There are a lot of character archetypes that have been passed down to us almost since the beginning of storytelling. The Hero, the Hooker with a Heart of Gold, the Lovable Rogue, and many more are all archetypes we see often. One of the archetypes we see the most is that of the Wise Old Man. In other words, the magical guy of some sort that helps lead our Hero on their path to do the right thing. Though I understand the point of this archetype, it’s often one that annoys me.
Oh boy, okay, here we go. This trailer is… longer than the original teaser trailer, and we, um, get a look at some more characters, like Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor. So yeah, that’s exciting… but I’m gonna be honest. I’m beyond disappointed in how this is developing. I want to be excited for this movie, but it looks so boring.
Spoilers after the cut!
Supervillains are historically inseparable from their superhero counterparts. Batman has the Joker, Superman has Lex Luthor, Joe Biden has Nixon’s Ghost. However, as comic movies keep getting bigger, and as the MCU sucks up the world’s supply of white dudes named Chris, the villains are increasingly left behind. These guys fall into a few tidy categories, and alive or dead, find themselves forgotten when the credits roll.
Somehow, the greater realism applied to superheroes, the less room there is for supervillainy. Instead, we’re left with a handful of tropes, with only a few bad guys able to break out of the box. This dynamic is crucial to the ways our current crop of superhero blockbusters reflects our wider psychology. We ache for something bigger than ourselves to believe in, and assemble the Avengers. We question that ache, and begin the Civil War. But when it comes to evildoers, we haven’t figured out what we want. Sometimes it’s just exaggerated versions of the bad people in the world, sometimes it’s faceless alien hordes, sometimes it’s pure evil, given the nasty explanation of “mental illness.” In contrast to the depth we’ve given our heroes, our villains keep falling short.
Not long ago, a teaser trailer came out for DC’s new Batman vs. Superman movie. Ever since the title was announced, I have been nervous about the upcoming movie. I have a lot of feelings about Superman and Batman (both together and separately) and I have been waiting a long time for a team up movie to hit the big screen. But when I heard the title of the movie, I was extremely sad. I’m not going to see a Batman and Superman movie based purely on them fighting each other (we all know Superman wins that fight anyway).
No, what I really want to see in this new movie is the complex, somewhat antagonistic relationship between Batman and Superman, which eventually morphs into an epic friendship. So today for our Throwback, I want to take a look at the Batman and Superman movie that greatly shaped my perception of the two characters. The World’s Finest originally aired as as a three part episode on the Superman Animated Series in 1997, and was later re-released as a movie. Until this point there had been little to no cross-over between the Superman Animated Series and the Batman Animated Series, other than a one off comment about Batman at the start of the Superman Animated Series. So this movie was the first meeting between Batman and Superman in the animated universe. And the movie just really hit it out of the park.
Harley Quinn is one of my all-time favorite characters. I have a lot of feelings about Harley Quinn, and it has been one of my greatest wishes ever to see Harley Quinn in a live-action movie. So when I first heard about Suicide Squad becoming a movie, I was very excited. Harley has been a major player in the Suicide Squad comic and it’s always interesting to see the kind of person Harley is away from her evil counterpart and love interest, the Joker. That was always part of the appeal for me. No matter what, the Joker’s character kind of looms over Harley even when he is not present. Through mental, physical, emotional, and verbal abuse, the Joker molded Harley into the villain we see in the comics. But I think Harley is at her most interesting when she is removed from the Joker’s influence. We get to meet something of the real Harley when she is away from the Joker, and Suicide Squad was one of those comics that gave us a rare opportunity to do that.
In the New 52 her story is a little different than the original. She is still a psychiatrist who is seduced by the Joker, but she is seduced more by his ability to show her how to wield power and live freely. The original Harley was very much tricked by the Joker. He makes her think he had a broken home, a bad past, and that he doesn’t mean to be a bad guy but he can’t help it (and somehow it always ends up being all Batman’s fault). Harley falls for it and falls in love with him. The New 52 Harley is not fooled by the Joker trying to play on her emotions. She is only truly seduced by him after he gives her the severed thumb of the man who killed her father. Eventually, however, this new Harley leaves the Joker. While their relationship is still very clearly abusive and codependent, Harley seems more willing to separate from the Joker. And she’s more capable of making her own decisions, though it’s clearly hard on her when the Joker doesn’t care or notice. Though she still loves him and wants to be with him on some level, this Harley seems to be more aware that the Joker is bad for her. Her codependency and psychological issues are still everpresent and very connected to the Joker, but, at the same time, Harley is more willing to leave the Joker and pursue other romantic relationships in the New 52. (For more info about Harley’s history and development click here.)
In the new Suicide Squad movie, I was excited to see what version of Harley would be featured. Or if would be a mix of her various incarnations. But alas, once promo pictures and more news about Harley’s character in the Suicide Squad movie were revealed, I and other fans became dubious about this phenomenal female character’s portrayal. And sadly for me the issue revolves once again around her costume.
I admit that I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Supergirl. It’s probably because the first Supergirl comic I ever read featured Superman putting his poor cousin in an orphanage and Supergirl barely ever got to fight any real bad guys. But as DC rebooted the character, over time she was given much more to do and was stereotyped significantly less. She remembers more about Krypton than Superman does and is even more powerful than him. I mean, the girl can even kick Darkseid’s ass. She is a great character. It amazes me that it took this long to finally get a Supergirl TV show. And I have to say, the new trailer gives me a lot of confidence that the show is going to be awesome.
Usually everyone here at LGG&F gets along really well. We bond over our mutual love of justice and all things geek! But once in a while, chaos comes to our serene nerd community. When all of the good we try to do is abandoned and our writer’s room deteriorates into madness…
I am, of course, speaking about Valentine’s Day, that heinous holiday that sends us all into a shipping frenzy as our authors nominate and then vote on ships for our Top 20 Romantic Couples in Geekdom (10 Canon/10 Fanon) list. It is now my duty as Empress of LGG&F to present to you this year’s bloodstained list. So put on your shipping goggles and prepare yourself for the 2015 Top 20 Romantic Couples in Geekdom!