damalur: (hokuto-chan)
2017-03-03 08:07 pm
Entry tags:

so this is what it feels like

Logan is bar-none one of the best superhero films I have ever experienced -- or, at least, it's one of my favorite superhero films, which is not something I thought I'd ever say about a Fox movie (short of Fox figuring out how to make a Fantastic Four vehicle where Doctor Doom is actually the despotic science-wizard ruler of a small European country). I knew I'd be a little biased going into it, because Laura Kinney is on my god tier of Marvel characters, but shit that was a good movie.

I think it falls into the same category of superhero films as Guardians or Iron Man or even Deadpool; the writers and director and lead actors all had a particular story they wanted to tell and a particular tone they wanted to capture, and they were allowed to pursue that vision without undue interference from the studio (and, in some cases, were willing to fight to be allowed to pursue that vision). The results are striking because they're specific rather than broad.

Anyway, this one is definitely going in the buy pile, and I don't even own Captain America: Civil War, which is definitely one of the better Iron Man movies out there.
damalur: (you must be myth-taken)
2017-02-02 12:22 pm

on shitty people (as characters)

[personal profile] odyle and I were have one of our regular talks about shitty wizards recently, and it made me realize the characters I like (and like to write) most aren’t shitty wizards but shitty people. Characters who do bad things with good intentions are so very much my favorite – I like when they’re in headlong bad-decisions spirals, and I like when they’re smacked in the face with self-awareness and try to pull out of the spiral and work towards atonement. That narrative tension is so interesting. It’s why Tony Stark and Marian Hawke (the purple version of her, at least) and even Mara Jade are my favorite POVs. I think it probably even informs the way I write Shepard; I tend to hit the atonement angle really hard with the ruthless/colonist/paragon combination.

That Shepard (as I write her) qualifies as a shitty person isn’t immediately apparent in stories set during the war, because her entire adult identity is built around her military career, which is in a lot of ways a safe environment for her. The Alliance provides focus and meaning to her life and allows her to indulge in some pretty dark impulses while still nominally acting in the name of the greater good. She can have the confidence – and very possibly all this knowledge is subconscious, at least at the beginning of her career – that the military acts as a limiting force that both can and will stop her from going too far.

That’s one of the main reasons I tend to write Shepard as someone with an interest in boxing; it doesn’t erase her effort to learn how to problem-solve through diplomacy and communication, but it does undercut it: she thinks with her fists, she has a lot of anger that comes out through violence, she wants to solve her problems by hitting someone in the face repeatedly until they take on all her pain and all she has to feel is release or strength or numbness. Boxing as a hobby also makes for an interesting contrast with Shepard-as-sniper; that’s her professional mode, the cold remove, attacking from a distance, but beneath it she still has the urge to get up in someone’s face and hurt them.

That’s also why I can’t let Aratoht go – Aratoht is the ultimate example of “Did I do this because it needed to be done, or did I just want to make the batarians bleed?” (”Both” is the answer – “both” is always the most interesting answer.)

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damalur: (gpoy)
2017-02-01 01:07 pm

Thoughts after catching up on comics:

1. I’m so excited that Marvel is building their next generation Brain Trust™ almost entirely out of women. I read the Moon Girl issue with Ironheart and then immediately followed that with Unstoppable Wasp #2, and it’s so so great, I love Brain Trust characters, I love that we’re finally seeing the emphasis pulled away from Traditional White Smart Dudes like Tony and Reed (Tony and Reed: still my actual favorites, but this is long overdue).

I do wish they’d pull in Lila Rhodes, though! And Valeria – Valeria is my great shining hope that the next-gen Brain Trust is going to have its own cabal of Bad Decisions Heroes. You know, that ones that have control issues and swing between wild arrogance and deep self-loathing. Those heroes. I’m not sure why Valeria pings my radar for carrying on the Bad Decisions tradition, but she does. When you consider that two out of her three parents ping that radar too, though…

2. I’m still so into the Science Wizard Doctor Doom aesthetic Infamous Iron Man has going for it. I mean, yes, Bendis, but a. the aesthetic, b. talk about Bad Decisions (Anti-)Heroes, c. I would read a million panels of Maria Hill interacting with the shitlord science wizard, d. the art is gorgeous.

