The FanEffect

Whoah! It's been six months since my last blog which was titled Hit or Miss - Arkham City Portrayals. I know, I know, I've starved my good people. Well, I've been desiring to get on my social high-horse and talk about something which has been sitting closely to me for a long time!

The FanEffect

 See what I did there? Anyways, this blog will be focusing on the effect that fans have on a character and how we perceive that character - not only that, but also on comics in general. 
 
Before I start - please please PLEASE understand I am not baiting or targeting anyone. If I bring up a character and its fans, blame your fellow fans, not me. If you want to see me baiting, go look at that blog I did about Jason Todd's fans (which, incidentally, I am now one of). 
 
Batman has had it with Bat-Fanatics
 
 
All of us, at least once in our comic-reading lives, have come across a fanatic fanboy. They go on and on about how flawless their favourite character is and are, essentially, relentless in their defense. It's irritating - do not try and deny that you aren't at least mildly irritated by vehement fanboyism. There is a fine line between professing your love for and defending your character, than obsessing over them. To avoid scrutiny, I'll use myself as an example. If you know me, you'll know I'm probably Talia al Ghul's biggest fan on this site (that was, until 2 weeks ago). I've made multiple threads about Talia, discussing why I believe she's the best partner for Batman, why he trusts her over Catwoman etc etc. I'll defend her if I feel someone is unnecessarily aggressive towards her character (meaning they have no evidence besides 'I hate her CUZ REASONZ'). However, that's about as far as I will take it. Sure, I have the most posts in the Talia forum (no that is not a challenge), but I'm not fanatic about her. I don't want my behaviour to affect how someone else views her. That's where the line has to be drawn. 
 
So much hatred for such an innocent character
 
 
Contrarily, I bring you the most fragile of examples known to this site - Storm. Prior to joining this site, I had nothing against Storm. I respected she was one of the most well known characters and most integral of characters in X-Men, but I never bore any form of antagonism towards her. This changed after spending a couple of months in the public comics scene, and most particularly, on ComicVine. I came into contact with a number of Storm fans who were ridiculous in their fanaticism towards the character. It is one thing to debate that Storm can defeat Iron Man - its an entirely different thing to debate Storm can beat Thor. I was shocked, filled with utter disbelief, and this disbelief slowly turns to antagonism. Now, any time I saw Storm mentioned, it reminded me of those fans, and I got irritated. That's the FanEffect. You mention the Storm forum to any veteran of this site, and they will cringe. It's the Chernobyl of this site - its a cordoned off nuclear zone. Why? The FanEffect. I've seen threads discussing Storm's hair, the material of her cape, whether she should change gender, whether she could make the sky green - you name it. I've spoken to less fanatic fans, and even they are ashamed of that forum. I respect that, because they hate how other fans are turning people away from the character they love.
 
I adore Batman, but to see fanatic fanboys turn people away from him? That irritates me, because you are not protecting or defending Batman - you're doing him a disservice
 
Which brings me to one more point, something equally close when it comes to The FanEffect. Movies. 
 
I don't care WHAT you think - don't ruin someone else's enjoyment

 
When the Avengers came out, I stayed off ComicVine. Partly because of the spoilers, but also because I didn't need to hear the rants of hipsters. "NYEH ITS LIKE, NOT EVEN THAT GOOD, TOO MUCH HYPE OVER IT AND ITS LIKE A JUMBLE OF POINTLESS CHARACTERS - LOKI SUXORS'. They present not even a slice of credible evidence, they just hate it because everyone else loved it. Who are you to rain on someone else's parade just because they don't share your negativity? I could respect their opinion if they actually supported it, but if it is just blatant, unsupported negativity, you're ruining it for other people. That is why, probably in the next four days, I'll be avoiding ComicVine, because I see the Dark Knight Rises on Saturday (Australia where I am). The Dark Knight is, easily, my undisputed favourite movie of all time. It has inspired me to become a screenwriter. I adore it, I'll defend it but I won't shove it down your throat. So, with this sequel, I am so immensely excited, and I don't want my parade rained on by negativity hipsters and the inevitable FanEffect.
 
As I bring this to a close, I leave you with some thoughts. Are we at fault for the FanEffect? As in, is it our problem, or is it the fan's problem? You might say 'oh, you should just learn to not get so frustrated at them', well, I would counter that with 'they should stop giving me a reason to'. The same goes with the FanEffect and movies - do other people have a right to go online and piss on a movie just because everyone else loved it?
 
Thank you for reading!
 


19 Comments

Hit or Miss - Arkham City Portrayals

Blog time again. I've recuperated from my last rant about how the Catwoman/Batman ship should not sail ... shut up, you're doing it again Rain. 
 
Anyway! I was playing Arkham City's storymode again for like, the bazillionth time, and I was just analyzing the portrayal of certain characters and whether I liked them or not. So, well, here's a little list I thought I might do and see everyone's opinion.
 
Remember, these are just my opinions of the particular portrayals. I won't be doing the Joker or Batman as that goes without saying. 
 

Mr. Freeze

Hit. I really thought they did an exceptional job with Victor. It is hard to take a character that was so horrifically ruined by Batman & Robin's portrayal. Hey, I loved it as much as the next guy, but that was from a purely hysterical standpoint. When Freeze has that helmet on and he talks, he sounds robotic and I love it. 

Bane

Eh ... miss. I'd imagine a few more Bane fanatics (I'm looking at you, Entropy) will talk about how Venom does not define Bane's character. Much less whatever this Titan ripoff is that was never explained in Arkham Asylum (I do miss that hot doctor who blew up half way through the old game, though). I liked Bane's voice - the accent was a nice touch. However, he's too much of an imbecile. That isn't Bane.

