Posted on April 20th, 2018
I've never been a "Superman guy."
Not that I didn't like the character... on the contrary, I own hundreds and hundreds of Superman comic books. My problem is that Superman, as a character, never made much sense to me. And I never really knew why. I always assumed that it was because I was more of a "Batman guy," having put more stock into the idea that a rich guy wanting to fight crime to avenge his parents made more sense than an alien with god-like powers wanting to be a newspaper reporter.
Then I saw Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill...
And there it was...
"Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race."
It wasn't that Superman wanted to be a newspaper reporter... it was that Superman wanted to be human at all. The excuse has always been that he slums with humans as a way to not lose touch with the humanity he found while being raised by the Kents. That's all well and good... but it still doesn't make much sense. He's an adult man. If he's still worried about losing his humanity by now, he might as well give up. "Fake it until you make it" may be a valid course of action for a job... but for being human?
And considering he can toss planets around with his bare hands, how human could he ever really be? I don't get it.
But apparently a lot of people do, because Superman is in a comic book that just hit 1000 issues...
The best Superman stories are always those which come up with a way of finding something new while maintaining the continuity which came before. The best of the best being Alan Moore's For the Man Who Has Everything and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? and Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman. There have been others I've enjoyed, but they usually involve some kind of smart take on why Superman is the way he is... not stories that come up with somebody bigger and stronger to pound on Superman for a few issues.
And don't get me started on the current cinematic take on Superman with Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman, and Justice League, which just plain suck because they are exactly what make a bad Superman story.
But anyway... back to Action Comics #1000...
I haven't been following the character since George Pérez jumped ship after the New 52 reboot years ago. I am aware that there was yet another reboot called "Rebirth" last year, but I haven't read any of it. So you can imagine my surprise when I find that Superman is married to Lois Lane and has a son named Jon that is Superboy. Not that this really affects what's happening in Action Comics #1000, but it's still something that permeates the issue.
The bulk of the issue is a love-letter to Superman by a chunk of very talented writers and artists and it's mostly wonderful. Many of the things you would hope to find in a landmark issue like this are there. And then there's the money-story... Brian Michael Bendis starting his run on the character with artwork by Jim Lee!
And what we get is... meh.
Because here we go again, somebody bigger and stronger to pound on Superman for a few issues. There's a twist, of course, but its one that's of little consequence in the grand scheme of things. In general, I like the stuff that Bendis does, but I'll not be tuning in for this. I'm just not a big enough Superman fan to get involved... especially when DC is probably going to reboot the Rebirth reboot to the New 52 reboot to the Flashpoint reboot to the Infinite Crisis reboot to the Zero Hour reboot to the Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot.
Maybe I'll have a change of heart in the reboot after that. You never know.
Posted on July 24th, 2017
I am so far beyond giving a shit about Zack Snyder's shitty DC Comics super-hero movies that I honestly don't know if I'll even bother seeing Justice League in theaters.
I mean, just look at this bullshit trailer...
It's said that Joss Whedon is doing extensive reshoots for Justice League after Zack Snyder had to remove himself from the film to deal with a family emergency. I don't think punching up the dialogue (Whedon's specialty) is going to help. It's just pouring more money down a hole. What's really sad here... almost to the point of tragedy... is how much better the DC television division is at making good super-hero live action. They should have turned the Justice League movie over to them and built on the terrific, faithful, and far-superior versions of The Flash and Superman they already have on TV.
But instead we got this crapfest.
Maybe one day we'll finally get a DC Cinematic Universe that doesn't suck copious amounts of ass... but, sadly, that day is not today.
Or even tomorrow, apparently.
Posted on July 11th, 2015
As a massively huge Batman fan, nobody wants Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice to be a great film more than I do.
