So the last issue of this Legendary Green Hornet series was fun, but not as fun as the first. This third issue however is jam packed with action and from the first page on you are on the edge of your seat. The issue starts with the Green Hornet and Kato tied up and about to meet their demise from one of Tik-Tok’s contraptions. After escaping the two try and figure out where the infamous veiled lady resides as well as who put a bounty on their heads. This issue is filled with witty and clever dialogue, much more than the previous issues. I noticed something very interesting though and that it that Mae, when addressing Kato, spells his name “Kato” on one page and on the next it was “Cato”. I am unable to determine the significance of this as I only saw this once. Maybe it was just a typo and I am over thinking it. In this issue the Green Hornet and Kato are summoned by a Hornet signal, similar to the bat symbol only with a hornet logo. I both loved and hated this as I am a big Batman fan and thought that the symbol in the night sky should only be Batman’s, but I know that is not fair. I remember slightly in the last issue this veiled lady answered to a weird ghostly voice that kept saying “souls”. She would address it as her husband but even in this issue the story did not go far enough for me to see who it actually is. I really liked this issue from the start but there are a couple of things that bothered me. First of all, maybe I am too critical, but even though the two heroes were tied up destined to meet their doom on the very first page of the issue, I did not think for one second that they would actually meet their ends. I think that this is an issue in films as well as there are many films that will start with their main character, or hero in a life threatening situation with hopes of exciting the crowd. The problem is, if the main characters were to die within the first couple of minutes of the film, where do you go from there. It is unrealistic and it took away from the scene. Not every comic or film can be like Game of Thrones, offing main characters whenever they feel it necessary, or not. Secondly, it almost seems as if the dialogue is becoming more and more faint. Maybe this issue had more action scenes causing it to be more visual then anything, but after reading this issue I felt as though I had only read a handful of pages with dialogue. I definitely am going to keep up with this series as I am know very much invested and most of all need to see who the veiled lady’s husband is! I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who loves the steam punk theme and enjoys quick reads with a great story. Thank you for reading my post. Looking forward to all of your comments.
I already stated in my last post that I thought Shadow Hero was one of the more fun reads of the semester. Now that I have finished reading I stick to that opinion as well as think that author Gene Luen Yang is an amazing author/creator. In my last post I mentioned that Hank seemed on the fence about becoming a superhero but with the push of this mob boss, Hank definitely realized that justice needed to be served. After his family is threatened Hank decides to stick up for justice. None of this would be possible without proper Chinese fight training though. Again, I am still liking the illustrations as they tend to be the first thing that turns me away from a comic or a graphic novel. I also thought the conversation we had in class to be very interesting about Hank learning to adopt various aspects of both American and Chinese culture. By refusing to kill and instead arresting the man with handcuffs, Hank absolutely went against the grain with his ancestors culture. I think this scene would be one of the more important scenes for a younger person reading this, especially if that person was born first generation American. Though, I also think there is a valid argument for the entire story to be quite influential for those who have had upbringings similar to Hanks, maybe minus the mother exposing her kids to chemicals. Overall I think that this story has all of the ingredients for a complete superhero story. We follow a character that is easily relatable growing up in a world where he is constantly adopting new aspects of his families culture and a new one he was born into, there is a bad mob boss villain, a cool costume and great illustrations that are easy to read with and follow along. I almost forgot that in addition to all of these aspects this story also carries a lot of educational value which is a great selling point. I really hope that I see more from Gene Luen Yang as I will be watching out for them. Thank you for reading my post.
