Fixing Furiosa: The Improved Mad Max Comic

The Mad Max Furiosa comic is worse for the women involved than Darth Vader’s Guide To Bring Your Daughter To Work Day.

Step 1: Introduce her to your co-workers!

Step 1: Introduce her to your co-workers!

I’d point out the problems but that’s already been done in great detail. At least now we know how the movie avoided the awful obsession with rape, sexual abuse, and total male domination which usually dominates such stories. It funneled those flaws into the comic, in the same way Twins split Schwarzenegger’s flaws into Danny DeVito. But without the humour. That’s how bad this comic is : a humourless sex-offending Danny DeVito.

It couldn’t have missed the point of Fury Road harder without being misspelling the title. Which would have improved it, because then it could pretend to be the sex-obsessed schlock ripoff it seems to think it already is. It could have spent its forty pages poking at women’s crotches like crosses between unopened Christmas presents and unexploded bombs without damaging the good name of the franchise.

And that good name is Imperator Furiosa.

Anyone who’s watched the movie could write a better story in twenty minutes. And having thought that, I couldn’t resist following through. I gave myself 1200 seconds and a glass of Jura to see what I could come up with. Obviously the result isn’t a real script, because that’s a gigantic amount of work and I’m not being paid for this. It’s just a rough sketch of one of the infinite number of ways the comic could have gone instead of “all women are catty caricatures who get grapes without the g“. I’m doing this so that it gets out of my head, lets me get on with paid work, and lets me pretend this is what was written instead.

But seriously, Imperator Furiosa spending the night before the convoy writing the 16-Point Manual for War Rig Carburettor Maintenance would have been a much better book. And truer to the characters.

[Page 1]
The green place. Beautiful and lush, no-one else can be seen, no sign of humanity at all. Absolutely idyllic with an unreal quality, as if it’s heaven, a hope, or the last good memory of a child who grew up in hell. Of course it’s all of those things.

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From the Makers of the Jem And The Holograms Trailer

Thrill as the team behind the new Jem trailer tackle other classic properties!

GI Joe: Joe “Duke” Bloke signs up, and patiently works his way up the ranks with careful attention to peacetime duties around the base. Awesome laser weapons are replaced by his livejournal entries. Instead of fighting against Cobra, we follow his struggle to find a cute boyfriend.
Ghostbusters: A reality show follows four ghost hunters as they continually fail to ever find any ghosts, because ghosts aren’t real. Proton packs are replaced by darkened shakey-cam footage even though there’s no reason they couldn’t film things properly. (NOTE: this show already exists several times over). Instead of fighting the undead we follow their struggle to find cute boyfriends.
Transformers: A reality show about redecorating entirely normal cars. (NOTE: this show etc etc) Instead of transforming into giant robots, Spike Witwicky tries to find a cute boyfriend. This is impossible because he’s Shia LaBeouf and actively repels all human life.
Thundercats: A series of actual cat videos on YouTube. Instead of Mumm-ra, we follow a fixed cat’s struggle to find a cute boyfriend. It’s still more compelling than the millionth movie about the millionth girl deciding true happiness depends on a millionth boyfriend.
Mysterious Cities of Gold: Travelogue following some teenagers with GoPros as they travel to a beach resort. They all totally find cute boyfriends.

The new Jem and the Holograms movie trailer is what happens when a movie executive cries “YouTube!” and is too senior to be laughed at. The whole thing’s been put together by people who think online streaming and personal holographic projection technology are exactly equivalent levels of outrageous. The greatest effort involved was pushing the “Girl Plot #3: Fame Bad Love Good” cookie-cutter so far into the past.

But fear not! While movies miss slam-dunks (this was their only chance to film an EVIL SYNTHPOP BAND!), comics keep scoring from outside the building. Behold the glory of IDW’s ongoing Jem comic. Which I honestly couldn’t have cared less about until I saw the art.

jemcover1 jemcovermisfits

More cartoon coolness with:

I don’t want to say “Super”

I don’t want to say “super”, but this man is really superior to everyone else at pretty much everything. He often literally flies above them, as well as being an icon they can aspire to. It’s a huge part of his character, if you could define him in one word that would be it, but I don’t want to say it. He’s very handsome, but strong.

