Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Current Media 3-29-16

Current reading material:
American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson

Comics to read next:
Weapon X (2002) #2
Agent X (2002) #5

Current TV shows I'm watching:
The Grinder
@Midnight
Phineas & Ferb
Legends of Tomorrow
Lucifer
11.22.63
Fear the Walking Dead
Better Call Saul

Podcasts I'm listening to:
Nerdist
Jay & Miles X-plain the X-men
Serial
Judge John Hodgman
Cracked
This American Life
Masters of Carpentry
Bullseye
Retsutalk
TV Crimes

Video Games I'm playing:
Disney Tsum Tsum 
Marvel's Avengers Academy
Suikoden
Grim Fandango Remastered
Rock Band 4

Stuff I finished since last time:

The Man in the High Castle - While I really thought there was a good concept to be explored in a "what if the axis had won?" scenario, maybe Philip K Dick wasn't the person to do it.  None of the characters are particularly likable, and it makes it very hard to get into or sympathize with their plight in any way.  A whole lot of time is put into interpretations of the I, Ching and leaves those of us with little prior knowledge of it really scratching our heads.  There's definitely a lot more time spent with the Japanese side rather than Germany but it all just ends up poorly defined and the "climax" such as it is is super unsatisfying.  I don't recommend it.

Origin - This is the comic series that told Wolverine's origin after so many years of his early life being a mystery.  I had read summaries of it before, but this was my first read of the full comics.  I think it probably worked much better as a serial when it was initially released, particularly in the first couple issues where no one realized which of the male characters was truly supposed to be Wolverine.  Unfortunately when you take the surprise element away there's not too much left, beyond what suggests that Logan has been repeating the same scenarios over and over again for most of his life.  Frankly, it feels like a story that didn't need to be told.

Weapon X: The Draft - This was a series of one shots each highlighting a character that is included the Weapon X 2002 ongoing comic I just started reading.  The issue highlighting Marrow was well written, but in large contrast to every appearance of the character before.  I can't help but think it was just someone's excuse to have a sexualized woman in a book, rather than properly reflecting how the character herself might feel and want to look.  The Sauron issue was a bit silly and also didn't seem to have much prior knowledge about that character either.  The decision to make Wild Child look exactly like Nosferatu was also a bit of a head scratcher, though I did enjoy that story.  It was all enough to at least make me curious about the ongoing and be willing to give that a shot.

Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine - This is probably the most adult version of Lupin III since the original manga, and is super sexualized to the point of almost feeling like softcore hentai in certain scenes.  The animation style and digital coloring are beautiful, and the music is pretty great as well.  That said, I have to admit I didn't care much for this interpretation of the story.  Most of the characters match the personalities we know from before, with the exception of Zenigata who comes off a bit more crooked when he sleeps with Fujiko when he has her custody.  While he may not be a 100% lawful good character, occasionally agreeing to a truce with Lupin while they stop other, bigger foes, the idea of him being seduced by a prisoner (or worse yet, taking advantage of a prisoner for the sake of getting her to do something) feels wrong to me.  With the focus of the series being on Fujiko, it seems to be suggesting that she's just that desirable and everyone wants her.  Except for the one new character added to the show, Oscar, Zenigata's assistant and sort of foster child.   He's in love with his mentor and therefore hates Fujiko for getting his attention.  It's not handled well at all, and seeing as how this is supposed to be a prequel, it would have been nice to get a better explanation as to what happened to him and why we never see him again.  Though I know there is a follow up film, it's possible it is settled there and I just haven't watched it yet.  Beyond that, there's a plot throughout the series about Fujiko being abused as a child and manipulated to be a living sexualized weapon.  I was really, really displeased with that angle for most of the season.  The finale does do a bit to change my perspective on it, but still sort of feels more like a cop out than a satisfying end.  I'd recommend it for hardcore Lupin fans only, or people looking for something closer to the gritty nature of the manga.

Daredevil season 2 - While I had some minor quibbles with season 1, I had very little to complain about in the second season.  Punisher is fantastic and absolutely the best version of the character I had ever seen.  Jon Bernthal had done such a good job of making me hate him on The Walking Dead that I was a little worried I might not like his Punisher, but he did such a great job of dancing over the line between sympathetic and horrifyingly brutal.  While Elektra felt a little more ill defined that enigmatic at times, I enjoyed her as well.  Matt continued to infuriate me by letting his friends down, Karen remained awesome, and Foggy said everything we in the audience would love to tell Matt while also just being an amazing lawyer and hero in his own right.  I would have loved to see more of Claire, but the parts we did get were great.  Just overall a really strong season, and I think I may watch it again some time in the future at a slower pace like I did the prior season.  Netflix is just really knocking it out the park with these series and I am so ready for more.

2 comments:

  1. I'm nearly done with season 2 of Daredevil. Going at it just 1 a day has definitely been helpful in unpacking and processing it along the way. Everything is so tightly honed and I continue to be astonished at how great this has turned out.

    Having now read Origin, how do you stand on the debate of this origin vs Claremont's long intended one of Sabretooth being his father?

    And how are you enjoying Agent X so far?

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    Replies
    1. Obviously how exactly the Sabretooth story would have been executed would have mattered, but I think it at least had more potential than what we got. I certainly don't think he had to be as old as they made him out to be.

      Agent X has a nice twisted sense of humor so far, I'm liking it.

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