Category Archives: DC

Reasons to Dislike the Watchmen

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I noticed the first time I saw watchmen (the second time I went during work/school hours, and it was empty, something Scott Kurtz might have preferred), quite a few people got up and left.  I’ve been mulling over in my mind not just the obvious “I didn’t like the attempted rape scene,” because any two-bit pundit can do that, but delving deeper into the reasons why some were so appalled by the film that they chose to leave.  So dedicated am I to providing absolute top quality blogging that I have done the unfathomable, I have come up with reasons to dislike the watchmen…

All verbosity and showmanship aside, the question of why people were so affronted or bored by The Watchmen that they decided that they would burn the $10.75 they spent, rather than sit through the rest of the movie is a topic worth addressing.  I mean, c’mon, less people walked out of Batman and Robin than the Watchmen from what I saw!  The first, and most obvious reason that people may have been offended is simply that we as a population are pretty desensitized to seeing breasts, or even full frontal nudity on women.  This movie had penises, and lots of them at that however, none were real though, I don’t think so anyway, most looked CGI or prosthetic.  Pretty immediately you are exposed to Dr. Manhattan, who lives and works in the nude, and let’s be honest, nude men are not all that photogenic.

Moving swiftly and gracefully away from male nudity (or at least, I am, you may linger if you so choose), we move onto the fact that the Watchmen deals with a whole host of generally uncomfortable, or generally avoided topics, such as child murder, more realistic violence, and rape.  Herein lies the true core of why many viewers were shocked by the Watchmen.  The movie-going population has become used to the idea of a superhero movie, we are getting inundated with them recently, and most are fun action movies with some corny one-liners that are really typical of 80’s-90’s authors.  This was an Alan Moore comic turned movie, and a faithful one at that, not V for Vendetta.  This was written as a progressive “in your face” novel.  We are used to bones breaking in movies, but they’re always in a jacket, or the skin doesn’t break.  I’ve got news for you, that’s not how it works.  I have heard many complaints about the scene between the Comedian and Jupiter, about how it was too much, or not appropriate for the movies.  My response to this has been to remind them that this is a rated R movie, and for good reason.  If you’re going to see a movie, and you’re unsure about it, the best course of action is to look a little bit into the subject material first.  A few chapters into Watchmen, and you’ll soon find that it’s not your average superhero flick.

Another general quality of the modern super hero movie is that feeling inside you that in the end, the good guy won.  Today’s culture does not seem to appreciate the old style of film noir.  And the Watchmen goes even one step further beyond that, the Watchmen is ambiguous, it’s not even a cliffhanger.  Nobody has any idea if Rorschach’s journal does get published, or if anyone believes a word of it, it IS Rorschach after all.  Even beyond this notion lies the uncertainty about if the ‘villain’ was evil or not, or even if Rorschach was ‘good.’  Make no mistake, this is intentional, beyond the plot, subplot, and everything else, it is by firm believe that Alam Moore wrote the Watchmen to make his readers question what they saw, to make them think and reach beyond their comfort zone, something we should all try to do from time to time.  In this he was successful.

There is a line in the book, as well as the film, in which a news reporter states that “God exists, and he is American,” he then goes on to say that if this makes you a little uncomfortable, then you should not worry “it only means that you are still sane.”  The same can be applied to the Watchmen.  If the scenes of graphic violence, attempted rape, and child murder made you even slightly uncomfortable, you should know that it’s ok, it means you are still rational.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Comics, DC, General, Reviews

Watching the Watchmen

Let me start by saying that the Watchmen was absolutely fantastic, not as amazing or indepth as the novel, but it’s pretty damn close.  I have spoken to many people who saw it and had not read the novel, and I received two distinct points of view.  Either they liked it because of the action, or did not like it due to its graphic nature.  This is something that will be interesting to talk about in the near future, comic book movies have become so closely associated with X-Men and Spider-man that people figured that Watchmen would be another feel good movie.  Sorry guys.  Before I talk about what others did not like about it though, let me tell you about why I felt it was the best movie I have seen in a long long time.

