Monday, 22 June 2009

This is just far too good...

...and, as one commenter on Pandagon put it, also "sadly appropriate," considering how Edward's stalkerish actions are commonly construed as so utterly romantic. Oh, thank you Rebellious Pixels for reminding me how - even though it may not have been perfect - Buffy was still head and shoulders above a lot of similar shows out there.

Oops, sorry about the weird size of the thing.

Monday, 8 June 2009

A very 'not good' comic

Hey, remember that bit in Kill Bill where Bill (speaking of whom, let me just say "RIP, David Carradine") says "This is me at my most masochistic?" Well, for some reason that quote just kept popping up in my head while I was reading through the latest volume of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic. 'Cause yep, masochism really is the only way I can explain why I'm reading it at all, really.

It's not to be wholly unexpected. A common, if unfortunate side-effect of any fandom is that sometimes one will continue to invest in something long after one has become no longer, well, invested in it, just as a way of supporting it, or perhaps just out of habit, or some kind of anterograde amnesia-style perpetual forgetting of just how bad it's gotten. Perhaps it can just all be chalked up to a very misguided sense of what exactly 'fan loyalty' means. Maybe it's just Emotional Branding.

Anyway, to sum up, what I'm getting at here is that I really did not enjoy Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Time of Your Life. To summarise, ToYL is a story in which Buffy is brought into the future by a centuries-old and apparently evil (although in actuality, really just very confusing and seemingly confused about her own motivations) version of Willow, who, for some reason or another, opts to start a fistfight between Buffy and her far-future counterpart Fray. Buffy then kills future Willow before coming back in time, the end. Somehow this took four issues and for some more apparent reason, I felt a little ripped off. You know what's a good deal if you like both superhero-versus-superhero punch-ups and Joss Whedon? That Astonishing X-Men special he penned a short for a little while ago that also collecteda bunch of old comics in which the X-Men met, fought and then teamed up with other Marvel super-heroes like the Fantastic Four, the Avengers or Spider-Man. This new, Buffy/Fray one on the other hand, is a confusing mess that seems to ultimately lead nowhere and really perhaps is just an excuse to get people to shell out $15 for a very brief and poorly justified fist fight.

Oh, and don't even get me started on the non-entity that is the story's so-called sub-plot. Some magical monsters attack our heroes, who then fight back and win. Yes, it really is that simple, and yes, it somehow took four issues to tell. Damn you, decompression!

One interesting curiosity though is that this collection also contains a one-off story based around the Buffy animated series that never was, which is slightly weird, because surely that makes it a spin-off of essentially nothing. Sure, the unaired pilot is still floating around the internet for those who wish to find it, and yeah, I think they may have released some toys/statuettes/maquettes 'based on the series' before, but those may have just been solicited and then disappeared into the ether like that BtVS tarot deck that was solicited a while back (and I must admit, I so would have bought, in probably not my wisest of purchases), but still, I find the whole thing a little odd. So yeah, there's that little curiosity there.

Anyway, I guess that's me done until I inevitably buy the next volume of this stuff and then begrudingly review that.

Ooh, luckily I picked up the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen too to help cleanse the pallet (ThreePenny Opera references for the win!).

"How do you like my new uniform?"

Get a load at the new look Harley Quinn, as redesigned for the upcoming video game Batman: Arkham Asylum . (Her old look is featured below, in case you need a reference.) Personally, whilst I can kind of understand the thinking that must have gone behind the redesign (a mix of "we need a more realistic costume," and "we need to turn her into something that'll make her more evidently appealing to teenaged boys."), I still think it all looks a little American McGee's Alice for me. And hey, whilst I enjoyed that game back when it came out, now I think I'm more inclined to go with the line of thinking that brought about this particular Penny Arcade parody. Sometimes Todd McFarlane-ising things is not the most sensible way to go.

Consider it just the grumblings of a comic fan, but I just don't think putting a girl in a corset and leather boots compares to the simple yet dynamite design work on display in Bruce Timm's original creation. And hey, if they were worried that people wouldn't find the look realistic, they probably should have checked to see whether people have actually tried to pull it off in real life...

Haskins! Fairy tales! Feminist criticism!