Problem is, it's a continuation of the crap-fest that was Zach Snyder's Man of Steel... a movie I hate so much that just typing Man of Steel is enough for me to to start going into an apoplectic fit of rage. Snyder took a gigantic dump all over Superman, and DC Comics didn't seem to care... despite the fact that it took in "only" $668 million (against a budget of $225 million). That may seem like a lot, but it pales in comparison to Nolan's The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises (each earning in excess of 1 billion). And don't even start on The Avengers (1.5 billion). But whatever, it was a bad Superman movie because it wasn't Superman on the screen.
And now Zach Snyder is back at it with the afore-mentioned Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Which looks like utter shit...
Wait... was that... The Comedian?!?
From the trailer it looks like Snyder tried to make a present-day version of Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, but had no concept as to what made that book so great... Frank Miller stayed respectful to the source material.
Oh well. Luckily for everybody, Marvel continues to knock their super-hero films out of the park. Next up? Ant-Man! Which looks amazing, by the way...
What I wouldn't give to have Marvel take over DC's film franchises.
Posted on March 15th, 2015
All the world's troubles getting you down? Well, things are about to turn around... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• ELECTRA WOMAN AND DYNA GIRRRRRRRL! I don't know what's cooler... that they're resurrecting Electra Woman and Dyna Girl... or that they've tapped some amazing internet personalities for the leads. Daily Grace's Grace Helbig and My Drunk Kitchen's Hannah "Harto" Hart are (apparently) already filming the series...
Oh yeah! For the uninitiated, bask in the glory...
ELECTRA TRICKY! Can't wait.
• Gauntlet! I will never get tired of watching movie heroes being heroes in real life...
Robert Downey Jr.'s awesomeness really knows no bounds.
• John Lewis. And then there's real-life heroes. In case you missed it... so worth your time... so worth your time... so worth your time...
This terrific (albeit brief) interview from The Daily Show featured a mind-bogglingly good talk with Representative John Lewis, whose advocacy for civil rights is about as inspiring as anything you will ever find. As if THAT wasn't enough,.. John Stewart mentioned that Rep. Lewis had a couple of graphic novels out which presents his story in comic book form. And they are glorious. Fantastic art. Great story. Well worth your time to track down... and you can even purchase them digitally at Comixology... just $8 for Vol. One! Highest possible recommendation.
• Wonder? Where do I even start. Wonder Woman's new costume has to be one of the ugliest, most disorganized, least elegant, "toss in the kitchen sink" super-hero costumes ever. Just no...
The criticism has always been that Wonder Woman's costume shows too much skin to be taken seriously as a super-hero. Her costume is impractical. So, instead of tastefully updating her look to address these concerns, they just keep slapping more and more shit on her until now she looks like garbage.
And, as if that wasn't horrific enough, I give you the new Superman costume...
If that's what you can call it. More disturbing to me than this joke of a "costume" is that the artist has such a massively skewed idea of anatomy that Superman's legs are so long one has to wonder how he is able to sit in a chair. Who in the hell is running DC these days that total shit like this is seeing the light of day?
• Archie? Next up on the comic book makeover roster...
Now... this one I get. They're trying to shift Archie away from his 1940's comic strip roots and move him into modern comic book times. By creating a more "realistic" version of the character, they're obviously trying to keep the Archie gang relevant in the year 2015. I don't know if this will be a successful reimagining, but they certainly did a good job of it.
• LOL! Yep, this pretty much sums up my impression of the new MacBook... LMFAO! LOL! ROTFL! LTIP!
"That's an extra $79 accessory!"
It's only a matter of time...
• Lively! Murder. Uh huh. Genocide. Right. But is homosexuality worse than kicking a puppy? THAT'S what I want to know. I mean, come on, a little perspective here...
Disgusting. That people still listen to this bigoted piece of shit is just beyond my ability to comprehend. IT'S OVER, YOU STUPID FUCK! YOU LOST! SO JUST GO SIT IN THE CORNER WITH YOUR BIGOTRY AND BE THE PATHETIC LOSER YOU ARE!
Annnnnnd... Bullets, out!
Posted on May 13th, 2014
Fun trip to the eye doctor today.
