Male Objectification Monday- Michael Jai White

 

 

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Welcome back a feature that has been missing for far too long with this handsome dude! What lead to this choice? Do you even have to ask? 

If you must know I recently got to meet the impressive, handsome and funny Michael Jai White at TerrorCon. Michael Jai White has recently frequently appeared on CW’s “Arrow” as well as notable in genre roles in The Dark Knight, Mortal Kombat and Spawn.

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Look at that smile!

Fun fact: His first roles were in Toxic Avenger sequels (late 1980s).

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And he starred in, wrote and produced the film Black Dynamite (2009).

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White is an accomplished martial artist and his upcoming role in Falcon Rising later this year has him battling the yakuza in Brazil.

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Looks so good I can overlook that he’s a DC guy and not a Marvel guy. …And an obligatory suit picture, because he cleans up well, he’s not just another set of stellar abs.

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He’ll be back on “Arrow” again next season and gracing screens of all sizes with cinematic releases as well.

Check out Radio of Horror’s YouTube page for excerpts from Michael Jai White’s TerrorCon panel!

Comic book Catch-up #5 -DC Edition!

Forever Evil #7 (thank gods that is over!) & Future’s End #3 + #4!

Forever Evil #7

Batman is still strangling Luthor and Catwoman is trying to stop him. She says “this lightning rod is from the future, maybe we can use it to, I don’t know, save him or something!” 

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DO CPR!!!! What the Hell?! 

Wait. It get’s worse. Luthor zaps Batman with electricity (Catwoman still does nothing) and then he reveals that he flatlined Dick after, get this, giving him a pill that would paralyze the muscles around his heart… he needs a shot of adrenaline NOW. He gets the shot and wakes up. A sweet moment is had between Nightwing and Batman (and Luthor and Bizarro) and then Cyborg busts in, he took out Grid. blah blah. Ultraman and Deathstorm debate about what to do now that Mazahs is free. The theorize that they can use Superwoman’s lasso of submission. But she’s not here.

“Is she with Owlman?” Ultraman questions.

Nope. She’s with Mazash. And pregnant with HIS child. And Ultraman gasps, “Lois? You traitorous witch, why?” and she says, “Because Alex is stronger than you, Clark.” Cause all women are either hoes or incompetent in this piece. 

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A million middle fingers for Geoff Johns. 

Ultraman and Mazahs duke it out and Deathstorm confronts Superwoman, “You manipulated us all.” and she calls them “Stupid men.” (Hay awesome, her secret weapon is manipulating men, hahaha… ugh) but she gets him wrapped up in her lasso and Mazahs prepares to feed on his nuclear power. 

Mazahs kills Bizarro. Luthor kills Mazahs. Owlman joins the Batfamily. Sinestro and Black Adam move the moon so that the sun weakens Ultraman (what? how was the moon there that whole time? This is stupid) And all of the exiled heroes from this world climb out of Firestorm (again.. what?) but Superman is dying. Luthor pulls the sliver of kryptonite out of his head. Well, that’s unlikely. He also meets Ted Kord and doesn’t buy Kord industries and encourages Ted. He knows Bruce Wayne is Batman and it ends with an apocalypse baby, Darkseid returning and the Antimonitor vowing to consume him. So it ended. With the heroes coming back which was a huge “duh” because there is no way that all DC’s heavy hitters would get roasted. And then a not real ending. Suck.

Futures End #3

This one is actually getting good, we get backstory on Grifter and Firestorm (who are fighting against each other) the stories flow cohesively between Firestorm giving some ladies a sunny day, to the same babes at a bar where they get harassed by someone who just won a celebrity death pool with the death of Green Arrow. They get bounced by… Red Robin. Lois’s mysterious package lead her there and she immediately knows who she’s looking at. Meanwhile, Mr Terrific knows that Batman (but not which Batman) is looking into him. Light on Batman, good amount of backstory on DC’s B-List. Still not a lot of women, but at least the ones there aren’t bimbos. Thumbs up.

