Batman vs Superman: Yawn of Justice

Batman vs Superman is actually the story of two dudes who can’t communicate at all.

The biggest problem in the plot of this mildly spoiler review is that both Batman and Superman are 10000000% guilty of hubris and neither of them admit it.
I went into Batman vs Superman (or vice versa) Dawn of Justice with the same level of meh as I approach most things that have been spoiled in every trailer, preview and sneak peek that a major movie can offer…which is to say I was passive aggressive teenage girl ambivalent to everything going on.
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The movie opens recreating the events of Man of Steel where instead of seeing handsome Henry Cavill we see WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne driving through Metropolis with his woes (and the apocalypse raining down on him and his brand friendly Jeep). From that moment, 18 months ago, Bruceman er Batman is completely team “Fuck this guy”. For reasons not one person on the writing team for this movie can explain or cared to explore, Batman is reactivated across town in Gotham and wages a one man war, tearing through the streets of Gotham like a toddler mid temper trantrum. He doesn’t cause chaos in Metropolis, where the problem ACTUALLY is, but instead just beats mercilessly on petty thugs and crooks. The Daily Planet runs a piece on some asshole with a branding fetish leaving bat brands on the low lives of Gotham in thinly explained attempts to suss out the kinda racist sounding White Portuguese drug cartel and this is how you want to introduce the two leads? I end it with a question mark because I wasn’t even sure if this was an episode of The Wire, Breaking Bad or something else involved drug runners with cool names and thusly confused as to why Batwayne was so obsessed with figuring out who WP was/is because meanwhile here’s Superman doing Superman things like bailing cats out of trees, rescuing Russian Cosmonauts from explosions and otherwise being a god on Earth. Batwayne is every flavor of salty because he immediately zeroes in on SuperKent to figure out why he’s so hunky and dreamy. I mean…why he writes puff pieces on assholes in longjohns.
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Cut to bizarre party somewhere in wherever where Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (she’s in the movie, did I forget to mention this?) are at a party but the punchline is the dialogue is garbage.
The dialogue is bad.
It’s REALLY a screenwriting 101 script written by casual Wikipedia enthusiast that was then passed off to someone else to polish and instead of actually proofing, they just post-it noted lines in before handing it to someone else and the only things that were filmed were the post-it scenes. The GLUE of a Post-It is what’s holding this mess together and even that isn’t doing much of anything.
Batwayne gets one upped by Wonder whatever her name is and he’s all beguiled and sad. SuperKent is confused because he only has heart boners for Lois Lane who’s given even LESS than Wonder Woman to work with the in terms of whatever post-it plots they came up with for this movie.
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The movie works best if we’re talking about the actual assembly of the JLA versus the grumbling mumbling hulking bros who just can’t get their shit together. The idea that Batman would actively want to beat the shit out of Superman because of damages and loss sustained during Man of Steel is cool and one man doing it is also cool but if he felt he was such a major threat, watching Batman recruit a batch other -snicker- metahumans to understand them and get them on the side of good would be a much more engaging movie than the one we wound up with.
Anyway more talking happens and some fun cameos occur that actually riled up the crowd I was with (we my have been drinking) and that made me want THAT movie, the one I made up with all my action figures and in my head that I hoped Hollywood would rip off. It never happens and that’s where the burden of what DC is doing becomes apparent. The writers (I’m being a savage and saying it was atleast ten people trying their best to mansplain years of nerd lore) tried to do what Marvel has done with four movies in one movie and it shows, good GOD does it show. It’s most apparent with how they’ve glossed over the rest of the league, wink and nods to each member in what is tantamount to a Veronica Mars tribute scene.
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The third act is cobbled together as complete 100% fan service to those poor fools who still think DC as a brand and entity respects them and I for one low key am pleased before I realize that I honestly could give a flying fuck about who wins the Batman vs Superman debate; the one who loses is the rest of us. How?! Man of Steel. We all lost by seeing that grim piece of shit overthought hunk of shit. We got a fantastic opportunity to tell the tale of a man stuck with being a god and spent it grim darkly trying to understand Kal-El’s beef with the world. Superman is an alien, an immigrant and we never in any permutation of him felt that loneliness and need to belong, to be respected; we have only ever gotten his god amongst men perspective. Conversely, Bruce Wayne is the little orphan shitshow that could. They are men burdened with being men who want to save a broken world but on their terms. In short, there’s not real risk choosing Batman or Superman; they’re not the dudes you want but the options you have. It’s basically like the 2016 elections so…
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Then, there’s Wonder Woman.
In the Synderverse she’s every humorless woman any basic fuckboy has told to smile; she hates everyone and would gladly squeeze the last breath from their lungs if it meant one less useless cretin in the world.

