I Can Relate: The Promiscuous Girlfriend (World's Finest #3)

World's Finest #3

This one is more so for the ladies, and it’s rather strange saying that considering that I’m a man. It also pertains to a rather sensitive subject within a woman’s circle of friends. Within every group though, both male and female there is one with more loose morals than the rest of their friends. Stereotypes would tell you that males encourage such behavior, while females discourage. Granted this is most definitely not always true. Yet it still does happen. For the sake of this blog though, we’re going to be looking at the ladies this time around.

ZOMG! KARA!

World’s Finest has been following Power Girl and Huntress since they first arrived from Earth 2. Through a series of flashbacks we see the early hours of Power Girl and Huntress stay on Earth Prime. In the third issue we see a flashback of Helena and Kara hanging out in London where Helena is trying to discuss information she has discovered about Earth prime’s heroes, but Kara has no interest in learning and only wishes to return home. At one point in the conversation Helena makes the comment: “You see Parademons under every bed.” At this point Kara puts on a small smile and twirls a strand of her hair around her finger while replying: “Well…not under every bed”. At that point understand what Kara’s implying Helena swipes at her with the folder she’s carrying while exclaiming her name, while Kara so innocently replies, “what? Just checking comparative anatomy…” Also during this point we can see that Helena’s attire is more business appropriated while Kara’s is more advertising. Before their departure, Helena asserts her authority in telling her friend where to meet next and not to get distracted, while Kara nonchalantly replies: “Don’t worry Hel,… I know my priorities.” While eyeing the two men behind her that are checking her out.

You know I'm responsible.

Now being a guy I haven’t had anything like this happen to me directly, but I have seen something like this go on between the women I have been around. Two girlfriends are hanging out when one of them spots something they like, and makes a comment that makes their friend turn red in the face. Sometimes the one that is embarrassed by her friend’s nature will act like Helena and sort of swat at their friend to snap them out of their intrigued state. Others will turn and walk away while saying, “I’m not with them.” To any that pass by. Sometimes won’t be entirely embarrassed by their friend’s nature, and just roll their eyes and continue about their own business, preferring to meddle in their friend’s promiscuous approach to others.

The goal in dealing with these situations though is not to stop this, except when it is causing harm to the promiscuous one, or to others involved, but other than to realize that it does happen and except a person’s nature for what it is. Every person in different in their approach to life whether they be more business oriented in their endeavors like Helena or more free spirited like Kara. Either way people will do what comes instinctive to them.

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I Can Relate: Good Uncle Gone Bad (Ultimate Spider-man 11 and 12)

Ultimate Spider-Man #11

I had this idea for a new series of blogs, and the thought came to me while catching up on my comics the other night, and one of the comics I found myself reading was Ulitmate Spider-Man issue #11, when something happened in the book that made me feel like I could really relate to that moment. That’s what “I Can Relate” is about. I’m going to take those certain moments from comics that seem to hit at core points that can happen in our own lives. Tonight though I want to talk about when a favorite family member lets you down.

If you haven’t been keeping up with Ultimate Comics here’s a quick rundown of what has happened so far. Peter Parker has died, and Miles Morales, nephew of Aaron Davis, aka the Prowler, has a similar accident, and becomes the new Spider-man. Miles became the new Spider-man as a result of the Prowler robbing Oscorp of one of its experimental spiders. When Miles went to see his Uncle the Spider got loose and Miles was accidently bitten. Aaron eventually puts two and two together and discovers that Miles is the new Spider-man. Aaron then tries to blackmail Miles and use him as a sort of enforcer to help him take down the Scorpion, and other forms of criminal activities. If he doesn’t Aaron will reveal to Miles father that he is Spider-man knowing well that Miles father disapproves of costumed heroes.