Futures End #4

Frankenstein confronts SHADE about why they are trying to kill him. They just wanted his attention, turns out. Who the fuck is SHADE? run by Father Time (now inhabiting a young girl) SHADE fights against monsters.. with even worse monsters. Bad asses. Fathertime calls attention to the destroyed Stormwatch space ship. The theorize again that THE storm is coming. Red Robin/Cal Corcoran is out for a jog with the babely Madison Payne. He won’t talk about his past, she’s suspicious they’ve done this dance before. Cal lays eyes on the new Batman and it’s clear that he has a grudge against Batman’s Batfamily. Lois is trailing them in a get up that no one has worn since 1990 and no one would wear in the future. Plastique and Key lure Coil out of retirement with a “grail mission” the “last job.” That Grail? It’s in Terrifitech. Grifter is hunting Daemonites and other aliens that prey on addicts when Faraday catches up with him. Faraday paralyzes Grifter, and says he’ll reverse it if Grifter comes and works for him. 

Future’s End #2

The ensemble in this is so large, with the focus on B-Listers that I’m having trouble getting into it. 

Most of this issue centered around Animal Man, Mr Terrific, Firestorm and Red Arrow and was set at Green Arrow’s funeral. There’s scenes of FBI files being destroyed by someone working under the Joker’s direction. And a brief check in with Batman (Terry) who is trying to keep Brother Eye in the dark.

So much time is spent either on a “posthumous” homage to Green Arrow (which, why at this point in the issue when he is dead? This series is not new reader friendly and precious panels should have been spent recapping characters that will be integral going forward). Or showing Mr Terrific’s cockiness and love for the fame.

Significant JLA infighting is shown, but other than that? Not much…

A good set up for next issue though as Lois Lane receives a mysterious package with Green Arrow artifacts, a series of numbers and the message “Lois, go alone Trust no one else” Maybe a relatable character will bring this around for me.

It’s not that I mind having lesser known supes take front and center, but no one’s putting in work to be sure these characters are relatable and ensure that the audience can become invested in them.

Art by Jesus Merino and Dan Green is competent, but honestly… every brown haired white guy looks like Batman. 

There seems to be so many “little things” happening at once that it’s hard to stay attached. 

Future’s End #1

I was lukewarm about the FCBD issue #0, but the concept intrigued me enough to pick up this issue. 

The JLA has been turned into evil robot bugs. Bruce Wayne and Terry go back in time to kill Mr Terrific before he can unleash Brother Eye technology. *gasp* Batmans don’t kill people! Future Bruce Wayne bites the dust (for now) and just before tells Terry that he can’t tell anyone what he’s doing: ESPECIALLY BRUCE WAYNE! Terry doesn’t even go far enough back and the events are already in motion.

So in this issue: Terry’s coming to grips with the fact that he has arrived 7 years too late. The machine was calibrated for them to be travelling with Bruce, robot A.L.F.R.E.D. explains (sure, that makes sense) and then Terry takes on the cyborg that caught a ride with him.

The mobile HQ of Stormwatch is suddenly malfunctioning and the engineer if hijacked by the corrupt technology. With an ominous, “I am the storm you were created for. I am here.” After an intense struggle: the ship is destroyed. Grifter assassinates a family to get to a small girl, who turns out to be an alien. The Green Arrow has been attacked and he reached out to Firestorm. New 52! Firestorm recap: Jason Rusch gave Ronnie Raymond the God particle and they both were transformed into Firestorm with Jason as the brains and Ronnie as the brawn. Ronnie’s a selfish jock type, as shown here: he ignores Jason and Green arrow for womanly affection and when they find Green Arrow dead at the site of an explosion, Jason blames him.

Interesting set up.

This comic book is weekly, I’m going to try a few more before I form a conclusive opinion. 

Terry’s funny. This could be a good series, but I am concerned that they’re pulling out all sorts of B and C list characters for this. I don’t read enough DC to keep up with who’s who and why it’s significant. 

