Let’s talk about Superman

Or, to be a bit more specific, let’s talk about Superman’s son, Jonathan Kent. Superman has been a dad in the mainline Superman comics for some time now, and the addition of fatherhood to his character has been the best development Superman has had in since John Byrne decided that Clark Kent was the real person and Superman was the secret identity. Jon himself has been through a couple of different iterations already; he started as a ten-year-old (don’t ask) and then got aged up to about seventeen (really don’t ask) and recently he’s taken over as Superman, as Kal-El has been called off into space to deal with … stuff.

(I actually don’t know the full story there.)

Anyway, you may have seen in the news lately that Jon’s bisexual? Don’t worry about it, it’s cool. Jon and the guy who is going to become his boyfriend are super fucking cute together, and I’m behind this development too. The reason I’m mentioning this, though, isn’t because of the gay angle; it’s because series writer Tom Taylor may be the best Superman writer currently working today. He gets the character in a way very few others have, and so far four issues in Superman: Son of Kal-El is rapidly becoming one of my favorite books on the shelves. If you’re into comic books at all, and you’re not reading this one (or Nightwing, Taylor’s other mainstream superhero book, which is also phenomenal) you’re really missing out. If you don’t read comics but you’re open to the idea, wait until there’s a trade out (shouldn’t be too much longer) and pick it up at a bookstore of your choice. I’m pretty sure the series is selling well, but however well it’s selling more people still need to know about it. Go check it out.

Anyway.

Don’t expect much more than a picture or something tomorrow; I have a family thing out of town that I have to do, and it’ll take all day– the good news is I’ve taken the day off, and the bad news is that I’ve had to take the day off, if you know what I mean and if you don’t don’t worry too much about it. We’re all fine over here. I figure what with the hunting down comic books and watching hours and hours of YouTube video, y’all will have plenty to do while I’m gone, right?

Three Trailers

It has been … a day, and I find that I’m not in the chattiest mood tonight. So let’s talk about some stuff that’s coming out.

The Eternals

This trailer is the first thing I’ve seen from this movie that gave me even the vaguest interest in seeing it. I’m still not going near a theater– this and Shang-Chi are going to have to wait until they’re available on Disney+ for me to watch them– but this actually made me think for a few seconds that I might have some interest in seeing it. There was never any chance that I was actually going to skip the thing, and I still don’t know a damn thing about any of the characters, but at least it’s on my radar as a mild positive and not a thing that I have to put up with.

Star Wars: Visions

Given my lifelong disdain of anime and my utter inability to get into any of the Star Wars animated projects no matter how hard I’ve tried, you would think that this show would have no appeal for me, and I am as surprised as you are to announce that you would be completely wrong in thinking that. I am all in. I don’t know if this is in canon or not– I feel like lightsaber umbrella might be a concept best left out of the official SW universe– but I’m genuinely excited about this, for the novelty if nothing else.

Speaking of novelty …

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

I’m including this out of sheer schadenfreude. I liked the Kevin Smith Netflix thing well enough, although it didn’t change my life and I’m not chewing my nails over the second half of the season. But He-Man nerds got all bent out of shape about that, and then the next thing Netflix throws at us is this? As I’ve said many times, I have no real skin in this game, but even I was looking at this by the end and thinking maybe they’d gone a bit too far. Seriously make Battle Cat a dog who turns into a wolf and say it’s inspired by He-Man. Call him Boy-Dude or something.

I am seriously looking forward to the fanboy tears, though.

IT’S HERE IT’S HERE MY GOD IT’S HERE

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a publicist at Orbit Books, who noted that I had read and favorably reviewed the first two books in Fonda Lee’s Green Bone Saga trilogy, and was asked if I’d like to receive an early promotional copy of the book.

An early promotional copy of the final book in a trilogy where both of the first two books were my favorite book released in the years they came out?

An early promotional copy of the single book I’m looking forward to most in 2021, if not the single literal thing I’m most looking forward to in 2021? Four months early??

I think the first line of my reply to her was “Oh, Jesus Christ, absolutely.”

Like, this makes every second of the last eight years of blogging, or however long it’s been, completely worth it.

And now it was here. It’s not in great shape– I was going to do a whole unboxing thing, but the book was supposed to be here yesterday, and from the condition of the packaging I think UPS had it strapped to the bottom of the truck, and it was halfway out of the package anyway, so I just took it out and gave it a little hug to make it feel better.

I will now go finish Empire of Gold, which I have maybe 50 more pages of, and then we’ll see how fast I can devour this book. If there’s not a review up by this weekend, it’s because something’s gone terribly wrong in my life.

