Batwoman: Free of Guilt, Driven by Faith

Kate Kane, the Batwoman, is a remarkable character.  Even after a lifetime of being bored by Batman, I found her so compelling James Tynion IV’s Detective Comics – with Batwoman leading Batman’s team in Gotham – became a permanent part of my pull list.  Her solo Rebirth Batwoman title, penned by Marguerite Bennette and Tynion IV, soon followed.  Last Christmas I was excited to find trade collections of her earlier New 52 adventures had made their way under the tree.  What draws me to Batwoman is, while she wears the bat symbol, she transcends the most serious faults we see in the Batman.  In so doing, she’s not just a character I connect with and love reading about.  She’s also one who instructs and inspires transformation in her readers, as only the most important characters do. Continue reading

What I Learned Watching 96 Episodes of Supergirl (with Crossovers) in 16 Days

I have a habit of committing (should we say overcommitting?) to ridiculous viewing marathons.  I don’t really know why.  But I tend to do it more so with movies than shows.  However, when I heard the Arrowverse was going to be gaining a new show this fall in the form of Batwoman – a character whom I adore – I knew I’d be tuning in.  When I realized Batwoman would be airing Sunday nights before Supergirl – a show I’ve always been interested in but never committed to watching (because the Arrowverse is huge and intimidating) – I figured I should check it out.  Why not, right?  The first four seasons were on Netflix.  Maybe, maybe I should try and binge-watch (even though I don’t particularly care for binge-watching) all four seasons before the new one premiered.  Then I could watch Batwoman live without fear of spoilers for Supergirl AND enjoy Supergirl at the same time!  Was this the best idea I’ve ever had??

What follows is the stream-of-consciousness list of lessons I learned while trying to watch all ninety-six episodes of Supergirl (with crossovers) over the course of sixteen wild days.  Continue reading

Who Is Batwoman? My Entry Point Into the Arrowverse!

In October of 2012, Arrow launched on the CW.  It was a new DC show centered around Oliver Queen, the wealthy playboy-turned-costumed-vigilante know as Green Arrow.  It was an attempt to help fill the superhero void left on the CW when Smallville’s epic ten season run (2001-2011) came to an end.  While Oliver Queen appeared on Smallville, the producers of Arrow decided to start fresh, casting Stephen Amell in the title role as opposed to Justin Hartley who played him on Smallville.  But that was only the beginning.  Arrow would beget The Flash (2014-present), the short-lived Constantine (2014-2015), Supergirl (2015-present), Legends of Tomorrow (2016-present), and three web series; Vixen (2015-2016), Freedom Fighters: The Ray (2017-2018), and Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons.  This Arrowverse has become a huge hit with critics and fans alike…and I’ve watched none of it.  Why would I?  Do you have any idea how big a time commitment that is?!!?  And I’ve always been a Marvel guy anyway.

But now the Arrowverse has Batwoman and, because of that, everything’s changed. Continue reading

The Unique Magic of G. Willow Wilson’s Wonder Woman

My near-exclusive Marvel fandom has been indelibly stamped on my being for over thirty years however I’ve wanted to read Wonder Woman since I saw Patty Jenkins’ brilliant film.  She redefined everything a comic book movie could be/do in the summer of 2017 and I was captivated.  Diana Prince is a uniquely important character too, who’s been a part of our popular culture since 1941.  She is the archetypal female superhero.  She’s part of DC’s Trinity and, no matter how much I love them, Marvel has no one like her.  In short, she’s a character I should know.  So I tried the first issue of Greg Rucka’s “Rebirth” run but found it more confusing than welcoming.  Yet I kept trying, wanting to experience this character I’d fallen in love with at the movies in the genre she was born into.  I researched “classic” or “definitive” Wonder Woman stories but jumping into the middle of seventy-seven years of stories, almost completely at random, felt a bit intimidating.  Then came G. Willow Wilson. Continue reading

The BIG Question: Would You Rather Be Iron Man or Batman?

