Fuck: A Suicide Squad Review

Lady Geek Girl: Recently Blackout (one of our former writers), Ace, and I all went to see Suicide Squad, a movie that had already received some of the worst reviews ever even before it hit theaters. This was a movie that the three of us were very much looking forward to. We loved all the characters and wanted nothing more than to see this movie reignite the DC Extended Universe. So how do we feel about this movie now that we’ve seen it?

…It didn’t exactly go as we had hoped. DC Comics seems to continually want to let us down these days. Each time we get excited and think that maybe this time we will get something good, something worthy of the characters we love—and each time thus far we have been colossally disappointed. But this movie takes the cake when it comes to bad DC movies. Not only does the movie’s plot make little to no sense, it also succeeds in being both racist and sexist.

Oh, and Jared Leto was fucking terrible!

Spoilers below!

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Throwback Thursdays: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Batman Mask of the PhantasmIn 1993 a Batman movie came out called Batman: Mask of the Phantasm that was based on the 1990s Batman Animated Series. The show was wildly successful, so it is no surprise that a movie came out of the series. Since the release of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, it has been hailed as one of the best Batman movies and is often put at the same level as many of the great live-action Batman films. It is certainly one of my favorite Batman movies: it introduces one of my favorite female characters, delves more deeply into Batman’s psyche, and gives us some of the most hilarious and terrifying Joker moments.

Spoilers for Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.

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In Brightest Day: Batman and the Problem with Mental Illnesses in Comics

Comics have an issue with portraying many of their villains as mentally disabled. This is especially true in DC Comics, where many of the villains have mental illnesses, but almost none of the heroes are portrayed as also having mental illnesses. Furthermore, the heroes punish the villains for their illness and in no way attempt to help them with the treatment they need. The statement this ends up making is that people who suffer from mental illnesses are evil and deserve to be hurt and locked up. This obviously creates a lot of problems with how people are then taught to view mental illness in real life—especially when our heroes respond to mental illness with violence and a lack of care and concern.

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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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Sexualized Saturdays: The Joker

Anyone who knows me knows I have a deep-seeded fascination with psychology. Those same people know that I use it to create and analyze characters of fiction, hoping to break those characters down into their most common element.

Usually, I stay on the side of disabilities. It’s what I know the best. Since my life has been surrounded by autism, it seems only fair that I focus mental disabilities and that alone.

But then this beautiful gem of sexual “what-the-eff” came across my desk:

This guy is the Rubik’s Cube of sexual concepts. Damn near every concept in The Big Book of Sexual Concepts (copyright just now: me) can be put on Joker and make sense.

Of the possible sexual concepts, there are some that fit The Joker more than others. But first, it may be necessary to look at if Joker is gay, straight or bisexual.

The answer to “What is Joker’s sexual orientation?” is a question that, in the grand scheme of things, really doesn’t matter. The reason it doesn’t matter is Joker doesn’t care about who he’s making sexually submissive, but that he’s making them sexually submissive.

Everyone knows that The Joker and Harley Quinn are perhaps the benchmark for abusive, destructive relationships in fiction. They both exhibit a need to have the other one beside them. Joker does not seem to care emotionally for Quinn, but when she starts leaning toward breaking Stockholm, he suddenly becomes a caring individual. His need to control Quinn is more gratifying than any sexual position.

It’s also why he comes off as “gay for Batman”. Again, I do not think it’s because he’s sexually attracted to Batman, but that he’s sexually attracted to controlling Batman in such a deep and emotionally-scarring way.

It’s why I also am firmly in the camp of “Joker sexually assaulted Barbara Gordon”. In The Killing Joke, Joker shoots Barbara, strips her naked and takes pictures of her to mess with Commissioner Gordon. But that scars just the Commissioner, and if I’ve learned one thing about the Joker, if he’s going to scar one person, he’ll scar everyone involved. He doesn’t want to be the only one with a “how I got these scars story”.

So he sexually assaults/rapes Barbara on top of paralyzing her. Not for any grand scheme. He just wants to hurt the Gordons.

What I just described is definitely in the BDSM vein of sexuality. However, those who practice BDSM get sexual gratification from control. When done safely, there is nothing wrong with that. Joker, on the other hand, uses sexual gratification as control. He doesn’t care about getting off. He cares about making sure that all are under his power. And he certainly doesn’t care about the safety of those involved.