First off, the casting was phenomenal.  I think that directors of comic based movies have learned that comic enthusiasts appreciate more than others that the actors physically resemble their heroes.  This translates into acquiring sometimes less famous actors to play the parts of lead roles.  Just look at Jackie Earle Haley, he did nothing between 1993 and 2006, unless you count working as a security guard, limo driver, or pizza delivery guy.  But he was the best goddamn Rorschach anyone could have hoped for!  Another fine example outside of watchmen, was Patrick Stewart as Professor X, I can not think of anyone more ideal for that role.  Do you have any other examples of good or bad casting for comic book movies?  Leave a comment and let me know, or shoot me a message on Twitter.

On the subject of Jackie Earle Haley, his fit for the role goes beyond merely looking like Rorschach.  That guy can act.  He wasn’t hiding behind the mask at all.  I’ve never had to beg for death, and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t either, but man could he do it, and it was probably one of the most powerful scenes in the movie.  However, another reason he was good for the part was his martial arts experience.  This segues nicely into the fight choreography, which was also amazing.  As someone who has a fair amount of experience (in fighting, not choreography), the fight scenes were pretty outstanding.  If you couldn’t tell, I have almost nothing but praise for Watchmen.

Any ciritism I do have is minor, such as, the director couldn’t seem to decide if Rorschach called his mask his face or his mask.  He refers to it twice, and one he calls it his face, the other his mask.  I am someone who appreciates above all other things, faithfulness to source material.  I prefer the first Lord of the Rings movie to the other two because it is most faithful to the books.  All in all, I would recommend Watchmen to any comic book fan, it is two hours and fourty three minutes of awesome.

1 Comment

Filed under Comics, DC, Reviews

Review: Green Lantern: Rebirth

Before beginning, I would like to offer up thanks to Crackerbob, Chris, and kcgadiyar who came to my aid in my hour of need.  This was written by Geoff Johns, drawn by Ethan Van Sciver, and inked by Prentis Rollins.  I picked up the Green Lantern: Rebirth trade today at the advisement of the above mentioned commenters, and I think I liked it.  I say I think because I had no idea what was going on for the first few pages…. issues… ok, I was clueless for the entire first half but I think I worked it out in the end.  There’s a guy with a ring, except there are lots of guys that could have a ring if the guy dies (there used to be lots of them), but if the guy isn’t really dead or his body might be in the sun but then again it’s in a coffin in the Justice League maybe-secret (I’m not sure but it’s pretty big so maybe not) hideout.  So if there are guys cause the first guy died but then he comes back they can still hangout with their rings…. and stuff.

In all seriousness, I liked it.  Even though I was totally clueless for the first half, it was good.  The story was good once it got rolling, Green Arrow was cool, Batman was kinda a dick.  The idea of the Green Lantern, and the Corps has always interested me, the whole space odessy thing, with all the different lanterns.  It has a Star Wars-esque sort of feel for me, and I really love Star Wars.  I think the main problem for me following the book was they they often refer to each other by their real names, which I am not familiar with yet, but also because there were multiple parallel story lines going on which were all connected, but not in the ways I understood.  Once I went back and re-read them after finishing the book, it was much more lucid.

The Art was very top notch.  Everything was so detailed and sharp.  As I read a comic I often like to stop and appreciate the work the artist has put into each panel; notice which non-dialogue characters they chose to show in the background, and from what angle they visualized the situation.  Van Sciver absolutely delivered in giving me something to look at and be entertained by.  He managed to strike that difficult to obtain balance between having a busy background that distracts from the action/plot, and having a boring background, which really makes a comic seem bland and something you just want to speed through.

I can see that Green Lantern will definately be something I will be picking up in the future.

2 Comments

Filed under Comics, DC, Reviews

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  Personally I am thankful for my health, family, and safety, my thumbs, and living in a country where I can soon apply to become an American citizen.  That said, my girlfriend told me that an unspoken requirement for citizenship is to watch the Macy’s Day parade.  As such, I am doing so, I really enjoyed the Rick Roll, which if you missed is on the internet here.  To keep things on a comic level, although it is a very personal day for many people, I’ve noticed that many comic blogs are taking today as an opportunity to compare DC’s version of Rockwell’s thanksgiving to the original.