The Good Times

The panel in question is on the very first page of issue eleven. In the top corner you can see: 5 years ago. Miles is sitting in his Uncle Aaron’s living room watching a kung-fu film. Miles is mesmerized by what he sees, and when it goes off he is so excited that he asks his uncle if they can watch another one, Aaron says he can’t, but promises that another time they might. Being somewhat responsible he sends Miles home to his parents, but tells him that if his dad asks he was doing his homework. Miles being the child sees his uncle as cool, and thinks the world of him because Uncle Aaron is his “buddy”. Then things change.

A Hero Gone Bad

The next panel skips to present day where Uncle Aaron and Miles are on a roof both in their respective costumes. Uncle prepares to take down the Scorpion and enlists the reluctant Miles help. After the fight with Scorpion Miles sees that his Uncle is using him, and refuses to help him again. Aaron tries to blackmail Miles by threatening to tell his parents about his costumed heroics. For a while Miles tries to brush his uncle off, but Aaron continues to harass him, and when Aaron threatens to hurt him or possibly someone close to him Miles confronts his Uncle warning him to stay away from him and his family. The Prowler enraged at his nephew disposition attacks and Miles is forced to fight him. During the fight there are moments when Miles seems to show small pockets of mercy towards his uncle, showing that he does remember the good times he had with his Uncle.

Standing up and against

This moment is massive in its emotional tension, and potential relation to its readers. Though not all of us, there have been some of us who have been let down by a family member. We remember the times we had when we were younger: the simpler times. For example, there is a member of your family that you love. They are cool, fun to be around, they are your buddy, your hero, and you can’t wait to grow up to be just like them and do what they can do. Then that day comes when you do grow up, and time does what it does best: It changes things. Say you see that uncle, brother, sister, cousin, or whoever for whom they really are or what they have become. You see that dark side of them. Now all of a sudden that person who was once your hero, disgusts you now. You can’t fathom what happened, and it disturbs you to no end, but that person who you once wanted to be like, you want to be nothing like at all now.

Most of the time we all have our own ways of dealing with family members like Mile’s Uncle Aaron. Some ignore them, some confront them, and some completely shun them and cast them out of their lives. I believe though, people tend to remember the things that make them happy, even those times when that despised family member was once upon a time that person’s hero. It doesn’t matter how heartbreaking it is to remember those good times, people will still remember them.

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In Memoriam: Ray Bradbury

Here in these past weeks, I have started to doubt my desire to write. Having not written anything in so long, and not making the time to do it I began asking myself "Do I really want this? Is writing what I really want for my life, or am I just fooling myself and trying to play a role that I've made up in my own head." In the past couple of days the doubts really set in and I started to tell myself "I'm not a writer." I had once again given up (I've done this more than once), but then tragedy struck this morning, when I turned on my computer to the internet and saw in the headlines "Sci-Fi Legend Ray Bradbury Dies at 91" I was immediately struck with grief, and then some regret to hear that such an inspiration to me was no longer on this Earth.

I almost don't feel worthy to write anything about Ray Bradbury, because I often have seen myself as the very embodiment of the personality that Ray Bradbury did not agree with: a self conscious person that doesn't read. I've never read any of Ray Bradbury's novels, and I've only read a few short stories. Most notably I've read: "The Lake", "The First Day", and "Heart Transplant". Since I've read so little of Ray Bradbury's works it is a wonder how can he be an inspiration to me as a writer. Though I haven't read his works, I've seen videos of his speeches and listened hard to the words he had to say. The one thing that he said that has always stuck with me is:

"You're supposed to be having fun! You're supposed to be living your life. You're put on this world to enjoy yourself, and not to worry, and not to think about it, and to be unhappy. If you're unhappy get the hell out of writing then. I have no time for you if you're going to be self-conscious. If you're going to ruin your life with thinking. I want you to make your life with feeling...with loving...That's what you're here for. You're put on this world to love the act of being alive."

This one except from one of Mr. Bradbury's presentations has often been the source of my doubts, but at the same time the source of my often revitalized passion. When I "think" on this part of his speech I often think I should give up writing because of the unhappiness that I have been surrounded by through unfinished projects, unrealized ideas, and rejections. If I go by how I "feel" then the truth would be that those times that I was writing were some of the happiest moments of my life. Those times when I would finish a short story, a chapter, or a scene from a chapter. Then people would read them and tell me how amazing that story was. Those were the moments that put a smile on my face, and made me happy and love being alive. It was that feeling that resulted in me calling myself a writer.

