Comic Reviews for 10/18/17

Batman #33

To close out the last arc, last issue, Catwoman accepted Batman’s engagement proposal. In this arc, she has to meet the last supervillainess that Batman proposed to.

Honestly, seems like a weird hazing ritual for Batman to force on Catwoman. “Thanks, for marrying me – but first, we gotta go to the desert, break a whole bunch of laws, and upset multiple Justice Leagues so you can meet – and possibly be murdered by – my ex.” Unless this was Catwoman’s idea? Sounds like it could’ve been her idea.

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CW Week in Review 10/9/17-10/12/17

Supergirl 3.1 – Girl of Steel

National City has recovered from last season’s Daxamite attack, but Kara still has some healing to do. She hovers over the city, daydreaming about Mon-El, until a crime snaps her from her reverie. But instead of the normally cheerful crime-stop and rescue, with Supergirl comforting and being friendly with the people she’s just saved, she clinically takes off into the sky as soon as the action is over. Even Wynn’s post-crime banter does nothing to shake Kara’s stoicism.

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A normal person could not have invented Wonder Woman. Most other superheroes seem like obvious creations in retrospect: a man with super-strength who fights crime, a man who fights crime to avenge his murdered parents, a teenager who gets superpowers and must use them to perform mitzvahs before becoming a man; all stories that really didn’t need specific people to tell them. All characters with clear and historical antecedents.

But a Woman who fights crime through imploring willful submission to authority? One who comes from an island without men as an ambassador to teach men how to love away hate? An inherently kinky dominatrix who compels her foes to enjoy bondage? That takes someone special. And Professor Marston and the Wonder Women finally tells that story.

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Blade Runner 2049 – Exodus for Replicants

In my review of Blade Runner 2049, I off-handedly observed that the movie’s plot-line regarding a son of seemingly impossible birth was likely an allegory to Jesus, who was born of a virgin mother; but in doing so, missed a reading that in retrospect is even more obvious and works better through the movie as a whole. In my fervor to put the movie in a greater sci-fi context, I had neglected a religious reading of it, and made the same mistake that so many people make with Superman. Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t set up a Jesus metaphor, but a Moses one. And that makes the movie, not a story about the coming of the messiah, but of the Exodus of a people.

This post is mainly made up of quick parallels I noticed in hindsight a few days after seeing the movie, and seeing that I am not a talmudic scholar (I haven’t even been bar mitzvahed) please don’t read this expecting a deep dive into the Jewish sacred texts. Also, things won’t be neatly 1-to-1, so if there are gaps, it’s because Blade Runner 2049 isn’t exactly the torah.

Oh, and, spoilers.

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Comic Reviews for 10/11/17


Dark Nights: Metal #3

The heroes have lost. Barbatos has risen, and he and his dark knights have dominated the Earth, plugging people into giant towers that will power the planet’s descent into the Dark Multiverse.

Meanwhile, Superman has been dreaming – dreaming that he’s fought Barbatos dozens of times, and died dozens of times. But in one of those dreams, he won; and even though that one too ends with Barbatos’ ultimate victory, Clark hears Bruce – the real Bruce – calling out to him from the darkness.

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BATMAN VS. TWO-FACE (2017) So Long, Old Chum

It is impossible to review Batman vs. Two-Face without acknowledging it as the last performance of Adam West as Batman before his sudden passing on June 9th, 2017. This is the end of his over 50 year tenure in the role, which he brought to life with a constant effervescent camp and square-jawed sense of justice and righteousness. Batman would not be the character he is today without Adam West, whose performance turned a simple comic hero into a multimedia icon.

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THE FLORIDA PROJECT (2017) Child Poor-nography

The term “poverty porn” is problematic because it each word in it has negative cultural baggage despite objectively being ethically neutral. That someone is impoverished says nothing about their character, and that an art object is functionally pornographic – in this context, meaning that it’s primary goal is to provide emotional gratification – is not a review of quality. That being said, The Florida Project is poverty porn.

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