Lois Lane making a series of Vines that are just her trying to prove Clark Kent is Superman. “Hey, Clark, supermansayswhat.” “What?” “Nailed it!”
Seeing a lot of posts about The Mummy and George of the Jungle lately reminds me that Brendan Fraser was up for Superman Lives back in the day. Now that would’ve actually worked, I think. He looked good, he could do comedy, he had some action chops… it’s the 90s, let’s say Fraser as Supes, Sandra Bullock as Lois Lane, get Frank Darabont, Robert Zemeckis to direct—NO TIM BURTON. Just make a big, fun Superman movie with a bit of slapstick, some romance, a little darkness with Brainiac running amok and needing to get punched through a building or two… but mainly a funny, self-aware, slightly ironic family adventure.
I realize I’m sort of describing Dudley Do-Right, also with Fraser, but fuck it. That’s what I want from a Superman movie.
I SAID YES, DAMNIT!
Also, it’s the 90s… Tim Curry would still be young enough to play Lex Luthor. Or you could get Pete Postlethwaite!
Imagine that motherfucker trying to kill Superman for a few movies.
I think what really bugs me about BND/OMD, and later this whole weird end-of-Clois/SupermanXDiana clusterfuck, is I can’t help seeing it as a fetish and a childishness and—okay, I’m being really unfocused in my thoughts. First off, I’m not opposed to to retelling stories in different ways or for different audiences. If the DC or Marvel universe had been ended in a satisfactory way and they rebooted the whole thing from the beginning and said “alright, now we’re going to tell a story where maybe Peter ends up with Gwen, or Felicia, or even Harry Osborn, because this is a new story separate from the old one, which you got closure on.” That I’d be cool with. The nature of serial storytelling is to have a beginning, then a permanent middle, and sometimes maybe an ending. Peter will always be Spider-Man. He becomes Spider-Man, then he stays Spider-Man; he can’t die or retire or put all the bad guys in jail for good and live in a crime-free Manhattan utopia. So okay. This eternal second act is what Spider-man comics are all about.
THE PROBLEM arises when we look at romantic relationships incorrectly, as a fetch quest with the woman love interest as an OBJECT. In which case, getting the girl is the END of the story and will never ever happen. This is why you get a lot of sequels where, after the hero gets the girl at the end of the last movie, they break up in-between movies and in the second one he has to win her back again. Whereas in a more realistic/feminist/good-writing world, ‘getting the girl’ is just the first act of the journey and now the eternal second act is Peter and Mary Jane being in a relationship and making it work. And that third act, that ending of them living happily ever after, that never does or has to arrive—sleeping together or getting married or having a kid is not a Happily Ever After, it’s The Adventure Continues. So just has Peter can fight crime indefinitely, he and MJ can be in a relationship indefinitely. We can put them growing old together and dying in the same category as Peter retiring or being killed in action. Maybe it’ll happen in the year 3000, but not in issue 224 or whatever.
And really, this is a cultural problem. Everyone says they like love stories, but we really don’t tell love stories. We tell stories about infatuation, not that infatuation transitioning to other aspects of love. We’re totally focused on this one (admittedly sexy, interesting) part of a romance, but we’re saying that it’s 100% of love and thus, ‘real’ love is being infatuated forever. Which is obviously impossible, so you get people leaving their wives and husbands and kids, even, to chase this feeling of infatuation again because they’re convinced they’re in love with people half their age. And it’s every bit as much a fetishization as a video of Ron Jeremy getting a footjob, but we don’t admit. We just wonder why there’s so much divorce, so many broken families.
Anyway, it stinks and I don’t like it.
I have a hard time quite delineating my affection for JR’s writing. I don’t want to oversell it, but I don’t want to damn it with faint praise either. So while a comparison with Quentin Tarantino would be too high-rent, although JR does glorify in the enjoyment of exploitation tropes while deconstructing them. And comparing him to Ed Wood would be far too cruel, as his works aren’t ‘so bad they’re good,’ they’re good at depicting types of stories that are usually not well-told. I’d instead compare him to someone like Takeshi Miike or Alex Cox. The prose and the literature of it all are done well, even here despite this being an early work and written in a second language, but the chief appeal is that something is being written that would almost be categorized as crackfic if it weren’t being presented so earnestly.
As a femslasher, perhaps I’m partial to crack pairings that are written in complete seriousness. Anyone can write Sherlock Holmes/Emma Swan as a gag, that’s just more of the irony our society is chockful of, but for someone to legitimately believe that Sherlock Holmes and Emma Swan would get along like gangbusters were an 18th-century British detective and an American fairy tale princess/bounty hunter ever to meet—that interests me. In a world where pairings tend to go hoyay, then official hetships, then maybe f/f pairings if there’s time and if two women ever get any screentime together, I feel some solidarity for anyone with a legit rare pair.
