Why Logan Gave Me New Hope In The Superhero Genre
See I'm a longtime reader of comics. I remember the first comic o collected 15 years ago, it was a Deadpool Comic. It wasn't amazing in retrospect, but it was at the time. I fell in love with the Comic industry, a love that hasn't waned one bit since that first day. But that being said I'm here to discuss comic book movies. Something I'm not a fan of in their current form. The current style of superhero movies are often fun movies, but nothing I'm interested in seeing twice.
It's because I look for different things when I watch movies. I'm not a Purist in any sense of the word. I believe that perspective kills room for creativity. That being said I think Comic movies should do one of two things, do you think or make you feel. If it doesn't properly do at least one of those things, I can't really call it a good movie.
Ten odd years ago, Batman Begins and Ironman started a major rush of superhero films. Technically Blade and Spider-Man started but realistically it didn't really get going until these movies. It was great at first. Superheroes on big screen battling it out. Both Marvel and DC had heir own style and gameplay. It was great at first. Then repetition kicked in. Every marvel movie had the same three action sequences and DC had a style that was unique but not made for a general audience. One studio made you Feel and another made you think. They both made an insane amount of cash. Billions flooded in, this successfully Styles hurt the genre in my honest opinion because it followed the same trend that happens in movies where a style becomes the it thing and never evolves. Why change if it makes money right?
On one side Marvel fans would say DC films are too dark and don't make you feel. On the other DC fans said Marvel movies were basic and didn't make you think. To a degree both were right and wrong and in that lies a problem. Like any good comic book, a great project should have you do both. It must appease both my mind and my heart. At this point because of A To B writing a lot of stories are rushed or have gaping holes in them. Both Marvel and DC have this issue. Mentally when I watch these movies, I find myself checking my watch or yawning. I yearn for a movie that forces me to think, brings me in emotionally to the point where I have to hold back tears. I think a lot of people mistake a movie investing time and effort into making you care for a char, with you already having an attachment for a char before the movie begins; something that is easy to mix up. For example, in the last two blockbuster comic book movies that came out, Civil War and Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Civil War had a char that I personally don't care for but many, many fans did, the Black Panther, I personally have the belief they relied too heavily on previous char knowledge to build his popularity, the same can be said for Wonder Woman in the Batman Vs Superman. We nerds were made to fill in the blanks for people who didn't know much about the hero and heroine. That is a failure of the movie. Point. Blank. Period. If in the two hours a movie can't make you heavily invested in a char you have no knowledge of, they have failed. I have tested this, as I often go to the movie with non comic fans with no knowledge and question them on the movie and the story afterward; more often than not I answer more questions than I asked. This is a failure of the genre. Then comes Logan.
Logan is a fox property that has blown away many people since itsDebut. It created a universe and scenarios that constructed in under 30 Minutes that was both intriguing and mysterious. They resurrected the sense of death and danger a hero should face in a good superhero movie. Now a days that sense is all but dead. Ironman isn't dying, Batman isn't in real danger. Why should we care that these Heroes fight when no sense of danger exists? In one movie, they have created a sense that our hero can die, is mortal and dare I say it... Human.
I cared, the movie was heavily invested in character development, something long dead in the comic genre. It forced me to care about a character I've never really cared about before. I was left not asking why something happened in a movie like normal, but instead I asked what's going to happen now, speculating on events and possibilities. The final scenes of the movie are both emotional and a powerful end of a 17 year iconic run. Deadpool did something similar, yes, it was goofy, but underneath the jokes and crude humor was real emotion. Love, hate, disgust, and depression. These two movies returned to the idea of character driven storylines, they can make you feel, think and laugh.
As someone who is a longtime comic book reader, I am also someone who is completely burned out on the typical blockbuster comic book movies. I miss the elements that made me fall in love with the genre. Please let me know what you think, agree? Disagree? I'm always in the mood to hear different tales on my writings.
