Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Unaired Pilot of Heroes

So, bought the Heroes DVD yesterday and watched the deleted scenes and the unaired pilot. I could see why they retooled the pilot - the pacing felt slow and awkwardly off and with subtitles like "I'm Being Followed By a Moonshadow" - unavoidably cheesy. The pilot that aired ended up being better. However, I liked the idea of showing DL and his powers earlier than the third episode (though I'm glad they cut the subplot of having DL out to kill Nathan) and let's face it, Radioactive Nuclear Physicist/Terrorist Amid made a lot more sense than "randomly radioactive Ted" who didn't even really have a backstory. I know why they cut it, I'm just saying.
In regards to the deleted scenes, I was really sad they cut out some funny stuff (the Matt and Clare discussion ("What's Twilight Zone?" "They still have Flinstones, right?") and Hiro and Nathan's Lone Wolf or lonely Uuuf talk) as well as the fact that Clare's little brother was also an adoptee - setting him up to be superpowered as well...
Anyway I was glad to have it last night, since I've injured my back it was nice to have something to take my mind off of it. Fall premieres can't come soon enough for me. What new shows will you be watching/recording? I think I'm going to give the weird "Chuck" spy show a try, along with maybe one other - I can't fit too much more television into my schedule, what with Heroes and Lost already in rotation...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Mother Jones, shortchanging female comic book supersuperheroes

I would be remiss if I didn't address the article from Mother Jones Magazine: Supergirls Gone Wild: Gender Bias In Comics Shortchanges Superwomen

This was sort of a no-brainer for me (really? a lack of strong female characters? Stripper-wear abounds? Women stuck in refrigerators? I've never heard of anything like this before...not!) But anything to raise awareness, I guess, of the abuse and cheap-lazy-writer-gimmick use of rape of women in comics.

Joss Whedon's Fray is a good example of a comic book character who can kick ass, get into and out of trouble without any help from the guys, and manage to have an actual personality (with good AND bad attributes - wow!) I've always been a big fan of the Witchblade character, Sara Pezzini, although she is drawn like stripperella in metal bondage wear, a. because she had a real job as a cop and b. containing her own violence is a big an obstacle to her as stopping the violence acted out against her by others, which says something about female...and human...reactions to power.

More women would read comics if women were portrayed as realistic, strong characters with gray areas and not just stick-figure-with-boobs male accessories. This is not a mysterious revelation, people, it's common sense. We want to see ourselves, but better.

I don't usually stick poetry in this blog, but two poems that sort of sum up my feelings on 1. the cliches of women in comics and 2. violence against female comic book superheroes:

Female Comic Book Superheroes

are always fighting evil in a thong,
pulsing techno soundtrack in the background
as their tiny ankles thwack

against the bulk of male thugs.
With names like Buffy, Elektra, or Storm
they excel in code decryption, Egyptology, and pyrotechnics.

They pout when tortured, but always escape just in time,
still impeccable in lip gloss and pointy-toed boots,
to rescue male partners, love interests, or fathers.

Impossible chests burst out of tight leather jackets,
from which they extract the hidden scroll or antidote,
tousled hair covering one eye.

They return to their day jobs as forensic pathologists,
wearing their hair up, donning dainty glasses.
Of all the goddesses, these pneumatic heroines most

resemble Artemis, with her miniskirts and crossbow,
or Freya, with her giant gray cats.
Each has seen this apocalypse before.

See her perfect three-point landing on top of the chariot,
riding the silver moon into the horizon,
city crumbling around her heels.

Women in Refrigerators

“Not every woman in comics has been killed, raped, depowered…turned evil, maimed, tortured, or had other life-derailing tragedies befall her, but given the following list…it's hard to think up exceptions…” Gail Simone, from the Women In Refrigerators web site

You never rescue us, always ten minutes too late.
You find the note on the counter about a surprise in the fridge.
And in the next frame the surprise, the punch line:
Susan or Sally hacked into pieces, left to chill.

If by some chance we do grow powerful or popular,
we are blinded, kidnapped by demons, put into wheelchairs,
impregnated by rape. Our memories are stolen. We lose
children and husbands, are condemned to asylums.

If we’re lucky, we are changed into the villainess.
Frankly, we’ll take the spandex, play
the supporting role as long as it buys us time,
until someone comes along to free us,

to write us back to our real selves:
our dormant wings undamaged, injuries healed,
we rise once more to command the wind, put on armor,
race against the slivered edge of night.

(Poems by Jeannine Hall Gailey, from Becoming the Villainess, Steel Toe Books, 2006

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Comic Con News...

The best news out of Comic Con...Futurama's first movie-on-DVD (which will be on Comedy Central next year as well) will be called "Bender's Big Score" and released THIS YEAR probably in November. I've already watched the clip (and the panel) on YouTube...

And Heroes will be back in only one long (and a few weeks) so I'll have more to chat about then - some cool-looking new tv shows on the way...

If any of you want to share any other Comic Con will be welcomed!