This is a story of a young mutant boy named Jack Hunt. All of his life, even before he knew he was a mutant, Jack was an outsider. Raised by a single mother in the slums of New Jersey, Jack was used to constant confrontation and also avoiding it. Bullied at school and without friends Jack searched for companionship in his toys. Of his toys, his favorites were his soldiers. With his soldiers Jack would create mock wars and battles. These wars Jack started with his toys always fascinated him and he always imagined he too was a soldier marching down the frontlines. But Jack was smaller and weaker which made him not actually enlist. At school many made fun of Jack for not having friends, and the bigger kids at school would bully him daily. One day at school Jack was minding his own business playing with one of his soldiers on the playground. Billy Strong, the class bully, came up to Jack and without a word took the soldier away from Jack claiming that it was his now. When Jack attempts to grab his soldier back Billy punches Jack in the face knocking him to the ground. Billy laughed as he walked away with the toy. As Jack sat on the ground with tears starting to form he gazes over at Billy who is holding the soldier in his hand. Jack begins to feel enraged, and starts to concentrate on the soldier itself. He thought to himself “If only I could command the soldier to fight for me”. Within that moment a loud cry was heard from the table Billy was sitting at and Billy is seen holding his hand that is now covered in blood. The toy soldier had stabbed him with his sword just as Jack had wanted. Jack shell-shocked by this could not wait to go home and see what else he could do. Though mutants did exist they were not popularly accepted as they were seen as freaks, but nevertheless, Jack wanted to keep using this gift again and again and again. It got to the point where all Jack could think about was leaving school and going home to practice with his powers. Months after discovering his special capabilities, Jack had honed in on his skills and realize that his powers were much more vast than originally anticipated. Jack had the power to re animate inanimate objects. As time went on Jack started to reanimate much bigger objects than toy soldiers and he was starting to come in to his own with his skill. Though no one else but him knew about his abilities Jack would practice with them whenever he could, making sure to be careful and to keep his secret safe.
One day while Jack was at school he was seen practicing his skills with his toys and because of this Jack was sent to the principals office and later expelled for being a confirmed mutant. Upon arriving home his mom sat Jack down to tell him how disappointed she was. It was then that she explained Jack’s father had been a mutant and she hoped that it hadn’t passed on. She wanted a normal son. Upset at his mother’s reaction Jack decided to run away with hopes that he would find a new home somewhere. He wanted to show the world that mutants are not freaks and they could be like anyone else. Jack didn’t really mind being on the streets though he knew he’d need money for survival and for food so he thought about getting a job at a local UFC gym. The job was only custodial but in return he would receive cash and free gym access to practice his hand-to-hand combat. Jack figured out the best time of day for him to practice would be at night. Every night he would go out to practice in the alleys of the city but he quickly found out that he could no longer practice at night without disguising himself for he would not want to be discovered by anyone as anything but human. He did not want to be flashy so he would wear all black with a mask that covered his entire face and had no design or face on it. For Jack felt that he had not one face, but many because he could bring various objects to life. He knew should the day come when he was given the opportunity to be the hero he had always wanted to become, he would need a name. That name was the Surge.
*I tried drawing my superhero and failed miserably. The image above is the closest thing I could find to what I wanted to draw. Thanks for reading and I look forward to reading all of your superhero posts.
It is all about Hanks mom in this comic. Wow, she is funny and great to read about. I find it very interesting that she obsesses so much about her son being something special. I do not think I have read any other comic where there is a parent literally plotting how to make her son into a superhero. It did not matter to her whether Hank would get sick or did not want to participate in yet another one of her stunts because she was hell bent on making him a superhero. She definitely did her research as she tries every trick in the book with hopes of changing poor hank into a super. It is also interesting to see a character who seems so content with life being dragged from frame to frame by his mother in search of something else. I would like to think that if I knew I was not going to die from one of these attempts I would participate. I mean, what do you have to lose. There are elements that make this comic stand out even more and it goes beyond the artwork and dialogue. Hank does not fall into a typical category for superheroes. He also has not experienced that which is most popular in origin stories of superheroes which is the tragedy that motivates them in the first place. What I found most appealing though was the relationship between Hank and the readers. I found his character to be instantly intriguing and entertaining. I think a lot of the credit goes to his mom for that as well. He seems like a normal kid who could relate to many and I think that is why his character is so easy to read about. I am very excited to see what happens in the rest of the graphic novel, and dare I say I might have found my new favorite comic authors. Thanks for reading.
