The comic blogosphere seems to grow larger every day and just like comics, sometimes it’s pretty easy to get a little lost. “Meanwhile…” will act as your map pointing out what interesting discussions are happening out there while you’re reading Blog@Newsarama.
I’ve been out of commission this weekend with a bad case of the flu, but did that stop me from bringing you the latest from the darlings of the blogosphere? Nope, I’m stilll here and so are the links.
A Grotesque Batman
Geoff Klock has a different take on All Star Batman and Robin than most.
Complaining about the weird proportions of, say, issue three, or the dialogue, I realized, is like complaining about the weird proportions of the eyes of anime characters, or how ugly Rugrats looks. Miller is developing a new kind of story here, one to match the grotesque proportions so many superhero characters are drawn with, one to match his own visual weirdness in DKSA. Jack Kirby’s weird art style leads right here, to Miller’s weird story style.
Objectified Vs. Idealized
Nothing is Good Enough argues against those saying that men are objectified in comics just as much as women.
Idealization may create unrealistic standards for men, but it isn’t the same as objectification. If anything, it’s only one step in the process. Objectification reduces and renders someone a “thing,” that is, nothing more than a subject of a “masuline” gaze. The figure is there for the reader/viewer’s pleasure, and anything else is just trappings. Lacan, quoted by Slavoj Zizek in an essay entitled “Courtly Love, or Woman as Thing,” notes that in courtly love tales, where the woman is made into an unattainable symbol or thing because of idealized customs, “The Lady is never characterized for any of her real concrete virtues…If she is described as wise, it is only because she embodies an immaterial wisdom or because she represents its functions more than she exercises them.” The problem with trying to argue that male heroes suffer the same objectification as women is that, well, male heroes usually aren’t there for visual pleasure of their form.
The Doctor Is In
Our resident Doc, Polite Scott, is still around and is sharing a few PSA’s with us. Green Lantern teaches us about AIDS and Superman is For The Animals. What Scott really excels at is his Medical Reviews of comics such as this recent post on Iron Man #7. Here’s the issue he’s addressing:
In the heat of battle, Iron Man blasts the Dynamo with his repulsor rays right in the chest and the Dynamo falls to the ground, his heart stopped. Iron Man flies down next to him and sends several jolts of electricity through the Dynamo suit, restarting his heart. After the battle, we discover that this stopping/restarting the heart is precisely what Tony Stark planned on happening.
What Would Warrior Do?
Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge has more patience than I do, and I have a lot of patience. They took the time to read, scan certain panels and pick apart The Ultimate Warrior Comic little by little, in not one, not two, but three posts.
Continuity problems have been on the minds of several bloggers lately. Johanna shares her thoughts on the subject of continuity with her readers.
But even more important, the key factor isn’t information — it’s enjoyment. Someone who’s really digging a story will overlook or patch in what they don’t know. Someone whose attention is wandering will start picking at all the things they don’t know and feeling left out because they aren’t involved in any way. When people complain a book is unfriendly to new readers, what they’re really saying is “this isn’t interesting enough to overcome the need for knowledge to buy in.”
According to Mark Fossen it doesn’t look like Marvel will ever have a Crisis type event that reboots the entire universe, at least one that would work well.
The thing is …. Marvel can’t reboot. Because – unlike pre-Crisis DC – real things have happened. All of DC’s significant events happened after the Crisis On Infinite Earths: Jason Todd’s death, the Lois/Clark marriage, Hal’s insanity. Before Crisis, DC largely existed in a sitcom continuity where the status quo was never fundamentally altered.
That’s never been the case at Marvel, and there’s one Patron Saint Of Continuity: Gwen Stacy. A “cosmic reset” that started the characters all over would remove too much, too many important character-changing events. A Spider-Man who didn’t lose Gwen is a completely different character, and the ghost of that death would haunt any reboot … much as it haunted Brian Bendis’ supposedly clean slate in the Ultimate Universe.
Harvey Jerkwater after reading Fossen’s post decides to propose a little different idea for a reboot. One with a finite timeline.
First, have one or both of the Big Two do a full-blown reboot. It’s never been done–the closest was DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths back in the mid-eighties, which was about a three-quarter reboot. This time, everything starts from issue #1, everybody. Old backstory is gone, lost, it’s Casper.
Second, and more importantly, give the “new universe” an expiration date in real time. Say, seven years. At the end of the seven years of publication, the entire universe of stories wraps up and ends.
Lost in 52
Did you feel lost of perplexed when you saw the double page spread in the recent issue of 52? Scipio is here to straighten everyone out with an examination of all the clues contained in those two pages and what they might mean for the rest of the DCU.
Tim O’Neil is a fan of the Silver Surfer. I’ll let him explain why.
The Silver Surfer doesn’t just fly — he is flight. He’s the only superhero who makes the act of flying look graceful. Sure, superheroes can look powerful and sleek and fast, but can you think of a single picture of Superman or Thor or Captain Marvel or Storm or Green lantern that ever emphasized their grace in motion? The Surfer is the only superhero who actually seems to enjoy the process of flight (Samaritan in Astro City doesn’t count) as more than a means of getting from one way to another. Just the very idea of flight is, for the Surfer, bound up in the notion of freedom and self-determination — he won’t be bound and he can’t be imprisoned. Of course, many of the Surfer’s stories deal explicitly with the idea of being imprisoned, either figuratively by circumstances and responsibility or literally, as in being imprisoned on the planet Earth by a fifty-foot tall purple space god.
You can read more about his fascination with the Silver Surfer in Where Soars the Silver Surfer . . . There Must He Soar Alone! Part One
A Marriage in The Blogosphere! Congrats Ms.TangognaT!
Illustration Blog of The Week