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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dopplegangers

So, I've been trying to watch as much superhero stuff to get a better idea of what is out there, what works, and what doesn't. At this point, I have to say that The Gifted is a LOT better than either Arrow or the Flash - I tried, but I simply cannot watch Supergirl or the other show that is somehow even more SJW-converged than the other three shows. It's particularly good because while the show is clearly on the side of the mutants, it also shows some sympathy to the humans who have good reason to not want them roaming free in their society.

The one problem is that it has a very distracting element, as one of the characters looks almost EXACTLY like my younger brother. I don't mean, "oh, there's kind of a vague resemblance," I mean, the actor looks considerably more like my brother than I or our other two brothers do.

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134 Comments:

Anonymous Killua November 12, 2017 6:41 PM  

If you want inspiration from anime/manga, check out Hunter x Hunter. The characters there have some of the most creative superpowers I have seen in all of fiction.

Another anime with very creative superpowers and interesting fight scenes is Jojo bizarre adventure. I am watching it right now and it is fantastic.

Blogger Raging Papist November 12, 2017 6:45 PM  

I highly recommend DareDevil on Netflix if you have it. There are conversations between Daredevil and Punisher regarding the nature of justice that are fantastic which provide insights into the characters and their motivations. I thought Daredevil was fairly unpozzed.

Blogger Jed Evnull November 12, 2017 6:49 PM  

The CW's DC shows are just disgusting. I grew up with DC's silver age and watching the CW's offerings make me want to hurl.

Blogger Linus November 12, 2017 6:54 PM  

Coincidentally, I just watched my first episode of Supergirl today (because my youngest daughter is watching it), and it's terrible. From the insistence on the interracial love story (I see Flash has this same problem), to the clunky dialogue, to the no-human-would-ever-react-this-way plot development, it's deeply dumb.

One problem this DC world has (which the Marvel movies have as well to some extent) that I never see adequately addressed is, for example, when there is an unstoppable alien killing machine attacking the city, and Supergirl is fighting it, where the hell is Superman? I understand that for minor villains they don't need the whole team, but you have to have some explanation for why your world of superheros is momentarily bereft of almost all of them.

It's other problem is that she can shoot lasers out of her eyes, but she forgets she has this power in almost every instance where it would be useful. One of the reasons I never thought Superman or Supergirl were interesting at all. How come they don't win every fight immediately? Boring.

Anonymous malcolm November 12, 2017 6:54 PM  

you'll love the latest flash #feminism

Anonymous Ain November 12, 2017 6:55 PM  

I'm not usually much into super heroes, comics or manga, but I did get sucked into Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It does have a few action girls but they don't drive the story.

Blogger Allen Skeens November 12, 2017 7:03 PM  

Gotham is pretty good.

Blogger WATYF November 12, 2017 7:12 PM  

I've been wondering if Gifted was worth a watch. Guess I'll try it.

I watched all of the CW DC shows at some point. Arrow and Flash were good at first (Arrow took a bit warm up, but I really liked Flash at the beginning), after a while though the storytelling got stale and the leftist preaching got heavy(er)-handed and I just couldn't justify it any more. Legends of Tomorrow was hard to stomach from the get-go. I gave it a shot but couldn't take it past the first season. Supergirl I really, really wanted to like and suffered through a very cheesy first season, but when the second season opened by (completely out of the blue with no hints in the first season) declaring that a major character was a lesbian, that was the last straw. It was pretty obvious that it was a completely shoe-horned SJW move that had nothing to do with the story and that they only did it because the show moved from the more mainstream CBS to the more niche (i.e. millennial/SJW) CW network and they wanted to put their "stamp" on it.

I second the recommendation to check out the Marvel shows on Netflix. They're all "good" to an extent, albeit darker than the MCU and the CW DC shows. Defenders was pretty entertaining, particularly in the interactions between the major characters. You might not like Iron Fist though, because he's a whiny little bitch for pretty much the entire season (and even into the Defenders a little).

You might try Agents of SHIELD, but honestly it doesn't get decent until the 2nd/3rd season and the tie-ins to the MCU are a big part of the appeal, so if you're not up on those it's not as good.

I've heard good things about Legion but haven't had a chance to check it out yet.

Honestly though, if I was looking for a good representation of comics in the modern era, I wouldn't be looking to live-action. I'd be looking at the DCAU. That's the best you're going to find. Batman:TAS, Superman:TAS, and especially Justice League (and Justice League Unlimited) are the gold standard for comic book shows. I've watched the JL series multiple times and it's still good. I'd even toss in Young Justice as being worth a watch. If you want to see what works, those are where it's at.

WATYF

Blogger dtungsten November 12, 2017 7:16 PM  

I did love Fullmetal Alchemist. I haven't watched the Brotherhood one though.

I don't know if it would be interesting for Vox or not. I would like to think it would be, though.

Whether or not it would be of any benefit to Alt*Hero, I don't know, it's not your traditional superhero stuff, is it?

Blogger tuberman November 12, 2017 7:16 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger dtungsten November 12, 2017 7:20 PM  

A great example of what doesn't work: Superman Returns. Where Lois Lane marries a literal cuckold to have him raise Superman's kid. Plus it has Kevin Spacey! Challenge: try to watch it without falling asleep.

Anonymous patrick kelly November 12, 2017 7:24 PM  

+1 for Daredevil and the rest of Marvel on Netflix so far.

I'll have to checkout The Gifted. I'm so jaded and skeptical of anything with ubber-ninja females in it I usually pass them by.

Blogger Edgar Abbey November 12, 2017 7:25 PM  

I have enjoyed the Marvel Netflix series, especially Luke Cage. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, also good. Iron Fist was the weakest.

The Arrowverse shows are extremely left wing politically. Legends is nearly a parody of itself, almost unwatchable.

Blogger Rashadjin November 12, 2017 7:26 PM  

@1 Killua

If you want inspiration from anime/manga, check out Hunter x Hunter. The characters there have some of the most creative superpowers I have seen in all of fiction.

I totally lost interest in that one after they 'rescue' Killua from his family. It's a lot of decent and moderately insightful that I'd guess is driven by the friendship craze (with a strong helping of father/family issues) like Stranger Things (which I haven't watched so based on second-hand).

I'd recommend Soul Eater on the Anime side of things, or at least its good stretches. Anything between Medusa and Franken Stein is gold with Medusa being one of the best villain portrayals in anime. Black Star works a few interesting notes on the punk kid trope (rather like Killua in Hunter x Hunter). Crona is a very well done child weapon. And Free is a somewhat amusing chaos agent.

Of course, anime being anime, the time to story progression ratio is atrocious. Hunter x Hunter is actually better than most in that regard, at least.

Netflix Daredevil gets raves from everyone, but haven't seen it. I lost interest in the Superhero genre after the Batman Beyond cartoon, which I quite liked as a teen because it was aimed at younger teens. Not as good as Batman Animated, but closer to modern tastes. Which, again, is family/lost father and surrogate dad affairs.

Anonymous patrick kelly November 12, 2017 7:27 PM  

"You might not like Iron Fist though, because he's a whiny little bitch for pretty much the entire season (and even into the Defenders a little)."

Heh, yeah he's a bit of the oddball in the group. Sometimes I wonder if it's cuz the actor has trouble with consistency in his character, but then others have told me he's kinda' like that in the comics, which I've never read.

Anonymous Steve November 12, 2017 7:29 PM  

It's particularly good because while the show is clearly on the side of the mutants, it also shows some sympathy to the humans who have good reason to not want them roaming free in their society.

This always bothered me about the X-Men films.

So there's a race of freaky mutants running about with bizarre and dangerous abilities, they boast - directly or implicitly - that they're going to replace homo sapiens, they've already started their own mutant supremacist super-terrorist organisation, and... we're supposed to boo the humans who want to put them on a register?

The whole moderate mutants versus mutant extremists thing was unconvincing too. "Trust us, we're the good superpowered freaks.", says the shady foreigner who built a private army and can read your innermost thoughts without your consent. But why would anyone trust Patrick Stewart? Because he claims his mutant madrassa - which operates under the deceit of being a normal school - is benign?

Senator Kelly did nothing wrong.

Anonymous Precious November 12, 2017 7:34 PM  

Taking a guess, the actor in question would be Blair Redwood, who plays Thunderbird on the show.

Since you guys brought up the Netflix shows, I would love to see Season 3 of Daredevil start with Iron Fist adopting the persona and costume, believing Murdock is dead and someone has to carry on the name.

While simultaneously getting over his whining self doubt.

Blogger Anno Ruse November 12, 2017 7:40 PM  

I hate anime but Hunter X Hunter is a rare example that transcends the limitations. It's very logical, it doesn't use shortcuts. Characters overcome obstacles through training and a bit of ingenuity. The Chimera Ant arc of HxH is an excellent example of superheroes and villains done right and the one I'd recommend for anybody who doesn't want to watch the entire series. Characters are suitably complex, the powers are imaginative and used in creative ways, and the story culminates by answering "What would Superman be like if he were evil?" in a very original way. It involves board games.

That said it's 20 hours just for that arc and like all anime it takes a while to rev up.

Anonymous VFM #6306 November 12, 2017 7:42 PM  

Take an extremely close look at the Dark Knight Returns animated movie vs. The book.