30 Apr 2015
He’s A Detective, He’s A Brute, He’s Batman
Everyone has a back-story, whether you are an important CEO who came from nothing, or the person who started at the top and ultimately fell below the expectations. This back-story, or origin story is essential in identifying who that person truly is. In regards to superheroes, some might find the origin stories to be the most important aspect of a good superhero. One superhero who has lasted the test of time since his introduction is Batman. Batman has been a dominant figure in the comic book industry and even in present day the following for Batman is immense. There seems to be a pattern that is traceable throughout Batman’s history and that is because through the years, as Batman has become more powerful, he has become more influential. In comic books, graphic novels, and films origin stories dictate everything from the setting of the story to the colors used in the illustrations or images. Because of Batman’s long and everlasting existence, there have been various graphic novels and films produced about his character. The three origin stories I would like to focus on are Batman’s original introduction in the Detective Comics, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Rises, and Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Without the evolution of the origin stories of the three, the Batman of present would not exist and therefore would not have become the mainstream influence that it is today. While comic books are still relevant, the top signifier of pop culture is film. Film is the greater medium and through that Nolan was able to create the Batman more true and significant.
Batman was introduced in the Detective Comics #27 in 1939. At this time his character was introduced as a character that possessed all. Born into a wealthy family Bruce Wayne was the heir to a dynasty. After witnessing the murder of his parents, he swears revenge and dreams of the say when he would rid Gotham of all of its filth. His character is shown bored and wanting to accompany the police commissioner on missions in search for thugs to capture. Batman in his beginnings was brutal and disobeyed the law by acting as a vigilante. Naturally this initially bothered the Gotham City Police Department but eventually he became an honorary member of the force. Missions would consist of searching for thugs around Gotham, but not yet any major villains. I find this version of Batman very interesting because he represents the original starting point for this beacon of a franchise. Part of what makes the Batman from the Detective Comics more faint is that at this point in time there had been other superheroes that were already established. This Batman was entering a realm of already conventional superheroes and there was yet any real substance to his background. In an article entitled “Batman – An American Mr. Hyde?” author Andreas Reichstein states, “He did not only carry a gun; in the first issue of his magazine, Batman even killed a criminal with it” (Reichstein 332). This is interesting as this is one of the first appearances of Batman and already there are attributes found in his character that contrast the common values of the present day Batman. This Batman in the Detective Comics seems to be lackluster, especially when comparing to the Batman’s of Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” and Christopher Nolan’s trilogy.
Within the forty-seven years between them, the Batman franchise had been building its production and fan base and with that came substantial material on the Batman and his origin. By the time Miller’s mini series was introduced there was so much material on Batman, he immediately felt like a more complete character than the less exciting Batman from the Detective Comics. Through the sixties television was starting to take a boom, as so was the Batman. The animated series of Batman aired in the sixties and gave way to a new level of Batman popularity. The Adam West version of Batman in the TV series was well known to be a very campy character. By the time the eighties came around there were more comics being released as well as films. Of the comics that were surfacing one of the more notable was “The Dark Knight Returns” by Frank Miller. It was in this mini series of comics the audience followed a new kind of vigilante. Frank Miller’s dark knight set a new tone as well as a new origin story in this mini series that many thought was quite extreme. The comic begins observing a fifty five year old Bruce Wayne who is frustrated with the outcome of his Gotham as it is just as corrupt, if not more than when he decided to retire from the crime fighting days. Throughout The Dark Knight Returns, the audience observes as the aged Bruce Wayne begins to channel a personality trait that, up until now, had remained unseen. The emotions that lead Bruce Wayne to leave retirement are directly linked to this inner thirst for revenge and for justice against evil. This Batman seems very determined to inflict pain to whomever stands in his way, even if it meant using lethal weapons or firing off rounds from tanks. This Batman wanted to free Gotham from its corruptive state of being with excessive force and almost as if he had a sickness. Miller’s Batman added to the characters already established shadow like persona but with it also came a Batman who possessed a psychotic and criminal like mind. The setting of Miller’s mini series also accompanies Batman’s dark personality as William Uricchio, author of “The Batman’s Gotham City: Story, Ideology, Performance” states, “…Gotham is explicitly modeled on the ‘dark and brooding’ aspects of New York City’s architecture and atmosphere” (Uricchio 121). In the same article Uricchio mentions that both Dennis O’Neil, long time editor of Batman, and Frank Miller opened up to him about their views of Gotham. O’Neil compared Gotham to “Manhattan below 14th street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest night in November” (Uricchio 122). The already aggressive Batman is subconsciously perceived as even darker due to the portrayal of Gotham in this mini series. In the Detective Comics, Gotham was still a place of corruption but not crawling with extremely dangerous villains like the mutant gang. In Frank Miller’s portrayal, Batman became a product of the corrupt and disoriented Gotham. Though the mini series seized a great deal of attention many agreed that the character was much less repulsed in the idea of using excessive force against his enemies. This Batman is hardly the hero that many would want to meet for lunch, for he is essentially a criminal and not a nice one. This Batman represents a more outlandish vigilante who possesses much less of the Bruce Wayne/ Batman dynamic than previously. Consumed by his drive to rid the city of its corruption he seeks to accomplish his goal, no matter the costs. Even with the franchise of Batman continuously growing, this older Batman was the most aggressive and brutal representation yet.
