Tag Archives: Marvel

52 Book Challenge. Week 4-7

It’s been an incredibly hectic few weeks for me. But no, I haven’t been neglecting my reading. I’ve just neglected to write about the books I’ve read, so here’s a quick overview of what I’ve read during my absent weeks:

Week Four: StarDust by Neil Gaiman

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I absolutely love Stardust. I watched the movie years ago and totally fell in love with the way it represents fantasy. The book is essentially the same story, but it can get a little long winded at times. But its a book so it can afford to be. However, the whole story can pretty much be summed up by two chapter titles:

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Week Five: Aristotle And Dante Discover the Secrets Of The Universe

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I was so excited to read this one. Mainly because of the tumblr hype. Unfortunately I found the reality to be rather… disappointing. This may be because I expected the main character to be boyfriends rather early on. But instead they don’t get together until last few pages of the book and instead both experiment with heterosexual relationships for the majority of the story.

I probably would have enjoyed this one a lot more if it wasn’t for tumblr building up my expectations of it. I’ll probably give it another read in the future, just to get a more unbiased opinion on the story.

 

Week Six: The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus) by Rick Riordan

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I love this series. It really appeals to the Greek Mythology nerd in me. Riordan retells the myths with a remarkable accuracy. I’m used to representations in popular culture taking a lot of liberties with the myths. The main example being Disney’s Hercules. But Riordan is obviously working incredibly hard to make his facts as accurate as possible.

I love the characters in Heroes of Olympus. Even with the ones I’m not too fond of (aka Frank) I’m emotionally invested in what happens to them. This is especially true of Nico Di Angelo. And if good things don’t start happening to this poor boy in the next book I’m going to be furious.
Week Seven: ???

So I kind of cheated with Week Seven. I started with The Bane Chronicles by only got part way through it.

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But during this week I also read:

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So I’m not quite sure where I stand on the 52 Book thing.

And that’s you all caught up! I’m going to aim to finish Magnus Chronicles this week so hopefully I wont get distracted by any more comics.

If you want to be kept up to date with what I’m reading, check out my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellisinaj/

Have you guys read any of the books I’ve read so far? What books would you suggest I take a look at for the rest of the challenge? Let me know in the comments.

Panopticism in Comic Books

For those of you not familiar with panopticism; the panopticon was designed by Jeremy Bentham to be the ideal prison.


The panopticon consists of a circular building with an observation tower in the centre of an open space. The outer wall contain cells for the prisoners and the tower means that the occupants can be viewed at any time. (For a further explanation of how this design works you could read Foucault’s Discipline and Punish but I wouldn’t recommend it).

This design has never been fully put into practice. The closest we have to an actual panopticon is the Presidio Modelo, which now acts as a museum.

Whilst undertaking research for my dissertation, I noticed that a number of comic book prisons (especially DC comics) have utilised this design.

The most obvious reference to Benthams design is in the Justice League of America which includes a lunar base named the Panopticon, which is named as such because it has the ability to see anything.

There are also adaptions of the design, such as in the Marvel prison the Raft which includes a two-way surveillance system which allow inmates to see who is watching them, as opposed to the original design in which inmates have no way of knowing when they are being watched.

Recent adaptions of Arkham Asylum have also incorporated Bentham’s design. In the New 52, Batman tests out the security measures of the new Tartarus Wing and the design is very clearly a representation of the panopticon.

In addition to this, in Arkham Reborn, Arkham Asylum is rebuilt and Jeremiah states that “the main block is device of the principles of Jeremy Benthams Panopticon” and a lot of emphasis is put on how the new design means that the directors can observe the inmates through the one way glass of the rotating tower.

A lot of the designs of prisons in comic books often take a lot of liberties with their creations, mostly in order to accommodate for the super powers of their villains. This means that Benthams design can be utilised despite the setbacks which make it impossible to be achieved in reality.

