A Wild Generation Has Appeared!

Goooooood morning internet!

Over this cold yet? I sure am. And it’s not quite done with us yet. Another week to go.

Speaking of cold, I’m going to be frank: I didn’t get much done in February due to the cold. I was shut down, so to speak.

So everything on my to-do list from the last time I spoke to you? Yeah, that’s been pushed back a month. I’m still writing, though, and I will have new chapters up and ready soon! Promise.

In the meantime, though, I want to talk about Pokémon: Sword and Shield.

Join me under the cut!

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COMBO!

Greetings, fellow true believers! Another week, another blog post.

First things first. As you all know by now, I am uploading all my novels to Smashwords and Lulu.com in preparation for breaking with Amazon entirely. Robots and Vampires: A Cyborg’s Odyssey is already up on Smashwords, and I will have both The Standard Tech Case Files: The Black Coats and The Dead and the Damned up by the end of this week. All three will be on Lulu.com by the end of the month.

Beginning in February, I will go back to writing my fanfiction and the next novel in the Standard Tech Case Files series. Also starting in February, I will have new rewards for my patrons on Patreon, so be sure to check those out! More details later.

Today, though, I want to talk about something else for a minute. Specifically, I want to talk about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. Join me under the cut!

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It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s… Superman (1978)!

This year is the fortieth anniversary of Richard Donner’s Superman move and given that I’m currently working on Superman fanfiction, I thought I would do an article on the first big-budget, blockbuster superhero move… and what it did to comics for the next forty years.

Join me under the cut!

The Good

The Costume

Starting from Batman (1989) and lasting until Iron Man (2008), superhero movies believed that the only way audiences could buy their colourful characters as serious was by sticking them in black leather. Or latex. The original X-Men trilogy was by far the worst offender for this, but it affected every superhero property that wasn’t Spider-Man. Granted, for a character like Blade it didn’t matter so much because he wore black leather in the comics anyway and wasn’t a superhero, not really. But for everybody else? Eh, not so much.

It’s a credit to Donner and his that in their search for verisimilitude they didn’t feel the need to put Superman in a leather or latex outfit (or to ditch the trunks) but kept him in the tights from the comics. More cinematic versions of superheroes could do well to learn from Donner’s vision.

Christopher Reeve’s Performance

I will get to all the things Superman (1978) did wrong with the Superman character further down, but make no mistake: Christopher Reeve made everything he was given work. Superman is a distinct character from Clark Kent and both are engaging and sympathetic.

The Tone

Richard Donner faced an impossible task, one that has plagued everybody working in comics since the Silver Age: how do you keep these characters and their problems serious while dealing with the innate silliness and repetitive nature of the medium? Bryan Singer made fun of the codenames and put his characters in black leather, a mindset he never really grew out of. James Mangold took Logan out of the costume entirely. Batman (1966) went full on camp. So on and so forth.

Donner and his team, in my opinion, struck the perfect balance. There’s no lampshading, no attempt to rationalize the goofiness of Superman’s costume or of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor. They’re just there, but their actions are real and have dramatic weight and impact. A lot of modern blockbusters… don’t.

It Started The Superhero Movie Genre

‘Nuff said.

The Bad

From a comics book perspective… there’s a lot wrong with this movie.

The Christ Allegory

Yeah, I’m not sure where Donner and his writers dug this idea from. It’s not true to the comics, at all. Joe Siegel and Jerry Shuster were Jewish, for one thing, and based Superman’s origin on Moses. Further, Superman had no divine mission sent by Space-Dad in the comics: in the earliest story, Superman chooses to fight evil purely on his own (Siegel and Shuster, “Superman, Champion of the Oppressed!”), with a later story having Jonathan Kent urge Superman to do good on his death bed (Siegel and Shuster, “The Origin of Superman”). Later versions of Superman’s origin would play with this, but the whole ‘Superman was sent to save us by Jor-El!’ just isn’t true to the source material.

