Election 2016

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Brentai
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Re: Election 2016

Postby Brentai » Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:43 pm

Friday wrote:Ok, remember the Chipotle story about Hillary? How we made fun of the repubs for that insane santorum?

This is our version of the Chipotle story.


Honestly I tuned the whole thing out after "I wonder if Ted Cruz knows that Wolverine is Canadian?"
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Re: Election 2016

Postby Classic » Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:39 pm

I am pretty sure that Wolverine became president of the US at some point.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:20 am

pacobird wrote:Curiously absent from Cruz's list: comic book heroes that are actually heroic


...the sarcastic rejoinder really writes itself, but okay, since you're all expecting me to say it:

Also curiously absent from the last thirty years' worth of comic books.

François wrote:They dig him because he's the poster child for refusing to compromise. He's the moral certitude where thought ends or never begins. He's the zealot's zealot. Close-mindedness is a virtue to them, and greater good is anathema. That they would see him as a role model is not unexpected.


In the end, I DO think there's something admirable about Rorschach being the only character who's willing to give his life for his principles.

And I really don't think there's any denying that he's the most interesting character in the thing, which is itself one of the most celebrated comics series of all time. There's nothing wrong with listing him as a favorite character.

Take it from somebody who's spent a whole lot of time on conversations that read way too much into superhero comics: this is a stupid distraction. Who the fuck cares what a presidential candidate says when someone asks who his favorite superhero is?

(I mean, unless he says Cable. If he says Cable, then obviously he's just objectively wrong.)

As I'm fond of saying, I love Batman but that doesn't mean I actually believe that billionaires meting out vigilante justice against the mentally ill is an acceptable form of criminal justice.

Brentai wrote:
Friday wrote:Ok, remember the Chipotle story about Hillary? How we made fun of the repubs for that insane santorum?

This is our version of the Chipotle story.


Honestly I tuned the whole thing out after "I wonder if Ted Cruz knows that Wolverine is Canadian?"


I wonder if the person who wrote the article knows that Ted Cruz is Canadian.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Blossom » Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:41 am

Thad wrote:Take it from somebody who's spent a whole lot of time on conversations that read way too much into superhero comics: this is a stupid distraction. Who the fuck cares what a presidential candidate says when someone asks who his favorite superhero is?

(I mean, unless he says Cable. If he says Cable, then obviously he's just objectively wrong.)

As I'm fond of saying, I love Batman but that doesn't mean I actually believe that billionaires meting out vigilante justice against the mentally ill is an acceptable form of criminal justice.


It's not the same when you point to Batman, or the Joker, because those aren't ideologically or politically charged characters. Someone saying the Joker is their favorite supervillain, this is a nothing statement, yes. When they say their favorite supervillain is Doctor Light, that means something. Or Red Skull. Or Major Force. There's connotations to it.
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Re: Election 2016

Postby François » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:45 am

Thad wrote:In the end, I DO think there's something admirable about Rorschach being the only character who's willing to give his life for his principles.


Giving one's life for one's principles is one thing. Committing suicide by Manhattan because you realize the principles you cannot abandon are going to destroy the human race if no one stops you, that's another thing entirely. The most heroic thing about Rorschach's death is in how he protects the world from himself. Screaming "DO IT" is his way to telling "yes" to the whores and politicians. As much as he feels he's the hero mankind deserves, he knows that Ozymandias is the one mankind needs. And he steps aside the only way his nature allows.

Or at least that's the way I see it.

I suppose there's a slim possibility that Ted Cruz digs Rorschach because he has the intelligence and clarity to know when his principles will do more harm than good, but I don't think I'd bet a lot of money on that.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Mongrel » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:22 pm

I always read that scene as his simply being being defiant in the face of the inevitable. Kush meyn tokhes and all that.
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Re: Election 2016

Postby François » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:41 pm

Well, he is certainly defiant. But to me the key is that he takes off his mask. I think that if he still entirely believed what he wanted to do was the right thing to do, he would have kept his face on.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby beatbandito » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:02 pm

Guys you're really overthinking this. Cruz just shares Rorschach's love of murdering dogs.
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Re: Election 2016

Postby Smiler » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:07 pm

Woah now, Ted Cruz isn't any of Mike Huckabee's sons.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby patito » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:09 pm

If you start overthinking the watchmen thing then everything falls apart because Ozymandias' plan is moronic and probably would amount to nothing. At least Rorschach has the sense to realize this.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:33 pm

TA wrote:It's not the same when you point to Batman, or the Joker, because those aren't ideologically or politically charged characters.


I disagree. Particularly in light of the last two movies.

TA wrote:Someone saying the Joker is their favorite supervillain, this is a nothing statement, yes. When they say their favorite supervillain is Doctor Light, that means something.


That depends on rather a lot of variables. Dr. Light's not really analogous to Rorschach because he's been around for more than fifty years, interpreted by multiple creative teams, and there is actually more than one Dr. Light.