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So basically I’m in love.
She’s actually the reason to see this. With almost no dialogue, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is probably the best part of this 2 hour therapy session. She stares a lot, analyses and disappears. When she appears, the theater erupts. I look forward to the one time I pay for this movie to experience that euphoria. The masses demand a woman who doesn’t give a fuck; that solves a problem and shrugs when everyone else is completely flummoxed.
Remember in IronMan 2 when Black Widow was completely down played? Same problem. Many a think piece is being written about how women in these movies are completely bypassed (merchandise and actual focal point) so really, it’s done and over with but honestly…
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The final sequence happens exactly as you would expect a video game or a great weed fueled story to go. Fast, mad cut scenes, bright lights, fan service and of course hero shit. There are no stakes raised, no sense of loss or gain in this as you watch it, just a lot of “cool” or “they should’ve cleaned that up more in post” and “that’s it?!” There’s no sense of ramped up world building that follows movies like this, just the simple nod and “I saw that it was ok” and then onto the next one.
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When the movie ended, my nerd cohorts all puzzled over where to go and if we should keep drinking; no one was bothered by the movie, there was a sad sense of acceptance. We knew it would blow but we didn’t expect to ALL be devastated by how truly bland a movie it was. It just washes over you in a wave of sad feelings.
As I walked out and had a drink with a coworker we spent more time arguing how good Marvel was at these movies than DC and a MAJOR conclusion was met; DC banks heavily on the name recognition while Marvel wants to seduce into their world and keep you there for as long as possible. Superman vs Batman only holds the door open long enough for you to walk in, have your ass smacked by the swinging door and by then you’ve already lost time and money to whatever is happening.
There’s no investment in your delight or engagement, just simple shrugging and plot holes. It’s terrible that the Snyderverse/Nolanverse is grim tones and too much reality for people to handle; the joy of these properties is that there is someone out there watching for us and protecting us from ourselves and the things that endanger us all. There’s no mirth or joy in this universe which is why it’s funny to think the heroes are so dark while the team on Suicide Squad clearly snorted alot of cocaine in Scarface’s Miami and candy coated the most violent batch of lunatics. Juxtaposing these two worlds adds to the other issue that weighs down this movie; neither the villains or the heroes seem to be aware of either’s existence. That’s terrible. You’re telling me that Superman was unaware of the Joker gang running the streets of Gotham before the Batman finished him? Superman had to know there was fuckery abounding. For your audience to walk out completely wigging out and confused by what they just watched…that kind of reaction can spell the end times for comic book properties as audiences reach a sympathy level of nope when it comes to how much you can ask a non comic book reader to suspend their belief in things.

Truth be told, the movie will make a shit ton of money and for that, we should be sad because there’s no reason for subpar movies to make that kind of bank and still be considered good. We deserve much better than what we’re getting with this second round of Bat/Sup movies but ultimately the fandom will split; they’ll pick another comic book franchise to get behind that won’t treat them like they’re stupid.

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I hope that Marvel, still humbled by missteps, take this into account when it comes to Captain America: Civil War as that movie hinges entirely on the fandom in both the MCU and comic book universe to really think about who they’ve aligned themselves with because that’s the real problem; Team Cap or Team Iron.