Jor-El

For that matter, what Marlon Brando, Tom Mankiewicz and Richard Donner did to Jor-El is nothing short of a travesty. Jor-El comes across as cold, alien and manipulitave. To top it all off, he even overwrites his own son’s personality mid-way through the film! Again, not comics accurate. Not even remotely.

Superman Himself

Let’s see: he doesn’t choose to become Superman himself but is instead brainwashed, lacks most of his comic-book personality… yeah, they did Superman wrong in this movie. Reading the contemporary comics written by Elliot S! Maggin are revelation. Here Clark is three-dimensional and fully-fleshed out. He has a sly, subtle sense of humour combined with a willingness to prank his co-workers. He’s serious but not to the point of being grim, fully capable of giving a full-belly laugh when the situation warrants. He’s not above temptation but struggles with it. And, perhaps most importantly, he chooses to do good of his own free will.

‘But wait!’ you say. ‘Reeve was obviously basing his performance on Silver and Golden Age Superman who was a much simpler character!’

Yeah, that argument only works in the context of Reeve’s version of Clark Kent, who is milquetoast in the original, Shuster comics. A characterization that was already being challenged by the Fleischer shorts (still, hands down, the best Superman adaptation) and directly contradicted by George Reeves’ version of Clark, who was a much tougher soul.

Here’s the thing, though. Reeve’s version of Superman does not resemble any comic book version of the character produced either during or before the movie. Siegel and Shuster wrote him as a punk, a rebel, a tough guy and a thorn in the side of authority. He fights war-profiteers, slum lords, corrupt executives. He’s no boy scout.

It would be writer Otto Binder and editor Mort Weisinger who would transform Clark into the Big Blue Boy Scout… and he was still more complex than Reeve’s Superman! Weisinger’s Superman was a trickster, something of a scientific genius and a do-gooder.

None of this is a slam against Reeve. He did fantastic with the material he had. But the material was lacking.

Lex Luthor

Lex, buddy, what did they do to you? Where is the scheming mad scientist with global ambitions? Where’s the tough guy in the green and purple battle suit, taking it to Superman mano-a-mano? I get that Lex as Magnificent Bastard Corrupt Corporate Executive is a recent (post-Crisis) invention, but it’s still a step of from what we got. ‘Cause what we got was Gene Hackman in a wig.

Hackman’s a great actor, no question. But his version of Lex, a crooked real estate mogul with nukes, isn’t true to any version of Lex from the comics. And while his dialogue with Otis and Miss Tessmacher is often genuinely hilarious, it’s from a different show and a different time. Worse, it’s this version of Lex that would give us Kevin Spacey’s and (urgh beyond all urgh) Jesse Eisenberg’s.

Lois Lane

I grant you that Lois, hard-charging and aggressive Lois, is hard to write for without making her totally unsympathetic or kind of a stalker. But they still failed.

The Kents

In traditional Superman lore, it is the Kents who teach Clark his morality and guide him on the way to becoming Superman. Not so much in this movie, leading to Man of Steel where Jonathan Kent actively tries to convince Clark not to use his powers.

Oy vey.

See you next week!


If you enjoyed this article, please support me on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/joshstoodley) or by my original fiction on Amazon. Or buy me a coffee (http://ko-fi.com/falconlord)

Robots and Vampires (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NDLMDT4): Two hundred years in the future, a young cyborg stops the richest boy in town from killing a gynoid. Now he must flee from the only home he’s ever known to Fort City, base of the mysterious Standard Technologies, Inc. Can he trust them?

The Standard Tech Case Files-The Black Coats (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VTWMR7W): When there’s a corpse on the street, somebody has to answer for that. When the body in question is the squire of a prominent vampire, the call for blood only gets louder. Follow Joey Bianco and his squire Jen Ryan as they hunt down a killer and try to keep the peace between vampires and humans.

The Standard Tech Case Files-The Dead and The Damned (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MRSBC7I): Tensions between humanity and vampires are heating up. A vampire store has been ransacked. Protestors are being arrested without trial. Can Joey Bianco and Jen Ryan find a peaceful solution? Or will the streets of Fort City run red with blood?

