selenak: (Abigail Brand by Handyhunter)
Wonder Woman was a very enjoyable comic book movie. I haven't read any of the WW comics or any others featuring her, so I had no other versions to compare this Diana to. What immediately struck me, though, was the difference to the other recent DC movies. Because it seems this particular director and scriptwriter (writers?) finally managed to chuck the moroseness that passes for depth out of the window and instead came up with, oh wonder, a heroine who enjoys what and who she is and is an unabashed, heart-on-her-sleeve do-gooder. Also, she's kind. Not many people in the superhero business are, especially after the 80s. She has a learning arc, and I thought the balance between naivete, learning about the darker side of the 'verse and keeping core beliefs regardless was well struck.

The trailers had me a bit worried because of the WWI setting, this war being not one prone to good versus bad stories, and I was concerned that they simply made it I instead of II to avoid the inevitable Captain America comparisons and completely ignore the bloody mess the "Great War" was. Turns out the script actually made WWI story and themes relevant. Mind you, it needed still a great deal of handwavium. DC geography and history is not of our world, clearly. )

The reason why I didn't mind all this is that Diana's big realisation moment could not have happened in WWII and was very WWI specific; to wit: It gets spoilery again. )

Other things: liked the cast and the ensemble, really liked that Diana being a warrior and Diana being kind and compassionate was never presented as paradoxical or in conflict with each other but as one driving the other, wished Snyder's lasting legacy, the slow mo fighting, would finally stop but wasn't bothered enough in this instance to mind, and was grateful that for all the "fish out of water" humor, Diana wasn't presented as childlike or somehow unaware of sexuality just because she hadn't been in contact with a man before.

In conclusion: a deserved hit.

P.S. Now I remember I did encounter Diana in the comics before, in a flashback. In Mike Carey's story about Lyta Hall post Sandman, The Furies, it's revealed Lyta is the daughter of Diana and Steve Trevor. (It's a single panel, a memory that haunts Lyta of her early childhood and her mother.) I suppose that makes Diana the grandmother of one of the Endless?
selenak: (DarlaDru by Kathyh)
This trailer for an upcoming Supergirl tv show (which I hadn't known was upcoming) awoke powerful Lois & Clark nostalgia in me - a DC tv show which doesn't go for grimdark but for joy and dorkiness in its characters? Bring it on! This looks delightful.


Better Call Saul:

Eleven (13432 words) by AddioKira
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Better Call Saul (TV)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Saul Goodman | Jimmy McGill/Kim Wexler
Characters: Kim Wexler, Jimmy McGill, Howard Hamlin, Burt, Ernie, Mrs. Nguyen, Mrs. Landry, Daniel
Additional Tags: Anxiety, friends or more than friends?, Sex Dreams, car theft, Flashbacks
Summary:

Kim waits outside of Judge Murray's courtroom for Jimmy to arrive.



Kim and her relationship with Jimmy before, during, after the show, not in linear fashion. Fantastic Kim and Jimmy characterisation. Dammit, show, why did you manage to make me care so much?

BtVS/AtS:

In Imbolic (1617 words) by duh_i_write
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Angel: the Series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Drusilla/Spike
Characters: Darla (AtS), Spike (BtVS), Drusilla (BtVS)
Additional Tags: Vampire Family, Canon-Typical Violence, Paganism, Non-Graphic Violence, Background Relationships, Episode Related
Summary:

If China taught Darla nothing, it was that a little sentiment remained in her, like the last mouthful of blood that remained stubbornly in the vein, thick and bitter.



The time after Angel(us) had left and before Darla, Drusilla and Spike parted ways has always intrigued me but rarely gets written about in fanfic, or it did the last time I looked. This story addresses this lack beautifully. Darla, you're still my favourite vampire of them all.
selenak: (Katniss by Monanotlisa)
In the Kevin Feige interview I linked some days ago, he says, among other things, that The Hunger Games is a film (and a franchise) about a female superhero despite not being officially labeled as such.

Now, this actually works out pretty well if you think about it: The Hunger Games as Katniss' origin story, Catching Fire as the inevitable sequel introducing more characters and repeating some of what made the original so successful only with even higher stakes (and being in danger of feeling like a repeat until the game changer at the end which changes what went on before, and Mockingjay as the big controversial finale dividing fandom. You could make a case for Katniss being either a Marvel heroine or a DC one (of the early Alan Moore variety), who constantly questions the narrative she's in. At first I thought Haymitch was genre atypical in that he doesn't die, as is a mentor's lot in 99% of all cases, but then I remembered who in the Marvelverse is a) cynic-with-traumatic-killer-past, b) fond of alcohol, and c) specializes in mentoring teenage girls in both comics and movieverse. Okay, so the first two are true for a great many Marvel characters, but the third one makes that person Wolverine, and clearly Haymitch = Logan so works.

Moving on to other characters, Emma Frost as Johanna or Johanna as Emma works very well, too, though I don't see Katniss as Kitty Pryde in any other regard but the Kitty and Emma relationship. (Kitty is friendly and social by nature; Katniss really isn't, and probably wouldn't be even if she didn't live ina horrible dystopia, being the stoic type.) Katniss' arch nemesis is President Snow (gets introduced in the origin story at a distance, has his personal meeting with Our Heroine complete with threat in the second tale, becomes a main goal in volume 3), of course, though the books do something so interesting and unexpected with how that resolves in Mockingjay that right now (though I'm sure I'm forgetting or overlooking something), I can't think of a comics equivalent to that. Well, Neil Gaiman has made a speciality out of something spoilery ), but that's not exactly the same thing. The twist of the Katniss vesus Snow tale ties directly in the way Mockingjay refusing to cater to the conventional "bad king/monster slain/ all's fine with the realm" while new benevolent ruler takes over narrative. More spoilery thoughts. ) There are several comics books narrative busy with deconstructing the genre they're in - notoriously Watchmen - but actually I think what The Hunger Games do, in terms of the superhero narrative, isn't deconstruction (though it's constantly self-reflective of tropes) as much as applying the heroic story in an intelligent way that never loses sight of "just what is it your hero(ine) is really fighting?"

