Jeremy Renner reaches into quiver, pulls out anti-activism arrow for Brie Larson, hits mark

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Civil War II # 3: Bruce Banner goes out like a punk during superhero amateur hour

Marvel’s Civil War II #3 was released today, which means Bruce Banner is officially dead (until he’s alive again). Your friendly neighborhood blogger might do up a write-up in the future, but I figured the occasion offered a good excuse to experiment with uploading my first real YouTube review.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer begs the question: How can Joss Whedon not direct ‘Avengers 3’?

Ultron no strings on meBy now the entire world has seen the teaser trailer for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. There really is only one word to describe it: awesome. The first movie made over $1.5 billion worldwide. It seems fair to say that $2 billion this time around is a distinct possibility. However, if director Joss Whedon delivers the goods — and all signs point to ‘yes’ — then it begs the question: How can he walk away from a climatic Avengers 3?

Over the past few weeks it’s been rumored that Marvel wants Joe and Anthony Russo to sign on for the 3rd and 4th Avengers movies, but it feels as though everything is building to Avengers 3. Only Marvel knows if that is the case, but I can’t help but feel as though walking away before completing an Avengers trilogy would be a bizarre move on Mr. Whedon’s part.

Directing a movie on as big of a scale as The Avengers must be physically and mentally exhausting. The time away from family and the pressure it puts on the director must be unbearable. However, if Mr. Whedon has set the stage for the superhero movie of all superhero movies to be Avengers 3, then passing on the job would be like the quarterback who leads his team down the field at the end of the big game, only to walk off the field on the opponent’s 20-yard line.

Regardless, for those who were too dazzled by the visuals of the teaser trailer to pay attention to the narration, it appears as though Whedon is going Empire Strikes Back-dark with this installment.

Ultron: “I’m going to show you something beautiful — everyone … screaming for mercy. You want to protect the world, but you don’t want it to change. You’re all puppets tangled in strings. String. But now I’m free. There are no strings on me.”

Then there is this exchange between Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff:

Tony Stark: “It’s the end. The end of the path I started us on.”

Natasha Romanoff: “Nothing last forever.”

Meanwhile, an eerie rendition of “I’ve Got No Strings” from Disney’s Pinocchio plays in the background. (The merger between Marvel and Disney continues to pay off in interesting ways.)

Avengers Age of Ultron teaserIt’s hard to see how Marvel can continue to keep this momentum going. The Black Widow is right: “Nothing lasts forever.” Eventually, Marvel will create a movie that implodes under its own weight. Eventually, all waves crash against the shore. Regardless, when that happens it will be hard not acknowledge that it was one wild ride.

The real story behind ‘The Hawkeye Initiative’: Liberals bashing liberals

Hawkeye Initiative

Not familiar with The Hawkeye Initiative? You should be, especially if you’re into comics. It’s a somewhat-amusing attempt by artists to replace “strong female character poses” with Hawkeye.

We’ve seen a lot of clever responses to the spine-twisting, butt-baring poses so many female comic book characters are subjected to, but the Hawkeye Initiative is particularly fun. Their mission: to take those particularly awful poses and replace the female characters with Hawkeye.

Why Hawkeye? It seems it all began when artist Blue decided to switch the poses and positions of Hawkeye and the Black Widow on one of their comic book covers. …

Then Blue and Noelle Stevenson (also known as Gingerhaze and creator of the fabulous webcomic Nimona threw a challenge out to Tumblr: fix those “Strong Female Character” poses by replacing them with Hawkeye doing the same thing.

The problem with I09’s Lauren Davis’ take on The Hawkeye Initiative is that it misses the story behind the story. Who are all these artists and writers and editors in the comic industry? What kind of sexist jerks would try and hide their objectification of women behind false attempts to portray a “strong female character”? Given that there’s a “war on women,” any rational human being would conclude that the perps are all very white, very Republican men. Right? Wrong.

Matt Fraction  — liberal. Joe Quesada — liberal. Grant Morrison  — liberal.  Rick Veitch — 9/11 Conspiracy theory kook liberal. Geoff Johns — liberal. Dan Slott — liberal. Sara Pichelli — liberal. Brian Michael Bendis — liberal. Alex Ross — liberal. Mark Waid — liberal. And for many, many more you can visit the Four Color Media Monitor.