I don’t want to say “aqua”, but he’s like a really good swimmer. Really good. He lives underwater, has always been swimming, that’s the medium he was created in, and from, and its currents have defined him for his entire existence, and even if that wasn’t the case it’s where where he would be now anyway. But “aqua” is a curse word in some asshole languages and I’d rather reduce the character than offend them. He often glistens lustily in the sunlight, but strong.

We’ve got this hero, and I don’t want to say “bat”, but, like, he’s really inspired by flying rat-like thing in a lot of ways. Furry wing-mice one hundred percent. Chiroptera all over the place. He’s got a great cock with a slight curve, but strong.

“We want her to be a strong — I don’t want to say feminist, but a strong character. Beautiful, but strong.” – New Wonder Woman artist David Finch in an interview with CBR.




DC Double-D-Down On Softcore Cover


Behold the cover of Red Hood and the Outlaws #32, where they double-D-down on their bold vision of guys being super-tough-awesome while women do nothing but offer sex. To anyone passing by.

People have talked about the appallingly simple sexualization of Starfire before, and the comic’s response isn’t “screw you“, it’s “screw her, that’s what she’s there for“. They took one of the only sexually liberated characters in DC — hell, one of the only superheroes who could convincingly claim to know where new heroes come from — and turned her into a robotic sex socket. The closest her reboot comes to agency is demanding men stop boring her with details like “names” before banging her.

This cover busts beyond comics into the sort of stupid car mag which uses women as an accessory because they’ve come up with an amazing new joke about dangerous curves. The sort of writer who uses PHWOAAAAR unironically, and to describe what an engine sounds like. And if those weapons were any more phallicly placed they’d be firing used tissues.

Look at Jason and Roy – the Outlaws know they’re being drawn right now, and the all responded by getting their weapons out and showing what they can do. And unfortunately, as far as the writer is concerned that’s what Koriand’r is doing too.

More on this with The 5 Most Ridiculously Sexist Superhero Costumes and The Big Balls of Bioshock Saviours.

In Offense Of Ant-Man

Last month I wrote about five heroes who should have movies instead of Ant-Man. (To try this at home, just choose five random heroes and make sure none of them are Ant-Man.) Legions of inexplicable Ant-fans descended to explain how I was “no true comics fan”. Even though I’ve read more material on metahumans than Nick Fury, and am also paid to analyze them for weaknesses. With the advantage that my house doesn’t blow up, fall out of the sky, and sink every week.

This actually counts as a good day for SHIELD because it's not impacting New York.

This actually counts as a good day for SHIELD because it’s not impacting New York.

Superhero battles are simply fun, even when they’re just between fans, so I’m responding to these Ant-agonists.

“Ant-Man was a founding member of the Avengers!”

So was Wasp. Where’s her movie? And there’s nothing less sacred than a Marvel origin. It’s been retold more often than stories of Canadian girlfriends, and less faithfully, probably because the original story also included the Hulk pretending to be a clown robot.

Things aren't automatically good because they were there first

Things aren’t automatically good because they were there first

Besides, the Avengers were first assembled by the strict criteria of “whoever was in radio range the Nth time Hulk lost his shit”, and even then Hulk got to be on the team despite being the entire crisis. It’s just a shame the signal didn’t call in U.S.1. Then we’d have a much better movie.

I am not kidding even a little bit

I am not kidding even a little bit

“Getting small is really useful!”

Getting small is really useful if you’re the Atom, who can shrink to the atomic level and has the physics and chemistry knowledge to do things down there. Hank hits insect size — small enough to lose a fight, big enough to still be noticed by people in that fight — and his specialty is biochemical research. Meaning knows the names of all the species which can’t normally defeat humans, and can describe exactly how he’s dying of the wounds they inflicted.

