Archive for Iron Man

Pepper in the suit and other Iron Man 3 delights

Posted in Movies, Superhero with tags , , on April 24, 2013 by Cara Marie

I just want to say that Iron Man 3 is a beautiful movie. Read more »

Comics in brief

Posted in Comics, Fantasy, Horror, Superhero, Young adult with tags , , , , , , , on June 6, 2011 by Cara Marie

Hellblazer: City of Demons – Si Spencer & Sean Murphy

This is definitely on the horror side of things, and on the disturbing, I-wonder-if-I-could-throw-up side of horror. And it does it effectively, and for the most part without going over the top. The one part I thought was overkill came as the end, and while I see the narrative need for that trick at the end, (skip) I thought the [prelude to] sex was unnecessary – particularly him finding her closet of BDSM toys directly prior to the reveal that, hello, she’s EVIL. Because the two things are connected …

But asides from that, I enjoyed it very much. I was expecting a more nihilistic ending than we got, so that was a nice surprise.

Runaways: Dead Wrong – Terry Moore & Humberto Ramos

I’ve read the first trade of this, but none of those in-between – I didn’t like the first enough to bother, and only got this because I thought it might be worth trying again with a different author. However, while this volume might encompass a complete arc, it is in no way a self-contained story, and it was difficult to get the backstory from context. My memory of who the characters were was also very vague, and while I was intrigued by the the f/f couple, I really had no investment in any of them.

Which is kind of sad, because there’s aliens and apparently galactic wars with entire planets getting destroyed, but maybe I’ll just have to stick with rereading Starfleet Academy for that.

Iron Man: The Inevitable – Joe Casey & Frazer Irving

This was a self-contained story, on the other hand, and even with my knowledge of Iron Man being limited to a) the movies and b) the X-Statix/Avengers crossover arc, it was easy to follow. I may not be entirely sure what happened, but I was never actually confused :D As long as I can tell who won, it doesn’t matter what power-up they used to do it.

I enjoyed it quite a bit, mostly because Tony Stark is ridiculous (and that little moustache he has in the comics never fails to entertain). ‘Oh, woe is me, my name is Tony Stark and I keep getting people killed. No-one believes me that I’m not Iron Man anymore! Oh well, I can still beat you in a fight!’

I’m exaggerating, he wasn’t nearly that angsty. And the woman he gets killed at least died out of professional curiousity, not as a way to get to him. Alas, she pushed the boundaries of pseudoscience too far.

Bride of the Water God: vol 1 – Yun Mi-kyung

This is very pretty, but the story didn’t grab me – girl gets sacrificed by her community to fulfill the title role, god turns out to be in the form of a somewhat bratty young boy, except for at night, when he is older. He keeps this a secret, even after she meets him in that form. I feel like, been there, done that. I don’t think I’ll bother checking out the rest.

Kato is more awesome than you

Posted in Action/adventure, Movies, Superhero with tags , , on January 27, 2011 by Cara Marie

The Green Hornet was a ridiculous amount of fun. I know nothing about the Green Hornet’s history; here he is a rich guy whose father has just died, and who decides to use his fortune to enable the awesomeness of one Kato, who was his father’s mechanic.

Britt is mostly useless, despite being the titular hero; this is a source of conflict. While he improves over the course of the film, it is more morally than in skill: Kato remains more awesome than him. Probably also a better person.

I enjoyed the action a lot. While the stylisation of the visuals leading up to the fight scenes didn’t entirely work for me – it felt like trying too hard – watching Kato kick ass did. Britt provides most of the comedy element, being really not that competent at the ass-kicking. And I think they get the right balance between the action and comedy.

Really, the film is just Kato being awesome. That is Britt’s reaction to him: not only does Kato make a perfect flat white, he is a superlative mechanic and an amazing martial artist? Britt is basically, omigod, be my best friend.

Which happens. But Britt has to deal with being jealous of Kato, and Kato has to deal with Britt often being a condescending jerk. Kato is the one with all the know how, but Britt has the money and the name. (They both have awesome costumes.) It doesn’t really make for an equal relationship. And, funnily enough, the epic buddy fight scene doesn’t solve everything! Although it is fun to watch. Even Kato almost drowning doesn’t solve everything, maybe because Britt is so bitter when he rescues him.

Britt is often a jerk: to Kato; to Lenore, who both the boys fancy but will not have either of them (she is, however, happy to accept the role of mastermind behind it all). But the movie doesn’t condone his being a jerk, and he does manage to improve himself over the course of the film.

I was pleased with Lenore’s character (though she is admittedly the only female character of any importance to the plot). She’s smart, and there’s the sense that there’s a backstory there that we aren’t seeing, which she isn’t telling. The boys both crush on her (and how nice is that, when she’s older than them both), but she is not there as a love interest. She chooses who she will or will not go out with; if they piss her off, she will be angry; she will work with them, but on her terms. I felt a lot of affection for her.

I am sorry that the evil DA plot actually got wrapped up in this movie: maybe it was necessary to resolve Britt’s feelings about his father, but I would have liked them to have kept Scanlon around – stuck with Chudnofsky as the villain for this movie, and left Scanlon for the next one. (I am hoping there is a next one!) I enjoyed his interactions with Britt a lot, both when he was reaching out to him and when he was trying to manipulate and kill him. I would’ve liked more of that, to have his arc stretched into a more long-term antagonism.

I do find myself increasingly uneasy about casual violence. There were some scenes that made me uncomfortable – for example, when they’re in a car chase with the cops, and the result is a crash that I don’t think those police officers are going to survive. Which doesn’t bother Britt and Kato, and presumably isn’t meant to bother us, but cartoon-violence just doesn’t work for me anymore. I would’ve appreciated more effort not to kill bystanders. And I know, it’s not meant to be all Dark Knight serious business, but gosh, couldn’t they have just got away?

But I guess that’s kind of something that’s implicitly problematic in a light-hearted superhero movie. Iron Man dealt with it by making sure that we saw Tony regularly rescue the bystanders caught up his mayhem, which doesn’t feel any more honest.

I do feel like The Green Hornet is in some ways a reaction to Iron Man. Fantastic Fangirls has an excellent blog post, ‘Race, Gender, and The Green Hornet‘ (two things that shouldn’t be implicitly problematic in superhero stories but feel like they are) which compares it to Iron Man; I don’t think I would be surprised if the opposition was deliberate. The rich white guy doesn’t get away with everything. The reasons for people’s anger aren’t brushed off.

Sure, there’s stuff wrong with the movie. A lot of people seem to have hated it, which I don’t entirely understand, but okay. I still adored it: it’s fun, it does well by its characters, and left me with the thought that was so awesome. Which, really, isn’t that what you should come away from a superhero movie thinking?