Is it possible that some of the allegedly-sexist poses these women are put in are in fact rather innocuous — but that critics are merely projecting their own sexual biases onto the images? I think so. Scrolling through the Tumblr account, anyone who has read Spider-Man knows that as a quick and agile  character, many of his contortions would be interpreted as “sexist” if a woman was drawn the same way. Women have different bodies than men, an inconvenient truth that the gender police don’t want to acknowledge.

Hawkeye Initiative

One of the biggest tells of The Hawkeye Initiative is that it doesn’t even require submissions to be from people who are actually fans of the work they’re criticizing. What if the image in question includes the Marvel equivalent of Ke$ha? What then? I guess it doesn’t matter, since all that counts to the self-righteous know-it-all are her intentions. “My statement about female empowerment matters more than my practical knowledge of the characters, their histories and their motivations.”

It may also be a shock to The Hawkeye Initiative crowd, but women are able to possess power, intelligence and sexuality at the same time. While even I get annoyed at the artist who is obviously obsessed with the porn-star-with-disturbingly-large-breast-implants look, I also don’t mind seeing  a female character whose strength and amazing figure are highlighted. (Apparently, the creators of The Hawkeye Initiative have never been to a bodybuilding competition, where men and women contort themselves in interesting ways to show off as many of their best assets in one pose to audience members and the judges.)

Regardless, the next time your friend talks to you about the “war on women,” go to your stash of comics created by liberal writers and artists. Show them a good butt-shot, and then ask them if they’d still buy the product if it was a known Republican who was devising such demeaning poses.

Update: If you’re coming here from Reddit, just a heads up: I’d comment in the thread, but my first tactful rebuttal was deleted because that’s how liberal Reddit goon moderators roll. We can’t have the conservative guy actually defending himself, can we?

The Avengers: Did Joss Whedon ‘Assemble’ liberal propaganda?

Avengers director Joss Whedon has shown his cards, and he’s holding at least one liberal joker (or was that a Loki?). Whedon essentially told the New York Times he has a scene that could serve as a commercial for the Democrat Party, but ditched it because it slowed down the movie. But that begs the question: What kind of claptrap made the final cut, Joss?

Remember when the director of Captain America went out of his way to say Cap wouldn’t be “a flag waver”? Remember when Marvel then changed the title in Russia to “The First Avenger” to make a few extra bucks? The movie succeeded, despite Marvel’s efforts to sabotage a good thing.

The Avengers opens in two weeks, and it looks like conservatives once again must be wary. Joss Whedon, who up until this point gave me nothing but confidence, has shown his cards—and there is at least one liberal joker in there (or should I say a Loki?). Hat tip to the fourcolormedia monitor:

New York Times: What would be an example of something you didn’t figure out until later in the process?

Joss Whedon: One of the best scenes that I wrote was the beautiful and poignant scene between Steve and Peggy [Carter] that takes place in the present. And I was the one who was like, Guys, we need to lose this. It was killing the rhythm of the thing. And we did have a lot of Cap, because he really was the in for me. I really do feel a sense of loss about what’s happening in our culture, loss of the idea of community, loss of health care and welfare and all sorts of things. I was spending a lot of time having him say it, and then I cut that (emphasis added).

Why? Why must every liberal writer feel the need to beat their audience over the head with statism? I wouldn’t mind as much, but Joss Whedon has everything historically ass-backwards. Captain America was frozen after World War II, before Medicaid and Medicare even existed. Social Security morphed into something entirely new and different than the “Social Security” that FDR signed into existence (i.e, much more expansive). Hundreds of billions have been sunk into individual entitlement programs since their inception and, in fact, the “loss of community” Whedon frets over is due in large part to many of the programs liberals shill for. When the federal government usurps the important roles local community leaders, family and faith-based organizations play in society the result is more poverty, out-of-wedlock birth rates and the destruction of the family unit.

What’s worse, Whedon didn’t cut the bit because he realized it would be a bone-headed move to insert blatant liberal claptrap into Cap’s mouth—he did it because it slowed down the rhythm of the movie. Who knows how many other leftist talking points made it into the film.

Let’s be honest: The idea that Captain America would be anything other than a conservative (if we’re going to play that game, Joss Whedon), is a joke. Let’s go down the list, shall we?