Many religious folks that I know say that "God works in mysterious ways", and I always took that as meaning that things often happen at just the right time even if we don't always see why it at first. Just this morning I was talking with a friend about how I wasn't sure if I was going to write anymore, because I thought I was fooling myself. It was shortly after that when I heard the news about Ray Bradbury's death. It was so ironic that I would just so happen to be ready to put my own writing to death right when one of my greatest writing inspirations had passed on. In his death, Ray Bradbury was trying to tell me something, and that was you are still alive, and don't stop that which makes you happiest to be alive.

Ray Bradbury once told a story of how he went to a carnival as a boy and the man in the electric chair with a flaming sword pointed his sword at Ray and said "Live Forever!" This was one of the events that led Ray Bradbury into being a writer, because after his encounter with the carnival man he began to think that through writing maybe he could live forever. One of the things that I have always wished for was to be able to meet Ray Bradbury. I thought that if I could meet the man then he would have some magical words that would ferment my desire to write in me forever, and that I would never again loose it to my own self doubts. I wanted Ray Bradbury to do for me what the Carnival man had done for him. I now know that was a foolish notion, because Ray Bradbury has already done that for me, and I never had to meet him in person. Ray Bradbury's words about love and life have stuck with me since I first heard him speak, and I hope they will for the years to come, and that I will never forget them for as long as I should live.

Rest Peacefully, Mr. Bradbury. I thank you for all your passionate words about love and life, and your teachings through your inspiring words. You were and still are an inspiration to us all.

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 - June 5, 2012)
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Funny Papers

Every once in a while I pick up the comics section of the Sunday newspaper. It's always little short clippings like Peanuts, Blondie, or Garfield. On the opening weekend of the Avengers three comic/superhero themed comic clippings made it into the paper. Each of these made me laugh a little, and I thought it was a rather interesting take on Superheroes for them to be featured in the "Funny Papers".

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A Be-Drugging Issue

When it comes to the Young Justice television series I've been a little behind on the times. I've missed every single episode since the series started back earlier this year, but since the new episodes are still considered to be part of season one my itunes season pass was still in effect, so luckily I was able to catch up on everything I had missed. One of the most interesting things I've noticed is that once again drug use has made it's presence known in the lives of the young heroes, but this time is just so happens to be a little different.

Long time fans of Roy Harper remember the dark times that Roy struggled with an addiction to heroin. It all started during the "Snowbirds Don't Fly" Story arc that occurred during issues 85 and 86 of Green Lantern vol 2, which was later reprinted under Green Lantern/Green Arrow series. Prior to this Roy had went through the disbanding of the first Teen Titans, a break up with Donna Troy, and his mentor Oliver Queen loosing his entire fortune. It was a really tough time for Roy, and during that time Oliver was not around that often due to being off on missions leaving Roy without a mentor to help guide him during this tough time. At one point Roy explains to Hal Jordan that people turn to drugs because there is a lack of something somewhere else in their lives. In Roy's case, it seemed to be the absence of his mentor.

In the Young Justice TV series, Superboy is relatively the youngest among the young heroes. He came into the world without anyone to call his family, and desired nothing more than to become Superman. Though he is taken in by the others (Robin, Miss Martian, Aqualad, etc) and considered part of their "family" Superboy still lacks what the others have, and that is a mentor. Superman is reluctant to have anything to do Conner and it seems to be having a negative effect, especially now that Conner has come into contact with Lex Luthor and received the "Shields" from him which are a chemical substance in the form of a patch that Connor indulges in. For those who don't know what the shields are here is a quick bit about them, and for those who don't wish to be spoiled I will cover it up.