If anything, I would label The Joker as someone in the vein of either erotophonophilia, defined as earning sexual arousal or gratification contingent on the death of a human being, or a sadomasochism, defined as receiving pleasure from inflicting or receiving pain or humiliation.

If no other thing is clear, understand this: Joker uses sexuality as a weapon. He will do anything under the sun to hurt people. It’s not about sex for him, but about pain.

So, if you want to know “Is Joker Straight, Gay or Bisexual?” I will tell you this; he’s all of them. He’s none of them. He will be whatever he needs to be to control and dominate. And that idea, when taken to the extreme, is deadly and dangerous.

Sexualized Saturdays: Bruce Wayne a.k.a Batman

Ah, Batman. If there was a prize for a character’s sexuality being questioned, Batman would win every year. This after all was the character that inspired The Ambiguously Gay Duo.

Bruce Wayne, also known as Batman, is well known as being a very typical archetype of the stoic brooding male figure. He’s a badass. He’s the Goddamned Batman! And maybe it’s because Batman is so cool that people are constantly asking questions about his sexuality.

The artists and writers were doing a decent job outing Batman themselves.

The first person to attempt to “out” Batman was Fredric Wertham, a psychiatrist who wrote a book called Seduction of the Innocent, and argued that Batman and Robin where homosexuals in a very homoerotic story and these stories were encouraging children to be gay… yeah. (He also accused Wonder Woman of being a lesbian, because a strong woman that doesn’t rely on a man for everything must be a lesbian. Obviously!)

This accusation caused trouble for DC Comics and the writers were quick to create Batgirl and Batwoman as love interests for Batman and Robin. Ironically, Batwoman would be later reintroduced as a lesbian.

Despite many people believing Batman is gay, the comic books show the exact opposite. Bruce Wayne is a notorious playboy with a (extremely) long list of woman (civilian, superhero, and villain) as potential love interests. Of course many people point out that this could be Batman overcompensating for is homosexual urges. Furthermore, there is much speculation as to whether or not Bruce Wayne is actually a playboy or if he just pretends to be one. I think this reflected best in the recent Nolan films. In both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne has many women on his arm, but as far as the movies show, he never actually takes any of them home with him. He’s too busy being Batman to actually have sex and be a playboy.

In the comics, this is not usually the case. Bruce seems to have many relationships, but the women Bruce involves himself with usually don’t stick around, because he is unable to commit to them and still be Batman. This doesn’t stop Batman from getting his groove on though. He had a son, Damian Wayne, with Talia al Ghul, and Catwoman is often regarded as his one true love despite their often toxic relationship.

The writers for the Batman comics have all been questioned about Batman’s sexuality. Regardless of these numerous heterosexual relationships, here is what they had to say:

The Comics Bulletin website posed the question “Is Batman Gay?” to their staff and various comic book professionals. Writer Alan Grant has stated, “The Batman I wrote for 13 years isn’t gay. Denny O’Neil’s Batman, Marv Wolfman’s Batman, everybody’s Batman all the way back to Bob Kane… none of them wrote him as a gay character. Only Joel Schumacher might have had an opposing view.” Writer Devin Grayson has commented, “It depends who you ask, doesn’t it? Since you’re asking me, I’ll say no, I don’t think he is… I certainly understand the gay readings, though.” While Frank Miller has described the relationship between Batman and the Joker as a “homophobic nightmare,” he views the character as sublimating his sexual urges into crime fighting, concluding, “He’d be much healthier if he were gay.”

So is Batman gay? He certainly has many woman attached to him and the creator/writers don’t seem to think he is, but could he be?

The relationship between Batman and Robin is the main reason people think Batman is gay. Everything involving Batman and homosexuality inevitably leads to Batman and Robin. I should say Robins, because there have been several and most have been romantically linked to Batman.

Dick Grayson, the first Robin who later becomes Nightwing, is the one most often tied to Batman. There are many comics that show Batman’s close relationship to the eldest Robin and of course some the hilarious early Batman comics don’t help. After all who could forget that famous shower fight scene?

I don’t even have words for this scene…

Jason Todd, the second Robin who later becomes Red Hood, is also often romantically linked to Batman. Jason notably was very, very jealous of Batman’s relationship with Catwoman and even tried to break them up.