  • Captain America is a guy who literally wraps himself in the American flag. Leftist American professors would hold classes titled “The Jingoism of Captain America” each semester, they’d write a new chapter for the textbook each year, and then they’d make their kids buy the latest version for $50 a pop. Couple that with Cap’s blonde hair and blue eyes and college campus Progressives would have entire campaigns dedicated to demonizing him.
  • Steve Rogers is a big Boy Scout. He’s a straight arrow. I can’t imagine he would have been at Woodstock, if given the opportunity. He would have been a West Point guy (hence, Captain America), and West Point doesn’t churn out too many liberals.
  • Captain America is a super solider, and one who would undoubtedly live his life in accordance with The Seven Army Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service. Honor. Integrity. Personal Courage. Ask the guy who has collected unemployment checks for 99 straight weeks, Joss Whedon, what he thinks about each of those words. My suspicion is that the psychological profile that manifests itself would look nothing like Captain America’s.
  • Good soldiers don’t make excuses; they “adapt and overcome.” Do you want to know who does make excuses? Liberals. In fact, even speaking about “personal responsibility” is considered racist code language.
  • Ask yourself whether Captain America would have a worldview more like American Sniper Chris Kyle, or Sean Penn. That’s what I thought.

The list can go on and on. The fact is, Steve Rogers is Captain America, not Mr. America. He’s a military man. An infantryman. He stared down the Nazis, but yet liberal writers would have us believe he’d side with liberal moral relativists in the year 2012? Give me a break.

Regardless, I don’t even want to play this game, but liberals at Marvel keep making these things an issue. When I go to see The Avengers I don’t want to get a campaign commercial for Barack Obama or the Democrat Party. Stop. Please. You’re embarrassing yourself, and ensuring that guys like me don’t defend you when Democrats turn their social engineering on the comics industry due to studies on violence.

Dear Joss Whedon,

Watch Thomas Sowell for a bit. Learn something. You can thank me later.

Update: The results are in, and it looks like Whedon denied his urge to overtly politicize the film. There are very interesting ideas to explore in The Avengers, but Joss never goes out of his way to tell his viewers what to think. Smart move.

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Americans

Pop Quiz: Name a movie with characters who could have only been created in America. Answer: The Avengers.

There’s a new Avengers trailer out, and as momentum builds towards its release it’s probably a good idea to discuss what makes this particular team of superheroes so fascinating to its fans. The director, Joss Whedon, has accurately identified and attempted to address one of the core creative challenges for the project: the team’s diversity.

Reporter: I imagine the other hard part about that is balancing a god and who can create lightning, and a guy with a bow and arrow, and giving them both the action that brings out the best in them.

Whedon: Yeah. Well, I feel like we pulled that off. At the end of the day, the guy with the bow and arrow is a lot easier to write gags for than the god. But we created a situation where everybody can be useful, and everybody can be in jeopardy, and they really can act as a team, even though — as we have known from the first issue of ‘The Avengers’ comic — there’s no reason for these people to be on the same team (emphasis added).

Just as the American Experiment wrestles over how to deal with its diversity (How the heck do all these different people with different heritages and temperaments come together into a cohesive force for good in the world?), The Avengers must do the same. Americans come together because the country is founded on an idea—that free men are granted inalienable rights by their Creator—and that governments, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed, have a duty to uphold those rights. The Avengers come together because there are some problems that require anyone with an ounce of honor to put aside their ego and do the right thing.

The Avengers are also great because they are very “American”:

  • Captain America: The ideal solider and a boy scout with the strength of 100 men (yet very much an individual)
  • Iron Man: Entrepreneurial, highly individualistic, successful and smart without ever apologizing for it
  • Hulk: A force whose only desire is to help and heal, but who nonetheless has awesome power to destroy when angered
  • Thor: A man (or should we say country?) with godlike power, who must have humility before realizing his true potential
  • Hawkeye: He’s brash and cocky, but he always hits his mark
  • Black Widow: The Russian spy who defects to America (i.e., the immigrant who leaves oppression for freedom)

Notice a trend? All very distinct personalities. All from very different backgrounds. All very individualistic. And yet, they come together for a common purpose. The Avengers is a comic book that could not have been created in Communist China, Islamic police states across the Middle East, or countries on cultural life support throughout most, if not all, of Europe.

So this summer, take joy in a creative endeavor with a cast of characters only America could have produced.