Victory, Me!

I always knew, that the plot of the Legacy of the Force novels were driven by ideas of Troy Denning!

From an interview with Sue Roston:

For the Legacy novels, the idea of Jacen becoming Sith evolved out of the Dark Nest trilogy and was Troy Denning’s suggestion. From there, Shelly and I approached the other two authors, Karen Traviss and Aaron Allston, hoping they would join with Troy for the series.

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Inferno…

It’s that time again. This post is going to be an extended review/ramble about the newest Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novel, Inferno. If that is not up to your tastes, then please, there are other things for you to read here!

Of course there are going to be spoilers, if that bothers you.

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Tito’s Simpsons Countdown 9-7

Pressing onward…

9. The Front (Season 4)

Bart and Lisa write a script for an episode of Itchy and Scratchy, while putting Grampa’s name on it. Meanwhile, Homer and Marge attend their high school reunion, just for Homer to embarassed that he never completed Remedial Science. Two completely unrelated plots, but both are very strong. This episode makes the list for being, in my opinion, the best episode centered around Itchy and Stratchy. The jokes take shots at pompous Harvard writers, cartoons made entirely to sell toys (the “How-to-buy Action Man episode”), some of the absurdity of animation (the recycled backgrounds), and ending with the most likely accurate conclusion that the fans of a show are often more qualified to write it than the writers. We also get a fair amount of Grampa’s nonsense (“I was dreaming I was a queen of the oooold west…”) including his ability to remove his underwear without removing his pants. The “B” plot, meanwhile, has one of the best conversations I can remember from the show.

Homer’s Brain: “This is it, Homer. Time to tell her the horrible secret from your past.”

Homer: “Marge, I ate all those fancy dish soaps you brought for the bathroom.”

Marge: “Oh my God!”

Homer’s Brain: “No, the other secret…”

Homer: “Oh… Marge. I never graduated from high school.”

Marge: “That’s terrible. But it still doesn’t explain why you ate all those soaps…. Oh wait… maybe it does…”

On top of these two storylines, the show ends with a thirty second short about Ned Flanders. The show never did this again, and I think the fact that there was only one of these floating around makes it that much funnier.

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Conspiracies & other nonsense…

I am going to throw my two cents (three quaters?) in with Ragnell in a little debate is having with some commentators over at the Written World.

I agree with her, there is no conspiracy to kill off Giffen era JLA characters or for female characters to be so woefully mistreatedBut there are systematic factors that led to both. Let’s start with the fates of Blue Beetle, Max Lord and their ilk. Dan Didio, as pleasing as the image may be, does not sit in his office plotting to rape the childhood/adolescence of Giffen era League fans. Instead he looks at his reader demographics; many comics readers today are either children of the mid-to-late 80s (the era of the original Crisis and the Giffen League) or of the early-to-mid 90s (the era of Emerald Twilight and such). Thus when Didio and his writers are shaping their brand new, better than ever cross-over they tend to use (and abuse) characters that these demographics care about. Hence Blue Beetle gets a bullet in his head and Kyle Rayner turns evil.

Modern DC readers care about these characters because they grew up with them and thus will read comics which feature stories about them. But since many of the characters of this era are second or third string characters they are the ones who can be abused and killed off.

This is not a conscious conspiracy in the sense of the second shooter in the grassy knoll. Instead demographic and economic factors led to Blue Beetle, Max Lord, and the Dignbys being placed on the chopping block.

Now the reason why female characters are so often abused is because superhero comic book writers, artists, and readers all share similar values and expectations when it comes to storytelling techniques. This is not always conscious but instead the byproduct of the sub-culture. It is undeniable that superhero comics have a history of sexism and this history has an influence on the values of creators and readers today. What is acceptable and what is unacceptable for certain kinds of characters is often decided by these unconscious values.

This baggage leads to certain outcomes for certain characters. While all characters, male and female, are placed in danger in a superhero story for it to be a superhero story certain ‘dangers’ and their consequences are gendered male or female.

Following up on Rangell’s example, all superhero characters are at one point or the other “turned evil” but only female characters are turned evil and sexy (and lose their sense of what is tasteful). Under the influence of Red Kryptonite Superman may be a dick and but he certainly doesn’t suddenly become sex-king. But Sue Storm as Malice?  Hmm.

Again this is often not a conscious choice by creators and fans. Most think this simply part of the genre (or worse a natural part of the differences between men and women). It is certainly not conscious conspiracy where Frank Cho, Greg Land, and Frank Miller get together and plot which sexist ploy they are going to inflict upon the female characters they work on.

Instead systematic cultural factors lead to the mistreatment of female characters.

All of the factors noted above can be changed. By refusing to buy books that are the product of them or criticizing works that are produced by them readers can attempt to change the systematic factors that lead to such terrible results.


World to end…?

Michael Turner actually made Dr. Doom’s design look completely awful:

Wow. Just wow.


Bad blogger!

I have been a bad blogger. Preparing for my second to last (thank the FSM) undergrad semester and shifting my work schedule to accommodate it, has eaten up all of my time.

Extreme apologies for the lack of content.

Unusual service will return soon!


Mike Wieringo passed away this weekend.

My heartfelt sorrow goes out to his family, friends and relations. I was only a great fan of his but am deeply shocked, horrified, and depressed to hear the news.

Mr. Wieringo was a fantastic artist and a very nice man. I had the pleasure of meeting him at two Baltimore Comic-Cons and the last Heroes’ Con. He was very easy to talk to and did some great sketches for me.

This is just utterly depressing. The world, not just the comics’ world, lost a great talent this weekend.