“Ant-Man has other benefits beyond shrinking – he’s also a genius!”

A genius on a team which already had Tony Stark (genius, constantly building new inventions and armored suits) and Bruce Banner (genius, indestructible gamma monster). Between them they cover the entire scientific spectrum of hubris, ethics, accidents and ideals of nobility. Hank Pym (genius, much better at hiding) isn’t an essential character, he’s poor writing and ability replication. Besides, his entire plan as a founding Avenger was becoming the size of an ant and moving towards a rampaging Hulk. That’s the exact opposite of genius.

“He’s more than just Ant-Man!”

Yes, he’s also been Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, and Wasp, because nothing says “popular character” like “constantly changing between synonyms in the hope you can trick people into liking you.” Yellowjacket! You’ve got to be fairly crap when you try changing your name to a predatory wasp golfer.

“It’s not just Hank Pym!”

No, it’s not, and no, the others aren’t better.

“All the heroes written back then were white males, so we just have to keep going with them now.”

When I think of the wonder of heroic fiction, I don’t think “inductive racism”.

“The movie will be great!”

Yep! That’s why I didn’t say a single thing about it, just the choice of character. Edgar Wright could direct my execution and my only regret would be not being able to watch.

“You need Ant-Man to justify the existence of Ultron.”

If we had to introduce a new hero every time the Avengers were attacked by an evil killer robot there wouldn’t be anybody left to defend. Earth would be seven billion superheroes and surrounded by giant black and yellow warning signs on every evil conquerer’s map of the galaxy.

Ant-Man can be good. He was great in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, because everyone was great in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. A good writer can save anyone. I’d just like to see cooler characters.

Any other heroes you’d like to see? Or an ant-ithesis to any of my points? Post below and I’ll keep having fun by replying!

More superheroic overanalysis with

Cyclops Should Be The Best Boyfriend Of All Time

The X-Men’s Cyclops is famous for being about as romantic as being shot in the face, even though he does the exact opposite every day. He’s as much fun to date as fossilized excrement, and the only reason he ever has relationships is “You’re both primary characters so get on with it”. His lack of lovability comes from his absolute dedication to training and improving his abilities, motivated by:

  • Truly internalizing the fear that mutant powers could kill people at any second
  • Shouldering the burden of leading mutantkind in a world which hates and fears them

You can see why he’s humorless. But the same factors should make him the best boyfriend of all time.

Being honest, this is more fun than most dates. (Source: Marvel)

Being honest, this is more fun than most dates. (Source: Marvel)

Why? Because in most continuities his girlfriend is Jean Grey, most powerful psychic on the planet, frequent avatar of the Phoenix Force which could destroy everything ever, and single mutant most likely to kill all the people at any second. Which makes Scott our point man for

  1. Being there for her when she needs to share her worries about losing control.
  2. Knowing her so intimately that he can tell when she’s not sharing her worries about losing control, again, because she’s only an Omega-level mutant with the power destroy minds and planets, why on Earth would she warn people, of course she’ll just hold her forehead for a second and think “Oh it’s nothing, I’d better not tell anyone I’m about to psionically destroy everything again“.
  3. Reminding her of her humanity through the power of love to save us when she starts psionically destroying everything again.

That’s three different ways he can save the world, and they’re all crippled by being colder than a broken robot. They’re primary characters in a relationship more predestined than Romeo & Juliet, and it often takes them years to even admit that they like each other. There’s no point in assembling an academy of mutant might to deal with threats to humanity when your strategy for dealing with psychic Armageddon is being too shy to bring it up.

It’ll also help with human-mutant relations. Phoenix and Dark Phoenix are the first time that both the good and evil versions of something have threatened to destroy the planet and been the same person. Jean Grey alone sets back sapien-superior peace by infinity years. In the series the metaracism might swing up and down in a sinewave of storyline-necessity, but no sane human would be okay with letting one person run around with the ability to end everything.

