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Internet v. Goyer

tn_she-hulkShe-Hulkgate, Day 3. As founder and president of the Motherfuckers Act Like They Forgot About BLADE Society, I feel compelled to weigh in on this mounting controversy.

A few days ago David S. Goyer, writer of the upcoming movie BATMAN V. SUPERMAN AND THE CASE OF THE DAWN OF JUSTICE, was one of several guests on a live panel of the Scriptnotes screenwriting podcast. Alan Kistler, a writer on “Girl Geek Culture” websight The Mary Sue, wrote a post objecting to comments Goyer made about the comic book characters She-Hulk and Martian Manhunter. The complaints were picked up by other websights (I first saw it on Badass Digest), the torches and pitchforks came out on Twitter and in long comment threads, and it snowballed so much it ended up covered by secular news outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter and Slate. The Washington Post actually got Stan Lee to respond. For fuck’s sake, Time Magazine (the web version at least) had a not-joking “The She-Hulk Scandal Explained” item, like they probly had to explain the Clarence Thomas hearings back in the day.

What did Goyer say that was so offensive? That the character was created to be a sex fantasy for male comic book fans.

As quoted by The Mary Sue, Scriptnotes co-host (and SUPER HERO MOVIE writer, I’m afraid) Craig Mazin said, “The whole point of She-Hulk was just to appeal sexistly to ten-year-old boys. Worked on me.”

So Goyer offered his “theory about She-Hulk”:

Which was created by a man, right? And at the time in particular I think 95% of comic book readers were men and certainly almost all of the comic book writers were men. So the Hulk was this classic male power fantasy. It’s like, most of the people reading comic books were these people like me who were just these little kids getting the shit kicked out of them every day… And so then they created She-Hulk, right? Who was still smart… I think She-Hulk is the chick that you could fuck if you were Hulk, you know what I’m saying? … She-Hulk was the extension of the male power fantasy. So it’s like if I’m going to be this geek who becomes the Hulk then let’s create a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could fuck.

I have seen many passionate and convincing arguments of why this is not an accurate understanding of the character. She-Hulk was not meant to be someone Hulk could fuck, because they are cousins, and it’s only in one alternate future story where they fuck and have a bunch of inbred hulklings. She-Hulk is a feminist character. Some women relate to She-Hulk. The “She” in She-Hulk doesn’t mean she’s the girl version of Hulk it stands for “See Her Excel.” etc.

I don't know WHERE those guys got the idea She-Hulk was ever supposed to be a sex object, that is just ludicrous.
I don’t know WHERE those guys got the idea She-Hulk was ever supposed to be a sex object, that is just ludicrous.

All fair points, except for that last one, which I made up. That point sucks. But it’s completely fair to say look here mister, I love this character of the girl version of Hulk, she is meaningful to me and this is why and here are some stories I recommend for you. What I don’t think is fair is the headlines, comments and tweets and shit I’ve seen labeling Goyer as a sexist douche for his comments. Even in these quotes, which I don’t think capture the full context of the podcast, there is no way around the fact that he is accusing the character of being a sexist creation. He is describing a type of sexism. This is like the boneheaded WOLF OF WALL STREET criticisms that it promotes sexism to show how awful sexism is. You’re shooting the messenger and you even agree with the message.

This matters to me not only because of my responsibility of protecting the legacy of BLADE, but also because I fucking hate sexism. If you’ve read me for years you have seen me struggling against different types of macho in movies, in life, and in myself. I consider myself a feminist. I am a guy, every time I hear somebody talking about the Seahawks having the first professional sports championship in Seattle since the ’70s (which happens all the time around here), I fucking bristle because The Storm (our WNBA team [women’s professional basketball]) have won two championships since then. And it pisses me off that so many people consider that not to count. And I guarantee you they would tell me it doesn’t count if they read this.

Therefore it bothers me when this actually finally-starting-to-be-addressed-more-in-our-culture set of issues is dragged into these knucklehead bullshit fiascos arguing over stupid shit. Clearly the guy is on the same side as you, people. He is criticizing the idea of a character meant to appeal sexually to horny young nerds (a group in which he seems include himself at least as a former member). I know the enlightened gatekeepers of Nerd Culture agree with that stance because I see them write about it all the time. For example, this heavily covered nerd controversy not much longer than a month ago when “Wonder Girl” (the girl version of Wonder Woman) had fake looking boobs on an otherwise beautifully drawn cover of Teen Titans (the teen version of Titans).

So really the only offense here is that he’s apparently unfamiliar with the character of She-Hulk. Which, I gotta suspect, so are most people on earth. And I think “a healthy chunk” would be a conservative estimate of the number of people piling on against him who had to look it up on Wikipedia themselves.

If it’s a crime now for screenwriters to speak publicly without an infallible encyclopedic knowledge of comic book characters then Goyer’s not the only one you guys need to run out of town. Also in the podcast, when the panelists are prompted to muse about a way to do a movie about Storm from the X-Men, screenwriter Andrea Berloff says, “I’d like to give her a nice, stable relationship.”

“Oh, I like that!” says co-host John August. “Who would Storm date?” And they discuss it for a minute and nobody, including the writers of the two CAPTAIN AMERICA movies, point out that that woman has been married to Black Panther for years! Even I knew that shit. Release the hounds!

I think feminism is being tricked into getting mixed up in a nerd grudge here. That’s an important factor that nobody is saying: Goyer was already on the Internet’s Top 10 Most Hated list. Ever since the outrage of… when some stuff got destroyed during a fight in MAN OF STEEL(?)… he has been in the sights of the comic book movie discussers in socialistic media. So the reactions to this story were largely about that he should be fired and he can’t be allowed to write Wonder Woman and etc.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: David S. Goyer has written or co-written more great comic book movies than any other single writer. He wrote BLADE and BLADE 2, he co-wrote the DARK KNIGHT. He also co-wrote BATMAN BEGINS, most people agree that’s a great one. Since I also like MAN OF STEEL and DARK KNIGHT RISES I gotta give him credit for those. And to be honest, even though he dropped the ball with BLADE TRINITY (which he also directed), it’s a totally underrated movie. Compared to the other Blades it sucks, but I’d rewatch it before alot of movies. I also enjoyed his NICK FURY: AGENT OF SHIELD tv movie, and BLADE: THE SERIES, and you know me, I liked KICKBOXER 2: THE ROAD HOME. And DARK CITY! Plus, he wrote DEATH WARRANT. To have written a Van Damme picture is a knock against him in the mainstream but around here it’s street cred in my opinion.

So obviously I don’t relate to the nerd fatwa against him, but different people have different tastes. It’s okay if you don’t like his stuff or have such high standards that writing the three best comic book movies of all time is simply not qualification enough for trying a couple more. That’s fine. But to adjust everything he says (or that you heard he said) to fit some preconceived notion of him being an asshole doesn’t help anybody. It’s not worthy of intelligent individuals striving for excellence.

After all this controversy I listened to the podcast, and there’s some context that I didn’t know about just from reading about it. One, it’s part of a panel where issues of gender were already being discussed. Berloff is asked what it’s like being a woman writing about extreme masculinity for LEGEND OF CONAN and STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON. Two, it’s also a raucous, jokey podcast with a live audience. Most of what they’re discussing they’re going for laughs. Goyer calls his take on She-Hulk “my theory” because it’s exactly that. He’s not presenting it as fact, it’s more like his funny insight into the character, like when Tarantino talks about TOP GUN being all about homoeroticism or something like that.

That said, his theory bombs. Other people on the panel make fun of him for it, not so much like it’s offensive but I think they just aren’t sure what he’s talking about.

The other smaller part of the controversy is that Goyer makes fun of “Martian Manhunter” and pitches a different way to do this character in a movie. This bothered people because he actually is writing some of the DC Comics movies and they don’t like his take on it. What was not clear in any of the articles I read is that this is part of a game where the panelists are given a random card with a character’s name on it and they have to pitch how to “reboot” the character. Most of their answers are intentionally goofy, and Goyer is just thinking aloud about how he could do a new twist on this character that he doesn’t like. It doesn’t have much bearing on any future movies other than if they want to do that character he’s probly not gonna jump to get the gig.

she-hulkAnyway, here’s all I know about Martian Manhunter: Hugh Keays-Byrne (Toecutter from MAD MAX) was cast to play him in George Miller’s Justice League movie that never happened.

And here’s all I know about She-Hulk: In the early 1990s, Larry Cohen almost wrote and directed a movie version. That’s actually why it comes up on the podcast, it sounds like August was an assistant to Cohen or one of the other producers. It was going to star Brigitte Nielsen, who even did a photo shoot as the character. Cohen’s 1990 movie THE AMBULANCE starring Eric Roberts has cameos by Stan Lee and a couple other Marvel Comics writers, I’m guessing because he was developing the movie at that time.

For whatever reason it fell apart. If it had happened I don’t know if it would’ve been good. It’s not like Cohen’s best movies were made in that period, and it was New World Pictures who didn’t do too great with that Albert Pyun CAPTAIN AMERICA movie at that time. But it could’ve made She-Hulk one of ours, like The Punisher and Blade, comics characters with a foot in the lower budget, lower brow world of R-rated action movies. And you know what, maybe if they’d made a movie then the character would’ve been more widely known about and Goyer would’ve known that the She-Hulk and Standard Hulk are cousins. After all, most of us never knew there was such a thing as a “Daywalker” until Goyer himself made a movie about him that kicked off this entire movement of movies and pop culture that helped create a world for some of these websights to exist in.

Anyway, I apologize for this column, more important things to be discussed soon, and I have no opinion on She-Hulk or Martian Manhunter I am innocent just trying to be fair here come on guys. Hey,  where are you taking me?!

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
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141 Responses to “Internet v. Goyer”

  1. Thanks for posting about this and articulating why it’s problematic in a more substantive way than I have managed to; I’ve been scratching my head at this “controversy” all week, for exactly the reasons presented here. Shooting the messenger despite agreeing with the message, indeed.

  2. One small clarification: David Goyer isn’t the screenwriter on Batman v. Superman: Dawn v. Justice. He has a co-story credit with Zack Snyder.

  3. Yeah seriously, I too missed the episode where the internet got together and decided all DC-related movies have been shit, and now they won’t rest until they have Goyer’s head on a stick. I actually like alot of Faraci’s work (not to say he’s only good when living up to his reputation as a curmudgeon- but most of his negative reviews are damn-near masterpieces), but I think he’s fallen into this weird Jezebel/Gawker hole lately where he’s acting like a conservative’s idea of a liberal – constantly being offended and attacking anything and everything for being sexist/racist. Again, the world does have plenty of injustice, and I do dig his work, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see an article by him tomorrow saying how “The Princess Bride is a piece of shit because it doesn’t have enough black people in it” or something similar.

  4. I actually read a good portion of Dan Slott’s run on She Hulk, and it was a fun meta commentary on the Marvel Universe. If I remember correctly, She Hulk, who is a lawyer, has to defend Spider-Man from a lawsuit by J. Jonah Jameson. When Spider-Man takes the stand while masked, obviously, he proceeds to claim that Jameson just hates him because he’s black. I’ve never read the early She Hulk stuff, but my understanding is that the comic has mostly been humorous, seeing what it would be like to be a superhero but also have a semi-regular day job, and it also played up /commented on (if you’re being generous) the role of female superheroes as sex fantasies.

    I think Vern has a point when he puts this in context. I don’t think Goyer was necessarily being sexist. At most, he was just being stupid. A lot of the stuff he said just didn’t make any sense. I also think he called anyone who had heard of Martian Manhunter a virgin, which is about the laziest joke you could make in that situation.

    If we’re going to extrapolate at all from his comments, his half-hearted discussion about how to reboot the Martian Manhunter might tell us a little about the different approaches that DC and Marvel have taken towards their films. Goyer wanted to first of all change Martian Manhunter’s name, and then he wanted to make it so he wasn’t from Mars. Instead, he wanted Manhunter to be grown in a petri dish in Area 51. This is obviously him speaking off the cuff, but it is in keeping with DC and WB’s trend of keeping their superheroes “grounded.” They want to run away from anything remotely goofy, or, in my opinion, interesting. Marvel, on the other hand, has actually embraced some of the fantastical and absurdists sci-fi/fantasy aspects of superhero comics, and I think they’ve been rewarded for it at the box office. I don’t mind keeping certain superheroes grounded. It worked for the first Iron Man, and it worked for the Nolan Batman films. But I think that approach can get old real quickly in the long term.