Does a T Shirt Make A Fan?

The above photo was Tweeted out earlier this week when a Aimée Morrison (@digiwoonk) while shopping in Target Canada shopper found this delightfully idiotic baby pj set. Morrison is an asspciate Profressor working in digital humanities and new project media design and theory. Which sounds super badass.

In any case, Aimée shared her disappointment with the pj options as they appeared to encourage gender conformity in BABIES, particularly that girls were only going to date superheroes while the boys would grow up to be the heroes the girls would eventually date because yay adult behavior in INFANTS. First of all, the color scheme for the girls pj set is hideous; whoever approved that slate heather gray and bright pink obviously hates babies and decent color pallets. It doesn’t stop there, Wal-Mart’s junior section boasts a particularly disheartening t shirt on their website as well as in stores:

Alfred will have something to say about that

So what you’re telling me is that as a woman I’m only as good as the idiot boyfriend I snag in spandex?

Besides fueling obviously dated and tired tropes about where women land in the hero spectrum, it again pairs HIDEOUS pink and gray tones as if to say, hey ladies, you like them dudes doing dude things and you also like pink because we’re guessing that’s what you ladies like.

C’mon.

Maybe if you had that on a black tee with yellow lettering like classic Batman colors, or even the vintage blue and gold coloring I’d be sold on it because then it would match the pairs of converse your average nerdy lady owns and that  is really the fashion that matters. (not really, Batman is pretty much over for me)

Does a t-shirt really make the fan? What is the message that DC is sending to female readers? Marvel isn’t exempt.

It’s not gray and pink but I don’t need a hero.

boys get to be heroes and adorable color combinations

In the long list of things DC keeps failing at, t-shirts seems to be the next notch against them. The Batman’s wife in training shirt is an Officially Licensed product, meaning that someone in their merchandise and branding department had to approve this message before sending it into production, the same with the Marvel shirts. Essentially, the top brass approved it thinking nothing of it and we, the internet denizens were appalled and rightfully so. These major corporations, whether they want to really be responsible for it or not, do shape some of the basic understanding that young boys and girls have when it comes to gender equality. By green lighting these shirts, DC and Marvel effectively say, yeah, girls and women know who these guys are but we’re pretty sure they don’t really want to BE them. They’re throwing women a fashion bone by even thinking of them. When kids get a new shirt to show off, you know they’re comparing their designs and the boys are really buying the slogans on the girls shirts while the girls are staring longingly at a Thor shirt that comes with a cape. They slowly accept the burden of being the lesser because a cartoon character on 100% cotton said so; the company responsible reminded them that this is a boys world and you’ll never really get to have all of it. Is it really the case? Hopefully not but those lessons come from parents who are ideally teaching them that everyone is equal and we’re all capable of extraordinary things. The shirts are exterior expressions of their internal values and in essence, who they are as people. If you tell a girl she’s only as good as the boy she snags, she won’t want anything else.

Some women in comics only serve to advance the hero’s journey and have a short lifespan.

Sorry Gwen, you always deserved more.

Other women in comics advance it to the point where you want more from them they you do the male protagonists like Natasha Romanov and Laura Kinney better known as Black Widow and X-23.

Luck be a pair of bad bad ladies

Today Thor # 1 launched and people are lining up to pick up the comic despite mantle of Thor going to a woman Expect the numbers for such a title to be massive, given the controversy behind the entire thing to begin with. How is it possible that we are still living in a world where even our t-shirts are dictated by tropes and dated concepts? A solid majority of passing comic book movie watchers, delighted that they’ll have something cute to wear with something, will no doubt buy it not realizing they’re continuing to fuel a disparity between the sexes when it comes to t-shirts and fandoms. Someone is fueling the demand for idiotic shirts with poor slogans and we, the people aware of the entire thing will be standing in the streets asking why.