Hush

Hit. Loved it. The fact that he was voiced by Kevin Conroy made it so much better. You could tell Kevin was having a lot of fun doing the voice over. He was a creepy villain, probably the creepiest out of all the villains I came into contact with in Arkham City. I also liked that he didn't know Batman was Bruce, it added to the whole creepiness. Imagine some bandage-faced guy came up to you, took away the bandages and was the EXACT image of you? Creepy.

Ra's al Ghul

Hit. Biggest hit of the game. The first two words you hear are "Welcome, Detective". I won't lie, I paused and had a little fanboy moment the first time I heard it. Perfect replication of Ra's unique personality and his appearance was just spot on. I felt as though the developers actually sat down with a Ra's comic and went, okay, this is what he looks like. Also, the voice actor sounds very familiar. Any help?

Talia al Ghul

Hit. The developers took Talia's ethnicity seriously. Almond hair, tanned skin and, thank god, a relatively PG-rated outfit that reflects her origin. Stana Katic, her voice, nailed the accent perfectly. As a loyal Talia fanatic, this game earned RainEffect's Seal of Approval for Talia.

Tim Drake

Eh...Hit. He had like, what, two lines? Makes it hard to decide. I liked the design, though the hood was a little reminiscent of Damian's current outfit. Neverthless, he's pretty intimidating for ... well, the 'boy wonder'. Let's face it, outside of comics, Robin is a joke. Tim wasn't too humorous (which would lead into Grayson territory), so he gets the mild approval from me.

Two-Face

Miss. Boring. He's just a thug who talks a little bit louder when the camera is focused on his dark side. Dent isn't an idiot, so I don't know why the game made him look like one. Plus, he got his ass handed to him within the first ten flipping minutes of the game. Nice, Dent ... nice.

Penguin

Hit. Big hit. Why? The developers and voice actor are really trying to make you hate Cobblepot; and it works. Nice accent, gritty character design and an intelligent mind to back it up leaves me with the thumbs up. Even more so, it felt so good to finally waltz up to him and wail on him as Batman.

Harley Quinn

Help me out. I can't remember her from the Animated Series. But all I know is, she annoys the crap out of me. I'm pretty sure she never sounded like that did she? Besides, she had absolutely no relevance to the game, she was just there as eye candy for us and the Joker ... wait, that sounds dangerously close to her comics-self.

Catwoman

Miss. Talks like a prostitute. Walks like one. Even fights like one. I mean, who hooks up with thugs (who haven't showered or cleaned their teeth) in the middle of a fight? "Hey Harv ... way to leave a girl ... hanging." *Cringes* "I vote for a stay of execution..." *Cringes again*

Poison Ivy

Hiiiit. ....brb, mistress is calling. 

Deadshot

Hit. Seemed to really resemble the Deadshot we saw in Batman: Gotham Knight. Is arrogant at a distance, craps his pants when Batman gets in close. I liked the outfit and the voice actor. Not to mention, that little flash of him we get at the very start was superb. "Bruce Wayne ... you're on my list" Wearing bright orange never seemed so cool.

Oracle

Hit. The voice actor is superb. I wish I knew her name. I love how she's incredibly angsty, because it makes Batman seem all the more emotionless. When Oracle's panicking, Batman's just silent. I love the dynamic. 

Alfred

Hit. Big hit. Another superb voice actor. That scenario where Protocol 10 is activated and Alfred denies Bruce's request to divert satellite attention to Talia's tracker is just .... gah! So true to his character. He's the voice of reason for Bruce. I love it.

Hugo Strange

Hit. I don't know ANYTHING about Strange, aside from what Comicvine's 3 minute expert told me. Regardless, Strange is a creepy bastard. He seems like the ACTUAL villain of the game and Joker's got the backseat because of the actor's exceptional performance and characterization. 

Riddler

Hit. Blumbering idiot who hasn't discovered Batman's identity yet. Spot on... okay, that was a little harsh. Without Edward, the game would be robbed of 60% of its re-playability. It's a hit because he's presented as a nuisance, which is how Batman views him. We actually share the same view of Batman - "Man this guy is annoying. His riddles are amateurish and I can't wait to break his jaw".  Also, I LOVE the 'dogs with lazer beams' part. That made me LOL.  
 
Thoughts, guys?
51 Comments

Some ... 'interesting' Jason Todd/Batman discussions

I won't talk during this blog, but I'll just do a quick preface. During some discussions about Jason Todd and the ... assumption of him being a better Batman, I made a statement that Jason Todd fans are almost as blindly fanatic as Storm fans. Well, here is proof. 
 
I am not directly insulting anyone. I don't believe this is breaching any rules. These are direct quotes from users on this site.
 

"I don't think he hates them. I think he finds their methods to be, well, stupid and self-limiting. But as far as hate? I think he is more likely to hide in the bushes at Wayne Manor on Thanksgiving Day and look at everyone eating turkey dinner by a roaring fireplace and wondering why he isn't inside with the others -- wondering if maybe he couldn't have made different choices. But I don't think that's hate"

-Scott Lobdell

Negative

Post by ThexX (257 posts)  

I hate most of the Bat Family the only 2 I do like are Damian & Jason the others are a bunch cowards.

Posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

 

Post by DeadJester (87 posts)

I'm so tired of the whole Batman's a Badass. Give me a break! the guy manages to lock criminals away for like a week and they're back to doing the same stuff he locked them up for. He should take a few notes from the only person to be a good Batman and that is Jason Todd. Put a bullet in a few people and it'll be all over. But then they would have to come up with some more idiots a man with no powers and a lot of money can consistently put away. They oughta just let Red Hood kill off all the bats and take Gotham for himself. Make it darker, show him at his extremes, and let the money flow in because I know A LOT of people who are tired of the goody-two-shoes crap pulled by Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and Captain America.

Posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Post by CitizenBane (7,488 posts) See mini bio

So basically, to be a better Batman, he should stop the things that make him Batman? Sheesh.

Posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Post by ThexX (257 posts)

But they are stupid because they won't even kill The Joker how deserves to die.

 Post by cody1984 (1,310 posts) See mini bio

@RainEffect said:

Ah, Jason Todd fans. Almost as entertaining as Storm fans.

If Batman kills, then his entire character becomes irrelevant. If Batman kills the Joker, then the Joker wins.

That is such a copout. It makes no logical sense for Batman to let Joker live...hell he didn't have to do the deed himself he could've just let others do it instead of interfering saving the Joker which makes Batman look like a complete retard every single time.

@RainEffect said:

Don't you guys see that?

No because its BS.

@RainEffect said:

That is what Jason never understood. Killing is what separates 'us' from 'them'.

Their are so many characters in comics that kill and don't go over to the dark side becoming "evil" from doing so.

@RainEffect said:

Jason doesn't deserve to wear the Bat Symbol if he kills.

I disagree Jason should wear it as a F****** to Batman.

Post by yumyumbubblegum (522 posts) See mini bio

Bottom line is, Bruce is a pussy who's afraid to get his hands completely immersed in blood. Plus he has a fetish for young prepubescent boys. That's not taking anything away from him of course, but I'm just stating the obvious.

Post by cody1984 (1,310 posts) See mini bio

Jason isn't as stupid is batman and that is why he will kill someone like the Joker instead of making excuses like Batman does.

@TheBesrkr1016 said:

Also I dont see how anyone in their right mind can believe that THE GODDAMN BATMAN is a pussy compared to Jason Todd.

Its either that or he is retarded or both take your pick.

Post by Rabbit_May_Cry (236 posts) See mini bio

Why do people keep sayin' that Jason needs a road to redemption? In order to achieve redemption, you need to try to redeem yourself. But what does Jason need to redeem himself for?...Nothin'!! Sure he kills, but he only kills those who would've killed many. That, to me is a hero. The wimpy way Bruce and the rest of the Bat-Family try to be heros only causes more problems for others down the road. Most of the time Bruce would stop someone from killin' 18 people, and put them in jail...only for them to break free, and kill 50 people. By not killin' the person to begin with, Bruce just got 32 MORE people killed for stupidity of a moral code.

Jason saves more lives than the rest of the Bat-Family makin' him the better hero, so he has nothin' to redeem himself for. Certainly not for the puss tight-wearers that feel he's just a thug murderer.

And you still didn't take anything any from Jason bein' the better hero because he saves more lives than the rest of the Bat-Family. Hell, bein' a vigilante is against the law anyway. So to inspire more people to be like them...is to inspire more people to break the law. Which only makes Jason look even more like the better hero.
 

Positive

 

Post by redhood21 (33 posts) See mini bio

Jason wouldn't be a better batman, but he would probably be a scarier batman (as we've seen). Killing the joker seems so right, but batman is above Jason for not doing so. I love Jason Todd and I think killing entire criminal organizations may do more to prevent crime than fear of the bat, but I don't think you can say hes a better hero because he isn't one at all despite his intentions. Jason can't bring himself to kill the joker as he had the perfect chance in Lost Days and chose not to do it. He had the joker hogtied in gasoline and let him live. Don't get me wrong he is my top DC character, but he will never be better than Batman. He's my favorite bat family character because he isn't batman and despite trying not to be like him still has a part of him that follows what he learned from Batman.

Post by The Stegman (4,335 posts) See mini bio

i don't hate Todd fans, hell, i'm kind of a Todd fan, but i think it's idiotic for people to expect Batman to kill the criminals, it's not his fault they keep getting loose, he DOES his job, it's the damn courts for not putting the joker in a real prison, and the prisons for not being competent enough to keep their prisoners in line.

Post by KingofMadCows

Jason Todd's method is not more effective than Batman's because of what Gordon mentioned at the end of Batman Begins, escalation. The harder Jason tries to put criminals down, the harder the criminals will strike back. Comic books don't work in real life. There is a limit to how far things can go in the real world. A criminal organization in real life is not going to be able to wage a full scale war against the US government. There are no limits in a comic book universe. Think about this for a second, in the DC universe, it is possible for someone to gain the powers of hell or make an alliance with galaxy conquering alien warlords to supply their gang with some of the most advanced technology in the universe.

Putting down the bad guys won't help because not only do they become like martyrs but there will always be someone worse to take their place. The Joker does die but what happened after that? He inspired an entire gang of Jokerz that run rampant across Gotham for the next 50 years. You think killing Black Mask will be any different? Criminals aren't going to think, "hey, if a guy that's as bad as Black Mask got taken down, maybe I'm not safe either. I better go legit." They're going to think, "Black Mask was a punk. He was too weak and that's why he got rubbed out. If I want to make it in this town I have to be 10 times more violent and ruthless."

