This #haveyoucriedaboutbuckybarnestoday tags need to calm down. Yes, yes I have. Several times now.
This #haveyoucriedaboutbuckybarnestoday tags need to calm down. Yes, yes I have. Several times now.
|me:||wow i have 3 tests and 2 essays due in the next 3 days|
|me:||ayy i haven't watched THE ENTIRE LOTR TRILOGY in a while|
When I grow up I want to be Ming-Na Wen.
She’s the voice of Mulan, as if she wasn’t amazing enough.
She broke it with her fingers. Not a fist, her fingers.
Girl is 50 years old.
FIFTY. YEARS. OLD.
fun fact: When you break things with your hands like that you have t break your fingers on purpose before so that they heal stronger. So basically this woman is so badass she broke her hands just to do this.
You asshat, you’re making it sound like she snaps her fingers in half.
Martial artists like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee (and yes, fucking Ming-Na Wen, that beautiful badass) will build up their bone strength by repeatedly (and fairly gently) striking sand, gravel, wood and steel - this creates tons of microfractures in their bones (smaller than even a hairline fracture) so the bones will heal over again and make the bones stronger and denser with increased deposits of calcium.
This has to be done over long-ass periods of time, so the bones have time to heal, and none of the fractures expand into actual breaks.
Oh, and she’s doing precise-ass kicks in HIGH HEELS.
she kicks ass like a coursing river
with all the force of a great typhoon
As you might imagine, I walked into Captain America 2 ready to get my Soviet Russia on. The Winter Soldier run is one of my favorites in—well, in any comic, really, and from what I’d seen in the trailers and whatnot, it looked like we were going to get a heaping dose of what makes that series so special and so sobering: the bloodstained underbelly of Soviet international politics, a glimpse at the way men and women were fed into the meat grinder of the State, pulped for the greater glory of their nation. In Bucky we’d see a drafted soldier kidnapped, brainwashed, and streamlined into the perfect machine. Not an ideal Soviet man, far from it; but a tool, utilitarian and dispassionate, with the five-pointed martial star on his shoulder; the awful triumph of the State over so-called human frailty.
And we did, we got all of that—insofar that you can’t have a Winter Soldier without those things. But as I watched, it became increasingly clear that this movie wasn’t looking to talk about the Soviet Union. There is a reason Bucky only speaks Russian once in the entire film. There’s a reason he’s never addressed in it. There’s a reason his code name is drawn from an investigation into one of the ugliest chapters of American history. And there is a reason that the movie takes this snarling, mechanized, indiscriminate killing machine and explicitly sets him up as Captain America’s other half.
I’ve seen some reviews going after the film for pulling its punches, of holding up the Greatest Generation as America’s past, and a polluted security branch as its future, absolving it of responsibility for its actions in both cases. It’s HYDRA now and “sacrifices for freedom” then; why aren’t we interrogating ourselves a little harder?
My answer to that is: we did, and the movie is named after what we found.
The Winter Soldier is concerned with security and international supremacy, and the moral compromises America has made (and continues to make) in pursuit of both. It draws a straight line from WWII America to the modern day, where “we did some things we weren’t proud of” becomes drone warfare and Big Brother. Steve is at one end of this timeline, Nick Fury at the other. There’s a chasm of about fifty years between the two points. That’s where the Winter Soldier steps in.
This film is haunted by an American war, yes. But not the one Steve fought in. The Cold War was “a battle for the soul of mankind”, waged across millions of hearts and minds, and it’s a patched-over burn in the American psyche, barely healed and still tender to the touch. We emerged on the other side of forty-four years as the world’s one and only superpower. And it fucking cost us.
McCarthyism saw Americans turning on one another, fueled by snarling, indiscriminate paranoia. Operation Paperclip recruited Nazi scientists to keep German technology out of Soviet hands. Vietnam, with its thousands dead, was fought to keep the dominoes of Communism from falling across Asia. America, augmented by an unimaginable weapon and ruthlessly militarized, spied, ordered assassinations, irradiated its own children, and dragged the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust. All for the sake of security.
The Winter Soldier is that America.
Inhuman, bionic, unfeeling, unthinking, the perfect weapon: a creature of progress, powered by pure ideology. The mind wipes? Decades of propaganda in its purest, most undiluted form, administered directly to the brain. The arm? I know a nuclear metaphor when I see one.
If Cap is the potential of America, what we should never stop striving for, the Winter Soldier is what became of us when we fell desperately short. He is what we did to ourselves.
