Blogs and Ends: the Follow-up Edition

This post is mostly some follow-ups to posts that I recently made but didn’t rate a second full length post.

FIRST

Batwoman.

Well, it looks like there is a new lesbian in town boys. 

The producers aren’t just recasting Ruby Rose they are replacing the Kate Kane character with an entirely new Batwoman.

If you have been laughing at the incompetent antics of Kate Kane like I have, then you know that this decision constitutes a soft reboot of the entire series. Since the entire show was about Kate’s relationships with her supervillain sister, her father, and her former/soon-to-be-not-former lover, getting rid of Kate bulldozes all of that away. The show would be starting fresh.

The new lesbian, and yes she’s going to be a lesbian (and yes, only lesbians need apply for the job) will be named Ryan Wilder and she is, “…the complete opposite of Kate Kane. “She’s likable, messy, a little goofy, and untamed,” reads the document. “With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. Today, reformed and sober, Ryan lives in (a) van with her plant. A girl who would steal milk from an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly disciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.”

My reaction was, “Christ, this is going to be funnier than the last one.”

NEXT

The Future of the Dresdenverse.

Jim Butcher originally envisioned a twenty book story arc for Harry Dresden and this year he will (finally) be publishing books sixteen and seventeen.  Which leaves him the problem of what will he do with this world after Harry’s story is told? It has to be a worrying question for the man because Dresden’s audience didn’t follow Butcher to his new Crystal Spires universe.  I’m afraid Butcher made an understandable but BIG mistake.  

Because I self-publish, I’ve had to learn the crucial importance of genre focus.  Butcher probably thought that since Dresden is Dark Fantasy, Dresden’s fans would follow him to a Steam Punk setting because there is a lot of fan cross over between Dark Fantasy and Steam Punk.  

While this is true, the problem is that the Dresden Files were ultimately Raymond Chandler mysteries.  That is what is at the core of those books.  The supernatural stuff is background material.

I think he’s figured that out because for the last few years he’s been giving side characters tryouts in their own short stories.  I think his publisher is pushing him in this direction too because, in the audio version of the shorts collection Brief Cases, there are three different readers instead of just James Marsters. And those readers were for two POV characters that weren’t Dresden.  That is kind of unusual, it felt like the readers were getting auditions. Sure, you can argue that Molly Carpenter should have been read by a woman but Marsters does a perfectly good Waldo Butters. Why bring in a third reader?

None the less, it does point to an interesting future for the Dresdenverse with these side characters as leads in their own rights. The three that I think are most likely are Molly Carpenter, the new Winter Lady, Waldo Butters, the newest Knight of the Cross (who apparently rates his own t-shirt now). Finally and possibly most interestingly of all, the adventures of young Maggie Dresden and her dog Mouse. Possibly Butcher is thinking of getting into the YA market, Maggie and Mouse wouldn’t be a bad way to do it.  Their story was called Zoo Day and Cataline Recommends with Enthusiasm.

NEXT  

The Snyder Cut.

While I was right about why the Snyder Cut was causing such a furor among the access media, there was more to the story than I knew at the time.

It’s hardly a secret that Warner Brothers has bumble-fucked the entire DC franchise all to hell.  But the reasons why are kind of nebulous. The simplest explanation is that Marvel had a team in place with a long term vision for the project, while DC did not.  

This explanation is a lie. Ironman was a bigger than expected hit and ended with a teaser regarding Nick Fury.  There was no mention of the Infinity Stones. Captain America first introduced one of them but it was never explicitly stated what they were. Feige was only potentially laying the groundwork for something bigger even though nobody at the time had any major details.  It was only with Thor that they began to plan a big team-up.

DC, on the other hand, had a different problem.  The Nolan Batman movies were a huge success but by their nature, they preclude the possibility of a superhero team-up because there were clearly and obviously, no super-powered people in that universe.  Consequently, you couldn’t build a team until Nolan finished his trilogy, and then you’d have start from square one by rebooting Batman.

This cost DC a ton of momentum. 