  5. A voice of reason on the internet? This is never gonna work…

    In all seriousness, I love you Vern. I appreciate Goyer’s contributions to comic book movie-dom even while I don’t think he’s the the greatest writer. But this whole episode is just an excuse for his detractors to take things out of context to beat him down. I mean, if you heard the jokes I make with my friends, you’d think I was the worst person on Earth. These are obviously comments made with too much familiarity and maybe even dumb, but not hateful. Devin Faraci should be ashamed of himself (not that he ever will be).

  6. In semi-defense of Devin Faraci, I do think his piece was a good explanation of what he likes about the character and why he thinks Goyer is wrong. But I think the headline calling him “sexist” was poor judgment, because he is smart enough to understand that 1) it doesn’t jibe with what he says in the piece and 2) that will be the takeaway for tons of people. He does seem to have a weird pro-Marvel, anti-DC slant alot of the time, which I don’t really get.

  7. Guys its obvious why the Internet lost their shit, and its not just some people with a grudge. Well some of them sure, but overall the nerds got mad because Goyer ripped a DC character that’s been a long mainstay (or long-time associated anyway) of the Justice League….and Goyer is one of the guys running the supposed DC Cinematic ship.

    Imagine if for example Kevin Feige came out and basically rips Black Panther, saying his name is stupid and why keep his country Wakanda hidden from the world where he’s off fighting in outer space in public with the Avengers or whatever?

    That if you ask me is what got alot of nerd panties in a twist. In a way I kinda don’t blame them.

    Not to mention, I’m sorry but Goyer really comes off as just…daft with his rant on MM.

    My favorite bit? “He should be renamed Manhunter!” Somebody at Bleeding Cool forums made a joke that next he’ll suggest Wonder Woman should be renamed “Woman.”

    The funny thing about that sillyness is if that Martian moniker is Goyer’s problem….THEN DON’T FUCKING CALL HIM THAT IN THE MOVIE. See? Problem solved. You owe me a sandwich, Goyer.*

    RBatty024 brought up Marvel. Notice how marketing and toys have Black Widow and Hawkeye but unless my memory is wrong, I don’t remember those hero names ever uttered in any Marvel movie yet. They’re called by their real names. “Natasha, Barton, Romanoff” etc. I think a computer screen in AVENGERS listed their code names, but I’m guessing here.

    I mean what if the characters call MM in the movies by his name: J’onn J’onzz. In marketing and toys, call him MM.

    “He does seem to have a weird pro-Marvel, anti-DC slant alot of the time, which I don’t really get”

    Vern – I take it you haven’t read his reaction to the Edgar Wright news today. He’s predicting doom for Marvel. Like today was Battle of Midway for Marvel, and Marvel are the Imperial Japanese navy.

    *=I do think people are too bitchy at Goyer lately. It reads like most people blame him more for MOS than Zack Snyder. Why? That shit just baffles me.

  8. RRA – Also it’s weird how Christopher Nolan has a co-writing credit on Man of Steel but he’s walked away pretty unscathed from any criticism, and everyone assumes the bad stuff was all Goyer. (And also the good stuff in the Dark Knight trilogy was apparently none of Goyer’s doing either?)

    Re: Ant Man, yeah this is definitely one of the few times Faraci has said bad stuff about Marvel, and I give him credit for not pulling punches. However, I like how people are still like “getting rid of Edgar Wright – such a DC move!”. Since DC I guess has a history of pulling directors off of movies like Marvel? (First Favreau, then Patty Jenkins, now Wright!) Or DC has a history of not giving auteurs like Nolan (or Snyder or Burton or Singer) a shit-ton of free reign on their movies? When it’s getting to the point where you can’t even criticize your own brand without taking a parting shot at the other brand, you know this nerd-war has gone too far. (By the way, I’d estimate at least 70% of the real movie-going audience doesn’t give two shits about any of this brand nonsense, and has no idea which comic book character even belongs to which label.)

  9. I enjoyed the write up, but honestly this whole “controversy” is so laughable that I feel we shouldn’t even give it our attention.

    Vern, if I may make a request, please put all upcoming reviews on hold until after you post your review of Days of Future Past, thanks.

  10. Agree that BLADE TRINITY being shit on because it’s not AS good as 1 & 2 is unfair. It IS more watchable than most stuff. I still think it’s THE GODFATHER 3 of the BLADE series. It deserves more love, and I’m glad it exists because it’s a cinematic world I like and care about.

  11. So feminists on the internet are defending a sexist comic character from the ’60s because some dude used sexist language (probably ironically) in the course of pointing out that the character is sexist?

    Yep, another day on the internet.

  12. Superman fans already hated David S. Goyer long before MAN OF STEEL.

    http://screenrant.com/superman-renounces-american-citizenship-benm-113080/

  13. *waits for some pseudo-feminist blog to pick this piece up and call you out for being a sexist, who has no right to talk about sexism, since you promote typical male violent fantasies by loving action movies. (Also Steven Segal had sex slaves in his basement.)*

    You have probably noticed by some of my posts in the last week, that I’m not happy with a certain new wave of popculture related “feminism” on the internet, that is more interested in calling everthing sexist, constantly using catchphrases like “male gaze” or “Bechdel test” or just stirring up click baiting controversy with their simple black & white view of things, than really trying to say and do something meaningful. And recently they are firing from all cylinders and I only wait for the day when they declare that even Joss Whedon, apparently popculture’s only true male feminist, says or does something to offend them. (My guess: Someone watches DOLLHOUSE for the first time.)

    *sigh* Oh well. It’s Saturday morning. I shouldn’t ruin my weekend with stuff like this. BUT THE INTERNET KEEPS DRAGGING ME BACK IN!!!! At least now I have this (as usual) wonderful written piece by Vern to link to, whenever I end up being caught in another “Goyergate” discussion.

  14. Thanks for this, Vern. I’ve seen Goyer’s comments discussed ad nauseum on message boards but until now hadn’t heard any of this about the podcast (and I wasn’t invested enough to go listen to the podcast myself).

    I still gotta roll my eyes at the “only virgins have heard of Martian Manhunter” comment, but I get that he was just trying to get a laugh. Personally, I’d heard of him from the Justice League cartoon that went from 2001 to 2006 where he’s one of the main characters. I think that was a relatively popular cartoon, so I would guess a fair bit of people in my demographic (I was 11 when it premiered) probably have heard of him.

  15. This is the sort of nerd news I miss by sticking to more business-focused entertainment sites, but it is certainly wrapped in major trends you see afflicting sites big and small such as out-of-context outrage, incessant -ism trolling, square peg in a round hole framing.

    I figure it’s worth noting a few things that, unless covered extensively elsewhere, seem like obvious omissions from the discussion:

    – As a teenage comic reader at the time of She-Hulk’s creation, and a reader of the series from the beginning, most of the promotion (and probably the timing) was related to the live-action CBS TV series starring Bill Bixby’s and Lou Ferrigno. It was pretty popular at the time (coupled with that other hoot, The Dukes of Hazzard). Why not capitalize on the success with a new book? As best as I remember the original run, this was a fairly generic Marvel launch similar to Nova as opposed to something experimental like Omega the Unknown. This was a time where you’d rarely get new books based on fresh characters (since giving solo books to established characters was an easier gambit), and if I remember right it was Stan Lee himself who created the character and wrote the first issue so it was a pretty big deal, not a “hey you, we need someone for the Hulk to fuck, chop chop!”

    – Since She-Hulk was a twist on the Hulk’s abilities (less powerful but able to control metamorphosis, retained identity rather than it being sublimated) most of the stories I remember played up two things: managing her existing life and career as it was interrupted by the hero call of her powers, and doing standard superheroey stuff which wasn’t Hulk’s cup-of-tea. This was during the early “talkative Hulk” period where he was a (non-)member of The Defenders (“Sword girl needs help!”) so with a different Hulk on TV it makes sense to me that they went for the more hero spin with She-Hulk. I remember some sexual inaction later on when John Byrne did one of his many “reinterpretations” but some of it was played for jokes. Don’t remember it well enough though if it had been sexualized I suspect I would.

    – Martian Manhunter already had a fairly recent “reimaging” on SMALLVILLE. Played by Seinfeld’s Jackie Childs sans makeup, his backstory was mostly the same but given the show’s focus (and presumably budget) he could easily be seen as a de-powered variant inserted for back-door pilot potential.

    – Goyer was also co-creator of awesome but short-lived sci-fi procedural THRESHOLD on CBS. Gugino, Dutton, Spiner, Dinklage…

    Nerd Rage!!! It’s FANNNNNN-TASSSSSSTIC!!!

  16. Good article, Vern. And I think it is important, since this revisionist bullshit about Goyer being a hack has until very recently completely went under my radar. In fact, I actually had a hard time accepting that people were actually that dumb.

    Second, whenever anyone critique comic books as sexist male power fantasies a shitstorm brews in defense. Why, I have no idea, because it´s true. They are.

  17. CJ Holden, Whedon already had the feminists turn on him. And it was even stupider than the Goyer thing. Though it got less attention. Someone asked him on twitter about how to write a strong female comic character. To which he replied “Must have strength but also community & not have peeny/balls.” To most sane people, that pretty clearly reads as some real advice, coupled with a joke. But to outrage twitter, it apparently meant JOSS WHEDON IS TRANSPHOBIC. Sigh.

  18. But I do like to agree with CJ. I´ve spent plenty of time on film class seminars where a lot of my favourite films are being “analyzed” and all I want to scream is “Get your head out of your ass!” Because sometime those breakdowns are scrutinized bullshit.

  19. I should point out (although I don’t think anybody took it that way) that I don’t have a problem with feminism or feminist popculture internet stuff per se, it’s just like in almost every area on the www, the hollow noise drains out all the reasonable content. I just wish we had more smart and insightful analysis and criticism on the topic of sexism in popculture. (And it’s actually kinda sad that I have to preemptively clarify that obvious shit.)

  20. Same disclaimer from me. I absolutely identify as a feminist. I just think some of the internet freakouts lately have been ridiculous and counterproductive.

  21. I think we have to aknowledge that there is a backlash going in the world when it comes to womens rights. Women on the political right are trying to redefine feminism as something that fits their agenda. And too many young girls think that getting undressed in front of a web camera is part of the struggle for equal rights. Like Vern I call myself a feminist, and I do think it’s my duty to help women out. I’m not saying that ganging up on Goyer and guys like him is the right thing to do, but it would help if all of us would stop and think before we spoke out about any subject. It’s the constant objectifying, the sexualisation of absolutely everything that gets on womens nerves. And now that they’re under attack from their own sisters it must be unbearable.

  22. CLubside – we must remember that She-Hulk originally was created simply for copyright reasons. CBS (or whoever it was) had THE INCREDIBLE HULK on TV and Marvel was afraid they would go BIONIC WOMAN with it, make a female Hulk spin-off show and leave Marvel out in the cold royalties-wise. So yeah Marvel put out that one issue and that was it before other writers down the road took her on.

  23. Neal2Zod – Considering how much the Internet hated Snyder before MOS, the fact that they’ve seemingly tipped away to Goyer instead is odd since (1) if you believe in the auteur theory, you tend to blame/credit the director more and (2) Goyer basically has been rewritten on BVS and Justice League films by Affleck’s writer according to the trades. (Since Goyer himself has alot of shit on his plate, I’m sure that was the reason.)

    I have an armchair theory why this is the case, and alot of these people doing this might not even be conciously aware of the “why.”

    Nolan is this era’s Spielberg or Lucas (pre-Prequels), a nerd God that’s supposedly infallable. His [REDACTED] trilogy was great, no way that he was a reason why MOS didn’t work.

    Snyder? He’s not just booked to direct BATMAN VS SUPERMAN: DAWN OF THE DEAD OF JUSTICE, but also the Justice League movie. Basically DC fans if they didn’t like MOS are stuck with him and hope that he somehow gets better or something.

    So who does this leave to vent steam off this side of Bennett at? Goyer.