Masamba!

You may already know this about me: I am a Zoo Person. If you put me in a new city on limited time and ask me what I want to do while I’m there, chances are I’m going to pick the zoo, if they have one, over any other available activities– and I am a big fan of Potawatomi Zoo, which is our local zoo and is genuinely one of the highlights of the area.

We have a white rhino. His name is Masamba. And I got to pet him today. This was my birthday present from my wife– they only let six people do this a week, and it’s scheduled in advance– and we got to spend about half an hour up close with him. I was expecting to have to provide some sort of food or something to get him to come over to us, but apparently he really likes interacting with people, and despite being way in the back of his enclosure when we came down he came lolloping over right away as soon as his keeper called out to him. Behaviorally, he may as well be a giant puppy; eventually he actually laid down against the fence and just hung out with us.

I was joking about bringing a saddle to ride him all week long, and my wife made it very clear that were I to engage in any shenanigans with the zookeepers or were I to ask any Dad Questions of them, divorce would swiftly follow– but y’all, this big boi would totally have let me ride him. Next time we go to the zoo, I’m coming prepared.

#REVIEW: Loki, Season One

The tl;dr version: I hate time travel stories, and I am so, so tired.

I keep threatening to actually review Avengers: Endgame, which I never actually did. I was hip-deep in family crisis at the time I saw the film, and the reason I’ve not written it since then is primarily because the post is going to end up being 12,000 words long, and it’s not going to be fun to write. The short version: I think that Endgame, for all of its fan service and plethora of holy shit moments, in the long run is easily the worst Marvel movie, and in a lot of ways ruined the MCU. Endgame chose the worst imaginable way to solve the story problems that Infinity War set up, and because of the choices made in that film every MCU product since that film has had to be about Endgame.

And now, every single post-Loki MCU product has to be about Loki, too. And this is not an improvement.

(I’m going to assume you’ve watched the show, but sort of talk around the details a bit? So spoiler warning, I guess.)

I’m still going to resist the urge to make this post ridiculously long. I’m supposed to be back in my training in fourteen minutes, and honestly I’m hoping to get the entire post finished before then. Let me get the positives out of the way first: the actual show itself, in a vacuum, is pretty good. Tom Hiddleston is, of course, an amazingly talented and charismatic actor, and they’ve surrounded him with a cast that doesn’t really have any weak spots. I thought the pacing for the program was great; I didn’t think there were any filler episodes (you wouldn’t think this would be possible in a six-episode season, but it is) and while it ends in a very cliffhanger fashion it definitely tells a coherent story, or at least it does once you accept that you have to have watched, like, 25 movies and two days of TV that came beforehand. Nothing in the MCU is really internally coherent any longer; you either accept that or you don’t as part of the product.

The problem that I have is that one of two things have to be true about this show, and neither are good: either I, someone who has been reading Marvel comic books for nearly four decades and is well-versed in the minutia of things like alternate timelines and multiverses, completely misunderstood what the deal was with Loki’s Time Variance Authority, or the entire concept of the Goddamn show doesn’t make a single damn drop of sense from start to finish.

It will not surprise you to learn that I am not blaming myself for this one. It’s possible that I Just Don’t Get It, but I really don’t think that’s the case. I think I understand It, to the degree that It can be understood, because the fundamental problem is that It doesn’t make any sense.

I can accept, begrudgingly, the concept that the Avengers were “supposed” to go back in time in Endgame and steal an Infinity Stone from themselves, but that Loki picking up that same Infinity Stone from where it was dropped and poofing away was not “supposed” to happen.

I cannot accept that a timeline where Loki is a fucking alligator is due to a single “variance” in a timeline, or that a variance that leads to Loki being a woman (strangely, called Sylvie; why does she have a different name from the other Lokis? No idea.) would lead to that variant Loki being culled at, like, eight. That problem definitely happened earlier than that.

This is already multiverse shit before the show creates the multiverse. A world where Loki is a Goddamned alligator is going to be different from our world in a whole lot of ways other than this one dude being an alligator. You can’t just prune the alligator and everything else is fine. And since this show happens before Infinity War or Endgame, and ends with the multiverse being created and Loki getting dumped into some other universe than the one he started in … is the MCU prime universe still the same? Did the multiverse get created before Infinity War or Endgame, or is that just another mess?

We already have Is This Person a Skrull or Not floating around as a universe-wide problem. I really don’t need Is This The Real Universe or Not dumped on top of it, especially when it’s done this sloppily.

I gotta get back to my meeting, but I think you get the idea. I’ll see Black Widow this weekend; we’ll see if that sets me off too.