Conner is only a partial clone of Superman. His genetic structure is made up of both Human and Kryptonian DNA, because cadmus proved that a perfect Kryptonian clone was too unstable to be controlled. Though Conner is more capable of intelligent thought than a perfect clone (Project Match) his human DNA creates complications. His strength is nowhere near Superman's and he lacks certain powers such as flight and heat vision. The Shields are a patch that supresses the human DNA in Connor's system, giving him the full abilities of a Kryptonian. The Shield's appear to be having an extra side effect in the form of increased aggression, as hinted in the most recent episode "Performance".

More interestingly is DC still supporting what Roy Harper initially said about why people turn to drugs:

"Say a young cat has someone he respects...looks up to...an older man! And say the older man leaves...chases around the country...gets involved with others and ignores his young friend! Then..the guy might need a substitute for friendship. He might see it in junk! ~Roy Harper

What Roy is saying is that the absence of an adult role model can cause a young person to make bad choices. Personally I believe that an adult role model can often help a young person in making life choices, but no matter what an adult does that young person is still going to make mistakes, and sometimes choose not to heed advice -- like how Jason Todd's death was the result of Jason's own mistakes during a mission. If a young man or woman though does not have a mentor, or is in some sense abandoned by their mentor it can and more often than not will make things more difficult for that young person because they now have to learn on their own, and abusing drugs is only one of a plethora of bad decisions a young person can make. In the case of DC Animation using "Shields" as a reference for drugs, I think it's a clever move on their part, and more than likely, since it is a kids show, may finally bridge the gap between Superman and Superboy.

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Noting Tropes: The Deceitful Seductress

So are women really cold-hearted Succubi out to take advantage of all the men in the world? Probably not, but I’m sure that first controversial question will grab the attention of quite a few angry onlookers. Still I have to say that comics happen to be setting a different tone here lately in the regards of some women – or perhaps creators have always have done this in comics – and the conniving nature of certain characters that just so happen to be women. What these women are doing is that they are using their sexual wiles to use others,-- particularly the opposite gender -- to achieve some sort of ulterior motive. Granted that men do this too in a social standing, but I’m not arguing gender specifics here.

What we are looking at is the Deceitful Seductress trope. One of the earliest stories of the Deceitful Seductress is the story of Samson and Delilah from the Bible where Delilah tricked Samson into telling her the true source of his strength which turned out to be his hair. While he was asleep Delilah cut his hair and handed him over to his enemies, and when Samson tried to fight back he discovered that he had lost his strength. He was defeated, blinded, and imprisoned. Since then Delilah has been the epitome in which all other deceitful seductresses are based after.

The Deceitful Seductress has most recently appeared in Daredevil issue eight and Nightwing issue five. In Daredevil, Black Cat has entered into an intimate relationship with Matt in order to steal a piece of evidence in his possession. While Raya Vestri in Nightwing distracts Dick Grayson -- at first by sleeping with him then by not speaking to him -- in order to assist Saiko who has been attempting to kill Dick since the beginning of the title. These two are pretty straight forward in their deception in that they are using their sexuality and to some extent a little drama in order to deceive their victims, which is the nature of the Deceitful Seductress.

In truth, this trope has been around for quite some time in comics. It appears most commonly in Batman with characters like Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Talia Al Ghul. Catwoman first appeared in the Spring of 1940 and she has been seducing Batman ever since. Even though the seductress just so happens to be a very old cliche it sometimes can make for very entertaining stories and other times it can turn into an insulting disaster. As readers, we can only hope that the creators are competent enough to only give us the former; however, as we all have seen from the countless comics that have been produced over time the "insulting disaster" seems to be the more likely of the two stories to be produced.

In the meantime Black Cat got away with the CV logo!
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Unnessecary Ammunition

About a year ago, I started following Wonder Woman comics pretty faithfully thanks to a friend of mine. During this time I began to discover just how serious female readers take a woman’s depiction in comics, and it is a level of serious that I quite honestly didn’t expect when I first started collecting two years ago; however, it’s not just the female readers that usually have an outcry when an aspect of a character is changed—for example Wonder Woman’s costume change year before last. There was such a big upset over that, and it died down a little after DC published a few comics with Diana outfitted in her new get up. In upcoming issues though, it’s not necessarily a costume change that has me raising an eyebrow, but a change in weaponry.

