Gobbledygeek episode 123, “Twisted Christmas: How Horrible Our Christmas Will Be!,” is available for listening or download right here.
Christmas is upon us once more, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to get twisted. I don’t know what that means, but how about you join us in watching The Nightmare Before Christmas? The boys take a look back at the 1993 stop-motion classic, raving about its music (even misguidedly singing a bar or two), praising its glorious stop-motion animation, and take an honest look at Jack’s (possibly regressive?) character arc. Plus, the boys bemoan DC’s treatment of Gail Simone and AJ addresses the Homeland controversy.
Next: it’s the one you’ve been waiting, the one that’ll shut us up for a whole month! It’s the SEASON FINALE! We’ll talk about our favorite and least favorite things of the year 2012.
(Show notes for “Twisted Christmas: How Horrible Our Christmas Will Be!”)
Welcome to Last Month’s Comics, in which I discuss, uh, last month’s comics. I get my comics in bi-monthly shipments from Discount Comic Book Service, and as such, I can be a little behind. So here we are. This feature started last month.
So, September 2011, what kind of havoc did you wreak? Let’s find out…
BEST RETURN TO FORM
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #1
Writer: Joss Whedon
Art: Georges Jeanty (pencils), Dexter Vines (inks), Michelle Madsen (colors)
Publisher: Dark Horse
To say that I was pleased upon finishing the first issue of the new “season” of Buffy is an understatement. Season 8 started off very well, with Buffy leading an army of 500 Slayers and trying to unmask the mysterious foe Twilight. And to tell the truth, it was great for much of its run, with an occasional stumble (vampires being outed to the public wasn’t handled with much finesse). But the last story arc, with the reveal of Angel as Twilight, cosmic sex, and general batshit insanity, was so damaging that even someone who considers Buffy the Vampire Slayer to be the greatest piece of entertainment ever given us by man had come to the conclusion that it might be for the best if Ms. Summers was finally laid to rest. The final issue of Season 8, though, was a dramatic 180 from the pace and structure of the last few issues leading up to it, and the Season 9 premiere continues in that vein. With Giles gone and magic vanquished, Buffy is depressed and adrift, working as a waitress and getting blackout drunk. It’s all done with Whedon’s razor-sharp wit and keen sense of twenty-something angst. The final “shock twist” is so humdrum and everyday it’s hilarious. In many ways, the metaphorical “party” is over for our Scoobies; now what? I can’t wait to find out.
I’m still determining how much I actually care about this news, but everyone’s talking about it: writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Jim Lee have redesigned Wonder Woman’s costume. Gone are the bustier, the star-spangled panties. In are pants–er, “urban leggings”–and a lil’ jacket, presumably for those colder nights aboard the Justice League satellite. But…er…is she still even a member of the Justice League? In a move that confuses the fuck out of me, Diana’s new costume comes along with a new origin. Apparently the gods screwed with the timeline–oh, those gods, always manipulating the course of human history–and the Amazons were attacked by a mysterious figure, baby Diana being whisked away during the battle. She’s raised in New York, and is now totally urban. Bitchin’!
Seriously, though, as much as I like Straczynski (and he alone is to thank for reviving Spider-Man after a decade of awful comics), what the hell? What is the point? As Straczynski rightly states, Wonder Woman has always been more interesting than her books, so he wanted to give her a modern, urban update. Wonder Woman? Urban? And as much as it makes sense for Diana to finally put some pants on while crimefighting, the costume itself looks like it’s been vomited forth from the dark recesses of the 90’s.
Again, though, I’m not sure how much I care. As we all know, this change is not permanent. Does anyone remember when Superman changed his costume? Or Spider-Man? No. This is not going to stick. Besides, though I like Diana, I’ve never been particularly drawn to her comics. I’ve enjoyed the Greg Rucka stuff I’ve read, and Gail Simone is a fine writer whom I’m sure did the character justice, but Wonder Woman is not a character or a property that I am deeply invested in.
But if you want someone who does care, just go read Nikki Finke, who is absolutely outraged that a man–A MAN!!!!–made Wonder Woman put on some pants, thus setting feminism back a thousand million billion years. Apparently she saw the whole objectifying panties thing as being super hardcore woman power stuff. Also, Nikki, and I hate that you’re going to find out this way, a man gave birth to Wonder Woman. Yeah. It’s awkward. Sorry. Though the fact that Wonder Woman is “the only comic book female character [you've] ever admired” means you don’t really know jack shit about comic books anyway.