Darvasa, aka the “Door to Hell” in Turkmenistan. (image via wiki commons)
In Dante’s Divine Comedy, he tells us that above the gates of Hell is written the phrase: “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” Hell is the final punishment for evildoers. The idea is that once you’re in Hell, there’s no hope for change or redemption, so you sink into despair. Hell is supposed to be the worst of all possible consequences. Hope, on the other hand, is supposed to be the thing that keeps you going even when times are tough. Many religious people hope for a pleasant afterlife for themselves and divine justice for all. Hope is one of the most powerful motivators, sustaining people through the worst of circumstances. But it’s precisely that kind of power that makes hope such a dangerous weapon in the hands of a villain, and why any Hell-on-Earth must include some modicum of hope.
Spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games below the jump.
There is a special place in my heart for just about anything Silver Spider writes, and this isn’t the first time we’ve recommended fics by her. The Choice of Family remains one of my favorite series on fanfiction.net, and The Changeling and its sequel, The Guardian, are currently ranked pretty high on my list as well. However, The Guardian is a post for another time. For now, let’s just talk about The Changeling. Yes, this is another Jason Todd story.
The Changeling is an AU fic that starts during the first issue of The Red Hood: Lost Days. Jason is still in a semi-catatonic state after his revival, but due to reasons, Ra’s al Ghul is away, meaning that when Talia throws Jason into the Lazarus Pit to jump-start his memories, Ra’s is none the wiser. This allows Talia to keep Jason around at her mansion as a captive for the next couple months. During his time living with Talia, Jason, who naturally wants nothing more than to get back to Gotham and Bruce, makes a startling discovery: Bruce and Talia have a son, Damian, that Bruce knows nothing about.
Potential trigger warnings for rape and suicide ahead.
Well, 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.
So sometime between writing our The Dark Knight Rises review where we briefly talk about making Talia al Ghul a man and discovering a game on Facebook called Dragon City, I’ve been thinking a lot about gender lately. Lady Geek Girl and I used Talia as an example in our post. Someone at one point had mentioned that it was a good thing that her ethnicity and the ethnicities of two other villains had been changed to white to avoid racism. The point we tried to get at was that that wouldn’t solve racist stereotyping any more than changing Talia to a man would have solved sexism.
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.
There have been many issues around race and comic book movies over the years. Marvel I feel has been the most notable with casting black actors in typically white roles. Alicia in Fantastic Four was black instead of the usual blonde-haired, blue-eyed character she is in the comics. Nick Fury, now played by Samuel L. Jackson is black, and perhaps the most controversial, Idris Elba played the Norse god Heimdall in Thor.