Patrick Zircher is the lone artists on this 4 writer issue (Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen). The art is very detailed, the facial features, the intricate technology: it’s wonderful. 

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! Reviews

Teen Titans GO! #1 (DC Nation Super Sampler)

I loved the cartoon but never read the books. They’re just so super adorable that I couldn’t resist. Artist Ben Bates keeps the cooky, spunky bunch looking snazzy while writer Sholly Fisch puts them in far fetched roommate/BFFL situations involving demonic pizza, high stakes minigolf wagers and Raven manipulating a claw machine to achieve the ultimate prize!

All ages comics typically aren’t my thing. But the dynamics of Teen Titans, from the unlikely friendship between perky alien Starfire and underworld spooky girl Raven to Robin’s rivalry with Speedy I just dig it.

The New 52! FUTURES END #0

Central City 35 years from now: The supes are being “assimilated” into robot bugs. (Grown adults came up with this?) Captain Cold and the Flash are buddies, guess things changed after Forever Evil. “Frankenstein” (the monster) has Canary’s head sewn into his chest and he uses her to take out the Flash. This is all orchestrated by Brother Eye and old man Bruce Wayne convinces Terry (Batman Beyond) to go back in time and kill him. But Batman doesn’t kill people. Moral crisis. And Terry doesn’t quite make it to the right place. So we have a rogue Batman who is time displaced on a murder plot. It could actually be interesting. But, it could also be a hot mess. All new WEEKLY that will forever alter the direction of the New 52. Issue #1 is out May 7th. 

I don’t know if I know about enough of the characters. Forever Evil and the cancellation of The Movement is leaving me burned on DC. Maybe. Maybe I’ll try.

Street Fighter #0

A sampler of 3 stories. “Hong Kong Hustle” by Jim Zub, art by Hanzo Steinbach. The art is amazing, bright and large. Did I mention this book is huge? No? It’s huge. A new student of Ken’s is waiting when passerby’s start catcalling a woman on the street. The woman says not to trouble himself, but he says that he has to do what’s right: defending women against street harassment. The coolest. But the woman turns out to be none other than the Strongest Woman in the World. “Your Enemies Closer” gets harder lines and a completely opposite style courtesy of Takeshi Miyazawa. Ken Siu-Chong pens a tale of revenge. “This hammer was too good at smashing things to be locked away in a toolbox just because it had lost it’s nail.” But Juri might just get her chance after all. “Beyond the Hills” is the origin story of Akuma, which takes us into an underground fight club. The story by Chris Sarracini is darker and grittier and art and colors by Joe Ng/Rob Armstrong/Espen Grundetjern suit the mood effectively, but it was my least favorite of the 3.

Guardians of the Galaxy 

3 ministories: BMB wrote the first one. I dig it. Carol Danvers is there. That’s even better. The cover is a bit uninspiring. Tony Stark is discussing sending Corporal Thompson “off planet” (the dialogue is wonderful here) and Stark gives a quick run down of the soon to be cinematic team. The Guardians are surprised when Thompson is in a wheelchair, but more so when he transforms into Agent Venom.  Thanos: the Infinity Revelation previews a coming series. Then we get Spider-Man: Staging Ground by Dan Slott has Spider-man performing Shakespeare. Weird. Heyyyy Carol Danvers wasn’t in any of those stories. 

What did you pick up for #FCBD? 

Movie Review #18- The LEGO Movie!

One sentence review: Surprisingly awesome movie about a children’s building toy has surprising messages about activism, creativity, being “special” and how nerds wreck things made for kids. And jokes at Green Lantern’s expense.

Okay, that way 2.

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Spoiler Free: Emmett is ignored at work, doesn’t have any close friends and there’s nothing really remarkable about him. It doesn’t bother him at all. He follows instructions and keeps smiling and thinks everything is awesome. Everything changes when he meet WyldStyle. She’s looking for the Piece of Resistance. Which is accidentally stumbled upon by Emmett. She tells him about a nefarious plot orchestrated by President Business (alternately Lord Business) that threatens to freeze everything as it is, using the Kragle, so that nothing can change. Emmett finds out that he is “the special” sent to save everyone and he teams up with his new special friends to stop Lord Business and the Kragle at all costs! 