  24. RRA – No not Black Panther. The Martian ignorance he spewed is more like if he had said that about Thor or Hank Pym (Yellowjacket/Ant-Man) if we’re talking about the equivalent to MM’s traditional role in JL on The Avengers.

    Anyway I’m going to be honest. I’m a comic book geek but at the same time I don’t give a flying fuck what some hack screen writer who is clearly ashamed of being a geek has to say about anything. I don’t see the point in wasting energy being so concerned about that for days on end. I sat through the podcast and like Vern stated the whole “who should Storm marry” segment told me everything I need to know about all of these posers.

    People say “David Goyer is never credited for good points in thee Batmans”. Well pal I read the original draft for BATMAN BEGINS about 2 years before seeing the movie when it leaked. A lot of the bad stuff in that movie (the theme of fear being repeated by every single character every 10 minutes, Rachel Dawes, the comical writing of the Waynes and all the endless non nuanced exposition) is all Goyer’s doing. The guy wouldn’t know subtlety and nuance if it hit him over the head like a brick.

    Oh and nothing could excuse BLADE TRINITY. I’m sorry but objectionably speaking nothing that Goyer has written and directed could qualify as good or even watchable to me in anyway. With that said DEATH WARRANT, THE DARK KNIGHT (Thank god for Jonathan Nolan though when it comes to the writing on that one), BLADE, BLADE 2, DARK CITY were all definitely good ones. I dare say even some of my favorites. But hey even Brett Ratner had RUSH HOUR 2.

  25. “No not Black Panther. The Martian ignorance he spewed is more like if he had said that about Thor or Hank Pym (Yellowjacket/Ant-Man) if we’re talking about the equivalent to MM’s traditional role in JL on The Avengers.”

    Broddie – fair enough.

  26. RRA – “Basically DC fans if they didn’t like MOS are stuck with him and hope that he somehow gets better or something.”

    As the biggest DC Comics fan on this and many boards that I post on and a non MOS fan I would say this. If The State of Metropolis & Batman v Superman doesn’t really deliver I’m pretty much done with their live action movie adaptations in the future. At least the ones Goyer and Snyder would be involved with.

    We missed out on a Justice League movie (George Miller) that understood the fundamentals of these characters and their dynamics more than any of Goyer’s movies to be given this universe. So that shit better live up to the standard or just stay the fuck away from my eyeballs IMO.

    Oh and I don’t get how people are still confused about Goyer and even Snyder’s importance to DC media adaptations in general. Geoff Johns is supposed to be the Kevin Feige of this shit. It is LITERALLY his current job title and he’s done a pretty good job of it at least in terms of setting up all the TV shows hitting this fall. Thanks to Geoff Johns we have Gotham on Monday, The Flash on Tuesday, Arrow on Wednesday, IZombie on Thursday (?) and Constantine on Friday all as of this fall. With Preacher, Hourman and others like 100 Bullets on the way.

    We’ll see what he does with the movies. He supposedly has 9 others in development at the DCE offices not counting BvS but I think JUSTICE LEAGUE is supposed to be one of those. So is a SANDMAN movie written by Goyer (oh boy the internet is gonna have a blast with that one). As well as movies based on Metal Men, Suicide Squad, Fables and even Lobo.

  27. “Geoff Johns is supposed to be the Kevin Feige of this shit.”

    Broddie – Supposed to be? Sure. But does he have actual power behind that title on the film side? In fact I remember clearly Johns somewhere complaining about how on the last 1 or two Nolan REDACTED movies, he was effectively shut out. Clearly on TV he has more input for whatever reasons.

    Its like how Fox hired Mark Millar as a “consultant” to oversee the shared Fox/Marvel universe….and he wasn’t heard from again in that job. Remember that? Now you have the FF reboot’s screenwriter (same guy who scripted DOFP) saying that both franchises won’t cross-over and be part of the same universe. Maybe for the best?

    Anyway back to Johns, wasn’t he the mastermind or one of the chefs behind the New 52? I saw that JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR movie that was based off the “Nu52” and if reports are any indication, the DC films are going in that direction what with Cyborg going to be a Justice League member. (Which I still find strange and its only my nerd fault. To me, Cyborg is Teen Titans. I just can’t get that association out of my head.)

    I haven’t read the New 52 so its not fair to grade the New 52 based off WAR but wow, I didn’t like that one. All of the heroes are assholes except for Barry Allen. (Thank God.) Hal Jordan comes off as like Tony Stark-esque, except instead of a funny shithead he comes off as uber-annoying. Wonder Woman is like the angry feminist stereotype that right wingers love to hate. Superman is kinda douchey. Look Batman I accept is a dick, but almost everybody else too? Really? That sorta defeats the purpose, don’t it?

    Again its unfair to grade comics based off one movie I suppose, but you know what annoys me if they are indeed going in that basic direction for the movies? It would mean Darkseid is the villain for the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie. And basically DC will bypass the New Gods. Pity since I liked to believe the New Gods could be decent fodder for a space opera series.

  28. RRA – “Supposed to be? Sure. But does he have actual power behind that title on the film side? In fact I remember clearly Johns somewhere complaining about how on the last 1 or two Nolan REDACTED movies, he was effectively shut out. Clearly on TV he has more input for whatever reasons.”

    Yes he actually does have that power. You’re seeing a lot of DC media adaptations in gear now because of him. Damn near all of the DC Entertainment stuff you see within the next 5 years from TV to movies to straight to video and video games would all be because of him setting them up.

    Only reason he wasn’t involved with the Nolan movies is because he didn’t get promoted to that position until mid 2011. Which is way after BB and TDK and well into the production of the third Nolan Batman.

  29. Oh and yeah JUSTICE LEAGUE WAR though I enjoyed it’s fidelity to the story it adapted and had fun with it isn’t a really good gauge of the New 52 at all. It’s based on a story where the JUSTICE LEAGUE were 5 years younger and more immature than they are in the other stories in that universe. It’s also based on a very summer pop corn like arc. A vapid and at times hollow series of pretty Jim Lee superhero action. Just like BATMAN: HUSH or SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW.

    You even get another clueless Darkseid avatar being a brute. Darkseid to me is what Kirby originally envisioned and what Morrison wrote in FINAL CRISIS. A corporeal being so beyond our comprehension that he exists outside of the borders and parameters of the known universe.

    In other words we could never see the “real” Darkseid because he is beyond the human level of sight and understanding. Every time we see Darkseid fight the heroes and such it’s just an avatar of the real Darkseid. Another puppet manipulated by him to interact with the lowly ants and less inferior beings that can’t stand on the same level as a god.

    He exists the same way people claim “God” exists. A being that oversees the cosmos and manipulates it to his will. Just that he’s the manifestation of downright evil in this case so his will is never well intentioned. Like the rest of the New Gods he is a physical and theological manifestation of an idea (in this case the idea being evil). I just don’t see Goyer or Snyder being sharp enough to pull something that grand and interesting in a JL movie. They’ll never give us the REAL Darkseid. They’ll just give us a brute avatar that will come across as Thanos lite to the uninitiated.

    The new 52 JL book got WAAAAAAAAAY better after that first arc (especially with it’s reinterpretation of Captain Marvel with THE CURSE OF SHAZAM). But even then Justice League isn’t even the best New 52 book at all. Not even close. A lot of important stuff happens there cause it’s the flagship book for the entire DCU but it doesn’t have a patch on the consistent quality of titles like Aquaman, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Batman & Robin and Earth 2.

  30. I actually think it’s way more problematic than what’s being said here.

    First of all, the worst part of that whole podcast in regards to She-Hulk wasn’t what Goyer said, but what screenwriter Craig Mazin said. He referred to her as “Slut-Hulk”. Instead of chiding him for his terrible wordplay and gross sexism, THAT’S when Goyer went on his little dumb rant about She-Hulk as a sexual power fantasy.

    My problem with this is, it’s too anti instead of pro. By claiming She-Hulk is a character created for sexist reasons, he’s specifically joining in with Mazin in labeling her as a sexual character. It comes from a long line of men in power addressing women by re-framing them specifically as sexual objects. It’s Men Solving Feminism in the worst way. What would have made sense is if Goyer said, She was a sexist creation, BUT she also represents this and this and this. Instead, it’s like, look at this inferior female.

    Of course, we’re dealing with a make-believe character. But Goyer and Mazin’s terms have also been used by men in this sort of position of power to speak to and address actual women. Every little bit helps, every little bit hurts. It’s dismissive of a woman because of her sexuality. It doesn’t matter if she’s real, or if they’re joking. It’s gross either way, it’s even more usage of coded language, the type that we don’t regard in fictional characters, but we don’t consider with real women either, sadly.

    Also, Goyer made a crack* that was essentially, “How many of you have heard of Martian Manhunter? Raise your hand,” immediately followed by “How many of you are virgins, raise your hand.” I mean, just stop talking, dude. Your stereotyping sucks ass.

    *Might have been Mazin. Also, might not be exact wording. I am not a word scientist.

  31. “I haven’t read the New 52 so its not fair to grade the New 52 based off WAR but wow, I didn’t like that one. All of the heroes are assholes except for Barry Allen. (Thank God.) Hal Jordan comes off as like Tony Stark-esque, except instead of a funny shithead he comes off as uber-annoying. Wonder Woman is like the angry feminist stereotype that right wingers love to hate. Superman is kinda douchey. Look Batman I accept is a dick, but almost everybody else too? Really? That sorta defeats the purpose, don’t it?”

    I haven’t seen WAR, but that’s a very accurate description of the New 52 Justice League. I read it for about 20 issues (which is way too many) before throwing my hands up in the air and calling it quits forever. I’ve liked a lot of Geoff Johns stuff, but he is really coming at that title from a very odd direction. Like you said, most of the characters are huge dicks, up to and especially Superman. The only exception is Flash — and maybe Wonder Woman, who is written kind of like the MCU Thor. She’s kind of a gleeful warrior that’s always asking if it’s time to start slicing things up with her sword, she talks in an old-timey grandiose way, and she expresses comical confusion about modern day culture.

  32. But doesn’t all that nerd rage over Goyer’s jokes kind of prove that the whole “virgin nerd” stereotype is still spot on though? I mean, if those 30 year old kids were getting laid they probably wouldn’t have that much energy to waste into an argument about a fucking cartoon character now would they?

  33. Toxic – Yeah I guess for some. But there are also many people who read comic books who are married or get frequent poon and don’t really give a shit because they’re not insecure people. I fall in the latter category. I wasn’t even aware of this topic until Vern wrote about it that’s how often I visit “geek” sites nowadays.

    It’s just like there are people that over analyze and nitpick about sports, action movies, music, politics there are people who read comic books that do the same because they’re just passionate about it people will make a big stink out of anything. Superheroes are just modern mythology and people get really attached to that mythology similar to how religious people get attached to religious texts. So like religious people some people take that shit as serious as cancer.

  34. The problem with Goyer’s comic book geek as virgin joke isn’t that it’s necessarily offensive. I’m a geek, nerd, whatever, but at this point I’m also too old to be offended by a little joke like that. The problem was that it was lazy. It’s the kind of joke you would find on a Chuck Lorre sitcom. I know he was probably coming up with it on the spot, but you would hope that someone who writes major screenplays for a living would have a smarter sense of humor.

    Goyer has talent, even if everything he does isn’t necessarily great. As one of the writers on Dark City, one of my favorite films, I’ll always respect his talent. I guess my problem is that I think his dark and gritty approach to superheroes is a dead end. It allows for little variety from film to film, and soon the audience is going to get bored. At least in the world of Marvel’s films, each movie seems different. The Thor films are drastically different from the Captain America films, but they can still inhabit the same universe. Man of Steel, which I had avoided for a while, at times feels like they superimposed Nolan’s Batman onto a Superman story. This isn’t a problem in and of itself. Man of Steel is actually the only Snyder film I kind of enjoy, even if it has its problems. But when they start turning out four or five of these grim superhero stories, watching them is going to start to feel like a chore, and they’re going to start to seem interchangeable.

    But this isn’t all Goyer’s fault, either. I haven’t completely kept up with the New 52, but from what I’ve read it does seem like dark and gritty has become the mantra of DC Comics. It’s a shame, because I actually like DC’s characters more than Marvel’s characters.