3. Jeremy Whitley’s X-Men issue with Laura and Remy came out today! It’s maybe the first Whitley issue I’ve read where parts of the characterization didn’t seem 100% on-point, but I still really enjoyed it; Laura and Remy were my favorite mutants even before Marjorie Liu wrote them into the best mutant friendship ever, so I’ve been ready for them to reunite since All-New Wolverine was announced. I really, really like the dynamic now that Laura’s a little older and a little more confident in herself, someone please make Gambit a regular in Laura’s book.

Also, this:

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damalur: (motto)
2017-01-28 09:52 pm
Entry tags:

hellcat & she-hulk would be a great b-list movie

For [tumblr.com profile] odylism:

Patsy sneaks into Jen’s hospital room. Strictly speaking, there’s probably no need for her to go behind everyone’s backs, but she’s not feeling up to dealing with the people that know her (”Wait, is that Patsy?”) and she’s definitely not up to dealing with the people that don’t (”Aren’t you… Hellkitty?”). There’s a pretty decent crowd of hero-types gathered just down the hall, because everyone likes Jen, but none of them are talking to each other, and Patsy has seen enough aftermaths to know this one is going to be rough. Through the crowd, she catches a glimpse of Carol Danvers sitting on the floor against the wall with her knees drawn up and a square of gauze taped over one eye. Rough, and maybe deservedly so.

Jen’s laid out on a bed barely big enough to hold her, surrounded by whatever medical equipment the Triskelion’s medical team had deemed Hulk-proof. She looks pretty not great – “not great” being about the lowest you can sink when you’re a super-strong green bombshell with a law degree – and if ever there were a time for anguished confessions, this would be it.

Patsy, with a tenderness that surprises her, reaches out and brushes a stringy clump of Jen’s hair away from her forehead, and then she leans very close and puts her mouth to Jen’s ear.

“Jen,” she says. “Jennifer. Jennifer Walters. If you don’t wake up, who’s going to sign my paychecks?”
damalur: (Default)
2016-12-11 02:58 pm

zero sum (marvel, tony/steve)

Title: Zero Sum (Stark Disassembled 1/5)
Characters: Tony/Steve
Wordcount: 24170
Summary: Execute program.
Notes: This AU retelling is set in a kitchen-sink continuity based on the comics with elements from the movies. I really wanted the freedom to explore Tony's internal processes during certain arcs without being sidetracked by plot points that I find either too big or too clunky to retain without exploration, so there are no Skrulls, no amnesia, and no magic bullets here. The Ten Rings are both a terrorist organization and a set of alien artifacts, and Stark Industries stopped manufacturing weapons as soon as Tony returned from captivity, but Hank and Jan are founding Avengers, Rhodey is a Marine, and Steve has been one of Tony's closest friends for a decade or more.

My characterization is sketchy, my technobabble is sketchier skill, I did not show any work re: continuity, and the team line-up keeps slipping further and further into Ultimates territory, but [tumblr.com profile] monsterharvest, [tumblr.com profile] odylism, and [tumblr.com profile] jedi-goldberry-with-the-force did a fantastic job of curbing my more egregious errors; this would be a measurably lesser story without their help and hard work. (Thanks, guys!!)

Content warning for suicidal ideation about in line with what you'd find in the source material, graphic fight scenes, discussion of alcoholism, and minor character death. This story is formatted with a custom skin and will (definitely!) look better if you make sure custom skins are enabled.

( Read on AO3... )
damalur: (Default)
2016-11-28 10:20 pm

hiraeth (marvel, sif/loki)

Title: Hiraeth
Characters: Sif/Loki
Wordcount: 2071
Notes: Also on AO3.
Summary: "Everything I tell you is a lie."

Read more... )
damalur: (Default)
2016-11-27 10:58 am

hawkeye does america (marvel, america/kate)

Only a placeholder for now until I take the time to format it for Dreamwidth.

Title: Hawkeye Does America
Characters: America/Kate, Clint, Lucky
Wordcount: 6849
Summary: Kate Bishop, a.k.a. Hawkeye, is the greatest sharpshooter known to man — yeah, even better than that other guy. This is what happens when she hits the Mother Road.

( Read on AO3... )
damalur: (you must be myth-taken)
2016-11-05 01:03 pm
Entry tags:

wimbwm

Doctor Strange was great but what I really want to talk about is one very specific reaction I had to it: I am so tired of Supporting Girlfriend, and I am so tired of being tired of Supporting Girlfriend. This is not a complaint about any one character – it is not a complaint about Jane Foster or Pepper Potts or Christina Palmer in particular – but it is a complaint about how superhero films are structured over and over to make The Girl Character an accessory to the story of Our Square Jawed Hero, sometimes to the extent that we have almost no sense of The Girl Character outside of her relationship with Square Jaw.