Why it sucks to be a female comic-book fan: Clothing

I’ve already written a blog about the outfits which female superheroes are made to wear, but what about the outfits created for real life female fans of superheroes? As I female fan of the superhero genre, I found early on that I was better off looking for clothing in the mens department of shops. I had to do this because the female oriented clothing was oddly gendered. Here’s a few examples of shirts other people have bought me:

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As you can see, these designs are focused on the fact that girls want to date superheros. Now, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t date Peter Parker if given the chance, but I don’t think that this should be the sole focus of the designs marketed to women.

Thankfully, with the new series of Marvel films, something awesome happened. I went into Primark one day to find a load of female t-shirts which just display the fact that women like comics. Here’s a couple of the ones I’ve bought:

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It’s an actual miracle, and I’m so proud that merchandise aimed at the female audience aren’t solely “I want to date a superhero” anymore.

What do you guys think? Have you found any ridiculously gendered merchandise recently? Let me know.

Issues with Super-heroine Costumes

I’ve just watched Captain America: Winter Soldier, and as much as I love Black Widow, I can’t get over her hair.

As an active agent who is constantly fighting, Natasha should be dressing as such. She should be prepared for a fight, especially when she knows that she’ll be going on missions, but she never is. Regardless what hairstyle she’s been given over the three movies (and it does annoy me that she’s the only avenger who gets a makeover with every new movie), none of them are practical for combat.

This is something which can be applied to any of the female super-heroines: none of them would be ready for a real fight. As a black belt, I know what kind of things should be worn for fighting, so let’s go through some of the main aspects of super-heroine costumes:

Hair:

When fighting, it’s important that your field of vision isn’t restricted, and this is something really noticeable when Black Widow fights, because she incorporates a lot of turns. So every time she turns her head, her hair completely covers her face. This is great for dramatic shots, but ridiculous for a fight.

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A similar thing happens in the film Daredevil, Elektra keeps her hair tied up for training, but as soon as she goes out to fight, she lets it down. If you know that you train better with hair up, surely it makes sense that it should be tied up for real missions. Or are we just trying to look pretty for the bad guys?

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The best example I can find of how they should be wearing their hair is SHIELD agent Maria Hill, both her cropped hair in the comics, and low bun in the films are perfectly suited to combat. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see her in combat often.

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Material:

Characters like Captain America and Batman have costumes which are clearly adapted from various styles of armor and the material is designed to be combat ready and virtually bulletproof. And then you have costumes that are basically nothing more than spandex. Now with characters like Superman, this isn’t as big as a problem because he doesn’t need armor. But with characters like Batgirl or Catwoman, they appear to have chosen looking sexy over being able to fight.

And then there’s Powergirl. Who has a gaping hole is the chest of her suit because she can’t find anything to symbolize her or some other bullshit that they used to justify the continuous cleavage shots.

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Chest Plates :

There are some attempts to give the female characters armor, like with Lady Sif, but a lot of the time theres a lot of problems with the designs. Here’s a link to an article which explains how the ‘boob plate’ armor would actually kill the wearer.

Heels:

I don’t understand why every super heroine needs to fight in high heeled shoes. It’s ridiculously impractical. I mean, I can do a lot of karate moves in heels (how I found that out is a whole different story…) but it is a lot more difficult, and there’s a serious risk that the heroines could break their ankles. I get that some of the heroines like Wonder Woman aren’t constrained by the limitations of humans, but it would still be a lot easier for them to fight in flats like the boys.

Interestingly, this isn’t just restricted to super-heroines, it’s something I see a lot in police and detective shows as well. Which is odd because you’d think if your job requires running you would just wear trainers all of the time.

Capes:

I don’t think I have to go into this one. I think Edna has it covered…
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I do love the new designs for Wonder Woman which seems to have chosen practicality over pure sexualisation. Now all she needs is to tie her hair back properly and ditch the perfect nails and she’ll be perfect.

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Let me know what you think about these costumes? Does anyone else think they’re way too impractical? Are there any points that I’ve missed?