Superhero Assessments and Rants

If you’re hypersensitive about DC and Marvel superhero fare these days, or pop culture in general, you might want to skip this entry.   I have some demons I need to beat into submission.  Complete exorcism seems to be beyond my grasp.

One of my co-workers yesterday approached me, declaring she’d seen the trailer for Wonder Woman over the weekend, and my immediate response was an autonomic and belligerent, “So?”  When she followed that up with the obvious question of whether or not I was going to see it, I just about lost my temper.  It’s a programmed response that I’ve spent years trying to deprogram.  I don’t rightly know if it’s the fact that she’s had to listen to me fend off my boss’s nonstop interrogation about DC’s ineptitudes, the fact that she has the memory of a goldfish and I hate repeating myself about such things, or the fact that this is just a sore spot in general for me because Wonder Woman is my favorite superhero.  Probably all of the above.  I know I have a hair trigger for all things DC, forged by years of helplessly watching as Earth’s Greatest Heroes got the shaft from the custodians in charge playing to the lowest common denominator in the quest for the almighty dollar.  No, I’m not going to see this movie, or any other DC movie for the foreseeable future.  I’d fear for what’s left of my sanity if I did.  No, I’m not even remotely curious about it.  Things change.  DC has changed, I have changed.  I’m no longer their target audience, and they’ve gone out of their way to prove it to me repeatedly.  DC has rebooted itself two or three times in the comics since I was last invested, my heroes are no longer recognizable in the pages of their own books, and their screen counterparts have been consistently terrible for much the same reasons for over a generation now.

I’m tired of having my soul bludgeoned with this stuff by people who somehow think they need my validation for all things fandom.  Why, people, why?!  Just because there’s a brand name attached that I love, that doesn’t mean I’ll love everything with that name on it, and that doesn’t mean I need to OK it for you to love it.  This goes for DC, Star Wars, Star Trek, and pretty much everything else you can name.  I know that you have to wade through a couple thousand vampire stories to find one worthy of the reputation, and I’ve learned how to suss it out without wading through the quagmire.  It takes more than giant robots beating each other to scrap to make a proper Transformers movie.  Any franchise that knows it has gone too far and tries to lure back its audience with nostalgia (looking at you, Jurassic World) isn’t going to impress me.  I’m not a pop culture lemming.  Never have been.  I’ve learned to discern what I like from what I don’t.  If any of this is your thing, great.  Go forth and enjoy.  I really want you to have fun, and you certainly don’t need my permission for that, and not everything needs to be a full-contact social experience contrary to popular belief.  Leave me out of it.  Please leave me out of it.  I have my own kind of fun with other things.

*ahem*  (composes self)  Moving on…

I’m three episodes in on Marvel’s Iron Fist.  I started Sunday evening.  I was going to watch more last night but got sidetracked.  More on that part in a bit.  From what little I’ve watched of Iron Fist so far, it’s not nearly as bad as everyone’s making it out to be.  Not that great by comparison of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, or Luke Cage, but not bad either.  There’s a lot of comparison out there to Arrow, which I don’t watch for DC reasons, so I’m not really in a position to compare.  I also have zero past investment in the Marvel source material.  Basically I have to take it as it is, and that’s fine.  I’m in it for the long haul simply because I know this whole series is a setup for Defenders, and I’m invested in that part of it.  All I ask at this point is that I’m entertained.  While this doesn’t speak much to my higher level of discernment that I’ve already discussed, there are points on this series to like already.  I’ll trust it does get better towards the later episodes as these Netflix series have consistently done so far.  If not, I’ll know for next time.

I’m embarrassed to say, being a big Tolkien fan, that I didn’t recognize Faramir.  I swear he looks a lot like Jamie Lannister in this.  But now I can’t not see it.  That’s going to screw with my head.

Rather than binge a few more episodes last night, I opted to see Logan.  Seems like everyone’s making a big deal out of this.  Again, I’m not invested in the source material as Marvel was never really my bag, but I do have just enough knowledge to be dangerous on this front.  I’m not going to write a full review on this.  I will say that Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are right to end their association with their roles at this point.  Their performances are spectacular.  The movie around them… there’s a lot going for it, and it was certainly far and away better than the previous two X-Men installments, but I really don’t think it was all that and a bag of chips.  Based on what I know of the source material, I do understand the praise the film is getting, and I’m glad X-Men fans in particular are finally getting the movie they feel they deserve.  It’s just not my thing.  X-Men is more of a soap opera to me, always has been.  There are characters I gravitate towards, but that’s about it.  For what it is, Logan isn’t a superhero film at all.  It just happens to have some former superheroes in it.  Regardless, it was still good seeing these guys pull the franchise out of its tailspin and go out on a high note.

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