One day my brain will explode…(PART 1)

Since I’ve started this blog, I read a lot of reviews from other “reviewers” and even though my standards are pretty low when it comes to judging other reviewers “Review” lately I’ve been reading such a bunch of unsubstantiated and contradictory nonsense that if my brain explodes and starts oozing out of my ear, it will be entirely their fault!

I’ve been pondering whether to cite specific names… and I am still on the fence on that one, because some writers ego’s are easily bruised, and may take it personal… but if this trend continues, it seems I may have to do so.

Although I inevitably have to allocate some blame to the “cult of personality” culture that imbues our everyday.

It seems that reviewers expect you to read them because you like their style and choices. That is a good reference for the casual reader, but for more serious comic aficionados, we prefer facts. Quantifiable statements.

This guy, in a famous comic book forum, offers us a review of Catwoman #1 that is full of “Oh pooh! I did’t like it cause I’m too cool for cheesecake!”

Jeez, talk about growing pains.

Let me revise for you’re the stages of “coolness” when it pertains to the art of “dealing with da’ ladies”

1. You are dork. You idolize them.

2. You start growing out of darkness. Some chick takes pitty on you (and you are a safe bet, also) and shows you the ropes a bit.

3. Now, some of you grow from here into stage 3. “I am too cool for the ladies”, because you start to understand that the more you chase them the more they play hard to get. And your techniques are getting better. Some of you don’t grow into this, and go back to step 1 to repeat the cycle till you get it.

4. You go through different types of relationships, and by know you understand a big deal about people in general. Some of you never get to this state, cause you marry. Others marry, and divorce, and then loop between stages 2 and 3 for a long time. Some of you finally marry your “perfect match” eventually.

5. You have kids, and grow old, but if you get this far in the proper sequence you will not miss anything, cuase you will feel you have done everything you wanted with the opposite sex in life.

This BS about bashing a comic because it has sex, cheesecake, skin, or something remotely akin to sexiness is freaking immature. Again, I don’t want to buy a Donald Duck comic and see Daisy duck in garter belt. The Tijuana bibles took care of that. But if I buy a comic about a woman of loose morals, who becomes an amazing cat burglar, who is sexually liberated, and who likely has lived “in the streets” for a while in her youth…. I expect a big hot mess, and a lot of sexually charged and sometimes sexually confused situations.

So this “reviewer” critizes Catwoman #1 because is too sexy, and it overshadows the good script. Lets apply some logic here: Is the script good? He says so. But the art is too sexy? He says so. Does that take away from the script? It can’t. Only bad art would detract from the script. So you have a good writer and a sexy artist… and he doesn’t like it? Go back to point #3 on the adolescent growth chart.

And what makes my brain explode is that his review is akin to asking a friend in the street “Hey… you saw that movie that now out in theaters?”

“Yeah” he says “It sucked”

So you don’t ask more. He is your bud. You go out for beers and forget about it, cause you don’t ask him if the direction was predictable, the script had depth, or the camera play was sub-par.

At least the reviewer from Comic Book Resources was more specific, thank goodness, and clarified that he disliked seeing the first four panels of the book focusing on Selinas breasts. I would correct him, stating that maybe the first two, but definitely the last two didn’t FOCUS on her breasts. You see? At least he gives a viable argument that you can rebuke and discus.

That type of reviewing I can respect, even if I may not be of the same opinion.

The other reviewer seems to have learned his reviewing skills from magazines such as Maxim and FHM.

I didn’t approach any of the DC 52’s relaunch with pre-concieved ideas and notions. I thought DC was expecting me not to bring any. I thought that’s what a relaunch meant: I would have a chance to read old characters in new situations with new twists and new connotations.

I had no idea that the DC cadre of characters had to conform and adjust to our individual expectations, ergo the never-ending nonsensical conundrum “should wonder woman wear pants or shorts?” and the mature answer is given in the form of the question “Who the fuck cares?” and the even more mature answer would be “No one should care two flying squirrels about that!”

People, a mature comic should not be judged in terms of displeasing your moral compass or not living up to pre-conceived expectations.

I mean, so what if spiderman is now black, or green lantern in gay (both hypotheticals)? Is the story good? Is the visual narrative rewarding? Is the art mature and well done? Is the dialog cohesive?

The complaint that the sexual tension between batman and catwoman is now gone doesn’t ring appropriate, because I am not sure the relaunch was planning on heading that way. You see? There was tension when the comic was for kids/adolescents. Then it made sense to hint at it, and leave things unsaid, but this book seems to me NOT oriented towards children.

As AN ADULT I can appreciate where they are going with it. I want to give them a chance to see if they do something interesting, because believe you me, the possibilities are there.

For example:

Selina gets infatuated with Bruce Wayne and sees him as a meal ticket out of the “Cat house” so tries to blackmaile him. Do you miss the sexual tension now?

Or this one

Selina is perceived by the supervillains as knowing that batman’s secret identity, and is pursued and relentesly harassed into giving an info she doesn’t have. Do you miss the sexual tension now?

Or this other one

Selina discovers she has a feline STD and gives it to Bruce who happens to have a Bat STD himself. The result? A race for the cure! Do you miss the sexual tension now? NO ONE SHOULD CARE! It’s an argument akin to saying you miss Jason Todd as Robin. Or you miss Adam West as Batman.

In the category of the valid complaints I would insert here that I am not sure that I would label this T+ as in Teen Plus. I think it is adult oriented, but hey! Each parent has to monitor what their kids reads, don’t they?

On a personal note I should mentioned I was ok with Catwoman #1.

I found the script well founded. I found the voices in the dialog distinct and well formed.

I found the art solid, expressive, and at times it reminded me of some of the early work that the now defunct Gene Colan gave us in his early years, the sort of flexibility on the extremities, and the softening but expressive tones in general.

O do complain that the majority of the floppies in the 52 collection (The DC Relaunch) seem to be pretty skimpy in story, meaning that they would barely make me come back if these were new characters, without background and I were meeting them for the first time. It has a quasi Manga-like effect on its visual narrative, not the visual style. In manga you don’t have problem filling 20 pages with a character walking down a street thinking, but that is BECUASE YOU STILL HAVE NOTHER 120 PAGES TO GO. Not in these floppies. At 20 pages of art, not including the cover, you can’t afford to be too lengthy, long winded, or moody, unless you are a Master Storyteller. And those come along once every two decades or so, if we are lucky.

But no, the tits didn’t bother, nor detracted from the story, the panty crotch shot didn’t offend me, the breast in your face didn’t bother me, and “mackin” with Bats didn’t throw me out of the window in dismay. 20 pages and not enough meat to the plot did turn me off a bit. But that is also happening with the majority of the other 52 titles.

PART 2 COMING SOON.

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