It’s so cute. And so good. And seems as if it could have been strung together by a child but in a good way, mostly. There are artifacts from the real world incorporated but manly it’s an awesome mishmash of colored bricks and Lego licensed characters. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Shaq, 1980’s astronaut, Mermaids, Pirates, Cowboys, Chewbacca, Dumbledore. Nerd cookies everywhere! 

Mild Spoilers + Analysis After the Photo of Lord Business

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How is this like Occupy? What does this have to do with activism? Isn’t this movie basically an ad?

I’ll answer the last question first. Yes. In the movie playsets are presented as better if interacting together and the importance of trusting your instincts and creating with your heart.. and then they created playsets specifically for the movie. Huh? +catchy soundtrack +videogames based on the movie +a rumored sequel. So… yeah, it’s a 2 hour long advertisement. 

Which makes it all the more surprising when you realize that there’s a group of people from all backgrounds (franchises) and walks of life (playsets) working together against a corporate mogul seeking to brainwash citizens and keep societal structures from which he benefits in place. 

President Business (Will Ferrell) creates boring shows and annoyingly catchy songs to pacify and distract the masses! He owns the TV station, the radio station, makes commercials, sells food and hoards artifacts. President Business seeks to stratify characters into their original playsets and make sure THAT’S WHERE THEY STAY. Complete metaphor for media diversion and power structures that seek to hinder class mobility. That’s right. A movie about colorful bricks that’s about class mobility, corporate control and citizen uprising. Emmett was born to be a construction worker. Everything he’d been taught, all the directions he received told him he was on the right track, he was a cog in the wheel. And all it took to shake Emmett, and later others, out of their watered down, “good enough” existence was to be shown that there was another way. And if they didn’t fight back, if they didn’t think outside of the directions (society’s rules) then they would be prisoners forever! 

Along the journey Emmett meets WyldStyle (a girl with big ideas who’s a little insecure and kind of an idealist), Batman (who is kind of a dink, awesomely voiced by Will Arnet), Vitruvius (snarky, mystical hippy voiced by Morgan Freeman), Benny the 80’s astronaut, and all sorts of other “master builders.” But Emmett isn’t a masterbuilder, and this could be symbolic of many things. Emmett can make a difference. The same way we all can make a difference even if we aren’t a genius, a superhero, a PhD candidate, a celebrity, or a prodigy. We can all take action and make an impact! 

You don’t have to be a special to make a difference. Everyone comes to the table with their own positive qualities, special talents and goals. Manipulating society means stepping outside of established rules and norms, a key component in the movie was communication. It happened with Emmett and the master builders, Emmett and WyldStyle and ultimately with President Business. Open dialogue, free exchange of ideas. They all use their talents, including Emmett. Emmett has been taught that he’s a piece of the machine but it’s also taught him cooperation. When he breaks out of following instructions just for the sake of it he is able to see when this is up for negotiation (putting the wheel on his head) or when it is more important to use teamwork and rules to get through -and destroy the system from within! Muahahahaa (like when they break into the tower) And WyldStyle’s “You should trust me! I’m on TV!” speech after added to the “nefarious media” theme, too.

It’s kind of awesome.

Okay okay, what else? Talk about the other master builders. 

Superman (Channing Tatum) is pretty much like you’d expect. Green Lantern (Jonah Hill) follows him around like an inept Puppy Dog. There’s not enough Wonder Woman (Colbie Smulders). Batman was awesome. 

WyldStyle is Batman’s girlfriend. Batman writes bad electronica and is kind of a self centered douchecanoe. But he’s also hilarious and resourceful -as he should be. But it’s always clear that this isn’t the Lego Batman movie.

*Sigh* Anything you didn’t like?