Whoohoo!

All right! The Uncanny X-Men has been fully transferred into yWriter.

What does that mean for you?

Well, it means that regular updates for the Uncanny X-Men are coming back! Should be a new chapter in the next week or so.

It also means that I can get on with the other fics and you should start seeing regular updates for those again shortly.


If you enjoyed my content and want it fast, please support me on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/joshstoodley) or by my original fiction on Amazon. Or buy me a coffee (http://ko-fi.com/falconlord)

Robots and Vampires (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NDLMDT4): Two hundred years in the future, a young cyborg stops the richest boy in town from killing a gynoid. Now he must flee from the only home he’s ever known to Fort City, base of the mysterious Standard Technologies, Inc. Can he trust them?

The Standard Tech Case Files-The Black Coats (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VTWMR7W): When there’s a corpse on the street, somebody has to answer for that. When the body in question is the squire of a prominent vampire, the call for blood only gets louder. Follow Joey Bianco and his squire Jen Ryan as they hunt down a killer and try to keep the peace between vampires and humans.

The Standard Tech Case Files-The Dead and The Damned (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MRSBC7I): Tensions between humanity and vampires are heating up. A vampire store has been ransacked. Protestors are being arrested without trial. Can Joey Bianco and Jen Ryan find a peaceful solution? Or will the streets of Fort City run red with blood?

Plans? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Plans! (An Update)

So, the last couple of weeks have been crazy for me, but in a good way. Unfortunately, that’s meant a slight delay in my writing. But, that will change on Tuesday. So I thought I’d give you a game plan for the next couple of weeks, let you all know what’s going on.

  1. Tuesday-Wednesday: The release of The Terror of the Vulture, the next chapter in The Amazing Spider-Man series.
  2. It’s the Viridian Forest for Red and his team, and I’m planning on having that out on Thursday (I hope). Might be later.
  3. Selina Kyle and Dick Grayson make their respective debuts in Batman as the Dark Knight battles jewel thieves on the high seas. Planning for a Friday release.
  4. Superman has his first confrontation with Lex Luthor and John Corbyn on Saturday.
  5. Sunday is (hopefully) all Diana as she clashes with a mysterious organization with a suspiciously familiar logo…
  6. On Monday, the Mole Man strikes and the Fantastic Four continue their reluctant development into Superheroes!
  7. Then on Tuesday, we begin the most ambitious project yet: The San Marco arc of The Uncanny X-Men. This is the big one, laypeople and gentlefolks: a war arc depicting The Brotherhood’s conquest of the island of San Marco and the X-Men’s struggle to retake it. ‘Cause, you know, I’m crazy person.

That’s the plan so far. I’ll keep you updated.

***

If you enjoyed this post, please buy me a coffee (http://ko-fi.com/falconlord) or buy my original fiction on Amazon.

Robots and Vampires (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NDLMDT4): Two hundred years in the future, a young cyborg stops the richest boy in town from killing a gynoid. Now he must flee from the only home he’s ever known to Fort City, base of the mysterious Standard Technologies, Inc. Can he trust them?

The Standard Tech Case Files-The Black Coats (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VTWMR7W): When there’s a corpse on the street, somebody has to answer for that. When the body in question is the squire of a prominent vampire, the call for blood only gets louder. Follow Joey Bianco and his squire Jen Ryan as they hunt down a killer and try to keep the peace between vampires and humans.

The Standard Tech Case Files-The Dead and The Damned (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MRSBC7I): Tensions between humanity and vampires are heating up. A vampire store has been ransacked. Protestors are being arrested without trial. Can Joey Bianco and Jen Ryan find a peaceful solution? Or will the streets of Fort City run red with blood?

A Rant on Superhero Costumes; Or Why All Modern Costumes Suck.

So Netherrealm Studios has been promising to add in hoods for Green Arrow aka Oliver Queen into Injustice 2. There is no expressing the degree to which this pisses me off, but I thought I would share my thoughts on the terrible state of superhero costumes with you.

Join me under the cut!

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