Categories
Comics Fantasy

Watched The Batman

Watched The Batman from m.imdb.com

When a sadistic serial killer begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city’s hidden corruption and question his family’s involvement.

I liked Robert Pattinson’s rendition of Batman a lot. This version feels like a real Batman could become — a traumatized, reclusive orphan obsessed with justice and vengeance, who dedicates all his resources to his obsession. Desperate to feel in control and empowered, he turns his time and money and energy to direct action when other courses would likely be more effective. He looks wan and sickly — a man who doesn’t see the sun, who sleeps too little, who pushes himself too hard and cares little for his body. His hair falls lank over his face — this is no playboy. Driven by emotion, he doesn’t take time to think or plan, but dives headlong into danger heedlessly. A risk taker who relies heavily on intimidation — he walks with swagger, radiating aggression, boots falling heavy.

I appreciate the nod to his detective origins. I also like the struggles he must face as the mystery unravels.

Visually this looked great. The vibe of the film is dark and gritty, even in the daylight scenes — this is a grim and dangerous city, dirty, treeless, lit by too few outdated sodium lampposts. There’s a cool fight scene lit by the strobe of gunfire. Bruce’s home is dripping with gothic ornamentation.

Selena and Gordon seemed well-cast. I love that Selena keeps trashing on rich people to his face.

Categories
Comics Society

Superman is irrelevant — which makes him relevant?

My friend sent me a screenshot that people saw someone at the January 6th attempted insurrection who looked like Clark Kent, and was like, they know Superman would never, right? I also was listening to Land of Confusion with the line, “Superman where are you now / when everything’s gone wrong somehow”

I’ve never liked Superman so I am admittedly biased — but I think Superman is particularly irrelevant and impotent today. His storylines worked in a time when good and evil seemed clear: America good, commies bad. America’s dark deeds and inequality could be shunted to the edges of society and glossed over; but now the veneer has been pried off and the rot at the heart of American culture and independent heroism is clear.

In contrast, Batman fits in a modern era, with his psychological trauma and heavy conscience and self-flagellating batter-his-head determination to pursue a thankless, impossible mission alone. He holds himself apart, making himself weaker in refusing to build real relationships, crippled by fear of loss, building bonds only through his secret second life. He is a hero of the shadows, born of darkness, hopeless yet grimly persevering.

Superman is the 1950s American hero: a strong man with clear convictions, willing to fight for his country! *Triumphant music* He’s a man for black and white problems with a clear solution. That doesn’t fit today’s problems — climate change, social division, a deadly and disabling virus, erosion of Americans’ civil rights, destruction of the democratic process — which can’t be punched into repair, can’t be muscled into a happy ending. Batman knows he’s not up to the task, but he’ll show up to fight anyway, not recognizing that filling the role of hero reinforces the divisions in the community and he thus defeats himself, tragically missing that it’s community and collaboration that are the key. That he will never be able to fix this on his own. Bruce is an elite, a 1-percenter, his very existence at the heart of the problem he seeks to fix. The systemic problems are beyond one man’s ability to charity his way out of, so his guilt drives him to bear personal responsibility by physically fighting the manifestations of his constant failure. He’s so tragic and lost, I love him — and he fits our world of gray morality and deification of the toxic American myth of the lone gunman, the independent hero. His despair is ours, his failure ours.

How would Superman react to the modern world? Where America often plays the villain on the world stage, invading countries and supporting coups and rebellions to suit political ends, and fails to live up to its ideals with the suspension of habeas corpus for brown terrorists while doing nothing to stop white supremacist violence, intensive mass surveillance of its own people, and permanent separation of children from their parents at the border as they flee their homes to escape violence. Frankly his impotence could finally make him an interesting character, when he loses the ability to save the world and his powers make no difference. When the nuclear arsenals are so large he could never stop all the bombs. When his helping the government is letting himself be used for the purposes of the nation state rather than the benefit of its people.

Yet he’d be a never give up hope kinda guy, even in his personal impotence a la Watchmen. Which could make him once more a powerful inspirational figure in leading the fight against fascism (from within), inspiring people to never give up, to never accept that they are powerless. Ironically becoming the hero needed today through his own personal loss of power.

Would he hang up the cape and spend his time on investigative journalism? Would he become a spokesperson (or social media influencer???) for climate action? Would he lead voter registration drives and phone bank? Would he become a protestor and chain himself to machinery, blocking construction of pipelines? Would he punchinate Mount Rushmore back into the indigenous people’s sacred form?

How would he grapple with the psychology of losing his identity of hero? Would it be a relief to be unburdened of responsibility, or a source of guilt and shame to not be able to set things right? Or would he let go the world’s bigger problems and keep his focus on the ones he can settle with his powers so he could remain a hero in his traditional form?

So basically I want a Vertigo Superman story 😉 Still sad about Vertigo…

(If anyone’s actually written Superman or Batman comics like this please let me know, I don’t follow DC or Marvel releases, too many to keep up with and too much lore. I tend to read one-offs like Frank Miller’s Batman.)

ETA 7/26: DC Films doesn’t know what to do with Superman – lol not without pissing off Nazis anyway

Categories
Romance

Read Night of the Scoundrel

Read Night of the Scoundrel (The Devils of Dover, #3.5) by Kelly Bowen

Ruthless. Dangerous. Known simply as King. No one knows his true name or where he came from. And when he learns that the man who betrayed him has returned to London, King has only one goal: vengeance. But first, he must seek out an unlikely ally to aide him in his pursuit…

Adeline Archambault is as mysterious as she is beautiful. Exiled after the French Revolution, she’s determined to reclaim her birthright and deliver the justice that is owed her. King’s offer to help her, in exchange for her assistance, is a bargain she can’t refuse. But will this deal with a devil lead to a future she never dared hope for?

Wish this had a better title 🤷‍♀️ King is not a scoundrel, he’s more of a kingpin. Scoundrel underplays the smuggling empire he runs and criminal nature of his work.

The cover’s pretty, but I wish it matched the story better. She’s described as having black hair and olive skin, he with short red-gold hair. She wore a rad-sounding silver dress, not red iirc. I feel like he should look much more cold and detached — and they’re equals, I would rather the pose matched them better. It would have been cool to show her in her black menswear with her sword as she first appears.

I was bummed King only got a novella after seeing him in so many books. But it was a pretty good novella. She seemed like a good match for him even if the length forced it into instalove. He needed to be with someone else in the underworld of society.

At first it seemed like she was a Catwoman, but she’s more of a Batman.

The reason behind her theft was kind of confusing. I didn’t get how it would accomplish her goal.

Categories
Romance

Re-read Duke of Pleasure

Read Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane, #11) by Elizabeth Hoyt

IN THE ARMS OF DANGER

Bold. Brave. Brutally handsome. Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the king’s secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley—and rescued by an unlikely ally: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.

IN THE HEAT OF DESIRE

Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent. Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she’s the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation.

ONE KISS WILL CHANGE THEIR LIVES FOREVER

When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realizes that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be—before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?

Loved Alf and seeing her grow. I love the vigilante Ghost and think it’s a fun thing to keep coming back to in this series. She takes the lead on her attraction and keeps making the choice to advance their relationship even as it scares her.

Categories
Romance

Read Thief of Shadows

Bookmarked Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4) by Elizabeth Hoyt (goodreads.com)

A MASKED MAN… Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he’s the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night b…

I love the hell out of this book. The Batman inspiration – complete with his need to adopt orphaned children – and both the Hero and heroine’s emotional journies from suppressing and masking their emotions to accepting and embracing them. I cried twice rereading this as they grapple with feeling and admitting their feelings.