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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Episode 29: Just Going for the Whales

This week, Rhea and Destiny speak to Lisa Fary of Pink Raygun! Wetalk about the start of Pink Raygun, make some Superman apologies (sort of), and nerd out over Bobak Ferdowsi. We also talk about Lisa's personal history with watching all things Star Trek, our childhood nerd trajectories, and we read some superhero-tastic fan mail.

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Spoiler alerts for the following:
True Blood (current season)
Battlestar Galactica(reimagined series)

Corrections:It wasn't the 37th Heaven on Adventure Time, it was called the 37th Dead World. The unmade Superman movie starring Nic Cage was to be made circa '96-98. It cuts out a little when we're talking about what a dreamboat Peter Dinklage is. I want you all to know that we all were "mmm-hmming" in approval.

Relevant Links:
Pink Raygun
Lisa on Twitter
Apocalypse Couture
Fuck Yeah Bobak Ferdowski
Mitsuko Nagone photography
Joan Jett, "Bad Reputation"
Casa de Mi Padre trailer
Dum Dum Girls, "Lord Knows"
Wild Beasts, "The Fun Powder Plot"
NYTimes: What's So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?
Information on the Nic Cage/Tim Burton Superman Film that never was
Alfred Hitchcock was a total asshole; no one is surprised
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai trailer
Philly Zombie Prom info
Zombie Walk Omaha
Man of Steel trailer
Intergalactic Law (Lisa & John's old webcomic)
Age of Bronze by Eric Shanower
Get the Age of Bronze app!

And here's the complete email we received from Mel. Thanks for writing in!

Hi there Badland Girls,

I'm sorry that I can't recall which episode you mentioned this in (I'm leaning towards 20 or 21), but you spoke of the upcoming Superman movie and the darker tone that it will be taking, and the phrase 'Superman is not meant to be dark' may have been dropped. A comparison to Batman surely happened, and the two were treated as opposites - Batman is dark and gritty and angsty, and Superman is... not that. Whenever I see and hear comments like this, I have to wonder about the last Superman trade the person read. Because Superman has not been happiness and light for a long, long time.

This actually legitimately upsets me - I got into comics in a big way around the mid-two-thousands, and I gorged myself on runs from the nineties (ESPECIALLY those involving sidekicks - if you know who Impulse is, let's be friends?). However, just as I got ready to spend my money on current comics, DC felt the need to have another reboot, and basically spent the next six months making me cry. I don't know why, but DC decided to make everything gritty. Even Superman. (Especially Wonder Woman. They even decided to get grit all over the Justice League International. I don't know if you know your Justice Leagues, but COME ON. JLA can be as gritty as you want, but JLI is where they stuck the screwballs and the smart-mouths. Or it was, before the darkness came. Don't even get me started on Justice League Antarctica getting retconned out of existence.) Wow, that was a tangent.

But even before the latest crisis, Superman was not a squeaky clean character. I think the Lex Luthor: Man of Steel run was the turning point for me. If you haven't read it, you should. You only need to know the basics of who Superman is, and that there's this guy called Lex who doesn't like him. The art is stunning, and the conviction laid out on the page does a great job of casting what we know and love about Superman in a new light. Superman for Tomorrow actually focuses on the Superman's POV, and still manages to make him morally questionable and a little unhinged. Somewhere along the way, Superman has stopped being the nice guy who rescues kittens from trees and has revealed himself to be an essentially indestructible alien who plays by humanity's rules only as long as they suit him. Which, let's be honest, is a great element of his character to be explored! But it sure does get gritty in there. The dominant discourse of a character in the comics changes (whether I want it to or not), and I guess I find it frustrating that people seem unwilling to see similar ideas in their movies. Would you really go and see essentially the exact same superhero movie released in the cinema every six years? Wouldn't you want to see something a little more?

Sorry, Bandland Girls. I've had a feelings explosion all over this e-mail.

I guess the core argument of 'movies are a reflection of the comics' can be applied to your critique of the Toby Maguire Spiderman movies - the claim was made that Spiderman is a young character, and that aging him up so fast was a mistake. While I love my teenaged superheroes, the first Spiderman comic I ever read had Peter Parker in his twenties, fighting vampires with Blade while Mary Jane was a successful model who had taken up smoking again and was questioning her engagement to Peter because he was too busy fighting vampires to go on vacation with her. Which certainly sounds a little soap opera, but Peter Parker has a long run in the comic books of being post-pubescent. With all of the tv shows and comics and alternate universe comics and Marvel teen comics and that whole first movie in which Peter was a teen, I'm was actually glad to see Peter as an adult on screen. Peter had some really interesting story arcs as an adult before he sold his soul or got reborn or whatever exactly happened there. I think someone died. Anyway. The trilogy is not a set of perfect films by any means, but the specific criticism about seeing Peter graduate high school just gets my nerd rage hackles up. Critique the movies for doing really boring and stupid things with Peter for an adult, but critiquing the raw adulthood itself seems kind of redundant to me.

Is that a big enough nerdfight for you? Because I also have a lot of opinions about Robins...

Your fan, even in nerdfights,