Wednesday, December 19, 2018

DC's Tom King Teases Beating of Dead Horse

"DC's Tom King Teases [stupid overdone fanboy trope here]"  seems to have become the default headline in my feed:

Look, I have written before that long-running iconic characters have certain shifts in emphasis that they undergo every generation or so: for example, Batman goes from dark loner to pater familias of a large group of younger heroes, or Superman shifts from being focused on his humanity to being focused on his Kryptonian heritage. It's a necessary adaptation for such characters and I get that.

But this is not that.  This is not a persona-cycle.  This is just going to the back to the well of Periodic Fake-Out Stories: hero dies/is replaced; so-and-so isn't dead after all; X and Y are finally going to hook up; longtime friends/enemies are now enemies/friends.

The Well is a place of sadness and deception.

Tom King (and other writers): just... no.  Stop it.  You're not fooling anyone.  Well, that may not be true: you can sometimes fool newer readers, ones who don't remember the last time a writer wrote the story you're about to write.  But you're not fooling ME.  

In the much (and easily) derided Silver Age, writers (or their godlike editors) knew how to handle such tropes.  They either reversed them by the end of the story or they put them in so-called "imaginary stories" (we would call them 'non-canon' or 'not-in-continuity' or just 'elseworlds').  

That second story is the one we live in, by the way.

They didn't try to fool us (or themselves) long-term that whatever change they were making was permanent.  Frankly, the creators who spewed out all the imbecilic but imaginative crap during the Silver Age had far more respect for the readers -- most of whom were children -- than modern writers do for current readers -- most of whom are adults.  

Chew on that for a while.  I plan to, while I wait for Tom King's run on Batman to end.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Aquaman the Movie

I was going to try to do a big post about how fun the Aquaman movie is, and all the parts of it I love, and about how even the dumb bits I was able to shrug off, and how you should see it repeatedly, as I will.

Or do a painstaking analysis of director Wan's many choices in storytelling, mythmaking, and characterization that make the film a joy.

I'm going to do neither.

I'm just going to say that the reason thing film will succeed where others haven't is because:

it's a comic book.

Wan didn't try to rise above that, or be more real, or gritty (as too many DC films have done); neither did he wink and nod and undercut all the serious situations with goofiness as way of parodying the very art form that the film is based on (as too many Marvel films have done).

Wan just unapologetically made the biggest, brightest, boldest comic book he could about Aquaman.  And I loved it.

When you see THAT scene, I guarantee you some of you will get pregnant.
And you will name the child Arthur.  Even if it's a girl.