This is a role complaint, not a character complaint. I like Supporting Girlfriend (she’s at the top of her field and willing to call Square Jaw on his shit!); I would like a movie centered around Supporting Girlfriend; I would also like a superhero movie about a superhero who is also a woman where her story drives the action and her needs are paramount rather than ancillary. Maybe she was originally a Supporting Girlfriend, and maybe not! I can’t afford to be picky. I am so ready for Captain Marvel. I am SO READY FOR WONDER WOMAN. And where is my Black Widow movie.
damalur: (hokuto-chan)
2016-09-21 11:57 am

science wizard will not stand for this!

There must be other people out there excited for Infamous Iron Man, right? Right?? There is so much potential for hilarity there. Like, what if in every issue, Doom alters one more piece of his flashy new armor to look like like traditional Doom attire until by issue #15 he’s literally just this:

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damalur: (Default)
2016-09-08 03:08 pm

invisible woman vol. 1

Here is my current list of demands for the hypothetical Invisible Woman series that Bleeding Cool suggests maybe could possibly be happening:

Read more... )
damalur: (Default)
2016-09-05 03:12 pm
Entry tags:

more sue

I can’t believe I’m saying this as someone continually beating the drum of Include More Women In The Marvel Brain Trust, but I think F4 retcons and remakes need to stop trying to make Sue a superscientist. She’s awesome on her own merit, and turning every member of the team into a genius on par with Noodle Husband or Murder Uncle actually makes them less interesting as a group, not more.

I suspect the logic of a lot of writers is that to make Sue an equal partner for Reed, she has to meet him on the field of whizbangery – or, if I’m not giving them the benefit of the doubt, it’s that they can’t fathom why Reed would be interested in Sue unless she’s also a superscientist. I recently had a guy tell me that he couldn’t understand why someone as smart as Peter Parker would be interested in “a bimbo” like Mary Jane, and I’m thinking that sentiment is not a foreign attitude re: Sue and Reed.

I am really, horrifically new to loving the Fantastic Four as more than historically noteworthy supporting characters in Spider-Man stories, but I don’t see why Sue needs to be smart in the same ways (or to the same degree) as Reed to make her an awesome character. For one thing, making her a superscientist isn’t developing her for her own sake, it’s developing her for Reed’s sake, and for another, she has her own stuff going on, and it’s lazy writing to substitute Reed’s schtick for Sue’s schtick instead of growing Sue’s schtick in ways that are new and interesting while still being grounded in who she is as a character.

Retcons and remakes aren’t inherently bad – I find it downright uncomfortable to read a lot of earlier F4 stuff, and I way prefer the gentle-but-accidentally-arrogant Reed and spine-of-steel Sue that it seems I encounter in more recent comics – but!!! But!!!!!! Let Sue be Sue!!!!!!!!!!

Also, movies need to stop pretending Doom is anything but the despotic technomage ruler of a small European country.
damalur: (Default)
2016-07-31 01:13 pm

further, more

The more I think about it, the more I’m starting to believe that what Captain Marvel needs is a writer willing to do what Fraction did with Invincible Iron Man or Brubaker did with Captain America or even what Aaron is doing with his roster of Thor books. DeConnick did a really great job drawing on the early themes of Ms. Marvel + the stuff Brian Reed introduced to reconceptualize Carol, but now I think someone needs to take that concept and refine it in the context of plot-heavy stories – we need not only a writer willing to do comics-level psychological digging into the character but also someone who’s going to construct substantial, engaging arcs around Carol.

(Uh, maybe this is not “we need” so much as “I want”, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how Marvel has been using her in the comics, and I’m not convinced they’ve figured out the best way to push her as an A-list character.)

Read more... )
damalur: (Default)
2016-07-24 01:16 pm

wwcmd

I’m completely on board with everyone who’s disappointed that Marvel Studios didn’t cast an older actress for Carol Danvers, but now that Brie Larson has been officially cast in the role, I think it’s really, really important to support her and the Captain Marvel movie for the same reason it’s important to support Gal Gadot and Wonder Woman. Both of these movies need to make money and be demonstrably successful for studios to be willing to bank on other woman-led superhero movies; it’s sexist and it sucks, but it’s a reality of our current and very broken Hollywood system.