While apparently I am doing the same, I would like to add an extra, a Macy’s Parade spiderman.  Not everyone is posting short updates today.  4thletter added an unbelievably long talk into… I don’t even know what, it took me 2-4 different sittings to read the whole thing.  It went from Venom to Mace (yes, that’s right, Mace), and back to venom with some spiderman clone action.  Know what?  Read it for yourself, it’s pretty good, just long.  With that, check back later today for my top six Marvel titles of 2008 to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

1 Comment

Filed under DC, General, Holiday

My Reaction to the Recent Batman Comics

Usually I am partial to writing a full blown review of a comic if I want to share my feelings on it with all of you. The last two issues of Batman (673 and 674) certainly merit being reviewed; Grant Morrison is a phenomenal writer, and Tony Daniel does a fantastic job with the artwork, but to be honest I just didn’t get it. I was able to follow most of it, but I found myself skipping back pages, trying to figure out if there was something I had missed or not picked up on. I will admit however, that I am not the world’s largest wealth of knowledge when it comes to Batman, and that might be part of the issue here, but I have never had such a problem following the story before. This does seem to be what Morrison was going for though, as Batman himself appears to be incredibly confused by what is happening, and he is far more intelligent than I, or so I’ve been told. One thing that I was particularly upset by was that I could not tell at times who the speech bubble was directed at, and sometimes, the narration seemed to be part of the dialog maybe? Did anyone else find this? It may be that I am just missing something obvious.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, DC, General

Top 5 Comic Book Fights of 2007

For the final post of 2007, Your Comic Relief is bringing you my personal opinions (also known as fact) on the top five comic book fights of two thousand and seven. This list is not all inclusive as I have not read every comic from 2007, but from what I’ve read, and what I remember from the beginning of the year (I think these are all from more recent memory, but I gave it a good think), I present you with The Top 5 Comic Book Fights from 2007!

5 – “Patches Malone” vs would be assassins

 

Seen in Gotham Underground #2, this one sneaks in at slot number five because it shows just how amazing Bruce Wayne is. Many comic book fight scenes are drawn out, so that the reader can see each individual motion that the characters are performing. While this is often a good tactic on the part of the writer/artist, this one is awesome by virtue of its exceptionally short length. Weighing in at one page, of which only three panels are of fighting, Bruce beats the snot out of some hired prison goons, in Blackgate Prison. The thugs get the drop on him, and Patches takes them down, with one hand, while holding his food tray, informing them he would greatly appreciate being allowed to eat in peace. Not many fighters from Marvel, DC, or any other publisher could manage to pull this off, and he has them on the floor within one to two hits each. Well done Bruce Wayne.

4 – Iron Man vs The Incredible Hulk

 

Brought to us through the Iron Man – World War Hulk tie in, in Iron Man #19, this fight would have been mediocre at best without the commentary in nearly every panel. As Tony Stark dons the Hulkbuster armour, a speech is being given during the fight, if we allow ourselves to suspend our disbelief that Stark could come up with this while getting pounded by the Hulk, or perhaps believe that it is pre-recorded, the words actually manage to elevate this fight from decent to outstanding. Good enough to send shivers down most people’s spines, as Tony explains his reasoning behind his decisions, and suits up to fight what could potentially be his final battle. Usually we don’t consider the text to be important to the fighting, but in this case, Christos N. Gage has shown us exactly what can be achieved through a proper combination of the two.

3 – Deadpool vs Sabertooth

 

Located in Cable & Deadpool #41, this has all the hallmarks of a hilarious encounter with Deadpool. Starting from the beginning however, there is an amazing lead up to the fight with Domino’s line “Even if I did, I won’t be getting a word in edgewise…” As Deadpool parachutes in and does what he does (or what Wolverine does, but not quite as well, we can never be sure). There were two main selling points on this, the first was that it was an entirely selfless act by Deadpool, and the second was the full page of Wade Wilson unloading round after round, and clip after clip into Sabertooth, while singing, ending with “Hey, look at that. No mo’ buwwets.” To humiliate him even further, he was laughing at Sabertooth while he shuffled around with his tendons shot to pieces, like “Taylor Hicks trying to do Swan Lake.” As great as it was, and as hilarious as Deadpool can be, it ends with Cable telekinetically throwing him in a direction picket at random, ending the issue with a laugh.