Follow on Twitter: @JasonJauntist
People aren't taught hate, or prejudice. It's a learned trait. Prejudice is based on some sense of superiority of one race over the other, basically that my group is better than your group. We learn it from television, movies, books, and here specifically comic books. The only way to override that way of thinking to show how wrong preconceived notions of inferiority. I know a lot of good intention comic book readers who hate marvels new push for diversity, that it's trying to get a cheap pop with bad stories. I completely disagree. Bad is a very relative term, some books are written with a different audience in mind. Part of my job is reviewing movies with my team and I can tell you from experience that what's deemed good or bad changes from person to person.
Marvel has a different approach to writing new chars that grabs eyes and beams past the trend of low selling new comics. We've touched on this before where MANTLES are passed to new chars to get eyes on them; great idea from a financial perspective. Beyond that, each book is given a new writing team with different styles of writing. It showcases different struggles and outlooks, often that of chars of color, gender, religion and sexuality. True diversity is showcased here in a smart and informative way. A lot of fans take issue with this, because they are used to business as usual and view this books as "badly written" and "inferior" to the good ole days of marvel. This is a very troubling stance.
This stance bothers me because the point of this initiative is to give a voice to the voiceless, to give minorities and the unheard a book and hero they can relate to. On a personal level I haven't enjoyed marvel comics this much in over a decade because no one related to me; I couldn't understand the struggles of these straight, white, super perfect men. Diversity was a far off idea. If I wanted to look up to a char who looked like me I might be able to find one like black panther but he's a perfect hero so I couldn't relate. The days of down to earth flawed heroes had passed and is just now returning.
What's troubling is that die hard comic fans are some the most hardcore against this push. Sales of comics in Marvel are down and that is an excuse that is being used to derail this initiative but that's a shaky and weak answer. Over saturation of comics play a much bigger role as marvel produces over 100 comics a month not including reprints and graphic novels, all that together is over 25-35 comics a week at 3.99 a pop. No one has that kind of money. It's a common sociology concept that too many choices lead people to not choose anything at all, this is without question not helping the situation.
"Bring back my classics!" Is also funny because classic chars have cultural impact but don't move books. According to sales, top level chars like Captain America, Thor, and Ironman don't sell, never really have. An old event called onslaught was created to boost sales of the poor preforming comics such as the ones listed above and the main Avengers titles.
Another factor is the confusing trait that marvel renumbers every 7-9 months. It's hard to pick up for new readers. A healthy hobby like comic collecting is when new readers replace old ones. I remember jumping in the middle of an X men run as a kid and being able to easily begin reading a volume one. In today's marvel is much more difficult with the level of renumbering and back to back events that don't allow stories to grow or have weight. I'll be the first to tell you, I read weekly and am often lost to what's going on some stories.
Availability is another problem. A lot of the comics I read are online. Why would new readers (and some old) spend this 3.99 a comic to read a story when they can find a free version online or pay ComiXology 9.99 a month to read thousands a month. Money wise, it's an easy decision, it would be foolish to do it any other way.
But why are people really afraid of true diversity in their comics? Because it's not what they are used to. It's the same reason people hate reboots without seeing them, or hate reimagining of stories. The nostalgia factor is in full swing. I can't tell you how many people look back fondly at stories or books that were simplistic and lacked depth but are considered "Classic" and "Breathtaking". Not saying these books are bad by any means but it's clear the fondness is because of the feelings attached to the memories. It happens to all of us. I have many shows I know are terrible to me but since they were a part of my developing years, I see them as "Classic" or a part of history.
It's time to face the fact that the comic medium is evolving and that's a good thing, don't live in the past. Movies change, television changes, so why can't our books? Don't fall into that group that is constantly trying to "Make Marvel Comics Great Again" because if you think keeping things the same as when you were a child or young adult then I hate to tell you, your mindset is holding back the medium. How it is today is not how it was ten years ago, or ten years before that or before that. Please keep an open mind.
Please let me know what you think and if you disagree, tell me, leave a comment or send me a message on twitter: @JasonJauntist
Also please check out the video that inspired this article. A Black Geek Girl was told that talking about her experiences as a black nerd shouldn't be talked about because everyone already understands her struggle because it's common. This couldn't be further from the truth. This is why it's important to have diversity, because people believe that we somehow have achieved social perfection and no longer need to talk about sexuality, race, or gender:
Over the last few years we've heard some insane claims about the cinematic universes of Marvel and DC, and honestly its about time to stop comparing them and stop these nonsense arguments for both. We've heard them hundreds, if not thousands of times before.
