anything in the superhero universe embodied terrorism quite as well as Bane, despite the fact they want to blow up a city somewhere just about every ten minutes (and within Marvel, it’s pretty much always New York City).  We very rarely see the actual citizens and something being done to the actual citizens we can relate to.  I mean, even with Superman and Zod, odds are we aren’t ever going to find a guy from an alien planet attacking us in some weird space suit.  (Disclaimer:  Terrorism is not to be glorified, do not use this blog post as inspiration for it or terrorist acts.  In no way am I endorsing those acts, I am merely relating the movie to present day events and issues.)

I can continue breathing now.

Even so, Bane could’ve been developed just a tad more.  Speaking of developing..

John Blake should not have happened.

Yeah. You read that right.

John Blake felt pointless.  John Blake felt like the Batman version of Coulson: the dude is a total fanboy.  If he could find Batman cards to collect, he totally would.  I get where they were going with it with the orphanage and everything, but how many times do we need to be reminded Batman is an orphan?  We got it.  Seriously. This is only the 600th time you’ve reminded us, amid seeing Batman’s parents die another 2,000 times.  We got it.  It was nice with the orphanage, but nice doesn’t mean good.   All the time they spent on a character that really isn’t… going anywhere (at least at first glance, because it’s like: Is he Nightwing?! Or is he Robin?!) because Nolan is done with superhero movies for now.  In addition, they could’ve totally made more of a point with not honing on John Blake so much: if they didn’t focus on him so much, they could’ve made more of a point about the police force.  The police force could’ve been used to make up a statement about Batman, especially with the end of The Dark Knight being considered.  Batman at the end of that movie is an outcast.  They could’ve used the police force to sort of buffer that and have society be like, damn, you’re not so bad – even if they didn’t do it directly.  It just felt like something that could’ve been made a little less to develop Bane a bit more and also develop someone else… You should know who by now, come on.

Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, was wonderful as her cat-burglar self.  She was her snarky, sneaky self, but she could’ve been utilized more.  It felt lacking with her because of Blake.  Considering the ending of the film, they totally could’ve gone a little bit more of the Hush route which I am reading right now (just minus Batman going “nevermind”).  The dynamic between them in that comic is wonderful.  The dynamic between them is good, but Hush really manages to capture it.  I think Catwoman could’ve been a little bit more of a badass while being in love, especially toward the end.  I still loved her manipulation, I still loved her kicking ass, but they could’ve done more.  Without Blake, she could have been used more.  She could have essentially taken on the role of Blake without the feeling of being a sidekick – because she’s not a sidekick.  She’s Batman’s equal in many senses, and the movie makes her come off a little less independent of him.  Either way, she was the best catwoman portrayal on a screen to date.  For the most part, they didn’t let her get snarky enough.  They didn’t let her get sneaky enough.  In my opinion that was due to Blake and how many characters they were trying to develop.  I know her costume wasn’t true to the comics, and I can see why people take issue with it but I cannot.  I think they missed a few things in the translation, but I don’t consider it such a bad suit.

Also worthy of note are the two love interests we constantly see throughout the movie… you know, Talia and Catwoman.

You made the right decision, Bats.

It was just interesting to see that mental battle happening on screen.  It was like in between Bane and Batman physically fighting we had that going on.  It wasn’t too obvious, but it just added a certain element to see Batman pick Catwoman, which is a couple that seems to captivate comic fans in general.  Talia being there and gaining his interest just needed to happen.  She’s rich and could rescue his company, but still Catwoman comes out on top.

Overall, I generally like the plot; it did itself justice and wrapped up nicely. At times it dragged a little bit, but the plot, music, and effects just all came together.  And those car chases were absolutely epic.  I love a good car chase in a movie and this movie delivered it.   But like I said, I admit, sometimes the action and plot dragged a little, and there wasn’t too much Batman at times.  This movie has a lot to live up to being the movie after The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger.  Sometimes the plot wasn’t entirely clear, and I admit the fist fight was probably not the best way to get Bane to go out.  It’s jsut that he’s doing all these grand things, and then they’re fighting like schoolchildren when they’re done?

It was a good ending to a great trilogy.  Frankly, if it ended too strong, we’d be itching for more Batman Nolan movies.  I think, although this movie is not as strong as The Dark Knight, it was a perfect bell-curve like ending.  It was a perfect U shape in quality.  Good, Great, Good.  And to keep it from feeling like no more movies is wasted potential, that’s truly how it should be.  I think if we did see a lot of Batman, we wouldn’t be itching to see him in movies.

And that is how a Dark Knight remains one.