The Bird, the Plane, and the Underdog
Being a geek is what I do. Some people are bank robbers, some people are geese-jugglers — I’m a geek. As you might imagine, around here, I am but one of the many, which makes for heated, mostly-intellectual discussion about subjects that normal people would consider beneath their consideration. Those pretentious normal people. Bah.
Out of the 31 flavors of geek available for assimilation, “comic book movie connoisseur” easily falls in the top five most responsible for debates verging on throw-downs. Don’t get me wrong, The Dark Knight is genuinely high-quality cinema, but I felt like a couple of the ethical dilemmas presented in it, though pathologically interesting, were simply crow-barred in so the editor would have something to intercut with the fight scenes. Of course, as any fan of double-bladed lightsaber fight sequences realizes, splicing mediocrity with awesomeness doesn’t make the mediocrity any more palatable and only fosters the desire to remove the mediocrity and post the awesomeness by itself on YouTube.
My bias against Batman is significant — Batman gets seven live-action movies, six television series (with a seventh on the way), 20 video games, and all Green Arrow gets are cameos and supporting roles? The Emerald Archer demands justice! (Pause for irony. Pause over.)
Those of you who keep up with Green Arrow movie news should know that there is a Green Arrow movie in the works, which would ordinarily send me into fits of childish giggling. Considering the fact that Green Arrow is being dropped into the main hero role rather than having the hero role being written for him, the fetal position will have to wait. Phooey. Granted, the story sounds much more promising than most comic book films (even if Halle Berry’s incarnation of Catwoman makes for compelling Halloween fodder), and should do much to popularize second string villains as well as heroes, but there’s only one way to find out how it goes.
I imagine it may have become abundantly clear at this juncture that a person can care too much about things like comic book movies, even compared to other geeks. Fortunately, one of the benefits of living across the river from the capital of Red Sox nation is that when standing side-by-side with even the average sports fan, I’d have to build a fully-operational freeze ray and get adamantium claws surgically implanted into my forearm before I could begin to compare to the beer hats and face paint. And if that’s not a sufficient excuse, I still have the “it doesn’t affect my social life, I swear” card up my sleeve to justify my obsessions. I might have to revise that one when I try out the convention scene later this year — c’est la vie. It’ll be worth it for the chance to show off my fully operational freeze ray and adamantium claws.
Since the emergence of comic book heroes into mainstream media in radio, television, and now film, their adaptations have straddled the spectrum of quality — the brave and the bold on one end, the downright embarrassing on the other. Walk in the right circles, and you can personally bear witness to the epic debate of which films belong where, even if some are self-explanatory. (“Let’s kick some ice”? Seriously?) The question becomes even more complicated when people already have deep-seated loyalties to the characters in question. Three guesses who my favorite is. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go appear in court regarding my hijacking of Mr. Bill Nye’s signoff line. Excelsior!