“So you’re saying she can destroy the planet sometimes, or destroy the minds of anyone she likes anytime?”

“Yes, but only when she’s under great stress.”

“So how do you deal with that?”

“Oh, you know, make her dress in skintight latex and take her places people are trying to kill her every week.”


“It’s not an ideal strategy.”

We know that it’s actually the Phoenix Force, and good luck explaining that to people who hate and fear you.

“It’s not her, it’s an incarnation of the omniversal creative spark energy which happens to be hosted by her. Basically a big cosmic force boy did it and ran away.” 

So if Scott Summers wants to dedicate his life to training to protect the world? Brilliant! That training should be romantic! He should be Casanova 9000! He should have doctorates in being the world’s greatest listener, psychologist, and lovemaker. His endless training in Danger Room sessions should focus on massage and advanced hand-holding, perfecting his ability to front-flip through open windows without spilling the poured glass of red wine while using his optic blasts to light the candles he’s covered the room with. Because if he can keep Jean Grey happy he’ll have done more to protect the planet than the X-Men and Avengers combined.

Indulge in more overanalysis with Why Tony Stark Is Earth’s Mightiest Hero, and 6 Reasons Iron Man Is Objectively Better Than Batman.

The Stupidest Superheroic Reactions

I wrote an article about awesome superheroes for a comedy site, which should have been about as controversial as enjoying ice-cream. Which only reveals that I’ve never read the “CHOCOLATE RIPPLE SHOULD DIE IN A FIRE” threads on the coldcreamydudes forum. I described how five heroes I like deserved a movie before Ant-Man.

Reactions included:

  • Being accused of writing feminism for blowjobs, by someone with no experience of either, and a wildly optimistic interpretation of what’s possible via electronic transfers.
  • Being told that Hollywood knows what’s best by someone who appeared to be entirely serious.
  • Aaaaaah, but I noticed that so many of the movie heroes so far are male, so I am the true sexist.
  • In response to Ant-Man’s famed status as a wife beater: being told that it was blown out of all proportion, that it didn’t really happen that often, that he was really a great guy with lots of good qualities, and that the Wasp was stupid anyway.
  • Being accused of hating on Edgar Wright, despite not saying a single word about the actual Ant-Man movie, and it being impossible to hate anyone involved in Hot Fuzz.
  • The classic comment strategy of attempting to find a microscopic flaw in my statements so that I disappear in a puff of inequality. “Aha! Armor is Asian and not black! That’s too racist, somehow, so we’d better stick with the safe default of straight white men.” THAT’S NOT A DEFAULT! Monochrome monosexual maleness is not the standard setting of the human body, and you’re not avoiding the issue by staying there, you’re making an increasingly obvious point on the wrong side of it.
  • Bemoaning the loss of journalistic objectivity in an opinion column about fictional characters on a comedy site.
  • People, poor people incapable of joy, saying Armor sucks.

That’s their problem

  • Some of them finally found this site! I would say it was slower than I expected, but being slow and incapable of processing new information is pretty much their deal. Hilariously some of them think you can just post offensive images on every site just like their festering home-forums, having never heard of this amazing thing called “comment moderation”. Why yes, it was a meme image featuring a homophobic slurs, how did you know?
  • People saying that the list should have included Storm, and Captain Marvel, and the new Ms. Marvel (who faces problems you can’t punch), Dazzler, Kitty Pryde, the Montoya Question, and many more, and all being absolutely right. More adventures is the entire point of comic books and movies.

More comic thoughts in Overanalysis Theater: Iron Man Is Earth’s Mightiest Hero and Continuity Casualties: Lady Blackhawk.

Overanalysis Theatre: Why Iron Man Is Earth’s Mightiest Hero

It’s my job to talk about how Iron Man could beat Batman, I got paid to rewrite his armor’s operating system, and of course I still come up with things far too nerdy and self-indulgent to sell anywhere else. Welcome to somewhere that isn’t anywhere else!