Anonymous Looking Glass November 12, 2017 7:42 PM  

An interesting aspect, since I imagine there'll be a lot of Manga/Anime mentions, is that the Japanese-based attempts at Super Heroes have all generally failed. (There's 1 exception.) In Japan, the storytelling approach just isn't popular. And, notably, in America it isn't too popular either.

What is popular is relatable characters and most anime/manga are written with the ability to self-insert. This is also why there is a massive amount of female-targeted works that sell very well. (Granted, they've got pretty much 3 different storylines in total, but that doesn't matter much for that type of work.) The relatability, though, comes down to actions & thoughts. Yes, Japan is an ethno-state and that does matter, but some of the properties have been massive hits outside of Japan because the Japanese writers don't take identity as checklist but as a set of actions.

Monkey Punch's "Lupin III" has been a big hit in a lot of the world. An Italian media company actually paid to have it released in Italy before the rest of the world in the most recent series. Saint Seiya is a decades-long hit in South & Central America. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is extremely popular among Blacks in the States. Why? Whether designed that way, the actions lead to identifying with the characters.

This is the trap that SJWs are stuck in. Giving a character X race, Y gender & Z attribute is just to assign them labels. Whereas Batman is a certain set of understandings & actions, who just happens to be Bruce Wayne.

A super hero, that someone identifies with, will be the "better" version of that person, to act heroic when the reader might not have been able to. (Which points back to the power of the "Mono-Myth" or Hero Cycle.)

Back on suggestions, there is one Japanese work that would be relevant. "Tiger & Bunny". Extremely popular series at the time it aired and very well done take on the Western Super Hero genre. Which means it's the story of a slightly dorky middle-aged Man that just happens to have super powers set where Crime Fighting is actually a Reality TV show. (This is not a joke and the series is very good.)

For Western suggestions, Batman the Animated Series. It's still the best incarnation of Batman in a visual medium. Chunks of Superman the Animated series are useful as well. (It's weird to suggest, but the last 2 episodes of the Series, "Legacy 1 & 2", would probably be the most useful.)

Blogger Doom November 12, 2017 7:45 PM  

When I wish to imagine super powers, heroes, and villains, I go back to myth, legend, and lore. I might even mix Christian and Jewish tales in there. Goliath, Sampson, even angels... not all of whom have direct super powers if you recall the two who had issues when visiting Lott. Though it is difficult to just consume it like watching it on the tube. Though an interesting series, for me, with lots of the classics, sometimes with a new spin, was Supernatural... two monster fighting brothers. It's, usually, tolerable if like everything out of hellwood, when it falls it falls very flat. A good long series. Cheers.

Anonymous Looking Glass November 12, 2017 7:47 PM  

@16 Steve

From the Comics, Magneto is correct and Xavier is a socialist idealist that will end the world in fire.

@18 Anno Ruse

The "Chimera Ant" arc is one of the greatest heights of storytelling in Manga. And absolutely brutal as well.

Blogger Lovekraft November 12, 2017 7:48 PM  

Mentioning Thunderbird means The Gifted would be a Marvel show.

No one's mentioned Marvel's "Legion" yet? It had what you'd call a unique style, I guess. Leaned towards horror/suspense than action.

I've been with Gotham from day one. Great 'style' and acting, and you have to give them credit for how they handled that incidentthatshallnotbenamed (making Penguin have the homohots for Riddler).

Blogger Chris Lutz November 12, 2017 7:49 PM  

@16 That has always been the weakness of the X-Men stories. At one point I think it was stated Professor X could use his mind machine and kill every non-mutant on the planet. But hey, normal humans have nothing to fear.

The DC TV shows went full SJW and now are unwatchable.

Sorry, but the Marvel/Netflix series aren't that good. The Defenders was an exercise in boredom.

Blogger Brad Matthews November 12, 2017 7:49 PM  

And the fight scenes are brutal

Blogger Brad Matthews November 12, 2017 7:55 PM  

The villain in JJ was well done.
Luke Cage last few episodes were not as good as first half.
Pretty much thought Iron Fist sucked. What a terrible portrayal of a comic character.

Blogger Brad Matthews November 12, 2017 7:57 PM  

The almighty Iron Fister

Blogger Rashadjin November 12, 2017 8:00 PM  

@8 WATYF

Honestly though, if I was looking for a good representation of comics in the modern era, I wouldn't be looking to live-action. I'd be looking at the DCAU. That's the best you're going to find. Batman:TAS, Superman:TAS, and especially Justice League (and Justice League Unlimited) are the gold standard for comic book shows. I've watched the JL series multiple times and it's still good. I'd even toss in Young Justice as being worth a watch. If you want to see what works, those are where it's at.

You do have a good point about animated being the way to go if you want to see what's marketed to the youth of today. I never could get into the Justice League stuff for a lot of reasons. Now that I think about it...the short version is that it's because Justice League is an updated X-Men Animated, but I think X-Men Animated did it much, much better. Also, don't like Superman. At all.

Young Justice went the darker, angsty-ish, teen issues route, but much more narrative driven the Justice League. Teen Titans is similar if less dark and aimed at a slightly younger audience.

So Batman Beyond still gets my vote.

Blogger Nate November 12, 2017 8:04 PM  

Daredevil and Luke cage are better than I expected. Iron Fist is terrible. Punishes is going to be fantastic.

Blogger Ben Cohen November 12, 2017 8:07 PM  

Reading Vox is great because it greats you into thinking about what else is a business opportunity besides comics, video games, and the like.

There are so many areas that have been SJW converged that are ripe to be replaced (are you listening NFL)?

Blogger Ben Cohen November 12, 2017 8:07 PM  

Nate, what did you think of Jessica Jones?

As for Luke Cage, Cottonmouth was a great villain but they killed him off too soon.

Blogger Timmy3 November 12, 2017 8:14 PM  

X Men have very much the same plot. I completely enjoyed the new Thor Ragnarok movie although it has more powerful female characters. I suppose you can justify their powers as inherent to who they are and as such, exactly what you expect from a woman. Hela betrays her father.

Anonymous Jimmyjames November 12, 2017 8:19 PM  

Jessica jones had far too much interracial porn for me, thanks. Im a little surprised at some of these commentors recommending it. Even daredevil had him oil drilling with the nurse. Iron fist was horrible, that guy had the worst case of fagface.

Blogger Ingot9455 November 12, 2017 8:29 PM  

@11 Not just a cuckold, but she specifically marries Cyclops.

If you ever watch it again, see just how many times James Marsden is incongruously wearing his sunglasses indoors or in dim light for no reason except that he has to keep his eye-beams in check.

(Yes, I know that in real life the reason actors wear sunglasses incongruously is because they're so hung over from a red-eyed drunk the night before that the director catches it and makes them put on sunglasses.)

Blogger Ostar November 12, 2017 8:30 PM  

WATYF wrote:
Honestly though, if I was looking for a good representation of comics in the modern era, I wouldn't be looking to live-action. I'd be looking at the DCAU. That's the best you're going to find.
WATYF


Thirded.

Blogger Janus November 12, 2017 8:30 PM  

On the Anime front, that my fellow viewers would first suggest stories like HunterxHunter and Full Metal Alchemist before suggesting My Hero Academia is a tragedy.

On this matter, rather than attempt to convey my point and convince you it is worth looking into with my own inadequate words I shall instead defer to those of a man who is many times over my superior: John C Wright.

http://www.scifiwright.com/2016/07/story-telling-in-the-hydra-era/e

Anonymous Man of the Atom November 12, 2017 8:31 PM  

@20. Looking Glass November 12, 2017 7:42 PM
"For Western suggestions, Batman the Animated Series. It's still the best incarnation of Batman in a visual medium. Chunks of Superman the Animated series are useful as well. (It's weird to suggest, but the last 2 episodes of the Series, "Legacy 1 & 2", would probably be the most useful.)"


First Season "Batman the Animated Series" and Ep 14, "Heart of Ice" was one of the best pieces of American animation of the 1990s from Dini/Timm. Michael Ansara *is* Mr Freeze.

Recommend going back to Hanna-Barbara in the 1960s for some straight up animation goodness that gets young boys engaged: Jonny Quest, Herculoids, Space Ghost, Birdman, Galaxy Trio, Samson and Goliath, Fantastic Four.

Doug Wildey and Alex Toth doing the storyboards, and adapting the stories in some cases. Good stuff.

Blogger S1AL November 12, 2017 8:31 PM  

I'll admit to a bit of shock with the whole "Asgard is a people, not a place" theme going on in Thor. Though, to be fair, the Marvel movies have been surprisingly grounded overall.

Daredevil is what a TV superhero series should be. Season 2 finale was perfect.

Blogger Ingot9455 November 12, 2017 8:34 PM  

@29 Iron Fist is an example of the intro adventure in a superhero roleplaying game where the player only used half his build points making a rich playboy martial arts guy with a special power and then said to the gamemaster, "Hey, can I just spend points as I go the first adventure?"

So he wants to sneak after a guy and he asks the GM, "I'm super dextrous and I wear these kung-fu slippers, can I buy Sneaking?" The gamemaster says, "Sure," and uses it to get him in more trouble.