Post by Aero_gt (451 posts) See mini bio

Jason only opted from being a crappy Robin to being a somewhat decent Dc version of Punisher. Frank is still miles and years ahead of Jason in badassery though. Doesn't matter if Bruce has a lot of strength not to kill and allow others to fall in the jurisdiction of the Law, nor does it matter if Jason gave in and decided to kill in order to stop a few criminals. Either way won't matter Criminals are like Cock roaches, you stomp one two more are ready to take their place. In the long run this is an endless fight the whole good vs evil shtick, one can not proser without the other. Bruce and many of his successful robins and bat girls kept their character and sanity. There a lot of anti- heroes out there, but Bruce stays original and is a true down to the core hero, if he wanted to kill any of his villains he'd have like maybe two or three bad guys, but he'd never be himself again. Anyone can be a Red hood , just pick up a gun, learn how to fight, have a vendetta against crime, and kill anyone you see as "bad", but only very few people can be Batman mentally, physically, and emotionally. He can have lots of imitators, but he has no duplicators.


18 Comments

My issue with the Bat and the Kitty

It is pretty well know around these parts that I don’t like the pairing of Catwoman and Bruce, and I’ve never really taken the time to justify why that is. I’ve always been a supporter of Talia and Bruce, and many could speculate that as merely bias, but I wanted to take the time to actually get into detail behind my beliefs. You’ve probably seen me go at it with CitizenBane about the two couples, and it is hilarious when we do so, but for now, I wanted to turn a serious face and underline some important details.

I’ll do my best not to blatantly attack the character of Catwoman, as you might be surprised the find I actually like the character – more on that shortly.

First and foremost, the biggest issue I have with the Catwoman/Bruce relationship is that it breaks tradition. Catwoman, in my eyes, is a villain. Her entire schtick revolves around the idea of a cat-burglar. Catwoman is not an anti-hero, she is not a shade of grey – she is, at roots, a villain. The reason I say this is, my view of Catwoman ultimately boils down to the performance that Julie Newmar gave in the 1960s Batman television series. 

 Julie Newmar

That was the true Catwoman. She wasn’t trying to earn the acceptance or trust of Batman, she was doing what she wanted, when she wanted and if Batman got in the way, well, the games would begin. I liked that. It brought the ideal of a Femme Fatale back to its glorious roots. What do we have now? Someone who is trying to earn, or at the very least, stay close to Bruce. I don’t like that, not a single bit. Catwoman is a thief, a villain and she should stay as one. I loved her ‘purple suit’ days. They were the glory days, stealing and flirting her way around Gotham City. What happened? Writers tried to pursue a romantic option with Batman, and that was where it all went downhill. To be fair, I haven’t read Brubaker’s Catwoman series (and it should be stated he is my favourite writer of all time), so I can’t comment on her change in those days. But, in my eyes and from what I’ve read, she’s gone down a path she should have never gone down.

Square one, a romantic relationship is built on the foundations of trust. Batman does not trust Catwoman. He will never forget that her past was a criminal and a thief, the two very things he hates. I understand the counter argument to that would be ‘well, Bruce revealed his identity to Selina during Hush’ – true, but don’t forget, throughout the entire story, he was second guessing his relationship with Selina. Constantly he was saying to himself ‘she is a distraction, does my enemy want this?’ Even at the end of the story, he tried to be a detective about their relationship and talked about Scarecrow’s gas and Ivy’s pheromones. He did not think that his relationship with Selina was genuine. Compare that to Talia al Ghul; he didn’t know she was the daughter of Ra’s, so he was able to fully trust her from square one. 

Therefore, he was able to expose himself and then learn about her connections – dangerous, yes, but look where it got him. He was fully prepared to settle down and have a happy family with Talia (see scan). He trusted Talia, because Talia consistently proved that she would put him and their child’s safety before anything. I can name you a number of instances where Talia chose Bruce over Ra’s – love over heritage. This brings me to my next point.

Square two, Catwoman doesn’t like being at the mercy of Bruce’s crusade. She hated being followed, she hated being rescued, she hates the idea of ending up like Huntress and becoming an accomplice, or an associate, to the crusade of the Dark Knight.  

Talia, on the other hand, is more than willing to play second fiddle to Bruce’s devotion. She understands why he does what he does, and it was her who convinced him to return to Gotham during No Man’s Land. In fact, their relationship broke apart because Bruce almost killed himself trying to save Talia’s life, and Talia did not want the Batman to die before his legacy had been fully realised. In short, she didn’t want him to die protecting her because the world needed Batman (this all occurred in Son of the Demon).

I could go on further, but I’ll save some in case some readers want to debate. In summary, I will forever support ‘Team Talia’ because Talia al Ghul is loyal to Bruce. Ignoring Grant Morrison’s retcon (which he personally corrected, see Talia’s page), Talia loves Bruce and loves Damian. Hush, The Lost Days, Gotham City Sirens, Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul, Batman R.I.P, you name an arc with Talia appearing, and she has supported Batman or done whatever is necessary to protect him. That is why I love their relationship.

Catwoman should return to her rightful place; as a villain. Julie Newmar, please come back.
 
This has been a blog entry by Lucas aka RainEffect. Thank you for taking the time to read it, and I encourage any and all feedback, be it positive or negative.

58 Comments

Why I love Timothy Drake Wayne

In case you aren't aware, there was an aggressive blog post made by a user on why he hates Tim Drake recently. Now, we are all entitled to our own opinions, but that user stated a number of points, claimed they were his opinion, but also claimed that they were true - thereby making them facts; which they were not. I'd like to take this opportunity to stand up for one of my favourite characters in the DC universe and not allow him to be slagged off so unfairly. 
 
This is my opinion. I will not force it upon you if you disagree with it, but if you make outlandish remarks that are completely contrary to canon truth, I will be vocal in my discussion. Secondly, the only facts here are the points that I back up with evidence in the form of scans or references. I'll try my hardest not to theorise or speculate, but use concrete evidence to support my statement. Thirdly, I won't slag off another character or swear at them - I'll do my best to make a persuasive, and above all else, mature post. 
 
