Archive for September, 2011

Super Sunday: Catwoman’s Costume

Posted: September 25, 2011 in Catwoman, DC Comics

With this weeks release of Catwoman #1, there has been a lot of controversy over the abundance of “over-the-top” sexualization within the book itself.  How will DC respond to this?  They will either, 1) not change a thing, or 2) bring the “sex” level way down, allowing the readers to dictate how a writer expresses a character within a story once again.  I love comics, but sometimes readers can be a little ridiculous about the over all picture of a character’s personality motif.

As everyone knows by my review of Catwoman #1, I was a huge fan of the issue and look forward to more issues written by Judd Winick.  I decided to jump on the internet and look at some of Catwoman’s past costume changes.  It’s always interesting to see how a superhero’s  attire changes over the years.  For Catwoman, there hasn’t been much change; only in color and eye wear…

Anyways, here’s a few picture examples of the changes Selena Kyle has gone through.  Check out more costume changes here

The most current version of the costume. Not too entirely different, but still different.

Back from the 90's...when I thought reading comics that stared female superheroes was unmanly.

From the greatest superhero cartoon ever made, Batman: The Animated Series. This costume might be the best in Catwoman's wardrobe.

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Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Guillem March
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Cover Art: Guillem March

The Plot
Danger around every corner!  Some of it instigated by Catwoman, some of it by the evil doers around her.  Either way, Catwoman has a knack for attracting danger.

Of course what does one do when their home is attacked by men in skull masks who blow up your domicile shortly afterwards?  Catwoman is filled with a series of events that are seemingly unconnected, yet give us insight into the persona one of DC’s sexiest villainesses.  And it’s only the beginning!

My Heretical Opinion
Ok, let’s get it out of the way, this is a sexually driven comic book.  Guillem March is just as notorious as Ed Benes for making all his women slender, athletic, boobaliscious, and as ass-tastic as possible.  But let’s not concern ourselves with that at this very moment, because while #1 definitely shows off Catwoman’s exceptional features, the story definitely has more meat on its bones than that and it simply uses sex as the catapult into a darker and more disturbing arc that is bound to deliver sweet results, both literary, figuratively, and visually.

Catwoman #1 hits the ground running with amazing action and riveting suspense.  The first four pages succeeded in causing my anticipation muscle to tense up and beg for more; something Catwoman wants out of me, I’m sure,  as this issue dives into her mentality, giving us a picture of what makes her tick and why she acts the way she does.

It’s her love and flare for danger that gives Catwoman a rise.  The little public disturbances aren’t even worth the effort in her mind.  It’s almost as if she lives for the BIG, daily risks that life provides.  She says it herself doesn’t she?

“I’m not sure I like doing anything unless it puts me out on a limb.  ‘Cuz that’s where the fruit is, right?

This issue describes Catwoman in the best way possible.  She isn’t simply a thief and public menace because she’s desperate for money, she leads this kind of life because…well…it turns her on!  March gives us a perfect display of this from the very beginning as Catwoman jumps out of her window, bullets chasing after her, with a smile on her face…

I can't smile like that under pressure, can you?

Now we haven’t gotten to the point where this sexual undertone is clearly defined (with exception of the art) as we get a brief interlude into Catwoman’s social network.  She still has friends who are willing to help her and look beyond her life as a criminal.  Her friendship with Lolo clearly illustrates that, while Catwoman is undoubtedly all women, she still has a little girl deep inside her (get your minds out of the gutter)  who desires personal connections with friends.

No doubt that this issue is one of the raunchiest that DC has ever produced as it’s almost pornographic!  The last scene where Batman enters into the story brings the ultimate climax to the mix.  If I were a betting man (and I’m not) I would say Winick and March were trying to see how far they could go without making this first issue a porno comic.  Violence and sex make for a great read!

