Hello! I’ve got a nice digital stack of comics this week, so I’m going to hop right into it.
Welcome back! Or hello for the first time! Two quick things before I jump into this week’s reading.
First, I listened to some feedback and I’m going to start listing writer(s), and artist(s) for each title. So please keep feedback coming in, because it helps me make this a better experience for everyone.
Second, I have a pretty small pull list this week. But since last Saturday was Free Comic Book Day, I’m going to throw in a few of the titles I picked up via Comixology.
That’s it! Here we go.
Happy May 1st! With the new month, we’re starting a new feature here at Fantastic Fangirls. Every week, I’m going to write up a paragraph or two on my weekly comic haul. If you follow me on twitter, you’re probably used to my one sentence reviews followed by an image of my favorite panel. This is a lot like that, but longer!
I usually read 3-6 comics a week, and they range in popularity. I tend to read from the big two, but I have a few pulls from other companies. I also browse all the new releases, looking for new things to read. I’m always open for suggestions!
Okay, so here we go! I’d love to hear your thoughts/suggestions in the comments section.
The Man of Steel trailer has arrived:
I can not wait.
I think Superman is stuck in a tough place in our collective consciousness. If he’s his classic self, he gets dismissed for being too much of a “Boy Scout” – though I wish we could retire that term, since I doubt he’d ever want to be associated with a group that now puts discrimination into its bylaws – and compared unfavorably to the “nuanced” and dark Batman. If he becomes a little edgier – as has happened in the reboot, as it looks like is happening in Man of Steel – he’s not the Superman everyone wants to see.
I love Superman because he’s an outsider, who can pass as part of the mainstream world, but who harbors this wonderful secret that he’s afraid to share. But Superman was created in a different era, and I’m not too sure that an alien boy who lands on a farm in Kansas would necessarily be instilled with virtues such as truth, justice, and the American Way.
What is the American Way?
I am not a parent, but I can only imagine that parents of children who are “different” wish to protect their children. The easiest way to protect something different is to hide it. Sometimes hiding comes with sacrifices. I don’t think any of us will face a situation where we have to choose between passing or saving lives, but maybe we will. I know what my mom would say to me in that situation. But I also know what I’d choose anyway, no matter what. And my mom would understand.
I’m excited for Man of Steel for a lot of reasons. Sure, I’ll always be excited for a new Superman movie; I’ll always give it the benefit of the doubt. I’m really happy about a lot of the casting, which I haven’t been since Lois and Clark. But for the first time in a long time, in this age of superhero origin reboots every decade, Superman’s origin seems new. You can’t have a real heroic journey without some darkness. Superman doesn’t get swallowed up by it; he strives to find the good in the world, and to add some more good to it, and this trailer makes me think that’s exactly the direction Snyder is going in.
My father believed that if the world found out who I really was, they’d reject me. He was convinced that the world wasn’t ready.
What do you think?
I was wary of the “Nolanization” of Superman. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought about my favorite Superman comics over the years – especially Superman: Secret Identity and Superman: Man for All Seasons – the more I realized that this is exactly where I want Superman to go. This isn’t Nolanization – or maybe this is exactly what Nolanization is – this is putting a superhero into our world, the same as Siegel and Shuster did, the same as the team of writers on Donner’s film did. But it’s not 1938 anymore. It’s not 1978 anymore.
Warning: there will be spoilers for the pilot of Revolution in this post.
I’ll say this first off: I love me some post-apocalyptic science fiction. It’s pretty much my favorite subgenre of the… genre. Obviously there is a lot of overlap in science fiction, but if a story is set after the end of civilization as we know it, it will appeal to me. Tank Girl, Mad Max, that Highlander cartoon from the 90s… you name it and I probably love it more than I ought to. I also love pretty people and melodrama. I may have said this before, but I am a fan of Grey’s Anatomy.