  35. Gabe, you’re right to bring that up because Mazin probly caused this whole brouhaha when he said “Slut-Hulk.” I think he was more clumsily trying to make a similar point about the character being created as a sex object. Goyer is actually partly debating him on that, because some of the panelists are familiar with the swimsuit model She-Hulk pictured here, while Goyer is familiar with the bodybuilder one, and he’s arguing that she’s a sex object in an unusual way.

    Goyer couldn’t have said She-Hulk also represented this or that, because he didn’t know she did. It doesn’t sound like he’s read it, just was aware of it and not a fan of his (apparently mis)understanding of the character. If he had been correct and it was just a one-dimensional sex object character would it have been okay to criticize?

    The virginity comment you and a couple other people brought up was a hacky joke, but also completely self-deprecating. Obviously he has heard of Martian Manhunter too since he then goes into a monologue about him. This is also shortly after referring to himself as a little kid getting the shit kicked out of him everyday. I’ve noticed that this is a thing fans of comic books or star wars do alot, they keep calling attention to the nerdiness of the subject to make sure we’re aware that it’s nerdy so in a way it doesn’t count as being *as* nerdy. A social awareness that’s supposed to make it go over better but Goyer is learning to be careful because if you are seen as the enemy by the nerd community (because you have a bunch of tattoos and none of them are Super Mario characters) they just think you’re Ogre yelling “NEEEEEEERRRRRRDDDDSSSS!!!”

  36. To me Goyer’s joke is really neither lazy or offensive, since it’s less “anyone who reads comic books is a virgin” than it is “anybody who’s such a nerd they’re actually interested in a shitty character like the Martian Manhunter is probably a virgin”. I mean, I guess it’s offensive to people who really like the Martian Manhunter, so that’s like what, 8 people? But honestly, how many people are now defending the Martian Manhunter because they actually like the Martian Manhunter, and not simply because as comic book fans, they feel obligated to defend any comic book character, no matter how shitty? I mean we’re not exactly talking about Batman, Superman, Spider-Man or Wolverine.

  37. And by the way, it is kind of silly to question Goyer’s nerd credentials. Again, he took an obscure ’70s comic character I never would’ve heard of in my life, used it to created THIS ENTIRE MODERN AGE OF POP CULTURE, and two great movies. He convinced Nolan that yes, the Scarecrow has to wear a Scarecrow mask. He wrote actual comic books. He ran multiple sci-fi tv shows. He cares about “Ghost Rider.” It doesn’t matter if you disagree with him about whether there are Martians and what Pa Kent is allowed to say, he is still one of you whether you like it or not. Deal with it.

  38. RBatty024 – “I haven’t completely kept up with the New 52, but from what I’ve read it does seem like dark and gritty has become the mantra of DC Comics.”

    It’s more like supply and demand. The industry shifted into this juvenile “dark is mature” mindstate decades ago and never recovered. Marvel puts out just as many “dark and gritty” comic books which is why I only buy less than a handful of Marvel books.

    There are still books put out by both Marvel and DC that don’t rely on abusing a “dark and gritty” backdrop to sell (DAREDEVIL, ALL-STAR WESTERN, RED LANTERNS, AQUAMAN, THE FLASH, WONDER WOMAN, ACTION COMICS, JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 etc.) They just rely on being well done comic books. The problem is the majority of the readers liked oversensationalized garbage more so than not so none of those really shoots up the top 10 either matter of fact one of them is being cancelled.

  39. I just thought of something: Goyer compared She-Hulk (another character that absolutely nobody cared about until comic book fans felt they had to rally behind it to defend nerd culture, by the way) to a porn star, and said she reminded him of WWE’s Chyna, so why is it that nobody’s pointed out that WWE’s Chyna did play She-Hulk in the porn version of the Avengers? I mean come on, are we going to pretend we don’t know about Chyna portraying She-Hulk in the very creatively titled THE AVENGERS XXX? Are nerds worried that admitting they watch porn would be like admitting they’re virgins? Isn’t that an offensive stereotype about porn fans?

  40. Well, it’s not so much that we don’t RECOGNIZE the WNBA….it’s just that, like it or not, there are THREE main sports in America. Soccer is not one IMO. If the Sounders had won a….whatever the championship game is in soccer, a cup, right? If the Sounders would have won one of “those” before the Seahawks, I wouldn’t recognize that shit either.

    I honestly don’t think it’s a sexist thing, it’s just an engrained idea of what the major American sports are. Well…now that I type this I’m realizing that “basketball” is in fact one of the main three sports. But again, it’s the NBA. The WNBA was founded in 1996, for pete’s sake. It’s young. You can’t expect the same level of fervor over the Storm that there is over the Seahawks (founded in 1974). If it helps I was tremendously proud of the Storm during that time, but the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl…man. I had been DREAMING of that moment. My first child was born four days before the Super Bowl, it was easily the best week of my entire life.

    My point of all this being? I have no idea. But She-Hulk always gave me a boner as a kid.

  41. Who’s questioning Goyer’s nerd credentials? Aren’t most people questioning his writing ability, if anything?

    Also: Martian Manhunter’s a pretty cool character in the stuff I’ve seen him in. (He’s also, I repeat, not that obscure a character.) He wouldn’t be a good fit for a movie, though, because he’s far too overpowered. He has essentially all of Superman’s powers, plus shapeshifting, phasing and telepathy. At the very least, Goyer’s right that he needs to be toned down.

  42. Also, in 2014, it shouldn’t be an insult to say someone is a virgin. You don’t need to shame people into having sex.

  43. The Original Paul

    May 24th, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    ..People hate Goyer?

    I’ve read about this as well. Don’t really have an opinion other than to say that Goyer’s only comment that struck me as potentially annoying to people would be the “virginity” one. Don’t know what the “feminist” argument is supposed to be. In principle I’m with Vern on this one (although Blade 3 is NOT an underrated movie… worst Dracula EVER. Good grief, even Johnny Lee Miller was better than that guy.) In practice, I have no idea. I’ve not read the comics, I’ve not seen most of the “Hulk” movies, I certainly haven’t heard of She-Hulk. I’m not qualified to give an opinion.

    But I just saw Carrie Fisher, live, at the Hay Festival (and so I hope did some of you, if you read my post on it in the forums.) I was pretty close to the front (queued an hour to get there) so if you watch the video of the event you’ll be able to see the top of my head on a couple of occasions, and marvel at it.

    Anyway, Carrie was fantastic – very funny lady, full of wry observances and personal anecdotes. She talked mostly about Star Wars, her writing, her screenplays and her family life (the latter with a side-order of mental health issues and drug abuse, all delivered in a way that had the audience laughing at them. As she put it, she wanted her life to be able to be laughed at, and she never wanted to be viewed as a “victim” of anything.) I wasn’t such a fan of the guy interviewing her – he was a little too deferential – so the best part was the Q&A at the end. She was asked by one burly guy if she’d kept the metallic bikini from “Return of the Jedi”. Without hesitation she rattled off what was obviously a list of every smart-ass answer she’d given to that question ever, ending with: “Why, you want to wear it yourself?” (She got a cheer for that one.)

  44. I’m pretty sure I worked as an intern at ABC7/Newschannel 8 in Arlington with Alan Kistler one summer like 10 years ago. Weird.

  45. ” that woman has been married to Black Panther for years! Even I knew that shit.”
    For your information, Black Panther actually annulled their marriage during the “Avengers vs. X-Men” storyline. GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ, Vern. Get your shit together.

    Something similar to this happened with James Gunn a while ago, after he was announced as the GUARDIANS director. He was talking about female comic book characters, and amongst those mentioned, he said Black Canary was super hot, but her relationship with Green Arrow made him really turned off, and that the Batman-related character “Spoiler”, who was a teen mother was appealing because that meant she was easy.Given that it was the sort of not-the-best-taste joke you’d expect a guy who once worked for Troma to make, the shitstorm about it was a bit much for my taste.
    Also, the Virgin Comic Book nerds joke is a really hacky as I know married father nerds who are just as stubborn about this shit. I got into an argument with one about how AVENGERS has arguably as much negligence and collateral damage as MAN OF STEEL (Tony shoots down aircraft that must rain a lot of debris down on the streets, Thor and Hulk crash a giant space serpent into Grand Central Station) but he wouldn’t hear it.

  46. Right on, Vern. I cannot believe the weird articles people are writing about this; it’s so obvious that Goyer is talking about what he perceives somebody else to have been thinking, and not his own thoughts. It’s frustrating! And hey, even if he is describing his views on She-Hulk, who gives a shit anyway?

    Motherfucker gave us BLADE.

    You might’ve mentioned this point already?

  47. I should mention that I knew, positively knew you’d have a reasonable response to this nonsense, Vern, before I even clicked on the link in my RSS feed. I’m glad we have fellows like you on these internets, man. Things could get out of hand quickly if we left it for the click-bait headline-writing douchebags of the world.

  48. CrustaceanLove

    May 24th, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Vern, if you can’t tell the difference between genuine nerdy self-deprecation and the mean-spirited Chuck Lorre stealth-mockery Goyer is doing here, then I dunno what to think. He made a dumb, lazy joke coming from a place of ignorance and it backfired big time. Not surprised SHE-HULK fans are angry, but I’m surprised it blew up as much as it has.

  49. “Also, in 2014, it shouldn’t be an insult to say someone is a virgin. You don’t need to shame people into having sex.”

    I agree with this completely, look, I’ll come out and say it, I’m a virgin (I’m sure none of you are surprised) and I fucking hate that insult, it’s cheap and just all around shitty, what’s with this idea that a guy should lose it before he turns 18? and that anyone who doesn’t is a failure in some way?

    I’m sure it’ll happen some day and when it does I want it to mean something, to be with someone I actually care about, not some drunken one night stand, but I like to think of myself as a non-stereotypical guy and the fact that that one stereotype does apply to me stings

  50. See, THAT’s who is questioning Goyer’s nerd credentials. I mean, I don’t know what to tell you. He didn’t make a shitty sitcom making fun of nerds, he made Blade and Batman and Nick Fury movies. He talks in the podcast about growing up as a nerd being beat up and reading comics. He makes a joke about people who have heard of Martian Manhunter as a lead-in to explaining who Martian Manhunter is. He was on the Nolan Batman movies as the representative of the comic fans, to keep Nolan from going too far away from the source. He wrote comic books. He created and wrote sci-fi shows. He spent years trying to get The Flash and Ghost Rider movies off the ground. You not liking his movies cannot change this mountain of evidence here bud. He is a self-identified, professional comic book nerd. He is expressing opinions just like every comic book nerd does.

  51. joking about nerds virginity is still douchey though

  52. CrustaceanLove

    May 24th, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I’m not saying he’s not a nerd. I’m sure there are plenty of nerds on the THE BIG BANG THEORY writers team too. It’s just that what he said comes from a place of lazy stereotyping that isn’t funny or accurate. In your post you wondered why Goyer got crucified for his lack of knowledge while those people on the podcast talking about Storm get a pass. Well, maybe that’s because Goyer used his ignorance as a launching point to talk about comic book writers/readers of being a bunch of masturbating virgins. The fact that the hill upon which he chose to fight his bold stance against sexist basement-dwellers was with SHE-HULK, probably one of the least deserving characters in comics, just adds insult to injury.

    FWIW I don’t think he’s sexist or a douche (in itself a sexist insult BTW) and I like most of his work. I thought MAN OF STEEL was good even if it’s not my preferred take on Superman, I just found it kind of a hollow experience. And, of course, he gets a lifetime pass for BLADE.

  53. Recently unearthed archeological evidence in the form of dusty tablets recording the heated exchanges between hardline religious clerics shows the thankless and dangerous profession of the Superhero Scribe, circa 1990-2020 C.E.

    The Superhero Scribe was tasked with transcribing the exploits of the spandex clad gods and goddesses of that dimly remembered age. These often baroque accounts were read out loud to the common folk by the high priests at one of several ‘Mul-Ti-Plex’ temples.

    The Scribes’ privileged position as Royal transcriber of revelations between The Gods and The High Priests came under threat with the rise of the bearded Mullahs of The Four Color Brotherhood. These vocal, militant zealots emerged not from the Priesthood but from the Laity class. They challenged the Scribes’ and High Priests’ claim to speak for the Spandex Pantheon.

