Saturday, June 03, 2006

...and we're back!

The League enjoyed our time away from the hussle and bussle of the blogging world, but we're also happy to be back.

Of course the week I decide to take off, a lot of things happen.

1) Superman Returns release date is pushed up to Wednesday, June 28th. This will give Warner Bros. the world's longest weekend to try to really hit a home run at the box office. We're travelling Saturday after what was to be teh Friday opening, so I'm pretty pumped about being able to catch the movie opening day and not worrying about missing an early flight.

2) The new Batwoman Post Post Crisis is slated to be a lesbian. And, of course, before anyone's read a word or seen anything more than two drawings, DC went on a media blitz to promote the new character. Yes, I'm embarrassed at the DC PR/marketing machine. Anytime they go hat in hand to the news, pleading for attention, it's a little bit silly. But, that same idea has done wonders for Marvel of late.

Despite the giddiness in the announcement, DC's editorialship and stewardship has been able to handle gay characters for years. In the late 80's/ early 90's, Superman's police captain pal, Maggie Sawyer was gay. The Golden Age Green Lantern's son, Obsidian, is gay. The Vertigo line has been handling gay characters since I was in high school. Green Lantern under Judd Winick had a GLAAD-Award winning storyline.

Can DC avoid tokenism in their Post Post Crisis world as they strive to make the DCU reflect the real world a bit more? The All New Atom is slated to be a Chinese-immigrant academic (which sounds like a stereotype, but I've worked in two Universities. I assure you, we've got our fair share of Chinese-immigrant scientists working in universities). The new Spectre is former Gotham Central cop Cris Allen, an African-American dude. The new Blue Beetle is an Hispanic kid from El Paso (superheroes in El Paso? That's awesome.).

It's kind of nice to have DC giving it the old college try giving roles to folks who aren't just straight, WASPy dudes. The key will be: Will readers give new characters a try? Of late, few new characters of any type have been readily embraced by comic fans.

I guess it's a waiting game on sales.

Here's an article on This ridiculous bit of trivial minutia sat on the FRONT PAGE of for two days. We have a war going on, possible war in Iran, NSA wiretaps on American citizens, a new CIA Chief... and lesbians in batsuits and frikkin' Paris Hilton sat in the headline news section for 48 hours. I think America has officially jumped the shark.

Oh, the new batsuit was designed by Alex Ross and based on the Batman Beyond suit in color scheme. The original Batwoman was also named Kathy Kane, and also a fellow socialite with Bruce Wayne. However, she wore a sort of goofy, brightly colored suit and instead of a utility belt, carried a purse full of high-tech ladies' products (I recall in particular an "expanding hair net" she used to capture crooks). So, yes, she may have needed a bit of a make-over.

Here's a picture of some recent toys of Silver Age Batgirl and Batwoman. Here's a pic of Batwoman from a straight-to-video Batman movie release from a few years ago. Notice any familiar elements?

Oh, Jim, Manhunter was cancelled and then un-cancelled in the past two weeks. That is related to nothing in this issue accept that Obsidian appears sometimes in Manhunter.

3) Alex Toth has passed. Creator of Space Ghost and several other animated legends. Read more here.

4) X-Men 3 made a boatload of money. I mean, a LOT of money. I guess that's one franchise that has really grown on cable and DVD.

I finally saw it this afternoon after getting bumped by a sold-out show last Monday.

It was okay. I think Ratner still can't direct his way out of a bag and certain aspects of the screenplay made no sense. The movie demonstrated one of the flaws of the actual comics. The more the humans throw at mutants, either by enslaving them, experimenting on them or trying to chemically "cure" them the more one starts to wonder if Magneto isn't the realist. While written, perhaps, the most over the top of any of the three films (and making some unbelievable tactical errors) Magneto was given the moral higher ground in this movie about half-way through.

I didn't understand why the movie was so short when so much more could have been done with the newest X-Men (I mean, Colossus got about three lines and was an X-Man)? Jean's ascension to Phoenix sort of just went nowhere, and folks seemed able to travel from San Francisco to suburban New York and back in about twenty minutes.

Luckily, the movie was cut short enough, was loud enough and moved along fast enough that you were never really given much of a chance to think about some of the movie's flaws. Ratner seems like a capable technical director, but he's not winning any extra points for his direction of actors.

The "let's throw everything in the mix" attitude to the film should have been ultimately disappointing to comic fans. It's fine to get a glimpse of established aspects of the comics, but I would rather have seen the storylines touched upon played out for maximum effect. X-Men is unique among comics as the origin of each character is not what defines the character. Thus, the characters tend to develop in a soap-opera method, exposing who they are in their relationships with the other players. Here, we're given black hats and white hats and just sit back and watch events unfold like watching that old magnetic football game.

This was supposed to be the final of a trilogy of X-Films, but if anyone believes that after this movie, I have some beach front property in CHandler, AZ I can sell you. Oh, and for those of you who've never read the comics. Nobody in X-Men is ever dead for long. They'll pop up again one way or another.

5) The Melbotis Store isn't selling too much stuff. I'm a little disappointed.

6) Steven G. Harms is now in Austin. You guys in the Live Music Capital of the World need to invite him to your next cook-out.

7) Lucy was a very sick little girl last weekend, but she's all better now. Today she and Melbotis both got a much needed bath. I no longer feel the need to immediately wash my hands simply because I've touched them.

8) I hope to have a small package sent out to anyone who participated in the 2006 Mellies. If you've updated your address since March, please send me a new mailing address.

9) A special howdy to anybody who has popped in thanks to my recent attempted expansion of my friends list. If you want to be a friend to The League, we're in there. I was delighted to find Amy C. on MySpace, and Esther E. Hello to anybody who pops by.

That's about it for now. We're back.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Random Comments, May 1 - June 1

Sunday, May 28, 2006