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes explored the Avengers’ relationship, and they put Tony Stark front and center with a giant Stark penis towering over the rest of the group.

Subtlety is for people who can't punch tanks.

Subtlety is for people who can’t punch tanks.

EMH was a fast and funny cartoon which understood that the most important aspect of any supergroup was how they bounced off each other while pounding out the villain of the week. Hawkeye smirking at all these damn supes, Black Panther Bat-humiliating anyone who comes near him by sheer capability, Tony grimacing at all the expensive explosions – not because he’s mean, but because all this stuff actually costs money and he’s the one providing it – every interaction is entertaining and informative at the same time, aka perfect characterization. Because super-hierarchies have nothing to do superpowers. Characters are promoted by Fables-style meta-power, where the most beloved character in our world is the most dominant in theirs. This cartoon came out around Iron Man 2, which means Tony could have taken out the rest of the Avengers with one hand tied behind his back and holding an exploding EMP grenade.

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The Insanity Of The Joker-Batman

“What if the Joker became Batman?” Something you’d hear after three seconds of a Batman brainstorming session, and only because it takes three seconds to say. It’s a simple idea which would require a genius to pull off. The team behind “I, Joker” knew that, and knew they didn’t qualify, and unfortunately knowing two things simultaneously overloaded their simple brains and everything after that was gibberubbish. Especially the comic.

This is actually a high point of the issue’s writing.

This is actually a high point of the issue’s writing.

They hacked away at the idea until even Zsasz wouldn’t recognise it, babbling “Actually it’s not the Joker, it’s a random nobody who’s been surgically altered to look like the Joker, and not the Batman, but a distant insane relative in the future, and where are you going?” Unfortunately, their audience was going to sell the idea to DC. The resulting trainwreck had less to do with Batman than Prince Namor, but still happened.

Yes, what the utility belt really needed was grinning crotch-teeth.

Yes, what the utility belt really needed was grinning crotch-teeth.

In the far future Gotham is a cross between the Church of Batman and the Running Man, and this comic will still not have been forgiven for creating and then failing to live up to such an awesome idea. The Church of Batman uses abduction, involuntary surgery and brainwashing to turn random citizens into crazy villains who terrorize the city. (The crazy thing is where you realise that they’re using evil techniques, but having the exact same effect as the original Batman).

Anyone managing to kill a villain gets a chance at murdering The Bruce, the divine figure of this chiropterological cult, whose main Bat-aspects seem to be killing people and shouting Batman’s real name as often as possible. Honestly, I don’t think he’s read even one issue of the scriptures of Batman. He’s just in it for the evil cape.

And what by then has to be a very retro Google BatGlass

And what by then has to be a very retro Google BatGlass


Though he is quite good at dispatching all the optimistic wannaBats.

No, that’s not a fleshtone suit. Yes, that is how you show Batman could be even more bondagey.

No, that’s not a fleshtone suit. Yes, that is how you show Batman could be even more bondagey.

The latest Joker-a-like manages to hold on to his original brain. Which means that this fake Joker isn’t even a good a fake as this comic could have aimed for. He’s just a random mook with a facelift. True, a Joker facelift means hoisting the corners of your grin into low Earth orbit, but the fact remains that instead of a reincarnated clown prince of crime, we’re following the adventures of an involuntary cosplayer.

We end up with a fancily dressed cult leader fighting a victim of botched plastic surgery. There are more authentic Bat-struggles in the queue for the toilet at cosplay conventions. (Protip: of all the things you include in your utility belt, the ability to quickly remove it to urinate in a cramped space is the most important.) The-guy-who-heard-of-Joker-once wins, swears to defend the city, and everyone pretends the story never happened.

Witness even worse Batmen with The Worst Alternate Universe Batmen Ever, and celebrate the release of Arkham Origins by laughing at The Worst Batman Video Games Ever.

Revel in the rage triggered by 6 Objective Reasons Iron Man Is Better Than Batman. Or see how I’d solve Gotham with An Infinity Of Alternate Batmen.