    Before openly moving against the High Priesthood, the Mullahs offered their own interpretation of the will of The Spandex Gods through a series of ‘new’ revelations. The most prominent Mullah, Har-Nole-Farra-Ci from the Tribe of Weenster, delivered a series of blistering sermons containing new ‘revelations’. Some of the sermon titles recorded for us: “Thump-Girl the Butt-Kicker”, “Scott the Wandering Pilgrim” and “Polynesian Kaiju”. These new ‘revelations’ however were met with indifference by the populace so the Mullahs bided their time.

    A careful reading of Tablet #17 (circa 2012-2014) shows that conflict finally erupted when the officially sanctioned “Revelation of the Kal of Iron” was read out in one of the temples. Members of the Four Color Brotherhood whipped the temple attendees into wild frenzy, publicly accusing the prominent Scribe Da-Goyuz of concocting a blasphemous teaching. “The Revelation of the Kal of Iron” depicted an introspective god, unsure of his place in the universe. In the revelation, Kal’s melancholy resulted in the toppling of many buildings and much awesome destruction. “Kal the Mighty God does not act this way!” cried the Mullahs. “He has numbered every hair on the heads of our children and our kittens. He would not allow a single one of us to suffer!” At the height of the ‘Kal Rebellion’, the Mullahs and their followers burnt the temple to the ground.

    Tablet #17 goes on to record the efforts of the High Priests to manage the uprising. To prevent the rebellion from metastasizing into a widespread revolt, they briefly sent the Scribe Da-Goyuz into exile to the region of the Cast Pod. It was a short lived reprieve from trouble as followers of the Four Color Brotherhood residing in the region of Cast Pod overheard the Scribe Da-Goyuz making lewd remarks about a lesser known deity – Shulky. The Mullahs saw an opportunity to use this turn of events to exploit the escalating religious strife of the day. Representatives of the Four Color Brotherhood made public offerings to the enormous jade statue that represented Shulky, praising the deity’s modesty and kindness. Scholars who have studied the Shulky religion now see this as a transparently hypocritical gesture as the Shulky religion was basically a sex cult built around participants who would paint themselves green and participate in hedonistic orgies, a practice that was certainly anathema to the fundamentalist, repressive Mullahs.

    Tablet #18 provides a fascinating insight into the enormous task the Mullahs had set for themselves. The era of the worship of Spandex Gods was also the era of the entity known as ‘The Corporation’. These corporate behemoths were the only ones who had the funds to build the temples that housed the Spandex Clad Pantheon. The High Priests delivered the revelations accompanied by impressive light and sound displays. While vocal, the Four Color Brotherhood was underfunded and could not compete. The Mullah, Har-Nole-Farra-Ci from the Tribe of Weenster realized that the only way to wrest control from the High Priests was to smuggle in one of their own into the profession of the Scribes.

    An elaborate plan was instigated. The Mullah’s most trusted disciple – Ted of the Tribe of Hot Fuzzies was embedded in one of the temples under the religious pseudonym Ed-Gar-Zom. The tablet goes on to describe months of relentless espionage work done by Ed-Gar-Zom only to be discovered by the Chief High Priest Mar-Vell. The public execution of Ed-Gar-Zom resulted in years of civil war and the eventual waning influence of any religion built around the Spandex Pantheon.

    Some ‘fringe’ scholars have recently reappraised the Spandex Religion. They argue that the veneration of powerful gods and goddesses had a powerful attraction to people living in the 21st Century when economic and environmental stresses were a daily fact of life. These scholars believe that the Four Color Brotherhood was mistaken in their crusade to turn the exploits of the Spandex Gods into an orthodoxy that could not be questioned. The real value in the stories was for the devout to become just like the gods, taking control of their lives for the better. To blindly worship the Spandex Deities was to keep them ‘at arm’s length’ and avoid the hard work of self-transformation. To wail publicly like helpless infants, hoping the “Kal of Iron” would swoop down out of the sky to deliver them was a sad reflection of their misunderstanding of the revelations delivered in the Mul-Ti-Plex temples.

  54. Dammit, Tim, you just ruined this thread! Nobody will ever be able to top your post! Let’s all go home guys. Nothing left for us to do anymore, but a slow clap, that evolves into a stormy applause.

  55. good Lord Tim, that’s one hell of a post, I love it

  56. Trailer for Denzel’s THE EQUALIZER (2014) is up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGTY00Ku2vk

  57. you know what? nerd culture actually IS a kind of Religion if you think about it

  58. Lawrence Futol

    May 25th, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I think Devin Faraci’s pro-Marvel stance may have soured since the news that Edgar Wright being fired from directing the Ant-Man movie because of “creative differences”. He now sees it as sign of Disney execs interfering in Marvel Studios and now predicting that Marvel movies are going to suck pretty soon.

    The reason I like the She-Hulk character is not just that she’s sexy but funny as well. Like the cover Vern posted is not just her in a bikini but a spoof of Demi Moore posing pregnant and naked on the cover of Vanity Fair which was around that time.

    http://snakkle.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/demi-moore-vanity-fair-GC.jpg

  59. Yeah, it seems like we’re at the point where the nerds will start hoping for the Marvel movies to fail. Because you’ve got to turn on the thing you love eventually, I guess.

  60. This post was definitely worth writing just to get that comment from Tim.

  61. “The reason I like the She-Hulk character is not just that she’s sexy but funny as well.”

    that’s exactly the kind of female character I like as well, one who’s sexy but also sometimes funny and goofy

  62. Griff- Read ADAM WARREN’S EMPOWERED from Dark Horse then. It’s about an insecure superheroine who keeps falling victim to the stereotypes and tropes of female superheroes(she has to wear a revealing costume, she’s disrespected by her male peers, constantly gets captured and tied up), but keeps fighting through it, and has an amazing and varied cast including her New Jersey Kunoichi Princess best friend Ninjette, her ex-minion boyfriend and a cosmic eldritch horror being who got trapped in a restraining device and now lives on her coffee table and gives out advice. It can also be really touching and heavy at times(Ninjette has a fucked up childhood) and as a bonus for you, Adam Warren draws in a manga-esque style.

  63. “So really the only offense hear is that he’s apparently unfamiliar with…” Uhm, well, not quite. Now I hold no “nerd fatwa” type ill will toward Goyer, and wholeheartedly agree with your assessment friendo, that by way of Blade (whose success greenlit X-men, which in turn greenlit Spider-man…) that this dude pretty much kicked off this well over a decade and still going strong Comic Book Movie Renaissance. But I think it’s fair enough to rank making low brow assertions about a character, its creators’ motives, and fanbase, by an individual “apparently unfamiliar” with said character, as a bit of dipshittery. And if an individual is speaking from such a position of ignorance, why should they be awarded “opening the dialogue” points for their resulting flimsy assertions, as such will lend not one ounce of credibility/legitimacy to the “issue”.

  64. The Original Paul

    May 25th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Tim: “He has numbered every hair on the heads of our children and our kittens.”

    Yeah… that post was pure distilled awesome.

    I’m seeing Lee Child soon. Which Jack Reacher book is the best one by popular concensus? I’d like to have read at least one of them before I actually get the chance to meet the guy. Every single novel of his is currently on sale in the Hay bookstore.

    (And no, I didn’t get one-on-one time with Carrie Fisher, unfortunately.)

  65. tell him my mom is a big fan

  66. Original Paul…check out “The Killing Floor”

    Good stuff.

  67. “He now sees it as sign of Disney execs interfering in Marvel Studios”

    Futbol – I see it as Marvel Studios being Marvel Studios. Lets look at the track record.

    *Director of INCREDIBLE HULK said Marvel interfered, including cutting out a bigass chunk of the 1st half of the film because Marvel wanted the Hulk to make his first appearance ASAP. Edward Norton refused to do publicity for the movie in protest. (Didn’t help that he went uncredited for his script rewriting.)

    *Jon Favreau at one point was supposed to direct IRON MAN 3 and AVENGERS. After IRON MAN 2 where clearly he and Marvel had to compromise, he dropped out of both projects.

    *Joe Johnston wanted smoking in his Captain America movie, Marvel vetoed.

    *THOR 2 originally had a female director who quit over “creative differences.” (I don’t remember the name.) Alan Taylor took over and told everybody freely in the PR junkets about how THOR 2 wasn’t his cut at all.

    *Whedon said that Marvel told him one of the things he had to do for AVENGERS was to kill off Coulson. (Oddly enough he was the one who wanted that Thanos credits scene. Go figure.)

    *Even that Businessweek piece which kissed Feige/Marvel’s ass opened with Feige giving James Gunn notes on a scene in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

    So yeah I find it funny that the same assholes online who just weeks ago was praising THE WINTER SOLDIER, sucking Marvel Studios’ dick and saying how DC should take notes and that Fox and Sony should give back their properties are now chastising MS for being a bunch of corporate bastards. Oh you guys realized NOW that Marvel always has final cut/say, not any of the filmmakers?

    For that matter, notice how nobody cared when that original THOR 2 director quit but nerd idol Edgar Wright quits? OUTRAGE!

    I’m going to write something very fucking unpopular online. I really wanted to see Edgar Wright’s ANT-MAN. That news really bummed me out. But life goes on, so does the Marvel machine.

    Will the ANT-MAN movie we will get (directed by whoever Marvel gets to replace Wright) be as interesting or good? Probably not, but who knows? But then again, remember X3. I didn’t like it, but some locals around here did including Vern. That one had two strikes going against it with the nerds. One, Bryan Singer going off to do Superman instead. Two, Matthew Vaughn* quits late in the game and Brett Ratner comes in. But regardless some of you thoughts apparently liked it on its own terms.

    Sorry for rambling. My now very unpopular point is this: why is the Internet going off like Marvel Studios suddenly don’t know how to make movies? I liked IRON MAN. I liked the sequels (though not seen IM2 since ’10). I quite enjoyed both Captain America movies, especially for how tonally different they are to each other. I was slow to embrace the first Thor film, but ultimately I enjoy that Flash Gordon-esque space opera franchise. and of course I loved THE AVENGERS.

    And all that is what, 9 movies made by what 7 directors in 6 years? All things considered, I think its impressive that they’ve been able to pull all off and be mostly decent. Of course they aren’t perfect. Look at INCREDIBLE HULK.

    I want to make myself clear. I’m not defending Marvel Studios here. I’m just weary of people knee-jerking over this news and saying how Marvel pussied out or (paraphrasing Faraci here) watering it down when quite frankly WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT EXACTLY WAS THE CREATIVE ISSUE.

    Wright and Cornish had their script. Marvel had one of their guys rewrite it. Wright didn’t like what they did (and what they wanted) and quit. I just would like to know what ideas Wright was wanting to use or what story he was going to tell that made Marvel veto it? You know I’m very curious. Marvel got shit on for making the Mandarin (Iron Man’s archenemy) a smoke screen for revealed to be a drunk British actor. They gave Shane Black the greenlight for that creative decision. So again what made Marvel lose faith in Wright’s vision (or panic) so late in the game as 3 months ago?

    *=And history reverses itself with DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. Vaughn supposed to direct it, quits and Singer takes over. Weird.

  68. maybe Wright wanted a scene where Ant-Man shrinks down in order to sneak into the ladies’ shower?

    I’m serious, doesn’t something like that happen in the comics? I’m not saying there would be any actual nudity, just “implied”, but that seems like the kind of humor the director of SHAUN OF THE DEAD would want and maybe Marvel objected to that because we don’t want little Timmy getting a boner even though we put ScarJo in tight leather

  69. Paul – PERSUADER is my favorite, but KILLING FLOOR is almost just as good simply because it is so fucking violent.

  70. Paul- Is he doing a booksigning in your vicinity?

  71. Knox Harrington

    May 26th, 2014 at 1:14 am

    Jesus, this is a stupid accusation. Is the internet bored? Is that it?

    And when Goyer talks about Hulk fucking She-Hulk, it seems pretty obvious that he’s referring to the CONCEPT of a She-Hulk (remember, he’s busy talking about the male power fantasy), not the character’s status in the comic book universe. It’s not even relevant whether or not he knows they’re cousins and are allowed to fuck.

