Everyone knows wine only turns into the blood of Christ if you let it sit
We [Fraction and his wife, Kelly Sue DeConnick] were pregnant at the time, and while I was out there I started to realize that if I had a daughter, there would come a day when I would have to apologize to her for my profession. I would have to apologize for the way it treats and speaks to women readers, and the way it treats its female characters.
I knew that if we had a daughter, because I know my wife and I know the kind of girl she wants to raise and I know the kind of girl I want to raise, she was going to look at what I did for a living and want to know how the fuck I could stomach it. How could I sell her out like that?” Fraction continued. “That conversation is still coming, and I’m bracing for it in the way that some dads brace for their daughter’s first date or boyfriend. I became acutely aware that I had sort of done that thing that lots of privileged hetero cisgendered white dudes do. ‘I’m cool with women, and that’s enough.’ It’s not enough. It’s embarrassing to say, because we somehow have attached shame to learning and evolving our opinions, culturally, but I became aware that there was a deficiency of and to women in my work, and all I could do at that moment was take care of my side of the street. — Writer Matt Fraction on his role on expanding the profile of female characters in the Marvel Universe. (via goodmanw)
(Source: comicbookresources.com, via wilwheaton)
Next from J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Bitches.
Bad Astronomy Review: Star Trek Into Darkness -
So, Star Trek Into Darkness. The new Trek movie. Big summer blockbuster. Lots of box office, lots of buzz. Yeah, that. I didn
What follows is full of spoilers. Do not read further if you care about secrecy with regards to the events of STID.
The hackneyed, nearly cliche critical line on Star Trek Into Darkness is that it is a lot of fun to watch, but that it lacks the sort of moral depth or social considerations that made Star Trek so great as a franchise. Sadly, this is MOSTLY true.
Let me explain. It is a lot of fun. That said, I think it’s false to say that the movie lacks any sort of moral or social commentary. Indeed, the first hour or so of the movie has a lot to say about the War on Terror, essentially—particularly our ongoing drone war. I thought that was interesting. That was the sort of social commentary Trek worked with a lot in the past. Star Trek VI is, after all, the fall of the Soviet Union…IN SPACE! Star Trek IV is an environmental allegory. And so on.
Unfortunately, this plotline stops mattering extremely quickly. This happens for two reasons. First, the character who ordered the extra-judicial execution turns out to not be acting in good faith. This bait and switch removes the moral dilemma. Imagine if Paul Ryan’s filibuster about drone strikes had been countered by the revelation that Obama was actually not targeting terrorists, but instead was finding only the most vulnerable Pakistani preschools and blowing those up. Kind of deflates the argument.
That’s not a great analogy, because Admiral Marcus actually has a really interesting plotline, as a villain. Starfleet is not a military organization, we’re told repeatedly in this franchise. It’s a noble, high-minded vision of humanity’s future, but it’s not easy to maintain that sort of idealism. The idea that, faced with the threat of external enemies, elements of Starfleet might want to shed that sort of curious, peaceful exterior for a decidedly aggressive or militaristic stance has been done before, most notably in Deep Space 9’s excellent two parter, “Paradise Lost” and “Homefront.” But it’s still a really interesting idea and there’s nothing wrong with reviving a classic conflict (well…more on that later).
Again, sadly, this plotline doesn’t work because Marcus is defeated well before the end of the film. Instead our problem is…Khan, for some reason? I thought about the fact that Khan had somehow changed races for a little while but decided I’m ok with it for the most part. My largest issue is that Khan doesn’t have any good motivation (for the audience). In Wrath of Khan, he was a continuation of a villain from a TV episode, with a prior interaction with Kirk and a reason to seek revenge. We know that this Khan is a genetically augmented tyrant who once ruled most of India (…in the 1990s). We know that he was a part of a major war and they fled Earth because they lost. We’ve seen him scheme and plot and do his evil things, but we’ve also seen him care deeply for his crew and he has a very good reason for his revenge.
In this movie, John Harrison reveals that he is Khan. Kirk and Spock go “…alright.” They don’t really react to the name. Why should they? This Kirk and Spock never had to retake the Enterprise from him. We have to call up Nimoy and have him explain that Khan is bad news.
The fact is, I feel like Khan was wasted in this movie, because he got turned into a Superman. Suddenly he’s phaser-proof and can fight down a division of Klingons. He was strong before, but that wasn’t how he fought. He out-did Kirk tactically (at least for a little while) in earlier works.
Here’s a hypothetical: what if this movie didn’t have Khan in it? What if John Harrison was just a pissed off Section 31 (hey, DS9!) officer, with Marcus threatening his family or something? We still get Benedict Cumberbatch being menacing. We still get a rogue officer vs. corrupt admiral. We could even keep “is there anything you would not do for your family?”
But…we wouldn’t get to do that Wrath of Khan homage at the end there, would we? Well. Right. Gonna be honest. I was totally on board with this movie until that scene. I mean…really? This isn’t a remake of a previous movie. This is actually a radically different storyline. Why straight-up remake a classic scene? You’re not going to improve it. It yanked me hard out of my immersion. And then Spock yells “KHAAAAAAN!” and I had to laugh. What the hell was that? It felt like a joke, or like a parody. Maybe it was effective if you never saw TWOK. In addition, the means of resurrection was telegraphed ridiculously far ahead. Thanks, Dr McCoy, for mentioning that you think you can bring tribbles back from the dead. I’m sure that’ll never come up later!
Months ago, I said that I hope they don’t make the villain of STID Khan, because I wanted them to try something original now that they had a well-established separate universe. They did use Khan…and they didn’t stop there. Lots of times this series does a great job of integrating earlier continuity or canon. But the end of this movie went past respecting earlier material, and edged into copy and paste. It’s a shame, because they had something good going.
All I’m writing about here are my complaints. I enjoyed the movie; I think I got my money’s worth. Cumberbatch was great. But the longer that I go after seeing it the more issues crop up to me—if anyone can give me a version of Marcus/Khan’s respective plans that make sense I would appreciate it. As is, I think it was an excellent summer action movie, and only an alright Star Trek movie. I’m glad Abrams is going to Star Wars—I think it’ll suit him better, and I’d like to see what a different director does with this franchise. Solid B-.
damn we need another Trek TV show soon
“Evolution is fluid.”
- Digital Darwin
I can hear the beat behind it…
she’s up all night til the sun, i’m up all night to get some
she’s up all night for good fun, I’m up all night to get lucky
Warlock 7, December 1985/January 1986. John Blanche, 1985.
Apparently starring Colin Baker as one of the Hobbits and David Coverdale as Legolas.
let me tell some of you young cats something: one of my life regrets is that I wasn’t even more of a geek when I was, like, 12 and 13. should have read twice as many comics. should have stuck with D & D instead of quitting immediately upon finding out you couldn’t really “just take your chances” against monsters you weren’t equipped to fight. geek hard my friends. geek hard.