Week of 6-1-2022
One of the things that always bothers me about serialized shows over episodic are these kind of in-between shows like we had on Superman and Lois this week. It’s not really filler… Well, the subplot about Lana‘s daughter and her music might be, but for the most part, these are all story threads that need to get into the series but can’t necessarily be wrapped up in a solo adventure. There’s not so much a story going on this week as there is connective tissue being developed.
In the aftermath of Superman finally telling Lana his secret, we really spent a lot of the episode with her trying to deal with that, and how that affects her relationship with the Kents. While I think the revealing your secret identity trope
is way over done (Let’s face it, live action Batman whips that mask off anytime potential booty is in the vicinity) what I really enjoy about this episode is it finally gives us some real Lois and Lana drama. It’s something that I didn’t realize I was missing so much. Lana and Lois were always a little uneasy around each other, indeed sometimes downright hostile towards each other in the comics… We haven’t really seen a whole lot of that in this story. Lana reveals to Lois that she’s not nearly as angry at Clark and she is at Lois. Since they moved to Smallville they really connected. They had a real friendship… She was the one that Lana would call if she needed something or just needed to talk. That’s the betrayal she’s feeling. It is completely irrational and unreasonable, because as Lois explains, it wasn’t her secret to tell. In fact, I find myself a little disappointed in Lois here because she ends up coming back to say she’s sorry and then laying out everything else… Jordan,
the history, everything about Superman. That’s not the Lois Lane as I know. Lois is stronger than that, even in the face of this sort of friendship. We get such a good description though, of her life and metropolis. Too busy with work, and then with being a mother… She never had time for real friends. It’s an interesting perspective and one that rings true. It’s a sort of character development that really makes Superman and Lois such an interesting series, and some of the best Superman I’ve seen in my lifetime. We get some shenanigans with the kids as well, and again I can’t overemphasize… I should hate these teenagers. These characters have so much potential to just be annoying frustrating and a distraction from the main plot, but I’m finding myself invested in everybody. It’s good stuff, and we’re starting to see the beginnings of the armor for Steele’s daughter. We knew it was coming, and I’m actually kind of excited to see it show up.
Speaking of shows that are in the middle of a serialized story… Obi-Wan is really kind of stuck in the middle here with episode three. It’s a sort of thing that kind of makes me wish this is just been a film instead. There’s not enough for a six hour miniseries, but plenty for two. Still, we’ve got some action as Obi-Wan spirits lay out a way throug
h a sort of Jedi underground railroad
. It’s interesting enough, but then we really get some chills with the arrival of Darth Vader. We get the whole assembly and armor sequence, and just the sheer intimidation of him wandering the streets. Indeed, I think this is a lot of what the fandom really long for. It’s the kind of thing we wanted to see in between the films and certainly during the wilderness years. It’s one of the reasons why the Marvel comics are still as beloved as they are. To see this familiar shapes… Stormtroopers and probe droids and Vader flanked by all of it, it’s a beautiful thing. Seeing him fight with Obi-Wan… I know the back of my mind is screaming they’re breaking canon, but it really is a sort of thing you want to see. The fact that they’ve got Ewan McGregor at the perfect age for this in the storyline as well is a real blessing. Especially since as I mentioned last time, he’s honestly become more Obi-Wan than Alec Guinness. It does_however one of my problems with the prequel’s. I’ve never been able to reconcile Hayden Christensen Anakin Skywalker or Jake lights for that matter, as Darth Vader. The Vader we see in episode three is evil. He’s cruel and impatient. He’s everything that made him so terrible in the original trilogy… But he doesn’t feel like Anakin in the prequel‘s. He doesn’t move the same way our talk the same way… He is far more prone to snap and murder somebody in the blink of an eye. There is so much of the refined brutality in him that it just never feels like Anakin . But I’ll tell you what it does feel like… This absolutely feels like Darth Vader to me.
That makes the inclusion of inquisitive Reva so much more baffling. She’s fine for what she is, but if you were going to include a villain like this… I mean why? Why have A second stringer like this when you actually have access to Darth Vader as a villain? Putting him in there makes anyone else pale in comparison and quite frankly I think I’d enjoy this more if all of her lines and duties were basically just handed straight to Vader. Vader wasn’t above doing foot work and getting his hands dirty… He wasn’t the grand pubah of the Empire (Although he was pretty close). The fact that he was a hands-on sort of leader only makes him more terrifying and he’s the real deal and I think fans want to see in the series. It only lends further credence to my belief that the Reva character and most of her art was grafted onto the series for runtime purposes… And honestly, there’s not a whole lot of use for it. I’m far more interested in seeing character development with Obi-Wan than I am with her and her strangely modern American hair (seriously, it’d be like if someone had given Lando an Afro and Empire strikes back it would’ve just stuck out like a sore thumb and so does this!). I’m also disappointed in Lucasfilm in characterizing any criticisms of the show or of the character in particular
as racism. It’s a really tired old trope, and attacking the fans makes me less than enthusiastic about following this show… Not more.