WyldStyle is Batman’s girlfriend. But it becomes implied that Emmett wants her to be his special friend. And they can be friends. It just reeked of “nice guy” horseshit. Example- Batman disses WyldStyle to chill with the Star Wars stars. WyldStyle is sad and Emmett comforts her -by insulting Batman and saying she deserved better. BUT Batman faked them out and stole a part they needed and came right back. He even caught Emmett talking smack and doesn’t get aggro about it. But up until that point, Batman had been helpful to the cause, kind of dismissive of Emmett, but helpful and he saved their lives and what does he get? Some “nice guy” chump trying to get close to his girl.

Hey, “nice guys,” it’s not actually your business if she wants to date a douchecanoe. His ego is not your business. His taste in music is not your business. If he names things after himself or only likes black and very dark grey it’s not your business. it’s her business. Not your business.

And there are barely any girls in this movie. There are dudes aplenty on both sides. But there’s spunky loner WyldStyle, not enough Wonder Woman and… Unikitty? A cat unicorn? Does that count? Even if it does- damn are the ladies underrepresented. Shouldn’t be surprising since Lego is FREQUENTLY criticized for catering almost solely to boys or “gendering” the toys in obvious, stereotypical and demeaning ways.

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So I hope that if the sequel comes to fruition –which it appears it will– I HOPE they keep young girls in mind. I won’t be holding my breath since we are taught that “boy stories” are “people stories,” but “girl stories” are just “girl stories” This movie was great, had a stellar overall message. New writers are on board for the sequel …I’m skeptical… but hopefully they can hold true to the essence that encourages action and self expression instead of being (just) a way to sell more toys. 

4ish Stars (out of 5)

alternet.org got something totally different out of it.

So did KissMyWonderWoman (who’s review tipped the scale on me seeing this one)

Harley Quinn #2

Helter Shelter

Dr. Harleen Quinzel still has a price tag on her head, and while she gets to lay the smack down on some hired guns most of this issue is centered around Harley organizing a heist… to save animals from being euthanized. Adorbz. And while she’s getting her animal rights on, she calls eco-terrorist BFF Dr. Pamela Isley. Our favorite Gotham PhD’s liberate some animals and then snuggle up all the while Harley tries to figure out what’s going on here.

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All the while dealing with real world issues like waiting for a fridge to be delivered so that rotting corpse quis stinking up the place.

I loved that Harley got a visit from my favorite Gotham anti-hero Poison Ivy. But I dislike the way Chad Hardin and Stephane Roux went with her look;

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Tribal tattoos? argh… 

but the personalities are right, constantly playing off each other: pranking, flirting, teamwork and girl power! oh HELL yeah! I’m about to ask writer Amanda Conner to be my Valentine… hmm.. would co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti like that? Poison Ivy even comes up with a scheme to fake Harley’s death and let her collect on the reward, but Harley decides to go the direct route -you know, wrapping would be assassins in sausage and throwing him to the dogs.

While both Harleen and Pamela tend to be morally ambiguous villainesses and occasional good guys.. there’s an odd subtext.. Poison Ivy loves plants more than people, something that’s been proved many times before and Harley’s main storyline of this issue was rescuing pups and kitties (and in issue 1 she adopted a dog and slammed down an animal abuser). Point being: these characters are shown protecting animals or the environment and are portrayed as deviants. Of course no one wants ancient oaks or wide eyed beagles to bite the dust but often activists are presented as radicals or extremists in an effort to alarm other would be do-gooders. I find it endearing from HQ but the stereotype in general is detrimental when the “Green Scare” is a very real thing. To the point where people have been baited by the FBI and charged to decade long jail sentences for THINKING about planning a crime. 

Everyone loves Harley and Ivy but they are the Dark Knight’s adversaries, so what message are we sending about opposers of animal cruelty? By using the unstable Harley as an ALF avatar is the message being sent that environmental and animal rights activists are all nutjob wackos?

Or is this a way for the outrageous Quinn to seem more innocent and sweet?

What do you think?