He needs to climb up a building and says, "I lived in the mountains of China for ten years, I'm sure we did all kinds of climbing around, can I buy Climb to climb this building?" The gamemaster says, "Sure," and uses it to get him in more trouble.

After getting put in an insane asylum and being kept sedated for three days he says, "This sucks ass. Can I have some kind of thing where I like, focus my chi and burn the drugs out of my system?" The gamemaster says, "Not immediately - you'll have to find someone who can teach you," and rubs his fingers together gleefully.

Of course, if you try to watch Iron Fist as, like, a television show, yes, it's horrible.

Blogger S1AL November 12, 2017 8:39 PM  

IF was four good episodes with 9 terrible episodes in-between them.

And, yes, also what ingot said.

Blogger Alfred Genesson November 12, 2017 8:40 PM  

Honestly, the TV and movies only get it partly right at best, and they don't have the same pieces. You actually need to read some of the best hero comics. Shows don't work in panels, comics do. Adjusting the size and shape of panels is a big deal.

As far as stories, the comics can do much better than the TV as well. Arrow and Flash are pale imitations of the comics, and that's when they're mediocre. Yes, the shows are more available, but the comics guys know the characters much better.

You're working with Chuck Dixon. You should at least read some of his work. His Batman, Robin, and Nightwing are easily found in trades, and his Winterworld also should be easy to find.

Blogger WATYF November 12, 2017 8:41 PM  

@28 Rashadjin

I get it. Some people just don't like Superman. I don't have a problem with him when he's used properly, which I think he is in JL. The reason I liked JL more than any of the others is two-fold: First, because the representation of each character is pretty good and you never get that feeling that they're ruining a character like you do with many live-action (and other animated) shows, and second, because it has a nice, long story arc that runs the course of pretty much the entire series and certain characters are actually given space to develop (and in some pretty hard-core ways, such as with Hawkgirl). By the end, you actually care about the characters, which is my metric for gauging the quality of a show.

Honestly, I thought Batman Beyond was just "OK". First, it was a little dated (very, very 90's fads throughout) and because it was teen-centered in a more cheesy high-school way, whereas Young Justice was teen-centered in a more "coming of age" way, where they grow into their adult roles as the series goes on. The characters (or should I say, character) in BB were OK, but nothing that you could really invest in, whereas YJ gave them more weighty matters to deal with that left you wanting to know what would happen to them. Sure, they tried to shoe-horn that "Bruce Wayne is my dad??" bit into BB by giving it an epilogue in JL, but by then the series was already over.

Speaking of Young Justice... there is a new (long-awaited) third season that will be out next year. I'm looking forward to that one.

WATYF

Blogger Lovekraft November 12, 2017 8:46 PM  

A few years back, I'm watching the animated Batman: Dark Knight Returns when something odd flashes on the screen.

I rewind and pause it. The shot is of Batman's jet computer panel and, get this, the word I see that caught my eye:

DECTECTED.

Remember, Batman got his start in Detective Comics. Had to open an account on the site just to point that out.

Blogger DJ | AMDG November 12, 2017 8:48 PM  

I have to agree with the previous sentiments RE: the DCAU and Netflix’s Daredevil I too think Punisher will be awesome on Netflix.) I’m not a big fan of the 22min cartoons in the DCAU, however I did like Batman Brave and the Bold.

I’ve never seen a DCAU movie I didn’t like and some were downright fantastic. Of the Superman ones, I especially liked AllStar Superman. Of the Batman ones, there are many to choose from. The weakest one is one with Batgirl/Oracle’s POV starring. I’m a huge fan of Justice League: The New Frontier, but I was also a huge fan of Kingdom Come, and I don’t know many who liked those.

Other notable DCAU movies: Flashpoint Paradox, Batman Year One, Superman vs The Elite.

Imo

Anonymous JAG November 12, 2017 8:49 PM  

dtungsten wrote:A great example of what doesn't work: Superman Returns. Where Lois Lane marries a literal cuckold to have him raise Superman's kid. Plus it has Kevin Spacey! Challenge: try to watch it without falling asleep.

I'd still rather watch it than Ben Affleck as Batman. It makes the Justice League movie a non-starter for me, which is too bad.

Blogger WATYF November 12, 2017 8:49 PM  

@38 S1AL

I'll admit to a bit of shock with the whole "Asgard is a people, not a place" theme going on in Thor. Though, to be fair, the Marvel movies have been surprisingly grounded overall.

Yeah, but half of those people were black or Asian. Apparently the Norse gods were way more multicultural than the society that they presided over. I wonder how that happened.

WATYF

Blogger Felix Bellator November 12, 2017 8:52 PM  

@19. VFM #6306 - "Take an extremely close look at the Dark Knight Returns animated movie vs. The book."

Yes, the book is most excellent. The animated movie is pretty good though they miss some of the best lines from the book.

I second or third the Gotham recommendations. It covers the time after the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne but before Bruce becomes Batman. Sean Pertwee as former SAS soldier turned butler Alfred is tops.

Blogger Janus November 12, 2017 8:54 PM  

My apologies, I messed up the hyperlink.

http://www.scifiwright.com/2016/07/story-telling-in-the-hydra-era/

Blogger Lovekraft November 12, 2017 8:55 PM  

@ 44: I consider Kingdom Come the comic limited series one of my top 5.

Blogger Felix Bellator November 12, 2017 8:56 PM  

I was surprised I liked Ben Affleck as Batman as much as I did. His performance in "The Accountant" is excellent. Maybe Ben just isn't that far from a spergy spazz IRL. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtfoRESVir0

Blogger WATYF November 12, 2017 9:07 PM  

I'm in the minority in that I wasn't very impressed with Netflix's Punisher. That's one of my favorite characters (also being in the minority having liked the 2004 movie and watched it about a dozen times), and I just didn't feel like they got him "right" in DD2. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I was hoping for. Now, how they treat him in his own series remains to be seen, and I have hope that it will be done well.

I'd also second the DCAU movies. Justice League: War was decent, as was Flashpoint. I don't generally like the movies and much as the series though, due to the lack of character development.

WATYF

Blogger Wuzzums Fuzzums November 12, 2017 9:09 PM  

I highly recommend "One Punch Man". It's very meta.

It's about the most boring superhero imaginable: no inner thoughts, no desires, no ambition, no emotion, no special backstory, nothing, except he's so incomprehensibly powerful he can take out anyone and anything with only 1 punch. His sidekick is Genos, the most interesting superhero imaginable: a combination of Robocop, Tony Stark, Batman, and Jesus.

The way I look at the series is someone showing off his storytelling skills with metaphorically speaking both hands tied behind his back. How can you even create conflict and tension in a plotline where your main character can take out any threat with a simple punch? Well, you'd be surprised.

Blogger Jevaughn Brown November 12, 2017 9:14 PM  

The Gifted really is a pleasant surprise. And the intensity keeps building. I especially like how they make you sympathize with the lead Sentinel Services agent, while having moments where you can see his conscience bothering him a little.

From the "Marvel Netflix Universe" Daredevil seasons 1 and 2 are the best by a long shot. Then Luke Cage (the first two-thirds), then Jessica Jones (mostly), then The Defenders, and I didn't bother watching Iron Fist, haha.

Defenders suffered because the higher-ups clearly decided they wanted to downplay the supernatural aspect from the whole MNU, and so instead of being a grand climax, they made The Hand look weak and killed them off rather lamely.

Biggest fundamental problem has been that 13 episodes is just too long, leading the writers to pack in filler. 9 would be ideal.

Can't wait for The Punisher season 1 though. But it's The Gifted that's got me hyped right now.

Anonymous karsten November 12, 2017 9:15 PM  

"That's the best you're going to find. Batman:TAS, Superman:TAS, and especially Justice League (and Justice League Unlimited) are the gold standard for comic book shows. I've watched the JL series multiple times and it's still good."

Agreed, though there was some CultMarx content even in that series (esp. the Mary Sue Hawgirl, the oh-so-great Black Lantern instead of Hal Jordan, and the interracial romance between those two). But all in all, it's the best depiction of any superhero team by far. I have the whole run on DVD.

Never liked Batman Beyond, and Young Justice was just awful, with its boring, Obama-like Blaqualad leader.

"I'd still rather watch it than Ben Affleck as Batman."

Ben Affleck, regardless of how awful he may be otherwise, be it personally or professional, was excellent as both Batman and as Bruce Wayne; indeed, superior in the role by a long shot to any other live-action actor (including Christian Bale).

Anonymous karsten November 12, 2017 9:21 PM  

"I'd also second the DCAU movies. Justice League: War was decent, as was Flashpoint. I don't generally like the movies and much as the series though, due to the lack of character development."

The movies have been pretty good when they're been born out of the Bruce Timm school, and the writers who worked on the JL and JLU series (Crisis on Two Earths is the best of the lot; Gods and Monsters was a clever reimagining), but they've been disappointing to dreadful when they've been under the auspices of the colosally overrated Geoff Johns, as was the case with Justice League War and Throne of Atlantis.

Blogger Chris McCullough November 12, 2017 9:21 PM  

The Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoobs were very good for their time, Unlimited might be of greater relevance since that dealt very heavily with the concept of Heroes vs government intervention

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales November 12, 2017 9:30 PM  

"One of the reasons I never thought Superman or Supergirl were interesting at all. How come they don't win every fight immediately? Boring."