Thankfully, as far as I know, neither Tim Drake nor Damian Wayne have ever been romantically linked to Batman, nor has Steph Brown, the only canon female Robin. In fact none of the Bat Women have ever been romantically link to Batman in recent canon.

Now you might be looking at the above thinking, “Four tiny paragraphs talking about Batman and Robin(s)’s relationship when this is the pairing that started the gay rumors in the first place! What the hell?”

You are right in thinking that I’m dismissing these pairings. Why? Because it’s creepy, that’s why! And don’t go accusing me of homophobia or any of that nonsense. The Batman/Robin pairing is not homosexual. If this pairing really did exist, since Robin is a minor, it would be pedophilia. Even if you tell me that Batman and Robin will get together when Robin is all grown up it’s still creepy. It’s child grooming at best. Furthermore, Batman raised all of the Robins, giving their interactions a familial touch to them. Making any relationship between Batman and the Robins as creepy as Woody Allen marrying his adopted daughter.

Apparently some people think Batman and the Joker are madly in love with each other. Well, maybe in your fanfic they are, but I really doubt it—no, I know Batman has absolutely no interest in the Joker.

Now don’t get your panties all in a twist. That doesn’t mean the Joker isn’t interested in Batman, but we’re discussing Batman’s sexuality today. We’ll come back to the Joker’s another time.

While Clark Kent is very straight, he is not a minor or family member of Bruce Wayne’s, nor is he in fact a psychotic maniac. So I feel this is a step in the right direction for Batman.

Despite very few accusations about Superman’s sexuality, there is a surprising amount of evidence here. First, in the early comics, Batman and Superman got along extremely well, unlike in today’s comics, but while I don’t want to demean their friendship, the early Batman and Superman were about as close as two men could get and still be straight. So their relationship was teetering on the edge there.

Then there is the fact that Batman and Superman kind of raised Robin together, particularly Dick Grayson. There’s no denying that Superman is often in the lives of the Bat Family, but he seems to have made the greatest impression on Dick who took on the name Nightwing after he moved on from being Robin. Nightwing is the name of a great hero in a Kryptonian legend from Superman’s home world. Though this in no way indicates a relationship between Batman and Superman, their close friendship along with Superman’s connection with Dick certainly creates an interesting pseudo-family dynamic.

In later incarnations this extremely close friendship disappears in favor of a rivalry. Frank Miller was the first to realize that Superman’s strict code of ethics would in fact clash with Batman’s often morally grey ones. Admittedly though, Miller takes this rivalry too far, making the two characters out and out hate each other. In later comics this rivalry would remain, but eventually would fade away to become respect, and then friendship, though both Batman and Superman could still get on each other’s nerves at times.

Now Superman still seems to hang around the Bat Family a lot. Dick still takes on the name Nightwing, Tim Drake (the third Robin) is best friends with Superman’s son Conner Kent, and Batgirl and Supergirl are very close. Superman even gets along with Alfred! Superman worries for Batman a lot and usually becomes distraught when he dies. He even went so far as to verbally attack Dick Grayson in one comic for daring to become Batman after Bruce Wayne’s death, because it meant to Superman that his Batman was really dead.

So it seems that Superman just fits well into Batman’s life and cares about him a great deal. Batman seems to react the same way for Superman, often worrying about him, watching out for his friends and family, and freaking out if Superman dies or is injured.

There was so much speculation about these two that this happened:

Apollo and Midnighter exist in another universe, but while not Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, they are meant to be the Batman and Superman figures in their universe—and they’re gay. They even marry and adopt a child together. Again this proves nothing about Batman and Superman’s relationship, but it’s enough to make the readers wonder.

In conclusion, I actually don’t think Batman’s gay. Straight or gay it doesn’t really matter because Batman is so emotionally stunted by the trauma of his parents’ death that he pushes everyone he cares about away. Something that is often lamented about by the Robins, Superman, Catwoman, and literally everyone else who knows him. So again, I do think based on the comic’s canon that he is straight, but should a writer choose to write Batman as a gay character, well, I don’t think it would be difficult.


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Top 20 Romantic Couples in Geekdom (10 Canon/10 Fanon)

Those of us here at LGG&F worked tirelessly to compile and vote on the Top 10 canon and Top 10 fanon pairings in Geekdom. You have no idea how hard it was to come to a consensus on what was actually canon or not!

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