Tuesday, June 06, 2006

In the Shadow of the Random Thoughts

You know, I've found one of the best functions of this blog is that it lets me vent. It's funny, because I can complain about what Chuck Austen did to Stacy X in the comic store until I'm blue in the face, but once I did a post on it, I'd pretty much moved on, reached acceptance. What's done is done, I'd said my peace. So clearly my blog is a way to prevent the build-up of mental toxins, which might otherwise cause, I don't know, ulcers or brain tumors or hysterical pregnancy or something. Which is all just a long-winded way of saying the next paragraph is kind of angry. After that, I'd say it's more upbeat, so you know, fair warning.

The last week I've seen a few people extoll the virtues of the most recent Action Comics. Apparently it shows us a 'true hero', and not some 'self-pitying photographer'. How much of that is meant humorously I don't know, but if you believe that I have to say: You don't understand Spider-Man at all. When written well, Spider-Man is self-doubting, not self-pitying. You know, like how, when written well, Superman is not an imbecile. Peter Parker doesn't hate having spider-powers (in fact he thinks wall-crawling is great fun, he gets a kind of joy from it), but he does worry that he won't be able to protect people, whether it's his loved ones or random innocents. But when the bell rings, he still puts his neck on the line, and those doubts actually drive him, will ultimately make him fight harder to protect people, even when he's completely outclassed (see his fights vs. The Juggernaut, Mr. Hyde, the Firelord, the 1st Morlun fight). I'll admit, there are moments in each of those fights where he says "Jeez, I'm way out of my league here. Maybe I should just get out of the costume, escape in the crowd as Peter Parker, wait for the Avengers to show up." Then he reminds himself that innocent people would get hurt if he does that, he has to keep trying, even if all he can do is to direct the villains' anger at someone who can withstand it better. He may not be sure he's up to the task, but he's not going to run and hide, he's going to fight even harder because he's admitted to himself that he can't - won't - run away. Even if he ultimately fails, he'll have given everything he has, because it's the right thing for him to do. Wow, I feel much better now. That being dealt with, let's get to the Bat-related stuff I wished to discuss.

1) Someone, I can't recall who, wondered what the Question was doing in Gotham in 52, seeing as Batman asked Harvey Dent to watch the city. The answer is simple: The Question doesn't care. No man who dresses like a flying mammal tells a Steve Ditko creation what to do! Besides, it isn't like Gotham couldn't use all the protectors it can get.

2) I think Adam Beechen is going to be good on Robin. I'm looking forward to this Captain Boomerang story. Of course, I felt good about the first few issues of Willingham's run, so clearly the success of Beechen's run depends on DC Editorial not mandating anymore traumatic events for Tim Drake. Just leave Robin alone DiDio, and let Beechen run with him.

3) Still got my fingers crossed that Cassandra Cain is pulling a stunt.

4) I stumbled across this argument about whether the new Batwoman wearing high heels is a big deal or not, 'cause it's impractical, but most hero costumes are impractical, so it isn't a big deal, and so on. Personally, I don't much care, the Batwoman is of little interest to me; I would have preferred that if they were going to take elements from the Batman Beyond costume that it be those unfolding glider wings that the outfit had. Those were cool. Anyway, it reminded me of a comic I'd read once, which briefly dealt with the dangers of wearing high heels.

DC First: Batgirl/Joker #1 which had Oracle remembering her first fight with "Mr. J", and Cassandra busting him out to prove she could take him down (buh-wha?). I learned a couple things from this:

A) Joker has a superpower - it's called insanity. Not only does it make him immune to Deadman's ability to possess people (as demonstrated in Dead Again), but makes Cassandra Cain unable to successfully read and predict his moves. Uh-huh. Sure it does.

B) I have this vague recollection that Cassandra stops him wearing Barbara's old costume (though I may be mixing that up with the flashbacks). I do know there's a scene where someone in that outfit tries to land on a rooftop, slips and lands on their butt, because they're wearing heels. I think I laughed when I saw that.


Unknown said...

I know where you read that post, and attributed it to a DC fan rooting hard for his home team.

But, yes, Spider-Man is every bit the hero Superman is. In fact, Spider-Man may be Marvel's greatest hero in terms of self-sacrfice.

Wish the editors and writers at Marvel would remember this and allow him to fight villains who commit crimes and endanger people.

"No man who dresses like a flying mammal tells a Steve Ditko creation what to do!"

Right on! I don't think the Creeper would give a flying fig about what Batman thinks either...

After all, A is A.

CalvinPitt said...

fortress: Yeah, looking at the original post calmly now, I figure that's about all it was. And that's cool. I'm glad that Superman's being written well for the sake of his fans fans.

The more I look at it, the more I think my paragraph was the ole fanboy rage, rearing it's head. Got to get that under control. But I do feel better for having said it.

Hmm, just out of curiosity, has DC said where this Creeper series is going to take place?

Diamondrock said...

Maybe it was my post you guys saw. If it was, I apologize. I wasn't trying to bring down Spider-Man. I honestly have no problem with Spider-Man.

It really was just me "rooting for my home team." Superman acts one way; Spider-Man is supposed to act another. It's just that for too long Superman has been "self-doubting" like Spider-Man is. And Superman shouldn't be that way, in my opinion.

So anyway, sorry if I annoyed you; it wasn't my attention. I've got no real problem with Spider-Man (despite what Doctor Polaris may say). I just don't want Superman acting like him.

CalvinPitt said...

diamondrock: Well, yours was the second one, and at that point I started thinking "OK, these people have got some misconceptions about Spidey. I can set it all straight." Because, when he's written poorly, writers do make him come off as kind of whiny. "Oh my life sucks, it's so awful, why do I have these powers?" The more I distance myself from my post, the more I see how someone could see that as a defining characteristic for him.

And I can see what you mean about Supes not being self-doubting. For better or worse, the stakes when he gets involved are often higher than they are for Spidey, so doubt is something he can't neccessarily afford himself.