In many ways this film is a ghost story, and like all good ghost stories, it holds up the tragedy of our mistakes and begs us not to repeat them. What SHIELD proposes—Project Insight—is assured destruction, a level of control over a population not exercised since we were staring Russia down over a launch pad. And so the Winter Soldier appears, the long cold shadow of America’s past, and crashes into the hope for its future with the ring of a metal fist against a shield.
Cap can’t destroy him, what’s done is done. Bucky can’t be unwounded, or given back his stolen time; the blood on his hands won’t be scrubbed out. But they can walk slowly together, one helping the other stand.
Steve can’t progress without Bucky, just as, the film seems to say, America itself is doomed to fester unless it looks to its past and acknowledges what it has done; the things it has ground into dust in the name of a higher cause. In the MCU, the only way Captain America’s country will move forward is if it swears to never, ever go back.
Leave it to Emily to knock this meta out of the park. <3
not sure why people don’t automatically say “shapeshifting” when asked what they want their superpower to be. you could become anyone you want. even fictional characters. anyone. cosplay would always be spot-on. dysphoria wouldn’t exist. perfection
rob a bank and disguise yourself as a stray pen lying on a shelf when the cops come
A pen with a shit ton of money lying next to it.
Dick Grayson is trading his superhero suit for secret-agent cool.
Batman’s former sidekick embarks on a new life as an undercover superspy in the comic book Grayson, an action-adventure series premiering July 2 from DC Comics. It’s written by Tim Seeley (Revival) and Tom King, a former CIA counterterrorism operations officer.
After a career of being overshadowed by his cape-and-cowled father figure, this is a chance for Grayson “to take off the mask and step out on his own in a world where he’s not simply being another hero like the hero he grew up with,” King says.
Batman, though, wants him to transition to a different heroic life for the greater good — it’s “a hard sell,” Seeley says — and tells him why he needs his former partner to stay dead, not only to the world at large but to Batgirl, Alfred Pennyworth and the rest of the “Bat-family.”
"Obviously, he’s a part of a legacy," Seeley says. "He’s been Robin, he’s been Batman, and now he’s out in the cold by himself."
Adds King: “He’s doing something that’s going to cause pain to his friends and family, but he believes in the cause. That tension between having to do something good but having the cost of it being pain to his family, it drives him a little crazy.”
Grayson’s new employer is the international spy agency Spyral, an organization created by writer Grant Morrison for his Batman, Incorporated series. King sees it as representative of today’s intelligence community: They’re the people who stop bad guys from doing bad things, yet to do that, they employ questionable tactics such as mind erosion.
"He has to save the world, but he’s dealing with an organization that may go beyond his comfort zone," King says.
Seeley likes putting Grayson in this strange position, working for a group “that purports to be on the side of the angels, but clearly, there’s some weird stuff going in. Their penchant for manipulation instantly makes them nefarious.”
King, who started working for the CIA after 9/11, intends to bring to Grayson the emotional feel for what it’s like to work undercover, have bullets shot at you and cope with the the inherent pressure of being an intelligence agent.
"It’s bliss to serve a higher cause and save people," he says, but "the hard part of it is it’s tough to go home and lie to your family and pretend to be a different person."
For the supporting cast, Seeley is planning to reintroduce some familiar DC characters but also to create a new mythos for Grayson, including his own archenemy.
"He’s always been a character who hasn’t had a villain associated with him," King says. "We want to give him his Lex Luthor, his Joker."
Also, Grayson is one of the few superheroes “who is considered a sex symbol by ladies,” Seeley says. “We’re leaning into that.”
At the very least, he is getting a wardrobe makeover, courtesy of Grayson artist Mikel Janin: Gone is Grayson’s mask, and his new outfit reflects the blue-and-black color scheme of his Nightwing togs and features a “G” on his chest, reminiscent of the old “R” from his Robin days.
In terms of tone, Seeley describes Grayson as a “world-hopping” action comic, and King wants every issue to feel like a TV episode of Mad Men or Breaking Bad in that it causes a conversation.
"It’s DC’s The Americans,” King says. “This is something where, at the end of it, you have to go and talk about it.”
What would have happened if Kal-El’s ship had crash landed in Communist Russia instead?
In Superman: Red Son Mark Millar re-imagines a world where Kal-El dons the sickle and hammer to protect the workers utopia!
(Also Batman shows up in an awesome hat…)
A brand new edition is out today!
This is super cool! I really enjoyed this graphic novel the first time around, now I have to go investigate the new edition.