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... means, as usual, an ill advised comics binge: The Life and Death of Toyo Harada 1-4, Li'l Gotham in full, The Complete Doc Unknown, The Steam Man, and a reread of v1 and 2 of Umbrella Academy. Some rhymes of structure and theme, unsurprisingly. Loops and crumbling near-utopias and holding the line or failing to.

Except Li'l Gotham, which is just about the fun.

Wayback Exchange: DCAU fic

Makeshift League (2797 words) by marcelo
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: DC Animated Universe (Timmverse)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Clark Kent/Lois Lane/Bruce Wayne
Characters: Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Bruce Wayne
Summary:

It's good for them. That doesn't mean they are good at it.

Shamelessly by the numbers, and some of the plot checkboxes were checked a tad too perfunctorily, and nothing really made sense, but within those parameters it wasn't bad.

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John Wick 3: Parabellum

Spoilers have been excommunicado to under the cut.Collapse )

It's not John Wick, but it's a bit better than John Wick 2, without being in any way different from them.

Two minor observations:
  • Parts of the fights turn out to be funny just out of sheer bloody-mindedness, although there's only a couple of bits I'd call gory. People are fighting for their lives, and you can see it in how they just go for it without, save some exception, grandstanding or looking for style points.

  • Seeing John fight in the background while the camera looks at somebody else is both funny and awesome.

What I got for the Wayback Exchange 2019

Routine & Ritual (1198 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Jean-Luc Picard
Additional Tags: Tea, Curtain Fic, Character Study, No Plot/Plotless
Summary:

Jean-Luc liked routine; he enjoyed the ritual element a routine added to his life, the barest scaffolding of normalicy and predictability in a life filled with chaos.



I love the choice of moment and character — I think they fit very well.

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With The Mentalist as background TV, I briefly considered the idea of a crime-solver that were a sort of anti-Holmes, solving crimes not because of their analytical skills, specialized knowledge, and/or capacity for assholery, but rather because of their empathy.

Then I realized I had just described Will Graham (yes, he's competent and knowledgeable, and during, like, five minutes in the first episode they set him up as a sort of CSI, but that didn't last long; he's pure, borderline supernatural empathy, righteous violence driven not by his being superior to others but by his feeling exactly the same).

That, of course, did not end well.

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Of echoes, children, and archives

I had never heard of the Brontë children's 484-pages multimedia shared fictional universe, but it's not surprising, isn't it?

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The Doylean trauma

Leaving aside probably more relevant reasons of changing personal and social contexts (let's call some of it the tribology of accumulating nostalgia, mostly because I love the word "tribology"), one reason I find comic events increasingly off-putting is the way their meta-cosmology keeps getting not just more involved, but doing so in bizarre and repetitively anthropomorphic ways, and without any sort of build-up. The basic nature of reality keeps being re-revealed every year or so, Cosmic Entities get biographies and family trees every bit as ridiculously involved as any other character, and conflicts where the stakes are, literally, everything that ever was, is, or will be, keep being set up and resolved in a span of a few reader months, even if they are supposed to have taken place during thousands or billions of years.

That's a mostly DC-apposite description of the Crisis pattern, although it does apply to the Hickman Omni-apocalypse. Marvel's specific compulsive apocalypse is the Age of Apocalypse retelling, although both companies fall back equally often to the Cosmic War. And similar things could be said about more character-specific but still repetitive arcs, like Batman Gets Broken Down.

I understand the Doylean reasons, and Huge Events, like fossil fuels, are a non-renewable and toxic but short-term fantastic resource that you have to have a certain level of maturity not to rely on, but at this point it's less an annoying quirk than an unheimlich compulsion we're all (as comic book readers, while and if we read those specific comics) locked inside of.

BTW, I've written this before, and I'm likely to do it again. We're all vulnerable to our own patterns.

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cass, can you not
__marcelo
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