On the Marvel side, we've heard That Marvel is: Too Kiddish, Repetitive, Uncreative and has No consequences. While there is an argument to be made for this point, its highly objective and creates an unprovable stance. The DC side is similar, that is badly scripted, Not "Comic Accurate", whatever that truly means, Rushed and the biggest thing, too grim and dark.
Before we start, can we all agree that we comic fans are often walking paradoxes, wanting new and exciting things that are exactly like we had it growing up. Wanting no rehashes, while at the same time, demanding carbon copies of our childhood. If you're Red or Blue, you have to remember that Nostalgia both drives and kills our medium. If it is to survive it must pay small nods to the past, but at the same time build something new and fresh, that's not an opinion but a fact. It's true in the books, it holds true in the movies. For example, the Civil War movie was regarded as a good movie, even though its a far departure from the comic of the same name, which wasn't well received by a large portion of fans. It was different and that difference helped it become superior to its comic book counterpart. The old Nostalgic bug hurts more than it helps, scores of fans, both Marvel and DC hurt the overall enjoyment of movies by continuously comparing them to the books, which are ever-changing, something we've touched on before here: Money Money
Marvel style of comics has been for a long time what I like to call a Small space shared universe, meaning all events in marvel happen in a relatively small area, it's how to avengers, fantastic four, daredevil are all active in New York and often appear in each other's business. Crossovers in this universe are not only easy, there is often a normal occurring thing. This is also true in the Cinematic universe, it's why events all occur in New York and the full force of the avengers are first responders. This is the unique structure of the MCU/Marvel Universe, their personal identity.
The DC Comics style has always been more of a Cohabiting Pocket universe deal. Things happen in Gotham with Bats, stuff with Superman in Metropolis, Flash in Central City etc, but they don't crossover as often, the distant gives them time to develop separately. Crossovers don't occur as often, its their calling card. Time will tell how true that is in the DCEU.
Comparing Marvel and DC on any level is also a bad argument at its core, the Marvel style of movies, television, animation and Comics is very, very different, has been; so to compare them is going to be difficult unless you go the route of "It's Bad because I don't like it", which a lot of people go toward.
Here is my attempt to describe both companies:
Marvel is an amalgamation of American Cinema; it has action movies, space exploration, Dramas etc, its all these different genres, but with the same basic flow and plot development, this simplistic nature makes it universal for non comic fans. It's the embodiment of American cinema. Marvel is the Star Wars of Comics, big universe, but a small cast that you grow to love. It's visuals are supposed to grab you and hold your attention, and nothing is wrong with that at all. Marvel has created a profile for itself over these past nine years with over a dozen properties under its belt.
DC is like the theatre in its execution, a play with different chars playing their plots, sometimes the plot isn't easily digested and is mostly symbolic in its dialogue and actions. It's generally not for everyone, like the theatre. Its complex nature is both a strength and a weakness depending on who you ask. It's like Star Trek, full of philosophical questions and themes, that make you think. That was always what I loved about Star Trek, that it made me think. It's the baby in this conversation only existing 5 years now and three movies under its belt.
I've already discussed how comparing them monetarily is pointless in here in Money Money. The biggest difference between the two is simply a brand name, because lets all be honest for a minute, no comic movie broke the bank or was a flop from a money perspective, that's a terrible argument that is the main argument of people who haven't done the proper research. I did mine and if you read it again here, Money Money, you'll see what I mean. Brand name is everything in movies and public perception. Comic movies will be watched, that's not even up for discussion. A lot of people (Not me) hated the Fox X men, but that didn't stop their properties from outgrossing Marvel's Winter Solider, which in my opinion is the very best Marvel movie ever produced.
X Men is a huge name in comics and movies in general, same as Spider-Man, Transformers, Justice League, Batman, and Ironman. They're getting watched, no reviews, reports, or critiques are going to do more than a tiny dent in these movies because they are for the foreseeable future, the Blockbusters. The "Flop Film" mentality is flawed and honestly foolish. Marvel and DC will lose money the day people stop watching Superhero movies, and not a second earlier.