DC and Marvel have collectively managed to field three movies about superheroines: 1984′s Supergirl, 2004′s Catwoman, and 2005′s Elektra. Movies like The Hunger Games has started to shift the paradigm, but we can’t assume success for Captain Marvel or Wonder Woman. Talk about how disappointed you are with Brie Larson or that studios won’t cast older actresses or that executives won’t allow actresses to bulk up for action roles – just don’t let any of that prevent you from buying a ticket.

(Also, Marvel did managed to snag a critically-acclaimed rising star for Carol, and that’s pretty excellent, too! None of this may be ideal, but it’s better than one more movie about a white guy named Chris. I’m hoping Black Panther and Captain Marvel are the start of a new trend, not end goals themselves.)
damalur: (Default)
2016-07-08 05:22 pm

(no subject)

I’m excited to see what Margaret Stohl does with Captain Marvel, but I’m also a little concerned about how quickly the creative teams are cycling. I realize that’s a problem with Marvel as a whole right now (you get a relaunch! and you get a relaunch!), but there are plenty of books that seem to be retaining at least their writers through the new #1s.

On the other hand, I’m not surprised to see the series floundering after DeConnick’s departure. Marvel has an opportunity to let someone new shape Carol – but that requires not only a writer with the time to commit but also a willingness from Marvel to keep that writer on that book for the duration (with minimal disruptions from events, even!).

On the third hand, I am DISTRAUGHT TO SEE KRIS ANKA LEAVING. :((((
damalur: (Default)
2016-07-07 04:23 pm

dear marvel

Six more books I would make happen as Marvel Editor-in-Chief:

Force Works
Jeremy Whitley & Ming Doyle

The next generation of Iron Men is here… or make that… Iron Women!? Join Riri Williams (a.k.a. IRON MAN), Toni Ho (a.k.a. IRON PATRIOT), and Lila Rhodes (a.k.a. WAR MACHINE) as they argue about the best distribution of Linux, ignore the advice of mentor Suzi Endo, and gear up to take on the world’s most wanted. And when Tony Stark returns from his relaxing vacation on Consistent Characterization Island, he has a problem only the newest incarnation of the Illuminati can solve… Guest starring Valeria Richards!

Girlfriend!
Kathryn Immonen & Aaron Lopresti

Quaint term your mom uses for her college buddies or indicator of two women in a romantic relationship? It’s up to you to decide as life partners Carol Danvers and Jessica Drew take on the world hand-in-hand. Join Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman as they (platonically?) plan a life, raise a kid, and assemble Ikea furniture together – and somehow find time for coffee dates in between thwarting Earth’s biggest threats!

Galactus, Herald of Franklin
Matt Fraction & Kenneth Rocafort

Universal scourge Galactus is getting by with a little help from his friends – Franklin Richards and Franklin Richards! When Franklin Richards travels back to the past to spend time with his younger self, he doesn’t expect his future partner-in-crime to follow him, but Galactus isn’t about to let Franklin and Franklin have all the fun! And when Franklin and Franklin accidentally create a pocket universe populated entirely by shrimp, Galactus’s hunger might be the only solution…

Val ‘n’ Victor
Jonathan Hickman & Stephanie Hans

Valeria Richards and Uncle Doom are up to no good… or are they? Even supergeniuses need time to relax, and that’s why Val ‘n’ Victor start their quest to sample ice cream from all fifty of NOW Magazine’s top ice creameries. Follow Marvel’s most strangely charming avuncular duo as they ponder the mysteries of life, the universe, and everything over two scoops of their favorite flavor in this comic guaranteed to be short on action and long on dialogue!

Honey, I Corrupted the Kids
Marguerite Bennett & David Lopez

Why do the Richards children keep adopting supervillains? Marvel powerhouse Sue Storm and her husband Noodle Husband are on the case! Plus, join Sue as she investigates why Noodle Husband’s hugs are the best and also the creepiest. You won’t want to miss the book called “face-slappingly satisfying” by Readers Against Namor and “kind of okay” by critics everywhere!

