Broken Face Lines

While reading the most recent issue of Shahrazad, and again among the mostly disparate plot, I noticed that the artwork was once again of the highest level (though usually not reason enough for me to read a series.) One panel in particular caught my eye for its layout:

An interesting way to show the main character choose her weapon, but as I looked closer at it I realized that the lines don't exactly match (I am not much of an artist though.) It would seem as though the cheeks do not match above and below the blade, though it would seem as though it would be easier to draw the face first and then draw over it with the blade?

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Green Backs

This is just something interesting which I noticed when watching the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer, and by interesting I don't necessarily mean good. In considering the concerns about the internet few are more debated than pornography. Without getting too much into my own personal impressions, my opinion veers towards that of being critical, mostly because of the negative effects that it has on both men and women. In both cases it makes the act of sex much more artificial, at least if pornography is seen as some kind of test by which intimacy should be judged. I recently watched an interesting TED video on this subject, specifically about how pornography promotes a number of social ills. It is not my intent here to criticize pornography, but rather to highlight one aspect of it.

Another criticism (and maybe an explanation) of pornography comes from evolutionary psychology, which postulates that as the human mind is on one level incapable of figuring out that the images on a screen are not real, that men project themselves onto the featured males more than they realize. I am not sure if this is actually the case, no one is. It is just a theory, but it is an interesting one, because it also asserts that part of the reason that pornography is so appealing is because of the voyeurship of the experience, essentially that it gives an option for multiple sexual partners.

This comes back to the trailer, in that it featured a scantily clad green alien played by Zoe Saldana

What is more this is not the only scene in the past few years with Zoe Saldana and a scatily clad female alien, the following from the Star Trek reboot:

Although science fiction movies are not devoid of gratuitous nudity (including partial - for instance either Carol Marcus of Uhura seen changing in both of the new Star Trek movies) what is interesting is the presentation of gratuitous green nudity. In the world of over exposure to pornography it might be the case that the presentation of green female aliens is one of the last that a hardcore porn watcher has not seen or experienced. As such this is maybe a sort of cheap manipulation to get more exposure to the movie, an otherwise denied voyeuristic sexual experience granted.


What to wear - Zoe

The recent Guardians of the Galaxy trailer gave us another look at a comic book hero brought to the big screen, in this case Gamora.

Other than a scene showing her back while being topless, it was hard to get a screen shot from the trailer, so this one of the characters in a like will have to stand in. Still its enough to have a look at for fashion's sake.

Cleavage - Just about as much as you might expect on an average superhero, I guess in this case the character deserves a bit more credit as Gamora is not a typical superhero, rather more of a comic character, and so the challenges of exposed skin as first identified are not as important.

No colour - Good, especially considering that she can't do much with her green skin.

High Heels - Couldn't really see, but presumably completely functional.

Loose Hair - This is the same common problem with most female characters in action movies. Loose hair means something to grab onto! And therefore an easy way to incapacitate people.

Jewelry - None visible.

Sexualized attire - A lot less revealing than most of the characters comic appearances, so credit is deserved.

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Topography of the Alien City

Reading the most recent issue of Dejah Thoris, a particular panel got me to thinking about alien cities. To be put in proper reference I have been watching a lot of movies recently (a lot of a lot) and it has brought me across a number of movies which use what can be colloquially called tourism porn. This term refers to using the cinematography to appeal to the viewer as much as the story (or more). In terms of how this applies to alien cities though, it is kind of related. Alien cities often are depicted of having one of only a few necessary aspects necessary for survival. There is sometimes a palace, and sometimes a spaceport, and usually a place where the less savoury peoples find themselves. This is maybe best displayed in the port town of Mos Eisley from Star Wars episode IV, where the only thing seen in the city is the somewhat dangerous cantina and little else to make this a functional town. In the most recent Dejah Thoris the following is shown:

The avenue of pleasures is similar in name at least to the red light district of Amsterdam, a place which is sufficiently touristic and not dangerous (I stayed there in a hostel once for a couple of nights) but which still conjures for many visitors a sort of edginess. For those that don't travel, the tourism as seen in movies is sometimes a substitute, and not a very convincing or real one, but then maybe too it is time for some realistic alien cities?

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Escape the Halls

The following is not a claim that is necessarily easy to back up, but it is one which occurred to me while reading a recent issue of Dejah Thoris. Since the introduction of animated movies under Walt Disney, one of the main themes has been that of fairy tales, and one of the main themes of fairy tales is that of a damsel-in-distress often simply personified by a princess in a castle awaiting freedom. This issue of Dejah is relevant though as it highlights what might be a subtle change away from this, while at the same time remaining. With the introduction of stronger female characters it would seem that the tendency is not to cast female characters into such passive roles, but at the same time, being princesses, they don't have many other roles to serve. Because of this, one of their main tasks now seems to be escaping the palace or castle.

The above is maybe not the best example of this, rather just what got the thought started. It did highlight one of the more interesting movies that I have seen in the past year, Frozen, which has two female protagonists, both of whom have some flaws, but are nonetheless still heroes. In this case it is Elsa who strives to be free from the castle, having lived their under a form of imprisonment her whole life.