Ironman (2008), Ironman II (2010), Captain America (2011), and Thor (2011) between them put Marvel in the enviable position of having an audience clambering and beating the gongs for an Avengers movie which they delivered in 2012. The same year as the LAST of the Nolan Batman movies.

Now DC could start…after the race was over.

Everyone knew that there were billions on the line.  Everyone likes the idea of making billions but nobody cared about the characters in the least.  Grim-Dark had worked for DC with Batman so they decided they wanted And here I’m quoting Midnight’s Edge, “a flying Batman, an underwater Batman, a woman Batman, a robot Batman, a fast Batman… Oh and Batman.” Everyone was supposed to be stern and brooding so Warner Brothers went to Captain Dark and Stormy night himself Zack Snyder and said do what you want.  

And then they couldn’t keep their hands off what he was doing because making four different movies to introduce and make the audience care about four different characters was going to give Marvel too much time to eat DC’s lunch.

Maybe Snyder’s vision was never going to be that good.  I am not moving off my position that he never understood Superman at all. But that said, it didn’t have to be as bad as it was either.

When Whedon’s Justice League failed a lot of people at the top of Warner got fired and then the newest class of Peter-Principle executives started frantically throwing some DC at the wall to see what sticks. Aquaman and Wonder Woman succeeded. Suicide Squad and Harley Quinn failed. Joker has all the hallmarks of a movie that crushed it because the executives were too busy screwing around with Birds of Prey to pay attention to a low budget movie. Consequently, they were free to make something great. 

The new class of executives had finally agreed among themselves to a plan of action even if it wasn’t a good plan.  Cavil is out as Superman. Affleck is out as Batman. They would hire pretty-boy actors for both of these roles. 

And then disaster struck. AT&T which had recently purchased Warner Brothers looked over the situation and decided to start implementing its own plans for the DC Universe. Cavill’s very successful turn as the Witcher got him his old job back.  And for that matter, there are some very thick smoke signals going up that Ben Affleck might get another shot at Batman because Ma Bell is not at all impressed with Sparkly Batman.  Or to be exact the pretty-boy actor who has had so much of his life handed to him on a silver platter that he thinks exercising is icky because it makes him sweat.

Warner Brothers is pissed about the boss stepping in and doing their jobs for them. And worse still ignoring executives half-assed plans and just giving the fans whatever they want.

I find this all so funny I may have to triumph over myself and love the Snyder Cut.

LAST

I know things are rough right now.  And the outside world feels kind of crushing but keep a few things in mind.  First, the WuFlu has been a wet firecracker of a plague.  Millions were supposed to have died and didn’t.  Which means no one is going to remember this in twenty years.

These riots are bad but honestly were expected.  Riots happen when you have a lot of mass psychological strain. Usually, a prolonged heatwave will do it but being poor and locked up with your screaming family for months will do the job. 

This will burn out shortly, leaving the far Left lolling bed with a post climactic glow… And leaving the Right-wing with a literal “broken glass” advantage.  The side that wins is usually the side that’s the most pissed. The side that will crawl over a mile of broken glass to pull the lever at the polls. That is definitely Trump’s side at this point.  His reelection has gone from likely to probable. 

None of this is going to be remembered as being important in twenty years and most of it will be all but forgotten except by historians.

So what will be remembered as the most important even of this year?

Likely, this:

This is the beginning of something or perhaps I should say, possibly the beginning of something that will change everything.

Okay, I’m done. 

10 thoughts on “Blogs and Ends: the Follow-up Edition

  1. Thanks for sharing that.

    FWIW, I watched the last US Space Shuttle launch a couple months after the big earthquake here in Japan. And the earthquake was a week before my Little One was born. Things seemed to be going off the rails here…. then they didn’t.

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  2. Question: besides the Nixon comparisons between today’s Civil Fun-Time Antics, and those Antics from the 60’s…. what other comparisons/differences do you see?

    I was born after Nixon, and I’m trying to explain to my foreign acquaintances that things today are a lot similar to the late 60’s in the USA – so we are (hopefully) looking at a nice improvement in things in the USA soon. But I’m outta my depth to really explain the case. Can you help?