It's absolutely true that at this point what Dr. Light is best known for is a graphic on-panel rape scene in 2004, and DC has spent most of the ensuing decade trying to run away from that (and indeed it's no longer canon and the rebooted Dr. Light appears to be specifically designed to be someone who would never do that). Just as, up until about a month ago, what Hank Pym was most known for was hitting his wife.

But, first of all, that's one story in fifty years. Second, the guy's a villain. If I were to say I consider Norman Bates to be one of the best villains in cinema history, would that be an endorsement of sexualized violence? If I were to say the same about Hannibal Lecter, would it be an endorsement of cannibalism? If I said Darth Vader, would that be equivalent to saying I really like fascists who choke people for questioning their religion?

TA wrote:Or Red Skull. Or Major Force. There's connotations to it.


There are plenty of valid reasons to consider Red Skull to be an all-time classic villain. Hell, name me a better Marvel villain created prior to 1960.

I'm pretty partial to Darkseid as a classic DC villain. (Not so much that I think he should be the only guy Superman or the Justice League ever fight, which seems to be the prevailing wisdom at DC for the past 25 years, but that's another subject.) And while he's based primarily on Nixon, there's plenty of Hitler there too.

Hell, I've got a stack of Ditko comics in this room, most of them breathlessly (and often in stilted, impenetrable language) preaching objectivism. And I love each and every one of them. That's not the same as endorsement.

I'm also partial to V for Vendetta, a book whose hero tortures his apprentice because he believes she needs the same motivating tragedy he experienced. And my all-time favorite story may be Heartbreak Soup, a book which at one point depicts a grown woman seducing a 13-year-old boy. I believe it's a seminal work in comics history -- and I also believe that by any objective analysis, Luba is a sexual predator. That I think it's a wonderful comic, and that she's a compelling character, is not the same thing as saying I approve of that behavior by real people or even by fictional ones.

But I'll give you Major Force. Anybody who lists Major Force as a favorite character is obviously trolling.

Mongrel wrote:I always read that scene as his simply being being defiant in the face of the inevitable. Kush meyn tokhes and all that.


That's my take too. Though Zed's point about his removing his face is interesting.

(Let's also not forget that he's already put the diary in the mail.)

...while I think this is a fine conversation to have, I'd really rather see it split out of the Election 2016 thread, and ideally moved over to the media board since I think what we're doing here is talking about comics, not really making any useful or relevant observations about Ted Cruz (who I do believe is a terrible person who should not be President -- and who, fortunately, won't be -- but not for any reason having to do with his list of favorite superheroes). But then, I'm a big fan of Madman, a superhero who once ate a dude's eyeball, so anything I say should probably be viewed in light of that fact.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Mothra » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:02 pm

I'd be interested to what what you like about comic book Darkseid, since his Timm animated version isn't anything hugely out of the ordinary.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Büge » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:17 pm

Thad wrote:There are plenty of valid reasons to consider Red Skull to be an all-time classic villain. Detroit, name me a better Marvel villain created prior to 1960.


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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:11 am

Mothra wrote:I'd be interested to what what you like about comic book Darkseid, since his Timm animated version isn't anything hugely out of the ordinary.


I suppose the reason he's not hugely out of the ordinary is that he's a Kirby character and "the ordinary" pretty much means "the way Kirby did it." Kirby may not have invented bombastic, monologuing, arrogant villains who talked about themselves in the third person, but in many ways he perfected them -- start naming the greatest supervillains of all time and Magneto, Dr. Doom, and Galactus are bound to be on the list.

And while some people prefer Lee's dialogue to Kirby's, I'm not one of them. I've got a certain fondness for Lee's chatty characters who invariably talk like an unhip old guy's idea of how hip young guys talk, but Kirby's dialogue -- while perhaps less skillful, and certainly not any more realistic -- feels more raw. Darkseid looks like he's hewn from stone, and his dialogue matches.

Fourth World was probably the biggest, most operatic thing Kirby ever did. But it's also defined by looking backward (the Newsboy Legion, the rise of fascism, and the whole thing being originally intended as a Thor story until he got fed up with Marvel and decided to save his new characters until he got a better deal -- not to mention Funky Flashman and Houseroy) and looking at what was then the present (Billy Graham, Richard Nixon, hippies).

In some ways Darkseid is banal -- ultimate evil, all-powerful, fascist, Satan figure, etc. -- and there's no denying that a big part of why we're still talking about him is his striking design (which also holds true for Thanos and Apocalypse, both of whom are pretty flagrant knockoffs). You could even argue that Darkseid isn't the most interesting villain to come out of New Gods; deSaad, Granny Goodness, and maybe even Glorious Godfrey could all be good contenders for that title (or maybe Funky Flashman, but only because he's a particularly cruel caricature of Stan Lee).