In all when you speak to a movie's quality remember a few things; Always speak for yourself, as that's the one person's opinion you're never wrong about. Charged words like "Flop", "Uncreative", "Kiddish" and "Grim" are neat words, but ultimately the incorrect term to use unless you're speaking about your personal opinion. "Comic Accurate" is a term people throw around, based around whatever period of comics that individual feels is best, as again comics is an ever-changing medium. I've talked about this in a two part series here: Part1 and Part2.
Be your own critic, judge everything with your eyes and ears. Don't let anyone, not even your friendly neighborhood Comic historian tells you what's good and what's bad. Agree? Disagree? Comment. I'm happy to debate any point with you. This isn't a Sermon, it's a dialogue. Your Comic Book Analyst Jason
Follow on Twitter: @Jasonjauntist
Steve is Captain America, Thor Odinson is Thor, Tony Stark is Ironman. This are concert facts. In the eyes of fans of comics or movies this is true. Of this, I have no issue but what I do have issue with is people who aren't fans of legacy mantles being passed on.
We have had many Captain Americas, few Thor like characters and A few Ironmen and Women. This is the nature of comics. People take issue with the latest string of legacy passing on the basis that it cheapens and disrespects the mantle. Which is ludicrous. Utterly ludicrous. This isn't a issue of respect or not, it's an issue of diversity.
A lot of my fellow nerds take issue with diversifying legacy mantles because they believe this type of diversity is pandering, change for the sake of change. We've all heard the arguments. Why not create new characters? In truth, from a financial standpoint, that's been proven to be extremely difficult to the point that new characters fail before they get time to really grow. People don't like to read new characters from Marvel, they don't like reading a book they believe won't last 4 months.
This happens for a few reasons. One of which is from the jump, non legacy characters are setup to fail. Bad writers and/or Artist will kill any book. Marvel won't give up an A level artist or writer for a chance book, and why should they? From again, a monetary standpoint, is bad business. Disney won't have that, blowing money for a chance.
If a new character takes the mantle of a well known character, they almost always receive an top level writer and artists. If done right, this will create a new Hero that people can get behind and carry a title without the mantle down the road. In this day and age, you need a buzz for causals and diehards to spend money on your book. Period. It's a sad truth but a truth all the same.
Mantles are designed to be passed down, they exist to tell a story and build up someone's profile. Batman has a huge profile, so anyone who rubs shoulders in his books automatically in the eyes of fans gets legitimacy.
Look at Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan. She has the mantle of someone else but she's her own person. Without taking that mantle she wouldn't have had the writer and artist and buzz to get people to read her book. She would not have lasted this long without it.
Now taking someone else's Mantle doesn't guarantee success. It's just a jumping off point. You need to make this character unique and something people can invest in.
Character traits and personality give it uniqueness. A compelling story, and general tone of a book can give a hero originality that allows a hero to build a following to the point where they don't need a mantle.
Once in the door, Marvel and DC can give life to these new heroes. Life aimed at discussing social and gender issues. You would have the same stories but with new elements. Is showing a different social, economic, and even religious outlook a bad thing. If you think it is, I would take a step back and evaluate why "Gender and Race" swapped Mantles holders is so terrible. We've had many different Mantle holders over the last 70 years. Is a women worse than a alien for a Thor like hero? Or a Black guy as Captain America instead of Brainwashed assassin?
Let me know what you think, prove me wrong. I'd love to have a discussion. Join me next time for part three of The Comic Book Purist Problem.
If if you want to yell at me, leave a comment or personally shoot me a message on twitter, always your Rambling Madman Jason Shawn-Carl
Follow on Twitter: @JasonJauntist
So does anyone else question how comic book purist Come up with their logic like stop and think about it for second. a comic book purist is somebody who believes that comic book movies should match up perfectly to the comic books that they draw inspiration from. On the surface it sounds like a good idea right the logic breaks down when you realize what source material are they drawing from. comic books change every 10 or 15 years we have reboots retcons and relaunches A plenty. That's means that a combo. It's not asking for someone to drawl from the source material because there is no unilateral source material they're asking for someone to draw from their particular source material that they grew up with. Which is OK but Flawed.