In two thousand and five the first of the Christopher Nolan trilogy films was released. This film was intended to provide the viewers with Batman’s origin story influenced mainly by Frank Miller’s earlier works. The film begins with the introduction to Bruce Wayne and his family before their unfortunate deaths. After their murder the audience follows along as they watch Bruce attempt to discover himself while traveling around the world. Eventually Bruce meets his mentor and ultimately main rival Ra’s al Ghul. It is through Ra’s al Ghul that Bruce begins to learn how to fight and become a stealthy, deadly weapon. Ra’s al Ghul is the head of the assassin clan, the League of Shadows. It is clear from the start of the film that Bruce has the desire to both exact revenge on his parent’s murderer and to right the injustice in the world. Upon learning about the Ra’s’ plan to destroy Gotham, Bruce decides to escape the League of Shadows and return home to utilize his newfound fighting skills to protect his home town. Like previous Batman stories, this film focuses on his characters search for revenge. The difference in this Batman’s character is that from the start it is clear that Bruce is a noble man and there is much time devoted to observing him solely as Bruce Wayne and not Batman. This is a dynamic that was lacking in Miller’s miniseries as well as the early Detective Comics. Unlike the Batman from Miller’s works who seemed to only be concerned with fighting crime to the point of leaving his victims paralyzed, the Batman played by Christian Bale is driven by honest intentions to save Gotham from its potential damnation. During his conversation with Alfred, Bruce states, “ People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man, I’m flesh and blood, I can be ignored I can be destroyed but as a symbol, as a symbol I can be incorruptible. I can be everlasting” (Nolan Batman Begins). This Batman unlike the previous ones is more concerned about standing as a symbol of justice to the people of Gotham and beyond. He is not solely looking for revenge on the murderer of his parents, nor does he want to go gallivanting in the night looking for someone to beat to a pulp. The overall impression of Bruce’s personality appears to be much softer and sophisticated then ever before. He is more dignified and a more realistic interpretation of what people expect the modern hero to be. As soon as he becomes Batman the audience begins to see the other side to his personality. Though Nolan’s Batman appears to be the most intimidating Batman yet, as he is covered head to toe in black and has perks on his suit like a voice scrambler he remains to be anything close to the Batman of the early Detective Comics or the blood thirsty beast from Frank Miller’s miniseries. Nolan’s Batman introduces the revolutionized Batman in that he is the hero that appeals to all demographics and as a result the franchise only grows faster.
The influence that Nolan’s Batman had over the franchise was immediate and extremely noticeable. It seems as though most of the Batman memorabilia nowadays is representative of the Nolan films. This influence was not just present in the gift shops, and costume stores but also in other films. The Lego Movie was released in 2014 and is a prime example of how the character of Batman is perceived. In the movie the Batman character not only has a very deep voice, very similar to that of Christian Bale’s character but also states, “I only work in black. And sometimes very, very dark grey” (The Lego Movie). Though previous Batman costumes have been darker in color, the suits in the Nolan films seem to be the only suits that contain absolutely no contrasting colors. The standard has become the Batman hero that is seen in the Nolan films and what is most interesting is how, even now, when a new Batman film is in the making under new direction and cast critics still hope for a similar tone and look as the Nolan films.
