Archive for Comics

Wonder Woman: Inspiration and Pain and Moving Forward

Wonder Woman. So many reactions to this movie.  And for me, the movie itself has not only inspired the Feels, but the reactions to the movie have as well, good and bad.

Wonder Woman


Most reactions that I see are inspiring and wonderful, such as this list of reactions from students in a Kindergarten class, or this awesome video of a woman inspired to play like Wonder Woman and kicking imaginary butt.  The garden hose bit gives me endless joy.

I see all of the people uplifted and inspired by this movie and it makes my heart sing.

There have also been negative reactions too.  Some, as one would expect, from men who just don’t get it (or feel somehow threatened in their worldview).  But also criticisms from women who felt the movie misstepped with hurtful exclusions or stereotyping, or was too narrow in its feminism.

I posted before about how I wished we could have more “Yes, And” rather than “Yes, But.”
I see “Yes, and” in the reactions to the Wonder Woman movie like the Bazaar piece, and I find that as inspiring as the movie itself.  Because how we talk about issues even in a Wonder Woman movie has implications and impacts that go way beyond this one movie.

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Jessica Jones’ Broad Shoulders

Jessica Jones, Jessica Jones.

Jessica Jones on Netflix

On the one hand, this is just a superhero television show, so expectations shouldn’t be too high. On the other hand, it is a FEMALE superhero television show, and that is extremely rare, and so it carries a lot of hopes and expectations.

On the one hand, it is a gritty and fresh take on the genre with a kickass anti-hero and an unflinching look at the aftermath of abuse and the burden of power, and addresses issues of rape and stalking that are too often ignored. On the other, it is a derivative noir with an anticlimactic ending and problematic depictions of stalking which is made even worse by the fact that, it BEING so rare to have female superheroes, having her opening storyline focused on stalking and rape and romance is itself a bit sexist (as Christy noted, “Daredevil and Vincent D’Onofrio… If only Vinny’s sole reason to engage was because he’d been in love with the hero. But it wasn’t, was it?”).

Yet I can’t imagine telling Jessica’s particular story without showing this chapter of it up front. So in the end, I felt that, other than fixing a few plot issues and making the stalking less sympathetic in parts (based on comments I’ve seen sympathizing with him), the real need isn’t to change Jessica’s story, but to have enough shows with female hero leads whose stories aren’t centered on romance (whether good or gone horribly wrong) that you can have a show like Jessica Jones and allow it to simply be an action drama without it having to carry such heavy hopes and responsibilities and expectations.


Thor – Better than a Hammer to the Head

Doctor Horrible vs Thor
First, let me just say I wish I had the time and skill to video mash-up Doctor Horrible talking about The Hammer with scenes from Thor. But I made you this picture instead.

Thor was simple action movie fun.
I had hoped for more substance, with Kenneth Branagh directing and the gravitas and richness of the Norse mythology (never mind what Marvel did with it), but since I wasn’t counting on it I wasn’t terribly disappointed.

The one thing I did not like about the movie however was the “love” story. The real emotional drama was between Thor, Loki, and Odin (and could have been more so with Sif), and with Thor’s emotional growth and transformation. The tacked-on love story was unnecessary, and not believable. I hate when characters in a movie supposedly fall completely and truly in love with each other after a couple of brief conversations that are about as deep and meaningful as interactions with an ATM machine.

I am not against the concept of love at first sight, and certainly Branagh has worked with such concepts before given how often it happens in Shakespeare, but short of an excuse to make Thor’s decision near the end of the film have some kind of supposed emotional weight, it was not really required for the plot to work, and weakened the story as far as I was concerned. And it made the ending just sort of fizzle out on a lame note. Not saying it couldn’t have worked, and made the ending more powerful, but I get the feeling they cut out some of the development of that relationship to make room for more sweeping special effects.

Which, by the way, were way cool. I’ve been to Asgard, and they did a remarkably decent job of rendering it.