Here's a little something to set this blog post up.
  


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First things first, the most appealing thing for me is the fact that, above all else, Tim respects Bruce. He respects Bruce as a person, Batman as an ideal and the legend that his adoptive father will leave behind. While each Robin that preceded him, and the one that followed, all had their issues with Bruce, Timothy never clashed with Bruce's ideals. Dick was disobedient, Jason was too clouded and Damien is too arrogant. Tim understood what the Bat symbol meant, what Bruce's dedication to that life meant and ultimately, he bonded the most with Bruce. Now, you might argue with me there, but there is a reason Bruce handed the company to Tim in his will - Bruce saw Tim as a possible Batman of teenage years. Tim models almost every aspect of Bruce, which is why Bruce bonded with him the most. That is why I love reading about him, because it portrays what a teenage Batman may have been like and younger readers (I am 21) can further connect with him.
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Now, what separates him from the rest of the Bat-Sons is his upbringing. Whilst Bruce saved Dick, Jason and Damian, Tim saved Bruce. Cassie (Wonder Girl) said it herself. "Remember when you told me how you became Robin? You said that Batman needed a Robin. What happens when a Robin needs a Robin?"  (Red Robin #3) This was in reference to Bruce's dark change after Jason Todd was beaten to death by the Joker. Bruce almost lost his sanity after that, even Talia worried for him after that incident (Red Hood: The Lost Days #1) and knew that it would eventually destroy him. Tim had already known about Bruce and Dick's identity a long while before that, having deduced it himself. He came to Bruce and offered his hand to help. Tim had a family, he had a life, and he acted out of his heart to help the Dark Knight. None of the other Bat-Sons did the same, they were all rescued by Bruce. Because Tim was free of emotional baggage, he was able to help Bruce reassemble his shattered sanity and self-respect after the failure of Jason and became the Dark Knight once more. I love that about Tim. He shows a maturity beyond his age, and a good heart that did not need to be awakened by tragedy. He had a normal life and a loving family, but he reached out to Bruce.
 
What about when Bruce 'died' and everyone but Drake believed him to be dead? Everyone, from his old Titan teammates to Dick himself tried to talk some 'sense' into him, but he would not listen. Do you want to know why? Because he was closest to Bruce. Even Alfred, Fox and Oracle all believed Bruce was dead, but not Tim. Tim was the closest to Bruce and that is why he knew. 
 
Now, there has been a bit of slagging off of Tim's physical ability. Allow me to rectify some points. Tim never lost to Damian. He wasn't trying in any of their fights except their most recent one. That isn't my opinion, that is fact. "I've always held back for Bruce and for Dick." (Red Robin #14) What happens when Tim does try? In that very issue, Damian tried to ambush Tim by cutting his rope in mid-air and then attacking him on the ground. The moment Tim started trying, he broke Damian's face in two places with two blows, before the fight was broken up by Dick (again Red Robin #14). His exact words were: "You lost the second I started trying." So there's a fact for you. 
 
Secondly, Tim doesn't have the physical blessings that Dick and Jason has, but he more than makes up for it with his instinctual intellect. He took on the entire Council of Spiders (assassins who were at war with the League), including the Wanderer who can instantly kill with skin-contact and managed to get out in one piece. 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
That's coming from Ra's al Ghul, a person who consistently has proven he can stalemate Bruce. Tim has also fought Dick to the point where he has had the advantage (Red Robin #4). He fought Dick when he refused to return to Gotham to receive psychological help for believing Bruce was still alive. He managed to up Dick and hold his staff to his throat, thereby forcing Dick to surrender. He has also managed to hold his own, albeit in a very losing battle, against Ra's al Ghul (Red Robin #12). But the most important part about Tim is that he acknowledges that he doesn't have a superior physique like Dick and Jason do - he fights with his intelligence. He admitted this very trait when he defeated Lady Shiva - that's right. He defeated the most deadly martial artist in the DC Universe.
  


 
Of course, that leads us to the final and most important point about Tim Wayne - his intelligence. Instead of just talking, I'll let my scans do it for me. However, I strongly suggest you read up a little bit on his Red Robin series. He has outsmarted The Council of Spiders, Ra's al Ghul (twice), Vicki Vale and Anarky. Dick has also completely admitted that Tim is far more intelligent than him. Not only that, but if you remember my earlier scan, Batman Inc. was Tim's idea. Bruce acknowledges this. 
 
Crippling the League of Assassins right under their noses


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dick admitting Tim is smarter than him and a better Robin

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tim completely outplaying Ra's al Ghul - for the second time
 


 
 
As I bring this to a close, I hope I eradicated any doubt of Tim's place in the Bat-Family. Red Robin is my favourite series in all of DC (that's above the Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul, which is my all-time favourite Batman story). Timothy Drake is such a joy to follow and I love reading his new adventures. As I depart, I'll leave you one final scan to show why I love Timothy Drake Wayne.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This has been a blog by Lucas aka RainEffect. Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have any feedback, or even want to request a topic for me to write a blog on, go for it.  
 

68 Comments

Real Villain of Civil War

Phew! It's been a long time since I've written one of my serious blogs. Well, I figured it was about time I dissected something that has been on my mind recently - the events of Civil War.
 
This is not taking a side. This is analysing what happened after the events of Stamford and who was acting mature and who wasn't.
 