In comics different volumes have different interpretations of the same characters we have read for years and years and years. In Volume one of Batman he's a completely different character than in say volume three. Characters evolve and characters change. This is the evolution of our beloved medium.
People fear change because it is unfamiliar, that is true in life and true in fictional comic book adaptations. It's not wrong to dislike change but it is wrong to try to hold everyone else to the same standard as yours, that is close minded.
Change in comic books movies is good, is it adds a sense of originality. I am a huge proponent of original movies. It's thrilling having movies be different from the original source material because it adds a memorial feel in my opinion. I like things being different, exciting, and unique.
We have to realize that the books we like are an ever-changing and evolving medium. That the comics that we grew up with and the characters that we grew up with are not the same that our parents grew up, and that our children will not have the same characters either. I know a lot of people say "oh well that's not my Batman" or "that's not my captain America" and well the truth is yeah it isn't and shouldn't be. The heroes and villains you grew up with from 20 years ago or 30 or 40 years ago. It shouldn't be the same character.
Both are supposed to bring up social issues that are supposed to reflect how people see the world and gives them an opportunity to see people with a different upbringing of a different ethnic group. He's social economic and religious questions that are hard to address in TV shows and movies. Comics are so great because that's what they do, they take you to a place that's not this world it's different that's exciting. The movies should be different they should be original they should have a different take on it if it makes it easier look at these movies as if it were alternate worlds like DC's elseworlds or the What If's from Marvel. That should make it easier for a lot of people and if you don't like that well that's perfectly fine but to call them bad it is shortsighted.
And I know what you're thinking that if they stuck to the source material the movies would make more money and that's just not true, comic book fans have to realize that. Comic Book movies are not made for comic book fans.
They are made with the general publics taste in mind. People who like the overall concepts of characters but in different environmental situations. If people loved comic books as much as We love comics the number of comic sales
would be up, because at least from a marvel standpoint they aren't.
Numbers tell you different story than what a lot of purist will tell you. Because it's not the same Fanbase nor will it be and that's OK. You like what you like, I will never judge you for doing so I think I will judge you for is for saying that a movie is terrible because it's not matching up to the books you grew up with X Amount of years ago.
Movies change, Comics change, movie quality standards change. It is how our medium works, it's how movies work, it's how comic books work, it is the natural evolution of fiction.
At least that's how me and a lot of other people think so. If you think the opposite, well that's OK but don't push your agenda on other people don't the right people for liking what they like.
This seemed a little light on details I know, because it was a intro into a series on why Comic Book Purist are a problem in Nerdy fandoms. Join me next week when I discuss why Gender and Ethnicity diversity and why that's a great thing in comics.
Always Your faithful Rambler Jason
Follow on Twitter: @JasonJauntist
Beyond the Hype: Captain America Civil War (Podcast at the Bottom)
Look this movies wasn't bad, wasn't good either, it was decent. Before you disavow me, i ask you to listen to what I'm saying. Im going to breakdown why this movie, after all the hype wasn't a classic like many are saying. Give me two minutes of your time.
First off the premise, I Love Captain America, as i said in my earlier article, my all time favorite CBM is Winter Solider, this movie was a letdown to cap, at least from a Moral stance. Cap is suppose to be someone we can root for, whose stand is something we can get behind. This movie failed miserably at doing, can anyone name one morally right thing Cap did in this movie? Or better yet one intelligent and responsibly thing he did? Refused to sign a legal document because his best friend was in trouble for killing someone, and i know what your thinking, he was brainwashed. To that I say yes, he was brainwashed but it doesn't make him any less of a killer who is wanted for at least questioning by the Law. Who is Cap to say that's wrong? That he's above the law of the UN? He's a Criminal full of arrogance and entitlement. Hard but true. He was The villain of movie. Hands down, his every auctioned proved heroes needed oversight. Bucky should have been in custody or worse, because he was a killing machine with no control. Despite how you feel about Bucky can we all agree he shouldn't be free to do what he pleased, for the safety of others, you know the people Cap is suppose to protect.
This Duck tape, Marvelously Consequential Plan was by far Marvels worst thing they had ever strung together. Every single part of plan was based on "what ifs". Cap needed to not sign the Accords, Fracture the Avengers, Break Bucky out of prison, have Ironman follow them to his base, Have them fight etc. What is he Enhanced? Because that's the only way that makes sense.
