Fourcast! 36: Ragecast!

March 8th, 2010 by | Tags: , ,

-Yo, tell ’em why you mad, son!
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music
-Yo, Esther, tell ’em why you mad!
-It was Justice League: Cry for Justice #7, a James Robinson/Mediocre Artist Medley joint. You know the one– everybody got mad about it last week.
-Esther was gonna get her hate on, but there were a few days between the point where that hand of hers was glowing with an awesome power, its burning grip telling her to defeat DC Comics.
-Instead of flipping DC a Shining Finger, we have a fairly measured, if frustrated talk about violence in comics.
-We’re talking about scale of violence, involving the family, “this time it’s personal!” and so on. Also how tragedy can turn a character toxic.
-I may mention a Tiny Crisis and make Esther cackle.
-We lighten it up at the end with some stuff we like about comics.
-Esther likes Brian Azzarello and Rags Morales’s First Wave #1.
-I like Viz’s One Piece 3in1 and accelerated release schedule.
-See you, space cowboy!

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11 comments to “Fourcast! 36: Ragecast!”

  1. Fuck yes G Gundam is all I gotta say

  2. As far as the “girlfriend burned alive in front of a hero” example you guys mentioned, there was that part in Blackest Night where the combined Firestorm(s) turned Gen into salt, while she was screaming how much it hurt. Not exactly burned alive, but yes, DC went there.

  3. Speaking of baby-throwing, I think Carnage lobbing a baby out of a window was one of my favourite scenes for the character, back in the day. As I recall Venom saved the kid, so is that what happened here, or did this baby go splat?

    I agree about One Piece managing to make a great job of handling both its lighter, funnier scenes and its sadder ones. The flashback involving Zoro’s loss of a childhood friend surprised me for how unexpected it was, and for making me feel genuinely sad when tragedy in comics so often bores me.

  4. May you burn in hell for making me watch another second of G Gundam.

  5. @VersasoVantare: Indeed. Oda does his flashbacks quite well. God damn do I feel their pain. Though for straight up sadness Brook and Robin killed me.

    but just you wait till you guys get up to the Government Summit…

  6. @AlLoggins: What’s wrong with G Gundam?


  7. I’m curious about the alternative to character death. Right before DCU went through Identity Crisis, we had a relatively interesting resurgence in the Silver Age-type stories. Mark Waid and Kingdom Come ushered an almost “disney-fied” DCU that ended with the death of Sue Dibny. Then we had some bright stories again after One Year Later (and even DC’s 52 series was pretty bright, with some bits of darkness thrown into the story). Final Crisis had some occasion of Silver Age Whimsy (along with Brave and Bold).

    Cry for Justice seems to be another nadir of sadness that will be turned into Brightest Day. I can really see Cry for Justice as a misjudgment on editorial, by condensing the series and folding plot points into other series stories, you basically just have a tragic story of people who loss something, without them coming out of their depression and moving towards renewal.

    As for Arsenal and Lian, the bad part about it is that Lian has always been the McGuffin-character for Roy. She’s either kidnapped by Vandal Savage or sold to slavers or kidnapped by Quarci terrorists or kidnapped by her mother. It feels like all she’s ever been is a permutation of the original story she was introduced, where Cheshire manipulates Roy by telling him he has a daughter. She’s always been stuck as this character that can never age or never really show growth as a side-character. She can’t age and she’s always being used to manipulate the main character.

    I’d like to think JT Krul can do something neat with Arsenal that actually moves him from 1) being a government stooge and 2) being an overall jerk/ladies man 3) being a bad father for putting his daughter in all sorts of messes. There is an interesting idea that Lian and Roy are heirs of Vandal Savage. Their bodies could have regenerative powers, to a certain degree, so there is an element that might bring Lian back. Maybe the whole point of Rise of Arsenal is his search to bring Lian back to life.

  8. @garyancheta: Honestly, I disagree that we’ve had a lot of bright spots since IC. Or, indeed, before IC. I guess that’s pretty subjective, though.

    Your other point – about Lian being a McGuffin – I think that’s exactly what David and I were saying. No more ‘this time it’s personal’ stories. I remember the slavers arc especially, because it seemed so unecessary. It’s not like the readers would be on the fence about whether or not they wanted slave traders put away, and the team already had a personal connection in Grace Choi.

    The problem with killing Lian off, is that she’s still a McGuffin, she’s just a dead one. She’s still going to be Roy’s defining characteristic for the future. She’s still going to be the motivation for almost all of what he does.

    The difference is, now that’s not going to change. Roy can’t shrug off the death of his child. Her death is going to be the central point of his character, and all storylines connected to his character for decades.

    The bottom line is still – if the only thing that makes a character/story interesting is personal tragedy, it isn’t interesting.

  9. I too am sick of all of this nonsense, but that’s all been said. As a nerd, I wanted to make a minor correction:

    Re: Detective Comics.

    Kathy Kane’s cousin is Bette Kane, ie. Flamebird (which becomes slightly more clear in the next issue). So her being targeted is more another hero being in danger (although it’s very much presented as yettanother family in danger story). That’s more about (I think) marching out the eventual revelation to Kate that her cousin has been in the biz awhile now.

    It’s still a fairly grizzly storyline, but I trust Rucka more than anyone to have the least “fridge”-related outcome.

    Otherwise, cheers. Great podcast, and I share both your frustrations at this type of storytelling, and the short-shrift MacDuffie has drawn, so feel free to talk about it as often as you’d like.


  10. I think it was a … MINI-FRIDGING!

    (Kill me.)

  11. (Or fridge me, as the case might be.)