    Green, gamma irradiated monster people shouldn’t be fucking anyway. It’s bad for the environment. Do you hate the environment, Goyer? Do you?

  72. The Original Paul

    May 26th, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Shoot – yep.

    Shoot and Tass – thanks very much! I’ll check out those two.

  73. Sadly, I have no more Reacher books to read at the moment. Finished THE AFFAIR this morning and now I will have to wait until the next book comes out.

  74. Griff – one comic all but said that Ant-Man and Wasp enjoy shrinking and entering each other’s orifices for sexual pleasure. (You can find GIFs of that panel online.)

  75. Broddie — Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve been meaning to pick up the new Wonder Woman, because I really liked Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets series, and I kind of wanted to see what he would do in the world of superheroes. I also used to read Gray and Palmiotti’s Jonah Hex series, which was a great example of single issue, one and done storytelling that you don’t see much anymore. So I’ll probably pick up their All Star Western.

    I think RRA has a point. Marvel was never a place where they let directors run wild. The Marvel films are studio movies through and through. They kind of remind me of the Hollywood studios of the 40s and 50s. It’s out of this body of work that the auteur theory developed. The studios had a tight control over film production at the time, and there were only a handful of geniuses, your Billy Wilders and Howard Hawks, who had the ability to assert their unique vision despite this system. But if you watch a lot of studio movies from that time, you realize that they may not have had a unique point of view, but they were incredibly well crafted. My guess is that the studios were run by people who actually understood how to make movies. I think the same thing is happening at Marvel. They may inhibit the unique vision of their directors, but they still understand the craft of filmmaking. There’s no way you could create this insane multi-film storyline over the course of years without tight studio control. (The one director whose personality shines through in the Marvel studios is probably Whedon. There’s some of his third wave feminism and his distrust of authority in the Avengers).

    Marvel isn’t like Tom Rothman at Fox during the aughts, a clueless studio head who seemed unconcerned with the quality his studio’s films, so long as they came out on time. Marvel knows what makes an entertaining movie, but they also keep their creative types on a short leash. But, in all honesty, this works perfectly for most of the geek community. These characters are so protected that any film that veers too far away from how they imagined them is automatically maligned by the geek community. Take a look at Ang Lee’s Hulk, Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, or, for some, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films. These are all films that take these characters and do something totally unique to them. And they are often met with ambivalence online or outright hatred. Geeks don’t want to watch auteurs take their characters seriously, despite their own claims. They want well made studio films, which is fine, I suppose.

  76. RBatty – You know who else at Disney does the same hands-on shit? Pixar.

    Oh wait, some of you didn’t know? Yeah funny nerds don’t throw a piss fit when they do it.

    *Jan Pinkava originally came up with the storyline for RATATOUILLE and some of his character designs are still in the final product (Anton Ego apparently is one) but Pixar wasn’t thrilled with his “story development” and replaced him with Brad Bird. Bird won the Animated Feature Oscar.

    *Brenda Chapman was the original director of BRAVE and came up with the story. She was replaced as director over “creative differences.” Yet she still got credited as a co-director. That was one awkward Oscar moment when she and Mark Andrews (who replaced her) both accepted their Animated Feature Oscars for that movie.

    *Long time Pixar guy Bob Peterson (co-wrote UP and voiced Dug in that film) was fired from directing the upcoming GOOD DINOSAUR, which got delayed from this year to ’15.

    People like sausage, but they don’t necessarily want to see how its made. But in the end of the day if you still like the sausage, does it matter?

  77. Daniel Strange

    May 26th, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Re: Goyer,

    I’m going to be contrarian here. Yeah, context is important, maybe he was joking, maybe people just didn’t like the way he expressed his thoughts, etc, maybe he was trying to make a satirical point about sexism, whatever. At the end of the day, words have meaning. The guy expressed an opinion in public in a shitty way and he got called on it. I think that’s fair.

    People can always come up with excuses for their behavior, but the thing about life is that we don’t get judged by our intentions, we get judged by our actions. Personally I have no problem thinking of Goyer’s actions in this particular instance as being stupid and shitty. It doesn’t mean “Blade” isn’t a good movie, it doesn’t take anything away from his accomplishments, but let’s be honest, the guy was talking out of his ass on this particular day.

    I’m not a comic book geek and I’m not part of the I Hate Goyer Internet Brigade. To me this is not conclusive evidence that he is a sexist and a horrible person and should be barred from Hollywood forever more. I am just a guy who thinks that, you know, it’s not cool to call a female character ‘Slut Hulk’ or whatever. If anything I just wish that he (and Craig Mazin, a writer I happen to like quite a bit) had chosen his words better in this case. Dude, you’re a public figure, maybe be a little more sensitive in what you’re saying when discussing sexism. The End.

    Re: Edgar Wright on Ant Man,

    It’s just a bummer. I feel exactly the way I did when they got rid of Patty Jenkins from Thor 2 (she is a GREAT director, guys. I mean, come on, MONSTER!??? Fucking incredible film, full-stop. And it was her first film!), recut the 2nd Hulk film (BTW, it is not true that Norton refused to do press. I was at an event where he appeared to promote it, saw him with my own eyes), and ditched Norton for the Avengers. I like those artists and I was excited to see their contributions. It didn’t stop me from seeing those movies and enjoying them, and I totally get that Marvel has to exercise a certain amount of creative control over their product. But it doesn’t mean it isn’t a bummer. That’s all.

  78. Daniel Strange – Wikipedia says Norton didn’t do publicity but AMC Movie Talk when asked about it said he only did a handful of appearances before quitting.

    Back to Marvel, someday somebody will write a book exploring in detail Marvel Studios and what exactly happened behind the scenes. Why did Jenkins quit? I remember hearing something about a female character or something but merely speculation. The same for Wright. Why?

    BTW a little while back when the Bryan Singer lawsuit happened, I bitched about all the nerd bloggers writing only afterwards about how they all “knew” about Singer’s affairs. Some of them have pulled the same trick again with Edgar Wright. (Though to be fair to Latino Review, at least they admitted they didn’t report it because they thought it was bullshit.)

    Why don’t they just fucking report this shit in the first place? I mean, that’s the point of being a reporter, right? To report shit? But of course God forbid if they did so they might not be invited by Disney or any studio in retalation to enjoy such things as set visits and junket interviews, which translate into clicks for these websiights.

  79. “Marvel isn’t like Tom Rothman at Fox during the aughts, a clueless studio head who seemed unconcerned with the quality his studio’s films, so long as they came out on time. ”

    RBatty – Its funny you brought up Fox, since I think they’ve righted the X-Men ship the last few years. If the first Wolverine picture was the bottom of the barrell for the series, its all been up since then. Not the biggest fan of FIRST CLASS, but it got pretty good reviews for a summer blockbuster. Me and other folks around these parts enjoyed THE WOLVERINE, and according to the usually reliable Mr. Majestyk the director’s cut is even more awesome. Then DOFP was pretty fucking good, like potentially best of the whole series. (Wouldn’t go that far but damn close.) Hell at this rate I’m not just excited about APOCALYPSE, but I’m intrigued too about some of the other things they’ve got on the cooker from a 3rd Wolverine film to Gambit and other stuff.

    Including that Fantastic Four reboot out next year that the Internet has already written off because the cast is too young or that the Human Torch is black or whatever.

  80. I think the Pixar comparisons to Marvel make a lot of sense. From what I’ve read Pixar makes films by committee. There’s not necessarily a single overriding artistic voice in each of their films, and this results in some really impressive work. I think Pixar is more artistically viable than Marvel, but I think both studios show that not every quality film is the result of a single creative genius.

    As far as Fox and the X-Men films go, I don’t think Fox really appreciated their superhero properties until they started to see how much money Marvel was making on them. I remember listening to an interview with Bryan Singer about the first X-Men film. Originally it had a release date for Christmas of 2000. Later they came up to Singer and told him they were going to release the film in the summer. According to him, he thought, this is great. Now I have an extra six months to make the film I really want. But it turned out they meant the summer of 2000, not 2001. They had effectively cut the production time in half. It’s amazing that film turned out as well as it did. Now it seems like they’re finally listening to their directors but only because they finally figured out that a “franchise” can only work if you make movies people are excited about.

  81. Goyer doesn’t strike me as an irredeemable asshole, but to me his alleged self-deprecation has a brotastic tinge to it. Also, there seems to be a certain demographic missing from this conversation and it’s da wimmens.

    Times are changing and so is geek culture. I recently read a claim somewhere that nearly half of all current comic book sales are to women. At lunch the other day I got into a conversation about comics with my pretty young waitress, who’d noticed my Fin Fang Foom t-shirt and knew who the character was, something that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. She mentioned that her older sister loves She-Hulk and can name every superhero and supervillain the character has represented in court. She also has a female friend who cosplays Thanos and Dr. Doom. The times they are a changing.

    A little googling pulled up some compelling evidence that blogging fangirls love She-Hulk and have for years. Her fangirl fanbase seems to be approaching the size of Wonder Woman’s. Over at the AV Club and the Dissolve, the people defending Goyer in the comments all seem to be male, while those disagreeing with them include those sites’ most prominent female commentators.

    So that’s the minefield that Goyer stepped into. It’s not so much that he was unaware of She-Hulk’s history as that he acted like her female fans weren’t in the conversation, and the fact that he did so out of ignorance rather than malice doesn’t completely excuse it. It’s kind of like a bunch of white folks sitting around debating whether or not Blaxplotation films perpetuate racist stereotypes.

    Speaking of Blaxploitation, I dislike the Blade movies. I like the funny expressive Snipes of his early movies and think he would have been a fine choice to play the Smooth groovy Blade who appeared in TOMB OF DRACULA, but for me his attempts at playing the stoic humorless badass that Goyer turned him into are plodding and uncharismatic. But then, I also find the Nolan Batfilms to be ponderous and self-important and hate Bale in the role.

    But getting back to my main point, this site is such a sausage party that it might not be the best forum in which to discuss the issue. And no, I’m not blaming anyone here for the testacentric nature of this place. I know female fans of Bruce Lee, Pam Grier, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Toshiro Mifune, the whole Shaw Brothers crew, Yuen Biao, Gina Carrano, Tonya Jaa, Kurt Russell and even Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, but in the last 20 years I can’t recall meeting a woman who was into Seagal, Norris, Dudikoff, Stallone, Ahnuld or even Van Damme (even though I know JCVD had a female fanbase back in the 80s). So the ladies aren’t that into some of the stuff we like, particularly the type of action stars this site is perhaps incorrectly seen as favoring.

  82. “… but in the last 20 years I can’t recall meeting a woman who was into Seagal, Norris, Dudikoff, Stallone, Ahnuld or even Van Damme (even though I know JCVD had a female fanbase back in the 80s). So the ladies aren’t that into some of the stuff we like, particularly the type of action stars this site is perhaps incorrectly seen as favoring.”

    I don’t know about that. Outside of Dudikoff, who really wasn’t much of a presence to begin with, my girlfriend is crazy passionate about all of the work these guys have created. She’s a huge action movie nerd and that love began as a child devouring 80s action flicks starring all of the aforementioned. Before she met me, she couldn’t give two shits about most of the comic book flicks made this last decade. But a new Bond movie? She eats it up. All of The Expendables movies? First in line. All of Arnie’s comeback flicks? Sign her up. And I don’t think she’s some sort of anomaly. I’ve met plenty of like-minded women. Maybe they just don’t spend a lot of time on this site. (Sorry Vern.)

  83. Well, I’ve got the girl plumbing and I like action movies and have frequented many discussions on here. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on all the movies from the aforementioned action figures, but I’ve seen most of their movies and liked them. I even went through a Dudikoff phase after catching AMERICAN NINJA on late night tv when I was about 13-14 years old. I didn’t chime in on this one because I don’t read comic books, know absolutely nothing about She Hulk and didn’t hear the podcast, so I didn’t really have anything to add.