The April solicit shows Diana sporting two golden pistols in a Lara Croft-esque combat pose. There are a couple things that interest me about this image though. The main one being the fact that Diana is using dual pistols, and that makes me ask: does Diana really need firearms? I’m not saying that Diana cannot use guns because in the past Diana has used guns before, but during that time she had lost her powers and that was a rather large machine gun. It is a well-known fact that Diana is capable of blocking gunfire with her bracelets, so gun fire usually proved to be no threat to her. Her defenses allowed her to get in close to take down her enemies before they could even reload. From an offensive point of view dual pistols would give her the ability of having a ranged offense other than a thrown tiara, but she has never needed more than that in the past and she has been under tremendous opposition before that gunfire has proven useless, so what real advantage would two pistols really give her?

These two pistols are made by Eros (a.k.a. Cupid), so why would Diana acquire this type of weaponry from a god of desire and erotic love? There is the possible idea that Eros has updated his arsenal and replaced his standard bow with golden firearms, but judging from the cover of Wonder Woman #5 it doesn’t look like these guns would be firing off “Bullets of Love” and if they are I feel that the repercussions would be rather…terrifying. Also considering Diana’s instincts and natural blessings given to her by the goddess Artemis, with a little practice Diana could prove to do quite a bit of damage with these weapons. Granted the issue has not come out yet and we do not yet know what sort of magical powers these pistols possess, if any. Despite that, I’m curious as to why Eros would provide Diana with such weaponry, because it is obvious that these weapons are intended to cause harm, and that in as sense seems detrimental to what Eros represents.

I’m not saying Diana shouldn’t use firearms, because I’m sure that Diana’s choice of weaponry would have little effect on her stories. It’s more so a question of necessity, and considering Diana's resources what real need would she have for firearms. I would think that a character like Diana who has little use for guns, nor a preference for such weaponry would actually use them, even if they were given to her by a god, especially when her current arsenal already intimidates many.

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Tragically Evil

One of my favorite magazines to read is GQ magazines. Normally I read the magazine to hear what they have to say about products that are far out of my price range, and sometimes I even read some of the articles. In the latest issue though I came across something that I’m not used to seeing in GQ and that was a comic that was titled “For God and Country”. As I started reading I was utterly shocked by what it was about. “For God and Country” was an illustrated telling of the last minutes of Osama Bin Laden’s life. The story was written by Matt Fraction who is currently known for his work in Iron Man, and it was illustrated by Nathan Fox. I was intrigued by Fraction’s depiction of Osama, because when you read the comic Osama reads like a tragic character.

“For God and Country” is written in two parts. The top half of each page has captions written from Osama’s point of view, while the bottom half is written from the point of view of the collective thoughts of Seal Team Six. When reading the top portion, Osama reads like a man who knew he was about to die and it is almost as if he had been waiting on it. We see a terrified and scared man as the soldiers climb the stairs after shooting down his son, Khalid bin Laden. We see sweat on his face as he looks at the SEALs coming up the stairs for him, and panic is written all over him. This is not the evil dictator that I had expected to look boldly into the face of death, and I begin to wonder: was it really like that?

When it comes to Osama Bin Laden the man probably knew from the moment he decided to give the order that resulted in 9/11 that the Americans would hunt him down and slaughter him. From the very beginning Osama knew he was going to die and for ten years he was on the run while his resources slowly slipped through his fingers. Ten years is a long time and during that time it can make a person think. We may never know if Osama proudly looked into the face of death that waited in the black abyss at the back of those gun barrels or if he trembled in fear while questioning if he truly did the right thing those ten years prior to that moment. Was death a release for the man though? Is it right to depict the man in a tragic way at all?