It is easy to see the significance of Batman’s character when observing the development his character has had over the years. Some critics may argue that the earlier portrayals of Batman are more accurate than Nolan’s. But, what is lacking in the earlier Batman and Frank Miller’s dark knight is present in Nolan’s Batman, and that is his ability to appeal to every demographic. The Batman in the films was able to introduce a complete character that is witty, noble, and intimidating; all of which stem from the previous origin stories. Nolan was able to combine these attributes into one character ultimately introducing the world to the real Batman.
- This conclusion is very choppy and needs fixing as I am still developing some ideas. *
- I also am trying to find more quotes to use as support
- Thank you for reading and I look forward to your comments
Batman Begins. Dir. Christopher Nolan. By Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Prod.
Larry J. Franco. Perf. Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, and Katie
Holmes. Warner Brothers, 2005.
Finger, Bill. “The Batman.” Detective Comics. 27th ed. Vol. 1. N.p.: DC Comics, 1939. Print.
The Lego Movie. Dir. Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Warner Home Video, 2014.
Reichstein, Andreas. “Batman — An American Mr. Hyde?” Amerikastudien / American
Studies 43.2 (1998): 329-50. JSTOR. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.
Uricchio, William. “The Batman’s Gotham City: Story, Ideology, Performance.”
I think that this read was one of the more fun stories that we have read in class. I found myself flipping through the pages faster and faster and a lot had to do with the artwork. I sometimes go back and forth in regards to whether or not I prefer more cartoon like illustrations or the more realistic images. This comic i think utilizes both styles but also offers almost an anime like vibe. Also coming from just finishing Watchmen which was filled to its capacity with pictures, images, word bubbles and more, Ms. Marvel was a simpler comic to read and understand. I thought that the dilemma that she faces with her two identities is interesting and also very superhero like. I myself never had to experience being a first generation in a new country or attempt to merge traditions with new cultural ways. It sounds like it would be a very frustrating thing as well as difficult, especially for someone who is as impressionable as a teenager. Kamala is undergoing the normal teenage struggle which is a mix between thinking you know who you are, and then trying to be someone else. I think if one were to examine this comic further they could relate her changing from a teenager to a superhero as her changing from a girl to a young woman. I would like to address the importance of not only having a strong female lead but also she is young and impressionable while also being of Pakistani decent as opposed to the majority which would be a white teenage girl fighting crime. I think that it is very important that comics like these are being produced more and more and receiving great attention as well. I think this comic was a nice step forward for the comic book industry and I would love to continue to follow it. Thank you for reading my post and I look forward to reading your comments.
Watchmen will forever go down in history as one of the more influential graphic novels. This graphic novel not only broke the boundaries aesthetically but also help influence the change over for future comics and graphic novels. In Andrew Hoberek’s Considering Watchmen, it is clear that Watchmen’s influence on the superhero and the comic book industry are still present. I found it very interesting that Hoberek mentioned that Watchmen did not solely influence the comic and graphic novel industry but literature as a whole. It is Hoberek who makes the argument that Watchmen was proof that comic books and graphic novels could hold their own in the realm of literature. This I personally find to be very true as after completing Watchmen I found myself wanting to read it over again. Watchmen, I think paved the way for new younger writers who might have been searching for that new step to take. Hoberek gave praise to Watchmen for being a complete, well argued series of themes that all somehow relate and intermesh with one another. I wonder how many writers have read this graphic novel and how reading Watchmen would change their opinions about the way they write. It seems as though Watchmen will forever be the standard or the golden ticket and there would be no reason to not attempt to follow in its footsteps for these future writers. I also really like the word bubbles on the front of the book which state, “Poetics, Property, Politics” because I think it sums up the graphic novel and the context within its pages. This graphic novel really encompasses all three in such a way that is unique and still current to this day. I think that it is awesome that some graphic novels and comic books could be considered at the forefront of literature. Thanks or reading my post, I hope to hear your opinions of Considering Watchmen soon.