Nevertheless, we’ll see what happens next week.
The Orville has returned! Holy crap, I didn’t realize just how much I was missing this show. It’s kind of like back when I first watched the Orville
. It reminded me just how much I missed having good Star Trek
like Next Generation
or Deep Space Nine
. That’s kind of the thing… It took dreck like Discovery
to make me realize how much I missed the days of Berman and Braga. And it took a couple of recommendations between my best friend and Gary over at nerd Roddick to really get me on board… But now that I am, I’m so happy the series is back. I’ve missed it since it went on that extended hiatus after the second season. Especially considering we left so much kind of unresolved. Season three comes back with a vengeance… Literally. The story kind of involves the way the crew is relating to Isaac, the robotic crewman… Part of the race of robots I just tried to destroy humanity. Basically, Orville
borg. The thing is, they handle it extremely well. We get themes of unease and bigotry and xenophobia but we explore all sides of it, and quite frankly, the people who are espousing The various views… Pro and con, they’re all part of the heroic cast. This way we get to really explore the ideas, rather than what modern Star Trek does… Just telling you what you’re supposed to believe… This one’s more interested in playing with the concepts and letting you find your own truth. Even if it’s hopefully theirs… That’s how real Star Trek
always do politics, and it’s refreshing to see it again. Looking at things from all sides.
The other thing this gets right, something that is extremely Star Trek, is the starship porn. Let me tell you something, this first episode of the third season is total starship porn. The Orville is in space dock for refit, and while we only kind of heard about the refit of the Enterprise NCC-1701, we really see a lot more of it here. A lot of space walks, a lot of fly-bys, lots of shots of the spac
e dock itself. If you’re a fan of beautiful starships, this is absolutely for you. Really lovely looking ships is something that’s absolutely been missing from Star Trek
ever since the new TV series begun. While I wasn’t a fan of the 2009 Enterprise, there were some real design chops there. Everything in Discovery
is just flat and ugly… The Orville
understands working the beauty of a starship and it all makes it so much more fun. I am so glad to have the Orville back, I am so glad to have some real Star Trek back to watch While Prodigy
catches up and gets ready to launch the back half of it season.
By the way, for anyone wondering, yes, I’m still keeping up on the foods that made us and it’s sister show Adam eats the 80s. The 80s show isn’t nearly as much fun as I had hoped and unfortunately, the food that made America… I don’t know if it’s running out of steam or not. But I will say this, little Debbie versus Entenmann’s… That’s some weird subject matter!
Not much to speak of and comics last week so I may as well tag it on here. I did pick up Deadpool bad blood… This is sort of Rob Leifield‘s triumphant return to the character he created. Thing is, the Deadpool that Rob Leifield created is not really the Deadpool we know today. There’s significant differences in tone and in general zaniness and all that’s fine. But life is treating him the way he always did. That’s his prerogative, he’s the creator. But what the sense of being, is very much a Rob Liefeld book for Rob Liefeld fans. And boy, is it ever Liefeld. I mean, Liefeld on steroids. It’s a little jarring, almost enough to make me rethink my constant emphatic defense of the man’s style.
Still, I expect that Liefeld fans will really dig this, but I got admit, it’s just not for me. Issue one didn’t do a whole lot for me, and I’m jumping off this title with issue two.
Ghost Rider on the other hand, continues to blow my mind. I’ve dipped my toe in Ghost Rider here and there over the years. He’s a staple of the Marvel universe, but he’s usually treated mostly as a superhero. Perhaps supernatural superhero adventures, or Scooby Doo – kids Halloween party levels of spook. But it’s always comic book spooky. It’s always super hero affair, it’s always comics code levels of terror.
That’s not what we’re getting from this Ghost Rider series.
This Ghost Rider book is straight up horror. Not dark fantasy, not horror edged or supernatural heroics, this thing feels like straight up horror. Not even comic book horror, like Man Thing or Tomb of Dracula… Reading this book gives me very similar vibes that I get from old Garth Ennis Hellblazer back in the day. We’re constantly seeing unspeakable monstrosities slither into existance. The writer knows he can’t pull off a jump scare but he can definitely shock you. He can create imagery that just lingers and disturbs and that’s exactly what he does. There’s a real brilliance to it and I feel like this is what Ghost Rider always should’ve been… What it always wanted to be. This one’s a book you absolutely need to go out and pick up.
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