Seeing the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, I am struck by a couple of things, not the least of which is how inured we’ve become to mass destruction. I know much has been made of the 9/11 imagery in the film, and I agree, it’s excessive and, for me, serves no purpose other than to show how short a distance we’ve really come in the last 12 years.
Another thing which strikes me about this film is how lazy the screenwriters are, knowing the iconic nature of the characters involved, they figure we already know all we need to know so if they’re not going to mess with the canon, they don’t give us anything to go on. We know nothing about Lois Lane, The Kents are stereotypical salt of the earth farmers and Perry White has been reduced to a figurehead with bark but no real bite. Continue reading
X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills by Chris Claremont
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Coming on the heels of reading “X-Men – Days of Future Past,” the theme is similar yet, I think, much better executed here. The fact that this is a one-off helps. Chris Claremont didn’t have to worry about monthly continuity, he could simply write the story he wanted to write. But then again, the X-Men have long been the Marvel stand-in for “the Other” so it’s no surprise they are the go to characters when anyone wants to make a point about intolerance and hate. This story has the added bonus of including religious zealotry and hypocrisy. Of course, as a book written in 1982, the resonance it has with today’s America and the ideology which is pushing for a theocratic government is pretty impressive.
So, overall, a bit of an easy target and a simplified answer to a complicated issue… but huge props for calling out racism in any form (and for probably the only time a certain racial epithet was uttered in a mainstream comic book, and uttered by a proudly jewish girl who is under 18 – almost as many discriminated against minorities you can jam into one character).
PS: Thanks to Doc Pockets for reminding me of this one.
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I think, somewhere deep in the bowels of Hollywood, there’s a guidebook for the third installment of superhero movies. It says you have to take everything good from the first two films and since it worked, you add more of it. You make it bigger, better and more overdone. Unfortunately, Sam Raimi received a copy of this guide and held to it while making the latest installment of the incredibly successful Spider-Man franchise. Continue reading