As we are all familiar, the Civil War really shook the foundations of the super hero community. It happened a long time ago, but it still remains one of the most memorable Marvel events. Now, I suppose I should state, in accountability, that I sided with Iron Man. I believed that the super hero community was causing more damage than preventing and the novices needed to be weeded out. But I'm not here to debate sides, I'm here to talk about the real villain of Civil War. People really abuse Tony Stark, calling him a variety of names and basically, well, a knobhead. But I'm here to bring to your attention someone who was the real cause of childish and immature behaviour.
 
Steve Rogers
 
"Oh here we go... He just hates the Anti-Registration side." No, not at all. I actually agreed with some of their stances (such as turning your family member's identity to the government). Steve Rogers acted immaturely and caused this to be a war, instead of a civil debate. Allow me to elaborate further.
 
 
 
Every time that the two forces collided, Stark didn't want to fight; he offered surrender. Cap wanted to punch on, like a child. 
 
Why? What good does beating the crap out of your old friend and former Avenger do? It doesn't change the government's opinion - it just makes you look like a rebel. If Steve really wanted to change the governments opinion, he would've taken it to the courts. Yes, he did, eventually, but that was after blowing up an entire city and almost killing Tony Stark. Where is your maturity, Rogers? Not everything can be solved by smashing it with your shield. You are supposed to be setting an example. All Tony wanted was to earn back public trust and ensure their safety - he never wanted to fight his friends. 
 

 
To Rogers, it was a childish argument about who was right and who was wrong. For Stark, it was about the people.
 
Even during the middle of the War, Stark was fighting for the amnesty of the Anti-Registration forces. He was trying to convince the government not to press charges against the Anti-Reg forces. 
 
 
 
What was Steve doing? Finding ways to sabotage the Pro-Registration Act and sabotage Tony's side. During their first big clash, Tony begged Steve not to get back up. He didn't want to hit him any more, he said just lie down and allow medical attention. What was Steve's response? "You really think I'm going down to some pampered punk like you?" It's not a school-yard fight, Steve - grow up! Then during the second fight, what happened when they moved to the city? The first thing Tony ordered to his team was to prevent all civilian casualties. Even when his friends hated him, Stark was making the hard choices and thinking for the people. Steve was fighting for himself and the desire to be right. That's not Captain America. Even when Spiderman bailed and Maria Hill ordered units to pursue him, Stark asked Hill to just let him talk to Peter. He didn't want anyone else to get hurt.
 
Stark vs Rogers. Stark wanted to knock him out and get him medical assistance. Rogers bashed his face in with his shield and was prepared to kill Stark. 
 

 
Do I even need to say more? Stark used the high-frequency audio device to put everyone into unconsciousness, but Steve fought dirty and pinned Stark to the ground, hammering his skull with his shield. It is up for debate just how far Steve would have gone, but remember that scene where Stark tells him to finish it? Steve was about to before he got pulled away by civilians and finally realised what he was doing. Who is in the right here? Well, it isn't about who is in the right, it is about who is acting as the adult
 
To cut this essay short, I hope I have made you re-think the Civil War. Tony is not a big knobhead as everyone makes him out to be. Don't forget the lengths he pursued to protect everyone's identity when Norman was in charge. Pro-Registration vs Anti-Registration - it is still up to your own opinion. What was wrong, was how Steve Rogers handled it. He became the villain, and he caused more bloodshed than necessary.
 
This has been a blog by Lucas aka RainEffect. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to respond with your thoughts.
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Justice and Revenge - Where does the balance lie?

Yesterday I switched on Foxtel and had a scan through the movie channels. I managed to come across the movie Harry Brown starring Michael Cain in the title role. The back-drop of the movie consists of Harry, an ex-military serviceman and widower, lives in a lower class area of London that is overrun with gangland youth crime. He lives out his days ignoring it, but his best friend Lenny isn’t as lucky. His days are spent in fear as youths vandalise his apartment and play pranks on him. One day, he is found murdered, which deeply affects Harry. Harry then sets out on a one-man war of vigilantism against the gangland crime in order to avenge his best friends’ death.

This brought me to a question that has been on my mind for a long time. 
What separates justice from vengeance?

Take the most famous of all stories, for example; Bruce Wayne. His parents were murdered and this inspired him to devote his life to a crusade of fighting injustice. In Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan explores this further at the court hearing for Joe Chill:

“Maybe I should be thanking him?”
"You don’t mean that.”
“What if I do? My parents deserved justice.”
“You’re not talking about justice; you’re talking about revenge.”
“Sometimes they are the same thing.”
“No, justice is about harmony. Revenge is about you making yourself feel better.”

Who is technically correct here? The dictionary definition of justice is:

  5.

the administering of deserved punishment or reward.

 
Does Joe Chill deserve to be killed? He took the lives of two innocent people and destroyed a young child’s. Surely two lives’ loss justify Chill losing his? In Nolan’s case, he spent 14 years in prison but was petitioning for an early parole in payment for assisting the police with Carmine Falcone. 14 years, in my opinion, is not nearly enough punishment for double homicide.

 Then we view Ra’s al Ghul’s vision of justice, which is very draconian. He believes in an ‘eye for an eye’.

“Justice is balance. You burned down my house and left me for dead ... consider us even.”

Would the world be better off with this sense of justice? Criminals do, as Ra’s says, mock society’s laws. Police are tied up in bureaucracy and criminals know this; that’s why they take their chances. In the case of Harry Brown, the youths aren’t afraid of the police. They know that, ideally, they are untouchable. Harry takes the law into his own hand and murders each and every one of them who are connected to his best friends’ death.