A t shirt does not make a fan, a slogan does not define the wearer but they do make statements about who you are and the values that you have. If you don’t like something, do something about it. You should protest it, make a scene about it, make other people aware of what it is that bothers you so much about the object in question. In fact, it’s encouraged. Voice your opinion on why this is wrong and like the old saying goes, money talks. Don’t spend your money on it. Force the brands and companies at large that you are not interested in this type of message and instead voice that there are other ways to tell a comic book shirt than by relying on the same old thing. Yes, there are some girls who just want to be the girlfriend to the tough guy super hero (or super villain). There are even BOYS who want to be the bad girl’s boyfriend but they are always told that no woman is out of their reach while girls are told there are types for them; a lid for every pot as it were. It’s sad that Target and WalMart will continue accepting these shirts, lunch boxes, outfits, toys and other questionable things from Marvel and DC, despite their approval; a buyer from each respective retailer has final say on the things that eventually adorn the shelves. It’s worse because it seems that the majors don’t care about the FAN; they’re still stuck in data that dissects gender, age and income rather than whether it’s a good product to begin with. I’m still super pissed off that there aren’t any Gamora toys in the BOYS or GIRLS toy section and that Black Widow is part of a Legends series that has more Winter Soldiers and more variant Captain Americas than it does BW or Falcon. It’s upsetting to think that you feel like the tangible things that make you a fan aren’t aimed towards you as a consumer because the entities involved don’t consider you to be important enough to be listened to.

The sexism in comics at large isn’t shocking, it’s the fact that the companies themselves continue to feed into the stereotype as though women in the space are tainting and destroying their sacred area with their lady essence. If anything, women in comics have made things so much better, ushering in a new wave of diversity, new ways of telling the same old stories and bringing some of the most talented artists to the medium front and center. So many men seem upset that women are even in shops and if they are, there’s a massive test that they need to pass in order to be taken seriously. Dude. You barely speak english correctly, who the hell are you to quiz me on who’s stronger Thanos or Galactus ? (Answer: Brainiac, watch them keel over in sheer horror) You can ask me where the latest book is and I’ll point your mouth breathing self in that direction, don’t assume that I don’t know what I’m talking about and if I don’t, please believe I will educate myself, I don’t need you.

BRONIES TOOK MY LITTLE PONY FROM LITTLE GIRLS AND TURNED IT INTO THIS GROSS ICKY THING.

While I am a Marvel fan with passing interest in DC, I’ve come to adore the work coming out of Dark Horse and Image, especially when it comes to how female centric their titles and creative teams are. They are interested in storytelling, the hell with who’s at the focus of them. As New York Comic Con fast approaches, it will be interesting to see how things play out when I’m elbow to elbow with some of the shitbrains who are more and more frequently being called out on their shitbrainness.

This is bigger than t-shirts and what they say. This is about being treated fairly and equally because you also like a thing. This is about being able to buy a Thor t-shirt with a detachable cape knowing full fucking well that you shouldn’t be wearing them but dammit if it isn’t good looking! 

This is about being able to wear a shirt that isn’t pink and adorned with some glitter that proclaims you as Batman’s Wife or Captain America’s Best Gal. This is about being able to wear a shirt that says You Kicked Creel’s Ass and All You Got Was A Lousy T-Shirt or I’m The One Coulson Calls. This is about being able to tell the world that while comic books are fairly geeky and cater to a strange and wonderful section of our population, you are someone who loves to live in the world where everyone looks good in spandex, kicks a little ass and works as a team.

It’s about being a hero even when you feel like you can’t go on, it’s about being able to wear something that says you’re more than the sum of your parts and as long as fashion continues to promote otherwise, it’s about fighting until we’re all allowed to wear a shirt that says Training to Be Batwoman.

Check out t-shirts from We Heart Fine because they’re user created and take the high road when it comes to flirting with gender as well as visiting Her Universe because it’s only fair that we support creators seeking to reach a consistently disenfranchised and marginalized group.

I’d rather be a hero than training to be their sidekick.