But even in her successful quest in obtaining a job and a temporary place to live, her life in normalcy is brief, interrupted by a ghost of her past.  We can only assume, based on the sepia toned flash back sequence, that the woman murdered in front of Selina’s very eyes by the bastard, Renald, was her mother.  If not her mother, then someone she cared for deeply.  We are then, of course, presented with an unforgettable image that I’m sure every guy fantasizes about in hopes that something like this would one day happen to them…

Moments before I die, I get to see this...totally worth dying for right??

Guillem March does a fantastic job with every single panel of this issue.  Each page is filled with color and detail, with every panel as lively as the next.   One of my favorites in on page 13, with March giving us a violently detailed and graphic four panel page that is completely in black and white, with exception to Selina’s red wig and Renald’s splattering blood; beautifully reminiscent of Frank Miller’s “Sin City” cinematography. Of course, afterwards, what happens?  Selina leaves with a smile…another wonderfully “happy” moment in the life of the danger magnet, Catwoman.

With all of this violence and tension buildup, Selina is most definitely ready for some type of physical release.  Enter Batman to help with that.  Judd Winick presents the same type of idea that Alan Moore presented with his masterpiece, Watchmen.  The danger and thrill of what comic superheroes and supervillains have to endure (whether by choice or no) on a daily basis has never been truly described as a type of aphrodisiac, except with Watchmen, and now with Catwoman.

It’s certainly true that Batman can now enjoy the results of Catwoman’s obsession at the end of each day.  But the interesting thing is, Catwoman and Batman leave their costumes on, only removing the parts of clothing necessary to have intercourse.  Symbolic me thinks! But for you concerned readers, know that this reboot of Catwoman is definitely NOT G rated.

This is an appropriate representation Catwoman.  She doesn’t seem very different in how her character is represented, but more so in her motives, desires, and needs.  Catwoman should be shown as a lively person who thrives under the thrill of danger…as well as getting very excited by it all.  With all of this, however, Judd Winick adds in a bit of sympathy intermingled with it all.  And I suspect that this sexually driven title will emerge into something bigger and better than it already is in future issues.

10 out of 10

Batman vs. Darth Vader…Who Wins?

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Batman, Star Wars

So, who do you think would win?  I lean towards Batman; he’s a martial arts expert, master of hiding in dark places, (which is where Darth hangs out most of the time) has gadgets to block telepathy, owns an electromagnetic pulse generator which would dissipate Darth Vador’s mechanical body, and is much quicker than Darth in ever sense of the word.

But as wrong as you may be, I’m willing to hear your opinions about why Darth Vador might be able to be Batman…keyword, MIGHT!  I’m also welcoming people to comment and support my theory as well.  But to help establish my points, here are a few examples of Batman’s awesomness in taking down Darth Vador and his “oh-so-mighty” Empire.

Reason #1: Batman has beaten Superman. I don't care how you slice it, Superman is not weak minded and would own Darth Vador's ability to use the force.

Reason #2: According to polls all throughout the internet, fans give Batman the edge over Chuck Norris in a fist fight. If you can beat Chuck Norris, you can beat anyone!

Reason #3: Even those of the religious community admits to the fact that not even the almighty, all powerful God can defeat the Batman. Click to Enlarge.

Now, certainly, we can all come to the same conclusion that this would not be an easy fight for either opponent.  So based on what I know of each character, I had to analyze the tactile advantages of each, and the conclusion I came to was that Batman is smarter, faster, more resourceful, a better fighter, more illusive, and has better control over his emotions.

But if you’re still not convinced, here’s a video to prove the inevitable Batman victory; bats bringing his best to the empire in a Bat-wing/tie-fighter fight to the finish.  If you can defeat both the entire tie-fighter fleet, knock Vador’s ship off course, and blow up the Death Star all at the same time…you’re pretty much awesome.

The Cap’n himself, William Shatner lets his opinions be known on the whole Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate.  I’m sure most of what he’s saying is simply him being silly, but I’m detecting a hint of truthfulness in his words as well.  What do you think?

Well, it probably IS a joke, but whomever is making this claim is playing it off as a serious conspiracy.  This is a photo currently (As of 9/16/2011) being sold on Ebay…

Yeah, This Doesn't Look Like A Movie Still At All Now Does It?

