Heroes Reborn Revisited

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I’ve written before about Heroeshow much I adored the first season, how disappointing the follow-ons were in comparison–and the closer we get to the relaunch, Heroes Reborn (anyone else think the title is extremely meta, by the way?) the more hope begins to swell in my breast.

“Whosoever holds this katana, if she be worthy, shall possess the power of Hiro.”

I don’t think at all that the superhero genre on television and film is going to die any time soon (the current slates for Marvel and DC easily put that thought to rest). However, there’s a sub-genre of the genre (which itself could be considered a sub-genre, but I digress) that could use some building up: original superhero material. By which I mean, of course, television and film not based on an existing comics property. Especially not based on one from the major companies, and already heavily exposed to the market.

I enjoyed the movie Hancock. I enjoyed Chronicle. For television, The Cape wasn’t too bad (though I’d probably have to watch through again to make sure it wasn’t simply a case of any port in a storm) and No Ordinary Family had potential (I still wish to God I could do something with that property). And I honestly think that more, and better stuff, in that vein would be a good way to capitalize on the existing trend without risking even more of a burnout with the fanbase then what’s already been predicted.

“Reunited, and it feels so goooood…”

My opinion is merely that of one man, of course, but it bodes well for my potential enjoyment of the show that I completely agree with some of the moves they’ve made early on. For instance, we knew pretty much that Horned Rim Glasses (HRG, or Noah, if you will) was coming back to the show. Later, Hiro Nakamura’s return was announced. They’d have likely had a hard time getting Zachary Quinto to reprise his role as Sylar even if the last couple seasons hadn’t completely boned the character. Likewise for Hayden Panettiere’s Claire Bennet, though how they’ll explain the lack of the latter gives me pause, considering HRG is her dad. We might not get Claire, but the other character that best makes sense when you consider HRG will be–Jimmy Jean Louis’ Haitian.  No other alumni returns have been announced, but the three we have remained popular throughout the original show’s run, and weren’t shit upon too heavily by the latter seasons’ writing.

My personal assessment of Heroes’ plunge hinges on two things that shouldn’t end up plaguing this new show: 1) the writer’s strike that completely screwed season two and 2) Creator Tim Kring’s departure from his original concept of each season being a completely different story with all-new characters. I can’t see him making the same mistake twice, personally–something that appears to bear out, with Reborn being advertised as a miniseries. Also, biting off small chunks at a time like this should help keep outside concerns from being big problems–if there was another disaster like the strike, they could simply push back the production of a second, separate miniseries.

All in all, I’m seriously excited about this, and you can totally expect I’ll be live-tweeting during every episode.

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Station Identification

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For those of you who’ve met me recently at World Horror, the Augusta Literary Festival, and a few other places:

I’m Lincoln Crisler. I write about unreal things (superheroes, zombies, killers with supernatural powers…you get the idea) in as realistic a manner as I can. I’ve been doing it since 2006, though I’ve been writing all my life. My most recent books are in the sidebar. Those, along with all the anthologies I’ve appeared in are available on my Amazon page via the header menu. I’ve edited a couple of anthologies, as well–one about dark rituals and another about dark superheroes. I’m dark. Oh so very dark. I am the night. Or Batman. Or something.

I’m married with three kids. I’m a staff sergeant in the United States Army, and I’ve served in South Korea, Qatar, Afghanistan and Iraq. On the side I moonlight a bit on web/graphic design, social media and document editing and formatting. I love talking about all the peripheral stuff that comes along with my writing, like blogging, Reddit and other promotional tools, and programs that help me sell books. These days, I’m liking Flint.

You can follow me here and on Twitter and Facebook for updates, cool things my author friends are doing, the occasional book reviews and sometimes, to be completely honest, just me going off about something stupid, funny, or truly frightening. These days my blogs are usually about comic books and superhero culture, with occasional forays into scary stuff and philosophical talk.

If you like what you see, please tell a friend about me, or suggest one of my books. If you’d like a good place to start, I have the first 25% of a serial novel up on Wattpad, and plan on getting back to it real soon.

Thanks for reading. I can’t do it without you.

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World Horror!

