Fanfiction Fridays: Not A Brother Not A Friend by kleine_aster

I really wanted to rec something lighthearted for you guys, but after a long week with a shitty boss, I had no mental energy whatsoever to relate to anything outside my own personal experiences. So instead, I ended up going through my pages and pages of bookmarks trying to find something that featured a completely platonic relationship and that was also safe for my current mental state.

In the process, I came across an older story about Jason Todd, Dick Grayson, and their brotherly hatred for one another. Well, Jason Todd comes with his own psychological problems, and most stories with him deserve multiple trigger warnings, but since my depression and anxiety sucked ass this week, reading a fic about a character going through a massive panic attack ended up being exactly what I needed. Not A Brother Not A Friend isn’t a safe read in that regard, but it was definitely platonic and relatable, and for this week, that was good enough.

Trigger warning for mental trauma up ahead.

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Under the Red Hood Movie Review

undertheredhoodmovieWell, since I’m still awaiting the release of Justice League: War and am currently too lazy to start my Arkham Asylum reviews, I figured it was time to get around to talking about Under the Red Hood, which is probably my favorite comic book animated feature to date.

Under the Red Hood is a dark and twisted movie that’s really not afraid to show a more sinister side to the Batman mythos, and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s hard to do a movie about the second Robin, Jason Todd, without some mention of the macabre, and I doubt the story would be as powerful without it either. Jason’s drama comes from a dark place, so it makes perfect sense that a movie about him would be just as dark and violent; it’s wonderful that this story doesn’t shy away from that.

Spoilers for Under the Red Hood after the jump.

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Holy Movie Reviews Batman It’s The Dark Knight Rises

MadameAce: So this movie is okay. I like it. I certainly like it more than other movies for DC. But I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would. Maybe that’s because I built it up so much in my head before watching it that it couldn’t possibly live up to my expectations. Or maybe it’s because the conflict is the exact same conflict in the previous films, only with an even drearier tone. Or it might just be the fact that I couldn’t understand Bane’s character at all. Among other things, of course. And that’s Bane, not Bain, dear Rush.

Lady Geek Girl: I was actually fairly pleased, probably because I didn’t build the movie up in my head. So it actually went beyond my expectations. Here’s the thing, if you were expecting the movie to be just as good or better than The Dark Knight then you were probably disappointed. I was so worried about being disappointed that I ended up liking it instead. That’s not to say that this movie isn’t without flaws though, because there are probably more flaws in this movie than in Batman Begins or in The Dark Knight.

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Fanfiction Fridays: The Choice of Family (And Its Sequels) by Silver Spider

Sometimes comic books don’t do what I want them to do (see: DC Comics Reboot). Comics for the most part tend to be more concerned about the action that is occurring in the story than the relationships between the characters. There are notable exceptions of course, but for the most part comics are focused more on action and fighting. For those of you that long for some more character and relationship building I suggest you turn to your favorite fanfiction site.

I love all things Batman and I love the Bat Family. The dynamic in that family is fantastic, interesting, and multilayered, but because many of the characters in the Bat Family are emotionally stunted, and because comic writers aren’t often going to create a series simply to explore characters’ relationships, the dynamics of this family are often not explored.

Silver Spider’s fanfiction, The Choice of Family and its subsequent sequels, fills this gap in the comics to explore the familial relationships in the Bat Family.

Silver Spider wrote a series of one-shot fanfics that focus primarily on the relationships between Batman and the various Robins. The Choice of Family is the first in the series and begins in a hospital with Damian Wayne (Robin) and Tim Drake (Red Robin) watching over an injured Dick Grayson (Nightwing). As the story progresses the reader learns that Dick was injured in a gang altercation involving Jason Todd.

Jason, for those maybe less familiar with Batman, is a former Robin who was murdered by the Joker and later resurrected. Jason is the estranged son of the Bat Family, angry with his father and his siblings for not avenging his death by killing the Joker. The Jason Todd of the comics often struggles with his own anger toward his family, but occasionally the fact that he still cares about them is made known.

Silver Spider shows this amazingly well. In The Choice of Family, Jason feeling guilty, shows up at the hospital to check on Dick and even attempts to apologize for his actions, though he doesn’t take full responsibility for what happened at the time.

I might be a bit bias, but Jason’s journey throughout the series is arguably the most compelling. Jason begins by being angry and vengeful, blaming everybody but himself for his problems, but starting with Antidote for the Poison and climaxing in In Father’s Honor, Jason changes and grows. Jason becomes more mature and learns to turn to his family with his problems, which then allows him to begin to overcome his past and start on a better path.

As a Jason Todd fan girl this is kind of my wildest dream.

But perhaps the thing I like most about this series is that the familial relationships are stressed far more than in the comics.

In the Batman comics, the only one of Bruce’s children that calls him father is Damian, and the Robins never really refer to each other as brothers, but in Silver Spider’s series the Robins often refer to each other as brothers and refer to Bruce as their father.

Simply by using names like father and brother, Silver Spider takes the Bat Family to a whole new emotional level than the comics really have. It’s a nice and much needed change.

This is an amazing fanfic that I would highly recommend to anyone. For those interested in a good fanfic that doesn’t focus on pairings (though there are a few het pairings, they aren’t usually the main focus) and really deals with interesting canon relationships between the characters, Silver Spider’s The Choice of Family and it’s sequels are few you. Check it out!

Trailer Tuesdays: Arkham City

So far I think I should mention that this is shaping up to be just as epic and badass as Arkham Asylum. The gameplay, from what I’ve seen, looks pretty similar, but Batman does take down quite a few henchmen in ways that he didn’t in the first game, such as smashing their heads together from behind. Then, there are also times when the player apparently fights as Catwoman, which looks pretty epic too.

Speaking of Catwoman, there seems to be a lot of characters making their first physical appearances in the series, such as Robin and the Riddler. The Riddler himself wasn’t entirely absent from the first game, but it’ll be nice to see him in person here. Unfortunately, both them seem a little out of character to me. I noticed this first in Arkham Asylum during the Riddler’s interviews. Edward Nigma was never someone who actively murdered people. Well, maybe on occasion. He’s a glorified bank robber. His OOC didn’t bother me that much and his riddles were fun—especially when he accused me of looking up the answers on the internet, which I was—so I let it slide. Robin, on the other hand, seems to suffer some character-identity crisis in everything he’s in. Whether this or Young Justice or otherwise, it’s as though the creators just can’t decide if they want Dick or Tim, so they use one name and slap on the personality of the other. Arkham City seems has gone the extra mile and added Jason’s personality to the mix.

And I have to wonder what everyone’s obsession is with putting Harley in a corset. A corset, really? Harley’s always had an air of naivety to her, but the newer versions just don’t want to capture that. Not to mention, in what way is a corset conducive to an acrobat? And why is Catwoman showing that much cleavage? As Lady Geek Girl said to me, her outfit is already skin tight. How much sexier are they trying to get?

Rants aside, the game looks well worth checking out. The graphics are good, the story intriguing, and a battle system that seems just as fun as the first game’s. After all, it wouldn’t be Batman without great violence, and I personally can’t wait to play it for myself.