2 – Obi-wan Kenobi vs Darth Krayt

Dark Horse makes it into the top 5, and before I get any nitpicking comments, he wasn’t Darth Krayt yet when he fought Obi-wan, he was still simply A’sharad Hett. Carrying on, this one can be found in Star Wars: Legacy #16, and could deserve to be on this list simply by virtue of having lightsabers, or by featuring Obi-wan, one of my favourite Star Wars characters of all time, and I know quite a few of them. The fight is set on Tatooine, and tells the story of Obi-wan’s secret mission to protect Luke Skywalker as he grew up on the remote planet. This assumed, but previously untold story of Obi-wan’s duty is a great revelation, and it is phenomenal to see it represented graphically in a comic book. Simply put, the artist Jan Duursema, manages to give this fight a sense of speed and urgency that is merely attempted by other artists. This is no mere feat in and of itself, but he keeps it up for just over four pages with no dialogue save some “oof” speech bubbles. Obi-wan exiles the shamed Master Hett, and he swears to leave Tatooine and never return.

 

1 – Thor vs Iron Man

 

Thor #3; in my opinion possibly the best comic released this year. During Civil War, Tony Stark used Thor’s genetic code to create a Thor clone, which killed Goliath. Now Thor has returned, and needless to say, Thor is pissed. Thor once said that he never used more than 1/3 of his Asgardian might fighting any mortal, for fear of killing them, but right now, he’s pretty freaking pissed, and it doesn’t help that Iron Man has appeared on SHIELD business, and is upset about Thor basically stealing American Soil, and making a new Asgard on it (see Thor 1 & 2). To quote Thor himself “You defiled my body, desecrated my trust, violated everything that I am. Is this how you define friendship? Is it?” He then uses the mighty Mjolnir to produce a substantial throbbing in Tony Stark’s chest. Similar to how the Patches Malone fight was awesome because they couldn’t touch him, Iron Man throws everything he has at Thor, and he never stands a chance. He tells Iron Man what’s up, and notes that they will finish “discussing” the violation of his person.

 

 

 

That’s it for the Top 5 Fights of 2007, other fights that were considered were Iron Man & Captain America vs mecha-Thor in What If? Civil War, Amadeus Cho vs just about anything in the recent World War Hulk, also from WWH was Ghost Rider vs Hulk in Ghost Rider #13, and lastly Namor vs either Wolverine or Venom in Sub-Mariner: The Initiative issues #4 and 5 respectively. I look forward to hearing your input, and have a safe and happy new year! I will see you all again in 2008!

4 Comments

Filed under Comics, Dark Horse, DC, Marvel

Rapid Fire Reviews: Moon Knight, Silver Surfer, Ultimate Iron Man, and Superman/Batman

Moon Knight 2007 Annual

            Marc Spector, aka Moon Knight, is back in this annual… sort of.  He doesn’t appear until page 16 (not counting advertisements), and even then, he disappears for a while, returning on page 25.  The Moon Knight annual is written by Duane Swierczynski (who will be writing Cable!), and illustrated by Jefte Palo (making his debut), and edited by Axel Alonso.  These men are the ones to blame for this, if you didn’t like it.  That’s a tad harsh; the story is good, I just would have preferred to see more Moon Knight in it.  The story is more about a sexual predator and how he preyed upon women, and was eventually found by Moon Knight, told from the perspective of an unlucky woman.  I have to say though, it is refreshing to see that Marc Spector is back to his usual line of work, his previous story arc was confusing and not really to my liking.  The art is good, not the super detailed art you may find elsewhere, but in a style very appropriate for a Moon Knight comic.  In short, if you are a fan of Moon Knight, or looking for a good place to have a look at him, I’d say go ahead and spend your four hard earned dollars, but if you’re apprehensive, you shouldn’t feel bad about skipping out on this issue.