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  3. About the Batwoman replacement: if true, this means that KK will have to be swiftly removed in the first five minutes of the Season 2 premiere, so the choice is between Sudden Death and Mysterious Disappearance, with the protagonist having to leave without even showing her face and perhaps without saying a word (though it’s possible that RR has agreed to do at least a voice cameo) – which is just about the best exit we could have hoped for her.

    “Since the entire show was about Kate’s relationships with her supervillain sister, her father, and her former/soon-to-be-not-former lover, getting rid of Kate bulldozes all of that away.”
    Which showcases one of the many weaknesses of having your fictional world revolve around a Mary Sue instead of trying to make it actually work. Try to imagine, say, The Lord of the Rings without Frodo being center stage – oh wait, you don’t have to, there are loads of chapters where he doesn’t appear; now try to imagine a parallel world where Daisy Ridley broke her leg the week before they began filming Episode IX – what would have JJ done to cope with her limited involvement, give Finn an actual storyline?

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  4. I’ve been waiting for SpaceX to launch astronauts into orbit since the first time I watched them vertically land a rocket stage after launch. It was one of the coolest, most surreal things I’d ever seen. This beat it. First time I’ve really felt like the “future” was close.

    Smartphones are cool, the internet and widespread, wireless communication is essentially magic, but this is different. A (sort-of) private company *launched men into freaking space* for a fraction of what it cost NASA back when they were doing it.

    Elon Musk’s personal life may be a mess, and he may have screwed his kid with a truly horrific excuse for a name, but this accomplishment is what he’ll be remembered for. Bringing Man that much closer to space.

    Yeah, Cinder Spires wasn’t as much of a hit as I think he hoped. I liked it, but Dresden fans are Dresden fans, and that affection/addiction doesn’t necessarily transfer.

    On the Dresden files, he’s got a bit more breathing room than that, he’s actually been planning on ending it at 25-26 books, with 22-23 main “case” books and an “apocalyptic trilogy” to cap it off. But I agree that he seems to be working towards the possibility of “spin-off” series for Molly, Butters, and some others.

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  5. Re: Butcher: I tapped out pretty quickly on the Cinder Spires, and I’d bet switching over to portraying the adventures of a plucky girl and her magic dog would lose most of the current readers. Except the ones keenly interested in “which of the bad boys I’m sleeping with will be my One and Only? I just can’t decide!”. (How about all of them, shouts Anita Blake from the back of the room.)

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    1. Actually no.

      I do recommend Zoo Day in the collection Brief Cases. It was quite good. It was the same day told from three different view points having three different adventures. First it was one of Harry’s regular adventures.

      Then the day rewinds and you get the same timeline from Maggie’s POV except that she is having a different adventure that Harry can’t see. The premise for Maggie’s adventures are that there really are Things Under the Bed when you are little but you forget about them after puberty. Those are the things she fights. Children’s Monsters. It works.

      Then it rewinds a third time and it’s told from Mouse’s POV having his own adventure. Mouse is a Foo Dog or Shih-Shih Dog if you were stationed in Japan. He fights Eastern demonic creatures. Which is new for Butcher.

      “Put a dog in it,” is a cheap and always effective authors trick. Conan was the most popular character in my Great Divide Game story.

      Although you are right about Anita Blake. That first book was good but by book six you are good and deep into WTF territory.

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  6. I loved BvS, and sure, Justice League sucked, but I thought it and BvS had an interesting premise to do great how the Avengers were introduced: the biggest flaw with those first Marvel movies is they couldn’t be their own thing. Iron Man 2 and Thor spent too much time laying the groundwork for the first Avengers movie and not enough having their own adventure.

    DC at least tried to get that team up out of the way first, gave the new superheroes just enough backstory to intrigue the viewer and to explore in later movies, which could be done without the need to set up the team up.

    I just wish they’d have left Snyder alone, and that he didn’t being Superman back in the JL movie. Save that for the next team up.

    I recommend watching Nando v Movies rewrite of the JL movie. A far far better plot.

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