Martian Stilettos

I know that this is a fairly common topic of complaint on this blog, but as I am catching up on a bit of comic reading I found this picture on the cover of Dejah Thoris #35:

There are cases where high heels are impractical but could still theoretically be functional (something with a 3 inch heel) or cases where I have seen heels in comics that had to be at least 6 or 7 inches, but in these cases the heels were not being worn into battle. That being the case, this might be one of the worst combinations that I have seen.


Creepy She-Joker

As per a previous recent blog related, I was somewhat curious to see the new Batman line from Black Milk, though as I anticipated I was somewhat let down by what they had on offer (as maybe only the slumber party is interesting to me.) On the other hand they included a picture of a model made up extremely creepily for their promo:

The model's actual appearance combined with one of the more horrific pictures of the Joker captures the overall tone of the character I think. The collection was a letdown, but for me this picture was not.


Brings a gun to a laser fight

In the past the topic of Batman has come up in relation to his ability to dodge lasers, and specifically how this might work in a real world context (though people generally dislike that approach). I should stress at the beginning of this analysis that Batman is completely fictional, and therefore how he is shown in any one issue therefore becomes true (even if it should otherwise be forgotten.) With that warning in place, the ability of Batman to dodge lasers is indicative of one of two things, in that to do so would be equivalent to a super ability (actually dodging bullets is similar, but that's for another day.) That being the case, one of two things needs to be observed, either that he is a superhuman, or that such cases of laser dodging should be forgotten forever.

She didn't survive the laser test

A bullet can travel about 320 meters per second, and while it is unlikely that Batman can dodge bullets (an argument made from him judging the reactions of the shooter) that is comparable very slow to that of a laser. Lasers are made out of light after (laser is an acronym for light amplification by the stimulated emissions of radiation) and light travels 299,792,458 meters per second. As I have pointed out before, in the time that it take for a bullet to travel the length of its trajectory, a laser could easily go to the moon. There are no simple terms as related to people being able to dodge bullets, as most people are not crazy enough to try it, but it stands within reason that the world's most successful martial artist, might be able to dodge a few bullets, though keeping it up against a machine gun might be difficult. Regardless that being an accepted fact among street level characters in comics, the upgrade to lasers is quite ridiculous. In fact, any super villain worth their criminal pedigree would fight with lasers not bullets. Deathdtroke would never miss with a laser against the street level characters, even while he can miss occasionally with bullets.


Epic Flash Battles of History - Flash versus Gravity

Once again this year I have undertaken the epic task of trying to see as many Oscar nominated movies as possible (so far 34 out of 57), and in the course of the movies one of the ones which I have come across is Gravity. While it was visually impressive numerous of the astronomical and physical abnormalities bothered me a little bit. One of the major ones is that while there is such thing as true weightlessness in outer space, it is not the same as being in orbit around the Earth. What happens in Earth's orbit is that the speed of the orbital overcomes that of the gravity so as to make the latter a negligible factor in the overall speed of the orbiting craft (though overtime even these have degrading orbits ... and I realize that this is a generalization, I am not a physicist). This causes a number of profound problems in relation to the movie, if it were to happen in real life, but it is fiction so this is fine.

To tie this into the Flash though, there is something which has always sort of bothered me about a specific instance in the character's history. I can't remember who, but a Flash fan once told me that their favourite ever issue was #54 from the 1980s run where the Flash jumps out of an airplane to save a stewardess even though he can't fly himself. While I never have actually read this issue (as I am prone to do with issues that came out before I was born), the challenge is not that challenging for me, at least as a true physics problem. The Flash can run at the speed of light, which is far beyond that of the speed of orbiting objects, and therefore the Flash falling any distance would be not an issue provided as soon as his foot touched the ground that he ran as fast as possible. As for taking someone along with him (the stewardess in this case) as approached from a physics problem, yes she would die if that were the case, but the Flash has been shown to carry numerous people with him (even into the Speed Force) without risk to killing them with the acceleration. Essentially if he could catch the stewardess, saving her would be easy, just hold on to her and run.

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Yellow Bat

An interesting moment of the Forever Evil #5 from the past week was the following one between Sinestro and Batman:

In the previous issue Batman used a yellow ring acquired during a previous crossover (I can't remember if it was Sinestro Corps War or Blackest Night). The ring was almost drained of power but it was the thing that drew Sinestro to the group and to the aid of the others, specifically to fight Power Ring (no spoilers on that one, but the ending was pretty good.). Despite this being a good moment it would seem to contradict another somewhat famous one as depicted below:

In this one Batman is sought out as a recipient of a yellow ring, some time before the Sinestro Corps War. He had other reasons which allowed him to resist it and went back to being Batman after a couple of frames, but it was still a popular moment for the character, so much so that it shows up in a lot of comic related memes on the internet. Despite its popularity, it would seem that the below page never happened in the new 52 anymore, at least judged by Sinestro's reaction (unless he somehow forgot that he once tried to recruit Batman to his Corps.) The timeline of the Green Lantern Corps related stories has been confusing since the new 52, with some of the main characters getting a chance to start over, while others picked up where they had left off. I guess for the first time that this is a small official change to the timeline of those stories, and while not a very important one, relevant enough to the fans I think.