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« Take 18 | Main | "Catwoman, you are not a nice person." »

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Demosthenes

You'd probably get a little more cred with this defense if you hadn't called me "right wing".

I mean, I can buy a defense that you actually like comics after all, although it'd probably have a little more punch if it weren't a "so, what kind of awesome movie is that silly Iron Man comic going to be turned into"...

...but calling me a winger?

That's low, Lance. That's LOW.

Lance

Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!

I'm sorry, D! Typo, I swear. I had two thoughts running in my head at once and didn't proofread. Fixed it. And I will gladly do other penance.

"I mean, I can buy a defense that you actually like comics after all, although it'd probably have a little more punch if it weren't a "so, what kind of awesome movie is that silly Iron Man comic going to be turned into"

I thought I wrote a "what kind of silly movie are they turning this awesome comic book into" post. Iron Man is my third favorite Marvel hero, my second and first favorites being Daredevil and Cap, whom I am still mourning.

Demosthenes

One thing I will grant, though, is that I was unclear about whom I was targetting. I wasn't just talking about you, but about all that pissing about over how horrible comics are in your comments.

(I mean, yes, DKR had about the looniest portrayal of liberals out there. As a corrective to all that campy sixties nonsense, it was still both necessary and brutally effective. I'll take a dozen idiot Miller psychologists over Dozier's emasculated Batman, any day of the week.)

Demosthenes

Apology accepted, and in exchange I only demand that you allow me to totally monopolize your comments for this entry with numerous redundant postings.

And there we go.

I actually don't think that Downey is a bad choice. He may not have that improbable comic book jaw, but who better to portray a man struggling with addiction? While I can understand the desire to play around with a fictional character's identity, I always got the impression that Stark was (like Bruce Wayne) an embodiment of wealthy white male privilege, and how hollow said privilege can be. It would be extrordinarily difficult to get that across if the character weren't convincing as a damaged-yet-talented white male of privilege.

Actually, come to think of it, I really can't think of a better choice than Downey for that.

(Now to sit and await the howls of outrage from your commentariat for that "pissing about" line.)

V. von Doom

"the one guy in the Marvel universe who rivals Reed Richards for brains."

Yeah? Come to Latveria and say that.

MBunge

The fact that so many people today, especially comic readers, don't think Tony Stark is a hero or HAS to be a hero, is a good mark of how juvenile adventure fiction has degenerated into adolescent masturbation.

Mike

Jennifer

"I don't think that even with a goatee, Downey's going to look that good."

Not to bust your chops, but isn't that a Van Dyke?

CJColucci

How come when you hit Shellhead with a flamethrower, Tony doesn't shrivel like a shrimp on the grill? And what's with those repulsor rays, anyway? How come when he's standing there blasting with them (and not in the air, compensating with his boot jets), he doesn't fly backward? (And don't get me started on Scott Summers's neck muscles.)

Demosthenes

Mike: Where have you been? The anti-hero is, most likely, older than you are, and ethically questionable "Heroes" in mythology are older than anybody reading this.

(Or, for that matter, my namesake.)

While you may not be the largest fan, I think the point of a lot of what's happening with the (to rip off Eisner) sequential art is an attempt to stop being 'juvenile adventure fiction'. "Adolescent masturbation" or no.

Jason Chervokas

I think Downey Jr. is brilliantly cast. He can bring a menacing, self-pitying, tortured intensity to Tony Stark like no other actor I can think of. (Loved him in The Wonder Boys.) Best superhero casting since Toby McGuire as Peter Parker (tho' in the footage from SM 3 Toby's looking pretty long in the tooth for the role.)

Have you read the Warren Ellis "Extremis" story? Iron Man might be the Marvel character most succesfully adapting to the post-9/11, cyber and nano-tech era....Then he was part of the military industrial complex...now its the military technology complex...(Don't you think a modern Ultron would be sentient software roaming Cyberspace...Ultron 1.0, 2.0, 3.0?)

You know they DID cast a black Kingpin in Daredevil and it sucked, but for no particular racial reason (tho' Sean Penn as the Black Panther would strain credulity for me).