... because they generally fight peer or beyond peer level opponents in at least one respect where they have to work for it? Duh. I mean, I'm not defending the CW verse because I don't and never will watch it because it wreaks of so much SJW'ism and because live action fight scenes in television tend to stink and I wouldn't be surprised if Supergirl suffered the most from this, but generally, that's how you're supposed to it regardless of whatever power level your character/characters are at.

To be fair, though, your typical 'Superman is too OP' ignorance is at least more interesting and somewhat more intelligent in this instance since the whole 'heat vision' angle is one I honestly never thought of and one most of your ilk never think of too. Maybe it's just me, but I would be far more concerned with the fact that most versions of Superman are supersonic in some capacity at base (many even massively FTL in normal space)if my claim is 'Superman is too OP. Wah.'

And, on that subject, you've opened up a potential can of worms for every single power house superhero ever since I could ask similar questions why they don't just stomp most opponents, even peer level or beyond, with what they can do if they just went for the kill. Like, why doesn't Flash instantly win most engagements when most versions of him are supersonic at base and many are massively FTL and he could kill quite a number of his recurring baddies. Why doesn't 616 Thor use his hammer's incredible enchantments to get an incredible edge most of the time and kill a considerable number of the villains he's encountered. Why doesn't Silver Surfer use his similar hax abilities to get the edge in combat most of the time against the villains he's encountered, particularly Thanos sans the infinity gems when he decides to stop playing Anti-Hero and become a villain again like he's want to do? Why doesn't 616 Reed, 616 Tony, and 616 Hank Pym team up to take over the world and rule it with an iron (pun intended) and benevolent fist since the various polities of earth have shown their incompetence numerous times and there are things out in the universe and beyond that they've encountered that would literally make Lovekraft shit his Anglophone pants and there are numerous alternate futures and universes they no about where shit goes south for humanity and quick because of the feebleness of earth's polities?

If the answer is editorial mandates, the marketing team, the writers not having a clue, or even just the tropes of the superhero genre as a whole, congrats! You get a picnic!


Anonymous Jack November 12, 2017 9:35 PM  

Netflix Daredevil is almost as good as Nolan's Batman films, and in some respects even better. I love that Daredevil is Catholic and this is portrayed as a positive thing - it gives him his moral compass, as well as crises of conscience. Also, after two other actors playing The Punisher in the movies, they finally found a guy who gets this character right. (The same actor was in the mini-series Mob City, which was also very good.) The fight scene in the prison in Season 2 is one of the most brutal things I have ever seen, and was choreographed extremely well.

Superheroes are warriors for justice. Their superpowers are cool, but what really gets us emotionally is that they fight for good against evil, and can fight better than normal people, the way we wish we could. I've talked to people who don't like these kinds of stories because they are formulaic. But personally, I never get tired of seeing bad people get what's coming to them, because it so seldom happens in real life.

Anonymous Looking Glass November 12, 2017 9:36 PM  

@51 WATYF

Thomas Jane beating up John Travolta was a good watch. It's a good, R-rated action movie in general.

Anonymous krymneth November 12, 2017 9:38 PM  

One of my favorite aspects of the X-Men universe is the staggering disconnect between the SJW-esque "everybody should be accepted, including mutants, and judging them is wrong" and the face that every other story is about how a mutant is credibly threatening the entire world.

It really reminds me of Vox's point that science observably poses a greater threat to the world than any religion, as no religion is going to actually sterilize the planet.

Anonymous Jack November 12, 2017 9:45 PM  

My two cents as a future Alt Hero reader is to try to recover that religious dimension of superhero stories that was always implicit. Superman is modeled on Jesus, which is why we love him.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales November 12, 2017 9:47 PM  

"Now that I think about it...the short version is that it's because Justice League is an updated X-Men Animated."

No it isn't. Like, at all. Quit lying and misinforming people through your teeth. I've seen both. As a kid. They're not even in the same fucking ballpark, as, for example, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited are CONSIDERABLY less converged, which is par for the course considering X-Men as a franchise has had the seeds of its convergence planted within it from X-Men #1. Justice League was also considerably more coherent with the serialization and long running plot elements and there was more serialization in general. It also had much better voice acting. Less stiff animation (the art style wasn't as complex and more toyetic given that they didn't just straight up lift the art style from an X-Men run that was going along concurrently, but then again, their movements were better, though the gratuitous use of white flashes could get annoying). And it was also considerably less condescending and preachy to kids as X-Men the Animated series, which again, is par for the course since X-Men kind of always was a franchise ripe to be lifted by bothersome minorities.

"but I think X-Men Animated did it much, much better."

No, it didn't. It really, really didn't. Granted, it's one of Marvel's finer animated series despite all of the points against it,


"Also, don't like Superman. At all."

Cool. I don't like you. At all. The reason for this is since I know the likely explanation for your blatant retardation concerning the Man of Steel is that you're gonna bring up the tired, played out, blatantly false, 'Superman is too OP, even within the context of whatever the home universe is of a given version of Superman! Bleh!' or else the kind, caring, boyscoutish personality most versions generally have.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, could you please stop lying and trying to poison the well here with your irrational dislike of the greatest Superhero to ever exist, the one who kicked off the genre, and of DC's animated offerings which, by and large, tend to shit on Marvel's animated offerings, however close or peer level SOME of Marvel's offerings can get?

Anonymous Looking Glass November 12, 2017 9:50 PM  

X-men the Animated Series had one of the best openings ever for a TV show. That guitar riff is brilliant. Rest of the show was pretty "meh", all things considered. Minus the Dark Phoenix Sage, which was a solid watch.

Justice League (and Unlimited) was a much better show in general. Mostly because Magneto is right and Xavier is a fool.

Anonymous karsten November 12, 2017 9:51 PM  

" Justice League and Justice League Unlimited are CONSIDERABLY less converged, which is par for the course considering X-Men as a franchise has had the seeds of its convergence planted within it from X-Men #1."

Unquestionably true -- all points.

Blogger The Observer November 12, 2017 9:53 PM  

I lost interest in the Superhero genre after the Batman Beyond cartoon, which I quite liked as a teen because it was aimed at younger teens.

Until Terry got a Spunky Black Female for a sidekick.

Blogger WATYF November 12, 2017 9:55 PM  

@59 Looking Glass

Thomas Jane beating up John Travolta was a good watch. It's a good, R-rated action movie in general.

Yeah, I never understood the hate-on that people have for that movie. I literally stood up and cheered in the theater when he killed the dude who shot his father by sticking that giant knife up through his chin. That was pure Punisher.

WATYF

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales November 12, 2017 10:00 PM  

@61

Nope. Wrong. I know we get a lot of stories that use that 'Superman as Jesus metaphor' a lot and pop-culture has inflated the misconception that Superman = Jesus to the point where even writers who should know better have stuck with that, but the thing... no. Not in the slightest was Superman modeled after Jesus. I know he became a lot more saintly and boyscoutish as the 40's went on and the 50's passed, but, dude, baby from a doomed home being sent away to live somewhere else and being adopted by non-biological parents and growing up to be a big shot in his new home is straight up MOSES more than JESUS and this shows particularly well in the earliest Action Comics run where Superman is, if not exactly the Punisher, certainly more modern Batman esque with his approach to evil... just like Moses was when he had to deal with the rebellious elements of his people when they fled Egypt. Though, to be fair, since Christ is going to come back and wreak terrible vengeance, I suppose you could make an argument Superman was modeled somewhat after Christ post-return.

In either event, I like Superman because, when he's written correctly, his is kind, caring, stoic, merciful, intelligent, and quick to anger against people who REALLY deserve it (see, Darkseid) and, though loathes killing, is willing to do so if someone (read: Darkseid) REALLY deserves it, though he prefers to take down enemies without putting them down for good (which, considering the superhero genre, never really tends to be for good even if you dump them in the Big Bang or the end of fucking time). He also has awesome super powers of at least city buster, at most star buster at base (though I do like Pre-Crises Superman reaching multi-galactic scale at peak Silver Age), while trying to hold down a day job. BAM.

Anonymous texas exile November 12, 2017 10:01 PM  

I liked iron fist, in spite of its story origin. A character as him does not take a sacred vow to defend Shangri La and then abandon it defenseless for a "discovering himself" adventure... but I'm willing to forgive a bit of shoehorned plot to get to the action. My second biggest complaint is as the season went on the episodes were dragging out and the plot less focused. My third is the sexual relationship was uncharacteristic but once again tolerable due to pushing the plot forward to action. And I understand they have to include that sex scene to keep the pervy execs happy.

But Jessica Jones soured me on marvel Netflix. She was the villain. First off the actress they cast was weird. Compared to her comic book character she has none of the sex appeal. I was never even introduced to her as a bit character but any leading actress has to have something. Second were the several ir porn scenes I fast ffwed through to get to the plot. But unfortunately that was all the plot was about for a few episodes, a loose woman being loose. The villain as introduced was super creepy, but then became more endearing and sympathetic than the heroine, as he wanted to eschew abusing his powers and settling down for a normal life with someone he loved. Jj won't even give it a shot. Then the heroine goes out of her way to get this baby aborted. Despicable. By the end I was just skeeved out by it. As far as I'm concerned it was a battle between two villains settling a score, laundered though a woman's hamster.