This individual made his proclamation on Ebay as he is trying to sell his his “authentic” photo from the 1870’s of someone who looks amazingly like Nicholas Cage.    Well, in fact, it IS Nick Cage.

The seller claims that the photo was not digitally enhanced in any way and is an authentic print of Mr. Cage as a vampire from the late 1800’s. Yet I recognized the movie still instantly from a very funny vampire movie called “Vampire’s Kiss” (or Embrace of the Vampire). Very few people know about the film. Cage plays a man who becomes obsessed with the notion that he has been bitten by a vampire and he slowly makes himself into one, complete with plastic teeth and a sun ray allergy. It’s disturbing and at time hilarious. I wonder if the film director, or the film company can sue the seller for trying to make a profit off of their movie?

Below is his Ebay posting about the photo and the beliefs he holds concerning it…

Original c.1870 carte de visite showing a man who looks exactly like Nick Cage. Personally, I believe it’s him and that he is some sort of walking undead / vampire, et cetera, who quickens / reinvents himself once every 75 years or so. 150 years from now, he might be a politician, the leader of a cult, or a talk show host.
This is not a trick photo of any kind and has not been manipulated in Photoshop or any other graphics program. It’s an original photo   of a man who lived in Bristol, TN sometime around the Civil War.I’ve had a lot of questions asking where I purchased this. As followers of my website know, I collect antique memorial photography – images of dead people – from the 1800s.  This photo was found in the very back of album that contained an unusual number of  Civil War era death portraits (which is why I purchased it). All of  the other people in the album, living and dead, were identified by name – this man was not.

Photographer is Professor G.B. Smith. A contact of mine forwarded this interesting article (link) about the photographer, Smith. Turns  out he was a confederate Civil War prisoner of war photographer.

Now if you’re slapping your head in disbelief, just wait…it gets better.  On his website, there are multiple photos within the archives dating as far back as the 1840’s.  The photo below is apart of those archives…

What Do You think? Is Nicholas Cage The King Of The Vampres?

I had to do some extensive searching over the internet to locate this photo because it’s not available in the “Sample Photos” section.  I’m uncertain if this photo is an actual print or a digital reproduction, so its authenticity is very much in question.  Whatever it is however, it’s a darn close resemblance to Mr. Cage, that’s for sure.

Personally I don’t believe anything that the Thanatos Archives claims about Nicholas Cage and his Vampiric lineage.  It’s clear he’s much more likely to be related to Mortal Kombat muscle man, Johnny Cage!  Or is that giving Nicholas Cage too much credit?

Related To Nicholas Cage? Eh...Maybe Not.

In any case, do you have any opinions?  Is the above photo some sort of digitally reworked photograph or an authentic photo of someone who looks amazingly like the overacting Hollywood thespian?  (Yes I know I used thespian incorrectly.  My blog, my rules…deal with it!)

Just like most Wednesdays, trying to create a new topic for today’s Wonder Woman Wednesday was tough.  We can talk about how strong she is, how incredible of a role model she is for young women, and how she mirrors both the good and bad traits of Superman and Batman, but it’s all been said before.

Wonder Woman’s sexuality is something I try to stay away from because, while she’s still the hottest superhero in comic book history, she’s much more than that too.

Cracked.com, however, has taken a different approach to the Woman of Wonder with an article about how she sucks and was victim of men not really knowing how to give her powers deserving of her personality.  While I don’t agree with most of the article, nor can I figure out if the writer is being serious or humorous, it’s entertaining to read none the less.  So please click on the link in this paragraph and enjoy!

Oh, and enjoy these photos i found on the internet…

Painting By Moritat

Painting By Dennis Budd

Pulling a jet...I LOVE this sketch!

Yes it’s true, and It’s hitting the internet like crazy…Superman said a swear word!!!  What are we to do now?!?!?  Superman is an American icon, and to hear him use the Lord’s name in vein is to deny that wholesome and virtuous aura that has been sprinkled all over this wonderful country of ours right?

