Tag: Comics

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A week or so ago I listened to a Federalist podcast interview with Richard Meyer of Diversity & Comics, which was the first time I’d ever heard of him. He sounded reasonable and was treated politely by Ben Domenech and guest co-host Ace of Spades. Over the weekend, a Facebook friend who travels more in […]

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“Right now, America is in a state of fundamental moral conflict. On the one side, we have a group of people with incredible power available at their fingertips. Most of them have no desire to hurt anyone and simply wish to be left alone. A relatively minor few have abused that power and caused catastrophic […]

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America and Marvel, Part II: Reflections of and on Society

 

A few days ago, I talked to my associate Prof. Harmon who raised a fundamental question by way of a preposition. This is not as rare an occurrence as you might think. He asked whether I meant to speak of American cinema as a reflection of American society or a reflection on it. As I said, the movies are our human way of seeing what we’re like, as humans. But what does that mean more clearly?

“Reflections of society” involves the obvious meaning of imitation. What you see on the screen is what the movie-makers saw looking around — America. But this could mean two different things, being that no movie can reflect America as a whole. American movie-makers might offer Americans the images they think will please them — they see what Americans approve, and are governed in their works by that experience. This would mean cinema is a kind of flattery; a barely concealed form of self-congratulation. Every theater-going experience is really an awards ceremony in disguise. There is more than a little truth to that. Do people leave the theaters of this great notion in a soul-searching mood, somewhat chastened by the experience, or rather smug, and even self-important?

Or on the other hand, you could have what in literature we used to call realism and naturalism: An impious, immoderate staring at ugliness and misery, to chasten the bourgeois materialism of modern society. That’s not fun cinema. Even in America, this paradise, there is misery and there is suffering. That could be reflected in the movies instead of the fun stuff. This is not unheard of, but is very rare; it’s been rare in every decade except the Seventies, and the vaguely suicidal public mood in America at that time suggests there is more than a little that’s questionable in this fascination with ugliness.

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In talking to various nerd and geeks I have come to observe that there are two sorts of comic book fandom. The first is one that gravitates to particular artists and specific story lines. These sorts of fans gravitate to miniseries and graphic novels, like “The Dark Knight Returns”, “Watchmen”, or “V for Vendetta”. The […]

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Doctor Strange is the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (the actor who portrayed mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game and plays Sherlock Holmes on the BBC TV series of the same name). So far this movie has received very positive reviews with a 90% fresh flavor on Rotten Tomatoes, so […]

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A Day of Geekery

 

Well, it’s Planet Comicon time again, Kansas City’s largest entertainment convention. Long time Ricochetti may remember my adventure as a Villain of Cosplay back in 2013; luckily, this one was far more fun and less fraught with reality TV crews.

The headliners were George Takei and Stan Lee, and at $60 and $120 a pop for an autograph, I decided I could live without meeting them. I did run into George on the con floor, when I realized that I couldn’t cross the aisle because I was about to run into a small Japanese man being interviewed about transgender bathrooms. As for Stan, well, there’s a group known as the Iron Brothers of Topeka (IBOT) who have the most scarily realistic Stan Lee cosplayer ever. The universe should have exploded at this moment:

AKA: A Review

 

Jessica_Jones_NetflixThe Marvel Cinematic Universe represents perhaps the greatest money-making movie franchise in the history of cinema, pumping out one high-budget, high-grossing action spectacular after another, all set in a single cinematic universe replete with crossovers, cameos, and team-ups. It came to the small screen with Marvel’s Agents of Shield and Marvel’s Agent Carter, and the debut of Daredevil on Netflix earlier this year saw them break through into Internet-only entraining. The concept of an interconnected cinematic and TV universe offers viewers an analog of the traditional comic book experience. Everyone can have their favorite characters and follow them in their various appearances, appreciate the work of various artist each offering their own interpretation of the iconic characters in discrete stories that, together, help create an overarching fictional history filled with action and delightful melodrama.

A few weeks ago Netflix released the second of its four superhero shows: Jessica Jones (while under development, the show was titled “AKA Jessica Jones and the episodes all begin with the “Also Known As” abbreviation). Who is Jessica Jones you may be wondering? Well, until I saw the show I didn’t really know much about her. She isn’t one of the famous Marvel characters, not even one of the famous B-list characters like Luke Cage or Iron Fist (who will each get their own Netflix show in the coming years). But, her obscurity works for the show brilliantly. Knowing who Daredevil was, who his villains were, and what to expect plot-wise, I watched his series with anticipation for a fidelity to the comics. Jessica Jones was a blank slate to me, so there was nothing to anticipate, only a story to experience. And what a story.

Netflix’s Daredevil clearly establishes a gritty, almost Noir-like felling for the world of Hell’s Kitchen following the events of the first Avengers movie. That tone that is carried on — and expanded in — Jessica Jones, who like all good Noir characters, is a private investigator. Her jobs mostly consist of following cheating men around and getting pictures of them in the act. She lives in her office, and seems to subsist on a diet of booze and cigarettes.

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I am a big Captain America fan, but I wasn’t always.  When I was a kid, and comics were still sold at the drugstore, I amassed a modest collection of a little more than fifty, notably the original Secret Wars series and a healthy run of Iron Man at about the time that Tony Stark […]

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It’s been my pleasure to introduce Ant-man, Marvel’s new interest in social class in America to a near-unanimous gasp of disapproval & incomprehension. But in the way of show business, I’ve got a sequel, & it’s going to be worse. The best new drama on TV is not the ever-elusive conservative darling of a show […]

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Hello, Ricochet, & have you heard about the new Marvel / Disney blockbuster, Ant-man? A hero for the little guy? Size doesn’t matter? (Because we don’t know what matter even is?) This is singlehandedly the weirdest movie Marvel has made & they’ve thrown about two billion into making weird movies & made more than eight for […]

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Retroactively Gay

 

4404433-3521185277-0b43a4a4f569aaee9e3e094c770fb9b1I grew up reading comic books, as did my husband. Marvel is the universe I wanted to grow up to live in. The revival of the Marvel universe on film and TV has been a treat! I think this is why, despite great differences in our origins, we can relate so well to each other. We are both living in some variation of the Marvel universe.

The hubby and I just recently finished watching the Daredevil series. After I got over the initial shock of a brunette Matt, we ended up enjoying it quite a bit. One cannot keep up the complaints about Charlie Cox for long, after all. And I am looking forward to the remaining three series to be launched on Netflix — and remaining mum on the specifics of Daredevil for those who have yet to watch.

Last evening, the hubby and I were looking though the YouTube on “Easter eggs in Daredevil” when he dropped the bombshell. “Did you hear Bobby Drake came out as gay?” Hmmmm. Et tu, Marvel?

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As mentioned Addiction is a Choice’s posting the other day, Archie is to die in a comic spinoff series which explores the life of the Riverdale gang as they mature. A lot has been said about this, on whether this is a good or bad thing, but I mentioned I believed this storyline was an […]

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With an ever increasing array of on-demand TV services, parents have never had so many options for selecting their children’s entertainment. In addition to new programs like Blue’s Clues and Wild Kratts, many shows from previous decades are now available for streaming. Some old favorites, like Scooby Doo, have even been refreshed with new episodes.  […]

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