Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

DC Reboot Rage

As some of you may know, DC recently announced a massive reboot project across all of their major superhero comics.

As of writing this, the publisher is currently in the process of wrapping up all of their current story arcs/threads in preparation for said reboot; making it abundantly clear that they really are crazy enough to deploy the history eraser button on all of their beloved characters and storylines up to this point.

Well, remember how I said this all didn’t bother me all that much?

The image above represents the official redesigns for the Justice League in DC’s new era of comics, and by golly; I think it looks like hot garbage.

For the life of me I just can’t understand why everyone either looks like they’re wearing power armor, or in the case of Wonder Woman; just plain look like space-hookers.

Space-hookers with exposed torso musculature…

Looks like someone ran afoul of a Cenobite...

The old-fashioned designs and costumes may have been kind of dorky by today’s standards, but they had a quiet elegance about them that made them special.

Jack Kirby’s mastery of lines and patterns gave birth to untold numbers of classic and enduring designs, not through the use of extraneous detail and intricacy, but through simplicity.

Every line was calculated and purposeful. ART.

Such is the talent of many of the best pencil and ink artists:

The ability to convey strength and meaning behind the simplest of lines and angles.

It’s called refinement, and it’s something that is sorely lacking in DC’s reboot designs.

Everywhere I look on these designs, I see lines and ornaments that contribute nothing to the strength or symbol of their characters.

What the fuck is up with the gaudy-ass belts!?

How the fuck does everyone move in their tortoise shell power armor!?

How the fuck does Wonder Woman not cut her tits on her pointy-ass bustier!?

Aquaman looks alright with his new fins and pretty boy haircut, and Cyborg looks appropriate enough given that he’s the only character in the roster that actually is supposed to be wearing power armor; (and was apparently put front and center for this graphic for the sole purpose of representing the black demographic) but everyone else just sort of looks like an aborted concept car design transposed onto a superhero.

Pictured: Batman, as designed by Lexus.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I was always fine with viewing Superman and Batman as being a couple of dudes wearing tights.

I know Batman was technically always supposed to be wearing a high-tech suit of pseud0-armor, but the fact of the matter is, unless otherwise stated in the context of the comics, superhero costumes have typically been depicted as being crafted from some imaginary fabric/material that adheres, not to the laws of physics; but to the pencil of the artists.

All I see when I look at these new designs, is a bunch of dudes in skin-tight armor plating.

SUPERMAN, the Jesus metaphor/Man of Steel is wearing ARMOR.

The Flash’s boots look like ski boots by Nerf.

Batman looks more like Owl Man from Crisis on Two Earths than he does THE GODDAMN BATMAN.

Pictured: THE GODDAMN BATMAN.

Wonder Woman looks like a pirate space-hooker.

Green Lantern looks… Relatively the same, just with hideous 90’s shoulder pads.

And everybody’s belts look truly, truly, truly outrageous.

To say I am disappointed in these designs does not even begin to scratch the surface.

I feel like we’re well on our way to falling right back into the 90’s era of comic art.

Hell, if movies, TV, comics, and pretty much every other part of American pop-culture right now is any indication; I think it’s pretty much guaranteed that Rob Liefeld shoulder pads and pouches are poised for a major comeback…

Oh well, here’s hoping DC pussies out and doesn’t press the button:

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Thoughts On The DC Universe Reboot

For those that care to know, DC Comics has recently gone on record stating plans for a massive reboot of all their major titles and characters this fall.

To non-comic fans, this means you can expect to see (or in the case of those that truly don’t give a fuck, not see) a bunch of comics and trades bearing the increasingly common designation of “Issue #1” in the coming months.

The reasoning behind this rather ballsy maneuver by one of comics’ biggest publishing houses, has largely been attributed as an effort to contemporize the characters and origins of the DC universe.

While part of me feels that this could in fact pay-off, and might even prove beneficial to the legacies of some of the more obscure characters of DC (Hawkman, Deadman, Red Tornado, etc.) by giving them extra face time and a new coat of paint; the comic-whore in me can’t help but feel a little thrown by the idea of a universe-wide reboot.

Pictured: When Superman met the 90's... Things could've gone better.

It’s not the fact that I’m a continuity whore or anything either.

