Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Questions

...from my new comics/media.





Sunday, November 02, 2014

The Penguin for a new generation

I have heard some complaints about the Robin Lord Taylor version of the Penguin  on the television show "Gotham" as being insufficiently canonical.

For example...

Kind of skinny, isn't he?



But then again...


so was Burgess Meredith, the man who defined the Penguin for at least one generation.



Killing someone for a sandwich?  How could the Penguin be so vicious!




However, the Penguin is probably...



more cold-blooded than you remember.


He's rather fey, isn't it?  Hardly seems appropriate.



Then again....


the Penguin was never what you'd call "macho".



He's so ...pathetic.  He hardly seems threatening at all!


Then again.



that was part of made him originally so successful.



Ugh, the Penguin as some low-level mob flunky? How undignified!



Then again....



being an apparent pushover not taken by seriously by "real" gangster is part of his origin.


Why is he cooperating with the police? That's completely un-Penguin-like!



Except,of course,


for every time it suits his purpose.


No, "Gotham"'s version of Penguin is just fine, thank you.



Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Things That Made Me Happy

...on my television this week.

Yup; that's Central City and Keystone!






Sunday, September 28, 2014

I'm a Bee-liever

I just learned something:

The Red Bee is in the public domain.


This character:



Opened fire with WHAT?  It looks like a martial aid.  Must be a sex pistol.

believe it or not, belongs to all of us, belongs to the WORLD.


And yet there is no Red Bee film in development.  No Red Bee The Animated Series.  No Red Bee comics.  In fact, I can't even find Red Bee fan fic.  Meanwhile, there's a Ant-Man movie being planned.  


This shows what happens when you don't have an agent (or anyone who owns you as intellectual property).  All those of you so ardent for preventing copyright law extensions on such characters, let the fate of the Red Bee warn you all!

Thus, the legacy of the Red Bee languishes.  Truly, the state of the Red Bee is a tragedy much like global warming, is which something for which everyone is responsible is something for which no one feels sufficient responsibility.  



As do your descendants, Rick.  I mean your spiritual descendants, of course.


What would you do to bring back the Rick Raleigh version of the Red Bee? Would you give mutant bee-controlling powers, like Yellowjacket?  Would you include his much-maligned, but incomprehensibly well-trained, sidekick, Michael?  With his outrĂ© couture and poofy diaphanous sleeves would he be a would-be fashion designer out for justice? Given the fact that, in 24 issues, he was hit on the head and knocked-unconscious 14 times, would you make him a sidekick for Hal Jordan (truly, the Red Bee put the "hit' in Hit Comics)?  Or for Green Arrow, considering how ridiculous he is?  Would you sign your masterpiece "B.H. (for Bee hive, one assumes) Apiary", out of shame?  Is he really any more ridiculous than, say, the Green Hornet? Would you have him fight all the sort of crime Golden Age heroes used to tackle that's no longer on the radar of big-time Justice Leaguers, such as milk racketeering, jilted lovers, and medical supply-jackers?


I believe something wonderful can be done with this character (again).  I'm a Red Bee-liever.


Prove me right!



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gotham

The only thing happened  when I watched Gotham that I wasn't really expecting.

I REALLY liked it.

Was it subtle? No.  But then again.... that's never been what comics books have been about, has it?

Ben McKenzie's quiet charisma is enormous.  The moral dilemmas, while a bit conveniently stark, are real and sophisticated. Once I find myself understanding--agreeing with--Carmine Falcome, I"m impressed.

Pictured: quiet charisma.

Sure, they took too many liberties in tying together closely all manner of terribly disparate and unrelated pieces of the Gothamverse.  Selina Kyle witnesses the murder of the Waynes, for which Poison Ivy's dad is framed (contrary to evidence found by forensic expert Edward Nigma) by the boss of the Penguin who is crippled for betrayal possibly in front of the Joker?  Really, was Harvey Dent sick that day?

But that kind of need to "tie everything altogether" is very typical of the small screen where they don't have the luxury of 70 years of monthly issues to spin our thousands of various yarns.  They need it all wrapped up in tidy tee-vee-sized ball.  And, as myth-making goes, the pilot does a good job, particularly with an actual, interesting origin for the Penguin.

It will probably become too crowded too fast, and, like Smallville, will become too penned in by the 'real myth. But for now, I am definitely on board.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"That's just AWESOME!"

You know what the most fun comic book you're not reading now is?

I do, and I know why.  It's "The Awesomes" and you're not reading it because no one is writing or publishing it.

For those not already familiar with it, The Awesomes is a Hulu animated television series that's a comedic take on superhero teams.  That description make its sound like rather a played out concept, and that was my first impression before I finally broke down and watched a few episodes, which amused and entertained me greatly.  My fondness for the show has only grown as I have started sharing it with others (many of whom, like me, were at first skeptical).  



The show oozes with comedic talent; it is almost completely performed by alums of SNL (like Seth Meyers) or MadTV (like Ike Barinholtz), even the bit parts, walk-ons, and one-liners.  The unctuous villain Dr Malocchio, as played by Bill Hader, is a treat in every frame he's in.  

Unlike many such parodies, The Awesomes isn't derisive or demeaning toward the superhero/villain concept.  It's clearly affectionate and informed joking and most of the characters are very likeable (even the villains are -- to some degree-- likeable or at least, we understand why they do what they do even if we don't approve). 

That's not to say the show's not without bite. There's some wicked satire going on, and the show's by no means G-rated. But at its core, it's warm-hearted, respectful of the heroic ideal, and has a great mix of lively characters, whose interactions are comedy gold.  My favorite is Gadget Girl (an expy of Merry the Girl of a 1000 Gimmicks), who's a rejuvenated sassy-talking 1940s hero with a zest for adventure and a lack of delicacy that enlivens any scene she's in:



Not even halfway into its second season, The Awesomes has generated enough characters and throwaway concepts to fuel a comic book for years.  I hope that Hulu and Seth Meyers, the brain behind it all (and the voice of the Awesomes' leader, the perennially injured supergenius Jeremy "Prock" Awesome), takes the step of licensing it out, but I would read the CRAP of an Awesomes comic book.




Saturday, September 20, 2014

Let's catch up with the Shield

As much as I love the Shield and Dusty....




there are some things that even I don't want to think about.

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