Apparently my astigmatism, which has been growing progressively worse over the past six years, has done gone missing. Evaporated. Disappeared. Since I totally blamed my worsening eyesight on society's indoctrination by The Gay Agenda™, I figured I'd be completely blind by now since Washington State (and a bunch of other states) passed marriage equality and Michael Sam got drafted into the NFL as its first openly gay player.
But instead... my eyesight actually improved after Washington State (and a bunch of other states) passed marriage equality and Michael Sam got drafted into the NFL as its first openly gay player. So I guess I had it all backwards. Once marriage equality goes nation-wide and an NFL player's sexuality isn't considered news... I fully expect to get Superman's X-ray vision. Or his heat his vision. Or his microscopic vision. Or his telescopic vision. One of those visions. Maybe all of those visions.
Wow, Superman sure has a shit-ton of super-visions!
I guess that's why he's Superman.
But putting aside the fucking insane people who belief that The Gays are responsible for everything that goes wrong in the world... many happy congratulations to Michael Sam!
And his boyfriend, surely...
For the life of me, I cannot comprehend why two guys kissing caused a chunk of Americana to lose their fucking minds. Turn the channel and you've got people murdering each other... people abusing drugs... people having drunken sex... The Kardashians... and yet it's two guys kissing that makes people want to shoot their television and boycott ESPN?
"BUT, ZOMFG! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!"
Kids only think that something is a big deal if adults make it into a big deal for them. If your children are freaking out, it's because you're making it happen. Don't go all homophobic crazy, and Michael Sam's kiss is just another kiss in a parade of thousands of kisses that happen on television every day.
Maybe people will finally be able to see that with their super-vision once we finally get an openly gay president.
Posted on December 11th, 2012
And here's where I start to think that perhaps Zack Snyder might understand Superman after all.
Though it's understandable that I remain skeptical. Between his absurd pet project Sucker Punch (one of the worst films I've ever seen) and the way he managed to fuck up Watchmen while not fucking up Watchmen at the same time... well, his track record rests solely on 300, a film that I'm still very much undecided about. How all that will translate to his Superman movie reboot is anybody's guess.
As I said when I condemned the asinine movie poster that debuted last week, Superman is a god.
The level at which a super-man with such powers would operate is so far above us dregs of humanity that there is no way to treat his story than that of a god-like being. But what makes Superman be Superman is that he aspires to be a "regular guy," thanks to his very human upbringing by John and Martha Kent in the American heartland. It's this concept which drives the character, and the way that writers have walked this line over the decades is what defines a good Superman story.
Which is why the new Man of Steel trailer gives me a lot to be hopeful about...
There he is... all god-like and feeling very much like Superman... all while clinging to the humanity he was instilled with as a child by his adoptive earth parents. Which is not at all the tone I took away from the shitty poster that made Superman look so small and less than super. Contrast that with Kevin Costner debating the merits of saving people with young Clark, and you get the very real impression that Superman has power over life and death... which is exactly what the character is about.
And from the snippets of action being shown in the trailer, it also looks as though we're going to get some epic, larger-than-life battles (General Zod!) which will (hopefully) challenge Superman at that god-like level his fans want to see.
And so now I have something to get excited about.
Even though I still wish they had done a better job on the costume.
Posted on December 3rd, 2012
Seriously... HOLY CRAP!
The new Man of Steel movie poster has been unleashed on an unsuspecting world, and boy oh boy is it a steaming pile of shit. If this... this... is how the people making this movie see Superman, then we're all fucked. And so is the film...
Are you frickin' kidding me?
Look, anybody writing Superman has to wrap their head around one concept and one concept only.
He is a god.
But a god who was raised as a man, so he walks amongst them.
But not really.
Because his powers and abilities are far beyond what any mere mortal can fathom. The problems he has to deal with are on a scale that dwarfs the understanding of any man. Because he's not a man... as much as he aspires to be a man. As much as he tries to pretend he's normal by dressing up as Clark Kent.
