Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Five Topics

Posts on this blog have been about comics, films, TV episodes, novels and a fancy dress evening. The four last topics were comics related. Smallville novels are based on a TV series based on a comic.

Kick-Ass films are comics related not only because there is a Kick-Ass comic but also because they are about people who have read the comics. Someone said that Ben Affleck who is to play the Batman has already played not Superman but a Superman actor? If so, then the film about the Superman actor was comics related.

There was a comic about a new Superman comics writer so that was a comics related comic. Other potential topics here are animations, cinema serials, radio series and computer games. There is probably more out there that I don't know about.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Silence II

I read Smallville novels to learn more about Lex, Chloe etc. Nancy Holder's novel, Silence (Smallville Omnibus 2, London, 2006), is good reading for this purpose but she also devotes what I thought were too many pages to other characters specific to this story who take the action away from Smallville.

The novel is set:

when Reynolds is Principal of Smallville High;
after the Spring Ball at the end of Season One;
after Pete Ross has learned Clark's secret;
while Martha Kent is working for Lionel Luthor.

Of a new pupil at Smallville High, Clark wonders:

"I wonder if Chloe and Lana have talked about me around her. If she knows about how things are among the three of us.
"Heck, I don't even know how things are among the three of us." (p. 338)

He doesn't know because of his own secretiveness. From an early stage, Clark should have defied Jonathan and confided in Chloe, Lana and Lex. The deceitfulness of the Kents is the fatal weakness leading to the classical tragedy of Superman and Luthor.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Smallville: Silence

The second of three novels in Smallville Omnibus 2 (London, 2006) is Silence by Nancy Holder. I must have read it before but I have just (re)read Chapter One without any memory of a previous reading.

The viewpoint character is Chloe Sullivan, then Clark Kent. It is set some time after the first season because Chloe reminisces about Clark abandoning her at the Prom. It is also set after Pete Ross discovered Clark's secret, whenever that happened. This is so much better than the Superboy comics that we read in the 1950's.

Deciding not to publish an article, Chloe stuffs it in a public trash can. Bad idea. Of course, someone finds it. I am not sure whether this will be a big issue for the rest of the novel.

I look forward to how this novel presents the series' main character, Lex Luthor.

Smallville: Tempest

I have finally watched the final episode of the first season of Smallville.

Lionel thinks that his relationship with Lex is based on trust but Lex says that it is based on lies and deceit and therefore cannot last. He thinks it is good that his relationship with Clark is not like that. Here, the script writers carefully lay the basis for the myth of Superman and Lex Luthor, showing that the conflict is not all down to Luthor.

Whitney joins the Marines. I know that he dies in combat but am not sure whether this is his last appearance in the series. When Clark runs at super speed to find Lana, he is running out on Chloe but keeping his promise to Whitney to look after Lana.

Lionel thinks that Lex has trained for long enough in Smallville so he closes the Smallville Luthorcorp plant.
That is fairly drastic.

We first read about Superman in a comic strip. Metropolitans and Smallvilleans might first read about him in a sensationalist tabloid. That is appropriate.

It is cool that the theme song is performed at the Spring Ball in this First Season Final Episode. The singer looks a bit like Lex.

Will Lex turn bad at this point and let his father die?
Will this be the start of Lexcorp splitting off from Luthorcrop?
Will Clark fly to save Lana from the tornado that has seized her car?
Will the journalist who knows far too much conveniently die in the storm? (I imagine so.)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Kick Ass 2

A good sequel which seems to end the era of many superheroes but to open the door for a solo Hit Girl film? I understand that the sequence has been slightly different in the comics with a Hit Girl limited series set between Kick Ass 1 and Kick Ass 2 and with a Kick Ass 3, to be the last, still to come.

In the film, it really looks like it can happen: ordinary people in obviously homemade costumes with absurd names like "Battle Guy" and "Night Bitch" encouraging each other, finding strength in numbers, unleashing real violence from the first ever costumed supervillain, who is inspired in reverse by the heroes and rich enough to buy his own mad team - but the heroes somehow make it work for a while anyway.

The cops clamp down on costumes, as has happened more than once in "real" super hero universes. The only major implausibility is Hit Girl who might as well be super powered. We just have to accept that she was trained from a very young age, really got with it, is fearless like Siegfried and does resort to a strength-enhancing drug when necessary.

The villain with the absurd name has more going for him than just inherited wealth. A horrible stunt intended to intimidate him merely strengthens his resolve. He prefers death and an everlasting legend to being rescued by the hated hero who warns him that there are no resurrections in real life. He seems to survive by falling into water but then dies horribly in a way that was predictable by what had gone before.

So far, the Kick Ass film series holds up. If anything, 2 is slightly less implausible.