Again, another instance where a fan complains too much!

Apparently the owner (Named Jeff Lamb) of the comic book shop, The Comic Conspiracy, located in California, order his stack of the September 7th release of new number 1’s by DC Comics, and got a little irked.  I can only imagine how this fellow comic shop owner went about his weekly reading comic book routine by starting with Action Comics…sitting back in his chair, popped open his deliciously disgusting can of Bud Light, leaned back, opened Action Comics #1 and saw this…

I don't know about you but I always take the Lord's name in vein by omitting the incredibly unimportant vowel known as the letter "O"

If you your near sighted, and don’t have your glasses on, the letters in that thought balloon are “GD.”  So, yes, the owner of The Comic Conspiracy store blew a gasket because Superman let out a grunt of pain after being hit by an explosion of brick, cement, and fire.  The full story can be found at Comic Book Resources and Digital Spy.

Certainly, I’ve always known that the best way to swear and get people riled up about it is by omitting the vowel sounds within those swear words.  Ya know, like “sht,” or “dmn,” or “fck,” or my personal favorite, “Jss fckng Chrst!”

Of course I’m being sarcastic, but let’s look at what the owner posted on his own Facebook Page

“As of today’s release of Action Comics #1 by Grant Morrison, The Comic Conspiracy, will until further notice, be boycotting all future Grant Morrison books. If you want Action Comics, you will have to buy it elsewhere.”

“I could see Guy Gardner and maybe even Hal Jordan (Green Lanterns) saying it. I could see Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) saying it. I could easily see Damian Wayne (Robin) or MAYBE even Bruce Wayne saying it. But Superman was created to be the “perfect” super-hero. Unblemished. Superman is an American icon.”

“This wasn’t creative flow. It wasn’t necessary in the story. It isn’t Superman at all. And it goes against a basic Christian principle. It was a blatant stab.”

“I deal with books like “Crossed” and “The Boys”. I accepted gay characters being introduced into a children specific book like Archie Comics. I however am getting very tired of having comic writer’s liberal agendas force fed to me. Mr. Morrison has stepped over my line. If I have to stand alone on this… I will.”

Action Comics #1 Cover

I understand that, now, the owner still isn’t going to be purchasing any comics by Grant Morrison but will order them for any customer from Diamond Distributors upon request.  Furthermore, any title that he deems to be an “ADULT” book will not be available to purchase at his store unless by personal request.

I can understand holding firm to your beliefs, but to take a stance against something that was obviously a misunderstanding goes a bit too far.  I know I’ve read bits and pieces of comics and /or books and misunderstood the intent behind them, but I don’t go to an extreme like a BOYCOTT.  But for someone as well read in comics as I’m sure this man is, he sure doesn’t seem too familiar with the typical grunts and moans that come along with comics books, especially within the superhero genre.

Comics are, and have always been a bit edgy; pushing the issue of violence and sex since the late 1940’s.  The women in comics are typically depicted as sexual beings and are often times portrayed as a weaker vessel simply in how they carry themselves.  Could it be argued that the portrayal of women in comics is an ungodly depiction?

Likewise, the act violence within comics goes even further by not only being the most consistent theme within the genre, but also being glorified as a righteous and justified aspect of life.  Again, could this be viewed as an ungodly lifestyle being promoted by comics?

Out of response to the widely publicized boycott, an artist over at “Let’s Be Friends Again” drew up a very funny comic strip showing how ridiculous the shop owner is being…

When Batman grunts, he gets applause and money, but when Superman grunts, the world comes to an end!

This specific comic shop owner can uphold any belief he wants and has the right to say what he wants about literature that seemingly goes against his upbringing.  But I would recommend to this person that, before you go making claims that someone is portraying God in a terrible way, make sure you aren’t interpreting the author’s intentions incorrectly and calling him names because of it.  As you state on your facebook page Mr. Lamb, you believe people should get a life and stop belittling you for having a belief that does not mirror your own.  Practice what you preach and you may get that same courtesy.