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Bio: I am a professional writer from the United Kingdom and a lifelong comics fan. I also cook.

APoetSomeday's Recent Comments
August 21, 2013 8:38 pm I feel that Tomasi has created an essential Batman tale in this run. These last few issues are absolutely indispensable for the modern Bat-fan. If you read the story of Damian's death and you didn't read this one, then you only read half of the story. I feel that, by the end of this issue, Tomasi and Gleason were simply exhausted. Their run has been so taut and emotionally engaging (without ever resorting to over the top melodrama or worn-over cliches, you'll note) that they were simply happy to have done with it and move on. I could almost feel Gleason sigh with relief as he finally threw down his pencils, or Tomasi lean back at his keyboard after the final draft of the final page, too weary to cry over it anymore. This, to me, felt like a true acceptance of Damian's death from both a creative and a character standpoint. Like all death, it is hurtful and unexplainable and leaves your life is disarray. I felt that Bruce did what I did when I lost a number of people in my life: after months (in some cases, years) of shutting people out, he embraced those people who were sincere in their desire to help and realized that he had been remiss in his responsibilities to them. They were suffering as well, but now it was more a result of his own emotional distance from them...And he finally stopped to consider that fact. Then he cried, something he thought he'd forgotten how to do. I've been there myself and so, I imagine, has Mr. Tomasi. My girlfriend, who is just starting to enjoy reading comics, read my copy whilst I was out and was moved to tears, even though she hadn't read any of the other issues. Pete and Pat - you made magic in this issue. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This was a satisfying, poignant and rewarding ending. Reading this, I was proud that I am a comics fan.
August 21, 2013 8:21 pm In my opinion, the biggest problem that DC has with its movies is that they aren't a lot of fun. Nolan's take on Batman was darker than dark and, whilst the first two were good films, they can be unbearably bleak if watched in rapid succession. Because they were so dark and brooding, I don't feel that they really captured the essence of the character or his world. For me, they got one aspect right: the darkness, beyond that, little else was recognizable. The Nolan movies also cling desperately to 'realism' and apply it to a story and character that are, essentially, a fantasy. Go back and re-watch 'Batman: The Animated Series' again, those shows were dark, but they were also very, very funny. This ruthlessly objective and nihilistically 'realistic' approach stripped Superman of his charm and his heroic qualities, creating instead a cynical, selfish and abjectly frightening 'Man of Steel' as well (as a film with that displayed all the joy of a 'Burger King' commercial). 'Green Lantern' was actually a decent movie and certainly does not deserve the shit it gets, of the movies mentioned, it is the most fun to re-watch. I get that there are problems with it, but I like it, it made me want a Green Lantern ring even more than I already did. DC need to amp up the fun, but in a timeless way, not by invoking endless pop culture references and poking fun at the source material (those Marvel movies will be painful to watch in a decade's time). How about some beautiful people doing amazing things? I'd personally love to get as close as possible to feeling what Cyborg feels when he interfaces with the Internet itself, or how it feels to dive out of a Bat-Plane in low-Earth orbit, or what it must be like for The Flash to reach supersonic speed and hear his own footsteps after he stops running. The DCU is an amazing place, it has yet to be rendered so onscreen (in live action, at least). DC's characters are all about fun and escapism. Endless, hope-devouring darkness and hand-wringing melodrama simply do not suit them (and never have). Emotional pain and moral obstacles work in stories, of course, but ultimately, DC's pantheon are, as Josh (I think it was Josh) said on one iFanboy show "shiny beacons of hope". Treat them as such and they will always deliver. The Justice League are bold, futurist icons. Progressive, powerful and amazing. Let's make people believe a man can fly and ENJOY THE SENSATION instead of treating it as one more burden to bring you down in a life of morbid self pity and alienation. This is where Warners are going wrong. If it was me, I'd START with the Justice League movie (like 'The New 52' started with Justice League Issue 1) and introduce our heroes to the world all in one go. The movie would be an ADVENTURE movie, (not an action movie or a Sci Fi movie) and it would be about the appearance of heroes and villains into a world just like ours. The story would chart the journey from nihilism (where DC's characters falter and fail) to optimism (where DC's characters reign absolutely supreme every single time). There would be Human drama, of course, but our characters would be stronger for it, not get beaten down by it.