It put me off marvel Netflix I havent watched the recommended daredevil or punisher, and I have a high enough tolerance to poz to endure even the flash.

Four stars for Gotham. Great creepy/horror ambiance. Minus one star for the dead not staying dead and that penguin "suddenly gay" story. The characterization of the main character has always been on point. Would recommend.

Anonymous Killua November 12, 2017 10:11 PM  

I totally lost interest in that one after they 'rescue' Killua from his family. It's a lot of decent and moderately insightful that I'd guess is driven by the friendship craze (with a strong helping of father/family issues)

You didn't even get to the part where they introduce the nen ablities stuff, which is what makes Hunter x Hunter so good.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy November 12, 2017 10:12 PM  

Emmanuel Mateo-Morales wrote:[Superman] also has awesome super powers of at least city buster, at most star buster at base (though I do like Pre-Crises Superman reaching multi-galactic scale at peak Silver Age), while trying to hold down a day job. BAM.
Which would obviously be commercial space launch and asteroid mining, right?

Blogger bobby November 12, 2017 10:12 PM  

"The one problem is that it has a very distracting element, as one of the characters looks almost EXACTLY like my younger brother."

So, is it the issue that:

- the show has disturbed your view of your brother; or

- your knowledge of your bother has disturbed your enjoyment of the show?

Affects the narrative . . .

Anonymous Looking Glass November 12, 2017 10:13 PM  

@66 WATYF

And, while a little comic book-ish more than expected, the fight with The Russian was quite good. It was a bit of a different take on the way to stage a revenge movie. The 3 side characters give the movie a good chunk more life without dragging it down.

Plus, some of the one-liners were great in the movie.

Blogger Michael Maier November 12, 2017 10:14 PM  

The 2004 PUNISHER is a great revenge film and an excellent comic adaptation. And I hate Revolta.

Blogger Michael Maier November 12, 2017 10:17 PM  

Man... this thread is making me remember how BAD a lot of these series really were.

Anonymous texas exile November 12, 2017 10:19 PM  

Batman tas is the gold standard. I couldn't stand justice league at the time due to animation style. Rewatched even when older and it was good. The first being better than unlimited in my opinion.

At the time I also really liked x men evolution but haven't rewatched it when older. I'm a fan of the high school tropes.

Blogger Solaire Of Astora November 12, 2017 10:24 PM  

One thing I liked about Watchmen that most comics universes tend to lack is a sense of realistic consequences of the advent of super powers. The world reacts to what amounts to a god, the heroes themselves have active political roles, and Veidt has actual designs on how the world should be run and works to see them accomplished. Why is Superman chasing down cutpurses when he could overthrow North Korea? If we have so many psychic super humans, why aren't they going around finding kidnapped children and sex slaves in dungeons and saving them? I don't know a ton about comics so maybe I'm off base but these questions make it incredibly difficult for me to enjoy comics.

Anonymous Ron from up North November 12, 2017 10:35 PM  

"Spectacular Spider-Man" only ran two seasons, but was pretty darned good and held my kids' interest.

"Angel" ran five seasons, and turned out to be a far more entertaining adventure series than "Buffy," by the end of which I was rooting for the vampires.

Blogger maniacprovost November 12, 2017 10:43 PM  

Legends of Tomorrow = Win
It's everything a comic book TV series should be.

It only lost steam during the crossover event.

Blogger WATYF November 12, 2017 10:53 PM  

@77 Ron from up North

"Angel" ran five seasons, and turned out to be a far more entertaining adventure series than "Buffy," by the end of which I was rooting for the vampires.

Agreed. Couldn't do Buffy, but Angel was great, and the finale was excellent. The Wesley/Fred arc was moving. Only thing I didn't like about that series was how they utterly ruined the character of Cordelia. It was a travesty.

WATYF

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 12, 2017 10:55 PM  

dtungsten wrote:A great example of what doesn't work: Superman Returns. Where Lois Lane marries a literal cuckold to have him raise Superman's kid. Plus it has Kevin Spacey!
Spacey's Luthor was literally the only watchable thing about that movie. He got Lex Luthor exactly right to the atomic level.

And no, Superman is not Jesus. Superman is the Mesiach.

Blogger WATYF November 12, 2017 10:57 PM  

@72 Looking Glass

And, while a little comic book-ish more than expected, the fight with The Russian was quite good. It was a bit of a different take on the way to stage a revenge movie. The 3 side characters give the movie a good chunk more life without dragging it down. Plus, some of the one-liners were great in the movie.

Agreed on all counts. A lot of the hate I've heard was directed at the "neighbors", but I thought they added just the right elements, and the Russian fight was awesome, especially how he finally beat him. And the one-liners...

"God's gonna sit this one out."

WATYF

Blogger Thot November 12, 2017 10:59 PM  

I liked "Heroes" that ran on nbc, I think.

Anonymous E Deploribus Unum November 12, 2017 11:12 PM  

Daredevil is the single best TV thing comics have ever done. Luke Cage was WAY too black. Give me a friggin' break! Jessica Jones was way too feminist, and Iron Fist is Metrosexual Man. The Defenders as a unit were too incoherent to really resonate, but anything that picks up the Frank Miller DD themes from the 80's is worth at least trying.

All to say, Vox, watch Daredevil, and read Miller's DD and Dark Knight (and Ronin) if you want to really GET comics.

But I'm pretty sure given your track record that you'll do just fine without my tips.

Blogger Rashadjin November 12, 2017 11:18 PM  

@42 WATYF

Honestly, I thought Batman Beyond was just "OK". First, it was a little dated (very, very 90's fads throughout) and because it was teen-centered in a more cheesy high-school way, whereas Young Justice was teen-centered in a more "coming of age" way, where they grow into their adult roles as the series goes on. The characters (or should I say, character) in BB were OK, but nothing that you could really invest in, whereas YJ gave them more weighty matters to deal with that left you wanting to know what would happen to them. Sure, they tried to shoe-horn that "Bruce Wayne is my dad??" bit into BB by giving it an epilogue in JL, but by then the series was already over.

I'll give you that. Many will find Batman Beyond to just be "OK". It's a bit of a time n' place thing. The stylistic shift, particularly with the visual aesthetics and grungy opening tune, was a big part of why I liked it, which won't translate to everyone.

I got through Season 2, part 1 of Young Justice on DVD. At the end of which, there wasn't quite enough there for me to want to pick it up again when S2 Part 2 came out. There were aspects of it I was tired of or that had worn thin, but can't really remember anymore. Other than brooding, younger Superman was part of me being ready to move on. It wasn't bad, it just failed to hook me. I vaguely remember the animation being pretty good?

Since I was never much of a DC fan beyond Batman, I only watched Justice League here and there. If there were bigger arcs, I basically missed them. And hitting Justice League here and there, it always seemed like the characters in it were comparatively flat and one-note. I know they aren't completely flat and one note, and compare well to most of the drek out there, but coming from, say, the main characters of Disney's Gargoyles...flat and one note.

Yes, let your hate flow. I feast on it.

Which leads me to...

@62 Emmanuel Mateo-Morales

Superman is your special beau, got it. A young me would've followed the crowd and pointed at how Superman is a demi-god compared to the vast majority of his opponents, but I managed to refine my complaint many moons ago to 'Superman is special by birth and appeals to the aristocrat/royalty mindset whereas Batman is special by a combination of human-like natural ability and effort so appeals to those who expect to succeed via preparation, dedication and cunning'. Not exactly original, but also not on your silly hate list.

And let's see, X-Men is a wide cast of mutants with diverse backgrounds and personalities that join up as a team to fight the oft world-shattering crisis of the day whereas Justice League is a wide cast of heroes with diverse backgrounds and personalities that join up as a team to fight the oft world-shattering crisis of the day. Yep, totally different.

My JL distaste is a lot about the characters as I'm not a fan of the 'hero' straight-jacket that gets applied to the Justice League types, however loosely or imperfectly. And it's a bit of ye ol' plot-driven vs. character-driven narrative divide that kicks up so many internet tiffs. I'm not saying X-Men was particularly great about being character-driven, but the characters did hook me better as a youth.

Which is the long way of saying: Vox can get away with telling people they're lying, usually because he's paying attention (among other things). The rest of you come off as shrieking, triggered monkeys trying to cop a Vox Day.

Blogger Jew613 November 12, 2017 11:19 PM  

Daredevil is everything a Superhero series should be. Vincent D'onofrio as Wilson Fisk was perfect, while portrayed different then the comics he took a standard crime lord and made him into a tragic villain.
Luke Cage is a wonderfully over the top modern blaxploitation series, I was expecting a lot of anti-White propaganda which never materialized. So that was a pleasant surprise.
Skip Iron Fist, the lead is a total whiner and that gets old very fast.
Angel is a noir detective series with vampires. Much better then Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though as Cataline has pointed out that is probably because Joss Whedon wasn't really running the show by the time Angel came out. Its a show I'm a big fan of and its aged well, Buffy less so.
Smallville started out well enough and had some good seasons, but eventually got dragged down under the weight of their own mythology. But there are some gems among the crap.

