In promoting his new DC comic book series Martian Manhunter, self-professed DC Comics fan and professional comic book writer Steve Orlando recently told the Hollywood Reporter:
One of the reasons people have not connected to [Martian Manhunter] is that he was a perfect upright cop on Mars, and yes, his family died but it was no fault of his own, and then he came to Earth and he was perfect. Our favorite characters, that's not them, you know? Spider-Man let the burglar go. Bruce Wayne was too afraid to save his family.
He what now? I don't know Steve Orlando from Clark Kent, but may I suggest to DC that anyone with such a poor grasp of Batman's origin story probably shouldn't be writing your comics.
For reference, this is how Batman's origin story looked when it appeared for the first time in "The Batman Wars Against the Dirigible of Doom" in Detective Comics #33 (1939). If it looks familiar to you, that's because it hasn't changed AT ALL in the intervening 79 years.
Somehow, according to comics historian Steve Orlando, that tragedy is all young Bruce Wayne's fault. What boy wouldn't jump in front of the bullets aimed at his parents? Coward! He deserves to be an orphan.
Orlando is correct to say that Martian Manhunter has always been kind of a bland character through "no fault of his own." That's no doubt due in part to his first appearance dating to 1955, the year after Frederick Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent called the relationship between Batman and Robin "a wish dream of two homosexuals living together." Yikes. You were wise to steer clear of that controversy, Manhunter!
However, trying to correct for over a half century of blandness by injecting entirely new and tragic elements to Manhunter's origin is a story I don't need. I happen to like Martian Manhunter just the way he is, a noble, rational, and compassionate champion for justice.
Unlike that crazy piece of shit, Bruce Wayne.
Time to finish up August movies:
150. (1379.) The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)
Movie continuing the adventures of the British television show that is every bit as irreverent and uncomfortable and funny as the source material.
151. (1380.) Out of Time (2003)
More Denzel Washington in a mediocre noir-ish suspense film.
152. (1381.) The Mad Miss Manton (1938)
A fun, light screwball comedy / romance / mystery film that's at least as entertaining as anything on network television these days.
153. (1382.) Be Cool (2005)
The derivative sequel to Get Shorty isn't nearly as good as its predecessor. The highlight is Cedric the Entertainer's rant about race relations, but the rest is probably best avoided.
154. (1383.) Moonlight (2016)
White guilt stole La La Land's best picture Oscar! Ok, I admit that this film isn't bad. It's just that while I can relate to La La Land's story of heterosexual, rich young white creative people in love, I have a much harder time relating to Moonlight's story of homosexual, poor younger black oppressed people struggling to get by. Your mileage may vary.
155. (1384.) Gringo (2018)
Naive but enjoyable thriller about an honest man pushed to his breaking point faking an international kidnapping.
156. (1385.) The Mechanic (1972)
This is the Charles Bronson original, not the Jason Statham remake. Personally, I preferred the latter as it has a better defined narrative structure.
157. (1386.) The Eagle Has Landed (1976)
Fictional tale of a German plot to assassinate Churchill in the waning days of World War II. Michael Caine is the best part by far.
158. (1387.) What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Mockumentary about a bunch of vampires in New Zealand ad libbed by the Flight of the Conchords cast. If you like that sort of thing.
More to come.
UGA played a football game today in Sanford Stadium. I was not there to watch it.
This is one of the few times since I've had season tickets that I simply chose not to go. There were several reasons for that decision.
The opponent was Middle Tennessee State, who had played UGA only once. In 2003, the Bulldogs beat the Blue Raiders 29-10. I saw that game. They didn't impress me then. Driving more than four hours to see a "football game" involving a team unlikely to score a single point.... I did that two weeks ago, and had no desire to repeat the experience so soon.
In addition, the game, originally scheduled for 7:15PM, was moved to noon to accommodate Hurricane Florence, which as I type this is still terrorizing North Carolina. I was excited about attending a night game, but couldn't get up for sitting hours in the same murderous afternoon heat that drove us away from the Austin Peay game. Besides, to reach Athens by noon, I would have to have set my alarm for 8AM. I'd rather be hit by a hurricane.
I'm not complaining about these events. I only enumerate my reasons above for my own elucidation when I look back on this season. I didn't miss the game, as it was televised on ESPN News. (Every game is televised these days, and I had a better view of the action at home than I do in my seats.) Given the same set of circumstances, I'd probably make the same decision. Even a football nut like me has to draw the line somewhere.
And for the record, the final score was 49-7. I regret nothing.
Tomorrow is Batman Day 2018. Have you bought Batman a present yet? (He's already got everything else, so I suggest a gift card.)
Celebrate by visiting your Local Comic Shop for free comics. Or, if you'd rather, you can download the Batman Day 2018 Activity Kit from DCComics.com where you'll find this delightful recipe for burnt toast.
I'm not going to lie; I want that bat-shaped cookie cutter.
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Mom found this empty 1942 UGA student football season ticket book in a batch of letters kept by my grandmother:
Dink graduated in the class of 1943. Back in her day, students were sold these books of paper tickets (face value of 85¢) redeemable at the box office for a real ticket. Student tickets were only raised to $10 in the 2018 season. To the university's credit, that's less than the price of inflation. (Eighty-five cents in 1942 is over $13 today.) Sanford Stadium has been expanded eight times since 1942, when it only held 30,000 fans. It now seats over 93,000, so I suspect they're making up that lost value in volume.
If an empty ticket book seems like a strange keepsake, keep in mind that UGA won a national title in 1942 behind the incredible backfield tandem of Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi. For the record, this was the outcome of those games:
September 25 Jacksonville Naval Air Station, W 14–0,
October 3 Furman, W 40–7,
October 17 Tulane, W 40–0,
October 31 Alabama (ranked #3), W 21–10,
November 7 Florida, W 75–0,
November 21 Auburn, L 13–27,
November 28 Georgia Tech (ranked #2), W 34–0
I never knew that my grandmother attended every home game that season, and Dink died before I went to Athens, so she never knew I would one day have season tickets to our shared alma mater. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll eventually get to see a national championship season myself. I think she'd like that.