So having the movie poster for a Superman film which shows your "Superman" in handcuffs like a regular guy... being dragged down to our level... it's a complete betrayal of everything that makes Superman be Superman. And I don't for the life of me understand what director Zack Snyder is trying to say with it. Superman could bust out of those fucking handcuffs and beat every soldier around him senseless in seconds. Fractions of seconds. So is this symbolic? A way of saying that, despite all his power, Superman is just a man? He's not above the law? Well, barf... who would want to watch that movie?
Superman is not Batman. He's not fighting insanity in the gritty streets of Gotham City.
He is a god.
Who clings to the humanity that his earthling parents instilled in him.
All while being the most powerful being on the planet.
He's about as far removed from the "gritty streets" as you can get. And, yes, he IS above the law.
Superman is above everything.
Except in this movie, apparently. I mean holy crap, Superman was better portrayed in the LEGO Batman video game. This... this... is just pathetic.
Posted on October 19th, 2011
Today was a pretty rough day at work. When it was finally time to pack up and go home, I was mostly dead and half-way falling asleep. But then I noticed Lex Luthor climbing out of a car as I passed the parking lot and was suddenly wide awake.
ZOMFG! IT'S LEX LUTHOR FROM "SMALLVILLE!" I squeed. I wonder what Michael What's-His-Name* is doing here in Redneckistan? At some point I realized that I was driving really slow and staring, but I couldn't help myself...
Silly Lex Luthor! Bullets can't hurt Superman!
Eventually I realized it wasn't Lex Luthor after all... it was just some guy.
Great. Guess that makes me a creepy stalker who hunts down bald dudes in his car.
*Michael Rosenbaum. Thanks, Google!
Posted on August 31st, 2011
I'm a comic book geek. I have been most of my life. So, for those of you who are not into comic books, I apologize, but I really must talk about the "New 52" event happening at DC Comics. I'll return to my regularly-scheduled chocolate pudding coverage tomorrow.
And so it begins.
In a desperate attempt to make comic books relevant entertainment in their own right instead of mere fodder for creating super-hero movies, DC Comics has decided to relaunch their entire line of comics from scratch. Again. They did something similar back in 1985 with Crisis on Infinite Earths. Basically, the idea is to strip away all the crap that's been saddled on the characters for the past couple decades and start fresh. This way new DC Comics readers can start enjoying these books without having to know all the complicated back-stories they missed.
To put it another way, idiotic editorial decisions like having Superman marry Lois Lane and renounce his US citizenship never happened.
As a comic book collector, relaunches like this piss me off. It's maddening to collect 200 issues of a book only to have it be canceled so you have to start all over again. Even worse, all that time you've invested in following the continuity of the stories and watching characters grow and change are lost.
As a comic book fan, relaunches like this are a good thing because it's a breath of fresh air being breathed into characters so stale that even their biggest devotees are getting tired of reading about them. Of all the comic titles I collect, I read maybe half of them because so many just aren't interesting any more.
Ultimately, I think the good outweighs the bad though, so I've decided to give DC's 52 new titles a shot. Starting with their flagship title, Justice League, written by Geoff Johns and beautifully illustrated by Jim Lee with inks by Scott Williams...
It's a super-hero explosion!
For those who care about this kind of stuff, I've written up my comments and a review in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on March 27th, 2011
Back to reality for a super-hero-fashion episode of Bullet Sunday! But, before we get there, I need to remind everybody that the best podcast on the internet you're probably not listening to is now on iTunes! Cannot recommend it highly enough: Hey! That's My Hummus on iTunes. And for baseball talk, don't forget Just Talking to the Cornfield on iTunes.
• Wonder Woman! I've had very strong reservations over the whole David E. Kelley Wonder Woman television pilot from the very beginning. From everything I've read, it seems as though he's dead-set on putting his personal stamp on the material, which means we're not going to get Wonder Woman... it's going to be Ally McBeal in bad latex. The first episode's villain is perfume company CEO Veronica Cale (WTF?) which is being played by the incomparable Elizabeth Hurley (who arrived in L.A. a while back to film her scenes)...