Reading this comic brought up memories of College Literature courses. In John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” Satan is depicted as an anti-hero who led a group of angels in rebellion against God because he was unwilling to be a servant. He claimed that Angels were self-formed, denied God as the creator of the Angels, rebuked his authority over them, and claimed that all Angels should rule over heaven as gods. Lucifer had once been known as one of the most beautiful angels in heaven, but due to his rebellion he was banished to Tartarus after suffering a staggering defeat at the hand of Jesus Christ. The prose of the poem is written in a way that depicts Satan as a tragic hero, and he is depicted in such a way that is meant to invoke sympathy.

The Joker is another very infamous character takes the tragic character stance. After reading Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke” and reading his version of the Joker’s origin story we see a man who has given up his job to pursue his dream of being a comedian. His dream fails and he has to resort to a scheme requiring him to rob his old workplace in order to provide for his family. His family dies in a freak accident and the crime goes all wrong due to Gotham PD and Batman showing up. Then one misstep resorts in the birth of the “Clown Prince of Crime” who came to be responsible for filling graveyards. The Joker did not deserve to become the Joker, but things just so happened to play out where everything would fall apart.

While reading the notes written by Fraction and Fox it appears as if the creative team did not want to portray Osama as a tragic character. If you disregard everything you know about Osama Bin Laden it reads like a tired old man who has lost everything and waited for years to die, and he is now facing his impending death at the hands of an execution squad all because of something he believed in. The same thing happened to Satan in Paradise Lost and with the Joker in The Killing Joke. All characters believed in something and they believed what they were doing was the right thing, but in the end what they believed in only brought them tragedy.

I honestly believe myself that Osama Bin Laden was a monster. When I think of Osama, I cannot see an old man that is afraid to die, but this comic “For God and Country” made me think a little. September 11, 2011 will always be a day that will live in infamy not just to those who live in the states, but to people all across the world. There were some that cheered when the towers fell, and some say that the United States got what they deserved, but regardless of what anyone says thousands of people lost their lives that day for no reason other than a few men who wanted to carry out a simple act of hatred. Knowing that Osama Bin Laden could willingly send hundreds to their deaths, and condemn thousands more to die, it is hard to imagine that such a man could be human on any level, but despite this Osama Bin Laden to some people was a hero that met a tragic end.

To read the comic click here: http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201112/osama-bin-laden-death-comic

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Dark Villainous Compassion

One of the last things anyone would suspect a villain to show is compassion, but here recently within the past year or so I’ve noticed it pop up from time to time. Most of your villains are capable of showing compassion, but usually there is an ulterior motive to their methods. Mostly it seems to involve the villain keeping their heroic counterparts on equal footing. Rather than take their enemies down in a moment of weakness, a sense of chivalry seems to take over as they either help bring their enemy back up, or set them back on the right path. Pity can also be considered as another form of compassion though. It’s a more negative form of it, but a form of it nonetheless.

The most recent form of compassion in the form of pity from a villain came from Killer Croc in a flashback moment in Red Hood and the Outlaws #3. We get a glimpse into Roy Harper’s most treasured memory, and as strange as it would seem, Roy’s treasured memory involves being brutally beaten by a cannibalistic monster that looks like a seven and a half foot tall crocodile. Roy refuses to back down though despite the fact that Killer Croc has broken his bow, crushed his quiver, and wailed on him repeatedly. Croc figures out though that Roy is trying to commit suicide in a “falling on his own sword” method, and that Roy is using him to do it. Then in a manner –that is very unlike Croc—Waylon takes hold of the boy and tells him to pretty much “to get his head out of his butt and move on with his life.”

This was the last place I honestly expected any kind of pity to come from. I don’t think we will really ever know why Croc didn’t snap Roy’s neck right there. Perhaps, Roy came across Waylon as so particularly pathetic at that moment, and that there was no real challenge or glory in defeating the boy. Maybe Waylon could relate to Roy’s moment of weakness which was why he gave him a second chance at living. It’s apparent though that for some reason a monster had a moment of compassion. Waylon is not the only villain to have shown compassion here lately though.

