Showing 1 - 6 of 6 posts found matching keyword: super dictionary
Wednesday 11 September 2019
Friend Chad recently asked me if I had any interest in the upcoming Joker movie. You know the one. It just won the Golden Lion award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival. My answer, in short, was no. In long, it was *hell* no.
As a longtime reader of comics, I have a well-established mental image of what I expect from Batman and his rogues gallery. As a general rule, I don't enjoy films about gangsters (which Joker was in the 40s) or films about serial killers (which Joker has been since the 80s). I've seen both Bonnie and Clyde and Natural Born Killers exactly once, and that's each one time too many.
My biggest problem with the film is that the Joker is unequivocally a villain. Pure capital-E Evil. However, a story's protagonist has to be relatable to its audience. Just as the short-lived Joker comic series of the mid-70s focused on its eponymous star's zany antics (and minimized the collateral damage), to put the character at the center of a film it becomes necessary to humanize him, to turn him from villain to anti-hero. No, thank you.
Call me a prude, but I don't see any reason to make a film exploring how someone becomes a narcissistic, mass-murdering sociopath on the scale of the Joker. In fiction, the Joker has beaten a child to death with a crowbar, slaughtered an entire talk show audience on camera, and gassed the United Nations General Assembly. All for giggles. If such a monster existed in the real world — an Osama bin Laden-squared — would you pay to see that person's biography on the big screen?
Joker works best in comics as a larger-than-life malevolent force of nature, the personification of the chaos that Batman strives to eliminate from the world. That's exactly how "Why so serious" Heath Ledger played him (and "This town needs an enema" Jack Nicholson before that). If you insist on reinventing the character, I'd say making him mortal is the wrong direction to go. Forget realism for a character that is inherently unreal. Give us a film about how Cesar Romero's wacky Joker earned his place as Gotham City's Clown Prince of Crime with a painted-over mustache (the anti-Groucho Marx!). Or choose to elaborate on any random Joker entry from silly The Super Dictionary.
But don't try to remake Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy with a super-villain behind the greasepaint. Once was enough for that one, too.
Tuesday 3 September 2019
The Super Dictionary has a well-deserved reputation for, shall we say, unusual definitions of words, but the above is not really a page in the Super Dictionary. It's a poster by artist Marco D'Alfonso currently for sale on m7781.storeenvy.com.
I still have my original Super Dictionary on the shelf right in front of me, and I'm sure that its actual definition for "happy" is much less warped.
Never mind. Super Dictionary, you win again!
Friday 15 May 2009
The Preakness Stakes is tomorrow, and Kentucky Derby champion Mine That Bird is currently the betting favorite to win at 11-2 odds, considerably better than the 50-1 odds that he beat to win the Derby. Don't get me wrong, I'm not endorsing gambling on the ponies. I don't even generally care for horse racing outside of the Triple Crown events. It's a sport for rich people, and I'm more of a... poor person. The closest I've ever come to owning a horse is possessing a copy of Who's Who in the DC Universe featuring the Legion of Super-Pets, which naturally includes Comet the Super-Horse.
(I really love the depictions for breaking the time barrier in Silver Age Superman comics. Time, ladies and gentlemen, is a rainbow.)
However, I don't think Comet should be allowed to race in any horse-race, but not because of his super-speed. No, see, Comet is really a Grecian centaur accidentally transformed into a horse, granted superpowers as a consolation for the mistake, banished to a comet for millennia by his enemies, and freed from said imprisonment by the happenstance passage of a rocket ship that contained a young Supergirl fleeing the destruction of Krypton. It all makes sense if you think about it. Comet isn't a horse, but a man trapped in a horse's body. You wouldn't let a man enter a horse race, would you?
Of course this begs the question that if Comet had a highly developed brain, was sentient, and capable of telepathic communication, why in the world would he join a group called the Legion of Super-Pets in the first place? Just because he let Supergirl ride on his back, he qualified as a pet? (Superman's Pet, Lois Lane probably isn't going to appear on newsracks anytime soon.) What male wouldn't let Supergirl ride on his back?
Fast fact: in "The Secret Identity of Super-Horse," Action Comics #301, Comet was granted the form of a bipedal human -- his fondest wish -- and began a romance with Supergirl. Turnabout is fair play, it would seem. Maybe I've just got a salacious mind, but that sounds like a comic I've got to get my hands on. I suppose a "Super-Pet" must be a little different than a traditional pet. Maybe it's the equivalent of a pet with benefits.
Thursday 14 February 2008
Lois, your boyfriend, Superman, just gave you chocolates and a card. Superman, a man who can generate enough pressure to fabricate diamonds from raw coal, use x-ray vision to find undiscovered gold deposits, and swim to the ocean's greatest depths to recover natural pearls, gives his girlfriend chocolates and a card. Worse yet, Superman, a man whose brain works faster than a computer, who has matched wits and won against Brainiac, the universe's smartest supervillain, who has saved countless lives through the force of his own will alone, couldn't even be bothered to take the time to think of a better inscription for the card than "Be my valentine from Superman."
That expression on Lois' face isn't happiness. And there's a reason that Superman is rushing out that window. He may be super, but he's still just a man.
The best part of all of this? For Valentine's Day, Superman gave Lois the Schaff's.
Wednesday 6 September 2006
In the infamous Seduction of the Innocent, Dr. Wertham describes the relationship between Batman and Robin as "the wish dream of two homosexuals living together."
I think it is most interesting that the character of Robin, created purely for the purpose of encouraging children readers to more closely relate to the adventures of the Batman, has served his purpose so well as to result in the enduring cultural subtext of the gay Batman. Even Dr. Wertham's studies indicate that Robin, not Batman, is the character that most people with homosexual desires project themselves into. No one wants to sleep with Robin; they want to be ravashed by the Batman. Robin is freqently shown pining for Batman, yet rarely, if ever, is Batman shown doing anything demonstrably homoerotic in nature. That makes Robin, not Batman, the homosexual partner in the Dynamic Duo.
See what I mean? Damn, boy, can't you even keep your legs together!
Friday 24 February 2006
Among the truely great books ever published is The Super Dictionary. A learning dictionary for children published in the 70s, it features the great lineup of DC super heroes: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, etc. I often tell people that I learned to read from comic books, but that's not quite true. I learned to read from The Super Dictionary.
Wonder Woman illustrates the entries for "blow" and "bush." I love this book.