    Basing my opinion solely on what Vern has said here, I would tend to agree with him. Sounds like a lot of stuff taken out of context being used to perpetuate personal likes/dislikes. It probably wasn’t smart of Goyer to try to talk about and crack jokes about something he doesn’t know about, especially since it’s being recorded and sent out to the entire world, but people sometimes do dumb things and I try to give them a break. It didn’t seem to be intentionally malicious. That said, it’s a sad fact that many things that aren’t intentionally malicious do contribute to the cavalier treatment, if not denigration, of women in our society. I would make a guess that a lot of comic books would fall into that category. But maybe I’m pulling a Goyer and making false accusations, so I’ll just leave it at that.

  84. And now that I think about it, both my former neighbor Hannah and my ex-girlfriend Anne loved Ahnuld. I say loved because Hannah pretty much dropped all her old friends when she moved away and I’ve not thought about her in a while and have no idea what she’s into these days, and while I’m still friends with Anne, she’s stopped watching movies entirely. I also know several female Dolph fans. But I’m certain I’ve never met a female fan of Vern’s main man and despite MaggieMayPie’s presence, the comments here seem more of a sausage fest than those found on sites concentrating on, say, classic horror films or Le Cinema du Hong Kong. Which is fine. My favorite X-Men were the ones written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Neal Adams, but the small number of people who agree with me are very largely male.

    My larger point remains the same. Also, as Dan Slott’s run on She-Hulk explicitly asked, why is She-Hulk a “slut” and Tony Stark not? And is “slut” really the best word for any man to use to criticize any woman, even a fictional one?

  85. The Original Paul

    May 29th, 2014 at 3:04 am

    Maggie, this is really about the UK specifically, but…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/10855347/Laura-Bates-at-Hay-Festival-why-everyday-sexism-isnt-dead-in-the-UK.html

    Seems to justify the view that, at least as far as the society over here goes, we’ve got bigger battles to fight than some guy on the Internet possibly making himself look like a bit of a fool by passing judgement without reading the facts, which seems to be the worst of what’s claimed here (and like you, I have very little idea of how much he’s in the “wrong” at all because I haven’t read the comics or heard of the character before). Even if that guy IS responsible for “Blade” (woo!), “Blade 2” (uh-huh) and “Blade 3” (nooo!)

  86. The Original Paul

    May 29th, 2014 at 3:11 am

    Ian McDowell – to answer the “slut” question, because there is far more language used to describe the appearance and “degree of sexualisation” for women than there is for men. (That’s not from the thing I just quoted by the way – that’s something I’ve noticed a long time ago and which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be changing any). Which is pretty damn sexist in itself if you think about it, especially given how much language reflects societal views and norms. Why can I think of five or six different derogatory terms used to describe a woman dressed in a “provocative” way, but I can’t think of any to describe a guy who’s dressed in nothing but figure-hugging shorts or something?

    And I think it’s easy enough to make the point that a female character was created solely to appeal to horny men – whether that point is correct or not, and again I have no opinion whatsoever on that question as I haven’t read the comics – without resorting to terms like “slut”.

  87. I much prefer the 16th century term ‘slattern’ as pertaining to a woman of questionable moral discourse. I like the way it rolls off the tongue. As for the origin of both of those wonderful words ‘slut’ and ‘slattern’, ‘slut’ was originally used as a term to describe a woman who was unkempt. Looking at She-Hulks out of control hair-do and penchant for ripped clothing, perhaps the question is valid? I mean, Tony Stark is a pretty dapper dresser after all.

  88. The Original Paul

    May 29th, 2014 at 4:01 am

    Darren – I love the fact that you know that.

    (I should probably know it too – I studied Shakespeare after all, and I’m sure he must have used the term, but that unfortunately was a long, long time ago.)

  89. Paul, I would bet that the video you shared would translate closely to the statistics in the US as well. I can’t say for sure, but it sounds about right.

    Another reason I didn’t chime in on this topic was because in terms of outrages on the internet against women this weekend, this wasn’t even a blip compared to the trolling and out and out dickery in comments being made about women being bitches because they wouldn’t go out with the gem of a guy who shot up a campus in California, causing his rampage. Compared to that, the She Hulk comments don’t signify.

  90. So a weird day for Marvel.

    One hand, Josh Brolin is Thanos and not just that but Thanos will have more screentime in AGE OF ULTRON than he does in GOTG.

    Then you have the guy who directed WE’RE THE MILLERS allegedly replacing Edgar Wright on ANT-MAN.

    Weird.

  91. Nope, turns out it’s Adam McKay, which is great, considering that he is the one comedy filmmaker these days who REALLY makes me laugh my ass off these days and TALLADEGA NIGHTS proved that he can direct action. (I take the visually botched opening of THE OTHER GUYS as a supposed parody of post action.)

  92. CJ – Honestly both McKay and whats his name who did WTM, I think they did well with cast ensembles…which basically is every Marvel movie. I think Faraci might have a point that McKay is helped by not just his connection with Paul Rudd but also that he’s known to shoot a whole lot of coverage (and m as take the movie in post pretty much) and that as a writer/director he can retool that script as they’re going along.

    BTW did you hear about that viral movement trying to convince people to boo anything ANT-MAN related at this year’s Marvel panel at Comic Con?

    This whole Ant-Man situation and nerd rage over it, I smell a Vern column coming!

  93. I recently got around to seeing The World’s End. It did make me a little sad that Edgar Wright wouldn’t helm Ant-Man, considering that the fight scenes in that film are probably better than anything Marvel has done.

  94. The Original Paul

    May 31st, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Well, I’ve chickened out and spent my last day of “camping” at home, in bed. Where I’m just about to head off to now.

    Good things about camping:
    – You end up getting close to nature.

    Bad things about camping:
    – Nature can be a complete and utter douche-nozzle when she wants to, and she ALWAYS wants to.

    I was hoping to have more pleasant company than a hundred or so harvest-flies (I didn’t). Then when the fifty or so spiders moved in, I was hoping that at least they’d get rid of a few of the flies (they didn’t). Finally, I thought it wasn’t unreasonable to hope that the person in the tent next to mine would not snore in a manner roughly resembling a herd of rambunctious warhogs who’d been startled into noisy alarm by a fleet of out-of-control petrol-mowers (it was). Between the snoring, the rain, the cold, the fact that my sleeping bag was apparently designed for somebody who’s about two feet shorter than I am (I’m a tall guy – not Jack Reacher tall, but still of enough of a height that I was uncomfortably hunched up all night so that most of my upper body wasn’t stuck out of the end of it where the cold parts were), I couldn’t face yet another night of it.

    I wanted to say before I went that Lee Child was good, although not as interesting/insightful as John LeCarre last year (although very little is). I wanted to ask what he thought of the fact that six-foot-four Reacher is played by four-foot-nothing Tom Cruise as an urban cowboy with meticulously styled hair and stubble, but somebody got there before me. Bonus: if you can find a video of the event (they usually post them on the festival website, which I’ve linked before) you can see the back of my head somewhere in the middle-front of the audience.

    I’ve been out of touch with the Internet for most of the week. What on earth is the “Ant Man” situation? In other news, something called “Ant Man” actually exists? Other than in the realms of imaginary fifties monster movies?

  95. The Original Paul

    May 31st, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    WARThogs, dammit.

    A warhog is a very very different beast.

  96. CrustaceanLove

    May 28th, 2017 at 1:38 am

    So, what’s with this drama about womens-only screenings of WONDER WOMAN? Here the big multiplex cinema chains regularly advertise “Girls Night Out” screenings of female-targeted movies. They don’t specifically state that they are women-only, but the implication is clear. Is it because it’s a big superhero movie and not 50 SHADES or MAGIC MIKE or whatever? I’m sure I could ask for a ticket to one of these screenings and they’d be legally obligated to sell me one, but why would I? Just to be an asshole?

  97. Well, the drama is about assholes being assholes again. Same as usual.
    Coincidentally my local multiplex scheduled a “4 men only” screening of WW weeks ago. I wonder if they will change that at some point, just to avoid controversy (although as far as I know nobody here has complained yet).

  98. Haven’t you heard? One shameless, spiteful honkey = the new Rosa Parks. It’s the civil rights battle of our lives. Our stupid, exhausted lives.

  99. What´s this WONDER WOMAN thing? It sounds like a porno? Is it a porno? If it is, why the hell would you have a women-only screening for that? It doesnt make a goddamn sense!

  100. Women like porn, too, you know.

  101. WHAT NONSENSE ARE YOU SAYING!?

  102. They only like nice porn, where the actors say “please” and “thank you” and afterwards talk about their relationship goals.

    (Just kidding of course. Some of my lady friends are into WEEEEEEEEEIRD shit!)

  103. Speaking of weird shit, recently I came across the term Alabama hotpocket. Now, I don´t usually consider myself a prude. But that definitely qualifies as some weird shit. And to be honest, I don´t get the name. I think “Turkey fillings” would have been more appropriate.

    I have no idea why I decided to share this.

  104. Yeah, in my experience, women who like porn like waaaaaaaaay more hardcore porn than I can handle. I wouldn’t be able to look my mother in the eye ever again if I was into the kind of shit these broads don’t even bat an eye at.

  105. Yeah, it’s one of those things where an obnoxious asshole can ply his trade of obnoxious assholery while pretending to be interested in some legitimate philosophy of equality. Of course even if there was some bad precedent being set by being left out of one specific screening inspired by Wonder Woman’s matriarchal society, and if you could believe these wieners were acting in good faith and not just in hating women and trying to make sure they aren’t given a single good thing in this world, they would STILL have to be clueless dipshits for THIS to be the cause to focus their passion on in America 2017.

    So to them I say FUCK YOU and I hope WONDER WOMAN gives you pee pee nightmares.

  106. I’m just down on the idea because I was looking forward to the movie only to learn that no man will be allowed to see the movie at any screen or any theater EVER. I mean it has to be every screen because if it was just one screen at one theater in one city on one specific showing then everyone bitching about it would kind of come off as silly and severely insecure.

    Maybe it’s for the best as I don’t want pee pee nightmares.

  107. I just wish we, as the decent people with the required amount of common sense to realize that such things are stupid, would stop giving these shit roosters the attention they want. It’s “Nordic God bridge guardian guy shouldn’t be played by Idris Elba”, where basically just one, small Neo Nazi website complained about it and nobody should’ve talked about that non-scandal, all over again. I proudly call myself liberal, SJW, Gutmensch, whatever, but man, I wish my people wouldn’t fall for that kind of attention bait every single time!

  108. You guys are right and this is why I mostly stay away from so much of the net now. It’s like wading through slime.

    What with all the vile shit talked about Snyder recently, and this WW bullshit, and the mainsteam media only really noticing geek culture when it makes us all look like pricks, I just keep my head down and only haunt the places that are OK.

    Man, remember when us geeks where the quiet ones?

  109. Sure, it’s just one guy who actually bought the ticket, but his one petty act inspired thousands of supporters. It lets you know what’s really going on out there and how many awful, ignorant dick-havers (I refuse to call them men) there are out there. Without lightning rod shitheads like this guy to draw out the others who might be too cowardly to stand up for their wholly incorrect and laughable beliefs, we might never know what we’re up against.

  110. And now imagine how many less of these assholes would’ve even heard of it, without the good side taking the bait and making it the topic of the weekend. Most likely even the “serious” Nazi assholes wouldn’t know and the whole thing would have been a tiny, tiny problem among the asshole who started it, the movie theatre who does the screening and maybe a handful of online dwellers.

  111. But the problem is not the ticket-buyer himself, but the culture of dickless shitstainery he arises from. He didn’t create these edgelord fucksticks who think the minorest slight to their egos makes them equal to lynching victims and burned-at-the-stake witches. It just kicked over the rock they were hiding under so we could see how pathetic they are. So thank you, amateurish boardwalk caricature of an MRA neckbeard, for showing us how pathetic you and your kind truly are.

  112. I keep repeating words lately. Coming up against the same old tired misogyny day after day seems to be sapping the diversity of my vocabulistics.

  113. But we already knew that they are there! Empowering them by turning their little Reddit and Twitter rants into headlines and thinkpieces, is one of the worst things you can do. There were millions of people outside of wherever that screening is happening, who didn’t even know that one asshole got mad because of caveman reasons. Now he got support and attention from all over the world. Haven’t we learned anything from Gamergate and the 2016 election? Taking the bait and giving them the attention that they want, just makes everything worse.