Blogger SemiSpook37 November 12, 2017 11:23 PM  

My $0.02 (not that it matters):

- Came in late to the Arrowverse (of course, it was only Arrow at the time). Thought it was decent at the start, but they lose me somewhere in the 3rd season. Flash started out great, but has really gone downhill (maybe they overdid it with evil speedsters, or it could be that they've spent way too much time on making Barry mudshark Iris; even the SJWs over on io9 feel this relationship is way too forced). I only bother with Supergirl for the crossover stuff (easily the worst of all the shows, which is a shame because the girl who plays Kara nails it, for the most part). Legends has been shaky, but there are parts where it's watchable (though I'm a bit of an Arthur Darvill fan from his Doctor Who days, as Rory Williams was the best out of Series 5-7, and that includes Matt Smith). What kills this entire setup is Berlanti, who's your typical gay SJW. If he could tone back all of the SJW crap, he could keep the quality up, because the shows (save Supergirl) aren't actually horrible.

- Netflix sector of the MCU is awesome. I love Daredevil, and the fact that they focus on Matt's Catholicism (which is helped by the fact that Charlie Cox is himself a Catholic) really connects to me. Jessica Jones was fun (though David Tennant as Kilgrave stole the whole series; in the original Alias run, Bendis had pushed the mudsharking, so that's already in there), though I felt the introduction of Nuke (i.e. Low Rent Cap) kind of screwed with the flow. Luke Cage was pretty cool (though I don't think the JJ and LC showrunners ever talked to sort of align stories, which affected things; I still think they killed off Cottonmouth a little too early), though not my favorite. Iron Fist was fine, but given the fact that the guy who ran that also ran Inhumans, which they've decided to bury, tells me they didn't make the right choice, there. I have yet to finish up The Defenders, but was enjoying that, as well, and obviously, I can't wait for The Punisher to hit. Easily the best part of DD Season 2.

- I'm an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. devotee, if only because they made Phil Coulson such a major thread of MCU Phase 1. It's sad that Perlmutter and Feige can't get along, because they could get some fun callouts to the films like they did in the first couple of seasons (i.e. Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron). The pods they tried last season (segments for each third of the season) was an interesting concept, at least in practice, and something that's probably worth trying again, if they can plan the stories a little better.

That said, I'm in agreement with some here that the MCU isn't as horribly SJW preachy as a lot of folks claim. Are there aspects of the stories that poke at that line? Sure. The folks involved can't help themselves, but the folks in charge there have a slightly better understanding that if they piss their target audience off, the whole effort they've spent over 10 years putting together is going to blow up in their faces. The Arrowverse crew is the worse of the two, in my opinion. And I say that when there's a number of actors that I've enjoyed seeing work for the past couple of decades who are wasting their efforts because the execs have a horrible case of "muh feels". Just tell me a story. Don't inject crap into it because you want to make a statement. That makes me want to change the channel or go do something else.

Blogger WATYF November 12, 2017 11:23 PM  

Ugh... Smallville. Don't even remind me. That's the series that taught me that sometimes you need to just give up on a show and stop watching because it's just not ever going to get any better. Watching 10 season of that was painful.

WATYF

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 12, 2017 11:36 PM  

On the anime front, I can't recommend anything more highly than Ergo Proxy as far as sci-fi/post apocalyptic with a mythological/fantasy flavor to it.

It may be a bit hard for a lot here to start though, as it starts with the epitome of weak/passive/pitiful male lead and bossy/aggressive/moody female lead. It does this intentionally though, as they both have character growth throughout the series with him growing a spine, manning up and taking responsibility for himself, and her getting knocked off her pedestal, calming down, and finding her place in the universe.

One of the best examples of a mystery-plot or a complex, well thought out plot too. The main downside is that most viewers (maybe not so many here though) will miss many or most of the references.

Bonus: It's got a whole different tragic/insanity subtext going on if you restart and watch from the beginning after reaching the end, and you'll figure out a lot of things that made no sense before. Absolutely everything in that show happens for a reason.

Others I'd recommend are:

A: As others have noted, Full-Metal Alchemist Brotherhood (easily the superior of the two adaptations).
B: Darker than Black, for superpowered combat and creative powers/weaknesses, as well as some character growth and a universe where polities' and peoples' actions actually make sense.

>
As far as TV, Yeah, Daredevil is easily the least converged of those shows, but sadly that may not be saying much, hopefully The Punisher can do better. Actually, I take it back, Gotham is probably less converged, but IMO it's less of a superhero show and more of a crime/detective/drama show with the occasional supervillain thrown in.

>
The Flash? Verdict: Epic Fail.

The Good: The what? Nice SFX seizures if you're epileptic maybe, so you'll sleep through the rest of it?

The Bad: If I should turn out to have cancer at some point, this unambiguously gave it to me. It's beyond converged. Not only is The Flash dating/wifing-up a mulatto who is his sort-of-stepsister from his black adopted parents, but they now have black flash, girl flash (did I mention those two are about to move in with each other?) and the supervillain is... so far as I can remember, always, always, always a white guy when it's a human (the paler the better). Half of the cast of the show is black, and the other half is mostly Harrison Wells. Half of the police force is black, and I swear their guns are all fake, because shooting? Who the heck DOES that? Heck, even Harambe makes an appearance (actually three or more), and somehow, unironically, all homicidal Harambe-lives matter.

The Fugly: WHY ARE YOU STANDING THERE TALKING TO THE VILLAIN? You can outrun bullets yet you stand there to get hit and incapacitated by not only things slower than the speed of sound, BUT REGULAR PEOPLES' AND CREATURES' FISTS, over and over and over and over and...

>
Iron Fist? Verdict: No one cares.

The Good: Not as pozzed as most of the other shows. It isn't nearly as bad as The Flash. The father-son relationship (or rather, the gaping, festering, homicidal lack thereof) between two of the antagonists. OH, and one of the main villains is a MEsterner with a recruiting-oriented death-cult. Small victories!

The Bad: Does it even have a second season yet? Don't know don't care. There's this whiny hippie with no spine and daddy/mommy issues and PTSD? I suppose it sort of makes sense in context, but that doesn't mean I want to subject myself to watching it play out... and character growth? Nah, we only shell out for villain character growth. Throw in an asian power-grrlfriend (sort of averted, sometimes) with more spine than the leading man, we're all good!

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 12, 2017 11:36 PM  


>
Agents of shield? Verdict: Fail.

The Good: The storytelling is OK. Coulson. Just Coulson.

The Bad: The characters make me want to vomit most of the time. Half of the quiver is full of wise, invincible DieVerse power grrrls and two thirds of the rest is regular wise DieVersity. The remaining sixth is guys who will later invariably be either villains or dead if their last name isn't Coulson. The Social Justice is so strong that it'd definitely be stronger than The Flash if not for the thin veneer of ambiguity gorilla-glued hastily on top of it to keep the show from taking a nosedive. It's so strong in fact that it almost looks like the opposite through the power of sheer hypocrisy.

The Fugly: Actually there's no fugly. The veneer is thick and well-glued.

>
Jessica Jones? Verdict: Failed so fast.

The Good: Warned me off early, so I didn't stay long enough for it to hurt more.

The Bad: Power Grrl with attitude. First episode is something like 37.5% porn, 12.5% miscegenation porn involving the MC. Plot? Not by the time I shut off the first episode.

The Fugly: Couldn't even finish the first episode. Too disgusted with the pr0n torrent. Could smell the incipient feminism even before I got too pr0n'd out to continue.

>
Legends of Tomorrow? Verdict: Meh.

The Good: The plot seemed promising for about five minutes.

The Bad: The actors aside from maybe Snart (probably my own idiosyncratic taste) and the old guy. The storytelling doesn't exist. Power grrlz.

The Fugly: Just can't bring myself to care about any of the characters. At all. Feels like SFX-obscured plastic.

>
Defenders? Verdict: Maybe OK, haven't gotten far yet.

The Good: Seems like an interesting story from what I've seen so far.

The Bad: There's no discernible plot for the best part of the first two episodes before it finally appears out of the woodwork. Electra doesn't help, mostly because she cancels out the upside of having Daredevil, via instant power grrl and growing-power-grrl villain-ex-machina.

The Fugly: Jessica Jones and Iron Fist. Mostly Iron Fist. Actually just Iron Fist. I'm mainly just hating Jessica because of her eponymous show.

Blogger Sterling Pilgrim November 12, 2017 11:53 PM  

The convergence runs deep... Tech is rife with matronly virtue signalers...
https://www.geekwire.com/2017/diversity-harassment-intersectionality-new-insights-hopper-x-1-making-tech-inclusive/

Anonymous Deplorable me November 13, 2017 12:10 AM  

Here's some well-known comic storylines that you should ago least be aware of:

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga
Legion of Super-Heroes: Great Darkness Saga
Batman: Year One; A Death in the Family; Lonely Place of Dying
Daredevil: Born Again
Spiderman: Death of Gwen Stacy; Death of Jean De Wolff
Justice League International/America (Giffen/De Mattis): issues 1-10

Aside from Justice League, these are all pivotal story arcs in each character's/team's mythos.