I grew in an era when most people considered themselves either “DC Kids” or “Marvel Kids,” and with the exception of Batman and Superman; (mostly Batman…) I was very much a “Marvel Kid.”

What can I say, Marvel's always been good at aiming low...

In the past decade or so, my undying allegiance to The House of Ideas (AKA Marvel, dumbass…) has loosened up, or rather; my appreciation for DC has grown, but even so, I’ve never really found a good way to get my feet wet when it comes to the labyrinthian mess that is DC universe continuity.

I think it’s the Multiverse aspect of DC that has always scared me off when it comes to DC crossovers.

Though I have to admit, this is pretty fuckin' awesome.

Sure, you could argue that Marvel has a Multiverse as well, (one that I don’t really pay attention to aside from the MAX imprint) but the difference between the 2 is that DC merges their universes from time to time, while Marvel usually keeps theirs separate.

Keeping track of hundreds of characters in a single universe is one thing, but when you put together a host of stories I.E. the Crisis series; that draw into focus numerous iterations of said characters across multiple universes, I’m sorry, my feeble mind just can’t handle it.

For this reason, along with the occasional poor review or 2, I haven’t read any of the Crisis stories, nor do I think I’ll ever care enough to do so.

Case in point: Superboy Prime.

The point I’ve been trying to make with all of this bullshit, is the fact that when it comes to DC; I don’t really have that much of an investment in the history of it’s characters… Aside from Batman, Superman, and maybe Green Lantern.

Call me crazy, but I kind of liked it when Hal Jordan went nuts and killed off the Corps.

Could've done without the creepy pedo-face though...

Anyway, the first thing that came to mind when I heard DC was going to be dumping a fatty diarrhea of reboot juice into their books, was Marvel’s Ultimate series.

I haven’t read any of the Ultimate line, largely because, unlike in the case of DC, I’m very comfortable with Marvel’s continuity, past and present.

From what I’ve read, the basic mission statement for the Ultimate line was along the lines of:

“Purge all the non-essential/less popular characters, make the characters more contemporary, make use of big-name writers and artists, make it accessible for non-comic readers/people that like the Marvel movies.”

To reiterate: Marvel, not afraid to whore themselves out to the kids.

That’s basically what I’m thinking DC is trying to do with their reboot.

The really goofy thing about this whole reboot thing, is the timing of it.

Superman: Secret Origin wrapped not that long ago, the ink on Superman: Earth One (not be confused with “Earth-1“) has yet to dry, and Batman: Earth One is likely to follow in the coming months.

Even Wonder Woman was recently revamped from the ground up.

Oh God! It's the 90's all over again!!!

When I think about it, it seems like DC’s been teasing a reboot for awhile now, but it’s only just now they’ve built up the courage to go ahead and do it to their entire line, and not just their A-list characters.

Deep down, I know that DC has some serious housekeeping to do with their characters and storylines, as would any other book line published over 70+ years; but starting from scratch is not something I like to consider.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m fine with comics simply ignoring or retconning the less important or relevant moments in their continuity.

As a fairly seasoned comic fan, I don’t think a reboot is all that necessary; but if it breathes new life in the industry, and grabs new fans that otherwise wouldn’t have given a shit, then more power to ’em.

In any case, here’s hoping DC’s gamble pays off.

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*Sigh* Thundercats Reboot… By Way Of Japan

Ugh.

Now, I’ve already gone on record stating my disdain for the idea of remaking Thundercats, for film or television; so it should be no surprise that the preview trailer above succeeds in pushing those very same buttons.

It’s not so much the idea of a Thundercats reboot being made that bothers me, it’s the simple fact that someone felt the need to do it.

It’s like Ian Malcolm said about the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park:

“Thundercats had their shot, and nature selected them for extinction”

To me, Thundercats; along with the Ninja Turtles and other such pop-culture phenomena, were a product of their time.

I know I’m being an ass about this, but I’m a very nostalgic young man, and have a good memory to boot; so whenever I hear news of unwarranted remakes, I take it kind of personally.

I say this not in reference to “open to interpretation” properties like ancient mythology, but rather mainstream elements of pop-culture of the past 40 or 50 years.

Some people consider remaking or rebooting pop-culture characters or stories of their youth to be a sign of respect, a way of showing that something is loved enough be done justice a second time.

To me, the best way to honor or respect things such as this; is simply to remember them.

More is not always better.