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If you’re into this sort of thing, you’re probably not hearing it here first, but WORLD HORROR’s in ATLANTA this year! I’ve only missed one World Horror since 2010 (last year’s in Portland, since I couldn’t convince them to change the venue to Seoul). Usually, it costs me a nice chunk of (tax deductible) dough for a plane ticket, but this one is two hours from my HOUSE. I’m pretty damn excited.

My schedule is pretty light this year, but I’m fine with that. I’ll have copies of all my newest books (the ones in the sidebar) and I’ll be sitting on a panel on Friday. Other than that, you probably can get me jaked on car bombs and get me to do a dramatic reading of a story about a ghostly bankrobber or a nascent serial killer losing his virginity. Yanno, if that’s your sorta thing.

FRIDAY, MAY 8

10-11 AM Panel: WEIRD SOUTH: From Voodoo to Rattlesnake Revival: Southern Folklore in Horror Literature – SARNATH

From the African Diaspora to Christian fundamentalism, Southern literature has been haunted by exotic religions, practices, and superstitions. Explore how writers have and are using the mythologies and belief systems of this diverse region to add to the disturbing dimensions of horror and Southern Gothic fiction.

Moderator: Thomas Drago. Panelists: Bill Bridges, Lincoln Crisler, Brad Hodson, Vic Kerry, Jana Oliver, Catherine Scully

6:30-8 PM Mass Author Signing – THE BARRENS

Convention guests and attending authors will be available to sign their books.

The PUBLIC are also cordially invited to attend, free of charge so, if you have friends in the metro Atlanta area, invite them!

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My Thoughts on Age of Ultron

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So, I went to see Age of Ultron on opening night, like one does. I was shocked as hell that my local theater had showings starting at 8PM on 30 April, despite opening night being advertised as 1 May. I went to the 10:15PM showing because it was after my kid went to bed (I didn’t want him to know where I was going, and keeping a 7 y/o up until 11 on a school night would have been fucked up). I didn’t get home and in bed until 1:30AM and had to get up at 6:30 for work, but it was so worth it.

  • I really enjoyed the rapport between Hulk and Black Widow. I haven’t followed Avengers comics as closely as the X-Men, so I’m not entirely sure if this has basis in canon or is something original to the movie universe, but I liked it. It’s obvious that at least those two have bonded some in between the first and second film. Now I do know in the comics she and Hawkeye have hooked up, so I’ll also say how nice it was to see a female lead just being friends with a guy instead of being there to be his love interest. It’s annoying how often the female lead is just there for sex appeal for one (or more) of the guys, and has no relationships beyond that.
  • On a related note, it seems like Hawkeye and the Widow got a bit more time in this film than the first. At least, I don’t remember them having as much of a role. And I’m glad that changed (if it did and I’m just not remembering things wrong). I mean, if you’re the Black Widow in a Captain America film, it’s not hard to shine–she’s as physically able as Cap, and it’s not an ensemble film. But on a team with Thor, Iron Man and Hulk…well, you see where I’m going. I thought for sure Hawkeye was going to eat shit by the end of the movie, the way they were building him up.

  • Which brings me to my next point. I can’t believe they wasted Quicksilver. I mean, it’s comics, so they can always bring him back (probably with the Infinity Gems). Since we’re talking about Quicksilver, I’m casting my vote in favor of Evan Peters’ version. But still, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are part of each other’s identities. I don’t think for a moment it’ll last, but I’m still surprised they did it. It was a good little bit of redemption for the twins, though, and worked well for their arc.
  • The fucking Vision. Believe it or not, I actually forgot we were going to get the Vision in this film, so I damn near jumped out of my seat when he burst free of that capsule. It was freakin’ awesome. And his rescue of Wanda at the end seems to be a seed planted for a relationship similar to the one they had in the comic. That just makes sense. She’s really going to need an anchor after losing her brother.

