Monthly Archives: February 2012

Avengers Academy #26’s Letter Column

By now it is very clear to me that I have a favorite writer at Marvel Comics – Peter David. His work on X-Factor has been absolutely amazing. Not only has he really explored the character of Jamie “Multiple Man” Madrox, but he brutally brought up and answered the question of what would happen if one of Madrox’ dupes were to impregnate someone. He was willing to go somewhere no one else would have and concluded it beautifully. The baby was essentially a duplicate, and Madrox immediately absorbed it like any other dupe. This was within a hour of the kid’s birth. No one else does that.

David has also outed a couple of the members of X-Factor Investigations. Shatterstar and Rictor have been revealed to be lovers, but their simply being gay is not the whole story. What is being explored is the relationship of one man who recently realized that he prefers only men after several years of believing himself to be bi (Rictor) and another man who is not only openly bisexual but also seems to push in the direction of polyamory (Shatterstar). This is a layered relationship that unfortunately gets glossed over as just a frou-frou gay couple in superhero comics. Never mind how mindfully it is written.

From Avengers Academy #23

A year or so following this reveal, the revelation that two of the teens in the Avengers Academy book are not straight was not very shocking. In fact, it was quite mindfully done itself. Striker, a guy who repeatedly threw himself at women for 22 issues, opened up to Lightspeed, a girl still trying to figure out her sexual identity, it really meant quite a bit. It added depth to Striker and really laid out who his character was from the beginning. Meanwhile, Lightspeed is also being approached realistically, in that she knows how she feels and really would prefer to not be forced into choosing anything. She likes people, not genders. Read the rest of this entry

Online Journalism Incredibility

Gizmodo, one of the many Gawker blogs, has what can be described as an antagonistic relationship with its readership. Someone posts an article, and the comments will be full of individuals complaining about errors. Someone else posts an article, and the same thing happens. Then Gizmodo will post an article about how people should respond to them, like the trolling article mentioned in a previous post. This will cause more complaints. Rinse and repeat. As this is a Gawker site, many of these articles will be posted in day because the staff members are told to produce. A site that updates multiple times a day is going to get traffic, traffic means money via ad revenue, and the quality of the writing means nothing so long as readers click something. The goal is clear. Read the rest of this entry

Buffy pushes boundaries

It’s starting to seem like Joss Whedon and company are going for shock value with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics. Last year they revealed that the big villain of Season Eight was Angel, somewhat possessed by an entity humorously called Twilight. Or not. It’s still kind of unclear, and it’s not at all clear how it fits into the Angel: After the Fall comic. Then there was flying super sex between Buffy and Angel. Then there was the head turning death of Giles. Ultimately we came unto the end of all magic. Read the rest of this entry

Chronicle

Have you ever wondered about the importance of Uncle Ben in the story of Spider-Man? Have you ever looked at any of the X-Men and said, “You know what I’d do with that power?” Have you ever just wanted your superhero stories to be just a tad bit more like Akira? Chronicle is the film for you. The story isn’t all that original, especially for comic book aficionados, but the storytelling is absolutely great. The film had me completely caught in its telekinetic grip by its conclusion. No other superhero, or comic book-type, movie comes close to how well this was done. Captain America? Good. Kick-Ass? Good fun. Super? Dark fun. Chronicle? The new benchmark.

This movie is also for people who were pissed that Magneto didn't get his own movie. Oh, and Doctor Doom.

Read the rest of this entry

No ‘Facebook fatigue’ for longtime users | Reuters

No ‘Facebook fatigue’ for longtime users | Reuters.

“This examination of people’s activities in a very new realm affirms one of the oldest truths about the value of friendship,” said Lee Rainie, head of Pew’s Internet project. “Those who are socially active have a better shot at getting the help and emotional help they need.”

They need emotional help? I don’t like the way this article was written. That implies to me that the users of Facebook are turning to the site instead of going to therapy. To be completely honest, your friends on Facebook are most likely to be emotional enablers, supporting most of your choices no matter how stupid they are. If they didn’t do that, it takes only a few clicks to unfriend someone.

The article means emotional support, which does not make it better. There’s nothing socially active about Facebook, or any social network in general – I explored that a while ago. This is all about providing your network with your best face and in return getting the best response. There’s no dislike button on Facebook for a reason, and, like I said already, those who are disagreeable are easily silenced. Facebook is all about positive feedback.

And the reason longtime users experience no fatigue or, in other words, have no desire to leave the network is because it’s difficult to go from positive feedback all the time to having nothing but your own means. I’m certain there’s a bit of withdrawal involved. Yes, I believe that social networks can cause addiction; I believe that Facebook is worth billions because of addicts.

Reading between the lines

Dating Site Says Android Users Are More Likely to Give It Up on the First Date

Thanks go out to the Consumerist for bringing this article to my attention. It says that not only are Android users more likely to have sex on the first date, but they are also more likely to have one night stands and access dating websites than people who use iPhones or Blackberrys. Meanwhile, iPhone users are more likely to have office romances and call someone a day after the first date. Lastly, Blackberry users are most likely to drink on the first date and admit to having experienced love at first sight. But what does this all mean? Read the rest of this entry

Rubber

Rubber seems to have a more interesting concept than its creator/director, Quentin Dupieux, seems to acknowledge throughout the film. The idea of a sentient tire with psychokinetic abilities that can cause people to explode is fun for unabashed fans of the absurd. Unfortunately, in its 82 minute running time, it’s not allowed to be just that. Read the rest of this entry