I spent the last week in New Orleans for a conference…where I saw none of the city as I was stuck in 12+ hours of meetings/seminars/lectures every day.  BUT I did direct some of my mental energy towards contemplating one of life’s biggest, most pressing issues.  You see, Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne essentially have the same character framework.  I’m not the first person to make this observation, but it’s true.  Both are insanely wealthy.  Both have brilliant minds.  Both run huge companies.  Both lost their parents when they were young (albeit in different circumstances).  Both became superheroes.  Both are founding/central members in one of their universe’s most important superhero teams – the Avengers and Justice League, respectively.  Despite their similarities though, they are two VERY different characters with VERY different lives…which leads us to our BIG question – if you could choose, would you rather be Iron Man or Batman??  Continue reading

The Impossible Surprise of James Tynion IV’s Batman: Detective Comics

I have to tip my hat to James Tynion IV.  He’s clearly one of our most talented modern comic writers.  I’ve always been fairly ambivalent about DC.  And I’ve never, ever liked Batman.  I’ve said before I think he’s overrated.  In fact, he kind of annoys me.  He’s this grumpy malcontent whose emotional development stalled as the result of a childhood tragedy and now (somewhat ironically) recruits child soldiers to help him battle the most dangerous and disturbed minds on the planet.  He’s too dark, dangerous, and dour to ever be my sort of superhero.  BUT James Tynion IV has taken this character I’ve never liked and created a comic I love around him.  His Detective Comics is the lone DC book I need to read in my world of Marvel and IDW titles. Continue reading

Wonder Woman: A Salvific Triumph

Even with the Rotten Tomatoes score, I wasn’t ready for this.  Wonder Woman is a revelation.  We now have a new standard bearer for what a superhero movie can do.  There are no spoilers here, obviously.  The movie just came out last night!  Everyone needs to see this and experience for themselves just how inspiring a comic book movie can be.  Marvel, and the world, need take notice too.  DC’s cinematic comic book universe has arrived and Wonder Woman is their flagship hero, carrying both the DCEU forward and the possible potential for all comic book movies.  Finding what I did in watching Wonder Woman was the most incredible surprise.  And you deserve that surprise too!  So I’m not talking spoilers but I will speak of the film thematically and speak to how it managed to move me so profoundly. Continue reading

Fandom’s Gone Too Far: Our Destructive Sense of Ownership

We, as fans, can be passionate about what we love.  We, as fans, should be passionate about what we love.  What’s love without passion?!  However, there’s a fine line between passionate love and destructive possession.  If romantic love turns possessive we recognize it as an abusive relationship.  This same sort of destructive possession exists in fandoms.  The Ghostbusters are girls!  Princess Leia isn’t being recast for Episode IX!  Harry should have been with Hermione!  Steve Rogers is Hydra!  George Lucas made Prequels!  Riri Williams is Iron Man!  SOMETHING IS NOT HOW I WANT IT TO BE!!!  We’re all welcome to our own opinions.  We all have the right to not read/watch something we don’t like.  But we have no right to spew toxicity all over the internet/real life when something upsets us.  This morning I read an article illustrating this problem of the ownership we presume to have, as fans, over what we love in a saddening new light.  As such, I felt compelled to write this post. Continue reading

GASP…the story of how I’ve come to enjoy DC more than Marvel!

Okay…this is a big one.  This is a post I never thought I’d write.  The simple idea of saying I’ve come to love DC comics more than Marvel comics is something that makes the seven-year-old version of myself cringe and feel betrayed.  It’s something that the thirty-four-year-old version of me has a hard time believing too.  But…here we are.  I couldn’t hold back any longer.  This is just something I have to say.  Are you ready? Continue reading

Silliness for the Soul

David and I went to see The LEGO Batman Movie tonight!  This post isn’t going to be a review though (so no need to fear spoilers).  Rather, it’s personal reflection on why this was a perfect example of the right movie at the right time for me.  Yes, I’m already going to call it – this will be the best D.C. movie of the year, no contest.  Heck, I’ll confidently say this was the best D.C. movie since 2008’s The Dark Knight!   But that wasn’t what I was thinking about as I watched it nor is that what I’m thinking about now.  Rather I just keep thinking, “Wow, I really needed this.” Continue reading