During the “Odyssey” storyline in the final issues of last year’s Wonder Woman volume Diana finds herself near death at the hands of fallen Amazons who have been resurrected by the Morrigan. Had it not been for Doctor Psycho’s obsessive nature, Diana would have died at the hands of Artemis and the others. Obsession is another form of passion and in passion one can show compassion and that is just what Doctor Psycho does here. Doctor Psycho leads Diana through parts in her mind to help her rediscover herself so she can fight against the Morrigan when the time comes, and he was also responsible for having her put in a hospital so she could be physically restored to health. Even though Doctor Psycho showed compassion in this storyline it was really based on the ulterior motive that she might feel passion towards him, and that’s the thing about villains who show compassion. There is always an ulterior motive.

Another example of ulterior motive compassion is shown by Talia Al Ghul in Red Hood the Lost Days. It was not compassion she felt for Jason that led her to throw Jason in the Lazurus pit against her father’s orders as much as it was more of a means to try to get Bruce to love her by giving him back something he lost. Things did not quite go to plan as Jason emerged from the pit a different being enraged that Bruce had not killed the Joker. Talia decides to help Jason though when she could have abandoned him. It is her own twisted love for Bruce that leads her to show compassion to Jason through training, resources, being a confidant, and even being a lover to him.

Perhaps the oldest compassion in the DC universe I’ve noticed comes from hatred and insanity. Though this is loosely based around the concept of there being no Batman without a Joker, it is still true that Batman is still alive when the Joker could have killed him several times and vice versa. It is probably more understandable for Batman to show compassion to the Joker by repeatedly throwing him into Arkham Asylum every time he breaks out, but that is the most obvious scenario. The Joker has even shown compassion to the Batman. Throughout several times in comics and other media there are references the Joker makes about Batman being his “favorite play thing”, which is what keeps the Joker from killing Batman or even unmasking him. During the events of "The Return of Bruce Wayne", the Joker went under the alias Oberon Sexton and served as a Batman expert and informant to the new Batman, Dick Grayson. The Joker was even the one responsible for burying the main villain alive at the end of the epic story arc. Though a twisted method of compassion the secrets and unspoken pacts between the Batman and Joker are still compassion shared by two insane men who both share “one bad day.”

Compassion in comics is not really an uncommon thing. Heroes show it all the time. In fact there is an entire lantern corps based off the emotion compassion. When villains show compassion though, it usually means something unique for the universal storyline throughout a comic universe. When Villains show compassion to their counterparts on the side of the law it usually means that the hero or heroine has reached an all-time low in their careers and the villain is the only one who can bring them back up. So what does this really say about our heroes? When our heroes have hit rock bottom the only one there for them to turn to is their arch-nemesis who on any other day of the week would love to see their brains splattered on the side of a wall? Perhaps the saying about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer is true after all.

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Delphic’s Guide to The Authentic Man

Note to CV Users: Before I became Delphic I was someone else entirely. Though I retain much of my former self there were qualities about myself that I did not even like, and I’m sure if the world knew them they would not as well, so to symbolize my changed life I discarded my former online Identity and took on the name Delphic. During the earliest hours of the rebirth of my online persona there was one blog that contributed deeply to the stance I would take regarding the treatment of women. This blog is no longer available to the public, but it was insulting and degrading to women and men everywhere, so it is a service that is no longer available to spread an influence. I took a huge stance against it and wanted to write a counter blog, and my only regret is that I've waited so long to do it, but I suppose now is better than never.

For several years throughout my life I have questioned what it means to be an authentic man. Within the past year I have made several discoveries through personal experiences and research on topics ranging from the basic behavior of a human being to a woman’s love for her husband. I now believe I have an idea of what it means to be an authentic man, and I will attempt to share my view on it. I am also hoping that others might learn from what I have to say, and that it might influence others to make much needed changes to their lives.

The Makings of the Authentic Man

The authentic man is a male who has taken on the responsibility of ruling his own person. He does this in such a way that he is able to interact with society on equal levels of intelligence and social understanding. He does this by learning how to: conduct himself, interact with his fellow man, interact with women, interact with a romantic partner, and how to interact with children.