I just hope the Iron Man movie is not being written as a black-white buddy adventure like Die Hard 3.....

MBunge

"While you may not be the largest fan, I think the point of a lot of what's happening with the (to rip off Eisner) sequential art is an attempt to stop being 'juvenile adventure fiction'. "Adolescent masturbation" or no."


If you want to stop being "juvenile adventure fiction", stop using "juvenile adventure fiction characters". But creators today won't do that, because then no one would be interested in their stuff. Take CIVIL WAR for example. If that story was put out by an indy publisher and featured Cap'n Iron vs. the Star Spangler, if it had to rise and fall soley on the quality of its storytelling...who the hell would have even noticed it?

If you want to tell a more mature and sophisticated sort of tale, don't hijack a 40 year old character who puts on a suit of armor to fight the forces of evil and use him almost totally contrary to his intended purpose.

Mike

Demosthenes

Again, why? You're assuming that characters as near-infinitely malleable as a superhero must be "juvenile adventure fiction characters". Even if they all were--and that's a difficult argument to justify--why does Marvel or DC or whoever need to stick to that role?

You're claiming an "intended purpose" that, I doubt, a single comic creator would agree with, and which would artifically (and pointlessly) limit storytelling were anybody to agree with it. Forget Civil War; you'd lose out on absolutely brilliant and highly influential works like Alan Moore's Swamp Thing (a reimagining of a "juvenile adventure fiction character" and Watchmen (whose characters were thinly-disguised pastiches of Charleton Comics characters). You'd also lose Neil Gaiman's Sandman (which drew heavily on DC universe characters early on, and was another reimagining), Jamie Delano's Hellblazer, Garth Ennis' sickly hilarious take on the Punisher, Grant Morrison's fourth-wall-breaking run on Animal Man...

...and for what reason? Ease of Classification?

Please.

Demosthenes

By the by, Lance, I'd say that African-American leads in comic adaptations aren't entirely invisible. Men In Black and Blade were both fantastically successful, after all, with MIB building up a cross-media franchise that dwarfed its original comic roots.

David W.

Lance, if you haven't already, go see Zodiac. I'm very sure you'd like it. I'd love to hear your take on the film too, even if you don't like it so much... :-)

Greg

On the whole issue of race-blind casting, I think Chiwetel Ejiofor would make an excellent James Bond. You may remember him from such films as Melinda and Melinda, Love Actually, Serenity, Dirty Pretty Things, and Kinky Boots.

You know, now that I think about it, I wouldn't care at all if they cast a black man as James Bond, but I'd be outraged if they cast an American.

Geoduck

I've often thought that Gina Torres was just about born to play Wonder Woman, and it'll never happen, because of her skin color...

Redbeard

Gina Torres woulda rocked as WW--and, sad to say, the upcoming Wonder Woman movie won't have Joss Whedon at the helm.

Avedon

I've often thought that Gina Torres was just about born to play Wonder Woman, and it'll never happen, because of her skin color...

In which case, she was born to play Storm. (I'm never going to forgive them for that casting.)

(I thought the flawed hero thing was the Marvel thing. Wrong for DC, which is why the re-writing of Hal Jordan pissed everyone off so much.)

Demosthenes

She would have been an astounding Storm, but I don't think she was well-known enough before Firefly.

I think DC does have some flawed heroes, Avedon, but consider the relative power levels of the main players in each universe: a flawed DC hero going through an "episode" could wipe out humanity, whereas their Marvel counterparts might just mess up a NYC block or two.

The bigger problem is when you take relatively 'heroic' characters and turn them into flawed heroes, though, because it just doesn't take. Electric angsty Superman was mocked for good reason.

Mr. X

I always liked the idea of Iron Man as a kid because I realized that, if Tony Stark really existed, he could build a suit for anyone; he could build a suit for me. Getting older, not so much, once I reviewed his origin and realized that he had been an arms manufacturer who went to Vietnam to test weapons. What sort of weapons? Well, Stan Lee didn't really say, but given that his ultimate weapon was basically a form-fitting, flying tank, it probably wasn't a giggle gun that would tickle the Viet Cong into submission.

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