 I personally have no tolerance for injustice. Harry Brown was a difficult movie for me to watch as it has some very despicable scenes of assaults on innocents (which, sadly, occurs in the world) and it almost made me wish we had a vigilante prowling streets like that. In my opinion, if a man takes someone else’s life; then he himself should be paid back in full. I don’t believe in execution, but I do believe in a life-long imprisonment.

 However, say I had a wife and she was murdered. I can’t even begin to imagine how someone would act in that situation, but I know damn well that I would want to track the person down. Yet, I was watching Quantum of Solace and Bond states something that touched me.

 “The dead don’t care about vengeance.”

 That’s true. I can’t deny that. Would it be honouring to the dead loved one to kill that person, and in turn destroy my own life by going to prison? No.

Justice is balance, but revenge is personal. Crime should be punished, but the way in which the punishment is carried out is where the real question lies.

This is a blog entry written by Lucas (aka RainEffect). Feel free to respond with your own opinions.

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The Key to Movie Casting

What does it take to cast the perfect actor/actress into a comic book role? This is a question that has been on my mind for the past month or so. Is it physical appearance; that exact replica of a particular character’s facial expressions? Is it the way the actor carries his/herself; a way that mirrors the character in question? Or perhaps it goes deeper, to an emotional tie between the upbringing and experiences of a character and how they coincide with an actor? It is definitely an interesting topic, and one that I believe I have come to grips with in terms of my own understanding. So, without further ado, allow me to present to you my beliefs about the casting process and the keys to it. I will present two in-depth examples of, what I believe to be, perfect casting choices to further illustrate my points (then two brief examples).
 


First and foremost, I bring one of the most complex characters in the Marvel 616-verse; Natasha Romanova/The Black Widow. Now, as we are all aware, Scarlett Johansson landed this role in Iron Man 2 and, in my personal opinion, she did do the character a form of justice. I wasn’t critical of her role per se, more or less critical of the restriction that John Faverau was under (he was unable to give too much screen time to Black Widow, as she was just a supporting character). Scarlett brought the mysterious personality which is so paramount to Natasha’s character (“from legal” was perfect) however, I just felt there was something missing. Then I realised what it was after watching the movie a couple more times on DVD. She lacked finesse. The Black Widow is graceful, deadly, mysterious but above all else, she carries a level of finesse that makes her character so attractive, and I am not talking in the physical sense. 
 


What actress could possibly carry all these traits and still make the character so likable? Natalie Dormer. Some of you will recognise her from the Tudors. Those of you with sharp memories will also remember she played an unimportant (or important, rather) role of that lucky woman who hooked up with Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger. I encourage you to stop for a moment, and take the time to watch some of this short interview; there I can guarantee you will see a piece of Natasha Romanova as she speaks. Sure, she has a British accent, but that can be fixed with dialect coaching. What Natalie has is something so many mainstream actresses lack these days: she carries finesse. Not only is the physical appearance strikingly similar to the scan I provided (bar the red hair), but the way she speaks, the facial emotions and overall the way she carries herself with a mystery confidence. That is Natasha Romanova. 
 


Next up on my list is Daredevil. The movie was a flop and had so many things wrong with it (and this is coming from someone who has multiple Daredevil Omnibus comics in his collection). Ben Affleck was ... well, he was okay ... but okay doesn’t do a character like Murdock justice. What you need is someone who can carry the baggage that Murdock so desperately clings onto. To take a line from Daredevil #100 (of Brubaker’s run), Elektra tells Matt to stop clinging onto the past but he responds with “the past clings onto me”. Boom! So much insight into Murdock’s character right there! What does it tell you? He refuses to forgive himself for things in the past, and even if he tries to, they still haunt him. He’s selfish in that he refuses to torment himself ever again and therefore will, ironically, devote his entire life to protecting others. Above all else, Murdock is burdened, but he is a fighter. Like his dad before him, Murdock is a raw, burdened fighter. What actor could bring this across?
 


Aaron Eckhart. He was brilliant as Harvey Dent in the Dark Knight, make no mistake. But I don’t believe that Harvey was the perfect character for Aaron. No, he needs to play as someone on the justice side of the spectrum. I strongly advise you watch Rabbit Hole if you cannot see what I see. He plays a husband who lost their son (Nicole Kidman was nominated for an Oscar for her performance, what a shame Aaron wasn’t). The depth of which Aaron tries to bury the sadness and press on, yet so desperately clinging to the past is just a perfected representation of Matt Murdock. Not only that, but he actually looks the part. Here is a direct out-take from the script-log of the original Daredevil; Daredevil #1.

“At Age eight, Matt Murdock is a dirty faced little terror. His hair is an overgrown weed, bright orange in color.”

The hair! The dastardly orange hair! What actor in their right mind would willingly dye their hair to that colour? Aaron doesn’t need to, because it is his natural colour. I know I stated that looking the part was only a third of the process, but Aaron has it nailed right from the get-go. Dare I say, the man is Matthew Murdock personified. The way Aaron carries himself, the way that he appears, the depth to his facial expressions; it is all a direct indication of Matt Murdock. That is how you cast an actor.

This blog will go on too long if I go into deep analysis of the other two characters I had prepared, so instead, I will just provide pictures and captions and allow you to decide for yourself. 
 


Christina Hendricks for Poison Ivy. Physically, this woman has every single aspect of Ivy, aside from the green skin. Not only that, but if you have sat down to watch Mad Men, you will see that the attitude Christina bears when on screen is ominously similar to Pamela Isely, especially similar to Gotham City Sirens’ Ivy.