  • And of course, Ultron. While I was waiting for the film to start, I read a few Tweets and comments on the film from people in my networks who’d seen earlier showings of the film. They weren’t all complimentary of the movie in general, or of how dastardly Ultron wasn’t. I thought they did Ultron well. One of the things about Ultron in the comics was that he always got progressively more difficult each time he appeared. He’s an artificial intelligence. Of course, he’ll learn and evolve (in theory, of course. We may never see him again in the movies). Presenting him at the threat level he had helped keep the movie more about our heroes themselves, which is as it should be.
  • Finally, the changing of the guard that happened at the end. I guess they had to accomodate in the script for the fact that some of the actors may only have one movie left in their contracts, and the Avengers lends itself to a rotating cast anyway. I’m not sure how the last Thor movie will play out–perhaps it will relate more to Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and the space-faring side of the Infinity War. Hawkeye’s departure was a good cap to his arc. It seems weird to have Tony take a sabbatical, knowing he’s going to be a big part of Captain America: Civil War, but whatever. I doubt we’ve seen the last of Ruffalo’s Hulk; I’ve read elsewhere that his departure could be a segue into a Planet Hulk adaptation, and I’d love the hell out of that.

The new group, though: War Machine, Vision, Scarlet Witch and Falcon, along with Cap and Widow? Can’t wait to see them in action.

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So, Iceman’s Gay…

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This week, Brian Michael Bendis basically lowered himself to Chuck Austen’s level on the X-Men writer totem pole, at least in my humble opinion. All-New X-Men #40 came out on Wednesday, and that’s not the only thing that came out.

Bobby Drake, is, apparently, homosexual.

Now, I shouldn’t have to say that I don’t have a problem with homosexuality, but we still live in that world, so: I don’t have a problem with homosexuality. Having said that, Bendis’ revelation regarding Iceman is about as nonsensical as Nightcrawler being retconned as the son of a demon during Chuck Austen’s infamous run on Uncanny X-Men a few years back.

Remember THIS load of horseshit?

Remember THIS load of horseshit?

There are several issues with this reveal. First of all, Iceman has a documented, decades-long love for vajayjay. Him being an immature horndog has been, on more than one occasion, one of his primary, defining characteristics. The Iceman who comes out is the 16 year-old version brought forward in time (along with the rest of the original team; that’s the basic premise of All-New X-Men, for those who didn’t know). You know how all sorts of ignorant or bigoted folks run their mouths about how “homosexuality is a choice?” And then gay folks and their supporters come back with, “If it’s a choice, prove it by choosing to take a dick in the ass, since that’s all there is to it?” Well apparently, at least to Bendis, Bobby Drake’s been choosing to be straight since his introduction in 1962.

bobbyurgayThen there’s the manner in which Iceman’s sexuality is brought to light. Iceman doesn’t come out of the closet–young Jean, his fellow time-lost teammate, goes into his thoughts and exposes him! So, here’s Bobby Drake, who’s been around telepaths his entire life–to include Charles Xavier, the most powerful psychic in the Marvel Universe–but only now does one pick up on him being gay? I call bullshit. Back in the 90’s, Iceman’s body was actually taken over by a telepath, the then comatose White Queen, Emma Frost.

But it gets worse. Say we replace Iceman in this situation with a brand-new character, who’s sexuality hasn’t been established. We still have Jean Grey invading a person’s mind. As far as comic book telepaths go, a willingness to do this sort of crap is what defines the good guys from the bad guys. There’s always been a morality to the use of psychic powers, that hinges on trust and concern for others. Jean Grey totally broke this. He even told her to stop. Even the US military, up until a couple years ago, had a law in effect that basically said, “it’s not our business; we don’t want to know.” Bendis had Jean break one of the cardinal rules of Marvel telepaths and shove her friend out of the closet.

heydon'tdothat

So we not only have one character being portrayed contrary to his decades-long established nature, we have another one violating what should be one of her core values in order to get us there. Nice work, Bendis. Of course, there are a variety of viewpoints floating around on the Internet regarding all this. Nerdist thinks its a good idea. There’s at least one gay comics reader who thinks along the same lines as me. And Billy Graham’s son Franklin took the time to try turning it into a religious issue.

For my part, if Bendis wanted to tweak an existing character’s sexuality that bad, there were better ways to go about it. Bobby feeling “experimental” or something, or wanting to explore a new part of himself by trying a relationship with a dude…well, it would still piss off the religious right (not that that’s a bad thing) but at least it wouldn’t fly in the face of canon. And for sure, it could have been done without Jean taking the choice out of Bobby’s hands. I hope whatever new status quo there is for the X-Men after Secret Wars washes all this away. And they should make that Azazel storyline not have happened, too.

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