The Fellowship of Man

The first key to the equation of the authentic man is to know what it truly means to be a man. When a boy is born he is shaped by the world around him into the man that he becomes. Reaching physical adulthood though is not the same as being a man, nor is it a simple question of morality. Overall the authentic man is responsible for his own being, and he accepts the consequences for how he rules his own body. He does not boast or brag his success, but he does make it known on what ground he stands through his actions. He does not attempt to rule the world around him, nor does he let others attempt to rule over him. In the end, what separates the boy from the man is a sense of responsibility not only to himself, but the world around him as well.The authentic man can communicate with others and form strong friendships, and it is almost imperative that he do this. His main reason for seeking out friendships is so that he might have some form of counseling. This counseling by his friends helps him to grow through teaching, but at the same time through challenge and friends can serve as a means of keeping his skills sharp. The main important aspect of having friends of a similar mind though is the well-known fact that there is strength in numbers. When a man seeks out friendships with likeminded individuals he is not easily broken by those who might oppose him.

Understanding The Woman

One of the most confusing things due to much debate is how a man should interact with the opposite gender. The first step on learning how a man should and can interact appropriately with a woman is by first understanding women in their entirety. Despite a few differences in behavior, a woman is the same as a man in that she requires the same basic physical, mental and emotional needs. A man should realize and accept that a woman will carry herself in a manner that is appealing to her own person even if the only appeal to her is her own survival. Like a man, a woman also desires power for herself, but she often tends to seek that power in different methods than a man would.

Interacting with Woman

Since man and woman are so similar then it is only logical to realize that a woman desires to be treated as an equal on levels of intelligence and social standing, and in that sense it would be proper for a man to hear her words when spoken and not simply dismiss them because she is a woman, though it is still his decision to weigh their worth to him. It is not imperative that a man be courteous to a woman, but it is essential that boundaries be set between him and every woman he meets. It is ultimately his decision on where he places those boundaries, but caution should be exercised because the authentic man does not attempt to rule over others, and should his boundaries come into conflict with a woman’s boundaries it can create unnecessary friction between the man, woman, and – more often than not — others in the world around them. The key is to remember that a woman wants to be treated as a man’s equal, not a slave, trophy, or even a “damsel in distress”.

The Romance

Sometimes in life the man will fall in love, and it is once again imperative the nature of the authentic male that he know how to interact with his romantic partner. In the relationship it is important for the man to treat his partner as his equal in such a manner that his partner’s opinions should have more sway over the man’s decision than any other. The romantic partner is meant to be the man’s second hand, so that he can trust his partner with matter’s that he could no other. In order to reach this level of intimacy the man most love his partner unconditionally in the sense the he would never betray his partner with infidelity of any nature, and that he would protect his partner’s vulnerabilities with the upmost dedication.

Appeals to a Child

More often than not a romantic union often results in the production of offspring and there is such a manner in which the authentic man conducts himself in regarding to children. To a young boy, the man is an example and a role model of what will one day be expected of him. To a young girl, a man should represent strength and compassion and a clear example to her of what it means to be a man. The relationship between a man and his offspring is far more specific in that he is not only an example, but he is also their protector and place of refuge while they are young, and when his children get older he serves as a form of council to them as they seek out their own path in life.

Martin Luther King Jr.
Gandhi

As I bring this guide to a close, I have to say that I am not so naïve to think that any of this is breaking news or that it will have any profound effect on the lives of anyone who read it. I felt it was important though that an example should be set for a man who doesn’t try to dominate the world, but instead calls the world to him so that something much greater can be built. If anything should be taken from this guide today it’s that there are good men in the world who have set strong examples of what the authentic man is, and they achieved a sense of greatness without having to dominate the world around them. So I ask everyone to take a second to remember those authentic men. The authentic man you might know may be your father, husband, or brother, but it is important that we let the world know about: how they live their lives, why how they live their lives is so important, and what the entire world can learn from these authentic men.

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