As you can imagine, I was cautiously optimistic for Revolution, especially since they seemed to be playing up the Girl With the Bow as the Hero. I checked out a sneak preview via Zune on my XBox (aside: I think it’s great that networks are finally starting to embrace technology and are making sneak previews of their fall shows available on a multitude of non-traditional platforms) and it managed to hold my attention for the full forty-something minute run time. That’s saying something these days; I watch most shows in short bursts.
I found a lot of it pretty unbelievable, from the wardrobe to Billy Burke’s fighting abilities, the latter of which involved some of the most obvious Stunt Performer In The Role filming that I’ve seen in a long time. I mean, make the guy get the same hair cut at least. I have to suspend a significant amount of disbelief in order to even buy this premise in the first place, and every little extra bit of suspension makes me less and less interested in the effort.
I’m certainly no expert in what humanity would do in the event of a global energy crisis, but I’m guessing hair conditioner and fabric softener aren’t high up on the list of things people would start making. I don’t understand why all these pretty people all wear clothes that look relatively clean and machine-made. I’m lucky if I can get my occasionally-worn jeans to last me five years… but fifteen years after things stop getting made, they seem to have plenty of clothes to choose from.
These may be nitpicks, but when you’re trying to build a universe with certain rules, it’s nice if it seems like you’re going to follow those rules. It’s particularly grating when they bother to show attempted rape – something I think far too many stories set in situations like this ignore, as The Dark Knight Rises did – but don’t tell me how hard it is to find those awesome leather boots Charlie is wearing. Or how Zak Orth’s Token Nerd Guy manages to be overweight when nobody else is, while it looks like they eat mostly veggies and do a lot of manual labor. It’s picking and choosing with “realism”, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. They want Charlie to look good, so she gets cool clothes. No explanation. They want Aaron (the nerd) to be a fat nerd, so he’s a fat nerd, no explanation. Then again, this was a pilot and it wasn’t even an extended pilot. They had to do a lot in less than an hour, and I think it was a fairly decent set up for the broader story, if not the details. It remains to be seen what they’ll do with it.
As far as the story goes, I wasn’t particularly surprised by any of the twists, even the one they didn’t show in the trailers (involving Monroe, aka THE CAPE). But I am interested to know how we got from where we are now to where they are now. I hope we get more than just some exposition from characters. Especially if that more involves more Elizabeth Mitchell, because I love her.
Speaking of characters, I counted three people of color with speaking parts, two of whom are (currently) villains, and one of whom may or may not be a villain, who knows. That’s assuming we’re supposed to think Nate is Latino just because JD Pardo is. I’ll go with it, until I’m told otherwise. So far I think that makes this one of the most racially diverse scripted dramas that I’ve seen on network television. I’m only being slightly facetious.
It’s nice to see some women in the lead roles, though. Sort of. I wish Charlie – despite the obvious push to Katnissize her – didn’t need to get rescued by Nate twice, but I already find Maggie extremely interesting. So naturally (spoiler!), they’ve decided not to keep her around. That leaves threeish women with speaking parts, one whom may be dead and only available in flashbacks. Sigh.
I really like most of the cast, actually, with the exception of Billy Burke. Even ignoring the ridiculous idea that that guy was a Marine, and that he is the greatest martial artist on the planet, I’ve never been much of a fan of his acting. I’ll say he was perfectly cast as Charlie Swan, and leave it at that. But everyone else seems fine so far, and, unsurprisingly, Giancarlo Esposito is a standout. That man does understated villainy so well, but Tom Neville feels like a very different character than Sidney Glass or, more importantly, Gus Fring.
With so many shows on television – and the internet now, too – diversity in casting and storytelling has become something of a deal breaker for me. I stopped watching Once Upon a Time because it didn’t live up to its promises. I’m wary of Revolution, but I’m enough of a fan of the genre and this particular premise that I will tune in. For now.
I read a few responses that thought the pilot was rushed, but I think it was a fairly good set up for what will probably end up being another too-long American season of twenty-two poorly-paced episodes that would be much better as a tight, thirteen episode arc. But, cynicism aside, I remain as cautiously optimistic as I was before I watched the pilot.
Revolution is not without its flaws, but I’m intrigued enough to keep watching.