So the world is in trouble but you don't want to talk about the crazy Five Super Soldiers? No just fight? Why Cap, oh that's right because your the FREAKIN villain of the movie. It was stuffed with hype as only Panther wanted to hurt someone, actually kill Bucky, everyone else was playing the old "Superhero Slap Fight", dont believe me? When Rhody actually got hurt what happened? The fight stopped, Falcon even went to check on him because he didn't mean to actually hurt anyone. Why care if they were pulling their punches against each other but killed PLENTY of enemy combatants half an hour ago. Oh I remember because #FriendshipIsMarvelousMagic. I mean in the end of the movie, they were still Best Buddies, he even left him a cell to call him if he ever needed something. Remind me why I Should care they had a martial spat with super powers with JOKES JOKES and more.... JOKES. Nothing makes a moment serious fight to the death like humor.
WE live in the Golden Era of comic book movies and shows, where you can't go three months with a movie dedicated to a costumed hero or even a day during the work week without a superhero themed show. Most people are ecstatic about this fact, something I will never fault people for being. Personally, I think it's too much. I literally don't have time to watch all these super hero themed shows, id like to but in truth I don't. We have Gotham, Lucifer, Agents of Shield, Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, etc. all in one week? not counting all the Netflix shows. I've been in superhero overload, to the point where in truth I only watch one of the shows listed above, Lucifer because it's different from the normal fight the bad guy shows. Again, I don't fault anyone for dedicating a lot of their time to these shows, I really don't but I for one can't and truthfully I don't want to. The market has too many hours and too many movies, at this point i'll be selective on what I'm watching because of that. I am a Nerd/Geek what have you, but I just don't have the time or energy to watch all these shows that are either watered down or about things I don't care for. 2016, You got me, I'm burned out on Superheroes in Shows, I Tapout yo.
I am Unmoved by Trailers, Movie stills, Rumors, etc. I just don't care anymore, I am in my Soul a Nerd and I always will be. That being said, I'm over the idea of seeing my heroes on the big screen, Cinematically I'm done with it. I will watch superhero movies with the sole purpose of breaking them down and reviewing them for my job, but all hype and excitement have been taking out of the equation. Which in truth means my reviews will be unbiased, so that's a pro. If I lose readers for my honesty so be it. There exists people who share this same stance and I want you to know you're not alone. You can be A Nerd without caring about superheroes on the screen. I'll see you wonderful people in the Comic Books, I'm going back to what makes me happiest, Reading Comics!
Your Honest and soon to be hated Reviewer Jason
Follow on Twitter: @JasonJauntist
Confidence and the creative process by Jason.
See, when you make something spending money, time and effort, why do you do it? Do you do it because you feel like some people will like it? Or do you it because you are wanting to make a statement. To show the world why you are something to not be ignored. My mother always used to say that if you don't do anything for someone else, you will most likely be disappointed, that was something that always stuck with me.
You should do things that matter to you, that reflect who you are, that show the world how damn amazing your ability is. Not in an arrogant way but like how a musician creates something to better the world. Creating music is an art form, like writing comics, writing a book, etc.
Personally I direct multiple Podcasts and am writing a fiction book, and I am Damn proud of those facts. I put my all into these things, and that means putting considerable time and energy into the creative process. Many people overlook this stage or even gloss over it, making up things as they go along. I don't recommend that, because that half-assing content creation. If your going to put in anything less than all of you into something, I recommend not even trying. Pardon my language but I have a saying for putting your all into something. You should "Tattoo it on your D**K" meaning commit completely to something and wear it with pride. When people get tattoos they think insanely hard about what to get and what it means. Why? Because a tattoo is a representation of who they are, and by such it should be thoroughly planned out and when all is said and done, you should be damn proud of it. I say, the creative process is exactly the same as tattooing something onto your body, if your going to do it, be completely sure its what you want and after you create it, don't let anyone tell you its anything less than amazing.
You want a motivational speech I got one for you:
And remember, you want to create something "Tattoo It on Your D**K"
Your Jauntist Host Jason
Follow on Twitter: @JasonJauntist