Luke Cage: Baby Holder
Al Ewing & Brittney Williams

It’s tough work, but someone has to appear in the background panels of Jessica Jones’s comic to hold the baby, and Power Man is the man for the job! When he isn’t fighting crime with his BFF, Luke Cage is looking to be the best dad out there – and he knows that means keeping Danielle out-of-the-way but still visible lest readers forget case-crackin’ P.I. Jessica Jones also has a husband and kid. Hailed as “Marvel’s most sedentary series”, this is the ground-breaking run that dares to revolve around handsome men cuddling cute babies!
damalur: (your heart dying fast)
2016-06-12 04:19 pm

dear marvel

Here are six books I would make happen if I supplanted Axel Alonso at Marvel.

Tony Stark: Iron Man
Kelly Sue DeConnick & David Marquez

You asked for it and we answered – here’s an intense study of Tony Stark as he tinkers with his armor, banters with his A.I., and engineers a better filing system! Noted for its close attention to character continuity, this is the book that dares to put Tony’s demons to rest so he can finally get a good night’s sleep and I can stop worrying about him. Features a mysterious girlfriend who may or may not be a resurrected Rumiko Fujikawa and introduces Lila Rhodes as Tony’s protégé. James Rhodes appears in alternating issues!

Gambit and Storm vs. the World
Marjorie Liu & Kris Anka

In an effort to reconnect with an old friend, Ororo Munroe takes some time off from the X-Men to help Remy Lebeau with the start-up cat shelter he runs out of an abandoned Catholic church. When one of the cats goes missing, it’s up to Ororo, Remy, and guest-star Laura Kinney to track the feline to a sinister location… (Spoiler alert: the cat is unharmed!)

Captain Marvel Team-Up
Greg Rucka & Valerio Schiti

Carol Danvers is traveling the country to revisit her past and reclaim her lost memories – and it looks like she’s going to need some help! Watch as she works with Ms. Marvel, Wolverine, War Machine, Hulkling, and more to stop evil, do good, and break every speed record on the books. Did we mention that each issue ends with Carol splitting a tub of ice cream with her guest-star as they celebrate how great it feels to heal from emotional trauma? You better believe it!

Foggy Nelson, Avocado at Law
Mark Waid & Fiona Staples

Join Foggy Nelson, Marvel’s most decent attorney, as he takes on the biggest case of his life: convincing his best friend to listen to him! It’s an uphill battle, but someone’s gotta persuade Matt Murdock that his office doesn’t have to be at the bottom of an abandoned elevator shaft – and Foggy, armed with forgiveness, self-care packages, and the number of a good therapist, is just the guy to do it!

War Machine Rox
Ales Kot & Marcio Takara

Jim Rhodes, a.k.a. WAR MACHINE, is finally taking back the respect he deserves! This ground-breaking series challenges Rhodey to outfly and outgun Earth’s biggest threats while still making enough time to give the Young Avengers flight lessons and bake his niece a birthday cake. And is that the president asking Rhodey to put together his own hand-picked task force? You’ll find out in one of the next eighty issues!

Hawkeye Does America
Chelsea Cain & Annie Wu

Kate Bishop (Hawkeye, not Hawkguy) roams the country in her convertible while righting wrongs, sampling regional cocktails, and flirting aggressively with Miss America (Chavez, that is). Guest-stars Clint Barton (Hawkguy, not Hawkeye) and Pizza Dog in a sporadic backup feature where they call Kate for advice on how to complete basic household tasks!
damalur: (clamp • sei-chan)
2016-05-25 08:57 pm

a civil war (marvel, tony + carol/rhodey)

Tony, Carol, and their ongoing argument over who Rhodey loves the most.

Read more... )
damalur: (Default)
2016-05-10 09:59 pm
Entry tags:

amnesty: murdock & murdock & natchios (matt/elektra)

someone needs to write matt/elektra crack
where matt pretends to be long-suffering and serious but keeps forgetting himself and having fun
and elektra would murder for a decent slice of pie

Read more... )
damalur: (Default)
2015-12-28 06:43 pm

amnesty: what delights the blood (marvel, sif/loki)

Sif/Loki that I think was started for Mischief & Mistletoe '14 and then quickly abandoned.

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damalur: (Default)
2015-11-01 10:56 am

corrective measures (bbt, sheldon/penny)

Title: Corrective Measures
Characters: Sheldon/Penny
Wordcount: 700 words
Summary: Carol is 5'11". Penny is 5'6".
Notes: Written for Jess and Ish in the 2015 Secret Skraw exchange.

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