Silver Surfer: In Thy Name #2

            In thy name is highly anticipated among Silver Surfer fans.  Written by Simon Spurrier, and Illustrated by Tan Eng Huat, issue #1 was well received, but issue #2 however, I feel will not be so much.  I’ll be honest, I found it confusing.  I could be the story, and it could be the art, I think it to be a combination of the two, however, I feel that it is more a function of the art.  The story picks up where the last left off, Norrin Radd is fighting a giant monster/demon on a distant planet.  After his victory, the previously utopian queen begins to show her true colours, and the façade of utopian society begins to crumble.  The story progresses, and he discovers that he lower society perceive him to be their savior who will lead them in battle against the ruling society.  This comic, while confusing does present very serious moral issues and metaphors, as is typical for Silver Surfer comics, and this one does not disappoint.  In terms of morality, this story looks like it will become exceptional, but it is still hard to follow.  I do not believe that in graphic novels, I should have to constantly refer back to previous issues to determine who is who, and what they are doing (exception being Astonishing X-Men, because that is released so infrequently).  If you don’t mind having to take breaks to figure out who the characters are, or if you have an overwhelming interest in the Silver Surfer, absolutely go out and purchase this without hesitation.  If, however, that doesn’t sound like you, go ahead and pass on this series.

Ultimate Iron Man II – #1

            It’s finally here: the continuation of Ultimate Iron Man.  Written by bestselling author Orson Scott Card, and art by Pasqual Ferry, with colours by Dean White.  I got into Ultimate Iron Man as a bit of a fluke really, I was ordering things off eBay in a bit of a frenzy, and I saw a cheap hardcover available, it turned out to be Ultimate Iron Man by mistake.  As luck would have it though, I loved it but alas, it was too short, why not continue it I asked?  Well, Marvel has delivered.  I want to say it’s amazing, and it almost is.  It’s good, but it’s nothing revolutionary, I was hoping, for a new series, it would have an all new plot; however it is a continuation of the plot from the first Ultimate Iron Man.  This being said, if you haven’t read the original, you’re going to need to.  While not much is happening in the first part of the issue (it’s all set up for the next one), the action is pretty interesting, and the last 2-3 pages really make you think about what is going on in the world today.  If you have not read the first volume of Ultimate Iron Man, go out and do so, but also, you will not be able to understand what’s happening in volume two.  If you’re willing to go out and buy the trade for the original Ultimate Iron Man, I highly recommend this new series.

Superman/Batman #43

            This month’s Superman/Batman is written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and penciled by Mike McKone.  The issue opens with a bang; the Teen Titans are seemingly attacking the orbiter.  The orbiter is hoping to harness dark matter as a source of energy, and to help analyze massive amounts of incoming data, they’re using a Kryptonian processor.  Not only are the Teen Titans attacking, but as luck would have it, the Kryptonian processor seems to have gone absolutely haywire.  Soon the reader is made aware of two key facts: the processor and the Teen Titans are connected, and it’s not the real Titans.  It all seems to be a diversion for Dr. Light to infiltrate the fortress of solitude using the processor to transmit him self in photonic form.  Luckily though, Batman is guarding the fortress.  While this is all good and interesting, and the comic ends with a nice cliffhanger, nothing really happens from page to page, it’s more of the same each time.  Mike McKone has done a great job with the art however, entirely the style of art I expect from a comic book.  To expand on that idea, it is nice to have some really fine and detailed art, such as found in Marvels, or Silver Surfer: Requiem, but sometimes it’s nice to have art that feels like it really belongs in a comic book.  McKone delivers on this front.  I’d recommend this book, as hopefully the cliffhanger will have something to do with Countdown, and because it was nice to look at.  If you’re apprehensive, I’d wait to see if the story will end up effecting the DC universe as a whole, and if it does, Superman/Batman #43 isn’t entirely likely to sell out.

            As I am posting this, Santa is over Portugal according to the Norad Tracker.

2 Comments

Filed under Comics, DC, Marvel, Reviews