Anyway, I’m done rambling.

No wait:

I suppose I could bitch about how the new character designs bother me, much in the same way that the blatantly anime-inspired designs in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse bothered me, but I feel my efforts would be wasted given that Thundercats was originally animated by a Japanese animation house, thusly making the progression fairly logical.

I just can’t help but feel bothered by the idea of anime-style visuals simply because the look is en vogue.

*Sigh* A nation of fuckin’ weeaboos and Narutards…

Regardless of the actual quality of the animation, it feels cheap, unseemly, and downright silly seeing so many American cartoons go down this route.

I’m done bitching.

Hopefully everyone feels happier about this than I do…

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Thoughts On The New Spider-Man Costume

Pictured: Andrew Garfield wearing the new Spidey suit.

A few days ago, we got our first glimpse of actor Andrew Garfield wearing the new Spider-Man costume for music video director Marc Webb’s upcoming reboot to the film series.

Pictured above is a promotional image I snagged from the most awesome of film news sites, Twitchfilm.com (Sorry/Thanks!).

While I honestly can’t say anything as to Garfield’s acting ability, as he’s yet another one of those up-and-coming “young” actors that I don’t know a thing about; my initial reaction to seeing him in the Spider costume were almost 100% positive.

To be fair though, I’ve always had a thing for Spider-Man’s costume, in all of it’s iterations; so me being happy with this really isn’t that big a deal.

 

Tee hee, John Romita Sr. Spider-Man looks like he's wearing pajamas...

Anyway, Garfield’s trim and straight body type lends itself well to the “nerdy everyman” nature of the character, but more importantly; the design of the suit is quite striking, and more than a little original.

The etching and fine details in the texture of the suit are truly inspired, and while the “web” pattern is significantly downplayed from previous iterations of the suit; in some ways I view this as a plus.

As with the “web” pattern, the spider emblem in the center of the chest seems more thinner, more splindly, and ultimately less impactful; a design choice that works well given that it matches the narrow frame of the actor wearing it.

While I’m on the topic of the chest emblem, I feel it’s also worth noting that the bottom legs of the spider emblem, that is; the ones that angle straight downward, seem weak to me.

I think it has something to do with the fact that the other 6 legs on the emblem are all angled or curved, but that pair of straight legs just looks silly to me.

I don’t know, maybe it has something to do with the fact that they’re pointed at the guy’s crotch:

Jus’ sayin’ is all…

Anyway, probably my favorite design element of the suit is the unique detail put into the forearm and hand portions of it:

If you look close, there’s a few neat little deviations from the norm to be found, like streaks of blue running through the top portions of the forearm area and along the thumb joints range of motion.

Also, the “web” pattern seems to fade out completely in the hands; making for a seemingly more “practical” spider suit.

I really like this design, though the lighting (and bloody makeup effects) in this promotional image feels a little “dark” for my tastes.

Though, my worries could very well be for naught, being as the previous Spider-Man films also featured these elements in it’s aesthetic, albeit only in small doses.

Here’s hoping this proves to be the case in the reboot as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a regular reader of Batman and The Punisher, so “dark” is something I’m very much accustomed to dealing with (and enjoying); but when it comes to Spider-Man, “dark” is not the design aesthetic that comes to mind.

Same goes for "Emo"...

Spider-Man, to me; has always been about celebrating the “gee-whiz” factor of the comics of old, y’know; the more colorful and zany stuff as opposed to the dark and brooding.

For this reason, I found that I really liked Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films, particularly the 2nd one.

The Train Sequence: The Best Spider-Man Fight EVER

The storytelling could get muddled at times, and Raimi’s insistence on diverting the story in favor of silly asides (see “Emo Spider-Man” above) could get tedious, but from a visual and casting standpoint, I found the film’s look and frenetic energy to be well-suited for bringing Spider-Man to the big screen.

He kind of dropped the ball on 3, at least in the second half anyway; but nobody’s perfect.

I don’t know anything about the new Spider-Man reboot, other than the fact that one of my favorite villains, The Lizard; once again might be in it, but my biggest hope is that it retains the “fun” that has always made Spider-Man a standout among superhero franchises.

Really, that’s all I ask from a Spider-Man story.

Fun, action, and a little bit of heart, nothing more.

They’ve got the costume down, now let’s see if they can make a decent movie around it…

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