For Justice League, this was the first relaunch of the title, and it was *funny*. There's some great characterization all around (Batman's inspection of the Russian embassy) and a look at the mostly real-life logistics of an international superhero team.

Blogger Mr. Naron November 13, 2017 12:27 AM  

I think Gotham is excellent. Little to no social justice messaging. Great visual style. Very good story development. This current season is very strong. No drop off yet.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab November 13, 2017 12:32 AM  

Legends of Tomorrow is unwatchable filth. Homosexual adultery with a wink and a leering smirk. Fifties America the worst time and place for anyone not white and male. White Canary leads a lonely and unsure woman into a dangerously illegal, immoral and no future sexual perversion just to satisfy her own lusts. It doesn't get better just worse and I could keep going until I got writers cramp.

Blogger lowercaseb November 13, 2017 12:32 AM  

Azure Amaranthine wrote:Legends of Tomorrow? Verdict: Meh.

The thing about Legends of Tomorrow is outside of the SJ poz, it is almost an exact panel to panel translation of a late 70s Silver Age comic...not a good one. A fill in issue. It's about the weird plots that don't make too much sense. Over dramatic scenes and performance that last the cinematic equivalent of two panels. Once you realize that they are cinemizing (Is that a word?) a trashy disposable comic, you can kinda turn your brain off and kinda enjoy it.

Granted, now that I've hit 50, I can't turn my brain off like I used to so it's kinda painful to watch nowadays.

That said, The Gifted is REALLY good like our host said. I was not expecting that at all...

Blogger Rashadjin November 13, 2017 12:35 AM  

@88 Azure Amaranthine

B: Darker than Black, for superpowered combat and creative powers/weaknesses, as well as some character growth and a universe where polities' and peoples' actions actually make sense.

Darker Than Black is excellent. Ergo Proxy too. I left the former off because Vox has enough research for Superhero proper. Didn't think of the latter because well outside the genre.

But as we're going there...If you've a fondness for animated series aimed at kids, Vox, you should check out Disney's Gargoyles. Dips into Shakespeare inspired plots later on.

Oh, and as much as Soul Eater has excellent things about it, many of the academy and Death the Kid bits are tedious. It's anime, for better and worse.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab November 13, 2017 12:39 AM  

I can't stand Jessica Jones or Iron Fist. The first is just perverted even if I like Tennant. Iron Fist cannot do martial arts. He can't even do tv martial arts much less Kun Lun kung fu style stuff. He looks like a very fey shark or jet from West Side Story.

Everyone including the mooks looked better. And he manages to have the skinny flabby look of a dedicated vegan.

Blogger The Deuce November 13, 2017 12:53 AM  

If you want inspiration from anime, I wouldn't recommend Hunter X Hunter as some people have suggested. It's rather nihilistic.

I'd recommend One Piece. It's goofy, but it might be useful for the purposes of Alt*Hero. Most of the characters, both good and bad, have the equivalent of super powers, with the "tragic cost" of said powers being that it renders them unable to swim and helpless in water, which is a big deal since the show revolves around pirates vs navy.

Also, the main theme of the show is the struggle of rebels for freedom against a tyrannical one-world government.

Blogger Resident Moron™ November 13, 2017 1:29 AM  

I’ve tried to like various superhero shows: Arrow, Iron Fist, etc.

But the main characters are all idiots.

The only one I found vaguely tolerable was Jessica Jones, until I realized she’s basically a Raymond Chandler character in drag.

She’s what the male superheroes WOULD be, if they weren’t written by modern fools ( which might be a redundant phrase).

So I have high hopes for alt*Hero,

Blogger s j November 13, 2017 1:32 AM  

In the DC TV shows I'd rate Supergirl as marginally worse then Legends but they're both way down at the bottom. In Supergirl, all the villains are white, and most of them are male. Of the heroes the white males are dweebs, the black males are marginally competent and the women are all power girlz.

Blogger Shimshon November 13, 2017 1:51 AM  

"Smallville started out well enough and had some good seasons, but eventually got dragged down under the weight of their own mythology. But there are some gems among the crap."

I think I watched the first five seasons and gave up after that. First season was a Monster of the Week setup. The third season was particularly good, from what I remember.

Anonymous Luke November 13, 2017 2:04 AM  

For a masterclass in the superhero genre, read Michael Stackpole's "In Hero Years... I'm Dead!"
In addition to being a darn good story, it takes the genre apart, shows you the moving pieces, and then reassembles it in time for the triumphant climax.

For tv, go with Young Justice or Justice League Unlimited.

For movies, The Empire Strikes Back is likely the best example. It's slightly atypical for the supers genre, but it hits most of the tropes.

In general, think soap opera or professional wrestling. It is the relationships between characters that drive the story.
Villains are most interesting when their warped worldview has some valid points.
Characters are defined as much by their weaknesses as their kewl powerz. Peter Parker's guilt complex. Tony Stark's hedonism and death wish. Daredevil's complete inability to read any of the evidence he comes across...

Anonymous map November 13, 2017 3:32 AM  

Vox,

The biggest problem with the superhero genre is the story arc of the X-Men mutants.

The whole point of the civilian alter-ego of a superhero is to maintain the superhero's purpose of simply correcting disturbances in normal society caused by other super-powered beings. Once the threat is removed, the hero goes back to his life as an ordinary person.

Mutants destroy this dynamic.

Their powers occur at puberty and are often immensely dangerous and disturbing to others. There is no normalcy to go into. There is simply normalizing the hideous or dangerously aberrant.

The thing is, once the mutant world is revealed, it taints the ordinary superheros. How is Spider-Man or Iron Man really any less dangerous than Cyclops or Magneto? Why should the mutants be hunted but not the other super-powered beings?

I think any comic book that really addresses the existence of open and active superheros and how the world would react to them is very interesting. In the real world, such beings would be either hunted, registered, or co-opted in some way.

Anonymous Monk November 13, 2017 3:33 AM  

@4 So you let your daughter watch mudsharking propaganda...don't be surprised when she gets knocked up by a black guy.

Blogger Harambe November 13, 2017 3:53 AM  

Janus wrote:On the Anime front, that my fellow viewers would first suggest stories like HunterxHunter and Full Metal Alchemist before suggesting My Hero Academia is a tragedy.


Man, I just started watching My Hero Academia and I absolutely LOVE it. Before that, I quite liked Sword Art Online. But My Hero Academia is so much better than that. Though my all time favourite is and will probably continue to be Bleach. Even though there are some stupid arcs and the Anime ends on a low note (The manga had a great run past the anime, but that too ended horribly with a random time skip).

Blogger Astalnar November 13, 2017 4:21 AM  

On anime front: My Hero Academia, Darker Than Black, Fullmetal Alchemist, and One-Punch Man.

For TV shows: Daredevil season I, and first half of season II (Punisher arc).

As for animated: Justice League, Justice League: Unlimited, and Young Justice.

I remember as a kid I used to love to watch Superman, Batman, X-Men, Spiderman, and Action-Man cartoons. But that was before I knew how to read or understood english.

Blogger Harambe November 13, 2017 5:03 AM  

There's a really good fight in Bleach between an ice-based power (Toshiro Hitsugaya) and a water-based power (Tier Harribel) which IMO was really well done ito highlighting the differences between what are seemingly very similar powers.

Blogger AdognamedOp November 13, 2017 5:22 AM  

Everything comic is converged at this point. The movies are even worse. But that's where their bread is buttered. Nobodies buying comics anymore, but people still go to movies. So now we get these formulaic daubs, where an after credits scene is the highlight of the trash that's been peddled out for that first weekend BO draw.

Blogger 1337kestrel November 13, 2017 7:42 AM  

Not sure why everyone is recommending anime that, while good, are completely tangential toward Alt Hero.

My hero academia and one punch man may be relevant.

Rurouni Kenshin is relevant. He's the most legendary swordsman of the 1880s revolutionaries, who has taken a vow of non-killing and travels around helping people to atone for the many many people he killed.

Read or Die (OVA and TV series) are relevant. Essentially, mutants are used in clandestine ops by secret government agencies.

Blogger 1337kestrel November 13, 2017 7:46 AM  

Oh, and Akira (1988?)

I believe what makes the typical genee super hero interesting is his moral and mental evolution, more so than the escalator of power ups that lazy writers feed to children.

Blogger Johnny November 13, 2017 8:41 AM  

If I were to invent a new comic book hero, while I would change him in detail ways, the starting point would be Marvin from the Sin City movie.

Blogger RobertDWood November 13, 2017 9:00 AM  

It's gone from Netflix now and was replaced by a lesser version, im surprised to see it hasn't appeared in the comments.

Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes is tremendous storytelling, arcs that span the seasons, character development, Ant Man / Hank Pym as the pacifist challenging the incumbent tyranny of Stark, Banner controlling his rage, Capt and his mistrust of technological hopes, Thor often far afield from earth and a tolerable amount pf spunky Wasp and Widow.

Its fun and is well paced, a casualty of the mcu going a different direction.



Agreement on DD being the best live action.


Big Hero 6 is an excellent storytelling movie for people with joy in their hearts, the same production and creative team did a credible Avengers series (adjusted a lot of tbe maturity downward and jacked in Falcon) and like a prior commentator noted, a really enjoyable Spiderman.