August 9, 2013 4:02 pm I'm glad SOMEBODY understands my position on it! You'd be surprised how much shit I get about simply not wanting to watch a bloody movie! The last film I saw at the cinema was 'The World's End', which was really fun and enjoyable. I'm a big Simon Pegg/Nick Frost fan (Star Trek 2009 notwithstanding) going right back to 'Spaced', so this was a really fun movie. I agree totally that there aren't enough comic book readers in Hollywood. There are a lot of posers who are saying they like comics just to get work. That said, I'm going to come out and say that I really liked the 'Green Lantern' movie, a film reviled by almost everyone. I thought it was a really fun adaptation of Johns' work on the book, Ryan Reynolds was kind of a dick, but that suits the Hal Jordan of 'Secret Origin' quite well. The effects were pretty cool and it was great to see Sinestro, Kilowog and The Guardians rendered onscreen. It wasn't a perfect movie, but I really liked it. I was disappointed that they didn't make a sequel (because I was excited to see Larfleeze, Saint Walker and others). So I'm not completely anti-comic book movies. I have enjoyed some. I also LOVED both Hellboy movies. The design work in the second one was great, as was Ron Perlman who, in the words of my brother "was just painted red and left to get on with it" (very true). Once again, the lack of a sequel is a shame. I wanted to see this version of Hellboy adapt to parenthood. Being British, I loved all the trolls and faerie folk, as well as the name-checking of Nuada, one of the oldest Celtic deities. In England, he was known as Nodan and was worshipped as a God of the fields, boundaries and arable land. In Wales, he was known as Nudd. Flash Fact: Nuada was also the 'sun God' whom the villagers sacrifice Edward Woodward to in the original 'Wicker Man' film. With the advent of Christianity, the Irish Gods were demoted to 'culture heroes' and such like, but Nuada had been beheaded by Balor by then (although in the movie, Nuada murders Balor, who is also his father). The story goes that the Tuatha De Danan retreated into 'faerie hills' and lived underground after being conquered by the ancestors of the modern day Irish, they remain there to this day, if memory serves. That was quite a tangent. Still, I loved Hellboy 2, there's a bunch of fun nods to Celtic (especially Irish) mythology in there.
August 8, 2013 9:51 am Well said. I do have a lot of friends who pressure me to watch movies that I essentially don't want to see and then shout me down and ridicule me as a "nerd" or a "fanboy" when I dislike the movies. I just can't win, which is a major reason why I stepped away from it all. The J.J Abrams 'Star Trek' movies are about the only movies I hated more than MOS. They were, in my opinion, the dismantling of a beautiful dream. I feel that everything Roddenberry set out to say about the future of Humankind in TOS and TNG was ripped apart by a fascistic, degrading special effects-fest with all the sincerity and charm of an Apple commercial (by a director who confesses to not actually understanding or particularly liking 'Star Trek' at all, no less). It feels to me like a real shame that nobody seems to be willing/able to faithfully adapt source material any more. We're all so high on hype and marketing that only drastic changes and 'shocking' departures from the norm (that serve mainly to enrage 'purists' and divide the audience) seem to be able to sell a movie these days. How many reviews/articles/discussions in print and online were about MOS or Star Trek as a piece of cinema and how many were about all the fan-controversy those films caused? When people like me get mad because something we've loved our entire lives is being done badly or ruined at a base level, we're essentially advertising their movies for free, which is what the film makers want. They've effectively built a sleazy, greedy, capitalistic version of the 'Sex Pistols' marketing strategy from 1977. Another reason why I walked away, I'm a Pistols fan, but at least they created memorable works to go with their gaudy publicity stunts. I actually did like Avatar, although it was insanely hyped. My girlfriend's Mum walked down the aisle to part of the soundtrack and I saw it about three times in the cinema. Believe it or not, I vastly preferred the 2D version. As a script, Avatar is solid, but not spectacular. However, as a piece of visual art, it is completely and utterly breathtaking. I really felt like I was getting my money's worth in the visuals alone! lol I do tend to avoid comic book movies, because I generally don't like them very much. I opted not to watch Dark Knight Rises because I could see that it wasn't going to work for me. I hated the design of Bane (duffel coat and gimp mask - not a good combination) and I couldn't see Hathaway as Catwoman. My brother saw the movie and he really hated it. He said it was visually excellent, but that the story was incredibly badly done and very anticlimactic. Along with my initial issues, the reasons that he gave were enough to convince me that I probably wouldn't like it, so I avoided it completely. I loved The Dark Knight, however. But I have no interest in seeing 'Rises' and arguing about it endlessly if I don't like it.