Going back to the Hunger Games-as-comic-book/film idea: what the story, at first glance, doesn't have is a much beloved trope, the villain-redeemed, complete with fangirls complaining on why the heroes can't accept him (in much rarer cases her) already, why is everyone so down on the poor darling, can't they see that everything this person did wrong in the past was just someone else's fault ANYWAY (preferably one of the heroes). (Why yes, I've rolled my eyes at a couple of stories starring Loki in this capacity in recent days.) Then again: you could make a case of several characters being a critical refutation of this archetype. Spoilers for Mockingjay ensue. ) Now don't get me wrong; I love a good redemption story as much as anyone. But I increasingly find myself impatient at the lazy short cuts both fans and original sources often take, substituting the teary angry stare of mostly male characters for actual character growth, so this type of countertale now and then feels very refreshing to me, in a biting way.
selenak: (Bardolatry by Cheesygirl)
Certain recent events in the DCverse as well as earlier events related to Spiderman a few years ago have inspired me to look for precedents. Turns out there is one, in Elizabethan times, coming to you translated in modern dialogue by an anonymous transscriber. One of those pesky informers that apparantly showed up frequently in Elizabethan England (just remember how Christopher Marlowe made some additional cash and died) jotted down the following conversation between William Shakespeare and Richard Burbage, main actor and editor leader of the company:

Burbage: Will, those Blackfriars boys are catching up. And then there's bloody Johnson with his court connections. We have to do something. Get some more kick in your plays, you know what I'm saying? Something really radical.

Shakespeare: *glowers*

Burbage: I'm thinking reboot.

Shakespeare: ...?!?

Burbage: Look, you know and I know people really dug Henry IV, both parts. Hotspur, Hal, Poins, those guys were POPULAR. And Falstaff was one of your all time greatest hits. Killing him off was a big mistake, my friend.

Shakeaspeare: I resurrected him for Merry Wives!

Burbage: Prequels just don't sell as well. Anyway. Getting Hal crowned, victorious and married was a mistake as well. I mean, who's supposed to identify with a guy like that?

Shakespeare: Nobody was ever supposed to identify with Hal anyway. That's what the soldiers in Henry V. are there for. And don't tell me that didn't work, because we were swimming in cash every time we played it!

Burbage: Sure, but we could swim in even more cash. With a reboot. Will, can't you see it? A new Henry IV? Nobody has a job and is married because who cares about people like that...

Shakespeare: *briefly looks at his wedding ring* Actually, Hotspur is married if you recall. It's an important characterisation point.

Burbage: Right, let's fix that. He and Kate just fancy each other. Oh, and Will, you need to make Kate younger. And show off her legs. Make her disguise herself as a boy to hang out with the lads, you're good at that stuff. And look, there's no reason why Mistress Quickley and Doll shouldn't be around 15, is there?

Shakespeare: Mistress Quickley owns the tavern, for God's sake!

Burbage: There's no reason for that, either. Let's give her a father who owns it. I mean, a woman with property and a job, that's just not as nifty as a girl anyway. Her, Doll and Falstaff could have a love triangle. Or maybe her, Doll and Hal?

Shakespeare: Hal has a triangle with his father and Falstaff which is all the triangle he needs in those plays!

Burbage: You're just not getting into the reboot spirit, Will.

Shakespeare *loses it*: MY PLAYS ARE PERFECT THE WAY THEY ARE!!!!

Burbage: You authors are all the same.

Shakespeare: There is nothing you can possibly say to tempt to to write a new version of a story I already told and which is still bringing in cash whenever we stage it.

Burbage *crafty*: Oh, I think there is. The original doesn't have one thing you've become really, really fond of in the years since, and I promise you, you can include it in the reboot as much as you want.

Shakespeare *hostile yet undeniably intrigued*: Which is?

Burbage: Pirates!
selenak: (Elizabeth - shadows in shadows by Poison)
First of all, thanks for the virtual present, [profile] yetanothermask!

Secondly, links fannish and real life:

Lost:

Vigilantes: set during Cabin Fever, starring my favourite Lost characters, Ben, Locke and Hurley: an introspective character potrait, capturing all three very well.

Marvel and DC comics:

It was about time someone did this parody: Superhero wikileaks


Awesome actresses at large:

Helen Mirren and her magnificent speech about women's roles, on screen and otherwise. "Hollywood's worship of the 18-25 years old male and his penis" just about sums it up.

Rosemary Sutcliff/History:

This one immediately made me think of [personal profile] kathyh. A film version of Eagle of the Ninth, hm? Well, the trailer looks great.



The two bloggings on yesterday's anniversary I found most moving:


Don't remember John Lennon today: "Because any attempt to ascribe meaning or logic to his killer's actions only satisfies the internal demons that compelled him to project Lennon into his own psychotic narrative", argues Peter Ames Carlin and then proceeds to remember John's life anyway.

For John Lennon: in which [personal profile] rozk writes a poem that finds a striking and chilling use of the myth of Orpheus and the Bacchantes.

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