But in there with all that stuff are some pretty sharp ideas from Kirby -- starting with the Anti-Life Equation. Aside from its mellifluous, pure-Kirby name, there's the fascinating idea that the opposite of life isn't death, it's the absence of free will. And that Darkseid's ultimate goal isn't chaos and destruction, it's perfect order.

Then there's the famous amusement park issue, where Darkseid's running a carnival of horrors and none of the adults notice -- people are being tortured right in front of them, evil incarnate is standing right there, and they're just laughing it off. The children see the horror show for what it is and try to explain it, but their parents won't listen. There's some deep stuff about the nature of evil there, and the nature of age and cynicism.

And that's Darkseid in a nutshell, really -- while his evil is conventional in a lot of ways, it's unconventional in a lot of others. Yes, he sits on a throne on a fiery planet called Apokolips, and yes he's a big scary-looking dude with glowing red eyes -- but he's also not a guy who does a lot of punching. Indeed, the classic Darkseid pose has him just standing there with his arms folded behind his back. He's subtle (given that the bar here is "comic book supervillain"); he seldom acts directly. He's got minions, but his influence relies mostly on recognizing and exploiting the worst potentials within all of us -- obvious negative emotions like fear, hate, and greed, sure, but other, banal vices like cynicism, complacency, and lack of curiosity.

For all that, it's still a Jack Kirby superhero comic, and it's still fundamentally optimistic. And nowhere is that more apparent than The Pact (which is widely regarded as the best comic he ever made, including, purportedly, by Kirby himself). The Pact is the origin story of both Orion and Mister Miracle; it's the one that explains that Highfather and Darkseid reached a truce and sealed it by exchanging sons. (As superheroes-as-mythology premises go, that one might be my favorite, though Spider-Man's origin is a strong contender in its straight-up Greek Tragedy irony.) Highfather raises Darkseid's son Orion, while Darkseid takes Highfather's son Mister Miracle and puts him in something called a Terror Orphanage (have I mentioned how much I love Kirby's names for things?).

And the result is...both of them grow up to be heroes. In the nature-nurture debate, Kirby suggests that good will win either way, that a monster's son who has anger issues and deep doubts about his worthiness can be shown the right path and overcome his weaknesses, while a boy raised in a literal Hell can grow up unbroken and come to lead a rebellion against his totalitarian society. Darkseid is a master of manipulating human vices, but human decency is stronger.

So, y'know. Those are a few of the things I love about Darkseid.

And of all the characters Kirby created at DC, he's certainly proven to be the most popular, the most memorable, and the most enduring. (To an unfortunate extent, in some ways, as I said; I really wish DC would give him a rest for awhile, like it looked like they were going to do at the end of Final Crisis when all the New Gods got sent off to their own universe. Oh well.) But if you want to look at it in simpler terms, well, he's DC's greatest cosmic villain. There are others -- Krona, Mongul, Parallax, the Anti-Monitor, Despero, Kanjar Ro, Starro, arguably any of the various evil Kryptonians who show up all the time -- but nobody's really got that je ne sais quois that Darkseid does. And I really do think that has everything to do with Jack Kirby being Jack Kirby.

Büge wrote:
Thad wrote:There are plenty of valid reasons to consider Red Skull to be an all-time classic villain. Detroit, name me a better Marvel villain created prior to 1960.


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Re: Election 2016

Postby Lyrai » Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:12 am

I'd complain about comic talk in the election thread, but half of the republican contenders could basically be Darkseid.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby TedBelmont » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:56 am

THIS POST REMOVED FOR INSUFFICIENT CONTEXT

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Büge » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:32 am

Thad wrote:In some ways Darkseid is banal -- ultimate evil, all-powerful, fascist, Satan figure, etc. -- and there's no denying that a big part of why we're still talking about him is his striking design (which also holds true for Thanos and Apocalypse, both of whom are pretty flagrant knockoffs).


Hey hey hey. Jim Starlin admitted he was knocking off Metron, not Darkseid.

His Darkseid knockoff was Mongul.
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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:36 pm

Büge wrote:Hey hey hey. Jim Starlin admitted he was knocking off Metron, not Darkseid.


Maybe Starlin's said that on more than one occasion and in a context that I don't know about. But the quote I've seen ("Jack Kirby's Metron is clearly the more dominant influence in this character's look. Not Darkseid.") was referring, explicitly, to an early sketch of Thanos that looked a lot more like Metron and a lot less like Darkseid than the final version.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Mongrel » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:59 am

Meanwhile at the back of the pack (and thank god for that), Huckabee lets everyone know where he stands, by stating his desire to declare literal war on women using actual federal troops!
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Re: Election 2016

Postby Mongrel » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:44 pm

This is old, but incredible.



Also, new polls have The Donald at new heights. Now, Thad and others rightly point out that that and a buck fifty will get you a cup of coffee come primary day, but the article does have this wonderful line:
"Republican support for Donald Trump just continues to grow with no clear sense of who his constituency really is,"

though the best line from that article might have nothing to do with Trump at all:
though with a diverse field of credible candidates...
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