August 7, 2013 4:23 pm The way I see the Superman/Batman dynamic is this: In the age of psychology, Batman is king, in the age of mythology, Superman is king. I essentially see Batman as an ubermensch and Superman as a demigod. With that approach, pretty much any rendition makes sense. Read Superman as mythic, like a 20th century Beowulf or Hercules and he makes sense, read Batman as Sherlock Holmes, Arsene Lupin or Harry Houdini and he makes sense. I had no idea that Bruce Timm didn't like Superman. That's one on me. For me, multiple incarnations of a character is fine and necessary to that character's longevity, in that respect, I heartily agree. However, to change the character completely is simply lazy writing and, I feel, speaks to a base lack of respect for that character. I'd feel the same if Robin Hood stole from the poor and gave to the rich, or if Humpy Dumpty had a great sense of balance, it gets away from the soul of the character. As a fellow veteran of the 'Man of Steel' wars (albeit one who fought on the opposite side), I know exactly what you mean about the arguments and I don't want to dredge it up here either. I'd just like to say that a new interpretation of a character is one thing (pretty much all the Batman versions you mentioned can conceivably be the same character, many of them belong to the same continuity, they simply highlight different aspects of that character's personality), but the Superman of MOS is, in my view, a completely different character than any other version of Superman. Its not a revision, its a complete and totally different person. That character has nothing at all in common with any other version of Superman that I've ever seen (except maybe The Plutonian). That doesn't mean that I'm damning you for liking the movie, or for seeing this change as refreshing. I have far too much respect for you and your opinions for that, I'm just trying to establish what I (and probably others you've argued against) are getting at. Anyway, as for Mark Waid, I think he'll always have Superman stories. I also think you should definitely ask him about the future if you get the chance. Another good Superman writer is Geoff Johns, I'd be keen to see a Geoff Johns/Ivan Reis run when the team's 'Justice League' is all wrapped up. Funny that you mentioned Lemire, to this day, I have read very little of his stuff. I just feel like DC is ramming him down my throat all the time. He's probably a great writer and I'm probably missing out, but it just seems that between Snyder and Lemire, DC isn't anything like as interested in pushing any of their other writers. I don't know why it irritates me, it just does. I feel a bit like I do when I watch WWE these days and every single second is like JohnCenaJohnCenaJohnCenaJohnCena as if there weren't any other wrestlers in the company, y'know? One of these days, I shall probably track down Jeff's 'Animal Man' run or whatever in trade and scold myself for not getting into it sooner. One of these days, but not today. lol. Going back to 'Man of Steel' I hope you didn't think I was starting an argument. I'm really not trying to. The thing is, I was so genuinely hurt by that film (as silly as it sounds), that I sometimes come off a bit heavy-handed about it. I actually had a huge all-day row with a very good friend of over a decade (who even happens also to be a former bandmate of mine) which got really ugly. So don't take anything I wrote personally please. All I was trying to do was clarify what my particular problem with the film was. Needless to say the thought of Zack Snyder getting hold of Batman (my all-time favorite character) doesn't exactly fill my heart with joy. :) I usually avoid comic book movies, because, as a comics fan, I don't see a great deal of respect for the source material, but it gets harder and harder to avoid them because so many are being made that it essentially makes you a pop-culture illiterate if you don't keep up (and a large part of my job involves knowing about that stuff). Its a difficult decision, do I live in a cave for the rest of my life, ignorant but happy, or do I go and watch 10-15 absolutely crappy movies in order to get one 'Dark Knight' or 'Hellboy'? Decisions decisions.
