Justice League review: it’s humor and humanity, stupid.

I saw Justice League. Alone. I did not want to inflict it on anyone else. My expectations were low, like they were when my friend Brian “Mondo” called me up and wanted to see Dude, Where’s My Car? But I liked it. It was funny! (“We are hot babes.”)

I liked Justice League too. Sure, it grated on my writer brain. Some scenes felt glued together with library paste, I believe there was a payoff without setup, and too much dialog was blabby moody exposition. (Alfred Hitchcock said that exposition is a pill that must be sugar-coated.) Plenty of room for improvement. But this movie had two story elements that Man of Steel and Batman v Superman lacked: humor and humanity.

The Flash’s geeky, gawky enthusiasm and Aquaman’s heroic beer-chugging macho were especially fun. (The original Aquaman and Barry Allen Flash in DC Comics had the personalities of Macys mannequins, so this movie was right to revamp that.) Wonder Woman was again the fearless, ferocious fighter with a heart (although some of her fellow Amazons should not bare their bellies when going into battle). Batman showed his after-battle ouchie bruises and he stated his true superpower: “I’m rich.” When Superman stepped up to the villain, his voice was purehearted Christopher Reeve (it made my heart sing). Cyborg got to say his favorite line from Teen Titans Go (starts with a “B”). This movie gave the DC supers humanity to build upon. (Except Wonder Woman, she and her most excellent movie were slopping over with humanity to start with, even considering the goddess thing.) And its photography avoided a lot of the black bleak depressing sad angsty moody sepia dark tones of M of S and B v S.

Speaking of gods, a YouTube video that I saw (and lost) said it best: In the Marvel movies, the supers are human. In Man of Steel and Bats v Supes, they are gods above men. YUCK! My advice for DC movie makers: keep losing the Ayn Rand crap and you’ll keep improving.

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Starfire: Heart-touching or Posing?

The current run of DC Comics Starfire, as written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, has been lighthearted, funny, and even heart-touching. But DC Comics will soon reboot its universe again (yes, AGAIN). Starfire soon ends its current run with issue 12. From what I can find so far, she’ll be stuffed into (Teen?) Titans. How will Starfire be portrayed there?

A little heart-touching, from Starfire #1 of the Palmiotti and Conner run?

STARFIRE-num1

Or a lot of posing, from Red Hood and the Outlaws #1? Front…

starfire-red-hood-and-the-outlaws-num-1-1

And back.

starfire-red-hood-and-the-outlaws-num-1-2

Posing for the oh-so-tuff-macho-males is not outlawed, but making Starfire do it ought to be.

To Batman v Superman: Hire a writer!

batman grimly faces supermanWhy was Ben Affleck’s Batman forced to say this stupid line about Superman?

He has the power to wipe out the entire human race and if we believe there is even a one percent chance that he is our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty.

Batman can do math. On the Justice League, he is called, “The Smart One.” He is a detective. He would detect who is guilty, who is innocent, and who does and does not need a Bat-punch in the mush. Read The Dark Knight Returns, there are better ways to give me a Bats-vs-Supes smackdown (and a serious fanboy orgasm!) than that one-percenter line. It is lazy writing, and it sucks. Even an NPR critic did a double-take at that.

That line reminds me of an old joke from Steve Landesberg (Dietrich from Barney Miller). Steve was doing the character of a Deep South sheriff. His accent was perfect. (The quote below is from my memory, so is not likely exact. Except for the punchline.)

“Yep, ah’ve been at this job a long time, I can tell just by lookin’ at someone if they’re gonna do a crime. Just yesterday, I saw a guy, and just by lookin’ at him, I know he wuz gonna kill someone.”

(Perfectly timed comedic pause.)

“So I shot him.” (Audience laughter.) “He ain’t gonna kill nobody now!”

Batman is smarter than that sheriff. DC Comics, when you make your next movie, please hire a writer.

Watch me pull a DC reboot outta my hat!

DC Comics is rebooting its universe again. Back to the roots. Lowered prices, twice-monthly comics. And starting them over at #1 again. Rumored to be cancelled: Midnighter (gay hero) and Starfire (fun superheroine). Sigh. I guess roots are kinda white male.

A little advice to DC Comics. To sell comic books, write good stories. I love Harley Quinn and Starfire (my usual taking the pulse of super heroines): fun writing! Why is Deadpool funny? Not because of the violence, or the sexual innuendo, or the swearing. It’s because the script is damn funny! (Yeah, I know, Hollywood won’t believe me.)

I’m tired of weathering comic book universe reboot storms and waiting for the storylines to settle down. What does the repeated reboot trick remind me of? Presto!

A Kryptonian breakfast

Sometimes I tell myself I will have a Kryptonian breakfast. Then I will go out and buy a hamburger and fries. Why?

Many years ago (if I remember this correctly, I cannot find it on Google), when Lex Luthor was a mad scientist instead of an evil businessman, Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen visited the planet Krypton before it exploded. A letter writer to DC Comics said that story was wrong because Jimmy was having breakfast, but he was eating a hamburger and fries! The DC editors replied: You forgot this took place on Krypton! On Krypton, hamburgers and fries are standard breakfast fare.

Maybe I’ll try ordering a Kryptonian breakfast at Wendy’s sometime and see what happens. They’ll probably say “What?” or “Que?” And rightly so.

P.S. I just upgraded my MacBook Pro to Mavericks. Smooth so far. Although “less than a minute remaining” really means “anywhere from a minute to an hour or more.” And I bet I’ll have to take care of my multiple Apple ID issue.