©2011 Michael Wright/WENN (from AceShowbiz)
Since Elizabeth Hurley is in it, I'm pretty much obligated to watch the show now. Which is a shame, because the official Wonder Woman costume photo looks like crap...
In all seriousness, I've been to comic book conventions where the fan costumes looked better than this cheap-n-glossy joke. She looks like a badly-dressed dominatrix or something. Such a horrible departure from the classic Wonder Woman uniform that was worn so perfectly by Linda Carter in the original TV show...
Call it cheesy if you want, but THAT'S what Wonder Woman is supposed to look like.
• Spider-Man! And speaking of truly terrible costumes... I loved the first two Spider-Man movies. The third one was awful story-wise, but had really good action sequences. Still, I was hoping for another Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire installment because I liked the "feel" they gave the character. Alas, it was not to be. So now we've moved on to something new which could be good or could be bad. And if the costume is what we have to go on, this is going to be as bad as it gets...
Even if he didn't have an inexplicably black crotch, this would be a horrible interpretation of an iconic costume.
• Captain America! The modern-day Captain America comics have never interested me very much. Sure there are good stories that pop up from time to time but, overall, it's a one-note concept to me. But I have to say, everything I've seen for the upcoming Cap film looks flawless. First of all, they set the movie in World War II, which is faithful to the character's origin. Second of all, it seems as if director Joe Johnston is going out of his way to make it a fun and entertaining film to watch...
What's so killer about Cap's costume is how you can see they're clearly building up to his modern-day outfit by starting with a WWII era interpretation. He was designed to be a symbol for the guys in the trenches, and its coming across perfectly. And just look at the Red Skull! Cannot wait for this movie.
• Thor! Other than Walter Simonson's brilliant run on the character in the 1980's, I've never been a big fan of Thor. He just never seems to work in the context of the super-hero genre very well. But this film has Kenneth Branagh directing, and the trailers look to be pretty epic in scope, so we'll see...
I am the first to admit that translating Thor's costume to the big screen is no easy task... but this looks all cheesy and plastic to me. I'm guessing it's supposed to be metal (maybe it is!), but I'm still not impressed and think it would have looked better with a brushed metal? This is probably going to appear much better on-screen when lit properly, so it's hard for me to be too critical. It is, after all, pretty faithful in "feel" to the original.
• Green Lantern! This is the hardest movie of all to figure out. I think my hetero-man-crush Ryan Reynolds was flawless casting for Hal Jordan, but the movie is looking like a George Lucas CGI party instead of a film of any substance. The special-effects generated costume in the preview trailer looked so bad that I couldn't fathom how the movie could possibly work...
But then I saw this shot of Mark Strong as Sinestro and thought "maybe"...
Green Lantern was one of the first comic books I ever read, and so I continue to hope that everything comes together. Out of all the super-hero projects underway, it has the most potential for greatness... or disaster.
It's pretty hard to get a feel for how the costume works from still images. On Hal Jordan, all the crazy lines look just plain stupid. On Sinestro, they look awesome. I'm guessing that when they're in-motion they'll be all glowing and stuff, which will probably look cool. Or corny. I have no idea. I do think it would have been better to not go with 100% CGI though, which seems like a recipe for disaster.
• X-Men! I should probably get this out of the way... I loathed all of the X-Men films. They were SO BORING. The X-Men were never really given any battles. Sure there were some silly little scrapes here and there, but they didn't have any scope. Everything in the movie seemed so much smaller than life. And while the costumes weren't anything to write home about, I thought they were okay. Sadly, the costumes weren't the problem. And so now we're re-booting the franchise with a prequel...
From what I can tell, the costumes here are pretty good. They are a faithful (albeit upgraded) interpretation of the "original" X-Men costumes, which was no easy task. All we can do is wait and see if the movie has the scope and story to make any use of them.
That's a lot of super-heroes. And it doesn't even account for the new Superman movie reboot, the third Iron Man film, the third Batman film, The Hulk reboot, The Avengers, and whatever else that's coming up. I hope that people don't get burnt out on comic book movies.