  114. To clarify: I’m not saying that we should act like everything is fine, but there is a reason, why the woman down my street, who regularly spends her Saturday nights with yelling Nazi paroles (and puking on the lawn) isn’t a huge celebrity and symbol of “free speech”, while Trump is PotUS and everybody spent the weekend discussing a one-night-only screening of an upcoming comic book movie and the motherfuckers who were offended by it.

  115. Internet male “nerd” culture is heinous and brimming with every species and sub-species of anti-feminist backlasher, but damn, what a neat coincidence that this particular example gets a flurry of media coverage while simultaneously centering the new massculture industry product as a topic of discussion and soliciting the hand-wringing of sanctimonious liberals who otherwise wouldn’t give a shit about the new Zack Snyder spin-off joint. Resist misogyny for $10.50 a pop, not including snacks.

  116. But if that is indeed the intent, does that make WONDER WOMAN a cynical corporate product, or a piece of popular art that contains meaning and purpose? And wouldn’t that be kind of in line with the goals of the psychologist who created the character in the first place?

    I do think Alamo expected this kind of backlash, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using it as a simultaneous William Castle type gimmick and rallying of the troops. They, like us, seem to be passionate about both their movies and their stance against dickheads.

  117. I feel like I’ve heard past stories of women not being treated as well as men over at the Alamo but maybe I’m crazy.

  118. The Alamo Drafthouse is a chain, and the one with the screening is in New York. If you heard stories, I doubt it was about that one.

  119. Anyone else miss the days when summer blockbusters had really big, sweeping power ballads that played over the end credits? I’m glad to hear Wonder Woman has one and if you’re into that kind of thing, it’s great. Just big and cinematic and sincere, with a simple, optimistic and catchy chorus that hopefully sums up the movie – “To be human is to love / Even when it gets too much / I’m not ready to give up.”

    Sia - To Be Human feat. Labrinth - (From The Wonder Woman Soundtrack) [Official]

    Sia's song 'To Be Human feat. Labrinth -' from the Wonder Woman Soundtrack Download & Stream now: https://lnk.to/wonderwomanID Written by: Florence Welch & R...

    I have no idea why they’re releasing this song only days before the movie comes out, I can see this being a huge radio hit over here.

  120. The main thing I really can’t handle about this current phase of pop music is the addiction to mid-tempo plodding. I think of that as a waiting tempo: It’s building suspense for when the song kicks in heavy, which is the awesome part of the song. But these songs never kick in. They just plod and plod and then they stop. They’re like opening credits sequences for movies that never happen.

    Weird true story: I went to high school with Sia’s manager. He once wrote an anonymous letter to the local newspaper about how his fellow students (not me) bullied him for being gay and the school officials told him it was his own fault. He’s now by substantial margin the most successful person ever to come out of that high school, which last year was finally shuttered for good after spending the preceding three decades slowly sinking into a swamp. He dated the guy who plays Pedro on ASH VS EVIL DEAD for years and he gets to go onstage and accept awards for Sia and stuff. He’s living an amazing life.

    Sometimes justice prevails is what I’m saying.

  121. Mid 90’s owned the summer blockbuster pop ballad tie-in. Still can’t see KISS FROM A ROSE or I DON’T WANT TO MISS A THING ever being fucked with.

  122. I can’t say that the song did anything for me. I pop my head out from my cave every now and then to sample pop music, and I end up scurrying back. I even listened to a Justin Beiber song once. These songs are always drowning in syrupy production to the point where any potential hooks are buried. I also just can’t stand those cliche choruses. I don’t expect great lyrics from my music, but at least don’t sit there and tell me exactly what I should be feeling. The music should do that, not the lyrics.

    I do miss the days of music soundtracks, which the internet has mostly rendered irrelevant. It was kind of fun to have an album curated for a particular film. Back in the 90s, I owned the Lost Highway, Spawn, and The Crow soundtracks. They were all incredibly uneven, but they also lead me to check out other artists, and they were kind of cool companion pieces to their movies.

  123. I agree. Too much current pop is afraid to aim for the fences (or alternatively is ALWAYS “soaring,” thus also being a plateau). Which is why Carly Rae Jepsen is our saviour.

  124. I agree. I like Jepsen. She’s “just” a pop star. There’s no ludicrous gimmick I have to swallow. She’s not trying to be the voice of a generation. She has no delusions of Madonna. She “just” makes catchy, unpretentious ditties that have a good beat, solid hooks, and are fun to listen to. You can’t write think-pieces about her music, but you can dance to it, and I think that’s probably more important in the long run.

  125. Yeah the 90’s were a great time for soundtracks – from original stuff like the songs Broddie mentioned and the holy trinity of Judgment Night, The Crow, and Singles, to the curated stuff like Dazed and Confused and Reservoir Dogs and Natural Born Killers – the 90s may be frowned upon now musically but when it came to soundtracks, it beats the pants off of the stuff today. (Also a fan of the sappy ballads from Con Air and Gone in 60 Seconds – Jerry Bruckheimer really had that shit nailed down.).

    And I don’t want to turn this convo into another MCU vs. DCEU thing, but it’s weird to me that we’re like 15 movies into the MCU and there isn’t one theme song I can think of or even an orchestral theme I can identify as being part of these movies if I had a gun to my head. And even though I didn’t like BvS or Man of Steel very much, I could tell you how the Superman theme and the Wonder Woman theme go (still not sure if there’s a new Batman theme or not).

  126. You could only write think-pieces about where her music stands with “celebrity” out of the equation. It’s impossible to see her in a twitter beef or something with another star. Like, I read all this shit people write about Kanye and Miley, and it’s like, “You only care about this from a celebrity angle because you’re not actual fans of music.”

  127. I feel that “hummable scores” went out of fashion about fifteen years ago. LORD OF THE RINGS and HARRY POTTER (though that was basically an amalgam of Williams’ HOOK and Elfman’s BLACK BEAUTY) snuck in just in time. Since then (with some exceptions, of course), it’s been mostly background drones.

  128. I wonder if the problem is that studios keep on turning to the same composers over and over again. I remember thinking that Michael Giacchino had the potential to turn into the next Jerry Goldsmith, but his music has sort of plateaued. And then a quick look at his work in the past decade shows that sometimes he’s scoring five movies a year. Maybe the guy needs to slow down and work on one or two. I’ve also heard that composers are involved much later in the filming process than they were in the past, which would explain a lot. But, yeah, you’ve got to hand it to Hans Zimmer for actually creating memorable themes for DC’s slate of characters.

  129. Sometimes I wonder what a composer has to do to get a lot of work. For example at some point, I’ve read Graeme Revell’s name in so many credits, but I can’t remember one score he made, yet he kept getting work. Then there is Don Davis, who did the scores for the MATRIX trilogy, but he seemed to have disappeared afterwards. One day Tyler Bates suddenly appeared and now he’s doing lots of shit, although he was even caught stealing parts of his 300 score from someone else.
    Does anybody know a good documentary about the behind-the-scenes stuff of movie composers?

  130. CJ:

    Hollywood Scores & Soundtracks: What Do They Sound Like? Do They Sound Like Things?? Let's Find Out!

    This is a supplementary video for THE MARVEL SYMPHONIC UNIVERSE, which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vfqkvwW2fs And here’s a new Twitt...

    The Marvel Symphonic Universe

    Here's a second, supplementary video we made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEfQ_9DIItI And a new Twitter account about temp music we made: https://twitter...

    Composers Roundtable Full Interview

    Hans Zimmer (12 Years a Slave, Rush), Christophe Beck (Frozen), Henry Jackman (Captain Phillips), Thomas Newman (Saving Mr. Banks), Steven Price (Gravity) and Alan Silvestri (The Croods) join our roundtable to discuss the music in their movies.

    Basically: Director’s are getting more and more married to the temp scores on their workprints/preview screenings and tell the composers to make it sound like the temp score (which is comprised of nothing but other people’s shit) thus every movie sounds the same now. More damning though, in my opinion, is Danny Elfman says directors don’t WANT scores you can notice (!) and looks down on awesome over-scores like what Bernard Herman used to ditch out. I think the reason the same guys keep getting hired is a whole coporate studio mentality (‘we have charts that say the movie will be a hit if Hans Zimmer/James Newton Howard/the late James Horner/etc. will score it!).

    Mr M is fond of bring it up (and for damn good reason) but the last theme that got me really excited was IRON MAN THREE’s:

    Iron Man 3 - Can You Dig It (Main Titles) (Soundtrack OST HD)

    Composed by Brian Tyler Tracklist: 01. Iron Man 3 02. War Machine 03. Attack on 10880 Malibu Point 04. Isolation 05. Dive Bombers 06. New Beginnings 07. Extr...

    Though the whole score is not as awesome.
    As I’m sure most will agree, I also really dig JunkieXL’s WONDER WOMAN theme from BvS and her upcoming movie.

    Also want to say that I completely agree with your take on composers. What the hell did happen to Graeme Revell and Don Davis? Remember Marco Beltrami? The guy you got when you couldn’t get Danny Elfman (or Graeme Revell)? He seemed to be going places and also disappeared. I could go on and on but will stop there.

  131. I was totally just about to post that, geoff. Thanks for saving me the effort.

    I think the best all-around soundtrack I’ve heard in recent years was for THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. Even without all the dope needledrops on the album, the score tracks alone can get you pumped.

  132. Oh, and Marco Beltrami just did LOGAN, which has an interesting score that I didn’t fully appreciate in the theater. There’s a glass harmonica in there that gives it an eerie but organic feel, and they use piano for an action scene, which I don’t think I’ve heard in decades.

  133. Those videos were instructive. The creator makes a good point about the fact that even when the composer comes up with a good score we’re not allowed to hear it, like in that Captain America clip. I’ve noticed that too many films today must have constant dialogue. The audience is rarely given time to breath or take in a moment.

  134. nothing in recent memory has burst my joy bubble quite as profoundly as the experience i had last night of going down a Carly Rae Jepsen youtube rabbit hole only to find Maximum goddamned Landis waiting for me at the bottom like fucking Pennywise. sorry for chiming in a few posts too late for it to be relevant but i really needed to clear my head of that ugliness. also Jepsen’s new song is so fucking great. that’s all, i will derail this thread no further.

  135. Thanks, geoffrey. Gonna check these out later.

  136. I just caught a screening of WONDER WOMAN and maybe I was expecting anthemic music on the level of John Williams’ SUPERMAN, but any pronounced musical themes struck me as fairly buried. In a twist, though, I fully like that Sia song now.

  137. And here is the perfect mic drop on the “issue” of the women-only screening of WONDER WOMAN, by none other than the mayor of Austin.

    http://www.mayoradler.com/letter-wonder-woman/

  138. I don’t know why I thought the screening was at the New York Drafthouse. I think I got into a long telephone game type situation on another sight and the pertinent info got distorted.

    Good on the mayor for treating this issue with all the seriousness it deserves.

  139. “I don’t hate women.” BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTt

  140. Saw WONDER WOMAN last night (took me all night to find a brave theater that would allow men btw!) and enjoyed it. Other than the odd artistic choice to add a group of five teenage females to sit behind you and talk the entire damned time, I enjoyed it. I know some are going to be wanting this one to be better-than-the-average superhero movie and “Say… something…”, they are going to be disappointed because this is pretty much straight-up traditional superhero movie. I’ve read some reviews that were upset that Jenkin’s followed Snyder’s visual style so if you don’t like your movies being really cinematic and looking great and having a really fun clear and awesome action scenes, you’ll probably not like this one either.

    So yeah I enjoyed it and recommend it if you enjoy superhero movies, if you don’t or you’re sick of them, WONDER WOMAN is going to do precisely jack and shit to change your mind.

    -I’ll save some comments for the inevitable comments section here but I think the movie’s climax is going to divide people. I dug the really odd decision made with it but it took my brother out of it and made him hate it (the climax, not the movie, he really liked the movie as well).

  141. Forgot to mention the most relevant thing RE: WONDER WOMAN for the readers of this site. Compared to Snyder’s other Zack Synder Presents: Strong Feminist Theater movie 300: RISE OF THE EMPIRE, it’s no where near as good. I mean seriously what is? Still hopefully you all will find a place for Zack Snyder Presents WONDER WOMAN in your heart as well.

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