The creative direction of those shoes broke the fourth wall a lot, but its entertaining when they do because it makes you pause and ponder the fireworks that are about to come out.

Blogger Andrew Brown November 13, 2017 9:10 AM  

Of course Killua would recommend Hunter X Hunter haha.
I do agree though, the characters have some interesting powers and the fights are incredible.

Blogger Andrew Brown November 13, 2017 9:14 AM  

If you're looking for a superhero that ends fights instantly, watch One Punch Man.

Blogger Rashadjin November 13, 2017 9:24 AM  

Scratch the Ergo Proxy part, as I haven't seen it. Was thinking Psycho Pass for some silly reason...

Blogger Cataline Sergius November 13, 2017 9:37 AM  

This is from a post I did on the Flash's first season, where I addressed the elephant in the living room.

Both of them have or (will have) the same problem. The cross racial romance that doesn't work. There are several issues in play here as to why they don't.

First and foremost is a lack of apparent attraction between the leads. If an on screen romance is to be viable there needs to be a chemistry that works on screen. Possibly I'm jumping the gun on Spiderman; Homecoming, but I'll bet that I'm not.

Second and more important, despite what SJWs like to tell themselves, they are no more attracted to cross racial romance than the rest of us. And that's not me being a racist, there have been peer reviewed studies that back this up. It's been statistically proven that most people (70%) are turned off by it. Scream all you like but that's a thing.

Third, these plotlines are complete and total SJW virtue signaling chickenshit. These romantic leads are so completely white washed they may as well be white. Black Jimmy Olson (Supergirl) doesn't hang out at the barber shop. Iris West never complains about how much it costs to straighten her hair. Neither of them have some fuckup of a cousin who is bouncing in and out of County and they are ones that ALWAYS gotta deal with it.

The problems they face as cross racial couples are invariably the token racism of some ignorant white male cracker bigot, which allow them to display their superior and evolved love.

They NEVER have to face the seething fury of those who really oppose these relationships...black women.

Blogger S1AL November 13, 2017 10:47 AM  

As mentioned above, the only good thing about Legends of Tomorrow is Snart (Wentworth Miller). Talented actor, completely wasted on that show.

Anonymous BBGKB November 13, 2017 10:49 AM  

I especially liked how on Super "Coal Burner" Girl the illegal alien vagpresident said Global Warming is the Greatest threat they face after a city was destroyed by the "Make Daxon Great Again" crowd. Quoted bit was real. In the last episode Super Coal Burner girl's dyke sister realized she could do better than a wetback.

So there's a race of freaky mutants running about with bizarre and dangerous abilities, they boast - directly or implicitly - that they're going to replace homo sapiens,

Mexican's superpower is being able to tolerate E.coli when other Mexicans don't wash their hands after taking a dump.

It's other problem is that she can shoot lasers out of her eyes, but she forgets she has this power

I can believe a woman could shoot fire out her eyes and frost out her mouth in rapid succession but not all the niggeniuses on the shows.

You didn't even get to the part where they introduce the nen ablities stuff, which is what makes Hunter x Hunter so good.

How are nen abilities something no one knows about up to that point when there are televised matches with millions watching involving nen abilities?

have so many psychic super humans, why aren't they going around finding kidnapped children and sex slaves in dungeons and saving them?

Jewish writers don't want attention drawn to the real life victims.

So you let your daughter watch mudsharking propaganda...don't be surprised when she gets knocked up by a black guy.

Show her videos from WhiteGirlBleedALot & let her know she will ride a herd of unicorns before meeting a black as smart as seen on TV.

Anonymous Ain November 13, 2017 10:52 AM  

"I did love Fullmetal Alchemist. I haven't watched the Brotherhood one though."

Brotherhood is much, much better. I like the other series too, and avoided Brotherhood because I assumed it would reuse old material. I was wrong. It only has about two episodes that are similar to the first. You should check it out.

Blogger Astalnar November 13, 2017 11:18 AM  

When I said Fullmetal Alchemist, what I meant was Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 13, 2017 11:32 AM  

@4 Linus

One of the reasons I never thought Superman or Supergirl were interesting at all. How come they don't win every fight immediately? Boring.
---

Yep. And this led to every villain having a chunk of kryptonite which itself became boring.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 13, 2017 11:33 AM  

@5 malcolm
you'll love the latest flash #feminism
---

That was the worst ep of Flash I'm done even trying with that show now.

Arrow has become pretty awful too.

I wonder if Gotham is still watchable? I missed the last couple of seasons.

Blogger Lovekraft November 13, 2017 11:39 AM  

@121: this season is the best, IMO. Simpler plotline. Not trying to cram too much in. Lee is looking superhot. And the cans on Butch's girlfriend. Woozaa!

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 13, 2017 12:05 PM  

"Was thinking Psycho Pass for some silly reason..."

Wasn't on the same order of things at all.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 13, 2017 12:06 PM  

@78 maniacprovost
Legends of Tomorrow = Win
It's everything a comic book TV series should be.
---

You have got to be kidding me.
They take every opportunity to go back into the past and cry about waaasciism, such as the revolutionary war, the 1950s, the 1960s, etc.
They also take every opportunity to cram lgbtard bs into the eps, with Sara. Remember lady guinevere?

The show is unwatchable.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 13, 2017 12:13 PM  

@86 SemiSpook37

I'm an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. devotee
---

Yes, this show has been pretty good from the beginning. I liked last season focusing on the dangers of AI and transhumanism.

Blogger Rez Zircon November 13, 2017 12:25 PM  

I understand the distracting-doppelganger problem. My first tenant looked and sounded *exactly* like Catherine Disher. Mind you, not that this was a bad thing...

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0228324/

Blogger Were-Puppy November 13, 2017 12:28 PM  

@122 Lovekraft
@121: this season is the best, IMO. Simpler plotline. Not trying to cram too much in. Lee is looking superhot. And the cans on Butch's girlfriend. Woozaa!
---

I've had a thing for the actress who plays Lee ever since she was in Stargate Atlantis :P

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit November 13, 2017 1:19 PM  

The yard ape and I enjoyed a Trigun marathon over Veteran's Day, and the anime really does hold up. Vox Day might like it for the Japanese weirdness (Like the respectful but... very J-pop take on the Catholic priest sidekick), but what makes it interesting is that it's an anime more popular with the U.S. watchers than it was/is with Japanese.

Glyph called it "Doctor Who on a Wild Wild West planet with no SJW nonsense."

As for superhero comics, the last good one I read was Orson Scott Card's run on Iron Man.

This aggregator site might prove helpful, as it's most-popular titles seem to match what I've observed at comic cons and with local teens:
http://www.topwebcomics.com/


Currently #36 is "Heroes of the World and Beyond" a straight up guys-in-tights superhero adventure. (Don't actually know if it's any good - just that it's well-liked)
http://hotwab.webcomic.ws/

Blogger WATYF November 13, 2017 3:48 PM  

@111 RobertDWood

It's gone from Netflix now and was replaced by a lesser version, im surprised to see it hasn't appeared in the comments. Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes...

Yeah, that's a good one as well. I'd put the DCAU above it though, so I'd recommend going through JL at least before trying Avengers:EMH.

WATYF

Anonymous Unamused Flyover Resident November 13, 2017 10:05 PM  

Okay, I'm way late to the party but if you want super-hero stuff that works you gotta go animated and old school:

Batman TAS and Batman Beyond.

Accept no substitutes.

Anonymous Sunderr November 13, 2017 10:09 PM  

I haven't seen a wester comic or series that was truly creative in years, but Japanese manga is something else, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure in particular is one of the most creative and unpredictable series I've seen.

The stories themlselves are predictable, but the way the characters use their powers is not. Even the lamest power you can think of has some use un JJBA, it's incredible. If Araki made a run on Marvel it'd be unbelievable.

Blogger Rashadjin November 14, 2017 12:37 AM  

@123 Azure Amaranthine

"Was thinking Psycho Pass for some silly reason..."
-
Wasn't on the same order of things at all.


After realizing my mistake, I had a feeling that would be the case. The lead dynamics are totally different to begin with. Although Psycho Pass is a cut above in general. Anywho, I am suitably ashamed.

@38 S1AL

I'll admit to a bit of shock with the whole "Asgard is a people, not a place" theme going on in Thor. Though, to be fair, the Marvel movies have been surprisingly grounded overall.

And in the end, I couldn't let this go.

*Spoilers*

Actually, Asgard was a people and a place since Odin's first born drew her powers from the land. (-2 for writers/director not understanding their own story) Which then devolved down to just being a people after blowing up the place. (+1 for reflection of reality) But that was only so they could get away with turning Asgardians into a motley crew of intergalactic refugees at the end of the movie. (-2 for being topical in the worst possible way. Also see the inclusion of Led Zepplin's Immigrant song in the soundtrack...)

Despite that line being one of the rare truthy moments of the movie, I still call it a net negative.

#BurnHollywood

Anonymous MrNiceguy November 14, 2017 1:12 AM  

Are you high? The only explanation for that movie was some Hollywood guy found the movie tropes website and decided he'd try for a High Score.

Seriously, name an action-movie cliche that *didn't* make it into that turd.

Blogger Harambe November 14, 2017 3:00 AM  

SPOILER ALERT, DAMNIT

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