August 5, 2013 7:33 pm @Itho, I'm really sorry that you felt like I ignored your post. My response was only supposed to be brief, but like I said, it was late and I was struggling to find the words. It sort of spiraled out of control for a bit there and went off in a slightly bizarre tirade. I work as a commercial writer and I'm often working late at night (I sleep in the day). As a result, sometimes not all my synapses are firing as well as I might like. If I ignored anything you wrote, it would have been an accident (or else something that I felt I'd already written elsewhere in this thread). I totally agree that Superman has really struggled lately, which is sad because he is my second-favorite Superhero (after Batman) and he deserves so much better. Morrison's run on 'Action' was by far my most anticipated book in the New 52, but I dropped it after four issues. Morrison is, as I've said elsewhere, my all-time favorite comics writer and 'All-Star Superman' is my favorite Superman story of all time (or at least one of them) and so I had high hopes for that particular reboot. However, a combination of inconsistent artwork, lack of an engaging story and backups that were just awful (Steel beat the villain with a flash key!? Really?) turned me away bitterly disappointed. Elsewhere, 'Man of Steel' was by far the worst film I've ever seen in my life (and I spent ten years of my life studying and working on films). It was absolutely risible. I'm not going to go on and on about it here (largely because I'm sick of arguing about it with other people), but it actually depressed me for several days after I saw it. It does sometimes feel like nobody can write a decent Superman story anymore. This is why I have such high hopes for Snyder's 'Superman Unchained' - which I think is pretty great so far (as well as the 'Batman/Superman' series). If it was up to me, I'd give one of the Superman books to Mark Waid and maybe (if they could get him) Bruce Timm. Pay Waid whatever he wants, kidnap his loved ones, I don't care, just get Waid on a Superman book again. That would rock. Morrison's run apparently improved, but for me, the best Superman writer in the world not currently writing the character is Waid.
August 5, 2013 7:09 pm @WAC1 The 'Mad Love' trade is glorious. It was so nicely put together and the quality of the storytelling is amazing. Royer didn't do the Poison Ivy story (as far as I can tell, anyway), but he did ink the cover to the Ra's Al Ghul/Demon story, giving Timm's art a Kirby-esque vibe that was soooo perfect I can't really describe it. I thought Royer did the dream sequence too, but apparently not. In fact, Timm may have inked those pages himself. They even dedicated the story to Jolly Jack - How awesome. I have loved the Joker solo story 'Laughter After Midnight' by Paul Dini & John Byrne since childood, it pretty much captured Joker's character perfectly. I loved his encounter with Stan the Doughnut Boy - Hilarious and genuinely scary, just like The Joker should always be! We also get art by Klaus Jansen and Matt Wagner in that volume as well! DC really put a lot of top talent behind 'The Batman Adventures' book, even though it could easily have been a simple TV show tie-in and probably sold pretty well without anything more than simple, child-friendly stories about Batman fighting Joker. It just goes to show that a little effort (and a lot of talent, and Paul Dini as a writer) gets you a long way indeed.
August 5, 2013 6:53 pm I'm a huge fan of Sartre. Once more we agree mate! :) I especially like 'Existentialism is a Humanism' and his short story collection 'Intimacy', but I have most of his major works on my bookshelf (including 'Being & Nothingness' and the 'Roads to Freedom' trilogy and 'The Words'). I'm a pretty big fan of existentialist philosophy and French academia as well as classical philosophy and Psychology. Its nice to see that I'm not alone!
August 4, 2013 8:26 pm LOL - A character heavily based on Sartre (he's called 'Sarter') does indeed commit suicide by hurling himself from the cliffs of Blackgate Prison in the Batman story 'Madmen Across The Water' by Alan Grant and Tim Sale. You just reminded me of that! :)
August 4, 2013 8:23 pm @WAC1 - Inkers deserve more respect from the outer fringes of comics fandom (as well as mainstream media), but good inking is very much loved by long-time fans and true appreciators of the form. However, multiple inkers isn't always a bad thing. The 'New 52' 'Green Lantern' title had Mahnke's pencils inked by about 150,000 inkers per panel (actual number may vary) and the art in that book was routinely great to look at. You always mention inkers, WAC, you're definitely someone who appreciates the art of these people. To any doubters: Would Jim Lee's stuff look as great without Scott Williams? I sincerely doubt it. PS - Ever seen Mike Royer inking Bruce Timm? That was something.