But that doesn’t tell you much about the story. It’s a retelling of Diana’s meeting with Superman in the early pages of her reboot, back in post-Crisis, where she and Clark canonically dated for a while before deciding it wouldn’t work out. So don’t be too intimidated by Diana/Clark among the pairings. The story also incorporates some business with Apokolips and the New Gods that touches on the popular porny trope of Darkseid (or some other grand villain) brainwashing/mind-controlling a busty heroine into having sex, which it then turns around and deconstructs. I’m not saying I agree with all of the presentation of this or the conclusions reached, but it interests me that a fanfic geared pretty much to getting off on descriptions of Wonder Woman having sex is having a discussion and asking to be engaged with as a text. Superman and Scott Free also get some of the same treatment (though not very graphically), and the fic is interested in the implications of a trope that usually only women are subjected to.
I also like the tone, which takes canonical events and recasts them as taking place in a sex comedy. The characters sorta realize how ridiculous it is that they keep having wild sex at the drop of a hat, and though the keeps its silliness in check, given the subject matter, latter works are more parodic. I wholeheartedly ripped-off this approach for The Savage Land Imbroglio, and you can catch echoes of it in my other works. So, check this one out, mind the warnings, and forgive the occasional clumsy prose; he writes a lot better in English than I would in Español.
Bruce: Listen, Kal, I don’t like you and you don’t like me—
Clark: I like you.
Bruce: …well, this is awkward. Anyway, there’s a new threat now. And whatever our differences—
Clark: I said I liked you.
Bruce: The important thing is: We’re drift-compatible.
Can you name one way Batman Vs. Superman wouldn’t be improved if Wishbone were playing Batman? I’m just saying, Jesse Eisenberg isn’t intimidating to most people, but Wishbone is a pretty small dog. Eisenberg could do some damage to that little guy.
“We’re seconds from death,” Diana said, using her animal telepathy to communicate with what were now animals to her. “Clark, anything you’d like to say?”
“At least we had a few laughs.”
“I see.” Diana spoke for the room. “Bruce, how about you?”
“I memorized my own little St. Crispin’ s Day speech the first time I was seriously injured. Can’t remember a word of it now, though.”
“I meant something more… personal.”
“…I’ll always regret not killing the Joker.”
“No! Something romantic!”
Bruce thought again. “I don’t have those feelings for you, Diana.”
“No!” Diana barked, literally. “Clark, Bruce has been in love with you since the day you met.”
“Is this true?” Clark demanded, suddenly feeling very much not numb. His cheeks were on fire.
“Now’s not a good time,” Bruce gritted out.
“Do you really think there’s going to be a better time?”
“I hope not, now that you said that!”
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Clark asked innocently.
“I’m here, aren’t I?” Batman began disrobing with curt efficiency, stacking all his armor in discrete piles for ease and speed of dressing later. “We have ten minutes. After that, Bruce Wayne is expected to make an international phone call to the Tokyo office, then I have a case involving anthropomorphic cockroaches robbing convenience stores.”
Superman sat up, if it could be called that while floating. “Anthropomorphic cockroaches?”
Batman nodded. “It’s a very tough case. You’re still wearing clothes.”
“Sorry,” Clark said, and took off his cape.
Wonder Woman is not an Amazon, but a woman from a ‘lost colony’ of Kryptonians established on Earth.
There is no Green Lantern Corps. The Green Lantern rings were created on Krypton; sentient, they continue to seek out Green Lanterns in the absence of their homeworld. The ‘Guardians of Oa’ are Kryptonian AIs like Jor-El.
The Flash no longer taps into the Speed Force. Instead, his father was a Kryptonian. As a half-breed, the only power Barry Allen has inherited is superspeed.
Hawkman is still an alien cop, but not a Thanagarian. Instead, he is a Kryptonian who happens to wear wings as a fashion statement.
Sgt. Rock is still a WW2 soldier. However, WW2 was started when Hitler picked up radio signals from General Zod, inspiring him to invade Poland.
Vixen can still assume the powers of various animals, but now it is because she is a Kryptonian and black female Kryptonians can do that.
Aquaman? Due to a typo, Krypton set up two colonies on Earth. One of them was underwater and thought the entire planet was ocean.
Black Canary is just a woman who knows martial arts. But she’s dating a Kryptonian.
Batman’s parents were not killed by Joe Chill, but when Kal-El’s ship crashed on them.