 

 
Bradley Cooper for an older Bucky Barnes. I have the A-Team on DVD, and after watching Bradley a number of times, then flicking through my mountain of comics with Bucky as Cap, I realised he would be perfect. In the A-Team, Cooper is a joker and a pretty boy, but I wholeheartedly believe that, if he turned his serious game-face on, he could perfectly pull off the older and mature post-Winter Soldier Bucky. 
 


Bringing this entry to a close, I would like to state my beliefs once more. An actor/actress must have the physical qualities, that is a given, but it is only a third of the formula. They need to carry the emotional load that the character bears and not only that, but they need to carry themselves in the way that the respective character does so.

Thank you for reading and feel free to provide your opinions.

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Marvel has spat in the face of James Barnes

First off, this blog deals with the events of Fear Itself numbers 3 and 4. If you have not read those comics, then I advise you do not continue reading this post until having done so.
 
I'll be honest: Barnes is the most intricate character that I've loyally followed since Daredevil's FBI-outing. Yes, I was shocked by his death in FI, but I did nonetheless see it coming with all the arrows of Brubaker's run pointing to Steve reclaiming the shield. For the record, I don't like calling him Bucky, because he has outgrown that name and mantle. Notice that all the other heroes call him Bucky, but Natasha calls him James? I like that. It's noting that he's no longer that kid he used to be, but has become a man in his own right. With that out of the way, I have to say that the way they handled his death in FI was completely and utterly disrespectful to the beautiful character and personality that Brubaker has crafted over the time since Steve's death and the mantle passing. 
 
Don't agree with me? Think I'm just tooting my Barnes horn? Keep reading.
 
Firstly, I liked how he died. Barnes is a tough nut. He doesn't go down easily. He had a rather massive hole blown through his chest and had his cybernetic arm ripped off. If that won't put you down, then Logan called; he wants his healing factor back. I liked that.  That was about the only thing I liked about his death.
 
I will firstly address the dialogue. Having loyally (almost religiously) been following Barnes' run as Captain America since Steve's death (I only really read Brubaker's work, as Barnes is pretty much HIS character), I am disgusted by the completely out of character final words he gave. "Nat...the serpent is coming...." Might as well add on "with a cup of tea and some christmas cake..." What the heck is that? That is not the character Brubaker crafted. If Brubaker was running the dialogue show, I would have expected something much, much more meaningful. Hell, he probably wouldn't speak to anyone but  Natasha. If Brubaker had the show, I would, no doubt, have expected something along the lines of "Thank you, Nat." Aw, isn't that just lovely and soppy? Yes, but it's also context-sensitive. Natalia was, really, the thing that held him together during his time as Captain America. Seriously, if you don't believe me, I encourage you to re-read the Death of Captain America, The Man With No Face and the Trials of Zemo (or whatever it was called). She was the one constant thing that supported, encouraged and held him in check. It's context-sensitive. He would undoubtedly thank her for that. My side peeve is also that the dialogue writer had Nat yell "BUCKY NO!!" Again, I must have missed the part where the FI writers tossed out previously cemented personalities. I get seriously irritated just thinking about it. 
 
Barnes' death was over in two seconds. Everyone took a few seconds to stop, notice his bloody and limb-missing corpse, and then suddenly it's back to normal. It's those moments you get in a retail store, when the power goes out for a couple of seconds, then comes back on. People stop and note "that was strange", then proceed to shrug their shoulders and continue on with monochromatic activities. Really, Marvel? I mean, really? This is the guy who brought so much more life back to the Captain America story, the guy who stood up to Thor during the Secret Invasion and basically told the God of Thunder and mighty Mjolnir to get over the fact that he's Captain America now and Steve isn't. I wanted more reactions from those closest to Barnes. Sure, I understand that the book is focusing on the FI storyline. But come on! Goliath got more attention when he died during the Civil War. Goliath. I also understand that tie-ins and actual running series' loyal to that character will deal with the effects, but for someone like Barnes, he deserves more. Far more. I know that Natalia had her own tie-in with the Secret Avengers, hunting down the newspaper that is slandering Barnes' name. But I want more emotional reactions. 
 
Which brings me to my next point: does Marvel hate Widow? Seriously. They have really gone overboard in establishing her as carrying the widow's bite (meaning she seduces and kills with her bite). They've had her pursue far too many romances, some ridiculous, some legit. What annoys me is that the Barnes/Natalia relationship seemed permanent. Look at Liu's Black Widow run, Liu had Natalia drop the 'I love you' line multiple times in that run. Brubaker outlined pretty clearly that there wasn't anyone James cared for more. ...you know what? I'm going to stop there. I could write another flipping blog on this subject. I just might. 
 
Finally, and no doubt a controversial topic, killing Barnes for profit. They killed off Barnes because of the Captain America movie. Yes, from a marketing point of view, it's a logical decision as movie-goers will pick up some Captain America issues and wonder why Bucky is Captain America and not dead. You would think, after decades and decades in the comic business, Marvel might see the logic in creating a movie spin-off series instead of killing Barnes.  Oh wait! They did. Fantastic. Killing two birds with one stone, eh Marvel? If I was Brubaker (which will never happen as that man is unimaginably talented, and probably a gentleman), I would introduce the marketing team to this fantastic concept named character development. Brubaker has made this picturesque sand castle since Steve's death, and the marketing team has come along and kicked it to crumbles. Bullying doesn't stop when you leave school, apparently. 
 
In closing, I am ashamed of the decision Marvel made. I don't know what hurts more: the horrible defacing of Barnes' character development, or the fact that Captain America will no longer be an attractive buy (I'm sorry Ed, with all your writing talents, Steve Rogers is the most two-dimensional character since Ryu from Street Fighter). 
 
Here's to the memory of one of the most appealing characters of this decade.

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